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Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:35 am
by NEO-N

I've heard about Indigo for a long time now, I saw some friends doing some incredible renders with it and that makes me want to try it out myself.

The engine itself is very good and very promising. It's fast (CPU version, not RT), DoF are cleaning very well (not common, quite a good point) and I love the technical achievements that are possible with Indigo (MTL is lovely).

I Only did a test, I didn't started a project with it, here's my feedback, hoping to help the team and getting Indigo improved in the future (Indigo for C4D) :

• No Node Graph.
• No uber material ! If some people don't know what it is : it's basically one material that can support all channels : diffuse, specular (or glossy or reflection, same thing) transmission (glass), SSS, emission (probably a few more like a secondary reflection called "coat", it depends).
Exemple : car paint = diffuse color (base color) - specular (hi light color) with roughness + coat for glossy reflection.
Currently possible with blending materials. better with an uber material (all in one, also like Arnold for exemple).
• material scene preview can be better. EDIT : I replaced the default one by a custom made scene.
• Not possible to unselect "diffuse". Current solution : Brightness at 0%
• Bokeh Aspect Ratio (faking anamorphic bokeh)
• Rework of current light system. Replacing native c4d lights + indigo tag with dedicated
indigo lights and feature rich options (fall off, softness, ambient light etc)
BUG found : spot and area lights quite correctly but not the rest.
Tonemapping : What are the universal values ? Seems like sometimes there is an auto-exposure which is disturbing.
Tonemapping workflow/settings can be improved I think. A simple Linear 1.0 to 2.2 would be appreciated (sRGB or something else, OCIO / ACES could improve that a lot). Camera mode should be in the camera settings in my opinion.

• Indigo tag preset missing. Exemple :
icon for light = native light + indigo tag applied
icon for camera with native camera + tag applied.
and more preset for HDRI, Physical Sky etc.

Realtime Preview: Very good and fast render (impressive with a single CPU!)
• no render region (shift shortcut + mouse selection)
• no overall tonemapping (bypassing all camera's tonemap settings).
• No color management (OCIO)
• No fixed resolution options : ie. XXXX | XXXX (possible by hand with the mouse thought).
• GPU mode result to a crash when selected. (might be something I missed and not explained).
• Right click options : save as (png, jpg, exr), select object, camera pick focus etc.
• Numerical zooming option (Realtime Preview)

• Improved update (real time preview) : geometry update, lights ON/OFF etc
• Snapshot option (with A|B comparison)

Settings :
• Classic channel settings like diffuse, specular, etc for optimization (also some biased settings would be appreciated, like include/exclude).
• A faster way to switch from physical sky (procedural) to HDRI without replacing and changing settings in the render settings. It takes quite some time to, for exemple, try different light setups (for look dev).
A simple way would be : shortcut icon of HDRI (sky + pre made emissive material preset with empty texture) and having Indigo automatically detecting it and doing the changes (like other renderer)
• missing a live Log/Console window

This is the notes I took while testing Indigo. It's a very impressive renderer with a great future and promising. I think the C4D version is too young with some important features missing, lack of options and stuff to be improved. Feel free to contact me for more explanations, I would be very pleased to help.

I wish all the best to the team behind Indigo! I had the pleasure to use it despite everything I said and I'm looking forward to see new versions and follow Indigo's improvements :)

Re: Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:41 am
by lycium
Thanks for checking out Indigo and making these notes! I'm sure some of it will be useful for fused, our C4D guy :)

Re: Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:21 pm
by NEO-N
I seriously loved the MTL. Some unique render-engine features making unique renderer compared to the rest. And very fast for such complex calculations! Thanks for making it available on C4D. I hope it will help fused!

Re: Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:04 pm
by Oscar J
Awesome feedback! Agree with most things.

Some things to clarify, and some questions:

What do you mean by falloff, softness, ambient light, etc? In a physically based renderer like this, falloff is always on (1/x^2). Softness, in case you mean shadow softness, is controlled by the size of the light source. Ambient lights don't really make physical sense (don't have real life counterpart). Unless you're talking about something else. For the same reason (being hardcore, physically accurate) I don't see light inclusion/exclusion of objects as likely of happening anytime soon, as much as I love that feature in V-Ray.

What do you mean with classic channel settings? Do you mean setting samples for diffuse/glossy etc? Perhaps you simply mean render passes.

Regarding your GPU crash:

What GPU do you use? Indigo needs reasonably new cards to run well - the latest 3 - 4 gens of AMD/Nvidia cards or so. Make sure you have the right cards selected for Indigo OpenCL (GPU) rendering. I would deselect the CPU as OpenCL rendering, as the drivers might be unstable. Also, make sure you're using recent drivers for your GPU.

I don't know too much about the Cinema4D stuff as I don't use it myself, but seems like lots of great feedback there as well.


Re: Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:35 pm
by NEO-N
Hi Oscar,

You are right about most of it. But don't forget, it's CGI, not real life. Being able to cheat on stuff not related to unbiased engine (like include/exclude) is always nice to speed up the workflow/work imo :).

For the lighting tho, I didn't had a great experience. It works, it's beautiful, but data (lumens for exemple) need to be high value and not accurate like it would in Corona (using lumens too). Values are a bit weird (as well as Tonemapping). I suggested in my notes to rework it for easier and faster use and better results.

I was talking about stuff similar to Arnold. ... Quad+Light
I wasn't clear enough on this part, my bad.

Passes Settings or multi pass yes. Settings like in all engines (unbiased) for optimizing the samples distribution on different channels (diffuse, specular, SSS, etc). I haven't seen anything like that but it's already very fast. It's weird to not have it and might be usefull (to optimize).

My GPU is not that old (GTX 900 series) with up to date drivers (I used to work with Octane Render for around 3 years).
Most of the time I do tests on my personnal free time very late (instead of sleeping haha) so I might not find all the words and be a bit confusing, my bad.

I've seen your work and it's very good! Thank you for taking time to reply.

PS : I tested quite a lot of renderers during the last few months (for C4D), trying to find my main renderer for work and play with others - It's even better in this case to find what are the pros and cons, what can be improved, what's missing etc. You really have the full picture this way ! If you see what I mean...

Re: Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:08 am
by Oscar J
Well, lumens for a single 60 watt light bulb is about 1100, so you'll probably need reasonably high values in general. I find that if you use a "room sized" scene, use a value of 1100 on a light source, i'll show up fine with Linear = 1 or any normal camera tone mapping.

This is supposed to be perfectly accurate in Indigo, so if you're having problems, then maybe there's a bug somewhere, or you're having trouble with tone mapping.

Thanks for the compliments by the way, much appreciated :)

Re: Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:10 pm
by NEO-N
Try Corona (tonemapping) and compare it to Indigo, you'll see the difference and understand how I feel. But you might be right! I struggled with tonemapping. Something I don't like from renderers in General, is when I don't know how it works.

Some renderers dosen't have tonemapping (post-color correction) and they usually work this way : RAW render in Linear (gamma 1.0) to > sRGB gamma 2.2. Octane works this way, you can manually change the sRGB gamma when selecting LINEAR.
Arnold is the same, with OCIO support. So you can have more color management flexibility like : Linear 1.0 to : sRGB, FILMIC OCIO, Rec709 et many many more (Arri, Red, Blackmagic Log etc).

This way, it's very simple and I know what I'm doing. When using Indigo tonemapping, I don't know what I'm doing. I like to be accurate. I know I can export un-tonemapped render (nice option!) but I would like the same in the live render.

That's why I pointed a rework of the current tonemapping. It's a great one! But confusing and no "technical" information (like how it works such as gamma, gammut etc) in the manual. There is some information but not what could help me.

Helping the user to work fast, by having a simple-to-use renderer is quite important. Indigo is quite fast with CPU, so if he's being improved (simpler settings for exemple) it will be even a better experience to work with it. At least for C4D. I don't know about the other DCCs.


Re: Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:47 am
by Oscar J
Yeah, agree with all you said - tone mapping needs to be thoroughly updated with linear workflow in mind. I would really like to be able to load LUTs, and 32 bit colour correction tools like V-Ray has (highlight burn rocks, not least for arch viz).

I *think* what Indigo currently does with Linear, is to apply a gamma 2.2 curve for display, by the way. Unfortunately, no options besides that at the moment.

Re: Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:46 am
by Originalplan®
NEO-N wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:10 pm
, so if he's being improved
Hey NEO-N, it's def a she ; ))

Re: Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:08 pm
by NEO-N
Indigo ? She ? Haha wtf :D

Might be a joke, I don't know. To me a renderer is masculine.

Re: Feedback after testing Indigo (requests+bugs)

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 9:39 am
by burnin
Oh, yes +1!

I can't unsee ACES anymore... the richness of color spectrum...