Just one more shot of the conversation scene in the Plagarus Part Two. Then we're onto a nice, fairly easy musical interlude. Hopefully it works well.
New rendering techniques have made the rendering times much faster. For instance, the original Plagarus scenes were extremely noisy due to the fact that I had to use CPU rendering, while keeping render times reasonable. Now that I've got a pretty good graphics card, GPU rendering has allowed render times of less than a quarter what it used to be on the i7.
Also, I've discovered that I don't need to have the background geometry involved in many scenes. The shot above is taken with a simple equirectangular background image. The advantage of this is that there is nearly instant rendering time for background elements, as well as the camera can pan, letting the background image move with it.
The downside, of course, is that it's almost impossible to completely merge it with the real background geometry when rendered for real. So, the room will appear slightly different between shots where geometry is rendered and it's just the character in front of a backdrop.
Also, there is the benefit of having better DOF effects in Cycles than before. This is a huge advantage as well. Additionally, something new since the release of the previous installment of Plagarus is motion blur. This is a particularly useful technique which greatly increases the believability of the animation.
The downside? The next installment of the movie is probably going to start looking visually different from Part One. This is going to be an issue which may involve me having to go back and re-render the entire thing.
There was a chance I had to do this anyway, as I was hoping technology would advance enough to allow me to render a 1080p version of the movie. Right now, it's in 720p.
Hopefully one day this film will be done.
Here's hoping, anyway.
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