hmm, as far as i know this thread originated from the Clouds Test by CD and now im sorry that i asked for the render time…
But i have to say CD You have a very strange attitude towards CG in general. The truth is CG is fake and it’s good that way, because using fakes mostly speeds up the work. It’s almost suicidle to make an animation with lets say indigo which will look real and physically correct but will be enjoyed by your grandchildren…
For such films like Pirates of the Caribbean renderers are developed utilizing special, custom fake techniques to get the right effect and decent complexity (render times). And before Shrek all the GI was faked by Ambient Occlusion and proper light setups (and it still is a mix of these 2 and “normal” GI).
Another example would be trees in the background as it’s mostly done with simple objects, like a couple of intersecting planes with alpha maps, because it’s a waste of memory to model them if they would look the same or even worse.
I’m not saying that GI is bad or gen3 is a waste of time, what i want to say is that ofcourse new features are great, but u cant say that using fakes should be banned. Drawing clouds in eg. GIMP takes me about an hour, maybe 2 to get it right for the scene. If making it with fake volumetrics and SSS takes a day to render, what would u choose ?
I treat Blender like any other software, it’s a versatile tool but it cant do everything, right ? and it shouldnt. Procedurals cant be used in every situation, that’s why it’s neccessary to paint textures, but that doesnt mean u cant mix both techniques, right?
The most important is (and it was said earlier) getting the right end result and it shouldnt matter if it’s faked or pure render. I highly encourage to read 'making-of’s of various pieces, especially not blender related so u can see that artists use fakes a lot.
Just to make myself clear, i love new features nodes were probably the best thing that could happen to blender and i cant wait for the QMC, tiles and new particles integration. I would also love to see a proper photon mapping with cache GI in internal. Micropoly displacement would be handful too, but some features like clouds or new image browser arent really neccessary for me.
PS. sorry for the ridiculously long post, but some posts at the Cloud tunnel test thread really made me angry