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Old 25-02-2003, 11:34 PM   #8
I am mad, you know.
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Kit: I agree with you completely.

Incitatus: I do not think that GI gives you much better results than with normal lights if you have good skills with normal lights. What GI does is make it easier to set up the lighting in a scene. You place a few lights for lamps and things like that, and you let GI do the rest. I think any person can look at a scene and figure out where light is going to bounce around. It might be a little tedious, but the results can be very good.
  I do believe that GI provides better results, not much better, but better, however, at a horrible penalty in rendering time. For GI to actually look good, where there are not artifacts all over the place, dirty shadows, and grainy lighting, the rendering times increase around ten times or more, depending on how complicated the scene geometry is. That might be okay for a still, if you don't mind waiting over night to see the results, but as I said before, it's completely impractical for animation.
  I know I've referenced this before, but I still think it's a perfect example. The lighting in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was perfect. The people working on the lighting had been working their whole career without practical use of GI and knew how to light a scene realistically. Here's a question for you: It is very common practice to render different parts of a scene separately and then composite them later. This gives the artist much more control over how a scene looks. In a situation like that, I don't even see how GI could be used? If only some of the geometry is there, how is there supposed to be a radiosity solution?
  I think that GI tends to take control away from the artist. When you use normal lights, you can get it to look exactly how you want, if you have the skills; but with GI, the computer decides how it should look. Other than making some surfaces more accepting to color bleeding and reflected light, and of course tweaking the endless number of quality controls, there isn't a whole lot you can do to customize the way GI lights a scene. Unless, of course, you dim down the GI and start adding normal lights to do some of the fine work to make the scene look just how you want, of course then you're half way to just faking GI all together, but you're still cursed by the horrible rendering times.
If you had a neck and I had a hand, I'd squeeze your brain, which is your body, right out of the top of your head, which does not exist!

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