Author Topic: Initial thoughts, requests and general observations  (Read 1114 times)

2018-11-17, 07:45:16

spr0ckets

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Okay so I've done a few tests with the plugin so far and I have quite a number of thoughts, request and suggestions, so I decided to group them all in one thread instead of splitting into separate threads.
I hope this isn't a problem or an issue and if so, let me know and I'll split them up.
I placed them into sub-categories to help organize my thinking.

Cameras : -

- I don't know if this is a bug or just a feature to be added or resolved later on, but Corona doesn't seem to recognise ArchiCAD's "camera-straightening" (2 point perspective option) command to straighten views, and a fix for this would be great. (unless  I missed the setting somewhere in which case disregard this)
Alternatively, you could go the 3ds Max route and way of doing this by making camera-straightening a value or checkbox you select of click in the Corona render-settings panel under "Camera" (like the 3ds Max Camera modifier that allows you to do this)

- Somewhat related to that, the ability of the VFB or render window to stick to the image size settings in the ArchiCAD's render settings panel to keep the size consistent with the ArchiCAD 3d Window if we need to composite the Corona render with a Sketch render, for example.
At least, the ability to lock the image aspect ratio to be the same or linked to ArchiCAD's value and to stick that way.
I don't know if this is related to the camera specifically, but I just stuck it here.

- I don't know if this one would be possible in this version of the plugin but the ability to hide objects or make objects invisible to the camera in Corona through a value in the object setting or a render-panel setting, would also be immensely useful.
In 3ds Max it's in the object's properties where you make it invisible to GI, I believe. A similar-type capability in ArchiCAD would also be useful in some situations.


Lights:-

- IES files and values for Corona lights or at least the ability to control the light geometry values ( radius of light spread, etc)

- Portal light option particularly for the rectangular light option to use in Windows  or openings (if this speeds up renders instead of using environment lighting)

- Grouping Lights to allow control as a single element in the LightMix option so we don't end up with 100 lights to turn on or off.
How this would work is a bit hard to explain now since ArchiCAD does not have instancing of objects like 3DS Max (not that that helps there either), buteven if we set it that if we grouped a bunch of lights they show up as a single element in the LightMix set-out, that in itself would be a HUGE help in controlling the light(s).


Materials:-

- A copy/paste capability to copy material values from the material tabs (like reflection/refraction/bump etc from the glass material) to paste on other materials

- Possibility of an AO (Ambient Occlusion)  material to select or create in the material editor and use in the Render Elements set-out for post-processing.
It could also work in the same way as the Material over-ride setting to render as a separate image if the Render Elements option isn't viable.

I thought of Wire or Edge Texture material too, but this one isn't as important since it's possible to just composite with a sketch render from ArchiCAD's sketch-renderer.
However the ability to composite a Wire-render in Corona's image editor can't be discounted either.

- Material Wizard that allows one to build materials from scratch from a template of basic commonly used architectural materials (Metal/Wood/Concrete/Painted surface/Glass/Emitter/ <- could be more and each has a sub-category like for example, "Wood" would have "matte" or "Glossy", Floor tiles, etc just like the Corona Library in 3ds Max) and then adjust the individual values from there to fit the scene materials).

Alternatively instead of building from scratch select an ArchiCAD material - either from the ArchiCAD library or one you had built before - and have the option to replace the Corona values with a material from the Material wizard template but keeping the textures and maps. mapping values and sizes, etc. (so choose ArchiCAD floor material -> select "Wood" Template from the Material wizard with basic template of floor tiles, and it replaces the reflection values for glossy or mat floors, and the option to replace the diffuse texture and bump/displacement values or keep the basic maps you had).

This would allow a lot of customization and flexibility while leaning on pre-selected core values that keep the output result very professional looking, instead of the
stereotypical 'amateur renderer CGI repeated mapping' look.



General Settings :-

- I don't know why ArchiCAD itself doesn't have this capability in any of it's render engine options, but the ability to shoot off a batch render and set of views to render in sequence (while you go to sleep or go for lunch or coffee) would be great.
It could work through the ArchiCAD's View Map where you select views and save them with the render settings (including image size, environment settings and whatnot) and then you could just specify where to save the rendered views when each is done.
Super-useful.

- I haven't had the opportunity to test it with proxies, but I'd be curios to find out if it's possible to work with proxies and proxy files created in another program (3ds Max)

Otherwise this is a great job so far guys.
It performs as expected; is surprisingly stable (for an "alpha" version); very versatile with tons of room for potential and growth.
I haven't had any issues so far, with quite a few bunch of tests done, (fingers-crossed/ knock on wood) and  I can't commend you guys enough.

If I get any other ideas or thoughts or issues, I will post later.

2018-11-19, 14:56:03
Reply #1

Jan Špaček

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Okay so I've done a few tests with the plugin so far and I have quite a number of thoughts, request and suggestions, so I decided to group them all in one thread instead of splitting into separate threads.
...

Hi, thank you very much for your thoughs!

  • Cameras
    • Two-point perspective: This seems to be a bug. I quickly tested it in my ARCHICAD and when the two-point perspective is active, Corona correctly renders a two-point perspective, but the field of view is wrong.
    • Image size: you can specify the exact image size in the Corona Render dialog. Unfortunately, it would be technically challenging to synchronize these settings with the ARCHICAD render settings in the PhotoRendering dialog, so you have to copy the values manually at the moment.

      As to the aspect ratio, the rendered image is automatically resized to fill the VFB window during interactive rendering. I will add an option to use the same aspect ratio as in the Corona Render dialog.
    • Hiding objects: Generally, adding Corona-specific properties to arbitrary elements in the project is hard. For example, Maxwell solves this problem by using a custom palette that you can use to edit Maxwell-specific properties of elements, but Corona doesn't have such palette at the moment. But it is a good idea! As a temporary solution, you can use ARCHICAD layers to hide elements from rendering.
  • Lights
    • IES files: this is simply not yet implemented, we will definitely support IES in CoronaLight in the future. In the meantime, the IES light from ARCHICAD library should work fine.
    • Light radius: you can use the intensity parameter to control the intensity of the light. The "radius" parameter does not have clear physical meaning.
    • Portals: I will add an option to mark materials as portals. It should help when lighting interior scenes.
    • Grouping lights: you can add multiple lights to a single LightSelect render element. However, due to technical obstacles, the user interface for selecting the lights is very hard to use now.
  • Materials
    • Copy/paste: you can already copy/paste textures and colors by right-clicking them, and numbers can be copied in the usual way. Copying the whole tab is not possible now. I'm not sure how this could be added to the user interface of the editor; do you have an idea?
    • Ambient occlusion, wire/edge texture: both AO and wireshading textures are already implemented in Corona, I will add them to the ARCHICAD plugin.
    • Material wizard: we call this "material presets", something like this or Corona material library will be added to the plugin.
  • General settings
    • Batch mode: this is a good idea, we will see how this could be added.
    • Proxies: you can use .obj and .cproxy files as proxies (.cproxy files can be exported from Corona Proxy in 3ds Max).

Thank you again for your time and your valuable suggestions!

2018-11-20, 09:27:40
Reply #2

rodut1112

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  • Batch mode: this is a good idea, we will see how this could be added.


The batch render is important without a doubt, or at least a simplified method. AC has this option through the publisher. You save the views, and in the view options you select to "generate in photorendering window". Its kinda hard to use, but maybe it helps you to develop a better way.

2018-11-21, 18:26:48
Reply #3

Jan Špaček

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I've implemented some of the smaller features that were requested:

  • Ambient texture has been added
  • Wireframe texture has been added
  • Materials can now be marked as portals. This is a quick fix, we may opt in to use a dedicated Corona Portal element instead of a material option in the future.

I hope we will release an updated version by the end of the week.

2018-11-21, 19:50:48
Reply #4

spr0ckets

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Thanks for your update and feedback, Jan.
Looking forward to the updated release.

And following up on my list from before, some additional issues I've been able to pick up with some more testing - some of which you may already be aware of but just to let other also be aware of them as well.

Proxies.

I was finally able to get around to testing this, and while it's great to find out that I can (potentially) use Corona proxy files saved from 3ds Max (I have a large library of pre-saved trees and shrubs and heavy geometry objects that I frequently use), they are still for the most part right now functionally unusable since the plugin always places the proxy object in the exact same spot regardless of where you actually physically place it in your scene or even if you try to move it or resize it or anything.

Seems like a definite bug.

On the plus side, it seems like the proxies are brought in come with the materials and textures saved in 3ds max (as far as I can tell, which is admittedly a bit hard given the bug) - which, if accurate is something that would be a time-saver given how hard it would be to have to re-map them all over again.

I could be wrong though.

Lights.

This isn't an issue as much as it is a question.
If I correctly understood your initial follow-up post to my original comment, are you saying that the plugin can actually natively render the ArchiCAD lights (i.e the lights themselves and not just the lamp material as an emitter material)?

Once again, thank you so much for all the work you guys are putting into this and your general responsiveness.
Great plugin and great program overall!

2018-12-03, 11:15:56
Reply #5

Jan Špaček

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Proxies: can you please send me the .cgeo and .pln files? I checked and the proxies are correctly positioned in my ARCHICAD. The proxies do not come with materials and textures from 3ds Max: that is something we definitely want to do in the long run, but we are not there yet.

Lights: yes, the plugin should be able to render the native CineRender lights from the ARCHICAD library. However, another user on the forum reported some troubles with these lights (the brightness does not match), so they may not work perfectly. Also note that some ARCHICAD lights are nonphysical (transparent or missing shadows, do not have quadratic falloff, ...) so they may produce unexpected results and make the renderer slower.

2018-12-03, 22:27:51
Reply #6

spr0ckets

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Hi Jan.


You can get the ArchiCAD archive file (.pla - so it has all the libraries) and the Corona proxies (.cgeo) in the compressed file downloadable at the Google drive link below


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sKcYzYMfxoQiARuXJuHnbZmOI_h4Nm8T/view?usp=sharing

It's set up to the view with the proxies and also zoomed to them in the floor plan so it should be easy to find them.


I just tested it again and the same thing happens:-
The proxies are rendered all in the same position and moving them or placing new ones at different locations makes no difference.

I don't know if it's my system or my installation but I can't seem to get them to work correctly.

I have previously been able to render the same view with the same proxies from 3ds Max with the correct output

2018-12-10, 16:21:58
Reply #7

Jan Špaček

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Hi, thank you for the project. I tested it on my machine and the proxy seems to be positioned correctly in the renderings. However, I did some changes to the proxies since the last daily build, so I may have inadvertedly fixed the issue! I will let you know when the next daily build is ready so that you can test whether the issue is fixed for you, too.

2018-12-11, 21:17:08
Reply #8

spr0ckets

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That sounds fantastic.

I look forward to the next build's release.

2019-01-21, 18:53:18
Reply #9

leceta

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Quote
I don't know why ArchiCAD itself doesn't have this capability in any of it's render engine options, but the ability to shoot off a batch render and set of views to render in sequence (while you go to sleep or go for lunch or coffee) would be great.
It could work through the ArchiCAD's View Map where you select views and save them with the render settings (including image size, environment settings and whatnot) and then you could just specify where to save the rendered views when each is done.
Super-useful.

archicad has already implemented this functionality. You need to use "views" and "publisher". I have tested batch rendering succesfully. This method works potentially with any rendering engine.

1- set corona as the current render engine and create a Scene Set limiting rendering time (otherwise when publishing it will take forever) see image 1
2- Create 3d views, with "Generate in" settting set to "Photorendering Window" and "Rendering Scene" to previously generated one. see img 2
3- Publish your views as jpg images img 3


2019-01-21, 22:50:15
Reply #10

spr0ckets

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The problem with that is that you wouldn't be able to save out your images in Corona's native .CXR format which allows one to continue editing and working with and extracting layers (render elements) in Corona's Image editor afterwards.
You can only save JPG's (or TIFFs or any of the standard image formats) so say you render out an image and discover the exposure was too high or that the Bloom came out way too high.
Then you're stuck and can't adjust it to the right level like you would with Corona's VFB

2019-02-02, 20:58:31
Reply #11

leceta

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true, this is a significant limitation... Hope you can implement an alternative!