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Dear friends,

 

we are very happy to announce that the first open beta version of Thea for FormZ is now available!

theaformzbanner.jpg

 

For those not familiar with Thea Render, it is a physically-based render engine being developed for over 5 years with very high quality unbiased render modes as well as GPU rendering. Our integrated render engine brings the power of Thea inside FormZ package, supporting FormZ 8 and 8.5, Pro, Junior and Free versions on Windows and MacOSX. It supports instancing, material presets, various light types, shadow catcher and many other features, in both production and interactive render modes.

 

You can find more info and download the integration at our dedicated landing page. The integration runs in demo mode with all the features of the licensed one (except for the resolution limitation and watermarks). You can also take advantage of the open beta phase and buy the plugin bundled with Thea Studio, with 20% discount.

 

To get started with the plugin, please check out our introductory tutorial below.

 


 

 

Kind Regards

 

Edited by giannis

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Wow that looks very promising indeed - thanks.

 

2 stupid questions for a start:

 

Will buying the Thea special now eliminate the watermark while open beta already ?

 

The darkroom renders with presto modes but I havent installed CUDA yet - does it only use the cpu then  ?

(CUDA drivers is a "must" and will increase performance ?)

 

(OSX Yosemite, GeForce GTX 760)

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Hi, see my answers below.

 

2 stupid questions for a start:

There is no such a thing as stupid question ;)

 

Will buying the Thea special now eliminate the watermark while open beta already ?

Of course.

 

The darkroom renders with presto modes but I havent installed CUDA yet - does it only use the cpu then  ?

(CUDA drivers is a "must" and will increase performance ?)

 

(OSX Yosemite, GeForce GTX 760)

First, you don't need CUDA package installed, what you need is an updated graphics driver (supporting CUDA 6.5).

BUT, this is not necessary in order to run Thea; all the unbiased modes TR1/TR2 plus the biased AMC/BSD modes run on CPU.

Presto also runs on the CPU - if you have a NVidia GPU even better, then Presto can run on both CPU and GPU.

 

Best wishes

 

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So just to understand this further, to make full use of presto, Nvidia osx drivers have to be installed ("web drivers")?

If not installed, gpu is not used together with cpu?

Another question- since the presto uses all cores it makes working in FormZ very slow while presto is running.

Is the "studio" designed so that it renders standalone, leaving ressources to continue working in Z while rendering?

(Havent found time to try studio yet...)

Thanks

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So just to understand this further, to make full use of presto, Nvidia osx drivers have to be installed ("web drivers")?

If not installed, gpu is not used together with cpu?

I am not sure about the "web drivers", you can download a driver supporting CUDA 6.5 and above from NVidia archives:
 
And yes, Thea Presto engine will run on whatever is available. If GPU is not there, it will run only the CPU. If you want also your GPU to contribute, then proper driver has to be installed. So, if driver is not installed, GPU will not be used together with CPU.

 

 

Another question- since the presto uses all cores it makes working in FormZ very slow while presto is running.

Is the "studio" designed so that it renders standalone, leaving ressources to continue working in Z while rendering?

Any of the engines (and particular Presto if it runs on both CPU & GPU), will take resources out of your system. Using another application at the same time and trying to make real work will be sluggish. The workaround here is to lower the priority of the Thea in order to leave resources for the modeling work.

 

Thea Studio works as a standalone application (and it is bundled with FormZ plugin, so you get both). There are some differences in response mostly due to how the operating system itself allocates resources to different processes (FormZ & Studio running) compared to allocating resources to different threads within the same process (FormZ & Integration running inside). In most cases, it will be somewhat better using the Studio if you want to work in parallel with FormZ (assuming the operating system gives less resources to background processes - which is true by default) but not really that much.

 

Best wishes

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Giannis

 

We already have 3 Thea licenses running sketchup plugins (the plug ins were separate purchases before)

 

Is the fz plug in available as a separate purchase/product ?

 

Or do we have to buy a bundle ?  This would not be viable.....

 

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We already have 3 Thea licenses running sketchup plugins (the plug ins were separate purchases before)

 

Is the fz plug in available as a separate purchase/product ?

 

Or do we have to buy a bundle ?  This would not be viable.....

Of course, you can buy FormZ plugin as an "upgrade" plugin to your existing Thea for SU licenses. ;)

 

Here is the related e-shop link:

https://www.thearender.com/site/index.php/buy/product/212-formz-plugin-upgrade-license.html

 

Especially during open beta, this is just 35 euros per FormZ plugin license (it will go to 100 euros after open beta)*.

 

Best wishes

 

* Please note that all prices listed here are net prices at the time of writing.

Edited by giannis

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Will Thea Render and Maxwell Render ever be included in Form Z's Imager software? Or will Thea Render make it possible to launch multiple copies of Darkroom so more than one image can render simultaneously as Maxwell Render? I love the results and the speed of Thea Render. The results are very close to Maxwell in most cases in a fraction of the time. I bought the software as soon as it was available.

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Will Thea Render and Maxwell Render ever be included in Form Z's Imager software? Or will Thea Render make it possible to launch multiple copies of Darkroom so more than one image can render simultaneously as Maxwell Render? I love the results and the speed of Thea Render. The results are very close to Maxwell in most cases in a fraction of the time. I bought the software as soon as it was available.

 

Hi tcamco,

 

We have plans for a batch tool, it is not something that will be available in the next release though. 

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great plugin, a nice render engine and very well integrated into FZ! i love the in-viewport rendering! i also have a few questions:

 

first about GPU support and network rendering. i'm based on mac and have a geforce 980ti card on the main mac pro, but as i am also rendering a lot in octane, i have a separate GPU expander box connected to a networked PC with windows as well. is there any wqay to use those extra 5 GPU's with thea? if yes, what would be the licensing cost in this case? i am only interested in using thea with FZ for now.

 

a feature request about cameras: i noticed that no shift lens camera is supported - if so, will this be in a future update? i'm using it quite a lot in FZ.

 

cheers

 

markus

 

 

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Hi Markus,

 

You can check in the plugin [Display Options > Presto AO (or MC) > Devices panel] or in Thea Studio [Customize menu > Devices...] if the GPU's are detected properly (CUDA 6.5 required).

About licensing, the Thea for form Z bundle standard license includes two node licenses you can use (besides the plugin and the standalone Studio licenses).

 

Regarding shift lens, it is available inside Thea Studio (properties of the selected camera), adding the relevant parameters in the plugin as well is being considered.

 

Regards,

Manolis

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Hi Markus,

 

You can check in the plugin [Display Options > Presto AO (or MC) > Devices panel] or in Thea Studio [Customize menu > Devices...] if the GPU's are detected properly (CUDA 6.5 required).

About licensing, the Thea for form Z bundle standard license includes two node licenses you can use (besides the plugin and the standalone Studio licenses).

 

Regarding shift lens, it is available inside Thea Studio (properties of the selected camera), adding the relevant parameters in the plugin as well is being considered.

 

Regards,

Manolis

 

yes they are detected and i can see in my hardware monitor tool that they are both used well!

 

great news about the render nodes. is testing of the network rendering also possible with the demo?

 

great to see the shift lens to be considered in the plugin! FZ calls this more from an engineering point of view a "2 point perspective" in their camera settings.

 

thank you for the support and cheers

 

markus

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is testing of the network rendering also possible with the demo?

 

Hi Markus,

 

It is. Set a network mode (Display Options > Rendering > Distribution) and then start rendering in the Darkroom. In the other machine(s) launch Thea Client instances and configure each one to connect to the server machine.

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maybe i didn't setup this correctly, but i set display options > rendering > distribution to 'server' on my mac and try to see the remote windows based server (all in demo mode), but under the 'network log' tab in darkroom there is nothing listed. on the remote pc, i started thea studio, went to menu help > remote server and hit 'start', then OK.

 

am i doing anything wrong?

 

kind regards

 

markus

Edited by 3dworks

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maybe i didn't setup this correctly, but i set display options > rendering > distribution to 'server' on my mac and try to see the remote windows based server (all in demo mode), but under the 'network log' tab in darkroom there is nothing listed. on the remote pc, i started thea studio, went to menu help > remote server and hit 'start', then OK.

 

am i doing anything wrong?

 

kind regards

 

markus

Did you use Server Beacon? Also you need manually start slave app on remote computer. It does not start itself. If you did net rendering is starting automatically when you say Thea to render over network.

Best,

Anton.

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sorry, very busy lately here so i could not get back or check thea for some time, but thanks for the tip! yes i tried the server beacon but maybe i missed to start that slave app on the remote server. i thought it is enough to start the main application for that - or is this what you mean. i will check through the instructions again and follow up here later...

 

cheers

 

markus

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ok, reread the manual, rechecked all settings, no go. just to resume what i did:

 

i set the firewall on my windows 7 pro server to let thea application go through all protocols

on mac side, i set firewall and little snitch to let thea and formz pass through all protocols

 

1) launched thea application on windows machine.

2) in 'help' menu i activated the server with default settings.

3) i activated the server beacon.

4) i open FZ with a scene.

5) i go to darkroom and check network log: nothing listed.

5) i open thea application on mac and got o darkroom/network log: nothing here as well.

 

any suggestions?

 

cheers

 

markus

 

 

Edited by 3dworks

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Hi Markus,

 

Can you try with the following steps:

 

1. Open the scene in formZ

2. Go to Display Options [right-click at the Thea icon in the top toolbar > Thea Render IR Options...]

3. In Distribution settings set Network to Server

4. Start rendering in Thea Darkroom inside formZ

 

5. On your other machine launch a Thea Client [for Windows open the Start menu and type Thea Client, for Mac go to the Thea Render folder in the Applications directory and launch Thea Client.app]

6. Once the client has been launched select Configure at the left side, and then click the icon in the "Server Address" line.

7. A new pop-up window will appear (Searching for servers...). After a few seconds the first machine will be listed. Select it, click OK and also close the Configure panel.

8. Click Start in the client. After a few seconds the console should inform you that the project has been received. At this point you should also see a new entry in the Network Log about the added client. 

 

Hope this helps!

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thank for getting back! point 7 is the problem: on my windows client no mac FZ server will appear. i've setup everything as described on the mac and firewalls are set to let pass thea and FZ communication. server list on windows machine remains empty.

 

kind regards

 

markus

Edited by 3dworks

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