Renderer for product viz?

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Old 10 October 2012   #16
I've used mental ray, Maxwell and V-Ray and I'd say that V-Ray is the best balance of flexible, fast and realistic. Maxwell gets the best results out of the box but V-Ray has full render passes, the VFB and it will scale to animation if you need it to. That said, I would still use (and own) Maxwell if I wanted pure light and high realism like this:

http://www.can-con.ca/portfolio_ad_fiorito.html

It's not that you couldn't do that in V-Ray but it would be less rich without a lot of work. But Maxwell is still too slow for all cases. I just rendered a painting-sized canvas print in V-Ray and I would hate to think of the time it would have taken to resolve to a noiseless image in Maxwell.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #17
Originally Posted by vlad: http://bertrand-benoit.com/blog/2012/10/21/fold-it/

Pretty nice metal parts there (Vray )

Not in any way saying Vray can't make realistic metal. But sometimes it shows that Maxwell does a better job with it. It's hard to explain, but it's there. Once again, I saw images of quality I've never seen from Vray or MR (ok, some top studios did produce amazing results with MR, but it was due to production preparation and they had shot lots of reference material and had to match real original scenes).

So Maxwell still doesn't have any passes?
 
Old 10 October 2012   #18
Originally Posted by Playdo: I'm looking for some advice on renderers.

I'd like to learn a new renderer for product viz. Mostly studio style shots, HDR, white bg etc. I want to have control of the necessary passes (eg. matte/shadow/reflection, z-depth). My priorities are photorealism and image quality. I'd like to quickly make rough renders for concept/material testing, and then HQ renders with minimal setup time, which could be rendered overnight. So I'm really looking for simplicity/speed in setup, but great results.

I've been looking at the unbiased renderers such as Maxwell, Octane, Thea, Keyshot etc. Has anyone done a recent comparison between any of these, or decided on a renderer for the same purposes as me? PS. I currently use Mental Ray, but I find myself spending far too much time with setup.

Thanks


maxwell is way to slow compared to gpu renderer like octane. you can use maxwell if you have time to render or, if you have some machines to split the rendering on it. if you really have simple scenes then go with a gpu renderer. i did some comparisions between octane and mr, but rendertime its hard to judge because of the different tech booth are using. the setup is easier in octane and also the lookdev. rendertime is faster for what octane does. problem with it is the flexibility. if you need it, then go with mr.

if you do productrenderings on a daily base, why not create a basic setup which is used in all scenes? basic mats and lights with reflectionplanes. its not that hard and you can create fast results without wasting time for setup everything from scratch.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #19
Just get Modo its practically build for this.

Awesome renderer support for lots of CAD stuff, lots of presets and cheap kits.

Best of all its priced very well!
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Old 10 October 2012   #20
I also think modo is worth considering. One advantage that it has over the others is a best-in-class Preview render, on product shots it will update in realtime and runs faster than Octane, and is much faster than Vray RT.

This one feature makes the whole texturing and lighting workflow very quick and effiecient. In terms of render quality and speed modo is comparable to Vray, however it is not quite as feature rich.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #21
I own Octane and it's nice for quick stuff but it's too limited for a full-fledged visualization renderer. Maybe as it matures it will get more features to actually compete with something like Maxwell, but it's still slower than V-Ray for glossy reflections, since it's unbiased.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #22
Thanks for all the replies.

I'm more than happy with the photorealism of product shots that I've seen from Vray, Maxwell, Octane and Modo. And I'll be doing stills not animations.

Below's an example of the type of shots I'll be doing. I tend to render out a single product pass, alphas, floor shadow and floor reflection, and composite then onto a white background. I'll also render out a z-depth for dof.

http://www.luxology.com/gallery/ima...w.aspx?id=15347

@Sconlogue: I've tested hdrlightstudio out, and it's very useful. Maxwell and Lightstudio is what I've been leaning towards. Do you see any issues with that and my current workflow?

@Kzin: The initial studio setup isn't what is costing me the time. It's the tweaking and test rendering. So I guess a realtime preview window's a priority.

@frog: Interesting to hear that Modo's preview render is the fastest. Are we talking a big difference that would noticeably effect workflow?

@cgbeige: In what way is Octane too limited for final visualisation?
 
Old 10 October 2012   #23
Originally Posted by Playdo: Thanks for all the replies.
@Sconlogue: I've tested hdrlightstudio out, and it's very useful. Maxwell and Lightstudio is what I've been leaning towards. Do you see any issues with that and my current workflow?

Lightstudio & Maxwell combined should work great for product viz. Also if you haven't seen it yet there is an interactive mode for Maxwell called FIRE which behaves much like VrayRT or other preview engines except that it is not limited to the RAM on your graphics card, it can use all your system ram if you like. I have run 1.5 million+ poly scenes in FIRE without issue and that was a couple years ago with the 1st release of their interactive tool. I have a Video Demo of an archiviz scene running fine in FIRE.

Workflow wise some notes:
Maxwell DOES render out passes.

Alpha, Shadow, ObjectID, MaterialID, Motion Vector, Fresnel, roughness (glossiness), depth, normals & position. You can select different bit depths and file formats for each or just embed them in your MXI.

MXI files can be read in Nuke, After Effects & Photoshop with the plugin that comes with Maxwell. You can also use multi-light as embedded channels in your MXI to control lights manually during or after you render. You can also control ISO and Shutter speed during render.

Here's a Light Breakdown I created in After Effects with just a still MXI and animating the embedded light layers to show the effect each emitter had on the scene.

Also regarding speed, it completely depends on the scene and type of materials/light. People who keep making the blanket statement that it is slow are being misleading. It can be slow, just as any engine can. If you through a ton of glossy reflections (.7 or lower) and area lights at Vray it will take a long time to get a clean image as well. If you know how to optimize maxwell materials / emitters you can speed things up considerably and with certain scenes it's even faster. So speed is completely relative to the scene and the skill of the user.
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Old 10 October 2012   #24
Hi Playdo
What's your main 3D app right now?

I guess you want your scene to still be created and managed in that 3D software so you don't need to learn a totally new package, or split your work across two apps which can get messy.

Do you want to do animation?

I am also interested why you need all the passes. Is it not possible you can make the perfect render in an interactive session, with no need for post work?

Last edited by protograph : 10 October 2012 at 01:05 PM.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #25
I'm using Bunkspeed. That's got uber fast gpu rendering and lovely quality physical based renders. Worth downloading a demo if you've got a decent graphics card, I have a 3Gb GTX 580 gaming card which was a fraction the price of a Quadro and works surprisingly well.

No renders up yet as I'm waiting on an element from a collaborator but hopefully soon. It easily handles a 7 million poly scene interactively.
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Old 10 October 2012   #26
Originally Posted by Playdo: @frog: Interesting to hear that Modo's preview render is the fastest. Are we talking a big difference that would noticeably effect workflow?


Yes it is a big difference, and it's considerably faster than VrayRT or Maxwell FIRE. It makes the whole process of lighting and texturing very fluid. I haven't ever used Bunkspeed though, so that might be worth looking into.

I use a mixture of modo and Maxwell, and yes I think Maxwell is a higher quality solution, however modo is faster to work with, and for this kind of work will also render much faster. It depends whether you think that last 10% of quality is worth the extra time. I tend to use modo for 90% of my work and only use Maxwell when the difference will be worth it.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #27
Originally Posted by SciFibrow: I'm using Bunkspeed. That's got uber fast gpu rendering and lovely quality physical based renders. Worth downloading a demo if you've got a decent graphics card, I have a 3Gb GTX 580 gaming card which was a fraction the price of a Quadro and works surprisingly well.

No renders up yet as I'm waiting on an element from a collaborator but hopefully soon. It easily handles a 7 million poly scene interactively.



Bunkspeed uses iRay as the rendering engine AFAIK
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Old 10 October 2012   #28
Originally Posted by protograph: Hi Playdo
What's your main 3D app right now?

I guess you want your scene to still be created and managed in that 3D software so you don't need to learn a totally new package, or split your work across two apps which can get messy.

Do you want to do animation?

I am also interested why you need all the passes. Is it not possible you can make the perfect render in an interactive session, with no need for post work?

- My main app is Max. It might make sense to keep it in a single package, but it depends on other pros/cons.

- It's for stills.

- I've never gotten that look I wanted in a single pass. And usually want to make alterations, which is much easier with passes.

@SciFibrow: I used Keyshot a few years back, before it split. Worth another look, but I wasn't that impressed with the quality at the time. And here I was trying to whittle down the choices

@Frog: I take it that you use reflection planes + the preview render instead of hdrlightstudio. Do you think that's a faster workflow?
 
Old 10 October 2012   #29
Originally Posted by Playdo: @Frog: I take it that you use reflection planes + the preview render instead of hdrlightstudio. Do you think that's a faster workflow?


I've never used HDRLightStudio because it's too expensive for what it does IMO, although the price has come down a bit recently.

You can replicate most of its functionality in modo anyway, and it's also really easy to render out your own custom HDRs from modo.

I ten to use my own light assemblies, you can check the workflow in this video (which will also show you the Preview render in action):

custom light assemblies in modo

those are assemblies that I created and that ship with the standard modo content. I also use some more advanced assemblies that use HDR maps from sIBL Archive photographed from real softboxes, but I don't distribute them since the images are not mine. It's really easy to create your own though, just map the HDR images onto some geometry. You will find the relevant files half way down this page:

sIBL archive

And of course you can use HDRLightStudio as well as modo, or indeed Maxwell for which there is a nice plugin I believe.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #30
@cgbeige: In what way is Octane too limited for final visualisation?


if your end result is as basic as the shot you linked to, Octane should be fine. But it's slow for glossy rays and, last i checked, you still couldn't do SSS and displacement. As so as you have to visualize a face cream with SSS and a realistic dielectric interface ( http://www.spot3d.com/vray/help/150...ssinterface.htm ), that basically rules out GPU renderers. On first inspection, they are very realistic but when you need truly realistic phenomenon like that, they are years away from being usable.

If I didn't have a very fast workflow in Maya, I'd probably use modo for this type of thing since it's the best modeller by far and it's renderer is decent. Also, the price is really attractive. But I find it sluggish compared to Maya for viewport navigation.

Last edited by cgbeige : 10 October 2012 at 04:06 PM.
 
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