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  • Open Letter

    Hello everyone,

    This letter has NO specific point but to share my thoughts and wishes about FStorm.

    A bit of background, i've been in the CG VFX and VIZ business for almost 20 years now. I tested almost all renders out there since then. I used 90% Vray the most part of the time until last 2-3years. Times changes. Also needs.

    I've been working for the last 3 years with another renderengine (CPU though): Corona Render. All i can say so far is how happy i am with it. Finally, a whole new generation of artist focused render engines and not technicals ones. These years fashion.

    Problem with CPU based renders is that still need a lot of CPU computation. In other words, very expensive CPU units; workstation based. My work is mainly focused on CGI animations (either full-CG or VFX) for films and advertising commercials.

    That said, of course, i don't usually render the whole -let's say- 90secs commercial at home. I use online renderfarms. So, these days real-time feedback is what really bumps production and final product. RT feedback and speed.

    As i previous said, CPU solution(s) still do the trick for me but i travel a lot because of my job. So, a laptop is highly needed. Not even top-notch series can beat workstation CPUs (ThreadRippers p.e.) so, basically i barely can't keep production while i'm on a trip.

    Hence that i started to look into GPU based solutions. Started with Octane, then 1 year internal beta testing RedShift (my fav untilo now, still lot to do). Even Cycles, Maxwell and GPU Arnold version! Couldn't find a proper "match" for Corona to intercut final shots seamlessly. Until now. Until a few months ago. Until i found FStorm (i know, i'm coming late to the party). Finally, i'm pretty sure i found what i was looking for all these past 3 years.

    Accuracy and simplicity in a robust and powerful engine.

    So, the bottom line here is to say how happy i am with FStorm and hoping my posted samples in a real production environment (see attached below) and personal reflecions could be help or useful to another members of the community.

    https://vimeo.com/407303849 -----------------> pass: FStorm_2020

    https://vimeo.com/407303679 -----------------> pass: FStorm_2020


    Now, after testing a lot the last DEMO version, i'm 99% sure that i'll integrate Fstrom in my prod. pipeline from now on. This is kinda saver for me. Thanks a lot Andrei.

    In a personal different terms; i still have some doubts, wishes and concerns about FStorm. I have some weird thinking that, somehow, FStorm development is "slowly dying" and few people is still on the boat. ALL my hopes are that i'm absolutely wrong regarding this matter. Simply becasue far from being perfect and complete (a piece of code never is), Fstorm is, by far, the best GPU based option out there. and i am dying to keep it this way for many years.

    So, in a more personal and direct way; Karba , can i ask you if it will be possible for you to make a public Trello.com site so the community can stay updated and be aware of the FStorm RoadMap? Also, bugs, improved and core new features polls would be more than welcome. Possible? Thank so much in adavance.

    All the best.

    Alex.

    Ps. After testing FStorm for months now, i have several wishlist that i will post soon on the proper thread.

    Ps2. These images belong to a WIP ad commercial spot. High-end one. I DO hope to finally be able to include 100% Fstorm shots in the final edit. 2m and 3m per frame each shot HDTV in one 1080GTX. I'm still in awe. No secondary cache at all. Just pathtracing.
    Last edited by Alex Roman; 04-14-2020, 09:15 AM.
    https://vimeo.com/user1337612

  • #2
    Hi Alex, nice to see you here.

    sadly the fstorm forum is not very busy, you should enter to the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/FStormGroup/, it is updated regularly and the developer is writting a lot there.

    As a Fstorm user im very happy with it and i think that the speed that you can get has no rival on the render market, but also important is the memory optimization and the very verstatile tonemapping solution.

    You can ask Johannes Linqdvist( a well known fstorm user) about workflow with a laptop, he is using lastly this setup with excelent result.


    In a personal different terms; i still have some doubts, wishes and concerns about FStorm. I have some weird thinking that, somehow, FStorm development is "slowly dying" and few people is still on the boat. ALL my hopes are that i'm absolutely wrong regarding this matter. Simply becasue far from being perfect and complete (a piece of code never is), Fstorm is, by far, the best GPU based option out there. and i am dying to keep it this way for many years.

    About this, i used all the rendering engines out there and all i can say is that fstorm
    is the one that is most frequently updated.

    by the way, really nice images you post it there, where do you put the cromathic aberration? it looks so natural and cinematic

    sorry for my english, greetings from uruguay and welcome to the fstorm boat!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks a lot Aldola! Yes, i can see now... Agree with you 100%. Let's keep our crossed fingers for a FStorm brilliant near future.

      I will focus on the FB group from now on

      Cheers.
      A.

      PS. Yes, it's Boris FX chroma aberration in post AE. This project live action footage was filmed with anamorphic lenses. Unfortunately, i need to go post VFX (AE) for bokeh effects since FStorm has only spherical option.
      https://vimeo.com/user1337612

      Comment


      • #4
        Dear Alex

        You have no idea how much surprised I am to see you here. Yes I know you since 2008 (probably) When we first saw your THE THIRD AND THE SEVENTH. We all had our Jaws right on the floor. You are like our contemporary. Noticing your views about Fstorm here is again a surprising moment for me.

        Yes, indeed Fstorm is till date the most forward looking, intuitive, easy to use yet powerful rendering system. It has some amazing features that literally has no match in the market (like no-where). Every time I work on my projects on fstorm it is a delight for me . It actually speeds my workflow especially Geopattern (it opens-up a door of possibilities much beyond the capabilities of Displacement mapping as a whole)

        It has such little things that no rendering system has like "prevent render restart" in Fstorm RT, "Bitmap compression" such a simple and still unique thing, "FStormEdges" as a render element, "parallax Bump" mind boggling easy and inexpensive bump effects and much more... All these things my working life a lot easier (I mean it) I am sure you will agree on all this as you go along.

        Everytime I work on Fstorm I say "God Bless Karba" (note: I actually never do such things but here it happens naturally)

        After all these positives it has its negatives too which I recently noticed especially handling of light illuminations. Lights behave weird when in complex scene. As scene grows Light samples needs to be bumped that increase rendering time exponentially especially in instances where a lot of concealed lights need to be done recently I had to switch back to corona renderer because at a point lights just didn't get render at all because of huge scene.

        Secondly absence of caustics. Thirdly No denoise.

        But still I wish all my best to the developer for such a great work.

        Wish you a very happy journey with Fstorm

        Click image for larger version

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        Regards
        Manish

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