First animation attempt

Started by sboerner, May 07, 2016, 01:31:38 pm

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First attempt at animation and I'm looking for some expert advice. The rendering is about 1/3 complete, just a simple orbit. Overall quality is set at 8.5 with AA at 3. Motion blur is disabled (not sure why I did that, to be honest). Atmosphere samples are set to 64.

I'm seeing some flickering in the ground cover, and also some intermittent variations in the shadow areas where the geometry is nearly parallel to the light source. Here is a place where a splash of sunlight occurs in a single frame (clearly visible in the animation). There are other instances, espcially along the terminator of the main shadow here.


Is this a quality setting issue? Or something else?

Any suggestions for improving the overall quality would be much appreciated - thanks.



Many thanks. That looks like it could be the same or similar issue. I'll run some test renders and will be back.


That was it. Changing Ray detail region to 360 degree detail seems to have taken care of the shadow popping. I rendered out a few individual frames at the "highest" setting, then backed it off to "optimal" for this test animation. The flashing areas and flickering shadow terminator are gone now.

There were a few other bits of info in that thread . . . so for the test animation I used Animation Check and enabled GI caching. I'm sure these also contributed to the nicer quality of the new animation.

There is still some flickering in the highly detailed areas of the grass and scrub, and trees. I realize now that an AA setting of 3 is probably too low, and have increased that to 7 for a new test before messing with anything else.


Nice :) I hope the new AA will get rid of that flicker.


Thanks. I've been gradually increasing the AA and Detail settings and rendering short frame sequences. Current AA is 14, Detail is 0.85. Atmosphere still at 64, and First sampling level is 1/16. Rendering is starting to get expensive and there is still a noticeable flicker in certain areas of the frame.

I'm falling into the trap of increasing everything in the hope that something good will come of it. Need to get past that and develop a deeper understanding of the relationships between the Pixel Sampler settings (AA, first sampling level, pixel noise threshold), the Render Extra tab settings (detail blending, pixel filter), and Atmosphere quality.

I'm sure most of this is explained in the forum, so I'll be reading up and will post specific questions here if I have trouble figuring it out . . .

Anything else I should be looking at? Subdiv settings? GI settings?


May 12, 2016, 01:04:27 pm #6 Last Edit: May 12, 2016, 01:15:59 pm by Kadri

AA 14 is probably too much high but others might help more on this one.

But GI settings can be important too in animation.
Do you use blending of GI cache file in your animation? If not you should probably.
Have a look here for example what Oshyan and Matt said:,20462.msg203139.html#msg203139


It seems much of the discussion regarding AA and sampling is related to objects. The areas of the frame that are flickering do not contain objects. They contain fake ground vegatation created with very small-scale displacements. Since the ray tracer doesn't render these, should I be looking at a different set of rendering parameters?

Modified to add: I'm using a GI cache with an interval of 10 frames, blending 5 for each frame of the animation.


May 12, 2016, 01:56:38 pm #8 Last Edit: May 12, 2016, 02:07:10 pm by Kadri

You might see help from others regarding this hopefully soon here.
In those aspects i am not much a help :)


Thanks, Kadri. You've helped me narrow down the problem.

BTW your work is very impressive. Incredible detail. I take it you're familiar with the work of Chesley Bonestell? (, among others.)


May 12, 2016, 02:14:00 pm #11 Last Edit: May 12, 2016, 02:21:04 pm by Kadri

I just saw your site link. Nice work.
I was just working on a sun animation when i saw your sun image there :)


Thanks. I always meant to get back to that to try an animation. There are more abandoned projects lying around here than you can shake a stick at.

Send a link when you finish it. I'd like to see it.


Hmm... Why not just now...
It is just the unfinished only Sun part and will change a little.
But i will just post it to Youtube and will post the link in this thread and in my own related thread.


May 12, 2016, 02:41:36 pm #14 Last Edit: May 12, 2016, 03:17:16 pm by Kadri

Here is it:

I used Lightwave for this scene. Could be done with Terragen too of course.
It is a direct Lightwave render. No postwork for now. The final scene will change.