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Want to learn how to render

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
First thanks to everybody for reading this.

I'd like to learn how to render, so if anybody can help with tips and suggestions.

Which program do you suggest, how does it work ect. ect.

I know how to draw in Autocad, make 3d models in Catia, Solidworks, Proengineer.

But i have no experience with rendering and would very much like to know and do that.

I honestly feel ashamed that my pc hasn't done any real work.

So how would you recommend to start off with rendering.

For start i would like to learn few basic things and gradually advance.

For example i'd like to start with something like
Make a ball, put ball into surroundings, add light, reflections, and render a single image.

Then i'd like to move on onto rendering static image of something like ball engulfed in flame. Or some other effect.

Then i'd like to move onto short clips
Like ball dropping on the floor and rolling off

Then make it a fire ball droppind and rolling, or some other effect...

So how to start, which programs are needed, recommended.

I was thinking of starting off with cinema 4d.

Thanks again to all who read this.
I really appreciate all your input and help.
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post #2 of 13
I don't do any 3D things anymore, but when I used to (wasn't very good either), I used Cinema 4D. In my eyes it's a simple 3D program but still has lots of features. There are many tutorials out there for it too. Download the free trial and see what you think. I used it to create all the 3D things in my older wallpapers (Overclocked-Designs thread), but the 3D models in my newer wallpapers were created by fenderlove0` in Maya, which, to me at least, seems a lot more complicated than Cinema 4D.
    
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
thanks snelan for your answer

i actually expected much more answers by now in this thread
i don't know where are all the renderers here, and why so much people got i7's here if they don't use them
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post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathclaw View Post
thanks snelan for your answer

i actually expected much more answers by now in this thread
i don't know where are all the renderers here, and why so much people got i7's here if they don't use them
Rendering isn't the only thing that uses the i7, folding/encoding do as well. Also cmon this is OCN overkill is the name of the game.
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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
hehe but of course rendering isn't the only thing i7 is good for, but out of 246640 members here on ocn i think there should be quite a few people who do rendering
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post #6 of 13
Well, not all of those members are active, most just make an account to ask a single question, then never log on again.

I said this in another thread, but if you wanna sign up and all, DeviantART.com has a great forum for this kinda stuff. Full of graphics artists
    
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post #7 of 13
Rendering Software...
First off you have basically described about 5 different jobs titles that a person can have..
So I'm going to have to use the puppet analogy...
Concept Artist - The guy that designs the Puppet
Modeller - Builds the Puppet
Texture Artist - Paints the Puppet
Rigger - Attatches Strings to the Puppet
Animator - Pulls the strings on the Puppet
Lighter - Creates dynamic lighting using lights (for more info Jeremy Birn has a really good book on lighting)
FX Artist - Creates the special effects (like fire, these are usually done using particle simulators)
Compositor - Takes all the film/models and pieces them together
NOTE: There are a couple more positions out there but I wont get into them as I dont think you're that interesting in Matte Painting/Coding

Now on to your Tools...
For where you are and where you want to go its a long road ahead, as you really have the building blocks (I actually believe the program your designing in is NURBS (non-uniform ration b-Splines) while you should really be getting into Box Modelling and digital sculpting if you want to really model stuff for animation (not really sure where you actually want to take this to the feature film industry, to get someone to buy the car, or the game industry, etc).

All around programs (in no paticular order)
Maya - What I use, it gets the job done and has MEL (Maya embedded language to allow you to customize the Maya as you see fit) This is currently the feature film industry standard.
Lightwave
Cinema 4D (I actually only use this for BodyPaint for texturing, I'm hoping to pick up a Quadro 4000 sometime so that I can get into Mari for texturing)
Houdini - I've heard good things about it, but have no first hand experience
Max - Currently the game industry standard

Digital Sculpting:
ZBrush - This is what I use, personally I love this program as it is one of the most customizable programs I have ever worked in. HOWEVER it is NOT easy to pick up, the UI is daunting at first and will scare you half to death, but if you can push through this, it is very rewarding.
Mudbox -I have no experience with this program - and the overall idea I get from what I've read is that its easier to pick up than ZBrush but not as powerful of a program

Texturing: In Order from best to worst IMO
Photoshop - This is your goto guy for texturing (if you dont know how to UV map you really need to learn its there are programs that will help you do it, but I personally just use the tools in Maya to UV as I've developed a workflow that works for me.
Mari - This is the new big dick in texturing, released by the Foundry Co a year or so ago. It offers projection painting (if you dont know what is basically you have your 3D model, then you take a picture of it, then you paint on the picture, then you apply the paint on the picture back down to the 3D model, the upside to projection painting is that you can paint out seems, the down to projection painting is that it is KILLER on your CPU and I mean killer, I'll be upgrading to the SBE when it comes out so I'll let you know how that handles PP if you send me a PM to remind me) It also has regular 3D painting and layers, I do not have a 1gb dedicated graphics card so I cant run this program =( But I've heard very good things about it.
Maxon Bodypaint - This really takes the silver medal in 3D texturing, and quite frankly IMO there are only two 3D texturing programs (Programs that allow you to paint directly on your model) It has all the same functions as Mari (I think I really dont know, but is a much larger package) However The one thing that I must give to Bodypaint are the hotkeys developed by Maxon (basically they are keystroke hotkeys so a hotkey could be "ab" or "ac" or "da")
Zbrush/Mudbox - These are the Bronze medal winners, they allow you to paint directly on your model, export displacement/bump/normal maps. Zbrush however lets you do a little bit of projection painting but I really dont use it, I only use Bodypaint/Photoshop as a workflow

Honestly I have no idea where you're at in terms of experience (for me I've been self learning for 13 months now and am trying to break into the industry in another 11)

To give you an idea of where I'm at this was a 3 Day sculpt - with the default rendering in Zbrush
Dragon-ish
I have some other projects I could put up but am currently in the middle of a format. Hope this helps


aaannndd I almost forgot

Rendering Programs
Mental Ray - What I grew up on gives you Global Illumination (emits photons from light sources to create indirect lighting in the scene) Final Gather (emits rays from the camera to FAKE indirect lighting in the scene) Ambient Occlusion (does something with faking the lighting but I only use this to bake into textures to help give a grunge map to them)
VRay - Suppose to 1 up mental ray but I've never used it
RenderMan - Pixars propriety software which is suppose to be the gold medalist by far in terms of rendering programs. I have never used it but have only heard good things
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post #8 of 13
Forgot some tutorial sites:
www.digitaltutors.com - a really good intro to a lot of programs and how to use them to achieve what you want

www.gnomonworkshop.com - takes digital tutors to the next level

www.zbrushworkshops.com - takes gnomon to the next level but only for Zbrush
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Emmuh, thanks very much for your post
Quote:
Concept Artist - The guy that designs the Puppet
Modeller - Builds the Puppet
Texture Artist - Paints the Puppet
Rigger - Attatches Strings to the Puppet
Animator - Pulls the strings on the Puppet
Lighter - Creates dynamic lighting using lights (for more info Jeremy Birn has a really good book on lighting)
FX Artist - Creates the special effects (like fire, these are usually done using particle simulators)
Compositor - Takes all the film/models and pieces them together
i'd like to learn to do all of these things myself

and thanks for the links
i am just looking through cinema 4d and getting to know the interface

i surely will have many questions for you
right now i'm going to just check out all the links that you posted and see what i can do from there, and when i get stuck somewhere i'll cry for help

oh, one question for now
you did all the work on that dragon-ish, and it took you 3 days right, how many hours of work was that approximately?
i am a total beginner with this kind of stuff, but i recon i will spend most of my free time playing with that, so i'll catch up quickly (at least i hope so)
cheers
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post #10 of 13
I'd say 15 hours total - I would like to be able to do that in about 3-4 within a couple of months. One thing to watch out for in c4d is that sometimes it will idle your cpu incredibly high like i'm talking when you have the program running and your not doing anything it would eat like 30% of my q6600. The fix for this was simple but I dont remember the exact steps it involved renaming the file (lol I know right).

Unfortunatly all those sites I posted are pay sites, roughly $45 a month and Gnomon only does a year long subscription, but if you're going to do C4D I wouldnt do gnomon as they dont have much C4D I would highly recommend starting out with Digital Tutors and taking that as far as you can. There are also some Maxon Communities out there, I'm not really sure where but I know I've seen some =D.

As for wanting to do all those things, then what you want is to be a "Generalist" alot of smaller companies want generalists as they can perform more tasks, as oppose to a specialist who does one really really well (I'm currently focusing on modeling/texturing) but I still need to know how to do all the other steps as when I create say a model thats textured and rigged, I need give it good topology for a sculpter or animator or rigger to make their job easier and if the modeler does a horrible job, they could make the animator/riggers job almost impossible.

The larger companies such as ILM(Industrial Lighting and Magic), DD(Digital Domain, Pixar, Dreamworks etc are only going to be looking for specialists (thats why I'm trying to specialize).

Unfortunatly I cant give much advice on C4D if you were to learn Maya and box modeling I could give you my config that I use which I've found to be incredibly effective and be of much more help but alas I only really know Bodypaint in c4D (Bodypaint is the 3D Texturing portion of the program).

Another community to check out is

www.cgsociety.org

there is some good stuff up there and I find it overall a pretty good place to start gaining knowledge into computer graphics. Although be warned the people there are much more into the art side than the hardware side as OCN is. As for me I enjoy both =D, I might enjoy the hardware a little more than the art, but I find the art more challenging which, I mean who doesnt like a challenge?

I guess the best advice I could give you at this point in time is to keep an open mind, and remember that the software is a tool. Dont fall in love with a single program as every program has its strengths and weaknesses. Remember that you are making art and it's one thing to be able to use the programs but its another thing to have a sound understand of design (if you dont here are some key words to get you going
in the round
scale
proportion
repetition
variety
flow
continuity
symmetry
asymmetry
line

Good luck - its hard but rewarding imo
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