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Andrew West

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Andrew West last won the day on March 6

Andrew West had the most liked content!

About Andrew West

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  • Birthday 04/15/1962

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    Bend Oregon

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  1. Andrew West

    Strange Artefacts with Vray

    I have yet to use the GPU or Hybrid render engines. There are just way too many issues associated with it and I actually find it to be quite a bit slower. CPU is plenty fast and it provides a consistent output that I can always count on. One thing that GPU does not do is allow for a Material ID channel which I use every day.
  2. Andrew West

    undos are still broken

    Happens to me randomly about once or twice a week. All of a sudden the undo's don't work. Close the program and restart solves it every time. Until it happens again. This is something that has been around my office for many years now and I just learn to live with it like so many other quirks. If you are having a consistent issue with this and a restart does not clear it up then I would suggest trashing your preference folder before I bothered with a program reinstall. Just my two cents.
  3. Andrew West

    Example Images

    Another option to create bump normal maps is to go Filter>Nvidea Tools>Normal Maps Filter. Works like a charm.
  4. Andrew West

    Rendering Time

    I personally don't think this has anything to do with GPU vs CPU vs whatever settings you have in your V-ray dialogue. I have had this problem in the past and my solution is something that I used to do all the time when using previous unstable releases (ie. before 6.7). I once again keep a notebook next to my computer and whenever the program starts to act a little funny (you know what I mean) I write down exactly what I was working on at the time and what tools I was using. Recently I was working on a project and I introduced a new texture map a client sent me. Within an hour my program was bogging down and acting strange. I went back and looked at the map and it was a huge png file. I resized the image and resaved it and the system cleared right up. I have had similar experiences with the terrain tool, Reshape tool, Nurbs, Blend tools and lots of others. It is surprising how easy it is to corrupt your model but still have it render out (but very slowly). So I guess the best advice I have for your situation is to think back to what you were working on that might have caused some corruption of your model. If you can't think of anything then slowly go through your materials one by one. If they check out then start using the object doctor on some of your more complex geometry or things you might have worked on a lot. This is not exactly a perfect solution but often it is the only option. As for the Mac vs PC thing mentioned above I would not hold my breath for any real upgrades from Apple to their pro line of computers. They are now a phone company and have been for years. Why sell a few thousand pro computers when you can sell 300 million phones that need to be replaced every two years.
  5. Andrew West

    3Dconnexion Space Mouse drifting.

    Out of curiosity do you like using the Space Mouse and do you find it to be more accurate than the basic Logitec M510? What are the advantages that it has? Do you use it in conjunction with the CAD mouse they sell? I have had a lot of issues lately with my mouse when I switched to the M705 which displayed some really bizarre behavior.
  6. Andrew West

    form•Z Anniversary | Thank You

    Happy birthday as well! At the risk of sounding like an old man I started using Form.z around 1991 when I was working at the largest architecture firm in the US. I believe my machine was a Mac IIcx which was barely able to render out a simple image in shaded view. I used it mainly for doing perspective layouts for my watercolor illustrations. It wasn't until about 1997 that I presented my first digital illustration for a client. Fast forward to today where my watch has 1000 times the computing power of my IIcx and I haven't done a watercolor in 10 years. While I have tried almost every other modeling software out there I still can't help but come back to Form.z. Simply the best modeler out there to date. Really looking forward to seeing what they come up with in the future releases.
  7. Andrew West

    VRAY - Huge Material Problem!

    The native format for Form.z materials for V-ray is VRMAT. However, I have been able to download VISMAT materials from various sites and then open them in the material editor. Then I save them as VRMAT so that I can use them. I have not been able to use any other formats.
  8. Andrew West

    Portal Light

    Try turning off all other lights and adjust the intensity up to 100. Then go to the camera settings and see if you can get it to show up in the render. If not then try simple portal light to see the effect. It should be much stronger. I also give my portal light a texture map that matches the exterior scene which helps realism.
  9. Andrew West

    Request for V-Ray Tutorial or Example Scene

    I probably have done more interiors than most on this so I will chime in here. There is really no set way to do an interior as the lighting will be different depending on the situation. Unlike exteriors that rely on a simple sun position or a dome light. However, there is a process that I use that I will share. First off set your exterior sun to the desired position for interior shadows. Go to the suns override settings and make the size of it 5 so that the shadows are softer. Make sure your glass is not casting or receiving shadows. Now place a light plane that is the size of your window just outside your glass and make it a portal light. I often give this light a texture map (hdri) so that it adds atmosphere to the image. Set the intensity to about 50. Parameters: invisible and does not affect reflections. Place a rectangular box area light in the middle of the room and make sure it does not touch anything. Set it to about 30 and make sure that under Parameters it is invisible and does not affect reflections. This is true for any other interior lights you might add. Then I go to my camera settings and adjust the exposure to get it close. It does not need to be exact since you can always adjust exposure during the render process. I will then turn on AO, adjust the shading rate up, set my render elements and adjust everything else in the V-ray settings while I am there. Once I get the lighting about right I can then add specific cone, spot or line lights depending upon the architecture. These don't seem to add much to the overall exposure but they help to add realism to the scene. One thing that I would like to comment on in your scenes is the lack of gloss on many of your materials. All materials have a certain amount of gloss to them. For some reason the default for V-ray is set to a black color and a value of 1. For me I start with a white color. For dull materials like rough plaster I will set the gloss to 0.2 and for high gloss I will set it to 0.85. While we are on the subject of materials I also find it very useful to assign a Material ID color to my most important materials. If you then enable Material ID in your render elements you can adjust color and isolate the materials very easily post process. This saves a lot of time later. It also allows me to place my window reflections perfectly on my exterior scenes since I have my glass isolated. Finally, for true realism I also use the Glare effect in the render window and sometimes I will even use the Bloom tab. Some clients hate these and some love them so use them cautiously. Hope this helps. As always there are many ways to set up a scene and this is just my down and dirty approach for a starting point.
  10. Andrew West

    Example Images

    One difference I see in your retail display is the lack of illumination on the etched lines in the glass. First off how did you do the etched lines and do you think there is a way to illuminate them similar to the finished product? Glass is always a bugger to deal with and Vray glass is no exception.
  11. Andrew West

    Example Images

    When doing interiors I usually have to do two different lighting schemes. One which is warm and inviting and has a certain amount of atmosphere to it. This is for my portfolio. The other is the one the client requests which is cool and every material needs to be perfectly accurate to the material board or sample. Interior designers are strange that way and not a whole lot of fun to work for. Material accuracy can be very time consuming. As for the clothing I think you could experiment with V-ray displacement to see if you can get it to loosen up a bit. I use that tool a lot now and find it to be much faster and easier than straight modeling.
  12. Andrew West

    How do you rotate perpendicular to surface?

    I personally use the Define Reference Plane. This is because I build things progressively and I often need to align things to the rotated object. Define the plane, name it and save it.
  13. Andrew West

    From Foem Z to Unreal engine

    I use Max but I also own a program called UV Layout by Headus. I found it pretty easy to use. I think it was $200.
  14. Andrew West

    V-Ray vrscene/vrproxy export Settings

    I agree 100%. As I mentioned above the interface is awkward and very slow when importing a scene file but in the end it saves me a ton of time not having the sheer mass of geometry in the model which would kill my system pretty fast. For decades I had only used 2D trees and plants in my final images and now with V-ray I am able to use 3D assets in the program that I never could use before. In a perfect world programs like X-frog, Plant Factory and Onyx tree might take notice and work on an interface that could allow us to integrate their plant assets directly into Form.z and Vray. For now I just create those plants I need and go through the tedious process of exporting them from a tree builder program, import into Form.z, re texture map and then save it out as a scene file. Once I get a large enough library things should get a lot faster.
  15. Andrew West

    V-Ray vrscene/vrproxy export Settings

    That is a question that has been asked many times now. I don't imagine we will get an answer until right before it is released. Getting back to V-ray proxy objects I have gone back again to examine this and I still stand by my assumption that this feature is broken. If I take a bush and group it together then select the group and hit export v-ray proxy nothing happens. Nothing. I should get a dialogue giving me an option to save my proxy object somewhere just like it does for Scene files. I don't really care as long as I have some way of saving my complex geometry in a manner that frees up the program. So scene files is where its at.