Preview vs. final render settings - useful additions

Started by pokoy, April 30, 2014, 11:05:24 am

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pokoy

While doing a lot of preview renders the last days I wondered if it's possible to add some global options to the renderer to allow for quicker work with previews. I guess most users will define two different render nodes, one for the final render and one for the preview. Still, some additional controls would be very handy:

- A simple checkbox to disable populations globally. Right now I have to disable each population for the preview and enable it for the final. Would be way more elegant to have a global switch for this.
- A global multiplier for atmosphere and cloud quality. Simple and fast way to increase/decrease quality of ALL atmospheric nodes would save a lot of time as opposed to setting each node manually.

I often forget to switch on a population node or forget to set sample levels back to final settings before firing up the final render. So a nice side effect of these options would be that you minimize 'user error'.

Also nice to have would be an option to not clear the buffer when doing cropped renders. Sometime I want to see my changes in a cropped region and it would be very useful if the old render wouldn't get cleared from the buffer so I can compare the new and the old result side by side.

jaf

I can't remember how many times I've asked for that optional feature of not clearing the render image buffer in crop renders, but I guess we are the only two that see it's usefulness. 

A global "objects off/on" toggle option would also be very useful.

Scripting, if it existed,  could be used to accomplish many of these suggestions.
(09nov19) Ryzen 1800x, 970 EVO 1TB NVME-M.2 SSD, Corsair Vengeance 64GB DDR4 3200 Mem,  EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Graphics 441.08 (29oct19), Win 10 Pro x64, Terragen Pro 4.4.44, BenchMark 0:10:02

pokoy

Yeah, it would make working really a bit easier and I remember that this came up at some point already. Also, a button to bring up the last rendered image would be good, it seems this isn't possible either.

As for the quick global switches, I'm surprised these haven't found their way into the render settings, they'd be a big time saver.

reck

Quote from: pokoy on May 01, 2014, 05:50:07 am
Also, a button to bring up the last rendered image would be good, it seems this isn't possible either.



I was just about to mention this. I think most people when modifying scenes in Terragen work in a similar fashion. That is to alter a parameter, render, compare, alter parameter, render, compare.....

Right now the compare part is a bit of pain as i'm constantly saving test images out that serve no purpose other than to see how the parameter affects the image compared to the setting before. If Terragen would allow you to flip between between the current render and the previous render it would be a big help when comparing changes.

Dune

What I sometimes do is printscreen and paste in Irfanview (always on top), fast and quite easy to compare stuff (but not if you work bigger than your screen resolution).

pokoy

Quote
If Terragen would allow you to flip between between the current render and the previous render it would be a big help when comparing changes.


I agree, this is another nice idea.

Quote
What I sometimes do is printscreen and paste in Irfanview (always on top), fast and quite easy to compare stuff (but not if you work bigger than your screen resolution).


Yes, I do that as well sometimes. But you're still not seeing a region of the new render against the old render in one window. You could switch to PS for that but what a waste of time this is compared to the (probably) relatively easy addition of this feature as an option.

Screen size - yeah, what's with that? 100% won't display as 100% but get resized instead? Why, what's the logic here?

Another thing that's prone to user error is placing the 'Save' button just next to the 'Render' button. I'm always close to pressing the wrong one and render again instead of saving the file. Not a major thing but something to keep in mind should the UI get touched at some point.

Sorry for bringing up something that has been discussed already but these are really minor requests that would make working a lot easier. I realize there are other things to focus on, but the UI is really a part of the whole experience and shouldn't be left out when improving the app.

Dune

There used to be the option to zoom, but that has been abandoned since quite a few updates. I don't know why, and testers have asked regularly to get it working again, but I assume it is difficult to implement somehow. I'm sure staff have their reasons for doing (or not doing) stuff.

Oshyan

These are all pretty good suggestions, most of which we're aware of and many of which aren't, unfortunately, as easy to implement as you might think. But we do hope to make all of this kind of stuff easier, I can say that. In the meantime here are some suggested workarounds/workflows that may help.

For comparing images/crops/etc.:

First turn on automatic output of renders in Preferences -> File Saving. I recommend setting output format to TIFF 8-bit ZIP as TIF is widely supported and the ZIP compression will save space. These images will also be saved whether a render finishes or not, so that's useful, you can abort and compare even if you didn't want to wait for it to finish.

Then, get a good, fast image viewer that allows you to quickly switch between two or more images. I use XnView and Faststone, both are excellent and free. http://www.xnview.com/ and http://www.faststone.org/

Finally, when you open Terragen for the first time (and each time you create or open a new project, since the folder changes at this point), go to File -> Explore Automatic Render Output Files. As soon as you do your first render, a new folder will appear in there, go into that and you can open your automatic image output(s). Images will continue to be saved there automatically each time you render (again, whether you let it finish or not). These can be easily compared with the image viewers above. I just mouse wheel scroll between different crops, for example. Also takes care of the zoom issue as you can zoom all you want, quickly and easily, and even preserve zoom levels between different images you're viewing.

For the Population on/off issue:
Put all your populations in a Group, then just turn the group on and off.

For the atmosphere rendering issue:
This is not a total solution but IF you use Raytrace Atmosphere, then the Antialiasing value becomes a quick multiplier for quality. It's non-ideal because it also affects quality of objects, etc. but it could be a useful idea to consider.

- Oshyan

SteveR

Another suggestion for comparing images, is Adobe Bridge if you have it, I tend to use the preview mode for comparing different renders, but it has a fair few configurable options to make it work reasonably well.

Would be better to have a render window that stores most recent images (maybe like the modo render dialogue) but the above works quite well.

Dune

QuoteFor the Population on/off issue:
Put all your populations in a Group, then just turn the group on and off.


Can you explain this, please, Oshyan. I can't get it to work. Disable the group? It would be handy if it worked for sure.

j meyer

Quote from: Dune on May 05, 2014, 02:59:54 am
QuoteFor the Population on/off issue:
Put all your populations in a Group, then just turn the group on and off.


Can you explain this, please, Oshyan. I can't get it to work. Disable the group? It would be handy if it worked for sure.


Most likely this refers to render layers,you can group your pops there and then set the
group to invisible and it won't get rendered until you change it to visible again.

Dune


Kadri


Not sure if this is the problem but if you click on a group (select it)
and then press D all the nodes in it are disabled like you do for an individual node. 



Dune

Thanks, Kadri. I didn't know that either, though I vaguely remember something about it mentioned somewhere. But it's only a key, not a rightclick menu thing and that would make it more available to users, IMO. Have to remember that!!!