Wherein I Regale You With My 3Dness.

Renzatic

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Okay, this is going to be the VERY LAST TIME I post this damn thing. The only reason why I'm doing so again is because I decided to use Cycles instead of Eevee (slow ass raytraced vs. realtime rasterized if that makes any sense to you) to see how it looked, and I was impressed by the difference it made. It just looks and feels more full and interesting now.

It took nearly half an hour to render vs. the roughly 3 seconds it takes to produce the shot above. Here's the end result.

StylizedLabRaytraced.jpg


And now to work on some trees.
 

thekev

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Aug 15, 2020
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I decided to use Cycles instead of Eevee (slow ass raytraced vs. realtime rasterized if that makes any sense to you) to see how it looked, and I was impressed by the difference it made. It just looks and feels more full and interesting now.
Raytracing is making its way into realtime applications. It has been a research topic for years. You have consider the sheer amount of work that goes into raytracing though.

Your camera has a particular field of view. It uses a notion of outgoing "rays" from the camera's perspective to see what the camera sees. For each ray that intersects a triangle on some object, if the surface shader applied to that object can "reflect" light, we need to check what it reflects.

At some point, we either hit a light or need to assume that sample is shrouded in darkness.

Now, at each of these object intersection phases, we also have to do a lot of expensive math. For any smooth shaded object or any object that can reflect anything, you need to know the angle between the ray and the surface normal of that object so you know where to look for whatever might be reflecting it. At some point along the way, you also have to use that information to compute the contribution of each shader in the shader stack of that object.

Each step of this is pretty damn expensive, considering that functions like arc cos on a system that is consistent with the transcendental guidelines of IEEE2008a (roughly states that they should be accurate to 16 decimal places on double precision), each of those might take 100 cycles or more on their own. I checked some instruction tables and a lot of the vendor tuned ones from intel/amd seem to take 100-200 cycles. If any division or square roots are used for ray normalization, it could easily add 100 more for a very small piece of logic on a single intersection. Ignoring that, you have huge potential latency on fetching the necessary geometry, since these things don't follow patterns that your underlying runtime would know how to prefetch.

So yeah... raytracing costs a lot :geek: .
 
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Renzatic

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There's also the fact that I had that scene suspended in a fog volume, which means that the renderer had to calculate light scattered through a diffused medium. I had to increase the amount of samples per bucket just to make it look halfway smooth, even with denoising in play.

It amazes me that we actually have GPUs capable of doing it in realtime these days, even if it is a relatively simplified take on it.
 

Renzatic

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Want to learn how to do all this yourself? Then start by teaching yourself how to create NIGHTMARE MEN!

 

Renzatic

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Sweet. I've been unofficially asked at work to acquire that skill. I know where to come for advice.
If you've got any questions, then ask away.

Though keep in mind that my skillset is all over the place at the moment. I'm okay at construction, but rendering is still something I'm weak at.
 
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Citizenzen

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If you've got any questions, then ask away.

Though keep in mind that my skillset is all over the place at the moment. I'm okay at construction, but rendering is still something I'm weak at.
I noticed you use blender. Can you tell me why you chose that program?
 

Renzatic

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I noticed you use blender. Can you tell me why you chose that program?
I actually started out with Lightwave and Modo, and If you asked me about Blender 10 years ago, I would've told you to avoid it like the plague. It was, to be polite, a janky program, not even sporting a quarter of the features of the mainline 3D apps. Something only used by open source zealots who refused to spend money on something better.

But over the last three odd years, Blender has gone from this janky also ran into an app that's not only directly competitive with the likes of Max, Maya, and Cinema4D, but actually sports a number of features they completely lack. Over this last year in particular, it's garnered tons of support from places that have previously ignored it, and it's quickly becoming a new standard.

Really, unless you're working in a studio with a long since established pipeline, there's no reason not to use Blender. It's free, and there are no downsides, caveats, or sacrifices to be made for the price.
 
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Citizenzen

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My university provides Cinema 4D. Should I just stick with that, or is there a key feature in blender that I’d be missing?

and I’m curious about your use of the word “render” previously. I’m familiar with rendering in video, and assumed it was the same thing in 3D.
 

Renzatic

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If you're getting C4D for free, then I'd say it comes down to preference. All these programs have some specialty in some specific field that they do better than the others. One might be a better modeler, another a better animator, and so on and so on. Look at them both, and see which one you think fits you better.

Assuming you're not used to either, the best thing to do is work your way through a few beginner tutorials. The most popular for the Blender crowd is the Donut Tutorial. C4D probably has something similar.


As for rendering, it's roughly the same thing, though 3D rendering is a bit more indepth. It's taking your raw scene, all the polygons, shaders, lights, and whatnot, and running it through what's basically a highly accurate light simulation to produce a final product.
 
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thekev

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Aug 15, 2020
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My university provides Cinema 4D. Should I just stick with that, or is there a key feature in blender that I’d be missing?

and I’m curious about your use of the word “render” previously. I’m familiar with rendering in video, and assumed it was the same thing in 3D.
Render is a somewhat overloaded term. Here it refers to calculating the appropriate shading information for a 3D scene. The output is similar, although most renderers will allow you to output in passes rather than fully rasterized final images, as this is helpful for tweaking things in post-procssing. I'm curious what you mean by "asked you to acquire" though. Do they have a clear idea of what they want you to do in the future that requires the use of 3D modeling and/or animation?

Cinema 4D has always been popular for motion graphics. It has a pretty friendly ui from what I can recall (it has been a lot of years since I used it). Most of this software has proprietary formats for things like scene files, so if your coworkers use that, you are probably good with that. I'm not sure how they managed to improve Blender so much in the past few years.

You should also be aware that the package you use doesn't fully determine the renderer. A lot of people will use Cinema 4D or Maya for staging and then something like vray for rendering.

Lastly, Cinema 4D is famous for their tutorials. Cineversity has been around forever (at least 15 years IIRC).

 
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thekev

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Here's one reason.

Though I think it's all down to them finally making it so that left-click select is the default.
Well, they have to convince people to donate somehow. People are less likely to donate if they don't think it's a good project.

Infrastructure projects also seem to have more trouble with funding. It might be that art programs have a higher coolness factor. For example, Pandas complains about this, and Cython in spite of a lot of contributors seems to be mainly driven by a couple people. The latter has an unfortunate number of outdated warnings and documentation bugs, in spite of being used by a very large number of other projects.
 

Renzatic

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Well, they have to convince people to donate somehow. People are less likely to donate if they don't think it's a good project.
From what I saw, it was a cascading effect. The new UI was easier to use, Eevee provides a nigh exclusive feature not available in any other 3D all-in-one package, and left-click select was the final push. Once Ubisoft decided to throw a bunch of money at them, all these other big names stepped in, and now they're making beaucoup bucks.

There on, it's been improving by leaps and strides.
 

Citizenzen

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... I'm curious what you mean by "asked you to acquire" though. Do they have a clear idea of what they want you to do in the future that requires the use of 3D modeling and/or animation?
No clear idea, need, or timeline, just a vague notion that IF we had the capability we’d find some use for it.
 

Renzatic

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It took me a helluva lot longer than I care to admit to, having watched at least a couple hours of tutorials, and spent loads of time experimenting, but I think I've finally managed to make trees that look like they've been painted, but are actually 3D, and react to light.

The only problem now is that it doesn't fit in with the rest of my work, so I'm gonna have to go back and see if I can find a way to integrate the two.

...I've put a helluva lot more work into this crap than I initially intended. Originally, my plan was to smack everything out using flat shaded colored polys, which is easy as hell to do, but I somehow got lost along the way.

TreeTest.jpg
 
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thekev

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No clear idea, need, or timeline, just a vague notion that IF we had the capability we’d find some use for it.
I was afraid that might be the case, because employers can be like that. I think from a practical standpoint, you should look for something that is at least in the realm of possibility for your workplace, even if your own project may be more or less involved than what you see there.

Vray has a huge render gallery of this stuff, including a lot of product visualization stuff, so it might give you some ideas. I'm just linking this one, because it's a popular, albeit commercially licensed renderer. It popped up a lot of years ago as an alternative to Mental Ray, which no longer exists.

 

PearsonX

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Aug 25, 2020
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Okay, this is going to be the VERY LAST TIME I post this damn thing. The only reason why I'm doing so again is because I decided to use Cycles instead of Eevee (slow ass raytraced vs. realtime rasterized if that makes any sense to you) to see how it looked, and I was impressed by the difference it made. It just looks and feels more full and interesting now.

It took nearly half an hour to render vs. the roughly 3 seconds it takes to produce the shot above. Here's the end result.

View attachment 302

And now to work on some trees.
And where's the tape machine and the C64 load screen?:) Those are the stuff real memories come from.
 

Renzatic

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Aug 14, 2020
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And where's the tape machine and the C64 load screen?:) Those are the stuff real memories come from.
That's funny. I actually had the C64 BASIC screen on there at one point. It kinda clashed with everything else, so I had to nix it, but the thought WAS there.

And since this is sortakinda my unofficial project diary, I figured I'd go ahead and show the start of my next project. It's not much yet, but it's a first step. Took me about 3 hours to to, altogether.

GasStation1.jpg


edit: ...and done. Took me about 5 1/2 hours altogether. I'm getting quicker at this stuff.

GasStation2.jpg
 
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