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 LDD to POV-Ray

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Thomas_Z
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PostSubject: LDD to POV-Ray   12/22/2012, 10:39 am

Just as the title says...some days ago I stumbled upon this post on MOCpages: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and I felt that I must try it out!

It contains links and a tutorial to an awesome program that converts LDD files to POV-Ray files. It's not an easy program,however even I (who has completely 0 knowladge of programming language)managed to use the program and do some amazing stuff:

Original LDD model
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After POV-Ray conversion and rendering
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LDD
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POV-Ray
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So as you can see, it's a HUGE difference, and with the proper settings, it took my machine to render the second one within 30 minutes!(and it wasn't the highest resolution nor the highest detail level, I'll try that later, tough the bigger and more detailed it is, the more time it will take...like 3-4 hours)

I'd like you guys to try it and give opinions or help to each other, because I think that this is a great way to improve the presentation of our digital MOCs!

I also encountered some problems (tough it's maybe that I'm bad with this type of stuff Very Happy):
- for some odd reason, some parts (as you can see e.g. on the knee of my mecha)are rendered in the wrong position(so far it was only one particular part).
- I still have to confirm this, but if the model has other colors from the basic LEGO colors like metallic colors or other "extended" colors, the program won't render it.

Sorry for opening a new post for this BiO, but I tought it was necessary.
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/22/2012, 12:30 pm

Yes. Yes. And also yes. I mean, the "Agamemnon" was amazing already, but... Mmm. Dat realistic shading...

Do want.

Problem is that I use mainly "Pc. Black Ir" for my stuff since it looks more like an actual black instead of the dark bluish purple "Black" color that's in the standard palette. I suppose I could just use the color select tool to change it before rendering, but I think I'll wait to try this until I get my own computer so I don't have to hog it for however long it takes it to render my stuff.

Just out of curiosity though, what are the specs of your machine to render that in 30 minutes?

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/22/2012, 12:46 pm

Klushots wrote:
Yes. Yes. And also yes. I mean, the "Agamemnon" was amazing already, but... Mmm. Dat realistic shading...

Do want.

Problem is that I use mainly "Pc. Black Ir" for my stuff since it looks more like an actual black instead of the dark bluish purple "Black" color that's in the standard palette. I suppose I could just use the color select tool to change it before rendering, but I think I'll wait to try this until I get my own computer so I don't have to hog it for however long it takes it to render my stuff.

Just out of curiosity though, what are the specs of your machine to render that in 30 minutes?

It's an Intel Core2 Duo 2.93Ghz (tough it's running on 3.63Ghz) with 4GB RAM and Windows 7, my graphics card is an Nvidia Gainward 9800GT 1024MB DDR3

Tough as I said, it depends on the render settings, the Agamemnon's test was 1280*800 with detail level 9/12 and it took 30 minutes to make it look like this, as opposed to the first one, that was done in 1440*900 and detail lvl 12/12 and that one actually took 3-4 hours to render (and as I got impatient, I stopped the rendering at about 78% since it was already midnight...).

I'll try to render some colored bricks sometime to see what color can be used with the program.

I'm also rendering a new model with maxed settings, but only 1 light source instead of 3, so far it's 58% done and it's been 1 hour since it started...I just hope it'll finish by the end of the day...


Last edited by Thomas_Z on 12/22/2012, 6:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/22/2012, 2:00 pm

I... *speechless*

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And the word went forth to every outpost of human existence, and they came: the Aries, the Gemons, the Virgos, the Scorpios, the Pisceans and the Sagittarians. In all, 220 ships representing every colony, color and creed in the star system. The human race might have one more chance. But first, it would have to survive the alliance, the elements and the unknown dark and sinister threats that would lie ahead.

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/22/2012, 3:33 pm

RichTheWolf257 wrote:
I... *speechless*

Wait till my machine gets finished with the render I'm currently doing xd atm it's been rendering for 4 hours and it's 26% done (second stage of the rendering). I hope it'll be finished in 1-2 hours or faster.
This thing will blow your mind! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/22/2012, 6:45 pm

Well, it turned out that after 6 hours, the program gave up on rendering a 1440*900 picture, sooo I went and tried the same thing with 1280*800, and yet again...it took 28 minutes to do it(tough I removed the beam shield from the model to make things simpler)

So this is the resault:[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Note: this is my planned reboot of my "Valor's Edge" Gundam. I used an early prototype pose...since then a lot has changed.

I'll do more tests later on...there are quite a few of my creations that needs to be glorified Razz
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/22/2012, 9:41 pm

Thomas_Z wrote:
Well, it turned out that after 6 hours, the program gave up on rendering a 1440*900 picture, sooo I went and tried the same thing with 1280*800, and yet again...it took 28 minutes to do it(tough I removed the beam shield from the model to make things simpler)

So this is the resault:[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Note: this is my planned reboot of my "Valor's Edge" Gundam. I used an early prototype pose...since then a lot has changed.

I'll do more tests later on...there are quite a few of my creations that needs to be glorified Razz
Okay, if you hadn't told me that was POV-Ray you totally would've tricked me into thinking it was real. I gotta try me some of that sometime. I'll just have to see if the process works on Macs...

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/22/2012, 11:56 pm

Thomas_Z wrote:
Sorry for opening a new post for this BiO, but I tought it was necessary.
No problem; something like this deserves its own thread! Very nice find, and kinda funny too, as I recently happened across a program that does something similar for Minecraft worlds.

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/23/2012, 5:03 am

BiO wrote:
Thomas_Z wrote:
Sorry for opening a new post for this BiO, but I tought it was necessary.
No problem; something like this deserves its own thread! Very nice find, and kinda funny too, as I recently happened across a program that does something similar for Minecraft worlds.
Link?

And wow that's amazing.
Need fancy render.
Need nao!

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/23/2012, 12:03 pm

Eroomdivad wrote:
BiO wrote:
Thomas_Z wrote:
Sorry for opening a new post for this BiO, but I tought it was necessary.
No problem; something like this deserves its own thread! Very nice find, and kinda funny too, as I recently happened across a program that does something similar for Minecraft worlds.
Link?

And wow that's amazing.
Need fancy render.
Need nao!

The link is in the first post in this thread, I found it on MOCpages. It's a small tutorial with all the links you need for the programs (there are 2 programs you'll need)

but here's the link again: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Also, I did a little testing and found out that the program can handle all the colors from LDD, it's just that when it comes to rendering transparent parts the program slows down, a lot(the more the transparent parts are, the slower it gets)

LDD color palette in render
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I also tried to mess around with the light colors and the shadows, and tried multiple models in one picture...a little space scene(still have to find out how to change the background tough:P):
(two Zaku III Kai's rushing trough a GM scout)
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/23/2012, 4:37 pm

So since I'm a noob in this realm of computer graphic design, does POV-Ray allow you to rotate your model once you have it converted? Also, since I assume that joints no longer work in the .pov file, it would seem that for any more than a few angles this would fall under the category of "Awesome but Impractical."

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/23/2012, 5:38 pm

Eroomdivad wrote:
BiO wrote:
Thomas_Z wrote:
Sorry for opening a new post for this BiO, but I tought it was necessary.
No problem; something like this deserves its own thread! Very nice find, and kinda funny too, as I recently happened across a program that does something similar for Minecraft worlds.
Link?
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

And Thomas, I'm pretty sure ED was talking about this Minecraft program. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/23/2012, 7:00 pm

BiO wrote:
And Thomas, I'm pretty sure ED was talking about this Minecraft program. Razz

Well, I'm not into minecraft so...Razz
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/23/2012, 7:10 pm

Klushots wrote:
So since I'm a noob in this realm of computer graphic design, does POV-Ray allow you to rotate your model once you have it converted? Also, since I assume that joints no longer work in the .pov file, it would seem that for any more than a few angles this would fall under the category of "Awesome but Impractical."

First of all, read the tutorial on MOCpages(scroll up for the link).

Well, I'm in the same boots, tough as far as I understand, this works as a 3D photo maker. So, you build something in LDD, position the camera in a specific angle that you desire, then save the LXF and use the converter.

The converter is the tool that allows you to mess around with camera angle(yes, you can rotate it but only before rendering and not visualy), shadows, lights, and a bunch of other stuff.

When you're done with the settings, you push convert, this will convert the file to POV format and ask you if you want to change anything and start manually(you should press Yes and it will automatically start up the other program that'll build and render your model).

So far that's what I managed to learn about this program, as I'm not an expert, you'll have to either wait for me to give more tips on this, or start exploring the program yourself.

I can give you my settings that I currently use on the program, and try if it's working out for you or not. Tough, I hope more of the forum users will get an interest in it, and start to post some stuff here and what they found in the process.

BTW: One of my first builds in POV-Ray form(and probably one of my best MOCs ever, in terms of faithfullnes to the source material)
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The source material:
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/24/2012, 4:05 am

Sorry for confusing you Thomas, I was referring to the MC renderer as Andrew guessed.
And wow, it's amazing too.

And the render with the two Zaku III Kais is incredible.
I can't wait to give this a shot.

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/27/2012, 7:28 pm

EDIT: OH GOD WHY ARE THERE SO MANY RENDERING ARTIFACTS? IT'S LIKE A .JPEG FROM 1998 ;~;

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/28/2012, 11:37 am

Forte wrote:
EDIT: OH GOD WHY ARE THERE SO MANY RENDERING ARTIFACTS? IT'S LIKE A .JPEG FROM 1998 ;~;

Probably my messy settings, but who knows....tough, they still look better then the avarage LDD render Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/28/2012, 6:54 pm

You got that right...
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/28/2012, 11:38 pm

Forte wrote:
You got that right...
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*drools over the keyboard in awe...* WHAT ARE YOUR SETTINGS?!?!?! Very Happy NEED! NAO!

If you'd be so kind sir....share with us your magnificent POV settings Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/28/2012, 11:58 pm

Oh now that's interesting. I can't help but notice that the background (not the plane of infiniteness underneath) appears to be transparent. I hope there are settings to change that or it might get a bit annoying. Could always pop it in Photoshop (or another equivalent) and fill in the transparency with a shade of gray.

Oh, and it looks amazing, btw. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/29/2012, 1:04 am

Forte wrote:
You got that right...
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Ok, That's it! I'm going to have to try this!

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And the word went forth to every outpost of human existence, and they came: the Aries, the Gemons, the Virgos, the Scorpios, the Pisceans and the Sagittarians. In all, 220 ships representing every colony, color and creed in the star system. The human race might have one more chance. But first, it would have to survive the alliance, the elements and the unknown dark and sinister threats that would lie ahead.

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/29/2012, 6:54 am

Forte wrote:
You got that right...
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*Amazed*

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/29/2012, 7:33 pm

On the first section of the control panel, Model, I ramp the settings down to the second tier (original LDD geometry + visible bevels). Rendering all of those little LEGO logos on exposed studs takes extra time because the engine has to calculate their light interactions as well and this is unnecessary. Under Rendering, I set the render size to 16:9, literally 1600x900 (I don't see a point in 1080p even if my hardware can do it). I then crank the Threshold all the way down to its lowest setting, which limits the margin of error for the anti-aliasing and generates nicer results. I've yet to notice what difference the Depth slider makes, so I've opted to raise it to the highest setting for now. Do not touch Jitter.

Two most recent renders:
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The Seiryu was done with less-than-optimal settings and the Cardinal was partially rendered twice before I tweaked the settings for a better render. Artifacts on clear parts are a result of difficulties POV-Ray has with rendering the LEGO clear parts, but the Cardinal appears to have none. I will likely re-render the Seiryu with the enhanced settings at some point, but I'm going to render something else first (perhaps Grifone II, Avalon or Varanus).

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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/29/2012, 9:08 pm

Forte wrote:
On the first section of the control panel, Model, I ramp the settings down to the second tier (original LDD geometry + visible bevels). Rendering all of those little LEGO logos on exposed studs takes extra time because the engine has to calculate their light interactions as well and this is unnecessary. Under Rendering, I set the render size to 16:9, literally 1600x900 (I don't see a point in 1080p even if my hardware can do it). I then crank the Threshold all the way down to its lowest setting, which limits the margin of error for the anti-aliasing and generates nicer results. I've yet to notice what difference the Depth slider makes, so I've opted to raise it to the highest setting for now. Do not touch Jitter.

Two most recent renders:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

The Seiryu was done with less-than-optimal settings and the Cardinal was partially rendered twice before I tweaked the settings for a better render. Artifacts on clear parts are a result of difficulties POV-Ray has with rendering the LEGO clear parts, but the Cardinal appears to have none. I will likely re-render the Seiryu with the enhanced settings at some point, but I'm going to render something else first (perhaps Grifone II, Avalon or Varanus).

Amazing, I'll try your settings sometime. Out of curiosity, how long did it take to render one of these? The Cardinal looks almost like real LEGO! (A secret wish, I'd like to see a render about the Vandal and the Jaeger Enhanced, those are my favourites from you! Very Happy)


Last edited by Thomas_Z on 12/29/2012, 10:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: LDD to POV-Ray   12/29/2012, 9:16 pm

Hehe.

You know how some people on MOCpages enjoy ribbing us for not using "real lego bricks"?

Hehe.

I see two outcomes. One is some are fooled into thinking it's real lego and we are masters of lighting and stuff (pretty unlikely but some people are gullible). Two, it's obvious we're using LDD + fancy renders, and people realize that these renders are always going to look better than their puny "real lego bricks" ever could.

/crazedfantasizing

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