Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

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Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

Postby radiance » Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:32 pm

How to make perfect final renderings
------------------------------------

Hi, I decided to write up a post with a good technique that i've developed to render high quality images with octane render,
within the current limitations with regards to filtering and the lack of MLT.
This technique gives faster rendering, better antialiasing and less fireflies and requires only photoshop.

beta3 will adress these issues with MLT and probably built-in supersampling and/or improved filtering,
so this way of doing it is only valid for current beta1 and beta2 versions.

I recommend people to use this technique for submitting finals.
People are welcome to post modifications of this technique using other software like GIMP on other platforms.

----

When you are done configuring your scene, materials and lights,
save it to an OCS project file.

Before you save it, make sure you're camera is good and you have the correct resolution for rendering your final.
Fine tune your imager/tonemapping settings for the desired exposure, camera curves, gamma, vignetting etc...

When it's saved, exit octane render.

Start it back up and load your OCS project.
Before you click on your mesh node:

* Go to the render kernel settings and change the kernel to 'pathtracing'
* Disable the 'filter' option on the pathtracing kernel options.

* Go to the render resolution settings and enter a resolution that is 2x or 4x squared the size of your desired final resolution.

example: 1024 x 512 px
2x: 2048 x 1024 px
4x: 4096 x 2048 px

the 4x is the best option, but you might not have enough video ram on your GPU left for it,
so you can go for the 2x option if it does'nt fit.

if octane exits after the first renderpass, and windows reports the driver stopped responding,
you might have to do the registry fix to switch off the GPU driver watchdog timeout, see here:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=824

* Now, click on your mesh node, and octane will begin rendering.

The screen will update very slowly.
If you are running octane on your primary display card, now's the time to go for a cup of coffee as you're PC will be occupied.

You now only need 4x less samples per pixel if you're rendering in 2x resolution mode,
or 16x less samples per pixel if you're rendering in 4x resolution mode.

* Every now and then, save your image to png with the button above the render viewport.

* launch photoshop, open the large PNG file
(you can pause octane if you're on a 1 gpu only system)

* Apply a despeckle filter -> Filter -> Noise -> Despeckle

* Change the resolution of the image back to your desired final resolution.
menu: Image -> Image Size...

Change the resolution back to 1024x512 as in my example (or any other final resolution you chose),
and use the 'bicubic smoother' filter option.


That's it, you now have a smooth, fairly firefly free, finely antialiased image.

What i usually do at this stage is an Menu: Image -> Adjustements -> Auto Levels and sometimes Auto Color too,
on some rendings this can make it look a tad more neutral.

Remember to adjust image brightness and contrast with the exposure and gamma controls in octane render instead of in photoshop,
as you will work in high dynamic range within octane's tonemapper and if you do these in postprocess in photoshop,
you will lose colour fidelity.

Posting / Submitting
--------------------

If you want to supply your image for use in our artwork competitions, you should save your image to PNG format and post that.
If you save it to JPG format, you will lose quality, and if we ever put your image in our website gallery,
it will have to be uncompressed and recompressed to fit the gallery again, losing much more quality.


Attached a scene that rendered for 3 minutes, using path tracing.
The first 2 images show a straight render with and without filtering.

tut1.jpg


tut2.jpg


The 3rd image uses this technique, it has nearly no fireflies, smooth antialiasing, does'nt require a 9000 or higher GPU, and renders faster.
No manual firefly removal is needed nor any tools like hotpixels. (although running hotpixels on the 4x resolution one would be good aswell)

tut3.jpg



Yours,
Radiance
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Re: Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

Postby EricDesign » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:03 pm

amazing nice trick and is very clear explication i try it right now, thx Radiance.
i5 7400 / 2 x GTX980Ti / 32gig ram

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Re: Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

Postby SurfingAlien » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:10 pm

Thanks for the tips Radiance! very appreciated

BTW, when i read "I'm going to write a post / mini tutorial on how to make perfect renders." in the other thread I thought you were kiddin' LOL

look forward for the OSX demo coming soon

cheers,
Alessandro
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Re: Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

Postby Br1 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:48 am

Excellent trick, and with keeping the rendertimes low, that's great. Thanks Radiance !
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Re: Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

Postby Sam » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:59 am

GPU driver watchdog timeout


Doesn't work with my Windows 7 x64 (GTX260)
Instead of restarting the driver, the whole PC freeze :lol:
And I need to reboot manually...

But well im trying to render at 4096 by 2048 :roll:
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Re: Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

Postby acc24ex » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:03 am

Did anyone try the "neatimage" plugin, just read it in a photoshop tips&tricks a that its a must have http://neatimage.com/mac/examples.html.. anyways, I eventually got to the quite similar workflow to yours radiance.
You get to that workflow quite naturally after experiencing a few hundred crashes, you know exactly how to make it run :), still cool to know the setup that the bulding tem uses, the 1024x1024 setup seems like a great tip, which we could not now about give more :)

We should put down here some of our workflow experiences, maybe even post some "default" scenes, I quickly built some basic default.ocs files (saves a lot of time when recovering from crashes), like default 1024x1024.ocs etc, preloaded with a random .hdr in the environmets - Radiance could post some of his defaults to speed up the new user experience.
I got all of the .ocs files stores in My documents/A1 Octane folder so to make sure it's on top and octane opens that directory by default in win7 and put all of the shortcuts to other folder textures and .obj files in that folder (extreme workflow speedup on a computer with 5 HDDs and 6tb :) ), the textures I guess have to be in the same folder as the .obj and .ocs files to make sure I don't loose any texturing (probably have to be with the .obj file but I put them down all in the same folder to make sure). Don't use unicode characters anywhere or crash - use basic lettering, no spaces in texture files - that one took me a while. And after you set up lights, test all of the camera response settings to get some warmth.

I've been wondering is it better to up the power of the HDRI or just up the exposure when scene is too dark. How come some HDRIs take forever to render and filled with fireflies, and the basic studio HDRIs are fast - give us some exact number to aim for, or some default environment HDRIs, for external scenes and internal ones - I would like more specs on HDRI and how to make a good one (I've just started playing with HDRI and made a nice 360 map of my living room, but octane crashes with it)
And I couldn't really see the differences between fstop and exposure and ISO - the dynamic range seems similar, they respond like it's just exposure , don't notice the effects I get from a real DSLR - or they aren't that obvious - what do they exactly do (internally). Oh and what's gaussian spectrum useful for? And didn't manage to use the "stereo" mode succesfully. Just gives out random red dots around could not notice any 3d with kids 3d glasses I got from a magazine :), how about those Nvdidia 3d glasses, thinking about getting one, is it going to crash on me? Any experiences anyone on that?
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Re: Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

Postby radiance » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:11 am

Sam wrote:
GPU driver watchdog timeout


Doesn't work with my Windows 7 x64 (GTX260)
Instead of restarting the driver, the whole PC freeze :lol:
And I need to reboot manually...

But well im trying to render at 4096 by 2048 :roll:


it works fine but you need to do the video driver kernel watchdog trick, i explained it in the procedure above.
in fact, i rendered the lambo sun image on a GTX260 in a PC with win 7 ultimate x64

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Re: Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

Postby Sam » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:02 pm

it works fine but you need to do the video driver kernel watchdog trick, i explained it in the procedure above.
in fact, i rendered the lambo sun image on a GTX260 in a PC with win 7 ultimate x64


Ive done it correctly.
Like I said, instead of restarting the driver and exit Octane, the whole PC freeze :mrgreen:
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Re: Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

Postby mlody47 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:49 am

Thank You for sharing this. Tottaly usefull. Will use it on my final images for competition.
i7 2600K + 2X gtx 580 + GTX 560 Ti + 8gbram + Win7 +
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Re: Tutorial: Making good quality renders for our competition

Postby thwak » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:09 pm

radiance wrote: you need to do the video driver kernel watchdog trick


How do you perform this magic in Ubuntu/Linux?
Ubuntu 9.10 x64 | GTS 240 | 260.19.44 drivers | 3.0 Toolkit | Dual-Core 2.4 GHz | 4Gb| Blender 2.56a/latest Yoyoz plugin
WinXP32 | GTS 240 | 266.58 drivers | 3.0 Toolkit | Dual-Core 2.4 GHz | 4Gb | Blender 2.56a/latest Yoyoz plugin
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