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In this course, author Dan Ablan walks through the process of understanding the MODO workflow while learning to create 3D models and animations. The course teaches fundamental tasks, such as modeling polygons and applying materials with the Shader Tree, while exploring scene building in depth through advanced lighting, camera, and animation techniques. The course also covers MODO's schematic tools and shows how to render animations for various playback media.
If you've ever done any research about some of the render settings in modo, it can get very confusing. And you, like me, might want to say, just how can I make a better render? Well, let's do that in this video. Without getting into all the math about pixel evaluation and contrast, let me just show you how you can set things up. So we have got a scene here called RenderMe that you can load up from the exercise files, and I've got the Antialiasing set to 1. That is the base sample. The Refinement Shading Rate is set to 2 pixels, and the Refinement Threshold is set to 80%.
These are not defaults. It's actually set in such a way that we get a crummy render. And even though the lighting looks great, you can see here that all these edges are very chunky. I mean, it looks like it was grabbed off a video screen or something. All right! So that's a poor render. Never deliver that to your client. So I am going to close that. Let's take the Antialiasing up to 128 and leave everything else alone. What we are going to do is work our way through to make cleaner renders. Now when these pixels are being generated, the system is actually calculating the space in between each one of them. And as such, it's cleaning them up, smoothing them out, using this Antialiasing filter.
The Shading Rate and then the Refinement Threshold can be changed to make this even cleaner, and this is what's going to help create less noisy renders. So for instance, we had this. We can see the chunkiness here with the Antialiasing set to 1. But then when we set the Antialiasing up to 128, you can see how much cleaner that is, and even back here. And while it's not a big deal sometimes on a still image, it's huge deal when your animation is moving. So something to keep in mind, because that will all just flutter around back there, and the same thing goes with the noise down here.
So what we can do then is take the Refinement Shading Rate all the way down to 0.1, and that's going to give us a much cleaner render when it comes to these areas indirect lit by the light, which would be some of these shadows down here under the tire, which we'll see in a second, as well as some of the color in the paint--you will see a much cleaner render. And then lastly, the Refinement Threshold, this is essentially the contrast of these shading rates in between the pixels, and not contrast in terms of darker or lighter, as you would think, you know a high-contrast image, but how it calculates the shading in between all the pixels that are evaluated.
So the default is 10%, and very much like the Shading Rate, if you bring this down, you will end up getting even finer detail in your render. And you'll see, of course, a little bit slower render too, because it's calculating more. There is no set recipe for setting up a render. The biggest recipe you need, however, is your resolution, decent antialiasing-- number one--and then maybe bring your Shading Rate down. Everything else can kind of fall into place. You can change the quality of your lights, depending on if it's an area light perhaps, or the environmental lighting.
You can increase the bounces, so that it's calculating more and creating a richer image. But sometimes you have something very simple and it actually doesn't need those settings and take that extra time for rendering. Now after 2 minutes and 46 seconds, which might seem like a long time--it's really not-- we have global illumination. We have glass. We have transparency, reflections, soft shadows. All of this is rendering in a matter of couple of minutes, so it's really pretty amazing. However, it did take significantly longer once we set this Refinement Threshold down as well as the Shading Rate down, but the result is look how much cleaner the paint is, look how much cleaner the shadows are, and how much more accurate all the lighting is.
That is because we set those values. So when you're setting up a render and when you're setting up the Antialiasing there is a good balance between setting up too much, which might be overkill and take up too much time, and of course not setting enough. That's going to be a matter of trial and error for you when you're setting up your renders. So 8 right here on our little Render window, this buffer, that's our top-quality render. It is more of a medium-quality render. And take a look down here in the bumper. See the difference with that Shading Rate? So that's the Refinement Threshold not brought down, and that's the Refinement Threshold brought down to 1.0.
If we go back to 6, we have a change of Shading Rate, and you can see all the noise up here in the side of the paint, And if we go down to five, well, that's before we even set any antialiasing and we get all this chunkiness. So we went from this to this. I'll do it again. There is 5, even the door, all the panels and everything else, to that. So something to keep in mind, and if you do forget what all of these values mean, just remember Antialiasing up and all these other values down. That's it. It's a really good way to remember how to set up a nice clean render.
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