Blender|Aqsis integration

Blender's renderer and external renderer export

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pgregory
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:09 pm

Postby pgregory » Wed Mar 03, 2004 6:47 pm

cekuhnen wrote:there is the tool which can generate shaders by a visual way and crafter shouild be able get teached how to export renderman shaders as well.

sure it would be all awesome when you have a basic shader system inside blender for aqsis and later even a more complex system!

This pretty much my plan, support at least the basic Blender material functionality at first to make it easy to use Blender to produce images and animations with Aqsis, then add support for applying custom shaders somehow (someone suggested using a plugin texture), so that people can use their own custom written, more powerful Renderman shaders.
cekuhnen wrote:but this way i mentioned is just a good apraoch in my opinoin and not to much work for the user to get used to it.

i rather fix ribs and get awesome results.

claas

In this case, I don't necessarily agree. I like the RIB 'massaging' approach, it works well in a production house, or where there are resources with a high level of technical ability. However, one of the reasons for doing the Aqsis integration is to enable less tech savvy users (i.e. the majority of individual designers working from home) to have a simple 'one click' solution to producing images and animation with Blender and Aqsis. This is the reason why I am choosing this approach, as far as the designer is concerned, the choice of renderer should be just that, choose and go, or as near to that ideal as possible.

Generally, designers don't want to know if the renderer is Renderman, or whatever, just that it gives good renders with all the neat features like motion blur and so on, without worrying about the intricacies of the architecture. Even better if they can get really cool complex shaders from the net, and use them in the same interface.

Cheers

PaulG

philippe
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:53 pm

Postby philippe » Wed Mar 03, 2004 6:56 pm

I will update my list (maybe tonight) and send it to you.

rib boxes would certainly be fine, but you'll need at least 4 levels of rib boxes (like in mtor) :
- declare (inserts at the top of the rib, before FrameBegin)
- frame ((inserts at the top of the frame block)
- world (inserts at the top of the world block)
- regular (inserts in the AttributeBegin block of the object)
but that's no big deal.

if you already have a shader, it would certainly be interesting to have a look at it. but there are certainly quite a few things we can do much better than Blender in terms of shading.

BTW, I'm on OSX at home, but I use linux at work.

philippe

cekuhnen
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 11:04 pm

Postby cekuhnen » Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:55 pm

aqsis has no raytracing?

pgregory
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:09 pm

Postby pgregory » Thu Mar 04, 2004 9:22 am

cekuhnen wrote:aqsis has no raytracing?

Not yet, it is a purely REYES renderer, the same as prman was until recently, i.e. all through ToyStory, Monsters Inc. etc. and the trillion other films it has been used in.

Cheers

PaulG

pgregory
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:09 pm

Postby pgregory » Thu Mar 04, 2004 9:27 am

philippe wrote:I will update my list (maybe tonight) and send it to you.

rib boxes would certainly be fine, but you'll need at least 4 levels of rib boxes (like in mtor) :
- declare (inserts at the top of the rib, before FrameBegin)
- frame ((inserts at the top of the frame block)
- world (inserts at the top of the world block)
- regular (inserts in the AttributeBegin block of the object)
but that's no big deal.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I had in mind, I feel that allowing users to have completely arbitrary RIB in various places is the most flexible. Perhaps for the purpose of ease of use, it might be worth having a/some buttons that automatically put RIB into those boxes according to the rendering engine chosen.
philippe wrote:if you already have a shader, it would certainly be interesting to have a look at it. but there are certainly quite a few things we can do much better than Blender in terms of shading.

BTW, I'm on OSX at home, but I use linux at work.

philippe

I don't have a shader as such, more a starting point, I have reworked the texblender.sl shader to take all the arguments I have thus far identified in the Blender material, and altered the export process to fill those in. I have some code to do basic blending of the (up to) 8 texture channels, and a couple of the texture types ready. Still needs a lot of work to mimic the Blender material.

I agree, Aqsis is capable of much more in terms of shading, and being able to apply custom shaders is a must. But in the short term, I was thinking of extreme ease of use, and using the Blender materials allows people (me included) to get up and running very quickly producing images with Aqsis.

Cheers

PaulG

philippe
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:53 pm

Postby philippe » Thu Mar 04, 2004 9:58 am

Perhaps for the purpose of ease of use, it might be worth having a/some buttons that automatically put RIB into those boxes according to the rendering engine chosen.


I was thinking about it yesterday night. it would definitely be more flexible. still maybe some basic things like visibility should be handled through the blender UI.

extreme ease of use sounds good. we just have to match the shading models and textures. I already have code in my lib for all of that I guess.

Q: do you support SL arrays in Aqsis ?
Q: where are you located Paul ? I work in London.

to attach custom shaders you could detect if "Surface" is used in the rib box and if so skip the matching Surface call.

If you've got something working to export, we could start real quick now I guess...

philippe

pgregory
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:09 pm

Postby pgregory » Thu Mar 04, 2004 10:34 am

philippe wrote:I was thinking about it yesterday night. it would definitely be more flexible. still maybe some basic things like visibility should be handled through the blender UI.

True, perhaps that is where the dictionary would come in handy. A set of standard RIB snippets that achieve certain things in different renderers.
philippe wrote:extreme ease of use sounds good. we just have to match the shading models and textures. I already have code in my lib for all of that I guess.

Yes, that was what I was thinking, I don't think it would be that difficult, a) they just seem to use standard lighting methods (Blinn, Phong etc.) and b) the code is available so we can easily identify the methods used.
philippe wrote:Q: do you support SL arrays in Aqsis ?

Yes, as far as I am aware we support all language features in SL as of the 3.2 spec.
philippe wrote:Q: where are you located Paul ? I work in London.

Basingstoke, about 40 miles SW of London.
philippe wrote:to attach custom shaders you could detect if "Surface" is used in the rib box and if so skip the matching Surface call.

That would work as a simple starting point, but at some stage, I'd like to have a shader parameter editing interface, similar to Blenderman, so that you can load a shader and apply it to an object/light, and then tweak the parameters in a graphical window.
philippe wrote:If you've got something working to export, we could start real quick now I guess...

philippe

I have basic mesh export working with normals, but no texture coordinates yet, lights, and the framework for the material export. I currently export to a separate RIB file with the proposed BL_material shader, and all the Blender parameters passed in, and then ReadArchive that into the main RIB.

If you are able to build Tuhopuu I can send you the files I have, but I've only built under Windows at the moment. Let me know how you want to proceed.

Cheers

PaulG

philippe
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:53 pm

Postby philippe » Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:16 pm

Basingstoke, about 40 miles SW of London.

good, close enough for a pinte. :-)
I work in Soho.

That would work as a simple starting point, but at some stage, I'd like to have a shader parameter editing interface, similar to Blenderman, so that you can load a shader and apply it to an object/light, and then tweak the parameters in a graphical window.

that would certainly be mandatory to be able to animate the params. In the meantime, maybe the ribboxes could have access to a few globals like the current frame.

If you are able to build Tuhopuu I can send you the files I have, but I've only built under Windows at the moment. Let me know how you want to proceed.


I'm gonna grab Tuhopuu this week-end and see how it compiles on osx. At the moment I am in the final weeks of our current show and I have a lot of work, but I'll do my best.

We'll have to create a cvs or add a new module to an existing one.

can you send me your sl, so I can have a look at what we need ? I'll send you a PM with my work email.

philippe

philippe
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:53 pm

Postby philippe » Thu Mar 04, 2004 1:04 pm

paul,

I sent you my adress via your sourceforge account (private messages are disabled on this board).

philippe

max
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 2:00 pm

Postby max » Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:11 pm

Hello,

I'd be interresting to have a look & maybe help in this job.
I've got some little skills in renderman & shading language.
I use blender for many years.

How to help ?

pgregory
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:09 pm

Postby pgregory » Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:16 pm

max wrote:Hello,

I'd be interresting to have a look & maybe help in this job.
I've got some little skills in renderman & shading language.
I use blender for many years.

How to help ?

Hi Max,

Thanks for the offer. At the moment Phillipe is doing a stalwart job of producing the shaders to mimic Blender behaviour, and I am (slowly) putting together the core exporter.

I think before anyone else jumps in to help out, it is important that the changes get stored properly in a CVS repository, otherwise it will soom become a pain to keep everyone involved in the loop. To that end, I will try and submit a patch this week sometime to the Tuhopuu mailing list as suggested earlier.

One concern, it relies on an Aqsis library, which I am happy to have put into the libs CVS repository, to avoid people having to unnecessarily download extra things, how should I go about getting that added?

Once this is done, I'd be happy to chat about how to best collaborate on the project to make the best of everyones time. Contact me by mail if you want more detail.

Cheers

PaulG

max
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 2:00 pm

Postby max » Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:49 pm

Can't find your email :?:

pgregory
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:09 pm

Postby pgregory » Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:06 pm

Use the 'contact' address at http://www.aqsis.com. That one gets through to me.

Cheers

PaulG

cekuhnen
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 11:04 pm

Postby cekuhnen » Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:30 pm

this makes me very exited. i hope a basic aqsis support get into tuhopuu and also the public version soon.

this sounds very promessing to me.

claas

birras
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2003 1:22 pm

Postby birras » Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:35 pm

thumps up !!!!!
if inviting you guys for a pint would speed up your project :D
i´d do it..........it´s just a little(much) more than 40miles for me

question:
a reyes renderer would defininately speed up render-time when compared to a ray-tracer
somewhere i read (i think it was at the render.c site,but not shure..will post the link when i find it..), that aqsis , despite the fact that it is a reyes renderer, still is quite slow.....due to a problem in the code....did you hear about that?

did anyone compare rendertimes?
i will look into it and render a .rib first with bmrt(more or less as slow as yafray) and later with aqsis....
will post results
Last edited by birras on Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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