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sbmotiondesign

Physical Renderer in use

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Just curious to see if anyone has been using the physical renderer on any projects lately, or found certain situations where it came in handy. I was recently working on a shot where I had to create a more photo realistic background and in hind sight wonder if the physical renderer would have been the better choice from a workflow or quality standpoint.

 

Haven't messed with it too much since it first came out and was curious who's been making cool stuff with it, if you have some samples or insight please post.

 

Thanks,

Scott

 

 

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http://vimeo.com/43574018

 

Here's the first title I made with the new Physical Renderer. I did a small amount of work in AE (slight contrast and colour adjustments) but this is pretty much what came out of the render engine.

 

The pluses I noticed:

-DOF works! I can't stand the DOF in the standard render engine. It's both limited and inaccurate. I used to do my DOF in AE but I prefer the Physical Renderers now.

-Motion blur is fast. It makes the standard render engines "scene motion blur" brute force strategy seem like it's from the stone-age.

-The "Physical" part of the name fits the renderer. Using real-world settings like f-stops makes telling the renderer what you want a whole lot easier (at least it does if you know your way around a real camera).

 

There are still a few quirks and places where the new render engine doesn't look like it's 100% integrated into the rest of the software, but for a version 1 I'm really impressed with what Maxon has been able to do.

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I recently used it on a project that I needed to have a more natural looking landscape and flower. It really helped with DOF and SSS. It was really nice rendering with the indirect illumination because there was never an issue with shadow flickering which I was getting with the standard GI. I tested both the standard and physical render system and the physical was quicker in most of the shots as well. I can't post the video yet but I have some still frames posted up here: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Intel/4083877

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Nice work guys!

 

Destro:

I've always used frischlift and RealSmart to handle DOF and motion blur in AE but those results look really nice, better than post, coming straight out of C4D. Did it cause you any grief having it baked into your renders during compositing? Were you having to do lots of re-rendering to get it right?

 

dbrodi:

The quality of light really shows on that floral shot and the shadows and SSS is super clean. For GI it seems like a no brainer. I'll keep an eye out for that animation.

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Nice work guys!

 

Destro:

I've always used frischlift and RealSmart to handle DOF and motion blur in AE but those results look really nice, better than post, coming straight out of C4D. Did it cause you any grief having it baked into your renders during compositing? Were you having to do lots of re-rendering to get it right?

 

dbrodi:

The quality of light really shows on that floral shot and the shadows and SSS is super clean. For GI it seems like a no brainer. I'll keep an eye out for that animation.

 

I set the sampling quality to low while I'm working on a scene and use the "interactive render region" to check the DOF before I set off a high quality render. Motion blur doesn't show up in previews but it's no big deal as once I've done a small test render I can usually dial in the motion blur settings without any problems.

I haven't really missed the flexibility of being able to change DOF in AE. The fact that the physical renderers DOF works ALL the time and at such a high quality more than makes up for the fact the DOF is baked into the frames.

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We rendered this spot with the Physical Renderer. I thought we were crazy at the onset but we got the render times to a reasonable place. I think it was somewhere between 3 and 8 minutes a frame based on how much geometry was in each shot. One or two of those last shots with all three characters may have been over 10 minutes/frame.

Edited by willryan

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We rendered this spot with the Physical Renderer. I thought we were crazy at the onset but we got the render times to a reasonable place. I think it was somewhere between 3 and 8 minutes a frame based on how much geometry was in each shot. One or two of those last shots with all three characters may have been over 10 minutes/frame.

 

That's stunning.

 

Great to see what a big studio can do with the software.

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We rendered this spot with the Physical Renderer. I thought we were crazy at the onset but we got the render times to a reasonable place. I think it was somewhere between 3 and 8 minutes a frame based on how much geometry was in each shot. One or two of those last shots with all three characters may have been over 10 minutes/frame.

 

 

Great work, badass.

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I recently used it on a project that I needed to have a more natural looking landscape and flower. It really helped with DOF and SSS. It was really nice rendering with the indirect illumination because there was never an issue with shadow flickering which I was getting with the standard GI. I tested both the standard and physical render system and the physical was quicker in most of the shots as well. I can't post the video yet but I have some still frames posted up here: http://www.behance.n...y/Intel/4083877

 

why is the video set to private?

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why is the video set to private?

 

 

Sorry I can't show the video, it is frustrating for me because I would like to. But legally with Intel I can only show still frames and short clips of it in my reel. I should have a reel up with it in there soon though.

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@magictea All of the dust/embers were done in post: some were practical elements shot against black, some were Trapcode Particular, and some were hand-keyed bokeh circle shapes that we shot, cut, and animated over the top when we needed "hero" elements

 

@dbrodi - Thanks! We had some long nights figuring out how to render this thing. It's appreciated.

 

@destro - If we didn't have access to the farm at IF, there was no way we would've gotten this thing out the door in time. That said, there were only 2.5 people on this project over a couple weeks - and our first test frames were clocking in at over 75-80 minutes a frame. It was a headscratching, heart attack inducing beast at the beginning.

Edited by willryan

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willryan:

Thats a really nice piece, I love all the detail in the textures, and those heat-haze effects and other little comping goodies totaly push it to photorealism.

 

What did you have to do to get your render times down to a more reasonable level? Was it mostly just tweaking your various subdivision settings in the render tab or did you have to rethink the way you were lighting and texturing your scene?

 

Really nice!

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@theta - I'm not sure how big the whole farm is but we had a subset of 8 nodes to work with for the majority of the project and then jumped up the last couple days to push out the final renders.

 

@sbmotiondesign - we tried tweaking everything: shadow depth & reflection depth, antialiasing filters, and all of the sampler settings in the Physical renderer tab. It's long and terribly boring, but the Cineversity episode on Physical Renderer optimization was a huge help. (Btw, if you use the Physical Renderer for anything more than a still frame, make sure you turn off the Identical Noise Distribution checkbox. We had no idea why it's on by default - even the help seems to indicate that it's a weird decision on Maxon's part.)

 

Oddly enough the two biggest things that saved our butts were adjusting C4D's default memory limits for Displacement maps, and making sure our farm was running C4D 64-bit rather than 32-bit.

 

Imagine our surprise when we realized that the reason our render nodes were blinking out before even rendering because C4D only allots 200mb of RAM for displacement maps by default. And then imagine VPN'ing through every node on the farm increasing said RAM limit manually. Super fun on a Friday night - and only then did we realize that our render farm management software defaulted to using the 32-bit version of C4D rather than 64-bit. All that fat juicy RAM was going unutilized.

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Those tutorials were a big help for me in understanding what happens under the hood, that Identical noise distribution checkbox is something I'll have to look at. Thanks for the tip.

 

Something tells me you guys were you guys running deadline for your farm?

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I recently used it on a project that I needed to have a more natural looking landscape and flower. It really helped with DOF and SSS. It was really nice rendering with the indirect illumination because there was never an issue with shadow flickering which I was getting with the standard GI. I tested both the standard and physical render system and the physical was quicker in most of the shots as well. I can't post the video yet but I have some still frames posted up here: http://www.behance.n...y/Intel/4083877

 

Nice looking scenic. Very nice. Did you actually use the hair renderer for the grass? I've never been able to get my grass looking that nice with hair (for a closeup).

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Nice looking scenic. Very nice. Did you actually use the hair renderer for the grass? I've never been able to get my grass looking that nice with hair (for a closeup).

 

Thanks Benmasterson, I did not end up using the hair renderer for the grass because I knew I had to have detailed close up shots. Along with the video I had to provide Intel with scene shots at 8400x4800 for printed banners so I needed more detail in the grass than the hair renderer provided. After briefly trying d-pit plants, x-frog grass and the hair renderer I ended up using "hq-Grass". HQ Grass got quick results and with our timeline that was a big advantage. It comes with materials to render from vray, AR, maxwell and fry render. For details it looks really nice but doesn't have the ability to be effected by wind ect. It comes with various small patches that you stitch together to cover the surface.

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willryan:

 

Are you guys going to post a breakdown of that piece? I'm curious to see how much detail is in the physical model and how much is in the texturing. Did you guys UV map everything or use the shaders in Cinema? I would love to hear more about the making of.

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Not sure if IF will do a breakdown but I can tell you it was almost all in the model. We started with an 8 million + poly object and DecimationMaster'd it down in Zbrush to start doing our camera moves, while we had another artist rebuilding the whole thing in Topogun so we could rig and animate it in C4D. All the detail was put back in as 4K or larger displacement maps, hence the RIDICULOUSLY long render times until we found out how low a memory limit C4D puts on them unless you change it manually.

 

Most of the heavy lifting was that displacement map with a fairly simple shader underneath. And the Physical Sky for almost all of our lighting.

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Identical noise is awesome for when you are doing lighting / surfacing tests.

Because the noise pattern is always same, it is easy to see changes in the way light interacts with your scene even with very low sample settings...just flipping between the images you really start to learn to read the noise.

This can speed up that test render process.

 

More practically, it is great for those doing still images.

 

Beautiful work by all!

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