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Messages - TomG

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[Max] Daily Builds / Re: Daily Builds 1.5
« on: 2016-07-08, 14:30:38 »
My bad, had put it in tickets rather than in Mantis, have added it to Mantis now! Glad I don't have many bug reports to submit, but need to get them in the right place when I do :) The ID is 2001.

From experimenting earlier, my feeling was that the HDRI background is what makes the difference to the water - with a very blurred background, the water becomes "blurry" too, there's no detail for it to refract in a sharp and clear way. Part of the reasoning I tried out the clouds, and it did seem to help - those can be left unblurred as they are neutral enough as a background that they don't need to be hidden, and then you have some nice crisp detail there for the water to refract. That may be all it takes for your scene now.

Moving the lighting to catch the edges is a good idea, I did that in the sky version, made the big light vertical (tall and narrow) and moved it to the other side. I'll see about saving the file out with 2016 compatibility, though you'll need to grab the HDRI for yourself, although free I am not sure on their rules for redistributing - and you may prefer another HDRI from their site or elsewhere, lots of good ones around with some nice skies and clouds!

[Max] Daily Builds / Re: Daily Builds 1.5
« on: 2016-07-07, 22:46:31 »
As a note to the above, I can cancel the Denoising if it is very early in the phase, but once it gets close to about halfway it crashes.

Also, scatter's temporal adjustment seems to be working as expected, tried it on a cloth cube just as a quick test and the objects no longer popped in and out of their locations.

[Max] Daily Builds / Re: Daily Builds 1.5
« on: 2016-07-07, 22:20:53 »
if I enable Denoising for a render element and cancel the render during the Denoising phase, Max crashes. If the Denoising is not enabled for render elements, I can cancel during Denoising without a crash (Max 2016, 1.5 from July 7th). Mantis ticket created with minidump. I was using the reflection render element in this test.

Also, a thought, any chance of adding denoising to the CTexmap, for those who may want to run it on an AO pass?


- Did the conversion steps on bottle and water
- Tweaked the water and bottle materials some (eg added a Fall Off using Fresnel to affect the Refraction colour in the plastic to try to draw out the geometry change some more, changed some of the reflectance IOR just for visual looks rather than physical accuracy, adjusted diffuse amounts some, reduced glossiness on the plastic reflection) - all of these can be tweaked some more as it ain't perfect!
- Didn't have the map for the cap, did play with the materials some there but you may want to keep your original
- Cut the water off a little bit lower in the bottle, so there is more of a gap with "just plastic" up top
- Rotated the bottle a little, as that helped bring out the features some more
- Removed the overrides as they are not needed - the same thing is now being seen as the background, reflected, and refracted, so is fine just to use the one bitmap in the Max environment

You could also try a background that is neutral but less blurred, a cloudy sky could work for instance (I used a freebie from HDRI Skies - though I'd likely play with the positioning some, I think the current positioning of the ground in the refractions makes it look a bit like an angry Joey :)

A quick note on Quadrify Mesh - it comes in with a default of 4%, which can result in a HUGE number of polys if the model it is being applied to has lots of polys to begin with (as imported CAD may have), which can mean Max takes an age to calculate it. For using it to remove triangulation only, often it's better to apply it to a cube, set it to 100%, then copy and paste the modifier onto the desired object, saving Max ever trying to add more polys :)

I did this -

- Underneath the Shell and Edit Poly I added a ProOptimizer with Weld Vertices on, set to 100% so it didn't actually simplify the mesh any other than welding vertices - often useful on imported meshes from STL and similar.
- I added Quadrify Mesh set to 100% above that, just removes triangulation where it can
- I then removed the topmost Edit Poly, collapsed everything, and converting the Editable Mesh into an Editable Poly
- Then I went to Modeling, Properties, and set Smooth 30

The last step is likely the key, setting the smoothing groups, the first few steps just cleaned things up from the import.

Attaching a close up from the Interactive Renderer just to show it is smoothed :) And a grab of the stack I set up (the last Edit Poly is turned off since I was going to collapse and turn into an editable poly anyway).

Gallery / Re: My first ever picture with Corona
« on: 2016-07-06, 22:33:55 »
Hi, and welcome! That's a good looking first image, looking forward to seeing more too :)

[Max] Corona Goodies - User Contributions / Re: FREE MODELS
« on: 2016-07-06, 18:57:24 »
My thinking is if they didn't care, they wouldn't say "don't redistribute" :) The fact they say that means that they do care and have laid the rules out, a small price to pay for free items! Sounds like all that is needed is to use the links to download them for yourself, so everything still remains usable with just a few extra downloads.

Gallery / Re: Field House
« on: 2016-07-06, 16:27:32 »
Nice! TY for sharing!

Was wondering about the thickness too, it does look like it doesn't have any and that will make a difference.

On the AO, lots of settings can be used to adjust the AO. A lower Max Distance will stop the rays looking so far for occluding surfaces, a higher Ray Directionality will keep the searching rays more focused rather than spread (and again "tighten" the results), and Colour Spread could help too. This video here goes through the settings, is using it as a dirt map but the principles of controlling the results of the AO are the same -

That said, AO might not be the solution here - generally it is used to highlight the shape of geometry by creating fake shadows to make things pop, but, a transparent / reflective material doesn't have any diffuse so doesn't catch shadows like that. Most every effect that lets us see the shape comes from reflection and refraction.

If you are free to make the scene any way you like, you could add a texture to the ground surface, and remove the back wall and let an HDRI image show there (like the object is placed on a kitchen countertop for example), could add some other objects on the counter top, even just more than one bottle. All of this would give things for the bottle to reflect and refract without having to fake anything. Attaching an image of the previous sphere (distorted it with an FFD modifier just so it has some shape), with the fake black cards and softbox turned off, and the Corona lights made less intense - with the background visible, their shape can be clearly made out without tricks!

You could use a very out of focus background for your HDRI to keep attention on the bottle.

(and yes, I was lazy and didn't fix the water in the rotated sphere - welcome to no gravity!)

PS - I did lower the reflection Glossiness to .5 on the plastic material here, so it has softer reflections than the water, felt it looked better with the background in full use.

Gallery / Re: The Mattress Reloaded
« on: 2016-07-06, 16:10:41 »
lol to the image, that just makes it even better!

Gallery / Re: The Mattress Reloaded
« on: 2016-07-06, 00:48:20 »
Looks great - and awesome thread title too :)

Aha that is looking better, glad it has helped!

- Render passes tells Corona when to stop, when you use the Render button (not when you use the Interactive Renderer). With a value of 0, Corona will keep adding more passes until you manually hit stop (so you can watch it until the noise cleans up to a point you are happy with), while I had the scene set to stop after 10 passes as that seemed good enough. I did enable Denoising as well.

- Render selected, this generally should be Disabled, so that everything in the scene renders. As the tooltip notes, with it enabled, it will only render the selected objects (but keep indirect lighting from other objects affecting whatever is rendered). Usually used to "fix" a render by re-rendering one (or a few) objects, without re-rendering the whole scene.

- GI vs AA balance, must have tweaked that back when I did the original scene. If I remember right my thinking was that the AA (anti aliasing) wasn't too critical in this scene, but I wanted any noise in the lighting to clean up faster. Wouldn't be a major player in differences in your render and mine.

- Max Ray Depth, I did raise that as part of messing around with the scene - it controls how many times a ray can bounce, I was curious in terms of the reflection and refraction going on as to whether it made any visible difference. As I recall, it made no difference at all raising it to 50, I just forgot to lower it again! The default of 25 should be fine, and render slightly faster.

- Image Filter, don't think I changed that, or if I did I don't recall. Wouldn't really affect the look of the material, just the overall image sharpness, with a lower value being slightly sharper.

- The missing HDRI comes from a stray unused bitmap in the scene. I had several HDRIs originally for the bottle on the black background (no ground or wall behind it), but before sending the scene over just narrowed it down to use one since there was a ground and wall. The other image Max remembers, but isn't actually being used anyplace so the message can be safely ignored.

Objects with refraction and reflection are hard to render against plain backgrounds, as most of their shape is defined to the eye by the reflection and refraction, and with nothing to reflect / refract, it is hard to make it look good. In photographic studio set ups, white cards, lights (positioned as much for their reflection as for their lighting angle), umbrellas, softboxes, black cards, etc, are used to overcome this. This does mean the shape of the object will play a large part in where to place these elements, or their 'fakes' in this case! Usually you want them placed so that they show up in the edges, for instance I like the right side of the bottle in your image, but the top left side has a bit too much of the card showing, so moving the card causing that would make its refraction nice and "thin" like on the other side of the bottle.

If you are allowed to have something other than a plain background (other objects, etc) then that might make life easier, but depends on what the client wants for the image!

[Max] I need help! / Re: Substance Painter and 1.5 daily
« on: 2016-07-05, 15:17:23 »
lol with the Mario Galaxy image, someone should do a Mario model like that ;)

I grabbed that profile for my tests for sure, haven't touched Painter's own as it seemed way off track even before 1.5 - I was wondering how 1.5 changed the process from that thread though, as the GGX curve fix should no longer be necessary, which was what I was experimenting with when I came up with the results above. Seems like it is true that the imported Glossiness is just fine, but that the Fresnel is an issue, at least once Roughness in Painter gets above certain values.


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