12 Replies Latest reply on Feb 22, 2016 6:35 AM by Nicolas Michel-Imbert

    Visualize - questions and user experiences so far

    Barry Shapiro

      I downloaded Visualize Standard a few days ago. So far not impressed with image quality. Non of the HDR images i used in Photoview look good in Visualize no matter what I do. I adjusted both the brightness and gamma, rotation to no avail. I'm finding that even after 1000 render passes there are still artifacts in the images. Note that my HDRs were all created in HDR light studio or purchased from MODO. Even my larger HDRs that are 5000 pixels in their longer dimension produce the same poor results. 


      Few things to note are that I currently use Photoview to produce images that are used on our cartons, presentations and other promotional materials.

      Just want to note that I used Visualize pro at SW world last week. I don't think there were any features in Pro that would make any difference in image quality.

      And I am using the new recommended nVidia driver so that should not be an issue.

      I have tried rendering at sizes up to 6000 pixels in the larger dimension and see no improvement.


      I can't show the project I was working with but rendered the Camaro to test also.

      I noticed the same artifacts in the Camaro. Look on the top of the hood in the shadow near the drivers side. It's in other places too but easy to see there.


      Is anyone else seeing any issues with image quality?


      I would like to what the plans are for the future of the product and where Photoview fit in to future plans. Is Photoview going away?

      We are in need to update several computers and are facing a big divide as to which way to go with rendering software. CPU VS GPU. There are huge differences is cost configuring for GPU.  I you build for GPU, we could put together a system with 2 nVidia M400s and a 6 core Xeon at 3.5 GHz for around $3000. A comparable CPU based system with dual processor Xeon's 3.4 GHz with a K2200 would cost about $6500. It would definately help to know what Solidworks plans were for their rendering apps.


      Also, one last thing. The materials in the appearance pane look dull and hard to see. Not exactly like the quality of the previews in MODO.


      Please respond with your experiences so far. Most notably what your seeing in image quality.



        • Re: Visualize - questions and user experiences so far
          Jeremy Feist

          we have not installed it here yet, but I did get to play with it at SWW. your comment about 1000 render passes does not seem to jive with my recollection. are you talking about the active preview window? or have you actually told it to render out an image? (I don't recall either saying how many "passes" were involved...)


          attached is the quick camaro render I did.

            • Re: Visualize - questions and user experiences so far
              Barry Shapiro


              Your rendering kind of reinforces one of the issues I'm seeing in the iRay rendering engine. It kind of looks like a model. Once you get away from jewelry which always makes the renderings look great and high gloss finishes like the car, that's when  you see really what the rendering software can do.


              You can set the quality setting in the rendering settings for the final render. There is a slider or you can enter the exact number for the number of rendering passes. I went to 2 of the hands on Visualize sessions at SW world. I'm fairly sure they said 1000 passes should be sufficient for most renderings unless you enabled caustics or had a lot of costly areas in the rendering. Such as crazy textures and lots of clear or transparent objects. The artifacts I'm pointing out are in a fairly simple area.


              One thing also missing is a lack of Mold Tech textures. The textures they have aren't showing up well. And I checked the online textures tab, not much there. Even after they are sized correctly. I'll do some existing products tomorrow that I can post. Unfortunately I was working with preliminary designs.

            • Re: Visualize - questions and user experiences so far
              Jason Stevens

              Could you upload the HDR that you used to create this image?

              • Re: Visualize - questions and user experiences so far
                Roger Reid

                With Visualize you'll really need around 3000 passes to loose the artifacts.

                  • Re: Visualize - questions and user experiences so far
                    Barry Shapiro

                    BTW at 3000 passes aren't you loosing the advantage of the GPU speed?

                    Since we are looking at this to make decisions about how we are going to configure new systems, we are going to upgrade 1 computer to the nVidia M4000 video card. That should give us a good idea in comparison to the dual processor systems.


                    The Camaro was just rendered with the supplied route 66 HDR (environment) image.

                      • Re: Visualize - questions and user experiences so far
                        Roger Reid

                        Typically my setup renders will be around 1000 passes but final renders will be 2500-3000 for clarity.

                        GPU is really the only way to use Visualize, CPU will be painfully slow.  So it is not so much you get a speed advantage (compared to say Keyshot with CPU) using the GPU, it's just that it is the only viable way to use the product. 

                          • Re: Visualize - questions and user experiences so far
                            Barry Shapiro


                            I'm testing this with my Dual processor Xeon 3.2 GHz 8 core system. With Hyperthreading on that gives me 32 cores when rendering. I have it set to Hybrid mode to take advantage of my Quadro 4000 which only has 640 cores (i think). It should give me something close to what I would see with the K2200s they had in the systems at SW world.


                            There should be a price to performance ratio improvement with the GPU rendering. High end CPUs like the one I use are very expensive, where as a system with a single processor and 2 nVidia M4000 should outpreform the CPU base systems to achieve the same quality image at half the cost. I already priced these systems from dell.


                            Read this........

                            GPU Rendering vs. CPU Rendering – A method to compare render times with empirical benchmarks | BOXX Technologies Blog

                            Boxx did the testing in 2014. Keep in mind that iRay was updated since then and should be improved in both speed and render quality.


                            I'll set up something and run it to 3000 passes and see what happens, but i wasn't really seeing any improvement between 500 and 1000 passes in the Camaro, in that area.


                            The thing I don't know is if the iRay rendering engine renders differently in hybrid or CPU mode vs all GPU.

                              • Re: Visualize - questions and user experiences so far
                                Brian Hillner

                                Hi Barry,


                                While I cannot share exact plans for future roadmap, we have no plans to remove PhotoView360 at this time. Each user will have their own preference with rendering package of choice, we just wanted to give users an easy to use tool to quickly product photo-quality content, without having to jump through a lot of hoops to get there,


                                The rendering quality regardless of GPU/CPU/Hybrid produces the exact same result, the only difference is the time it takes to completion.


                                For your texture comment, try increasing the "Bump Scale" setting, which will increase the bump map effect.




                                  • Re: Visualize - questions and user experiences so far
                                    David Randle

                                    In addition to Brian's comments, here is some additional feedback:


                                    1. If you are comparing convergence (removal of noise), quality and speed per hardware to PV360/Keyshot, you should be using Fast mode in Visualize. Accurate mode should really be reserved for difficult to light scenarios (close up of the headlight, interiors, items with many layers of transparency, subsurface scattering materials etc. etc.) For hard body exteriors (like the Camaro) it's overkill and you'll be waiting for unnecessary passes to fully converge.


                                    2. Pass count recommendation can widely vary. We say 1000 is usually good enough for a print ready image in the most generic scenarios. Things that will affect requiring more passes are the HDRI image (especially if the light source in the HDRI is small), materials (materials with subtle roughness typically take a few more passes to converge), quantity of glass in the scene (which causes indirect bounces). Notice that in your camaro image, the only areas that havn't converged are the ones where there is either a reflection of indirect bounces (on the hood in the windshield reflection) and on the duckbill spoiler (a light trap). As stated above, Fast mode should really give you a plenty good enough result with perfect convergence in much less time.


                                    3. HDRI lighting woes - not sure what to say here but examples of what your expectations are vs. what is actually happening will be helpful. The important thing for you to know is that most other rendering packages alter the scene gamma by default to exaggerate contrast. This isn't good as it alters the representation of colors in the scene to not be correct. Visualize doesn't do this. The scene gamma is set to 2.2 to maintain color accuracy in the scene. You can override this in the Camara Postproccess section. If you want a similar look and feel to PV360, try changing gamma to 1.8.


                                    I hope this is useful information for you.

                          • Re: Visualize - questions and user experiences so far
                            Nicolas Michel-Imbert

                            Hi Barry,


                            To complete what Brian and David are saying, the method of computing only change the rendering time. Not the final result. If you use the "Quality Mode" by passes, 1000 passes mean 1000 passes quality in CPU, GPU or Hybrid, as Brian said.


                            Now about the quality of the rendering, as user since a while (Bunkspeed), I can say to you that the quality is here, be sure of it! If you compare Visualize to PhotoView360 around a simple product (simple shape, simple colors etc, simple lighting), yes, you will not see a real strong difference. BUT more you're going to want to go to photorealistic and advanced rendering (details, complex materials and light) more you'll see the difference

                            I do not know well PV360 but from what I have seen is a biased renderer, ie to Simplified algorithm for correctly render quickly. It has nothing to be compare to Iray (unbiased physically correct path tracing) of Visualize is much more subtle and give you rendered much more realistic.

                            A simple test could be an architectural interior rendering: this is what is more complex to make as light bounces. If you do a test, you're going to PV360 suddenly "on the red" several levels and the difference with Visualize will jump to your eyes...

                            Finally, as David said, if you are looking for pure speed to use the GPU in this aspect (not pure quality), uses the Fast mode, that will give you a fair rendering in very short time.