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Br1
10-02-2008, 09:54 AM
from http://www.3delight.com


3Delight 8.0 and 3Delight For Maya 4.0 released

This release includes ray-tracing optimizations, multi-threading optimizations, improved point-based global illumination, improved photon-mapping, new displacement features and extensions to the shading language. 3Delight For Maya has now a hierarchical system for RenderMan attributes, better HyperShade support, better image based lighting capabilities, background rendering mode and many adjustments for better usability.

elvis75k
10-02-2008, 10:22 AM
Great update so far.. Maya2009 ready!

wurp
10-02-2008, 10:36 AM
Are there any new videos or images demonstrating these updates? Been looking over their website and can't find anything, has anyone tried it yet and can share your view on this update?

lazzhar
10-02-2008, 12:37 PM
Cool, it renders Maya native area light directly.

kage-maru
10-02-2008, 12:52 PM
Looking forward to test the new version.
Does anybody know if the "extensions to the shading language" means support to co-shaders?

jupiterjazz
10-02-2008, 02:17 PM
These are 'more complete' release notes (several other improvements and additions are not listed here):

From the changes.txt/html that you can find in the package:


3DELIGHT 8.0

3Delight For Maya 4.0
The way 3Delight attributes are connected and interpreted
has been much improved for greater flexibility and ease of
use: it is now possible to connect only a small subset of
attributes to any given node. This feature enables a
hierarchical attribute interpretation scheme in which
undefined attributes for a given object/node are looked up
higher in the scene hierarchy.


Images can now be rendered in background so artists can
still use Maya while rendering frames.


The Coordinate System node can now display an environment
dome in Maya's view for easier image based lighting.

Added render-time CSG support (boolean modeling operators).


Improved HyperShade translation and support:
The following nodes exactly match Maya's look:
'cloth', 'ramp' and 'contrast'.

Added support for 'mia_material',
'mib_ambient_occlusion' and 'particlSamplerInfo'.

Photons can trigger HyperShade shader evaluation to
get the correct surface color.


The plug-in now honors Maya object visibility attributes
("Render Stats") in case no 3Delight visibility attributes
have been defined.

Added more control on how particles are rendered. For
example, particles can now have a sub-pixel size.

Added support for area lights.

Advanced features include:
RenderMan shader writers gain control on how
parameters are presented in the AE using a new
parameter grouping functionality.

User definable light nodes gives the necessary
flexibility to customize RenderMan commands output
when issuing light sources.


3Delight Performance

Multi-threading performance has been further improved, in
both memory use and speed. 3Delight implements a true
multi-threaded rendering core meaning that all threads
share as much memory as possible.

The photon casting algorithm has been multi-threaded.

Improved performance and memory use on subdivision surfaces
with many texture coordinates and vertex variables. Such
geometry uses up to 5 times less memory.

Atmosphere and interior shaders run much faster (up to an
order of magnitude) and are controlled using an independent
"volume shading rate".

Rendering Features
Improved point-based occlusion and global illumination
delivers higher quality results without loss of performance.

Photon mapping quality has been improved:
Photons can trigger surface evaluation for both
caustics and color bleeding to get correct reflectance
and transmittance.

Caustics rendering quality has been improved.

It is now possible to cast photons from high dynamic
range environment maps.


Displacement shaders can run on vertices (instead of
micro-polygons) for better ray-tracing efficiency.
Additionally, many displacement shaders can be assigned to
a specific object and be evaluated sequentially.

Dicing cameras can be used to heal "pops" in displacements
during animation.

Specular highlights from area ligths are correctly rendered
(e.g. square area lights will produce square shaped
highlights).

Improved filtering of blurred cubic environment map lookups.

Edge detection has been further enhanced and outlines can
now be composited directly over an output variable.

Improved the accuracy of NURBS and conics.

Implemented `RiScopedCoordinateSystem'.

Pipeline

Introducing a new shader evaluation API and library: Sx.
This API exposes methods to load and execute RenderMan
shaders, in SIMD.

Shader Compiler

Initital support of "Shader classes".

Functions can have multiple exit points.

Tools
'tdlmake' supports a new output file format: directory
textures. A directory texture (or "dirtex" in short), is a
standard directory with all mipmaps saved as TIFF files.
This new texture format enables a more fine grained data
transfer between the server and the network cache.

'ptcview' can load and display photon map files.

jupiterjazz
10-02-2008, 02:20 PM
Looking forward to test the new version.
Does anybody know if the "extensions to the shading language" means support to co-shaders?

edit:

Yes and no,
shader classes are supported, co-shaders are not (but they soon will).
There is also a new shader evaluation API/library called 'Sx'.

P.

Venkman
10-02-2008, 02:54 PM
On the site, it says they had planned fluid support for the next version. I can't find any mention of that in the release notes. Do they have that yet?

jupiterjazz
10-02-2008, 03:18 PM
On the site, it says they had planned fluid support for the next version. I can't find any mention of that in the release notes. Do they have that yet?

It's present in the release though not supported: 3dfm fluid exporter, DSO ShadeOp and maya_fluid volume shader. We (the /*jupiter jazz*/ group) have been developing this technology (and other things like the 'mia_material' porting to RSL and other upcoming things - you can check http://www.jupiter-jazz.com/wiki) together with the DNA Research, but in the case of the fluids we couldn't manage to polish this massive shader for the release date: although it already supports 95% of the parameters and works on several setups (I demoed at Siggraph too) there is still some work to do. I expect to see it run at full power soon in the next release updates.

P.

Venkman
10-02-2008, 03:36 PM
It's present in the release though not supported: 3dfm fluid exporter, DSO ShadeOp and maya_fluid volume shader. We (the /*jupiter jazz*/ group) have been developing this technology (and other things like the 'mia_material' porting to RSL and other upcoming things - you can check http://www.jupiter-jazz.com/wiki) together with the DNA Research, but in the case of the fluids we couldn't manage to polish this massive shader for the release date: although it already supports 95% of the parameters and works on several setups (I demoed at Siggraph too) there is still some work to do. I expect to see it run at full power soon in the next release updates.

P.

That's good to hear, keep up the good work! If you are porting Mental Ray materials to 3delight, though, I have to wonder if it isn't programming talent that allows you guys to do this, but black magic. I've got my eye one you.

jupiterjazz
10-02-2008, 03:51 PM
That's good to hear, keep up the good work!

Thanks. Glad to hear this! :)

If you are porting Mental Ray materials to 3delight, though, I have to wonder if it isn't programming talent that allows you guys to do this, but black magic. I've got my eye one you.

;) It's not black magic. And not even white. It's about transparency: if you look in the release you can find the full RSL source of every Maya shader, including maya_fluid & mia_material. This is the right attitude to proceed in a renderer powered by a shading language.

So, no rocket science behind these shaders, just some of our time :)
If people appreciate these efforts, then it means it's the right road to follow. And I am sure about it.


P.

joie
10-02-2008, 04:13 PM
Hey Paolo;

As now 3delight supports mia_materials from Mental ray (good move you've got there), Is it going to support also mia_material_x?.

Thank's in advance.

P.D.: The only thing kept me away from using 3Delight in the past was it didn't support Area lights..., I guess now it's time to put my hands on it again.

Visor66
10-02-2008, 04:22 PM
this is such great news! Thanks for the great support! Thats the way to do it right!

jupiterjazz
10-02-2008, 04:36 PM
Hey Paolo;
As now 3delight supports mia_materials from Mental ray (good move you've got there), Is it going to support also mia_material_x?.
Thank's in advance.


There is simply no need to support it because in 3Delight/RenderMan any shader can output any variable (AOV - arbitrary output variable) :)
If a shader does not support a certain output you can use 3Delight RenderMan code Maya node to easily add it. So you can output whatever pass you like from the RSL mia_material, even the ones that _x does not output. That is what I call flexibility.

And since I am at it, this is what I call a royal mess: mia_material, mia_material_x, mia_material_passes: the very same shader; one without outputs, one with restricted built in outputs, one with outputs that work with the (argh!) Maya2009 render pass mechanism... multiply 3 by 4 platforms (win32/64, linux64, osx) makes 12 shaders versus *1* (since RenderMan shaders are cross platform).

And the source in 3Delight is even provided so you can tweak it to fit your needs or extend it...

Apocalypse now.


P.D.: The only thing kept me away from using 3Delight in the past was it didn't support Area lights..., I guess now it's time to put my hands on it again.

:)

Venkman
10-02-2008, 05:05 PM
Jeebus, you guys really are doing your homework. I'm going through the tutorial vids now (OT: I find it a little funny because I could hear the instuctor's mac fans spin up. I am all too familiar with that noise!)

mental
10-02-2008, 06:34 PM
I'm going through the tutorial vids now (OT: I find it a little funny because I could hear the instuctor's mac fans spin up. I am all too familiar with that noise!)
That's Paolo on those tutorials :)

Venkman
10-02-2008, 07:00 PM
That's the kind of coincidence that seems to happen a lot on these boards! ;)

ThomasMahler
10-02-2008, 08:09 PM
Is the plugin working with Maya 2008 ext 2? I just installed it and it's nowhere to be seen in the plugin manager.

If I manually browse for the plugin file, I get the error:

// Error: The specified module could not be found.

mental
10-02-2008, 11:05 PM
Hey Thomas, version 4 of the plugin is working well for me on Maya 2008 Ext 2, Vista x64.

Double check your system variables if you are on a Windows system. I have the following related to 3Delight:


DELIGHT D:\3Delight
DL_DISPLAYS_PATH D:\3Delight\displays
DL_SHADERS_PATH D:\3Delight\shaders
MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH D:\3Delight\plugins
MAYA_RENDER_DESC_PATH D:\3Delight\render_desc
MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH D:\3Delight\scripts
PATH D:\3Delight\bin
XBMLANGPATH D:\3Delight\maya\icons
Otherwise the DNA guys should have an answer:

http://www.3delight.com/en/modules/PunBB/

http://www.3delight.com/en/index.php/company/contact

cheebamonkey
10-03-2008, 01:13 AM
any word on an internal 3Delight visual shader creation app, a la Slim?

Mauritius
10-03-2008, 02:40 AM
any word on an internal 3Delight visual shader creation app, a la Slim?
Why? There is so many free ones that can create RenderMan shaders and thus fully support 3Delight.
Additionally, you can use the Hypershade in Maya via 3DfM or XSI's rendertree via 3DfXSI. All interim files are output as source, so you can tweak & use the shader in other packages or even in other RenderMan-compliant renderers.

See e.g. my post (#4) to this thread (http://www.3delight.com/en/modules/PunBB/viewtopic.php?id=1082) at the 3Delight forums.

.mm

ThomasMahler
10-03-2008, 10:28 AM
Vista x64 as well - Maya 2008 ext2.

After a reboot, I see the .mll in the plugin manager now. The problem is, once I click on load and auto load, I get this error message:

// Error: Cannot find procedure "DL_startup".

My environment variables are all the same as yours.

swag
10-03-2008, 10:39 AM
edit your maya.env and put a maya MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH to the 3delight maya script path
(...3delight_LOCATION\3Delight\maya\scripts

ThomasMahler
10-03-2008, 10:50 AM
MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH = C:\Program Files\3Delight\maya\scripts

Like this? Didn't help.

skunk184
10-03-2008, 11:51 AM
Thomas,
try putting MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH = C:\Program Files\3Delight\maya\scripts; in the variables for the administrator ....

dont know why but this worked for me even though i had the same path in the system variables.

cheers,

Craig

cheebamonkey
10-03-2008, 02:07 PM
Why? There is so many free ones that can create RenderMan shaders and thus fully support 3Delight.
Additionally, you can use the Hypershade in Maya via 3DfM or XSI's rendertree via 3DfXSI. All interim files are output as source, so you can tweak & use the shader in other packages or even in other RenderMan-compliant renderers.

See e.g. my post (#4) to this thread (http://www.3delight.com/en/modules/PunBB/viewtopic.php?id=1082) at the 3Delight forums.

.mm


thanks... I knew of some free ones but wasn't sure if there were any still under development. Most of the ones I found died back in 2000 or so.

jude3d
10-03-2008, 10:49 PM
I don't know how you can use hypershade and maya efficiently to do authoring, when you come with 200 shaders or more like in a production, it's simply impossible to use hypershade, you need a custom tool like slim. Slim is really good but need some improvment to be just amazing and it come about removing all the annoying TCL/TK crapy language and to replace it by python. you can do a lot of customisation into slim code and in the meta data part, but all that code are not in the pixar documentation of slim, so it's a bit complicated to do such things without great devellopers.

I'm not a big fan of the maya like integrated interface with renderman, maybe because we are not just using maya with renderman but houdini too and a lot of custom tool to improve our efficiency in production. using maya in render is a lack of performance, I think it's the same problem with the actual rfm pro and the 3delight for maya. Using maya shader and nodes is only for small studios and unfortunately for small studios all the tools are not directly supported in the workflow. so it's a bit frustrating for those studios to not use all the potential of renderman compliant.

I was suprised by the only few new feature in this release, some good feature and that's cool to see all the work beyond trying to implement fluids support, mia like material, people should understand now what are the algorythm behind the so famous mia material in maya, not so fancy ! ;p

so keep working on this congrats boys, and I hope coshader in 3delight 9 and also a relighting mode like in rps 14, open exr texture, custom point based for reflection, and improved photon with point based.

Als
10-05-2008, 02:19 AM
Thanks for amazing new stuff.
There is few glitches which I feel could be sorted out.

For example when adding the area light, the shader looks really really noisy.
It would be great to have some small scenes with examples on how to do things.
Also I would suggest if adding the displacement to the shader, it should automaticaly give you the option to tune it.
Documentation could use more examples on how to do things...
Otherwise, loving it...
Great release...
Can't wait for fluids renderer. Can you give us some examples of wip?
Is it possible to have two 3delight shaders on one object?
Any documentation on architectural shader? I tried connecting color to diffuse, but always getting black only...
Any presets for shader would be appreciated. In ideal world connecting the mia material would work too...

Thanks a lot!


Als

lazzhar
10-05-2008, 12:59 PM
Thanks for amazing new stuff.
There is few glitches which I feel could be sorted out.

For example when adding the area light, the shader looks really really noisy.



You could attach a delightLightAttrib then go to Area light section and increase samples to get a smooth shadow.

Documentation could use more examples on how to do things...

They didn't update the Doc yet so we only got the old one with the package.


Any documentation on architectural shader? I tried connecting color to diffuse, but always getting black only...
Any presets for shader would be appreciated. In ideal world connecting the mia material would work too...


The architectural/mia shader implementation is broken for now, I hope they will fix it as soon as possible.

Als
10-05-2008, 01:34 PM
Thanks,
for the area light this was without setting shadow but on architectural shader.
Still architectural shader should work, any idea how to connect file to color of diffuse to make it work?

Thanks


Als

Buexe
10-05-2008, 02:11 PM
I don't know how you can use hypershade and maya efficiently to do authoring, when you come with 200 shaders or more like in a production, it's simply impossible to use hypershade
have you tried using bins? I think that makes the hypershade much cleaner/uable on complex scenes.

Mauritius
10-06-2008, 03:29 AM
I don't know how you can use hypershade and maya efficiently to do authoring, when you come with 200 shaders or more like in a production, it's simply impossible to use hypershade, you need a custom tool like slim.
I think that depends a lot on what you work on, VFX or full CG and also a lot on how you manage a project.
In case of VFX, you rarely have more than a dozen shaders per asset.
In case of a full CG, even if you have a complex set that has, say, 200 shaders attached, rarely do these need to be animated, so they can be baked out and referenced by an archive rather than being present in the Maya scene.

In all places I worked that had a sane pipeline and workflow, look development would happen a long time before any shots were rolled. Look development includes authoring of shaders, be that through a text editor or a higher level tool like the Hypershade, Slim, Shrimp, ShaderMan, ShadeTree, VShade, etc, or a combination of both.

This also commonly happens on a per-asset basis. If your assets is a complex one, maybe you will have 20 shaders (though the most I've ever seen in 15 years of VFX was 14 on a single asset). That is still very manageable, even with the crappy Hypershade. Besides, you can group shaders (via bins) now since a few Maya versions, so no need to have them all one a giant page any more.

After look dev the asset is published and that usually means locking down the shaders. If there are any shader parameters that need tweaking when rolling shots, they get exposed separately. But the shaders themselves are commonly not present, or at least not tweakable present, in a scene. Because of this workflow Slim is neither needed nor is it practical (as is keeping 200 shaders around in any scene), during production.
The time I worked at a place that uses Slim was 9 years ago. The only big place in London that uses it still, afaik, is Cinesite.

Of course, for smaller places or those who spend less time worrying about pipeline things might be different but personally, I wouldn't work in a place that doesn't have a proper pipeline, so this doesn't apply to me.

As far as 3Delight goes: most, if not all, of their clients who work on big projects do have proper pipelines; many of them don't even use 3Delight for Maya but their own exporters with 3Delight.
Single artists or smaller studios are currently the main target audiences for 3DfM. And Hypershade shader management is pretty sufficient for them -- they don't do scripting or require the openness Slim provides.

3Delight's development is customer demand driven. If there were enough customers of 3Delight that would ask for something like Slim, they'd add it. Otherwise they'd consider it a waste of development resources. Adding a feature just for the sake of the feature list.

I would also argue, in general, how good people writing renderers can get at writing tools to support/glue these renderer in/with a(ny) pipeline.
My experience is that they aren't that good at it usually. Both MtoR/RMan Studio and 3DfM show this.
To their defense one could bring though, that it is also very hard to cater for two completely different audiences in a single product:
Techincally clueless (in a nice way) artists who want a pushbutton solution and highly skilled TDs who want an open system that they can tweak at every corner.

Pixar thus split their products and is more succesfull catering for the 1st type with RfM than DNA is with 3DfM. How sucessfull Pixar is catering for the 2nd one, with RMS, I would question though.
Being a TD, the idea of having to use RMS and/or Slim still makes me shudder.


Cheers,

Moritz

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