Suggestions for Dev Team (first impressions)

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Suggestions for Dev Team (first impressions)

Postby Iceman9 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:59 am

Iceman9 Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:59 am
I'm a longterm Octane user but this weekend I started using the Unity version for the first time. I believe I have some suggestions for the dev team that will help first-time users get a positive impression of the product and the possibilities.

First I want to say that I had fun and am intrigued with possibilities. But on to suggestions:

1. Ensure that any sample scenes and installers default to Direct Lighting and a low number of samples. This is important! I opened up the courtyard scene (after a fresh plugin update) and it was poised to take over an hour to render...all because the kernel was set to Path Tracing! This would scare the hell out of a gamer accustomed to real-time rendering. When I switched the kernel to DL the render was pleasing and fast. A new user just doing a test might not have known to change the kernel and might just walk away (forever) in dismay.

2. The samples slider is a mess. It is skewed way too high and it's difficult to slide in desired values under 1,000.

3. With default files and render settings: turn the Depth of Field down or off. First-time users won't be impressed if their hero object is horribly out of focus when they try the product out. They don't yet know how to pick a focus point or adjust aperture.

3. Setup is a pain, and currently it often fails. This weekend I had four crashes and had challenges several times where I'd hit 'Load' and Octane wouldn't load up. Worse, there was no error message. I'm empathic to the devs. I'm sure install/config with Unity is a challenge to code as there isn't a plugin paradigm like you have in c4d or other apps. So how about giving users an ultra-light file that is used for installation only...no heavy meshes and textures. Maybe even just containing a sample sphere.

And related to this...I suggest not embedding the plugin in sample files like Courtyard as such embedded plugins are inevitably out of date within weeks (or days). I was constantly confronted with "Octane must be updated" messages and downloads.

I'll post more as I play around. Again...Despite the bumps I'm excited about Octane in Unity!
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Re: Suggestions for Dev Team (first impressions)

Postby Maikel » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:19 am

Maikel Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:19 am
Hi Iceman9,

Thanks for your feedback, these are good points.
The samples-slider is not acting as it is supposed to, it should behave exactly the same as it does in Standalone. We'll take a look at that, thanks for pointing it out.

The samples are more set up to (eventually) produce a better image, rather than a faster one. You're right that it may be a little scary to some people initially, but then again, Octane is not meant to be a real-time game engine at the moment.
We are continually looking into improving stability. If you have specific cases in which you experience crashes or instability, I'd love to take a look at those. Thanks again!
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Re: Suggestions for Dev Team (first impressions)

Postby Maikel » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:12 am

Maikel Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:12 am
The samples-slider had a bug, it should be fixed in the next release.
Win 7 64 | Geforce GTX680 | i7 2600K | 16GB
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Re: Suggestions for Dev Team (first impressions)

Postby Iceman9 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:02 pm

Iceman9 Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:02 pm
Maikel wrote:Hi Iceman9,

Thanks for your feedback, these are good points.
The samples-slider is not acting as it is supposed to, it should behave exactly the same as it does in Standalone. We'll take a look at that, thanks for pointing it out.

The samples are more set up to (eventually) produce a better image, rather than a faster one. You're right that it may be a little scary to some people initially, but then again, Octane is not meant to be a real-time game engine at the moment.
We are continually looking into improving stability. If you have specific cases in which you experience crashes or instability, I'd love to take a look at those. Thanks again!


Thanks for the info.

I have a lot of experience with rendering (Octane and other engines) but many gamers don't. I was watching Jules' presentation from Unite Austin and I believe he spoke over the head of most of the audience.

I suspect Octane could have better adoption with Unity ecosystem if they kept things simple. Break it down for newbies. Let people get their sea legs before diving into future tech like light fields, which aren't really accessible for 99% of people anyway right now.

I have 6 GPUs but I'm not the norm. Again...I think for evangelism of the product it's best to keep default settings low and keep the verbiage simpler.
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