MoI as "the Visio of 3D?" Rendering advice please  1-20  21-40  41-45

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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.1 
I am increasingly using 3D images in place of 2D images for business presentations and the like. This has more visual pizazz than 2D and of course in some cases 3D is far easier to understand. For 2D I have used Visio for a decade with great results for even quite complex images. For 3D I have battled with TurboCAD sporadically over the years, but although the 2D features are superb I find the 3D module far too complex for a user like myself who may only use it once every month or two.

Accordingly I have been looking for something else. I have been playing with MoI 1.1 with a few days and two things really stand out: first, I really like the way Michael has started afresh with the interface and focused on reducing it to essentials. For me it is intuitive and a snap to learn. Second, I appreciate the way Michael gets involved in forum discussions and actively tries to improve the product: it gives me confidence in MoI's future.

The MoI models I want to create would be diverse, ranging from crude 3D block diagrams to small mechanical parts. All of this would be for illustrative rather than engineering purposes, so I don't need ultimate precision or photo-realistic rendering. Something I want to tackle this weekend is creating my own model of the molecular lattice in this image I found on the internet:



It seems to me that the lattice should be easy enough - create a cube and shell it, then remove the bulk of each face to create a cuboid cage, maybe fillet the struts of the cage, then add a sphere at each corner (though I've not quite worked out how to get really precise positioning in MoI). Then I could just copy the cube to form a three-dimensional array of cubes; I would probably need to mess around a little but it doesn't look too challenging.

BUT..... once I've made it, I need to render it!

This is the problem: where can I find software that is as easy to use for rendering as MoI is for modelling? My needs are simple - typically I need just a few colours and some ambient light - and TurboCAD is so complex that I have to spend hours messing around with it every time I open it. For use with MoI the least challenging combination I have seen suggested so far is Sketchup and Podium, with the minimalist interface of the latter looking very attractive. I will try this, but it would be nice if I could avoid the extra step learning how to use Sketchup as well.

Ideally I would like to export the model from MoI and move straight to the renderer. I am prepared to invest money in this although dropping $1,000 on something like KeyShot/HyperShot would perhaps be difficult to justify given the limited use it would probably get.

So if anybody has any suggestions for very easy-to-use rendering packages for MoI models, I would be very grateful.

Thanks
Dan
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 From:  Ralf-S
3310.2 In reply to 3310.1 
Hi Dan,

Please try : 3D Paintbrush
Link: http://www.3dpaintbrush.com/
99,- € her in Germany...and works great with MOI3D :)
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 From:  Phil (PHILBO)
3310.3 In reply to 3310.2 
You can also check out Octane Render. Check out the video I put together (using a ship that I made with MOI).

www.refractivesoftware.com

Phil Beauchamp
Refractive Software
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 From:  BurrMan
3310.4 In reply to 3310.1 
How about just using MoI to render it?

EDITED: 19 Jun 2012 by BURRMAN

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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.5 In reply to 3310.4 
Thanks to Ralf and Phil for their suggestions - duly noted.

>How about just using MoI to render it?

BurrMan, this is kind of embarassing but I didn't realise that this was possible. Have I completely overlooked an entire facet of MoI? :-) Is this in the 2.0 beta; if so I must have a play with it.

May I ask you for a look at the model you created and perhaps a few words on how you approached it? It doesn't seem to have taken you much time to put together.

Cheers
Dan
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 From:  BurrMan
3310.6 In reply to 3310.5 
Hi Dan,
It is the new lighting and Styles in MoI. I think it can be very appealing.

I didnt really make a plan. Just kindof hacked it out, but V2 has many advantages over the V1. It really isnt a beta. If you own the V1, you should be using V2.

Here's the file.



Not sure what you can see from this file though your welcome to use it. The features that made it so quick are in the new version. I basically did this with drag and drop snapping. I should have probably used the array tool to make it quick, but then I would have had to think.

There are some new array tools in the V2 that would allow me to do things more complex and just as fast. I could use the import part feature and make one molecule, then import 40 or 50 in about 2 minutes ( as fast as I could keyboard-click, keyboard-click.

Anyway,

Talk later

EDITED: 19 Jun 2012 by BURRMAN

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 From:  Michael Gibson
3310.7 In reply to 3310.1 
Hi Dan, I'm glad that you like MoI's UI focus!

re: easy to use renderers - yes they do not seem to be as common as you might think, it tends to be more common for rendering to be part of some big package that does a zillion other things as well.

Some good suggestions above, and there was another renderers discussion not too long ago in this other thread:
http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=3136.1

- Michael
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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.8 In reply to 3310.7 
Michael, with BurrMan's kind example in front of me I managed to throw together a lattice in short order. The main "aha!" moment was when I was having difficult aligning the atoms with the "sticks"; I realised that using sticks sharpened like pencils at both ends (i.e. with cones on them) would allow me to place spheres very accurately at the intersection of the sticks. Once that was in place I simply used copy and snap and it made everything very easy. I'd even go as far as to say it was actually fun.

While the on-screen representation is OK, I think I need to play with the lights and other options further as my screenshot is not as pretty as the one BurrMan uploaded. Either that or keep looking for renderers - the thread to which you referred me was useful.

I have a question: the lattice is simple but there are many elements: 90 sticks and 60 atoms per lattice and I have two lattices plus in addition another couple of hundred atoms hanging around between lattices, a product of the array tool. This slows the PC down a little. Can I do anything to speed things up? For example, if I do a boolean union on the sticks (which presumably just touch each other at their points) and the atoms in the lattice, would that make life easier for MoI?

Thanks
Dan

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 From:  Michael Gibson
3310.9 In reply to 3310.8 
Hi Dan,

> For example, if I do a boolean union on the sticks (which
> presumably just touch each other at their points) and the
> atoms in the lattice, would that make life easier for MoI?

Probably not from a display speed standpoint. Probably it would make things a bit more complex since when you do a boolean more edges are created and the geometry is somewhat more complex with more edges.


> Can I do anything to speed things up?

A couple of things - first you can adjust the display mesh density to be coarser. By default MoI creates a rather dense display mesh which looks nice but which generates a lot of polygons.

To reduce the display mesh density, go to Options > View > Meshing parameters, and set "Mesh angle" to a coarser angle like 20 degrees, and uncheck "Add detail to inflections". That will make for a somewhat rougher display on the screen but also reduce polygon count and speed things up.

Also drawing edges can tend to be more time consuming than surfaces, so you may want to hide all edges to get a display speed boost. In v2 you can do that quickly by going to the "Types" section in the Scene Browser, which lets you access all objects of a certain type in the model, like all solids, all curves, etc... - there is also an "Edges" entry there and if you click the little eye icon next to Edges it will hide all edges.

Also turn off the hidden-line display, that's available in v2 in the View palette - checkbox labeled "Display hidden lines".


If you do want to take a MoI screenshot as your render, it is possible to generate a higher resolution image to the clipboard. If you then shrink that down in an image editor it will tend to look nicer - check out this previous post for the higher res screenshot script:
http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=1049.5

- Michael
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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.10 In reply to 3310.9 
Michael, thanks for the tip for the screenshots, that works really well and the images are great.
I have experimented with the various display options and things are snappier now.

The model is looking good. For things like true transparency (i.e. not hiding faces) I will have to look at rendering but no worries.

Dan
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 From:  BurrMan
3310.11 In reply to 3310.10 
Hi Dan,
In MoI V2 under the options view dialogue there is a lighting options button. The "Metalic lighting" changes things a bit. I think that is what you are seeing as the difference between mine and yours.

Looks good brother!

Another quick note on copy+draging things in MoI...If you hold down the Ctrl key and click and drag an object, it will drag out a copy from that. One step.

Many things you will find in MoI have been designed for 2-3 clicks = done!

EDITED: 10 Feb 2010 by BURRMAN

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 From:  omac12
3310.12 In reply to 3310.1 
Hi, Dan
I'm entering a late entry for your rendering question. Apparently Bryce 5.5 free is still available. You download it from here: http://download.cnet.com/Bryce/3000-6677_4-10974201.html?tag=mncol and then you will have to register with Daz 3d for a serial. It's an old program, and it renders very slowly, but for your purposes it might be ideal. You would only need to learn how to move models, cameras and lights and apply materials since you will be modelling in MOI. Just another option.
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 From:  Marc (TELLIER)
3310.13 
Hi Dan,

I also include a lot of 3d stuff in my illustrations.
In many circumstances I don't have to use another renderer to do the job for simple projects.
With the new lightning options in V2, just a screenshot does the job.

Even for 2d drawings, Moi3d have superior snapping and great functions.
Tools like Booleans and Blend works in 2d.

Marc
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 From:  WillBellJr
3310.14 
Yes, if you already have a license to v1, definitely start using the v2 beta - you're missing out on so many wonderful new features if you're not!


Also don't forget to use the array tools - it might be easier to select a single sphere and then using the array tools, specify how many copies you want and then set your direction.

I've never used it but I believe there's a grid array function also?


Enjoy!

-Will
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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.15 In reply to 3310.14 
Thanks once again to all those who responded with advice and pointers - much appreciated and very heartening.
2.0 beta is indeed very nice.

Dan
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3310.16 In reply to 3310.15 
Hi Dan, just a quick note - there is a collection of all the v2 beta release notes available here:
http://kyticka.webzdarma.cz/3d/moi/doc/V2releasenotes.html

That contains all the notes on what is new in v2.

- Michael
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 From:  BurrMan
3310.17 In reply to 3310.12 
>>>>>Hi, Dan
I'm entering a late entry for your rendering question. Apparently Bryce 5.5 free is still available. >>>>>>>.

I actually like Bryce also for certain materials. very mechanical/hard surface things can be done very well with Bryce.
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 From:  BurrMan
3310.18 In reply to 3310.17 

EDITED: 19 Jun 2012 by BURRMAN

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
3310.19 In reply to 3310.18 
Cool !
Now with a DNA ;)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery
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 From:  omac12
3310.20 In reply to 3310.19 
BurrMan, what was that animation rendered with?
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