Friday, 11 December 2009

Rendering: mental ray_Relative Intensity of Highlights



Often, just leaving mental ray and its shaders to work out the highlights isn’t enough.
There is a function named relative intensity of highlights. It is very useful to “boost up” highlights that are not very apparent on the surface. It can be found on the advanced rendering options parameters, under the advanced reflectivity options group.

For the above image I had increased its values to about 30 however, depending on the specific scene one may be required to increase or decrease these values.By the way, this chrome material was applied to all the metal frames by the door entrance and windows.


Note: These values only affect objects that already have some sort of shine on them and somewhat being affected the by light.


Moreover, the visible area lights cause no highlights function could also be unchecked to further increase the highlights however, it is not always required.





I hopw you have found this post useful.

Ta

Jamie




My 3D Portfolio:


New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max



More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials

Creating a velvet/suede material 

FoxRenderfarm

www.arroway-textures.com 

Renderpeople

Gobotree

Rendering: mental ray_Adding glow to the window glass


The above image was produced whilst at GMJ Design Ltd


In our latest book, we have covered a number of ways of emulating light without the need of creating a physical light.
Production companies often adopt similar methods to reduce the rendering times and retain the overall quality.
It is worth pointing out that the usage of Ambient Occlusion(i.e. AO) as a separate pass or/and directly from Max is utterly imperative for the final shot.


The following exercise will take you through another unique methodology of achieving similar results with reduced rendering times:

Another quick way of emulating “glow”/"light" on windows, is to in fact enable the glow function on the glass panes themselves.

To do this, simply go to the main material parameters, under the "refraction" group.

1-Reduce the transparency to about 0.9 to prevent the surface from being fully transparent.

2-To add a bit of blur to the transparency, decrease the glossiness to about 0.78. Note that, these values may vary depending on one’s camera angle...and the level of transparency/blurriness intended.

3-Next,change the colour swatch from white to a warm yellow.
Also, the "fast (interpolate)" function, can be enabled for quick and fast results, as the glossiness and its samples can often slow down the renders.However,it may create artifacts.

4-Pan down to the "self illumination (glow)" parameters and enable the "self illumination (glow)" function.

5-Under the "luminance" group, change it from "unitless" to "physical units: cd/m2)". Also, pick and choose any relevant bitmap (i.e. photo) that has a prominent light source.


Note: The "unitless" function often creates artifacts on glossy reflections, therefore, to be avoided at all costs.


Depending on time in hand, one can set the glow to generate light, or not, through the FG, by checking the "illuminates the scene (when using fg)" function.
...and... “...let there be light...”!!!

The final rendered image below was achieved using this technique. I hope you like it.






I hope you have found this post interesting.

Ta

Jamie



My 3D Portfolio:


New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max



More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials

Creating a velvet/suede material 

FoxRenderfarm

www.arroway-textures.com 

Renderpeople

Gobotree

Monday, 23 November 2009

Design interior: mental ray_office project



Hi All,


The above image is part of a project I have finished recently. It was quite challenging in a sense that the client was very particular about the direction they wanted to take with regards to lighting,colours,depth,etc. I would normally use warm photometric lights however,in this particular project the client opted for white photometric lights instead (i.e. D65 illuminant...white) in order to help preserve the original colours of all other objects in the Max scene.

In addition, I have used similar techniques to the ones used in the chapter 06 of my latest book.Which essentially consists in starting out with a fairly dark scene even when the daylight system is already applied;followed by gradually adding artificial photometric lights and test rendering until satisfied with the overall lighting.
Often, one can easily lose control of the depth in the scene when adding numerous artificial lights and exposure controls.


The ceiling imperfections were achieved by using the mental ray's "Utility Bump Combiner(adsk)" shader in conjunction with cellular and noise procedural materials applied to its multiple toggles(i.e. Utility Bump Combiner adsk).

The render came straight from 3Ds Max using mental ray,no post effects were needed. The total amount of images delivered for this project was 6. I hope you like the final result.


It is also worth mentioning that, I am in no way discouraging users to use Photoshop and other post effects applications however,one should always try to take advantage of Max's full potential.


Cheers,


Jamie




My 3D Portfolio:


New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max



More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials

.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Autodesk: Increasing the paging file to override Memory issues

Often when rendering complex scenes with Max and mental ray, one’s computer may run out of memory.

This is mainly due to the fact that Max cannot free up enough memory necessary to process the full render.

There is a quick fix for this however, it is strongly recommended to ultimately add more memory to the computer(i.e.4GB/8GB+) whilst running 64bit applications for Max and windows.


Also, check my New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max


The following “trick” may or may not work for 32bit applications however, it definitely works for the 64bit.

1-On start up windows, choose the control panel option.

2-In control panel, choose system.

3-In the system settings, go to advanced system settings.

4-The system properties dialog should open.

5-In the performance group, click on the settings button. The performance options dialog should open.

6-Click on the advanced tab; under the virtual memory group click on the change button. The virtual memory dialog should appear.

7-Uncheck the automatically manage paging file size for all drives function, to enable the paging file for each drive settings.
Choose your C drive as your volume label of choice, and check the custom size function. The initial size (mb) function should be equal to 1.5 times of your total memory (RAM) value (i.e. in my case I have 8GB, therefore 12GB).

The maximum size (mb) should be equal to at least 3 times of your total memory size(i.e. 24GB).
It is worth mentioning that some users that have huge amounts of free hard disk space(i.e. 200GB C drive space) tend to set their maximum size(mb) value to about 60GB or more.

Moreover, prior to setting the maximum size, ensure that you have at least 3 times freer disk space than the maximum size value.

Next, click the set button to set your parameters, followed by ok. The system properties warning should pop up, click ok to close it.









8-Back on performance options, click ok, followed by clicking "apply" to close it.

9-The windows restart warning dialog should pop up, choose the appropriate option.
The changes will only take effect once the computer is restarted. Also, it is recommended to empty one’s page file from time to time.








It is worth mentioning that, the above procedure will not speed up your renderings however, it will ensure that you never run out of memory when it is needed.
To speed up renders one has to ultimately add extra processors (i.e. 2.80 GHZ or higher) and more memory with 64bit applications (i.e. 4GB/8GB+).


Finally, in very extreme and difficult cases of memory loss, one can additionally enable the "use fast rasterizer (rapid motion blur) function, from the "rendering algorithms" parameters.
This rendering method will bypass most mental ray memory issues.

Note: Although very powerful, this rendering algorithm disables some of render elements. To override this, simply render the file output to an EXR file extension type, provided one has the material IDs/Object IDs,etc, originally enabled in 3Ds Max.

If facing difficulties extracting these EXR passes in Photoshop,After Effects,etc;simply switch your 3Ds Max back to standard mental ray rendering algorithm when computing your AO pass, and enable your rendered elements again; with cached FG at a very low res to render the final output in higher res.

For more information about tackling memory issues,please check my other posts in this blog:


mental ray_the usual suspects:Displacement and proxy errors




Decoding mental ray BSP tree


I hope you have found this post interesting.

Ta

Jamie



My 3D Portfolio:


New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max



More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials

Creating a velvet/suede material 

FoxRenderfarm

www.arroway-textures.com 

Renderpeople

Gobotree

Saturday, 3 October 2009

3d: mental Ray settings for the Aerial Shot




Moreover, the illumination inside and outside the buildings was achieved by inserting self illuminated objects with bitmaps of interior and exterior night photographs assigned onto them. The self illumination (glow) values and bitmaps differed from object to object.
As previously mentioned, these self illuminated objects had their physical properties set to: not to receive or cast shadows;not visible to the camera and not visible to reflection/refraction.

For interior shots, depending on the camera angle or/and camera shader (i.e. Wraparound(lume)); it may prove to be troublesome; if this is the case, avoid using this technique. If your interior scene requires too many physical photometric lights, try to be "economic" with their settings. By that I meant disabling the "shadows" function of some of the less relevant lights in the scene.
The trick is to achieve the same result with decreased rendering times.

Shadows cast by physical lights often contribute a great deal for the final rendering times.
To compensate for the depth in the scene, use the ambient occlusion on diffuse toggle of all objects.

Cheers,

jamie




I hope you have found this post useful.


Ta

Jamie




My 3D Portfolio:


New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max



More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials

Creating a velvet/suede material 

FoxRenderfarm

www.arroway-textures.com 

Renderpeople

Gobotree

3ds max: mental ray settings



I have just been informed that some of the contents of the book had been stripped in order to keep the page count down to 336 pages.
This is good news as I can now share this content with those that visit my blog.

As previously mentioned only one standard skylight was required to emulate the overall "fill light"(i.e. blue).


I hope you have found this post useful.

Ta

Jamie



My 3D Portfolio:


New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max



More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials

Creating a velvet/suede material 

Sunday, 27 September 2009

3ds max: mental ray_Aerial Shot



The above image was produced whilst at GMJ Design ltd




Hi All,

After few requests to post a Higher resolution version of the image titled Mental ray_aerial Shot; I had finally found time to upload it. I hope you like it better.

For those who are looking at this image for the 1st time:

This image is part of a project I recently finished whilst at GMJ design. The render came straight from 3DsMax Design using Mental Ray. No post effects were required. The scene only consists of one sky light with its colour matching the blue tint of the background photography and numerous self illuminated objects with the following property settings: not visible to the camera; not visible to reflection/refraction and not to receive or cast shadows. In addition, these objects were scattered across the scene and behind the windows to generate light and colours. In order for the objects to generate light and colours, I had first applied a simple Arch & Design (mi) base material. On its self illumination (glow) parameters group, I had set the glow options to illuminate the scene when using FG (final gather), this way it will actually generate light. Its luminance physical units were increased variably between objects to create variations of light intensity; and colour variations by using a variety of bitmaps (cropped) on the filter color toggle. It is worth mentioning that when the illuminate the scene when using FG function is enabled, users tend to increase most FG settings in order to achieve a good/smooth rendering results; there’s often no need for it; one should focus mainly on increasing the interpolate over num. FG points values; this function is often sufficient to correct any artifacts created by the illuminate the scene when using FG function. It is advisable not to go higher than the value 150 as one may start losing depth in the scene. To create the overall depth, I had used the ambient occlusion on individual objects. This lighting technique is widely implemented by production companies for exterior night shots. It is quick to set up and fast to render: The final 4256x2832 image pixels took less than 1 hour to render. It was previously taking nearly 7 hours with numerous internal photometric physical lights casting diffused shadows. Moreover, for interior night shots, this technique is recommended to be used with caution, depending on one’s camera angle and/or camera shader being used. This methodology is covered in detail throughout the 2nd edition of my 1st book.

By the way, I have personally topped and tailed this project; I have had help from another visualiser towards the end, in order to meet the tight deadline. I have put tons of detail on the main site area. The less relevant areas of the entire site didn't require as much attention, so I have emulated some of the surrounding building's detail by extensively using the Height map displacement shader(mental ray),high resolution normal bitmaps; point cloud data etc. I couldn't convert the geometry into proxies due to the fact that I had to insert lights (i.e. self illuminated objects) inside the buildings.

In future, if you ever get hold of the book and find any of the featured subjects unclear; please don't hesitate to post your query here, so we can all have a discussion on this blog.

Cheers,

Jamie





I hope you have found this post useful.

Ta

jamie



My 3D Portfolio:


New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max


More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials

Creating a velvet/suede material 

FoxRenderfarm

www.arroway-textures.com 

Renderpeople

Gobotree

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Visualization techniques: The 2nd edition of my 1st Book



Hi All,

The 2nd edition of my 1st book is due out in October .
In this 2nd edition, Roger and I have just taken everything to the next level.
We have meticulously covered very important subjects such as:

.3D Photomontage

.Verified views

.Lighting large interior spaces such as Atriums (i.e. cover image)

.Lighting medium size night interior scenes

.Lighting medium size daylight interior scenes

.Lighting exterior scenes with mr Daylight system

.Mr Physical Sky

.Network rendering

.Batch render

.Mental Ray settings

.Mental Ray Proxies

.Overview of most mental ray shaders

.Cad Transfer

.Common Errors

.More bonus material covering most mental ray tips and tricks; texture baking; caustics; camera effects and much more.

Most featured tutorials are based on real projects...as oppose to non project related/fictional scenes.
This 2nd edition is unlike anything seen to date...so keep an eye out for it:

My Blog

Hi All,

After careful consideration, I had decided to create my own blog. The long delay was mainly due to lack of time.
Now that most of my work commitments are out of the way; I can now dedicate more time to this new blog.

This blog will be dedicated mainly to Mental ray and 3D however, feel free to post about other subjects that take your fancy.

I will do my best to keep you posted.

Cheers,

Jamie



The Book


The Blog




.