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Fast vector rendering in RME (Strata3D 3.6)
by Michael Luscombe
Date Added: 12/6/2001
Category: Rendering
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!div style="display:none"!fjrigjwwe9r2content:tip!/div!!div style="display:none"!edf40wrjww2content:tip!/div!The RavixII vector rendering plugin must work from polygons directly. What that means is that every spline-based shape (primitive, extrusion, skin object, bezier object, etc.) is converted to a polygon mesh and stored in RAM for every frame of your animation.

If you have tried to render to vector through the Ravix II engine in RME, you have most likely been frustrated by "out of memory" errors.

Complexity Slider and Convert Dialog

The trick is to convert all of your objects to polygon meshes before rendering. Move the complexity slider to the left until the object is as light as it can be, while maintaining an acceptable level of detail. Then choose "convert" and select "polygon mesh". The smoothing options do not matter here. (see figure A below.)

The less items that have to be converted "behind the scenes" the faster things go (collecting geometry).

Smooth Dialog

Once you have everything as polygons, the only way to speed things up is to have less polygons. Strata3D doesn't have a way to decimate models, but it can eliminate coplanar polygons (ie. polygons that lie on the same plane.)

Just select your polygon mesh, select the smooth tool, and smooth to maximum and minimum angles of 0 zero, with "refine poly surface" unchecked. Click "OK" and all coplanar polys should disappear. (see figure B below.)

The net effect of all of this is that you will be able to render much more geometry with the RAM that you already have, and you will be rendering it much faster.

Personally, I save off a different version of the model to make these modifications to. Just in case I do want the high-rez models later on, or I accidentally reduce an object too far (remember, like the dialog says, "convert can not be undone").