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Producing imagery with ARCHICAD or 3rd party products; Surfaces; Lighting; Cameras; Artlantis/Cinema 4D/Maxwell etc.

Moderators: Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, Barry Kelly, gkmethy

By MattP
Hello All,

I am new to Archicad and I am trying to put together a fly through. I have had my rendering running for 360 hours and it is still not finished. Here is some info on my rendering.....It is on frame 293 of 382 in pass 12 of 13, I am running archicad 19, 40 fps, I have created many custom surfaces and morphs (i am assuming this is why it is running so slow). I ran a previous rendering with less frames and less fps but i need to create a video around a minute to a minute and a half and when i stretched it out in imovie it was too choppy/jerky (this took about a 5 days to render). To fix that i decided to add frames in between each camera and add fps to create a smoother video.

Does anyone have suggestions for my future fly through projects. I would like to be able to create decent videos without having to render for multiple weeks.


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By psimun
Hi Matt,

Firstly, rendering quality smooth animations with Archicad's cinerender (i'm assuming your using the Cinerender engine) at 40fps on one computer is gonna be a big struggle.

If you could master the engine & material settings (which takes a lot of testing, practice, reading and maybe training) you could get a reasonable image quality in 10-15 mins per frame at an acceptable but lower resolution, that would still equate to 5+ hours of render time for one second of movie! (30 frames per second). Its gonna add up!! In short, too slow for quality animation work.

There are so many settings that will impact your 3d animation, let alone still renders
You're correct regarding meshes, they will definitely impact your render times....avoid them
This engine has a steep learning curve in itself.
Cinerender is quite complex as you dig down into the settings. eg FPS, GI, primary & secondary light bounce details, camera settings, reflection thresholds, environment, effects, camera settings, environment, lamps, sun settings, resolution, shadow depths, material reflections, etc....The list goes on...too much to go through without serious training and testing.

Hence i focus on stills (one frame) only with cinerender. Animation is not an option.
It's not unheard off to render one still image for an hour or more with advanced material settings and decent render quality.
As an example, I rendered an external image yesterday which took about 3-4 hours to clean up.
3d trees, some reflections, 2166 x 1080 res

Not to bash Archicad (i love the software and have used it as my choice of software for 18 years) but there are better emerging products out there for animation at human time frames.
By MattP
Thanks Psimun!!

I will take your suggestions into consideration when doing my next renderings. Most of my single frame renders have taken a least a hour so I will have to dig into the settings and do some tests to find the right combination.

Could it be something with my computer?
macOS High Sierra
Version 10.13.6
Processor 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Graphics Radeon Pro 580 8192 MB

Thanks again!
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By Erwin Edel
For animation, there are some quick quality reductions you can do:
1. scale down to 1280x720 p, will still look ok on most screens
2. start with one of the 'fast' render presets, and tweak until it looks ok

However, lower settings of Global Illumination will mean you get 'spots'/'clouds' on surfaces, which might look acceptable still on a single frame, but will be very distracting when animated.

We also only use cinerender for still images for presentation.

We use BIMx mostly for showing the model in motion.

Lumion or Twinmotion or similar products will likely get you better results in a quicker time than rendering out all those frames.

We did some clips a few years back, really dialed down the settings to have a single frame take about 2 minutes, because the client had to have animation. I would've preferred to do a slideshow presentation with quality stills instead.

We did break the presentation down in to a few clips of interesting parts to show. I find animations which are one big single take of a tour through and around the building to take too long. There are a lot of parts which are uninteresting, but still take a long time to render. Better to leave them out all together.
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By Lingwisyer
Rather than rendering out a full flythrough which might include a lot of fill, you could just focus on rendering out short specific scenes like entering a space, or the outlook from a space. You could also break up your render path depending on how fast things change within the scene. For one project, not architectural, I rendered some sections of the render path at 720p, while other slower sections I rendered at 1440p. These were then stitched together in After Effects.

One piece of advice I got at the start of a different project as that if you are wanting to render a "drive by" of an elevation, consider how important perspective is. If it is not so important, might it be better to render a single high resolution / quality render that covers your entire elevation, then in post, pan across that single render?