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  1. #1

    Render Engine Comparison [Methods and Technologies]

    Here is a scene I have prepared to allow the comparison of how different render engines handle different light situations. This will allow you to see the limitations of the methods each engine uses, as well as its strengths. This does NOT compare how they handle materials, or which materials they have, or what is better nodes etc... please leave that out of this.

    It has a small light source, reflective caustics off a mirror, refractive caustics through glass, and the dreaded caustics viewed in a mirror as well.

    SLG3 Using BiDirectional Path Tracing + Vertex Connection and Merging with max 12 bounces. 3 Minutes/162 passes Intel Core i5 750 Quad Core 3.3 Ghz.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Please render at 960 * 540 resolution, and please keep the render times around 3 minutes (longer if your machine is significantly older/less powerful)!!. Quote your hardware as well as the engine you used, as well as any settings, like my example above.

    The scene has materials with names showing what that material should be. Please try balance the lighting to the image I posted as reference.
    .Blend here BlankComparisonScene.blend
    Here is the floor texture. http://cgtextures.com/texview.php?id=33550
    Here is the HDRi. http://www.openfootage.net/?p=355

    The engines I hope people will test include (but not limited to) Cycles, LuxRender, Yafaray, SmallLuxGPU, Mitsuba, V-Ray, Octane any any others you wish.
    Last edited by zeealpal; 22-Nov-12 at 10:25. Reason: Changed render times | Fixed scene



  2. #2
    Member mib2berlin's Avatar
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    Ha, you change the blend.
    Octane 1.0 RC3
    Pathtracing with Monte-Carlo-Integration
    Maxdepth 8
    Caustic Blur 0.01 (Clamp?)
    600 S/Pixel
    3 Minutes
    GTX 550Ti

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think it is a good Result for a brut(al)e Pathtracer on a low end GFX card.

    Cheers, mib.
    Last edited by mib2berlin; 22-Nov-12 at 11:00. Reason: Change picture, set spec of glas to 1
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  3. #3
    That's quite an impressive render, I do like the way the mirror turned out so well quite a good result



  4. #4
    Member J_the_Ninja's Avatar
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    Big Lux:

    Defaults (bidir/MLT, 49 s/px)Click image for larger version. 

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    SPPM (57 passes): Click image for larger version. 

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    2.8Ghz Xeon W3530



  5. #5
    Member bashi's Avatar
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    trying it with mitsuba. ;-) photon mapper fails (Irradiance Chache don't work somehow?), Only Primary Sample Space MLT gives usable result so far:

    Integrator: Primary Sample Space MLT
    Direct Samples: 48
    Samples: 512
    Pathdepth: -1
    Russian Roulette: 12
    Luminance Samples: 40000
    Biderectional: Yes
    Two-Stage MLT: No

    i7 2.6 (macbook), 8GB Ram, osx 10.8
    rendertime: 7min 33sec
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by bashi; 22-Nov-12 at 20:22. Reason: add hardware spec
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  6. #6
    Member mib2berlin's Avatar
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    Please render at 960 * 540 resolution, and please keep the render times around 3 minutes (longer if your machine is significantly older/less powerful)!!.
    Hi bashi, it is hard to compare render engines when you render double as long and with half size.
    Please add also your system specs.
    As far I can see it is very clear in foreground but not in mirror, hm.
    I never test Mitsuba because canīt built it on my system but follow the development still.

    @J_the_Ninja, do you have a very glossy gound? It is also very bright.

    Thanks, very interessting.
    Mib.
    OpenSUSE Leap 42.1/64 i5-3570K 16 GB Blender 2.7 Octane 3.03
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  7. #7
    Caustics aren't the strongest point of V-ray, but I attached a V-ray version for comparison, 2'10" on a mobile Core i5. Windows 64-bit. Light cache depth: 100. Could've increased the caustics samples though.
    I have a friend working for an animation studio and I'm gonna ask him to render in Arnold if possible.
    And when I say V-ray kicks serious arses you don't believe me.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Member bashi's Avatar
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    @mib2berlin: you're right. i was a bit in a hurry...

    here Mitsuba Photon Mapper for now:

    Blender own osx build r52438
    Renderer: Mitsuba 0.4.2
    Integrator: Photon Mapper
    Direct Samples 2, Glossy Sampl. 2, Max Path depth 12, Russian Roulette 5, Global Photons 250000, Caustic Photons 400000, Volume Photons 0, Irradiance Cache: Final Gather Res 14, Overture, Quality 0.8, Irradiance gradients, Neigbour Clamp, Quality Adj. 0.5, Sampler Low discrepancy, Pixel Samples 30
    (Those are the settings that are changed)
    Render time 3min 2sec (on i7 2.6ghz, macbook pro 6.2, 8GB ram, osx 10.8)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Note: The Floor Material is Diffuse only. haven't found a good way yet to mix glossy to it, party cause mitsuba doesn't know glossy, but instead Smooth Plastic or Metals... material setup for mitsuba not really most intuitive, have to make some more test to figure that out ;-) Mirror is Smooth Conductor (Metal) - Silver
    I had to replace the lightmesh with pointlight... mesh emiiter gave fireflies only, almost.

    there are still some issues, like behind the mirror in the mirror the bright spot.
    Last edited by bashi; 22-Nov-12 at 23:03.
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  9. #9
    Member mib2berlin's Avatar
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    @Repgahroll, looks really good, in case of your system and time seams the best.
    @bashi, cool, nearly noise free but caustics looks better with your first render.
    Has Mitsuba not also VCM like SLG3, as far as I know the SLG3 VCM comes partly from Mitsuba.

    First try with Cycles, it seams it is not possible with Cycles to get it because of Pathtraycing only atm.
    Does not matter point light or mesh emitter.
    Full GI
    1500 Samples
    3.27 Minutes
    GPU
    Specs in my signature.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next try is Indigo.

    Cheers, mib.
    EDIT: Cant get anything useful out of Indigo, my fault for sure.
    Last edited by mib2berlin; 23-Nov-12 at 01:15.
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  10. #10
    Originally Posted by mib2berlin View Post
    Has Mitsuba not also VCM like SLG3, as far as I know the SLG3 VCM comes partly from Mitsuba.
    Nope, SLG3 VCM comes from SmallVCM: http://www.smallvcm.com/



  11. #11
    Member Tame's Avatar
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    Here are my results with Lux

    Luxrender isn't really suited for fast caustics rendering such as these.. I tried to tweak the settings so that the caustics would show in the mirrors in 3 mins...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just for comparison, if you let it render longer it will eventually start pick them up, this is 15min render.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then SLG3

    Old Path GPU, nice 10150k samples/s but it doesn't look that good
    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
    Member Tame's Avatar
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    Path CPU, I think it looks better than the GPU
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bidir CPU, might look the best if you let it render longer
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bidir VM CPU, the fastest render method to get clean image quickly
    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
    Okay, here is another V-ray version, a little bit noisy and blurry, I don't have experience with caustics in V-ray, for product visualization I'd use an unbiased renderer. Anyway, 1'70" on the same mobile i5 processor. It's using full IM+LC GI although in this scene it's hardly needed, if I disable them V-ray will put the competition to shame, but it wouldn't be fair.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The SLG3 versions are better imho, the problem is that it's fast only with very simple scenes, I've tried rendering the classroom scene and even after some hours (rendering on mode "6"), the scene was still very noisy.
    Last edited by Repgahroll; 23-Nov-12 at 09:47.



  14. #14
    Member m9105826's Avatar
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    If no one gets to it before me, I will run this through Arnold if people would like. Be aware that Arnold doesn't currently handle any kind of caustics though, so it would be a bit of a waste on a scene like this.



  15. #15
    Member mib2berlin's Avatar
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    @Tame, Luxrender is slow but looks good.
    @Repgahroll, your first render looks much better, its like postpro glow/blur effect in the second.
    Nobody has to shame or be proud for an engine other people develop, get the best out of the engine in 3 Minutes.
    @m9105826, it would be very interesting to see a render from Arnold.

    Cheers, mib.
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  16. #16
    Originally Posted by Repgahroll View Post
    It's using full IM+LC GI although in this scene it's hardly needed, if I disable them V-ray will put the competition to shame, but it wouldn't be fair.
    I'd hardly call it.unfair, of the result is comparable to.the other engines without full gi, then that is great for vray.



  17. #17
    Hello everyone!

    I'm looking forward to challenges like this. They are good opportunity to learn and tweak stuff.

    Here is my frame rendered in v(-)ray. As seen no background is added due to mine small knowledge about this app. So I would be pleased to get new info.

    I think it's hard to compare that render to others, because that one makes every stage on separate pass. So Actual time, spent for rendering follows.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    RenderTime: 1m 44.2s
    Windows8 64bit
    CPU: Intel i5-2430m 2.79GHz
    4GB RAM
    **********************
    Building caustics photon map...: done [ 0h 1m 50.0s]
    Building light cache...: done [ 0h 4m 54.7s]
    Prepass 1 of 1...: done [ 0h 1m 38.3s]
    Rendering image...: done [ 0h 1m 37.8s]
    **********************
    Number of raycasts: 87652309
    Camera rays: 5151961
    Shadow rays: 7445614
    GI rays: 5898810
    Reflection rays: 40976442
    Refraction rays: 4709981
    Unshaded rays: 1868985



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