Omar Domenech (dostovel)

413 replies · posted

Omar Domenech's Demo Reel

Update 7/29/2019:  Omar's new scene is ready to render and already underway on SheepIt. If you're part of the CG Cookie Render Monsters team, we'd appreciate you launching the SheepIt app on your computer to contribute. NOTE: Make sure on your SheepIt account "Options" you enable Render my team's projects first. Thanks!

Update 7/18/2019: Omar is polishing new scenes.

Update 7/3/2019: Omar has 2 new files ready for rendering. Let's do dis.

Update 7/1/2019: We have finished rendering two of Omar's reel projects. Way to go community. Omar still has several to prep for rendering. I'm going to unpin this thread and re-pin once it's ready to render again.

Update 6/17/2019: Omar has updated his shared project folder with new scenes to render. It was accidentally uploaded as a new folder so if you've already synced the previous folder, you can delete that one (if it's still there) and you'll have to sync this new one. From now on we know how to avoid this so no more re-syncing.

The time to render is now!

Update 6/16/2019: We've finished Omar's first 2 scenes! Way to go People 👏👏 Thanks to everyone for contributing. Now we're waiting for Omar to setup and upload his next scene.

theluthier Kent after comparing the original Cycles renders and Element 3D real time ones, I think you are right, rendering it out of Cycles is totally worth going the extra mile for. Although you and Lampel said it was great, that it's 95% there, for a second I saw a twinkle in your eyes saying "C'mon dude, you know it, I know it... there is no spoon." And then the twinkle continued "No one eats an Oreo and doesn't go all the way to the stuffing in the middle, the cookie part is just enough". I see what you mean twinkle.

I didn't want to bother people though, but I guess if I'm going to try this there's no way around that. I don't know how to use Drop Box, I've never used it before. Should I get an account? I hope it's enough space. I remember you kinda set things up in a similar way in the Rendering & Finishing A Blender Animation course. I should re-watch that. I have never done things through the internet so this should be a learning experience.

I, Kent Trammell, am commandeering Omar's original post! [evil laugh] I'm the one that encouraged Omar to reach out to the community for helping him render his demo reel. My computer just sits collecting dust most nights and I'm happy to lend some rendering power to this project while I'm asleep. I suspect that there are a number of CGC community members willing to do the same 🙏

If you want to help out, please follow the instructions below!

INSTRUCTIONS [SheepIt] (coming soon)

The status of the project will be stated and updated at the end of the thread title in brackets. When it says "READY TO RENDER" that means a project has been submitted to SheepIt for rendering. If it says anything else, the project isn't ready for rendering yet.


The status of the project will be stated and updated at the end of the thread title in brackets. When it says "READY TO RENDER" that means it's ready to sync the project folder and start rendering. If it says anything else, the project isn't ready for rendering yet.

STEP 1 -- Sync Omar's project folder to your Google Drive.

If you have a gmail account, you have 15 GB of free Google Drive space. Just click the link and when you're redirected to the Google Drive website, right click on the "Demo Reel Files" folder and choose Add to My Drive.

If you're on Mac or Windows, use the official Google Drive app (personal version) to sync your Google Drive to your computer's file system.
If you're on Linux like me, there is no official app. I've had some success with Open Drive but it seems to have stopped syncing on my system. I'm currently using  Insync and it's working beautifully. It's $30 after the 15 day trial period, which I will likely pay.

STEP 2 -- Open one of the render-ready .blends with Blender 2.8

After the project folder has finished syncing *entirely* to your computer, launch Blender 2.8 and open Demo Reel Files > Blend Packed Files > Render_2.8-Scene_1_Packed.blend. Then follow Omar's instructions in the file for CPU or GPU rendering, whichever your machine is best equipped.

Enable viewport rendering to double check the scenes look fine (no pink from missing textures). I've tested these files myself and they should be ready to render without problems.

STEP 3 -- Render the Animation

The files should all be setup properly so anyone that opens them doesn't have to do anything but click the Render button.

That should be all you need to do to contribute rendering to Omar's project! Note that these scenes are heavy and can take an hour or more per frame, even on a high end machine, which is why Omar needs our help.

When the rendering is all done (or you need to stop and regain your own GoogleDrive space), simply navigate to the Google Drive website, right click on the folder and choose "Remove".

  • Even Neo asked for help. Get it set up; you know you've got my rig. ;)

    • phoenix4690 Oh no, now Phil knows how to convince me of stuff. Thanks for the rig support.

      I started to run into stuff. For example, I have a file where I link everything into and render in it, so it uses a lot less memory. Now I want to swap assets and I can't seem to do it. It's not an Edit Linked Library issue, I want the asset in the Render Scene to now reference  the asset in another file so it retains the transforms and the composition.

  • theluthier I thought that perhaps I could take advantage of the fact that since render times in Cycles are longer and I'd have to make shorter scenes, I could change the style of the video to a faster paced edit, like in the old David Fincher, Judith music video from A Perfect Circle. 


  • crew

    dostovel  This is awesome! You definitely have my rig while I sleep. The dropbox workflow is quite simple actually IF everyone involved has enough space available in their account. The basic (free) plan only offers 2 GB which is most definitely not going to be enough for all the image sequences you'll be rendering.

    Alternatively, Google Drive comes with 15 GB free for anyone with a Google account. That should be doable for rendering your scenes with the community.

    If we don't want to bother with cloud storage like those, we could do it manually. Meaning everyone that wants to contribute downloads a packed .blend of your scene and we all divide the frames evenly, then compress the files and pass them back to you via dropbox or google drive. This process would require more organization and management but wouldn't be hindered by cloud storage issues.

    I suggest we start with a test scene to see if A) the cycles render is really really worth it and B) we can work out the technical kinks of "crowd-rendering" like we're discussing. I will happily volunteer for this initial test scene! Once we get that working it would just be a matter of others syncing to the dropbox or google drive directory OR downloading the packed scene and manually rendering frames.

    I have to switch gears to critiques today for the stream but afterward (or tomorrow) I can help get the system set up. For now look into Google Drive and see if that's something you already have or want to sign up for.

    EDIT: And I like the faster cut idea 👌

  • dostovel Oh man, I wish I could help you out but I don't want to blow up my laptop... I'll be emotional support then for now, cheering everyone on! 🙌🏻

    Great to see you reaching out to the community btw, your work and sparkling personality is worth it 😊👍🏻

  • crew

    dostovel What's the status of this project? Have you decided to go with Dropbox / Google drive or a manual (non-sync) approach?

    • theluthier I have two scenes ready to go. I will upload them to Google Drive since it has the most space available. If I have to open a paid account because it turns out 15GB is not enough, I will do so. 

      Here's a small breakdown of the scenes, let me know if you think there's a render that doesn't belong there, like the goblin or Vincent character, I didn't model those, I only worked on the lighting, so I'm only planning on giving them two or three seconds of screen time.


      - Motion blur "On" in general for the scene or it's better in compositing? I know in the compositor it is less accurate, but much faster to render... but should I go the extra mile for this one off project?

      ssmurfmier1985  silentheart00 Thanks for the support.

      Also here's a rough playblast.. the scenes are not in the final order they're supposed to go at. Also the music may not be the one that I'll go with. Also the number of cuts may not be all that go in the final render, they are a lot and I'm trying to keep the reel under 1 minute. From what I've heard people that look at demo reels don't spend too much time on them, they have so many to watch that they probably wont watch it to the end so it's better to keep it short probably. 

      How do I share the Dropbox link with you? Do I need your email to give permissions? There are two scenes in there for testing.


  • theluthier Bad news for Google Drive, Gmail also uses its space, so I don't have the 15GB available. So paid account is the way to go. Prices are very affordable. Should I go with Dropbox? Will 100GB be enough with the Google Drive plan? Or better be safe than sorry and go with 2TB with Dropbox?

    With that much space I will be able to render EXR and do compositing, but doesn't that mean people will have to upload GB of files with their internet then? As soon as a render finishes, the internet kicks in as it automatically starts to upload to the cloud?

    • dostovel Trying it for free is a convenient option...  And yes, annoying that Gmail also counts toward your Drive usage.  You could get another account and have one specifically for cloud rendering.  Up to you.

  • crew

    dostovel You should totally sign up for a second gmail account, just to get a clean 15 GB of cloud storage. Here's the process I recommend to get me involved:

    1. Sync your google drive account to your computer. Google offers their own sync apps for windows and mac (no linux but I don't think you're using linux)

    2. Move you render-ready project directory to your google drive folder. Name is something like "Omar-Demoreel" or somethign. Keep it as optimal as possible, removing unnecessary files like .blend1 and .blend2 files, any WIP texture files, etc. Only the essential files needed for rendering.

    3. Make sure your .blend files are render-ready after the move to the google drive folder (could break texture references).
      • Also make sure your render output is set correctly, targeting  a folder within the project (and thus within google drive).
      • It's key to ENABLE PLACEHOLDERS and DISABLE OVERWRITE in your output settings. This is what enables others to open the same synced file, press render, and only render frames not yet rendered.

    4. Once you know the .blends are render-ready, go to the google drive website, navigate to your project directory, right click on it and choose "Get Shareable link". That URL you can paste here and I (and anyone who clicks the link) will have access to that directory only.

    5. Once I have access, I can test rendering and you should get notified of incoming files.

    If we get that all accomplished, we should be in good shape for others to sync the directory and contribute to rendering!

    • theluthier 

      Alright, I made a new Gmail account, I felt kinda dirty, as if I knew the place where my friend keeps the Pringles is always unlocked and I just went in there and took a bunch.

      Here's the link to the Google Drive.

      For now it's just for this scene 

      The idea is to render this one all out, then when it's over, I can download all the files to my local hard drive, wipe all the files from Google Drive to reset the 15GB then start with another scene, that way the 15GB have less chance of running out. 

      There are two .blend, Render_Scenes_1 with 554 frames and Renders_Scenes_2 with 165 frames. 

      Use Blender 2.79 to open the files, not 2.80, since I think files between them are not interchangeable.  

      I have it sent to Open EXR Multilayer, with only a couple of render passes, just enough to do a bit of compositing for Motion Blur. Alternatively I could enable Motion Blur in the scene and turn off the render passes and save up in file size, but pay for it in render time. 

      It's set to 1,500 samples, and it still has noticeable noise. Seed clock is on. 1920x1080 res, no denoising, I hate how the images looses their crispiness and looks mushy, no matter how low the settings. 

      I'll let the laptop doing some renders throughout the night as a test. 

  • Hey guys,

    it would be great if you could make a post about what settings, which blender version, etc. I need to do to help out on this, as soon as you figured out how to do it. I have like no idea how this rendering process works and I don't want to goof it when I try to render something from that Demoreel.

    • Hey ttobles , after Kent makes some test and gives the green light, I will make a small post summarizing what to do. But it's fairly straight forward, use Blender 2.79, decide if you'll go with your CPU or GPU and hit the animation button. Rendered files will automatically fall into where they need to go. 

  • theluthier One thing I've noticed is that it seems you need to have the desktop app from Google Drive to use this correctly.

    Also it looks like if you're rendering away, you've render a couple of frames, and then you hit cancel because you need to shut your computer down or something, the file that is canceled stays as an EXR with the number of the frame but its size is if 0kb. The problem here is that I think Blender will see that as if the EXR frame is rendered, set and done but it's actually a canceled one 0KB one and it will jump that frame.

  • crew

    Apologies for dragging my feet a bit dostovel. This weekend I had issues syncing the folder you shared only to find out it was an issue with the 3rd party app I was using on linux. I solved it with another app and will be able to test tomorrow (currently out of the home office on a chromebook).

    Considering that, it's surely best to use the official desktop app for Mac / Windows since it's free and official.

    You're also correct about cancelling a render. That 0KB file is the 'placeholder'. When the frame is finished it replaces the placeholder with the final image but if you cancel it leaves the placeholder. To fix we just need to delete the 0KB placeholders, re-open the .blend file and hit render so blender automatically fills the missing frames in the sequence.

    From what I can tell, the sync setup via google drive looks to be working. I just need to do a test render or two to confirm, then we can invite the whole world to help!

    • theluthier Do you think I should keep it under a minute? As it is now it will probably go to 1 minute 30 seconds long. Is it too much? should I cut down time and therefor render time? 

      Every EXR is about 25MB if I keep a scene below 600 frames, 15GB of Google Drive should do. It'll be a matter of uploading Scene 1 to Google Drive, render it, copy paste rendered files to my local hard drive, delete from drive, upload scene 2, repeat again and again for what it'll be at least 10 scenes.  😰

      Sometimes I don't understand Blender's file path. Sometimes the path breaks, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes you pack a texture into the .blend, sometimes it goes missing. Sometimes the library path holds up, sometimes you open the file and the path is broken. Sometimes you do it on a PC and it works, sometimes you make the path on a Mac and the path gets set up differently. 

      Blender needs an asset manager ASAP.

    • dostovel I don't know about Modeling reels for sure, but for Animation reels 1 min 30 secs is considered the ideal length. 1 minute or less is a student reel who haven't got much work yet, anything longer than 2 minutes suggests you can't choose your best works and recruiters loose their interest because it's taking too long...

      Also for animation reels they advice to start with your best shot (to grab attention) and to end with your second best shot (to leave the receivers with a good impression, wanting to see more). Might work great in terms of best model & second best model as well.

      Additionally, only include your best work. Your reel is only as strong as your weakest shot (weakest model), so make sure the stuff in between is professional quality as well.

      Hope this helps..

    • ssmurfmier1985 I guess I can maybe leave it at 1:30. Who knew 30 seconds could be such a long time. Props to that Albert fellow. 

      williamatics I don't know but if it can be used in Blender I would get it. Maybe there is an addon in the blender market. Let me go check.

      EDIT: There is. I will be buying that.

    • crew

      dostovel I second what ssmurfmier1985 said about duration.

  • At the Houdini 17.5 launch event, they announces a new software they were working on called PilotPDG, which is basically an asset manager that can be used with any software.  I'm not sure if it has been released yet, but if it has, it might help?

  • crew

    dostovel I [finally] got around to testing your scene. You've set it up great! Only thing I had to do was edit the output file path to be relative. Your instructions are great btw!

    As one last test, can you open each of your .blends and check that the output file path starts with: //Render Output/...

    If that renders as expected to the proper directory, that means your .blends are ready for anyone to open and start rendering! I will update the original thread with instructions.

    PS: I just realized that 2.7x requires CUDA installed for GPU and my linux OS isn't supported (debian 9 stretch). So I can't render these scenes with GPU and CPU is taking over an hour per frame. HOWEVER I can enable CUDA jut fine on 2.8 without having the cuda toolkit installed (?! Not sure how that's possible). So if you want to update your scenes to render in 2.8, I could render faster with GPU. Not required or anything, just an option.

  • crew

    dostovel I just noticed you're not using denoising. Any reason in particular? I think that could speed up render time significantly.

    • theluthier I believe he doesn't like how mushy the renders turn out when using denoising...

    • Thanks for taking the time and checking everything out.

      theluthier Yes, the reason is that I get the feeling there is a crispiness that the render looses when I turn Denoising On. I was noticing muddiness in the renders and after a couple of testing I found Denoising to be the culprit. I guess it's just in the nature of how it works. But that was in render images, maybe in animation is not noticeable since there's motion blur anyways. I was getting that with the setting left in default, I even turned them down a bit so it didn't get so mushy, still I got that mushy vibe.

      You think I should turn it on? then do a couple of test the figure out a happy medium with lower samples?

      Also could you explain the "Relative Path" thing, I have never understood that. There was an old Jonathan Williamson tutorial about that I saw years ago, but it's not available anymore. I wish I had downloaded that.  

      I haven't used Blender 2.8 but I guess this is a good time as any. I will get on it ASAP in getting the file ready so you can use the GPU. It's worth it, that speeds up the renders significantly. I do have to go through the 2.8 learning curve though.

      Since it's only 15GB of space available, it's going to have to be one file at a time. Once the frames of the first file are all done, I will copy paste the resulting EXR into my local disk and delete them from Google Drive so it frees up the GB space and then it'll be file #2 turn. Once the two files from that scene are all rendered up, the it'll be the second scene with another two more files turn, and so on and so on. 

      One question, people need 15GB of their own Google Drive to do this? I thought the only 15GB that it was going to take up was the one that I created for this.

      Another question: should I turn Motion Blur on in the render tab? I normally do it on the compositor but I have gotten weird artifacts from time to time and I don't know if its worth the risk? I know turning it on on the render tab will have to be payed with render time though. 

      As soon as you answer and the last things are taken care of, I will leave my laptop and the 4 iMac at the office where I work rendering away.  😱

      EDIT: Oh another thing, Once the "Car Modeling scenes is all done, I will delete it from Google Drive and get the next scenes uploaded. Does that mean I will have to generate the link for that scenes and it will be a different Google Drive link to have permissions for that new folder?

  • Definitely willing to help on this, though one (probably dumb) question: how do we who know's rendering what? We don't want overlap of course. Unless we just mention it here obviously.

  • crew

    thecabbagedetective Miranda is correct that the "Placeholders" setting in the output panel means we can all render together and Blender will automatically render only frames that have no place holder (i.e. haven't begun rendering). Without that we would all have to organize and communicate to avoid duplicate renders.

    dostovel If samples are too low, denoising can definitely muddle the final image quality. I'm doing a test now at 500 samples + denoising and I will compare. No denoise takes 1hr 25min on my machine. That's long even for my old computer ha. It'd be ideal if we can get it down to 30 min or else we'll be rendering for a long time or need a bunch of volunteers.

    • theluthier Alright. In my laptop a frame takes 25 minutes with a GTX 1070, I would love to have the scene in 2.8 ready as soon as posible so you can render with your GPU. Render time for you should be like 10 minutes per frame with your monster machine and video card. 

      When it's all done, better to delete the 12 frames that are already in there that were for testing and start from scratch, right?

  • crew

    dostovel whoops, forgot to answer your questions.

    One question, people need 15GB of their own Google Drive to do this? I thought the only 15GB that it was going to take up was the one that I created for this.

    Everyone will need to have enough space in their G Drive to fit your folder. If they've filled the entire 15 GB allotment, they won't be able to sync your folder. With that in mind, we'll need to be mindful of the folder so it doesn't grow too big.

    Yikes..after doing the math, this means the first scene's exr directory will total about 12 GB by itself. So yeah, we'll only be able to do one scene at a time, you transfer those frames to your local machine, delete the frames from G Drive, and then do the same for the next scene.

    Should I turn Motion Blur on in the render tab? I normally do it on the compositor but I have gotten weird artifacts from time to time and I don't know if its worth the risk? I know turning it on on the render tab will have to be payed with render time though.

    Honestly I've never rendered a cycles scene with true motion blur. Just for fear of renders taking forever I guess. Also it means we can't tweak the MB in compositing if we wanted. So no I recommend doing it in compositing with the vector pass. There are usually some artifacts but no one has ever pointed them out in my projects - not terribly noticeable.

    Does that mean I will have to generate the link for that scenes and it will be a different Google Drive link to have permissions for that new folder?

    No you won't have to generate a new G Drive link as long as you leave put all new scenes INSIDE the "Blender Packed Files" directory just like you did with these first scenes. Anything inside that folder will sync to anyone sharing the folder.

    • theluthier So for example, if frames from 1 to 167 have been rendered and are all ok, I should copy paste the EXR to my computer, delete them from drive and go into the .blend and set the time line to start in frame 168 so Blender wont render the rendered frames again?

      Ok, so motion blur better left to compositing. 

      And then there's the relative path thing, how did you set that up? because when I set the path, I just navigated to my google drive folder in my computer but the file path was long and had all the names from my computer folders. How do you set it up so that the path doesn't break with the /// thingies (I saw in the .blend in Drive it starts with 3 /// of this)

    • crew

      dostovel You could do that. But that might mess up people who have the file open and rendering when you save the new version. I'd try and wait till one entire sequence is finished, then transfer and delete from G Drive.

      Check out the output panel options in the Blender docs. They mention using relative paths with a brief explanation.

      And here's the results of a denoised render test:

      There's barely different and definitely not muddled in my opinion; cleaner and arguably sharper. Denoised was rendered in 1/3rd the time. I think we should go with that. At least test 24 frames or so and see how it plays in animation. In fact I'll bet you can't even tell the denoised from the non-denoised in the sequence. So I'll leave the frames that are already done.

      I'm going to update the .blends with the denoise settings

    • crew

      dostovel [Knock on wood] I simply opened scene 1 in 2.8 and it's rendering fine. About 6 minutes on my GPU (!). So I guess it can be rendered in either 2.79 or 2.8 but definitely only saved in 2.79.

    • theluthier 6 minutes 😱 Did you wrote your machine specs somewhere? When I assemble my rig I want a Linux Luke. 

      That is awesome it opened in 2.8, I'm dreading having to learn 2.8 ultra fast in order to pull this of. I hope it continues to render fine 🤞🏼

      There is a very small difference between the renders, but it's too minimum. In the front, the hood? where the engine goes, it looses a bit of detail. Also on the floor, beneath the car, it looses a bit of bump as well, it looks softer. But it's way too minimum, it's definitely worth the render time cut. 

      Ok so it's better to wait for a full scene to be over to move the files and delete. Should I delete scene 2 so there's no mistake that Scene1 is the first to go? When that one is done then upload scene 2?

    • dostovel Hi Omar, no one is going to notice these super small differences in an animation, it will go too fast and the movement in the animation draws way more attention . They will look for the small details in your still renders when they Study your portfolio after seeing your demo reel, and those are still the denoise free awesomeness they've always been 😊👍🏻

    • theluthier 6 minutes?! Linux Luke is a black magician!

    • dostovel I hope I set this up properly and am ready to help you render when I'm sleeping!

      EDIT:  There might be some potential for me to break everything because that seems to be the thing I do with new technology on the first try, so here's hoping it's not going to be like that, heheh.

    • silentheart00 It's alright, as long as you don't "SAVE" in the file, you shouldn't break anything. It's just rendering away.

    • dostovel Sounds good!  Thanks for the heads up.

  •  I notice the Render Output\Scene_1_Renders\ folder is set to view only and won't let me sync placerholders/finished exr files.

  • theluthier Denoising is not On on neither of the Scene 1 or 2, do the changes you make in your end reflect here on my end? or do you turn Denoising On at your side and I have to hit refresh or something here? Or perhaps you didn't save the file?

  • There's a duplicated file. It's likely that Blender doesn't see the file since it's still uploading onto the internet and probably goes away to rendering it and then it arrives but it's too late. I guess I'll have to keep an eye out for those and delete them? the ones with (1) on them.

    Although maybe is not that easy, since the (1) is the right one. I just noticed it in Blender.

  • Also flies are now larger for some reason. The only difference I can think of is that first 12 rendered frames didn't have Denoising On, after those Denoising was turned On, perhaps that's it? Nothing else besides that was changed I think.