Noob questions about Thea Render

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Noob questions about Thea Render

Postby JonFar » Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:41 pm

I've been trying Thea because so many power users in this forum use it.

From what I have seen, Presto AO is very fast (with a Nvidia GPU) and, although I'm not a rendering expert, I can get the same quality I get with VRay.


Here is my question: I tried a model of my own that I had previously rendered with VRay (30+ minutes interior render @ 1080p)
And I get the same result in Presto AO in ~3 minutes -- the same ISO, Shutter and F-number I have in the VRay render.

But when I try the other options (TR1, TR2, etc) the image is much much darker.
Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?



And also, do you guys use Presto for previews and then TR1/TR2 for production renders?
Cause I dont get it... why have TR1/TR2 if Presto is much much faster?
Maybe I'm missing something, could you please enlighten me?
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Re: Noob questions about Thea Render

Postby Pixero » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:03 pm

I'll try to answer some of your questions.
Before Presto I used TR1 most of the time. Now I usually use Presto AO as its very fast and looks good for the type of images I mostly do. My guess why your Presto AO renders are brighter is that you are using Ambient Occlusion that adds a ambient light.
Try turning it off and see if that makes it look more similar.
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Re: Noob questions about Thea Render

Postby solo » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:11 pm

Try Presto MC (if you have glass in your scene then turn up the tracing depth to about 10) I find Presto MC gives best results.
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Re: Noob questions about Thea Render

Postby JQL » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:22 pm

TR1 and TR2 are full featured and they support every effect from caustics, to sss to extreme accuracy in path tracing.

Presto MC is, from the two Presto Engines the one that behaves closer to those.

Presto AO is faster and the results are very good already if you take away AO, as Pixero said.

If you use procedurals and dont wan't to have such long render times, you can try AMC wich is a less accurate engine than TR1 and TR2 and works only with CPU. It might be closer to Presto speed only on CPU but supports more Thea features.
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Re: Noob questions about Thea Render

Postby JonFar » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:27 am

Thanks guys.

Yes, I was using ambient occlusion, that explains it.
I didnt think about that because with VRay even if I switch off the AO it doesnt get that much darker. Only affects corners and such.

I was just wondering if Thea is worth it, if I'm only going to use Presto AO...
Cause I thought you guys always used TR1/2 for production.
And it feels a bit "wrong" to invest in a software that has better and more accurate unbiased options for rendering, and then only use the "quick" and less accurate Presto with AO...

But, I guess, whatever makes me happy with my renders, right?

Thanks for the help.
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Re: Noob questions about Thea Render

Postby JQL » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:20 pm

I only use presto for production now.
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Re: Noob questions about Thea Render

Postby NigeC » Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:03 pm

It all depends on what you want to do, a lot of people still use the BSD engine, if you a VRay-ish look its the one to go for, or if you're into a lot of glass/caustics, SSS, medium pools etc TR1/TR2 or even AMC.. ultimately its based on the time you have, and Presto beats the others for speed
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