Saturday, 25 April 2015

PIXELBERG UPDATE RELEASE 1.5 b BUG FIX

PixelBerg 1.5 has been released.

1.5 Fixes DOF field on NVIDIA cards as this is a bug fix it is free of charge to all 1.4 users. If you purchased 1.4 you should receive an email shortly with links to download  v1.5.

If you are a 1.4 user and do not recieve an email (and have checked your spam box) please contact me with your original order number and i will send you the new link.

Version History
---------------
#1.5 : Fixed DOF post on Nvidia, Tweaked AO intensity weighting, added AO debug output.
#1.4 : DOF post added, sky plane material added, general fixes and improvements.
#1.3 : Fixed Post Shader Error wich cause post efects not to be displayed on NVIDIA cards
#1.2 : R15 support, metalness map support, improved ssao, improved sky creation, vignette post added, hardware render fix, general fixes and improvements.
#1.1 : Fixed Shader Error Display Issue.
#1.0 : Initial Release

I also snuck a couple of non bug fixes into 1.5:) nothing major just tweaked AO intensity weighting that gives a slightly cleaner output and added an option to see just the raw AO pass on its own to make adjusting the parameters a bit easier to see.

For non 1.4 users the server has been updated with 1.5 and it is available to purchase now.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

PIXELBERG UPDATE RELEASE 1.4 b

PixelBerg beta has been updated to version 1.4 and is available to purchase now.

PIXELBERG VERSION 1.4 RELEASED

WHATS NEW:
  • NEW DEPTH OF FIELD POST ADDED
  • NEW SKY PLANE MATERIAL ADDED
  • GENERAL FIXES AND IMPROVEMENTS

HOW DO I GET THE LATEST VERSION?:
Because i have moved to a pay what you want pricing scale i can not provide free updates (as stated here) like i did on a traditional pricing model so the way it works is as follows:

If you made a purchase of Pixelberg in the last 14 days you will receive new download links via email (If you dont recieve an email within 24hrs then please contact me with your original order details). However if you are outside that timescale you will need to purchase again at whatever price you see fit for the latest version.

I hope people will see it as supporting the project and not mind putting a couple of dollars into the collection tin every now and then to help aid future development.

** There seems to be a problem with depth of field on Nvdia cards(reported issue on GTX 460 and GT540m but i suspect it will probably be all nvidia cards). I have ordered a Nvidia card today in order to reproduce and fix the issue as it does not seem to affect ATI cards. Hopefully i will have a fix out by the weekend and of course as a bug fix it will be free of charge to all 1.4 users. So just to let you know if you are a Nvidia user and getting 1.4 solely for DOF you may want to wait until i have fixed the issue. Fixed in 1.5

DEPTH OF FIELD POST

The much requested depth of field post has been added. My depth of field implementation took longer that i anticipated because i was not really happy with any of the normal approaches and for various reasons going forward did not want to use geometry shaders. I am however finally happy with the solution i arrived at for depth of field (i hope you will be too) and while the implementation is relatively artifact free there is always room for improvement mainly on anti-aliasing artifacts that can appear due to sampling.(hopefully i will address/improve on this in future updates).

A real camera can only focus its lens at a single point, but there will be an area that stretches in front of and behind this focus point that still appears sharp. This zone is known as the depth of field. It’s not a fixed distance, it changes in size and can be described as either ‘shallow’ (where only a narrow zone appears sharp) or deep (where more of the picture appears sharp). While in the virtual world we are not restricted by the limitations of real cameras and the whole scene would appear in this zone "in focus" it is often desirable to fake DOF for cinematic and/or  artistic effect.  
Depth of Field example (She3PO model by Gavin Goulden)


SETTINGS:

Depth of field is enabled via the pixelberg post dialogue.


DOF LENS SHAPE:

The lens shape setting is used to define the lens shape and simulate a bokeh effect. Simply select the desired lens shape from the drop down box.The preview image above the lens shape setting will show you the current lens image being used.The bokeh effect produced by the lens shape will be most visible in scenes with bright pixels like light sources etc.


Example of the effect of a few different lens shapes





















You can add your own lens by adding an lens image into the lenses folder located in the pixelberg plugins "res" folder. The lens images describes how much light enters for each pixel of the lens with solid white meaning all the light gets through and black meaning no light gets through.  


DOF LENS ROTATION:Controls the rotation of the image used for the lens shape.
DOF USE CAMERAS SETTINGS: If enabled this uses the current C4D cameras settings for

  • DOF Enable far field
  • DOF Enable near field
  • DOF Focal plane
  • DOF near start
  • DOF near end
  • DOF far start
  • DOF far end

allowing you to use the built in c4d camera gizmos if you wish to do so.

DOF ENABLE FAR FIELD: Enable far field depth of field.
DOF ENABLE NEAR FIELD: Enable near field depth of field.


DOF FOCAL PLANE: The distance from the camera to the focal plane(objects in focus).

DOF FAR/NEAR FIELD SETTINGS

DOF QUALITY: The number of samples per pixel. In general larger DOF sizes require more samples and a higher quality setting. Typical usage in most scenes a setting of med to high should suffice. There is individual settings of quality for both near and far DOF as often you can get away with a lower setting for far DOF.

DOF FAR/NEAR START: The distance from the focal plane either away from the camera"far" or towards the camera"near" beyond which objects will begin to appear out of focus upto the far/near end size where objects will be completely out of focus.

DOF FAR/NEAR END:The distance from the focal plane either away from the camera"far" or towards the camera"near" beyond which objects will be completely out of focus.



DOF FAR/NEAR SIZE: Individual settings for he maximum blur/sampling radius of the far and near dof's. Larger sizes will require a higher quality settings.

please note that as the depth of field is a post fx that uses the depth buffer it does not work as expected when you are looking through a transparent object in focus to an out of focus background object. In this case the backgroud seen through the transparent object will also appear to be in focus due to the depth buffer.

SKY PLANE MATERIAL


The new sky plane material allows your models/scenes to better integrate with the environment so your models will no longer appear to be floating. It acts as a shadow catcher and also works with post effects like ambient occlusion and depth of field.

SKYPLANE MATERIAL EXAMPLE (VW model by Mark Hodsman )

The Skyplane material is very simple to use just create a new skyplane material and set its environment link to a pixelberg sky object. Then assign it to a plane object(or similar)  scale the plane object to the desired size and position it at ground level.



SETTINGS:


ENVIROMENT: This is a link to a Pixelberg sky object that the material will use for ambient lighting and specular reflectioms. For convenience it is available on all tabs - Drag and drop any Pixelberg sky object into this link to set it.

AMBIENT INTENSITY: Controls how much ambient light will be added to the shadows a value of 0% will result in solid black shadows

The skyplane material will work with all he different display options of the sky object (sky,specular,ambient,color and none) however when none is selected it will only work with the viewport background (gradient or color set in the c4d prefs dialog). This means it currently does not work with the C4D sky object etc.


   

GENERAL FIXES AND IMPROVEMENTS

Here are a few of the more general improvements that were done.
  • Fixed a black spot artifact that caused the odd pixel to appear black. This has been present since 1.0 but  it was hardly noticeable before unless you were looking for it, in fact i only discovered it when i was implementing DOF but has been fixed now. 
  • Fixed clipping issue of environment cube map with certain view clipping distances. 

WHATS UP NEXT


As people always ask whats planned for the next update i thought i would make a note here of what i have planned next. Next up will be the MAC release followed by adding off-line render support and sky improvements. It seems sensible to add offline render support now before adding more realtime features as then the two systems will/can develop in tandem. However if you really want feature X please let me know as nothing is set in stone (DOF was moved up the development order due to requests).

Version History
#1.4 : DOF post added, sky plane material added, general fixes and improvements.
#1.3 : Fixed Post Shader Error on NVidia.
#1.2 : R15 support, metalness map support, improved ssao, improved sky creation, vignette post added, hardware render fix, general fixes and improvements.
#1.1 : Fixed Shader Error Display Issue.
#1.0 : Initial Release