SU Podium Forum
Register  |   |   |  Calendar  |  Latest Topics
 
 
 


 
Poll Results
 
 What features/improvements do you want to see in Podium V3?
 Improved performance (render speed) 18 12%
 Network rendering (local network) 8 5%
 Network rendering (internet render farm) 10 6%
 Animation support 8 5%
 Integrated support for rendering sections 9 6%
 Better performance with large/complex models 22 15%
 HDRI Image-based lighting 10 6%
 More control over render parameters (currently in presets) 18 12%
 More options for materials 29 20%
 Better presets 13 8%
 View Voters
Multiple choice poll. Total votes: 145. This poll has been closed.


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 3 of 10      Prev   1   2   3   4   5   6   Next   »
bigstick

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 10,026
Reply with quote  #31 
1. Not supported in the render engine yet. Increases render time a lot!
2. What do you mean?
3. We're looking into this
4. That's volumetric lighting - no, sorry
5. Not supported by render engine yet, but planned
6. That would need a modification to the render engine
7. That is HDRI lighting, not really worth the effort. Possible, but low priority. 
8. I'm not sure whether this will be worth the effort.
9. We are looking into this
10. That's not really enough of a problem to justify changing it
11. If you use 'Edit in Place' you in effect have that already



__________________

That which does not kill us makes us stronger
-Friedrich Nietzsche

owenwalz

Registered:
Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #32 
I would love to see more troubleshooting for material rendering issues, such as proper rendering of materials assigned by group or component, material alignment bugs when mirroring, material naming bugs, etc. I'm aware that there are workarounds for some of these issues, but they depend heavily on the user being aware of the workarounds.

In my opinion, the render would ideally render textures exactly as they are shown within Sketchup, in terms of alignment, etc. (WYSIWYG, essentially... no surprises). This should apply equally to user-created textures, in addition to pre-made materials.

I would consider these improvements to be of a higher priority than adding new features.

I would recommend Podium to anyone if these issues are addressed.

Best,
O

__________________
-O
bigstick

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 10,026
Reply with quote  #33 
We are looking into these issues right now actually. The reason it's so difficult, is that there seem to be either some bugs in texture reporting functions in the API, or missing information. We are making some significant changes to the core of Podium for v3, and we wanted to fix these issues at the same time. We have 3 or 4 people looking into this, which is more than we have ever used on one specific issue before.

Normally 1 person works on an individual item, which gives you some sort of idea of how important we think this is, and how tricky it is.
The behaviour is also different on PC and Mac.


__________________

That which does not kill us makes us stronger
-Friedrich Nietzsche

douglastuck

Registered:
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #34 
To be able to pause and restart rendering in OOPR 
peterr

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #35 
I think I just need another set of programs. As a Mac user I like a clear and easy to use intuitive GUI. From my tests of Sketchup + Podium I see two major issues here which probably requires a complete overhaul of both apps.

The first major problem is that Sketchup has become unintuitive with all these hidden and nested options with some not even being saved with the models. There is no clear way to view ALL set options globally, thus requiring me to cycle through many option windows searching for the settings. This puts Podium at a disadvantage and appears to conflict with some of Podiums settings. I spent way too many hours trying to render simple SU models with lousy results and confusing and outdated tutorials. I have to admit defeat. Sorry but too confusing and no good results. I can see that great results are possible but the learning curve is way to confusing. There seems be a lack of design integrity.

I would make Podium a separate application that simply imported a 'clay' model that I would then use to apply my textures, lighting and backdrops. I also don't like the idea that I am tied to the internet in order to use the materials from the browser. This puts me off totally. I want to be free to work anywhere. I should have the option of saving a 'project' in one file, that is all set options and the model bundled into one file with it's own extension. This way I don't have the nightmare of trying to figure out what my setup was for every render and model. 

SU started off as a simple and intuitive way of building 3D models but it has evolved into a clumsy GUI with many bugs and idiosyncrasies. Too bad. 

Podium still has potential but it needs to overhaul it's GUI and it needs to be more independent from SU idiosyncrasies. 

1- Make it a stand alone app that imports the model from SU with an option to strip materials etc leaving only a clean virgin 'clay' model.

2- Overhaul the GUI and make a Global setting view that can be modified directly.
3- Ability to save as a project which includes the model and all settings.
4- A better materials manager that allows for viewing, creating, and importing material from a folder. Internet optional for paid content.
5- A separate render program that can be installed on several networked computers. Easy UPnP. OS X <---> Windows.
6- Easy backdrop import and easy environmental settings.
7- More sliders and previews.
8- Separate apps to create and manage 180/360 degree backdrops, materials, textures.
9- Get rid of the 'Apply' button. It should be clear that selecting a material and changing it's values in a dialogue box results in a changed value. 

Just too confusing. 


If I were a PC user I would find this way of working more intuitive:

[Moderator note: links to competitors' products removed]

OK, only intended FYI. 

bigstick

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 10,026
Reply with quote  #36 
Thank you for taking the trouble to give us a detailed description of your issues. I don't agree with much that you have raised but I'm glad you have explained your view.

First of all a separate application is a retrograde step. Most users wouldn't like this, and it's fair to say that the most popular renderers for SU are integrated, not standalone. In this regard I think you are swimming against the tide.

I don't see how you can claim that the learning curve is too steep (my wife learned to use Podium rather well and pretty quickly with only the minimum SU experience and no 3d background at all - and she really didn't want me teaching her, you probably know what women can like about being told what to do by their husbands), but you are entitled to your view. I wonder if you followed the tutorials I wrote that were in the newsletter. If you had posted requests for help here, I'm sure we could have made your experience better.

You have a set of requirements that you are particular  about - that's fine, we're all different. With regard to the web hosting of components, I have to disagree about this. I think there are more advantages than disadvantages. The Browser library is now so big, that it extends to gigabytes. Most of the world doesn't have super fast broadband. I don't know what the average speed is, but I suspect that around 4mb/s.

It's not practical to download it with the application, and if we make changes, you're stuck with what you have. Also, we are adding stuff all the time. Yes we could implement some kind of Dropbox type approach, but that would be expensive and time-consuming, and I'm not sure most users would be prepared to pay a lot extra for it.

That said, you have raised some very useful points about saving the render settings in the model (we ought to do this) and getting rid of the Apply button - which I hate

OOPR is s standalone renderer. It's cross platform. We are looking at expanding it actually in a similar way to what you have described. V3 has some interesting things that you might have liked.
We have Podium tools to remove Podium material properties.

However - a lot of the things that you ask for basically mean time and money - and an increase in the price of the application. Lumion, which you seem to like, is maybe 500% more expensive, and the quality isn't as good. It's barely better than Podium Walker, which is $100. Even if you really like Lumion better (and that's fine, whatever suits you best) you need to be able to afford it. Podium is priced to be affordable for every designer, you are comparing apples and oranges. I would never pay $1500 for a 3d SketchUp renderer, it's silly money!

__________________

That which does not kill us makes us stronger
-Friedrich Nietzsche

peterr

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #37 
Thanks for your kind response. I'm glad you see a couple of good ideas in my suggestions. I hope you implement them. It seems strange that I am unable to produce a decent render. They appear OK when I use a predefined model from your downloads but when I try to create something from scratch in SU it never renders well. I have spent so much time that it discourages me from spending another minute on it. I just can't get it working the way I envisioned it based on some really fantastic renders in your gallery. Are you using Macs? The tutorials are all on PC's. It will remain a mystery, however I have noticed others in the forum expressing similar frustration. GUI integrity and clarity is a big thing and is why I use Macs in the first place. I know I could redesign your GUI to be really very good but I guess your team have different ideas of how it should be.

I mentioned Lumion as an example of a good GUI and implementation. I have no idea if it is as easy as the video portrays. You are correct that the quality of the render is not as beautiful as Podium seems capable of. That was my attraction to Podium as well as the apparent simplicity, OS X version and price. Also I will never go back to PC's!!... only exception would be to use a separate render engine on an tossed PC with a good GPU, but even that would be a big maybe. I'd prefer a cut down version of Linux with the sole purpose of running the render engine. An idea for the future. Id rather not deal with any OS that is buggy, crashes and needs constant security updating and serial activation. On the odd occasion I can make a clean install of OS X with no major hassles.

I remember an earlier version had a library that could be downloaded, if I am correct. I regularly download huge GB files and setting up a bitorrent would be very inexpensive and the Podium browser would only need to check if there is a major update. The paid content would only be available when connected. It could be optional, an offline option. Just ideas, I work a lot on the road so I can't use it when I'm not connected. :-(

Thanks for taking the time to help me out and to read my reply. You know, I used to be a software designer after I finished high school but those days are long ago. I had a team of code writers churning out COBAL to my specifications and I implemented some very innovated GUI for the times. I was inspired my the first Apples that were on the market back in 1984. I had moved on to interior design (alfresco and mosaic) and now CGI is my new venture. I used to airbrush the kind of images Podium generates!!

cheers


PS
When I have some more time I'll make a screen video of what I am doing with the relative files. Maybe you can give me some pointers on what I am doing wrong. One thing I can't figure out is when I apply Light intensity to a selected surface and later I go back and select the same surface again the value is shown is 0 even though I  set it to 10 before and hit "Apply" :-D, sometime the value actually shows as I set it. I can't figure out if this is a bug or some fault in my model.
bigstick

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 10,026
Reply with quote  #38 
I agree with you about PCs. I used to be a big fan of PCs a long time ago, and after building lots and struggling with Windows, I tried OS/2 and Linux before ending up with OS X.
One of the things I do in my 'day job' is the IT manager for a multi-disciplinary office with 70 machines. The main part of my job is a practising architect.

I designed the UI to be as simple and intuitive as possible. By this I mean that I tried to remove anything that needed a lot of explanation. Most software has lots of sliders and options and tabs and the UI is too cluttered. Compare Transmission for example with most other torrent applications - much, much simpler, and all the better for it.

Visual clutter I think is unhelpful in terms of novices learning an application. There are 2 things in software that I am preoccupied with. One is ease of use, the other ease of learning. I remember when I first used ArtLantis years ago. It was very easy to use, but really hard to learn by yourself. As soon as someone showed me the basic controls, it was easy. But - I couldn't work it out for myself and I pride myself in my ability to work most stuff out.

Another of my preoccupations is workflow. The ability to start with your model in SketchUp, and with the minimum number of clicks, get a good render. In this regard, a separate application really gets in the way. Most of my Podium use is as a design tool. I explore my work in 3d and design all my details in 3d so that I know what it will look like, and how it will be assembled. So for me, I want to change the dimensions of something, click render and very quickly see what it looks like. Timber sizes, shadowgap sizes, flashing depths and overhangs are all things I model and render. I like to think that Podium helps me to be a better designer.

Innovative UIs are one of those things that I think you either love or hate. History is littered with applications with non-standard interfaces that have failed. There aren't too many around at the moment. Blender is an exception, but the interface is one of the reasons I don't like it

I can understand the suggestion of bittorrent for the database. However we would need to spend money to modify something that not many people are really complaining about. We don't mind accommodating requests wherever we can, but it's not free, and every change we make either needs to justify the cost and effort

I think that the problems you are having might be that you are trying too hard! Sometimes this happens. If you start with a simple room, drawn to scale, once you get your orientation and sun position right, if you pay attention to the basics (level of detail, textures) you pretty much have to choose a suitable preset it's pretty much a one click operation. 

Have a look here. It's a series of articles I wrote precisely to help novices get some very nice results from a simple model. It has no UI screenshots, it just concentrates on the process.

If Podium doesn't suit your purposes, that's fine, we're all different However we don't like the idea that customers have negative experiences with a product we have tried really, really hard to make as easy to use as possible. If you feel it might be useful, please post some scenes in the Main Messages board and we will do our best to help you to get the best out of Podium. 

If you still don't like stuff, that's still fine, but I'm sure your experience will be improved

You can post models you are having trouble with and we can fix most things!



__________________

That which does not kill us makes us stronger
-Friedrich Nietzsche

peterr

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #39 
Thank you for sharing that with me. I'll illustrate my issues with a short video so you can see what I'm talking about. I followed the tutorials and examples and suggestion and I have been using a simple model, a light point in a box! can't be more simple than that. But I'm obviously missing something and that is the source of my problems. 

To be honest I haven't really found any alternatives to Podium. Other programs have terribly cluttered GUI and really confusing options. So in this regard you guys are way ahead but I think there is room to improve the simplicity and clarity. 

I'll have to put it aside for awhile and give it  rest. Your support has been very good and I'll give it another try in the future.

cheers
DavorP

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,151
Reply with quote  #40 
"One thing I can't figure out is when I apply Light intensity to a selected surface and later I go back and select the same surface again the value is shown is 0 even though I  set it to 10 before and hit "Apply" :-D, sometime the value actually shows as I set it. I can't figure out if this is a bug or some fault in my model."

In the earlier version of Podium (V1.x) material properties were assigned to faces. In V2 materials have defined PDM properties. To correctly apply properties to specific face you should have Podium material properties window open,  use eye dropper tool (or paint bucket + alt on windows or corresponding function key on mac) and sample the material from the face. What you should see is the same material selected and it's name in the SU materials window and in the Podium material properties window. Only then you should adjust and apply.

__________________
"Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins."
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
grizzler

Registered:
Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #41 
I know I'm a "newbie", but may I make a suggestion for people like me please? It would be great if when you hover the cursor over a feature/function/texture etc, a brief description appeared of what it does/is. I know some are obvious, but others such as "High Intensity" - I don't know without trying out several renders, how it differs from "Light Power" (plus you get the added bonus of not getting other newbies asking the same questions over and over as I would imagine tends to happen). In Podium Browser it would be great of the same thing occurred, so that when you hover over a tree such as "Outdoor-100", a little box saying "Ash Tree" (or Elm, Oak, Beech etc, whatever it might be).
elnesti

Registered:
Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #42 
I didn't wanted to create a new thread so I decided this one was the most appropriate one. I have a question/suggestion. Can Podium V2 + handle Distributed Rendering? I have done some research and I can not find anything that suggests that. At work I am trying to convince people to use it instead of some other Rendering plug-in, but they are inquiring about Distributing Rendering. If it can't be done, then it would be a nice improvement for future versions. 

Thanks.
DavorP

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,151
Reply with quote  #43 

Do you mean network rendering where rendering would be distributed on more then one computer?

If so, Podium does not support network rendering. Main reason would be that in most cases there is no need for network rendering since one dedicated high end workstation can render images with high quality settings in short time. Of course, model has to be optimized and polycount kept in reasonable values. What you need is a new, 4th gen. i7 or AMD FX CPU for fast results. It is also recommended to use our Podium Browser components for high quality and fast rendering results.  


__________________
"Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins."
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
bigstick

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 10,026
Reply with quote  #44 
Distributed network rendering is usually used for ultra high resolutions, and for that, you really do need the facility. Even with typical resolutions, it can be useful. For example the new 1.0.8 high quality presets really do increase render time and have lovely quality, as good as or better than QMC without the graininess. However they are slow, and on a slow machine, a good render can take maybe a couple of hours. Imagine getting those images in 5-10 minutes!

That's what distributed network rendering can do for you [smile]

We have discussed it, and the render engine supports it. However it can be complex in terms of programming, and therefore it is neither quick nor cheap.

We have looked into it, but there are a couple of other things that we need to do first.

__________________

That which does not kill us makes us stronger
-Friedrich Nietzsche

elnesti

Registered:
Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #45 
Thank you all for your answers. I think this would be a good addition and would make Podium even more competitive among the Rendering softwares out there.
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation: