Author Topic: Tools and Progress for a Big Pipeline/Studio - lumière  (Read 14293 times)

2017-06-29, 16:56:28

Phasma

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
Hallo. I am Alex, TD of EVE Images.

Although we are not that well known at the moment, we are a big berlin based studio that specialized in archvis for norwegian and german clients. As we are 50 People+ and we are even opening a new office in budapest. I have a lot to do to keep 3D related technical issues under control and also deciding for new ways/workflows and implementing them in our pipeline. I am currently working on a system that will be able to enable even a beginner level artist to produce a consistant quality output of images and to speed up the the time to get there for all the others. It will be called Lumière and in this thread I would like to give an inside in its development, a little inside to EVE's Pipeline Development.

I will try to update this thread regularly in every one or two weeks to show the steps that have happend. Of course this will not be a Tutorial on how to exactly reproduce our workflow though. Still I hope this can be interesting for some people and thatswhy I decided to post this in the Corona Goodies Thread. (it will depend heavily on Corona :-) )

In this first episode I would like to give you a little introduction of what we used to do in the past, what the concequences were and why and how we still want to improve on what we already have.

About 1.5 Years ago (about the same time ago where we decided to switch over our production from VRay to Corona) our CD and Boss was not very happy with the look of our Exterior images any more. At this point we all agreed on that an HDRI based lighting solution will be much better but also this would mean, that everyone needed to not only go through all HDRI's in our Library every time but also need it to setup, testrender and most importantly: carefully rotate it into position. As we need to often be very precise regarding the real sun angle on a given location, setting up an HDRI environment to this level can be very challenging, espeacially in heavy scenes. So I wrote the first version of Lumière. this is how it looked like:



you can select between hdri's here with Previews and use it like a normal targetlight. Rotating around the target will automaticly rotate the hdri. rising and lowering the sun will change the angle values and better fitting HDRI's will be suggested to the user. you can label it, have different ones in the scenes where you can switch between and so on. Our Artists/CD and Boss liked it a lot as it was now super easy to get to a good result fast. I added around 25 hdri presets that rendered good and as you can see it even had backwards VRay compatibility (inverse gamma)

This was good until we slowly realized that using HDRI's from different sources did not pay out completely. We dont know the correct exposure the HDRI needs to be used at to be at a physical scale and the same goes for other parameters as well (like white balance for example). So the next big thing will be: Shooting our own HDRI's based on a controlled workflow with parameters we set. This Rig will also be rewritten as well and to make everything perfect: I will write a camera that will only be able to setup physical based values (based on camera and lens setup out of a library) with autofocus (viewport click), shutter prio/ aperture prio, different presets and so on.... (keep in mind: this is super early alpha)



And also a Light based on the Corona light with some simple Presets for light sources including correct power and Kelvin values.

At the end the user will just drop in an HDRI, turn it like they like it, put in a camera that is setup correctly,pick fokus... and If  the light changes to night: every artifical light source will be correct in scale as well...

It would be nice to hear from you If you are interested in this 'making of'.


2017-06-29, 17:52:04
Reply #1

fire3d

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 48
    • View Profile
Looks & Sounds realla helpfull and good to me, thanks for sharing this infos

2017-06-29, 17:53:48
Reply #2

iancamarillo

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 278
    • View Profile
Great! Can you add multiple lights to the max file with different hdri's and position values? I like vray dome because I can setup each camera with different lights, turn off render hidden lights and render all views in one click with state sets. The only way I've been able to do this in corona is to animate the hdri in the environment. But this is more difficult because I also use motion blur for my stills and it makes things more complicated to set up.

2017-06-29, 20:10:37
Reply #3

Phasma

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
Hello. Yes you can have multiple instances with different HDRI's in there, as well as different positions etc.

2017-06-29, 20:36:09
Reply #4

Jadefox

  • Primary Certified Instructor
  • Active Users
  • ***
  • Posts: 241
    • View Profile
    • Renderlab
I just checked out your guys' website , renders look awesome.
Sounds very promising what you are developing, keep up the great work : )

2017-06-30, 16:13:09
Reply #5

steyin

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 363
  • BALLS
    • View Profile
    • Instagram Page
This would be super useful.

I assume that since you'll be producing your own HDRIs that it is easier to link the sun position within the HDRI to the Corona sun for control, but what about using other HDRIs? Or was this part of your problems in developing this? Perhaps you could include a custom tab/button where one could load any HDRI, locate the sun and link it to the Corona sun to then use the plugin moving forward? Or is there a way to auto locate a light source within an HDRI somehow?

Would definitely buy this if you decided to sell it.

2017-07-11, 10:48:55
Reply #6

Phasma

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
Thanks Jadefox! we will try to do exactly that :-D

the big problem with 3rd party hdris (and all other assets as well) is that you as the end user are not in control of the circumstances of there creation. in case of textures, they can be shooted with different white balance setups or lights do not use physical correct scale or color temperature... there are a lot of (sometimes just subtile) little differences but in the end they accumulate. An artist normally has to adjust some shaders in his/her scene just for his/her scene because on top of what I just said, the artist and his/her workflow is also part of this problem.

in order to make sure assets can be dropped in your scene with a much higher success rate of not having to touch them again: eliminating all these little errors is crucial. we are already making our own 3d assets. once our own hdri library is ready, we can start adjusting all the maps/shaders again based on these sets of lights. artificial lights as well.

we will do all at 6500 kelvin for example (like the corona default), but we will include 18% gray samples/spheres as well as chrome spheres to always be able to check the quality and as reference. Just imagine how all comes together. Even after rendering (done at 6500k) you can throw in some 2d people in photoshop that have been shot with the same settings/light but without adjusting the colorisation. Of course this might be a little bit to simple idealisation, but something like that should be the goal.

I will include some making of pictures soon as well :-) this week we can test out some nice equipment: http://www.roundshot.com/xml_1/internet/de/intro.cfm
as well as a 5D MKIV a EF 16-35 f2.8L II and a Sigma 8mm 3.5 fisheye.

I will update sooon :-)

2017-07-11, 11:52:45
Reply #7

Phasma

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
and here are some photos

as you can see, one half is dry and the other wet. the graycard in the back was the reference for the paint shop to mix the color properly. i think they made a good job. the panorama head is also very nice!

2017-07-17, 14:25:54
Reply #8

Phasma

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
After one week with the roundshot vr drive we can show some examples. I was able to capture some light situations and use the HDRIs without further adjustments and at the correct exposures.



As you can see, the spheres match pretty ok in every HDRI.

The Files are 650MB and more and have a resolution of 18k * 9k. You guys want a sample?

2017-07-17, 14:42:14
Reply #9

Juraj

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 4314
    • View Profile
    • studio website
Fantastic stuff Phasma.

Can I ask, did you use the grey ball/chrome ball reference to tweak HDRi into 'true exposure' inside framebuffer (by adjusting hdri intensity until it matched CGI) or already during your HDRi creation ( like the ubisoft guys using lightmeter).

The little renders above feature some contrast adjustment by the way ?
talcikdemovicova.com  Website and blog
be.net/jurajtalcik   Our studio Behance portfolio
Instagram   Our studio Instagram, managed by Veronika

2017-07-17, 15:03:15
Reply #10

Phasma

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
OK. Something about the progress (wich is itself still work in progress):

once everything is set up I checked the exposure. In the roundshot VR you can setup the lowest exposure, so I exposed for the sun using 1/8000s, ISO100 and f16. manual focus and white balance of course. also of course: RAW.

7 exposures with an EV difference of 2 were taken for each of the 16 angles. one straight up, one down and two rows 7 positions each. all together 112 Images to load into PTgui.



Images are stitched there using a Papywizard xml file provided by the panorama head.

once loaded in the 3d file using a corona output map you can adjust the exposure there using a reference photo and its exif data as a brightness reference. I therefore set the correct exif values in my camera. the only other variable I touched was the gamma and a little bit highlight compression (set to 3). all the other values are default. once you have the correct base exposure, you can even adjust this in PTgui and you bake in the physical light scale to the HDRI.

I hope this helps a bit

2017-07-17, 15:18:05
Reply #11

Juraj

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 4314
    • View Profile
    • studio website
Wouldn't first match between HDRi and CGI be more precise than against reference photo where tonemapping (esp. the HL=3) is already involved ? That would be good control match afterwards.

Do you use ND filters or just boost in post-production ? 1/8000 100 f16 is still missing roughly 4 stops for Sun intensity at mid day.
talcikdemovicova.com  Website and blog
be.net/jurajtalcik   Our studio Behance portfolio
Instagram   Our studio Instagram, managed by Veronika

2017-07-17, 15:38:25
Reply #12

Phasma

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
good point. we get some more EV's out of the MK IV's dynamic range. It is not all of course. but the current process takes around 3 minutes already, adding more exposures (although not super crucial - because the result is ok already) would just raise the chance of failure. So no, we do not use nd filters at the moment (as in my experience they tend to change the color a bit)

Also, its not about matching CGI and HDRI. Its just about matching the brightness of the HDRI. for the CG part in my simple examples I used only the gray value of our 18% gray color. In the future we will also shoot with other color information also.

2017-07-17, 15:53:19
Reply #13

Juraj

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 4314
    • View Profile
    • studio website
I just worded it poorly perhaps, I meant the matching of brightness/exposure of HDRi, I consider artificial correctness of CGI at linear level to be truer match than reference photo, which even if custom raw-extracted (through DCRaw/etc..) to linear level, will always feature corrections that can't be accounted for.

No, ND filters are definite no-no for full quality, unless used locally for bright spots only, but that complicates the capture process, definitely not 3 minutes :- ) You get plus points for such automatization. Looked at the Road-VR toys...expensive, heh.
talcikdemovicova.com  Website and blog
be.net/jurajtalcik   Our studio Behance portfolio
Instagram   Our studio Instagram, managed by Veronika

2017-07-17, 16:03:27
Reply #14

Phasma

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
ok, got you. but how would you match it then? lets say you have your hdri in your scene and you need to find the exposure multiplier. you set up a camera with the correct values, and then? of course there are still some issues, but the converted raws are as neutral as they can be. I dont see a big problem there.