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Andrew West

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Everything posted by Andrew West

  1. Andrew West

    Example Images

    WIP shots of current project. Comments? I always find water to be a real challenge in V-ray. I really wish I could get caustics to work. No matter what I set it to I can not get it to change my image. It just slows the rendering down and nothing else. Has anyone gotten it to work with FMZ?
  2. Andrew West

    Scattered textures fix?

    Texture maps and their links to the original folder are a huge problem in Form.z and I have experienced this in both Maxwell and V-ray. I too copy and paste models from my library into new projects and the maps frequently get lost, corrupted, or not linked no matter what search path I designate. Integrating a new render engine into Form.z has been a major issue for many years now and the introduction of V-ray has been a bit of a mess to say the least. I have found that every time your program crashes (which happens to me regularly) your preference file will get corrupted which in turn leads to all sorts of bizarre and unpredictable results. Throwing out your preference folder still seems to be my only go to fix for a lot of these issues. Perhaps some day they fix this but I am no longer expecting any further updates to the program since all progress seems to have stopped for quite some time. I hope I am wrong as I have been waiting for this integration for almost a decade. I really hope I don't have to learn a new program at this stage of my career. AW
  3. Andrew West

    Why do my lights shine through objects?

    Are you using V-ray or just straight RenderZone? If using V-ray I would forget about point lights and use a flat plane or a mesh light. Much simpler and easy to control. Better still if you have the time your project would benefit from Maxwell but that is much more of a commitment. It certainly still looks like you have issues with shadow casting and receiving in both your lights palette and your materials.
  4. Andrew West

    V-ray troubleshooting

    Once again. Had to throw out my preference folder. The program slowly starts behaving worse and worse and you almost get used to it. Throwing out your pref folder is like getting a new computer. You wondered why you didn't do it sooner. In this instance my texture maps were loading poorly, not showing properly in the palette, and generally getting glitchy in the V-ray materials options. Then the project I was working on seemed to loose half the maps. All is well now. Hope this info is useful to everyone until FMZ gets around to fixing this.
  5. Andrew West

    Why do my lights shine through objects?

    Sure looks like you have shadow casting turned off in your light setting. It needs to be enabled for all your lights.
  6. Andrew West

    Example Images

    One other channel that I have been using lately is the effects channel. This contains the glare and bloom effects that help make the image a lot more realistic. Especially the interior scenes.
  7. Andrew West

    Example Images

    I just use the default PNG for all my channels. Using the Reflection Channels is the only way to get the control of the reflections correct in your final image. Since most materials have some degree of gloss it adds a lot of realism to the image. It is also one of the great strengths of V-ray and every good illustrator uses it along with the depth of field channel and Material ID channel. Knowing when to stop messing with your model and then taking it into 2D for corrections and modifications is key. Channels allow that. It will save you a lot of time and $$$$$. Once you get the hang of it you can composite in minutes.
  8. Andrew West

    resize off-screen layers palette

    I would go and eliminate your Autodessys preference folder completely if you haven't already. I am on windows so I can't tell you exactly where it is. BTW do you have V-ray installed?
  9. Andrew West

    Scattered textures fix?

    I do a Save a Copy to consolidate my texture maps for individual files. I did notice that when using V-ray the program often looses my maps and then creates a new folder on my C drive that has copies of my maps. Then the scattering begins. In all my years of using this program I have never really understood how it accesses the maps and why it has been so problematic. It seems to have all started when they implemented Maxwell and then it got amplified with the addition of V-ray.
  10. Andrew West

    resize off-screen layers palette

    Go to Workspace at top menu and Reset your Workspace.
  11. Andrew West

    Stereo Panoramas ?

    Are you using GPU or CPU? Hybrid? Many of my issues have been solved by switching back to CPU and of course throwing away my preference folder. Just a thought.
  12. Andrew West

    Caustics

    Lets not get into a discussion of software platforms here. I own Max and several other programs and they all have their issues and quirks. Yes, V-ray is a work in progress for FMZ and we are working on getting it implemented properly. Testing this has taken a lot longer than I hoped but I am able to generate production images fairly quickly. So I am looking for advice on whether this is an internal issue with the software or if it is internal to my lack of understanding on how its used. As for bump maps I did find out why the GPU is not getting the bump maps correct. One must go down to that tiny little box in the render settings to check Advanced Mode for GPU. Now it works. As for caustics who knows why I can't get it to work. Tech has gone MIA again. The displacement issue has continued to plague me but it is mainly when turning a corner. I can get physical displacement on a flat plane pretty easily. I do find it strange that the disp map tool is just an icon that you click and then click on the geometry. Never sure if it is doing anything when I do it. I would have expected an alignment tool or some pop up to indicate that something is happening. My guess is that the displacement map is somehow linked to the alignment and scale of the texture map and that tool just gives the map some amplitude. Don't forget to mesh your object before displacement. One thing that I did find interesting were the values for displacement. On a model with pool water I had a very blurry disp map that was not that high of a contrast and my Displ. value was 0.08 out of 100. I attribute this to the contrast and the size of the original map.
  13. Andrew West

    Caustics

    Has anyone been able to get V-ray caustics to work yet? I am trying to create some realistic pool water and I have watched a few videos of v-ray for Max. No matter what I set my caustics to it has no effect on the image. I have messed with every v-ray setting and even displaced the water surface. Secondly I noticed that if I use my GPU to render not only do the caustics not work but my bump map disappears and then the render hangs forever. Does GPU not support bump maps? Using Hybrid does the same thing. Anyone out there that has tried to make great pool water yet?
  14. Andrew West

    Example Images

    Jaakko I turn on the channels for Reflection and Raw Reflection in my render Elements. Then in Photoshop if I use the Reflection channel over my Final output I set it to Screen Mode and adjust transparency of the channel. That can be all it takes. Sometimes I use Raw Reflection over the output and set it to Soft Light mode. This give reflections along with a bit more contrast. The only issue with Raw Reflection is that it can be a bit noisy compared to the other channels. So the cheap fix is to reduce the noise in PS. The better fix is to increase the Shading Rate in your render from the default of 6 up to 18 or more. Increases time but worth it. AW
  15. Andrew West

    Example Images

    And another
  16. Andrew West

    Example Images

    Nice images Jaakko Are you working with the reflection channel much? Your images seem to need a bit of gloss to the hard surfaces. Or is that the look you are after? Here is one that is all about the reflection. Really wish I could figure out how to get Caustics to work. So far I am at a loss no matter what I try.
  17. Andrew West

    V-ray troubleshooting

    Same issue with the light palette. Stranger still sometimes I can't select the light from the palette, only in the model window. No big deal but I have gotten used to really buggy software .....which is unfortunate in its own right.
  18. Andrew West

    V-ray troubleshooting

    I really can't explain how many little things improve when the preference folder is recreated. It is like driving a brand new car again.
  19. Andrew West

    Maxwell vs Vray

    I agree that emissive materials do not work in V-ray like they do in Maxwell. I use them just to get a glow on an object. Then to improve that glow I make sure to use the Bloom effect in the final render window. As for cove lights I do them all the time as V-ray plane lights. That way you can point them in a direction and they are very easy to edit and scale. In the properties of that light make them invisible and invisible to reflections. Super easy. I use mesh lights to just fill a room with light but they still take on a little bit of the shape of the mesh (like a box). Maxwell does it better but not by a lot.
  20. Andrew West

    displacement

    I have been stumped for months now on how to get displacement maps to work within my material editor. Essentially I am looking to create a stone wall that is displaced and wraps around a corner. Anyone out there who has figured it out? I have a material that I have created for masonry. In the editor I have given it a bump map (dirt) and a displacement map (my stone wall) and turned them on. The preview in the editor looks pretty good. I have displacement turned on in my render options. The render output shows the bumps in my reflection channel only but no matter what I do I can never get the displacement to show. The object is even meshed to see if that would help. FYI I have used the displacement tool in the V-ray tools palette with limited success. That tool is seems to allow for displacement of meshed objects but it does not allow for proper placement or even scaling of the texture . Using it on anything other than a surface object gives horrible results at the edges. As the stone turns the corner I get a thick black squiggly line. see attachment
  21. Andrew West

    Little Help in Vray

    Back on the forum again and I have a couple of suggestions. Getting the lighting and textures perfect in any 3d software is very time consuming and I have found that the most cost effective method is to just get it close enough, then take all your output layers and set them up in PS. First make sure that you have unique material ID's for all your materials and then turn on the Material ID switch in Render Elements. Then turn on the switches I mentioned above. On the lower menu bar on your render output turn on the tiny little icon on the far left for color and exposure corrections. This allows you to adjust the lighting and burned out areas after the render is done. Very helpful. Now In your render output make sure to go to the top menu and select Separate all channels to Separate files. This helps me keep things organized. You will find a new channel called Render Effects which has your corrected lighting channel along with an Alpha background which you can fill with White if you like. How you layer things and their blending modes in PS is a discussion best left out here. There are countless videos on how to do that. From a philosophy standpoint it is important to keep in mind that V-ray's great strength aside from speed is the ability to manipulate the image in post production in ways that Renderzone never allowed. Once you get a handle on that you will find it extremely useful and faster than fussing with constant test renders and lighting adjustments.
  22. Andrew West

    Little Help in Vray

    Welcome to the Vray club. You wont be disappointed. To your first and easy questions: You can use an infinite ground plane but I have found them to introduce issues in the past Turn the background to white by going to Vray Settings Palette-Settings-Environment-Background-set to color Now for some basics to get that look: Use a V-ray sun light and set it up to the angle you want. To get soft shadows you now have to double click the light, go to parameters, click over ride environment sky settings, turn the size multiplier up to 5. Now under the Vray Settings Palette you need to set your Camera, Render Output and such. One very useful tool in Vray is the ability to choose Render Elements. These are the channels that you import into PS to control your image. This allows for control everything from color, gloss and diffuse light. The most important ones I choose are Reflection, Raw Reflection, Depth of Field, and Material ID. For final renders I just turn all of them on.
  23. Andrew West

    Maxwell vs Vray

    This topic should probably be under the Vray for Form.z category but regardless I am probably the one to answer your question. If you look under that forum you will find a few of my posts pertaining to this subject. At the risk of repeating myself here goes: In overall look and quality I actually think that Maxwell has a slight advantage. I also prefer their material editor since it has more flexibility and greater options. It is also less buggy but that will change as Form.z addresses some of the current quirks in their Vray integration. I am also a big fan of Maxwell's multilight function and its ability to change lighting scenes post process instantly. The other advantage to Maxwell is that their lights seem to be more predictable with realistic settings and their emitters work much better. The obvious downside to Maxwell is that it is painfully slow. Think hours instead of minutes and days instead of hours. I spent over $7k on my computer and still found that I had to spend thousands more every year on render farms to get an image in any realistic time frame. So quality comes at a cost here. Now for V-ray: First it must be noted that it is still a work in progress but over the last year they have made tremendous gains. So if you do buy this just understand that there will be some quirks but that is probably true of most any program. I have even crashed photoshop on occasion. As far as quality and performance is concerned there really is no equal. It is a hundred times faster than Renderzone and a thousand times faster than Maxwell. The quality is far beyond Renderzone and the material options are much better. Lighting takes a little to get used to but we are all working on that along with the material editor. Hopefully they will be greatly improved in the next release. For what its worth I think you need to assess your clients needs and expectations in order to choose what is right for you. I do architecture which is often viewed at a distance so super tight control over things like caustics and hyper realistic materials are not an issue. I think if I was doing product design I might use Maxwell more. What my clients are most concerned about is Budget, realism, and speed. That is why I use V-ray. The material editor is pretty straight forward, lighting is fairly easy to learn, the render settings are pretty obvious, the end results are quite realistic and I can produce top quality renders in minutes rather than hours. To summarize how I feel lets just say that I used Maxwell exclusively for 4 years and then when they released V-ray I did a mix for a year until things settled down. I have not opened Maxwell in over a year now and I probably never will again. All of our clients needs are different so this is just my two cents worth from my position. If you would like to see examples of images we have produced in V-ray check the forum here. I will post more soon. Andrew
  24. Andrew West

    How to add custom jpgs to Material Palette

    Bo I guess I am confused as to what you are looking to do. Creating custom materials with jpeg texture maps is one of the most basic functions of Form.z. I see that you have been using this program for a while so I assume you know how to do this. Are you looking to do something more specific than that? AW
  25. Andrew West

    error ID -43:0

    Dubir Are you saying you cant open any of your files? Is your license active or have you made any current changes to your system? Have you tried disabling your virus software? I would expect Tech to weigh in on Monday but in the mean time try backtracking by using an older version of Form.z if you have one and check your extensions on each file you are trying to open. Without more info that is the best I can suggest for now.
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