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View Full Version : Render Issue with Sharp Base Shadows


catizone
07-18-2008, 05:45 PM
This is weird, but here is a shot of first pass with Sharp Base selected. I don't get this with Standard.

Anyone have a clue as to what the blue and red shading is all about?

Thanks,
Rick

Wegg
07-18-2008, 06:45 PM
Whats Sharp Base?

Ooooo. . . shadow maps.

Yea. . . don't use those. Your far far better off with raytraced soft shadows. They tend to be the most used and therefore most tested. I think that blue and red stuff is the shadow map fighting with your fog. A bug that no one has ever found till . . . now.

catizone
07-18-2008, 08:11 PM
Thanks, Wegg. It's funny tho'; I don't get that with the standard shadow map.

I went to shadow maps because I didn't seem to be able to get soft shadows with the raytrace option. Do you have a recommendation for settings (for raytracing and soft shadows)?

Thanks,
Rick

catizone
07-19-2008, 01:56 PM
Here's a shot using raytraced shadows. I have tried upping the soft shadow to 200 and 2000 with no difference. The only way I get a soft shadow is to use shadow mapping.

While I might eventually use GI with just two lights, this is for a lighting course, so I am lighting it traditionally, using about 17 lights, some of which are character only, and others isolated from surfaces as needs be. I chose this course because I wanted to get used to using messiah's lights and materials and render, so I could get a better handle on it.

I hope pmg can give us some visual indicators to show falloff on the lights, as well as a way to set that as opposed to just leting it calculate the inverse. There are many times that one wants a light to falloff at a definable point, much like one flags a real light.

And as a side note: Not sure when I changed to a "Know it all", but I am defintely still learning, and always will be. (Smilie goes here)

Best,
Rick

Wegg
07-19-2008, 05:24 PM
I made a video tutorial for you yesterday Rick but I had to run off before it could finish encoding into a downloadable format. I'll see if I can go into work either tomorrow or Monday at the latest and finish it up.

Shadows and lighting in Messiah are really cool. Lots of great tricks to get great results with much lower render times than other apps I have used. Its just something thats hard to type out and easier to "show".

So. . . if you don't see a link here to it by Monday. . . get on me. K?

catizone
07-19-2008, 05:33 PM
Wow! What can I say? I didn't mean for you to go to that trouble. But I REALLY appreciate it. Thanks, Wegg!

You, and others in the messiah community are amazing.

Best,
Rick

catizone
07-21-2008, 11:29 PM
prod, prod......


Seriously Wegg....when you get to it....don't kill yourself if you're busy.
Also, maybe you should consider doing a set of shading/rendering tutorials and selling them.
Not like they aren't sorely needed.

Best,
Rick

SLiTHER
07-22-2008, 10:09 AM
Hey catizone

The way to accomplish soft-shadows in messiah is through increasing the light disk width and hight, basically in messiah you can have soft-shadows through 3 light types only, Spot, Sphere-light and Panel-light. the sphere light has a diameter only, so increasing that will increase the softness. some of these lights are fast and some of them are slow, depending on the volume they represent, if you want a general information on how soft-lighting work, here is a link to get you started:

http://warpedspace.org/Tutorial_Files/TutorialBIG.htm

Not sure of the optimizations though, wegg has better knowledge than me in that.

Hope this helps untill wegg uploads the video :)

Cheers

Wegg
07-22-2008, 10:10 AM
Can you feel the love? :love:

http://www.eggington.net/%7Eblog/images/SoftShadowsB.png (http://www.eggington.net/%7Eblog/?p=93)

SLiTHER
07-22-2008, 10:24 AM
ahhh thanks wegg :)

catizone
07-22-2008, 11:16 AM
Thanks, Slither, and Wegg...

Wegg, You Da Man! Just leaving for work, will check out later at school. Many thanks!

Best,
Rick

Suricate
07-22-2008, 02:06 PM
Thanks Wegg! :bowdown:

catizone
07-22-2008, 03:12 PM
Got to watch it quickly. I thought all disc width and height did was change the size, not an aspect of the shadow softness as well. Couldn't find any of that in the docs.

I also see that having my "sun" very distant from the shot (so that the rays would be more parallel but still give me the advantages of a spot), it is that distance which has precluded me from getting the soft shadows, no matter what settings I changed. No wonder I couldn't get the soft shadows, even when I was adjusting parameters I knew should be working.

And thanks for the very specific info on the various antialias selections...and the rest that I have to digest when I can sit and watch it more thoroughly.

Best,
Rick

Wegg
07-22-2008, 03:24 PM
No worries rick. Shadow quality usually doesn't become an issue until you start rendering animations. . . then the slight noise and funny little artifacts that you can live with on stills become very noticable. Its hard to see them on the video I made but they can drive you quite nuts if you don't know how to deal with them.

Tama
07-22-2008, 05:37 PM
Hey Wegg, thank you for the cool tute! Good video and audio quality and a nicely paced and well presented vocal accompaniment. Very helpful and of course pmg needs to get this one on their website for all to see(sans the modeling component perhaps although I enjoyed it). I think that you hit a sweet spot with the length and subject focus with this video. Any others you can create and share would be a real treat.
Maybe if you came up with something like a 6 pack of videos covering a specific topic like rendering you could consider charging a reasonable yet affordable rate for your efforts.:thumbsup:

Wegg
07-22-2008, 06:40 PM
Yea I'm thinking about something like that. Maybe a low-res youtube version for free to help out "the cause" of getting more people using Messiah but then the high res ones could have a small fee.

I felt the modeling was important because it let you see how the scene was set up from scratch so that someone new to Messiah can see every button I clicked to get from an empty scene to rendering. And Wings is free so its not like the entry fee for modeling in it is hard.

catizone
07-22-2008, 07:26 PM
Wegg,

Since you poured your life's blood into the Andy production, perhaps you could make use of some of that material, and have a set of rendering tutorials, including setting up for separate shadow output, etc. As far as the free youtube version, anything that explain, causes heads to perk up, and gets people more familiar with messiah would be great.

Like most of the things in messiah, I think most of us generally haven't had a "from the ground up" in terms of basic approach...which then opens the doorways of our minds to extrapolate on where we can go, and each comes up with yet another way and we all see new horizons.

While there are so many avenues to still explore in the rigging department, I would hazard a guess that most of us who have done the tutorials, read the docs, can manipulate our way through rigging with great flexibilty and get great results, while suiting our own desires on setups. That, no doubt, is probably due to the fact that almost all of us bought messiah for it's awesome rigging and animation implementation. With the rendering and surfacing, it is very different from Lightwave (not that I am saying that is any negative) which was most of our previous background. Perhaps so different that we never wrestled through it until it clicked..as is the way with any different app.

I have learned more about the surfacing and rendering, as well as lighting, since I have been forced to poke around more in those areas. (I still would love to have some way to set and see , with visual indicator, the falloff area on a light. That is SO needed in my opinion.)


Best,
Rick

lanosrep1
07-25-2008, 06:54 AM
Definitely feeling it :) Thanks so much for sharing William... I was hoping you would find the time to relate your hard earned knowledge from the grueling Andy's schedule.. Thanks!

I would really like clarification on the Radiosity render settings.. I have heard that Monti carlo
is the only one that is hooked in (at this point).. but I am not aware of any docs or tuts that talk specificallly to how all the settings of Monti Carlo work.. what they do.. and how to get the balance between speed and quality..

If you could share how changes in 3.1 will affect workflow in this area.. it would be very helpful.. maybe a tut on what to expect in the newer version.. (I hear there are improvements in the Radiosity renderer coming... since you are likely on the beta team.. you are privy to this info..)

If you would be willing to make a tut on that.. wow.. that would really be great..

Can you feel the love? :love:
Tutorial link removed...

lanosrep1
07-25-2008, 07:03 AM
I agree Rick..
Anything render related.. would be very welcome.. Up to and including more detailed information on the shaders and the inputs they offer... especially the obscure inputs\outputs.. they are a little foreign to those of us who came from LW.. (have not used
LW in a while...so cannot comment on LW nodes etc.)

Wegg,

Editied...
Since you poured your life's blood into the Andy production, perhaps you could make use of some of that material, and have a set of rendering tutorials, including setting up for separate shadow output, etc. anything that explain, causes heads to perk up, and gets people more familiar with messiah would be great.....

With the rendering and surfacing, it is very different from Lightwave (not that I am saying that is any negative) which was most of our previous background. Perhaps so different that we never wrestled through it until it clicked..as is the way with any different app.

Best,
Rick

Wegg
07-25-2008, 07:10 AM
Its just so hard for me to take the time to outlay my knowlege AND pay my bills. My enthusiasm and confidence in messiah is at an all time high but time is not. :-(

lanosrep1
07-25-2008, 07:25 AM
I have cash.. :) I understand the time thing.. that's why I like to get my hands on tuts.. to help speed my understanding of subjects that elude my pea brain.. (obviously no substitute for doing it though...)

I would however suggest using something like LuLu... like Joe Coseman.. I had such a rough time trying to buy your last vid.. that I gave up.. :).. To be honest it's been a while since I went back on your site to try to order.. maybe the issue has been resolved...

I would hope also that you would be able to share "current" information.. ie... information on the Radiosity Renderer that is relative to 3.1... as I am hearing that it is on the way.. soon..
I say this because the changes from 2.5 to 3.0 were dramatic.. and 3.1 may require another retooling..

Your work and the transfer of knowledge you received during Andy's is invaluable to those of us that need it.. so please try to find the time.

Did I mention that I have cash?? :)

Its just so hard for me to take the time to outlay my knowlege AND pay my bills. My enthusiasm and confidence in messiah is at an all time high but time is not. :-(

Wegg
07-25-2008, 07:31 AM
See if you can get eggprops to work again. I believe I resolved all the previous issues with it. I'm no too interested in giving a chunk of change to anyone else. There are so few sales anyway. . .

I'll. . have to think about it.

Are there others with cash?

isobarxx
07-25-2008, 09:07 AM
Yeah man, $1/minute sound fair? I have more money than time =)

catizone
07-25-2008, 01:03 PM
I think more than a few would be ineterested in any resource that helps our understanding, and enables us to even begin exploring messiah's power.

Personally, I found the Surface/Material/Rendering section a bit difficult to grasp. As with all things we are forced to apprehend, when I had to actually get in and deal with those areas recently, I did begin to grasp at least the basics of what's going on.


Then, as others have expressed, a lot of poking around with some shaders and changing values without really having much of a clue as to exactly what parameter did what....a bit frustrating. Trying to create an appropriate cave wall texture led me to toy with lava and some others. Again, I finally got something that works (but I want to improve)...but if I understood the parameters, I could be on my way. While I do understand that we really must use things to learn them (I really do) , any documentation or videos that give us a basis encourages us that it isn't going to be a "discovery from scratch". My "enemy" has always been time.

I am FINALLY wrapping up my Masters coursework. I am embarking on a kid's video that I think will be worthwhile. I will be doing it virtually single-handedly at this point, as there is no budget. I have characters rigged. Given that I did that about 4 years ago or so, I will no doubt, re-rig some parts. AutoRigger sounds great, altho' I do want to do some things with these "object" characters that might mean I will just redo them myself...or maybe it will be in elements that I can adapt. And there may be things in 3.1 which might further help in that area.

Given all of that, I know that any videos I can find that are going to cut down my time in understanding or experimenting on at least the concept of how things work and an inkling of what they can do, will certainly be worth it for me to invest some cash in. I do have several of John Riggs and Joe Cosmans's dvds, as well as the ones that you and others have graciously put up on this site and messiah's. I soon will have to devote about two weeks to watch all of them again, and make decisions about revamping the work I have done to date. After all, working single-handedly, I will want to take advantage of every feature messiah offers to increase ease of animation and production.


SO, while not alot, I too have cash....

As an additional thought, would PMG "hire" you to do them? Or maybe offer some minimal payment that would make it worth your time, and let the majority of the reward be the actual sales to you? Just another thought. It certainly would be to their benefit! They really do need to make their presence better known. Messiah is just SO wonderful. And in this era of Gnomon and everyone wanting to have total videos on everything, it seems to be a MUST...for whoever does it.

Best,
Rick

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