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Why Use an American Render Studio

By Jason Blatnick

With costs of running a business soaring companies are considering going over seas to get their work done. Why should I use an American render studio opposed to a foreign studio? Isn't it cheaper to go over seas? Ironically the answer is No the costs and quality are roughly the same depending on the studio you go with. However there are several things to consider before choosing to outsource.

Language

The language barrier is often an issue. Even if the studio speaks English often they do not understand certain words or ideas that you are trying to convey. Some construction terms, for example are difficult to understand and do not translate very well. Poor communication and language problems can slow a project to a near crawl as everything has to be translated. Once it's translated if there are any questions it has to be re-translated and sent back. If you have ever heard the phrase "lost in translation" that is exactly what is happening here.

Culture

Culture is another factor to consider. If your client wants something a little more rustic, trying to describe what that means is quite difficult. If the person you are working with is of the same culture as your client then such problems are overcome quickly and easily. Even if the studio is familiar with American culture it just doesn't feel right. Your client might say, "This feels too much like a bad western movie can they tone it down a bit?" Trying to describe what the client meant can be extremely challenging and time consuming.

Telephone

Often times it is easier to talk then it is to write something. Trying to Email someone what exactly the term "rustic" or the "bad western movie" means is extremely time consuming. It is much easier and faster to call the person and tell them over the phone. International telephone numbers and fees are can be difficult to understand and very costly. Also once they are on the phone there might be language difficulties again. The speed at which each person talks and the pronunciation of different words can make it difficult to communicate.

Business hours

Different time zones can be very challenging. Calling at 4pm your time could be 1am their time. Suppose your client needs a rush order done by the end of the day. If the render studio is closed it's not going to be possible. And finding another studio to do the render at the drop of a hat also might not be possible. Also different countries have different holidays so perhaps the business is closed for a holiday when you need them.

Project duration

With all of these problems the time frame of a project can become overwhelming. Something that was supposed to take 1 week could become 6 weeks. Being able to communicate can be the determining factor in finishing your project on time. If you cannot get the needed 3D renderings fast enough your client might not be able to get funding which will keep the project from even getting airborne.

Economy

In this economy having and maintaining clients and work is extremely competitive. Not being able to provide 3D renderings to your clients in a timely manner can reflect poorly on your firm. Image is everything in the business world today. Also if the costs are the same why not keep the work local and do your part in helping the American economy grow.

Before you decide to outsource your 3D renderings carefully consider each of these points. It seems that a domestic render studio would be more advantageous. And going locally can easily avoid many pitfalls of your projects. Be sure to carefully consider the pros and cons of outsourcing before you make your decision.




Solutions For 3D Rendering

By Darren W Chow

A lot of industries depend heavily on 3D modeling and animation these days and it has gone beyond your average animation and advertisement sector. Many businesses need to have 3D graphics in order to function and they are as diverse as the furniture industry and the mining industry. They all rely on 3D graphics demonstrations, logos and animations to make better presentations to clients. Even the hospitality sector has been benefiting from it.

So it is understandable that the demand for 3D graphics has been escalating over the years and has been increasing exponentially in recent times. This has given rise to a boom on the industry and smaller studios are cropping everywhere.

But this is a tough industry to please and set up is also very expensive even when you want to do it in a small way. This is because hardware is very expensive to buy and the process needs a lot of hardware indeed. The basic process of creating the model and the wireframes are the tough part. Even tough they require specialized equipments, compared to what comes next, it is not much.

The real challenge lies in rendering your work to a workable file. No matter the platform you work on and the software you use, you will face this problem time and again. The main reason this is such a huge problem is the amount of processing power that the rendering process needs. One CPU will never be able to handle the load with a bearable finishing time, even if it is a four-core or an eight-core processor. This is why almost everyone has to create clusters of CPUs to distribute their rendering workload. However, there's only so many CPUS a studio can afford, especially if it is a small studio. And the main problem is that other than during rendering, these CPUs are not used by the people who own them. So this is also a bit of deadweight to the company.

This is why hiring other people to do your rendering for you is a much better idea. Not only does you save you from having to invest in more systems than you need for the actual creation process but it also lowers your running costs, headers and your output time. That makes your company look much more efficient and professional to your client. You are able to deliver the work much faster and without any investment. All you have to do is pay per GHz of processing power that you are using.

This is service is provided by specialised rendering farms that have large clusters of their own that are dedicated for performing rendering tasks and all softwares and their respective renders are supported. So whether you use Maya, 3D Max, Blender or something else, a good rendering farm will be able to provide you the functionality right inside your software with a dedicated plugin.

No matter the size of your company, you can finally cut costs and increase efficiency, thanks to rendering farms.




3D Rendering Pipeline - Get Efficient

By Nick S Martin

Efficiency is the key to reducing your working times. If you are really busy and are constantly doing architectural rendering jobs then this article could save you a lot of time and make you money! All of your resources such as your materials, maps, 3d models, plants and background scenery needs to be very well organised. I'm sure most of you have got everything loosely filed away in a reasonably coherent order. But what can really save you a LOT of production time is to take the next step and get all your resources "hyper organised" (yes I have coined this phrase as a loose definition for extremely well organised). It will take you quite a lot of time initially to set it up, but once you are organised you will save yourself days! I will now show you the extent to which I am talking about.

Organise your 3D Library

Go through your entire 3D library and organise everything into a well defined group of folders. For example have a folder for chairs, tables, sofas, beds, windows, doors etc etc. It will also greatly help if you create a catalogue of each item within a collection (include an image of each specific item within a collection - that way when you are browsing through all your 3d models you will be able to see what each one looks like).

Organise your materials

A really good tip for saving yourself loads of time is to go through all your previous work and choose all the materials that you like and save them. Then when you need that specific material in another project you can simply open the saved material and apply it - instead of going through the whole process of recreating it.

Organise your maps

Again, go through all your maps and textures and organise them into a simple to use folder structure. Now when you are creating your materials you can quickly and easily navigate to each specific category. E.g. if you are creating a wooden material - you can go straight to your "wood folder".

Proxy's will save you a lot of time. If you are using a lot of objects like cars and plants in your 3D scenes, then it will help you to create proxy's for all of them. Checkout our tutorial on creating Vray Proxy's. Once you have created the proxy's you can simply drag and drop them into your scene. Again, organise your proxy library in an easy to use and understand folder structure.

Distributed rendering

If you are using distributed rendering or network rendering, then you will need to have all of your 3d resources in a central location. Now this all depends on how your office network is setup....but basically you need to make sure that the file paths to each map or proxy etc are the same from each render node. This is important as if your render farm doesn't have the same file paths to your resources as your workstation - your scene will render as if those resources were missing.

Backgrounds

Organise all of your backgrounds and HDR images so that you can easily grab them and use them in a scene.

Startup scenes and common scenes

A really good way to save a bit of time is to create a few generic startup scenes. If your like me then you will often start off your scenes with a specific set of settings for a certain scene. So create a few default scenes with all these settings already activated.

1. A standard scene - a basic scene with all your render settings setup for test renders - if you use vray then go through the render settings and make them how you like it!

2. An exterior scene - a scene setup for exterior 3d renderings. Go through the render settings, add a sun and sky setup, some background for reflections etc

3. An interior scene - a simple setup for an interior scene

Having these scenes saved and ready to go each time you start a new project will only save you a few minutes each time...but if you count how many minutes you will save over the course of a year or two...you will be amazed!

Anyway, these are just a few tips that we use to save time and increase productivity and efficiency in the studio. I hope that helps!





How Are 3D Animations Produced In The Studio? - What Goes On Behind The Curtain

By Cody Landon

There have been great leaps in computer graphics and one of the special things that have come as a result is 3D cartoon animation. People have used cartoons for many generations, from the still images that are mostly used in the print media to animated characters that take advantage of interactive abilities of modern gadgets, which is the level of 3D cartoon animation.

Cartoon animation involves drawing a series of images that are displayed in quick succession to give the impression of movement. The rate at which the images are displayed is measured in "frames per second," which is popularly known by its acronym, fps. To create a smooth flow of movement, a minimum of twenty four frames per second should be used. Cartoonists have to make these drawings. The next process involves animators, who do not necessarily have to be the cartoonists themselves. The animators use special graphics programs to create the desired flow of movement. However, this does not suffice to create 3D cartoon animation.

3D cartoon animation involves the use of polygons. The digital process involved in the production of three-dimensional characters is known as rigging. The objects are designed on the computer and a virtual skeleton is used to rig the 3D figures. The animator will create a simple representation of how the character is supposed to look like, creating a "skeleton" of the object.

Animation variables are used to define positions of respective segments in 3D animation. Modeling of all the frames must be completed before the frames are rendered. The computer will not render the "skeleton" directly but uses it to calculate the orientation and position of the object. This means that motion will be created by altering the values of the animation variables, which are also known as Avars.

It is easier for those making 3D cartoon animation to set the Avatars at specific positions in time to create motion. The computer will calculate how the images should appear between two points through a method that is known as keyframing.

Technological advances have made it possible to develop another method that is known as motion capture. This process involves recording the movements of a real person and the motions are then rendered to the character to be animated. Both methods have their own strengths in creating 3D animation.

The process of making 3D cartoon, animation seems like a lot of complicated work. While it is true that you need specialized skills to make great presentations, the sophisticated pieces of software that are available bring 3D cartoon animation to your fingertips.

 


What Is Rendering


''Where do architects and designers get their ideas?'' The answer, of course, is mainly from other architects and designers, so is it mere casuistry to distinguish between tradition and plagiarism?
Stephen Bayley

A building is akin to dogma; it is insolent, like dogma. Whether or no it is permanent, it claims permanence, like a dogma. People ask why we have no typical architecture of the modern world, like impressionism in painting. Surely it is obviously because we have not enough dogmas; we cannot bear to see anything in the sky that is solid and enduring, anything in the sky that does not change like the clouds of the sky.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright

A modern, harmonic and lively architecture is the visible sign of an authentic democracy.
Walter Gropius

A structure becomes architectural, and not sculptural, when its elements no longer have their justification in nature.
Guillaume Apollinaire

Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, are merely shadows cast by outward things on stone or canvas, having in themselves no separate existence. Architecture, existing in itself, and not in seeming a something it is not, surpasses them as substance shadow.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All architects want to live beyond their deaths.
Philip Johnson

All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

All fine architectural values are human vales, else not valuable.
Frank Lloyd Wright

 

 
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