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Rendering quality


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As long as your sheet layer's DPI is set high enough (240 is fine), all render modes produce a sharp image.

Use an HDRI environment for your lighting as cad@sggsa suggests (the supplied Simple Light Dome 1 is usually fine). If Final Quality Renderworks doesn't produce the quality you're looking for, tinker with the Custom Quality settings.

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From the help file: "This command creates an OpenEXR file. This is a good choice for export when touching-up the image in an imaging program; the exported image is ?lossless? and will not have quantization artifacts when color or exposure is further adjusted after export."

As you can see, using this method for export will not result in the massive ramp up in visual quality you are expecting much like any other export option. Your quality problems are a result of the rendering settings themselves, I would assume.

What are the settings you are using for Batch Render? I am not familiar with the batch function myself but if there isn't an option for DPI, ensure your Document Settings has 240 set as the Printing Output as that may be the culprit.

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I've been playing with the rending settings for the past two days and all I get is bad to worse. I've cranked up the Resolution px/in setting from 72 to 1200 and didn't do much. I've enlarged the area being rendered. I've tried about every combination of custom renderworks options. Every quality setting I can find is set to Very High. I've tried different file formats. I can't get a defined edge on anything being rendered. It's all blurry when zoomed in on and doesn't look real. I'm running out of options to change and nothing is working.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

The resolution there doesn't look wrong to me MBMD.

Viewports on sheet layers are the best controlled environment for renderings. Start with the sheet layer low like 40 or something then increase only as the image settings are finalized. Depending on the page size and viewport scale 150 DPI can sometimes be enough resolution.

You might try way less ambient light, like below 5% and use other lighting to fill in the shadows. High ambient = flat rendering.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

BTW, the HDRI export (OpenEXR) is for bringing high range images into apps like Photoshop for editing without destroying the high range info. It keeps artifacts like color banding from happening as the image is edited.

In general they don't look good with regular apps, until they've been flattened out to the usual formats like JPEG or PNG.

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I'm not even worrying about the lighting yet. How do you render in a sheet layout? I've made the viewport on the sheet and set it to Final Quality Renderworks but when I go to View/Rendering, everything is grayed out. I can go export from there but it saves at the screen resolution.

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MBMD, what is the intended final output medium (screen or print) and what is the final size?

You said that you can't get a defined edge on anything when you zoom in but no image is going to be perfectly sharp when you zoom in past it's intended size. If you need to see the building at multiple magnifications, you'll need to do multiple renders (one at each desired magnification) or an animation.

To me, the thing that most makes the image you posted seem unrealistic is the view - it's just not a realistic perspective. You said that you're trying to get the entire building in one view but you'll probably have better luck using more than one eye-level view or an arial view.

I'm not sure exactly what you're after but I think that renderworks can create pretty realistic images. I set up everything on sheet layers using sheet layer view ports (SLVPs). I build my model, drop in a camera, adjust the camera to get the view I'm after, create a SLVP, then set the rendering options on the view port.

Here's an example of an image that I created using custom renderworks. It uses an HDRI background and one directional light.

I used the HDRI Day Background from here: http://techboard.nemetschek.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Board=30&Number=109376&Searchpage=2&Main=19832&Words=hdri&topic=0&Search=true#Post109376

I set the Day Background up as the Renderworks Background (simple, square, blue background) for the view port and then set the lighting options to use the HDRI Day Background (HDRI spherical background.) I added one directional light to mimic the sun and turned off all ambient lighting.

The image could certainly use more work on textures and landscaping but it certainly gets the point across and, in my opinion, is pretty realistic.

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I agree there with you Bill

One needs to play around with the lighting to get the desired effect. That render does start to give the impresion of being real.

Just spotted this now...I've been using a Design Layer as my rendering view...Layer(PRES) set to perspective and then linked to another(PLAN) which has the actual drawing in. PRES has the Directional lights, landscape surface and background. any other lights are placed in PLAN.

Would using a SLVP be any better or is it just another way of doing the same thing?

I have found that with the HDRI's below made a world of difference to my renders.

These seem not to need Directional lightsand ambiient light set to about 30% works for daytime.


MBMD, you must remember that different settings requires different lighting.

What I mean by this is that Rendering a setting of a Fan Park compared to the waterfeature in a small garden will differ.

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I haven't had a chance to play with those new HDRI backgrounds yet but I have messed around with others and really like having easy control of the direct light. Using the simple, even, HDRI Day backgrounds give me soft shadows everywhere and then I just add a directional light if I want to have shadows from the direct sun. This has the added benefit of being able to accurately set the lighting using Set Sun Position.

I like using SLVPs because it let's me iterate easily, I can try different things in different VPs and compare the results.

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Cool. Any samples of what you've done thus far that you'd like to post?

Having trouble posting a bit....seems it is rendering a much larger file size with certian HDRI's with certian textures too.

The one grass texture I've got with any HDRI background gives me a +/- 3MB sized JPEG...render with any other texture it size is +/- 180KB to 250KB....the problem is that it gives such a good resemblance of grass on a big scale when applied, set to perimeter.

Applied it to an extrude [x=160000; y=160000; z=5] mapping is Set to perimeter; repeat Horiz and Vert Scale=1.

The texture is called "Nature Grass"

Only with HDRI's does the result become a 3MB file size.

Will post some pics as soon as I can.

Edited by cad@sggsa
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Ok so I managed to get this to a suitable size

Bill, the info above your render of the house, was that put in manually? If not how?

This render : Fast Renderworks with shadows - HDRI(evening), No Directional light, 300 DPI with 2000pix width.


Uploading it this way made it very pixelated.....

Next Render: Fast Renderworks with Shadows; no HDRI(Std bkgrd) Two Directional Lights(only one casting shadows) 300DPI


Edited by cad@sggsa
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello cad:

The JPEG size should only go up if there actually was more information in the image, assuming the same pixel width and height. I.e. a smooth image will be compressed more than a noisy image. The "noise" coming from the added shadows from the HDRI.

Fast with shadows uses mapped shadows at low res, you would get better representation of the HDRI using raytraced shadows. With mapped shadows it usually looks more like several distinct shadows coming from several directions.

You might want to turn down the saturation on the evening HDRI. 50% is usually less distracting than 100% saturation.

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