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Thread: Wda clouds and vdb

  1. #16
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Ahh..and what you pointed out as render error in the fluid evolved image, that is just clipping I think from the container, it wasnīt ideally set up..just more a test for cloud heights, so that I will have to take care of with another
    fluid sim.

  2. #17
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    O well..bumping this again, polluting..I just happened to get in to it again since Nez asked about them in blender forums.
    You know Lightwave fellows, those of you who have a fast CPU supermachine, and perhaps also 2020 versions with new GI etc, why donīt you jump on to the challenge and try and render out some of the free disney wda cloud assets.
    To aim for is disneys own hyperion cloud render or arnold render.

    Personally I have had a hard time to get good enough results in Lightwave..and thus have been using Blender cycles mostly to try it, also considering my medium level hardware with itīs GPU renders most of it faster ..at least in preview, I did have to switch
    to blenders CPU though when changing from quarter resolution of 66 mb, to the half resolution of over 480mb in VDB size, thatīs when the GPU couldnīt handle it.

    I did some previous resolution renders with the GPU within 21 minutes, with the 66mb VDB and that was 75% of full HD res, and I also had (only) 50 volume bounces and less transparency bounces.
    for the compare image I first post here, I raised to 480mb VDB and to 85 bounces on both volume and transparency bounces, and then using CPU at full HD, that rendered at 3hours 43 minutes..so that is a bit too much.

    To note, my image to the right in the first image, not the same light angle not same camera angle, the first thing to notice would be that my cloud doensīt have that light cut off where light should not penetrate all the way down to the cloud bottom, in the hyperion render that is more correct, so I will have to look at how to limit that in blender.
    Secondly, the powder effect and the fuller volume depicted in the hyperion render, still wrestling with that..though I think I could get a bit more closer to at least that shadowning..but tricky.
    All other images are blender cycles, the very first cloud image is the only one that is hyperion, not any of the others.

    Some banding on those two at the sky, I did some processing through krita, which I maybe shouldnīt have, at least have checked the output better there.

    To Note, the Hyperion render I believe must have been the full 1.4 GB VDB set, I still havenīt tried to load that one in, only the half resolution at 480 mb.

    So whatīs wrong with you Lightwave guys, donīt you have clouds to study where you live..or is something wrong with me
    Comon, load the wdas asset up..itīs free, tweak some, render some.





    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #18

    this is more of a render engine / shading problem.

    and both of those were let go from NT/VizRT

    so you'll be hard pressed to see any improvements.
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  4. #19
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    this is more of a render engine / shading problem.

    and both of those were let go from NT/VizRT

    so you'll be hard pressed to see any improvements.
    Thatīs right there what I am afraid of, a bit sad if such case, newly introduced features, left unattended to before it got a chance to become really good.
    We will have to wait, or go on with other stuff.

    But there was also changes in the GI and environent, thought there should be some guys able to try that, in such case they have a slightly better CPU than mine, doubt I will even try this 2020 version that is out there considering
    what I hear about rendering issues and the lack of features in general and VDB in particular.

    So I am more looking out for when they do their next major release to see what is in there of interest for me.

  5. #20

    we be like...

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  6. #21
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    we be like...

    Oh..nothing last, as yoda said, learn to let go of the things you most hold dear, and perhaps make a sandpainting as beautiful you can..then erase it.
    Someday ..several billions and billions of years, the stars will probably fade and no more stars in the whole universe, if the scientists are correct about running out of the cold gases neede to form stars, all darkness.

    Then again..as if all that would matter in my short lifetime, where Lightwave should


    As for improving illuminations and scattering, Ive had that raised in a thread many years ago(2015)..covering the mie implementation that may be a crucial phase function in the scattering that is needed to produce that kind of effect we see in the hyperion renderer.
    https://forums.newtek.com/showthread...13#post1422413

    To note..I am not sure if Modo actually have the mie function..while in Lightwave that is different?


    Also check this video with realtime scattering and shadowing showcasing that powder effect, no this is his own engine he is working on for realtime stuff, and admittedly he takes shortcuts and the light isnīt scattered properly the same way as path tracers do inside the volume, so that nice illumination inside of the clouds is sort of lost, but he getīs the shadowing right oddly.
    I just had a little chat with him on youtube..


    Perhaps now that some volumetric coders seem to have left newtek/lightwave...they could try and lure this guy in, he at least got that powder effect right and knows a bit about this stuff, right location, if he could be available and get the proper salery, ..Then Hire him

    He uses the WDA cloud asset as well for his development of the realtime engine he is using, and why not..if vizrt is hot on realtime stuff, why not?
    Lotīs of puzzle pieces that would need to fall in place for such recruitment to be possible of course.


  7. #22
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    I tried a few renders in LW2020 using the WDAS 1/8th VDB file.

    Wish I could remember the exact render settings, but unfortunately, LW crashed on me right at the end when I decided to try some volumetric scattering renders.

    Here are the renders with their respective light settings. I just turned off "Visible to Camera" and left the compositing on the default black.

    The cloud itself was set up as a standard VDB using the Object Properties VDB dialogue. I think I set the emission scale to .65 for the renders.

    Keep in mind, I have 1/1,000,000 the level of knowledge about clouds or their settings (from particle emitters or VDB or any other source) that you have, Prometheus. So everything here is pretty much drag and drop, with a minor value change and changes to environment lighting.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    WDA cloud 1/8th
    Environment: Physical Sky (Hosek-Wilkie) Los Angeles 10:18am July
    Render Time: 21m 49s

    Click image for larger version. 

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    WDA cloud 1/8th
    Environment: Physical Sky (Hosek-Wilkie) Los Angeles 13:18am July
    Render Time: 29m 44s

    Click image for larger version. 

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    WDA cloud 1/8th
    Environment: kiara sunset 4k HDRI (HDRI Haven)
    Render Time: 28m 13s

    I didn't use adaptive sampling in the camera settings; I think I set that for a flat 12 and then set the individual Render settings.

    On the last one, I really liked the way the light was catching, which is why I was going to try a volumetric lighting setup.

    Anyhoo... I think if I knew a bit more about how VDB clouds work and how to light them, and if I could have loaded the HD version of the cloud, I could have gotten better results.

    For whatever reason, Layout crashed every single time I tried to load the main WDAS file. The file is big (2.72gb) but I have 32gb of RAM on my system and very little else running that would be RAM-hungry, so I'm not sure what the issue was there.

  8. #23
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPSchmidt View Post
    I tried a few renders in LW2020 using the WDAS 1/8th VDB file.

    Wish I could remember the exact render settings, but unfortunately, LW crashed on me right at the end when I decided to try some volumetric scattering renders.

    Here are the renders with their respective light settings. I just turned off "Visible to Camera" and left the compositing on the default black.

    The cloud itself was set up as a standard VDB using the Object Properties VDB dialogue. I think I set the emission scale to .65 for the renders.

    Keep in mind, I have 1/1,000,000 the level of knowledge about clouds or their settings (from particle emitters or VDB or any other source) that you have, Prometheus. So everything here is pretty much drag and drop, with a minor value change and changes to environment lighting.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wdas_1_8_LW_2020_01.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	158.0 KB 
ID:	148710

    WDA cloud 1/8th
    Environment: Physical Sky (Hosek-Wilkie) Los Angeles 10:18am July
    Render Time: 21m 49s

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wdas_1_8_LW_2020_02.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	253.8 KB 
ID:	148711

    WDA cloud 1/8th
    Environment: Physical Sky (Hosek-Wilkie) Los Angeles 13:18am July
    Render Time: 29m 44s

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wdas_1_8_LW_2020_03.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	197.0 KB 
ID:	148712

    WDA cloud 1/8th
    Environment: kiara sunset 4k HDRI (HDRI Haven)
    Render Time: 28m 13s

    I didn't use adaptive sampling in the camera settings; I think I set that for a flat 12 and then set the individual Render settings.

    On the last one, I really liked the way the light was catching, which is why I was going to try a volumetric lighting setup.

    Anyhoo... I think if I knew a bit more about how VDB clouds work and how to light them, and if I could have loaded the HD version of the cloud, I could have gotten better results.

    For whatever reason, Layout crashed every single time I tried to load the main WDAS file. The file is big (2.72gb) but I have 32gb of RAM on my system and very little else running that would be RAM-hungry, so I'm not sure what the issue was there.

    Thank you very much RPSchmidt, finally at least one person joining it with a little challenge.

    Yes, volumetric global scattering..I would probably stay away from that until they improve the rendering and that Globabl scattering, extremely slow ..to get noisefree rendering, and there are some issues with the anisotrophy and distance to volumetric items, which often yields sharp dark cutoff edges around a cloud volume, extremely tricky to get rid off...or balance exactly the distance etc.
    This pertains the the physical sunlight, using a point light behind a cloud will not have to deal with that, but it will also just be very manual eyeballing and not correct as a sunlight.

    As for your samples, yes..I know you havenīt worked on it as much as I do, I would suggest you try with at least a gradient or physical sky, because how we perceive the colors and contrasts in the cloud, that is affected by the surrounding color as well, so black isnīt good for testing, just make a simple gradient if you do not want the full physical sky, then the actual physical sky is needed to provide lighting towards the cloud also.

    As for emission you have, I used that a lot as well..very small amount, and still do from time to time, but itīs a Hack..and shouldnīt really be used ever at all for clouds, in my blender renders I do not need emission channels, I just raise multiple bounces with 3-5 and it will brighten up the cloud enourmously, in real physical clouds, they do not have light emission unless there is a lightning going on, itīs all about scattering and absorbtion.

    So in principle, all the Lightwave cloud content is hacked with an emission channel, faking the scattering, to emulate GI look and brightness that should have been taken care of with GI and multiple scattering, Lightwave doesnīt handle either multiple bounces well and the speed of GI in volumes.

    So ..No emission, add a gradient background, and then check scattering channels, and use the proper GI bouncing.

    There would have been a way of avoiding faking illumination, if they had implemented the same shadow intensity control that is within the volume item, but itīs not there for VDB volumes.

    Hereīs a sample of godrays behind clouds, but that is just a pointlight behind it all and Global scattering, not the true sun light...and no vdb volume, just a procedural noise, which I now more find as ..not so good.





    Edit..as for your render tests.

    I think the nr 2 cloud render was the most promising, in terms of getting volume detail in there, but itīs emission channel is overiding any true shadowing and illumination, and the quality wasnīt enough, if it was a lower res version of the vdb, or the step size or not fully iterated render?


    I will check the largest gigabit file as well, both in Lightwave and blender to see which one deals with it best.
    But so far Ivé only used the half resolution of 480 mb as the highest res.


    Quote from you:
    "Keep in mind, I have 1/1,000,000 the level of knowledge about clouds or their settings (from particle emitters or VDB or any other source) that you have, Prometheus"

    I donīt think the level of knowledge is that huge in difference, youīll get there ..depends on how much effort you are willing to try it, how good lightwave works for you while doing it, how much time I and others may have ..and inspiration to still continue with these challenges, also given the current unsecure situation with the development.

    For me it makes no sense to continue wrestling with it ..not after all my test where I do not get anywhere close to the blender renders even, that is why I would like someone else to challenge Lightwave (and me with it) in order for me to perhaps use Lightwave more..if that now is possible, eitherwise a conclusion to state..it seems to not being able to go further right now..and then just file that as a report to the newtek lightwave team, and continue with what ever does this best.
    And all I and others can do is to suggest whatever we think is blocking Lightwave and itīs volumetric engine to get there up on par with other engines, whether itīs a matter of a different kind of phase method (mie scattering) multiple bouncing and Improved GI etc?

  9. #24

    what about using Houdini ?
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  10. #25

    other than that, i think your only option as of now is PhotoShop, like in earlier tests >
    https://forums.newtek.com/showthread...=1#post1550455

    not perfect, but a bit better.
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  11. #26
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    what about using Houdini ?
    Houdini is quite slow in many ways, including starting a simple render and the steps you need to setup a render node, thats step 1, step 2 ..it takes too long time to kick in to start render in the first place, step 3, all the settings in the mantra render settings for volums, stoichastic samples, step sizes etc, is much more trickier than both blender and lightwave.

    Value sliders in houdini when changing noises, and other values I feel is often lagging sort of, that is not the kind of response I get in Lightwave and in blender.

    Quality wise, itīs pretty decent, but speedwise, I prefer blender and GPU previewing and just raise transparency and volume bounces, that is easy to control..And
    I get a faster preview than houdinis ipr system can provide.

    I rather make the clouds in houdini, send to blender for rendering as an example.
    That said( I have much more to learn in houdini rendering, and I think I would need another render option than just the mantra renderer for it to be good enough.
    But ..money..money, still just fiddling with the Apprentice version

    But..houdini is one of those I need to continue to work more with as well given the current situation with Lightwave.

  12. #27
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    other than that, i think your only option as of now is PhotoShop, like in earlier tests >
    https://forums.newtek.com/showthread...=1#post1550455

    not perfect, but a bit better.
    No..canīt chime in on that, Krita by the way has some great filtering for detail and shadowing, you would have to save out passes for the cloud and background seperately though and add the filters on the cloud only of course, it will yield some detail and added darkness, but it will not put darkness edges where it belongs, and not at the same level phase that is needed to match those true powder effect darkness edges.

    Then applying all that to every frame in animation..meh.

    Please feel free andtake my second image, that which has the label "blender render" and filter it in photoshop, or krita and enhance.

  13. #28
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Heres render samples at high res, one environment mask.
    itīs a bit noisy in the cloud image..think i forgot some noise reduction there, can be fixed in krita and photoshop.
    Blender cycles render.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  14. #29

    Yes, as of now, there is no way really to get the Blender Cloud quality in LightWave,

    as far as i know.
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    Houdini is quite slow in many ways, including starting a simple render and the steps you need to setup a render node, thats step 1, step 2 ..it takes too long time to kick in to start render in the first place, step 3, all the settings in the mantra render settings for volums, stoichastic samples, step sizes etc, is much more trickier than both blender and lightwave.

    Value sliders in houdini when changing noises, and other values I feel is often lagging sort of, that is not the kind of response I get in Lightwave and in blender.

    Quality wise, itīs pretty decent, but speedwise, I prefer blender and GPU previewing and just raise transparency and volume bounces, that is easy to control..And
    I get a faster preview than houdinis ipr system can provide.

    I rather make the clouds in houdini, send to blender for rendering as an example.
    That said( I have much more to learn in houdini rendering, and I think I would need another render option than just the mantra renderer for it to be good enough.
    But ..money..money, still just fiddling with the Apprentice version

    But..houdini is one of those I need to continue to work more with as well given the current situation with Lightwave.

    you have native karma renderer now integrated in houdini. Full GPU. Should ease things up substantially.

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