Julian Darley (juliandarley)

9 answers · asked · Lesson: Rendering Interface · Course: Fundamentals of Rendering

Rendering Tutorial for Blender >2.8

this course appears to be at least five and a half years old and blender and cycles have changed quite a bit since then, especially the UI. is there an updated rendering course for 2.8? if so, i have not been able to find it. an up-to-date course on rendering was one of the main reasons i rejoined CGCookie so i am really hoping that there is one. 

thanks, julian

  • crew

    There definitely will be! I just need to do the texturing course update first. In the meantime, let us know in the forum if you have any rendering questions. 

    • ok, thanks, jonathan. do you know when the updated texturing course will be available and also the new rendering course?

      in terms of specific questions i am rather drowning in all the different parameters that can be tweaked and also my scenes are almost all animated and almost always have glass in and so caustics are big problem for me and denoising more generally and i just don't see a good way forwards - other than using neat denoiser in resolve, which rather defeats the point. 

      thx, julian

    • crew

      I'm trying to get a read on your experience level jjuliandarley. You're asking about caustics and denoising which tells me you have intermediate+ experience but you're overwhelmed by the parameters..sounds like you might have experience with other render engines that you're bringing into Blender?

      If that's true then perhaps you're more looking for a video that systematically demonstrates every rendering parameter one by one. Am I on the right track?

      Either way a Fundamentals Rendering Course probably won't cover caustics or denoising since they're not beginner concepts. In my 15 years of 3D I'm pretty sure I've *never* rendered true caustics 😅 I've faked them, but never rendered them true because they're too darn slow and noisy. If you're interested in faking caustics I can point you to some content on the site (older than 2.8 but still relevant techniques)

      Jonathan Lampel published a denoising tutorial for 2.81.

    • my level tends to vary with time because i go long periods without touching blender (eg working on AI or script writing or php coding) then i suddenly need to do some quite tricky things in blender, especially now that we are beginning a long push to make a live-action feature film with sets created in blender. 

      to give you an example of what i struggle with there are two different exposure parameters and they do different things. then again, the denoising parameters are all over the place and at least one of them only operate as nodes in the compositor (at least i think that is the case) - but i think it will clash with the interesting SID (super image denoiser) from kevin lorengel, though unfortunately this has not worked for me so far. if it did, it would make life a lot easier.  all in all, with so many inter-dependent parameters to tweak it feels like deep learning without the clever algorithms! 

      i know that caustics are a problem, expecially for cycles, and that very often one has to cheat them, but with a moving animated shot i am not sure how well that would work. i appreciate that many people are using blender to create stills or else for games, which somehow don't seem to need the same things as movies. again, i may be wrong, but that is my impression. 

      regarding a video or course that demonstrates all the render parameters in the order that one usually needs to adjust them, that would be great. the problem is, though, as mentioned earlier, it is such a multi-dimensinal problem that if you adjust one thing one way it affects something else differently than one might be expecting. none of this would matter much if i had an industrial-strength workstation with a couple of RTX3090s, but unfortunately i don't! i have just bumped up to 64GB of RAM, which helps with some operations. 

      i am about to do the rendering and presentation chapter of the treasure chest, and i shall glean what i can from it. 

       thanks, julian

  • crew

    Hi Julian - We're still in the process of re-recording our fundamentals courses for 2.8+ and this specific course hasn't been re-recorded quite yet. However there's plenty of 2.8+ rendering curriculum in our library! Here's a few you'll find helpful:

    PS: Keep in mind that this rendering fundamentals course is primarily focused on core rendering principles and concepts. Even though it features an older version of Blender, those principles and concepts still hold true with modern Blender despite the UI being updated and some buttons have moved around.

    • thanks again for this list, kent. i have now checked over all of them, and though the courses all look excellent and full of many fascinating and useful things (like constructing a low-poly light and shadow catcher for the live action house in the UFO course), all of them use eevee not Cycles. since i need photoreal quality and not stylised, eevee is not the way to go. 

      i guess for now, in order to find help with rendering a photoreal animation in cycles, i shall have to keep trawling the web. i will also keep reading the manual, but not surprisingly, it is very short on the kinds of detail one needs for a real-world sequence.  i have got two books on Cycles, but they are both for version 2.7x and i think quite a lot has happened to Cycles since then. 

      jd

    • crew

      I think quite a lot has happened to Cycles since then.

      Honestly, not that much has happened with Cycles since 2.7x. It may be hard to believe but for a period of about 5 years Cycles was under heavy development as it built up the majority of modern render engine features. But that period ended several years ago and it's primarily been small updates and optimizations since late 2.7x versions.

      Eevee is getting most of the render-centric development in recent years.

      I say that because you can still learn the vast majority of Cycles features from 2.7x material.

  • thanks for the rendering list, kent. i have already done the lighting course and i will start going through the rest forthwith.

    today, i have gone through your 2.73 rendering course and it has certainly helped, though as mentioned in my reply to jonathan, i am left with a lot of difficult questions. i will see what i can glean from your list and will try to pose as many specific questions as i can.

    thx, julian

     



  • crew

    Do you know when the updated texturing course will be available and also the new rendering course?

    The texturing course should be ready by March, but I don't know about the rendering course yet. 

     there are two different exposure parameters and they do different things.

    That's not just you - it's weird that it's like that. I use the exposure in the color management panel because it's the same in Cycles and in Eevee, but the officially recommended way to do it according to the developers is via the film panel. Problem is, that control doesn't exist in Eevee which makes it confusing to teach and use, so I ignore it. If you want a quick way to set exposure (including with actual EVs), try the Photographer addon. 

    the denoising parameters are all over the place and at least one of them only operate as nodes in the compositor

    That is indeed all over the place, and I can't speak to super image denoiser, but I would recommend using it via the sampling panel in the render properties. If you have a GTX card then go with OptiX for speed, otherwise use OpenImageDenoise. 

    i know that caustics are a problem, expecially for cycles, and that very often one has to cheat them, but with a moving animated shot i am not sure how well that would work.

    You could find a way to make it work because it's pretty much the only option. Rendering fully animated 'real' caustics would be a massive waste of time, even in an engine that handles them better than Cycles, such as LuxCore. Texturing a spotlight would be your best bet. 

    Hope that helps!