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Poser - OFFICIAL F.A.Q (Updated: 2019 Jun 20 8:35 am)


 Subject: Lowest decent FF render settings for animation

putrdude opened this issue on Jun 12, 2015 · 27 posts

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  putrdude    ( ) ( posted at 12:10PM Fri, 12 June 2015 

Looking for suggestions, tips, opinions. Using poser 2014 game dev version.

I'm making a promo animation for a childrens' book.

Has to use Firefly render. (tried octane, and it looks fast, but demo doesn't allow animation so I can't really test it in there)

It will be for a YouTube video at 480p: 854x480. I would prefer 1080p: 1920x1080, but I'd be dead of old age before it finished.

It's approximately 30 seconds. Scene has a forest, car, 3 people, rocks grass and more. In a word, BIG.

Render settings have always baffled me.

Cast shadows has to be on. Raytracing too.

Unclear about Subsurface scattering or irradiance caching, or indirect light.

Pixel samples? how low can I go?

I will be rendering to images.

Any suggestions for the LOWEST settings I can get away with and still have it look okay? It doesn't have to be Pixar quality.

Thank you.


  Miss Nancy    ( ) ( posted at 1:14PM Fri, 12 June 2015  · @4207673

w/FF & IC (interp. error), you get shifting illum. from constant lite sources.  w/o IC, that error elim., but too slow for solo animator.  there are alotta tricks going back to P4/P5 you can use to speed it up and get pixar toon look: refl maps, IBL, AO, bump et al.



  Morkonan    ( ) ( posted at 9:12PM Fri, 12 June 2015 · edited on 9:15PM Fri, 12 June 2015 · @4207744

Any suggestions for the LOWEST settings I can get away with and still have it look okay? It doesn't have to be Pixar quality.

I don't animate with Poser. But, just based on what little I know:

Lower pixel sample size to between 3 and 5. (5 would be the max, I'd think. There's rarely any reason to go above that for most renders, IMO.)

Shading Rate at .2 is fine, won't really matter.

Use fake Subsurface Scattering. So, turn SSS rendering off. There are several texture sets and material settings out there that do a decent job of it that can still be used in dynamic situations. (Where the light/figure is moving.)

Shadows on.

Set displacement to 0, so it will rely on material settings and you can better control it. (Shouldn't matter much, so you may not have any displacement.)

Smooth Polys - On. (Doesn't really matter at all in terms of performance, but if you have inorganic objects not especially constructed for rendering in Poser, you may have to go back and adjust their Object options to reduce/eliminate smooth-shading effects if you see their geometry get really warped when they're rendered. Just turning off Smooth Polygons for individual objects, without adjusting their Crease Angle, as well, will often not solve the issue, since those are sort of separate things in Poser, I think.)

For the rest, the biggest hogs are going to be the Sample size for various settings, their Cache settings and Bounces that are calc'd.

Use a Guassian filter set at 2, no Tone Mapping and Gamma Correction at 1.3 to 1.8 for PC and higher for Mac. (2.2 for Mac, I think.) You'll have to fuss around with settings for IDL intensity, depending on if you want that in your scene. But, if you don't want it, you'd save a lot of time by unchecking it and "faking" it with other lights.

On your lighting: You will likely get better control of your lighting and much less render time by choosing "Constant" or, at the very least, "Inverse Linear" lighting under the Light Option panel for individual lights. However, you will likely get even better render performance if you just use an IBL and one Spot, to bring out certain Material channel features that IBL can't interact with. (Spec, etc..)

Fuss around with your Shadow types, Ray or Depth Map, and their settings. Lower Blur Radius is faster, but may not be as realistic, depending upon your setup. Minimum Bias shouldn't be any lower than .6 or so, IMO. But, I'm no lighting expert. You'll have to balance the "look" of your lighting with your rendering performance.

In animation, you can cut some corners, so cut all of them that you can and fake the rest. :)

PS - I don't animate with Poser and don't even render very often, either. :) But, hey, it's just a few suggestions to help you get started.


  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:15AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207796

The Firefly renderer is a REYES renderer and its motivation is animation - so the settings for animation that we rarely use for stills come into play for animation.

If I'm disagreeing with others it's not to be disagreeable. I'm just letting you know what I think and have learned either from reading how Pixar does things or doing them myself.

When we do "photo" realism, 3D and motion is revealed by blur (focal blur and motion blur).

Here is a little demo with the front pawn in focus, the middle pawn in spinning flight after being hit, and the back pawn sitting quiet but out of focus.

file_5f93f983524def3dca464469d2cf9f3e.jp

The quality of the blur is affected by the Pixel Samples. Higher is better, but adversely affects render time. You will have to judge. That image was done with Pixel Samples = 7 and took 25.1 seconds.

This is Pixel Samples = 3, time is 15.1 seconds. I don't think this is acceptable but you have to judge for yourself.

file_c9e1074f5b3f9fc8ea15d152add07294.jp

This is Pixel Samples=1, time is 11.1 seconds. I don't think anybody would find this acceptable.

file_84d9ee44e457ddef7f2c4f25dc8fa865.jp


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:25AM Sat, 13 June 2015 · edited on 8:25AM Sat, 13 June 2015 · @4207798

I will set my Pixel Samples to 5, time is 19.1 seconds. Now what of Shading Rate? Shading rate is how many pixels per shading sample to be evaluated to pick up fine details in lighting and texture. It can better be understood as Pixels per Shading Sample.

This is Pixel Samples=1. Since my image has no details, it looks fine.

file_da4fb5c6e93e74d3df8527599fa62642.jp

In films where the figures, props and scenery have smooth coloring (think Toy Story), like my pawns, Pixar would go higher on the Pixels per Shading Sample - often 2 or 3. Let's try 3.

file_ec5decca5ed3d6b8079e2e7e7bacc9f2.jp

That looks fine to me - and the bonus is render time is down to 13.0 seconds.

Of course, if you have details to render, this is not going to be good.


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:30AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207800

Don't turn on Smooth Polygons unless you know you have props that need it and won't look right without it. For some situations, subdivision will be better a better choice and is an opt-in setting, rather than Smooth Polygons which will require that you go around turning it off in dozens of places.

My renders above do not have it on. The last render was 13.0 seconds. This render has Smooth Polygons turned on and now the time is 23.1 seconds - a lot longer for nothing. (No visual benefit that I can see)

file_b73ce398c39f506af761d2277d853a92.jp


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:32AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207801

I would not use a Gaussian fiilter. I use Sync. The size at 2 is in the interests of speed. I won't bother showing renders on this - but if you press me, there is a large series I did showing exactly why Gaussian is not good and Sync is good. (Sync 4 is best, but you want speed)

There is no difference in render time between Guassian 2 and Sync 2.


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:35AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207802

"You will likely get better control of your lighting and much less render time by choosing "Constant" or, at the very least, "Inverse Linear" lighting under the Light Option panel for individual lights."

This advice will not improve render time and will reduce realism if you use Constant on spot or point lights. If you're doing local lights (like a candle, a lamp, a flashlight) the only correct setting is Inverse Square.


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:38AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207803

For outdoor scenes, on your sun light (infinite), the correct amount of blur is .5 - no other value. However, if, as an artist, you choose to be incorrect because you think people will be enthusiastic about your artistic misrepresentation of the sun we've had for 4 billion years, have at it.

You can fuss with the Shadow Samples for a speed quality tradeoff. I default to 70 for stills, but in animation, you can get away with less.

Here I dropped to 15 samples, and the render time got better from 13.0 seconds to 11.7 seconds.

file_cedebb6e872f539bef8c3f919874e9d7.jp


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:39AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207804

Because of the flicker problems with IDL, I'd go with IBL + light-based AO. This worked for Pixar - should work for you.


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  shvrdavid    ( ) ( posted at 8:44AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207805

Rendering animations, and the settings used, are going to be different in many scenes. It also depends on what you are looking for out of it. As BB demonstrated, motion blur can be used, but it is not always used or even necessary in some scenes. The type of lighting used can drastically effect the required render settings as well. Using strong IDL lighting is not going to work out well at low render settings and will show unacceptable lighting differences from frame to frame even with high render settings if it is the primary light source.

Depending on the output quality you want, you may not even have to use the Firefly part of the render engine. I have done many animations that were simply rendered out to preview, others have used Firefly with settings as high as 12 pixel samples to reduce artifacting to acceptable levels. If you can get acceptable frames using the preview render, it is going to render a frame very quickly compared to even the lowest Firefly settings. On my workstation I can get 4 or 5 frames a second using the preview render settings. On scenes requiring 12 pixel samples, each frame can take 20 minutes or more depending on the complexity.

Most render engines are a compromise of speed versus quality, and you will have to experiment with that balance. Settings that work fine with one animation are going to be different than the next one more often than not.



Some things are easy to explain, others are not....


  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 9:17AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207806

In my shading rate post, I mistyped

"This is Pixel Samples=1. Since my image has no details, it looks fine."

should say

"This is Shading Rate=1."


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 9:24AM Sat, 13 June 2015 · edited on 9:26AM Sat, 13 June 2015 · @4207807

"I have done many animations that were simply rendered out to preview"

I've never seen one. Do you have any examples online? I'm curious. My previews look completely unusable to me - maybe that's my hardware or my shaders need changed or something. This is my opengl preview render. I wouldn't use this for anything.

file_31fefc0e570cb3860f2a6d4b38c6490d.jp

I also wouldn't eat a hamburger that was only cooked for one second. grin


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  DeathMetalDesk    ( ) ( posted at 11:38AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207822

  DeathMetalDesk    ( ) ( posted at 11:47AM Sat, 13 June 2015 · edited on 11:52AM Sat, 13 June 2015 · @4207823

Examples of naturalistic outdoor lighting that doesn't adhere to the immutable rules of physics?... 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism

 I'm sure 100 years from now we'll be talking about Firefly rules of rendering the same way we might about that minor art movement known as impressionism. 


  DeathMetalDesk    ( ) ( posted at 11:50AM Sat, 13 June 2015 · edited on 11:53AM Sat, 13 June 2015 · @4207824

All respect due, of course. I understand that it's apples and oranges or additive and subtractive.


  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 11:53AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207825

Since the thread was specifically about Firefly, I didn't think we were going to discuss the preview renderer and cartoons. Nor the Sketch renderer. Nor Daz Studio, nor Manga Studio, nor a hundred other things that happen to be renderers.


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 11:54AM Sat, 13 June 2015 · edited on 11:56AM Sat, 13 June 2015 · @4207826

I quote from the OP - 

"Has to use Firefly render. "

and

"Cast shadows has to be on. Raytracing too."

If you want to question the motivations and goals of the Poster, then start a new thread about people not knowing what they want. This thread is about Firefly render settings in a situation where realism is required.

This forum draws more off-topic wonks than any other I've ever seen.


Renderosity forum reply notifications are wonky. If I read a follow-up in a thread, but I don't myself reply, then notifications no longer happen AT ALL on that thread. So if I seem to be ignoring a question, that's why. (Updated September 23, 2019)

  DeathMetalDesk    ( ) ( posted at 11:54AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207827

You are correct sir, my mistake. 


  DeathMetalDesk    ( ) ( posted at 11:55AM Sat, 13 June 2015  · @4207828

Thanks for the insult too, lovely.


  putrdude    ( ) ( posted at 6:26PM Sat, 13 June 2015 · edited on 6:27PM Sat, 13 June 2015 · @4207872

Wow thanks everyone! That was so incredibly detailed and helpful. (I personally think Bagginsbill is an alien life form with superior Poser intelligence and that is how he really looks. Please don't eat me.)

I am a rank amateur, a Poser moron if you will.  I'm very impatient when it comes to rendering. Why I like animation is beyond me. 

Your tips about blur were so clear even I could understand them. Thank you. I would like to adopt you like ET. You can live in my closet.

(The reason I used firefly is that the forest scene I purchased (somewhere) does not show up very well, without it. It has a river bed running through it which looks great as a makeshift dirt road, if I turn off the water. But... in preview mode the road looks terrible, ray traced great.)

While waiting for any replies I decided to create a little render.

It ran from 11:27 am to 12:38 am the next day. Cast shadows ON, Raytracing On. Raytrace bounces 1, pixel samples 1, min shading rate 1, remove back facing polys, use displacement maps. Render dimensions 854px X 480, at resolution 72 px. 148 frames were generated as psd images.It actually turned out okay, except for this: PINHOLES everywhere.

I pulled it into photoshop and put a black layer behind, which helped some, but most remained. Looking closer they are not all transparent holes, many are lighter colored pixels. If it was a still image I could fix it, but not an animation.  I've not seen this before and I'm wondering if this is because of my paltry settings.

If you have any suggestions, please do.

file_ec5decca5ed3d6b8079e2e7e7bacc9f2.pn

Thank you so much for taking your time to answer my post.

PS. Weird, after posting the pinholes don't show up as much, but trust me they are there.


  Miss Nancy    ( ) ( posted at 2:40PM Mon, 15 June 2015 · edited on 2:42PM Mon, 15 June 2015 · @4208130

yeah, not seeing pinholes in this one with forum background dark grey, but when I open it in new window (white bg), I see 'em. 

you may have video editor that allows you to place black layer under anim layer.



  putrdude    ( ) ( posted at 4:55PM Mon, 15 June 2015  · @4208177

Thanks Nancy. I tried putting a black layer behind it, in photoshop. It helped, but they are not all transparent.

Have posted as a separate issue and baggins bill has made several suggestions I'm going to try.

Many thanks. 


  face_off    ( ) ( posted at 9:28PM Thu, 18 June 2015  · @4208677

(tried octane, and it looks fast, but demo doesn't allow animation so I can't really test it in there)

The OctaneRender for Poser plugin (VR version) is FREE to use until the end of July - and it allows animation.

Paul

Creator of PoserPhysics
Creator of OctaneRender for Poser
Blog
Facebook


  putrdude    ( ) ( posted at 5:02PM Fri, 19 June 2015  · @4208785

Paul,

I downloaded it. When I try to do an animation, it say "animations not allowed."

It is pretty cool. It makes me want to buy another uber graphics card...but then  I'll want another since my board can handle 3.

I may possibly hate you Paul, I'm not sure yet. :P


  face_off    ( ) ( posted at 7:25PM Fri, 19 June 2015  · @4208797

I downloaded it. When I try to do an animation, it say "animations not allowed."

I think you have downloaded the demo version.  Use the VR version instead.  http://render.otoy.com/universe.php#44Authenticating%20the%20OctaneVR%20version%20of%20the%20plugin

Paul

Creator of PoserPhysics
Creator of OctaneRender for Poser
Blog
Facebook


  putrdude    ( ) ( posted at 6:50PM Mon, 22 June 2015  · @4209194

Hi Paul,

Thanks, you little temptress you!


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