Any tips for a newcomer?

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Any tips for a newcomer?

Postby JonFar » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:11 am

Hey guys.

I've been a VRay user for some time but I'm thinking about trying Thea now.
For many reasons but mainly because VRay is way too complicated for my work style.

The goal in my renders is to get close to Alex Hogrefe's style.
Of course I'm nowhere near as good, but my workflow is similar: basic render in VRay and the bulk of work done in Photoshop

My 2 questions:

1. is Thea good for that kind of quick basic renders?
I ask this because I like the simplicity of an unbiased renderer, but I dont want to have to wait 2+ hours to get rid of the noise and have a clear image.
(I know Thea has BSD option, but for a biased render I'll stick to VRay)

2. any tips on what to avoid?
e.g.: VRay slows down if one uses too much glossiness and highlights on materials. So what about Thea, what slows it down?
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Re: Any tips for a newcomer?

Postby Rich O Brien » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:20 am

Thea's Biased Engine is very fast especially the GPU Presto Engine.

It give you total control over diffuse and tracing depth. If it's quick & simple renders you need then Presto would be the way to go.

It also has a lot of preset render setups that typically resolve quite quickly.

It's a good idea to look at what settings they use in the Production tab to grasp what works for what scenario.

Guys like Solo also have their own presets they tend to share on the Thea forums.
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Re: Any tips for a newcomer?

Postby JQL » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:33 pm

And for that kind of work Thea outputs a lot of render channels that you can use within Photoshop.

You can do those in Presto and BSD engines very very fast.
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Re: Any tips for a newcomer?

Postby Hieru » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:29 pm

Personally I find Thea's BSD engine too complex (far too many parameters to consider; but not as many as Vray ;) ). By comparison Presto has very few settings to adjust and Presto AO will knock out the sort of basic renders required very quickly...as in a few minutes per render.

The added bonus is that Presto AO (using a low AO setting e.g. 0.1-0.2) will give you fast results but with more realism than BSD. In theory that should cut down the amount of post-pro required.
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Re: Any tips for a newcomer?

Postby Pixero » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:32 pm

Thea is very fast for interactive renders. If you have a Nvidia card you can use Presto engine (AO, or MC) which uses both the GPU and CPU for rendering.
For complex scenes you can use bucket rendering to minimize memory use. I've been able to make highres renders on my laptop with only a 2GB GPU.

The CPU engines are also great but will take a bit longer to render.
All in all the set up times are much quicker than with Vray so you can start rendering quicker.

I also always render out alpha, material- and object ID channels to quickly make selections in Photoshop. You can even save all the channels as a 32 bit layered PSD file.

You should avoid intersecting lights or emissive material with geometry as that will create fireflies and noise.

And remember to set Diffuse depth to at least 1 in Presto AO.
And to use thin film glass for Windows.
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