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Which renderer for movie making?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Abdu_Ki, Jan 30, 2021.

  1. Abdu_Ki

    Abdu_Ki

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    Sep 16, 2015
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    Hey everybody,

    First off: I know unitys main purpose is game development, but I really like it better for animating etc. than other 3D software.
    Does it make a difference which renderer I use for making movies?
    As far as I understand, the renderers only matter when making an executable game, right?
    If it does matter, which one should I use for 3d movies?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Choosing a renderer for a movie is the same as choosing a renderer for a game. You choose it based off of the way you want it to look.
     
  3. andoo001

    andoo001

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    Unreal. seriously.
     
  4. Abdu_Ki

    Abdu_Ki

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    Sep 16, 2015
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    @Ryiah
    okay, thank you.

    @andoo001
    are there any specific reasons to use unreal over unity?
    I'm already used to unity, so I thought I'd rather stick with it.
     
    MadeFromPolygons likes this.
  5. andoo001

    andoo001

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    For movie making, YES, there are many reasons, Disney uses their API for all the (new) star wars movies/ tv series, without buying an abundance of unity assets (i.e Tesselation, GOOD AO) HDRP is essentially still beta, and if you don't know how to script a render pipeline its completely useless.

    If you're already used to unity i guess i can't say go learn a new API, but for movie making you're going to need alot of 3rd party assets (completely available on the asset store) that unity should be including as part of their API instead of wasting their time on useless upgrades..
     
  6. wetcircuit

    wetcircuit

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    Nothing that they can articulate with words because their opinion is parroting corporate hype and simplistic slogans. If they don't show their results, and can't articulate why… *cough*.

    Back to the topic:
    Built-in pipeline has the most support (across everything), so that's what I stick with for now… Many assets on the store to help this workflow (search for 'offline render'). There are a few specialized 'renderers' – but (imho) they are sometimes more limiting than helpful, depending on what they do and whether dedicated shaders/setup are required. I'll assume you're using Unity for the versatility and wide support across dozens of industries, not to try to achieve a specific render 'look' –– or what artists call 'style' which comes from the artist, not the renderer.

    Built-in offers the biggest selection of style tools (shaders, postfx).
    The newer SRP has technical advances that allow the renderpath to be re-routed ('scriptable render pipeline') and can output layers, g-buffers, fx mattes...

    Main problem with Built-in is the shadows, consider NGSS for soft/screenspace shadows – but a very easy 'fix' is to reduce the camera clipping planes to just either side of your subject to shrink the surface area your shadowmaps are covering (for instance, sandwich a close-up figure between very narrow camera clipping planes. Shadows will improve dramatically when the shadowmap is not 1000 meters deep.

    the bias settings on lights are different for gaming vs close-up portrait/dialog rendering too. Obviously game engines cheat as much as they can, so offline rendering is sometimes counter-intuitive to 'normal'. Unity lights assume your scene will be like a top-down shooter covering a large area. In practice you will need to set each light's bias to fix close-up shadows.

    ∞ Spotlights > 1 Distant light

    Everything gets a reflection probe, but baked blurry reflection probes are even better (the kind Marmoset makes)
    Go easy with AA, that's something that can be done in post (no temporalAA).

    If you're compositing video layers in Unity, the Renderhead plugins are professional – they handle framesync the best. For compositing elsewhere, I use the Syphon/Spout plugins (search github) to capture frames from Unity with alpha channel (shhh, no one knows about this and it's free). If your project is real-time, Spout/Syphon can route to live-compositing software with alpha, but frame-rate is not accurate (genlocked)…. Again see the Renderheads plugins if you need a pro-studio solution.

    Multi-layer transparency is always problematic. Forward rendering might work better than deferred, but also consider camera layers, and each camera covering it's own area (subject, background) – like live renderpasses using parented cams.

    a custom SRP will ultimately be where you want to go – Unity is officially supporting 2 variants but that's not the point of SRP. You will be able to re-arrange the render order for specific effects and outputs, and the high-end version will support DXR, but last I checked reflections were 'in-progress'. You might want to check out the pipeline features now – if you are not already locked into a project, it may already have features you need. (I try to stay away from versions of Unity that are not LTS, it's the best way to stay focused on your project and not chase upgrades and experimental features)

    Tools you use in Unity:
    Timeline/Recorder are 'fair'… but… they are geared for non-linearity and a-sync triggering (in-game, nested, etc). They will feel wonky and under-powered coming from a video nle timeline or 3D renderer. If you have a lot going on, maybe break your timelines down into sub-timelines (which are triggered by your main timeline).

    It is a pain to start a project in 1 pipeline and upgrade because of feature X… Most of the differences in the pipelines are about shaders which will be a headache to swap, they aren't compatible. Consider having a separate project and copying over the models rather than trying to 'upgrade' a project.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
  7. wetcircuit

    wetcircuit

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    I mentioned 'shaders', Poseur. lololol

    Your entire rant is about frame rate. Hahahaha. Quality animation advice there, son.
     
    NotaNaN, JoNax97 and hippocoder like this.
  8. andoo001

    andoo001

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    Jul 19, 2016
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    hmmmmmm, we could get into a dick swinging contest, i was just trying to keep it layman.
     
  9. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape

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    No it means you have been banned from this discussion for being argumentative even though you made your point once. You continued to belittle people and so on.

    It'll be more than a thread-ban next time.
     
  10. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Check out marmoset toolbag.

    It's quality, fast, and doesn't include anything you don't need. Also the new version has the best texturing workflow - going to be replacing substance painter for me. Being able to texture in your final render engine is a huge workflow bonus.

    When it comes down ot actually doing the work you don't want to waste minutes which stack up to hours opening slow programs which carry a lot of excess baggage you wont use.
     
    wetcircuit likes this.
  11. ippdev

    ippdev

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    Molarkey and lots of it stuffed into just a few short idioms. Also. Unreal has a coordinate system set up for 1990's architectural draughting. Z should be forward in a proper game engine. Unreal does not have proper retargeting abilities.
     
  12. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    This is not true. Internal pipeline is all custom. They work with / support various engines for certain projects, and Unreal was used for Mando Season 1, but quickly replaced with their in-house engine.
     
  13. CityGen3D

    CityGen3D

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    Disney also used Unity for the Lion King remake a few years ago, I think mainly because of the VR support, which they used for building their environments.
     
  14. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape

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    Pretty much that. You can put any name on the end, but it doesn't last long by the looks of it. Everyone gets something out of it though. Disney gets R&D for free (they're way, way too big to not eventually put things in house) and in return the company they work with gets prestige and quality feedback.
     
  15. CityGen3D

    CityGen3D

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    Sure, I didn't really elaborate on my point, but that's essentially what I mean.

    It had been claimed on this thread that Disney uses Unreal, so I was offering an example of where they had used Unity to show that simply suggesting a solution based on what someone else uses is pointless, especially when they use everything anyway.

    It's about using the right tool for the right job. There's no one blanket answer to which render pipeline or engine to use, because the correct answer will always depend on knowing a lot about a specific project, it's resources, and the team you have working on it.
     
  16. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    This happened a lot. The size of Disney and brand value meant that everyone wanted to us to use their product, having the big D logo on your product page was worth it. But it was also challenge for both us and the vendor to have a dependency. Moving stuff in house meant development or special case stuff was now on our timeline, and that the developer/vendor wasn't sacrificing regular developing catering to one client. In fact, often the solution for things was to just buy out companies or tools or some variation. (which is pretty much exactly how I ended up there).