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    SickenlySweete
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    Render Settings

    Post  SickenlySweete on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:08 am

    default settings


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    Most of that is fine, however...

    Your number 1 quality nob is: Shading Rate. Right now you're at the DS3 default of 1.00 which is a fairly soft / average shading rate. It sacrifices quality for speed. The minimum (best) shading rate you'd want to consider is generally 0.20. Personally 99% of my renders are done at 0.40 or 0.30. Rarely can I tell the difference between the two. Just remember that the lower the shading rate the higher the quality. Settings under 0.20 are usually almost impossible to detect and can dramatically increase the render time when compared to 0.20.

    Your next quality nob are the Pixel Samples. Up the X/Y Pixel Samples to 6 or even to 8 (no need to go any higher unless you're using Depth of Field in which case, temporarily go to 12 or 16) depending on if you're doing a very large depth of field or a very shallow one respectively).

    Lastly, is shadow samples. The larger and sharper your render the more you want to consider upping the shadow samples. I wouldn't go beyond 32 though unless you're wanting layered shadow effects with different colors or something unusual like that.

    That's all that you really need to consider for tweaking "quality"...

    Depending on your system you can up the bucket size to 32 or even 64. This can help offset (a tiny bit) the render time hit that applying all of the above will generate, however, it comes at a cost. The larger the bucket size the slower DS3 is to cancel a render as it must "finish" processing each active bucket in the queue when cancel is pressed before returning control to the system and upping the bucket size makes the bucket larger, thus it has more data to contend with, etc. The bucket size does not affect render quality.

    SickenlySweete
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    Re: Render Settings

    Post  SickenlySweete on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:11 am

    Raytrace Depth: I didn't touch on that dial, but for most applications a Raytrace Depth of 2 is sufficient. What this setting means is basically the number of "bounces" to "bounce" each light source. It's really most useful when dealing with reflections. If you're doing a single reflecting surface, a raytrace depth of 2 is enough. Ie, light bounces off the target and bounces off the reflective surface = 2. If you're doing multiple reflective surfaces and they need to reflect what the other is seeing, you're going to want to *double* the depth. Ie, 4. For reflections of reflections of reflections, you'll want 6. Basically it boils down to the number of reflections you want shown * 2. Raytrace Depth is a HUGE and I mean HUGE render time hit so be careful upping it unnecessarily.
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    Pixel Filter is very similar to Photoshop Filters. Each filter applies a different effect to the render. The Sinc filter with a Filter X/Y of 6 or 8 is appropriate (and default) as this produces very sharp / clear images. I suggest you just try the others to see what they do, but I save most of that for post work although I have used the Gaussian filter before.
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    I'd like to throw in a note about bucket size:

    3delight renders the image divided into multiple areas (buckets) according to the specified bucket size. One important thing to keep in mind here is that 3delight only needs to keep in memory what is required to render the current bucket.

    A lower bucket sizes can make a world of a difference if you are attempting to render more complex scenes, especially in a 32bit environment.

    Some other minor additions:
    - IIRC, ray-trace depth also needs to be taken into account when using transparency
    - there is an advantage of using the pixel filter directly within 3delight, it will be more accurate because it will operate on the internal floating point presentation of the image data
    If you wanted light to shine through 3 layers of transparency AND produce a shadow, you'd need a raytrace level of 4. That's a pretty rare scenario, but you're right it's one people should be aware of.
    _________________________________

    SickenlySweete
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    Re: Render Settings

    Post  SickenlySweete on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:12 am

    I recently got into using Depth of Field on my animations (the next completed animation will show this off) and I found that I had to go to at least 12 x 12 pixel samples (x,y settings) to ensure the out of focus stuff blurred nicely (anti-ailising).

    If I had something where the foreground was out of focus, the middle in focus and the back ground out of focus I had to resort to 16 x 16 - not something to be taken lightly it will increase render times by two or even 3 times! (over 8x8 which is what I usually render at).

    I will be keen to play with bucket size on my 64-bit daz advanced (plenty of memory to use up), and I will reduce the ray trace length (i'm not into shadows or reflections yet - one thing at a time!) to 2 and see if I can speed up my renders.

    One last thing, for animations where the subjects or camera are moving around I can get away with a Shading rate of 2 with no percievable loss of quality - again this saves a bit of time.

    Its the pixel samples which are the real killer for shots with Depth of field for me at the moment.

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    Re: Render Settings

    Post  SickenlySweete on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:14 am

    Bucket Size and Order
    As others have noted, the final rendered image is subdivided into grids, called buckets. The size of the bucket will affect the amount of RAM used to render, hence affecting the time to cancel renders also. More RAM used, more time to clean it.

    Bucket order is a little tricky to explain. Yes it control the order of bucket rendered, but, use it properly and it'll improve the rendering time, sometimes significantly.

    DS uses 3Delight, which is compatible with Renderman and uses REYES algorithm. When rendering, the scene geometry is first subdivided to fit the bucket size on the projected camera plane. To say it another way, let's assume default bucket size of 32. We can consider each bucket as having 1 camera, rendering an image of 32x32 pixels. All else outside of that area is not considered in the moment. The renderer then process whatever falls into that area. Then, the camera is shifted and another bucket is rendered. In an ideal case, when a bucket is rendered, the data of other buckets rendered before it can be released from RAM, but that's not so in the real world. Frequently a bucket needs the information of other rendered bucket, for shadows, AO, etc. So information of rendered buckets need to stay on RAM. If when rendering a bucket the information of other bucket is needed, and that info has been released from RAM, then the renderer needs to either re-render that bucket, or if the info is actually swapped to disk, reloaded from disk. This will affect the render time.

    So, to effectively select what bucket order to use, look at the scene. There's no catch all bucket order setting, and it is scene dependent. Consider the major feature of the scene which most likely take considerable power to render. For example, hairs. When doing a portrait render, hairs will most likely run vertically. Selecting a vertical order is more appropriate than horizontal. As a simple test of how bucket order affect render time, just create a blank scene and load Vicki or Mike, use default lighting and camera position and experiment with bucket order.

    Shading Rate
    With REYES algorithm, after the scene is subdivided in buckets, each polygon survived is further subdivided before sent to shader processing. The shading rate is actually controls the size of the final subdivided polygon, in terms of pixels. So a setting of 1 means that the polygon is to be subdivided into 1 pixel size before shaded. It also means that each pixels of the final rendered image gone through the shading process 1 time. Lower settings means that the polygon is subdivided into a size smaller than 1 pixel, so each pixels in the final image gone through shader processing multiple times. 0.2 means each pixels is shaded 5 times, while 0.1 is 10 times. That'll explain why lower settings will increase render settings significantly, but also often produce great details.

    My suggestion is this, when doing long or wide shots, you can get away with larger settings, 2 or maybe 5. Lower than 1 settings are to be used when doing close-up and/or tight shots, or rendering in high resolutions, like 2000 pixels or up.

    Max Raytrace Depth
    The plain vanilla REYES doesn't use raytracing, but to support reflections, transparency, etc, raytracing is needed. So all Renderman compatible renderer will include raytracing, which make them a hybrid renderer.

    Raytracing works like this: for each pixels in the camera plane (that is, the would be final rendered image) cast a ray into the scene. If that ray intersects an object/surface, lookup it's properties. Depending on the properties, another ray may be cast from that position, in the direction consistent with the property. Upon hitting another surface, the same process will be iterated.

    The raytrace depth setting controls the maximum number a ray from the camera plane can be re-casted by surfaces in the scene. Higher number may yield to better renders but eats up RAM and lengthen the render process. A setting of 3 to 6 is appropriate most of the time.

    Pixel Samples
    To me, REYES uses a uniquely different approach to antialiasing. Other renderer I know uses multi-pass to implement antialiasing, while REYES could do it in single pass. I'm a little blurry on the details, but the samples controls the antialiasing quality, as well as other effects such as motion blurring. So, higher samples yield to better quality, but don't get overboard. 8 to 16 should be enough.

    Gain and Gamma
    As Adamr001 noted, contrast and brightness. Most at the time, default 1 will work fine. All bets are off when you're rendering for printing or professional animation and you're using uncalibrated monitor. This is related with color problems and I suggest reading about color theory why it's such a problem.

    Shadow Samples
    Controls the quality of the shadows. It primarily effects the Deep Shadow Map quality, while Raytraced shadows will consistently gives you crisp shadows.

    A brief into deep shadow maps: before rendering the final image, these steps are taken for each lights in the scene with Deep Shadow Map settings.

    1. Clear any existing or create a new blank shadow map

    2. For each deep shadow lights in the scene:
    2.a. Position a dummy camera at the light, and oriented to where the light is facing.
    2.b. Render the scene through the dummy camera, noting only the distances between the dummy camera and each surfaces in the scene.
    2.c. Merge the render result with existing shadow map

    Finally, use the accumulated shadow map renders to calculate shadow in the final render.

    The shadow samples settings controls the quality of the maps. Higher means better quality. As others have noted, a setting of 32 is mostly appropriate to final render, while lower settings is for draft/test rendering.

    Pixel Filtering
    is related to blurring. The different options are the types of blurs. Of course, you are right as well, since a slight blur will anti-alias an image. I wouldn't go too far from the default on this setting personally. Unless you're trying for a specific effect

    SickenlySweete
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    Re: Render Settings

    Post  SickenlySweete on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:19 am

    mattymanx from daz3d forum uses these ones

    SickenlySweete
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    Re: Render Settings

    Post  SickenlySweete on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:44 am

    DS has a maximum render resolution of 10000 x 10000

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