Yaf(a)Ray 4 Truespace development info thread!

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Yaf(a)Ray 4 Truespace development info thread! // The Garage

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Post by Délé // Feb 16, 2009, 1:30pm

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Unfortunately there is no way to bring up a Save dialog with script in tS yet. We have requested it to the developers though.

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 16, 2009, 5:36pm

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I agree, jrboddie. I think we may well have to make our own Directory selection and Save As dialog boxes as a plug-in. :mad: If there's a way to do it with the built in Windows dialog, we could probably use that via ActiveX... maybe.

Post by frootee // Feb 16, 2009, 5:59pm

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Here's a thread where I was experimenting with the File Load dialog, and vbscript.

A similar solution may be provided for the File Save dialog. But, there are issues with XP vs. Vista I suspect.


But this may be a start.


http://forums1.caligari.com/truespace/showthread.php?t=6859

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 16, 2009, 7:49pm

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I was think that I'd just code one up in ATL, like I did with the TS_Input sample plugin that I did last year. Though it'd be cooler if we could build one out of TS components like Stan's been doing lately... the Tree component and a List box should be enough... :cool:

Post by nowherebrain // Feb 17, 2009, 11:03am

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Jack, this was after setting up my directories....I did that before I even saw the explanation. I, of course, read your instructions after and followed them thinking..."I did all of this already.", but anyway, I just thought I would let you know. I'm really just using blender, but I still tinker from time to time anyway....

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 17, 2009, 4:49pm

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Like I mentioned in a previous post, we'll just have to make the directories automatic. Too many people are having trouble with it.

Post by kena // Feb 17, 2009, 8:14pm

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Not everyone will want to put their stuff in the same directory. How about a default, with the ability to change it and an error message that instead of saying "cannot find...." It also states that the directory listed in "whatever" parameter does not exist?

That should cover most bases.

Post by nowherebrain // Feb 23, 2009, 5:44am

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I'm sure you are still hard at it, but just to let you know...I jumped into the scripts for this and have been able to get it to render from there????not sure why I just manually changed the temp stuff for my system pointing to the XML etc....I have no idea why it would behave this way not recognizing in the LE, but reading the data via script. My system is running stable so I do not think it has anything to do with my system. I was having issues with it before, due to an ATI card(good chips, crap drivers)now I use Nvidia and all is good again.

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 23, 2009, 10:37pm

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@Nowherebrain, the export script and the render script both read the directory values from their fields in the plugin panels. If you hard code changes into one of the scripts you need to hard code it into the other.

Development has slowed quite a bit since interest seems to have tapered off, and it may be that we will only do two more releases for this project. The next release will focus on making the installation easier. The following release will add animation, layered material support, and any bug fixes. If you're using this product and there are features you want please let us know, since if they don't make one of the upcoming two releases you may need to add them yourself.

Post by Tiles // Feb 24, 2009, 1:52am

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Please don't stop at half the way. Interest is still there :)

But it's hard to make suggestions without seing the final product, so that i could say what is missing and what could be improved. I for example have already mentioned the #program files# paths hassle, that stops most of non US PC users. And wait for the next release that fixes this issue ;)

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 24, 2009, 2:30am

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The automated path fix may not work for all users. I've noticed that the Yafaray registry entry doesn't show up on all systems. I will add code to do a quick best guess search which should be language independent.

You can enter the path manually on the "Directories" tab, either by typing it in, or browsing to the Yafaray-xml.exe file. (Which is how the add-on was intended to be used.)

Also note that all source code is distributed with the project. If you see any thing that needs fixing please feel free to point out the problems and upload the changes. This is a community open source project and code contributions are welcome.

ETA for the updated release is two weeks. There are no current plans for functionality changes for that release. This is mainly changes to the installer to make the directories setup automated. (You can set up the directories manually already.) So anything that doesn't work in the current release will also not work in that release. I need you guys to test the add-on and find out what works and doesn't work. If you have a question about settings and parameters, please ask.

I notice that a lot of people seem confused about the output field. The output field is the file name where you want the TGA file created by Yafaray copied to. By default the add-on will use the directory of that file as the working directory. So only two directories need to be changed to setup Yafaray4tS for use:


The output filename -- basically where you want to save the output file. This is found at the bottom of the "Default" tab and must end in ".tga"
The Yafaray-xml.exe location -- the "Yafaray Install Path". This is found on the "Directories" tab.


On Vista systems the Output directory must be a directory that the user has write privileges. That means the User's Documents folder or some folder that is not inside the Program Files directory.

Please note that Yafaray must be installed first:
www.yafaray.org (http://www.yafaray.org)
Also note that some version of Internet Explorer will not access their website correctly, so if you are having that problem use Firefox.

You do not need to have Blender installed to install Yafaray. When it asks for the Blender directory, just select a temporary directory and you can delete it later. You do not need the QT libraries either. Those are for Blender integration.

The Yafaray4tS installer creates a folder in the Rs Main Libraries, where it places all the contents for the add on. This includes Yafaray4tS, a toolbar installer, custom lights and materials. You can open this folder from within TrueSpace using the Library Browser. Scroll down to the Yafaray4tS library and double click on it.

If anyone still has any questions about the install, please let me know.

To use the renderer, all you have to do is have a Yafaray4tS object in your scene, specify an output filename on the Yafaray4tS panel, and click the render button. To get materials, you have to use the supplied DX9 materials on your objects. Do not apply Model-side materials, this will break the add-on and you will get "clay render" materials. Make sure to use the custom lights included in the Yafaray4ts library if you want to take advantage of Yafaray features.

Please note that your renders will likely not look like the DX9 preview. This is not a bug and will not be fixed. It is a fact of life that different render engines are different. This was true for VRay for TS and will be true for Yafaray for TS as well. You will not be able to make beautiful renders, without learning the new render engine. The focus of this project has been to expose as many of the features of Yafaray as possible, it's up to you guys to learn them and make use of them.

You will need a TGA viewer to view the output. I recommend Paint.Net as a good free solution to use as a viewer:
http://www.getpaint.net/

Post by frootee // Feb 24, 2009, 3:15am

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Thanks Jack!

I'll be giving this a whirl over the next day or so.

The team was working on this at such a furious pace

I couldn't keep up! :)

Post by Tiles // Feb 24, 2009, 3:41am

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You will need a TGA viewer to view the output.


Does this mean there is no way to display the result inside tS then? Will this stay?

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 24, 2009, 4:36am

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The results are not displayed inside tS. Clintonman made a separate viewer for use inside tS though if you want to use it.

Yafaray is a command line renderer. The advantage is that you can keep working in tS while it renders. There's no need to wait for the results. You may need to raise trueSpace's CPU priority though if tS gets sluggish while the render is happnening though.

The only way this changes is if I create a C++ RSX plugin that integrates trueSpace directly with Yafaray's plugin interface. At this point, I haven't seen enough people using the add-on to justify that kind of time expenditure. We would also have to code our own viewer window to display inside trueSpace. It's a huge undertaking that goes way beyond the current solution which involves scripting to export the Yafaray XML file and a batch file to render it. Everything would have to be completely redone and it's currently beyond my knowledge of coding the TS user interface and materials system. So maybe if someone else wants to do it... :rolleyes: or if you guys are willing to pay me to work on it for about 6 months ;)

Personally I don't really see the advantage of displaying the render inside trueSpace, since opening it in a paint program where you plan to do the work on the render make more sense anyway...

The workflow I used while testing was to have a Windows Explorer window open to the output directory, then I just double clicked on the file after it was done rendering. I will add an option to the next release to spawn a viewer of the user's choice on render completion though. Windows doesn't have any built in TGA viewers though so you'll still have to download and configure that yourself unless we write and include a TGA viewer application as well...

Post by v3rd3 // Feb 24, 2009, 5:23am

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If you don't mind me asking Jack, how many downloads so far?

Post by nowherebrain // Feb 24, 2009, 5:31am

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I don't think interest has tapered much, people may just be weary until it is completed...Nice work though, keep it up.

Post by Vizu // Feb 24, 2009, 5:51am

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oh i would work with a beta version but the installer is a bit missunderstood to me.

I love the possibilitys of yafaray and it could be much more better than VRay but the user have problems to install and after that, we need to enable just the offlinerender to xafaray and it must work.

These 2 things must work fine and i´m sure, everyone would use it.

Post by Steinie // Feb 24, 2009, 5:58am

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I agree with nowherebrain. I haven't even downloaded the program yet because of my involvement in another project. Also waiting for bugs and issues to be worked out. My interest level will increase soon since another Rendering option in workSpace is badly needed.

Once I get some time I'll be focusing on this puppy. (and Frooties H2O plugin :))

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 24, 2009, 6:09am

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Thanks guys. It's partly my fault too that I haven't had any time to make documentation. I didn't foresee that people would have so much trouble understanding that they need to specify the filename to save the render to, or browsing to select the Yafaray-xml.exe file. It may have been a mistake to add icons since that prompted people not use the panel. :(

The add-on should work as it is now. I need to find time to make a video walking through the setup. Unless maybe someone else can get that done...?

Post by RAYMAN // Feb 24, 2009, 6:24am

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Its the same people who are interested in new software and render engines

that are interested in beta testing Yafaray too ! I happen to not get the results I want with glossy paint and I know they cant look like the Dx

but they should at least look bright enough and for some reason they dont !

They are pitch dark ! I´m testing Yafaray all the time with very simple setups so í´m not going to post here yet.....:D(apart from what i did already)

The issues that I have with yafaray are the same issues I´ve got with truespace as such and that is if you come in from model side with a big

object of around 100 small parts you have to find and update all of these

theres nothing like a stack where you see what material is loaded...

and so its difficult to see and change them...

Something I have in the render engine I normaly use..

But overall I am happy with the Yafaray implementation !

thanks for the great work !

Peter

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 24, 2009, 7:04am

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Peter,

Couple ideas on the pitch dark issue. The glossy materials deal heavily with reflection, so if the background is black, they will reflect black. Also some of the lights (Point lights for example) may require very high intensities -- 200 would not be an unusual value. Dele put in place multipliers for some of them to try to get them to be closer to the DX values, but you'll need to experiment. You may want to try with a clay render first to make sure the lighting is right, then apply the materials.

Apologies on the materials not being found issue with models imported via Model-side. Current code is a bit of a hack and that problem will hopefully go away once the material node tracing code is added.

Thanks for testing! And we'd love to see renders so we can get some ideas for improvements to the software and suggestions for the documentation.

Post by Tiles // Feb 24, 2009, 7:41am

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Personally I don't really see the advantage of displaying the render inside trueSpace, since opening it in a paint program where you plan to do the work on the render make more sense anyway...


Ever made a dozen test renderings to see if stuff fits? :p

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 24, 2009, 7:56am

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Tiles, I think what you are looking for is to be able to see the render as it renders. That capability would require a c++ plugin, access to the Yafaray Plugin API source code, and a viewer be created inside trueSpace. I don't have access to the Yafaray source at this time, it would also require a completely different approach to interfacing with Yafaray.

The current implementation is a file format exporter with a batch file that calls the renderer from the command line. We choose this approach because it was relatively easy to implement and collaborate on since it used only built in tS objects and JScript.

There is a way to make TS to lock up and wait for the render to finish, then we could load it into a custom viewer window (which would require an RSX plugin be installed), but you still wouldn't see the render in progress and you wouldn't be able to do anything in tS until the render was completed and then loaded in off the harddrive. Seems preferable to let the render happen in the background, continue working, and just double click on it once it's done.

I'm not ruling out an eventual fully integrated Yafaray plugin that does what your looking for, because not having an HDR output format is severely limiting for linear workflow. Which is one of Yafaray's important features. But such a plugin would take months to develop and I couldn't guarantee that I'd be willing to release it for free.

BTW, I think we've found the problem with the Custom Temp Directory: The checkbox is reversed. Uncheck it to use a custom working directory, check it to use the default. This had been fixed for the next release.

Post by RAYMAN // Feb 24, 2009, 8:30am

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Heres a test series of both shaders coated glossy and shiny diffuse.....

both with just the infinte light note that blue turns almost lightblue as you turn up the intensity of the light but the red balls that should be bright red

are dark and washed out even if you turn up the intensity.

The same color in a room with lightpanels turn bright red....

funny thing is I tried to makea vray render and applyimng color preview doesnt work any more ..... a surface that renders yellow is Dx grey.....


Peter

Post by Tiles // Feb 24, 2009, 9:00am

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Tiles, I think what you are looking for is to be able to see the render as it renders.


Not really. I just would love to see an automatic solution once the rendering is done. So that i don't need to open my paint software manually and need to hunt for the file in the temp folder :)

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 24, 2009, 9:04am

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Interesting Peter. This looks correct to me.
The bottom of the spheres are not receiving any light from a light directly overhead so they should show black + reflection.

To get bounced light, you'd need to use one of the GI methods like Photon Mapping or Path Tracing. Using caustics with Direct Lighting might give you bounces off surfaces that have a glossy or specular reflect value > 0, but I'm not sure.

Also interesting about the red room. I'm not sure what's going on there. But these don't look like problems with the exporter since Yafaray is clearly responding to the value and settings changes. ;)

Cool renders btw!

@Tiles,

That functionality will be added in the next version. It will allow you to chose the viewer program and if we have time, a default external viewer may ship with the next version.

Post by Tiles // Feb 24, 2009, 9:15am

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Great news. Many thanks :)

Post by RAYMAN // Feb 24, 2009, 9:19am

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Jack it shouldnt look like that ... its the same setup as in another renderengine and its this look that should come out with the setup !

Post by Jack Edwards // Feb 24, 2009, 9:21am

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Peter that looks like a GI render with bounced light. Unless I'm mistaken you're comparing apples and oranges. A better comparison, would be to compare with Lightworks. Also the sphere on the left looks unnaturally bright, why should the background reflection get brighter if you increase the light, that doesn't make sense. I'd say that the Yafaray results are more correct. Not to mention a lot of the dark reflection you are seeing is the shadow reflected. Using a Sun light instead of an infinite light would give you softer shadows.

Besides, the add on is just an exporter. If the values are exporting correctly then there's not much I can do about it. ;)

Post by RAYMAN // Feb 24, 2009, 9:39am

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Jack maybe you missunderstand my issues its not the GI effect and the surface the only issue I have is with the brightness of the color.

Heres a lightwork render no Gi solution but colors with full saturation !;)

The reds are very pale in the Yafaray render !
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