Blender/Yafray supported features update?

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Samjh
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Blender/Yafray supported features update?

Post by Samjh »

Following on from Eeshlo's excellent thread "Blender/Yafray supported features summary", what is the current state of Blender/Yafray integration?

What features are supported now, that weren't supported in the original thread?

eeshlo
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 10:02 pm

Post by eeshlo »

Nothing much has been added since then, most of the work still has to be done in yafray itself (updating the blender shader).
This is mostly my fault, I have been out for quite some time due to illness, and also did some other blender code.
Refering to that link, I'll just write here what has changed.

First, as for the export path, that is not necessary for windows users, if not set, the yafray install directory is used. Motion blur amd particles are still not supported.

Lighting
-----------
All Blender lamps are exported, blender hemilights however are exported as shadowless sunlights, so are not the same. Spotlights can be volumetric, like blender halo, but shadows are always shadowmapped for now.
Lighting levels still are not the same. This is a difficult problem. People have suggested to implement Blender's lighting models in yafray, but this is not an option for us, not because of implementation difficulties but more an issue of physically correct lighting especiallly when using GI.
There are possible other options, like solving the light levels for a certain distance, but could be more problematic for users then the current situation. Another is to add a real distance squared falloff mode to Blender, which was what I initially had done first when I started the export and that solved a lot, but I never asked if I could do something like that, don't know.

Materials
------------
The only thing sofar that has changed is that the 'TexFace' option for uv-textures now works too, so uv-textures don't necessarily have to be assigned as texture image to the material anymore.

Textures
------------
Not fully supported in the current export yet, but the next yafray version will have full support for all blender textures, with the exception of 'envmap', 'magic' and 'plugin' modes, possibly also stucci (because of how it is implemented in Blender).
This includes all new noise options.
The export code in the current official Blender (2.35a) only still supports the noise options for the cloud texture.

Other things now supported are orthographic camera mode & the aspect ratio (aspx & aspy buttons), background alpha (use 'RGBA' button for xml export, plugin always renders alpha), image texture relative paths. Blender's zbuffer is now also supported so that for instance the zblur plugin for faster dof can be used.

That is it as far as Blender supported features in yafray. As for the other way around, yafray features supported in Blender:
The photonlight has been added for caustics.
The camera has additional DoF controls, aperture and focal distance can be controlled by ipo, also controls for bokeh have been added.
Some additional light controls, blender 'Lamp' can have radius for a spherical arealight, it also can use shadowmaps (yafray's 'softlight').
World textures are supported, also hdri, for normal images yafray always assumes spheremapping though, so isn't yet particularly useful, since Blender's sphere mode is not the same (only half). No mapping button is used, hdri is always the same as blender's angmap mode, and as I said, regular images are always spheremap, full 360 panorama type, not Blender's hemi sphere mapping.

I think that is it, I could have forgotten something.

Anyway, yafray interest is not as high as it used to be, probably because of the lack of updates, and also because of frustration (not understanding why yafray renders are so different from Blender's and sometimes seemingly not producing any result at all) and resulting dissapointment with the possibilities/rendertimes, memory issues, but also because of Blender internal render additions etc. Some are waiting for Blender to have the same features, yafray is simply too problematic for some.
Some of these things can almost certainly never be quite resolved unless Blender is adapted to accomodate yafray and/or vice versa, and that is obviously not an option.

Samjh
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Post by Samjh »

Thanks for the reply, Eeshlo. :)

It's a shame that the interest in Yafray is declining. I think that the lack of Blender-specific documentation is one of the causes, which is why I started this thread.

Do not despair. There is a niche group among Blender users who appreciate even slight improvements in Blender/Yafray integration. Your efforts are not ignored.

JoOngle
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Post by JoOngle »

Ditto that - Yafray is indeed appreciated even tough it's equally appreciated
that the internal Renderer is improving all the time.

The reason for this is simple:

With two renderers (Yafray and BlenderRender) there's an option
so an artist can choose what render output he/she want's.

I tend to render with Yafray if I want perfect GI + beautiful
soft-tone lights on non-textured renderers only featuring colors
and transparent materials, Yafray is FANTASTIC with such renders.

The Blender Renderer is much more "overall" and covers nearly
every area, but it in fact quite slow when OSA is added + gaussing
to keep quality on reflections/Refractions high (such is demanded
when doing commercial work!)

I have to use The Blender internal renderer when rendering huge
wall-poster renders because of the speed....

ox
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 11:01 pm

Post by ox »

Don't let a lull in apparent interest be interpreted as real. Many of us lurk in the background on many issues. Yafray has a very important role to play in blender and it would be a great loss if integration falters. Keep up the good work!

eeshlo
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 10:02 pm

Post by eeshlo »

Appreciate the comments, but I can perfectly understand why some people currently find yafray too hard to use or unpredictable, or too slow, though that is also an issue of not fully understanding the parameters involved (not saying that yafray certainly can still be optimized more in several areas) and that in turn is of course caused by lack of documentation.
Anyway, development will continue, things may slow down a bit as far as features being added to yafray though, as you may or may not know there are redesign plans being worked out at the moment to make this easier in the future.
Blender's renderer will also be improved further of course, it could well be that at some point yafray is not 'necessary' anymore and Blender will be capable of everything yafray can do and more.

xeetstreet
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Post by xeetstreet »

eeshlo wrote:Appreciate the comments, but I can perfectly understand why some people currently find yafray too hard to use or unpredictable, or too slow, though that is also an issue of not fully understanding the parameters involved (not saying that yafray certainly can still be optimized more in several areas) and that in turn is of course caused by lack of documentation.
Anyway, development will continue, things may slow down a bit as far as features being added to yafray though, as you may or may not know there are redesign plans being worked out at the moment to make this easier in the future.
Blender's renderer will also be improved further of course, it could well be that at some point yafray is not 'necessary' anymore and Blender will be capable of everything yafray can do and more.
It's incredibly interesting to see Blender progress in so many different areas; I can't beleive that I am witnessesing some of crazy stuff you guys have been doing. Keep up the good work though, it's discouraging seeing a project like this fade away; make sure it doesn't!

winfried
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Post by winfried »

Keep Yafray up!
There are certainly many people interested (I just started to experiment with it)!

Apollux
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Post by Apollux »

eeshlo, have you ever been here: http://www.cgtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=91 ?

Yafray gets mentioned and talked about at least twice per day, and that is in a small forum... so I woudn't say that interest is getting any littler.

What I would say is that www.yafray.org needs to get updated more frecuently, Right now the newest "news" are from August 5th.. :?

eeshlo
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 10:02 pm

Post by eeshlo »

Apollux wrote:eeshlo, have you ever been here: http://www.cgtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=91 ?

Yafray gets mentioned and talked about at least twice per day, and that is in a small forum... so I woudn't say that interest is getting any littler.
Yes, I visit cgtalk frequently, but overall the same thing as on elysiun or elsewhere, mostly lots of problems trying to use and understand it. And the latest thread on yafray again mentions that what Blender really needs is good renderman support. Which I certainly can understand, renderman compliant renderers have virtually no limits. It can have the best of both worlds, scanline and raytracing, no shader/lighting restrictions whatsover, really only limited by the imagination. It isn't an industry standard for nothing.
What I would say is that www.yafray.org needs to get updated more frecuently, Right now the newest "news" are from August 5th.. :?
Well, yes, but that is because Luis, the webmaster is very busy, and has very little time to update the site. Jandro as well is very busy, last I heard he was going to be a professor soon (!) teaching a cg course, and also had a job as a 3d designer. I only answer questions on the forum from time to time.

Anyway, there is some news about the site but not good news. Today the forum got hacked (or at least so it seemed), and the entire database seems to have been deleted. The message left on the site was 'owned by blakmajik' or something. Strangely there was a message posted today on elysiun about some critical phpBB error or something that now has been deleted, right after that the yafray forum got hacked... not saying that is related somehow, but still...
Now the entire site is offline again, I'll have to wait for Jandro tomorrow to tell me what exactly happened.

Bellorum
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Post by Bellorum »

Yes, I visit cgtalk frequently, but overall the same thing as on elysiun or elsewhere, mostly lots of problems trying to use and understand it. And the latest thread on yafray again mentions that what Blender really needs is good renderman support.
Well, as much as I'd love to see renderman support for Blender, I have no feeble illusions that it would be easier to use and understand :wink:
There's no such thing as democracy. There's only the tyranny of one, and the tyranny of many.

Apollux
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Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Post by Apollux »

When the RIB integration comes (IF it ever comes) I seriously doub that it will become even as remotely popular as Yafray.

The average Blender user has no coding expertice, nor desire to get it.. and learning to shade for Renderman requieres you to learn a whole new programming language.

Big studios has resident programming staff just for writing Renderman shaders, but most down-to-earth people won't prefer to spend the entire afternoon writing a "wet stone shader" when they can teaw the Blender's material settings, fire Yafray and have the render done in a small fraction of the time and efford.

bertram
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Post by bertram »

Apollux wrote:When the RIB integration comes (IF it ever comes) I seriously doub that it will become even as remotely popular as Yafray.
I wouldn't bet on this if I were you.
Apollux wrote:The average Blender user has no coding expertice, nor desire to get it.. and learning to shade for Renderman requieres you to learn a whole new programming language.
1. There are some really good tools available to interactively create shaders.
2. There are some really good pre-made shaders available on the internet.
3. Programming a basic shader by hand is no rocket science.

ox
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 11:01 pm

Post by ox »

Well if Yafray stalls in the process I can understand it, with busy lives as they are, with the coders. Perhaps if the code is situated in such a fashion that others could pick up the loose ends it will be infused with new life. When I consider it, I would say there has been way too much work already done to just let such a wonderful tool fade away.
I am one of those persons who dose not understanding how to code but I still found out how to use Yafray. It is great! It adds so much quality to my art work, another dimension if you will, and I appreciate it immensely. Just because you have not built it to cater to point and click doesn't mean it is too hard. Every good tool requires a learning period and some learning curves are tougher than others.
Well, anyway, I want to thank your team for the incredible amount of hard work you have done and I fully intend to use Yafray for my work.

eeshlo
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 10:02 pm

Post by eeshlo »

Apollux wrote:When the RIB integration comes (IF it ever comes) I seriously doub that it will become even as remotely popular as Yafray.
I seriously doubt the opposite. It has the potential to have far less problems than the current yafray situation.
The average Blender user has no coding expertice, nor desire to get it.. and learning to shade for Renderman requieres you to learn a whole new programming language.
Well, the same applies to yafray, and not as easy to do either (hardcoded, no shading language). Yafray currently has even less material options than blender (meaning brdf types/ramps/modulation options, textures are a bit better supported now), not when used with Blender at least. Some people actually still use the older python scripts for more control for that reason.
And I would envision the renderman code to provide premade shaders to emulate the blender materials as much as possible like has been done before with the blenderman script as well as for the aqsis export in tuhopuu. Those who really need it can then make custom shaders for their own use.
But that can be done in yafray too, albeit not as easy. The real problem is still the lighting, which also is no problem whatsoever to emulate in renderman since it seems to me the whole point is to let the artist be in control, not the program. Which you can't really say of yafray (yet), especially when used with Blender, but then again, it still is only version 0.0.7...

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