Ok, now I’ve spent time smacking myself in the head (rendering away the night) I learned to instance! Group>instance>duplicate instance, many times! Memory allocation for render dropped from 1.2 gb to 250 mb, ha, hahahahaha…
and render time fell from 35mins per frame to 1.5mins. I also optimized some subsurfs on the pipes, as I had it dialed up to high.
I spent some time adding another camera with a short dolly move in the same scene. Both have DOF blur from they’re respective cameras (one close the other far).
Using another scene I added the VSE, I placed the composited scene (as a strip) and switched between the cameras (using Strip property: Over ride camera change).
But the compositor doesn’t switch Zdepth with the camera change. It only uses the active camera from the scene. whereas the VSE substitutes the active camera for this over ride effect.
Perhaps I should separate the cameras onto their own layers and force Zdepth from each, but I don’t want to render each camera when it isn’t needed… thats why the camera changer in the VSE is so handy. hmmm.
When I turn on ray trace the DOF blur suffers. It looks good without raytrace but the Zdepth seems to get screwed up when it’s active.
I tried placing the cameras in their own scene too and linking them into the set, so I could swap out sets if I wanted to. But they always shoot the scene that they are in (not the one they link to). I guess I should have used their rotation location properties on another set of cameras instead.