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Please Critique my render.

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Dustin ZaleskyPlease Critique my render.
by on Jun 20, 2012 at 3:55:00 pm

I'm doing a grocery Aisle short animation, I will fly down the aisle then turn and face some product. My main concerns is just overall quality and realism, good lighting, and render times. I'm using global illumination now and with only 1/5 the product populated I'm rendering over an hour per frame. Do you guys suggest any render farm companies that will render my final product for a affordable rate???

Since my deadlines are short I'm guessing that might be the only option since I don't have network render.


What do you guys think.... ? any suggestions on lighting? (its not my strong point)

I haven't finished the liquid or look of the bottles yet, (notice 7up is orange still)

I just want any overall critiques, comments, questions, etc... please lend me your expertise and support!

thanks! (btw i've already reduced the brightness of the floor and illuminated the front shelving a little.. it's in the process of rendering a new image.)



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Brian JonesRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 20, 2012 at 4:21:02 pm

it looks like you'd probably want to turn on Details Enhancement in GI to control the bright spots at the back of the front shelves

make sure your GI settings are not overly strong (the defaults are more quality than is often needed)- the help has some good info

Make sure GI is turned off for transparent objects (just a time waster)


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 20, 2012 at 4:47:26 pm

Thanks for the suggestions! I added tags with GI off for the transparent bottles... I added it on top of the hybernurbs group, i hope that effects it all?? i also used render instance and only added the tag to the original products. I checked the details tab on GI, i'm doing a new render now to see how it all looks... thanks for your suggestions, I'll post updates please add any more critiques you have. I'm pretty much self taught so I don't have any one else's professional input on my scenes... I'm relying on you guys! :)

Thanks again!


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 20, 2012 at 7:45:05 pm

checking the details tab for GI made my render times sky rocket... so i unchecked that but I did turn off the GI on all transparent objects, it doesn't look quite as fancy but maybe i can switch it back on right before my close up on the product... thanks for your help... i'll be filling the shelving with competitor product, it doesn't need to be as detailed since i'll be zooming by it... i was thinking maybe even doing a cube with a alpha channel, i'm not sure how great that will look though.


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Brian JonesRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 20, 2012 at 8:46:02 pm

(too bad about the Details being such a load) what settings are you using for GI? can you post the scene so we can look for any optimizations?


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 20, 2012 at 9:12:45 pm

4314_shelfbuildingtest.c4d.zip


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Brian JonesRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 3:41:22 am

I'm rendering it in 13 so the render times will be a bit different because GI was worked on I think but your scene as you sent it took 21 minutes to render, setting the Irradiance Cache settings to Low, Low, Least Squares, Weak, Weak resulted in 4 minutes 43 seconds - the look was not as good but it's a lot quicker. I forced the GI in the compositing tag on the ceiling to be better quality so the ceiling would render better (5 min and a bit). Eventually I replaced the two images you didn't send (the shelves in the back and the floor) and added AO for detail in the shelves (but disabled it with compositing tags on the lights and ceiling) (5 min 55 sec). Your results would be different with the bottles in and with 11.5 but the point is you can do a lot with setting to improve the speed.

4316_testrenders.zip


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 1:38:39 pm

21 minutes!!! it takes me like an hour... is 13 that efficient or is your computer better?? i'm on a new iMac i7 3.4 quad core with a 6970 2 gig video card and 32 gigs of pc1300 ram.


You've been a tremendous help, I didn't attach everything in the scene because my original file was over a gig with all the product in it. Your end result looks pretty much the same as the 20 minute render... nice, i'm going to to apply these settings right now and see what happens.

Is the r13 from 11.5 upgrade worth getting?? i noticed it's a couple thousand to upgrade... I was considering just getting Vray instead...


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Brian JonesRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 2:41:10 pm

early 2008 MacPro 2.8 Ghz 8 core Xeon (no hyperthreading) 14 gigs ram. In rendering there is no substitute for horsepower, 3D is a harsh mistress. Mine is getting on but still is workable for me. And learning what the settings can do can save you a lot of time in GI (and pyrocluster etc)

13 does have a lot of speed and quality improvements (as did 12) and has brought the Physical renderer as well (which is sometimes slower and sometimes faster but has a different look and new strengths), Dynamics is huge, it was there in 11.5 but now it's so much more powerful since dynamics objects don't need to be in a cloner or fracture object etc. etc. etc. the list goes on, it's not only the renderer(s) they are working on. Download the demo and check out the new stuff, load your scene and render.


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 2:48:00 pm

Do you know if the render instance duplicate saves render time or only helps the machine run better??? to me it seems like the scene runs better but render times are the same... I was thinking about rebuilding my shelving using the render instance clones instead of just copy/pasting them. When i'm closer to completion i want to offset the shelves a little to make it look more realistic, i'm going to be adding a lot of other competitor product around the sunkist layout... I'm worried about how it will handle the shelves full since it struggles with just a little... someone was telling me perhaps try cubes with alpha channels, i'm just afraid it will look too cheesie or flat.


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 2:58:25 pm

Render instances reduce RAM useage and speed up the editor display. They can speed up rendering if your machine would otherwise run out of physical RAM. Otherwise it doesn't have that much effect on render times.


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 5:19:49 pm

i'm having some issues with the liquid creating some weird triangles of darkness, i've experimented with changing all kinds of reflection/refraction settings but it won't go away... the only way to get rid of it is to reduce the size of the liquid all the way past the plastic bottle... from what I've read the liquid needs to be in-between the thickness of the plastic, and thats how i did it. I took the inside thickness and deleted the outside, then expanded it a small amount so that it sits in-between... am i doing something wrong? here is a screenshot...



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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 5:32:09 pm

Sounds like you're doing it the right way. Hard to say what's wrong without the file.


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Brian JonesRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 5:49:05 pm

yes, typically the liquid can't be in the exact same space as the inner glass layer or you get artifacts, either it has to be 'in the glass' like you said or there has to be a tiny space between the liquid and glass. However, your image kind of looks like it might be doing the right thing since it looks like it's refracting the black background (or maybe that's just faking me out)


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 7:01:56 pm

4322_2l.zip

here is the file, i tried putting in a solid white background and no floor and still got the weird black areas... it's confusing... only way to get rid of them is to shrink it way past the inner plastic.


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:13:51 pm

The problem is being caused by GI (it's renders fine without it). I can't remember if the option is there in 11.5, but in R13 the GI tab of the compositing tag contains an "Enable Transparency Overlook" option. If I check that box for the liquid object the problem goes away.

Here's what the help file says about it:

"For transparent objects, the GI Irradiance Cache is not interpolated to bordering surfaces (see also Enable Interpolation Grouping) and is calculated differently from "normal" objects. This makes sense in most cases and is also intentional. In certain instances this can, however, lead to unwanted side-effects. For example, visible errors can result on bordering surfaces of partially transparent and opaque objects (see image above).

This option can also be applied to objects that have a texture loaded into the Transparency channel.

Disabling the Enable Transparency Overlook option will result in transparent objects being treated like any other object with regard to GI."


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:30:39 pm

Thanks!!! you're very helpful as always.

Btw i don't think that option is available in 11.5... man i need r13 ;) maybe i can talk my company into upgrading (doubtful)


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 11:13:37 pm

Drag. I guess another option is to exclude that object/ material from GI.


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 7:16:04 pm

Here is another render with a white background and the liquid shrunk quite a bit.... if i shrink it any further it looks crazy... do you guys have any idea why it's reacting like this?

I've tweaked a ton of things and couldn't get rid of it for life of me... I'm try to exhaust all kinds of ideas before i even come here and ask.



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Brian JonesRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:40:13 pm

good one Adam, thanks. Dustin if you disable Total Internal Reflection and Exit Reflections on the liquid and bottle materials (transparency tab) the render is a *lot* quicker (if it doesn't spoil the look)


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:52:16 pm

Thanks guys, you guys are really helpful and i've posted questions/info on several forums but this one seems to get the quickest and best feedback... some of my other posts like on c4dcafe get viewed 60 times with no replies.

Just wanted to say thanks!!


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 22, 2012 at 8:16:04 pm

Here is my latest render guys!! check it out.. I think the floor depicts a grocery store way more than the last one... and I added some detail to the lights, the fade at the tips like real lights now.. and I made the illumination color a bit off white..

if you guys have any more suggestions on details/realism/compliments, keep it coming hehe ;)



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Brian JonesRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 23, 2012 at 5:12:21 am

in terms of realism you'd never get so many bottles so perfectly lined up and all exactly the same rotation (excepting for the product you are going to focus on at the end of course :-) for what it's worth. It seems to have gotten a bit darker and supermarkets are usually pretty bright, maybe up the primary intensity in the GI settings... Lastly, the reflection in the floor is so clear, it's perhaps possible but not very common, I'd cut it back so it's not so defined. Lights look great with the new ends.


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 5:26:46 pm

I'll throw my two cents in with Brian's suggestions:

1. The biggest time killer in your scene is blurry reflections, which are always slow but doubly so with GI. I used an enviro map on the shelves in place of the reflection and reduced render times from over 15 minutes to under five minutes.

Of course you lose that bit of realism. What you might try is rendering straight reflections with an object buffer for the shelves and blurring the reflection in post.

2. Area lights are another bottleneck. I replaced the long, skinny area lights with an array of 18 omni lights and that knocked another minute of the render time. That didn't have much effect on render quality (takes some tweaking).

3. Like Brian, I reduced the GI to the low settings, which seems fine for everything but the ceiling, where there are artifacts from the luminous bulb material. To resolve that I gave the light geometry a compositing tag and checked the QMC box in the GI tab. That gets rid of all artifacts but is a little grainy at default. Looked okay to me, though.

Final result: 1:30 render time (having also set AA to animation and lowered the floor reflection samples a bit).

I'm using R13, so unfortunately I can't provide the file.


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Dustin ZaleskyRe: Please Critique my render.
by on Jun 21, 2012 at 5:31:50 pm

Thanks! you guys are giving amazing feedback. I appreciate the help.


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