Jump to content

Best Rendering

Ben Godlington

Recommended Posts

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.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

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:



Edited by Monadnoc
Link to comment

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

Link to comment
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

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.

Link to comment

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.

Link to comment
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

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.

Link to comment

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?

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...


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.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

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
Link to comment


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.

Link to comment

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.

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.

  • Create New...