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Messages - agentdark45

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Hey AgentDark,

saw your chip & build on twitter :- ). My block was sent only last week (delayed further by my request to switch to all-silver after seeing how beautiful it is), who knows when it arrives but I have no intention to really build it.
How's the system?

Hey Juraj,

The system is great! I can now max out all PBO settings without going into immediate thermal throttling on the previous air cooler (Dark Rock pro TR4). The system is completely silent and still very quiet under load, I would definitely recommend the Arctic P12 PWM PST fans as a cheap alternative to the pricey Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM's.

The RAM was not stable at XMP timings, but Ryzen DRAM calculator sorted that out nicely.

The case is extremely cramped with 4 radiators (absolute pain to fit everything together) - but it was the only case on the market that wasn't extremely expensive/massive and that didn't have massive gaps in any panels for dust to get in.

Both of my D5 pumps had to be replaced due to the PWM signal cable dying, so not sure what the cause of that was!

I definitely wouldn't recommend water cooling if you were going to run everything at stock settings. However the Optimus components are extremely impressive, I've never seen such flawless machining.

Here's some pics of the build if anyone is interested:

Checked a couple pages back, not sure it was reported or not. Also not sure if this behavior is intended by design.  -
Saving a cxr directly from framebuffer won't include the lightmix elements inside the file. One has to save from settings CXR to have it include those elements for later tinkering via CIE.
using build JUN 18

This has been the case for a fair while now, not sure why though as it would always make sense to save the lightmix with the CXR.

One issue that I regularly run into though is that when loading up CXR files with lightmix values that aren't set to 1, I'll have to manually change a lightmix spinner value to something arbitrary then change it back to view the accurate lightmix result.

It would be good to just load up the CXR and see the image as intended, with the lightmix values doing what they are set at in the saved file.

No worries, we have it logged. :)

While you're looking at lightmix stuff, would it be possible to include the ability to assign objects with Corona Light materials that have "emit light" unticked into proper lightmix channels? Currently they all go into the unassigned channel which is quite annoying for things like interior spotlight light mix channels (when working around black Corona lights with certain ies files that the preserve black appearance button doesn't solve).

Gallery / Re: Northern Shelter
« on: 2020-06-03, 16:21:34 »
To many details in the same image. If you use so many details in the close up don't use also cumulus clouds in the back . They for  form outside of main land. In this case on the seaside .
Sometime : Less is more.
The images could be great if had different clouds in back .

I disagree, I think the issue is just a slight lack of distance haze/fog as the mountains are looking a bit too super sharp as if the air is particulate free.

A lot of photographers use graduated ND filters to essentially underexpose the sky to avoid the white burnout effect:

As we have a lot more control, you could simply stick a BW gradient mask over a 32 bit exr of your image in photoshop, or even simulate it in the render scene. This would only lower the exposure, AFAIK ND filters use a polarizing film so I'm not sure what effect this will have compared to simple exposure reduction.

Thanks agentdark45 !

I will try to do the low clock ram test.  To give you more info the full specs are:

TR 2990WX
GTX 1080Ti
Corsair Dominator Platinum 64GB
DDR4 3000MHz CL15
Cooler Enermax LiqTech TR4 II RGB 360
SSD Samsung 860 EVO
Seasonic Prime 1300W Platinum
Thermaltake A500 Aluminum case

I usually find it frozen after more hours of rendering but often it is working while rendering, but once we stop the render it goes into this half dead state where we could click certain buttons like the win start button but nothing else (restart, task manager, max are not responding). We also have to dual xeons in the same office that never freeze like this even though software/scenes are the same an all.

No probs man, yeah the 2990wx was a notoriously finicky CPU - it was way ahead of it's time and there were a lot of compatibility issues (especially with RAM). I would also be extremely cautious with that LiqTech AIO - almost every one of them had issues and gunked up over time (causing the CPU to overheat).

Hi guys!

I need your advice. We have a 2990wx in the office, that likes to freeze almost every day. I understand that TR's are moody with some types of memory.
 Do you guys have any recommendations for a specific type of memory that can make the system stable?

here is what we have now

TR 2990WX
Corsair Dominator Platinum 64GB
DDR4 3000MHz CL15


It could be either unstable RAM, the motherboard VRM's overheating or the PSU's over-current protection kicking in.

To test I would massively down-clock the RAM in the bios first to something like 2333mhz, perform a long render and see if the system still crashes. I would also monitor your motherboard's VRM temps with a tool like HWinfo - I had a 2990wx system with the Zenith Extreme where the VRM's would hit 115c in minutes of rendering and would down-clock the CPU like crazy. I also could not get the 128gb of GSkill RAM stable at anything over 2933mhz, I promptly sent that system back. AFAIK the MSI Meg was the only x399 motherboard capable of dealing with the massive power draw of the 2990wx, but I see the Zenith Extreme Alpha looks to have a beefier VRM setup/cooling so difficult to say what exactly the problem might be without separate testing.

I'm now on a water cooled 3970x with a Gigabyte Designare motherboard, 128gb GSkill RAM @ 3600mhz and it's been completely flawless.

Gallery / Re: Living Divani
« on: 2020-05-29, 03:58:31 »
That lut should be from the dubcat thread. I have reuploaded it, if you want to try it out.

Thanks man, I'll definitely test it out.

[Max] Feature Requests / Re: Corona Tiles
« on: 2020-05-28, 14:09:26 »
I suppose the ideal form of this map would be to include everything that bercon already does, but handles bump and displacement better.

One thing that any texture option out there fails to do however is handle corners well, especially when using multiple textures. Need an option for wrapping corners, and ideally how to handle mortar joints like concave or struck, etc (but that might be asking too much without actually modeling it).
I recently started trying out ATiles for bricks and it seems like a viable option (especially since you can use custom objects), but I haven't put it to the test of a full facade yet.

This would be ideal!

I'm going to suggest another idea: spline definable tile shapes/patches. Would be such a time saver for things like simple floor tiles with irregular shapes but repeatable patterns. I currently use railclone for this, but would rather not have to when I only really need the functionality for the UV variation/grout line separation on a flat plane.

If the devs are looking at implementing the Geopattern feature from FStorm, it would be almost exactly the same but contained in a material map vs cloning real geometry.

Gallery / Re: Living Divani
« on: 2020-05-27, 04:32:54 »
Great work man, I just had a look at the breakdown vid - the tonemapping settings are quite similar to dubcats ACES settings but I see you are using an additional LUT, may I ask which one you're using?


[Max] General Discussion / Re: Tonemapping - Plz Halp
« on: 2020-05-09, 19:10:49 »
3- And one more thing. This is a question:
Does anyone know what this does exactly?

Great test btw, the seperate surface effect is very noticable on the Fstorm renders especially in the corners.

The relative tickbox essentially changes the "max sample intensity" (as a comparison to Corona) per camera view/frame by detecting how bright light sources are. Its quite hit and miss so I usually untick it and keep the power to around 3-6 for frame lighting consistency.

[Max] General Discussion / Re: Tonemapping - Plz Halp
« on: 2020-05-05, 13:00:39 »

Here is a video of me turning on layers in photoshop :)

You can download the original image I posted and zoom in to see how much of a terrible job I did! [img width=1024 height=1187]]

I know it can be hard to be confronted with information you don't like. But I have nothing to gain out of convincing anyone that Corona is better or worst, I'm a corona user! I want corona to be the best possible render engine! Actually, corona render is my main source of income now that I think of it... so NO I don't want it to stop improving!  BUT! I think it can improve more drastically by being easier to use and easier to achieve it's potential, than to extend it's potential even further. LETS DO BOTH, but lets do the easy one first!

Haha fair play, I'll concede that I was indeed duped by this.

[Max] General Discussion / Re: Tonemapping - Plz Halp
« on: 2020-05-05, 02:10:56 »
If it wasn't a typical Fstorm render, wouldn't you say you would have been able to notice?

Not only you didn't immediately notice but you even complained about the same things you are complaining about corona. And not only you, so maybe there is something else to it than objective observation.

Not sure why you label it as "tricked"  we are talking about comparisons and every serious study requires the elimination of variables.

I'm sorry you didn't like the results of the experiment, I bet that if the result was different and you actually noticed, you would have felt really good about that fact, and confirm your previous notions. So I think just because you didn't get the expected result, there is no reason to say "I did something to the Fstorm version".

Yeah, I'm not buying this. You're saying you went through the effort of purchasing a full Fstorm license, matching the watermark 1:1 in photoshop, and your "swapped" Fstorm render just happens to exhibit exactly the same grain pattern and concrete microdetail as your previous tests...

[Max] General Discussion / Re: Tonemapping - Plz Halp
« on: 2020-05-04, 14:37:20 »
Regarding that image of my earlier test, as others noted, I would have to use the exact same HDRI and closest as possible materials, not a simple conversion.

So I repeated the test. Same HDRI, Same LUT (KimAmlan02), Matched white balance. very simple materials.

Do you really see a 50% bump in realism in the Fstorm one? Maybe I don't have your eyes, it is entirely possible that I actually don't have the perceptual capacity.

Anyway, now that I've conducted the test in a more proper manner, my point stands. I will write it in bold so you don't miss it and you stop arguing with something I'm not saying:

Fstorm has better tonemapping.   I wish Corona had a DSLR like tonemapping

However, I don't think that is the main reason for the Fstorm community producing seemingly more realistic images more consistently than the corona render community.
I think there is a small number of users (Agentdark45 included) who have superior understanding and perceptual abilities and actually notice the super slight differences between the two renderers, which are real and measurable.

But I believe what MOST people notice is a vibrant community that attracts great artists who are learning faster and feeling comfortable sooner with Fstorm, and thus, becoming good enough that, overall, the Fstorm community is producing better renders, more artistic, more realistic.

Just to be super clear, FSTORM HAS BETTER TONEMAPPING, 100% agree. And it has a real impact in realism! I wish Corona implements this soon
ps. I also wish corona becomes a lot more beginner and artist friendly by making it MUCH EASIER to produce the best possible images it already can, which, BTW would inevitably be WORST than Fstorm regarding tonemapping. At least until corona implements a better tonemapping, which I will continue to push and wish for.

Apologies if I missed the spirit of your post, it seemed contradictory at the time of posting. I'm glad to see you are supporting the call for improved tonemapping in Corona.

My main contention here is that some posters are claiming:

1. "Everything is fine with Corona as is, zero perceptual difference in tone-mapping between Fstorm and Corona; the issue is noobish user error being fixated on stock settings".
2. While other posters are stating that there is a clear and obvious limitation with Corona's tonemapping (despite Bertrand Benoit levels of Corona mastery and tweaking), and we want improved colour space/ACES like tonemapping implemented as a priority over other seemingly trivial features that eat up precious dev time.

Regarding your recent comparison, yes there is a difference between the two (perhaps not 50%) but I can clearly see the black crush in the shadows issue I have mentioned before in trying to achieve a contrasty punchy image whilst retaining not overly clamped highlights (look at how much detail is lost in the lower right shadow on the floor in the Corona version, along with the shadow at the base of the exterior sphere, the soft shadow gradient on the left hand interior wall, and the tendancy for Corona to go to pure black in corner gaps - the dynamic range of the shadows have been butchered). Now scale this issue up to images that mostly deal with subtle tonal variations (i.e moody or brightly lit product shots).

As a side note outside of tonemapping, you can also see the filtering issue I mentioned previously in the Corona example. Look at how much detail has been smoothed out of the concrete walls and wood material in the Corona version.

[Max] General Discussion / Re: Tonemapping - Plz Halp
« on: 2020-05-02, 03:42:37 »
There is no way 50% of the realism coming from the Fstorm community is because of the tone mapping. Install Fstorm and try it. See if your images look 50% more realistic just like that. They won't.

But the fact that so many people think that so much of Fstorm's realism is because of tonemapping, does not make sense. The fact that you estimate that Fstorm is more realistic 50% thanks to tonemapping is evidence of that.

You yourself claimed you are not an experienced Fstorm user - I am a very experienced dual user of both Corona and Fstorm (along with other engines). As mentioned in my last post I exclusively use Fstorm for high end product vis. Why? Because due to testing both engines extensively on many scenes back and forth, some even with very basic materials, the result is always poorer in Corona (and no, this isn't down in part to DOF settings, material conversion or a lack of knowledge of non "out of the box" Corona settings). It is down to tonemapping and how highlights and blacks are handled by each engine. I have tried for days in some circumstances to match the image in Corona and the same ultra-photographic result simply was not possible within Corona's VFB no matter any combo of curve adjustments, contrast tweaking, HC tweaking, Kim Luts, various other LUTS, Dubcats settings e.t.c. I'm simply not willing to go "yeah that looks pretty close", which might suffice for some.

Again, look at your own example (attached). Highlights have been visibly ruined and the wood tones are off and not reacting correctly as they should IRL - an observation I went into in detail previously. The average viewer may not spot this but in detailed viewing it is clearly apparent. If you don't think this affects overall photorealism, or certain edge cases in visuals in any meaningful way (would you concede to some degree?) then I don't know what to say to you.

Why am I bringing up Fstorm? Because out of all of the render engines I've used it simply produces the most true-to-life images possible right now (and yes, it requires settings tweaking just like every other engine, so it's not a case of n00bish "hurr muh default settings" user error). The tonal balance of the image one is able to get out of Fstorm is always superior, and I'm no Fstorm fanboy either - I wouldn't use it if I didn't have to, I would love to use Corona for everything due to it's superior feature set.

If not for tonemapping, what else do you think contributes to Fstorms superior photorealism? I've already mentioned several times on the forums better bitmap filtering/sharpness, bump mapping implementation, colour handling, pleasing noise patterns, and better DOF speed/sampling - however most of these can be worked around within Corona, Tonemapping however cannot be as it stands. Hence my prior statement of 50% (which was a fast and loose approximation, not verbatim gospel) - put a highly experienced user of both engines to work on the same scene in both engines, work around the quirks of both Corona and Fstorm, and the Fstorm image will be more photographic and pleasing to look at, fact. Case in point: look at anything Bertrand Benoit has produced (who I think most would regard as one of the best in the game that uses many different rendering engines), and compare to his Fstorm renders, and this was with his first trial of the engine: there is always something "off" about his photo realistic Corona and Vray renders (a minor uncanny valley effect, i.e lacking in brain fooling true photorealism).

Side note: Fstorm as a rendering engine in general is terrible in some real world use cases; interiors with a lot of bounced light where it's annoying portal system will not save you. And not to mention VRAM limitations. It's lack of material and plugin support is also shocking (still doesn't have proper composite maps and multi-layered materials) - another reason I don't use it for anything more complex than product vis.

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