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Take A Break From Gi


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#1 paulselhi

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 10:25 PM

It seems, even with the "awesome" new abilitities if AR3, that many peolple get frustrated and feel let down when doing gi animation renders, especially with object animation.

With all the hype pushed out by the developers you could be forgiven for believeing that most animations have to be done with GI. Sadly most renders are no where near perfect when it comes to gi object animation ( I think GI animation in AR3 is very overated and all the mutiple pass farting around is a real pain) Vray is not bad and from what i have seen of FinalRender it is probably the best. But which ever way you go it seems that at a bare minimum you need a dual core and more likely a quad core to get half decent results in a decent time frame. And if you are really looking for top quality renders that an octo core is a must

But looking at many scenes that people have issues with i often think..does this really need gi ? Why is it that we have become so obsessed with doing every render with gi and often overlook the critical role lighting plays in a render

As a case study here is a render i did using no gi, just 3 lights, render time is under a minute a frame on a dual core 2.4 ghz

http://www.black-and-white-to-color.com/stuff/pills11.mov

I have given my first test settings here http://www.black-and-white-to-color.com/ip...?showtopic=2244 and will add any new renders

#2 3DKiwi

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 10:28 PM

Very good Paul. I've just got myself V-Ray but haven't had time to play too much with it.

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#3 paulselhi

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 10:31 PM

for non gi renders AR can be better that vray since it handles the ao very well

#4 dataflow

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:10 PM

using just lights was how animation from big production companies was done (and probably still do)
if you got your hands on a scene from 1 of the animation eg.. the movie "Ice Age"

youll probably find about 30 lights in each scene

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#5 Horganovski

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:28 PM

I don't have AR or VRay etc, and my main interest is animation, so I'm looking to get frames out as fast as possible rather than chasing photo-realism.

I get decent results using the free MoGraph Skylight plugin, it's essentially an enhanced lightdome, similar to Lumen lite (Lumen lite crashes for me in 10.5 though).

Here's an example, it could do with a couple of extra fills to highlight the head of the snake, but I think the overall look of the lighting is reasonably pleasing to the eye.

I can render animations like this at about 1-2 minutes per frame at HDTV settings on my quad. And no flicker!




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#6 paulselhi

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:35 PM

the snake looks good Brian, perhaps some more spec ?

Here is the master :

http://www.3dluvr.com/carles/gallery.htm

for example info

http://www.3dluvr.com/content/article/39

Edited by paulselhi, 11 December 2008 - 11:56 PM.


#7 StCanas

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:27 AM

Sorry Paul but I disagree with just about every point you made in setting out this thread.

Your fundamental question seems to be "Why is it that we have become so obsessed with doing every render with gi... ?" which is a kind of daft question. It's simply a better way to render. All other things being equal, a GI render will always be better than a Ray Traced render. And I see no evidence that people are, Ún mass, just turning on GI and "overlooking the critical role lighting plays in a render". Check the threads here. People are still sweating blood over their lighting set ups and asking as many lighting questions as they ever have.

As for the render engines being nowhere near perfect for GI. I agree that AR3 might be a little overrated but I think the problem is more to do with expectation than over selling by MAXON. I think it's a symptom of the collective relief that they finally did something about the long standing short comings of AR2. C4D was never going to be taken seriously outside of our community until they fixed AR2.

Vray is better than "not bad". It does perfect flicker free Object GI with no problems. Here's an example of full GI Object Animation

http://web.mac.com/karl.lloyd/GI_Clip/GI_Clip.html

(That reminds me, I must update my digger thread!)

As for Final Render being the best. Well I've yet to see anything that amounts to more than those conveniently simple test kind of renders that all the manufacturers put out that never really tell you much about a render engine's potential when used 'under fire', so I think the jury's still out on FR.

If your point is about render times then I'm afraid it's simply a case of you don't get nothing for nothing. If you want better renders you have to put up with longer render times. This is more a case of unrealistic expectations from the hobbyist. Time and time again you'll read someone in a thread here saying something like "I'm simply not prepared to wait ten minutes a frame...". Well, you can forget decent renders for all but the most basic of subjects, then. Of course we all want to cut down our render times, even if we have render farms at our disposal, but extended render times are a fact of life if you're pushing the envelope. Having said that, this might be one area where the manufacturers are guilty of over selling. They are fond of terms like 'BLAZING FAST RENDERS!!!!!' You should always read the word 'fast' with a certain sense of relativity. If the rendering of a frame were to come down from eleven hours to, say, four and a half hours, in a relative sense, that would qualify as 'fast'. Still wouldn't be fast, though!

Cheers
Karl

Edited by Lesia44, 12 December 2008 - 01:28 AM.


#8 dataflow

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:50 AM

Lesia44 i think you need to go to the link that paulselhi posted then youll see the you can get as good quality with a light setup as you could get with Gi.
(it is easier to setup with Gi )

read the lighting tut

http://www.3dluvr.com/content/article/39/4

and this 1

http://www.3dluvr.com/carles/tut01en.htm

Edited by dataflow, 12 December 2008 - 01:51 AM.

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#9 Cyclad

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:51 AM

conventional lighting is nowhere near extinct. I think that knowledge of the basics used in combination with GI can produce great results. Gi is a tool and enhancer if anything. I think yu have to look at all the lighting situations such as indoor also. Where a light dome isnt as helpful because it doesnt produce realistic bounce lighting. But with knowledge of good lighting principles such as carles piles and use of new tools such as AO some really great illustrations can be produced. In agreement with the title i would say yes give GI a rest and pic up a good lighting book. On a side note i am very happy with the new AR3 and GI engine. I work with a pretty decent archvis company and while some renders do take long to render they take also take a fraction of the time compared to AR2+R10. So in terms of productivity and efficiency AR is very favourable and affordable vs the "industry standard" VRAY. Goto my site to see samples of my work or to www.create3d.com for the archvis stuff.

#10 paulselhi

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:59 AM

Karl..point taken..as usual i may well have been talking out my derriere. But i personally would love to get my lighting skills up several levels and then maybe use gi as a final touch

when i said vray was not bad i suppose i meant to say that the solution can be accurate but it involves very high settings and is not network render friendly, nor for that matter is AR3. Final render object animation is staright frorward to setup and i believe ( though i may be wrong) is network render friendly

Edited by paulselhi, 12 December 2008 - 02:02 AM.


#11 RichArt

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 05:02 AM

Hey dataflow,

I have used that technique wih my "backyard Scene" works great and renders fast.
The BackYard

As said above. He is a master :)

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#12 DutchStylez

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 05:28 AM

Gi vs. normal lighting... well GI looks really nice and most of the times the basic setup is pretty easy/fast (sky,main light etc.) if you tweak the setings right rendertimes can be acceptable....

One thing I preffer when working with 'normal' lighting is the amazing control you have over everything... alittle shadow here alittle specular highligt there... it takes alot longer to setup right but in the end it is very rewarding... also I think when starting with 3D it is a good practise to work with norml lights and even try to simulate GI with 'normal' lights...

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#13 StCanas

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 05:30 AM

... personally would love to get my lighting skills up several levels and then maybe use gi as a final touch


Absolutely. Not only does improving your lighting skills lead to better renders but in general it will make every day life easier when you have the knowledge and experience not to have to fight with every lighting set up you have to tackle. But GI is not a "final touch" or an "enhancer" as Cyclad put it. It's a fundamentally more accurate way to simulate the behavior of light (and before anyone picks me up on that last statement, yes I know, it's not strictly speaking, an 'accurate' way to simulate the behavior of light).

By the way, not saying you can't do good renders without GI. I've seen plenty, and done a few myself. But once you get that light bouncing around you add a whole new level of 'life' to your images.

Oh yeah, and Paul, love the way you keep banging out theses interesting scenes when you're in a thread!

Cheers
Karl

#14 SilverTalon

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 07:15 AM

yeah I think too much emphasis is being placed on GI when its not absolutely necessary in alot of cases and you can cut down on render times and spend more time perfecting the scene or animation

#15 shawnfoster

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 10:36 AM

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#16 Horganovski

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 02:39 PM

Wow, this has turned into an interesting argu.. er.. debate. :)

I'm curious does anyone know if they use GI on any of the big animation movies like stuff from Pixar, Dreamworks etc ?

I remember reading before that Pixar only use regular lighting but that article is probably a few years old now.

Cheers,
Brian

#17 Vilandra

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 03:33 PM

Ive talked with some guys from Rainmaker studios and they rarely use GI for any of their stuff. Area lights, spot lights, omni's, AO, and a lot of enhancing in post is what they use, and their stuff looks amazing.

I try to use standard lighting as much as possible.

Edited by Vilandra, 12 December 2008 - 03:36 PM.


#18 paulselhi

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 03:36 PM

All hail Lucifer Lord of Light

#19 SilverTalon

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 03:59 PM

Hey ScottA no one said anything about realism or realism in animation, of course those are good examples of where GI is absolutely necessary. What about the hundreds of other kinds of 3D art and animation eg 3D logos, abstract art, cartoony animation etc etc etc...people are using GI for stuff like this when it isnt really always necessary. I have no doubt GI is the future which is why I often use vray but we arent in the future yet, we are in the present where GI isnt always easy to set up or quick to render and with projects that dont strictly need GI theres just no point putting yourself through all the pain of doing GI renders especially when under time constraints.

Edited by SilverTalon, 12 December 2008 - 03:59 PM.


#20 sneather

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 04:55 PM

I think you can probably draw a parallel between the use of processor/time consuming render effects, and then nature of the work.
There is a rather clear divide between the hobbyist, and the professional. And by "professional" I only mean to categorize those people who derive their livings from computer animation and design, not to put down the hobbyists.

Global illumination and ambient occlusion can produce some stunning renders. On top of that, they require substantially less experience & knowhow to set-up, as compared to conventional multi-light and multi-pass render schemes. However, the render times are almost completely prohibitive from a budgetary standpoint. That is in reference to most all broadcast and corporate animation. High-budget feature films are still in a league all their own, and continue to boggle the mind with their budgets and resources.

When creating designs or animations for personal, non-paying projects, one has a tremendous amount of latitude with the approach. When there are practical deadlines, budgets and inevitable last minute client changes (!!!)...five-minute-per-frame renders aren't in the cards. So the professional animator has to be extremely creative when it comes to problem solving, and really can't rely on many of the built-in render features which bolster the sales literature for any given 3D application. That is, if they like to be profitable.

However, fortunately, some day these advanced render features will be as common-place as Raytraced reflections are, today. I remember when it was completely out of the question to use real reflections, and had to settle for environmental phong maps.




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