The last image from wip4 but with the highest quality setting IBL currently offers and at 800x600 as opposed to 400x300
HDRI Effect 100
HDR st peters
1 additional light
Render time 2hrs 54min 56sec
Conclusion being that render time is significantly increased but that due to the way the light probe is sampled there is not much detectable improvement in the quality of the light. I rendered this larger so that it was possible to appreciate that the shadow banding was still evident. In other words this render could have been completed in a 1/20th of the time and it would not have looked hardly any different.
I was thinking of where would be best to put my comment and decided to be right here, WIP5.
First of all, thank you for the tests and for being so detailed in explanation. The "Letter Cube" model is very original way for the render itself to show us what's this all about. A lot like dice. The positioning of the cubes and the way a sphere supports them here and there, makes the overall appearance of the objects to look random and strenghtens the feel of realism. The reflective plane is a good way to "hide" some of shadow banding. I can understand that the additional light source casts hard shadows (and for improving I'd suggest to make them soft), but I don't understand why some shadows are still evident as hard. The differences between the wip5 and the Base are the 25pts of Intensity and the *.hdr file itself. Perhaps the shadows casted from Horo's "moon-bluegrey" are much softer as wip2 shows it perfectly.
As far as I can tell judging from all the tests you've done and my personal experience, the use of IBL's backdrop is needed (for the sake of realism) only when reflective surfaces are present. If there are no reflective mats applied anywhere, there's no need of backdrop. This might save some rend-time as well. The negative side of the backdrop in Bryce6 is that once applied, we cannot control which reflective surface will be showing the hdr image. I say this because I'm not so fond of high-contrast blue-white the plane is reflecting on the right. And I think no matter interior/exterior, 99% of the cases require soft shading. The transparent spheres seem very convincing due to your specularity-triggering trick.
So far so good, David. Even a wip, I like this one a lot, especially the Letter cube model.
Join Date: 01.03.2004 Comments: 2227
I concur with your insights into IBL - yes there needs to be more control over the hdr when it is rendered as a background. I like the IBL feature, (as you can probably tell - it's saving me a lot of time because I was getting to the point of buidling lightdomes into almost every scene), however, I am not going to pretend it is without faults. However, part of the fun of using Bryce is figuring out how to do things, for me anyhow, so I'm not about to throw my pinny over my head and run out of the room - I've been experimenting with placing none shadow casting transparent spheres around the entire scene - if combined with a white sky, the sphere acts as a stained glass window but there is little "cost" because the light casting light probe is not aware of it - the sphere only affects what is seen in reflected objects. If you follow me? Like I said as the start of these IBL wips... somethings are easier to demonstrate than they are to explain.