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View Full Version : RenderMan catching up with FPrime... 10yrs later.



toby
05-29-2014, 06:41 PM
http://www.fxguide.com/featured/rendermanris-and-the-start-of-next-25-years/

Watch the video near the end of the article, with the Jaguar.

Worley did the same demonstration TEN YEARS ago ( does anyone know where we could find that video? ). Notice the stuttering interaction here too, and remember how much more powerful this machine is than whatever Worley used back then. I think that was before he had it multi-threaded tooo, so, *one core*, a max of about 3ghz.

The render demo at the top ( spheres and mirrors ) is rendered with no blurry reflections, no blurry refraction, and not even motion blur. They don't give rendertimes but this would have to be in realtime to be at all impressive.

I just don't get it. It takes them 10yrs to add full raytracing, and they only come up to par with other raytracers... and they're winning awards for technology?? :screwy:

I tested Renderman against Mental Ray back in 2010 ( at a maya shop ), a plain grey charcter model and 12 raytrace shadow point lights;
Mental Ray : 4 seconds
Renderman : 17 minutes

Yes, 17 Minutes, vs. 4 seconds. That's why you had to use shadow maps for everything in renderman, and a bare minimum of lights, until recently.

Methinks the Emperor's New Clothes still applies today -

toby
05-29-2014, 07:39 PM
Here we go :
http://worley.com/E/Products/fprime/videos.html

Not his oldest videos, but they are pretty old, 2007. And v3.0 of FPrime. And the interactive renders are better quality than Renderman's, today, on a faster machine.

Obviously Renderman RIS has more to it, more open, flexible and built to work with programmers, and huge pipelines, 64 bit, etc.

But FPrime was made by *one guy*. And he had to hack Lightwave, with it's closed SDK, to do it.

What the heck has Pixar been doing all this time?

rcallicotte
05-29-2014, 09:51 PM
And Renderman will be free by Siggraph for non-commercial - http://renderman.pixar.com/view/future-of-renderman

New price of $495 for commercial version.

bazsa73
05-30-2014, 07:44 AM
So what, we got VPR and LW.

UnCommonGrafx
05-30-2014, 02:35 PM
And Octane. The likes of which is putting all renderers on notice to improve. Thank goodness for us.

cresshead
05-30-2014, 03:24 PM
free Renderman is like Free Beer on the Moon

jwiede
05-31-2014, 03:16 AM
This thread is hilarious! :ohmy:

bazsa73
05-31-2014, 06:47 AM
I remember when we hardly dared to utter words like renderman, now you get i for lousy 499 US bucks. Hm. Strange times for sure.
Soon it's gonna be 99 cents but by that time we all crawl on for on radioactive fields digging for roots and edible bugs.

jasonwestmas
05-31-2014, 07:18 AM
From Ed Catmull. . ."Each group has different needs and different desires. Some times those needs and desires conflict with each other; Sometimes they disagree about the approaches we should take; But for us this is healthy. . . . This way we get the advantage of great breadth; A lot of smart people working on problems from all different angles."

This statement applies to all software really. Obviously Renderman has something to offer, I would say something special to offer in the way of rendering character performances. No real need to be comparing Fprime to renderman hehe, nothing really to compare. Free for non-comercial film makers, wow, can't beat that.

Tartiflette
05-31-2014, 07:18 AM
I think we are comparing apples to oranges here, and i say that even though i'd sure would like to see FPrime updated to work with current LightWave as it still have some unique features and i dream about the performance we would have now with an updated FPrime and the actual hardware to run it.

But comparing FPrime to RenderMan, seriously ? :stumped:
Sure they are render engines, but i think that's about the only thing they have in common...


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette. :)

jasonwestmas
05-31-2014, 07:20 AM
I think we are comparing apples to oranges here, and i say that even though i'd sure would like to see FPrime updated to work with current LightWave as it still have some unique features and i dream about the performance we would have now with an updated FPrime and the actual hardware to run it.

But comparing FPrime to RenderMan, seriously ? :stumped:
Sure they are render engines, but i think that's about the only thing they have in common...


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette. :)

Too true.

Surrealist.
05-31-2014, 11:40 AM
You've got three of the top studios, Pixar, Disney, ILM and two teams of people at Universities, Zurich and CMU. Probably that, along with open sudiv and partership with Audodesk on that technology, is I'd say the largest funding and resources available to develop rendering software (and other interrelated tech) specially for character animation and other special effects. And they are releasing this as free to non-commercial users as well as drastically dropping the price for commercial users.

This says a lot about what is happening to this industry. Add Open Subdiv and you have pretty much the best minds in the business developing software with the intent to open it up to the largest amount of users.

Cool times ahead.

And I love what he said about not worrying about competition in the early days and how that relates to some of the things they decide should be open source.

Looking at where these guys are now today says a lot about their open approach in development and business models. Completely aside from being geniuses and having been there in the pioneering days - right place right time factor which can not be discounted. But still, I think these guys have had the right approach and that is what has gotten them so far.

cresshead
05-31-2014, 02:07 PM
You've got three of the top studios, Pixar, Disney, ILM .

ALL owned by disney...

Netvudu
05-31-2014, 05:46 PM
Frankly, I would be much more moved by this Renderman decision if it weren´t because they waited until they have been clearly surpassed both technologically and de facto on many of the top studios around the world.
The truth is Renderman denied PBR for way too long, and now that it´s proven it works and it´s a new need they released a very bad version which is slowly making them to keep on losing customers. Just check last years´ Academy nominations to realize how Arnold is clearly winning the big leagues game right now.
Under that scenario, having them release a free Renderman version looks more like a desperate attempt of maintaining their status more than a hippie- "life is beautiful" decision.
It´s indeed good for users, but I don´t read it as selfless generosity exactly, if you know what I mean.

toby
05-31-2014, 07:39 PM
But comparing FPrime to RenderMan, seriously ? :stumped:
Sure they are render engines, but i think that's about the only thing they have in common...


Like I said :
"Obviously Renderman RIS has more to it, more open, flexible and built to work with programmers, and huge pipelines, 64 bit, etc."

Nobody is dumb enough to say that 'FPrime is as good as Renderman'. Nobody is saying you could have done 'Avatar' in FPrime.

But what Worley released in 2004 has very comparable features to what Pixar just released. And it's even better in a couple ways.

With 10yrs of programming by teams of people, and with machines that are many, many times more powerful, that should just not be the case. That's what I'm trying to find out.

I think you're still under the Emperor's New Clothes effect. "It's Renderman!! Obviously nothing compares to it." They aren't even doing anything that hasn't been done before - and done better than the examples in this article. You gotta give me something if you're going to say "they don't compare", like, a reason.

Tartiflette
06-01-2014, 06:04 AM
Like I said :
"Obviously Renderman RIS has more to it, more open, flexible and built to work with programmers, and huge pipelines, 64 bit, etc."

Nobody is dumb enough to say that 'FPrime is as good as Renderman'. Nobody is saying you could have done 'Avatar' in FPrime.

But what Worley released in 2004 has very comparable features to what Pixar just released. And it's even better in a couple ways.
Yeah sure, but did you think that they are probably not aiming at the same target ?
FPrime is great as a previewer (was a real game changer in that area) and it happens that it's also a great render engine, while RenderMan probably wasn't designed with previewer in mind.
Asking what they have been doing for 10 years is a bit weird in my opinion, even more when you look at what RenderMan is still capable of doing now. (i'm perhaps blind but i don't think their latest films are "subpar" in term of quality compared to what has been done with other render engines ?)

And in that case, we could also ask why Arnold is so poor of a render engine when it comes to do archviz ?
Like RenderMan (or should i say PRMan, RenderMan is only a language...) they are aiming at a different market so their respective strength isn't where engines like FPrime or LightWave or modo (with its great previewer) shine.

With 10yrs of programming by teams of people, and with machines that are many, many times more powerful, that should just not be the case. That's what I'm trying to find out.

I think you're still under the Emperor's New Clothes effect. "It's Renderman!! Obviously nothing compares to it." They aren't even doing anything that hasn't been done before - and done better than the examples in this article. You gotta give me something if you're going to say "they don't compare", like, a reason.
I'm not a fanboy of RenderMan, been learning how to cope with the RenderMan Shading Language for my own knowledge but never found a project where i could use what i learned, so i know i'm not a natural target for this kind of render engine, but i know where its strength are and i certainly wouldn't dismiss the power behind this language and the tremendous amount of work that has been done to develop incredible shaders and rendering techniques.

Like i said i just don't understand the parallel between FPrime and RenderMan, it just doesn't make sense.


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette. :)

jwiede
06-02-2014, 01:30 AM
FPrime is a render engine manifesting a single parameterized solution. Renderman is (essentially) a package for producing parameterized render engine solutions as output. Apple vs tree.

Try making a box. Now make a machine that produces boxes as output. That's what you're comparing, and the comparison lacks utility.

The folks using Renderman do so because no single render engine is adequate for their set of needs -- Renderman lets them produce as many specialized render engines as needed, with each engine's solution precisely what is needed for that task (which boosts performance overall).

Tartiflette
06-02-2014, 03:50 AM
FPrime is a render engine manifesting a single parameterized solution. Renderman is (essentially) a package for producing parameterized render engine solutions as output. Apple vs tree.

Try making a box. Now make a machine that produces boxes as output. That's what you're comparing, and the comparison lacks utility.

The folks using Renderman do so because no single render engine is adequate for their set of needs -- Renderman lets them produce as many specialized render engines as needed, with each engine's solution precisely what is needed for that task (which boosts performance overall).
You summed it up very well, and in a few words when i needed 4 pages of convoluted explanations (and it wasn't even clear ! :D).


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette. :)

cresshead
06-02-2014, 11:07 AM
3dsmax scanline for the win though eh! :)

toby
06-02-2014, 04:27 PM
Yeah sure, but did you think that they are probably not aiming at the same target ?
FPrime is great as a previewer (was a real game changer in that area) and it happens that it's also a great render engine, while RenderMan probably wasn't designed with previewer in mind.
Asking what they have been doing for 10 years is a bit weird in my opinion, even more when you look at what RenderMan is still capable of doing now.

And in that case, we could also ask why Arnold is so poor of a render engine when it comes to do archviz ?
Like RenderMan (or should i say PRMan, RenderMan is only a language...) they are aiming at a different market so their respective strength isn't where engines like FPrime or LightWave or modo (with its great previewer) shine.
You still seem to think I'm comparing both total packages to each other - I'm not. Like I said, only a fool would say Avatar could have been done in FPrime. I'm just talking about their 'new features' released with RIS. And *not the Renderman standard* either. It couldn't be more obvious that the standard is not software, and FPrime is. Seriously - how can you talk about a free download - and then say it's not software?! Wondering if you guys even looked at the link.

"RenderMan probably wasn't designed with previewer in mind."
That's no excuse for a previewer to be slower and lower quality on faster machines, 10yrs and dozens of programmers later.

"i just don't understand the parallel between FPrime and RenderMan"
Renderman RIS was just released, with "real-time" preview technology and full raytracing, and the ability to refine renders.
From the article :
"we have the option of “image checkpointing” where a checkpoint image is written to disk on a regular interval (measured in render increments). Now a queueing system, for example Tractor, can kill a job according to a collection of policy decisions (eg. each frame gets 10m) and this will ensure that a nightly render schedule can be met.. In the past, since there may be high variability of noise across a shot, it was possible for individual frames to hold up the entire job resulting in high variability in daily deliveries. The other aspect of this feature: the renderer can take up where it left off. We store additional information in the checkpoint images that capture the internal state of the random-number generators and accumulated filter weights to allow the render to “pick up where it left off”. "

This is EXACTLY what FPrime offered in 2004, and they're just coming out with it now.

Btw - Every movie that's been done by Sony Imageworks since - I think - about 2009, has been rendered in Arnold; live action or animation ( Cloudy w/ a Chance of Meatballs, Green Lantern, Amazing Spiderman 1 & 2, MIB 3, Smurfs, Oz, Arthur Christmas, etc. ), so clearly it's competitive with renderman.

"(i'm perhaps blind but i don't think their latest films are "subpar" in term of quality compared to what has been done with other render engines ?)"
'Introducing the new Renderman! We're not sub-par!'
Not much of a selling point... I'm just trying to get you guys to be more pragmatic - *what is it* that Pixar has to show for 10yrs of programming, other than just to catch up?

cresshead
06-02-2014, 05:29 PM
unless you're running Maya or cinema 4d this is just vapourware but "REAL"

Renderman needs to get out of it's tiny app sandbox and walk into the real world to become useable with the rest of the 3d apps
that the majority use day to day.

biggest installed pro user base is 3ds Max for example...ZERO for renderman and in a recent reply from renderman devs they were saying that
3ds max has a busy marketplace for renderers already so they are not sure they want to go into that...REALLY?...if you're the best surely you'd
like to be the "cream" that rises to the top in that area too?

if.....

if renderman wants to increase it's footprint world wide then it needs to become available for MANY 3d apps not just 2 of them.

such as:

Modo
3ds max
Lightwave
Rhino
Sketchup pro
Blender

just like for example Vray is doing... hint hint!

Tartiflette
06-03-2014, 07:05 AM
I think it's time for me to give up on this conversation that is going nowhere anyway.
I just feel like i lost my time replying to such arguments. :o


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette. :)

toby
06-04-2014, 11:54 PM
I think it's time for me to give up on this conversation that is going nowhere anyway.
I just feel like i lost my time replying to such arguments. :o


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette. :)

That's ok, cresshead and Netvudu understand what I'm saying -

bazsa73
06-05-2014, 12:39 AM
a small avatar could be rendered with fprime, it just will not look quite the same :D

lardbros
06-05-2014, 05:31 AM
3dsmax scanline for the win though eh! :)


Haha... love this!


Now... how could we persuade Juanjgon to make a plugin for RenderMan too?? He's done such a stellar job on Octane and Arnold :D

Surrealist.
06-10-2014, 10:38 AM
I think it's time for me to give up on this conversation that is going nowhere anyway.
I just feel like i lost my time replying to such arguments. :o


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette. :)

Not entirely lost. Actually. Interesting points I thought. Made me realize I really need to read up more on Renderman. I think they are definitely angling to stay relevant in a way. It is not that hard to figure out that it is not entirely altruistic. But it does not have to be. There are changes in the industry, even Arnold - finally - is available and at a greatly reduced price to what it has been. Cycles as free? Even with limitations... has to have an impact. Also even the BF now headed in a similar direction with trying to open up to a more broad input development-wise.

I am really looking forward to the release of Renderman and getting a chance to actually play with it.

In general though I think the Pixar Disney partnership is bringing us some very cool technology with open subdiv. I see this as another move in that general direction. A good thing.

And more generally it seems to me that this is the best way to develop software and not stay secluded as some companies seem to prefer.

Surrealist.
06-10-2014, 11:07 AM
FPrime is a render engine manifesting a single parameterized solution. Renderman is (essentially) a package for producing parameterized render engine solutions as output. Apple vs tree.

Try making a box. Now make a machine that produces boxes as output. That's what you're comparing, and the comparison lacks utility.

The folks using Renderman do so because no single render engine is adequate for their set of needs -- Renderman lets them produce as many specialized render engines as needed, with each engine's solution precisely what is needed for that task (which boosts performance overall).


Very well said. Again inspiration to study up more. I think playing with 3D Light is the closest I have been to anything Renderman. I always loved the look of that renderer. Looking forward to checking out Renderman and see what it has to offer.

jasonwestmas
06-10-2014, 12:11 PM
That's another thing to consider when a company chooses a renderer, every single render engine has a unique look to it, matter of taste for the most part I guess but very interesting.

Surrealist.
06-11-2014, 07:38 AM
Yeah that is true. It seems that each render solution has a sort of "default". I have used the same scene side by side between 2 engines and gotten a different feel, just from basic settings. From there you have to work each engine from different approaches it seems to achieve a similar look. From there I think a lot of the look we see has more to do with the taste of the people using the render engine than it's default feel.

I wonder how much of the "look" I have associated with Renderman - that actually I have not cared for - is more of a result of the people with their hands on the buttons (and shader writing) more than the render engine itself. One of the things I will be curious to find out.

toby
06-11-2014, 10:53 PM
I wonder how much of the "look" I have associated with Renderman - that actually I have not cared for - is more of a result of the people with their hands on the buttons (and shader writing) more than the render engine itself. One of the things I will be curious to find out.
I'm sure that's the result of not being able to raytrace in Renderman. Try doing something in lw with shadow and reflection *maps* instead of raytracing, and see how it compares. Even "Frozen" appears to have been done with 0 raytrace shadows, only shadow maps. The result is not only flat, but lifted, and / or low contrast, not to mention unrealistic. I'm sure you know how the shadow of a tree for example is darker at the base than at the top, and that shadow maps are incapable of representing this, so they're set to a compromise level; not dark enough at the base (lifted), and not faded enough at the top, but the exact same intensity from top to bottom. It's visible in every renderman movie I've seen so far, except maybe Transformers - and ILM may very well have written their own raytrace engine. That's all renderman needs, but Pixar has, until now, refused to do it, for some strange reason.

Glossy reflections have also been a total nightmare in renderman, having to use reflection maps mixed with AO. Try that in lw; I have, and it's really sad. It takes a crapload of work just to not look hideous, then, you have to try to make it look 'good'. That's where the Renderman guru's bag of tricks comes in. But the result is still not photo-real.

Has anyone else noticed that even Cars 2 or the monsters in Monster U. are not photoreal? Would any of you mistake them for real photographs of minatures?

jwiede
06-11-2014, 10:53 PM
I wonder how much of the "look" I have associated with Renderman - that actually I have not cared for - is more of a result of the people with their hands on the buttons (and shader writing) more than the render engine itself. One of the things I will be curious to find out.
Quite a bit, I suspect, between shader coding styles and what devs must do to "wire up" the render engines produced, I'm not sure pRM really has a "default look" per se. Closest analogue would probably the "example setups" provided with it, which I presume are much more strongly influenced by the Pixar guys' expectations from customers (esp. internally) than any aspect of pRM itself.

Given 3Delight is supposed to be a "highly compatible" implementation of the Renderman language/APIs, I find it interesting that you like its "default' but dislike pRM's, as I'd expect them to be fairly similar. Can you describe a bit better what you like about 3Delight's look and/or dislike about the "look" you associate with pRM?

Surrealist.
06-12-2014, 01:39 AM
It is comparing apples to oranges to talk about my hands on experience with a render engine defaults and looking at work another person have done.

So I don't follow the question.