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cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Martytoof posted:

Is V-ray Maya out of beta? Every reference I see to it on messageboards is "I'm in the beta", but there is a downloadable demo on Chaos' site that works pretty well (limited to 600x400-something and is watermarked).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I haven't found anyone who has actually used it yet if it is available. I ask not because I want it but because I'm genuinely curious as to its status.

It's an open beta, so thats what the demo is - if you want the restrictions taken off, you can email vlado/chaos and pay however much a license is and you get non restricted builds. When it's released officially you've already got your license and can just update the build of it.
I think it's being used in production by a few small VFX houses now - they've had about 6-9 months to test it so it's only just being moved in properly, the stargate films are using it I know that much.
I just realised what vray for maya is going to do for it's market share in vfx...


I have no idea why people say 'i'm in the beta', it's been open for ages now and when it was closed about 10 people had it at most. Maybe they just got a cracked version without even checking the status.

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 09:09 on Jun 19, 2008

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cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


On the subject of caustics, this is for people who use vray which I wrote up yesterday for the office:

me posted:

Caustics are pretty well known for being uselessly slow and a pain in the arse, but mr. vray has gone and put in an experimental feature where they work like the light cache and are pretty fast...

So some tips on how to enable these in RC3:
(*) Go to the maxscript listener and type "renderers.current.caustics_showCalcPhase=true " without the quotes. This will cause the photon tracing progress to be directly mapped on the image and re-used for the final rendering; (This is the little white box in the bottom left of max itself. Just copy, paste & press enter - you're then good to go)

Notes:
(*) Only directly visible caustics can be visualized in this way. Caustics visible through reflections/refractions will appear in the normal (interpolated) way.
(*) If you are tracing lots of photons, set the Max. density parameter for the caustics to something other than 0.0 as otherwise you'll get memory overflow.
(*) There are limitations on how this works - e.g. it will not work well with DOF and/or motion blur.
(*) This option is experimental. There is no guarantee that it will be present in future versions in the same form.
(*) This option requires additional memory. It may be quite a lot, depending on the image resolution.



After this, go to your caustics rollout (under all the GI settings) and check them on. If you select a light, right click and go to vray properties you can change the number of samples each light has. 5000 tends to be pretty clean, but it also starts to get slow.

Also uses an obscene amount of memory by the time you get to print resolutions, so if you were to use them i'd suggest doing them half res, turning on dont render final image, set the path to save the image as normal and go. This will give you a completley black image apart from where the caustics lie, which you can then take into photoshop and apply over your render with a blending mode.

Might start getting impractical when you do entire scenes with it, but for certain things it'll add a lot. Going to be a godsend for swimming pool water, shiny objects in kitchens, and even the glass of a building reflecting the sun onto the road.

Here's what I got out in little over a minute with it:


By 'pretty fast' I obviously meant 'holy poo poo look at that! quick, do it again, that was awesome - move the camera a bit this time'

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 19:11 on Jun 19, 2008

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


A Sober Irishman posted:

stuff about vray.

You'd probably do pretty well to watch the chris nichols gnomon dvd, about externals.
http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/cni01.html

It's pretty good, very detailed and well presented.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


ajrosales posted:

here's the render and the glass material settings. as far as I can tell, I set it up the way vray said to with black as the diffuse, white as a refract, but I'm not getting what I thought I'd get - "clear" glass.

What does your model look like behind the glass? can you post a shaded viewport view with the glass object hidden?
Is the model for the glass a box with around 10mm thickness, or a single plane? (need to be the former, glass requires a volume to work correctly - throw a shell modifier on it if it's a flat surface)

Pull your reflection to complete white, tick 'fresnel reflections', put the refraction on full white and take glossiness back to 1 (did the tutorial tell you to put it on .8? it would make the glass frosted)


edit: As far as bump in the glass goes, you can just use a bump in the material or a noise modifier over it, but you need to make sure the bump doesnt continue through 2 sections of glass next to each other. What gives it the look is every pane having a different bump.

Personally I tend to do it with 3/4 materials in a multisub, same glass mat but the noise bump on 3 different mapping channels and seeds, then throw a material by element over it all to randomise the multisub id's. The object needs to have each pane as a seperate element, but it's better than using different objects.

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 13:22 on Jun 30, 2008

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


SynthOrange posted:

Out of curiosity, why wouldnt just a simple bump map work? Or does Vray not do bump maps?

Thats way I do it though (as said in my post), vray handles bumps fine.

Edit: Been creating some generic assents in a quiet period... and got thoroughly carried away. About 8 hours into it so far.

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 11:44 on Jul 1, 2008

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


ajrosales posted:

I followed heintje's suggestions first. I applied a falloff map to the material. Then I followed cubicle gangster's suggestions. (except for a bump map)

Ahh, my suggestion was instead of that, I just laid down the way we do it as if from scratch - they basically do the same thing. With 2 falloffs you'd barely get any reflection.

Try taking the falloff map out, If you still dont have enough reflection, uncheck the 'L' next to the fresnel reflections box and raise the number. Try going up to 2/3 to get a feeel for how much it changes.


Handiklap - The bloom is with sapphire plugins in combustion, same as I use for chromatic abberattion/other crap. Some amazing bloom/glow effects in there.
The ivy is that plugin - the one that came out standalone and got converted to maxscript to run inside it.

International Log - thanks haha. it's all about the comptex in vray, with a sun and sky. I think I may have gone over the method before, but I cant remember. It's incredibly easy and looks really good, if there isnt one around i'll quickly write it up.


I carried on with that scene, grabbing some old models and merging it all in to a full site... kinda got really carried away.
Going to start on people tomorrow, guess I may aswell turn it into a showreel piece. (I really need to spend some proper time actually doing some work on that... I've been talking about it for years.)

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 11:07 on Jul 3, 2008

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


International Log posted:

Also, I'll be damned if I ever understand even one shred of Linear workflow.

Dont worry about it, if you need to use it it'll make sense and wont be an issue.

You only need to use it when doing a shitload of colour correction in post and rendering to float. High end tv and film work, really.
Some bright spark a year or so ago started telling people in the arch viz industry about it, who then latched onto it with an absurd level of enthusiasm for what appeared to offer next to no benefits and just complicate the rendering process further.
Some even bigger spark then proclaimed that it made your renderings look better by standard, which of course had nothing to do with with people who usually put no thought into materials actually having to do something with them now, and copying someone elses scene setup exactly in a tutorial about LWF. Either way, all of a sudden LWF is this god like workflow that everyone needs to know and use and if you're not using it youre probably a dick.
Basically makes the maths behind your image 'correct'. Doesnt change what it looks like at all. (well, it does... but not in a relevant way)

I've got major issues with LWF. I was told the reason I didnt use it for stills (even though i'd done a big animation with it a few months before) was because I didnt understand it. And generally got slated for daring to suggest it wasnt that important.


handiklap - haha. I'm not sure I can pull the title off, but i'll write it up at/for the weekend.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


International Log posted:

Trying to get that tree look, but failing somewhat. Don't know how to get the leaves to be slightly different colors.

Max has a modifier called 'material by element'. It randomises every material in your multi-sub over the elements within your edit poly object. You can also set weightings, so some are more likley to show up than others.

The colour correct script comes in handy here - if you have that under each of your bitmaps you can easily adjust the hue/saturation slightly on each copy of the material.


Also, seeing as i've not posted in a few weeks/months - here's a little job I had on from last week.
Story is I went on holiday for a few weeks, then moved into a new place (still dont have the net at home), and since then (and for a long time now, probably until october) i'm doing work on something I cant show anyone.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Alan Smithee posted:

can anyone recommend good tutorials on rigging car/vehicle models in Maya (or any industry standard package)? Gnomon doesn't have any dvds on that subject and the closest Digital Tutors has is rigging "toon" cars

http://www.highend3d.com/maya/downloads/character_rigs/Spline-Based-Car-Rig-4884.html

You could always rip this apart.

edit: New techniques in camera tracking. The camera projection/photoshop layering technique is so loving tedious, but i've finally learnt how to 'photoshop out' certain objects from moving video!

Suprised how well this tracked too, the footage is incredibly high quality and it's turned out solid as a rock.
Before and after, frame 700:


Started work on my showreel again, think i've got enough animation done so that i can be happy with the quality of everything. Might use this as my opening shot.

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 16:47 on Aug 27, 2008

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


BonoMan posted:

But that's strictly just in my experience and I'm sure he did his research.

Haha. Nope. I just played around with the specular till it looked all dramatic n' poo poo.
You are right about it being unrealistic, but it flattens that side of the image without it... Showed the client both options and they picked that one.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Some results from this week!



It's a still from an animation - going to be putting cars and people in it next week, then should hopefully be mostly done.

Anyone got any comments before I call it completley finished? I know the tv is way too bright, going to sort that in the morning.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


pistolshit posted:

As a landscape architect, I would like to see some street furniture. Trash cans, benches, bike racks, etc. Might make it feel a bit more lived-in, too.

So would I, but it's from a real street in london and it really is as bare as that.

I'll probably be able to get away with a couple of bins though, i'll drop those in today.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


I actually created a chewing gum on road shader a while ago.

It was a blend material with your paving underneath and a rubbery material on top which had some widespread colour noise in it, and a mask which was mapped seperatly. Linked it up to the displacement with a blurring too, so whereever there was a bit of chewing gum it averaged out the depth of the paving and made it flat.

Looked awesome, but when I showed it to my boss he just laughed at me

international log: Thats coming along really well. it's simple, but what it does it does well. Just a really effective shot that looks pretty. Keep on with it, and get upping the scale/detail!

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 03:46 on Sep 20, 2008

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Grimfate posted:

Here's a render of a scene i'm working on.

Just looked at this on my laptop at home and now that I can see it, it's coming along pretty well.

Problem is, my monitor in work is calibrated and it's really really dark on that - do you know anyone with a spyder you could borrow or something? Looks right on this screen but I know this one is far too bright.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


DefMech posted:

This is for you Vray dudes:


Check for standard materials (convert them all to vray - there is a script on script spot available for this), raytrace shaders within materials (get rid) vray light materials with a particularly high intensity, hosed up glass/water IOR's, make sure sub-pixel mapping is turned on and uncheck reflective and refractive caustics in the GI section.

One of those should cover it.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


I dont use it, but thats because I use max and vray in work so theres no point.

But it is meant to be very good, i've had a little play with it and it seems incredibly intuitive and robust.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Throw down questions like that into the thread anyway - might help someone else in your position later.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Alan Smithee posted:

I'm not even sure what to ask specifically about Vray (just know that it's thrown around a lot) as I've only used the standard Maya renderer, and nothing near "photorealism" so if you explain that process to a retard, much appreciated.

Learn this from memory, and develop a photographic memory for all the images: (start at the plugins section...)
http://www.spot3d.com/vray/help/150SP1/

I'm not even joking, either.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Why dont you get vray for maya?

It's in the public beta, and has been for a while.
Standalone vray is floating around in testing now too - although only the exporter for blender is about, and it's very young.

I cant wait till the standalone becomes final and on the same level as the max version. It's meant to be a hell of a lot more efficient for network rendering, especially when switching jobs.

edit: Started, may as well cover it all. Interactive vray is coming along pretty well now too - it's still got a while to go, but builds are being updated nightly and theres some serious progress going on now. It's already pretty quick and far more robust than it was.

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 23:51 on Oct 7, 2008

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Steelcore-01 posted:

With a program like Silo, will 3D modeling become popular among hobbyists? I am seriously considering purchasing Silo (or Modo) and want to jump into 3D modeling and texturing. (not sure about rigging and animation)

I know that modo is very popular with hobby artists already, so it's nothing new to get one just to piss around in.

You do need to be prepared to put in some serious hours to learn when first starting out if you're doing it in your spare time though. Once you know the tools you can take your time a bit more, but i'd reccomend 2/3 hours a night at least 3/4 nights a week until you feel comfortable. (maybe a month with good tutorials, which modo apparently has)

I'm sure silo is similar, I just know nothing about it so used modo in my examples.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


sigma 6 posted:

For anything more you might want to consider jumping right into Max or Maya. There is a PLE version of Maya and there used to be a free version of Max . . .

As a hobbyist though? Modo has a steep learning curve, but once youre in, youre sorted. I'd only reccomend learning max/maya/xsi if you plan to get a job in it.

Modo, you can know within a few weeks/months, as with silo/etc.
5 years down the line, you still find stuff in the big three you never knew before, and as a hobbyist it just makes the software feel scatty.
edit: Yeah. Even if it takes longer to save up for or you have to go second hand, just get a wacom. They are industry standard for a very good reason.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


What software are you using to track the shot?
Getting rid of the distortion before you start is the most reliable option, it's easier to see where mistakes in tracking come from when all your lines are straight.

If thats not possible, most software will let you analyise the distortion with a few tools and give you a value for it - which I know vray can render straight out to so it should fit right in, not sure about anything else. Mental ray should though, i'd be very suprised if it couldnt.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Aargh - thats looking really good. 'Slick' comes to mind.


I know a few of you guys are from australia at least, any sydney goons up for a beer around the end of january/early feb? Heading over to have a noodle around/ see some old friends but i'll have loads of free time while there.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Thats pretty loving good man, really good attention to detail.

One thing bugging me though - did you duplicate layer/blur/soft light in photoshop or something similar? It makes it look nicer as far as colours popping, but it starts to loose the grit that would make it look like a photo. Very very minor crit though. (and more to do with personal taste)

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


John Blaster posted:

I never hear of it being used in the industry. Am I right? Or am I totally wrong?

Hahaha. What industry do you work in?
You are quite wrong btw.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Feels weird to be back, theres been so much good work posted recently.
It's been ages since I did any cg, i've been working on music. But I got some of that done, so I made an image to make sure I still knew how to. Just under 4 days work total. 2 for the building, one for the landscaping, and the just under was spent lighting it.

Included s&h and wireframes.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


I'll get my coat....

Also, It's not particularly flashy, but I was playing around with particle flow for the rest of the day and I made this


I wanted to see what would happen when I had 120,000 particles spinning around and motion blur turned on. glows done in PS.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


sigma 6 posted:

I think I speak for a lot of goons when I say it would be most appreciated. I know before you said it was kind of a random work-flow with a lot of tweaking here and there but drat man, please try!

I guess one thing I can say which is sort of a 'trick' is to have my lighting a hell of a lot brighter and stronger than you'd think necessary and darken all the textures/add contrast with the colour correct plugin for max. Mid grey becomes white in my sunlight, and I never use actual whites in my materials. The colour I work to is based on how things look in the shade. Lots of vray dirt within the materials to add depth to corners/etc. You can add bitmaps to what would normally be the white/black parts of the dirt, so I copy the texture into the dark part and ramp up the contrast/gamma and take the brightness down.
Incredibly low settings/no AA while i'm working on textures, shitloads of quick test region renders and subtle alterations to hue/colour balance/saturation of materials to make sure they all sit together well.

Thats as close to a workflow as I can think really, it's just constant updates and fine tuning - the more I do it the better it's got. Seems like you're making very little difference at first so it's quite easy to overlook.
Its probably not 'correct', I dont know if it's a popular way of working, but it works for me. I dont see CG as needing so many rules on this scale, it's just about making it look good.

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 20:35 on Dec 29, 2008

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


This is the bit about dirt - http://www.spot3d.com/vray/help/150SP1/vraydirt_params.htm

You can add bitmaps to occluded and unoccluded areas.

I'm not sure what you mean by time of day, I dont use the daylight system. By shade I meant ambient light. And by sun, I mean when my main light hits the surface.

All there really is to it is making everything darker to allow for more contrast. If your textures are really dark and need more powerful light to get lifted up, it gives you a much bigger range of light to work with and generallly gives you more depth in the image. Sorry for the poo poo explanation. If you were sat next to me I could show you what I meant in seconds, but trying to describe whats in my head to someone who I dont know without any sort of visual aid is breaking my brain.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


DefMech posted:

Do you not use the sun/sky system at all? Just direct lights/HDR or something?

I do sometimes, sometimes I make my own hdri's from it and customise them, and sometimes use the comptex - basically a way of using photoshop blending modes with 2 bitmaps (additive clouds over bare sky bg, for example)
However thats not as important as you think, thats just for colour. Realism tends to come from depth between light/dark areas and dirt, colours can be adjusted easily enough and they're dependant on what type of scene you actually want.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Syntheyes is also very good. As good as boujou for quality of track i'd say, and much cheaper.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


LKL posted:

does anybody have experience with kerkythea? If so, why the hell do simple renders take hours upon hours to finish?

this is the slowest raytracing i've ever seen...

Programming a render engine is not easy - if someone makes one for free in their spare time it's quite safe to assume it's poo poo, regardless of the quality it can output.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Whenever I work on a scene i'll throw in a couple of biped models (one sat down, one with his arm out too) and make them all none renderable and on a diffferent layer. Leave them when boxing out/setting dimensions and only turn them off for detail work after you've got the proportions set - it makes an absolutley massive difference to how fast/easy it makes blocking things out, far more than I expected it to.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


sigma 6 posted:

cubicle gangster: That's a very good tip. Excuse me if this is a dumb question, but how do you make sure your biped is the right height when you create it? Or do you just adjust your units setup before creating them?

I dont know if you've used them, but theres a numerical value for biped height when you select it.
If you have used them, measure a dude.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Here's a still from an animation i'm coming close to finishing. Quite pleased with how this turned out Saved the frame straight from combustion, so this is it aside from another layer to go on (moving people/clutter on tables - being rendered in a seperate scene as this is already 8mil polys).



Although to weigh in on the polycount issue, I really dont have a problem with it. This scene has 8million polys in and I can breeze around my viewports at a suprisingly rapid 3/4fps on a 758mb geforce 8800... It's not great, but it's conserably better than my experience with sketchup.
Use display as box on finished objects and only display maps in the viewport when you're lining them up so you never have more than 2/3 on the go at once, helps quite a bit. I'd never have everything on display in shaded at the same time, the ability to switch these around and control it is one of max's better features. adaptive degradation is balls though.

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 19:12 on Mar 5, 2009

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Supposed to be bean bags/soft seating... They are a bit weak though.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


Node based/procedural workspaces are fine, on a small scale. Material editors, compositing, image editing, particle flow.

But a whole 3d and animation package based around it, with already sketchy modeling tools?
gently caress THAT.

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


90% of 3d courses that focus on architecture are so poo poo it's not even worth it. None i've seen do it to any high standard.

Architecture is the way to go. Try and find the most art/viz based one - if you look up a few you'll pick up on how important each sees it.

I had a lot of free time when I was learning and just did the first 2 years which was like an intro into construction - reading drawings, calculating beam loads, calculating light bounces (both of those were p. cool) surveying, siteworks, foundations etc. You need to know at least the basics of this sort of stuff so that when someone gives you lovely unfinished drawings (nearly every job) you know where to fill in the gaps.
The way we do it in the uk is that your first 2 years are a seperate qualification, and thats basically 'you can now go do ANY course relating to construction and buildings', but I just went and got a job making pictures.

3 of the most important things in being good at arch viz:
Dont neglect poly modeling, get used to heavy editing.
Get chris nichols' gnomon exterior global illumination dvd.
(this may not come into play for a few more months) but completley ignore cgarchitect, a lot of work they celebrate isn't very good.

Seem like odd choices, but it's true.

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 08:16 on Apr 3, 2009

cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


It's been so long since I did anything in CG that was just my own work, with no outside infuence.

So I set about sorting that out!
A week of sketches, layouts, and colour tests later i've started modeling it



I'm staying late at work every night this week, going to be putting in at least 2/3 hours a day. I think home has too many distractions to get any large chunk of work done.

edit: Got the tracks done.


Going to hold off today now, i'll carry on tomorrow.

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 17:10 on Apr 4, 2009

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cubicle gangster
Jun 26, 2005

magda, make the tea


^Thats awesome, and a suprisingly low polycount for it's size. Get it textured! What software/renderer are you using?

Sigma - says ICL, it doesnt mean anything I just thought up 3 fairly 'construction company' sounding letters to detail it. It's going to be a running theme.

I think the shadow subdiv's on the sun are on 3, haha. I'll knock it up for the next test.

In the morning i'm going to start on the ground works - stones, paving slabs, do some plant tests etc. Day after texturing the back wall, then I can get started on the city!

cubicle gangster fucked around with this message at 23:47 on Apr 4, 2009

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