King James Version (KJV)


Render times and progress

Posted by Marius Oberholster on Thursday, January 28, 2016 Under: General
Hey all!

Super excited to be sharing with you guys the progress from the last week. Passed few days have not been the most productive, but ironically, the focus was in a different direction this week, but you'll see on that later.

 - Verse Image -
First, I felt lead to make use of the project and it's assets to create this week's verse image and I really liked the result. Because my hosting is not that big, I'm trying to limit the content I post, so I'm simply linking to the Cross Allegiance page's version - I know the short message with it will bless you too!

Now for the more technical side and some renders!! :D

- Render Times and getting them lower -
A very hot topic and will always be one for anyone using a PC for any strenuous graphical work. In Blender, this is somewhat helped by the fact that the new render engine, Cycles included, can make good use of the GPU - depending on card and scene size.
   Since I am doing this in Blender Render and not Cycles Render, I'm going to be giving you some tips on speeding up your renders. Some you may know, some you may not and others you would not have thought of because they were so technical you just didn't bother to research, hahaha:

   1) Leave your PC alone when it's rendering
Again, this might seem kinda duh, but you'd be amazed how much of a difference this makes. I know many of us really do need the PC for most of the day and can't just leave it running - I get that. What I am saying is, whenever you can take a break, take it and let the PC do it's thing.

   2) Texture baking
Most of you, if you use Blender, know exactly what baking is. I am not the biggest fan of the process, because it's easy to overwrite what you've just waited for, so I know that can be frustrating, but the speed you gain during render times is so worth it! Especially if you are into procedural textures like I am, you can almost literally half your render time just by baking complex node texture that are procedural. I did this with the Persepolis complex floor. It literally cut my render time in half. There are many kinds of textures you can bake, but for a dynamic scene, stick to baking diffuse and specular textures and leave the rest to compositing and rendering if at all possible.
   You can even just use image textures from Gimp and other programs too. As much as I hate to admit it, image textures are faster when it comes to render times. So, I generated a procedural cloud texture, that is tilable, in Gimp and used that for the landscapes:

First try, looks like muddy clay, but still a lot faster!

Final look:

May still change

   3) Lighting method and samples
This one really surprised me! In the world setting, under the gather method, you find an option that you can switch, under RayTrace, between Constant QMC and Adaptive QMC. Adaptive QMC is the fastest, if you use it right. Now, I am not saying I'm this expert, because to be honest, I just read a short description of the feature and played around with some values under GOD's leading, so I'm simply sharing that with you.
   What makes Adaptive QMC so much different than Constant QMC is that you can still get smooth shadows and they can look amazing, but you can get it faster. What it does is it stops calculating samples based on a threshold you give it. So for some bounces, it will only render 1 sample, instead of 20 - see how it can make your render faster, haha.
Personally, I set the threshold all the way up to 1, because I want a strong sense of ambient occlusion, high contrast and the quickest render times I can get my hands on, while still having the look I want.
   This also applies to lamps - even on lamps with just 1 sample. If you turn a 1 sample lamp's soft size to 0, set it to Adaptive QMC and it's threshold on 1, you will notice an increase in speed! I was surprised - I did not think it would make a difference, as it is already on 1 sample, what more will it calculate, haha. Now for the smoother lamps, I use no more than 7 samples (speed issue) and of course, threshold to 1, but the soft size will vary based on the scene.
Give it a shot! :D

Windows still needed, haha.

   4) Anti-Aliasing (AA)
Also a bit of an issue, especially when it comes to resolution. The higher the resolution, the less it's needed, but oh dear, even on FullHD you notice this. I wanted my render times down a while back and GOD lead my to turn the samples down to 5, instead of 8 - massive difference!! This week, I wanted to know what AA filter  would be the fastest. For me it was between Box and Tent, but Tent won out in the end. So set the samples to 5 and your filter to Tent. If you want to up the mix size, you can, but leaving it on 1 is good and gives you a nice crisp result. If you r scene has really find detail, like brick work, you want it set to 1.5, it's max, hahaha.

 - Dead particles and scene size -
Onto one of the things I was the most surprised and excited by. Dead particles are not what they sound like. Dead in this case means that they are not active and will not be altered by the environment. Think of it as a completely static object, like a really heavy desk or pillar. Unless the scene calls for an object to move, you can definitely us this to your advantage! A while ago, I wanted to make forests and things like (anime backgrounds) that and that needed lots of trees and GOD really opened my eyes to see particles as a modelling tool around that time and really only on this one had me apply it - the the pillars specifically.
   Unfortunately, this does not bring down your render times and pushes up the memory usage, but, it does allow you to create scenes much more detailed, or much larger. It can literally make the difference between being able to make a specific scene and not being able to. Take the current to palaces I have up. Both of those have very fine roof details. Points on the roof and blocks around the molding. Do you know that is about a thousand around the focused on palace alone? Do you know there are just short of 260 pillars? Do you know that my PC refused to add even 100 pillars, even on an array modifier? Oh yeah, particles can make the difference between being able to do a scene or not.
   Now I would like to show you some things that are particle modeled:

The window bars are particles as well as the frames.

Points on the roof as well as the blocks. Door frames are Alt+D duplicated,
because even by the plans, each doorway is a slightly different size...

And lastly, I just want to say how thankful I am for the results so far. I told a friend earlier this week that everything is so beautiful that I just want to add some shots to show it off, hahaha. GOD is so good!!! I know when life presses, it doesn't always feel that way, but what the Enemy tries to throw at us does not make GOD any less good.

Anyway, I pray this update has blessed you and I leave you with the final render of this post - the stairs!

Have a great one and GOD bless!!
Know JESUS yet? Trust me, you want to!

In : General 

Tags: god  jesus  holy spirit  blender  particles  modelling  verse image  render time  blender render  baking textures  progress  speed  lighting  anti-aliasing  stairs  esther 6 

About Me

Marius Oberholster Hey all! I've been doing CG work full-time since 2011. GOD has been with me, supported me and taught me all the way. HE tells us to do all things as unto the LORD and that is my goal. I do whatever I believe the HOLY SPIRIT is leading me to do and it's not always easy, but it's always worth it to be obedient! JESUS is awesome!! If you don't know HIM yet, follow the link above!

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