my Thea 1.3 tests

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SandroS
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:35 pm

i'll be posting my Thea 1.3 tests here.

first off, someone on the CGArchitect forums asked about Thea and the different engines available so the first test is a comparison of Unbiased/GPU+CPU/BSD. for those new to Thea, here is a brief summary of each engine and how/when i like to use them. please note this is my preference only and i know that others have their own way.

Unbiased - use when the most physically accurate result is needed or desired. i started using Thea several years ago because the Unbiased engine gave me exactly the look i had been searching for. TR1 and TR2 will both converge to the same solution but TR1 should clear faster where light paths and material parameters are more simple (e.g. a HDRI lit exterior) and TR2 should perform better where materials and light are more tricky (e.g. sun lit interiors, SSS etc).

BSD - this is Thea's biased engine and can be used when faster renders are needed. of course this will be at the expense of accuracy and lighting/shading quality but often speed is more important. as with most biased engines, there are lots of parameters that can (and often need to) be tweaked and tbh, it's not really my cup of tea as i prefer to just start a render and wait until it clears. also, now we have Presto i'm even less persuaded to use BSD ;)

Presto - this is Thea's GPU+CPU engine. so far i am loving Presto and now with GPU+CPU rendering, it's even faster than before. Presto has 2 variants, a 'biased' version (PrestoBSD) and a Montecarlo version (PrestoMC). i will try to explain these in greater detail below.

first test is an interior (good test for any engine). the base model was downloaded from 3DAllusions (http://www.3dallusions.com/forums/desig ... o-2-a.html) though i made some changes to it.

first off is a TR2 render, which can act as a reference for the other engines. i've started with clay renders to focus on light and GI quality.

TR2 - 3hrs:
Unbiased_3hrs.jpg
Unbiased_3hrs.jpg (240.75 KiB) Viewed 9018 times
now here are some BSD renders. first try is with 'medium' settings. there are some splotches but overall the result is pretty good for a 10min render:
Biased_9mins50.jpg
Biased_9mins50.jpg (193.08 KiB) Viewed 9018 times
and here increasing the GI settings, there are fewer splotches and the GI detail is very good (no floating chairs or pictures on the wall):
Biased_22mins54.jpg
Biased_22mins54.jpg (186.99 KiB) Viewed 9018 times
the BSD engine is actually very good, especially now we have Field Mapping which produces excellent GI detail.
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SandroS
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:36 pm

now for some Presto GPU+CPU renders.

PrestoMC 45mins. result is cleaner than 3hr TR2 and looks pretty much identical. this is with 20 bounces but you could lower the bounces and get faster renders:
GPU_CPU_MC_45mins.jpg
GPU_CPU_MC_45mins.jpg (242.86 KiB) Viewed 9013 times
PrestoBSD, similar to regular BSD allows faster renders at the expense of accuracy. here Tracing Depth and Bounces can be set separately, so you can render without and GI for very fast feedback and compensate with Ambient Occlusion.

here is a 4min render. as you can see some of the materials look very different (e.g. the curtain) but if need the material can be adjusted to suit. for the sake of consistency the scene is exactly the same in all renders. if you need a quick render then PrestoBSD is hard to beat:
GPU_CPU_DLAO_0B_4mins.jpg
GPU_CPU_DLAO_0B_4mins.jpg (256.41 KiB) Viewed 9013 times
here is the same engine, this time with one bounce GI. the result is already much closer to PrestoMC but render time is less.

PrestoBSD_1bounce_25mins:
GPU_CPU_DLAO_1B_25mins.jpg
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Last edited by SandroS on Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SandroS
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:36 pm

now adding some materials...

for this i only used Presto as i think it's good and fast enough ;)

bear in mind also that these tests are on my now pretty average PC - an i7980x and a GTX560ti. so for those of you lucky to have better cards and more than 1, you should expect significantly faster render times. as with all these tests, render is straight from Thea buffer with no post processing.

this is PrestoMC rendered for 1 hour:
GPU_CPU_MC_1hr_733sp.jpg
GPU_CPU_MC_1hr_733sp.jpg (344.49 KiB) Viewed 8992 times
PrestoBSD 1 bounce, 30mins:
GPU_CPU_BSD_1bounce_30mins.jpg
GPU_CPU_BSD_1bounce_30mins.jpg (349.72 KiB) Viewed 8992 times
and PrestoBSD no bounce rendered for 10mins:
GPU_CPU_BSD_10mins.jpg
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JQL
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:36 pm

Sandro

Thanks for this thread. all of the renders are very good, and it clearly shows tha even if Thea is an pocket army knife renderer, it also strives at excellence in all its engines.

It seems things like displacement is to be available in Presto 1.3 that is definetely good news.

Best regards,

JQL
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sepo
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:30 pm

great renders.... could you please tell speed difference comparing to 1.2 presto, of course if you have the data available.

btw I am seeing very little quality difference between bsd and mc in less time....it seems bsd is going to be killer :)
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Solo
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:45 pm

it seems bsd is going to be killer :)
Presto BSD CPU+GPU, tracing 20 diffuse 1 <---- remember these settings as this is the BOMB!! I am rendering scenes that took hours in just minutes now, with no lack of detail or quality noticeable to the client.
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sepo
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:55 pm

Solo wrote:
it seems bsd is going to be killer :)
Presto BSD CPU+GPU, tracing 20 diffuse 1 <---- remember these settings as this is the BOMB!! I am rendering scenes that took hours in just minutes now, with no lack of detail or quality noticeable to the client.
cheers, will do that Pete :thumbup:
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SandroS
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:23 pm

JQL wrote:It seems things like displacement is to be available in Presto 1.3 that is definetely good news.
displacement is not yet available. if you are talking about the rug it is instanced ;)
sepo wrote:great renders.... could you please tell speed difference comparing to 1.2 presto, of course if you have the data available.
i haven't been comparing to 1.2 but consider this, 1.3 GPU should be faster than 1.2 and on top of that you have CPU. Thea console is telling me that my CPU is contributing to the render more than my GPU (i have an i7980x and a single GTX560) so GPU+CPU makes a big difference on my system.

another very important point is that Presto can run on CPU only too and AFAICT, it's the best compromise between speed and quality, even in CPU only mode. combined with GPU it's just fantastic. the final benefit of this is that in those cases where the scene doesn't fit in GPU memory, you can switch to CPU only to complete the render.
Solo wrote:Presto BSD CPU+GPU, tracing 20 diffuse 1 <---- remember these settings as this is the BOMB!!
+1

here's another test. this is a very tricky scene as light has little direct access to camera frame. the original TR2 render was an overnighter. this is a PrestoBSD with 1 bounce. the only post is a bit of colour correction to better match the final TR2 render i posted.

PrestoBSD, 1 bounce, 1 hour. compared to the TR2 render, not only is it a lot faster, it's also a lot cleaner. the TR2 render i remember i did some localised noise reduction. no NR in the Presto version:

(you can see the original TR2 render here: http://www.thearender.com/forum/viewtop ... 196#p43196)
CamTable_PrestoBSD_1hr.jpg
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:11 pm

I prefer this one to the TR2 one, looks sharper, cleaner and better colors.
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SandroS
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Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:44 pm

Solo wrote:I prefer this one to the TR2 one, looks sharper, cleaner and better colors.
yeah, not too keen on the colours in the original either.

here's another test - the Nautilus speaker i modelled a while back. the original renders were between 20-30 mins. this is 10mins flat. PrestoBSD 3 bounces from Thea buffer:
Presto2_3bounce_10mins.jpg
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