mrscott

CHIEF ONLY RAY TRACING

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Thought I would open up a discussion on CHIEF ONLY RAY TRACING where people interested could post their thoughts, ideas, tips and tricks on getting the most out of Chief's internal capabilities. NO OUTSIDE software or post rendering tweaking involved. I am far from an expert on this subject so I humbly post this thread and video to start the process.

 

Thanks,

 

Attached is a Spreadsheet to help track and share your settings. If you find it valuable to edit, please upload the revised sheet and change the name to RT Settings v1.1 or applicable.

 

Thanks.

P.S. Some of you may think this is stupid, and that;s okay. For me, I think it will help use share our settings when assisting others.

 

RT Settings.xls

Edited by mrscott
Added RT Setting Work sheet
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Nicely done intro Scott and seeing all those cores running in the Task Manager was really something to behold.

 

Here are some Ray Traces I ran yesterday. Everything is Chief X8 except "kitty" (3d warehouse).

Size - 1200 X 587

Ray Trace Settings - Ambient Occlusion min 0, max 6. Photon Mapping yes. Caustics yes.

Lighting - all spots

Ray Trace Time - 75 passes, 22 min - 26 min depending on scene

 

Untitled Glazed 1a_Spots Only_polished_75 pass_25 min.jpg

Untitled Glazed 1b_Spots Only_polished_75 pass_25 min.jpg

Untitled Glazed 1d_Spots Only_refection up_75 pass_26 min.jpg

Untitled Glazed 1f_Spots Only_refection up_75 pass_22 min.jpg

 

Graham

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This is a true litmus test of Chief's capabilities. 

Nice work Graham, especially the bump map on the floor, makes for a nice backdrop for the scene. 

However, I see that nagging under performing stainless steel is still an issue even for someone with your pedigree...

 

It would also be helpful if, when posting, people would mention if their materials or textures were acquired outside of the program. 

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Thanks for your comments Michalelgia. You are 100% correct about the stainless steel, the one used here was the polished stainless from the Metals in the Bonus Catalog, I did however play a bit with the roughness settings. Since this one is based on the polished settings it will naturally have a softer look. Have to agree that the stainless steel is likely the most difficult metal to control.

 

All of the materials/textures are standard CA ones. The hardwood bump map is just the hardwood texture jpg file in Chief.

 

Graham

 

 

 

 

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I dont ray trace much except playing around.   I never fully detailed these, but was rather just having fun.   The last few, I started taking further in detail.  The last one of the tub, and shower. I pulled actual Kohler product off 3dWharehouse.   They rendered nicely.

 

 

2mb copy.jpg

11mbcopy.jpg

bath render.jpg

bath render2.jpg

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Please add mods you are doing to ANY element of the RT. The purpose this thread is to aide in our own RT's and to understand how you arrived at your results.

 

thanks

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3 hours ago, VisualDandD said:

I dont ray trace much except playing around.   I never fully detailed these, but was rather just having fun.   The last few, I started taking further in detail.  The last one of the tub, and shower. I pulled actual Kohler product off 3dWharehouse.   They rendered nicely.

 

 

2mb copy.jpg

11mbcopy.jpg

bath render.jpg

bath render2.jpg

Justin, for a person who does not do a lot of RT, these are spectacular.  If you don't mind me asking what are your settings that you use?  I am having such a difficulty in getting such results and now that I am using X9 Beta things look like they have changed as well.  Would love to know if your willing to suggest.  Thanks

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It is unlikely that those are the type of textures that are in Chief. The tile and wood look more like high resolution pics. My understanding is that the intent of this topic is to focus upon what can be achieved using Chief materials and controls in order to learn, share and assist those who do not wish to work outside of Chief.

 

Graham

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1 hour ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

It is unlikely that those are the type of textures that are in Chief. The tile and wood look more like high resolution pics. My understanding is that the intent of this topic is to focus upon what can be achieved using Chief materials and controls in order to learn, share and assist those who do not wish to work outside of Chief.

 

Graham

Nope....wood and tile right out of chief.  Just had to search for good ones :-).

 

Im on my phone so I can't look now.  Nothing special about it just have to be selective about materials.  That is 1/3 the battle.  Next is well placed light's and last 1/3 is settings.

 

 

I spend almost no time playing with chief rendering as I use outside stuff most times and even then it is just for fun.  

 

The last two were my attempts to see what chief could do if I put some effort into it.  The first two have obvious things missing.

 

If I get a chance, I'll pull that file.  I think I saved the camera and settings.

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OK siding is right from chief as is tile.   I remember scrolling for ones that would render well.

 

I bumped up the resolution to 3500xsomething....just to sharpen.  Steeings are below.  Photon mapping on, no compute caustics.  I adjusted image slightly brightness/contrast when I was done using the settings right in Chief.


I was using x9 and just cheated by using the actual texture as the bump map.  While I can make "real" bump maps, it actually gave a nice desired effect to just copy image file right into the bump map.   I did the same with the tile.   I have played with "cheating" and using the same for normal maps but it often distorts too much.


I have used Crazy Bump in the past but as I said, this was all in chief and I was not wanting to waste bunch of time going crazy on it.

 

I ran a few low res to tweak my lighting levels, and then I ran it overnight.   Dont remember how many passes....just shut it off after about a 8 hour run.   The model it is from is HUGE, so the render time was long even with a fast computer.   If I were trying to go quicker I would have "save as" the file and chopped the model down to just what I was rendering.

 

Thats it...no magic.

 

 

I also attached a VERY ROUGH exterior one I did using the same "bump" techniques on the stone and siding.   Very very rough, but I could see it would have potential.


For the glass, I use a picture of trees to "paint" the glass and then set transparency.  Makes a nice effect and much more realistic.

 

I dont have to worry about rendering now....it is becoming real!

 

 

 

Capture.JPG

Capture2.JPG

Capture3.JPG

16-10-14 ext 2color 1.jpg

 

2017-01-23 14.52.02.jpg

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2 hours ago, VisualDandD said:

I dont have to worry about rendering now....it is becoming real!

 

2017-01-23 14.52.02.jpg

 

Looking good Justin. I see you are using the ZIP system

sheathing. I have been looking into using it for a project

of mine but I have been having trouble finding a local

supplier. Seems like a very tidy installation, how do you

like it? 

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Sweet! Nothing like seeing your dreams become reality, the good dreams, that is.

 

I, too, would welcome hearing more about "Plannng to Construction" so, perhaps a new thread in the "Other Section" of the forum would be ideal. It would be a great place for Design build folks to share ideas from around the world.

 

thanks

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The purpose of this RT is for me to gain a better understanding of what is happening with Textures, Surfaces, Lighting and Settings. Ultimately, none of use RT like this. We take our fully load plan file with all the bells and whistle cranked up to reflect a REAL WORLD SCENE. For educational purpose, I like the KISS method. Once I understand the nuances of what is going on well enough, I should be able to adjust for a larger model.

 

Why the video? I have yet to find anything of real value ONLINE, YouTube, et al, that provides the kind of help needed to maximize the RT engine in Chief. Most of what I have found is X1 to X7 so least several years old. The problem with the few examples I have found is with the settings/interface. Chief has changed a lot since X1. Maybe rearranged but not as shown in the videos. 

 

I know there are many of you who know a ton about RT so, if you're willing, please offer up a nice BASE OUTDOOR and INDOOR render model sample for us to test.

 

One last point......I been told it is better to "EXPLORE" than to have someone point you to a know solution. Well! I get the whole "Teach a man to fish" cliche, but come on..Really! There is so much to learn and that is what this forum is about. Not all of us have 10 to 15 years of this stuff and if you're going to be on this forum, and respond to someone's post, Help them with their issue!!!!!!! "Okay, I'm done with that! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIDG RT 1-1.jpg

SIDG RT 1-1T.jpg

SIDG RT 1.plan

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Justin - Thank you for the details. You make a very good point concerning the importance of choosing textures that exhibit good rendering characteristics. This also holds true when selecting 3d models, some are very basic and will never look right no matter what one does.

 

I did a quick mock-up of your bathroom, not exact but reasonably close. As I have very little patience for long Raytracing times I made some adjustments just to see how fast I could get this to Raytrace. Would still need a bit of work but I got this down to 4 minutes on a 2400 X 1142. Main change was to turn-off photon mapping and to use the Image Properties  to compensate.

 

Bathroom_15 passes_4 min.jpg

 

Graham

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Scott - I not sure there is really anything to be gained by running so many passes. From my testing I have never really found a discernable difference between a 50 pass versus a 500 pass Raytrace. The one posted above was only 15 passes. In most cases, if your lighting is correct then your scene should be pretty decent after 10 passes. I have found that if more passes are needed it is usually to just clean up some speckling that can occur with glass/transparent materials or to refine some subtle lighting effects.

 

Graham

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Hey Graham,

 

I agree completely. I just set it up before going to bed and that is what it did overnight. Guess I slept too long HEHEHE!  Thank you for the point about 50 passes. I have asked Chief what that number is and never received a definitive response. I do trust you have done enough of these you have made that assessment and are comfortable with 50...works for me.

 

Cheers!

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Scott - Here's a 3 renderings of the exact same scene. This is just a test room I use to play with things so excuse the odd mix of items. If you flip through them you can see that the differences are minor. Yes, the 75 pass one is better but you can see that the improvement is just in a slightly less grainy appearance, most notably in the painted wall surface by the TV.

 

What you should be using your computers power for is to run higher resolution pics. The sample you posted was run at 2400 X 1024, the equivalent of a 2 mega pixel camera. If you want to zoom in on your pics then you need a bigger camera. My last posted scene was run at 4800 X 2284, the equivalent of an 11 mega pixel camera. Although it is only a 10 pass run it looks sharper than the 75 pass 3rd scene and you can zoom in to see more detail. However as you can see, running many passes or at much higher resolution does not significantly change the overall look of the scene, this is dictated by the lighting set-up, materials and their properties.

 

These are 1200 X 571, photon mapping "on".

 

1st scene - 10 passes, 2 min.

2nd scene - 35 passes, 7 min.

3rd scene - 75 passes, 15 min.

4th scene - 10 passes, 30 min, 4800 X 2284

 

Test_10 pass_2min.jpg

Test_35 pass_7min.jpg

Test_75 pass_15min.jpg

Test_10 pass_30 min_4800 x 2284.jpg

 

Graham

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All good points and now clarity in the resolution. 

 

Looks like you have a good mix of items to test in that scene. Would you post the zipped plan? How about an outdoor scene? I struggle with camera position and landscaping elements to get the view to appear exclusive and not dangling in space.

 

thanks again

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Hi Scott,

 

Here is the X8 plan. Please note that this was set-up to render items with a high degree of contrast and lots of color. All of the models and textures are in the Chief libraries. All of the lights are spots. This runs fast so on your machine you should be able to get a good scene out in about 1 minute.

 

Abode_ Test Room_High Contrast.plan

 

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

 

Graham

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3 hours ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

Justin - Thank you for the details. You make a very good point concerning the importance of choosing textures that exhibit good rendering characteristics. This also holds true when selecting 3d models, some are very basic and will never look right no matter what one does.

 

I did a quick mock-up of your bathroom, not exact but reasonably close. As I have very little patience for long Raytracing times I made some adjustments just to see how fast I could get this to Raytrace. Would still need a bit of work but I got this down to 4 minutes on a 2400 X 1142. Main change was to turn-off photon mapping and to use the Image Properties  to compensate.

 

Bathroom_15 passes_4 min.jpg

 

Graham

Graham, if I understand Scott's purpose in starting this thread, this is one of the areas that many of us don't yet have a handle on. I'm not sure there are tutorials or training videos that show where to even begin to adjust materials. It is one thing to say "adjust image properties," but what image property would/do you start with first? Specular setting? Emissive setting? etc. I know there are probably no hard rules, but where would you start to look; what would you try first? And for an acceptable RT, are bumpmaps really necessary over OOB textures?

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Mike - That's the 64 million dollar question "Where Does One Start". At least from my experience, I believe that more than 90% of a reasonable quality Raytrace is directly related to how a scene is lit. If this is accomplished then there is very little need to play with a materials properties; changes to these properties should really only be done as final tweaks and only after the scene has been properly lit. From a lighting perspective I believe this needs to be approached in stages, ambient light needs to be set first, I only use the ambient occlusion, then you need to progressively add your other lights. Just dropping in 20 different lights and running a Raytrace is not likely going to produce an acceptable result and when things don't look right then which light do you adjust. The bathroom scene I posted only uses 2 recessed lights, as can be seen, and one spot light behind the camera used to up the ambient light level. There is no exterior lighting, that was turned off, set to "0", or any special material property settings and no bump maps.

 

I do not proclaim to be a Raytrace expert and my objective is not necessarily to produce the most photo realistic scene. I want to produce good looking scenes as fast as possible.

 

Graham

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I think one thing that is often overlooked is that "setting up a scene" as the phrase indicates is more related to photography than it is to architecture or drafting. 

 

With that in mind, I would try to imitate scenes from interior design magazines as taken by professional photographers as a first step. 

Second step would be materials and lighting. 

 

(my humble opinion)

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I agree with Michaelgia on setting up the scene.

I have used other programs for raytracing in the past and they all require the scene and lighting set up. Plus texture adjustments.

 

This is a current work in progress.

One of the challenges I am experiencing in exterior renders is the backdrop image.

I used the Marshes one from the library on this render.

50 passes, used photon mapping, no caustics, rest of settings in pictures

 

It has to be at the right focal distance from where you want your camera placed in your model.

Also the correct sun angle/direction, time of year, relevant to the location. etc etc. 

 

Does anyone have a suggested site for stock photos to import for backdrops?

 

Linden II_render2.jpg

raytrace-image prop.JPG

raytrace-setting-exterior.JPG

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