"Appearances are a glimpse of the unseen."
I have been studying why some of my renders have “fireflies”, the tiny pixels of white that appear when you do a pre-render or a full render. It is not about caustics - even with caustics off the speckles still appear, and without caustics, the light bounces are too unrealistic if you aim for an accurate scenery and light is lost.
However, I have discovered why this happens: is a calculation problem, in other words, maths. Maths are wonderful, but they are loathsome (at least for me). Lets say you do an awesome equation and you end with like 1000 decimals because your result isn’t a round number like 25 or 666. These decimals turn out into those damn fireflies. It is not a problem reserved to Blender though, it happens in all 3D softwares, but suppose the top notch have filters for that, well, Blender does not, and you can run over 9000 filters and still get fireflies and everything ends so blurred and so dark it sucks.
But I found the way to fix this and is by getting rid of those decimals, and the answer is at a small drag of the mouse. I’ll summarize:
- When you create a light or lights, these lights start to bounce around the surroundings as real light does. That is based on calculations of how light works on real life.
- When the calculations have thousands of tiny decimals as results, fireflies appears every time a tiny pixel of light bounces but fails to calculate the real falloff of “photons” that should bounce from that surface.
- In order to fix this, you must change the size of the light sources.
Not agree or can’t afford to change the size of the lights until the fireflies disappears? Instead of changing the size of the lights, change the size of the FULL SCENE. Select everything (even camera if it is there) and resize it to be bigger than that. The fireflies miraculously will disappear, because the math results will have less decimals and in the end, more accuracy at the hour of bouncing the lights. Sometimes you don’t need to do a great change to the size of a light to get rid of the fireflies - the changes are milimetrical, I use SHIFT to resize the lights 1 or 5 pixels of size and is enough to get rid of most of them, if not ALL. I even changed the HDRi I use for the surroundings and I saw that the backgrounds with no sun but still enough bright are enough to light up everything (and in case it is too dark, you can ramp up the Strenght of the emission of the HDRi to your needs). I also found out that by changing the size of a single light (a light lamp from the distance for example), most of the fireflies are gone.
I don’t know about any programming but I know how maths sucks, and programming goes smoother and more accurate when maths are small to handle. Alright, that was the useless tip from me for this day. It works for me at least on several different renders, I can even force fireflies to appear if I add a bunch of ridiculous decimals to some of my lights, so if this tip doesn’t work for you, try adding more bounces to the lights or culling some (8 bounces works for me because 8 is a magic number, duh!).
Still alive. This guy is FINISHED, at least on the modelling part. Now it comes the rig… I’m trying to don’t go overboard and give him enough expressions and shapes of the mouth for very very basic lip sync. Well, just hope RL gives me a respite for that.
These guys nagged me to play Starbound! Couldn’t finish the mouth yet, it’s too late and I want to go to sleep.
Added depth to the brows and eye sockets, fixed the black skin of the head and started to carve the mouth, teeth and gingiva. Got rid of the fake AO of the mesh, now it looks cooler. The black skin of the head still floats on place, will add its thickness tomorrow if I don’t get sidetracked by friends again.
Aw man, how many more I had rooting unfinished at the bowels of my HDD (and that without counting the pending Reshiram). I remember I opened this blog with the work in progress of the Lucario of my friend but I forgot to finish it. I remember I also had an idea for an animation and that I still need to finish his teeth and mouth for some lip synch. Well, maybe I will update this one first in the end, if I still keep unearthing old practices.
While digging for some of my old practices I found this unfinished guy from a very long long while ago. I think I abandoned it because I forgot it was there and moved onto other things. It looks like I made the zipper animated because I placed a bone and a constraint to it and it zips and unzips the mouth quite realistically. Do you think I should finish this guy and make some creepy pasta render with it? Just to be fair, is based more on the old version of Banette from Hoenn in which the zip looked like a teeth and the eyes were buttons with a thread for a pupil.
So far so good. Modelled the benches and the street-lights of the park and started to add some lights to see how it would look at night time, also to give pointers for the lights of the game. Now is time to make a bunch of trees and stuff. One of them is an important point of interest, an old huge oak (the tall cylinder is its placeholder) that was used to hang criminals and as place to pray for the dead, so the oak is quite “haunted” and if you have enough points in Occultism and Observation (tentative skills), you might find useful clues, but it still can eat your Sanity meter if you are too paranoid or stay too much time around it at night or during Terror Zone. Beware the living.
All those tiny bright pixels are just trash data from the amount of “lamps” I added. In-game everything looks quite different. I modified the central plaza where the gazebo is to accommodate the benches, more or less 93 people can sit around the gazebo, and everyone else can either stand around it or enter the cafeteria below the gazebo and have some tea or whatever while discussing the next move to protect the city from the monsters.
Signals of life! I’m still creating game assets for the project, materials and textures still placeholders. This central gazebo is almost finished, just need to chop a little to make space for some stairs to go up and some stairs to go down, where a humble cafeteria will make for a nice place for meeting with friends.
Oh, and that small fellah is the player placeholder dummy. Since everything needs to keep a scale, that guy serves to check that everything is scaled correctly. I dubbed him “Edward Carnby” as homage to Frédérick Raynal, so everyone will be “Edwards” :B (there is going to be a female version called “Emily Hartwood” for the female community to play).
Some small health problems on the other side, I’m trying to keep myself away from COLD so that I keep 3Ding and not impersonating an egg roll under the duvets.
I’m alive, now building a city circa 1910 for a very large project in collaboration with 2 people that will code everything so that you will be able to walk about the city at your leisure at the time of the day you like. Textures and materials are a placeholder.
Fun big times for the months ahead… *sips coffee and stares at the infinite horizon*