Exterior Ray Trace Rendering / Lighting Help


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I am fairly new to Chief & even more so to ray tracing. I am attaching a standard rendering (1), a physically based (ray trace) (2), and two CPU ray traces ( one with 1 hour/38 passes, the second with 3 hours). It appears to have a foggy haze over the image. Once you zoom into the image, it appears to be grainy also. How can I brighten and sharpen these images?


I have experience with Twin Motion, Photoshop, Revit, etc. but I have seen some wonderful renders out of Chief. I would love to get there. Any tips?

Standard - 1.png

Physically Based Ray Trace - 2.png

CPU Ray Trace - 3 hours - 2.jpg

CPU Ray Trace - 38 Passes - 1 Hour.jpg

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I use these settings for an initial exterior CPU ray trace (I can't do RTRT on my system, and do not use PBR):










14 passes seems about right. Less than that is too grainy, and more is diminishing returns. Takes about 4 minutes on my system at this (relatively low) resolution.


I then save the image and open in Gimp (free image editor like Photoshop) and apply Unsharp Mask, contrast/color balance, etc, and do cleanup/touchup.


Here's an example of an image I made using these techniques:




- You can quickly evaluate lighting and shadows and such, and save time for trial and error by lowering the Resolution or Height/Width in the General panel. Just remember the settings to restore them for the final run.

- You can also save time for trial and error by temporarily turning off Photon Mapping on the Advanced panel.

- Even after the ray trace is done, you can still adjust the settings on the Image Properties panel for changing the colors, contrast, etc. by accessing the Adjust Image Properties button:


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