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Andrew West

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  1. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from 3dworks in export vrscene?   
    It is worth reminding everyone that when you create a VRscene file it includes a vray sun.  When importing this file back into your project be sure to turn off the option to include lights.  If you don't then there will be an additional sun in your scene that you can not turn off or edit.  It does not show up in your light palette because it is in an outside asset.  I have made this mistake several times and my first clue is that the exposure on my image is completely off. 
     
  2. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from The Q in How do I create a Clear plastic Shrink wrap around 2 bottles?   
    Take one of your containers and use the Thicken Tool set to Out and a distance of 1/8".  Select the new object.  Slice off the side facing the other container and the top and bottom. Mirror it.   Now use the extend face tool to join the two halves of the shrink wrap.  Apply an appropriate dirt map to the bump channel to make the plastic look more realistic.  Does this get you close?
  3. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Justin Montoya in export vrscene?   
    Justin
    When you go to export your scene object Vray automatically creates a sun by default.  The only option is to disable the light when importing it back in.  If you forget you have to start over.   When discussing this with tech they say that including lights in a scene file is for scenes like a glowing light fixture which kind of makes sense if it was only limited to things like point and cone lights.  Including a sun in a scene file makes  no sense to me.  For me I use scene files for plants, trees, and complex furniture.   If you are not careful importing a dozen plants can give you a dozen suns which can not be turned off.  Tech, if you are listening the obvious fix is to have the lights disabled on import as a Default and then you can choose to enable it for your light fixtures when needed.  Just a thought.
    AW
  4. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Justin Montoya in Example Images   
    Tim
    Thanks for the tip on the Adobe models.  I took a look at those and found them to be pretty primitive.  Even the premium ones seem a little crude, especially for $20 each.  I like to use 3D Sky for most of my imported models.  They are all $6 each and some are really fantastic.    When I absolutely can't find what I need there I will go to TurboSquid which is pricey but excellent.  Now it is worth reminding everyone that Anton has been trying to put together a 3D model site for us here using Form.z.  I have put a few in there but it would really take the whole community chipping in to fill that site with a wide variety of usable models.  It is just a bit of a time commitment to package things up and upload them.  Maybe I can add a lot more during the next major recession. 
    AW
  5. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from timgarner_10 in Example Images   
    I can answer that for you.  When a 3 d person is absolutely necessary I go to either 3D Sky or TurboSquid.  The Sky models are a lot less expensive.  https://3dsky.org/3dmodels/category/zhvie_sushestva?page=3
    Really pay attention to the export options on their models to make sure that they are compatible.  I usually use OBJ if available. 
    Andrew
  6. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Justin Montoya in VRay fur - save to preset option   
    I agree 100% and I will talk to Tech about this.  When things get complicated in my models I tend to take screen shots of my settings once I get them to work properly.  One annoying feature of the fur tool is that if you get it just right and then open the project the next day your Blade Count defaults back to Zero.  No fur.  I then go back into the dreaded Attributes Palette and scroll down to Vray Fur Attributes to re enter the blade count.  So my solution is to always set my fur to Per Area, make the area the same size for all future fur materials and then always use the same blade count so that I remember.  For me that means 6 sq inches and a blade count of 50 which gets me grass, fur and shag carpet as a starting point. 
  7. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Des in 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.
  8. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from andrew in 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. 
  9. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Jaakko in 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. 
  10. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Des in 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.
  11. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Jaakko in 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. 
  12. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from andrew in V-ray troubleshooting   
    To all of you out there that are using V-ray now and might be having some issues I have a generic solution to a lot of your troubles.  As I get more heavily into materials and lighting I have noticed some really strange and unpredictable behavior.  Things like the material editor really slowing down and material previews not showing.  Then last week my ability to create and edit V-ray cone lights suddenly vanished.  SOLUTION: Throw your Autdessys Preference folder in the trash can.  When the program is relaunched the folder will be re created.  To find this folder it is in an unusual place (at least for me)
    Go to :  C_Users_(Your Computer Name)_AppData_Roaming_autodessys.    Happy hunting.
    Andrew
    PS- One other useful tip is to never waste your time with the V-ray Proxy objects.  I have been informed that this is an old tool that needed to be included for some reason.  It does not work.  You should create V-ray scene files if you want to bring in high poly models and keep your resources optimized.  It works great for trees, bushes and people.  When creating scene files you will find that the program creates a sun light with the scene model.  When you import the scene you will need to disable the sun or you will end up with multiple suns in your project.  To do this you need to to to the objects V-ray parameters and edit the sun out.  Just an FYI
  13. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from jsiggia in Example Images   
    And another

  14. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from jsiggia in Example Images   
    An exterior using V-ray with just a simple sun light. 

  15. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Jaakko in Example Images   
    Very nice job.  The lighting is very realistic and inviting.  If I may make a couple of suggestions I would personally change the aspect ratio to show a little less ceiling and a bit more floor.  Then add a spot light fixture for the light on the painting and perhaps water in the tub.  The cabinetry is quite a dark void and it gets a bit lost without some definition.  These are just personal comments.  Technically the image is great.  Keep up the good work.  Are you using IES lights for your spot?
    Here is a bath that Justin and I did this week just for fun.  Playing around with the fur tool and displacements. 
  16. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from -andrew- in Can't load textures   
    Andrew
    Take a look at your underlay file and make sure it is either a standard JPEG or  a Tiff.   And then just for fun do a search to make sure your Video Card drivers are up to date. 
  17. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from -andrew- in Can't load textures   
    Corrupted image files are a constant problem in both Form.z and Vray.  Always check the extension and when in doubt do a save as on the image file.  This is a problem that has been growing slowly for a while now.   Glad to hear you got it worked out. 
  18. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Jaakko in Example Images   
    Very nice job.  The lighting is very realistic and inviting.  If I may make a couple of suggestions I would personally change the aspect ratio to show a little less ceiling and a bit more floor.  Then add a spot light fixture for the light on the painting and perhaps water in the tub.  The cabinetry is quite a dark void and it gets a bit lost without some definition.  These are just personal comments.  Technically the image is great.  Keep up the good work.  Are you using IES lights for your spot?
    Here is a bath that Justin and I did this week just for fun.  Playing around with the fur tool and displacements. 
  19. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from -andrew- in Sharp edges/creases in sub-d models?   
    Personally I would forego Sub D and go straight to Nurbs modeling.  In the past when modeling furniture and cars I would create profiles and then start joining them with the Nurbs Loft, Nurbs Boundery and then Nurbs extend, blend etc.  It has proven to be more reliable and predictable when accuracy  is important.    To get sharper edges you just use Tight Lofting.  Just my two cents.
  20. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from -andrew- in "Show Controls" not working?   
    Your pref folder if you don't know is located at   C-  Users-Computer Name-App Data-Roaming-Autodessys
     
  21. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from -andrew- in "Show Controls" not working?   
    Another simpler solution is to throw out your preference folder.  I have had to do that quite a lot in the past year but the latest version I have seems to be much more stable.  Version 10213. 
     
  22. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Jaakko in Example Images   
    love the new fur tool for pillows, throws and carpet.  Pay careful attention to the scale of the individual hairs or fibers.  Defaults are a little clunky.

  23. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Jaakko in Example Images   
    Alan
    I flood my interiors with light because when I work with developers and god forbid realtors they tend to ask for images that are similar to what you would find in a real estate brochure. In essence they do not like to see strong shadows and they want all the elements of the room to be equally illuminated.  I personally hate this direction and if an image has strong potential I will render it out with a different light scheme to use for my portfolio.    At the end of the day though they pay the bills (hopefully) and therefore I give them what they want. 
    For those who are interested in creating interiors I usually start with a V-ray sun outside and turn down the intensity to 50% or less.  Then I put a light plane just outside the window that is the same size as the window with an intensity of about 75.  Turn off visibility and affects reflections and turn on portal light for that plane.  Then I go in and create a box inside the room that does not touch anything and I convert that to a mesh light with an intensity of about 30.   Turn off visibility and affects reflections.  Then I go to my camera and adjust the exposure.   There is a little back and forth and sometimes I find the need to add a few more mesh or plane lights.  I do find that adding cone, sphere or IES lights really doesn't really contribute much and can lead to more unpredictable results.  Emitters are useless as well unless they are the only things that contribute to the scene.  One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes these mesh lights can cast some bizarre shadows on the ceiling.   I still can not figure out why but I have worked with David on this and will continue to do so. 
    These images render really quickly no matter how much geometry I throw in there. 
  24. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from Jaakko in Example Images   
    My background is in architecture and art so I tend to lean toward more dramatic and inspiring images.  Developers and real estate agents tend to aim for the safest images that will appeal to the largest audience.  But you know the old saying: " creating something that will appeal to everyone leads us to something that appeals to no one.  "  .  This is how we ended up with beige subdivisions of generic buildings.  Another good example is the Pontiac Aztec which is still studied in design school as "what not to do".  It was a designed by customer feedback and opinion polls.   Failed miserably and you would be hard pressed to even find one today.  
    I was a member of the American Society of Architectural illustrators for many years.  Each year they have a competition for the best illustrations.  If you talk to the winners they almost always admit that their image was done for themselves and not a client.  If you compare their client image to the presented one you would be amazed at how different they are.  I would encourage everyone here to take a few of their best images and recreate them to their liking.  Then post those images to our site to better show the potential of Form.z and V-ray. 
  25. Like
    Andrew West got a reaction from AHTOH in Copy or Duplicate Many function?   
    Of course.  One of the more basic functions of most CAD programs. 
    Select an object using the pick tool.  Select the move tool.  In the upper right corner of your screen is the tool options palette.  You will see a series of red and blue balls.  The far right one is the multicopy object.  You can determine the number of copies, the distance between, etc. 
    You can also place a set number of objects along any path using the T-form 2 tools near the bottom of your modeling tools.
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