Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Longest Render Time Ever

Whew, this was an interesting rendering. It took me an unusual number of tries to get the trees the way that I wanted, and to get the perspective right for the camera. Once all the models were in place, I realized something surprising -- this scene had over 25 million polygons! (That's an incredibly excessive amount.)

The reason for the high polygon count was simply the number of foreground trees, of course, and the three detailed terrains that make up this image. Worse yet, I had decided that volumetric atmosphere was needed in this scene in order to really get the right sky/fog effects.

Well, I feel like the end effect was worth it, but all of this conspired to make this--by far--my longest render time ever for a single scene: 34 hours and 28 minutes. Yikes!

To add insult to injury, once the render was complete I discovered that the 2D background trees (on the ridge) had experienced a clipping problem during the super-long render, and there were ugly brown boxes obscuring a large part of the ridge. I thought about trying to do a partial re-render of the scene, but there's not a graceful way to do that at high resolution. So instead, I had to spend about an hour in Photoshop, carefully editing out the glitches by hand. I think the result was actually quite good. But one thing's for sure--I don't plan on doing any more scenes of this level of model/sky complexity any time soon!

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