AccuRender nXt

advanced rendering for AutoCAD


I'd like to present some wishes - some of them are from the old forum and there are also some new ones. It would be wonderful to get some response, Roy.

  1. lighting presets vs. schemes - firstly I think situation we have now is a little bit schizophrenic. When I render from Walkabout I use preset, when I render from batch I have to use schemes (if I want images with different lighting conditions). I think it would be good to have also the possibility to use presets in batch rendering
  2. batch rendering - it would be plaesant to have the possibility to change resolution, output directory, names (some automatic prefixes like view name, lihgting setup, date etc.) for all jobs in batch at one time...usually we have batches with cca 8 jobs and changing output directory/resolution one by one is tiresome
  3. loading lighting scheme - it loads without a name – it would be perfect if the name remains
  4. different load/save folders in generally - it would be VERY HELPFUL to divide folders into groups - materials, save rendering, lighting scheme, texture when I want to reload material it shows me different folder than in case of saving rendering. Nowdays you have to always browse for folders...and I think many of us have materials, lighting presets etc. still in same folder for one project
  5. autosky - clouds...oh yes, we'll never stop asking for this one:-) We need clouds only for reflections...
  6. Timezone vs. location – why there is timezone? Once you set location, it should be able to set the timezone by itself…
  7. SunStudy:
    1. progressbar, pause, save and continue later…(the same goes for animation, slideshow…)
    2. ability to set the output file format
    3. some kind of “exposure lock” is needed – sunstudy sometimes looks flickery.
    4. Date/Time Stamp formatting, size ….
  8. Automatic file names – i.e. once you use named lighting setup or similar, it should offer to use it as a part of the filename.
  9. Batch rendering:
    1. resizable dialog box,
    2. save batch job to file,
    3. ability to set the resolution of batch renders not as fixed resolution, but as no. of pixels – different renderings have saved views of different aspect ratio, so it is difficult to set the resolution as XxY, no. of pixels would be more handy
  10. Sunstudy, Batch, Slideshow – currently invoked from walkabout…IMHO this is not necessary, for batch rendering or similar there is no need to invoke walkabout, so these controls should be moved into the main interface.
  11. Asterisk once edited – changes in nXt (material edit, for example) do not make the dwg to register the change, so you can accidentally close it without being warned you did change it.
  12. Autosave:
    1. increment vs. overwrite: currently, autosave does overwrite the file. It would be good to have a switch that would force autosave to create files rendering001, rendering002 … that way you could (a) learn on what pass it started to be resolved sufficiently, (b) to select an earlier rendering, which sometimes looks better graphically than the final resolved one.
    2. Currently, once you use autosave on a file, it keeps to remain turned on even if you close and reopen the file. This way, we have accidentally overwritten couple of final renderings – on one session, you create final renderings for consultation with the client. Then, say week later, you open the file, make some small changes and hit :render: to test them – at that instant you overwrite the previous final rendering.
  13. Animation
    1. An option to save preview
    2. Progressbar, pause, save and continue later
  14. Generally, the interface for 3DSlideshow, SunStudy and Animation should have to be more similar: basically, all three of them are doing something similar, so dialog boxes should be similar too.
  15. Material editor:
    1. Set origin option on procedural bumps
    2. Undo+save: undo one step, undo to last saved definition…
    3. Remember the “Lock” state on scale settings of procedural bumps and tiles – once I unlock it, I would like it to remain so even if I reopen the material definition later
  16. Channels
    1. reset button
    2. possibility to add names
    3. Save and load channels settings
    4. Sun and sky channels to be different by default (and maybe even named to make things more straightforward and compatible – the same goes for the material glow channel)
  17. Save Scene option – save all settings (view, lighting, materials and its assignments, rendering setup) into a “scene” file – that way it would be possible to change material definitions on “per view” basis…
  18. “Indirect” pulldown on “Advanced” tab should be saying ON while Pathtracer is turned on
  19. nXtImageEditor
    1. Extract and save material definition the same way as we can extract and save lighting setup.
    2. Save lighting setup data to EXIF
    3. “Apply changes” switch (similar to Photoshop): you change Exposure, adjust Burn and saturation – and one switch enables you to see before/after state of the image.
    4. Better (easier to manipulate) controls and faster operation … as it is now, it is quite difficult to adjust the image, as the responses are quite slow
  20. nXtImageEditor - it would be very helpful to have "Fit image to window size" button
  21. nXtImageEditor - I would like to have an option "Save all" (image, alpha channel, material channel etc.) as a *.psd file or layered *.tiff. This would be perfect timesaver

We think that incorporation of these small features and changes will make nXt it more efficient than competition:-). Looking forward to read any type of reaction.

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Sorry-- I don't respond to wishlist items.  It's worse than that at the moment-- I don't even have time to read this and won't for a little while.

Roy: No reason to be sorry, we do appreciate what you are doing - in terms of productivity nXt outperforms everything else, so you are steering good course.

Others: Please, comment this list - we might be wrong on some aspects, but we do honestly feel that nXt is so forth evolving rather towards more features than user friendly UI. From our experience, friendly UI contributes to the final result as much as algorithms behind it do... but we do not like Roy to waste his time, so, please, correct us.

I think your wishlist is very good and it would be great to find some of these improvements in nXt from time to time. I've been also asking for some fixes in UI, but Roy has postponed it :(


However I can understand it because I see, that he's working now on PathTracer improvement, what is THE MOST IMPORTAND for me, because I think this engine is the most promissing of all nXt properties. I hope to find it faster and more effective in the future, so I wait patiently.


Anyway - I think all the UI changes need just typical progamming work... maybe someone could do it for you, Roy, letting you to concentrate on the essence?

Are you volunteering?
:) I'd like to, Roy, but I'm programming only in AutoLISP and DCL. BTW: What language are you using?
The Windows UI is written mostly in managed C++ and Windows Forms.  For interaction with AutoCAD it uses the standard C++ ARX stuff.  The core is all native C++.

Thx for info, Roy. I'm just an architect, not programmer, so I cannot join your nXt team, I'll stay the tester :)

What I said before is true - I think the job on PathTracer is more importand than perfect interface in this moment. I keep my fingers crossed for it.

I'm not exactly sure what you're expecting with the Path Tracer.  There is no magic wand here.  If you're crossing your fingers in anticipation of the thing suddenly becoming much faster you will likely be disappointed.
You are the person who knows exactly what Path Tracer's limits are so I accept that there's won't be any revolution here. But even in 261 build there's some "faster convergence"  - it sounds optimistic and informs that you haven't reach these limits yet.




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