Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ben Godlington

Best Rendering

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

We currently make use of Vectorworks/Renderworks 2014 to produce visuals. But we are trying to push the envelope of what is possible in Renderworks. The quality of visuals doesn't seem like the best in the industry. So does anyone know of any tips/tricks/tutorials to help improve our visuals. But also, can anyone recommend a better alternative? We have done a little research into using 3DS Max, Vray, C4D and Artlantis. what do you all think is the best option, also taking into consideration price/training etc. We are also looking to create better walkthroughs, as the functions available in renderworks aren't great.

Share this post


Link to post

What specifically are you having problems with or looking to accomplish other than with animations? (Which definitely need a revamp.)

Edited by JimW

Share this post


Link to post

CINEMA 4D is the preferred external rendering solution for Vectorworks. The sky's the limit, for more sophisticated animations, plug-in renderers, etc.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Ben I use artlantis exports easily from vectorworks and updates every time you change the vw model if you would like to see the quality of the visuals let me know and I can send some over for you to have a look at ....... I have had a look at cinema 4d but it's a steep learning kerb the other thing with artlantis it updates in real time so for intance if you add a light to the model you can actually see the difference as you increase the slider in fact I have just bought another licence so I can render on both of my computers

Share this post


Link to post

Well, preferably we would like to continue building models and creating plans using Vectorworks, then perhaps export elsewhere to render visuals. Mainly it's for interiors and exhibit stand design. So something that can easily import from Vectorworks seems the most logical option.

It would be really great to see a few examples of what is achievable. So far visuals using Vectorworks really aren't that great!

It seems artlantis is the option that's the most appealing.. Both on the learning curve front and the capabilities/compatibility.

Share this post


Link to post

While I don't think I get C4D quality renders, I feel like I can get a pretty realistic render out of renderworks. When it started clicking for me was when I started using the rendermode realistic interier and that really made a difference. The other thing that really helps and lighting. Don't try to light it like you would like in real life, you'll end up with way too many lights and it still might not look the way you want it to. Light for each picture/render.

Share this post


Link to post

I use RW for interior renderings quite often. I don't typically try to get completely photorealistic output, though because I usually want clients to focus on design decisions rather specific materials & colors.

With the implementation of the C4D rendering engine in RW, I have found it quite easy to get good interior renders with an HDRI background and a single directional light (heliodon.) The key for me was using Custom Renderworks, setting the Indirect Lighting to 4 Bounces, and turning off ambient lighting. Then I play with the intensity of the HDRI background (often greater than 100%) and the directional light to get the lighting to look the way I want. I will generally work without material textures (other than clear glass to let light in) to set lighting levels and then apply textures. I generally create a RW Style and then tweak it as I go. Then I can apply it to other scenes to get consistent output.

Ben, can you post examples of renderings that you have created and tell us what you'd like to improve?

Share this post


Link to post

I use VW to produce renderings on the Mac for client PR visuals and Trade show environments. High end quality renderings of product in real world environments. I have spent countless hours trying different techniques to make these renderings better. Post production Cinema 4D dumps many textures but has much more depth to the renderings. The heart breaker here is that it is simply is not what it could be, Nemetschek could really step up to the plate and provide some decent "how to Render effectively", tips/videos on the site! Better yet, work on the rendering plugin to add more depth and camera lens adjustments. Training from them really is lacking on many levels. BTW, Artlantis also dumps the textures. WE REALLY NEED TO HAVE THIS ADDRESSED!

Share this post


Link to post
Nemetschek could really step up to the plate and provide some decent "how to Render effectively", tips/videos on the site! !

Working on them now! A few more pressing areas are getting attention first (Worksheets, the newest tools like Taper Face and Twist) but they're coming.

...Post production Cinema 4D dumps many textures but has much more depth to the renderings. ... BTW, Artlantis also dumps the textures. WE REALLY NEED TO HAVE THIS ADDRESSED!

I know C4D export has a number of wishes in currently to improve/include the mapped textures/materials. I'll submit one for Artlantis now if I don't find one listed.

Share this post


Link to post

Dave,

I'm not sure what they mean by dumping the textures, but there are some issues with textures and the VW->C4D workflow using Send to C4D using recent versions.

Most things work fine but anything image based will fail to render in C4D. The images come through but the file paths to the full size images are invalid. A good example to try sending is a Spotlight Television object. C4D will give you an Asset Error when trying to render.

Ben,

Personally I would highly recommend the VW->C4D pipeline. The image quality is very scalable and motion picture quality is possible if that's what you want. Once you understand the interface of C4D its actually not as difficult as you would think. In some ways, like navigation, its more intuitive than VW. There's also lots of great training available online. Free options include http://greyscalegorilla.com. I've also paid for training at http://www.fxphd.com.

Cheers,

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post

Hey Kevin did you save the project when and then it started failing to render the images?

When you save after Send to C4D make sure to save using "Save Project With Assets" so that the images get saved in a "tex" folder with the .c4d file. I tried sending a Spotlight television object over then saved with assets and that seems to work OK here.

Edited by Dave Donley

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks Dave. I had no idea I had to use the "Save Project With Assets" option the first time I save a project. Is this documented somewhere? I tried to look but for some reason Adobe Air won't launch today.....

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post

It's documented in the Cinema 4D manual/help. It's a function of how C4D works, not VW. It's standard operating procedure for it. It doesn't embed textures in the file, it always links to them via a path that you specify in the preferences, or by default, the "tex" folder within the project folder (that's why the file sizes are so much smaller). Anytime you want to save any C4D file to another location, you need to use the "Save Project" option to assure the textures are there and in the right place. Or else manually move/copy them.

Of course, I'm using C4D R12 and VW 2011, so it may be something entirely different you're talking about.

Edited by Monadnoc

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Kevin: I asked our documentation team to mention this in the manuals if we don't already (which we might not). HTH

Share this post


Link to post

My understanding is HDRI is really for exterior scenes, not interior (but I'm no expert, for sure). It is basically a big dome map around your entire scene. Like a big sky. I don't think you can get that dome inside a room. You can use it if you have a lot of openings (i.e. windows) allowing plenty of light in from "outside". But even then, to get it to look right you need to tweak the settings very specifically. You also need some sort of lights inside the room to supplement the HDRI source. It can be done, but in general you are creating a really, really long render time for not much benefit. For interior scenes concentrate on the other types of lighting, there are plenty of tutorials out there on setting up good lighting for interior scenes. And set the Indirect Lighting bounce to "Interior, 4 bounces". Longer render times but it will produce a nicer final render.

For exterior scenes you definitely want both Indirect Lighting and HDRI lighting for it to look good.

Share this post


Link to post

Very good instructions for tweaking the HDRI for interior. Thanks. And I agree that Renderworks can give very good results. Since they've switched over to the C4D engine I have been able to get images that look almost as good as C4D, and sometimes just as good. I'm very happy with it.

Here's an old image I did a few years ago (sorry to post it again for those of you who have already seen it). It is an exterior scene, but everything in it was modeled in Vectorworks (except the plants, they were modeled in C4D and imported into VW. The grass was modeled in VW) and rendered inside VW with Renderworks. The one big shortcoming is the funky square edges and corners of the "stone" building. But this was done in VW2011 which does't have Displacement Mapping. If I were to do this in VW2014 I would use that to fix it. And note, I made this scene intentionally dark and a little harsh. It was the mood I was going for.

And as an aside, I too started out using Strata for my VW (MiniCAD back then) renderings. I loved it. I was bummed when they stopped supporting that workflow. I even dabbled with Artlantis as a solution, but am now much happier using Renderworks from inside VW or C4D outside.

ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=10223&filename=Stone%20Shelter%20At%20Sunset.png

Edited by Monadnoc

Share this post


Link to post

If you click "Switch to Full Reply Screen" on the bottom, then in that editor use the File Manager link below the Post box, images you upload into it will auto-embed at the end of your post.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks. Lighting is the key to any good render, whether it's in VW/Renderworks, 3d Max, Maya, C4D, or whatever. That and high quality textures (which this render doesn't have).

Also, to get your attachment to display in the body of the post, after you do what Jim says, view your post in "regular" mode, click on the link and copy the path/address in the address bar, go back to your post and edit it, then in the edit view click on the "enter an image" icon and choose the first option, non-floating image I think?, and paste in the copied path/address. Once you close and view it in normal mode your image will display in the body of your post. It will be a smaller version if your linked image is fairly large.

Share this post


Link to post

^ Woops, apparently my login works differently than normal user's for posting images. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post

You will get much better render times and much better renders with a real renderer like c4d. While it is true that Vw has the c4d engine, it doesn't have the fine control over the the textures and lights and rendering options that c4d has.

The trade off is the time you will spend reworking the textures and lights to your suiting, and once you are in c4d you will lose time porting back and forth between it and vw.

The duo coud be a really strong package, if they could only port back and forth to each other in a much more seamless way.

Share this post


Link to post

Very nice renderings Altivec. I'm curious, where did you get your plants for the scene?

I too agree that for 90% of the renders needed for an architectural set of drawings you can get perfectly good results from within VW with Renderworks, and the speed and efficiency it brings to the workflow can't compare to outside renderers. And for most jobs, speed is of the essence. You always have an impossible deadline looming over your shoulder. I wouldn't dream of using VW without Renderworks.

I also agree with Grant about C4D. It gives higher quality renders and it is way, way faster than Renderworks. Plus there are just some things that Renderworks doesn't have that C4D does. And for that other 10% it is critical. That's why I would recommend using both. And like Grant, I have been wishing and waiting for VW to make the two programs more integrated. Both directions. And seamless. Then they will make a team that can't be beat.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks. I use Xfrog also, only the C4D plugin. It is a great program but it is terribly over-complicated and does create huge polygon counts. Unusable in VW without serious tweaking.

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you everyone for the replies, I will come back with a more concise reply soon, but for the moment just reading through all your replies and advice.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

 

7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114

 

© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

×
×
  • Create New...