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Thomas Ames

Renderworks vs Art-lantis Render

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Hi, I recently got a copy of Works Tutorial. Stuck to the inside of the back cover is an Art-lantis Render CD. I don't know a thing about it other than it makes the back cover very stiff. I have 8.5.2 and Renderworks, which I'm just beginning to try. What sort of experience does anyone have with Art-lantis by way of comparison?

Thanks.

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Hi Thomas,

I use both render engines. When you are in the beginning of your rendering experience, I would suggest to stay with RenderWorks.

It would be a good idea to build a test model which is typical for your work and figure out the lighting - it is the key. Placing, manipulating, and coloring the light source is the foundation to rendering success. As you go along and play make yourself some sketches of successful tests for later reference. You also find in this site some tech notes about rendering (I think).

When you are not happy (lets say in a years time) with RenderWorks, you can have another look at Artlantis (which creates quite small images) and requires Photoshop to get the most out of it (to my taste). In my work (Industrial Design) I find it difficult to achieve a distinct material surfaces with RenderWorks. It looks a bit blunt and when I need to pull a real show off I do some work in Photoshop which has a steep learning curve in the beginning. However what I have seen in architecture and RederWorks is excellent.

Cheers

--Dieter

prowolf@ihug.com.au

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Hi Dieter, Thanks so much for your helpful reply. Sounds as though you've got some great experience under your belt. I've been getting up the curve for about a month now.

I design industrial-grade, underground concrete, living facilities.... lots of concrete and structural steel for the basics. The inside finish depends on the customer's whims. A plaster skim-coat is typical. I've been able to get some simple light bulbs going, along with some sunshine and have managed to cut chunks out of elevated slabs for "cut-away" type views of the interior and equipment - pretty cool really. For rendering, so far, I've only used the LightWorks RayMaker flavor.

Thanks again.

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Hi Dieter, I just wanted to share my expierience with Artlanis Renderer. I have been using it for about 6 months. Previously I was doing my renderings in Strata 3D. Artlantis is a very easy to learn program, and a fast way to apply color and textures. When I'm in need of a special texture I just scan a sample of the material and make a seamless fill of the texture in Photoshop. You can save the image as a .pict or .gif file click apply texture within Artlantis and browse to your saved image file. I work as a Designer, I design Industrial Tradeshow Exhibits. Artlantis is great for applying graphics to my designs as the images will wrap and scale around curved forms. As far as Artlantis having small images if you are in need of a larger rendering simply scroll down in the image size dropdown menu.

Your options range from 400x400 pixels up to 3,072x2,048 pixels at 72 dpi. After rendering is complete you can bump up the resolution to 150 for very high quality

output on a jet printer. As you stated lighting is paramount. I seem to spend most of my rendering time tweeking the

lights positioning , color, etc. Good Rendering wishes to all. I just found this site today, it's nice to have a place to go for reference and help in Vectorworks.

Sincerely, Dane

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Hi Dane,

Great to hear from you. Interesting comment that you prefer Artlantis over Stata 3D. You also listed all the advantages of Artlantis. However I find the integration of Lightworks inside Vectorwork the more elegant solution. Most often I prefer Lightworks dryer result because it will not raise the clients expectations based on render quality or the nicer picture. His (the client) impression must be formed by seeing and handling the final physical prototype (industrial design). It is part of my philosophy to increase the ?clients and the users happiness? through each stage of development and I use rendering only in the early stage. However in your area of work you develop a different approach.

When one begins to work with CAD and rendering, like Thomas above, allot of energy it absorbed by learning the software especially when one thinks his ideas must be now instantly photo realistic. To stay focused on the quality of the concept can be difficult.

Thanks Dane for your hints.

Cheers

--Dieter

P.S. Increasing the resolution and and keeping the print size the same does not increase the image quality. In fact it can get worse

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Hi Dieter, The following will reveal that I'm still in the early stages. You mentioned preferring Lightworks... Is this RenderWorks or a particular function within RenderWorks?

I've been fiddling around with LightWorks RayMaker, which I assumed was, somehow, RenderWorks... under View/Rendering. At least I'm able to get point(s) of light and sunlight to work. This seems just fine for basic lightbulbs in my concrete bunker renders at this point.

Almost every day, I find myself delighted that I never bought any of that Autodesk junk, except for a couple of books. And, I bet it just gets better...

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Thomas

Lightworks is the ray trace rendering engine in renderworks. And what renderworks really does is 2 things.

1.It installs the "Lightworks RayMaker" rendering engine which supports texture maps, transparency, reflectivity, and cast shadows

2. It allows you to create and apply textures to your VW objects.

Its really not a seperate program, it simply installs several additional pieces into VW to give it the ability to make photo real rendering.

I personally only use VW and RW. I have gotten very satisfactory results, I work for an architect and have done several photo real renderings for final client presentations in the last 1 1/2 years. although I do use Photoshop for the soft elements (people, trees, ect) I only use VW/RW for the hard elements (Buildings).

If I were you I'd stick with RW until it you find it won't meet you need any more.

And Dieters right increasing your resolution dosen't add any information to your images in Photoshop, it only unnecessarily increases your file size.

Also check out the past posts on the rendering tech board, there's alot of great information and It might help you avoid some common problems.

Good Luck

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Hello everyone, I should have been more complete with my explanation on resolution. Yes it's true you do not gain anything by just

increasing resolution. But what I do to have higher quality images is render a larger image in Artlantis, increase the resolution in Photoshop and than reduce the image size. Artlantis renders all images @ 72dpi. I started using Artlantis because of it's simplicity compared to the complexity of Strata 3D, and at the time Graphsoft hadn't worked all the bugs out of Renderworks. I havn't had the oportunity to try it. At times

I do find Artlantis's lighting effects restrictive. Especially if I'm trying to do small low voltage light effects. It also get's tricky when my surfaces are white or lightcolors they get washed out with to much light but are to grey with less!

Enjoying the correspondence! Dane

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Thanks MikeB and everyone... I figure that I'll leave Artlantis stuck to the inside back cover. I've got enough learning curves on the plate.

Now... I'd better head over to the RenderWorks Forum dept since this is where I probably should have asked this question in the first place.

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Dane,

I have the same problem with white surfaces in VW. They always render as gray and not white. If I increase the light intensity enough to get a white surface, the color get washed out and glass get really hot. The only work around I've found is to adjust the brightness and contrast in photoshop after the fact.

In addition, its hard to get vibrant colors out of VW, Things seem a little washed out at times, again the only work around is to adjust the hue and saturation in Photoshop.

I don't know if this is a lightworks problem, or a RenderWorks problem, but its pretty annoying.

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Hello all,

I'm in the fortunate position of having both RenderWorks and Art?lantis. They both have their strong points.

RW strength is convenience. Working directly within the VectorWorks drawing is so easy and navigating around with the familiar VW tools is a time saver. When it comes to applying textures however the fun is over. I use it almost exclusively with VW's built in attributes.

Texturing is where Art?lantis shines. Drag & drop interactive texturing simply blows RW cumbersome importing and editing away. Try rotating a wood grain in RW. Or tightening the grain pattern. Or adjusting the colors. In Art?lantis you manipulate a few sliders while you watch the preview update in real time.

Lighting is frankly a pain with either program, but the results in Art?lantis are superior. My least favorite aspect of Art?lantis is it's camera based approach as compared to VW/RW object based approach. To get a new view in Art?lantis you need to move or establish a new camera. With RW you just rotate the drawing as usual.

All in all Art?lantis is the superior choice for final output. It renders directly into useful file formats, it's faster than RW, animations and QuickTime VRs are relatively easy, and did I mention texturing.

My $0.02,

Geoff Briggs

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