Luxrender observations – part I

As previously announced, here is my report on the use of luxrender during my project ‘The other day in the forest’.

This is more a description of the things noticed and done during the process than a real tutorial. I have come to recognize, that I still have a lot lot to learn and explore before I am entitled to do a real howto/tutorial.

Using the forest project, I will try to highlight some of the areas and give some general thoughts and examples.

At the time of this writing I a referring to the actual CVS version both of luxrender and luxblend, which will closely resemble the upcoming 0.6 release.

So lets start with some introductory statements.

Continue reading “Luxrender observations – part I”

Linear Workflow in Blender

While working on my current project to explore the differences between luxrender and blender I came in touch with setting up a linear workflow.

Until now I knew what it was and never found it necessary to test or use it in one of my projects. The steps involved using it in blender especially under linux seemed too tedious.

As this project was aiming at photorealism, it was a good opportunity to actually try a linear workflow.

And I have to say I am a convert now. There won’t be any serious projects done without applying a linear workflow.

Continue reading “Linear Workflow in Blender”

New Project: Blender vs. Luxrender

I have started a new project with the goal to have the same scene rendered in blender internal and luxrender.

I hope to get some insight how much additional work has to be done to get the luxrender image done. Furthermore it should be interesting to see how the workflow differs and how to map certain blender goodies ( SSS, multiple materials etc ) to the luxrender world ( if at all possible )

I am still in the process of setting up the scene in blender and will open a WIP thread at blenderartists as well as on the luxrender forum. You can see above a very preliminary preview of how the scene will be composed.

stay tuned …

Luxrender splash screen competition – entry submitted

I have now submitted my final entry to the luxrender v 0.6 splash screen competition. I did not change any things regarding composition, but tweaked the material settings of the bubbles and background a little bit.

The entries are not many, but very diverse. I will be interesting to see, which one will be used as splash.

My final entry can be seen in my 3d showroom.

Luxrender splash screen competition

After a long break in my visible blender activities, I start again with joining the competition for the  splash screen for the new upcoming 0.6 release of luxrender.

Besides some major refactoring and huge speedups two of the features highlighted are thin film coating and motion blur. A big ‘thank you’ to the developers for the huge amount of effort they put already in this evolving little gem.

Being quite late to create something complex I had to resort to simple things, which is a good experience.

You can see here the actual progress so far. The final entry won’t be so different.

First tests with luxrender

I decided to give luxrender a try and get accustomed with its material setup. For those who have not yet came across this new renderer see here for more info.

I find it a highly promising project with after one year of healthy development showing quite an impressive functionality already.

As with all unbiased renderer out there, you pay a high price in terms of render times and turn around cycles. I just recently upgraded to a AMD Phenom quad core system, running about 20 times faster than my old one. This finally gave me the basis to dare to tackle luxrender.

Getting all the material settings right was quite a tedious experience. For the poppy flower i.e. I realize after 2 hours of rendering, that the material was not quite right, so I had to restart again. I think one will have to gather quite some experience until the material

setup get more straight forward and thus faster.

The image you see here is a theme I wanted to do for quite some time, but was not really satisfied with the blenders internal renderer and knew this would be an ideal candidate for an unbiased renderer.

The image is titled ‘The Other Side’. The blend file is available from my Showroom.

Its actually a composite ( done in blender of course ) of the two following separately rendered images.

Render time for each of the images was around 6 hours, with about 3000 samples/pixel.

You will never want to do an animation with luxrender, but for certain setups this is a very good tool to have.

Lightsaber Node setup

I started to put together a (video) tutorial for a complete lightsaber rotoscoping session. The basics – blend file with node setup for the lightsaber effect and a lightsaber mask – are ready, but right now my priority lies with my BWC entry (see wip thread at blenderartists).

Nonetheless, I decided to make the parts public, which I already have.

Download links:

As the BWC 2008 lasts until start of September don’t expect the complete tutorial before October 2008.