appleseed Users Forum

appleseed-max

Hi!

New user here. Our designers started to use appleseed-max today. While most of things are going well, they find a few issues and questions:

  • if camera near clip is enabled, the render will be black. Is camera clip supported?
  • It looks like there is no dedicated appleseed lights, so they should use 3dsmax lights instead? But what about rectangle lights?
  • In “Object properties” dialog, if you uncheck “receive shadow”, the object still receives shadow.
  • Is it possible to exclude some objects from a light? 3dmax’s light exclude functionally doesn’t seem to work.

Thanks in advance!
BTW: Is it planned to merge GSoc PRs in near future (say, within this month)? I’m curious to test it out :slight_smile:

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Forgot to mention: we’re using 3dsmax 2017, appleseed-max 2.1.0-beta (released in Sept 1st)

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Hello. Regarding dedicated lights, that’s something I’ve asked as well, from what I heard from the devs is that they plan to implement this.

Hi @happyboy,

welcome to our forum and your interest in appleseed. First of all I would suggest you join our Discord Server where you can get realtime feedback from the developer and get access to internal developer builds.

You write that your designers are now using appleseed. That is exciting for us but please be aware that both appleseed and the plugin adaptions are not fully featured at this stage (as you have found out already).

  • Camera clip is not supported, tilt correction and lens shift is implemented

  • For lights use the Max Standard Lights ( Omni, targeted and free spot, targeted and free directional lights).
    Environment lighting follows standard Max workflow with assigning a HDRI via the Max Bitmap or appleseedSky map to the Environment Map slot.
    Rectangular, disc- and sphere shaped procedural lights are in active development and can be exposed immediately once they are fully implemented inside appleseed-core. They will have improved sampling efficiency. Meanwhile you need to assign a mesh an emissive material.

  • When you uncheck Shadow in the appleseed Objects Properties visibility flags then the object does not cast shadows.

  • The Max Light Include/Exclude tool is not yet supported.

The GSoC PRs will be added to appleseed-core after a thorough code review. We are just about to release the next official version of appleseed and after this the contributions which are currently in the pipeline will get full attention.
We have internal developer builds of appleseed-Max with path-guiding additions exposed. They are alpha status and definitely not intended for production use. If you want to test them you are welcome. Please get in contact with us in Discord for this.

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Thank you, juancarlosgzrz and Mango3. I haven’t used Discord so I guess I’ll stick to this forum in near future. I’ve forwarded your messages to our designers and … actually they didn’t even notice the “Object properties” modifier :sunglasses:

The shadow problem is solved, but after using emissive meshes for rectangular lights, they found the light “doesn’t look very natural”. Are there any tricks? Is asDisney material good for faking rectangular lights?

I showed them the gallery of appleseed but are there any publicly available non-trivial 3dsmax scenes to learn from?

Thanks again!

Well, it’s a good time to use Discord!

Why do you mean by non-trivial? did you like any good scene you want to try?

What appleseed currently doesn’t do is apply a bloom post-processing filter on the rendered image. That’s usually a good way to make light sources look more natural/appealing.

The only thing I can think of right now that would make light sources appear more natural is support for IES light profiles. We have started implementing this but some pieces are still missing.

Some tip when using the black-body emission of the asStandardSurface.
Uncheck the Tonemap Color checkbox if you want to get higher brightness values, otherwise it clamps the high energy contributions.

Capture

We have documentation about our custom shader here:
https://appleseed-maya.readthedocs.io/en/latest/shaders/shaders.html#materials

Our designer asked whether it’s possible to get the scene file of “jc-interior” and “white_kitchen” in the gallery page. I’ll try to start using Discord, thanks :slight_smile:

Thanks! post-processing can be done by ourselves. That’s not a problem. Lack of IES light profiles could be a problem, though… Is that because IES file reading is not implemented, or textured lighting in general is not supported? If general textured lighting is supported we could convert IES into textures by ourselves.

Anyway, they’ve just used appleseed for 2 days (and they have other work to do). After learned more about appleseed, they should be able to render better images :slight_smile:

Thank you! They’re playing with the parameters now.

Textured lights are supported in the sense that you can:

  • Use a texture to drive emission properties of a light-emitting object
  • Use a texture as a “gobo” on spot lights

However IES light profiles are a different thing as they define the light emission profile of non-area lights (typically point lights).

We already have the code to parse IES light profiles but we need to implement a new light model to make use of them.

Pinging @juancarlosgzrz who made these scenes!

Thanks for the info! We’re using IES files a lot so I’m afraid we can’t use appleseed intensively before it’s implemented. Also, our designers complained that appleseed is too slow for them (they were working with VRay for their daily jobs)… However, we’ll still learn and experiment with appleseed because some of its unique characteristics :slight_smile:

Thanks for pinging! If the scenes are private and cannot be shared, some hints / lesson learned when creating the scenes will also be very helpful.

We are fully aware of the missing features for interior/archviz type scenes.
IES is one of them, V-Ray like speed is not possible without global illumination caching - without even speaking of gpu support like V-Ray GPU.
Another missing one is light portals, though path-guiding will help in the future with some of these issues (difficult lighting conditions).

Of the free, open source renderer LuxCore is the more archviz targeted one and has caching for direct and indirect lighting to speed up rendering.

Thanks! Yes, currently we’re only doing archviz, so we’re already using LuxCore (you may remember me on their forum and you even replied me once). But we’re considering expanding our area to animation and appleseed is definitely attractive, so although we’re using archviz scenes to experiment with appleseed (because we only have these…), I’m not too concerned with the missing features you mentioned.

What’s more, being a programmer, I personally like appleseed’s code and development “style” :slight_smile:

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@happyboy Let me see if those scenes are still working, I haven’t opened them

One particular problem that puzzled our designers to day, is shown in the following pictures.


We’re trying to illuminate the scene with a single rectangular light near the top, which only light downwards, should be invisible to the camera AND in the reflection. By unchecking “camera” visibility in the property panel, they’re able to hide the light (see the bottom picture). However, there is still a big light spot in the ceiling. They double checked the geometry (a single-sided plane, whose normal is facing downward) and the material is an asStandardSurface with the parameters you suggested earlier in this thread (I haven’t checked it carefully. Maybe they tweeked a bit). We don’t know where the big spot comes from. The ceiling should be only lit by indirect lighting so it should be darker instead of brighter?

Also, they’re unable to hide the light in the reflection if they made the walls reflective. Hiding light source from reflection can be done in VRay by unchecking “Affect reflections” (they usually uncheck “Affect specular” too).

Thanks! That’s very nice of you. No hurry :slight_smile: