Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby pep75 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:33 pm

Hi All!

I just bought/installed the stand-alone Maxwell plug-in for Sketchup, but it is sooooooooooooooooooooo slooooooowowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww......my goodness....I thought that it could only be soooooo slooooowwwwwww in the free version and that the "production" renderer would much faster. Does anyone has the same experience? At moment a 1000px with SL:12 is rendering a simple scene and it take houres!!!!!!! pffff

Grtzzz
Pep

ps: I have an I7-core processor...
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jeff hammond » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:38 pm

simple scene maybe but how about the materials?
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby pep75 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:54 pm

Hi Jeff,

Actually I haven't done anything with the materials...no emitters/reflection/bump or anything...just a plain render and a sky dome....mmmm...Man I'm dissapointed...I thought this would save me! :(

What's your SL-setting for your finals?
grtzz
Pep
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jeff hammond » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:04 pm

I've been using 15 as the sl and they've been finishing in about 15 minutes.

there's a setting in the fire window (not the scene mngr) in which you can bump up the cores being used.
I've been setting it to 1 less than the total amount I have available.

for instance, on my laptop which has a dual core i7, I've been setting maxwell to use 3 cores. (since the i7 has virtual cores as well.. in effect, my dual core laptop is a quad)
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jason_maranto » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:07 pm

That's definitely not normal -- are you using any Displacement or the Simulens effects? Those will slow down the render significantly.

But barring any issues with the model or materials the render should only take a few minutes (at most) at that size and SL.

If you care to PM me the model I can take a look for you.

Edit: Good call on the cores -- as a general rule of thumb I always leave mine set at 0 so that Maxwell will automatically use whatever is available.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby pep75 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:17 pm

Thanks for the replies!

Well the model is a stand wich I just loaded and I only use the default settings....Within the renderer I turned on 8 threads. The attached image took 40 minutes with a SL-12(!) setting.
And as you can see I don't use any effect or whatsoever...

Strange...
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jeff hammond » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:18 pm

oh.. didn't realize you could set it to 0 for use all available.
that's the way I've wanted to set it up but couldn't figure it out
thanks
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jason_maranto » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:36 pm

You will have better results setting the cores to 0 than 8.

As I say if you'd like to share the model via PM I will take a look at it, it is very difficult for me to diagnose problems via text since I am more of a hands-on guy... but I think in this instance I can quickly help you gain not only speed but quality as well.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby pep75 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:05 pm

Hey Jason,

That's very kind of you and I understand what you mean, but I can't give you this model (case sensitive)...shall I make a test-setup?

Grtzz
Pep
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jason_maranto » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:11 pm

Sure, if it reproduces the issue.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby pep75 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:07 pm

Okay here we go! Attached to this post there's a render which has a resolution of 800x600. I've rendered this scene with SL on 12 and took 8 minutes! An image with this quality I normally render with Cinema4d in a minute or less...I can't believe that Maxwell is so antique. It's also still so grainy!

Don't middenstander me...I love the way Maxwell is integrated in SU, it's the first render-plugin that does the job well in case of the UI...but the speed is unacceptable..

forget my frustration...sorry...It's probably my dissapointment...

I'm so curious how fast you render this!!
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jeff hammond » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:59 pm

pep75 wrote: An image with this quality I normally render with Cinema4d in a minute or less...I can't believe that Maxwell is so antique. It's also still so grainy!


oh wait, you're comparing different types of rendering engines here (basically biased vs. non-biased)

yeah, maxwell is going to lose in that dept.. i guess it's up to you to decide if the setup speed and overall quality of the final images are enough of a trade off for longer rendering times..

i'm glad you didn't kick down the full $thousand ;)
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby pep75 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:57 pm

:oops: ...hahaha...yeah I'm glad I didn't! But why can't life be perfect at last?!

grtzzz
Pep
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jason_maranto » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:21 am

Yes 8 minutes to SL12 sounds more or less reasonable for an interior scene like this for Maxwell -- I have been out of the office for the last several hours because it is a holiday here in the states but I'll check it out first thing in the morning on my system.

There is a reason for the noise when setting up interior emitters which are competing with Sun and Sky from the Maxwell physical sky -- basically the fault is that the light from outside is much more powerful than the emitter materials so it gets priority from Maxwell (which prioritizes strong light sources) but leaves the lower powered emitters looking unfinished longer. However they will render clear given enough time.

Ironically there is a Maxwell plugin for C4D as well and it is written by the same person as the SketchUp plugin so it operates in a very similar fashion... if you did have the full Maxwell Render Suite then you would be able to use Maxwell as the render engine from both software's at no extra charge.

Biased vs Unbiased I've seen alot of examples and arguments for both but in the final analysis for me it always comes down to the quality of light and to my eyes unbiased render engines just look better... I think of it as "the tortoise and the hare".

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby pep75 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:26 am

Hey Jason!

Thanks for your answer! But I think the global illumination in C4D has an comparable quality and is much faster...I was getting tired of the model-exchange between c4D en Sketchup en this seemed to be the solution. Okay, well....But how long does it take for you to make a full hd visual with Maxwell?

Grtzz
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jason_maranto » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:07 am

Time to render is completely scene dependent -- there is no rule I can give other than some general guidelines about things to avoid unless absolutely necessary.

The scene you set up here is known as one of the most difficult for Maxwell to resolve quickly -- (Physical Sky & interior with emitters). In Maxwell lighting is everything, so even though the materialization here is basic, changing the look of the materials would have little impact for the most part since the light power disparity is the issue that Maxwell has to overcome.

There are strategies to work around that -- one approach would be to use IBL instead of the Physical Sky system and use a low intensity to bring a better balance to the relative power of the light sources in the scene... obviously adjusting the EV would be necessary as well.

I'll be in the studio in a few hours and I'll test it then.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jason_maranto » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:48 pm

I set up a basic grey groundplane (in environments) so the outside lighting would be slightly more realistic -- the physical sky repeats itself below the horizon but obviously that is not the way things would be in the real world.

I also saved an EXR file (from Maxwell Studio) of your physical sky settings and used that for IBL within the plugin... I set the intensity to 0.025 which would bring it much more in line with the power of the emitter materials.

The reason I used an output of your Sky settings is to more closely approximate your existing render but this can be done with any HDR/EXR based IBL solution.

I also increased the fStop to 48 since you really didn't have any depth of field effects in the scene anyway and infinity focus will often render somewhat quicker.

It took about 12 minutes to render to SL12 but I'm on an older i7 920, so I would expect your time to be better with a more powerful modern processor. But generally the results look as good if not more realistic (less blue light on the ceiling) and still similar to what you had without as much noise at the same SL (especially near the light fixtures).

testmodel.jpg

As an interesting experiment I also output this to the full Maxwell Render Suite and the render time to SL12 dropped to about 9 minutes for me (about 33% faster) -- I would assume this is a performance increase due to the fact that I don't have SketchUp running as well (using up resources).

I also let the render run to my typical "finished" SL of 20 (sometimes I'll run longer but usually SL20 will get the results I want) which took 3h45m and generally looks clear to me.

testmodel_final.jpg

Typically I leave my more complex renders running overnight so I don't waste alot of time waiting. Besides my computer isn't doing anything else to earn it's keep at night so I might as well put it to work :lol:
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby pep75 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:15 pm

Wow Jason!

Great!!! It's also great to see the difference between the sl-20 and sl-12 render. I'm "glad" to see that is is indeed quit slow... :? I also don't have a state of the art processor (I7 950) so I hope this will go much faster when I buy a new one.

It's actually very handy to have different renders with different SL-values, so you can easily see which suit you most! But 3hours to make a render? I usually need 8 or 10 renders in my presentation....You can look on our site www.qupix.nl to see my renders. I always completely model them in SU and export them to C4D.

Well Jason, again thanks for your effort!
Grtz
Pep
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jason_maranto » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:28 pm

I said several posts back that your time was pretty typical for the type of scene you posted -- if you didn't understand what I said or why I said it then that's on you.

I think I've been pretty clear in everything I've said (in the other thread) that if you are making a living from rendering then you should definitely be using the full Maxwell Render Suite instead (and taking advantage of the those 5 free render nodes). This plugin was never intended to be a replacement for a render heavy workflow -- and if speed is your primary concern then there are many more suitable rendering solutions to choose from.

Also, for what it's worth I'm just another user, I don't represent anybody but myself -- you've got the license so take it to the Maxwell forum if you are really that incensed.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jason_maranto » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:23 pm

Alright I've had a few days away from this thread and I thought I'd try to help you one more time to understand some basic things about how Maxwell works and why what you choose to do was a really bad example of what Maxwell is capable of.

First is a version of your scene -- beyond lighting, the only changes I made was to materialize all your geometry and add AGS "windows" as well as some (hidden to camera) walls to provide more realistic reflected light inside the "room".

I rendered both version to SL 12 and both took about 28 minutes, but as you can see even with a difficult lighting scenario both are less noisy as SL 12 than the scene as you wanted to light it... I prefer the look of the one with IBL as is has more subtlety.
Sky_SL12_28m.jpg

IBL_SL12_28m.jpg


As I said this is a poor model to show off Maxwell because the lighting setup is not very optimized and the geometry is very poorly modeled.

Here's a model (from this thread) that is VERY highly detailed (at 67mb for the SketchUp file). The first render is simply the Maxwell Physcial Sky and took 6.5 minutes to reach SL12. The next 2 examples are lit with IBL and they both took under 4 minutes to reach SL12(and are very clean).

HMCS SNOWBERRY_SL12_6.5m.jpg

HMCS SNOWBERRY_SL12_4m.jpg

HMCS SNOWBERRY_SL12_4m_alt.jpg


Hopefully you will begin to see that Maxwell is very capable of good speed while handling very complex models -- it is just dependent on exactly what you are trying to render and how you are lighting it as to how fast and how noisy it will be at any given SL.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby pep75 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:55 pm

Hey Jason! Thanks!! I'll give it some time...

grtzzz
Pep
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby valerostudio » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:44 pm

There is a thread on another forum site that asks why Maxwell is not are mainstream as V-Ray and just about everyone said the same thing. Speed. One person even said his client preferred the biased rendering over the unbiased one. It all depends on your workflow, your client, and what your trying to accomplish. I have been on the fence about Maxwell for a long time and when this plug-in came out I was excited to see it inside of SU. But when I am in a crunch, I stick to biased V-Ray to get renderings out fast. We are at a turning point in rendering technologies that will shift over to biased and real time technologies. Maxwell is ahead of the curve, so learning it now puts you in a good place in the future.
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby pep75 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:08 pm

...I'll see...but I think they will have to act fast. I've worked with it now for a few days and the UI is great, works like a charm within SU. This actually could be an unbeatable workflow, BUT I still think, after have read all the pro's of Maxwell, the speed is disastrous. I really hope the will solve this soon...
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby valerostudio » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:02 pm

The offer they have right now where they give you 5 free render nodes is their immediate solution to speed. If you have a few workstations you can farm together this will cut render times down a lot. Also, you need a pretty decent processor if your machine is solely going to chug through these. I recommend an i7 if you dont already have one. Speed vs Quality is what the Maxwell folks will tell you. Unfortunately most clients do not care about quality over "need it yesterday". The ones that do care pay more. :D
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby jason_maranto » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:25 pm

Yep, a dual i7 setup is my dream machine... but hardware is constantly improving so a time will come when these things are really not such a big deal. Already in the short time Maxwell has existed the processing power of the average render machine has tripled (or more).

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby valerostudio » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:44 pm

Just order a 6-core i7 on HP.com. Really good deals on there.
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Re: Render Settings Maxwell Render Stand Alone

Postby Burkhard » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:05 am

About the Mainstream like V-ray....
Have you ever teached Autocad users to Sketchup? They only ask me why Sketchup has not this or that function and tend
to make Sketchup to be a primitive Software. They are often sluggish to change the way of thinking. No offending, but I have my autocad spinsters along my courses :-) So Autocad will be the leader in the next years...that's mainstream.
But that's in general with human thinking.
V-Ray stays longer on the market and have a great customer community. So it is Mainstream, too. In the Render Community, where Professionals are working, the names are beside each other. Who needs speed tend to V-Ray, who needs quality tend to Maxwell.( biased and unbiased are quite different to compare ) The V-Ray comunity is larger by nature, not more.
You'll find a lot of Help for V-Ray - here in the Forum too. Let's say single supported :D

I thought the same about Maxwell and be on the track to learn it deeper. Now the Pluggin is really well implemented- thanks to JD- and well documented - thanks Jason too - so it makes it a lot easier now. Although - shame to me - I'm Maxwell owner since the alpha stages ;-)

Congretulation for a 6- core I7
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