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scottmoore

Better control of light objects with volumetric rendering

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Greetings.  I have been banging this particular drum for seven years and it was suggested that I post this in the Wishlist section.  For those of us that do entertainment lighting, it would be extremely helpful to have some realistic and usable control of beams of light in volumetric spaces.  Our current options of "smooth" and "realistic" settings are anything but.  To illustrate my point, I am attaching some screen grabs detailing what was possible with VW2010 and what is possible now.  The current examples are from VW2015, however, there has been no improvement in this area since then.  The primary issue is that there is currently no way to make a beam of light brighter at it's source which is what happens in the real world.  Instead, VW/RW seems to see the beam of light as a simple piece of geometry and as the beam gets wider, it gets brighter which, by default, means that the beam is dimmest at is origination point.  I have to admit, the quality of the volumetric "haze" is much less grainy and therefore appears more realistic, but the control we have over the point source is extremely lacking.  

 

It would be nice to have control over the size of the beam origination as well to allow it to actually be the same size as the virtual lens from which it emanates, however, I would be satisfied for now if we could just have something that approaches the reality of the law of squares.  What we have now frankly looks a little ridiculous.  

 

Thank you

1_2010.png

1_2015_none.png

1_2015_realistic.png

1_2015_smoth.png

2_2010.png

2_2015_none.png

2_2015_realistic.png

2_2015_smooth.png

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I did some experiments and achieving what you're looking for is possible in C4D so Cinerender is capable. It looks like VW lights only fall off towards the edges of the beam and not along the length of the beam as you would expect.

 

(My example below has both "Use Falloff" and "Use Edge Falloff" enabled in C4D.)

 

Kevin

 

59000128781ae_EdgeFalloff100.jpg.f55c1249f506db0fc13e1777ee8f65fe.jpg

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Agreed. I often advise my students to use lit fog very cautiously, or not at all, since it looks so fake. I'd love to see this addressed since beams of light are so integral to designs within the entertainment world.

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Cinema 4D can certainly address all of these issues.  Frankly, Vision deals with this quite well.  Why we have so little control in VW is beyond me although I assume the developers would like for us to purchase C4D to accomplish these tasks.  From my standpoint, projects really move too fast to afford creating a proposed design, then spending the time to export that into a secondary piece of software, do all the necessary manipulations to make the model look correct in the new software and then render for presentations.  

 

Andy, your point is well taken.  The hang-up for me is most of my projects are intended for a lit fog environment and it is the lit fog that gives those types of renderings a sense of energy.  Without it, most of my projects are useless.  My current workaround is to rely mostly on gobo projections since those at least look decent when the beam opens up but it also takes far more rendering time.  Perhaps a solution is using Vision, however, in the past the problem has been textures not translating well into that software plus all the time it takes to address fixtures, getting a console patched and make the model work, not to mention the fact that you actually need some sort of console in the first place.  Seems like if we could just have a bit more control from Cinema 4D, we could do away with all the other ancillary steps.  

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29 minutes ago, scottmoore said:

Cinema 4D can certainly address all of these issues.  Frankly, Vision deals with this quite well.  Why we have so little control in VW is beyond me although I assume the developers would like for us to purchase C4D to accomplish these tasks.  From my standpoint, projects really move too fast to afford creating a proposed design, then spending the time to export that into a secondary piece of software, do all the necessary manipulations to make the model look correct in the new software and then render for presentations.  

 

Andy, your point is well taken.  The hang-up for me is most of my projects are intended for a lit fog environment and it is the lit fog that gives those types of renderings a sense of energy.  Without it, most of my projects are useless.  My current workaround is to rely mostly on gobo projections since those at least look decent when the beam opens up but it also takes far more rendering time.  Perhaps a solution is using Vision, however, in the past the problem has been textures not translating well into that software plus all the time it takes to address fixtures, getting a console patched and make the model work, not to mention the fact that you actually need some sort of console in the first place.  Seems like if we could just have a bit more control from Cinema 4D, we could do away with all the other ancillary steps.  

 

Hi Scott,

I think this should be possible in VW too. My comparison to C4D was just to test whether Cinerender is capable of what you're looking for. VW just needs to spend some time improving the implementation. As you say, exporting to another piece of software isn't ideal on quick timelines.

Kevin

 

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I agree completely. It's probably more likely that we might get volumetric lighting effects in OpenGL first, this is how Vision does it and apparently the tech might be transferable. But it is badly needed in Renderworks as well for any style even remotely photorealistic for Spotlight related uses and for many exterior architectural and landscape renders near dawn/dusk or in heavily wooded areas. 

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A LOT of images that we see in contest submissions like this one have a good bit of post processing in Photoshop/C4D, especially when it comes to lit fog like seen above, and then optical flaring discussed here, which is also something I feel should be added natively, since its so common in renderings for nearly all the industries we cater to:

10-Lens-Flares.jpg.ceb53650458f6be7b11bbf334cee093d.jpg 83a7ed15818239.5629764b87f62.jpg.9f8ba3bdd36f3472b9ab6cf03eac1b36.jpg

 

Rather than making users have to use a third party application, I feel this is something we could handle either in Viewports, on light objects themselves, or via render styles. Since the engine is already aware of the exact location, direction and visibility of light sources, it would be much more efficient to have the engine slap on some of the flares or fogged beams after the fact, since they're often a sort of 2D annotation anyway even in software like C4D.

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48 minutes ago, JimW said:

I agree completely. It's probably more likely that we might get volumetric lighting effects in OpenGL first, this is how Vision does it and apparently the tech might be transferable. But it is badly needed in Renderworks as well for any style even remotely photorealistic for Spotlight related uses and for many exterior architectural and landscape renders near dawn/dusk or in heavily wooded areas. 

 

Interesting. The tech is definitely there in Cinerender so I would have thought it would be easier to implement in Renderworks first. From a user perspective the split focus on OpenGL and Renderworks can be challenging. Sometimes I can't quite get what I need in either but the other has the feature I'm missing..... :D

 

Kevin

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I am just glad I am not the only one that is extremely frustrated by this. It's even more frustrating that we used to have far more control than we have now. I stayed on VW2010 until my OS would no longer support it simply because of this issue. 

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I'd like to add to this discussion that I have the same issues and have been so frustrated that the renderings I used to be able to produce in VW2010 were totally great and now in 2017 barely passable. 

 

I would like to add that it would be amazing if this could get fixed.  Also, it would be nice if it were possible to point a light at the camera and not turn my render time up 1000%.

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, JimW said:

It's probably more likely that we might get volumetric lighting effects in OpenGL first,

I'm all for the return of volumetric lighting & agree with the comments wholeheartedly.

 

It would be very strange if OpenGL would accomplish this before Renderworks. A horse pulling cart?

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1 minute ago, bcd said:

I'm all for the return of volumetric lighting & agree with the comments wholeheartedly.

 

It would be very strange if OpenGL would accomplish this before Renderworks. A horse pulling cart?

 

Most likely it's that they are two separate horses.

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Yes, sorry, the reason I think OpenGL might happen first is just because that solution already exists and would just need to be migrated, not that OpenGL needs it more or makes more sense to have it in. However I checked with the rendering team and apparently the licensing talks with MAXON went very well and things like this might be quicker to come to us in Renderworks than they would have previously.

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24 minutes ago, JimW said:

apparently the licensing talks with MAXON went very well

 

 

Aha.

 

I'm quite pleased to hear something like that and already very curious what that may mean for VW 2018.

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Very good things. No overhaul solution for texture mapping yet, sadly, but good things nonetheless.

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Just saw this email from VW.  I am assuming this rendering has been tarted up a bit in a third party app?  The origination is more or less the size of the fixture aperture and the beam itself does seem to follow the law of squares.  This is still not quite as realistic as I would like to see, but far better than anything I have been able to get out of VW.  If someone is getting this out of VW currently, I would love to see how.  

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 9.56.32 AM.png

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On 5/3/2017 at 8:01 AM, scottmoore said:

Just saw this email from VW.  I am assuming this rendering has been tarted up a bit in a third party app?  The origination is more or less the size of the fixture aperture and the beam itself does seem to follow the law of squares.  This is still not quite as realistic as I would like to see, but far better than anything I have been able to get out of VW.  If someone is getting this out of VW currently, I would love to see how.  

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 9.56.32 AM.png

 

  Hey Scott,

Since I created the rendering I can answer that for you. This was modeled in Vectorworks and then taken into Cinema 4D where we used custom light models with more accurate beams and bodies — they are also rigged (in the 3D modeling sense) so we are able to easy refocus. The beams were generated by starting with IES files and then modifying the parameters to be suit the rendered look. There was a bit of trial and error to get the desired effect. This was also do a few years ago used I believe C4D R13 or R14. Lighting control has improved in later versions. Also the C4D render engine within VW has come along way the last few years. You can get very similar results now without having to go to C4D. On this particular project it was necessary to work in C4D because of the Clay Paky B-Eyes. You don't see it in this rendering but we spent a good deal of time modeling the face of the B-Eye so we could explain to our client how they would appear on camera in the context of the event.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions. Also if you like to see how this compares to the real thing visit our website at http://www.sholight.com

 

               Cheers,

                 Tyler

 

 

 

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   So here is better example of the faces. This particular images is fairly accurate as far of the modeling of the side lighting. It's quite close to how the show turned out.

 

 

 

IJD-2014-Render.png.81232f765ab43f8badeba6ae5c6a825e.png

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Tyler,

Thank you for the response on the rendering. 

 

You made the comment that "the C4D rendering engine has come a long way in VW", however, I have thus far had no luck with approximating reality with any beam effects. If you have any tips, that would be greatly appreciated.   I'll check your website. 

 

Thanks,

Scott

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Any movement on this issue from The developers?  Any improvement in 2018???

Edited by scottmoore

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On 8/10/2017 at 6:05 PM, scottmoore said:

Any improvement in 2018???

 

I wonder if the following image in this morning's newsletter email might be indicating something along those lines?

 

59a1a2aadad26_ScreenShot2017-08-26at9_30_09AM.png.4c2468e4da736bad33f510c59a8d7ab3.png

 

Hopefully it's not just another example of the marketing folks using images that are completely impossible to attain in Vectorworks.

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Pardon me. Just gonna jump in here and say moving lit stage projects to C4D is neither particularly easy nor efficient, at least for me. Having to learn a software as complex as C4D in order to render fog just seems has been ludicrious to me, esp. when all that is available in the Cinerender engine and I could / should be learning a few new tools and workflows, instead of the massive beast that a full fledged modeler / renderer like C4D is.

 

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