MoI as "the Visio of 3D?" Rendering advice please  1-18  19-38  39-45

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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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 From:  omac12
3310.21 
BurrMan, what did you use to render that animation with? Also, my replying seems to be really messed up. I have to reply twice to get one that shows up ... weird.
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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.22 In reply to 3310.18 
Er, wow. How did you do that?!

I have just been playing with Keyshot, which is the only piece of software that has done what I wanted, namely load a model and immediately present me with a semi-rendered model with default lighting that looks OK and with dialogs that make sense to the man-in-the street as opposed to rendering experts. The issues I have so far are that the rendering is not as good as what I have managed to grudgingly dig out of Kerkythea and for $1,000 I need to be sure before I make a decision. On the other hand, I can't even work out how to move the ground plane in Kerkythea and my model is sitting stubbornly half-above, half-below the ground plane. Kerkythea is no Panacea.

Maxwell Render and Octane look impressive but are way too complex for somebody like me. If I can't mouse around and work out how something operates in a few minutes then for a casual user it's not worth it. The process for inserting models in Octane was so well-hidden I had to watch a video to find out how to do it. One for the enthusiasts I think, though I will keep an eye on it.

I was going to end on a huffy note and bitch and moan about the lack of decent rendering software for amateurs, but on reflection (cough) it is perhaps not surprising. For example, the only inexpensive and quick modeller I have yet found is MoI. Why? Perhaps there is no market because normal users vaguely understand that 3D is "hard" and expensive. Thus MoI is basically forging a new market for itself and that's probably a lonely and worrying place to be for a developer at times, though rewarding as well. In the same fashion, there are many free or cheap renderers but none seem to be simple to use for people like myself who, in essence, simply want a studio or softbox environment as a background to a central prop rather than photo-realism. Those renderers that do have this functionality seem to be fairly expensive and thus need a certain level of commitment, so the market for them doesn't expand.

I would say there's a niche in the market here for cheap, straightforward rendering. If we could clone Michael then we could put Michael2 to work on a rendering equivalent to MoI. After all, that's probably the way forward isn't it? 3D representations of the world are surely going to be a bigger part of our lives in 10 years and past experience with word processors, spreadsheets and databases suggests that graceful and useful dumbing down is a necessity for a larger market.

In the meantime, I continue my search...

Dan

PS the attached is not a rendered Keyshot image but is from the preview window. However, renders also display these slightly angular spheres, which suggests to me that I have one of the settings wrong... In Kerkythea I get nice round spheres, but embedded in the ground :-)

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 From:  ycarry
3310.23 In reply to 3310.22 
Hi Dan

>I can't even work out how to move the ground plane in Kerkythea
>and my model is sitting stubbornly half-above, half-below the ground plane.

Simply use the 'put on ground' button: select object and you see it at right
in your case you maybe need to group all spheres before

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 From:  BurrMan
3310.24 In reply to 3310.20 
Hi Omac,
I used Carrara. The little MoI was post Carrara. Thats actually a conversion of the original, which "looks" a bit better, though the animation itself is a little goofy as the beta version of Carrara 8 kept trashing my settings and forcing me to start over. I actually started it with the beta of Bryce to show, since it was mentioned here. The render was looking nice, but the same with the trashing of my scene, so I gave up and did a quick one with Carrara version 7.

If I had a bit more time, I wanted to put the MoI man jumping around from molecule to molecule! The DNA was a nice suggestion.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3310.25 In reply to 3310.21 
Hi omac12,

> Also, my replying seems to be really messed up. I have to
> reply twice to get one that shows up ... weird.

You could try using this link which may clear out some cached forum info which somehow has gone wrong:

http://moi3d.com/forum/logon.php?webtag=MOI&deletecookie=yes

- Michael
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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.26 In reply to 3310.23 
">Simply use the 'put on ground' button: select object and you see it at right"

ycarry, thank you for the tip-off, it was indeed simple. I spent quite some time poring over the interface to find something like that (TurboCAD has the equivalent so I thought Kerkythea should) but I never noticed the ground, stack and center buttons floating there at the right.

However, my argument - which I don't want to develop here, because this is a forum for MoI - is that it needs to be even easier. My argument is not that these packages are incapable of stunning images in experienced and diligent hands: the galleries show that is possible. My argument is that only one of the half-dozen renderers I have tried is intuitive for a beginner to use, a problem that restricts demand to those who have the time to dedicate to mastering a renderer. Keyshot picked up my model, retained the materials, put the objects on the ground plane, lit them with sensible default options and put the whole thing right in front of me looking impressive. Nothing else did that. Why not? I'm staggered! When I was a student I was money-poor and time-rich and I thought nothing of spending weeks learning a new piece of software. Twenty years later I'm money-rich and time-poor. I literally cannot afford the time to spend weeks battling with software that doesn't want to help me. So at this point it's looking like Keyshot: Luxion wins the competition for my $995 and everybody else loses.

Returning to MoI, I handed over my $195 to Michael Gibson and will be paying more for the upgrade to v2.0 the instant it is released because I was making useful images with it 10 minutes after I started using it. Visio engendered the same "Aha!" moment in me when I tried v4 in 1995 or 1996 and that's why I labelled the thread "the Visio of 3D". Like Visio, MoI has a lot of depth but the UI focuses on reducing the time investment required to do something useful with the software. For $295 it seems like a bargain.

Regards
Dan
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 From:  BurrMan
3310.27 In reply to 3310.26 
Hi Dan,
The reason that KeyShot is fast/simple and produces great results is "That's what it was designed for". Simple fast photo realistic output.

The others have user definable areas that dont exist in Keyshot. This is the tradeoff. I can get basic results with keyshot. The others have more user control and definable properties.

You pretty much explained that pretty well. If keyshot had all that built into it also, you would have to spend a bunch of time digging through it also, to find what you were looking for.

It's kindof like, render a ball with keyshot = 2 click's. But try to render a "TREE" with keyshot.
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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.28 In reply to 3310.27 
I agree completely BurrMan; rendering Avatar might be a bit beyond Keyshot ;-)

It really is horses for courses. That doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is that there is so little software that is aimed at interested beginners. After all, by the very nature of things, there are far more people who might be somewhat interested in 3D modelling and rendering than people who are very interested in 3D modelling and rendering, just as there are far more people who are casually interested in cooking than there are people who are interested in taking professional cooking qualifications. By analogy the rendering software market at the moment requires you to sign up for a 20-week course when all you want to do is learn how to throw together a chili for the Monday night game. No doubt this will change.

Dan
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3310.29 In reply to 3310.26 
Hi Dan, yeah unfortunately making something that is easy and friendly to use is perversely quite difficult from a UI design standpoint.

That most likely has something to do with why you are not finding a lot of renderers without any learning curve. It's something that is really easily lost just simply by adding in a bunch of things without a careful initial plan for maintaining simplicity when it all comes together.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3310.30 In reply to 3310.28 
Hi Dan,

> What surprises me is that there is so little software that is
> aimed at interested beginners.

Another way I'd put it - one reason why there is so little software that fits into this category is because it is actually more difficult to design that kind of software...

I wish it was easy to design things that are powerful and that were also easy to use, but as far as I can tell it is exactly the opposite - it takes a much greater amount of effort and skill to do that.

Then the other unfortunate thing is that often times your reward at the end of all that effort of targeting beginners is that your software can be derided as a "toy"...


One way that I look at it though is that making things simplified and having a smooth and fluid workflow is actually not only beneficial to beginners, but also advanced users in quite a few cases as well, because getting some kinds of things done very quickly can actually be very useful to advanced users.


- Michael
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 From:  BurrMan
3310.31 In reply to 3310.28 
>>>>>What surprises me is that there is so little software that is aimed at interested beginners.>>>>

Perhaps why Keyshot is such a popular and successful renderer! A 1 day learning curve. Though it's UI is horrible.
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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.32 In reply to 3310.30 
>Then the other unfortunate thing is that often times your reward at the end of all that effort
>of targeting beginners is that your software can be derided as a "toy"...

Sounds like the voice of bitter experience. But hey, leaves more of the market for you, right?

Dan
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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.33 In reply to 3310.30 
Incidentally, I notice that when rendering MoI models in Keyshot they come out fine, but when using Kerkythea the model appears to have "fallen over" into a different plane. Do different modellers have different Z or Y directions? In something like a 2D Excel chart Y is always up, but in MoI we seem to have Z is up, X is left to right and Y is front/back depth. Is this normal in modellers or is MoI unusual?

Dan
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 From:  omac12
3310.34 In reply to 3310.33 
Yes, it varies sometimes so all the professional 3d programs I've seen allow you to change those settings on export. Also, I was still working on your question about 3d rendering because it's something that has always interested me. I've got a few renderers of the pro level even though I'm a hobbyist, but I always keep my eyes open for something I can recommend to a friend. I was just looking at pov-ray again after years. The renderer is still excellent but is only command-line. While looking for a front-end for it I discovered that Pose-ray still works well in windows xp. It is a kind of kludgey interface, but it does exactly what it says. You install it and pov-ray then point poseray to the pov-ray executable. It imports .3ds .pov and .obj well. I tested it out and the only thing I couldn't get was the ground plane and global illumination. It's an extremely simple setup. I really liked it. I'm going to look for other pov-ray front ends, and maybe I'll post a test here if I can get it working to my satisfaction.

P.S. Michael, that seems to have fixed the posting problem. It looks right so far. Thank you.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3310.35 In reply to 3310.33 
Hi Dan , yeah different applications can use different axis directions for the "up" direction.

For exporting out of MoI to OBJ format, there is an option you can set to adjust this here:



If you flip that "Orientation" option to the other setting before you export to Kerkythea that should automatically rotate the object and solve the problem. Switch it back again when you want to export to Keyshot.


> In something like a 2D Excel chart Y is always up, but in MoI
> we seem to have Z is up, X is left to right and Y is front/back
> depth. Is this normal in modellers or is MoI unusual?

Historically, for both mathematics and most construction industries, the method MoI uses is more common - that's where X and Y have a 2D sense as in a blueprint laying flat on a tabletop, and then Z is the elevation or "up" direction.

But it is not unusual for programs that are focused on bitmap image generation rather than on actual physical construction to use a different layout with X and Y meaning 2D on the computer screen and Z going inwards to the screen.

In MoI v2 you can change the axis labels to something that you are more comfortable with if you want, by going to Options > View > Axis labels. That allows you to view and type in x,y,z coordinates referring to whichever axis directions you want for each one. This axis labels setting does not have any effect on import/export though, it just changes how coordinates are displayed in the UI and how x,y,z typed inputs are interpreted.

- Michael

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 From:  Brian (BWTR)
3310.36 In reply to 3310.20 
Mine was in Carrara if of interest
Brian

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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.37 In reply to 3310.36 
Brian, what can I say?! Your lattice is a heck of a lot bigger than my lattice!
Did you effectively just copy and paste that together? In my smaller version I used copy en masse for the sticks but added the balls (atoms) by hand using copy later.

Dan
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 From:  Dan (CORNYSH)
3310.38 In reply to 3310.35 
Thank you Michael, that worked very well for exports to Kerkythea.

Dan
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