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jiayujinn

Do houdini users render realistic objects?

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jiayujinn    0

Hello,

I am a beginner of houdini, I used to use c4d for my 3d project.

After using houdini for a while, I found houdini's mantra render is extremely slow, and not easy to make a realistic render.

I know mantra can make photo realistic, but it's really hard to learn and take more time to learn and to do than other softwares.

I wonder how many people export to other 3d softwares to render (or directly just do animation in other 3d softwares)?

Of course I didn't mean anything dynamic. Just basic objects like computers, cars, etc.

And composite the object and dynamic stuff together.

Or how many people use third party render engine in houdini?

Thank you.

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Netvudu    111

The feedback from my students every year after coming from a different render engine is that Mantra is admittedly slower for everyday stuff, but faster and reliable on tough scenes, AND, and it´s a big "and", it has a huge quality on the output once you start playing a bit with your lighting/shading. Admittedly, most of them are quite capable at lighting already when they start playing with it. 

If you come from an Arnold background, render times should be more or less the same for starters, otherwise you are doing it wrong.

If you come from something like, let´s say Modo or Lightwave, or V-Ray to a lesser extent it will look slower for simple scenes, but you will see none of the problems that those engines show when you start making things complex.

 

Edited by Netvudu
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sebkaine    210

The only area where Mantra is not on Par with Maxwell / V-Ray from my test is for refraction.

- volume / particle rendering is stellar

- sss is stellar

- flexibility is huge

 

If mantra would have :

- better refraction models

- physical absorption for glass

- dispersion

it would be a perfect engine !

 

Dany shader is a good answer to those problems but it would be better to have all this by default

https://www.orbolt.com/asset/_danylyon::PBR_layered_material

 

Edited by sebkaine
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Atom    516

As a single user working on simple scenes I find Mantra too slow to do production work. Even though I have made progress creating effects in Houdini I can not find a reasonable way to render my work. Thus I have not been able to update my reel, effectively.

I also can not afford the price tag to use 3rd party render systems directly out of Houdini. Houdini requires the $4,500 license to enable 3rd party render systems and then you have to purchase the 3rd party system as well which is typically at least $1,000 more. So to get up to speed and render my reel I have to come up with $5,500 dollars.

While I can render directly out of Apprentice and I don't mind the logo I consistently get invalid image sizes out of Mantra which effectively eliminates them for use. And by wrong image sizes I mean really wrong and wrong per frame. I'll issue a 1280x720 Apprentice render and get something like 631x318 on one frame and another size image on another frame or just the Houdini logo on black. I have reported this in a thread on SideFX website but I guess the Developers all have valid licenses and assume that Apprentice rendering works fine. In my experience it does not. The bug seems to be cross-platform as well.

 

The Mantra Shader does seem to be part of the slow down and I am investigating how to make a dumb simple fast shader but I don't have a solution yet.

Edited by Atom
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cgcris    6
Quote

 I consistently get invalid image sizes out of Mantra which effectively eliminates them for use. And by wrong image sizes I mean really wrong and wrong per frame

 

You mean corrupted? what are you using for compositing?

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Atom    516

Corrupted would be a good term but each .EXR frame is a valid image. The sizes of each frame/image are not all the same but they should be. I know that is weird to say and I have never experienced this kind of bug out of any other render system but it is true. I tried Mantra again after setting it aside for a few weeks and yep, sure enough, after spending a few hours rendering frame sequence it was unusable. It is not the compositor either, After Effect, in my case. Photoshop read the files the same way and the Windows 7 system preview displays the frames the same way.

 

Here is the example image I posted on SideFX.

untitled-1_614.jpg

This image was rendered at 1280x720. Not only is the image the wrong size, but the logo is clipped as well.

 

Edited by Atom

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Skybar    246
4 minutes ago, Atom said:

Corrupted would be a good term but each .EXR frame is a valid image. The sizes of each frame/image are not all the same but they should be. I know that is weird to say and I have never experienced this kind of bug out of any other render system but it is true. I tried Mantra again after setting it aside for a few weeks and yep, sure enough, after spending a few hours rendering frame sequence it was unusable. It is not the compositor either, After Effect, in my case. Photoshop read the files the same way and the Windows 7 system preview displays the frames the same way.

 

Here is the example image I posted on SideFX.

untitled-1_614.jpg

This image was rendered at 1280x720. Not only is the image the wrong size, but the logo is clipped as well.

 

Replicate the issue in a simple scene and post it?

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Atom    516

Yeah, I know. The image posted above is the simplest scene, a single file node referencing a .BGEO sequence. It was as if the bounding box of the simulation was somehow affecting the image size over time. The BGEO sequence was pretty heavy so I could not really post it. I'm not even sure which one it is anymore, It has been a few months.

And that is what I have been doing for the past few months, looking for a faster way to render.

Edited by Atom

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Skybar    246
3 minutes ago, Atom said:

Yeah, I know. The image posted above is the simplest scene, a single file node referencing a .BGEO sequence. It was as if the bounding box of the simulation was somehow affecting the image size over time. The BGEO sequence was pretty heavy so I could not really post it. I'm not even sure which one it is anymore, It has been a few months.

And that is what I have been doing for the past few months, looking for a faster way to render.

Yeah well it's kinda hard to tell whats wrong without a scene. "This image is wrong size, why doesnt mantra work?" isn't really a great clue to what the problem could be. Even for SESI.

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Atom    516

Also no one else seems to experience this error but it does kind of stop me I'm my tracks. I keep installing the new Houdini version when one comes out hoping it will just be fixed. But a recent render not even using pyro at all also produced wrong image size files.

I do like contributing and reporting bugs but it does take time to gather assets and present them as a case for a bug. Sometimes I just don't have the time to do that. Especially when I am pressed to get work done.

Edited by Atom

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Skybar    246
1 minute ago, Atom said:

Also no one else seems to experience this error but it does kind of stop me I'm my tracks. I keep installing the new Houdini version when one comes out hoping it will just be fixed. But a recent render not even using pyro at all also produced wrong image size files.

I do like contributing and reporting bugs but it does take time to gather assets and present them as a case for a bug. Sometimes I just don't have the time to do that. Especially when I am pressed to get work done.

If no one else is experiencing the same issue, with the same scene that you get it with, it's a great clue that something is probably wrong on your end and not Houdini/Mantra per se. Was it you on here that had problems with a failing RAM stick some time ago, that fucked something up in Houdini? Could be anything.

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Atom    516

To quote Bojack Horseman playing Mr. Peanut Butter "Tru Dat"

But now that you mention it the most recent messed up Mantra render was done after I replaced those mis-matched timing RAM chips so I don't think it is hardware related at all.

The thing is, no other software I use seems to have that particular problem. Blender, After Effect, Clarisse all render just fine.

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rbowden    40

I agree with David, the best thing you could do is post a scene. I haven't experienced anything like you are describing before. If you post a scene and it renders fine for everyone else, I think that could narrow down the culprits better.

-Ryan

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cgcris    6

Isn't this just exr cropping?, it's only rendering what it needs to.

On that example you posted, is there anything else on the frame?

This image secuences will read fine in Nuke for example..

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pezetko    93

Yes, we try to render photo real stuff every day. Mantra is on pair with Arnold. Sometimes better sometimes not.

Atomic: Are you sure that you are not using exr crop post process? After effects cannot use correctly exr's crop window, Photoshop neither (and it's Adobe's fault).

 

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Atom    516

Thank you Petr, I'm going to give that a try.

 

I was unaware that there was a Mantra secret cropping feature turned on by default.

Edited by Atom

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Netvudu    111

Also, regarding your reel update problems...have you tried GridMarkets? I´m a laptop user and when I get a rather render intensive scene I rely on their service. It´s simple to use and well, not free, but not at all expensive. It´s cheaper than other comparable solutions. Truth is I can only say good things about the company because both service and support are great...well, they´re up to SESI´s high standards.

 

At any rate, as non-biased renders become more and more popular (with the notable Red Shift exception) we´re starting to see higher render times that will keep until hardware catches up again.

 

Edited by Netvudu
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jiayujinn    0

Thank you guys for reply.

My current work place is mainly use houdini. (Sort like a small studio)

I want to learn houdini with them. But they are not quite good at rendering. Always use the shots to avoid the defect.

I think their works are awesome but shouldn't be just like that.

They also think so, but can't get any access to make it better.

They don't wanna use other 3d softwares cause they already have 10 houdini licenses for network rendering.

So I wonder if there's some other solutions or maybe some advanced tutorials.

We watched almost all the popular tutorials about houdini rendering that can find on google.

Like the tutorial by Rohan Dalvi and those from sidefx website.

The most realistic image render with mantra I can found on google is "Tea and Cookies" by Rohan Dalvi.

I'll try harder to learn, hope someday I can replace cinema 4d entirely with houdini....

Thank you so much.

(houdini mantra by Rohan Dalvi)

houdini_mantra_by_RohanDalvi.jpg

(c4d octane by Eric O. Borbon)

c4d_octane_by_EricO.Borbon.jpg

Edited by jiayujinn

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