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AVTPro
03-12-2007, 08:07 AM
Maybe I better reiterate a little. Also It needs to import mutlitle model files (batches) into a morph inbetween slider. Sort of like an advanced replacement animation but with a single file into one slider with true vertice interpolation. This will allow for motion blurs within EI. This is a workflow not feature and so therefore the pipeline would consist of a "multi fact file batch import" at the front end.

The goal is to get baked animations like "cloth"..(with thickness and pockets) into EI not to mention facial blendshape animations.

There's should be a way that the model files are compressed into a single model file with vertice animation based on mulitple facts. Matching points along an animation curve. Then the over hang of model on the HD should be able to be deleted once compressed into a single vertice animation. It's like Blink or steriods. Loading all the models automatically into one morph slider. Animating time per frame or slider. The length of which is the numver or morphs. (one to 3,000).

I can do this already with maya and EI, with some "cerebral" gymnastics, but I would like a smooth, quick, and effecient workflow san the model per frame junk.

AVTPro
03-12-2007, 08:18 AM
Thanks Brian. I'm fond of both apps, seeing some bridges between the 2 of them would be a good thing.



Nice idea. I would think a whole lot more would be possible if Blendshapes were portable.

This is issue holding back other EI animators from rendering their Maya animation in EIAS.

As Brian said, I'm doing things that not other EI users are doing, ...I have a high patience threshold. So yeah I figured it out, but I should not be the only one who can do it when other EIAS User, such and GDogFunk \m/ and Morley are doing tremendous animations in both EIAS and Maya.

Plus once I conquer some techical issue, I tend to move on to new heights and better battles... and not look back.

I thought would document my finding in writtne tutorials, but that's slow. Now that I have a really good system (Praise God) I will probably video log it.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/EIAS_Cloth_sims.jpg



Here's cloth with the "thickness" Not taking anything away from igors plug. But I begged for cloth for years, but they didnt' released this until a month after I had moved on.

http://s47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/?action=view&current=AVT_Working_Cloth1s.flv


(http://s47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/?action=view&current=AVT_Working_Cloth1s.flv)

Martin Kay
03-12-2007, 08:33 AM
EI's market can be no more than what its capable of doing well now. Obviously not CA. EI is dead unless it gets a lot more friendly with other more commonly used file formats or gets a more functional modeller.
Who is going to buy EI afresh? Why would you purchase a package that doesn't have a integral modeller and doesn't import mesh in a consistant manner from other modelling apps?

I'm a hobbyist/freelancer, soon to be fulltime pro again and money isn't really an issue for myself, but, EI is not so cheap after you have added on all the extras you need to make it approach being sufficiently functional. Maya and XSI both have reasonably priced alternatives and dare I mention c4d...
The idea that EI's quality render is going to sell the product is misplaced. The touted superior render speed of EI is rather suspect compared to say c4d. I know Paul doesn't get what he wants from c4d, but Paul is a rare exception- looking at most users work on the galleries you frankly couldn't seperate one app from the other. Ok, I'll say it, theres as much mediocre work in one app as the other. The fact is that the 'extra quality' of camera doesn't really show in most projects in the finished project.
I like EI's output, but working in the EI 'system' is a convoluted time consuming pain- so why do it? Why is a newbie or existing 3d artist going to buy EI?

Martin K

atdesign
03-12-2007, 09:17 AM
BTW here's my vote on the list

2. HDRI & 16bit output with Layered PSD output.
3. True Multithreading support for Animator and Camera.


I would be happy with just HDRI and True Multithreading support for Camera. Having all the local and networked cpus jump into action when you hit render (test render, high res or frames) would be a lot nicer than naming/saving the file, jumping into and configuring a controller, opening up a handful of slaves plus an equal number of copies of Camera and hoping nothing crashes. I don't see building on to Renderama as the right way to go.

AVTPro
03-12-2007, 11:05 AM
EI's market can be no more than what its capable of doing well now. Obviously not CA. EI is dead unless it gets a lot more friendly with other more commonly used file formats or gets a more functional modeller.
Who is going to buy EI afresh? Why would you purchase a package that doesn't have a integral modeller and doesn't import mesh in a consistant manner from other modelling apps?

I'm a hobbyist/freelancer, soon to be fulltime pro again and money isn't really an issue for myself, but, EI is not so cheap after you have added on all the extras you need to make it approach being sufficiently functional. Maya and XSI both have reasonably priced alternatives and dare I mention c4d...
The idea that EI's quality render is going to sell the product is misplaced. The touted superior render speed of EI is rather suspect compared to say c4d. I know Paul doesn't get what he wants from c4d, but Paul is a rare exception- looking at most users work on the galleries you frankly couldn't seperate one app from the other. Ok, I'll say it, theres as much mediocre work in one app as the other. The fact is that the 'extra quality' of camera doesn't really show in most projects in the finished project.
I like EI's output, but working in the EI 'system' is a convoluted time consuming pain- so why do it? Why is a newbie or existing 3d artist going to buy EI?

Martin K

Simplicity. EIAS interface is a feature. Most have said, they can get an EI render setup and running in half the time of any other app.,

To me, EIAS is like the QuarkXpress or InDesign of 3D.

But I agree, mediocracy is too often celebrated. It just the world we live in. People will buy into the packaging and hype. That's good and bad.

Martin Kay
03-12-2007, 01:26 PM
Simplicity. EIAS interface is a feature. Most have said, they can get an EI render setup and running in half the time of any other app.,

I'm not sure this is so, as you're virtually setting the same amount of parameters... How quick you can get a render 'up and running' will depend on how familiar you are with the app in question.
For me, even if I'd prefer to use EI, a project in c4d is quicker done than a project in EI. If I decide to model something in Rhino it goes straight into c4d, but for EI it has to go into Animator via Modeller. On many archi vis projects I don't need to go out of c4d atall.

Martin K

AVTPro
03-12-2007, 02:42 PM
I guess which apps you are using makes a difference as well. Objs from Maya are a breeze.

arketype
04-04-2007, 03:42 PM
OK, as of today Apple has an 8 core Mac Pro.
That's right EIGHT 3Ghz CORES! :eek:

http://www.apple.com/macpro/

The time for a version of Camera that takes advantage of these in an efficient manner is here!

PaulS2
04-04-2007, 05:20 PM
OK, as of today Apple has an 8 core Mac Pro.
That's right EIGHT 3Ghz CORES! :eek:

http://www.apple.com/macpro/

The time for a version of Camera that takes advantage of these in an efficient manner is here!


So, is this the equivalent of 8 processors running at 3Ghz each!?

If that's the case then yes, if EI's camera doe not become MP aware and efficient then it's days of being perceived as 'fast' are drawing to a close...quickly.

Something like C4D running 8 processors at 3Ghz has to be amazingly fast.....I'm sure the processors aren't being taken fully advantage of (100%) but I'm guessing it would leave Camera completely in the dust.

arketype
04-04-2007, 05:42 PM
Yep, equivalent to 8 processors!

The tests I have seen show significant increases in performance based on adding more cores. Raytracing/GI calculation seems to scale pretty well. Not 100%, but doubling the cores gives you a 60% to 80% speed increase. So the new Mac would be around 4 to 5 times the speed of a single core.

Renderama only gets about a 20% speed boost at best on 4 cores, at least for stills.

I would imagine this represents a massive re-write for Camera, but
this should be very high on the priority list for EITG.

A show of hands for everyone who wants Camera to render 400% faster!

PaulS2
04-04-2007, 05:51 PM
Ok, thanks...that actually is quite amazing.

An efficient, solid MP capable Camera 'is' exciting technology....though in all honesty, it's kind of the norm in other apps these days. I was looking at the performance chart on the Apple site for the new computers and seems Modo, C4D and Maya/Mental Ray are MP aware.

3dData
04-04-2007, 05:52 PM
I think applications like Modo and Maxwell already take advantage of the whatever number of cores are available. I would think Camera could be written the same, have each core render a chunk.

yhloon
04-04-2007, 05:58 PM
Renderama only gets about a 20% speed boost at best on 4 cores, at least for stills.

agree, I notice also renderame didn't increase the speed alot when render still, especially in GI and raytrace... what is going wrong here?

Loon

arketype
04-04-2007, 06:12 PM
Renderama is just not an efficient system for dividing up the complex rendering process.
The process cannot simply rely on dividing up the final image. Each slave camera has to render certain "preliminary steps", essentially duplicating a lot of the calculations. Renderama also adds CPU and I/O overhead to the process, slowing things down. Sometimes "striping" an image does not help since different areas of the final image may have more intensive CPU calculations than others, leaving some slaves idle while others finish their part.

An MP Camera could potentially share the "preliminary" steps (like building BSP, phong shadows, etc.) among processors, and break-up the final image rendering dynamically. RAM requirements should also go down, as the processors could "share" information, rather than needing to store an entire copy of the project file for each Slave.

MP Camera is #1 on my wishlist!

PaulS2
04-04-2007, 06:21 PM
Take those programmers who were going to work on bringing EIM back to life:-)...and put them on a real-deal MP Camera.

That's also my #1 wish for EI.

In a year or two I would really hate to be thinking about leaving EI for greener grass because the greener grass renders 10 times as fast by then.

atdesign
04-04-2007, 06:41 PM
That's also my #1 wish for EI.
MP Camera is #1 on my wishlist!
Agreed. On a 8 core you would have 16 different apps open with EI. When I render with MR it's one app that takes advantage of all the cores, local and networked on every render, without any pre-configuring on each render. It's time.

halfworld
04-04-2007, 06:56 PM
Not 100%, but doubling the cores gives you a 60% to 80% speed increase. So the new Mac would be around 4 to 5 times the speed of a single core.

Renderama only gets about a 20% speed boost at best on 4 cores, at least for stills.


MP Camera would be amazing and I want to see it (lets speed up those previews!). Lets just be aware that on intensive shader usage and pre 'shading surfaces' calculations the effect of MP is around the 0% mark. Same for other renderers.

Still, I wouldn't kick it out of bed ;)
Ian

arketype
04-04-2007, 07:43 PM
Lets just be aware that on intensive shader usage and pre 'shading surfaces' calculations the effect of MP is around the 0% mark. And that's on any renderer.


For me, the biggest rendering hits are coming from Raytracing and GI, which should be accelerated by MP.

Yes, some things must happen first, like building the BSP, which I imagine is the first step and nothing else could happen until this was completed.

But (to use your example) on intensive shader usage (many shader instances), couldn't each shader instance run in parallel on different cores as long as they are not reactive and dependant on input from another shader?
The same should go for multiple Phong/Mapped shadows which are not dependant on each other. Split the work up between all available processors whenever possible.

I would hope there would be some way to break up these preliminary processes and distribute them. The more complex the project, the more gains you should be able to see in this area.

halfworld
04-04-2007, 07:49 PM
Well, I'm out of my depth now.

But for a shader to be 'MP aware' like that it would have to be re-written.

rODEo is written like this, I think it may be the first tool to be so enabled....
Ian

arketype
04-04-2007, 07:58 PM
Well, I'm out of my depth now.

But for a shader to be 'MP aware' like that it would have to be re-written.

rODEo is written like this, I think it may be the first tool to be so enabled....
Ian

I wasn't thinking about a single shader being MP aware, just that if you had 8 shaders in a project, that each one could run on a seperate core, so they would be running parallel to each other, rather than being processed sequentially.

I suppose the ability of individual shaders or plugs to be MP aware would be heavily dependant on what they are doing.

I am sure I am in way over my head, probably more than you!

halfworld
04-04-2007, 08:05 PM
I surrender! :)

I'll go digging for more MP info...

arketype
04-04-2007, 08:11 PM
I surrender! :)

I'll go digging for more MP info...


Now that's a plan.
Ask someone who knows instead of listening to my ramblings! :)

(Sorry, didn't mean to bombard you!)

scottfox
04-04-2007, 08:23 PM
rendering, via renderama on a given annimation. 16 gigs of ram would allow for 1800k per camera. I need to know why I shouldnt be elated. My render tests, (on my current hi def project) average right around 10minutes a frame. When I send the project to renderama (I use the Quad G5) Each camera comes in at basically that same ten minutes. Give or take a few seconds. I realize its not very scientific what I am doing, but I am real happy come render time with my speed results. I am ready to buy that 8 core mac if renderama simply continues to operate for me in a similar way.

THAT SAID---Put me in the camp that wants a multithreaded camera OR an overhauled, simpler renderama. I do realize things will be even faster, which I will welcome when the time arrives.
My #2 request would be for Dynamics built into EI (not a plug in)

my 2 cents

Scott Novasic
Senior Designer/Animation Manager
KCBS 2 KCAL 9 LosAngeles

atdesign
04-04-2007, 08:29 PM
When I pit MR against itself by adding cpus (2 vs 4 vs 6) I get render times that suggest that the added cores are helping at very close to 100%. Not a hardcore test, just a few renders. If you look at the numbers for Modo and Maya/MR at the Apple website it would suggest it's even higher.

scottfox
04-04-2007, 10:45 PM
Mental Ray render times. ;-)

Does anyone have a guesstimation of how efficiently renderama could handle 8 cameras going at once with nearly 2 gigs per camera?

gdogfunk
04-04-2007, 10:51 PM
I have a quad and I push the machine to the limits running AE, EI, PS, rama, 4 slaves, and 4 cameras, plus several smaller apps and the cameras crank away just fine...once in awhile, I get a system hang and I'll see a frame or 2 taking longer until things catch up, but then it's back to being speedy again.

So, I imagine 8 cameras with that much Ram (I have less than a gig per camera) should be awesome!

Ryan

arketype
04-04-2007, 11:23 PM
Rama on 8 cameras should be good for animation, but if you do mostly stills like I do, Rama does not accelerate rendering much through striping, although you can render multiple stll images simultaneously.

Reuben5150
04-04-2007, 11:56 PM
So, is this the equivalent of 8 processors running at 3Ghz each!?

If that's the case then yes, if EI's camera doe not become MP aware and efficient then it's days of being perceived as 'fast' are drawing to a close...quickly.

Something like C4D running 8 processors at 3Ghz has to be amazingly fast.....I'm sure the processors aren't being taken fully advantage of (100%) but I'm guessing it would leave Camera completely in the dust.

Its pretty obvious this is the way hardware is going, cpu speeds haven't really got any faster for quite some time, only increases in the number of cpu cores.

I am inclined to say that full camera multi-threading should be top priority for EITG, doesn't really matter about Animator, just camera, this should not even be an issue, if EI can't follow hardware trends then, unfortunately, it will become vaporware.

Reuben

arketype
04-05-2007, 12:37 AM
Its pretty obvious this is the way hardware is going, cpu speeds haven't really got any faster for quite some time, only increases in the number of cpu cores.
Reuben

Pretty true.
Acording to the EIAS benchmarks, the new 3Ghz Xeons are 2.5 times faster than my 2 Ghz G5 running on a single core, so Ghz isn't exactly a perfect measure.
Other than that, there are 8 cores instead of 2, so the majority of the processing power IS coming from multiple cores vs. faster CPU.

So the POTENTIAL of the new Mac Pro is 10 times my dual G5 (of course it will never be 100% efficient).

If we want to speculate:
If EITG takes a year (or two) to get MP up and running that 10X difference could easily be
20X or even 30X. At that point an MP version of Maxwell would probably be rendering at the same speed as Camera does today on my G5. Ouch.

It would also be interesting to see special optimizations, like the ones put into Renderman for Pirates of the Caribean. Basically instead of doing full GI, the calculations were done using optimized geometry (small disks) and then "averaged" for the final GI solution (I am sure this is an oversimplified explanation).
According to the article it resulted in a 4X speed increase, and actually looked better than the original GI. I think they were publishing a white paper on the technique.

Render features like this coupled with MP would reinforce Camera as a rendering powerhouse.

PaulS2
04-05-2007, 12:46 AM
"If we want to speculate:
If EITG takes a year (or two) to get MP up and running that 10X difference could easily be
20X or even 30X. At that point an MP version of Maxwell would probably be rendering at the same speed as Camera does today on my G5. Ouch."

LOL....I really hope someone from EI (or the technical hit-squad:-) is seriously looking at this and not shrugging it off.

The more time goes on the more the lack of a MP camera with stand out like a sore thumb. We've gotten by with just increasing megahertz but with multi-core being the speed boost we all want, Camera will be no longer be a viable solution.

arketype
04-05-2007, 12:56 AM
LOL....I really hope someone from EI (or the technical hit-squad:-) is seriously looking at this and not shrugging it off.


I am sure everyone at EITG, and all of the affiliated programmers take it very seriously.
It's probably just a matter of priority, and how much time it will take to implement.
I would assume it represents a major overhaul of Camera and would be very time consuming.

PS-
Hey Paul, check out this test I did.
I would love to have your comments and thoughts on this...
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=187&t=482171

atdesign
04-05-2007, 01:03 AM
... Mental Ray render times. ;-)

Because you know me all too well ;-)

BTW, welcome to LA.


.

scottfox
04-05-2007, 01:04 AM
but the program is called EIAS not EIPrintSystem ;-) so selfishly, I want to see how these 8 cores hepl me rip out frame after frame of animation. I will make my purchasing decision based primarily on that. Then, when Camera becomes multithreded Im set up for that as well. Hopefully that makes the 8 core mac a safe choice for my main workstation.

Like I said before though, I agree that #1 should be a multithreaded camera.
Speed speed speed----------------------

Scott

Vizfizz
04-05-2007, 01:05 AM
"If we want to speculate:
If EITG takes a year (or two) to get MP up and running that 10X difference could easily be
20X or even 30X. At that point an MP version of Maxwell would probably be rendering at the same speed as Camera does today on my G5. Ouch."

LOL....I really hope someone from EI (or the technical hit-squad:-) is seriously looking at this and not shrugging it off.

The more time goes on the more the lack of a MP camera with stand out like a sore thumb. We've gotten by with just increasing megahertz but with multi-core being the speed boost we all want, Camera will be no longer be a viable solution.


Trust me...I'm gonna push it on the advisory board and our discussions.

PaulS2
04-05-2007, 01:45 AM
I am sure everyone at EITG, and all of the affiliated programmers take it very seriously.
It's probably just a matter of priority, and how much time it will take to implement.
I would assume it represents a major overhaul of Camera and would be very time consuming.

PS-
Hey Paul, check out this test I did.
I would love to have your comments and thoughts on this...
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=187&t=482171

Sorry...can't see it. I'm on the internet with my old G4 OS 9.2 and more frequently than not I need newer versions of browser pluggins to see what on the page. So, if you have a jpg of the image I can have a look.

On the MP Camera, there is much positive buzz about multi-cored Macs and the speed they offer. This is a perfect 'promotional' opportunity for EI to get on the bandwagon and tell the 3D world that their number one priority is to remain the speed leader of the world. That the very next release of EI will offer an optimized MP Camera which will frighten lesser rendering apps back into their darkened little corners! LLL ...and say and announce it with some BALLS!

arketype
04-05-2007, 03:06 AM
... the very next release of EI will offer an optimized MP Camera which will frighten lesser rendering apps back into their darkened little corners! LLL ...and say and announce it with some BALLS!

LOL- Paul, that is hilarious! and True!
I am posting a Sorenson compressed version for earlier versions of QT and a JPEG.
Please check the link again, I would be very interested in your input.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=4307941#post4307941

Thanks,
Dave

PaulS2
04-05-2007, 03:20 AM
Yes, certainly looks fine and has the MForge flavour to be sure.

One thing which MForge has, which is unique, is that it can create bumps and not have reflections be effected by the bumps.....like the bumps are under a thick coating of clear-coat. That gave it a unique look in some cases.

This can be created in multi-pass using a variety of shaders and blending techniques.

Back to the other topic. EI could do well with aggresively bold, strong and unapologetic features for the future...no more of this little tweak here and there and call it a day.

arketype
04-05-2007, 04:11 AM
Thanks Paul. I do have mforge- it can do awesome things!
let me know if you have any thoughts or do any experiments in this area. I would be very interested.

back to the main topic here...
I think a little of that attitude you mentioned would be good too.

Speed is where it's "at".

I think EITG is going to be opening doors with their new Maya/ Max integration technology. For animation Camera and Rama still offer good performance. The kinds of extra features I would like to see are those that EI was built on. Rendering "tricks" built into Camera. Things that aren't necessarily technically "correct", but things that look good, and render like a bat out of hell. The GI "disk" optimization was one of those that I read about recently. In the "old days" the "shadow only once" trick and others were really cool time savers, even if they required extra effort from the user.
The "copy the geometry and make the edges transparent" trick was a good way to fake soft edged RT shadows. Why not implement that into an automatic function in a light's shadow dialog?

I think a new type of shadow could be added based on something similar to the Occlusion shader. It's not technically "accurate" shading, but it sure looks a lot like GI, and can enhance GI renderings. If it could be accelerated in some way (like the above copy trick) so that it did not require so many samples for soft shading it would be a big hit!
GI style shading without GI calculations, and with out requiring post work. I don't see why the projected shadows couldn't contain some trace of the casting objects color to simulate GI color bleed. That's a great, useful feature. I could see people running projects through EIAS just to get that extra renderpass with that shading for a final compositing tweak.

Everybody is Ga Ga over the quality of Maxwell renders. They look fantastic, but not everyone can afford the render time necessary for those images.
So render quality is another front to attack. Look at the lighting effects possible with Maxwell, and add ways to "fake" them easily in EIAS. Import from Maya, renders look as good as Maxwell, renders 50 times faster, and has multichannel output...who wouldn't want that?

arketype
04-06-2007, 07:08 PM
How about a “special effects” addition to Camera that could accept “plugins”.
This would be a built in postprocessing engine that would handle adding "special effects" at the end of the rendering process. The existing Glow Layer system and vector-based motion blur seem to work this way now. They are “added” after the image is finished “rendering”.

What’s the point?

The idea is to give post processing effects the ability to access all of the “preliminary” data used to create a final rendered image, including things like Z-buffer data, maybe even the photon map data from the GI calculation.
This might lead to effects that are not possible/ or difficult to achieve in traditional post production.

One immediate benefit would be a photoshop style depth of field filter based on actual camera data, and Z-buffer. This could look better, and render faster than the current multi-frame system.
This would introduce some basic compositing effects directly into Camera, and could be integrated with the new
multi-layer output feature.

Think about all of the post processing effects that could be possible. These could allow for an entirely new class of EITG and third party products as “rendering FX” plugins for Camera. Imagine an image analysis tool that automatically corrected under or overexposed areas of the scene, or applied special “atmospheric” effects (like glows, fake particles, etc.) based on a combination of the image pixel and actual 3d (polygon, Group name, zdepth, photon map) information. Maybe this could enable “fake” blurry RT reflections without the rendering hit?

This could be a unique and “killer” feature. Perhaps not all that hard to “add” to Camera?

What is the full potential of this idea?
What other kinds of effects could be possible with this kind of a system?

AVTPro
04-06-2007, 08:52 PM
How about a “special effects” addition to Camera that could accept “plugins”.

This could be a unique and “killer” feature. Perhaps not all that hard to “add” to Camera?

What is the full potential of this idea?
What other kinds of effects could be possible with this kind of a system?


You should be a beta tester. This sounds like very resourceful, solution driven thinking.

arketype
04-07-2007, 01:52 PM
Thanks Alonzo,
I have offered numerous times in the past, but have not yet been chosen.
That's OK, I have a low tolerance for bugs.;)

Evidently, I am psychic....
The new multi-layer output from camera is supposed to have a similar feature. :)
It will be very interesting to see how this is implemented.

AVTPro
04-07-2007, 02:14 PM
I actually think you came up a solution to do some avant garde things without making a big change. That's very creative of you. Lots of users want EIAS to stick out of the crowd but not stick out it's neck to do it. Change without changing.

juanxer
04-07-2007, 03:00 PM
I am beginning to think that the easiest way for us to devise our own multipass schemes and such would be having some way of scripting and automating EIAS.

The basics would be being able to set Render Information properties, Group Info's Shade and Shadow tabs' ones, several Light Info ones, perhaps being able to re-parent Master Materials (sometimes I wish EIA allowed for having a, say, "alternate material" per group: the main one being business as usual, and the alternate one for throwaway multipass tricks adjustments) ... and applying property changes to several elements at once via user-defined Selection Sets, Labels or even having "users' custom fields" (to put keywords in to look up) or "users' checkboxes" into the Group Info and Material Info's Info tabs.

That, and perhaps some basic Camera control capabilities. Plus some "utility render modes", such as occlusion passes and so, as someone pointed out before.

Probably introducing some scripting abilities in EIAS would be a major job. Many things to decide: hooks to the host OS scripting system (Applescript/Automator for Mac OS X, whatever Windows has as an equivalent) so that one can even build front end interface scripts, or no hooks at all (After Effects seems to be isolated and self-contained, if I understand it well); programming style (Javascript? Its own thing? Extending the Xpression language?; etc.

At the very least, being able to automate "Render Sets" settings (I hope these are coming for v7) and launching Camera jobs to the queue would be nice.

arketype
04-07-2007, 05:11 PM
I had thought some sort of scripting would be useful for EIAS too. To become really powerful (like Maya's MEL) EIAS would have probably have to have a major overhaul.

I would guess from what has been revealed that these new features in EIAS must contain some sort of multi-pass rendering control. Some sort of "render-set" feature for multi-pass has been talked about for a while. If I understand this multi-layer output system, we may not need to render multiple passes any more. All of the "passes" would just be rendered into seperate layers in the same file. Photoshop CS3 is going to have basic animation compositing capabilities, and after effects reads PSD, so outputting sequential, layered PSD's directly from camera should give you all the passes you need. This should do away with the need for the "render-sets" feature and for any scripting (at least for multi-pass control).

The wild card here is the "special effects" or "filter" side of this feature. Exactly what can this feature do? If it is cleverly constructed, we may be able to get a variety of effects (like blurry reflections and depth of field) through this feature, and render times could improve dramatically for these effects. Maybe we could even apply some gaussian blur effects to a channel to reduce GI noise? That would be cool.
I suppose this could even give us some more advanced "sketch" rendering.

We'll see how things develop.... This is shaping up to be a major EIAS upgrade.

juanxer
04-07-2007, 10:56 PM
I like the idea of these fx plugins, as there are things that need to be solved… er… "in-Camera" :D (say, a glowing object hiding behind another, the glow extending out up to being visible. Not something one can solve via compositing without getting the base object as a separate element).

What I wonder is about some way of adjusting them as easily and interactively as in a compositor app such as After Effects, some sort of fast preview. Also, some easy way of chaining their parameters to 3D distance and such, or making them 3D-aware.

Having glows (and other possible future FX) dependent of fixed values in the Render Information glow layers parameters is a bit of a problem. Plus I think FXs ought to be able to work a bit more like Lights' glow and fog, the size of effects depending on distance to camera (with overrides, such as Lens Flares' defaults).

arketype
04-08-2007, 04:32 AM
Plus I think FXs ought to be able to work a bit more like Lights' glow and fog, the size of effects depending on distance to camera (with overrides, such as Lens Flares' defaults).

Yes I think this is an essential element. This moves the "plugin" past the realm of what is possible in a compositing program, and allows it to be more than just a 2d effects "filter".
I could see a Maya paint effects style plugin that could trace geometry in 3d. This is different from just slapping a filter on an image in photoshop. Allowing the plugin to percieve individual objects in 3d space, separate them from the scene to add effects, etc. would greatly enhance the capability.

We are not asking anyone to write Paint Effects for EIAS (yet) just to provide the "hooks" to make this kind of advanced effects plugin possible. We don't know how this will be implemented, but I am eager to see the potential of this realized in EIAS.
There are LOTS of possibilities.

cjberg
04-08-2007, 04:20 PM
I really liked the Image Electric when published. I think it would be a great if it were to come back. It really helps the marketing of EIAS.

Cj

halfworld
04-08-2007, 04:53 PM
Hey Cj,
What was the Image Electric?

Ian

Vizfizz
04-08-2007, 04:55 PM
I have several Image Electric's. Perhaps I'll post them somewhere online where people can download them.

cjberg
04-08-2007, 05:19 PM
The Image Electric was a annual CD of tutorials, demos, etc... basically all things EI. Had some amazing techniques and tricks. Was always very well done.

Cj

Vizfizz
04-08-2007, 05:21 PM
Yah, I have IE's #3, #4, & #5.

Anyone have #1, #2? Where there any past #5?

cjberg
04-08-2007, 07:46 PM
I have 2... be interesting if anyone has 1...

Cj

and there were none after 5

Nichod
04-10-2007, 10:40 PM
The biggest improvement EI could have is a focus on improving and unifying the tools. A better and more modern interface. No modeler. Make EI an animation and rendering powerhouse. That means opening up xpressionist more to give it more access to everything. Simplifying using scripts. And limit the need for plugins for certain tasks. EI needs to dig into all the markets and at its price point its open to many.

Nichod
04-14-2007, 03:58 AM
Guess I'm the only one feeling this way.

halfworld
04-14-2007, 09:11 AM
The biggest improvement EI could have is a focus on improving and unifying the tools. That means opening up xpressionist more to give it more access to everything. Simplifying using scripts. And limit the need for plugins for certain tasks. EI needs to dig into all the markets and at its price point its open to many.

Well I think that makes perfect sense actually :)

I find that XP scripts are extremely easy to use already though, occasionally quirky, but very easy to use...

There was discussion recently about potentially bringing in one or two of the 3rd party plugs into Animator, I personally hope this comes to fruition.

Ian

arketype
04-14-2007, 08:05 PM
Yes- there are a lot of EIAS competitors with built-in dynamics, particles. etc. It would be nice to have some of these. I think a couple of "oddball" items might be useful too, like built-in polygon decimation (Northern lights lodestone) for optimizing imported model geometry.

I would be very happy to have some scripting control over parameters that are not currently animateable.

Imagine a script that could adjust some light settings based on whether GI was turned on or off...
Or being able to control the type of light, or what type of shadow a light uses, based on some other attribute.

These things would greatly enhance the HUD controls I've been working on.
Basically any thing you can do in animator manually (checkboxes, locking groups, hiding/unhiding objects, labeling groups, selecting objects by type, name, label, etc, etc, etc.) should all be available to XP. This would allow XP to become a productivity boosting tool for controlling a project, not just an animation tool.

Reuben5150
04-14-2007, 09:18 PM
There was discussion recently about potentially bringing in one or two of the 3rd party plugs into Animator, I personally hope this comes to fruition.

Ian

Sure, it happened with XP, and i am not alone in thinking there is too much dependency on 3rd party plugs to fill the feature gap.

Reuben

PaulS2
04-15-2007, 12:25 AM
Please, please, please speed up area shadows with transparency.

juanxer
05-01-2007, 12:51 AM
I would urge the EITG team to implement the possibility of scale inheritance for lights, so that one can set them to scale all size or distance-related properties (glow and fog radiuses, dropoff, etc).

Reuben5150
05-01-2007, 11:36 PM
Please, please, please speed up area shadows with transparency.

That reminds me, did i mention i'd like to see an RT shadow opacity control, with falloff would be nice too :)

PaulS2
05-02-2007, 12:48 AM
Yes, those are needed and also having raytraced shadows react naturally to raytrace volume transparency. The shadows should show the density and transparency of the of the object. It currently does not.

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