Software for simple, fast, excellent boat renderings?

Discussion in 'Software' started by kengrome, May 12, 2008.

  1. kengrome
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    kengrome Senior Member

    Is there any software avaiilable that I can use to create very nice rendered images from my FreeShip files, or from other file formats exported from FreeShip 2.6 -- and do it very quickly and easily with a minimum of effort?

    All I really want to do is improve the appearance of my FreeShip renderings.

    If any of you can suggest some easy to use software (free or open source would be preferable) that can generate "really nice images" of the boats I'm designing in FreeShip, please feel free to tell be about the software you recommend, and why you're recommending it.

    By the way, I can do WITHOUT backgrounds such as sky or water or mountains or any other extraneous stuff. All I need is to render the boat image itself.

    Thanks!
     
  2. pavel915
    Joined: Nov 2006
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    pavel915 Senior Member

    i dont know about free ones; but rhino+flamingo is the cheapest so far i know,
    you can also use the evaluation version of rhino for 25 times saves;
    You have to exporf your freeship file to iges and then you can import to rhino.
     
  3. CGN
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    CGN Senior Member

    Just for rendering no matter the result use:

    Download Free Bryce 5.5

    http://www.download.com/Bryce/3000-6677_4-10696716.html?cdlPid=10696717

    You will be ok with this one is very easy to use.

    Be aware that there is no easy software for rendering they all need some work, but I think Bryce MAY work fine for what you need.

    "Really nice images" has many many meanings for different folks, so once you find out that you want to render more in depth then Blender is the next big thing in Open source and free but very hard to get into.
     
  4. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    I think this falls under the "Pick Any Two" law. Most of the free software i have used have limitations in either UI or the engine. And remember, it is the textures and the stiching, usualy not the engine, that really makes a rendering look good. Neither of those are out of the box items.
     
  5. kengrome
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    kengrome Senior Member

    Well, since I don't know much about this kind of software this is news to me. How good is Bryce at 'stitching'? I thought I read something suggesting that Bryce comes with lots of textures, but maybe I mis-read it.

    Thanks for the suggestions, it looks like Bryce is the way to go for a start. After all it is free, so if it can do what I'm hoping then it may be all I will ever need. All I can do now is try it and see what I think ... :)
     
  6. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    masalai masalai

    Free download for windows or Linux "Blender 3D modeller"
     
  7. CGN
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    CGN Senior Member

    "All I can do now is try it and see what I think ..."

    Yep, that's the way to go, i can tell you here this and that but just go ahead and try it is probably one of the easiest to work with, forget about the "stitching" thingie" that's not going to take you anywhere if you don't try first

    No is not easy, yes you may pull some hair, just try it and post your questions.

    cheers
     
  8. bobg3723
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    bobg3723 Senior Member

    Hey there Ken,
    I don't know what formats Freeship exports, but Google SketchUp is a free, fully functional lite version of their professsional 3D sketch program. Extremely easy to use GUI and well supported. (Hey, it's Google's baby ;).)
    It (the free version) will import DXF layers intact allowing you to turn layers visibility on and off, reassign layer groups and create new ones. User directional drop shadows, a simple but object oriented color, materials and transparency pallete tool. The Section tool is cool, too. Its more a real-time sketchpad tool than a full blown renderer like Bryce.

    Regards,
    Bob
     

    Attached Files:

  9. bobg3723
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    bobg3723 Senior Member

    This picture better represents Sketchup's materials "paint bucket" pallete range of choices. It's from thier models archive on SketchUp dot com.

    Regards,
    BobG
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    As you probably already know, Ken, there are lots of other things involved in getting good renderings besides the choice of software, though limits there will certainly create a bottleneck for creativity.

    Being able to select multiple light sources, their intensity controls and minute differences in their angles as they interact with the model.

    Being able to determine the aspect ratio for the "taking" lens of the eye view you wish to render.

    Surface reflectivity of the object.

    Does the render package give simple shaded surfaces from the designated light sources, or does it have the capability to do what is commonly referred to as Ray Tracing? This is the function that gives a much more realistic representation of the collection of surfaces and, literally, maps a series of paths of each lighting source as they interact with each surface and its relative reflectivity... all the way back to the taking lens.

    Ray tracing is a fairly advanced software function and does take some time to "get a handle on". The more simply created renders are typically patterned using Phong and Gouraud shading routines, which are very well established techniques.

    Ray tracing puts a real premium on computing power, especially if the object is polygon rich. This means processor type and speed, Buss capability, RAM size and accessibility and also hard drive size and speed.

    From Freeship, I'd export IGES files and assign colors and whatever else you can do in the rendering package. You may get to adjust the level of mesh for the polygonal surfaces in the render system and that could take some time to get to the place where you have a great render that doesn't take all night to produce.

    Hope this helps some and that you are punching out really interesting renderings shortly.
     
  11. kengrome
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    kengrome Senior Member

    Thanks for the good info Chris.

    I tried Google Sketchup but I ran it under wine in Linux and it didn't launch because it says I need to upgrade my graphics card drivers which I'm not willing to do right now. From the pictures I've seen, it doesn't produce renderings that look much better than FreeShip anyways.

    I tried Blender but it looks like it would take forever just to figure it out. I haven't tried Bryce yet but I downloaded it so it's only a matter of time before I do.

    If Bryce won't work for me then I'm probably going to abandon this effort completely, at least for the time being. I don't have the time to play around with making pretty pictures if it's going to take more time than designing the boats in the first place, and FreeShip rendering are probably "good enough" anyways at this stage of the game.
     
  12. bobg3723
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    bobg3723 Senior Member

    Hi Ken,
    The money shots anyway are the ad agency rendered and composited images, where one practically needs to be an art major with access to high powered digital tools for the full suite of graphics in web and print media.

    Just stay away from the art director responsible for the the Hydrolance graphics. :D

    The Macaroni commerical sez it all..."its the cheesiest". :p :p :p
     
  13. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Ken,

    I think that you will find the rendering packages that give those nice looking boat illustrations, are every bit as much of a learning curve as are the design packages with which they associate.

    I use Rhino3D for most of my work with the companion Flamingo Ray Trace rendering package. I also have the sketch pad rendering product for Rhino, called Penguin and the frame sequence animator which goes by the name of Bongo.

    Penguin is the easiest, as it is essentially a 2D rendering of a 3D object that gives the illusion of the drawing having been done with artists pencils, or watercolors, or chalk, etc. It's very free-formish, sketch quality stuff that has all the form elements of the original 3D file.

    You'd need to have Rhino for the base platform for all the above packages and that is not a bone simple, or free, package. Well, rephrase... Rhino is not simple when one walks in off the street, but it's really intuitive simple compared to some of the other big time rendering/design pakages I have looked at that will bounce you for as much as 5 times the cost of Rhino.

    For a free box of goodies, Freeship is at the top of the game for the things it is supposed to do. Everything after that is a step across the cash chasm when it comes to boats.

    Rendering systems come in all sorts of flavors, though there are some really good ones out there that do not bust the bank, as it were. That's a relative expression compared to Freeship, though.

    Here are some jumping-off points that might get you setup with some valuable tools and/or ideas whenit coes to rendering possibilities:
    http://www.rhino3d.com/resources/default.asp?category=3&language=
    http://www.renderosity.com/
    http://www.daz3d.com/i.x/0/0/pn6mbbfoj7ecqubt4gjmthnli4/?&_m=d
    http://www.core77.com/
    http://www.asgvis.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

    Chris
     
  14. kengrome
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    kengrome Senior Member

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the additional good information.

    The more I think and learn about this, the more it seems to make sense for me to hire a local guy to do my high quality rendering work. There are probably lots of local guys here who do this kind of work, and for the low rates I can hire them it doesn't make sense for me to invest my own time to learn how to do it myself.

    I can certainly buy the software if the local guys don't have it, and in this case your recommendations and insights will definitely come in handy when I'm ready to proceed with this stuff ... so thanks again for the useful information!

    :)
     

  15. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    masalai masalai

    Either way Blender seems to render far better than what has been posted so far as samples & has the ability to rotate smoothly with a very fine render quality which almost stops Freeship as it "crunches numbers".....
     
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