Sign in to follow this  
Scrubs

Mecabricks + Blender Showcase

Recommended Posts

Mecabricks has come a long way since I started this webapp about 5 years ago. Its popularity has been boosted by the introduction of the export function to multiple 3D formats and a script to easily make good renders with Blender.

In 2017 here is what we can achieve in a few clicks without knowing much about 3D:

I rendered a low resolution myself that took 9 hours to render on a iMac core i5 and Renderbricks helped me for this 1080p version. I think it was about 4 or 5 min per frame. This has been made possible thanks to the development version of Blender that includes a new denoiser. Even if it has limitation it is already awesome.

I also need to thank Stas who is a decoration guru on Mecabricks. He made hundreds if not thousands of them including the ones for this Speed Champion Ferrari.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this is awesome! :wub: I love Mecabricks, and what the Blender means you can do with it.  Just wish I had a powerful enough computer to do all the CGI scenes I wanted :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did a quick test video with blender. The lighting didn't setup very well.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow @Scrubs! That looks really, really nice! Are you sure it's a render? :laugh:
I was considering buying one of those new 8-core/16-thread AMD Ryzen cpus, I suppose that would benefit the rendering process (at least, I assume Blender has good multi-core support).

If only there was an LDraw import so I could render my models...
Maybe @SylvainLS could adapt his program to import LDraw into LDD so that it could then be imported in Mecabricks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blender Cycles support multi-core perfectly (Even GPU rendering). One of the new function that is in development (denoiser) is a game changer to cut render time. It already works pretty well but is only at an early stage. It has been used here to get a reasonable render time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, legolijntje said:

Maybe @SylvainLS could adapt his program to import LDraw into LDD so that it could then be imported in Mecabricks?

Well, I’m not ready to open that can of worms yet :grin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Scrubs said:

Blender Cycles support multi-core perfectly (Even GPU rendering). One of the new function that is in development (denoiser) is a game changer to cut render time. It already works pretty well but is only at an early stage. It has been used here to get a reasonable render time.

Oh cool, gpu rendering too? Might have to try that out, see how it performs.

 

2 hours ago, SylvainLS said:

Well, I’m not ready to open that can of worms yet :grin:

Haha :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome work! That denoiser function indeedseems like  a lot of fun.

22 hours ago, legolijntje said:

If only there was an LDraw import so I could render my models...

Actually there already exist two programs to import LDraw models in Blender directly. The most recent one with the most features  and best performance is ImportLDraw by Toby Nelson on github: https://github.com/TobyLobster/ImportLDraw It's easy to use and gices awesome results. See my Flickr for some examples, and also my entries in the official sets recreated in LDraw topic (the renders in that topic take about ten minutes to setup, so it can happen really fast) . I'd love to do a series on how to render Lego in Blender one day, but I don't have time to do that.

As for rendering times, without the denoiser the renders for the official sets take less than ten minutes to render, but the resolution isn't very high and you can spot some noise. The renders on my Flickr take about four hours to render on average on my GPU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BEAVeR said:

Awesome work! That denoiser function indeedseems like  a lot of fun.

Actually there already exist two programs to import LDraw models in Blender directly. The most recent one with the most features  and best performance is ImportLDraw by Toby Nelson on github: https://github.com/TobyLobster/ImportLDraw It's easy to use and gices awesome results. See my Flickr for some examples, and also my entries in the official sets recreated in LDraw topic (the renders in that topic take about ten minutes to setup, so it can happen really fast) . I'd love to do a series on how to render Lego in Blender one day, but I don't have time to do that.

I know you can import LDraw into Blender. But I've shortly tried the Mecabricks workflow of rendering a Mecabricks model and it's all-inclusive. Colors, textures, quality (and I have a feeling Mecabricks' parts are better for rendering than LDraw parts). Everything's set. It's almost a matter of pressing export and off you go. But your renders look really great too. I would personally be really interested in a LDraw -> Blender rendering tutorial. And probably not just me. Especially since this forum's go-to guide for rendering with POV-Ray made by @C3POwen is missing its images (and C3POwen hasn't been online for ages) it would be nice to have a new guide. :classic:

Thanks for the link though, I thought this was the only one: https://github.com/le717/LDR-Importer

1 hour ago, BEAVeR said:

As for rendering times, without the denoiser the renders for the official sets take less than ten minutes to render, but the resolution isn't very high and you can spot some noise. The renders on my Flickr take about four hours to render on average on my GPU.

Well, that's quite a difference: 10 minutes vs 4 hours haha. What gpu do you have?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I also made an experimental script (subdivision.py) that can be ran at your convenience  to subdivide the Mecabricks parts imported in Blender. It doesn't work for all parts but for most of them. Therefore it is possible to get a very nice and smooth result for close up shots.

The advanced script that I made doesn't use a round edge shader  on the contrary of the lite version but adds real geometry. Therefore it is possible to render on GPU and it looks more real for close up. GPU rendering is faster if you have a high end graphic card. In my case CPU is faster anyway.

 

I am also working on a version of the script with instances so that you can render faster and bigger scenes on GPU (as for now it is limited by the RAM your GPU has).

Edited by Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use Blender Lite made this one:

Thank you Mecabricks.

Mecabricks workflow is better than LDraw. But the problem is: the parts lib of Medabricks is still limited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to beautiful looking virtual LEGO, nothing so far can beat Mecabricks + Scrubs Template + Blender :)

Can we share the images as well or this thread is just for Videos?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mars Looks cool. I guess you deactivated OSL or rendered with GPU as the round edge shader doesn't seem to be present.

For old parts, LDraw has more content for sure. However for newer items and especially decorations (prints and stickers) Mecabricks has way more parts.

We have about 2500 part designs and close to 8000 decorations now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 8:53 PM, Scrubs said:

@Mars Looks cool. I guess you deactivated OSL or rendered with GPU as the round edge shader doesn't seem to be present.

For old parts, LDraw has more content for sure. However for newer items and especially decorations (prints and stickers) Mecabricks has way more parts.

We have about 2500 part designs and close to 8000 decorations now.

Yes. I deactivated OSL. I cannot use GPU to render. My iMac is Mid2010 with ATI Radeon HD 5750, Blender did not respond every time I used GPU, I have to force quit and restart Blender.

New parts and decorations in Mecabricks blows LDD and Ldraw far away.

Made another one:

7 to 8 minutes per frame. Too slow. I hope I can use my GPU to render.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mars I like your animations :-) I don't render with GPU either - on my iMac core i5 or on my work PC (xeon 8 cores goes faster than the quadro GPU).

The round edge shader only works on GPU (with OSL activated). You shall try just to compare, the results look way nicer as the parts are beveled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017/6/3 at 9:58 PM, Scrubs said:

@Mars I like your animations :-) I don't render with GPU either - on my iMac core i5 or on my work PC (xeon 8 cores goes faster than the quadro GPU).

The round edge shader only works on GPU (with OSL activated). You shall try just to compare, the results look way nicer as the parts are beveled.

Did an OSL on-off test. With OSL on, more detailed but double the time and blur the decorations. Maybe I didn't set up very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Double the time probably not too far but blur the decorations I never observed such things. Make sure that you don't scale the model (unlike what is said in the video tutorial).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I modeled some of the latest Nexo Knights pieces and drew the decorations for them. Here is a quick scene using the Mecabricks Advanced Add-on for Blender. It took only 1 hour to render this 4K version.

35743650526_f10c352a1a_c.jpg

Nexo Knights Grimroc by Nicolas Jarraud, on Flickr

Edited by Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks great! Everything looks super realistic; the scratches and imperfections on the parts, the reflections on both hard parts and softer parts, the stickers etc. etc. Love your work!
Really want to give rendering something myself using your scripts a shot again. I got a new 8-core cpu yesterday and rendering something seems like the perfect test :tongue: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Scrubs, I'm deeply impressed. Are you sure it's a rendering?

It's hardly possible for me to find any sign that this is a rendering. Maybe the scratches on the green curved parts at the same angle of around 45 degree are a tiny bit unlikely.

Great job!

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, papacharly said:

Wow, Scrubs, I'm deeply impressed. Are you sure it's a rendering?

It's hardly possible for me to find any sign that this is a rendering. Maybe the scratches on the green curved parts at the same angle of around 45 degree are a tiny bit unlikely.

Great job!

The thing that makes my mind immediately think 'that's a render!' instead of 'that's a photo!' are the gold pieces at the top of the head. I'm not sure why, but when I glance over the images those parts somehow stand out to me as less realistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!

I could mention heaps of things that would make me say that this is a render but I am bias as I made it. I know everything that is not quite right :-p

Pearl material is a pain. The issue is that it cannot really be automated. This is not a uniform material and It is really dependent on part design. Thus it would need to be tweaked manually for every single type of part to increase realism. Here, the rendering setup has been made with the advanced add-on in a few clicks with pretty much no manual operations.

8 cores will be perfect. With Blender 2.79, a 4K render on 4 cores only takes an hour so with a good 8 cores CPU, you can do something nice in HD in 30min.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.