material sampler for the P11 construct


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    @seachnasaigh - ok, based on a quick look in Photoshop & comparing to an HDR I made photographically, I don't think that Vue is rendering or saving a high dynamic range at all. There's either a setting that's not right somewhere or Vue can't produce an HDR in a single render. So right now I can't see any advantage to saving in 32 bit. Doesn't mean this isn't worthwhile though - something that could be interesting & worth a try - there should be an exposure setting on the camera tab. If you set up a simple sky for speed and make 5 small renders with that exposure set to -4, -2, 0, +2, & +4 I could try combining them into an HDR the same way as I'd do with photos.


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    I still haven't found an advanced camera settings - that be a new feature.

    If I render internally (not networked, just the one machine), I have access to post render options.
    0_1476801421255_internal render - post render options.PNG

    Being limited to the internal renderer is a huge disadvantage, but I only have to render once. I can repeatedly call the post render options (blue arrow points to button), change the exposure, and save. I saved exposures at -4, -2, 0, +2, +4 in .psd format.

    If this method works, I'll run full size at better quality, but being limited to a single computer, I'll switch work to Galadriel; her dual liquid-cooled X5690 Xeons will definitely outrun Urania's dual X5660 processors.


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    @seachnasaigh - ok, that is so much better :D The sun is still clipped so if you are able, could you save a couple more of that render at -6 & -8?

    32 bit exr & cropped version here.

    Plus, have you seen this thread? This could be something that may be worth testing with Royston's EZDome - hopefully Wim will see this, if not I'll have to drop him a message.


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    Oh yes, & if you have the options when saving of 16 bit TIFF or PNG that might be better for producing the 32 bit file, less chance of banding/noise though the file size will increase.

    Another thought - how complex is the material on the ground? If that was a really basic neutral grey colour would it have any impact on render speed at all?


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    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    @seachnasaigh - ok, that is so much better :D The sun is still clipped so if you are able, could you save a couple more of that render at -6 & -8?

    Yes, should be able to do that. :D

    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    Plus, have you seen this thread? This could be something that may be worth testing with Royston's EZDome - hopefully Wim will see this, if not I'll have to drop him a message.

    Yes, saw the post, and I was also thinking using these skies with Snarly's dome. I don't know whether his dome would need full spherical, hemispherical, or other.

    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    Oh yes, & if you have the options when saving of 16 bit TIFF or PNG that might be better for producing the 32 bit file, less chance of banding/noise though the file size will increase.

    OK, TIFF or PNG

    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    Another thought - how complex is the material on the ground? If that was a really basic neutral grey colour would it have any impact on render speed at all?

    It's a pretty simple procedural ground (hence, fast to render); but if a solid grey would be better for photo-manipulation purposes, that would be easy to do.


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    If it's fast to render then that's fine, I was just wondering about speed ;)

    EZDome looks like there are options for using a full sphere or just the hemisphere so should work with both versions, just pick the right one for the map being used (the props are the ones BB made from the docs). Looks very useful!


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    Here is the High Altitude atmo, a notch up in size (2048x1024) and quality (broadcast), with exposures from -8 to +4 stepping 2.

    High Altitude

    This is the options box I get for saving PNG:
    0_1476835825716_PNG save options.PNG


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    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    If it's fast to render then that's fine, I was just wondering about speed ;)

    EZDome looks like there are options for using a full sphere or just the hemisphere so should work with both versions, just pick the right one for the map being used (the props are the ones BB made from the docs). Looks very useful!

    The spheres are the same as the ones from bagginsbill. Two of them use spherical mapping, not sure about the half sphere
    I know snarly will be very interested in having the work done here integrate with what EZDome does.


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    @seachnasaigh - hopefully final request on this simple sky. Could you save out images as 16 bit TIFFs from -6 to +4 in steps of 1? The PNG's are 8 bit, and I see some banding on the exr, can be a frequent issue with subtle gradients in 8 bit. So saving as 16 bit and with more steps should get the best quality 32 bit file with a pretty good dynamic range. Thank you!

    Files so far are here.

    @wimvdb - haven't had time to do anything with EZDome yet, but seachnasaigh's skies should be possible to save as sIBL set. Will try this at the weekend; the link above is to the exr.'s made so far so feel free to download & test in EZDome if you like (they are low-res though).


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    Here is what I used in TIFF options:
    0_1476934830102_TIFF options.PNG

    High Altitude TIFF set

    It's big - 99.3MB


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    @seachnasaigh - thank you, that's great - saving as 16 bit makes a difference to the quality with less banding.

    Files are here, saved as compressed exr.'s.

    I'm pretty confident that those export settings should work well for all your skies - export as 16 bit TIFF in 1 stop increments from -6 to +4. I'm using Photomatix Pro to create the 32 bit file, and Photoshop for the cropped version.

    I will do some testing with these & post results, but it probably won't be until the weekend.


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    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    ...under Film Settings there should be an option for Linear Exposure, & it should be possible to set that to either Map Entire Range or enter a custom value (1 would mean no scaling of colours). The reason I think this is important for producing an HDR is that you want to capture the biggest range of data possible.

    I found it! :D It isn't there until you select the linear response filter.
    0_1477396781499_map entire range.PNG

    On the other hand, the first time I tried it, Vue crashed/quit. I restarted Vue, and get back to this window, and poke the "OK" near bottom right, but no response. The button turns blue when I'm clicking on it, but nothing seems to happen. I'm going to let it sit for a while - maybe it takes some time to re-map the response range?

    Cameron has been running a decent -not great- atmo for the last three days; she might be finished tomorrow. Trying to do this with a single machine is daunting. Galadriel is running on a different license, so I can have her running other chores concurrently.

    (Possible) good news: I think that it is possible to load a previously completed render into Vue and open the post render option. If so, that would mean I could use my network to grind out those beautiful (but tough to render) atmos, and then load the finished networked render for post work - specifically, apply linear exposure : map entire range. If Vue doesn't just crash.


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    @seachnasaigh - oh now that looks interesting, good find!

    Question - if you untick Map entire range, does it let you change the Linear Coefficient setting? If it does it may also be worth trying that set to 1.

    Also, does turning off Interactive display make any difference?

    Plus, if you can reload a completed render, would it be possible to then save out multiple versions at different exposures? 'Cause that definitely works ;)

    Totally agree, you really need to render these skies on a network - awesome work you're doing!


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    Going back to the treeline part of the project, there is no separate alpha dithering/antialiasing available - the antialiasing box I recalled seeing was only for Z-depth.
    I'll try loading a treeline alpha for post render editing and see if I can get antialiasing that way.

    While map entire range is unticked, I can indeed set linear coefficient. I set it at 1. When I tick map entire range, Vue resets the linear coefficient and greys it out so that I can't change it back.

    For a night sky, Full Moon, Vue set the linear coefficient at 1.36
    Full Moon

    Sunday Morning (wow, Vue reset the linear coefficient to 0.07)

    I believe that saving out different exposures of networked renders will work, though the attempt failed yesterday. That failure was due to a Vue crash, but I think the idea will work.

    importing networked renders (EXR, HDR) did enable the post-render options window, but when I set them to "map entire range" and saved them, I got bad/empty files.
    I tried EXR->EXR, HDR->HDR, HDR->EXR, etc.

    If the small dimension rough renders set for "map entire range" work, then we can use that method for atmospheres which are fairly easy to render. For those gorgeous sunsets and godrays, those can only be rendered on a network, and then use the method of saving out a bracket of exposures, unless we can find a way to access "map entire range" when using the external renderer offscreen.

    Meantime, I'll poke and prod a bit, trying various combinations of options to see if I can get something useful.



  • @seachnasaigh I really appreciate all your work and experimentation with this!


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    @mr_phoenyxx - Thank you; with @caisson 's high dynamic range knowledge and his help solving problems with Vue, I'm confident that we'll achieve a set of high resolution HDR skies for the construct. :D

    This was internally rendered to screen so as to have the post render options available. I set it to map entire range. It's a 308MB zip, but then, it's a prototype finished product.

    Sunday Morning 8192x4096 spherical EXR

    Does this yield the full dynamic range?


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    @seachnasaigh - sorry, meant to post yesterday but knackered from work. One comment - I think that if you untick Map entire range & set the Linear Coefficient to 1, you're telling Vue to record every pixel value no matter what it is, which in 32 bit images is a good thing. (Yeah, I'm not certain of this!)

    The first thing I'd say about Sunday Morning is that sunrise doesn't have the same dynamic range as when the sun is higher. It is, to me, far far better than the first ones like Day Begins. Using Substance Painter with it's demo asset, I've tried loading several HDR panoramas in to use as environment maps in the viewport. The best is still the one made from several different exposures (High Altitude I think) - but that also has a higher dynamic range as the sun position is higher. Hard to judge - I don't think that Sunday Morning has a good range though as things stand.

    So, apologies for being a pain, but I'm going to ask for the exact same sky rendered in low res - 1024 should be enough - in 3 versions.

    1. Map entire range ticked and saved as EXR.
    2. Map entire range unticked and Linear Coefficient set to 1; saved as EXR.
    3. Bracketed exposures (say +6 to -6 in 1 step increments); saved as 16 bit TIFF's

    This should be the best way to judge clearly which will give the greatest dynamic range!


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    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    So, apologies for being a pain, but I'm going to ask for the exact same sky rendered in low res - 1024 should be enough - in 3 versions.

    1. Map entire range ticked and saved as EXR.
    2. Map entire range unticked and Linear Coefficient set to 1; saved as EXR.
    3. Bracketed exposures (say +6 to -6 in 1 step increments); saved as 16 bit TIFF's

    This should be the best way to judge clearly which will give the greatest dynamic range!

    Nothing to apologize for; this is what it takes to get a working technique figured out.

    I have Galadriel and Cameron each rendering a sky now; when they finish, I'll export to each of those three methods.


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    That would be grand, thanks!