• Welcome to the Community Forums at HiveWire 3D! Please note that the user name you choose for our forum will be displayed to the public. Our store was closed as January 4, 2021. You can find HiveWire 3D and Lisa's Botanicals products, as well as many of our Contributing Artists, at Renderosity. This thread lists where many are now selling their products. Renderosity is generously putting products which were purchased at HiveWire 3D and are now sold at their store into customer accounts by gifting them. This is not an overnight process so please be patient, if you have already emailed them about this. If you have NOT emailed them, please see the 2nd post in this thread for instructions on what you need to do

Any insights into the preview renderer?

English Bob

By which I mean, using preview as the 'final' render rather than just as a means to see what you're doing in the document window.

A little background for context: I've used the preview renderer before, to give a quick idea of how an animation is going to turn out, or when I'm putting comic panels together. I find I often have to change the framing after I start writing, so that speech bubbles will fit / not get tangled up, or just because I think up a new panel. I've previously followed up with Firefly renders so it didn't matter too much if the previews are rubbish.

However I've recently done some experimenting with adding a filter to the preview output. I've been using Akvis Sketch, because I can't get to grips with Poser's sketch renderer, although I suppose I ought to try harder because it would be even quicker. All the same, two minutes to get an image ready to slot into a comic panel beats twenty to forty minutes for a render by a big margin, and I think it would ease my workflow considerably. I find I sometimes settle for what I've got rather than leave the project while I run off a new render, when I should be making bold changes instead.

I think I need to look at these areas:
  • Render settings - I think I have this sorted, but there may be secrets yet to uncover;
  • Materials - I normally use a lot of complex nodes, and I'm surprised how well some of these work in preview; but others look terrible, and I don't fully understand why in all cases;
  • Lighting - fancy lighting rigs using IDL, HDRI and stuff tend not to work. And did you know that OpenGL can't handle a lot of lights? I have yet to find a good approach to preview lighting, but at least what you see is literally what you get.
Is anyone else doing this crazy thing? Have you got any hints 'n' tips? Or is it just me?! :D

Here's an example. Unfortunately I've already broken this set-up, and I'm not sure quite how; the preview renderer seems a little unpredictable. A couple of times, while rendering a series of images as an animation, one of the frames has come out completely messed up - out of sequence, with odd artifacts, or in one case a completely nonexistent frame where the character had lost all their clothes. :oops: And yet, just doing the render again fixes it.

Preview Example.jpg