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Rendering artefacts appear in 2021



Hi I'm looking at migrating to 2021, but I'm having a problem with a degradation in rendering quality. This view is rendered in 2020:


The next image is rendered in 2021, if you look at the glass you'll see a weird dappling and there is something strange going on with the lighting of the stonework.


They are both rendered with the exact same settings. Are there any significant changes to Renderworks in 2021 that could explain this?

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello Will:

Vectorworks uses a new Maxon Cineware engine in 2021 and there was an issue with reflection maps that is fixed with 2021 Service Pack 2.  The bug was that they look like a pure mirror reflection.  Are the textures here using Image reflection?


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The texture is the unmodified 'Glass Clear <Portal RW> RT' Render texture that comes with vectorworks.


I have also tried with the 'Glass Clear RT' texture and it has the same effect.

Is SP2 generally available yet, I am on the initial release of VW and I just did check for updates but I don't see a new service pack yet.

Edited by Will
added that I had also tried non portal RT
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You absolutely can't use a VP DPI less than 360, in my opinion, if you want the renders to look anywhere close to decent.

I usually use custom VW with a DPI (on 8 1/2 x 11 sheet size) of 600, but then again, I am a bit fanatical about my photorealistic renderings.

As Dave D mentioned, it looks like you have elected to use an HDRI background image, but it also looks like you may have elected to use it as a light source as well?

Is that the case?

As far as the glass and mirror settings goes....I normally never use the standard VW offerings, but rather create my own. 


Also....speaking of HDRI hemispheric pano backgrounds...as an FYI, there is a great site that has tons of free HDRI's....The guy does such a good job creating them that I donated some money to him, because his HDRI's are well worth it.

 He offers up several download qualities for each HDRI, which again, in my view you don't want to use any that are below 8K.




Just thought I would share some of this with you.

The fact that your rendering times get a bit longer is just the way it goes if you want acceptable quality.  At least when using Custom RW, Final quality RW, etc, it all happens in the background so you can keep working on other aspects of your file. Open GL, Hidden line, etc do not allow that.


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Thanks @Kevin K, I've got it a 216 dpi just now, I'll try bumping it up.


It's not an HDRI background it's just a blue physical sky with no clouds and the sun Heliodon set to late afternoon in March with 'Soft Shadows', 'Physical Sun' and 'Physical Sky' all checked in the OIP. 'Environment lighting' and 'Environment reflections' are set to Current Background. The ground in the back is a terrain model.


What do you change from the defaults in the Glass Clear RT render texture? I tried some tweaks but they just seemed to make the glass more opaque.


These are just my little work in progress renders,  I have a load of them set up in viewports and I occasionally look at them as I am working to get a feel for how the job us shaping up so I like them to be pretty quick, but show the materials reasonably well. Before they were also OK to send to the client just to keep them appraised of the work in progress, but I can't do that if they have weird artefacts in them as it will cause confusion. So they were about 20s each before but now take nearly 4 mins each for essentially the same result unless I ignore the fuzzy glass. It doesn't sound like much, but if I'm writing a quick email, 'I've added roof light as requested' type of thing and I notice something out of place at the last minute, I have to wait ~40 mins for them all to regenerate versus ~5mins.


I had decided not to upgrade to 2021 before SP2 came out as I couldn't make the effect go away at all before even with higher quality render settings, but now it seems I can get round it by putting up with longer render times. So I suppose that's what I'll do.


I probably need to buy a faster mac as well, I was about to buy the £4000 27" iMac with the 16Gb graphics card but the new £699 M1 mac minis are faster than these by quite a margin. Insanely fast, I think only the very latest top end AMD Ryzen can beat them and then only just, I can't wait for the pro macs with M1 and more RAM to come out...

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it appears you are located in the UK? So it is getting late there, but if you wish, if you could send that file I can take a look at it and make some suggestions, etc to alleviate some of your issues.

I too have not updated to 2021 so you would need to export the file to Version 2020.

Again, only if you have time or interest in doing this. If your file is large you will need to compress it and put it into Dropbox or something equal to easily send it to me. If it is under 20 megs or so, you can just email it to me.

taviri@ Mac.com.

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There is another option depending on your availability.

We could discuss it in real-time. I did this yesterday, helping someone with their site model issues. They lived in London.

I am not a zoom person, but I do use Skype often, but better still, if you are a Mac person the messages app works really well, in that besides audio and screen sharing, I can control your cursor to demonstrate anything.  I have been using this option in the messages app with most of my clients of late. It is more than efficient and productive.


 Anyway, just a thought. I would just need your email address to contact you thru the messages app, or, if you have a Skype account, would need your Skype name.


At the end of the day it may still be helpful to have the file, but that could be determined after we chatted.

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