This is incredible. I was considering moving onto vRay but I think I'll stay put. Is it possible to used these lighting techniques in Maya? If so what would the equivalent of a skylight be in Maya, just HDR mapping a sphere?
Hi, just saw one of your pictures on archdaily :
Hi Ludvík, thank you u so much for sharing this hi-quality informations about MR. I am a MR user too and there were many things I colud never imagine did work like that. Can you tell us how much time does each image take to render at full resolution, just an average? And what's your hardware setup?
Thanks to Ronen too for this great website!
Amazing work Ludvík, both from the quality of the image and also for your explanation. I'm a teacher and I'll show this making of to all my students. I just think you should change the ending phrases because this is not just for MR users, many of the concepts you explain can be used easily in VRay.
BTW, you seem to have some knowledge in VRay, I'm curious about why you did this job in MR, I work with both renders and I completely agree with all the complains you made about the problems that MR has, so why did you used it in first place instead of vray?
This is truly inspirational work. I am teaching my self to use 3d max MR by following tutorials and information posted by other Artist. . I have one request. Is it possible to do a standard interior lighting setup with 2011 3ds max? Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
Hi Ludvík. Congratulations for writing the excellent articles and sharing so much high level information!
I use Vray on almost 100% of my work (a matter of taste) although I use MR on some projects to keep up to date ( I really love the A&D materials). A couple of questions: What if you have used area lights (instead of portal lights) and GI + FG? From a pure speed point of view, would you get faster render times comparing to high settings pure FG? Did you have to boost the lighting in Photoshop on the interior renderings? Thanks.
Hi Ronen. Your website is already my daily first stop to check "the latest" on the architectural CGI field. www.ronenbekerman.com is quickly becoming an invaluable and refreshing resource and pool of knowledge on the field. Congrats for publishing one more excellent article!
Wow, wow, wow.. as a fellow MR user (hobbyist) I am really happy that a pro would actually share such detailed, extensive and valuable information. Thanks to @ronenbekerman Ronen for featuring this and Ludvik for the tutorial. Bookmarked!
Ludvik, This is brillant...have been holding my breathe since i saw the images...as a fellow MR user...thanks for being so explicit in your 'making of' tutorial...I learnt so much... Thanks Ronen [ Your the man]...Ludvik, one thing though... How different would your workflow [FG] be if you were doing an animation [do a part 5, if you can...lol] and would it be less of a terror if you were using Vray.... Again Thanks a bunch for sharing.
Definitely incredible. So many other pros should take example from this and be more generous with information :- D heh. Great job, now I am really almost sad that I don't use MR either.
I use almost same Post-work approach, heavy contrast and same color correction, it produces somehow un-realistic result, but at same time it's somehow peacefully interesting to my eye.
F*cking hell! I don't even use 3ds Max or MR but this is by far the best making-of I have ever seen! Thumbs up, Ludvík. ;)
@ravedonkeyad I believe everything should be applicable in Maya as well, but material mapped on sphere is not a good way. I think MR in Maya can simply sample environment map using FG, although i am not sure of that ;)
@fouinard Yep, mentioned as a photo! Ludvik will love that ;)
I mentioned it to them and hope they will change the credit as soon as possible.
@grnakamura average was 8 hours on an i7 870 @2,93Ghz with 16Gb of RAM. I could push rendertimes down to half with minimal quality loss, but i did not do any optimizations, i went straight for quality.
@fla3dmadness While Vray might usually perform better, give you more options, i stay with MR mainly because i know it very well and i know what to expect from it. I also think shading quality of A&D shader is slightly better than the one of Vray material.
Second thing is that i do not own Vray licence, and it is not exactly cheap, while MR is free with a license of Max.
Lastly, i feel like when i use MR, i have to put a lot less effort into setting up my scene than with Vray.
For example with Vray you got to control LWF twice, once in Max preferences and once in Vray properties. Same with exposure scattered all over the place. Color mapping in preferences + exposure controls in camera or exposure settings. 2 rollouts on different places to control AA quality (AA and DMC settings). Need to use custom Vray VFB for everything to work and perform properly. It requires simply a lot more effort to set up scene in Vray than in MR.
That itself is a very reasonable cost for benefits of Vray performance and abilities, but that, combined with not having a license and not knowing that renderer too well makes it just 50:50. So i think i would get by with Vray, and i would probably save some time and headaches, but at the same time, i do not urgently need to switch over to another renderer :)
@fla3dmadness Indeed there is lots of insight here that is relevant to other render engines too ;)
I guess one keeps using the render engine he started with first... right? else why all of you Mental heads remain with it even though you know the cons?
That said... I had a small play with iRay the other day. and it was a nice one. not a reason to make any drastic changes in life style yet ;)
@RicardoSnaggs Of course, process is not any different. If you download the classroom scene i provided, you might ask someone who has 3ds Max 2012 to resave it for 3ds Max 2011 for you, and it will work properly. Recent version of 3ds Max have a possibility of saving to previous version ;-)
@ChristianMiranda Area lights are out of questions. If i used them to light interior, incoming light from area lights would not even remotely match correct illumination from outside. Especially light bouncing of foliage. It would be some boost, and significant quality loss.
I am always willing to do things, that sacrifice very little realism, for very high rendering speed boost, but not things that sacrifice significant amount of realism, this being one of them.
For interiors, yep, on some of them, i had to increase brightness a bit. It depends on your initial exposure value from max. I usually set it lower than i would want to, because in contrast with dark UI of 3ds Max, it looks bright enough, but once i bring it in PS, it looks little too dark, so i boost brightness a bit always as a first step. It is not that much of a deal. Certainly faster process than doing dozens of renders while looking for perfect EV value :)
@nnamdiakubuiro I would interpolate the s**t out of final gather, even 200 points if necessary, and combine that with Exact AO feature of A&D material, which i described in part 2. That should give you stable, flicker free, yet quite detailed result at acceptable time.
@katewrss Happy you think this is - Ludvík bust some major a$$ on this one ;)
Wow, thank you for your reply! I'm working on a project for univeristy and I'm reseraching lighting at the moment. I'd love to switch to Max but I only have a couple of months so I'm kind of stuck with Maya. Is it possible to use this technique as an animation?
@rawalanche Hey Ludvík, thanks for yout reply. Now I understand your point and totaly agree with you, I work with both renders and I even got more experience with Mental Ray, but I use VRay at work and agree with you about the cons about VRay, I just find it a bit more solid on a day to day production, but its really a matter of personal taste as both can output great images, its all in the hands of the artist.
@ronenbekerman I agree that some people are reluctant to try a different render than they are used to, but its always good to give it a try. I started with scanline a long time ago, tried that crap radiosity and light trace until I got Mental Ray in max 6 and used it for a long time until I moved to a company working with vray. Had some bumps on the beginning but now I just use MR here and there to keep used to it because I can't stand all the problems it has and the lack of options like multiple GI solutions, so for me VRay worth the extra bucks it costs. But I'm always impressed when guys like produces an amazing job with mental ray. :)
And thanks for the blog, you've got some amazing works here and great tips.
@rawalanche I agree about the loss of quality, that´s why I said from a pure speed point of view. It´s a pity that the portal lights have those drawbacks.
Regarding the interiors, in my tests, I always had the impression that pure FG didn´t bounce enough light realistically like GI does. That´s why I asked you about boosting lighting in PS. Now...after seeing your images I will investigate pure FG more deeply. Thanks!
@ChristianMiranda You need about 4-5 diffuse bounces and quite sufficient amount of rays to get close to correct secondary bouncing intensity. That is of course not very rendertime friendly ;-) In more open interiors, with large window openings, you could get away with 3, sometimes even 2 diffuse bounces.
Cheers for taking the time and gifting of files. Most appreciated to see info on MR. I prefer it to vray any day of the week.