By the time you have finished this chapter, you should have several
ideas on how to shorten your render times. These are but a few of the
many, many tricks to get renders out under heavy time constraints. No
doubt you will discover many more during the course of your career.
It’s time for some big decisions. You know you want the lighting to
be as accurate and as beautiful as possible. You would like to use some
level of radiosity but know that you probably can’t spare the render
times. You might have time for area lights if you lower the quality and
use Noise Reduction. Or you may be so pressed for render time and the
render farm may be so full of scenes from the other pesky animators
that you have to abandon all your highbrow lighting plans and go for
dirty, cheap tricks.
Whatever your final decision is, it will come down to simple math.
How long does it take to render a single frame? How many processors
are available to you? How much time do you have to deliver the final,
At one of the companies where I worked, there was a one-hour limit
on render time for a single frame. Now, I think that is a good deal of time
for a single frame, but I know animators who have worked in production
environments with a five-minute limit. That seems awfully low to me
and most certainly will be a strong determining factor in the final quality
of the images. On the other hand, some very large, very complex work
takes many hours per frame. Sometimes you simply can’t justify sacrific