Octane vs Thea?

Jumping back to the original topic; Octane has a photoshop plugin that takes the render passes and arranges them in photoshop as layers for you; with all the gamma etc applied.

From what I understabd, If you work in linear space it can be a big time saver…

To be fair – those Rhino users who enhance renderings in image editors and can deal with the concept of stacked render-layers and blend-modes and masking clearly can no longer get called beginners.

With layered .exr files one had an open, high performance file format which is nicely supported by every popular image editor Photoshop used to have some issues but they are sorted out

Edit: I see that one still needs to use one of two free plugin to do so. ProExr or exr-io.com. The latter links has a Video demo. Newer apps like Affinity have native support for layered exr.

This is nonsense Richard. Photoshop depending on its configuration offers to save an additional flattened version of the file, so that lower end applications which are limited to 8 colour depth can deal with the file. All psd’s retain full native data from embedded RAW files, text, vectors etc.

Why this topic to discuss exr file? The main point may be support channel, that is ok!

would make sense, but since its about 20 years ago when i studied this it might have changed, otherwise i carried a 20 year misconception around causing me to avoid psd at all costs :smiley:

Hehe, 20 years is a long time…

Back to the original topic -

I have V-Ray3 and Thea. I force myself to use V-Ray every so often because it’s been paid for and therefore I think it should get used but I’ll admit that I use Thea three times as often as I use V-Ray. It lacks many things V-Ray has - render regions for instance. But for ease of use and for getting a good image right away without a lot of tinkering, it can’t be beat in my experience.

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I fully agree with your sentiment about the PBR workflow and principled shader - for archviz and realistic renders it has already made life so much better. Filmic color transform is, IMHO, the final piece of the puzzle that has held Cycles back (which is now in Blender 2.79).

For materials, I use Allegorithmic substances, bake them to maps and plug those into the principled shader and get superb results without having to muck around. Now I just wish Blender (and Rhino) had Physically-based lights - e.g. 60 watt tungsten filament bulb, 15w cool white T5 flouro tube … etc

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@arail Thea also have regions you have to open darkroom and top right corner. Btw i get prev image so fast that i never need to use those :wink:

Guys EXR most important thing in exr is 32bit color range which allows you to edit lot of stuff in post - psd would be worst idea… Things like nuke or fusion supports without any problem - actually PS is very weak in compositing images with 32bit color range.

Thanks for that tip. I’ll admit I have never used Studio as the Rhino plugin is so complete I haven’t needed to do so. I’ll open it soon and take a look around.

I completely AGREE. I think the more settings that a render engine has that are based on real world concepts the easier it is to learn. We all have a good idea of what a 60w bulb looks like for example, and learning camera settings (fstop, film speed, etc.) is pretty easy if you’re not already familiar with them.

Several users have brought up render regions. Not sure if Cycles for Rhino has this feature yet or not, however, I do think it’s an extremely important feature. Very useful if you have a spot or two that it taking far longer to solve than the rest of your render. Octane does this nicely as you can select render region an area and it will blend the selected area into the surrounding render so you don’t have to comp it in PostPro.

If render region means selecting a part of the viewport to be rendered then Cycles supports it, I just haven’t gotten to expose that. Yet. A YouTrack it for that is on my list.

Yes, that’s exactly it. Thanks Nathan, good to hear it’s on the list.

@CountryGolden Thanks. Yes couple of those were featured images.
@Ryan4 I remember that time exporter for rhino was awful and most of work had to be done in thea studio. Now it is fully integrated but as you pointed out Octane supports well bongo i havent tested that but i think thea isnt working well with it. I also think that way - it is just better to choose right tool to get job done.
@nathanletwory Will cycles support latest principled shader? IMHO it is the best thing so far introduced by cycles - pbr metalness workflow will dominate render world very soon if it didn’t yet. And yes full ranged EXR files with passes are crucial and should be one of primary features of serious render engine.

On the topic of Bongo, I noticed that they made the Thea plugin for Blender open source (you still need Thea studio) so that may be a decent alternative if animation is a must.

Hi CountryGolden,

That may work for some, but for our company it’s problematic to use another program entirely to do animation in because the design portion of our business the work is all done in Rhino and designs change and develop over time . . . so having to export to another program every time the design changes (which is a lot) is painstaking. MUCH easier to stick in one program, especially since the animations aren’t that complex. Plus, renderings are always done way before an animation is done and if we used a different program just for animation then all of the “render setup mats and lights” are lost when switching to another program. And the alternative for rendering and animating everything in another program all together is a real efficiency killer.

Lots of good info here. Octane caught my interest a while back when I was researching the same type of questions after having a bit of a disappointing exp w/ vray2. I’m now using Iray (nvidia). The iMaterials concept along w/ the possibility of physically based lights are what got me interested. The RH UI is clunky and underdeveloped but it does import Algorithmic ( or whatever that mat’l editor’s proper name is) and there’s dedicated cloud-based rendering gpu services using Iray server ( eg Nimbi\Jarvice) that allow me to scale my processing power w/o funding Nvidia’s next gpu development by having to purchase ridiculous qty of gpu to get the turnaround of vray output speed. Good luck!

Ryan in case of Thea all materials are compatible and you can share models between modeling apps in Thea model file so only thing you have to do is learn blender which is free :slight_smile: but youre right through whole process going back and forth no matter how it works is always slower and painful. Btw are there somewhere online any highend animations made with bongo? Iirc bongo was very limited in its capabilities. Something changed here?

Hello CountryGolden and folks, I hope this finds you well! Sorry for my “late arrival” on this topic.

I am not sure you’ve crossed paths with this innovative software Unicorn Render; it can be downloaded from UnicornRender.com. FYI, Unicorn is a standalone Physics-Based photorealistic Renderer (PBR) for Windows, works really fast and scales performance appropriately depending on your nVidia GPU (which by the way is required); it supports importing MDL materials and 3D models originated from a large number BIM/CAD applications, and, in fact, works well with many of them (eg. Revit) affording a live-connection between modeling and the PBR. Check out the output at the “Gallery” from the above mentioned site, obviously still-images, as well as the 360 panoramas for viewing with VR-headsets/smartphones, and the animations (ditto “Features” section). See here recent article published in AECbytes: http://aecbytes.com/newsletter/2017/issue_89.html

Once downloaded and upon installing it, I recommend to choose the TRIAL option since it will provide 15-days of the top-most full-featured experience for 15 days. This resource I hope should help you get started: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuzXmzWDJs5DtoNdg3rSR-rRPnVcGr25L

Also know that in case any of you, or someone you know, is involved in some capacity at an academic institution kindly be aware that it is FREE for students and faculty, as well as of course for the institution itself. I hope you enjoy giving it a run and if you need help feel free to contact me!



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Hi D-W, that is GREAT info, I didn’t know that – definitely a big plus. This now has me wondering if it would be possible in the future to share materials between Cycles in Rhino and Cycles in Blender as well . . . hmmm.

I think the capabilities of Bongo are of course totally dependent on what you’re using it for. I think for most product and architectural animations it’s capable. But, if you want to dive into complex cinematic effects, then definitely not, i’d go with Blender, Cinema4d, or Modo, personally. Overall, I think Bongo is more powerful that most people think it is, as I’ve discovered some things that I had no idea it could do. On the other hand, there are a few key features that would make a HUGE difference in it’s output that I’m hoping will be added in V3. I do know they are planning on adding physics calculations to V3, which will be a pretty big deal I think. They need to add vertex information to models so object motion blur can be achieved and they need to add alembic support for sure to make things like adding in animated people to architectural scenes. I know there’s a lot on the list for V3. With that being said, there’s a “one click” output option from Octane for Rhino that will port the animation to render in the Octane Standalone, in which case you can add object motion blur to bongo animations, also alembic. So for now, there’s a quick and simple workaround.

Not sure I’d call these “high end” but they do exactly what the intent was for with regards to the product. I did these all with Rhino/Bongo/Octane. Again, nothing fancy here, but solid basic animation. There’s one video I wish I could show that is more “fancy” and has a bit of VFX work in it, but i’m under and NDA and the client hasn’t released it to the public yet. The 4 videos below are meant to be informational videos, not “sexy” videos. I do think however, you CAN make a “high end” awesome looking video with Bongo if you desire – a lot of the animations I’ve scene recently haven’t really incorporated any super high end animation functionality – it’s been more the artist, camera angles, etc. Again, these aren’t anything fancy, but also to be fair to Bongo, I’m not using many of it’s features in these videos either . . .





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