I will have to work on interior renders in the near future: for instance the inside of a caravan, lit by 3/4 small windows.
Now, i tend to think that this kind of scenario makes for long long long renders using unbiased beasts. Or is it totally wrong ? (I’ve read about portals and such, but that’s a bit like black magic to me)
My choices are:
Blender internal: don’t know, i was aiming for quite a realistic feel.
Cycles, but i am on AMD (Yikes…)
The good old Yafaray, which i’ve never used since the old Yafray days.
What would be your choice for realistic interiors ?
If you are just rendering stills, you may want to consider Lux. It is more mature than Cycles for interior work. IF you plan on rendering walk throughs or other animations it’s calculation times may be too long.
Depends on the level of realism you need. I’m not familiar with the code of Micro, but from what I’ve seen it’s not very physically correct, seems like it takes a lot of shortcuts to save time. Doing interiors lit by outside sources you’ll want something with a good BiDirectional integrator implemented for physical correctness, or something with photon mapping for increased speed. If you have the money, Thea or VRay are probably the way to go. If not, try Yafaray or Lux, though be warned that if you use Lux, prepare to be waiting for a long while.
Another possibility worth considering is to use more than one renderer in the same project. For example, Cycles is very good at providing “global illumination” solutions, but you might then want to composite that result with other layers of information that are produced using BI.
You probably should plan on using compositing anyhow. “The inside of a caravan, (literally) lit by small windows,” would be a tough photographic situation no matter how you did it, if you sought to produce the entire “exposure” at one time by one means. But it becomes a very different problem, and points to a very different approach, if you say that what you want is “a well-exposed photograph” that plausibly appears to be “lit by small windows.” The problem can be subdivided into a set of simpler and fairly-independent problems that can be dealt with one at a time. Exactly as a modern-day audio recording is built up, one track at a time, and the final deliverable(s) are produced by a “mix-down.”
You will burn a lot of computer-time trying to “do it all at once” and never be certain of success.
But, say, “Cycles can give me a good ‘bed track.’ The light in the windows (and maybe the outside scene itself) is separate. A BI-based spotlight hitting a specular-only surface would give me the light that appears to come in through that window to hit that chair. The gleam of light off that metal goblet, and the exact shine coming from it, is also separate.” Etcetera. Soon you’ve got fifty different “tracks” of information, each one isolated from the other . . . and now, you begin the “mix” using the node-based compositor. You can standardize your shots, and make pragmatic adjustments, without waiting another week to get the first opportunity to do it.
@m9105826:Apparently (after 15 minutes of playing with the demo), MicroRender is some kind of “BI on steroids”
I definitely don’t have the money for VRay or Thea. Lux might be my best bet here. @sundialsvc4:
Very interesting approach: i like what you say here. I am trying to gather skills using the compositor: i know the very basics, but i am still struggling with some concepts (object index ?)
The way you present it makes me think you plan to composite passes resulting from several renderers. Is that what you mean ?
Like having a nice noise free cycles render as a base for GI, mixing some reflections and caustics from Lux, etc ?
Is that possible ?
Even though I generally use Cycles for interiors, I recently had another crack at Yafaray and I must admit that it’s a lot simpler that it used to be, plus there are now up to date demo files with settings for interiors on the Yafaray main page. If you can’t use GPU, I’d go with that. I love the reality of Luxrender, but I don’t have the patience to wait 3 days for a render - I know I would end up missing something and have to render again - I guess that’s why I like Cycles so much as I get feed back straight away.
The details of the compositor are complicated, but the notion is simple: think of it as a digital production-line. Data flows in, data flows through, data flows out; it’s all data. Things like “object index” are used for selecting what’s to be included and what’s not.
I am mostly thinking of the renderers that are built into Blender since that’s the limit of what I know.
But, yes, the essential idea is that you approach the project not from the approach of trying to get the “entire” image to pop-out all at once, but rather, to get clean and well-isolated “components.” The drummer’s whacking away in a studio all by himself. The guitarist is playing in an empty room, listening to the drums and a click-track on his headphones. And so on. Later … perhaps much later … these components are blended together to make not just one but several different flavors of “the same song.” If someone “clams” a line while singing or playing, well, so to speak, “we have Photoshop for Music, too.”
Even if what Cycles gives you is not perfect, it can be leveraged for what it does give you, and deficiencies can be “photoshopped out” in much less time than it would take burning up your GPU trying to get it to hand you perfection. It’s still great at what it does.
If you can describe it, such that you can figure out a “noodle” to do it, “it’s possible.” I have the modest advantage of being a computer programmer by trade; I think that way. (Don’t worry… it’s not catching. Koff, koff. I think.)
You can use compositing nodes with Yafaray now, but you don’t have the same flexibility with render layers etc, as the way Blender works just now won’t allow it. There are some workarounds, such as creating your own specular and diffuse passes, as well as object or material IDs. It is more manual labour, but the end result is the same.
If you are still thinking along the lines sundialsvc4 is describing, you can produce all the data you need before you start compositing.