Ray Trace


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I know many of us are unable to get the latest video card, which we will need for CA13.  Meanwhile, I do not even bother to ray trace because it's so hit or miss if I selected the right settings for a good result. And I don't know the result until after a 20-60 minute rendering.  When I am doing several views for a client, this is way too time consuming. If we still can't get the latest video card upgrades when CA13 comes out, what do we do?  Is there any way that a software developer like CA has an industry advantage to make sure its customers have access to necessary components?  

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While X13 may offer an increase in ray trace speed (with the proper video card), you can still get really nice results with the current release. Here's one I did in X12:




    Yes, ray tracing can be frustrating and time consuming but it can be less so if you follow a few basic rules:

  • Learn how to properly illuminate your scene with added lights and sunlight rather than ambient light, too much of which can make an image look flat;
  • Experiment with Ambient Occlusion to learn how the settings affect the look of your rendering;
  • Customize your material properties to enhance the look of surfaces;
  • Do sample ray-traces of only  passes on a smaller size image to more quickly see the basic result;

There are several videos in the knowledge base which go into the subject in more detail but after that, practice is the best way to improve your results.



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Thank you Eric.   I have produced some decent images too.  It's just the amount of time and the many trials and errors to get there.  And all the variables you mention (material surfaces, illumination etc) are different in every situation.  There is a lot of reinventing a good ray trace every time.  Also (and this is something I have been meaning to mention to the folks at CA) so many of these videos are outdated and it's tough to follow along at times. Options have changed, advances have been made, and the interface has evolved. Watching a 2015 video for CA12 doesn't always translate. Technology moves way faster than that.  Thanks again for your thoughtful advice!

~ Kate 

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All good points Kate, but the basic principals in the videos still apply. I've fund that the time it takes to produce a nice ray trace has gone down the more I learn (and that part never stops)..I hope you're charging appropriately to cover your time.

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