Does BB's hair shader slow rendering down?

  • @glossaphile Cool. Keep us informed.

  • Okay, here's the comparison of the same 300x300 image with hair.

    With My Current Best Settings and Shader: about 32.5 minutes
    With Ghostship's Settings and Shader (with MB and MTB tweaked to 16): about 34 minutes
    With My Settings and Ghostship's Shader: about 37 minutes

    I should note that the results of using Ghostship's settings produced mild but quite noticeable noise, particularly on the skin, though I suspect that's from Reflective Caustics, which could easily be turned off.

  • @glossaphile I would double check your settings, especially your filter glossy and clamp setting as both I and @amethystpendant got better results with my settings than yours. Probably don't need the caustics on as there aint much that needs it when you are rendering a human.

  • @glossaphile another thing that could speed up your renders is using a sky dome instead of the default ground. Turn off the ground/construct in the hierarchical menu and load up EZDome or @bagginsbill Enviroshere and light it up with a JPG (low res JPGS will give you less noise) keep the brightness fairly low and adjust your lights if you need to. Using environmental lighting like this will use less diffuse bounces and the render should be quicker and less noisy.

  • @glossaphile Here are my tests. One with skydome and the other with the default ground/construct. The one with the Envirosphere took less time and has better lighting. Every little bit counts and adds up to a better and faster render.
    0_1525411715102_Light test enviro.jpg

  • @glossaphile Did you drop the threads to 4 as suggested?

  • @amethystpendant Yes, I did.

    I think I've hit a sweet spot of sorts. With Ghostship's hair shader and these render settings...


    ...I managed to render this image in just about 5 hours and 6 minutes.


    Actually, prior to tweaking the hair texture map (which shouldn't have noticeably affected render speed), what was otherwise the exact same image with the exact same settings rendered in about 4.5 hours overnight. I suspect the difference was that, the second time around, I diverted some of the processing power to other tasks (YouTube videos, etc.) while I waited.

    My character is actually placed in a a whole indoor photo studio scene, so a sky dome is moot for me. Theoretically, I could use one of BB's utilities to generate a panorama for a sky dome from the original studio setup and use that, and I may yet try it. Regardless, the current render time is over 4 hours shorter than my last best attempt (9.5 hours)!

    I must confess to a bit of a hack with the hair texture. I took BB's mathematically generated hair texture (without any color) and rendered it on a prop square with the camera zoomed just right so that it filled the viewport. After a bit of editing in Photoshop to enhance the contrast, I then plugged that render as a texture map into Ghostship's shader, using it as a bump map and as a bias map, the latter of which was combined with a simple input color to form what would otherwise be the diffuse texture map.


    I use a Color Ramp for the base color just because it makes it easy to switch between the cardinal hair colors (black, brown, red, and blonde).

  • @glossaphile
    @amethystpendant said in Does BB's hair shader slow rendering down?:

    @glossaphile Did you drop the threads to 4 as suggested?

  • @amethystpendant Like I said, I did reduce the thread count to 4. It's been 4 for the last few renders now.

  • @glossaphile have you reduced the thread count to 4???? LOL

  • @glossaphile Ok, hard truth this time. If it isn't getting rendered, it is wasting your time. What do I mean? I'm presuming you are using a room prop and some tripod/lighting/camera props that would normally be seen in a render and be interacted with by your figure. If the props aren't actually in view of the camera they are making more work for you than you need. All that stuff is going to need diffuse/reflect calculations that will just slow down your render and not really give you any appreciable benefit. As I pointed out before, use a skydome with an interior HDRI image. Even a bedroom scene will work. Your lights will still reflect in your figures eyes just as they should but now you'll be getting proper ambient light from the dome and save render time. Every time a sample hits an object that has diffuse it calculates it's color and then bounces to the next object in it's trajectory. When a sample hits a light source it makes it's final calculation and stops: it's done it doesn't need to calculate anything anymore. Since your camera isn't actually pulled back to see the room it would be advantages just to use a skydome and HDRI. I've already pointed out that you'll get a better image and save time. Why not try it? you really are not going to get a superior rendered image by placing your figure in a room prop with furniture and studio equipment props.

  • @glossaphile Here is what I do for studio lighting.
    0_1525497772966_Studio lighting 1.jpg
    0_1525497791928_Studio lighting 2.jpg

  • @glossaphile Ok here is an instance where I used a room model. All the lighting on this is mesh lighting that is built into the model no lights or skydome for this.
    0_1525498692352_Car Expo.jpg

  • @ghostship said in Does BB's hair shader slow rendering down?:

    @glossaphile have you reduced the thread count to 4???? LOL

    I've answered this question affirmatively twice now. Are you not getting my answers?

  • @ghostship Really? I thought an object had to have some influence on how the visible objects look (via reflection, indirect illumination, etc) before it would trigger any calculations.

    I'll experiment with a panorama/dome version of my studio arrangement tomorrow. BTW, stunning car render!

  • @glossaphile said in Does BB's hair shader slow rendering down?:

    @ghostship said in Does BB's hair shader slow rendering down?:

    @glossaphile have you reduced the thread count to 4???? LOL

    I've answered this question affirmatively twice now. Are you not getting my answers?

    Just messing with you.

  • @glossaphile The render engine sends rays straight out form each pixel and those rays go until they hit something, make a calculation and bounce to the next object and make another calculation. they will do this till they hit a light source or hit their final bounce number that you set in the render settings. The rays will bounce off stuff that is off camera the same way. Yes, the ideal situation would be a realistic room setup and the rays bouncing off that stuff to give you your final image. But all those bounces and calculations take time and depending how the room props are set up will most likely ad noise that will take further samples to resolve which will ad to your render time. This will be even more important if you don't have a GPU or fast CPU like the situation you are in. The skydome will give you your ambient bounced light from the room even though there is no room there. It will also give you something to reflect on shiny objects in you r scene. Using just a skydome can give you very realistic room lighting and also fill lighting for your studio shots.

  • As above @ghostship suggested use EZDome or BB EnvSphere for yours rendering, without the any Environment or sphere render looks bit flat

    I still would recommend to use EZDome or EnvSphere and for good source of HDRi I would suggest use this

    I use like for outdoor or inside HDRi or if I do studio style renders where I use 2 large area lights, in some cases I use 3 point but most of the time 2 point works for me

    If yours CPU is 4 thread, then use 4 thread for rendering, don't use 6-8 because it will slow down rendering etc

    Hope this helps

    Thanks, Jura

  • Poser Ambassadors

    I would just like to point out all those suggesting "EZDome or BB EnvSphere" -- the EZDome IS the BBEnvSphere plus some script work to let you directly load sIBL files.

    So the simpler suggestion is use BB EnvSphere. If you want to mention sIBL, then EZDome adds something to that statement, otherwise you're just saying BB EnvSphere twice.

  • @bagginsbill Yeah, that's what I'm using, your Environment Sphere. I also used your old IBL generator prop to produce a probe of my photo studio scene, which I then opened in HDRShop to convert it into a latitude/longitude panorama that can be applied to the sphere. You're indispensable as always, BB! And Ghostship, again, you've been very helpful as well! I thank both of you.

    Test renders coming soon!