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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.


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LordV

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Reply with quote  #46 
Not sure if you already support OpenCL, however if not then this would have to be at the top of the list for new features. Especially with the new Mac Pro's now announced and their clear focus on Open CL and Duel graphics cards, one of which i understand is almost exclusively for this purpose.






bigstick

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Reply with quote  #47 
This is a bit of a red herring. OpenCL principally depends on support by the graphics card manufacturer. This means that not everyone can take advantage of the technology.
OS X has a technology called Grand Central Dispatch which is supposed to work with OpenCL to make use of the GPU for some processing tasks.

Here are the issues:-

1. We may need to get the render engine coded to support it. Apart from the fact that we don't own the render engine, this is very unlikely because of the reasons listed below.
2. Not all manufacturers will implement support for all chipsets. This means that only the newest cards will have support for it, and not all of them
3. It's more popular in OS X, being an Apple-designed technology. There are competing technologies for Windows, like CUDA and DirectX.
4. It may be time-consuming to implement. Developers have to prioritise their time in terms of fixing bugs and adding new features.

If you have a Mac Pro, you already have a fabulously powerful machine that is going to fly through rendering applications. It's not worth the effort to implement something like OpenCL for a new generation of high end machines.

So quite on the contrary, this would be very near the bottom of the priority list.


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LordV

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Reply with quote  #48 
Understand your reasoning, and i was referring to the top of my list for features. I know i am a bit of an out rigger here, but the speed of render is actually important to me. Crazy i know. 

I generally find most of my renders take several hours to process with my octo-core mac Pro. It may be getting a bit long in the tooth, and I will likely upgrade to the new Pro in the next 6 months which should speed things up.

None the less its quite clear that OpenCL is something that apple are pushing hard and given that I thought your a mac guy figured this would be a factor for you. Its also not like this is a new tech after all its been around for quite a few years and most renderers already support it or CUDA or Both. I think you would be hard pressed to find a graphics card that did not support it these days, including Nvidia cards. Its really more fair to say its a tussle between Nvidia and AMD, although Nvidia does support OpenCL its just they push CUDA more. Personally i think you should be supporting CUDA and OpenCL, cover both bases. I am not sure how many years ago you would have to go to find a card that did not support OpenCL, but its definitely not a case of only working on a "new generation of high end machines". 

Don't make the mistake of thinking that this is a Mac vrs Windows things, that would be completely wrong. OpenCL is cross platform enough said.

Either way its seems fairly clear that leveraging the GPU is where the industry has been going for some time now, you guys prefer to sit at the back of the pack, in the rear with gear as they say, good luck to you.

Look I really like your engine, its simple, works well, and is very noob friendly especially  combined with your podium browser. Only real downsides for me is the really long time it takes to export a file to be rendered in a complex scene. Secondly the time it takes to actually render that scene especially on higher quality settings, hence this post.

All a customer can do is share their thoughts with you guys, my thoughts are the render time could be a lot quicker. Sure a Render farm is one way to go, but keeping ahead of the tech curve is another. You choose to do so or not is your call ovviously, but i'd at least put it on your poll next time you do one, you might be surprised at the result, or you can sit back with a knowing smile.


bigstick

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Reply with quote  #49 
I understand your point, but we don't control the render engine. [smile]

Although OpenCl is cross-platform, I don't see too many developers implementing support for it. Hardware vendors yes, software developers - well, not so much.

With regard to geometry processing, we are aware of these issues and spent a few months working on an alternative solution.

Currently geometry export is done in Ruby. It's 32 bit and therefore limited. We looked at taking this out of SU and doing it with a 64 bit C++ extension. This should have been a lot quicker. It wasn't, and in effect the time and work was wasted.

The new Kray 3 engine is *much* better in this respect but needs a *lot* of work to implement.

Render speed is in fact one of our priorities. In the office I also have an 8 core Mac Pro and it's frustrating when with a complex model, geometry processing takes maybe twice as long as the render. We're looking into this.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts though. There are lots of things we could improve. We probably know about most if them but we can forget some or maybe not get the priorities right. This is why feedback is important. We also love it when people come up with some innovative and genius suggestions.

We can't do everything that everyone wants but sometimes we get some truly brilliant suggestions that make it into the software.




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LordV

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Reply with quote  #50 
Really appreciate the way you interact with your customers on these forums, very near instant and honest replies. Amazing Job. Also want to let you know that i am passionate about Podium, not being an artist you guys let me do things that just blow me away sometimes, and at the same time with virtually zero learning curve. Truly you have a great system, the benefit of having the podium browser to drop light sources into your scene is just superb and really makes life simple. On a side note having a more user friendly custom lighting UI would also be high on my list of improvements.

I didn't realise you use another render engine, or that it was Kray. Therefore i understand your issues, very hard to promise or even talk about something you don't control.

After finding this out however i jumped onto the Kray website and while info about Kray 3 is fairly sketchy to the general public i did find some info on their forum, an example of which is below.

link of post for reference http://www.kraytracing.com/joomla/forum/index.php?f=3&t=2604&rb_v=viewtopic&start=60

Re: kray 3.0 preview

Postby jure on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:09 am

jonathlee wrote:Then using Nvidia Cards would feel the extra advantage with CUDA cores?

If so then we can invest graphic cards with more CUDA cores to speed up both the rendering.


Kray3 will support OpenCL so Nvidia is not the only option for gfx cards. We have yet to see how much calculation we will be able to offload to gfx card in production.

So perhaps Kray 3 will support GPU acceleration. However after reading more of the forum posts there are a number of warnings not to have crazy expectations of speed increases. If any at all they may be modest, so don't hold your breath for the 10 - 20x speed increases some of the other engines are claiming.

Bottom line I guess we just have to wait and see how this plays out. See if you guys choose to support it, and if you do, find out if it will actually give us any real world speed improvements.

Anyway no doubt you have lines of communication that the general public don't, so if you hear anything please let us know.

For reference on the Kray 3 new feature poll, GPU acceleration came in at number 3 out of 10 on the list. Also worth noting that "better/faster GI rendering" was number 1, and as GPU rendering may be the best short term opportunity for speed increases you could argue these should be combined. Anyway just food for thought.

http://www.kraytracing.com/joomla/forum/index.php?f=3&t=2010&rb_v=viewtopic

What improvements would you like to see in Kray the most?

 

Better/faster GI rendering
65
19%
Better network rendering
18
5%
Displacements
51
15%
Better Instancing
39
11%
GPU rendering
48
14%
Better integration with LightWave
28
8%
Improvements to Physical Sky
27
8%
Better motion blur and DOF
12
3%
Better Antialiasing
47
14%
Buffers improvement
11
3%
 
Total votes : 346


bigstick

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Reply with quote  #51 
Ah, that's great news. I check the Kray forum from time to time (not as regularly as I used to) but I didn't know about this.

When we support Kray 3, OpenCL support will just come with it at renderer level and it should 'just work'.




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AlNizer

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Reply with quote  #52 
-- Message deleted--

Moderator note: We do allow objective discussion, but you posted 3 posts with blatant and bold advertising for another product. This cannot be tolerated. I'm sorry but, if you continue to advertise on our forum we will be forced to ban you. Thank you for you comprehension.
DavorP

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Reply with quote  #53 
Well, I am not impressed at all with their gallery and if that's the quality penalty for speed, you can use 1.0.5 presets which render very fast at lower quality.

They claim to have 300.000 users, but forum has only 2 pages of topics with total of about 800 replys. We have about 7.400 topics and 59.000 replys. 

You have access to about 14 materials on their forum compared to almost 11.000 materials and components in Browser.

Go ahead and use what you like, but please don't be so obvious and desparate and promote your product on our forum. If you search for Podium on your forum, there is no mention of it - there's no need to do that.

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AlNizer

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Reply with quote  #54 
I was not advertising anything, I was comparing and suggesting. Beside, why is Kray post not deleted?
DavorP

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Reply with quote  #55 
3 posts with links to competitors product in a few minutes - what do you call that?

Podium uses Kray engine.

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AlNizer

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Reply with quote  #56 
Because I've been a customer of yours since about 2009 or 2010 and also a customer of your competitors. I'm still having problems today with Podium and your competitors have features that Podium have yet to implement. Some features you have were in fact added after your competitors had them already. So basically, you steal ideas from others without giving them credit for it. If you have nothing to fear about competition, then why not adding a page about abc vs Podium, or allow customers of yours such as me to mention another product for comparison or to simply help others with problems that are already solve in other products. Seems fair to me.
bigstick

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Reply with quote  #57 
If you have had problems, and have found the forum, why haven't you posted them?

Podium was one of the first renderers integrated into SU, and we have made huge changes over the years. We haven't consciously copied anyone. In fact there is a lot more copying of Podium than vice versa. Others have copied the Browser, presets, and one competitor (who I won't name) even copied our whole main render dialog! You can't seriously post baseless accusations without substantiation.

I design the UI for Podium, and Dave and I agree the features with our programmers based principally on what we think is the most use and best balance between cost and overall benefit. If you think we've copied anyone, quite simply - you're wrong.

With regard to adding features, what is it that you feel is missing? Apart from perhaps instancing, as a practising architect running his own office there is no other feature that I desperately need. The most important things for me are speed, quality and the ability to get results very easily with minimal fuss.

We have a small team, which keeps costs down to the point that offices can afford to give every designer a Podium licence. Try doing that with VRay and you will very soon be spending the kind of money that could be spent upgrading or replacing the hardware. It also means that every feature we add means that something else has to wait.

Over a year ago, I did a comparison with all the other render engines for SU, to see how we compared. It was a response to a comparative survey I read somewhere that was a lot more limited. I looked at features, cost, quality, speed and ease of use.

I'm not going to post it here because it demonstrates what we already believe (that Podium offers the best combination of speed, quality, and workflow) and it's out of date.

And also, we don't need to do the hard sell here. It's where people come for information, generally when they have bought the application.

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bigstick

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Reply with quote  #58 
The product you referred in your deleted post has inferior quality to Podium. You can try to debate it but you would be just wrong. If you want to wait less time for worse images, that's your prerogative [smile]

As for HDRI, for architecture it's not important. most of the high end rendering doesn't make use of it, and it's not a priority. Periodically we get people complaining about how important it is (to them) but in the bigger picture, it's a sideshow.





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AlNizer

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Reply with quote  #59 
That's only your point of view, not mine. Of course you have to defend your product. But for me, it crash all the time.

Why can't you provide one of the complete model used on your home page so that we can try it ourself, without Photoshop and see if we get the same result? because I was never able to get it to look that way, even after hours or rendering with the higher settings, and I have to modify the output with Photoshop to look better.
Nick00

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Reply with quote  #60 
It crashes all the time? Care to elabaorate? With enough ram, the right Podium version, SU 2014 or 8, and no fatal material setting error like LEM + reflection Podium does not crash. The only time we saw frequent crashes is from corrupted PC setups and SketchUp plugins conflict.

Is that what you are looking for :? http://www.suplugins.com/help/models.php

Using postprocessing to finalize renders is like retouching your pictures when you use your camera: It helps you make them look exactly and effectively like you want. "All" professional uses PP - some of the best even make all their textures in PP, rendering only a clay model (with Vray for that matter, but any good renderer would work the same). Having a bad raw output from a rendedring is not a good thing, it should be good, but you always need PP to make it excellent.

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