rendering a large project


Hi Guys,
I’m currently working on a short animation. It’s my first time working and rendering a large project and I have a pretty large scene. I have quite a few lights but I’m only using depth-map shadows but it still costs almost 20 minutes to render one frame (maya software). So I need to know some ways to cut on render time. I already thought about rendering the scene (the camera isn’t moving) one time and then composit the moving character in the scene but I don’t know how to do that if I wan’t to keep my moving shadows. So I’ll hope you guys can give me some tips and hints. Thanks.

Cheers Koen


There’s two ways to handle the moving shadows. One is to render a shadow pass, as an option in the bottom of render globals, turn on shadow pass rendering, and when you batch render it’ll give you the shadows (all of them, including attached shadows on character) in the alpha channel of the shadow pass. You can composite this over the held background and character.

Another way is to apply a ‘use background’ shader to the floor and any other surface receiving shadows, and adjust the shader to receive shadows - it’ll be transparent or show the image from the image plane (which could be your pre-rendered background) everywhere else, but will show your shadows where they are cast. Use background is handy for simple animation projects because you can render the set once, put that image on an image plane, and then you don’t need to do any compositing afterwards, because it renders the character and shadow for each frame over the image plane background.



Thanks for the help Jeremy, im going to give it a try


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