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Messages - agentdark45

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[Max] Feature Requests / Re: The most wanted feature?
« on: 2022-05-25, 12:31:10 »
CPU's are a dead end for render engines unless you have unlimited resources.

I don't want to discuss this because it means talking about a timeline where offline renderers may not even exist at the end.

But please quote properly, the statment you quoted was from lupaz, not from me.

Good Luck

Edited my post to correct the quote. If offline renderers won't exist in the future...that's even more of a reason to get onboard the GPU train.

[Max] Feature Requests / Re: The most wanted feature?
« on: 2022-05-25, 12:04:57 »

I never understood why that option was on this list in the first place. The official answer to that request was always that it isn't possible to develop (reasonably speaking). It's a complete redo of Corona.

I get the reasoning behind why it's tricky for the developers but hear me out: CPU's are a dead end for render engines unless you have unlimited resources.

Lets look at recent shifts in the hardware space objectively. Lets take the Threadripper platform, the 3970x & 3990x are dead ends - single sockets that only lasted a generation and are now not even being made by AMD. AMD then decided to shaft everyone with "Threadripper Pro", costing 2x as much for just the CPU, then locked it down further forcing consumers to buy a full system from Lenovo. It's questionable whether AMD will ever make a non-pro "affordable" Threadripper again.

Current reports are intel are still scrambling around to get anything close to a 3990x.

Now lets look at Nvidia: you can get a 3090 for £1400 retail. You can stick as many of them as you want in any high PCIE lane motherboard going back generations, DDR RAM version agnostic. Reports are the 4090 is set to double the 3090 in performance.

With the above in mind, tell me objectively which method of rendering offers consumers/businesses the best generational leaps in performance, flexibility, upgradeability and cost?

Gallery / Re: Denmark Space
« on: 2022-02-10, 01:06:02 »
Stunning work - very atmospheric.

Can I ask how you're setting up your environment lighting (HDRI or Sun/Sky?). I've got a project on at the moment that requires a similar overcast/neutral look and any tips would be great.

Hi! I have used 2 hdri to light the scene. One is just a regular hdri and the other is an hdri without sun. With this setup, I can control with corona light mix both individually and adjunct the intensity of the sun in a very easy way. I attach an image explaining the setup

Cool setup, thanks for sharing. I can see how that would be quite tweakable to fit any scenario.

Gallery / Re: Denmark Space
« on: 2022-02-09, 10:08:33 »
Stunning work - very atmospheric.

Can I ask how you're setting up your environment lighting (HDRI or Sun/Sky?). I've got a project on at the moment that requires a similar overcast/neutral look and any tips would be great.

[Max] Feature Requests / Re: The most wanted feature?
« on: 2021-11-03, 00:46:45 »
Quoting from Corona article "When it comes to light bouncing around in a 3D scene, it DOES skip all over the place – exactly what calculation is required next is not easily predictable, and it may not be the same as other calculations which need to be happening at the same time, and that is why the architecture of a CPU is much better suited to this task than a GPU."

And from Autodesk "The most notable difference between CPU and GPU rendering is that CPU rendering is more accurate, but GPU is faster"

Although I have to say FStorm seems to produce most beautiful renders among GPU render engines, very impressive but I still prefer Corona or Arnold.

This is patently false information, is this from a 4 year old article or something? Are we to believe that for some unknown reason that accurate calculations cannot be done using CUDA on GPU's...despite the scientific community using them daily for exactly this purpose?

What has been described in your quotes is purely down to the algorithms implemented on a software level (it makes no difference what the underlying hardware is in this context). If anything I've found Corona less accurate with GI calculations than FStorm due to the biased secondary UHD cache of Corona - try rendering an animation with multiple moving objects/light sources, or compositing newly rendered regions in a render in Corona; you're going to have a bad time (admittedly the devs have somewhat solved this with the 4K cache, however it's still an approximate solution). You do not have this problem in FStorm, the GI solution is tack sharp and 100% repeatable even with moving objects and light sources (not to mention no precomputation of secondary caches are needed).

[Max] Feature Requests / Re: The most wanted feature?
« on: 2021-11-02, 18:28:49 »
Yes, that definitely classifies as a huge exterior scene. I wonder what kind of card they used, because my impression is that you'd need a much larger investment to create  a scene like that in Fstorm than with Corona.

Other than this one image that you showed, I haven't seen anything done in Fstorm with that scale. While with Corona there's tons of examples.
If you know more examples of larger scenes, I'd be interested in seeing them.

In other words, yes, GPU rendering is great if you're willing to spend big bucks for a system.
Otherwise Corona is more wallet friendly in terms of system requirements IMO

It was rendered on a single 2080ti and only used 2.75gb of other words it could be rendered on a toaster:

I don't really get your argument about not seeing many huge scene examples...take a look at some of Mikael's other work if you need to be convinced further (despite me also using FStorm daily - I have no reason to lie). Here's another: I've chosen to invest in 3x3090's because I can, and it's profitable. It's not necessary. I was using a single 2080ti for quite a while which was faster in equivalent render time to my 3970x in complex interior scenes using Corona. You would need to invest a hell of a lot more than what I paid for 3x3090's to match the speed using Corona, and then have to deal with distributed rendering.

[Max] Feature Requests / Re: The most wanted feature?
« on: 2021-11-02, 16:05:41 »
I agree with that quality in rendering has nothing to do with GPU vs CPU, but there are cons of GPU as well. If you look at the media library on FB for Fstorm, there aren't huge exterior scenes. Memory in GPU rendering must still be a big bottle neck.
Also video cards do have their problems too. Many times I read in the Facebook page of Fstorm someone with issues with GPU and I feel relieved that I don't have to deal with all that.

What would you classify as a huge exterior scene? The groups banner photo seems pretty sizeable:

If you spend some time with FStorm you'll realise that it doesn't use GPU memory in the same way Corona uses system RAM, hence why I've likened having a 24GB 3090 to the equivalent of having 128-256GB of system ram with Corona - it is insanely memory efficient. I've made scenes using 60+ 4-16K textures, mega detailed photo-scanned assets with silly amounts of scatters and was barely over 9GB of GPU ram usage (which could get reduced to ~5GB if you enabled memory compression). I've also done ridiculous 32K renders on an old single 2080ti that were impossible to pull off with Corona.

I would agree that GPU's in general are probably more prone to failure than CPU's, but we are splitting hairs here tbh. High end PSU's and adequate cooling are needed both CPU's and GPU's. You'll find all manner of problems on this forum with people's systems (VRM issues, throttling, proper core loading e.t.c).

My current machine has a 3970x and 3x3090's all water cooled, which has given me a good opportunity to properly test both engines on real world commercial scenes. I tried hard to not gravitate away from Corona (as it was my daily rendering engine for the best part of 3 years, and the lightmix feature is absolutely fantastic), but the benefits of FStorm far outweigh the cons.

[Max] Feature Requests / Re: The most wanted feature?
« on: 2021-11-02, 14:23:41 »
I don't agree that without GPU rendering there is no future. Especially since CPU market is starting to be super sompetitive again which means better products for consumers. Intel is finally awakening with Alder Lake and AMD is showing no signs of stopping either. Also, Apple M1 is pushing both of these to get better/competitive (especially Intel).

But most importantly, as explained by Corona team, CPU is capable of producing more beautiful/realistic results than GPU at cost of speed. I choose quality over speed and in my opinion Corona render is pretty fast given the results it is producing.

As for adding support for other software, I would rather have them focus on existing two and continue rapid increase in quality of Corona Render

I don't agree with this at all, speaking as someone that's used Corona for years, and FStorm for several months (commercially). Take a quick browse on the FStorm Facebook group for an idea of render time vs quality. Unfortunately Corona isn't coming close any more.

Secondly, the cost to performance (coupled with convenience factor) is definitely skewed in GPU rendering's favour, given that we now have 24GB GPU's (roughly equivalent to 128gb-256gb of system ram imo due to how efficient ram usage is with FStorm + the option of memory compression). What's more convenient/cheap; building out multiple 3990x machines and dealing with DR annoyances vs. simple dropping in as many 3090's as you need in any machine with lots of PCIE lanes. Another negative of CPU rendering, having to build an entirely new system every time a new socket/platform gets released, or being potentially rugged in the future by workstation only platforms i.e. Threadripper pro as your only upgrade path.

I don't want to sound like an FStorm fanboy, but I'll go with whatever software gives me the most benefit. It's a shame to see the Corona devs dig their heels in on the CPU/GPU debate when there IS a clear current and future benefit to GPU/Hybrid rendering.

Off-Topic / Re: why aren't renderers realistic?
« on: 2021-10-29, 15:26:14 »
I see your point, but I would argue that even bad cameras are doing something different with how they process reality than how most baked in solutions work.

Couple of examples attached, note with the interior the "fake CGI gradient" effect on the walls - you just don't see that IRL.

With the two exterior examples, while both have great materials and model complexity, the white building image just has something about it that is head an shoulders above the brick building image in terms of realism. Note also that fake gradient effect creeping into the building on the far right in the brick building image.

Off-Topic / Re: why aren't renderers realistic?
« on: 2021-10-29, 10:45:34 »
I'm going to ring the tone-mapping bell again.

Assuming everything "under the hood" is 95-100% physically accurate, light bouncing, materials e.t.c they can all be undone by bad tone-mapping. Think back to bad Vray renders of old with gross burnouts - the underlying GI simulation was still ok, but translating the dynamic range/colours as a DSLR/the human eye would wasn't up to scratch. I still believe it's one big area that overlooked in everyday CGI.

It also explains why even with a photo-scanned object, the rendered version in an good HDRI environment still won't look "right" in some cases. Another example; take a minimalist interior with next to no textures, different tone-mapping approaches can make the output look photoreal, and other implementations would make it look completely "fake".

Gallery / Re: Angel Pazmino leather chair
« on: 2021-10-18, 01:23:50 »
Awesome work. How long did this take from start to finish? My company is on the lookout for skilled asset creators.

[Max] I need help! / Re: Large Carpet
« on: 2021-06-28, 15:31:56 »
Update - based on Carpet preset from Corona Material Library. Used custom displacement map. Quite happy with this look and feel.

That looks really great! Can you share the displacement map, or the steps you took to modify it/where you got it from?

But does it work with any arbitrary image, or just with Fstorm's native noise? I saw this feature praised many times, but it seems i can't get an answer to my question.

Yep, one of our use cases was mixing many 8K dirt maps, along with super stretched versions of the maps for beer can renders.

FStorm. Specifically in the bump mapping/parallax bump department. Natural anisotropy can be achieved simply with micro fine bump mapping - and it doesn't change depending on the level of zoom/render resolution.

Filtering in general is always tack-sharp in FStorm: sharp, but without CGI'd jaggies on edges. Material bitmaps for some reason just seem more natural and less grainy - and I'm not talking about render noise, there's a kind of fine pixel noise in Corona that shows up that's hard to describe (which goes away with down sampling). I've mostly noticed it on wood materials - I did some side by side comparisons a while ago where it was very obvious (don't have them to hand).

Adding DOF also doesn't cause a massive performance hit/excessive noise (despite tweaked sampling balances in Corona). Being able to render out interior vignettes in 5 minutes vs 1 hour+ for a noise free DOF shot is nothing to sniff at.

I've transitioned all of my high-end product vis and 50% of interior work to FStorm, despite Corona being more feature rich and easy to use in places. Being able to render on 3x3090's is blazing fast, in comparison to my 3970x (no a 3990x wouldn't touch the speeds I can achieve in Fstorm on a single machine).

I'll always settle on whatever render engine suits my needs and use cases, so this isn't necessarily a knock on Corona as a rendering engine. If the above issues were sorted I would transition back in a heartbeat (while the FStorm dev is a coding wizard, I don't like his attitude at all).

I'd like to bring this up again to be considered for the list of new features/poll. Thanks.

This is one of the reasons I've been slowly transitioning away from Corona. Filtering/texture sharpness/resolution dependent bump mapping/DOF noise just isn't on point and I can't keep waiting for it to be fixed. I've been speaking about it for years.

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