3Delight and 3DC

As a follow-up to my original post about using the 3Delight renderer with 3DC, here’s an update for anyone who may want to use this high-quality, Renderman-compliant tool to render their 3d models.

First, the good news. 3Delight has been updated several times since my last post, and the current version (2.1) is much improved. Thus, all that guff in my previous post about editing the exported [i:3ajwxa0c].rib[/i:3ajwxa0c] file is no longer necessary – 3delight will accept a [i:3ajwxa0c].rib[/i:3ajwxa0c] file exported from 3DC directly without any changes.

All you have to do (assuming that 3delight is installed on your system), is double-click on the [i:3ajwxa0c].rib[/i:3ajwxa0c] file. The render window will appear, and a [i:3ajwxa0c]default.tif[/i:3ajwxa0c] file will be created in the same directory. Of course, if you want to make use of 3Delight’s parameters you will have to create a batch file or modify the default settings to your taste.

However, you will still need to remake your [i:3ajwxa0c].tif[/i:3ajwxa0c] textures using the [i:3ajwxa0c]tdlmake[/i:3ajwxa0c] command in order to make them compatible. Note that although this program’s output is a [i:3ajwxa0c].tdl[/i:3ajwxa0c] file, you can rename these back to [i:3ajwxa0c].tif[/i:3ajwxa0c] (replacing the originals) and they should then work in both 3Delight and 3DC. I did notice, however, that after doing this some of my textures looked odd in 3DC, but they look great in the final render which IMHO is more important. The 3Delight command I use to remake a texture is as follows (substitute ‘texture’ with the name of your texture file):

[i:3ajwxa0c]tdlmake -mode periodic -filter sinc -quality high texture.tif texture.tdl[/i:3ajwxa0c]

Now the bad news – my hack to call 3Delight directly from 3DC (using the Raytrace tool button) no longer works. I assume this is because only POVRay is now supported for this option (I’m using ver 6.6), and the program won’t look for any other renderers. Still, this isn’t really an issue now that the [i:3ajwxa0c].rib[/i:3ajwxa0c] files can be rendered so easily.

If you are interested in 3Delight, the free download can be obtained from:

[img:3ajwxa0c]http://www.3delight.com[/img:3ajwxa0c]
3Delight

I can thoroughly recommend this renderer to all 3DC users. Not only does it provide great quality rendered images, it’s also free. What more could you ask?

3DC is a great application for 3d modelling. Paired with a decent rendering tool, the results can be spectacular. But if – like me – you were dismayed by the demise of BMRT, fear not! Salvation is at hand in the form of 3Delight, another excellent Renderman-compliant engine which to my mind is even better.

But how to integrate it with 3DC? Read the following guide to find out.

[b:hsnq3zu6]Quick andamp; Dirty[/b:hsnq3zu6]

If all you want to do is submit your exported rib file to 3Delight, load up the file in a text editor and do the following:

andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp;Replace the string ‘supertexmap’ with ‘paintedplastic’
andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp;Replace ‘Csmapname’ with ‘texturename’
andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp;Change ‘[0.001]’ to ‘0’ on the Hider line.
andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp;Remake all of your TIFF textures using the 3Delight [i:hsnq3zu6]tdlmake[/i:hsnq3zu6] utility
andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp;Rename the resulting [i:hsnq3zu6]tdl[/i:hsnq3zu6] files with the extension andquot;.tifandquot;

These steps should now allow rendering of the rib file using 3Delight. If your textures appear black or corrupted, try using different command line options. This one worked for me:

[i:hsnq3zu6]tdlmake -mode periodic -filter sinc -quality high texture.tif texture.tdl[/i:hsnq3zu6]

Note that you only need to make the textures once for a scene, unless you change them in some way. The string replacements in the rib file must however be done each time you change the scene.

[b:hsnq3zu6]The Best Solution[/b:hsnq3zu6]

The quick and dirty method is fine, but if you’re doing a lot of render jobs, somewhat tedious. A more complete solution is to make 3Delight the default rendering program within 3DC. This can be done, only it’s a bit more tricky:

Firstly, you need to locate the source file for 3Delight’s default textured surface shader. Look for a file called andquot;paintedplastic.slcandquot; in the [i:hsnq3zu6]shaders[/i:hsnq3zu6] folder. This has to be changed to match the properties of the [i:hsnq3zu6]supertexmap[/i:hsnq3zu6] shader used by BMRT for the same purpose. To do this, edit the file and simply change ‘paintedplastic’ to ‘supertexmap’ on line 2, and all ‘texturename’ entries to ‘Csmapname’. Now save the resulting file as andquot;supertexmap.slcandquot; and compile it using the [i:hsnq3zu6]slcdl[/i:hsnq3zu6] utility. If all goes well, you should end up with a file called andquot;supertexmap.slandquot; in your [i:hsnq3zu6]shaders[/i:hsnq3zu6] folder.

Secondly, you must alter the registry key which tells 3DC which render program to use. I found two keys I had to change, located at the strings below:

‘HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareVB and VBA Program Settings3DCApplicationRenderManLocation’
‘HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareVB and VBA Program Settings3DCSettingsRenderManLocation’

Change both of these to the path which describes the 3Delight program, on my system it’s:

‘C:Program Files3Delightbinrenderdl.exe’

Once you’ve done all this, you should be able to do a one click render from within 3DC using the RenderMan/BMRT toolbar button, except now 3Delight is doing the job. Don’t forget that to make this all work you’ll still have to remake and rename the textures as described in the quick and dirty method.

There is also an issue with the rendered preview in 3DC after this fix, which doesn’t get the perspective quite right and doesn’t resize. I’m assuming that this is because 3DC still thinks it’s talking to BMRT and so doesn’t pass the parameters in quite the same way. Eeven with these issues, though, I think it’s still worth doing. Final renders are best done outside of 3DC, but it is handy to get an impression of the results while editing your model.

I hope this info is useful, I personally feel that 3Delight gives better results than BMRT, especially where textures are concerned. If anyone knows of a better way to do this, please let me know.

You can download 3Delight at [img:hsnq3zu6]http://www.3delight.com[/img:hsnq3zu6]
<!– m –><a class="postlink" href="http://www.3delight.com">http://www.3delight.com</a>&lt;!– m –>

Dug,
I’ve never had BMRT on my machine, so there wouldn’t be any references to andquot;Rendermanlocationandquot; in my registry, correct?
I’ve downloaded and installed 3Dlight, but have no clue what to do next………help please? I would like to see the effects of rendering with 3Dlight, especially the shader operation.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Les

Les

If the registry keys are not present, I assume they can be created manually. However, it sounds like you’d be better off using the ‘Quick andamp; Dirty’ method which doesn’t involve the registry.

Once you have used the ‘Quick andamp; Dirty’ procedure, you should end up with a .rib file. This can be rendered by 3Delight on the command line, the most basic example being

renderdl [name of rib file]

There are a lot of parameters you can add to this line, have a look at the 3Delight documentation to find out more about these.

Hope that helped.

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