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SickleYield's avatar
Herewith, some preliminary findings from my mad flailing at the new physically based render engine included as an option with DAZ Studio 4.8 Public Beta.  Some of these are confirmed by Google, some purely by experiment this evening (Iray is Nvidia's, so it's existed since well before DAZ got hold of it, it's just not widespread yet).

My system specs on my main (not on this laptop I use for internet access):

Windows 7
Intel Core i7-5930K at 3.50 GhZ, 6 cores.
Installed memory: 64 gb
Graphics cards: 2x GTX 740, 2x GTX 980, all 4 gb cards; not in SLI.

For those who are worried, no, Iray is not mandatory, you can still use 3Delight from the Render Settings dropdown.  This is important because:

1.  You can use Iray with just the CPU, but not if you want to remain sane.

Iray wants graphics cards, and it wants CUDA cores, and it wants lots of them.  I tried rendering with all four graphics cards checked, with just the CPU checked, and with both checked.  The graphics cards are literally twice as fast as just the CPU.  My earliest results had the CPU actually slowing things down, but that seems to be a bug that was fixed in later versions; now the CPU plus the cards is just a little faster than just the cards.

2.  Iray is not as fast as 3Delight on my system when 3Delight is used with the AoA lights and UberSurface shaders.  It's still faster than 3Delight with UberEnvironment lighting, though, and looks better.  That's with the huge caveat of those four 4gb graphics cards, especially the two 980's.  This still makes it faster than other physically based renderers (Lux, Octane, Cycles), sometimes in a "minutes to hours" way. 

3.  Turn off the head lamp and use lots of photometrics, and a few mesh lights if you wish.  More lights are not only better looking but faster.  This is confirmed by Google.  In my own opinion using an HDR to light the scene (yes! we can do that now!) does not look as good on skin when used by itself without photometrics, but do your own experiments.  You can turn off the head lamp in your camera's parameters.

The net lesson is save presets early, save presets often.  Which leads me to

4. You do not want to use 3Delight shaders and lights.  The short version is, the lights won't work at all and the shaders won't look as good.  Some surfaces look all right at a distance without conversion.

5. It really does look that good.  Skins are harder than hard surfaces, as they are with any unbiased engine, but DAZ's initial presets are very good to start from and give you a good idea what will look good.  I am an instant convert and squealing fangirl of this engine, and while my next product that comes out will not have Iray shaders because I couldn't yet, the next one after that will.
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DazWraps's avatar
People to keep your sanity buy Iray Smart Converter and Advanced Skin Managers for Genesis 2 Artist: V3Digitimes... Select your Genesis 2 figure click on the script and you are DONE... Translucency ears and all... After that I use a really cool displacement map I have and the characters look great in Iray. I still have issues with the eyes but I don't think is going to be that hard to do if the skin is done.
Mikey186's avatar
I tried Iray twice....but unfortunately, I only have a intel i3 3.30 Ghz with a nVidia GeForce 8400GS (512MB), I tried twice with the CPU only checked, was too damn slow. Better off just waiting more weeks until Reality 4.1 (w/CPU acceleration) comes out
StripesWaterkat's avatar
Hello. I watched your video on Youtube for starting to work with Iray and it was great. Do you know if there is minimum specs for using it somewhere? I have a quad core processor and one Geforce 560 and after almost 10 minutes, it was only at about 50%. Thanks.
SickleYield's avatar
That's going to be typical.  This engine is faster than Luxrender even on a CPU alone, but it does want a lot of CUDA cores.  To run the benchmark scene here:

Iray Scene For Time Benchmarks by SickleYield

In three and a half minutes took both of my GTX 980's and GTX 740's.  My six core i7 CPU took I think half an hour when used alone.  Iray wants CUDA cores and lots of them; it can use the CPU but it will be slow.  It looks like the 560 only has about 300.  Your system is probably going to work on the card for maybe a couple of minutes, then the card runs out of VRAM and it switches to the CPU alone.
Martian1000's avatar
even years later, this time data is really useful info.
I sorta think that as a group, Daz artists should agree on a standard test scene, with set character, background, textures, shaders, etc, so that the *next* generation has something to benchmark off of.  Because, I'm sitting here with a laptop with a i7, and desktop 1070, and although I *think* I've tweaked all the settings to get as much sanity out of rendering as possible, I'm still looking at 30 minute renders, with a few characters, a few lights... and there's pretty much no way to know whether that is good or bad.

Um... since you are our Daz Black Panther, you want to establish the standard? :]
SickleYield's avatar
Well, I do have a benchmark scene here:

Iray Scene For Time Benchmarks by SickleYield

You will find a tremendous amount of hardware comparison in the comments. :)
Martian1000's avatar
haha.  Holy smokes.  Ask and ye shall find.
StripesWaterkat's avatar
Thanks alot for the reply and the information. I'll have to hold off on using the Iray rendering till I do a major upgrade to my system.

Thank again.
RAMWolff's avatar
Thanks for the post Sickle! 
SickleYield's avatar
You're welcome. :)
valzheimer's avatar
Ok... I have to say this. I would literally die in DAZ 2 years ago if there wasn't for YOU.
Thank you so much for all the help you provide for all things DS :hug:
SickleYield's avatar
inkedillusions's avatar
Hey Sickle, thinking about downloading the beta but not sure if it's worth the space for the specs which are:

Win7 Pro
i7-4770K 3.50 Ghz Quad Core
16 gb RAM
Only 1 MSI Twin Frozr Gaming GTX 770 OC Ver. 2 gb

I too only use AOA lights ever since I got them about 6 months ago.  No patience for Uber anymore lol.  So in your opinion do you think I should just stick with 3Delight & AoA for the time being until I upgrade the innards or do you think it would be worth a shot to try out?
SickleYield's avatar
Here are my benchmarks:

Iray Scene For Time Benchmarks by SickleYield

The i5 quad core took over an hour to render this scene at 400x520 (ouch!).  I haven't been able to test on my single GTX 770 on this laptop yet (no good drivers), which is a pity because it is the same as yours.  Now, you've got a faster quad core than I have, so it might not be quite as bad, but you're still looking at some long render times.

Overall I would say wait with that hardware.  Unless you've been using an unusually time-intensive setup in 3Delight all this time, I'm afraid Iray will probably take much longer and possibly cause you some cooling issues.
inkedillusions's avatar
Thanks for the fast reply & your opinions.  I figured as much but I also figured I would ask someone that was much more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to daz engines & comp specs because I pretty much know next to nothing about em lol.  Yeah I'll just stick with AoA & 3Delight then for now.  Thanks again SY!
SickleYield's avatar
No problem!

I love Iray, but it definitely needs some good graphics cards to do its best.
inkedillusions's avatar
I've been wanting to upgrade at least my card to a 990 for a while now but I keep getting sucked into all these damn Daz & Rendo sales ugh!!! lol
SickleYield's avatar
I hear that, I just grabbed a whole bunch of stuff including that set Stonemason did.  I can't help it, I see his things, I buy them.
inkedillusions's avatar
I did the same along with the SciFi Bedroom set.  Plus I had to add the Toiletries to get the extra 10% off & throw in another 10% off for having the Monique & Darius Bundles, so I couldn't just stop at 1 Stonemason product haha.  Picked up your Shackled 2 when it came out also.  Finally got your Ball Joint Doll for G2F (Such a cool concept) a couple days ago & your rigged water finally.  Got your Strands of Horror a while back too (now that's an awesome concept right there).  Basically been spending haha.
SickleYield's avatar
Now Rigged Water will be much more fun when you have an Iray setup. :)
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Mavrosh's avatar
Alright, I now have a decent dark elven skin shadered... this is gonna be a lot of fun on the weekend. :) It does not render too slow. Lux was a lot worse... a lot...
SickleYield's avatar
Oh yes, it is a SCARY fast PBR. :)  Can't wait to see!
Mavrosh's avatar
Well..... yeah, no.... only CPU and a bit bigger? You need a lot of patience as it seems... I am a bit sad about this as I have a good computer and do not see why I should invest more money now for having NVidia cards... This does not make sense to me.
SickleYield's avatar
It's a problem a lot of people are having right now.  Many have built their computers for CPU rendering with 3Delight, and new Nvidia cards with 4gb are expensive.
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