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#1 Andrew West

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:17 PM

I would love to hear from other users on the issue of how long it takes to render an image.  I need to use Maxwell again on a project and it is taking me approximately 8 minutes to create a Maxwell Fire image to SL of 16.  I took a quick look at what it would take to produce a fully rendered image at 4000x 2800 and it looks to be about 76 hours. 

So here is some background information:

I have kept my Fire settings and resolution low

I have just used a simple sky dome light with a few emitter materials for lights

Multi light is turned off

I have no displacement materials

I have kept all materials simple with Fast as a suggested reference.

I have gone through all of the tricks on the internet for optimizing lighting and materials.  Thanks Evan!

I mostly use default settings for my render and kept the camera simple

My machine is a dual processor Xeon 2.6 Ghz with 16 cores.  64 MB of Ram.  Graphics card is benchmarked at 8500

 

The model was originally created in Revit and I imported it into Form.z.  Then I cleaned up any errant geometry and ran object doctor on a few.

It is of a large home with mostly simple planes and solid geometry.  No intricate soft modeling or tons of faceted objects.

 

I know that there are a lot of factors involved in estimating time for renders but I just feel that this is way too slow and would like to know if I am doing something horribly wrong here or if everyone experiences this.  Any other tricks that you use to speed things along?

 

 

Thanks

Andrew

 


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#2 pylon

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 08:19 AM

Hi Andew,
We have offered to help you optimize your projects on several occasions, but have recieved no response. We cannot tell anything without examining one of you projects to see what is going on. To date, you have not sent us a project. Please send a project, and we will investigate.

#3 Shibui Design

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 01:11 PM

Andrew- I've been struggling somewhat with the same issue of long render times. I was quite pleased however this morning I was on a tight deadline and very daringly went with maxwell rendering solution. I was able to get decent results at SL16 and time of 20-30 minutes. Using OSX 3.46Ghz, 12 cores and 128mb RAM. I did have to go to render farm to process 2 images to make deadline. The other 4 images I was able to render on my machine.

 

Unfortunately I cannot post images or file for Plyon to look at, however in this case I was pleased with the results by settling for SL16 and reducing the image size to 1024 x 768. In my brief experience, it seems that dark scenes take longer to develop, so I try to add plenty of light sources. I did use a number of emitter lights, some glass but no displacement and no SSS. I also use a fairly high number of materials that I explicitly write out as .mxm files and reference those. I do that to avoid having FMZ/Maxwell translation and having surprises, such as high reflection or other unexpected results. I would have to admit that for me, I'm beginning to get comfortable with maxwell and do really like the results, however will fully admit to still experimenting. It would be really great if there was a basic "cheat sheet" or "do's and don'ts" to guide new users, as start up time for me has been fairly lengthy. Sorry don't have more solid suggestions for you, but don't give up- keep experimenting if you can manage to do that and still make $$!

 

 



#4 Shibui Design

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 01:32 PM

Ah- forgot to mention; don't use white at r255, g255, b255. This would represent pure white, which doesn't exist in the real world. This will cause noise and take a long time (extra SL's) to clean up in Maxwell. Similarly, don't use pure black. I always try to dial back saturation on all colors to avoid 255 in any color channel.



#5 Andrew West

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 01:53 PM

Thanks for the tips.  I forgot about the pure white and pure black issues.  I wonder why those 255 settings even exist if they cause problems and don't exist in the real world.  As for referencing MXM files for your materials I don't know if that helps to speed up the render or not.   I try to create mxm materials for my projects but the number of textures I use in my interiors tends to be prohibitively high.  I know what you mean by being surprised about glossy surfaces.  My fix for that is to only use Plastic for my Form.z  glossy materials with a low specular (about 18).   Then when I translate it to Maxwell I use realistic match as a hint and my gloss stays fairly reasonable for interior finishes. 

 

Who made your computer for you?  I am looking to buy another one soon. 



#6 Shibui Design

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 02:07 PM

Large texture maps do slow down FMZ and it seems ADS is considering improvements in map handling. Physically correct engines do rely on large maps. Not sure what the time toll is once launching into Maxwell.

 

My current desktop is a mid-2012 model I purchased from Ipowerresale.com. Don't bother with the new pro (trashcan) models if you are looking for upgrade flexibility and value.



#7 Andrew West

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 02:54 PM

I have tried to limit the size of texture maps but what exactly is considered large?  I use jpegs with the largest usually no more than 1024x768.  One thing I have noticed in Form.z is that once my model gets to a certain size and/or I load a certain amount of textures the program suddenly bogs down.  Like I am running out of Ram.  But I have a lot of Ram!   I was thinking of upgrading my graphics card again to see if that helps. 

 

I have three custom machines that I have had varying success with.  The latest build was from @Xii computers and it was an expensive mistake going with more cores and a slower processor.  I was thinking of trying a build from Boxx computers but I haven't known anyone who uses them.



#8 etroxel

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 03:52 PM

Graphics cards will help with shaded views in formZ but not really with Maxwell Render at this time. It's all CPU power unless there has been a new development I'm not aware of. Hopefully in the next major release.



#9 pylon

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 10:30 AM

Hi Andrew,
Just confirming that we have not recieved a project file from you, or any response to our previous posting offering to help, so we will assume you have sorted out your issues. If this is not the case, go ahead and send your project.

#10 Andrew West

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 04:50 PM

Ben

I have just submitted my project which was due at noon today and required several all nighters to get done.  I did not have time to troubleshoot this project with you but I am going to package it up and send it to you to evaluate for future reference. Do you want me to save it as a Package to Workstation project?  When I do that I get all the texture maps but NO model. 

 

I did find that my beta test version of Vray was causing an undo amount of trouble with Form.z so I had to unload that to get anything done on the last project.

 

On a different note I am going to revisit an old question I asked you a year ago.  Is it possible to ACCURATELY place a reflection in the windows of a building?  In form.z I place a vertical plane behind the camera and set its reflectance to constant and shadow casting/receiving off.  If I could figure this out for Maxwell I could actually use it for my exteriors.

 

Thanks

Andrew



#11 Des

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 04:51 AM

HI Andrew,

Regarding the reflection of a textured plane in windows. You can place it in FormZ as you did before, then go to Maxwell Attributes in the Tool Options-Pick and select Hide from Camera. Then the object will not render but will reflect in the glass and also cast shadows. There are other options there as well.

 

See here:

http://support.nextl...pageId=16810297



#12 pylon

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 08:21 AM

Hi Andrew,

 

Sorry for the delay, I have been out of the office for a  few days.

 

You have brought up the issue of reflecting an image in glass in three recent forum threads. Going forward, let's all keep it to this thread to avoid confusion: http://forums.formz....16-reflections/

I'll be assisting you with this issue in that thread.

 

Regarding sending your project, please follow these steps:

1. Make a new folder with the project name.

2. Select Display > Maxwell Render. (You can stop the render immediately, or chose 'None" from the Launch Application option and no rendering will be launched in the first place.)

3. Immediately select Extensions > Maxwell Render > Log. Click on the Save button in the Log window, and specify that new project folder as the destination. (This provides us with information about your system, how you have set up Maxwell preferences, and if there are any issues while exporting the Maxwell scene in your context.)

4. Run the Extensions > Maxwell Render > Workstation Transfer Command. Specify that new project folder as the destination. (This collects/copies all directly Maxwell-Related dependencies, such as MXMs and their dependent image maps.)

5. Also do a formZ File > Save A Copy As... and enable saving all images. Specify that new project folder as the destination. (This copies all the formZ image dependencies, such as those that are used by the Shaded rendering modes that are translated by the Maxwell plugin.)

6. ZIP the folder, and use dropbox or equivalent to send it to: pylon_support.jpg

 

This way, we get everything necessary to successfully investigate your project.

 

Thanks!

Attached Thumbnails

  • Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 6.15.30 AM.png


#13 pylon

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 09:11 AM

Envdesign, Andrew

 

 

Ah- forgot to mention; don't use white at r255, g255, b255. This would represent pure white, which doesn't exist in the real world. This will cause noise and take a long time (extra SL's) to clean up in Maxwell. Similarly, don't use pure black. I always try to dial back saturation on all colors to avoid 255 in any color channel.

 

Just some clarification on this count: Maxwell Render keeps the amount of light reflected/ absorbed within physical limits but the result with such high Reflectance 0 values means the light will keep bouncing around in your scene with very little loss in energy, which will produce noisier renders and a washed-out look with very little contrast.

 

If you are using MXED to build materials, use a maximum of around 225-235 in R, G, or B for the Reflectance 0 parameter. If you are using an image map for Reflectance 0, there are controls in the texture picker dialog to clamp these values. This rule of thumb does not apply to the Reflectance 90 parameter.

 

If you are using the Maxwell for formZ Shaded auto-translate to make materials, this is rule of thumb is taken care of you if you are using the default settings for Shaded Reflection. (Auto-Translate uses best practices whenever possible, to make it easy for you.)

 

With Shaded Color set to 255, 255, 255, using the default Shaded Reflection settings (Ambient Factor 100%, Diffuse Factor 75%) will yield a Reflectance 0 parameter of (apx.) 226, 226, 226-- appropriate for a white piece of paper, or a bright white painted wall.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 6.52.56 AM.png

 

However, if you have Ambient Factor at 100% and change the Diffuse factor to 100% as well, the resulting RGB value in the Reflectance 0 parameter will be 255, 255, 255 - exactly what it in the Shaded color swatch. This looks unnatural in openGL Shaded, and it will look unnatural in Maxwell too (and take longer to clear noise).

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 6.53.07 AM.png

 

In either case, using pure black will not cause any efficiency or noise issues in either channel; however, matte materials may look more realistic if they are not pure black.

 

More detail may be found here:

http://support.nextl...sv3/Reflectance



#14 Andrew West

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:37 PM

Thanks for the clarification.  Unfortunately, the default materials in Form.z use an ambient of 100%.  I will just need to remember to adjust it down in every case.



#15 pylon

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 03:14 PM

Andrew,

 

You misunderstood what we wrote above. We have edited our post to make it clearer. If you use the defaults - ambient factor 100% and diffuse factor 75%, it's fine and you do NOT need to adjust it down. Please see the first screen capture in our post above.

 

 






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