Testing out the matte environment option in FStorm. Some distortion here because I used a simple bowl shape for the ground projection. I’ll have to build some basic geometry to project the environment onto to fix it.
That aside, I’m still impressed with the look/tone mapping and the HDR/EXR illumination in FStorm.
Years ago the differences between the various render engines was vast at times. Today, the differences are more subtle. However, I still view render engines as any tool. Meaning, I want to make sure I’m using the best tool suited for whatever task I’m assigned. With that in mind and with some new-ish hardware on hand it’s time (past time actually) for me to review the latest rendering software options I have here.
I need to know the strengths & weaknesses of these tools in order to know which one I should use for a project. Reading reviews & comments from other users will give me an idea of these strengths & weaknesses. However, I also like to run my own tests on my hardware and on my “typical” scenes. Keep that in mind here. My tests will be very specific to my work (mostly automotive). Someone in arch-viz, game content creation, or VFX industries will likely have different needs & hurdles to overcome than I do.
With that in mind, here’s what I’m planning for my review(s). I will be breaking this ongoing project down into three tests.
1. Automotive exterior hdr/backplate shot. I’m going to render it at 7k, 15k, and 30k resolution. Those size ranges cover most of my day to day work and will expose any issues the engines have with large resolution images or other aspects of this type workflow. If the render engine has glow/glare/lut options I will take advantage of that directly. However, there will be no outside program post-processing because my focus is on using the built-in engine options only. status: Currently underway. Featured image is the test scene.
2. Automotive interior shot. I’ll use the same 7k/15k/30k resolution sequence for this series. It will be a night shot because they are more complex & taxing on the engine & hardware than a daylight shot. status: Will begin after stage 1 is complete.
3. Animation (?). I’m not sure what I’ll setup for this test at this time. status: Planning.
Here are a few different paint materials (FStorm + 3ds Max). The configurations are similar in that there’s a base layer + 2 flake layers (turn these on/off and adjust colors as needed) + clear coat layer. Within each of those materials are procedural shaders and some bitmaps to break up colors, gloss, and add bump/roughness.