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4K and 8K resolution. New challenges?

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Hi guys.


I have a question. Recently 4K becomes a new standard for animations and feature movies. 
What does it mean for people working in CG\Games\VFX. Do you expect more work on the detail that needs to be done to fill such res? Are there any challenges or new workflows, and tools coming with that?
Also, is 8K now a resolution which is used to anything? Like a technical over resolution to be scaled down?


I'm curious about your opinions.
 

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I am not shure about the situation others are in, but I hardly have any demands for 4k, besides projects for big LED walls and so on. I think that many customers are aware that the difference between full HD and UHD is hardly visible in everyday situations and they are not willing to spend extra money. 

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22 minutes ago, Jops said:

I am not shure about the situation others are in, but I hardly have any demands for 4k, besides projects for big LED walls and so on. I think that many customers are aware that the difference between full HD and UHD is hardly visible in everyday situations and they are not willing to spend extra money. 

 

Judging by the average person around me, that is definitely not the case. If it was, people wouldn't buy 4k TV's left and right even though they sit so far away that they physically cannot see the difference. And Sony + Microsoft wouldn't have used 4k as their buzzword for their consoles for years now.

 

I think it's much more likely that they simply do not want to pay  the extra price for a resolution that renders roughly 4x as long when 1080p is absolutely "enough" in most situations.

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2 hours ago, DasFrodo said:

 

Judging by the average person around me, that is definitely not the case. If it was, people wouldn't buy 4k TV's left and right even though they sit so far away that they physically cannot see the difference. And Sony + Microsoft wouldn't have used 4k as their buzzword for their consoles for years now.

 

I think it's much more likely that they simply do not want to pay  the extra price for a resolution that renders roughly 4x as long when 1080p is absolutely "enough" in most situations.

It is absolutely right, that the buzzword 4k sells TVs and cameras, but the resolution and sharpness of a 4k H264 stream is hardly any better then a full HD PNG sequence. But that is nothing people are concerned about as long they have 4 or 8k standing on their TV and they can be better, or at least not worse off then their neighbors. That said my customers are not end customers but companies and they pay just for what they need. My impression is that for them full HD is still a good compromise between quality and cost. And in the end customers are watching this stuff on their 4k TVs and can't see the difference. Don't get me wrong. 4k 60fps is crazy cool, but most of the time it is just not worth 8 times the rendertime over 1080p 30fps.

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24 minutes ago, Jops said:

It is absolutely right, that the buzzword 4k sells TVs and cameras, but the resolution and sharpness of a 4k H264 stream is hardly any better then a full HD PNG sequence. But that is nothing people are concerned about as long they have 4 or 8k standing on their TV and they can be better, or at least not worse off then their neighbors. That said my customers are not end customers but companies and they pay just for what they need. My impression is that for them full HD is still a good compromise between quality and cost. And in the end customers are watching this stuff on their 4k TVs and can't see the difference. Don't get me wrong. 4k 60fps is crazy cool, but most of the time it is just not worth 8 times the rendertime over 1080p 30fps.

 

No, it's really not. I can see it for stills, absolutely. But for animation, unless you're in the VFX industry for big budget movies like the Marvel movies it's just a waste of money.

I forgot where I saw that, but you need either a really big TV or be pretty close to the screen to even have a noticeable difference between 4k and 1080p.

For me the ideal resolution right now is 2560x1440. It's the perfect middleground between FHD and 4k. It looks great, is noticeably sharper and not a waste of resources.

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1 hour ago, DasFrodo said:

 

No, it's really not. I can see it for stills, absolutely. But for animation, unless you're in the VFX industry for big budget movies like the Marvel movies it's just a waste of money.

I forgot where I saw that, but you need either a really big TV or be pretty close to the screen to even have a noticeable difference between 4k and 1080p.

For me the ideal resolution right now is 2560x1440. It's the perfect middleground between FHD and 4k. It looks great, is noticeably sharper and not a waste of resources.

I have two 2560x1440 monitors and I agree they are perfect resolution for doing graphics work....but then again, my nose is only about foot away from the screen.

 

IMHO, color depth, contrast and dynamic range is more important than resolution when it comes to the viewing experience in a normal home entertainment setting.  The first time I saw a 4K screen in the store, I walked up to about 6 inches away and marveled at how I could see the pores on the persons face.    Step back a few feet and  that experience goes away.  Sit down 6 to 8 feet away so that you can take in the whole image without neck strain and you might as well be looking at a 1080P image.  Same thing goes in the movies.  In fact, do you realize that digital movie projection uses and old TV technology called DLP (remember the old rear screen projection TVs)?  Well, I arrived really early for the first movie showing of the day (it was a hot day an I needed an escape to air conditioning) and up came the DLP calibration routine (three DLP chips each projecting R,G or B).  Each DLP color image was only 1080P according to the calibration routine.  That was it!! On a 40 foot screen too.  So not sure why you need 4K on a 65 inch screen.

 

But what immediately becomes noticeable at any distance is the color banding (eg. 8 bit color) and the lack of detail seen in the darker areas of the screen or the blooming (and again loss of detail) in the brighter areas.  It all goes back to color reproduction, dynamic range and contrast.  A great test for any TV is put up a completely black image and turn off the lights.  Do you see completely black or are there subtle grey clouds all over the screen?  Well, that shows that the TV is failing to shut down the pixels completely and that will lead to poor contrast.  So resolution is just a sales gimmick (IMHO) used to demand higher prices from the consumer.  Also a great number for bragging rights along with screen size ("I have a 65inch 4K TV with 7.1 surround sound!!!"   --- "Awesome.  How many 4K movies do you have with 7.1 surround sound?"    Errr....two.)

 

Now, a better question is when do you need 4K or 16K textures in your work?  Those files are huge!  Is there some equation that says if the object occupies this much screen space in the final render, the texture resolution needs to be this size?  For example, if I have a shot that shows a close up of a rock and it takes up 80% of the screen space in a 2560x1600 render, then the minimum texture size needs to be X?

 

Dave

 

 

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57 minutes ago, 3D-Pangel said:

I have two 2560x1440 monitors and I agree they are perfect resolution for doing graphics work....but then again, my nose is only about foot away from the screen.

 

IMHO, color depth, contrast and dynamic range is more important than resolution when it comes to the viewing experience in a normal home entertainment setting.  The first time I saw a 4K screen in the store, I walked up to about 6 inches away and marveled at how I could see the pores on the persons face.    Step back a few feet and  that experience goes away.  Sit down 6 to 8 feet away so that you can take in the whole image without neck strain and you might as well be looking at a 1080P image.  Same thing goes in the movies.  In fact, do you realize that digital movie projection uses and old TV technology called DLP (remember the old rear screen projection TVs)?  Well, I arrived really early for the first movie showing of the day (it was a hot day an I needed an escape to air conditioning) and up came the DLP calibration routine (three DLP chips each projecting R,G or B).  Each DLP color image was only 1080P according to the calibration routine.  That was it!! On a 40 foot screen too.  So not sure why you need 4K on a 65 inch screen.

 

But what immediately becomes noticeable at any distance is the color banding (eg. 8 bit color) and the lack of detail seen in the darker areas of the screen or the blooming (and again loss of detail) in the brighter areas.  It all goes back to color reproduction, dynamic range and contrast.  A great test for any TV is put up a completely black image and turn off the lights.  Do you see completely black or are there subtle grey clouds all over the screen?  Well, that shows that the TV is failing to shut down the pixels completely and that will lead to poor contrast.  So resolution is just a sales gimmick (IMHO) used to demand higher prices from the consumer.  Also a great number for bragging rights along with screen size ("I have a 65inch 4K TV with 7.1 surround sound!!!"   --- "Awesome.  How many 4K movies do you have with 7.1 surround sound?"    Errr....two.)

 

Now, a better question is when do you need 4K or 16K textures in your work?  Those files are huge!  Is there some equation that says if the object occupies this much screen space in the final render, the texture resolution needs to be this size?  For example, if I have a shot that shows a close up of a rock and it takes up 80% of the screen space in a 2560x1600 render, then the minimum texture size needs to be X?

 

Dave

 

 

 

I feel you. Buying screens is a pain in general. I think I spent two weeks finding a good screen for my graphics stuff that was affordable for a home setup that doesn't throw any money.

 

I don't think there is anything computer related that is such a jungle of features, upsides and downsides of certain technologies and so on. Panel Type (not just TN, VA and IPS... there's LOADS more subtypes), backlight type, reaction time, grey to grey reaction time, black to white reaction time, energy consumption, resolution, curved and non curved, calibratable yes and no, color depth (many monitors say they use 16bit color but what they actually do is they can UNDERSTAND 16bit but just display it at 8bit anyways), color accuracy, etc.

 

It was a nightmare. Ended up with this one: https://www.asus.com/de/Monitors/MG279Q/

Granted, I wanted a color accurate IPS panel at 144Hz with low reaction times, and that is hard to find and not cheap. But even if you're less picky about your setup, it's still a major pain in the butt to find something. You also just can't rely on specs that the manufacturers give you. There's hella expensive IPS screens that have IPS glow from hell. No color accuracy on the planet is worth anything if the brightness changes along the edges of the screen.

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20 hours ago, 3D-Pangel said:

Now, a better question is when do you need 4K or 16K textures in your work?  Those files are huge!  Is there some equation that says if the object occupies this much screen space in the final render, the texture resolution needs to be this size?  For example, if I have a shot that shows a close up of a rock and it takes up 80% of the screen space in a 2560x1600 render, then the minimum texture size needs to be X?

It's not that difficult to get to a formula that calculates pixel sizes for given resolutions. However...

- a texture may wrap around an object, so the visible part is an unknown percentage of the whole depending on the topology

- a texture may be mapped with different density on different parts of the object

- you may need a higher resolution due to subpixel sampling

- the texture may be mixed with others in some material setup so your needs for the texture may vary (rotating or scaling a texture, e.g.)

 

If you have a simple setup with a plain frontal projection where the texture is not distorted, you can make a simple calculation:

- Render will be 1600 pixels high

- object fills 80% of the screen, so it's 1280 pixels high

- let's assume you need a sampling of 2x2 texture pixels per screen pixels, then you get 2560 texture pixels.

So, 2560 is the height of the texture under these circumstances. But that's very specific to the given assumptions.

 

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looking up a bit of biology is always helpfull. Human eyes are quite bad in resolution. all together from left to right over a field of view of over 120° we have 3.3 to 7 Million light cone receptors per eye (they are responsible for the day view. so basically that what we use when we look at a monitor). some of them are sensible for red other for Blue or Green. If they where evenly distributed we wouldn't need a HD monitor at all. Because evolution is smart (and had plenty of time) there is a small area right in the middle (where we look at). that has a much higher resolution of cones. this area is called Fovea centralis. it is round about 1.5 mm in diameter and contains roughly about 600.000 if these cone cells. This area translates into round a bout 5° of sharp field of view that humans have. Everything besides that gets unsharper and unsharper 🙂. therefor, If we combine the resolution of the two eyes, we get (just for the area we really see as sharp) round about 1.2 Megapixels. that is equivalent to a 720p resolution. So why can we see the difference between 720p and 1080p? because we are not sitting 13 meter away from a 55" TV (that would be the 5° VOF). We are rather sitting 4 meters away from the TV. that translates to a aprox. sharp viewing area of 35 by 20cm. To see this sharp your TV needs roughly 9 times 1,2 Mega pixels so good 10 Megapixels. that would roughly be UHD. So why dont we see a huge diffference betweeen full HD and 4K. well that is because the 1.2 Mega pixels of our eyes that we calculated have basically a Bayern pattern (as most digital cameras) that means every sensor can just see one color, the image gets interpolated to show the right colors and that reduces the resolution. The resulting resolution is not just one third as the sensors also sense the intensity, but more about 1/2 to 2/3. therefor we don't need good 10 Megapixels but just about 6 and that is right between your 2560x1440 resolution and UHD.

As long as people  sit 4 meters away from a 55" TV they physiologically can not see a difference between a 4k and 8k. And for the difference between full HD and 4k. well yes we can see the difference but 4k is exceeding the capabilities of the human eye in this example. so the difference we sense is not the real difference, it is just the maximum we could possibly see when we have good eyes, are awake and concentrate compared to something a bit less.  In the moment we get big video walls and want to sit 2 meters away we will have to calculate again, but for now. everything over 4K is nonsense (besides very special tasks) and full HD is a very good compromise. 

 

best regards

Jops

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    Das Frodo -

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     But for animation, unless you're in the VFX industry for big budget movies like the Marvel movies it's just a waste of money. 

    Do you know which movies were shot this way and why?

     

    3d Pengerl - actually thre is an artice bout that - and I wrote it 😉

     

    https://blog.garagefarm.net/guide-to-rendering-optimizing-scenes-in-3ds-max-through-textures/

    https://blog.garagefarm.net/how-displacement-maps-work-and-how-to-optimize-them-in-v-ray-part-2/

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