Thursday, November 11, 2010

Raytracing, bucket filling and thumb twiddling activities

Experiments continue as I go into the Render Settings : Advanced tab and see if I can squeeze some extra power out of the 3DLight render engine! Turns out, you can, but there's a high price/

The middle and bottom images in this set are rayraced, which gives interesting results ... doesn't 100% eliminate the ugly grain which shows up in the skintones as soon as you turn on the shadows. The top render is the best .. it ain't raytraced. It uses something called "circular bucket fill."

The thing is, that top image took two hours to render, and the middle one took about 90 minutes. The quality is much nicer, but the images take soooooo long to get, if the render is finished and you find out there's something not right in it, it's practically impossible to do another render in the time you have available. For instance, I raytraced the bottom image too, but the first time around the reflections in the water were just ... wrong. It didn't look good at all. The time penalty is wicked. And I think that even (or especially?) if one were using either the Octane or Reality render engines, there would be a similar time penalty.

The circular bucket fill is far and away the highest quality, so it makes sense that it takes the longest time. I think what you probably have to do is finish your set of "ordinary" renders and then pick one which came out especially well and do the looooong render in the evening while you're having dinner. Barring something unforeseen -- like the reflections in the water being no good -- you wind up with an extra-special render on top of the ordinary set. In a worst -case scenario you wind up with something that didn't work, but at least it didn't render in the background, turning the computer into an exhausted mollusk (tired snail) while you were trying to work!

Experiments are proceeding...

Jade, 11 November
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