1 month self-exam – What did I learn until now II.

OK, so let’s see my experiences.

First of all about the model:

I didn’t have any ‘real’ plans without copyright, so I ‘designed’ the corridor, but I’m not an architect (so – of course – I will not count the design mistakes I made and my laziness like to draw legs for the sofa:).
I didn’t want to reuse any materials, objects, plants, so everything was made in Blender from zero.
I wanted to use Cycles for lighting, but I made a Vray version, too (not from the final model), just to test rendering speed.

I’m not really  happy with the result and I have several reasons for that (besides my mistakes), but my problems are mostly related to render times and UVW mapping.
Keeping passes low resulted a 22 minutes render time in Cycles GPU (CPU was longer), but it also forced me to use noise filtering, what ‘erased’ some small details, too.
Of course the render time could be reduced easily with a better GPU, but I use a notebook, so that is not an option for me.
On the other hand, I don’t want to spend money on a better GPU, while my old one could handle all the virtual reality and archviz modeling tasks I need (in my desktop PC).

Most of the problems I had to face to was not new for me at all and I partially accepted that that I have to pay this price for using OSS.
But the theory and practice are not the same, so I will mark some of these things as  ‘things must be improved’ in Blender.
I will not put everything on this list, just the most annoying stuff.

1: Solid creation
It is incredible non-efficient in Blender.
Adding a mesh, then resizing and repositioning it is waste of time, especially when I have to navigate on the screen, too.
In Max (Shade13, Lightwave)  to create a box precisely in the wanted position is like a ‘3 click’ process: create a corner of a rectangle, then create the opposite corner, then give the height.
I also had to recognize that I use boxes and rectangles for measuring a lot in Max (instead of the ‘Tape’ tool, because it is quicker sometimes).
It is not possible easily in Blender.
The ‘Measure’ tool cannot compete with the ‘Tape’ tool in Max (I think it would be easy to fix it and make it better than the Max version).

2. Object mode/Edit mode
In 2013 there is no reason for this, just slows down the modeling process.  It could be an option of course, but not the default way of editing meshes.
If I want to move the vertices of multiple meshes at the same time to a specific position, I just select and move them (in Max).
In Blender first I have to join them to do that or move them separately, one by one.
If I join them, I have to separate them again.

3. UVW Mapping – The most painful experience I had in the process
Compared to 3D Max UVW modifier what offers all the archviz mapping types with a click (box, cylindrical, spherical, etc. – with precise size, scaling, rotation, position, etc.) it is non-existing in Blender.
In Cycles there is no comparable tool; the ‘generated’ mapping (texture space) method doesn’t work properly.
Unwrapping UVW is not an option for thousands of meshes in a real project.

4. Scene overview/organizing
No automatic coloring of wireframes or shading, no manual coloring for the same.
No smart ‘hide/unhide’, ‘freeze/unfreeze’ features, no ‘smart’ layer system.
Grouping is completely different, but not in a good way.

5. Selection
It is really uncomfortable to select specific objects, especially because of the unique black wireframes. Selecting objects from the ‘Outliner’ is not comfortable and not efficient.
Max gives better tools for it for my work-flow.

6. Rendering speed in Cycles
For interiors it is slow on my system.
I just had a trial version of VRay  for Blender+Vray tests, but it seems to me that Vray will be the ultimate renderer for Blender.
From this very moment I wouldn’t spend a minute as a developer on Cycles until some other – more necessary – tools are not implemented.
For appropriate Cycles speed the user have to buy a GPU; the price of the standalone version of Vray is comparable to the price of a good GPU and runs well even on a notebook (notebooks with a strong CPU cost less then with a good GPU).

Well, that’s all for now.




8 thoughts on “1 month self-exam – What did I learn until now II.

  1. I agree with points 1,2,3,6. But theses points are dealing with old basics of Blender or Cycles Todo’s and probably, would require a lot of work to be changed or added.

    4) Did you try layer management add-on ?

    5) I disagree.
    Blender have a lot of selection tools in Select menu. (Lasso, selection by Type, by Layer, by Groups, by Linked Data, by Shared Properties, by naming…)
    Do you know alt+select click tip ?
    What tool do you miss from Max ?

  2. Hello Zeauro,
    welcome as my first public commenter on the blog!:)

    I will post some some suggestions related to the points; some of them will be incredible easy for programmers.
    I installed the layer management add-on and played a little with it. I plan to dig deeper, but I plan to make something – as a GUI draft – what in my opinion will be better than it (and also better than the Max layer system).

    On ‘ALT+SELECT’ do you mean the ring select?

    I will make a video about Max selection tools; although I have to say that the ultimate tool should contain both Blender and Max features (for me).

    My critique on selection starts with recognition of the objects (as I wrote) and it is not easy with the unique black wireframes.

    • Thanks for the tips.
      I will make the video on next week, that will help a lot.
      Maybe you know a solution for a feature I miss, so I try to explain it now: in Max there are 2 ways for using the box selection (or any selection):

      1. The way it works in Blender.
      2. It only selects the objects ‘completely inside’ the selection window (so it doesn’t select a cube if just a corner is inside the selection’. Of course it could be combined with other selection methods.

      • I am not sure. But I think there is no way to change Border Select behaviour.
        I would use Lasso or Circle Select. Their behaviour corresponds to point 2.

  3. It is not exactly behaviour of point 2. You have not to select the whole object but its origin.

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