How to render?

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maeglin1
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How to render?

Post by maeglin1 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:53 pm

This is a project I am working on for a villa in Cyprus. The villa is on a cliff on a mountain and as you can see there are alot of levels. I noticed on the net that people only render specific rooms like a movie set from a film.

Do I choose materials for the whole model or do I only choose materials for the actual scene I am about to render?

How long do I render for? What is a good time period?
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Base Stage 3.png
Base Stage 2.png
Base Stage 1.png

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Bosseye
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Re: How to render?

Post by Bosseye » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:58 am

Personally I only model/texture what will be in the final render. All of my building exteriors are like old film sets, those areas facing the camera are modeled and textured, anything else is just a prop to set up the main scene, unless it forms part of a reflection. There seems to be little point in spending time modelling and texturing elements that will never be seen. If you're going for a stylised look or have time issues then in the past I've combined styles, so the main focal point is rendered properly, and surrounding areas are left white to give the impression of context, but not to draw focus away from what you want the render to be about. if that makes sense.

In terms of render time, it will depend hugely on the scene you're rendering, what materials you have in there, how much lighting etc etc...Scenes with lots of lights (and light layers), multiple shiny surfaces etc will take longer to render smooth than a scene lit by a single light. It will also depend on what tracing method you're using (PT, MLT, etc) and if you have GPU acceleration switched on (only possible with PT I believe). Lots of factors.

So the only way to find out is to try! Hit that render button and see what happens. Post your results here and we can help/advise if needed. Good luck :)

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maeglin1
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Re: How to render?

Post by maeglin1 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:40 am

Bosseye wrote:Personally I only model/texture what will be in the final render. All of my building exteriors are like old film sets, those areas facing the camera are modeled and textured, anything else is just a prop to set up the main scene, unless it forms part of a reflection. There seems to be little point in spending time modelling and texturing elements that will never be seen. If you're going for a stylised look or have time issues then in the past I've combined styles, so the main focal point is rendered properly, and surrounding areas are left white to give the impression of context, but not to draw focus away from what you want the render to be about. if that makes sense.

In terms of render time, it will depend hugely on the scene you're rendering, what materials you have in there, how much lighting etc etc...Scenes with lots of lights (and light layers), multiple shiny surfaces etc will take longer to render smooth than a scene lit by a single light. It will also depend on what tracing method you're using (PT, MLT, etc) and if you have GPU acceleration switched on (only possible with PT I believe). Lots of factors.

So the only way to find out is to try! Hit that render button and see what happens. Post your results here and we can help/advise if needed. Good luck :)
Thanks for your reply and advice.
In the past I used Lumion alot so the whole model had to be good. I am new to rendering, though I am very excited by what is possible looking at Alex Roman and other people on this site. It's alot harder and much more time consuming than I first thought. It's a science more than an art. But it seems I will put more emphasis on the post production part in Photoshop to make up for the skills I lack in Indigo. What interests me most will be trying to deconstruct the image so it looks less polished....putting water stains in the concrete, cracks in the walls, weeds in the steps etc...
I have enclosed an image that I find amazing because the materials are distressed and aged.
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Wallpaper.jpg

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Oscar J
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Re: How to render?

Post by Oscar J » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:00 am

That's a big project, which you can learn a lot from. From my experience, post processing can never save a bad render (and it's way more time consuming). We've all been in your shoes - but the only way to learn rendering is by trying and experimenting. Browsing the forum to get inspired helps too, of course. :)

Yes, Indigo is built on physics and science, but it's fairly straight forward. There are other renderers with wayyyyy more buttons and parameters.

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maeglin1
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Re: How to render?

Post by maeglin1 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:35 am

Thanks for your support.

I have not used Indigo for more than 1 minute so far. Indigo for me is the icing on the cake. A new toy that I cannot wait to play with. At the moment it's the hard slog of making the model.
Yes, it is a big project. I think I have bitten off more than I can chew. I noticed people use alot of trees on the edges of their renders to disguise things. But, I want to portray the view.... which is the whole point behind the villa. I went to Cyprus 3 years ago to build 5 villas on 5 plots of land. I got ditched by the client for a younger, local architect who new what they were doing better than me. I just want to use this to show what was potentially possible with the site. Back then I did everything by hand. The architect introduced me to Sketchup and I ditched my pens and drawing board for software. So good things come from disappointments. Sometimes :wink:

This is where I am up to at the moment.
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Base Stage 1.png

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fenerolina
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Re: How to render?

Post by fenerolina » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:36 am

Good start and keep that motivation.
The closer to the camera the better textures and models you need. I personally like when everything is high quality but you have to learn the 'exterior linked component' feature because sketchup doesn't handle large amount of polys.
If you want interior shots I would do it in separate skp files.
Any fotoreferences you would like to share with us?

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maeglin1
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Re: How to render?

Post by maeglin1 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:51 pm

I feel comfortable with Sketchup. But, when I look on the net it seems 3Ds is the way to go if you really want to achieve good results. I have 3Ds on my computer but I need one to one tuition to learn it cos I cannot get to grips with it. I found a site:

http://archive3d.net/

They specialize in (FREE) models for 3Ds. You can load the models into SU but SU does not like them and has to do alot of calculations to import them. My curtains in my model are from this site. There great cos they are high poly. But, importing such stuff slows the model navigation down and some models don't import without almost crashing SU.

This is a good reference image for me for an interior shot. I really like it.
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Photo.jpg

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Bosseye
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Re: How to render?

Post by Bosseye » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:10 pm

Yeah, Sketchup is really poor with high poly so when details start to rise or you start cramming loads of stuff in, its time to start using layers effectively and if you can, find the tutorials on external linking or using proxy objects to keep scenes manageable.

I love Sketchup though as an easy modelling package, so it suits me and my needs perfectly though. Combined with Indigo its been hugely influential in how I work. Its great for simple geometry and with a big of jiggery pokery you can produce some really good images - just look at one of the users on here Pibuz work, he's a Sketchup user and the results he gets from the software are stunning.

For example here by Pibuz, http://www.indigorenderer.com/forum/vie ... 14&t=11834
just look at that glorious texturing work, lighting, scene dressing etc - and its all done in sketchup.

So I wouldn't say you have to go for 3DSMax straight off to get spectacular results. A lot of the power users on here use Blender which is free. I've tried it and my brain exploded as it seems to ignore every single convention for user interfaces I'm familiar with (even a saving a file seemed to be idiotically complex) so I never got anywhere, but the results on here prove its clearly possible to do some stunning work if you're cleverer than me!

Its worth considering what you want to achieve with a render when you start, and crucially, what you can actually achieve. I've done a number of visuals for clients who own UK industrial parks (really exciting stuff I know) where its simply not possible to put in the amount of detail that the actual site contains and it becomes impossible in the time constraints to put in everything surrounding the site that should logically be there - signage, buildings, street furniture etc etc (its also not always preferable, the images I produce are meant to sell and idea for marketing purposes etc, so filling them with the crap that clutters the actual world only detracts from the intention) - which then hurts realism slightly meaning no matter how carefully I texture things up or light scenes something will always seems a little....off. The brain sees a road and thinks "huh, that road is a bit too smooth, wheres the drain covers, wheres the cracks" and so on.

Which is normal, but when you a) don't have to time to model a road beautifully realistically, and b) don't want to as its not intended to draw focus from the actual focal point of the scene, ie its just 'set dressing'; my solution is not to go for super realism which I just won't achieve with the tools, skills and time available, the solution is to stylise the scene and mix the rendering capabilities of Indigo with a more artistic slant as to what looks good, blending Indigo renders with line output from Sketchup styles, blur effects, paint effects etc all intended to give an impression of the proposals without going to the nth degree as I don't have the time (or the skills) available.

And it works, these images are well received by clients and because they're not purporting to be uber realism, the clients don't spy the omissions or exclusions. It doesn't matter that there are no speed limit signs, rubbish bins, realistically cracked pavements etc - they see the image as a whole and accept it for what it is. Stylising things often means the brain discounts things it would normally flag up as Not Quite Right.

My point is, set your sights to the achievable. If you have no time limit, by all means spend weeks on a project, crafting and modelling and making it like a photograph. If not then there are lots of little tips and tricks you can use to give the impression of realism without going mental.

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Pibuz
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Re: How to render?

Post by Pibuz » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:58 am

@ Maeglin:
I use exclusively SketchUp for everything related to ARCHITECTURE. I don't use SketchUp if something is related to DESIGN.

I mean: SketchUp is super-fast for walls, railings, window, skirtings, ecc ecc... But as you noticed it's a mess if you try to put some good chairs in.....

Along with a wise use of layers, my go usually is: model ARCHITECTURE and ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS in SketchUp, and add dummies for referencing external OBJ models FOR THE FURNITURE.

There are some exceptions: usually good chairs, vases and "simple" stuff like that have a manageable amount of polys, so I almost always import them directly into sketchup (use the fluidimporter plugin to import objs: it works like a charm, it's free and it's fast!). I NEVER import vegetation and furry stuff in general (carpets, cloths, armchairs and sofas...)

Also, try to focus the huge amount of detailing in the foreground section: it's useless to have billon-poly geometries far far away in the background, or wherever they're out of focus.


@ Bosseye: flattered to be mentioned as reference!!!!! :oops:

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fenerolina
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Re: How to render?

Post by fenerolina » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:26 am

In this project, time is the only thing you cannot control, skills can only be improved so you decide how far you want to go.
I'm confused with the fotoreference: what do you want to start with? interior or exterior?

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maeglin1
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Re: How to render?

Post by maeglin1 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:02 am

Thanks guys.
And yes, I agree with what you said on the whole Bosseye about keeping things simple. I have a couple of months to create a good portfolio or I might have to go back into full time work....teaching :roll: So I want to do the best I can to give myself a fair chance. In the UK I would have no chance....everyone is really good there....but in Egypt I have a better chance. With some good luck as well.

I had a look at the reference to Pibuz's interior with Sketchup. Very nice. I really like the floor against the dark table. I am always trying new software to see what works.... I always go back to Sketchup though for one big reason.... the measuring tape tool. It's unique to SU and I cannot live without it.
I only have one thing to say about the image.... the block print wallpaper. I would have used it less and made the print bigger. I only say this because I used exactly the same print for a project in London and these designs always work big and bold. I used it in dark grey. But you have to use such prints sparingly or it gets too busy.
Where did you get the floor from?

Pibuz... you mentioned Fluidimporter.... and see if it helps with the 3Ds imports.

I have enclosed an elevation of how I used the block wallpaper.

Bosseye.... did you get your name from the IT CROWD tv comedy?
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1.pdf
(713.03 KiB) Downloaded 134 times

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bubs
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Re: How to render?

Post by bubs » Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:04 am

Another good tip to keep the file size smaller and the model generally usable is to save 72 pixel/inch low res versions of your hi res textures, you then use these within the skecthup model. Then in the skindigo material editor use the albedo setting on texture (rather than sketchup) to link to the hi res version.
Just be careful you don't alter the colour etc within sketchup on the low res image as obviously this will not affect the hi res image you linked to!

As these other guys have mentioned using external reference .obj files for complicated meshes, such a trees, plants, furniture etc is pretty essential to get good realism in skecthup, but it's really easy to do!

Good luck!

You will find these forums a HUGE help with your queries, I know I did, and still do! :wink:

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maeglin1
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Re: How to render?

Post by maeglin1 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:10 am

Bubs.... I am going to use Photoshop for the trees and stuff. But what concerns me about this is shadows....if I use trees in SU they will cast shadows onto the model... which is good.... but in PS I will have to BUrn Tool the shadows on....or is there another way?
I was thinking of putting low res trees in the SU model just for the shadows and masking over them in PS with PNG images of trees.... so at least I get the shadows.

ANY HELP ON THIS IS APPRECIATED COS FOR ME ITS THE SHADOWS OF TREES THAT MAKE A RENDER LOOK REAL.

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bubs
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Re: How to render?

Post by bubs » Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:35 am

Honestly I always use ext meshes now, in .obj format. They are so easy to use once you get the hang of it. I create a 2d version of the tree from .png images, which I use within skecthup and then link them to the hi poly .obj model. If you look on the Xfrog website, they quite often have free 'sample' models of a lot of good plants & trees which you can download.

Have a look at Whaat's great tutorial videos on Youtube... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYhng66TEW4

If you really don't want to use 3d trees then if you can get a decent hi res .png of a tree with all the background properly removed you will get OK shadows. (but just Ok, there really is no substitute for the 'real' thing IMHO)
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tree 3d.jpg
Tree 2d.jpg

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bubs
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Re: How to render?

Post by bubs » Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:41 am

Here's an example of the shadows from a 2d png of the same tree. The image is low res, so the tree doen't look good, but you get the idea.
Attachments
png shadows.jpg

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