Max plugin features


#21

As you’ve noticed in a subsequent post, none of the bitmap options are currently supported, not even tiling.

When this happens, have a look at Max.log as it may contain details about what went wrong.


#22

It won’t affect speed dramatically, but it’ll use more memory and fill up the texture cache quickier.

The default texture cache for each image I/O subsystem (the built-in one and OIIO) is 1 GB, shared across all threads, for a total of 2 GB.


#23

I cannot repro this problem either, any details appreciated!

A light material was created with a bitmap in the map slot. I use the Shift+drag to make a copy of the material. (I was going to use a different tiling on the bitmap before I remembered that they weren’t accessible yet.)

I then assigned the new material to a object in the scene, tested a render and the error occurs. To test this I used the original material, the copy and then the newly created mat on the same object and tried to render the scene. The original and the new material work fine but the copied material crashes. I’ve included the errors from the Max log below.

Litereally nothing about the materials and bitmaps are different. But when I choose to render the dialog just disappears.

> 2016/12/19 13:52:02 ERR: [06056] [02300] Could not read/write file type: L:\001_Scenes\005 - Secret Garden 2016\Franz_Files
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] duplicate entity "Map #85".
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] while defining edf "scene/assembly/Material #500_mat_edf": cannot bind "Map #85_inst" to parameter "radiance".
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] while defining edf "scene/assembly/Random Lights_Propulsion_mat_edf": cannot bind "Map #85_inst" to parameter "radiance".
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] while defining edf "scene/assembly/Ring_Light_Emitters_mat_edf": cannot bind "Map #88_inst" to parameter "radiance".
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] while defining material "scene/assembly/Material #500_mat": cannot bind "Material #500_mat_edf" to parameter "edf".
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] while defining material "scene/assembly/Random Lights_Propulsion_mat": cannot bind "Random Lights_Propulsion_mat_edf" to parameter "edf".
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] while defining material "scene/assembly/Docking_Ring_Doors_Emitters_mat": cannot bind "Docking_Ring_Doors_Emitters_mat_edf" to parameter "edf".
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] while defining material "scene/assembly/Dock_Ring_Main_Emitters_mat": cannot bind "Dock_Ring_Main_Emitters_mat_edf" to parameter "edf".
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] while defining material "scene/assembly/Docking_Ring_Indicator_Emitters_mat": cannot bind "Docking_Ring_Indicator_Emitters_mat_edf" to parameter "edf".
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] while defining material "scene/assembly/Door_Actuator_Emitter_mat": cannot bind "Door_Actuator_Emitter_mat_edf" to parameter "edf".
> 2016/12/19 13:52:03 ERR: [06056] [02300] [appleseed] while defining material "scene/assembly/Ring_Light_Emitters_mat": cannot bind "Ring_Light_Emitters_mat_edf" to parameter "edf".

#24

Quick render of your scene with the unidirectional path tracer, unprocessed:

There are a few fireflies but apart from that it works reasonably well.

I’ve left the triangular glass panels in place and I replaced the environment map by a physical sky and the directional light by a physical sun. (Physical sun & sky are not available in the Max plugin yet so I did the changes in appleseed.studio.)


#25

That’s quite nice. It feels slightly cleaner. Is this possible? The scene isn’t as dark as mine were but did you need to do anything to get it this way? The sun looks like it may be low in the sky with an almost sunset look to the color. What angle is it at?

What does the glass material look like that you created? What options in the Max appleseed material do I need to change to get a more transparent glass? So far I can’t quite seem to get it right. Perhaps it is my geometry that is the problem?


#26

I’ve let it render for approximately 2 h 30 (I’ve started the render and forgot about it).

The sun is quite low at 82° from the vertical so it’s definitely some kind of sunset:

I haven’t created the glass material: apart from the sun and sky, the scene is exactly as you sent it to me.

I think one thing that did the difference is enabling caustics. Technically, the interior is entirely lit by caustics since light has to go through the glass windows first.


#27

I would consider removing the glass windows entirely as they’re not really visible, but they complicate rendering quite a bit.


#28

Thanks. What happens is that the exporter creates two appleseed entities with the same name (“Map #85”) which is illegal.

I’ll reproduce and fix the problem.


#29

I would consider removing the glass windows entirely as they’re not really visible, but they complicate rendering quite a bit.

I would, and have considered it, except I don’t want them to be 100% transparent. They will have a texture that I will create in Substance or Quixel (haven’t decided which to use and is another reason I need access to normal maps). Also, there will be reflections from the environment. Is there a way to make it more usable?


#30

The common solution for this situation is what I call the thin glass approximation (that doesn’t seem to be the established term as a quick search on the web doesn’t yield any meaningful result).

The thin glass approximation is a model that behaves like normal glass except that it is completely invisible to shadow rays (shadow rays allow checking if a point on a surface is visible --lit-- by a point on a light).

This is easily achieved in appleseed via yet another feature that isn’t exposed in the Max plugin: visibility flags. Visibility flags allow to set for each object whether it is visible to camera rays, shadow rays, etc.

Here is a 7-minute render with the glass marked as invisible to shadow rays:


#31

The agreed upon term seems to be architectural glass, and some renderers have a more advanced implementation than just ignoring shadows, such as adding a term for total internal reflection, without having to model the glass as a volume (source: @est).


#32

So you can add visibility flags to your Christmas list :slight_smile:


#33

Updated!

I’m familiar with architectural glass in other engines. Useful and yields nice results.


#34

Setting Max Ray Intensity to 3 is a good way to kill the last fireflies. Here is a 15-minute render:

Max Ray Intensity is not exposed in the Max plugin yet, I had to set it in appleseed.studio.


#35

Oh my, that is lovely. The shadowed areas still show plenty of detail and the textures are not blotchy or blurry. I can’t wait to see what it will look like after hours rendering with the rest of the scene finished.

I would consider using appleseed.studio for the final render except my scene will have to reference external files. It will be too big to have in just one max file. Can .studio reference external scene files?


#36

I started working with the terrain and testing out foliage while using Forest Pack Pro. It was a bit of wishful thinking on my part but I had to try it anyway. When rendering the a scene the render fails and I am certain it has everything to do with FP. Is there any possibility of getting appleseed to work with FP?

I’m already looking at alternatives but using FP would have been a time saver.


#37

Also, I was wondering about how well appleseed handles water. There will be a lake in my scene and water is material I have tried creating yet. Any advice?


#38

The glass material should be able to handle water nicely. The difficulty with water is the same as with glass, anything beneath the surface is lit by caustics, and depending on the setup this can be challenging for a unidirectional path tracer.


#39

You should be able to see error messages in Max.log. That would be helpful.

I don’t know FP but I don’t see why not.


#40

Ran into some trouble with bitmaps and geometry. For the geometry I have had to simplify some of the objects, as well as rebuild one of them, to reduce and clean up things up. When a-max hit those objects before cleanup it came to a crawl. At one point I left it running all night only to wake up and find the last bucket was still on one part of a piece of geometry.

With regards to bitmaps I haven’t yet narrowed it down but it appears the normal maps and 4k bitmaps slow a-max down considerably. I’ve tried the same scene with 2 other render engines and they had no issue with the scene (of course, they are production ready products so I am not really comparing them)

If you want I can send you the objects that caused the biggest problem.