So impressed with AR 2.5

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  09 September 2005
13 minute test.
1 area lights w/ area shadows
12 area lights w/ soft shadows
Sun with Hard Shadows
Light Probe for the sky.

200 stoch 20/40 AA 1/4 Jpg quality Low
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cathedral1.jpg (65.8 KB, 458 views)
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۩PRIST

 
  09 September 2005
I love the feel of that render priest! In mine, I wasnt going for a certain style...but trying
to replicate the maxwell render that andronikos had done....

Could you explain a little about where you placed the lights?
 
  09 September 2005
Originally Posted by Ph0n33z: I love the feel of that render priest! In mine, I wasnt going for a certain style...but trying
to replicate the maxwell render that andronikos had done....

Could you explain a little about where you placed the lights?


The lights are in almost every window, also planes preventing light from entering the lower regions of the model and then exposure changes in the final render.

I dislike the Maxwell render as it feels too evenly lit for my personal taste.
I like a lot of color variation and different light contrasts to set a warmer tone.
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۩PRIST

 
  09 September 2005
I agree somewhat with your maxwell render analysis. However, there is something to be said
for that overall well-lit look of a natural scene.

Of course, a more moody, atmospheric scene is another way to aproach it for a more
"artistic" flair.
 
  09 September 2005
I do cinematography on a small scale - the real thing, with real lights, environments, lenses, people and so on. Take it from me, Maxwell is a much more subtle, sophisticated and high-end renderer than AR. It would trash just about any renderer out there including MentalRay and Vray in an instant for a lot of photorealism tasks if the final release brings rendertimes down to more acceptable levels.

So you're looking at a speed-quality tradeoff. If you want the highest possible render quality, there's nothing out there that beats Maxwell's lighting and material simulation capabilities in my opinion. The GI simulation is excellent. Light-material interaction is excellent. Shading quality is excellent. Setup is a snap if you've done realworld photography or cinematography before.

If you need quick renders or don't have much CPU horsepower to throw around, AR is a better solution. It takes twenty times more manual tweaking and testrenders to get an acceptable result than Maxwell. But frametimes are shorter in general and more suited for animation. For stills, Maxwell is better imo.

The ideal solution would be to bake lighting into interiors with Maxwell and render with AR or another quick renderer from that point on. That capability may be in 1.0 (NL have said they are looking at baking), but at the moment M~W is more of an exciting nextgen rendertech demo for those of us who have the necessary CPU horsepower to throw behind it.

I'm not suggesting that AR may not at some point reach a similar level of sophistication as Maxwell. But it would take much better GI and shading algorithms than AR 2.5 currently has. The changes in 2.5 are fairly cosmetic imo. Renderspeed is better but overall render quality hasn't improved much.
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  09 September 2005
I could not agree with you more bro. I have been a huge fan of M~W from the beginning. Taking quality into consideration, it is unbeatable. The realistic rendering it is capable of is unsurpassed. However, as you know, it comes down to each individual users needs.

For me, I dont have a renderfarm or quad CPU, and therefore maxwell is not really practical. However, if they are able to bring down render speed once again (since the newer beta is roughly 4x faster) it will be a much more reliable and industry efficient rendering system.
 
  09 September 2005
Originally Posted by ThePriest: 13 minute test.
1 area lights w/ area shadows
12 area lights w/ soft shadows
Sun with Hard Shadows
Light Probe for the sky.

200 stoch 20/40 AA 1/4 Jpg quality Low

Although I like the Maxwell test, the one you posted is the most interesting and nicest looking, and all for 13 minutes - great job!
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  09 September 2005
Originally Posted by lightblitter22: I do cinematography on a small scale - the real thing, with real lights, environments, lenses, people and so on. Take it from me, Maxwell is a much more subtle, sophisticated and high-end renderer than AR. It would trash just about any renderer out there including MentalRay and Vray in an instant for a lot of photorealism tasks if the final release brings rendertimes down to more acceptable levels.

So you're looking at a speed-quality tradeoff. If you want the highest possible render quality, there's nothing out there that beats Maxwell's lighting and material simulation capabilities in my opinion. The GI simulation is excellent. Light-material interaction is excellent. Shading quality is excellent. Setup is a snap if you've done realworld photography or cinematography before.

If you need quick renders or don't have much CPU horsepower to throw around, AR is a better solution. It takes twenty times more manual tweaking and testrenders to get an acceptable result than Maxwell. But frametimes are shorter in general and more suited for animation. For stills, Maxwell is better imo.

The ideal solution would be to bake lighting into interiors with Maxwell and render with AR or another quick renderer from that point on. That capability may be in 1.0 (NL have said they are looking at baking), but at the moment M~W is more of an exciting nextgen rendertech demo for those of us who have the necessary CPU horsepower to throw behind it.

I'm not suggesting that AR may not at some point reach a similar level of sophistication as Maxwell. But it would take much better GI and shading algorithms than AR 2.5 currently has. The changes in 2.5 are fairly cosmetic imo. Renderspeed is better but overall render quality hasn't improved much.


In theory a render engine like Maxwell would be a perfect solution.
Put into practice this time around it fails on many levels.
Given time, another company may come along with better solution
one that is carefully integrated into the host application.
Maxwell is not able to work with complex volumetrics, particle effects,
triggered events, code and many other essential functionalities.
While I don't doubt it's amazing ability to calculate accurate physical light,
sometimes the old fashioned way beats it hands down.
Currently in the state it lies, it's not a viable solution for anything other than product shots, architecture and simple animations at this stage in the game.
Perhaps in the future they'll improve on the things holding it back from being an
outstanding render engine.

For now, for me, it remains a novelty for impressing clients.
But nothing more.
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۩PRIST

 
  09 September 2005
Its a lot more than a 'novelty'. Consider for a second that you are doing a 120 minute all-CG feature with a fairly photoreal 'filmed' look comprised of 2,850 individual shots. Do you have any clue how many people and how much time it would take to light and render 2,850 shots to spec with a traditional renderer? A lot of people, a lot of time, and a lot of lost time to boot if you take into account all the testrenders that need to be done and all the final renders that don't come out right.

With Maxwell, one cinematographer/lighting designer helped by two or three mouse-wielding folks who implement the lighting designs could pull the whole thing off in a lot less time. That means you can focus less resources on lighting and rendering and more on getting your story and actors and environments right. Lighting design is a well worn occupation. The fact that Maxwell behaves just like the real thing means that you don't have to reinvent that craft with fudged digital lighting for biased rendering. You can do it the proper, old fashioned way and get a proper, old fashioned cinematographic look out of it that can be processed further in post.

The renderspeed issue is an issue at this stage, but if you consider how many hundred hours that renderer can save in terms of lighting setup with extended use, its actually worth using Maxwell and throwing a lot of CPUs behind it. In the long term that's more practical than always having the it-takes-time-to-light-a-render-well bottleneck in front of you all the time.

I agree with you that Maxwell still has functions that need to be implemented. But imagine for a second hat it gets hardware accelerated in the future. With other renderers that doesn't make as much sense. With Maxwell, the economics of it works out perfectly because of the setup time it saves in the long run. Its easier to blow $10,000 on a render accelerator card if you know that you're going to save a couple of hundred hours on the lighting work alone. Blow 10K on another renderer and your lighting setup will still put you behind schedule all the time, regardless of how fast you can render out shots.
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  09 September 2005
I like Maxwell...but it's not ready for prime time. There are still way too many limitations on it for my tastes.

The speed is the main thing. It's WAY too expensive in terms of time. Which is why PRman isn't worried at the moment in losing it's crown as the top renderer for Movies at the moment. Also, with the new system they're implementing at Pixar with Lpics and such it's much easier to light than it used to be.

Maxwell is certainly heading in the right direction and maybe some day they'll actually have a product!
 
  09 September 2005
I do not want to continue the discussion towards Maxwell vs Others but just to say some stuff about it...

1) NL is considering a hardware accelarated card in order to cut down render times. Not sure if they are going to actually do something like that but it was mentioned.

2) NL is under super heavy development:
New material editor
New UI,
Bake Option
Light meters
Other Optimizations etc...and better plugins.

Unfortunatelly I am not allowed to share anything guys but if you see some of the new maxwell renderings you will understand what I mean...

Imagine once you render with maxwell you can then change colors or textures and since it has all light information in the .mxi file automatically everything changes in 1sec!

Camera and Objects animation will be super fast. Only to calculate additional spots etc...

I do not want to say that this is going to be in the next update but there are stuff under your noses...

Lastly I am just a maxwell beta tester. Not a NL guy.

Soooo...lets continue talking and testing AR 2.5 here !

cy,
Andronikos
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Refamo Software (RenderFarm Monitor & Control Software)



 
  09 September 2005
Oh that's certainly nice to see what their up to! Very interesting indeed.

Yes, I'm quite impressed so far with what I've seen in AR 2.5 in the Demo. Looks like good things coming down on the rendering world, and AR 2.5 is just one of them.
 
  09 September 2005
Call me old fashioned. I like to light my scene's myself.
There's a certain amount of trial and error in Maxwell, if you're not using the standard
skylight or sun-sky setup.
It sound like they're going to make a solution for tweaking lights later, that's great. I'm not faithless when it comes to NL, they have a great team.
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۩PRIST

 
  09 September 2005
Originally Posted by ThePriest: Call me old fashioned. I like to light my scene's myself.


Me, too. That's what I like about Maxwell. It makes sense to me in how light is used in a space. I was a Lightscape user for many years, and the rather arbitrary way that Cinema creates light is a hinderance.

Still, Maxwell is too literal sometimes, and Cinema offers so much beyond the 'real-world' mantra. They're both good. They're both too slow, too.
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Ernest Burden III
Acme Digital
 
  09 September 2005
For whatever its worth Priest that image is absolutly stunning, wonderful 'color'. I share your passion for 'ol school' lighting. My love is more for traditional mediums so I have a much more ... hmmm organic outlook and approach to 3d rendering! All that hoopla aside. Can you tell me a bit more about the set up. I don't want to know your actual approach but what I am more interested in is what/how the NEW lights in Cinema are. My 9.5 should be here soon... I hope...
Sorry for the hijack. great job!
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