Renderer for product viz?

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Old 10 October 2012   #31
If is was a 3ds Max user, I would be thinking about firstly trying to make the most of mentalray and iray, and solving the issues that mean you are not getting the results you are happy with in there. Not what you want to hear perhaps. But I see amazing renders from all render engines these days including mentalray/iray. I think you can make great shots in them all. But iray would require an investment in a decent gpu to get decent render speeds. http://jeffpatton.net/ is a good resource on iray and seeing whats possible with it.

If you have totally given up on mentalray, I would say learning to use V-Ray is a wise investment of time as it is become the industry standard out there - I see a huge number of 3ds Max / V-Ray users producing nice product shots and car shots. I think its a very safe horse to bet on and spend your time on learning. Gives you lots of options later with your skills.

After this I would say Maxwell Render is a great solution - perfect for no compromise realism. The final high res image may take longer to render than using V-Ray, but the workflow requires less fiddling with render settings.

Both V-Ray and Maxwell Render have nice interactive preview engines for interactive lighting and materials changes etc. So this will keep you nice and productive.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #32
For the threadstarter's job, Modo is the perfect fit.

Its preview renderer is the fastest thing out there.
It has the cleanest and fastest GI I've senn, even for indoor archviz stuff.
It has tons of realworld material presets, studio sets etc..
DOF is handled good as well.

Vray doesn't look so sexy anymore once you get to know Modo's renderer.
Maxwell is super real but well... slow. The preview renderer is not bad though.
If you can afford nightly renders it's worth considering.

EDIT:
http://www.fxguide.com/featured/the-art-of-rendering/
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Last edited by mustique : 10 October 2012 at 12:26 PM.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #33
If I was starting from scratch I'd definitely be tempted to give Modo a whirl for all the reasons given here. As you're already using 3ds Max I would personally recommend V-ray, again for many of the reasons already stated in the thread.

One thing I think is important to clarify is that you will find it very difficult to get consistently good results with anything that relies on pre-sets, be it HDRI maps or material settings. I always see such short cuts as a false economy - it won't be long before you encounter a material, finish or look that they can't accommodate which you'll need to manually create, than you'll be banging your head against the wall trying to reverse engineer something you could have learned from the get-go.

Don't get me wrong, they will save you time at first and you'll get commercially passable results pretty quickly but if you become dependant on any aspects of the image's production being handled for you, that gap in your knowledge will always be an albatross waiting to peck you in the face.
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Old 10 October 2012   #34
Originally Posted by AJ: If I was starting from scratch I'd definitely be tempted to give Modo a whirl for all the reasons given here. As you're already using 3ds Max I would personally recommend V-ray, again for many of the reasons already stated in the thread.

One thing I think is important to clarify is that you will find it very difficult to get consistently good results with anything that relies on pre-sets, be it HDRI maps or material settings. I always see such short cuts as a false economy - it won't be long before you encounter a material, finish or look that they can't accommodate which you'll need to manually create, than you'll be banging your head against the wall trying to reverse engineer something you could have learned from the get-go.

Don't get me wrong, they will save you time at first and you'll get commercially passable results pretty quickly but if you become dependant on any aspects of the image's production being handled for you, that gap in your knowledge will always be an albatross waiting to peck you in the face.


Modo presets doesn't stop you from further refining or tweaking your materials, lights or plates... But yes, there's a learning curve. If I was a max user with no time learning anything new and needed a renderer the threadstarter asked for, I'd still choose Maxwell above Vray I guess.
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Old 10 October 2012   #35
Originally Posted by mustique: Modo presets doesn't stop you from further refining or tweaking your materials, lights or plates...
I actually didn't know that Modo had pre-sets, I was referring more to the likes of Keyshot that market themselves as a 'one-click' solution.
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Old 10 October 2012   #36
Thanks for the info. I need to go and have a good think.

Modo is a serious consideration. I'm very hesitant that it will need a lot of learning time though. I didn't get on with it too well in the past - probably from coming from Max (but even after customising it similarly).

Like you say Protograph, Vray is a safe bet for studios, which is always in my mind. I do really like the results out of Mental Ray, and I'd happily continue using it. But it's taking me a long time to get good renders out. I'm not sure how much of this is down to me, but I've pinpointed where I'm being slowed down. Just need to work out the best solution.

I agree with you AJ about presets. They usually need so much tailoring that you need to know how to make things from scratch. I have to say though, that those lighting presets combined with the realtime preview in your video, Frog, look really useful.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #37
From my experience the fastest setup and lighting would be to go with KeyShot and HDR Light Studio Pro plugin for real time lighting and reflection feedback. There's no quicker setup than this, and you can throw shaders on your model in no time.

If you want more control over the model and all scene aspects, then 3DS Max and Vray are great. Vray being my top choice.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #38
Good luck with whatever you end up choosing.

For what it's worth I switched to modo from Max a few years ago, I wouldn't want to go back to Max if you put a gun to my head, I find modo faster and more pleasant to use in most respects. YMMV of course

In terms of render speed and quality modo and Vray are very very similar, both being rayrtacers. They each have some advantages over the other (modo has much faster AA, Vray has more flexible GI), but Vray has more features and is much more widely adopted.

Quality-wise there is little to choose between the two, although I would give Vray the nod for interiors due to the increased GI options, and modo would get the nod for products because of the more flexible AA allowing for faster renders (in modo texture AA is decoupled from geometric AA, which allows for very good optimisation of render time).

Ultimately you can't go wrong with either.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #39
If you liked mental ray but just wish it was faster then vray is perfect for you.

Im sure if you mail them (chaos group) they would gladly send you a trial verion.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #40
Good tips there Frog.

Yes, I may well give Vray a trial.

Pepster, I see that you work at mbusa. Where does Keyshot fit into your pipeline there? I presume Vray's used for your final images?
 
Old 11 November 2012   #41
+1 for Modo

Modo IS the product viz package as far as I'm concerned.

Fast render update and RayGL mode makes setting up studio lit product shots better than anything else I think.

I would not personally ditch Mental Ray for Vray. I think this whole 'Vray better than MentalRay' business is really just a left over mentality from a few years ago when vray WAS undoubtedly better. But at this point in time both Vray and MentalRay can achieve the same level of quality, and same general speed, with the same amount of ease, when doing visualization renderings, especially product shots. Vray may be better than mentalray in a few specific areas, like when your dealing with animation, motion blur and displacements, basically film level animation. But for still product viz, Vray is not $1000 worth better than mentalray. You will gain nothing with vray to justify that price for still shots, it is not going to entail you to get a better looking still with more ease. Mental Ray can produce the same level of quality.

However what will help you get better looking stills is a super fast updating rendering viewport, that immediatly shows changes in your lighting settings, material settings and light positions. Which is why Modo I think is really the way to go for product stills.

Last edited by techmage : 11 November 2012 at 06:52 AM.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #42
Well if you've got the cash, the path of least resistance is to get 3DS Max with V-Ray. It's just the most common thing out there.

I've done some ok work with just the default raytrace engine in Cinema4D. If you've got a good handle on some of the maths of raytracing, and a good understanding of real world light, you can crank out decent renders with just about any engine.

Modo is very groovy and up and coming. I've played around with the demo, and its a great, new piece of software. I think it started around 2006, as opposed to Maya and Max that have roots in the early 90's. Definitely check it out.

Mental Ray is great, but it unfortunately suffers from an irrational stigma that its inferior because it's the "built in" renderer. It's still a good idea to get familiar with the MIA_x shader and its settings.

But for pragmatic reasons its a good idea to get familiar with V-Ray and put it on your resume.

-AJ
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Last edited by AJ1 : 11 November 2012 at 07:59 AM.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #43
What do you think, all, about the new Arion?

http://randomcontrol.com/forum/?sid...a21a9ee938da589
 
Old 11 November 2012   #44
Originally Posted by techmage: I would not personally ditch Mental Ray for Vray. I think this whole 'Vray better than MentalRay' business is really just a left over mentality from a few years ago when vray WAS undoubtedly better. But at this point in time both Vray and MentalRay can achieve the same level of quality, and same general speed, with the same amount of ease, when doing visualization renderings, especially product shots.
I periodically dip back into Mental Ray from V-Ray to see how it compares and it is without question slower and much more cumbersome to set-up. I'm not one for software loyalty or 'X sucks compared to Y', there are some fantastic 3rd party renderers out there but I have yet to see a Mental Ray set-up that cannot be improved upon (in terms of speed and quality) using V-Ray - and I would be more than happy to be proved wrong
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Old 11 November 2012   #45
Originally Posted by AJ: I periodically dip back into Mental Ray from V-Ray to see how it compares and it is without question slower and much more cumbersome to set-up. I'm not one for software loyalty or 'X sucks compared to Y', there are some fantastic 3rd party renderers out there but I have yet to see a Mental Ray set-up that cannot be improved upon (in terms of speed and quality) using V-Ray - and I would be more than happy to be proved wrong


a good way to improve the situation is to learn how to use mr correctly. its easier to setup mr then vray if you know what you do. use the latest stuff in mr and not the archaic default settings which ad provides and you will see that the life can be way more easy (see elementalray.com for example for a good starting point).
 
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