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View Poll Results: Which do you use C4D on the most?
Mac 122 46.04%
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:26 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by ThePriest
I had a MacPro when MacPro's were faster than PC's and then I had a PC when I realized it was cheaper and equally efficient. If there comes a day when Mac's have 80 cores and PC's have 20. I'd chose that road again. Rendering power and the speed in which you can work is everything. I'm fluid on both operating systems, but one hinders me in 3D far more than the other.



I can't say I've felt hindered. Even if I had the fastest PC money could buy I would most likely not choose to render the typical 5 minute-ish long full HD animation piece locally. I outsource all my rendering. I've considered setting up a PC farm, but in the end I dont think I want the headache, the heat or the utility bills. That could all change of course. I have thought about making the switch and will do so if I must. But for now, Mac
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:14 PM   #32
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Power is not needed for the final renders, but for the thousands of intermediate renders that are done when setting up a scene
That said, even a weaker mac should be enough for most uses, but faster is also always better, so it's a toss.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:03 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffouille
Power is not needed for the final renders, but for the thousands of intermediate renders that are done when setting up a scene
That said, even a weaker mac should be enough for most uses, but faster is also always better, so it's a toss.


Power is in the eye of the beholder.

Faster computers can make us lazy if we're not careful. I see so many new users who automatically turn on GI where it's completely unnecessary, just because computers have become fast enough to make it tolerable. Unfortunately that means that a lot of new users aren't developing traditional lighting skills. Same applies in a lot of areas where brute force is substituted for skill.
 
Old 07-02-2013, 08:28 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamT
Power is in the eye of the beholder.

Faster computers can make us lazy if we're not careful. I see so many new users who automatically turn on GI where it's completely unnecessary, just because computers have become fast enough to make it tolerable. Unfortunately that means that a lot of new users aren't developing traditional lighting skills. Same applies in a lot of areas where brute force is substituted for skill.


Heck they not only turn on GI, but then just use the preset sliders provided by maxon thinking this is an efficient way to render.

On top of the power for iteration renders while testing and experimenting, I'll add viewport and generation/deformation performance are important too, something no one seems to take into consideration when buying computers nowadays. The overclockers will always have a distinct advantage in day to day work even if they have fewer cores on their system.

On a related subject of render iterations prior to final, users poor optimizing of rendersettings to get quick feedback boggles my mind. Particularly with the recent popularity of progressive renders that sacrifice much of the same. I see people render every test render with AA best, and say they need to see it that quality the jaggedness leads to mistake, but then they want a progressive render where tonne of detail won't look right till enough iterations have been processed. They render with full GI samples when just testing a little specular highlight in the bottom corner etc, render at full resolution, render entire sequence, etc etc. Boggles my mind. Personally I can't even stand the quality of the material previews, I use my own material preview because it calculates faster.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:24 PM   #35
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Same here. Despite trying be be quite clear whilst teaching, I keep seeing scene after scene with abso-fucking-lutely everything turned on. Chrome logo with 100% reflection? better turn on GI. Smooth object with no corners? better turn on AO, doing 100 test renders? better turn on full AA...

Im going to start sabotaging 3/4 cores on all my training machines...
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:44 PM   #36
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That's actually an advice I gave one of my students who killed a render farm with his scenes: set up your C4D thread number to the farm's specs, make sure the RAM useage is below a certain limit and give yourself a reasonable render time goal.
That's the best way to learn how to optimize a render.

I see far more modeling mistakes that bring down a system,though.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:05 PM   #37
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The reasons above are precisely why I have stated in the past that there needs to be training on optimizations. The default settings are almost never the best, and there are often so many parameters that it can be hard to understand what affects what. Hell, I've been using the program for 11 years now, and even I am still sometimes stupefied by the naming conventions of and/or sheer volume of options which the manual sometimes doesn't do a great job at breaking down. Almost everything I have learned about how to optimize a scene has come from years of toil / trial and error, and I am sure there's loads I could still learn.

While there is considerably more training available today than there was when I started out, most of it focuses on a flashy technique, a breakdown of a new tool or feature, or sometimes a project with a specific focus. Combine that with the raw power of today's machines and its no wonder that new users just 'turn it all on'.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:39 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelOtron
I can't say I've felt hindered. Even if I had the fastest PC money could buy I would most likely not choose to render the typical 5 minute-ish long full HD animation piece locally. I outsource all my rendering. I've considered setting up a PC farm, but in the end I dont think I want the headache, the heat or the utility bills. That could all change of course. I have thought about making the switch and will do so if I must. But for now, Mac


I outsource a good portion of my rendering work too, I don't expect that 3 machines (1 new, 2 old) can handle all of my animation needs. I'm not really praising the PC for its rendering speed, 16 new cores vs 12 old ones is not that big of a deal, but it does help.

You may not have felt hindered on your Mac, but I'd bet that if you sat in front of a new workstation, you'd realize that you just experienced a 3-4 x increase in your productivity (if not more). That's where a typical 3D artists spends the vast majority of their time, is it not? Actually creating and lighting the scenes.

Here's a combination of two non-production shots, where in both scenes I more or less forgot to concern myself with the final polygon count coming out of zbrush. This combined scene total is 47 million polys and still I can move around freely, without the editor view becoming a sea of boxes; Link

For me, I don't always want to concern myself with time consuming production values such as good topology, UV maps, displacement maps and all that other jazz, especially for personal projects. Sometimes you just want your creations to come alive and hope that your machine is up to the task. Some would call all of that geometry "awful planning" and I'd agree, but the results are what matter to me.
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Last edited by ThePriest : 07-03-2013 at 04:05 AM.
 
Old 07-03-2013, 12:06 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GruvDOne
While there is considerably more training available today than there was when I started out, most of it focuses on a flashy technique, a breakdown of a new tool or feature, or sometimes a project with a specific focus. Combine that with the raw power of today's machines and its no wonder that new users just 'turn it all on'.



I can certainly agree to a point, but one thing to consider is something like the newer GI in R14. Patrick has a fantastic tutorial on Cineversity covering it quite well. Yet how many people do you think would watch that versus any one of nick Campbell's. Pat's is boring has a simple environment that demonstrates the issues and effects well, while Nick's look just awesome, but are focused particularly on being awesome, Flashy as you call it. They'll all watch Nick's because the audience's minds are set on wanting to make cool shit, not learn tonnes of detail. Not everyone of course but the vast majority.

One can also argue the key difference is Nick's is free while Patrick's is a part of CV, my point is even if both were publicly available Nick's would be the more popular by far. I'd also argue that if you want such tutorials done, then one needs to be compensated for the efforts involved. nick's found other ways to get compensated, but not everyone is going to make a full living off presets and such.

I'd be happy to teach more about optimization, heck, even how I learn how to optimize on my own without documentation or developers, but what's in it for me. More flack/complaints for only providing tutorials on a paid service like CV, or no reimbursement at all? Not great options.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:25 AM   #40
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Quote:
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Pat's is boring has a simple environment that demonstrates the issues and effects well


My best review ever from mograph.net:
@sbmotiondesign - we tried tweaking everything: shadow depth & reflection depth, antialiasing filters, and all of the sampler settings in the Physical renderer tab. It's long and terribly boring, but the Cineversity episode on Physical Renderer optimization was a huge help.
haha

so in the end we gave that stuff away too.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:55 AM   #41
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I voted PC because it is what I have and have always had. I have nothing against Mac's other than their price. Now it would not be cost effective to switch as I would have to buy a Mac license on top of the cost of the machine.

I also like to build my machines, which ain't easy with Mac's
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:19 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePriest
Here's a combination of two non-production shots, where in both scenes I more or less forgot to concern myself with the final polygon count coming out of zbrush. This combined scene total is 47 million polys and still I can move around freely, without the editor view becoming a sea of boxes; Link


Sorry if you have already posted this but what machine are you running to achieve that viewport performance. It looks utterly insane, and as you say way over the top, but I agree with you. Sometimes you just don't have the time to optimise models etc to hit deadlines. I am very much a fan of sculpting detail but I find the optimisation part deeply dull and time consuming, and more importantly never as good as what I sculpted in the first place. I have had luck with C4D's sculpting and it's baking workflow is very quick and elegant in my opinion.
 
Old 07-03-2013, 02:40 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePriest
Here's a combination of two non-production shots, where in both scenes I more or less forgot to concern myself with the final polygon count coming out of zbrush. This combined scene total is 47 million polys and still I can move around freely, without the editor view becoming a sea of boxes; Link


Nice work there
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:05 AM   #44
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I can't quite remember but I think Priest was one of several of us with a combination of overclocked 3930k's and Geforce 670 4GB cards. I'ts been the perfect overclock and gpu memory combo. I can get 4.5-5fps with 6x25 million polygon cube without dropping to box.

150994956 polygons in 6 objects to be exact.

And I'm not even overclocked at the moment, although I suspect it's all up to the GPU at this point.

Keep a few things in mind:

1)4GB on board graphics memory
2)Pure polygonal objects, no generators, they take CPU time.
3)18 GB of system memory my system has 64gb.

These are also with OGL AA and mipmapping off. I typically work with mipmapping and 32 AA nowadays, and only reduce in complex wireframe scenes.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:42 AM   #45
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Sorry if you have already posted this but what machine are you running to achieve that viewport performance. It looks utterly insane, and as you say way over the top, but I agree with you. Sometimes you just don't have the time to optimise models etc to hit deadlines. I am very much a fan of sculpting detail but I find the optimisation part deeply dull and time consuming, and more importantly never as good as what I sculpted in the first place. I have had luck with C4D's sculpting and it's baking workflow is very quick and elegant in my opinion.


Zbrush 4R6 has the latest version of their retopology plugin (as I'm sure you're aware), which is much more capable of retaining hardsurface details and polygroups than before. So optimizations won't be so painful when they're needed. Still as you say, sometimes you just want your raw sculpt, despite its heavy details and obvious hit on ram.

I'm all about cheating, getting to the final result without the headache. C4D's always been great for that and ZBrush is getting more flexible all the time. But if you want to go this route, it comes down to whether or not your hardware can handle it. Does your machine balk at the sight of a single 2 million poly sculpt or does it chew through it, allowing you to press on.

I have 16 core xeon machine, 96gb ram, a gtx titan and all the other parts that make a computer work. It doesn't sound like a Harrier jet on vertical take off, doesn't run hot or run up the utility bills (decreases voltage on idle) and doesn't malfunction, it just works. I couldn't be happier. Just wish the Mac people would see the light and end their stubbornness.
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