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Not Alfred

Skin Studio Plans

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Hello to the zero people who bothered to read the S&Box post fully, get ready because here comes another ramble :goproforsenE:

There's been a lot of advancements in Graphics in the last year. With some of the main features being buzz marketing like RTX, but in the background a lot of rendering optimisations and algorithms have been made by NVidia. Following those, here are some plans for the next big version of Skin Renderer.

Blender 2.8
Blender 2.8 is the largest upcoming version of the application, and is currently in Beta stage. The interface has received a complete overhaul, new features have been added, and optimisations for what's already around. Skin Renderer will be continuing as a Beta on this branch, with the new name Skin Studio. With this, I can't guarantee 100% stability or support on some hardware, but Skin Renderer will still be available on the current 2.79b branch available through Steam, with the occasional new update. So, what comes with Skin Studio?

Realtime Rendering
2.8 includes a new Rendering Engine called Eevee, which can deliver Unreal Engine-level graphics in realtime. With Skin Studio, you'll be able to seamlessly swap between these two and choose between accurate quality or instant renders. This should help for anyone with lower-spec systems or simply wants a draft quickly. As this takes a LOT of tweaking to look even slightly comparable to a proper render, your mileage will vary. Here's a very work in progress teaser that rendered in less than half a second.

HDRI and Post Processing Improvements
Technically, the HDRI (image lighting) and Material setup is accurate enough to create some near to photorealistic renders with a decent amount of tweaking. However, with some adjusting behind the scenes, these can aesthetically look a lot nicer than the current results. There isn't much way of showing this without some final examples (which will be up in contentcreation within a week or so), but it'll improve the quality of image-based lighting by a mile. There will also be a lot more post-processing options, including Depth of Field set after the render is complete, color-grading options, LUTs, and Camera Profiles. With a lot of work and some tutorial videos that'll follow a release, renders will already come out looking really nice before going into Photoshop.

Tools, Props, and UI
With the new version, the UI will get (another) rehauling, along with plenty more props for you to play with. Pre-created materials, more Studio environments, manipulation tools for controlling weapons, and Ammo calibers and props to decorate the scene with. As well as this, there may be tools to actually do some skin creation work in Blender. Some tools could include baking edge maps, painting directly on to the weapon (significantly better than Photoshop's 3D interface), Normal Map exporting, possibly more. Also, the setup for Thumbnail Renders will be available in this build and toggleable.

Thanks to NVidia's OptiX Library, denoising can be improved massively over the native tools. D-NOISE is a plugin developed by Remington Graphics, and uses OptiX Deep Learning Denoising to clean up images. This goes from getting rid of some subtle noise to fixing almost unusable grain. As Skin Studio doesn't need many light bounces for few models, D-NOISE can work at insanely low sample counts and still work out fairly well too. Here's an example at 5 samples against the default denoiser (open it in a new tab and zoom in)



Note: This is just showing the denoiser, no other new features in this screenshot. Also wip, your mileage may vary, all that shite

As well as this, there will be an experimental build of Blender in the works (not publicly available through link) which will give up to double the performance for NVidia GPUs, 1.2x performance for CPUs, and significantly better Hybrid Rendering support. More details on that in the future.

Note: D-NOISE requires an NV GTX 600+ Card with GeForce 390.xx+ drivers

I'll be adding more to this thread within the next few days with more details, some screenshots of examples/the UI, and hopefully soon we'll be doing some open testing through Discord.

Edited by Not Alfred
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