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View Full Version : Which renderer for animation?


greyface
11-28-2008, 01:50 AM
Hey folks,

I'd like to have your respective opinions on which is the best renderer with these characteristics:

- tuned for animation
- fast 3d dof and motion blur
- photorealistic if needed
- good with displacement
- easy pass setup for comp

I am already well versed in mental ray, so that is not an option - What I'm looking for is an alternative to MR to render realistic looking animations - I can already do this in MR, but it's too slow if I want 3d dof/mb and high quality displacement.

I've looked at several options, so far 3delight/prman, vray and finalrender seem like the best bets.

Opinions?

A

Jozvex
11-28-2008, 02:40 AM
I use 3Delight as my main alternative/companion to mental ray and it covers all those requirements! I would choose it over VRay/PRMan/Final Render simply for the reason that your first license is free!

The others may have easier workflows I'm not sure.

carloscidrais
11-28-2008, 08:52 AM
Renderman for Maya, no doubt.
If you have need for a render manager and a shader building tool, go for Renderman Studio, otherwise Renderman for Maya will do just fine.
Unbeatable speed, quality and customer support. What more could you want?

greyface
11-29-2008, 09:49 PM
Thanks guys, Renderman is at the top of my list, I have a couple of concerns though, maybe someone can clarify it for me:

. How hard is it to really take advantage of RSL? I'm fluent in C and have a good background in rendering, shaders etc, I just don't know the maths behind it :shrug:

. The RenderMan standard is old, I believe more than 20 years old, how well does it stand up against the newer more specialized renderers, like vray/fR/brazil? The needs today are very different than they were back then, and obviously I understand it gets constant upgrades, but the foundations are the same. mental ray for instance is starting to show its age even though they keep on adding new technology to it.

. GI. I'm somewhat puzzled that Pixar called it's renderer PhotoRealistic RM, whilst GI was added only recently, can anyone clarify this? I'm not saying you can't get amazing results without indirect lighting, just curious. And on that topic, is GI/Indirect commonly used in RM? I understand you work with it at the shader level, any insight on this would be helpful.

Thanks!

cheebamonkey
12-01-2008, 10:38 AM
I use 3Delight as my main alternative/companion to mental ray and it covers all those requirements! I would choose it over VRay/PRMan/Final Render simply for the reason that your first license is free!

The others may have easier workflows I'm not sure.

first license is free but there's a catch. You get none of the updates as they are not posted publically. Since the 8.01 release there have been numerous updates, additions and bug fixes to 3Delight which are not disclosed to the public.

Renderman still doesn't offer the ease and early quality of other ones like Vray/MR/Turtle for photorealism. I believe that's where it actually starts to choke versus its counterparts. it's not to say Renderman can't produce convincing results. Hell, it's used in a majority of films out there but there are drawbacks. That's why w/Renderman it's sometimes better to still fake GI with a crapload of lights (a la the ol' days) to make it render faster than you would with even the fastest GI/FG renderers. With that, I still believe using something like Vray or MR is the way to go for what you're asking. As for Pixar's RMS, it doesn't support Maya 2009 and probably won't until towards the end of next year. 3Delight 8.x supports Maya 2009.

As for Vray, Brazil, fR, and any others that start off from the Max platform, they are in a perpetual beta state because the developers have their heads so far up their butts w/Max they'll never fully finish the Maya ports and even if they do, the features will be behind that of its Max counterparts. Maxwell is the only other one I can think of that enjoys being on multiple platforms without being absolutely favored by a particular one.

carloscidrais
12-01-2008, 11:44 AM
RSL is not very complex - I have an art background and only cursory knowledge of MEL, but when introduced to RSL I was able to get my head around it quickly. Mind you, I don't write shaders and use Renderman for quality and speed of results only, going back and forth between that and MR. Previously to Maya 2009, Renderman was the quickest, and fastest way to get passes ( they are essentially free with the beauty pass). With the new implementation of Mental Ray, I am quite torn I must say.
Also it depends on where you are going to work of course, here in London, Renderman and Mental Ray still rule the roost ( Renderman for movies and Mental Ray for commercials ).
Cheeba monkey is right to a point about GI, but I think you can't argue with the speed at which Renderman handles displacements, depth of field, motion blur and pass output.
Having said all of this there are trial versions of all of the softwares - as always there is no such thing as personal experience. I would advise to narrow it down to two or three alternatives, trial them and get a feel for what works best for you.
Good luck.

chronic
12-01-2008, 01:57 PM
fast 3d dof and motion blur -> your only option is renderman

3Delight has some advantages over prman but ease of use is not one of them. tighter maya integration is still being worked on.

3Delight does offer alot of nice features though - you dont really need to do any rsl, it will translate all the maya software shaders, and some of the mental ray shaders including mia_mat.

for advanced rsl - look at some other peoples shaders online, or get a book

you should definately visit the 3Delight forums

i wish their free licence offered 4 cores instead of only 2

mustique
12-01-2008, 05:25 PM
... you should definately visit the 3Delight forums

i wish their free licence offered 4 cores instead of only 2

Yep, that'd be cool. I've got to confess though that from a business POV, this is not very wise. Auotdesk would practically have a free renderman renderer without paying any royalties to 3Delight Devs.

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I guess PRMAN is called "Photorealistic" just because of the very fast DOF and Motionblur which are two very important aspects in photography for sure, but like everyone I wish it would be as fast when it comes to GI - FG - caustics etc...

greyface
12-03-2008, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the info guys - RMan does seem like more of a studio tool than for freelancers because of the time it takes to customize it and get the results you want out of it.. Even though nowadays all the implementations can translate shaders into rsl, I don't think that's really taking advantage of RMan.

I'm sure the free license will become a 4-core license soon enough.. but by that time we might have moved to 8 - I guess they're trying not to make it too convenient ;)

The lack of easy to setup GI is too bad though, what is this point cloud GI they just added? Are they using it in production?

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