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View Full Version : What is a beauty render?


GulagCGOner
06-27-2008, 05:50 PM
I keep seeing these modeling and texturing demo reels that that have shot breakdowns. They'll break it down like this: wire, model, normals, occlusion, and then beauty pass. What is a beauty pass? It sounds weird, like this thing you do to your models to make them awesome.

Swizzle
06-27-2008, 05:56 PM
It's all the different passes together with a bunch of final tweaking (often in Photoshop) to get exactly the look that the artist wants.

grantmoore3d
06-27-2008, 06:11 PM
I've also heard the term incorrectly (IMO) used to describe a rendered image that hasn't been broken into render layers, often used simply as a reference image. But the above description is what most people will consider the appropriate meaning.

DimeS
06-27-2008, 11:15 PM
I'm not sure that's quite right. A beauty pass is just that, a pass. After a bunch of post tweaking and compositing that's not a pass anymore, that's a final render. I've most often seen a beauty pass to mean the 'main' render pass containing key light shading and color information, but not reflections, shadow casting, occlusion etc.

But like many other terms in this industry, the definition may vary.

j83
06-28-2008, 01:11 AM
I concur with DimeS.
:)

Via-Art
06-28-2008, 03:43 AM
I ALSO concur with DimeS.

jeremybirn
06-28-2008, 03:29 PM
I didn't realize that there would be this much debate. A beauty pass is just a complete render, including all elements (such as diffuse, specular, reflections, shadows, etc.) that would appear in a normal rendered image.

In Maya Render Layers, "Beauty" is the default setting, so if you haven't started specifying passes yet, it's the default that all regular rendered output is using.

-jeremy

Magnus3D
06-28-2008, 03:47 PM
A beautyrender can also be when someone completly misunderstands the meaning of it and adds tons of bloom and glare and other Photoshop filters and effects to an image to make it look like you see something through a glass of milk or dense fog, in other words ..awful. :D

/ Magnus

Titus
06-28-2008, 05:35 PM
In Maya Render Layers, "Beauty" is the default setting,

Amazing how many of the common words come from particular programs. Very often I hear from clients they ask for a "playblast" when they need a preview render. We don't use maya BTW.

j83
06-28-2008, 06:28 PM
Perhaps like tris and polygons in 3DS Max (Editable Poly vs. Editable Mesh).
:)

jeremybirn
06-29-2008, 03:26 AM
Amazing how many of the common words come from particular programs. Very often I hear from clients they ask for a "playblast" when they need a preview render. We don't use maya BTW.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply the term came from Maya originally. VFX artists have been talking about Beauty passes since the days of motion control cameras and optical printing.

-jeremy

dneg
06-29-2008, 09:14 AM
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply the term came from Maya originally. VFX artists have been talking about Beauty passes since the days of motion control cameras and optical printing.

-jeremy

Jeremy is right. "Beatuy pass" is a term that originates from models and miniatures. It is generally used to describe the pass that contains the primary, or "beauty", lighting of an object. Additional effects passes that couldn't be photographed in the same pass are then added to complete the image. A good example of this is the way in which the Enterprise model for Star Trek: TNG was shot - the beauty pass would just have the key and fill light in it, all the practical lights (windows etc) would be turned off - their low-powered bulbs meant they wouldn't expose against the high-intensity lights used for the key/fill. The additional items would then be shot in separate passes at a different f-stop (exposure). Things like the engines would require additional filters on the lens to get the glow/diffusion effects. All of these passes would then be combined as layers in an optical printer (which is essentially a series of film projectors that shine directly into a single camera that re-photographs the combined result). TNG actually used digital compositing (Quantel Henry I think). As compositing technology improved the beauty pass itself could be broken down and shot as various sub-passes: key, fill, ambient etc.

Beauty pass is one of those legacy terms from pre-digital days that is now used in a variety of ways, rather like "matte painting" or "plate". I generally take it to mean the primary key/fill lighting of an item, though increasingly it is used to described the combined result of a bunch of secondary outputs spat out by a shading setup.

Incidentally, "playblast" predates Maya - it comes from one of the earlier versions of PowerAnimator (or possibly even Alias) released in the early/mid 90s. It may even be older than that for all I know!

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