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jonmoore

Thea for FormZ in action

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Thanks for sharing.

 

What's the mac spec for this machine doing the rendering?

 

I only install beta software on old hardware so this is running on an 8 thread 3.4Ghz i7 (and without an Nvidia GPU). If this was running on new workstation grade hardware it would have rendered in under a minute.

 

The trick with getting fast renderers out of Thea has less to do with hardware (within reason) and is more a case of picking the right render engine integrator (in this case Presto MC) and tuning it for the type of scene you're working with (in this case a HDR lit exterior with mesh lights on the building interior).

 

Hope that helps clarify things a little.

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I notice that your window states 'Interactive Window' does this mean that there is an 'Accurate window' in Thea that gives a better quality render.  I am familiar with other renderers that do offer many changes on the fly in 'interactive' mode that is faster but higher quality is another choice. This model looks familiar as it is used with Maxwell 3.2 as well - nevertheless this does look a bit faster ( My MW 3.2 only 4 cores @2.3G ) and as first demo your shot looks tweaked, sharp and good.

Rob

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I find that for most exterior renders the options available via the interactive render window are good enough for final production renders. Interactive rendering offers three of the six rendering options available via the Darkroom (Thea's production rendering workflow). And most of the tone mapping and camera controls are available during interactive render sessions too. These are very powerful and enable you to save the renders directly without any need for post production in many cases.

 

The FormZ Thea plugin is still in the early stages of development so workflows are likely to be fine tuned but rather than just posting a  final render I wanted to give a flavour of the interactive rendering workflow.

 

Maxwell Render is also a very powerful rendering engine, and one that has a selection of power user options that Thea doesn't include. But Thea offers far greater flexibility with it's range of rendering technologies. I really see them as complementary technologies rather than competitors. But I'm a render geek and there's never enough rendering options for me.  :)

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this is very interesting to see.  I use Maxwell with FormZ regularly, but I've used Thea with Sketchup. Cant wait to see more about this as it develops...thanks.

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Thank you for sharing Jon. That is an impressive rendering result in a very short amount of render time. I'm curious about the time and effort required to set up the materials, cameras and lighting, as render time is only part of the equation. Can you talk about that workflow and provide some insights to us very eager FMZ users?? I find that utilizing Maxwell materials can be a time suck, but necessary for getting good results.

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Thank you for sharing Jon. That is an impressive rendering result in a very short amount of render time. I'm curious about the time and effort required to set up the materials, cameras and lighting, as render time is only part of the equation. Can you talk about that workflow and provide some insights to us very eager FMZ users?? I find that utilizing Maxwell materials can be a time suck, but necessary for getting good results.

 

Very good question but I won't be able to answer it till tomorrow. Just about to have my prostate hacked at by a surgeon so I'll be out of action for the rest of today. Hopefully I'll be fit to resume normal services tomorrow  :)

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Hi Jon. Hi folks.

Here are my 2 cents:

I did 2 images of the same scene in order to compare my real work. One is in old friend Maxwell another one with new kid Thea. Maxwell took 7 hours 30 minutes and Thea in Adaptive BSD rendering mode took 3 minutes 35 seconds. So, bet what is what:

post-46-0-34730100-1449161416_thumb.jpg

post-46-0-75316800-1449161417_thumb.jpg

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Thank you everyone!  I'm very excited to see this progress!  

 

AHTOH, what computer hardware are you using?  I believe if you change camera lens settings, you may find one that looks closer to the Maxwell solution.  Either way, the speed increase and quality is still very impressive! 

 

So does Thea allow you to set a material as an emitter light, in a similar way that Maxwell does?

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Thank you everyone!  I'm very excited to see this progress!  

 

AHTOH, what computer hardware are you using?  I believe if you change camera lens settings, you may find one that looks closer to the Maxwell solution.  Either way, the speed increase and quality is still very impressive! 

 

So does Thea allow you to set a material as an emitter light, in a similar way that Maxwell does?

It is kinda Mac OS compatible 6 Core I7 3.4GHz  32Gigs RAM 250 Gig ROM HDD NVidia GForce 770 2 Gig videocard.

 

I will play with lens and stuff `bit later. I just got watermark free Thea to my hands today.

 

You can assign emitters to any material. Thea materials are pretty close in it`s approach to Maxwell. There are some other tricks though. I am only at the beginning of finding them out. You can find out about them downloading trial Thea Studio. I am not sure if I can tell all the details here due to agreement with Solid Iris.

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Thank you for sharing Jon. That is an impressive rendering result in a very short amount of render time. I'm curious about the time and effort required to set up the materials, cameras and lighting, as render time is only part of the equation. Can you talk about that workflow and provide some insights to us very eager FMZ users?? I find that utilizing Maxwell materials can be a time suck, but necessary for getting good results.

Since my prostate is OK I will answer instead of Joe: Materials, lights cameras e.t.c setup to me the same easy as in Maxwell. With this simple scene I shown below (or it is going to be above? whatever) I spent about hour and halve. But basically it is my nearly first real experience of Thea use. I believe next time it is going to be faster.

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Thank you for sharing Jon. That is an impressive rendering result in a very short amount of render time. I'm curious about the time and effort required to set up the materials, cameras and lighting, as render time is only part of the equation. Can you talk about that workflow and provide some insights to us very eager FMZ users?? I find that utilizing Maxwell materials can be a time suck, but necessary for getting good results.

 

All recovered from yesterday's butchery (but obviously a tad tender) so here goes. I will add that much as I'm a fan of Thea, I'll shoot from the hip with my views as it's not my job to be a salesman for Solid Iris.

 

The materials system in Thea is very similar to the materials system in Maxwell so if you're familiar with one you'll be up to speed in no time at all with the other. But it must be said the the approach that Thea and Maxwell take to materials (a physical simulation) is less artist friendly that the likes of V-Ray, Arnold, Mental Ray, Renderman, Octane etc. The traditional BRDF (and increasingly BSDF) approach is more intuitive because it doesn't present the artist with a bunch of scientifically based physical parameters. However once you get a grasp on the scientific language it's a very fast materials system to work with. My advice here is to use the Maxwell documentation where parameters are similar in Maxwell and Thea. The Maxwell documentation is written with greater clarity and depth than the Thea documentation. This isn't the fault of the Thea developers but it's obvious to an english speaker that the documentation was translated from another language and this can make complex concepts more difficult to understand.

 

Lighting and Camera settings in Thea also deal in real world physical parameters (as in Maxwell) and this can at first seem complicated but it provides the artist with a lot of control.

 

Back to Thea materials one thing you'll need to do for many materials is think about them with a layered approach. I put this Stainless Steel material together as a test to see if Thea could match the excellent GGX BRDF that's used in the other 3rd party renderers I mention above. By using separate layers to control the specular response of the steel coupled scientifically measure Index of Refraction and Extiction Coefficient data (all easilly research here http://refractiveindex.info/), I was able to simulate a metal at least as good as that created via a GGX BRDF methodology (something that was specifically designed with metals in mind).

 

14h4A.png

 

As you can see it has that typical dual specular response you get in metals. And this case I was going for a rougher finish to the stainless steel as I prefer this to something heavily mirrored on kitchen appliances and cabinets. If you look at the cabinets at on top these display very rough reflections of the windows shining on the geometry but the curved elements such as the handles and fluid dispenser show both a sharp specular response of the rough specular response. And this is only the base material. If this was part of a production image I'd add scratch maps and subtle anisotropy maps.

 

The main difference between Maxwell and Thea is that you have a faster feedback loop in Thea so it's easier to see the impact of parameter changes across lighting, materials and cameras. But the parameters you work with in Thea are very similar to those in Maxwell.

Edited by jonmoore

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Looking good!

 

Since it's still in development I feel it might be worth suggesting a 'simple' mode, if possible for new users.  Something in the vein of Keyshot, but perhaps with more powerful options as you dive in.  It would just be nice to be able to load some default scenes and tweak from there to get a jumpstart on all the different settings.  I found this was the worst part of Maxwell.  I'm a creative with a bit of geekiness, not a geek with a bit of creative.  (No offense meant there, just trying to explain where I'm coming from.)  If the information is presented in an easier to understand format then even new users can understand their effect. 

 

Just a thought.  ;)

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Looking good!

 

Since it's still in development I feel it might be worth suggesting a 'simple' mode, if possible for new users.  Something in the vein of Keyshot, but perhaps with more powerful options as you dive in.  It would just be nice to be able to load some default scenes and tweak from there to get a jumpstart on all the different settings.  I found this was the worst part of Maxwell.  I'm a creative with a bit of geekiness, not a geek with a bit of creative.  (No offense meant there, just trying to explain where I'm coming from.)  If the information is presented in an easier to understand format then even new users can understand their effect. 

 

Just a thought.   ;)

 

There's an intention to provide a wizard type of interface (similar to Maxwell) as well to help beginners get to grips with things and a pretty decent presets system to get you started. 

 

In truth though, to get the best from either Maxwell or Thea you need to understand how their materials approach differs from other systems. Thea isn't Keyshot and it never will be but its' materials system is simple to understand if you're willing to take the time to learn how to get the best from it (no different to any other render engine). The quality of the results are more than worth the effort.

 

Thea Studio is already a very successful product and the developers aren't looking to radically change their proven approach to rendering technology. The beta process is more about ensuring the integration within FormZ is as full featured as can be. But the developers are aware that they need to include wizards and aids to help with all skill levels of user.

Edited by jonmoore

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Hey John-

 

Just checking in to see if you have any more Thea goodness to share?   :)

 

Apologies for the late reply Justin.

 

Nothing new to show from my end as the day job has taken over from any substantial testing of Thea but things are coming along nicely. I'll be sure to post something new i the next week or so.

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