Joined: February 12, 2009 Posts: 105
Posted: February 22, 2012 Post subject: anyone actually making money here from vue?
I am just curious if there are any true fulltime professionals on this forum using vue as their MAIN tool to create animations for paying customers.
I more or less dumped vue about 1 year ago in favour of 3d studio max and octane render as the render times in vue where astronomically long. i even bought dax phandi's book on realsim on vue and spent many weeks studying how to reduce render times. I then stumbled across octane and was producing photo realistic renders in seconds. yes, seconds. not hours or more likely days like in vue. i asked the eon team if they were going to support gpu rendering like octane or any other solution. there reply was that they were not. I was stunned. i then realsied that the team/philip have a sort of "institution" mentality. "CPU is better because that is the way it has always been done." its a cryign shame because vue is so damned easy to use compared to other packages. the interface is fantastic. the rendering time is a joke.
I did a test render of one frame of a simple scene with an aeroplane in the sky. I axed everything out of the final render. no antialiasing, standard lighting model (yuck) no motion blur, no depth of field,no nothing. 2 hours later on my dual quad core I shut the render down and made a decision to leave vue and find another solution. whcih i did.
the vue team seem to be living in a bubble whcih i suspect has been created by one individual at eon. vue is really only for large production houses with render farms. although at the rate gpu rendering is progressing cpu render farms are fast becoming obsolete.
i have contacted the octane team as well and asked about future support for vue they said no. octane supports just about eveything now. maya, max, blender, cinema etc etc or it is in the works. no vue anywhere. vue is an island with in my opinion a bleak future unless they support GPU rendering.
my two cents anyway. i liek vue but i just cant make any money from it because of the render times.
Interesting post, Angus. I'm surprised anybody at e-on would tell you that we will never make a version of Vue that runs off of the GPU. More likely your question was if we would be releasing such a product in the near futur, where the answer would indeed be no.
Why? Because in order for GPUs to be efficient, they need to run massive numbers of identical processes in parallel. This works well with relatively simple scenarios such as those handled by GPU renderers like Octane. But when you try to render extensive landscapes with enormous poly counts, things get a lot more tricky. Believe me, we know a lot about GPU rendering
this is a pretty big scene in max. bigger than anything i would dare try to build in vue due to unresolved and ongoing stability problems. as you can see he is moving around a very big scene and he is getting nearly real time photo realistic rendering. add a couple more GPU's with an extender (whcih octane is already capable of using) and you got real time.
I'm sorry but I dont buy it. I think there is just not a real political will within e-on management to make it work.
All I can say is if vue supported octane it would be my fulltime tool. now I just use it to generate terrain meshes for use in max with octane.
I use Vue as a secondary tool to handle environments. It's a paying gig.
In that video I'm willing to bet the houses are pretty simple. When we talk about GPU computing it's good to keep in mind several things. All of it has to fit in the GPUs memory. How much does your board have? Secondly when was the last time we saw a GPU renderer that could use interpolated solutions for things like GI or blurred reflections. I never have personally. Lastly GPU solutions are fairly inflexible and really intended for massively parallel operations. Try running some nested branch type functions and see how bad the GPU will handle. It's not quite there yet so I don't blame the dev team for waiting.
Joined: February 12, 2009 Posts: 105
Posted: February 22, 2012 Post subject: GPU rendering
referring back to the video, at the end of the day, I am able to get a good image in seconds (of an entire town) out of max with octane whcih would take who knows how long to render in vue. sure octane might not support absolutley everyhting but it supports enough to get very good images. it doesnt make sense to say "we wont support GPU computing until absolutely evrything is supported". when in fact perfectly acceptable images can already be produced.
in short the houses may be simple but octane TANS vue's backside in rendering those "simple" houses
Joined: February 12, 2009 Posts: 105
Posted: February 22, 2012 Post subject: maybe an octane exporter plugin for vue?
cant eon develop some kind of exporter similar to the exporters for max/maya etc that exports the scene straight to octane?
I am on version 7 of vue and do not intend to upgarde anytime soon due to enormous stability problems in the past. it works a lot better now thank goodness but cannot justify the cost at present.
one feature that vue 7 unfortunatley lacks is the ability to export the entire scene to an OBJ file wich could then be imported into octane. what i am doing now but it is proving to be perilous is first exporting to a 3ds file. opening that file inside of 3d studio max and then exporting to octane. it is however a workaround that is far from ideal. things just about never export properly from vue to max.
being able to export a scene straight to OBJ from vue would then cut max out of the picture and remove one step in the process whcih is always a good thing.
Ultimately, Vue is a Raytracer and GPU's are not really good, from a mathematical standpoint, on doing raytracing. Reasons? Not entirely clear, but it relates to the way (currently) programmers write raytracers and the math is such that it can't be broken down into many simple computations that GPU's thrive on.
Have people done some unbelievable GPU based rendering apps? Hooo yeah... I personally think it's the future as well.
Raytracing as we know it is coming to an end. Doesn't mean parts of it won't be carried over. Already GPU's are handling reflections (albeit a tad differently than pure raytracing), handling ambient occlusion, particles, voxels, transparency, refraction, displacement mapping, ambient diffusion (radiosity more or less), shadows.
GPU's today can handle crazy stuff that even 5 years ago people would say, "could never be done".
The obvious advantage of GPU is the massive amount of threads they can handle at one time. A typical CPU has 8 cores or so. A typical "budget" GPU has 128 or 256 cores.
The CPU's though can handle far more complex math tossed at them, the GPU's are pretty limited but companies like Nvidia have gotten around this by building some core code that makes programming for GPU easier (CUDA as an example).
I don't see in the near future a GPU being able to handle a typical Vue scene with 300,000 trees in realtime. But I could easily see getting to the point where at nice 4000x3000 frame could be rendered, via the help of a GPU, in under a minute.
What will it take to get there?
As someone mentioned, a rethink of the "this is how we've always done it," line of thinking.
I don't know if anyone in here has played Skyrim. I bought it mostly to "see" what they managed to eek out of realtime 3D and I play it at 1920x1080 with the detail at max (runs about 30fps).
To be honest, pretty much anywhere I pan the camera around looks 100 times better than my own work or nearly anything I've seen by any Vue or other 3D landscape artist. And to think each frame is taking 1/30th of a second and I can barely manage 1 frame in 3 minutes with the same amount of apparent detail.
The flowing water? Mind blowing.
The blowing grass and trees? Thought provoking.
The little birds and butterflies zoomin around? The realtime shadows of everything, ..
I mean I get depressed looking at this because I can see what's possible... and then I see what I have to work with in my current crop of software and it's just enough to make me put it on the shelf.
Eric those last 2 videos you posted are amazing simply because its the Unreal 3 engine which now ships with speedtree. Probably the best tree generator to date. Been used in almost every gaem for the past 8 er so years. Just recently in 2009 was pushed further now to a cinema version which was used all over Avatar. The game version works well in realtime but the cinema version is way more complex. I use it at work and rendering one tree inside vue take 3 times as long as a vue tree. amazing quality though.
Christian, is the UDK, essentially all one would need to download/install to sort of get started?
I'll be honest I'm not all familiar with any sort of game dev platform but watching the video looks extremely intriguing.
I know some of these 'game' related kits can be a treasure hunt and search all over the web for some guy named something like 'zgecko' to find the right tarball to download he put up on a file sharing site or something and I sort of lose interest at that point.
Just curious if you had any insight.
I'm a realtime 3D fan and don't mind the tradeoffs of realtime/less actual detail vs raytracing with vast detail but painful render times.
I love the idea of just plunking oneself down into a scene/stage and just build it (knowing you'll hit a FPS wall but not really caring too much) but the few apps I've tried were pretty yucky.