Presto Channel Support and Relight

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giannis
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:42 pm

Dear friends,

one of the new things that are coming with v1.4 is channel support for the Presto engine.

Initially, we had something else in mind in order to add support; to have two-pass rendering using another engine (eg. Adaptive BSD). What seemed to be the right way to go, was at the end rejected: getting the channels done by Presto simply proved to be both faster and more streamlined and not that hard after all! :)

But not just that: while we were at it, we also thought to push channels further. And we went on by adding all channels currently supported in Adaptive BSD and more:
- UV & Position Channels: these are new channels added to all render engines.
- Mask Channel: it is like an alpha channel but for selected objects. Helps getting the silhouette of one or more objects in a single render and it has been added to all render engines.
- Shadow Channel: a Presto exclusive channel currently, where the shadow can be rendered alone in a separate image.
- Raw Diffuse Color / Raw Direct Lighting / Raw Global Illumination: Presto exclusive channels.
- Separate Passes per Light: Presto exclusive option, where multiple buffers - for selected passes (Diffuse/Reflection/Refraction) - can be allocated and computed per light.
- On top of these, Relight is also supported now by Presto!

One might ask, does the channel computation affect speed?
No, the performance penalty is rather minimum and I can say negligible in most cases.

What can be an issue, particularly for GPUs, is that all these buffers must simultaneously fit in GPU memory. But we have managed to tackle this with another tech advance; bucket rendering. This could be the subject of another tech announcement, if we have the time to make it before publishing new version. ;)

Best wishes


THREE IMAGES FROM THE SPACESHIP RELIGHT SEQUENCE
urban_03_aa06.jpg
urban_03_aa07.jpg
urban_03_aa08.jpg

SOME CHANNELS PUT TOGETHER FROM THE SPACESHIP SEQUENCE
urban_4_render_8.jpg

AN IMAGE CREATED IN POST PROCESSING, USING SHADOW CHANNEL
MeccanoWithShadow.png
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warnotte
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:58 pm

:thumbup: :clap:
hotwassabi
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:20 pm

Bravo :thumbup:
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JQL
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:04 pm

This seems to be great!
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:48 pm

Woohoo! Wonderful
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Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:59 pm

I almost hear the bells and smell the candles - Christmas is near!
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Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:46 am

Wonderful ! :clap:
Peter H
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Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:25 pm

This is exactly what we are looking for!!! This will make our job much more easier again. I really like the way that Thea goes. Great job guys!!! My only dream is Rhino plugin for now ;)

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Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:12 am

Giannis, this looks like a great release, but I hope that with the new Channel support in Presto, some of the current issues with Alpha Channels....not just regarding Presto, but in all the engines...can be ironed out. One major problem I see is that even with "Alpha Channel" checked in the Unbiased engine's render settings, most of the output file formats do not save an alpha channel with them.

The only option for saving it with a file is at the bottom of the list, under PNG w/ Alpha. And even then, the file opened in Photoshop is semi-transparent. You can see a discussion about this in the following thread:
http://www.thearender.com/forum/viewtop ... 54&t=16020

I hope all the output formats (that allow embedded alpha channels)...ie, TGA, PNG, EXR, TIFF ... in 1.4 will store Alpha Channels just like they do with other rendering solutions. We really shouldn't have to deal with work-arounds any longer.
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giannis
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Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:08 pm

There are at least 2 issues with Alpha that we have in mind and are going to be "fixed". Also, note that we are working on multi-layer EXR saving, so as to pack all channels in a single image.

One thing that I need to better understand: do we need all channels/passes to use the alpha channel, when saved on disk?

Best wishes
Science may limit knowledge but should never limit imagination - Bertrand Russell
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