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open exr in AE, choosing 32 bit or 16 bit float

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Ali Quintanaopen exr in AE, choosing 32 bit or 16 bit float
by on Apr 13, 2015 at 12:49:30 am

Is there a big disadvantage choosing 16 bit float instead of 32 but float for exr.

We need to render a 3d max animation at 1080 p in open exr with render elements.

We need to decide between 32 or 16 bit float. Thing is we are going to use a render farm and the transferring of the files may take time depending on the file size.


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Walter SoykaRe: open exr in AE, choosing 32 bit or 16 bit float
by on Apr 13, 2015 at 2:35:16 pm

Half-float (16b) is smaller, but less precise. Depending on what you are doing, the precision difference may be imperceptible and not worth the added weight during compositing.

I'd suggest rendering a few frames as a test to help you figure out which is more important to you.

In general: for visual passes (color, lighting, etc.), half-float is fine. For data passes (motion vectors, world position, etc.), full-float is significantly better.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Ali QuintanaRe: open exr in AE, choosing 32 bit or 16 bit float
by on Apr 14, 2015 at 6:47:19 am

Thank you for the help.

I am exporting some architectural animations for editing in After effects.

will do some render elements such as reflection and refraction light, and couple more.

Render is Vray and we have a day and a night scene with lots of lights.

I love the linear editing and float especially you can bring down peaked highlights with simple exposure effect.

Would 16 bit be more then good for this... I am using render farm and need to transfer the files back to my computer of course.


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Walter SoykaRe: open exr in AE, choosing 32 bit or 16 bit float
by on Apr 14, 2015 at 1:04:53 pm

[Ali Quintana] "Would 16 bit be more then good for this... I am using render farm and need to transfer the files back to my computer of course."

My rule of thumb is full-float for data passes and that half-float is ok for visual passes, but don't trust some random guy on the internet -- do your own quick test to confirm for yourself that you'll be happy with the result.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Ali QuintanaRe: open exr in AE, choosing 32 bit or 16 bit float
by on Apr 15, 2015 at 12:48:15 am

Thanks, I tried it, I am happy with the 16 bit float result, so far... now I have to pay a renderfarm a lot of money to render a heavy 5 min animation.

I just hope I made the right decision because the real thing will be found out when deep into the render....

But your rule is not just a random internet guy rule, I have seen on the net many other pros giving the same advice. 16 bit float for normal renders and for data passes 32 bit.


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