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Screwed by High Resolution...

Question asked by Rich Fagioli on Sep 6, 2017
Latest reply on Sep 19, 2017 by Rich Fagioli

In product photography for the web, one works with two resolutions: 1) Camera Resolution, which is fixed, generally around 20Mp for a DSLR and 2) Screen Resolution which is generally around 100dpi for a desktop LCD monitor.


Whether you are photographing a blank sheet of copy paper or a roomful of paisley woolen scarves, the image size from the camera is always the same: around 20Mp(1). Visualize renders, however, are a different story, and my problem is that my "image size" increases linearly with image complexity. In the example below I've had to create a reasonable good looking stainless steel M6x1 Socket Cap Screw:


M6X1 Socket Head Screw.jpg

It's an improvement on the threadless socket cap "plugs" that you often see.


M6X1 Socket Head Screw 2.jpg


When I first imported this "model", I had to "Retain Structure" so that I could treat different "Parts" of the screw with different appearances, of which there are only three. As a result, this screw has no less than 361,538 polygons and takes a few minutes to hybrid render 1500 passes with my GTX1080ti card. The problem is that my final image is a repair kit that includes about 100 of these screws, detailed below:


M6X1 Socket Head Screw 100 2.jpg

If my polygons weren't out of control with only one screw, they are now. With nearly 43.4 million polygons, my rendering has seized up to less than a single pass per second and takes a couple of hours to render something useful. I understand that 43.4 million is somewhere near 100 screws X 361,538 polygons per screw....but much of this is useless information to my final image; it's cool to have the detail there for when I zoom in but the web graphic is static and neither rotates or zooms. Is there a way to control "complexity" prior to a render so that I don't waste time rendering "useless", sub-millimeter detail? Can I force a lower polygon count?


Final image, actual size, 600px x 600px, 159kb.....can barely even see those threads!





(1) About 20Mp for a crop sensor, or APSC, camera shooting RAW