Author Topic: When Everything Went Black  (Read 2363 times)

Offline AC5LT43R

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When Everything Went Black
« on: May 02, 2014, 03:56:25 PM »
(Sorry for seemingly clogging up the support board, I've been given a rather big project to work on and having never used Terragen before (neither has anyone else in the studio), I'm running in to a few issues)

So for some reason all of a sudden, my preview window isn't really working properly anymore, most of the time it'll start to reload the preview, then everything will be black. When I render, no matter from what camera or what render node, it will calculate the GI and then render a black image. The problem seems intermittent but I can't for the life of me work out what's going on.

I've attached the file for anyone who wants to have a look at it.

Cheers
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 12:11:10 PM by AC5LT43R »

Offline yossam

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 05:24:00 PM »
Is your camera under water? Your water has a level of 100 and your camera is at 0.0233187.


I rendered from camera 1 and camera 2..........the results are below.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 05:37:58 PM by yossam »

Offline AC5LT43R

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 03:10:15 PM »
 I have had the sequence render over the weekend and  about 1/4 of the frames have rendered okay, the rest have rendered black. The render elements passes are all rendered correctly..so I have no idea.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 12:11:43 PM by AC5LT43R »

Offline Kadri

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2014, 06:03:54 PM »

Your Sun is very low with weak sun strength and the camera flies thru the clouds.
There might be other reasons too (water shader options, haze etc) but those above changes the appearance already.

Offline fleetwood

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2014, 08:00:29 PM »
I notice the two cloud layers both have Receive Shadows from Surfaces turned on in the cloud Quality tab settings. This may or may not have to do with the black outs, but that one setting alone does cause a great big increase in render time. Unless you need to prevent the sun shining through the planet surface such as a mountain or have a mountain or object that casts shadows on the cloud at some point, then Receive Shadows is not accomplishing anything good.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 08:04:02 PM by fleetwood »

Offline Oshyan

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2014, 10:32:17 PM »
I'm assuming you're using the Quick Render, given the resolution and detail settings. If that's the case, your GI Cache settings might be rather odd and inappropriate for your camera motion. You have a full 180 degree camera rotation, but are using a single GI cache file that is unlikely to effectively cover both extremes. I'd recommend a sequence of GI cache files, perhaps every 10th frame, and blended "interpolate (for animation)" with perhaps 5 frames blended.

Another option to consider is, since your camera movement is comparatively small and does not appear to be close to any clouds or other elements that would show major parallax, you might be able to get away with just rendering a high resolution spherical camera output and then using that in another 3D app to create a simple camera rotation. This would save you a lot of render time. If there's enough movement on the closer clouds you might need to render those to a separate layer with alpha and do some parallax shifting, but still would save time.

More generally speaking I think your render settings are quite unnecessary in several ways. Detail 1 is going to give you higher quality clouds, true, but it is generally unnecessary (though it would help with water quality); in this case since your scene consists almost entirely of clouds I'd actually recommend using Defer Atmo/Cloud, which will give you even higher quality cloud edges, and then use much lower detail (even as low as 0.25, if there's no terrain visible). AA8 is also likely unnecessary unless you're using built-in motion blur; AA quality doesn't significantly affect the clouds (Detail affects cloud edge quality, but only when Defer Atmosphere is not used). Then, your GI settings are extremely high. A Cache Quality of 10 is almost certainly unnecessary. I'd recommend 4-6. Any higher and you probably won't see the difference, but your GI cache files get a lot bigger, and the calculation times a lot longer. As Fleetwood mentioned, the Receive Shadows from Surfaces options are also unnecessary here because clouds are already self-shadowing, and that option only controls shadows from Terrain or Objects, which are not present here.

Hopefully that will help you resolve your problem *and* reduce render times.

- Oshyan

Offline AC5LT43R

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 11:01:28 AM »
Thanks for the detailed reply Oshyan, definitely lots of help with regards for render times. The reason why I'd put settings so high was because I was leaving it to render on the render farm over the weekend, so I cranked the settings just to see how much of a difference it would make. (If you're interested, earlier frames have taken around an hour to complete, whilst the latter are around 3 hours). I had rendered out a GI cache sequence for every 10 frames, which has worked for all the previous animations I've done no problem. When I checked the renders yesterday, about 3/4 of the renders had rendered completely black, but some had rendered just the way they should've. I re-rendered the GI cache and everything seems to be working fine now. However, I'm still not sure why the viewport would go completely black.

Offline AC5LT43R

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 02:26:03 PM »
Again I've ran in to this problem and narrowed it down to the Water Shader, yesterday my scene was fine and rendered okay, now whenever a water shader is connected to the Lake node, it turns my viewport black.

Offline Oshyan

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2014, 06:10:35 AM »
Are you using any custom displacements on the water surface? Small scales? Is the water shader default or modified?

- Oshyan

Offline AC5LT43R

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2014, 10:50:27 AM »
After seemingly fixing the problem, it's appeared again.. with stranger issues.

I'm now rendering 6 cameras for a cubic map and all rendered fine except for the one pointing straight down. I get these strange artifacts as you can see in the attached pictures.

I then rendered the same image with the same settings without a pre rendered GI file and it rendered the whole image black. I really don't know whats going on  ???

edit: After switching cameras, my viewport goes back to normal, I pressed render and it rendered fine. After the render, my viewport turns black until I change cameras a few times.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 12:20:11 PM by AC5LT43R »

Offline Oshyan

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2014, 09:59:02 PM »
Can you post a new TGD that shows the new problem?

- Oshyan

Offline AC5LT43R

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2014, 11:01:20 AM »
Since I made the post, the problem hasn't returned. Perhaps it's just a bug? Cycling through the cameras seems to fix the problem.

Offline Oshyan

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2014, 10:10:34 PM »
Yes, it does sound like a potentially intermittent bug, which can of course be very hard to track down. I'm most interested in the render error though. If that's reproducible, do let us know and send a TGD if possible

- Oshyan

Offline AC5LT43R

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2014, 10:50:06 AM »
The artifact problem has appeared again, with the same camera. I pressed render and it rendered fine locally, then I did it again and it rendered black, then fine..then black again. I've attached the TG file, albeit with some things missing (nda stuff etc).

Online Matt

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Re: When Everything Went Black
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 05:27:19 PM »
Hi,

The version you have installed is a very old alpha build from before the Terragen 3 release (v2.9). Please contact us at support@planetside.co.uk or alternatively via the alpha test website so we can update you to the latest alpha build (if possible) and provide alpha-specific support, or recommend an upgrade path.

Matt
Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.

 

anything