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Ben Godlington

Best Rendering

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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.

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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.

You are absolutely correct in stating that you can get better results from a dedicated rendering package over renderworks but a you mentioned this comes with a cost.

As I mentioned, what I am displaying are some examples that were done in a production environment with a quick turn around time. If I were doing this as some kind of art piece, or if I had unlimited time, I would easily be able to get better results even from renderworks, but as you mentioned, a dedicated rendering package can do better regardless.

The better results are not just magic though, they require time and work. Your texture creations are much more complex with multiple maps and settings, your lighting will require tweaking and as you mentioned the porting back and forth is a big time waster and increases the possibility of translation problems.

I've had experience doing it both ways and I by far prefer the integrated approach. I guess it all comes down to the time you want to put into it versus how much quality you want to get out of it. To me, based on the deadlines I have, what I get out of renderworks is acceptable enough. Spending extra time on porting and tweaking for diminishing gains means less time on the actual design work. In saying that, each person is in a different situation. If you have the extra time and/or feel that its important to eek out every ounce of realism, you can't go wrong with using dedicated rendering package.

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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.

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Thanks Monadnoc,

I'm with you... If they could integrate C4D into vectorworks and make it one program, I would be in heaven. It would also be nice to have some decent animation tools and not something from the 80's

I get my plants and trees from Xfrog. I use the 3DS import option to get them into vectorworks but the problem is that they are very detailed with high polygon counts. Not great if you want to use a lot of them in one scene. So I purchase the plants in their native file format .xfr. and load them into their standalone editor and try my best at reducing the complexity as much as I can. The standalone editor is windows only so that alone is a pain in the butt for us mac guys but I see you use windows so it shouldn't be a problem for you. The other thing is that you need to be like a botanist to use this software. I have no clue with what I'm doing. I just keep adjusting settings and see if the polygon count goes down and making sure the plant still looks like a plant. If you don't have the patience to be a trial and error person, Xfrog is not the way to go but if you want amazing plant files its worth the extra work.

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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.

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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!

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Artlantis. In the same way the best camera wont get you the best photos, the (technical) best rendering program wont necessarily get you the best renderings. A good picture is all about the right illumination, the right angle of view, and you need time to get these right. My choice is Artlantis, because of its extremely fast and accurate preview renderings. It may not be the best rendering engine, but for me the final results are far better, because I have more time for the creative process.

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Monadnoc,

How, exactly, did you model the grass in VW? Image props, or something else?

Thanks! -Will

I don't have time to get too into it right now, but on the weekend I will try to explain in a little more detail and maybe post a file. Or it may take a few weeks (I am more than swamped at work right now). But the short answer is yes, kind of. I used an old technique from the Gaming industry from back when they couldn't handle high polygon counts. You create a "clump" of grass by rotating/scaling/tilting several billboards (what VW calls Image Props) of the same image of grass. I turned that "clump" into a Symbol, then distributed it across a DTM using a combination of Send to Surface and one of the plant tools, either the Place Plant set to triangular or rectangular array, or the landscape area tool. Neither work perfectly. The Place Plant Tool allows random rotation of symbols. The Landscape Area allows random intermixing of several different plants, but you can't rotate them randomly. Both use a perfect grid. Never found in nature. So whichever you choose, you have to keep the camera to a low angle to make it work. And choose the view angle looking into the field very carefully, or you see the grid pattern. It's all smoke and mirrors, really. Here's another example:

ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=10315&filename=Prairie%20Grass%20Landscape%201%20-%20TEST1%20LoRes.png

ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=10316&filename=Prairie%20Grass%20Landscape%202%20-%20TEST2%20LoRes.png

Edited by Monadnoc

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Thanks for taking the time to respond & explain! Unfortunately, I don't have Designer or Landmark, and so no access to either the Plant Tool or Landscape Areas. But maybe I'll experiment a little with image props and see if I can achieve something even half as effective as what you've accomplished. Your prairie grass looks great!

Thanks again, Will

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Ive added a wish for either a modification to the Symbol Insertion tool, or a new tool/command altogether that allows the placement of any kind of symbol (not just plants) within a user drawn or specified area, that allows for both specific counts of each symbol, as well as a percentage system similar to landscape areas that lets users to place symbols in this manner. Random rotation as a toggle-able option.

Specifically requested that it available outside of just the Landmark package. I see this being useful for the creation of not only grass, but natural looking wooded areas as well as theatrical crowds/audiences.

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Thanks Jim, I asked for such a tool when I was experimenting with this technique (over two years ago) but was met with a deafening wall of silence.

To be effective it would need at the bare minimum:

Random rotation of objects

Random scaling of objects (separately in x,y,z directions, weighted by user)

Random distribution of objects (NOT on a grid as the only option)

Random intermixing of multiple objects (weighted by user)

A Random Seed number that can be changed to cycle through various combinations until the desired look is found

Drop to surface to selected object of your choosing

This is just going from memory, and it was a while ago, but I kind of backed off pursuing this due to the limitations of the available tools in VW and the apparent lack of interest in developing those tools. One or two minor tweaks to either the Place Plant or Landscape Area tool would have done the trick.

But that was then, this is now.

And you're correct, it would be just as useful for creating small areas of trees/forests on site models, etc.

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Adding these recommendations as well, I had not thought to specifically mention that options for placing in a grid/distributed randomly and random scaling would be needed.

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Seems like the stipple tool could be enhanced / evolved into this new tool: fewer more capable tools.

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Agreed, the Stipple tool is definitely showing its age.

A general inquiry, what do you use Stipple for that wouldn't be better served by a pattern/hatch/tile fill, or a duplicate array instead? I assume the randomization is key, but just getting feedback.

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Haven't used the stipple tool since it first came out and I tried using it and at first I liked the opportunity to get a random gradient stipple from heavy at the perimeter of an object to nothing in the center. Once implemented, however, my file would really bog down VW.

Has it improved?

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I don't think any significant changes have been made to the Stipple tool in years.

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On the rare time I use it it is useful for generating randomness.

Once you like the result Convert to Group to recover speed in the drawing.

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Hi,

First of all I think the article / feed is extremely useful and Renderworks tutorials are useful for increasing brightness etc. My question is how can you apply the same rigour to front, back, left and right camera views and viewports for elevations etc.

I think this is a big issue at the moment when trying to achieve high quality elevations for planning purposes.

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As a mentioned in an earlier post I use Artlantis but would love to see a like for like rendering of a model inside Vectorworks against one in c4d as I don't know a lot about c4d can you export and then run a render without tweaking to much or do you have to adjust settings to give you the superior render.

Edited by Phil hunt

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Both.

If you just export and do nothing, you'll get the same image on your C4D screen.

If you want to tweak in C4D for better quality or render times, you have a lot of

options more.

VW -> C4D export doesn't lose any information.

That is mostly true beside small things like Sensor size of cameras.

My problem is more the loss of information by VW or the exporter adding

arbitrary information, like :

- currently you will get 3 C4D camera in for each VW camera

- classes that share 1 VW material will give you a copy of that same material for each class

- 1 single Heliodon will be divided into 2 Backgrounds + 2 Physical Light + 1 Infinite Light

- 1 Image Textures used in one Material will be copied n*each channel it is used + n* each class it is used in

- Geometry resolution for arcs will be set always to "super high" although never set to this anywhere

in your settings, until you explicitly do a screen render with a RW Style with appropriate settings,

immedeatly before you export.

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