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Ideal Systems For 3D Rendering

By Darren W Chow

3D graphics has taken over our visual space and it is small wonder that there are so many 3D graphics creating studios out there that are vying for attention. From advertising companies to website owners, every one wants 3D graphics and interactive solutions to wow their clients and visitors.

This has created the great demand that enables so many studios to come up in so little time. But the catch in this business is the cost of equipment. Systems for 3D graphic creation are expensive and they require a high amount of initial investment. This includes buying the main computers on which the main creation process will take place. Then come the usual accessories for crating the drawings and the wireframes. There is also the cost of infrastructure and softwares that add to the total sum that needs to be spent.

Till this point, it is still possible for studios to get away with investing in basic equipment to keep it cost effective. However, when it comes to building a rendering system, costs start to skyrocket. As most professionals and even amateurs would immediately, rendering is a processor intensive process and it takes a lot of processing power to crunch the data in at least twice that of real time.

However, the reality is that you need to have a very high amount of processing power to achieve decent speeds and one single CPU is never enough for this purpose. So most professional create smaller clusters of CPUs. This is based on the same principle that multi-core chips are based on - many hands make light work. This called parallel processing and it is how all high-demand computational jobs are carried out.

But these CPU clusters cannot be just chips put together because such a system would need to be custom made and that is super computers are built. Instead, the clusters are actually interconnected machines that are full-fledged systems. They have the full chip, motherboard, RAM, storage and OS setup. Their combined processing power is called upon to make the rendering process faster. After all, no one really wants to wait for days to finish rendering a movie!

But creating such cluster is expensive. Each system needs to be a capable system to be able to contribute properly to the process. This where the costs really start to escalate. Thankfully, solutions do exists and you do not have to physically go somewhere else either.

There are good rendering farms that operate through the Internet and offer you prices based on how much processing power you will need. The calculation is done on the basis of per Ghz of processing power required. And you do not have to worry about the types of rendering they support because integration is provided for all major softwares and their rendering types. This includes Maxwell render, mental ray, v ray, final render, and vue, just to name a few. All major softwares like 3D Max, Maya, Blender, etc are fully supported.

Cinema 4D - Advanced Rendering and Global Illumination

By Tom Womack

One of the most impressive features of Cinema 4D is its rendering capability. The 'Advanced Rendering' module creates images and movies with objects you can reach out and touch. Global Illumination is a companion to this remarkable rendering process with a stage viewing plane that is... well.. illuminating.

For a little taste of just how much difference a little dose of Global Illumination can make, create a room for us. Begin with a cube, enlarge to a comfortable viewing size for your PC and screen. We are going to cut out a window so create an odd number of segments so we can delete one to make a window. Make it editable entering the 'C' key or using the 'Make it Editable' menu icon on the upper left of the tools menu section. Now, using the polygon tool, delete a wall by selecting, then deleting all the segments on one face. Use the polygon tool and 'live selection' tool for this and be sure you have 'Only Select Visible Elements' checked for live selection.

You will use this check box a lot. If you want to cut all the way through an object to completely divide, you will uncheck this option. You want to cut the visible face and cut all the way through to the side you can't see. However in this case we want to delete only the visible selections, removing only one face, one wall. We will use these segments to create a simple window, a window for our light to shine through. Using the viewport options, the second from the end, to rotate our new house 180 degrees revealing the back of the house where we will open a window and create a light shining in it.

In polygon mode, delete a segment creating a window on the top row of our house. We want a light shining in our window, a streetlight perhaps. Create a target light outside our house using your different perspective views and the viewport tools in the upper right hand of your stage to place a new area light shining in the window. Let's render the work we have done at this point to provide a contrast to the global illumination we will add next. Rotate your house back so we are looking from the front into the inside with our new window on the back wall. You see a typically nice Cinema render but what you don't see is the back wall lit.

To add global illumination to your render, go into your render settings which can be found just to the left of your primitives menu with the cube icon. The render 'family' of settings are shown on the top menu with a movie director's clapboard as an icon. When you open your render settings the basic categories are displayed but underneath you will see an 'effect' option which presents more rendering options. Open this 'effects' set and choose 'Global Illumination'. For this exercise we can go with the defaults; this is a still image, the 'IR" (irradiance map) default. Try your render now. In this very simple exercise what you should see is the difference of partial lighting to see the back wall lit also.

It is so easy to turn off and on, you might want to render once, then turn off global, then render again. To see an even better illustration with only one step, apply a material to our simple house. Perhaps choose a brick or even better, a wood material which can be found with your content browser (far right, top icon menu), under the 'Prime->Materials-Basic' menu.

While this is a very basic introduction to the global illumination effect, it is easy to see how it immediately adds life and realism to your scene. There are many ways to enhance this and use with other effects producing the kind of 'real life' appearance we associate with Cinema 4D creations.

Inspire, think globally, act locally.

The Beginner's Guide to Computer Animation - 3D Animation Software

By Cody Landon

Anyone that enjoys art and loves cartoons will most likely be intrigued with animation and find computer animation fascinating. Animation came alive with 2D animation then moved on into 3D, which has now become the way of the animation world. It would never have evolved to this point without the success of the 2D. In fact, it is still dependant on the skills required for 2D to be applied to 3D animation. Therefore, where you hear someone say the 2D animation is mundane then do not give it a second thought.

In modern technology where almost everyone is on computers at some point of time it is unlikely they will not be exposed to some type of animation . It must not be forgotten that animation is not just restricted to cartoon characters.

To put it simply any moving image that has been made to do so by the computer is computer animation. The technique used is a way to create the illusion of movement one image on the screen quickly is replaced by another one that is almost identical to the first one but not exact. It happens this same way with other media such as television and movies. Most often, this is accomplished with 3D computer graphics and the results are directed to the computer, but it could be for movies as well. You may hear this referred to as CGI meaning computer generated imagery.

Computer animation is just another method of creating animation by way of automation or computer technology. The principals are the same as when they are done by hand, it is just the computer is able to do much of the preparation work and rendering of the finished version. It duplicates the stop motion techniques of 3D and framing by 2D.

Using the computer for animation is a systematic process. To begin with, the object is built on the computer monitor. These are the models. Then the 3D figures have to have a virtual skeleton. To get the major movements such as for the eyes, mouth or clothing for example then the computer will create an action called tweening or morphing.

When dealing with 3D animations it is important to remember that all of the same fundamentals and basics of animation are utilized. In this case, though modeling must be complete prior to rendering. The rendering in tweened frame is done as needed.

As you can see with 3D animation, the majority of the work is done through the computer. Although the computer does the work it has to receive the instructions to do so, and that is where the 3D animator's job comes in. This means besides the fundamentals keen computer skills and a thorough knowledge of the capabilities of the software are a necessity.

It is important for anyone interested in a career in 3D animation to research all of the different areas of expertise that are required. Without doing so it is most difficult to make an informed decision as to whether this would be an appropriate career for you.

I hope you've enjoyed this article and learnt something from it.

What to do next:

How to Make Cartoons With A Pencil

By Hamza Ejaz

One of the best ways to distract oneself from the chores and the demands of the personal and the professional life is to watch the cartoons. Cartoons are the epic creations that are loved by the people of all the nations irrespective of their age, gender and the professions. Though with the passing of time our preferences have shifted and the story lines have been altered yet, most of us adhere to cartoons for spending quality family time or enjoying a lazy afternoon alone.

As the cartoons gained popularity all over the word, more and more artists wanted to master the art of creating the cartoons characters. Even in the present era, there are hundreds of people all over the globe, who would like to create the cartoons characters, with their signature appeals and identity. However, becoming a cartoons artist is not an easy task, as one will have to be fluent in the techniques of sketching the cartoon characters which is very different from traditional drawing. The starting point for any extraordinary cartoon artist begins with mastering the cartoon sketches with the ordinary pencil.

The renowned cartoon artists of the world responsible for creating the cartoon characters that shook the world began with their humble offerings using the pencil. The immortal characters like Batman, Spiderman and many other have been created using the simple pencil sketches rather than the hi-fi technologies of animation and drawing.

The artists will be able to learn better and grasp the basics of sketching the cartoon using the various techniques employed in the pencil sketching of the cartoons. The artists will need to be through in the information regarding their tools and materials used for sketching, they should know the effects of hard lead pencil and be able to differentiate it from the sketches produced using the soft lead pencils. Furthermore, one will be required to study in detail the work of the other artists and the methodologies they have adhered to in rendering their characters.

One will need to broaden their scope of observation by studying the cartoons sketches in the various newspapers and studying the art of Japanese based cartoon characters known as the Manga. The artists will need to perfect their skills of sketching the basic shapes in a smooth and prompt manner using their pencils and shade them in an appropriate manner, while managing the effects of light and shadow in their compositions, which will make their cartoons appear more realistic. Once the artists have the basic grip of shading and shaping, using the pencil, they can advance further to add details to their characters like, weapons and attires etc.


No architect troubled to design houses that suited people who were to live in them, because that would have meant building a whole range of different houses. It was far cheaper and, above all, timesaving to make them identical.
Michael Ende

Not many architects have the luxury to reject significant things.
Rem Koolhaas

Nothing requires the architect's care more than the due proportions of buildings.
Marcus V. Pollio

Proportions are what makes the old Greek temples classic in their beauty. They are like huge blocks, from which the air has been literally hewn out between the columns.
Arne Jacobsen

Rome has not seen a modern building in more than half a century. It is a city frozen in time.
Richard Meier

Space has always been the spiritual dimension of architecture. It is not the physical statement of the structure so much as what it contains that moves us.
Arthur Erickson

The bungalow had more to do with how Americans live today than any other building that has gone remotely by the name of architecture in our history.
Russell Lynes

The dialogue between client and architect is about as intimate as any conversation you can have, because when you're talking about building a house, you're talking about dreams.
Robert A. M. Stern

The frightening thought that what you draw may become a building makes for reasoned lines.
Saul Steinberg

The higher the building the lower the morals.
Noel Coward

The interior of the house personifies the private world; the exterior of it is part of the outside world.
Stephen Gardiner

The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.
Thomas Kempis

The Romans were not inventors of the supporting arch, but its extended use in vaults and intersecting barrel shapes and domes is theirs.
Harry Seidler

The work of art shows people new directions and thinks of the future. The house thinks of the present.
Adolf Loos

Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.
Antonio Gaudi


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