FAQ

How can I save up on denoising?

Corona Renderer is built in a way that during distributed rendering, only one machine will work on denoising, while the rest will be in stand by. To avoid paying for servers not actually doing anything, you can run denoising on your own computer.

1. Launch rendering on our render-farm, choosing the option to save it as an .CXR file, and selecting Denoise mode as "Gather data for later". 




2. Open the resulting CXR file on your computer using Corona Image Editor.
3. Click the denoise button.


What is "baking"?

Light calculation during rendering is a task individual to each computer, and that’s why rendering the same scene on different computers may lead to inconsistent differences. It is especially critical in animation, where it leads to flickering of lights and shadows. This is why it is important to prepare files with global illumination information for the scene before rendering. This process is called Global Illumination (GI) Baking. Then, during rendering, render farm computers will use this information from a file.


First of all, make sure to do some test renders and check the scene for possible mistakes: levitating objects, geometry deformation, missing objects and assets. For test renders put Irradiance Map and Light cache into Single mode, and start the render with a step of 50 or 25, depending on the camera movement speed.


Case 1: simple camera path (only camera is moving, but objects and lights are fixed), < 500 frames


Start with calculating Global Illuminations:

1. In task properties on our online service, in Common tab set Active Time Segment equal to the rendering amount of the camera you need.

2. Customize GI:

- Light Cache set to Single Frame, with Use Camera Path and Auto Save checked, Subdivs turned up to 3000-5000

- Irradiance Map set to Single, with Use Camera Path and Auto Save checked. You can increase the amount of Subdivs.

3. It is IMPORTANT to set Light Cache and Irradiance Map to be saved into a file! Then start rendering ONE SINGLE FRAME. IM and LC information will be saved into files, and you can start final render.

4. Render the final animation, setting LC and IM to From file.



Case 2: complicated camera path (> 500 frames, but objects and lights are fixed)


Rendering should be done in two tasks.

Task 1:

1. In task properties on our online service, in Common tab set Active Time Segment equal to the rendering amount of the camera you need.

2. Light Cache set to Fly-Through, with Auto Save checked and file path chosen, Subdivs turned up to 3000-5000.

3. Irradiance Map set to Multiframe, with Auto Save checked and file path chosen.

4. Check Don’t render final image option in V-Ray tab.

5. Start rendering with a step of 10-25 (depending on the complexity of camera trajectory and its speed).



Task 2:

1. Light Cache set to From file with our saved file chosen.

2. Irradiance Map set to From file with our saved file chosen.

3. ATTENTION! Uncheck Don’t render final image in V-Ray tab (otherwise, you’ll get black images as a result).

4. Render the whole array of frames needed.



Case 3: simple camera path, but objects and/or lights are moving


1. In task properties on our online service, in Common tab set Active Time Segment equal to the rendering amount of the camera you need.

2. Customize GI:

- Light Cache set to Single Frame, with Use Camera Path checked, Subdivs turned up to 3000-5000

- Irradiance Map set to Single, with Use Camera Path checked.

3. Start final rendering of the whole array of frames needed.




I already have Light Cache and/or Irradiance Map calculated, how do I upload them?


After scene verification, follow the link to the file manager using your login and password - http://online.megarender.com:9090/WebInterface/login.html Here you should put your files into the foulder, with a path looking like: “scene_name\__import__XXXX\renderoutput\”. After this, during your scene setup in the service interface, write in the NAMES of your files with EXTENSIONS, but without paths or indexes (frame numbers).


ATTENTION! Make sure to calculate your LC and IM using V-Ray v3.6.1 or higher to avoid any problems. Always do a test render with saving the results.



How to use caches for PhoenixFD and RealFlow?

1. Calculate your simulation and save it into a file

2. Set your scene to reading the simulation FROM FILE

3. Export your scene using our Megaplugin(!) and upload it to our service

4. Plugin won’t collect all the caches (because they can be very big), so after scene check you’ll need to upload the rest of them to the FTP-server. To do this, open the foulder “scene_name\__import__XXXXX\sceneassets\caches\PhoenixFD\object_name” and upload all the remaining cache files in it.

After this, it is CRUCIAL to make a test render of several frames to check that the effects are rendered correctly.

How to use Corona LightMix on the farm?

It is impossible to change LightMix parameters on the render-farm (neither during nor after the render), but you can choose to save your project result as a .CXR file and adjust LightMix later on your computer.

If your saved CXR file won’t open, or you don’t see LightMix set up in it, try to re-open it with Corona Image 2 or Corona Image 4.

How many passes to render?

This depends on the complexity of the scene, materials, lights. There are scenes which will finish rendering in 50 passes, and ones that will still have too much noise even after 200. By the way, 200 passes is often considered the default amount to reach a proper quality. It is also advised to start denoising only after the Noise level of the image goes below 3-5%.


What if your scene rendered for 200 passes, but still has a lot of noise in it? It’s time for optimization.

1) Make sure all your windows are marked as portals (CoronaPortalMtl put on a Plane where the windows are), and there are no gaps between walls, floor, and ceiling. This helps to avoid white dots in the render. Remember, that floor and ceiling must have thickness!

2) Do not use CoronaLightMtl or Self Illumination as primary light sources, their calculation takes a much longer time and the noise will not disperse for hundreds of passes (if ever…)

3) When making glass materials using Refraction: Caustic will slow down rendering, and should only be used in close ups. For glass in the windows you can use Thin option.

4) Low-resolution HDR-maps create lots of noise. For interior scenes it is advised not to use them at all.

5) If you are using LightMix, and you have values of 5-10 and more in it’s options – better bake it! For this click the >Scene button. Your preview will change, but once you start rendering again, it will look the way you adjusted it, and there will be less noise.

6) Volumetrics (subsurface scattering, SSS) not only slows down the rendering, but also leads to noises that are hard to get rid of.


If you thing that your scene should finish rendering in less than 200 passes and you are ready to risk it: render a small area of the image on your PC before you get a suitable result. Apply this number in the render-farm options.

Why should I do test renders?

Why are test renders so important when working with render farm?


It is important to understand, that exporting any 3ds Max scene, especially scenes with many objects in it – is not an easy task. Many options are tied to the application itself, and sometimes you won’t even remember that you’ve changed them. 3ds Max, Corona, V-Ray and 3rd party plugins version mismatch may lead to unpredictable results.


The most common reasons for render results not matching expectations:


1) Modificators:

When preparing your scene to be sent to a render farm, it is important to collapse modificators stack. All not collapsed modificators can cause geometry breaking, objects going missing or deforming. If you work with 3ds MAX 2011 or earlier versions any boolean objects will almost certainly not look right on farm’s computers.


2) V-Ray and Corona versions:

We support the most popular and up-to-date versions of render engines on our render-farm. But if you created and tuned your scene in older or test versions, it can lead to mismatches. It is preferable to convert your scene for the latest versions of V-Ray and Corona or for the supported versions, listed on our main page.


3) Plugin errors:

Unfortunately, sometimes our plugin makes mistakes. When working with big scenes some assests may gone missing. If you need to use cash-files, you’ll have to upload them manually.


4) Gamma problems:

V-Ray users often manually change Gamma level when saving an image after rendering. This is in no way reflected in exported scenes, so the final render may be too dark or too light. If you don’t know how to properly set-up your gamma for render farm rendering – check these instructions.


5) Mistakes in the scene:

Sometimes, you won’t notice certain mistakes in the scene before you start rendering. Geometry may not fit together properly, the objects may be hovering in mid air, textures are applied incorrectly, materials are not set up properly… Test render is the last chance to notice this and fix it without loosing time and money.


6) 3ds MAX glitches:

Unfortunately, unpredictable 3ds MAX problems also happen, and it is hard to be prepared for them. For example, MultiScatter can sometimes glitch, and each grass blade on the lawn turns the size of a tree…


The common thing in all these situations is that they could be noticed after making a test render. Test render of several animation frames or of a still image but in a small resolution will help check how proper scene, lights and materials properties are, where the objects are located and how the particle effects are displayed. The cost of test render is very low in comparison to rendering a full project, noticing the mistake after and re-rendering it from scratch.


And if the test render doesn’t show any mistakes – you can start the final render without re-uploading the whole scene!

What plugins do you support?

We support almost all the popular plugins on our render-farm. You can check plugins’ availability in the table below. If you don’t see a plugin you need listed – contact our tech support, and we’ll try to help you!


3ds MAX

Forest Pack, RailClone Pro, Clone, Glue, ColorEdge, MultiScatter, VRayPattern, MadCar, CityTraffic, SplineLand, FloorGenerator, Multitexture, Phoenix FD, FumeFX, RealFlow, Xmesh Loader, Substance, tyFlow, RichDirt, ColorCorrect, BerconMaps, Greeble, Quad Chamfer, TurboSmooth Pro, GradientEdge, OpenSubdiv-MPS, SigerTools, AXYZ Anima, laubwerk, Ornatrix

Maya

Substance, Phoenix FD, RealFlow, JoeAlter Shave and a Haircut, Yeti


To receive the up-to-date information on supported versions of the plugins or ask a questions about how to use them – just contact our tech support.

How to get priority?

You have an urgent project, the render-farm is busy, and you have no time waiting for your turn? You can get priority in the rendering queue by choosing “Premium” rate in your profile.

What will happen if my balance goes to zero during rendering?

Distributed rendering of a single task:

Your image will finish rendering and will be saved to the FTP, but you won’t be able to download it until you replenish your balance.



Distributed rendering of several tasks:

The fastest task will finish rendering and will be saved to the FTP, but the rest of the tasks will be dropped. When you replenish your balance, all the dropped tasks will restart automatically, and you’ll also be able to download your results. Be careful, when doing this kind of rendering, track the expected time, and make sure to calculate the costs in advance to not loose your progress and money!



Rendering of animation/frames:

The fastest frame will finish rendering and will be saved to the FTP, but the rest of the frames will be dropped. When you replenish your balance, the rendering of dropped frames will restart automatically, and you’ll also be able to download your results.



Just be aware, that all the tasks that were dropped because of billing problems will restart automatically once the balance gets replenished. You can manually cancel them.

Can I render several projects at once?

Yes, for this you just need to pick a rate that will support the amount of projects you require. “Econom” lets you start 3 tasks at once, “Business” - 5 tasks, “Premium” - 6 tasks.

Can you guarantee my scenes and ideas won’t get stolen?

We take all the measures of online security to prevent any unauthorized access to the data we receive. The safety of copyright is guaranteed by the agreement we sign before the start of the work.

Furthermore, our team is aiming for long-term partnership with every customer, that’s why it is our priority to preserve good relationship with our clients.

How do I choose RAM size?

The easiest way to figure out the required RAM size is to try and launch the render of your scene on your PC. Now open Windows Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) - “Performance” - “Memory”. Under “In use” you will see the right value. When setting up your scene choose the option closest to this value (but not less than that).


If your computer doesn’t have enough RAM to run a test render, choose the RAM size bigger, than the one you have isntalled.

How do I calculate the cost if my CPU is not on the list?

If you can’t find your CPU model in our calculator use Cinebench R20 value instead. It is calculated by an application from Cinema 4D developers. Download Cinebench R20 from their official website, then unzip the archive and launch Cinebench.exe file.

In the opened window you’ll be able to see your CPU characteristics. Before starting the test, make sure to close all the running applications, so they won’t affect the final result. Do not start any applications while the test is running!

Start the test by clicking the Run button. It will begin rendering a test scene, which could take several minutes depending on the power of your CPU. Once finished, mark down the value.


Repeat the test two more times and calculate your Cinebench R20 value as an average between all three.

Now as you open our calculator, use Cinebench option and fill in the value in Cinebench R20 field.