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Messages - spr0ckets

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1
......

Will it be possible to import *.max files and save them as proxies?

No you would have to export the object from 3ds Max into a more common file format like .3ds or .obj or .fbx and then that is probably what you would likely be able to import.

Ideally, (if they ever resume development of the plugin) would be to convert the objects directly into Corona proxy file format in 3ds Max (the .cgeo format) and then those could possibly be imported directly into ArchiCAD using the plugin  which would display the object either as simple geometry (cube or a 2d billboard or point) or as a mesh point cloud.

.max is a propriety file format that belongs to Autodesk and neither ArchiCAD nor the Corona plugin would be able to read them directly.
It might be potentially possible to create a translator (??) but I suspect that that would be too much work and you would probably run into IP legal issues with Autodesk.
(although I don't know why they are fine with everyone else's software being able to translate .DWG file format which is the industry standard in a lot of areas)

2
[ARCHICAD] General Discussion / Re: More test renders
« on: 2020-04-25, 11:48:13 »
where are those assets from?

how did you import them in archicad? Pic two sofa and blanket are in my interest.

They're mostly from (formerly Google but now Trimble) Sketchup Warehouse, and you import them as .skp files directly into ArchiCAD using the "Merge" function under File > File Special on the menu.
Just be careful about polycounts as some of the more detailed objects have very high polygon counts, and using layers to help you organize stuff can be your friend.

Some objects are also from my 3ds max object library (exported as either .3ds or .skp files and imported using the merge function or the 3ds import addon).

Some of them you might have to convert to Morphs to be able to change materials and stuff like that (unless you know how to code in GDL and open the object in the gdl script editor), but for the most part the materials come in mapped correctly and with the right textures.

3
[ARCHICAD] General Discussion / More test renders
« on: 2020-04-21, 19:21:39 »
I realize development of the plugin has been suspended, but I thought I'd post a few more images of some more tests I've been able to run on the plugin thanks to the pandemic lockdown in place and the extra time its afforded, as well as some thoughts (in case they're useful further down the road).
I really really love this plugin and it's sad that development has been frozen, as it shows such an incredible amount of promise and potential as well as robustness for being an alpha version build.













Hard to believe that these are straight from the ArchiCAD 3D window.
Just point and shoot, and no intermediary or third-party post-processing software (other than the screen-grab from the ArchiCAD interface) necessary.
All renders between 1.5 to 4 hrs rendertime (depending on when I did them and how much time I had available to let it run. Most of them were mostly resolved after half an hour of cooking)



Thoughts.

1) As you can see, I made use of some (relatively) heavy polycount objects and entourage, which the program was able to handle only becauseI used them in limited fashion (and this is a small project/ house). However I was nonetheless impressed with the plugin's ability to handle and render them well and still manage memory in a relatively stable manner, as well as translating the geometry pretty well. Any artifacts or facetting is purely on the ArchiCAD's side and end of things due to its limitations (And my reluctance to convert most of these objects into morphs which would have allowed smoothing (at the cost of more polys).

2) You might already be aware that the interface (The VFB and the Corona render dialog) are still somewhat buggy. Whenever I went back to the plan to make a change and then went back to the 3D window, the settings would revert to some default values and I would lose all my previous settings. There's a relatively easy workaround with the VFB (just save your presets and re-load them when the settings reset) but the render dialog unfortunately has to be re-set manually.
At this stage I prefer to use the VFB as it allows adjustment of post-processing on the fly as the render is running to get a better final output.
Also, the same bug occurred when saving custom image view settings in ArchiCAD's navigator window.
It's not too unmanageable but if development ever gets picked up again I would hope this would be something that will be looked at.

3) I absolutely love the addition of the (new) Corona Light object as it allows for more control and more options (As with shape) and accurate light settings.
My only suggestion would be to add an option to use IES files with the Corona light as well (rather than using the ArchiCAD general light that accommodates the IES light files), as once again, I prefer using the Corona light over the ArchiCAD lights (even with IES files that I love using). For one thing, controlling the light direction is much easier with Corona light interactively in the 3D window rather than through a dialog.

4) The HDRI and environment issue I had with the previous build is now gone and I can use different HDRI's to light the scene and act as the background, respectively, without getting crashes as before (Thanks, Alex) - even though, I'm inclined to believe that was an issue more on the ArchiCAD side of things rather than the Corona side, as a lot of crashed and instabilities I was experiencing disappeared after Graphisoft released some hotfixes (service packs) for their various program versions.

Finally, even if you guys end up being unable to continue development of the plugin, I just wanted to share my appreciation for all the work you've put into it and into the general Corona project thus far.
You're all a model of professionalism, INSANELY crazy skill, and a pleasure to work with all around, and I hope all the best for everything you have planned going forward.
It's really been a great pleasure testing and using this plugin, and I really wanted all of you to know that for all the dedication and work you've put into it.



4
As pointed out the solution for the first error is to close and restart ArchiCAD again and it should be fine otherwise make sure you don't have other programs competing with ArchiCAD for RAM currently open (Chrome is a big big culprit)

As for the second situation  (render not showing in the VFB which just shows black) and very quick workaround is just to drag the VFB just out of view (to the bottom of the screen) and back again and you'll see the render in progress.
But it doesn't update with each pass so you have to do that again anytime you want to see progress.
I think this problem is linked or related to the problem brought up in another thread where the material sample slot in the material editor doesn't show the preview until you switch render engines and switch back again - and the same thing for if you make any changes to the material and want to see updates.

Not the most ideal situation, but at the same time not something we can't work around.

I suspected it's a graphics card issue on my end (RTX 2080 for me) but my drivers are up to date so it's hard to figure out.

5
The other alternative you can do (which is what I do) is turn off all the lights in their settings, and then copy and replace them with the ArchiCAD general light sources (the ones without geometry) and if possible use the ones that allow you to use IES files and render using those as the light sources with the geometry of the lamp.

If you need to see the lights directly then you can use the Corona light object and set it to "Visible directly" and then place it as close as possible to the turned off ArchiCAD lamp object.

That should give you a good enough effect without getting these strange artifacts or errors or whatever it is with the ArchiCAD lamp objects which seem not to render correctly (I'm suspecting the glass material in the ArchiCAD light object has the wrong setting for the surface material (not transparent) or it's possibly a one sided geometry that blocks the actual light element or object in the lamp except for the edges which is why you get the rings where light escapes through. Unfortunately it's not possible (or easy) to edit the ArchiCAD lamp object (without GDL editing) to fix this error or situation directly or to select a different surface/material for the lamp glass in that part).

Unfortunately I can't offer an alternative solution for the Lightmix problem  ( I don't use Lightmix a lot with the ArchiCAD plugin. ArchiCAD as you know is a memory hog on its own before you throw in a memory intensive option like Lightmix).

It's amazing how capable the plugin is already at this point even with the stalled development, that I can't imagine they were that far away from a mature and fully production-ready tool.
It's far superior than anything that's currently available for ArchiCAD either from in the box (Cinerender engine) or other third party solutions (Artlantis, Twinmotion, etc..).

Hopefully if they ever resume development of the plugin, this will be one of the things they look at fixing, but honestly I'm just fine even with just the ArchiCAD general lights (with IES option) and the Corona light object (which I wish had an option to use IES file information)

6
Hello,

Just bumping for interest in the macOS version.
Is there anything planned? I couldn't find specifics in the roadmap.

Thanks!

https://forum.corona-renderer.com/index.php?topic=28493.0

7
issue...preview in the Surface window is black

@cucu change render engine then back and it will work...

It works to show it, but it doesn't update the preview slot when you make any changes to the material or surface settings.
You have to change engines and change back again to see the update or the change.
It's a little annoying but not too bad. Hope it's fixed soon as the same problem (not updating until you either move the window or minimize and maximize) also occurs in the VFB as its rendering.
The same problem also occurs intermittently in other preview windows like the environment and texture sample preview window in those settings like when you  load an HDRI file for the environment.
Sometimes it shows, sometimes it doesn't and sometimes even when it shows and you rotate it for example, you don't see the sample slot updating respectively.

8
[ARCHICAD] General Discussion / Re: Help
« on: 2020-03-25, 20:48:14 »
It's about drivers, not about graphic card model. Please update drivers, restart computer and try again.

I only mentioned he check the model because I was under the impression that the new NVIDIA denoiser only works with NVIDIA video cards (and not AMD cards, for instance) and also that they had to be the most recent versions.

RTX 2070 as he mentions it, should be up to scratch, which means its probably a driver issue.
You'd be surprised to find out how many people out there don't even know what model or make the graphics card they have in their machine actually is.
Especially if its people who didn't build or spec their rigs themselves.

9
I second the issue found with the preview window not showing anything in the Surface settings dialog and just showing black.
Obviously this is critical in  knowing how the material looks like when you make changes.

I understand that adjusting the image size with the interactive renderer, you have to enter the values manually, but it would be great if there was a button to tell it to get the values either from the current open 3D window size or directly from the Render Settings dialog (Which already has such a button).
Some people prefer to be able to stretch the window itself manually, but I've always found that a bit awkward as it distorts the aspect ratio.
If it was possible to stretch it while maintaining the current 3D window aspect ratio so as not to distort things and have the render space adjust accordingly, it would be great.

Still testing it and will update with any other issues that come up.
Currently testing on ArchiCAD version 23.

P.S. Thank you for adding the autosave on render completion function or button (at least that's what I think it is).
That function has saved my loved plenty of times when I've left a render to run overnight only to wake up and find the computer crashed after it was done or it updated and restarted or something crazy like that.

10
[ARCHICAD] General Discussion / Re: Help
« on: 2020-03-24, 23:07:06 »
Update your graphics card drivers.

Actually, before you do that make sure you Graphics card is actually capable of being used for the Denoiser Algorithm and is up to standard.

11
Hi Alex,

I will try to upload the HDRI files along with the ArchiCAD project (actually it's this very one) sometime this week.
It's a little bit of a hectic schedule on my end trying to work remotely away from the office thanks to all the self-quarantining that people are being forced into nowadays, but I should be able to carve out some time.

I should have mentioned earlier that the ArchiCAD version is 21 (most recent update), and the 3ds Max version is 2017.
I don't know if any of that information will be useful.

Yes, making comparisons is something I love doing. It helps me know how close (or far) I am to being able to ditch the 3ds Max part of my current workflow to be able to do everything straight from ArchiCAD through Corona if and hopefully when we do get there.

12
[ARCHICAD] Resolved Bugs / Re: No Corona menu in ArchiCAD
« on: 2020-03-22, 00:10:20 »
Hello!
I don 't know what the problem is . The installation was successful, but Corona did not appear in the menu.
In the list of plugins , it says that it can 't be used with this version of ArchiCAD. But I have a regular version of ArchiCAD 3004 INT

Screenshot
https://yadi.sk/i/0Nt_-DLBG0rDpQ

Are you sure you're using the most recent Build version of the plugin (Alpha 4 daily build)?

The image you posted seems to suggest you installed an eariler build that wasn't ready for ArchiCAD v22.

13

........


Please let me know more in-depth what was the issue with using HDRI?


" Perhaps it was just a LUT/Gamma setting in 3ds Max (which we obviously don't have on the ArchiCAD side, but honestly I don't believe that would be the issue)."
We have support for LUT's in the Postprocessing tab. Also see Tone mapping for the next image tweaks.

I wasn't referring specifically to LUT files, but rather in 3ds Max there's a general Gamma/LUT correction setting in the preferences that greatly affects how everything in not just your render looks, but also how things look in the material editor and the color pickers, and whatnot.
And having it checked on or off can wildly affect how images look and whether they look correct relative to other programs (like Photoshop) with similar gamma and color correction settings.
ArchiCAD has no setting for this (nor has any of the rendering engines, as far as I remember) and while you can correct or adjust the image gamma of a rendered image in something like the internal Cinerender engine (and I guess Corona as well), that setting varies from image or project file to project file.
It was just a speculation on my own part that this might have been the reason why some images might look a bit different.

Using LUTs is a bit tricky for me to do color correction because again I find the same LUT file gives me a different look in a program that has a different gamma setting (or even monitor calibration, as with image processing programs like Photoshop).
Maybe the tone mapping for the next image tweaks you've mentioned might clear it all up and make it all moot.

As for the issue with the HDRI, specifically I'm referring to a situation where I use ArchiCAD's sun and sky to light the scene (since  I can control directly in the 3D window where and how the sun sits in relation to my model), but then I might want a different background (like with clouds in the sky or some backdrops with buildings or treelines like some HDRI images have), and so I decide to use the "override background" option under the Environment tab and select the HDRI to achieve this, and in like 1 out of very 5 or 6 cases the program would sometimes completely crash.
At the time I thought it was because some of the HDRI files I was using were large, but then when I use those same HDRI files to light the scene, there's no crash and it renders fine.

The other HDRI issue I mentioned has to do with certain HDRI files that I used to light scenes (in 3ds Max for instance) either don't show or don't show correctly when I open them or try to load them in the Environment tab setting with the plugin. If it was just a question of not seeing it in that preview window as you adjust the settings, then it would be fine, but then it also wouldn't light the scene at all meaning it's just not leading. The same HDRI files as I mentioned work fine when I render the same projects through 3ds Max and Corona, so at the time I just assumed it was a memory issue since I'm using ArchiCAD 21 and that version has had issues with memory handling in certain situations that's supposed to have been fixed in version 22 and above.


I'm not sure if I understand your next sentencte: "Lastly, the ability to transfer materials or use a common material library (with at least a basic template) in ArchiCAD would be a big plus -" Can you be please more specific? You mean better conversion from AC common materials into Corona material?


Lastly, we surely want to deliver scattering and materials...

Okay, so this one was a little bit of a long shot, but if you'll bear with me I'll try to explain where I was coming from.
Before I used Corona (in both 3ds Max and ArchiCAD now) I used Vray, but more pertinently Maxwell renderer, which had (and I guess still has) an ArchiCAD plugin as well as plugins for other software. Along with this they had the ability to save your custom materials in a certain file format that the plugin in other software (ArchiCAD, Sketchup, Rhino etc) could read and open and which only saved the basic material settings (and not extra things like texture maps) that then allowed you to use the same materials with the same consistency across many platforms, and more importantly to build up a personalized material library that saved time for multiple projects.
I don't expect anything this extensive for the Corona plugin (after all, Maxwell had a material editor that pretty much allowed you to create materials from scratch using either a wizard with templates or just basic settings, and was in many ways almost a separate program in and of itself), but something like a material library template that took cues from the same library you now have in 3ds Max and which can even allow users to use it as a template to just plug in custom textures where necessary and adjust the basic settings, would be greatly and immensely helpful.

Again, I realize the comparison is not that great (another thing Maxwell had was a entirely standalone Studio program, and I don't really think most people want whole other subset of a different program to have to learn and use), but it was a basis for something that could come in between and make our lives a little better.


---

The following section has nothing to do with your submitted work here, it's just a personal observation.
IMHO sometimes the quality seems to be better for 3rd party software like 3ds Max but only because the users in AC are working less with the camera possibilities ( like using DOF for interior renders for example ). The renders from a technical view are perfectly the same, but somehow it lacks some visual aesthetics which leads to these subjective feelings.

I totally agree, and I should add that my intention in posting these wasn't to make the sort of comparison to show "look how  much different or "worse" the ArchiCAD versions are compared to the 3ds Max versions". If anything the complete opposite as in my opinion there's not a lot of difference or daylight between the two (aside from the things you can do by virtue of 3ds Max itself as opposed to the plugin) - which speaks well of the ArchiCAD plugin being an alpha version.
I understand that it's a comparison between a plugin that's still in the alpha stage and one that is not only complete but in the 5th or 6th version, so from that perspective it's not a straight or fair comparison in many ways.
But showing just how not that different or how not that far apart they are is a useful thing to see  and also just helping get an idea of what might help bridge the gap (from our perspective) without necessarily creating unwanted or unnecessary features or functions.

Even something like DOF, for ME is not a problem because, thanks to Corona's image format and VFB capabilities, I can just export out the ZDepth map or render element and get the DOF I need and want using Photoshop (which is how I do it even with the 3ds Max version). But even the fact that ArchiCAD's cameras already come with the ability to specify the camera target and have this information as separate means that it should theoretically be possible to set your DOF in your render settings directly and not have to go the photocompositing route like I do, for those who prefer one-and-done.
Personally I prefer getting everything I need from the VFB as render elements and then combining or adjusting them either in photoshop or even Corona's own image Editor, but that's just me and my workflow, so from my perspective a proper working VFB is more important than extra features that ArchiCAD itself can't carry in this respect.

14
[ARCHICAD] General Discussion / Test Renders + Comparison
« on: 2020-03-20, 09:22:57 »
Here are a bunch of test renders I did for a project we're working on and submitting for permit and I wanted to compare how the output directly from ArchiCAD using the Corona plugin was to the same project rendered through Corona in 3ds Max was, and to basically show just how not that far apart they are in terms of usability and productivity.

The ArchiCAD renders using the Corona alpha plugin (each took between 15-20 minutes on an Intel Core i7-50H (9th Gen) Laptop with 16GB Mem):-







....and here are the 3ds Max versions (Rendered with Corona's v5 version), with assets and entourage using proxies and Forestpack for grass.











...and this is a previous version of the project also done in 3ds Max but with Corona v3 (so that should let you know how long ago it was.







Overall, I would say that this plugin is not that far from being production ready, and with just a few tweaks and additions it could easily fit into any office's workflow and pipeline with the least effort even on the learning part.
The obvious suggestions would be getting the proxy solution for large geometry objects and entourage like plants and 3d people, and an in-built scatter solution that can allow for grass (A big deal for architects and designers. Don't ask) and plant and tree scatter capabilities (in conjunction with the proxy files).

As for some notable issues, I did have a problem with the background, HDRI usage in some cases.
Choosing to use a separate HDRI or background image as an override (while using Corona/ArchiCAD sky and sun to light the scene) quite a few times caused a crash in ArchiCAD.
Also some HDRI's that worked fine in 3ds Max weren't showing at all in the ArchiCAD plugin or would show wrong. I'm not really sure what the issue there was. And I still think there might be a discrepancy between the color mapping currently in ArchiCAD's Corona plugin and how it shows in 3ds Max. Hard to describe exactly, but there was some more tweaking necessary to get the images to look as close as possible to how they would render in the 3ds Max version. Perhaps it was just a LUT/Gamma setting in 3ds Max (which we obviously don't have on the ArchiCAD side, but honestly I don't believe that would be the issue).
Lastly, the ability to transfer materials or use a common material library (with at least a basic template) in ArchiCAD would be a big plus - as materials are the only other current drawback of the plugin in its alpha state.

But overall I would say this is pretty close as one can get to a production-ready solution for the first draft.

Great work, guys!
Keep it up, and really looking forward to the next release and to see what's ahead.

15
[ARCHICAD] General Discussion / Re: Interior renders
« on: 2020-03-20, 08:29:16 »
Really well done.

Good job!

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