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Old 26th July 2013, 09:41   #1  |  Link
OvejaNegra's Avatar
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Recomended resolutions for 3D production rendering

What resolution should be used for rendering a 3d animation movie and why?

Im helping a group of friends with a short film renderen on 3d (vue, maya, flame and other tools are on the process) and they are choosing a resolution for the production.

My first advice was 8k, but we were reading some articles about digital cinema and many projectors are only 4k or 2k.

So we dont see the real need of more than 4k.

Even someone recomended 16 for composition (we are goin to compose real images and people against the 3d rendering on some scenes.

So im looking for advice here before everything starts.
So, it works or not???
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Old 28th July 2013, 00:09   #2  |  Link
Derek Prestegard IRL
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Think about the workflow. Not how much resolution you think you need to make something look "good" or make it "future proof".

Do you really have the budget to manage 8k files? If you're here asking this question, I don't think you do. Let's do some math.

10 bit 8k dpx files are something like 100 to 120 MB each. If you want to just play the sequence, you'll need to be able to read 24 of these per second, which is something on the order of 2.4 gigabytes per second. I imagine playing the sequence is required for doing compositing?

You will _not_ be able to work with this on anything less than a purpose-built SAN. Plan to spend several hundred thousand dollars just to get started. You could maybe do this on the cheap with a stack of SSDs, but you would need several controllers since they usually bottleneck after just a few SSDs. Also, SSDs are small, and you'll run out of space so fast it will make your head spin. If you want to have more than one person working on the files at the same time, you need a SAN file system like StorNext, which is where things start to get really complicated and expensive.

Do it in ProRes 422 HQ, and do it in 1080p. You can do all this on a little desktop RAID. If you're all that worried about the compositing looking nice, use ProRes 4444. Your real-life footage will likely be in HD anyway and there's no point in upscaling. Will you even have 4:4:4 source media?
These are all my personal statements, not those of my employer :)
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Old 31st July 2013, 21:06   #3  |  Link
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Hi Misfit.
We are yet on our little research, because this is becoming a larger project (we got more people interested). The real life footage, well i cant answer that right now because t i havent seen the studio that is goin to provide the cameras and the people behind them (some one told me that are cameras from Red, but i dont know yet).

Using a profesional format 10 bit with 4:4:4 is preferred because the donwscaling on the chroma channel will produce errors on the green screen composing. I hope we can shot the real life scenes like that.

Yes, we are building our workflow right now and we know we have to spend money on hardware.

About 1080: Working on 1080 produce undetailed images on our rendering tests, we can solve that increasing the shading rate (or the number of rays on the renderers) but we pay that with too large rendering times.
But if we increase the resolution (4k) we can have relaxed settings and yet we have very detailed renderings with shorter rendering times (and we have a larger picture). Even it looks beter downscaled to 1080.
Thats why we prefer scaling , but of course, scaling too much increase the rendering times too. The ok point for us is 4K.

The renders are hdr frames with 16 bit per pixel (RGB and alpha channel), each one takes 20 - 40 mb more or less + background/front plates on the same format + tracking plates (images with green objects, points, balls, etc) used for matching the camera movement with the real life footage.
The rendering times are like 20 - 40 minutes for an easy interior scene, 2 -3 hours for a hard one, 2 - 6 hours for an easy exterior scene and 10 hours for a hard exterior with clouds, god rays, terrains, etc. All that on a single i5 computer.

The composing + motion tracking is not in real time, and we can use proxys for editing and color grading/matching but all that is untested.

As you can see, we are not that bad. Whit the rendering farm working, the rendering times will improve a lot. We havent done any composing test yet.
Personally i dont see the need of using more than 4K. The rendering times are ok and very detailed (we are not pixar and we dont want to be pixar).

Our only concern right now is the upcoming UHDTV (4k or 8k)or the digital cinemas (if the movie goes some day to a digital cinema).
Another concern is the format (do the theaters actually use real 16:9) Most of the time i see wider formats.
Yes, this movie never will be a super large project but we are trying to make it as detailed as posible and future ready if posible.

Thanks for the help.
So, it works or not???
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Old 31st July 2013, 22:51   #4  |  Link
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It's an unfortunate reality that all current movies will look lousy in the future, but it won't just be the resolution, it'll be the digital effects as well. Better to live with what fits within your budget and worry about remastering if the time ever comes, when the processing power will be massively faster and cheaper by then.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 15:32   #5  |  Link
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I agree. Our final choice is 4k fo everything (and it looks very detailed for our needs).

The final question is the picture shape. Any advice for this?

Should we use pure 16:9 or something wider?

How are the screens on those mega theaters over there

So, it works or not???
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production, rendering, resolution

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