Rendering, lighting and shading


To learn about the two rendering modes supported by PocketStudio see Preview and high quality rendering. Some rendering effects such as depth of field or motion blur are only available in the high-quality rendering mode.

In the preview mode, by default PocketStudio treats all surfaces as single-sided. Backface culling can not yet be switched off. In the high-quality mode surfaces will be treated as double-sided.

The GPU is a Magic Bullet… “not”

xx one you don’t have memory anymore well you will have no more performances …

Works on:PreviewHigh-quality

Adding fog to a scene can help creating a sense of depth, add atmosphere and realism to that scene. This effect can help viewers get a better sense of the scene’s size.

This current version of PocketStudio has a simple fog model which only contains a couple of properties: the fog color and the the distance at which the fog starts. The falloff of the fog itself (how it fades in with distance) cannot be controlled at the moment. Fog is applied in the two rendering modes. Note however that this fog will only affect the color of the objects of the scene. It will not affect the sky itself. To do so, you would need to use volumetric objects which are not yet supported.

The fog properties are part of the scene description. To add fog to the scene do as follows:

  1. To select the scene properties, click anywhere on the sky in the Viewport. The scene properties (including the physical sky or skydome properties) will be displayed in the Property Editor panel to the right of the Viewport (in the default layout).
  2. At the bottom of the Property Editor panel, you will find a Fog section, under which you will find two properties: Fog Color and Fog Distance. Set a value greater than 0 for the Fog Distance property in order to see the fog (a distance of 0 means no fog at all). This value is expressed in the scene’s distance unit (1 unit = 1 meter).

The current fog model uses a very basic and standard distance-based exponential falloff.

Works on:PreviewHigh-quality

Depth of field is only working in the high-quality rendering mode (type F2 to switch between the preview and the high-quality rendering modes). Furthermore to see the effect in the viewport, certain properties from the camera need to be adjusted. The render a scene through a camera with depth of field do as follow:

  1. Switch to the high-quality rendering mode if you are not in this mode already by pressing the F2 key.

  2. Open the camera panel and double click on the camera for which you wish to get depth of field. This will display the camera properties in the property editor panel (to the right of the viewport in the default layout).

  3. By default, both the Focus Distance and the Aperture Radius properties are set to 0.

    • Set the Aperture Radius property to a value greater than 0. This parameter in defined in world units. By default, 1 unit is equal to 1 meter. Therefore, a value of 0.01 means an aperture of 1cm. By increasing the value of this property, you will increase the amount of blur (or technically, decrease depth of field).

      The fact that this value is set in world unit is important. Scenes are assumed to be set with a similar scale to the one used in PocketStudio. In other words, the 3D model of a man or of a woman should be somewhere around 1.5 to 2 units in height for example. If you use a different rule, if the 3D model of your man or woman is between 0.15 to 0.2 units or 150 to 200 units, you will need to either divide the aperture value by 10 or multiply it by 100 to get a similar effect to the one you would get if your 3D model was between 1.5 and 2 units.

    • Set the Focus Distance to the distance between the camera and the object you wish to set in focus (also in units where by default 1 unit = 1 meter). By pressing the Ctrl key while clicking with the right mouse button on the object you want to get in focus (Ctrl + RMB), that distance will be precisely calculated for you. You can look at it as a camera focus picker tool.

Additional properties such as the Aperture blades and Blade curvature can be used to control the effect. See below to get a complete description of what these properties do.

Aperture Radius = 0.1

ps docs dof aperture radius01

Aperture Radius = 0.3

ps docs dof aperture radius03

Aperture Blades = 5

ps docs dof blade5

Aperture Blades = 6

ps docs dof blade6

Blades Curvature = 0
Blades Curvature = 1

Setting the focus distance automatically using the focus picker tool: xx.


Keeping focus while the camera or the subject moves: xx.


What is Depth of Field and when should I be using it?

When you look at photographies, sometimes only certain objects from the scene are in focus while other parts of the scene, objects that are either closer or further away from the camera appear to be blurred. Technically depth of field refers to the distance between the closest and the farthest object in the scene that appear to be sharp on the photograph. In photography, this distance is controlled by a few parameters such as the focal distance of the lens often measured in millimeters (the shorter the focal, the shallowest the DOF) or the lens aperture (the smaller the aperture the larger the DOF). Pinhole camera have the property to have a infinite depth of field. In other words, when you take a picture with a pinhole camera, all objects from the photograph will appear sharp.

Interestingly enough, in computer graphics it is the model of the pinhole camera that we generally use to generate images. Therefore, by default, the images you see in the viewport for example are all sharps, regardless of their distance to the camera. This can be seen as a good thing, but in cinematography, depth of field has become an intrisic tool of story telling. If the face of a character is in focius and the rest of the scene (the foreground and the background) is blurred, you will more easily focus your attention on the character’s emotions, expressions or physical traits. As it is both an esthetical effect as much as tool that can be used to serve the story, it is important to be able to simulate this effect in CGI as well.

Works on:PreviewHigh-quality

Motion blur is on by default in the high-quality rendering mode. There is no motion-blur in the preview quality mode. To adjust the amount of motion blur do as follows:

  1. Press the F1 key to open the render options floating panel. Two small windows will show up on top of the the Viewport. If they are closed, click on the small triangle icon in the upper left corner of the window to expand it and make its content visible.
  2. Adjust the Shutter Length parameter. The higher the value, the stronger the motion blur.

The value corresponds to the time during which the shutter of the camera stays open. A value of 0.5 means that the shutter is opened during half a frame. The shutter opens at the start of the frame.

ps docs ui shutterlength

Works on:PreviewHigh-quality

Tone mapping improves the display of scenes with high-dynamic range on low-dynamic range monitors.

PocketStudio provides only one tone mapping operator of function at the moment. It is designed to preserve details in the highest values of the images, details that would be otherwise clamped when converted to the monitor lower dynamic range. To activate tone mapping do as follows:

  1. Press the F1 key to open the render options floating panel. Two small windows will show up on top of the the Viewport. If they are closed, click on the small triangle icon in the upper left corner of the window to expand it and make its content visible.
  2. Check the Tone Mapping option in the Render Debug window to activate tone mapping.

ps docs ui tonemapping

If tone mapping is on, it will be applied to images or videos rendered out from the application.

It is not possible at the moment to edit this tone mapping operator. Adding and customizing tone mapping operators or functions will become available in future versions of the software.

Tone Mapping: OFF
Tone Mapping: ON
Making object visible or invisible to camera