Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Spot the difference

Look closely at these two screenshots, and see if you can see what's changed between the current version 1.0.3 and the upcoming 1.0.4 release, which is currently going through final QA. (You may find it easier to click on the images and view them larger.)

Version 1.0.3

Version 1.0.4

Nope?

OK, look at the shadows under the two chairs. In the 1.0.3 version, you'll see nasty little lines. They don't look too bad in stills, but when you shoot actual footage, especially if you have moving cameras, they really look horrible. They flicker and flash, and they're seriously annoying and distracting. In the 1.0.4 version, you just have the shadows you'd expect, without the artifacts.

For the non-technical among you, this is a phenomenon called "z-fighting". What's happening is that the ambient shadows cast onto the floor by the chairs and the sofa end up in the same plane. This confuses the renderer, because it has two things in the same place. We've already eliminated a lot of the z-fighting issues, but clashing between ambient shadows is one we'd missed, as it only happens when you put things like furniture too close together.

And now it's fixed. From 1.0.4. onwards, your sets should look much nicer. It's a small fix, but one which has a huge effect on the look of your films.

10 comments:

AngriBuddhist said...

This one (seemingly small) fix is awesome. It reminds me though, have the "lines along the border of a render" been addressed as well?

Hugh said...

This is great - does mean that I need to re-render half my shots with 1.04, but that's cool by me.

Matt Kelland said...

As I was leaving the office today, I was showing David a video I'm doing for him to use at WebMission in San Francisco. From behind me, I heard a quiet mutter from twak. "I really must have another go some time soon at seeing if I can figure out why the hell we get those white lines around the edges..."

Sorry, angri, it probably won't be fixed in the next release unless twak has a blinding insight at 3am.

Elf said...

Ah, it's interesting to know (though I suspected) that the shadows are a separate poly.

Was there any reason you didn't bake the lighting down and display it with the regular texture?

Scott said...

Shadows that are proper "bo"

AngriBuddhist said...

Matt, would you please say "...unless Angri wins the 10 million dollar lottery"?

twak said...

I got the white lines - mileage may vary between graphics cards - but should be in next weeks release.

Overman said...

Best. Fix. Ever.

Woooo!!!

Pineapple Pictures said...

Great stuff, this has been hard to get around. Will make a big difference, thanks everyone.

AngriBuddhist said...

Congradulations to twak on the awesome fix as well as to the whole team for the admitance into WebMission '08.

Matt, do you have enough time to redo that video without the "white lines"?