Render Settings - the Best One

The Twilight Render Team shares tips, ideas, helpful hints, and more on using Twilight Render
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Fletch
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Render Settings - the Best One

Post by Fletch » Sun May 23, 2010 3:03 pm

These are common questions...
:?: So Twilight has all these render settings... which is the best one to choose?
:?: What's the difference between the non-progressive and the progressive settings?

The old simple ray-trace render engines of the past, and some still use today :roll: are just not good enough... they only calculate direct light, and therefore are 'fast' but the light solution is so unrealistic, that one could spend hours or days trying to place fake fill lights and tweaking materials just to get a "reasonably" good image.

This render setting is possible in Twilight, but has been 'hidden' because it's really just not worth the effort. Anyone with a 'modern' machine (5yrs old or less) need not worry about it any more.

The best setting to choose in Twilight Render depends on many things... what are you rendering... interior, or exterior, direct or indirect light, many shiny materials, or all flat, metals, glass, or thousands of trees and plants, hundreds of lights, and how much time do you have to wait, etc.

:!: Remember that SketchUp before version 2013 is a 32bit application, and is limited therefore to 32bit address space... this means that it can not use 6Gb or 12Gb of RAM... it is 'stuck' at 2Gb on the typical 32bit operating system, 3Gb on a 32 bit operating system which has activated the Subject: Make Windows XP (+Vista/Win7 32bit) access more RAM]/3GB switch[/url] in the startup sequence, and stuck at somewhere around 3.2-4 on a 64bit operating system.

Progressive Rendering Settings
Easy 08-11 settings are Progressive rendering settings and will be a better choice 99% of time when time is no issue. These settings are also known as "unbiased" and calculate all bounces of light rays for every pixel in the rendered image... so the image starts grainy and slowly clears over time as more bounces of light are calculated in the image. This clearing of the image is known as "convergence" to a rendered image solution.

The best thing about the progressive renderings is they are a sort of "render and forget it" setting. You save a lot of time by not having to decide what setting you need, not worrying about what kind of materials you are using, and you know it will just give you good results. The downside is... they take a while to render... for a presentation resolution over 2000px wide, 8-12 hours typically is not unreasonable render time, depending on the scene, the machine used, the resolution, number of polygons in scene, amount of direct or indirect light, number of hi-res textures, etc. Hi resolution textures, and hi-polygon models (grass or fur), and lots of indirect light will be the biggest slow down for these methods.

Easy 08 is for max 2 lights (sun and sky = 2 lights). So if you use it with interiors, it will be slow with more than 2 lights. It's also slow with indirect light... so Easy 09 is still the best for interiors, if lighting an interior with only sun and sky or HDR sky... and using a Sky Portal (see manual) will speed up convergence of Easy 09 renders when calculating much indirect light. Do not use Easy 08 for evening shots on exteriors (more than 2 lights, and involves much indirect light)... use Easy 09.

Easy 09 is a great all-around render setting, even good for exteriors with HDR sky and lots of vegetation and NK metal materials.... but slower on exteriors than Easy 08. Easy 08 handles vegetation and lots of polygons well. It does not handle the NK metals well, so it is wise to use the Metal Template settings when using Easy 08 for your exterior rendering. Easy 08 loves Physical Sky and .jpg Spherical Skies, but does not like HDR skies as much. So stick with Physical Sky and Twilight Metal Material Templates when rendering Exteriors with Easy 08. If rendering an Exterior with HDR lighting and NK Metals Library materials, switch to Easy 09 or 10.

Easy 10... Some people use exclusively Easy 10 for everything. It will render anything, and is very versatile and technical, but it is slow.
So if you like to set up scenes and hit render, then walk away, then Easy 10 is the easy choice. Cars or Diamonds in a studio light setup, an entire room lit only with light shining thru a keyhole, a laser or neon light, dispersion, SSS, volumetric light, fog, combination of all of these... Easy 10 loves it. Just be aware it's a slow render method, yet powerful.

Easy 09 or 10 are best for interiors or studio setups or technical renders such as diamonds with refraction and dispersion, or lasers, fog, etc.

Non-Progressive Rendering Settings
Easy01-07 settings are NOT progressive. They are known as "Photon Mapping and Final Gathering" settings. These allows you to fake no shadows for materials, tell lights not to cast shadows, and do some more 'creative' things like fake emitters. But unless you use Kerkythea to create your own render settings that you are tweaking, then the Easy settings are going to possibly be frustrating when you get into "advanced" level rendering. That's why they are called 'easy'... not 'advanced'. They are good all-around settings, but each scene is so unique and there's always something that can be changed to customize a setting to match a particular scene. The Easy settings were created with typical architectural design in mind. Unique architectural designs (1000s of lights in a space, or much neon, LED's and hundreds or mirrors, or something like this) may not work well with the Easy settings 1-7. There are hundreds of settings that could be "tweaked" depending on the situation.

The Easy1-7 can possibly be RAM hungry depending on the scene. A lot of lights or hi-res materials can eat up much RAM in Easy 1-7 settings, and it takes a little practice/experience to set up scenes that render efficiently with Easy 1-7. Best feature with them, is that you can turn off shadows for certain lights or materials. Easy o8 Exterior, it's the only progressive render setting that allows such creative 'fakery'. Sub-Surface-Scatter (SSS) Material Templates render well with Easy03 or above, but will render very slowly, and it's best to render them with Progressive methods.

Additional Tips about Easy 09, 10, & 11

If you are in the habit of rendering with Easy 09, using Light Emitting Surfaces will result in the most realistic lighting results and in good caustics (light bouncing off of a glass table onto the ceiling or nearby wall, focused light through a wine glass onto a table surface). Easy 09 will not produce caustics from the sun and sky.

Easy 10 will produce caustics with spot and point lights and with Sun and Physical Sky. If you have a very high-powered, fast computer, Easy10 may be all you need.

Easy 11 is the same as Easy 09 with Supersampling disabled. This means it renders more quickly but is not blazing fast. Expect to wait at least a minute or two before seeing good results with it. Also, it may take longer to clear the noise due to supersampling being disabled.

Twilight Render will have some more advanced render setting tweakability in future... and a more advanced mat editor, but the intention of Twilight was to be relatively simple, while remaining quite 'deep' for advanced users... a difficult balance to strike.

JGA
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Re: Render Settings - the Best One

Post by JGA » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:51 pm

Thanks, I'll have to print this one off to let it sink in, but it looks very informative on first scan.
JGA

designofsoul
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Re: Render Settings - the Best One

Post by designofsoul » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:45 am

I'm Interior Designs and use HIGHT QUALITY rendering.
I'm not expert then, if possible, I need information easier to not see the bubbles in the rendering.

THANK'S

Fletch
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Re: Render Settings - the Best One

Post by Fletch » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:57 pm

If you want simple, render with Easy 09. Wait. The image is ready when you think it is done, press stop button. :)

pbacot
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Re: Render Settings - the Best One

Post by pbacot » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:19 pm

Finding it nice to combine an AO image with easy 08 (in PP). Exterior with SU sun and IBL. Is that normal? Seems the AO layer is needed. Or could it be work needed on my materials or sky image/ settings ?

Fletch
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Re: Render Settings - the Best One

Post by Fletch » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:03 pm

When you render, there is in the bottom right corner of the dialog the pulldown menu for "Post-process", click this, and choose "Linear" post-processing while rendering with Easy 08, and adjust with small increments the dark and light variables. 1.4 and 1.8 for example.

don't forget temperature adjust, bloom, and vignette are there for your convenience.

pbacot
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Re: Render Settings - the Best One

Post by pbacot » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:34 pm

Fletch wrote:When you render, there is in the bottom right corner of the dialog the pulldown menu for "Post-process", click this, and choose "Linear" post-processing while rendering with Easy 08, and adjust with small increments the dark and light variables. 1.4 and 1.8 for example.

don't forget temperature adjust, bloom, and vignette are there for your convenience.

Ah yes, thanks. I am getting into that too.

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