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 Another poor soul with an apporacing deadline
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Zayfod
Infrequent Poster

United Kingdom
21 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  10:38:35  Show Profile  Visit Zayfod's Homepage  Send Zayfod an ICQ Message  Click to see Zayfod's MSN Messenger address
Hello Everyone,
I was wondering if anyone has some tips or tricks for speeding up Raydosity renders, I followed the recent thread on speeding up renders, and I've increased the octree to twelve for a significant increase in speed. My image dosn't rely on reflection or refraction, but it is geometry heavy, is there anything specific to this type of image that I can do?

My output size is 1700x860, which isn't huge but there's four of them to do. I'm currently getting rendering times of 3h31m, which is a great improvement over the seven hours it previously, but I'm not finished modeling yet so it's going to go up quite a bit.

My current rendering settings are




I have one of the images on my deviantArt gallery as an example,
Render
Processed image

and I have the strata file uploaded on my webspace if anyone wants to take a look at it,
Version_1.30.s3d 647Kb

Thanks

David

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I don't suffer from insanity, I REVEL in it!!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://zayfod.deviantart.com

powersolo
A Regular

USA
202 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  11:10:03  Show Profile  Visit powersolo's Homepage
Do you use RenderPro?
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jpro
A Fountain of Information

USA
4991 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  11:22:33  Show Profile  Visit jpro's Homepage
first thing which comes to mind is to render splines as polygons. you have a lot of lathes in there, they will go faster with the polygons setting.

watch them, though, to be sure they don't come out too crude. you might have to set an absolute complexity to be sure the curvature doesn't become too faceted. with the post processing you are doing, I doubt faceting will cause you any problems.

Set your reflectivity recursions to 1.

Jean

Edited by - jpro on 05/11/2006 11:26:03
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mwick
Regularly Helpful

Germany
847 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  11:41:05  Show Profile  Visit mwick's Homepage
With your attemt to process the image, i doubt you really would need Raydiosity to render. Maybe Raytracing with sof shadows will do the job, too. The problem is: with that, you will have to do the complete lightning new.

I downloaded your file and post a new comment, when i see what my be possible.

Markus

• Strata 3D CX 4.2 Mac and Windows, Render Pro 4.2 on Mac and Windows
• Dual G4 1.25 GHz, OS X 10.3.9, 2 GB of RAM, 480 GB Harddisk, DVD-RW, CDRW, Radeon 9000
• DualCore Athlon X2 4200+, 2 GB RAM, Win XP Pro SP2, 120 GB Harddisc, ATI Radeon 9600
• Sempron 2800+, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB Harddisk, ATI 9200, Win XP Pro SP 1
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mwick
Regularly Helpful

Germany
847 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  11:43:57  Show Profile  Visit mwick's Homepage
BTW, what machine are you using ? Which OS Version ? Which Strata Version ? How much RAM ?

Markus

• Strata 3D CX 4.2 Mac and Windows, Render Pro 4.2 on Mac and Windows
• Dual G4 1.25 GHz, OS X 10.3.9, 2 GB of RAM, 480 GB Harddisk, DVD-RW, CDRW, Radeon 9000
• DualCore Athlon X2 4200+, 2 GB RAM, Win XP Pro SP2, 120 GB Harddisc, ATI Radeon 9600
• Sempron 2800+, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB Harddisk, ATI 9200, Win XP Pro SP 1
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mwick
Regularly Helpful

Germany
847 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  12:44:20  Show Profile  Visit mwick's Homepage
On my fastest machine, your pixtur in 1700 x 860 with your settings needs 41 minutes - and i worked with anouther porgramm while strata was rendering.
When do you need the pictures ? I dont need my machine at the moment, so i would be able to render the images for you.
Im not in my office tomorrow (friday) but will come back on the weekend for some hours - if youre ready to render then, you can mail the .rdf files you need and ill render them. 4 pictures may take about 3 hours.
So PM me on info@interiour-design.de when you would need the pictures. maybe i can help with rendering when it fits my timelines.

Markus

• Strata 3D CX 4.2 Mac and Windows, Render Pro 4.2 on Mac and Windows
• Dual G4 1.25 GHz, OS X 10.3.9, 2 GB of RAM, 480 GB Harddisk, DVD-RW, CDRW, Radeon 9000
• DualCore Athlon X2 4200+, 2 GB RAM, Win XP Pro SP2, 120 GB Harddisc, ATI Radeon 9600
• Sempron 2800+, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB Harddisk, ATI 9200, Win XP Pro SP 1
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MrChristopher
A Fountain of Information

USA
2220 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  12:48:09  Show Profile  Send MrChristopher an AOL message
What kind of machine are you rendering these on?

The settings you have are already set for fairly low-quality results so I doubt you can get more speed by adjusting them down much.

Raydiosity just takes time at the end of the day, no way around that except to have faster machines. Although as I look at the image you posted, it looks to me light you have one light that's sort of acting like a distant sun type of light. If this is the case, it should cast much tighter shadows. Try decreasing the Light Source Radius by 1/4 its current value. That will also improve render time as less pixels are being rendered with shadow values which is a time killer processor wise.

Chris
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MrChristopher
A Fountain of Information

USA
2220 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  13:19:17  Show Profile  Send MrChristopher an AOL message
I've examined the file you posted and you've got a lot of shadow-casting lights through the scene. These will eat up render time. If you use these and they're supposed to be like point types of light, say from a lightbulb, then the shadows they cast will be fairly sharp. So you need to remember to adjust the Light Source Radius way down for those. this will also help with render time. I noticed you have the full intensity distance say really quite far out for those. Remember, in the real work light begins falling off as soon as it leaves the light source. So you'll get more natural light by keeping the full instensity distance quit close to the light.

Also, there are some light source in the scene that seem hidden. I can't seem to find them but they're still casting light.

Chris
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Zayfod
Infrequent Poster

United Kingdom
21 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  14:21:48  Show Profile  Visit Zayfod's Homepage  Send Zayfod an ICQ Message  Click to see Zayfod's MSN Messenger address
Thanks guys,
errm, what was I typing when that fuse went... Lets see

To powersolo, Yes I will be using RenderPro for the final images.

To Jean, I will try rendering as polygons and report back, I'll also see what a single reflection bounce does to the final image.
To Markus, I've tried raytraced softshadows earlyer on in the project, and they didn't look as good when processed, and since I decided on raydiosity I've been using quite a lot of glowing things for minor light sources.

Ah yes computer specs, os, strata version, all those insignificant little things,
I am using CX 4.2 for moddeling and RenderPro 4.2 for the final renders, I have four computers at my disposal, though it's less of a render farm, and more of a render knacker's yard.

My desktop:-
OS – Windows 2000 SP4
CPU – 2* AMD Opteron 1.4GHz
RAM – 3GB 2300MHz DDR ECC

My laptop:-
OS – Windows XP Pro SP2
CPU –Intel PentiumM 1.7GHz
RAM – 1GB DDR

Slave1:-
OS – Windows 2000 SP4
CPU – AMD Athlon 1.6GHz
RAM – 1GB DDR

Slave2:-
OS – Windows XP Home SP2
CPU – Intel Pentium4 3.3GHz
RAM – 1GB DDR

Though I will probably want to be typing on my laptop while the rest are rendering.
It is my desktop which I am getting my current rendering time from, it can probably be doubled for my laptop, and Slave2, and either trippled or quadroupled for Slave1.

I'll give more detailed answers to the other questions later, dinner is ready.
My deadline is the 19th, and the lights are in the hanging lanterns, inside the buildings, and the phoneboxes, a lot of the glass also emmits light.

ttfn

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I don't suffer from insanity, I REVEL in it!!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://zayfod.deviantart.com
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MrChristopher
A Fountain of Information

USA
2220 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  14:47:16  Show Profile  Send MrChristopher an AOL message
I stripped out all the lights, put in a single spot light to similuate sunlight. You can see the scale of the scene looks more natural because the shadows look like they're coming from a distant light source. I also used a white color set fairly dimly in the lightdome to give it some ambient fill.

http://www.stratacafe.com/image.asp?galcat=0&imageID=21769

If you want send me your email address and i"ll send the file.

Chris

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mwick
Regularly Helpful

Germany
847 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  15:20:33  Show Profile  Visit mwick's Homepage
Wow Chris, impressive as always. And fast...

Would it be possible that youll mail the file to me, too (if zayfod agrees), so ill be able to learn about yur new setting in comparison to the old settings ?

info@interiour-design.de

Markus

• Strata 3D CX 4.2 Mac and Windows, Render Pro 4.2 on Mac and Windows
• Dual G4 1.25 GHz, OS X 10.3.9, 2 GB of RAM, 480 GB Harddisk, DVD-RW, CDRW, Radeon 9000
• DualCore Athlon X2 4200+, 2 GB RAM, Win XP Pro SP2, 120 GB Harddisc, ATI Radeon 9600
• Sempron 2800+, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB Harddisk, ATI 9200, Win XP Pro SP 1
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jpro
A Fountain of Information

USA
4991 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  15:23:50  Show Profile  Visit jpro's Homepage
I agree that Chris's raw render make for a more realistic outdoor daylight look, but it might not do the graphic conversion as well as Zayfod's rendering. It is certainly worth entertaining the possibility, though.

Jean
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MrChristopher
A Fountain of Information

USA
2220 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  21:07:11  Show Profile  Send MrChristopher an AOL message
Well I think this setup is a better starting point than what existed before. It's too difficult to troubleshot a lighting setup with lots of various lights in the scene. In this case the original had a bunch of lights I could readily see, but also some here and there that were set to Shy which made it difficult to hunt down.

From this starting point you can start adding a few more lights if necessary, like painting in layers.

Chris
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Zayfod
Infrequent Poster

United Kingdom
21 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  21:11:53  Show Profile  Visit Zayfod's Homepage  Send Zayfod an ICQ Message  Click to see Zayfod's MSN Messenger address
Hi all,
I've tried splines as polygons, and it did indeed reduce the time my test render took from 21m06s to 15m39s, however it has an unfortunate side effect on some of my anitmatter detailing.
Splines as poly and antimatter

Thanks Chris, I would like a copy of your modified file, and feel free to send Markus a copy too. I'll use the email form to get you my email address. Looking at the lighting myself I've tried setting the 'sun' omnilamp to different levels, the results of are here.

Unfortunatly raydiosity has become integral to the look of the images, as raytracing produces rather unflattering results when processed, it also marrs views like this one from the pavement level with large hard shadows cast over details like the girdering underneath the tram tracks.

Thanks for the help.
p.s. I may not respond very much tomorrow, as I have an essay to finish for Monday morning. I do so hate essays.
thanks again

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I don't suffer from insanity, I REVEL in it!!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://zayfod.deviantart.com
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jpro
A Fountain of Information

USA
4991 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2006 :  21:27:27  Show Profile  Visit jpro's Homepage
if those two spots are the only place you have the antimatter, it would be easy enough to go ahead and model holes in the surfaces. if you have lots of them, it might not be worth the effort.

Jean
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Mike Lynch
A Regular

USA
171 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2006 :  08:52:03  Show Profile  Visit Mike Lynch's Homepage
Zayfod -

Raytracing isn't always that bad, and it certainly has it's place. I once thought I'd never render another image in Raytracing, but after Chris' "The Art and Science of Strata" I've found some really great lighting effects can be achieved. And looking outside the world of Strata Raytracing is used quite often in rendering high quality images in Lightwave, 3DS, and so on. I'm willing to bet Jean has turned out a few finished pieces in Cinema 4D that were Raytraced. ...but I digress...

It is possible to get soft shadows with Raytracing in Strata. The real difference between Raytracing and Raydiosity is the lack of ambient occlusion in Raytraced images, but this can be fudged through the placement of a well positioned and low intensity fill lights, or post render retouching.

To get soft shadows with Raytarcing select the Raydiosity Better default setting. Go into the expert settings and set the Ray Bounces to 0, the Light/Shadow samples to 12, and check the "Randomize Light samples" box at the bottom of that screen. Do a test render and see how it comes out. You may need to adjust your light/shadow samples to get the level of quality you want, but I think you'll be surprised with the results, and will definitely cut down on your render time.

The only thing that I can think of that may cause a problem is the Randomize Light Samples - this may create some artifacts when rendered, and due to the lack of textures in the scene these artifacts may stand out in some places. Chris may have some further recommendations on this as well.

My Gallery

Edited by - Mike Lynch on 05/12/2006 08:54:09
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jpro
A Fountain of Information

USA
4991 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2006 :  10:24:17  Show Profile  Visit jpro's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Lynch

Zayfod -

I'm willing to bet Jean has turned out a few finished pieces in Cinema 4D that were Raytraced. ...but I digress...




ooo.... bad bet. I don't do any of my finished rendering in C4d. I do my UV layouts in BodyPaint, which means I do a lot in preliminary renderings in BP, which is the C4D renderer, but all my finished renders are done in Strata.

I do lots of soft shadow raytracing in Strata, though... probably more than I do radiosity.

Jean

Edited by - jpro on 05/12/2006 10:25:11
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BlademanUnitPi
A Regular

USA
275 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2006 :  12:18:44  Show Profile  Visit BlademanUnitPi's Homepage  Send BlademanUnitPi an AOL message  Click to see BlademanUnitPi's MSN Messenger address  Send BlademanUnitPi a Yahoo! Message
I do not know if any oen said thsi or not I did not see iut but spool the renders. can help some times. It helped me render my endogamon image.

~Nick Webb
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MrChristopher
A Fountain of Information

USA
2220 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2006 :  12:22:22  Show Profile  Send MrChristopher an AOL message
Mike you'll appreciate the revamped rendering dialog boxes. it's much easier to configure the renderer to get soft shadows in raytracing now. In 4.2 you have to know where to put a zero to disable the raydiosity part so as only to get soft shadows. Now, there is simply a checkbox that turns 'radiant illumination' off. There are also independent 'randomization' controls for raydiosity, soft shadows, and blurry reflections. So you're not forced to be in one mode or the other.

Chris
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Mike Lynch
A Regular

USA
171 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2006 :  15:11:21  Show Profile  Visit Mike Lynch's Homepage
That sounds excellent, Chris!

My Gallery
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MrChristopher
A Fountain of Information

USA
2220 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2006 :  21:31:47  Show Profile  Send MrChristopher an AOL message
Yeah, it's funny. When I jump back to 4.2 to work on something and go to set raydiosity controls, I find myself looking at the controls and being confused for a half second until my brain readjusts to the old settings.

The settings are not only arranged more logically, but in the case of the raydiosity cache controls one has actually been eliminated to help reduce complexity. Strata and the beta testers put a lot of thought into these reorganizations and I know you'll find them intuitive and logical.

Chris
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