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SouthernLaw
04-02-2003, 08:43 PM
As some of you know I'm getting a new(ish) PC to do more of my 3D work on. I'm wondering if I should spring for the latest version of A:M. I'm still using 8.5, for better or for worse. It's been pretty good to me for years now but I'm starting to get into things that it just won't do... like caustics and really good GI.

So, for those that are using v10... How's it going? Is the stability good? How's the render engine these days?

I run A:M on a Mac and (soon) a PC, so folks from both camps please give your opinions.

Most of my work is stuff for the web, illustrations for print and a little bit of video. So my biggest concerns are about the render quality for stills, (fairly) realistic light behavior, environment things like fog and depth of field effects.

Thanks!

J

JTalbotski
04-02-2003, 10:01 PM
J,

You won't find GI or caustics in v10 either. But the render quality has increased quite a bit since multipass became part of v10.5 alpha. Plus the new bias normals and porcelain are very promising, too. That's where I'm putting my focus, on v10.5, and I'm trying to be better about sending in bug reports and sample projects.

Jim

JBarrett
04-02-2003, 10:07 PM
I can only comment on stability, which is *much* improved in v10. I've only encountered a couple hiccups here and there that crash the program, and they seem to be really odd situations...almost project-specific. Reports are being prepared.

nerrazzi
04-02-2003, 10:36 PM
I think it's worth upgrading if only for the "Stitch" feature. Makes building models less painful, meaning, you don't have to rely on hooks and 5-point patches so much.

SouthernLaw
04-03-2003, 03:25 AM
Originally posted by JTalbotski
J,

You won't find GI or caustics in v10 either. But the render quality has increased quite a bit since multipass became part of v10.5 alpha.

Jim

What?! No caustics or GI! 8.5 has GI... okay, it's crappy GI but it does work and I've gotten some decent results out of it. And I could've sworn I saw caustics listed as a feature on Hash web site.

The news about the renderer is good... but the rest is pretty disheartening. Maybe I should just buy Lightwave. :shrug:

JTalbotski
04-03-2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by SouthernLaw
What?! No caustics or GI! 8.5 has GI... okay, it's crappy GI but it does work and I've gotten some decent results out of it. And I could've sworn I saw caustics listed as a feature on Hash web site.

The news about the renderer is good... but the rest is pretty disheartening. Maybe I should just buy Lightwave. :shrug:

I guess I spoke (wrote) out of line. I have not heard of any changes or seen any changes in A:M re: caustics or GI. But that doesn't mean they haven't implemented changes. They don't always point out things, but let others find them instead. There is something called photon mapping, which I think sounds rather science fiction-y, but may be what you are looking for. I haven't seen anybody use it or explain it.

My apologies for any misinformation.

Jim

pdaley
04-03-2003, 02:10 PM
Photon mapping is the new kind of radiosity that is in AM now. To get it to work, you right-click on your chor and and say 'calculate radiosity'. You also need to play with the settings under 'radiosity' in the chor properties.

I emailed Steve one time to try and get an explanation about what these settings had to do with each other and what the radiance material property did. I was not exactly overwhelmed when he said, "The list would be an excellent place to ask these questions.":shrug:

SouthernLaw
04-03-2003, 02:36 PM
Huh... why don't they just call it radiosity then?

Can anyone point me to some renders done with the new photon mapping technique?

koon69 - I'm following your thread here and on the list. Let me know if you find anything worthwhile.

Thanks!

zandoria
04-03-2003, 04:37 PM
Photon mapping is a type of radiosity solution (and a pretty advanced one) that sends out a huge number of photons and bounces them around in the scene off of the objects in the scene. the radiance surface attribute controls how reflective (in the radiosity context) the surface is.

The photon mappings intensity can be adjusted to control how strong it's influence is on your scene (you don't have to recalculate).

Light your scene as though emulating real world light sources rather than using 3 point lighting, and let the photon mapping take care of fill.

The photon mapping also accounts for caustics, as the photons build-up in areas (just like in real life) as they are reflected from metallic objects or are refracted through glass.

This feature works fine as far as I can tell, and is improved from the 8.5 radiosity feature. You will have to tweak the surface properties of your objects and groups and adjust the intensity of the radiosity to get the best results.

Finkster
04-03-2003, 07:38 PM
There are some examples of caustics using photon mapping at this page:
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/ffave/e_Photon.htm

It looks to work pretty well.

SouthernLaw
04-03-2003, 08:49 PM
sweet, that does look really good. I wonder how long the renders on those things took.

Maybe I'll upgrade after all! :surprised:

Finkster
04-03-2003, 09:31 PM
Looks like there weren't too many rays cast, so it might be reasonable. No grainyness either. I haven't V10 myself else, I would test it myself.

SouthernLaw
04-03-2003, 09:47 PM
Well, it looks like I'll need to upgrade anyway. I just signed on to help with Jack West's "Far Star" project.

They're using 9.5 right now and will be moving to 10.0 fairly soon. So, I'm off to Hash.com to place my order!

Thanks for all of the help!

JBarrett
04-03-2003, 10:04 PM
I did see some grain in there, on the first pic w/ the gear. It's off in the upper-right corner, though, on the far edge of the shadow. The right-center edge of the pic also is starting to show some grain in the shadow.

SouthernLaw
04-03-2003, 10:06 PM
Woo Ha! 20 posts! I got me an avatar!

...sorry, couldn't resist...

zandoria
04-04-2003, 01:40 AM
In case you miss it in the Caustics thread...

http://www.zandoria.com/images/gems.jpg

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