Rendering Advice

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  11 November 2012
Rendering Advice

I've tried to wrap my head around this and have tried a bunch of tutorials but I am not getting it I guess.

It seems to me that when rendering I should be able to render objects with textures and not lighting and shading and that sort of thing. Next would be shadows only, then highlights or whatever. However, it doesn't seem that is the way people do it.

What, specifically, is the best way to render something? Each image in my 1800 frame animation takes over 20 minutes. When I render without shadows and stuff it is like 8 minutes. If I could render certain elements at a time it would cut the time quite a bit. I am just confused. I've tried to learn more about matt/shadow but I guess Im just not getting.

I have an attachment of one of the frames.

- I'm using 3ds max.
- Im using mental ray
- I have not attached blurs or anything.
- I have seen a lot of stuff online about multi-pass rendering but for some reason i haven't been able to do it right. Most of the time when i try and render just a shadow pass it is blank. And if I go into Render Elements, select Add, and add shadow, it first renders the entire image, then the shadow. Kinda defeats the purpose.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg flyby_stage_still.jpg (68.2 KB, 23 views)
  11 November 2012
I'm glad you reposted that in here. Can you post a screenshot of your Mental Ray settings for us?
I like to learn.
  11 November 2012
sure. where would i find that? sorry. being self-taught means that if i haven't used it before i have to find it. =/
  11 November 2012
Welcome to the world of 3d rendering, which actually is finding a rational compromise between quality and calculation times.

Multipass rendering is a method to render several components individually, but I guess not necessary in your situation, furthermore, it is not intended for gaining performance - at least it is not directly a performance optimizer. You may indirectly have gains when you need adjustments on specific passes, which can be done on a compositing application, instead of re-rendering.

Looking at the qualities of the materials on this image, it can be determined that some settings are unnecessarily high.

This slowness can be due to a vast number of settings. This scene should actually be rendered in less than a minute unless you're rendering on a P2-450mHz
  11 November 2012
is this what you are looking for?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Untitled-2.jpg (36.2 KB, 6 views)
  11 November 2012
oops. nope. it seems like this is the one you are looking for.
also the size im rendering it at is 1920*1080
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Untitled-2.jpg (47.5 KB, 5 views)

Last edited by mightyhokie : 11 November 2012 at 09:07 PM.
  11 November 2012
Render times will depend on a whole host of things:

Your machine specs

Your light setup

Render resolution

Your image sampling settings

Shader setup

Are you using glossy reflections/refractions?

Are you using optimised shaders for the render engine? (MR arch&design material)

Are you using global illumination?

Have you optimised the render for animation purposes?

The settings you've posted are very low and usually ideal for render tests and your shaders are very basic, but you're rendering to HD resolution so this will push render times quite a bit. I suggest reading through the excellent MentalRay .pdf's that ship with Max. Also, go to Zap anderson or Jeff Patton's blog for great research material pertaining to MR. Learning to use a complicated render engine and it's shader usage/creation takes quite a while and will be massively frustrating if you try to jump in head first without really knowing much about what you are doing.

I would also suggest forgetting all about render pass workflow for a while and concentrate on the basics. I understand that you thought you could render a specific element without rendering the final RGB image but unfortunately this isn't how it works. (I wish it was!)

There are, however, certain tricks when rendering to break up the computation required on complex scenes and to allow flexibility in post-production. Mattte objects/objects invisible to the camera/rendering with certain lights on/off/etc... But as mentioned earlier this might be better left till you are more comfortable in material creation and render optimisation.
  11 November 2012
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