fxguide – The Art of Rendering

A few weeks ago I was asking Alec what renderer would be better to use for our animation. I think we ended up just using Mental ray because we all had a bit more practice with setting up lights and materials to use with Mental ray (apart from Mark maybe who might have used Arnold more than us). My knowledge is still very lacking about the whole thing so I thought it would be worth my while to look into it more. I came across this article on fxguide which is pretty packed with information. It focuses a lot on Global Illumination and the different solutions to this: conventional radiosity, photon mapping, point clouds, brick maps and Monte Carlo ray tracing, and it then goes on to discuss the different renderers; RenderMan, Arnold, Mental ray, V-Ray, 3Delight, Maxwell, 3dsMax Scanline renderer, Mantra (for Houdini) and Modo’s, Lightwave’s and Cinema 4D’s renderers. I’m not going to pretend I understand all this but it’s still good to know a little more:

http://www.fxguide.com/featured/the-art-of-rendering/

Also, I’d forgotten what global illumination is:

“Jeremy Birn (lighting TD at Pixar and author of Digital Lighting and Rendering, 2006) succintly defines GI as any rendering algorithm that simulates the inter-reflection of light between two surfaces. When rendering with global illumination you don’t need to add bounced lights to simulate indirect light, because the software simulates indirect light for you based on the direct illumination hitting surfaces in you scene.”

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