As animators and illustrators, we are always interested in a better render. In this day of faster computers and GPU assisted everything, we are used to faster renders.
Unless of course, you are a Vue user, then you have no concept of fast anything. I promised I wouldn’t keep picking on Vue but, hey, I’m still rendering an image from 2011 and it was a single frame … on a five-system rack!!!
Now back to the reality of Realtime rendering… in most cases… it's not good enough for illustrative purposes and needs a lot of doctoring.
Indigo came first… a third-party party plug-in renderer for iClone that raised the bar for illustrations to a point the renders could be used to illustrate articles without reworking them in Photoshop or tweaking them in other applications.
While Indigo has a great render, it also has a drawback. The learning curve for generating a decent render was a long arc. A journey that resulted in many a frustrated artist unable to achieve their desired render quality.
Cover Mockup Using Iray/CC3 Rendered Avatar - Cover Template by Martin Disagne
There was copious material swapping. Hunting down lights and other objects that were invisible in iClone but visible in the Indigo renderer. It seemed there was all kinds of switches to set or flip… just enough to forget one and ruin a render after a long wait.
Lighting was different from iClone to Indigo but that remains the same with Iray except that Iray is more responsive to original scene lighting.
With Indigo it seemed a simple default render that was good or even decent was out of reach of a lot of users. There no such thing as a simple but great render unless maybe… it was a simple but great scene.
Iray is just the opposite. An initial render at default settings is generally a good render. Some might even say it’s a great render, but it is certainly much easier than Indigo to achieve a simple press-as-few-buttons-as-possible render right out of the gate.
Learn lighting along how to further tweak the scene and you just achieve a render that rates right up there with the best of them.
Render from Character Creator 3 used in Cover Mockup
A peek under the hood shows us some interesting performance points starting with the NVIDIA Material Definition Language (MDL) that will leverage PBR-based materials from a variety of places like Substance Designer to V-Ray. It also comes with an Iray super-shader to convert PBR to Iray for great renders without swapping any materials which means it just gets better when you do swap materials for more realism.
The inclusion of NVIDIA AI Accelerated GPU rendering is a big plus keeping Reallusion on the cusp of creative technology. The “Interactive Rendering” as Reallusion touts it allows for on the go changes that are immediately reflected in the render. You can Pause and Resume and even set the number of cores you want to devote to the rendering process.
Included with Character Creator is a well-designed library of studio assets to help you achieve a photorealistic render of a CC3 avatar.
Advertising has never been easier as you can now create your own models that do exactly as they are told without attitude or unwanted boyfriends hanging around.
Need a glamor shot?
CC3 with Iray can not only handle it… it can make it better than you probably imagined without all the overhead or fuss… just don’t tell the people you contract with or they might get CC3 and Iray for themselves!
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.