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withego
02-09-2011, 07:19 PM
A few Maya 2011 and Mental Ray Iray pics derived from the main Maya scenes used for the “ULTIMATE MAYA AND MR ARCHVIZ GUIDE" tutorial as well as for the upcoming Gnomon Master Classes 2011, rendered with my old Quad workstation with 8 GB of RAM and a basic NVidia 8800 GT card as a contribution to the amazing "Forests in Maya Mental Ray" thread by eem.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=87&t=804892

Just to demonstrate that using Maya 2011 in conjunction to the MR 3.8 (IBL) Environment Lighting and (PR) Progressive Rendering String Options and the new (Iray) render engine algorithm, is possible to render millions of polys from the main Maya Render View in one "go" and without crashes...!

Please check the total number of polys from the screenshots enclosed... almost 30 millions!

Even if Iray at the moment I'm posting this thread has still many limitations, like for example the "Cutout Opacity" attribute of the MR mia_material, mia_material_x and mia_material_x_passes which is not recognized by Iray and which explains why the ivy leaves are rendered as planes without any alpha transparency...!

I really love the organic feeling displayed by the images, output by this physically correct render algorithm...!

Please don't get discouraged by the high render times, since that 10 hrs for a 2000X1500 px production quality 32 bit Open Exr output image, with a total of 30.000.000 polys for more than 1000 instances of a very thick grass patch of polys and 1000 Progressive Subsamples, for an average time of 33 sec for Subsample is quite an achievement...!

Considering that I also used the Mental Ray "physical_lens_dof" Lenses node, the CPU was working at the limit and the Ram usage was almost 100% as shown by the screenshots enclosed with this thread.

Please note that the first test took almost 20 hrs. but by interpolating the mia_materials_x glossy reflections and refrections and after various optimization iterations, I managed to reduce the rendering time by half...which is quite cool!

A brief note on the amazing "LayoutTools2011" plugin used to duplicate, layout, scale and align the Maya (Pfx) "Paint Effects" grass patches instances to the ground plane.:thumbsup:

In the first image the main light contribution is provided by an (HDR) (High-Dynamic Range) 32-bit image connected to a Mental Ray "mib_lookup_Spherical" environment shader, connected to a "multiplyDivide" utility node with all the "Input 2" values set to the default value (1).

The (IBL) "environment lighting scale" String Option value, is raised to the value (4).

The Mental Ray "physical_lens_dof" node with the default input value (0.1) set in the "Radius" field, is connected to the "Lens Shader" field since that the "mia_exposure_photographic" Lenses node was not used for the main "Tonemapping" process and the new "Color Management" controls enabled from the main "Render View" panel, was used instead.

Please note that the newer Mental Ray "mia_lens_bokeh" Lenses node, is still not supported by the Iray render algorithm...!

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/4772/1800j.jpg

link to the high rez version:
http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/3006/76275286.jpg

In the second image the main light contribution is provided by the Mental Ray "mia_physicalsky" node, with the sky "Multiplier" value raised to the value (8) and the (IBL) "environment lighting scale" String Option value, raised to the value (8) as well.

Please note that only the Mental Ray "mia_physicalsky" node" is used to light the scene and that the Mental Ray "sunDirection" node, is set to hidden in the main "Outliner" panel.

The Mental Ray "physical_lens_dof" node with the default input value (0.1) set in the "Radius" field, is connected to the "Lens Shader" list since that the "Lens Shader" field is already connected to the Mental Ray "mia_exposure_photographic" Lenses node.

http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/2720/2800v.jpg

link to the high rez version:
http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/65/23462164.jpg

In the third image the main light contribution is provided by the Mental Ray "mia_physicalsky" node, with the sky "Multiplier" value raised to the value (8) and the (IBL) "environment lighting scale" String Option value, raised to the value (8) as well.

Please note that in this scene the Mental Ray "mia_physicalsky" node" is used to light the scene as well as the Mental Ray "sunDirection" node, which is set to visible in the main "Outliner" panel.

Please note the presence of lighting artifacts in the image when using the Mental Ray "mia_physicalsky" node with the "sunDirection" node set to visible, in conjunction to the (IBL) "environment lighting scale" String Option with values other than the default value (1).

Based on my tests decreasing the value in the (IBL) "environment lighting scale" String Option, the presence of this lighting artifacts reduces as well...!

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/3724/3800k.jpg

link to the high rez version:
http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/7163/10728098.jpg

In the fourth image the main light contribution is provided by the Mental Ray "mia_physicalsky" node, with the sky "Multiplier" value raised to the value (8) and the (IBL) "environment lighting scale" String Option value decreased to the value (1).

Please note that in this scene the Mental Ray "mia_physicalsky" node" is used to light the scene as well as the Mental Ray "sunDirection" node, which is set to visible in the main "Outliner" panel.

Please note that the above mentioned lighting artifacts are almost disappeared from the image, since that I decreased the (IBL) "environment lighting scale" String Option value to the value (1).

Apart from the "warmer" color dominance, notice the stronger "DOF" Depth of Field effect in the image, since that I increased the value in the "Radius" field of the Mental Ray "physical_lens_dof" node to the value (1), which causes the render time to increase as well...!

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/3385/5800.jpg

link to the high rez version:
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/7681/66611465.jpg

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/7666/capture23800.jpg

link to the high rez version of the memory usage screenshot:
http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/1150/capture23n.jpg

http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/2368/capture30800.jpg

link to the high rez version of the render time screenshot:
http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/6673/capture30k.jpg

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/9854/capture33800.jpg

link to the high rez version of the poly count screenshot:
http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/225/capture33b.jpg

http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/9803/capture34800.jpg

link to the high rez version of the increased "DOF", render time screenshot:
http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/7008/capture34.jpg

Hope it helps...!
Ciao.:wavey:

ganzo
02-09-2011, 07:25 PM
Wish you had picked a different method of showing those renders...

chuckie7413
02-09-2011, 09:35 PM
thank you Alex for these tests. Really great to see and very much looking forward to your gnomon masterclass.

we were testing iray at work on some interior scenes but struggled with stability in maya and had issues with memory mainly due to displacements. But we were testing it's gpu performance more so that just iray itself. Obviously you are using cpu and not gpu for these tests so guess it is a lot more stable.

many thanks,

rich

djx
02-09-2011, 10:09 PM
Wish you had picked a different method of showing those renders...
Yes, me too. I'm interested in your work with iray, but I do not want to have to sign up for a free acrobat account just to see the pics.

David

InfernalDarkness
02-09-2011, 10:46 PM
@withego: www.imageshack.us (http://www.imageshack.us)

Looks pretty cool so far, but yeah... the Acrobat thingy means we can't even see your low-res images at 1:1. Please try ImageShack, it's free and the DirectLink will post here properly. Flash is the worst way to present images...

Edit: Imageshack now has a stupid sign-up requirement for the first time in eight years. Nevermind. If I find a better one, I'll be sure to let people know...

My question is about rendertimes. Is 10 hours a good rendertime for this scene? So with your GPU, it's taking 10 hours? What were your rendertimes previously, when you were first working with this scene? Is 30M polygons a good count for you, or have you had problems at that level previously?

Also, please note that the Forests thread was started by Eem. Tastao_Wayne is easily the most significant contributor, but please note the other dozens of artists who also helped contribute, and please disregard my incessant rambling throughout! (grins)

withego
02-10-2011, 05:54 AM
Yes, me too. I'm interested in your work with iray, but I do not want to have to sign up for a free acrobat account just to see the pics.

David

djx sorry... :blush: but since yesterday my web was down for technical reasons I tried to use my account at Acrobat.com, which btw is a great resource to share pdf contents online such as the new Acrobat X Pro Portfolios...! :thumbsup:

It seems that today my service provider which btw is the main Italian service provider, sorted out the problem... so I just replaced the links!

My question is about rendertimes. Is 10 hours a good rendertime for this scene? So with your GPU, it's taking 10 hours? What were your rendertimes previously, when you were first working with this scene? Is 30M polygons a good count for you, or have you had problems at that level previously?



Infernal aka Sho... I always appreciate your incessant rambling throughout, I've noticed you are extremely active here on Cgtalk, which is great...!:beer:

Ooops again...:blush: sorry to eem for the wrong quote and of course credits to all the great guys that gave their contribution to the "Forests in Maya Mental Ray" thread, one of the best ever...! :thumbsup:

Along with the "VRay-like interior renders with mental ray" thread... of course!

And yes as previously mentioned, 10 hrs in CPU mode in just one go from the main Render View panel, for a heavy and complex scene like this one is quite an achievement, since that the first test took almost 20 hrs to render...!:argh:

Please don't forget that for these test, I'm using an old Quad workstation with 8 GB of RAM and a basic NVidia 8800 GT card with just 512MB and 112 CUDA Cores, which considering it's limited amount of memory doesn't allow me to use Iray in GPU mode with complex scenes, as Chuckie already noted...!:blush:

As previously mentioned, I managed to reduce by half the render times simply enabling the mia_materials_x glossy reflections and refrections interpolation...!

So I guess that by tweaking further the mia_materials_x parameters, as well as tweaking the (IBL) and (PR) String Options values... like for example increasing the value in the (PR) "progressive error threshold" String Option which is set by default to the value (0.0130).

Something similar to the AA contrast threshold value located under the Quality tab of the Render Settings panel.

As well as futher reducing the value in the "environment lighting quality" String option and switching to the "approximate" mode in the (IBL) "environment lighting mode" String option, maybe render times could be significantly reduced...!

But at the moment what bother me the most, is the "Cutout Opacity" attribute of the MR mia_material, mia_material_x and mia_material_x_passes which is not recognized by Iray...!:banghead:

Since that at the moment Iray doesn't provide any option, is just a matter of trial and error beta testing.... but as I said I really start to love this new render algorithm...!:thumbsup:

Ciao.

InfernalDarkness
02-10-2011, 06:30 AM
It really does look amazing, seriously well done my friend.

I was only asking about the rendertimes as they compared to mental ray itself... 10 hours isn't obscene for a heavy scene. (get it... obscene? Ha!) And I was under the impression you were rendering these with the GPU directly, didn't know iray had a CPU mode!

Would you say it's easier and/or less buggy to work with than mental ray itself?

withego
02-11-2011, 10:01 AM
:D It really does look amazing, seriously well done my friend.

I was only asking about the rendertimes as they compared to mental ray itself... 10 hours isn't obscene for a heavy scene. (get it... obscene? Ha!) And I was under the impression you were rendering these with the GPU directly, didn't know iray had a CPU mode!

Would you say it's easier and/or less buggy to work with than mental ray itself?

Since that the service provider seems to be still experiencing technical difficulties, I decided to follow your advice and just re-uploaded the pics using ImageShack... hope that now the pics will be visible...!:curious:

Back to the main topic... Infernal, my best advice to the green Maya and Mental Ray users that would like to give a try to Iray, which btw is implemented by Mental Images as well is:

Being Iray the world’s first interactive, photo-realistic and physically correct rendering solution that leverages the parallel processing power of NVIDIA Quadro® and Tesla™ graphics processing units (GPUs)... first get yourself a high end NVIDIA card and don't follow my example...!:rolleyes:

Apart from jokes...my humble suggestion is to develop first your skills by learning most of the Mental Ray 3.7 and 3.8 lighting , rendering and texturing features.

In particular I suggest to get hold of the various parameters of the "monolithic" MR mia_material, mia_material_x and mia_material_x_passes materials...!:D

Once you get a good understanding on how these Mental Ray features actually works and how they are integrated in the Maya 2009/2011 versions, you are ready to give a shot to Iray...!

As I said earlier in this thread, Iray at the moment doesn't provide any option or chance to tweak parameters, other than the (IBL) and (PR) String Options values...!:shrug:

As well as the sky "Multiplier" value, when using the Mental Ray "mia_physicalsky" node for the main light contribution and the "Cm 2 Factor" value of the MR "mia_exposure_photographic" Lenses node.

Which btw I usually tend to increase to high values, mostly when working with Maya exterior scenes...!

But please note that this particular lighting workflow, comes from my personal background as a fashion photographer...!;)

I think that once Mental Images will implement most of the Mental Ray lighting , rendering and texturing features like for example the miss_fast_skin_maya and the miss_fast_shader_x/x_passes materials;

As well as the Render Passes features, Iray in my opinion will be the best choice for the 3D Maya artists working in the Archviz field...!

Since that Iray seems to be a very intuitive render algorithm and talking in lighting terms, it behaves in a physically correct way just like a real world non digital camera.

Please forgive me but I come from the old school of photographers, which was used to work with the Light Meter and output images on film...! :wip:

Hope it helps...!
Ciao.

Bitter
02-12-2011, 12:12 AM
iRay is indeed aimed at Arch Viz for now. . .

CPU renders will take some time to converge since iRay is brute force/path tracing. The major allure there is the simplicity of the setup and controls for a great image. The GPU of course would be faster by magnitudes.

However, the new Nvidia cards are coming down in price finally and if you need more video RAM (and have the income) a Tesla can net you as much RAM and cores as a high-end Quadro for less money usually. A GeForce will work fine too but usually has less RAM.

You are one of the few to venture this far into iRay with a large scenefile. Most are very simple scenes designed to shove onto a card with 256 MB of memory and the rest lose patience with CPU mode.

Once it's integrated mainstream you will probably be the "go-to" guy for tweaking iRay renders.

LinchpinZA
04-11-2011, 06:44 PM
Those are some pretty intense renders you threw at iray Withego :), quite impressive. And really great tests man, thanks for sharing!

A work colleague and myself tested iray a few weeks back. We did encounter lots of crashes (maya 2011) obviously because of it not being integrated into maya yet. But I thought I'd share our little test render here. Rendered with IBL , physical dof, basic mia materials, with a small amount of post work(CC, anamporphic glare, chormatic abberation)

http://i.imgur.com/ZzB80.jpg

-Chris.

withego
04-28-2011, 06:28 AM
Those are some pretty intense renders you threw at iray Withego :), quite impressive. And really great tests man, thanks for sharing!

A work colleague and myself tested iray a few weeks back. We did encounter lots of crashes (maya 2011) obviously because of it not being integrated into maya yet. But I thought I'd share our little test render here. Rendered with IBL , physical dof, basic mia materials, with a small amount of post work(CC, anamporphic glare, chormatic abberation)

http://i.imgur.com/ZzB80.jpg

-Chris.

You are welcome Chris and sorry for the delay, but was quite busy lately...!
Nice render image output and btw... Would like you to check the "A Few Maya 2012 And Mental Ray 3.9 Iray Pics…" thread:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=6961019#post6961019

Since that based on my tests, the new Mental Ray 3.9 iray version seems to be much more stable and quite a few issues was recently fixed...

Such as the "Cutout Opacity" attribute of the Mental Ray mia_material, as well as the "mia_exposure_simple" lens shader node which is now supported by the Mental Ray 3.9 iray render engine algorithm.

Beleive it or not... I didn't experienced a single crash using the new Mental Ray 3.9 iray render engine algorithm, in conjunction to the new Maya 2012 version...!:thumbsup:

Please note that you can get the "dll’s" files required by the Mental Ray 3.9 iray render engine algorithm, from the Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 and the 3ds Max Design 2012 Trial versions…

Both the Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 and the 3ds Max Design 2012 Trial versions, can be downloaded from the main Autodesk website:

http://usa.autodesk.com/3ds-max/trial/?nd=1 (http://usa.autodesk.com/3ds-max/trial/?nd=1)

Ciao.
Alex

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