Cody's Nothing But Net Field Renders

Cody’s 2015-16 Nothing But Net Field Renders

8K Full UHD (7680x4320) | 4K UHD (3840x2160) | Quad HD (2560x1440) | Full HD (1920x1080)

600 DPI (6600x6600) | 300 DPI (3300x3300)

600 DPI (6600x6600) | 300 DPI (3300x3300)

Created using Autodesk 3ds Max 2015, A&D materials and the nVidia iRay renderer

Rendered on an nVidia GeForce GTX 760

Click here for a directory of all sizes and renders


So, I actually considered not doing this again. I have a lot of other things going on but it was there, and getting to flex my 3D skills was just too exciting to pass up. I wanted to do even more, particularly I wanted to model a stadium and fill it with Vex stuff but without compensation, this is where I decided to draw the line. This is a fun thing I do because I like doing it and that kind of allowed me to keep it simple, which has lead to a kind of pristine kind of look once again.

And I really like it! It’s bold, no nonsense and super just there right? Like you can’t ignore it kind of there. A little less dreamy than last time, but more grounded I think.

Technical Challenges

As soon as I saw the new game, I knew those nets were going to be difficult to render correctly… and they were. Texturing them was easy, but what was really hard was getting them to feel like cloth. Not only did I have to gut the CAD geometry and literally tear it to pieces (cloth works on broken up meshes), but 3ds’s cloth modifier is touchy. I think I crashed max like 15 times over the couple of hours it took to get just the cloth stuff working correctly. To make matters worse, the sides had to be pinned, and create drag on the cloth as well as the diagonal pole which had to be added to the simulation as a rigid body so the cloth would collide with it. Which of course refused to work the first like 50 times, but eventually I got it all figured out, the effect was quite nice. If you look closely you’ll see that the nets aren’t flat, they sag inwards and drape over the pole a bit, adding a nice curvature to the nets.

The red carpet was interesting too. I noticed the giant red carpet while watching the worlds feed and found that it had a victory lane kind of feel to it. I liked it and decided our field model deserved the same treatment. It turned out to be impossibly small and probably barely noticeable but I busted the cloth and fur modifier and simulated a couple billion little fibers on the carpet but I honestly think I made them too small and they get hidden by the bump mapping and color variation I added to try and better sell the carpet look. Oh well for a first attempt it turned out pretty nice.

Lighting was interesting, there are ten lights in the scene, four underneath the field, three primary lights above (center, left and right), a red and blue light illuminating the starting tiles and a skylight for the environment lighting which includes my super custom lightmap which I’ve been using for a while now. This is actually less lights than I usually use, but I used them smarter this time, and I really like the results. Not sure if less lights made any difference in render time, but it kept things simple while still getting the result I wanted.

The logo, was harder to do than you might think. It’s actually kind of difficult to decal things in max. But I wanted to brand the field, because the real fields have at least some kind of writing on them. I decided to keep it clean and simple, and it turned out nice I think.

Rendering in 8K for the first time was interesting. So was seeing max use over 16GB of RAM for the first time ever. But iRay managed to do it in a reasonable-ish amount of time, so cool. For those of you that don’t know, this is 4x as many pixels as last years render, and also 4x as many pixels as the movie Avengers was displayed at in the movie theater I watched it at this last week (OK OK cinema 4K is a little different, but approximately that much and yes I know IMAX is 6K (didn’t see it in IMAX), you get the idea, much big picture, many pixels).


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Commercial use is granted provided the terms in said license are followed. And I don’t know about you but I think this would make a mighty fine banner for the game page.

Closing Thoughts

I hope these renders are useful to the community, in total this is probably about two days of work on my part. As always feedback / questions / comments / posts in general are welcomed, they make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Enjoy. -Cody

A small list of fixes / nit picks has already started. Items marked with FIXED have been corrected in my scene file, but will still need to be re-rendered.

CHANGED - Red lights made a little brighter to match blue (we perceive brightness of different colors differently so I had to eyeball this)
CHANGED - Carpet made darker
CHANGED - Tweaked exposure controls a bit
FIXED - Nets aren’t attached at the back
FIXED - Goal post material overly reflective
FIXED - Strange splotch (caused by the invisible mesh that the Vex logo is on intersecting the field skirt)
FIXED - Orange balls logo looks a tad bit too big
FIXED - Green balls don’t get the black circle (my bad, simple material fix)
FIXED - Overly reflective driver tape that looks inhumanly perfect :rolleyes:
FIXED - Tape is too thick (CAD was wrong, 1.5" lines regulation is 3/4")
WILL ADDRESS - Field surface looks a little funny (this is somewhere between the BRDF curve and the HDR settings)
GOING TO ASSUME THEY DON’T - Clusters of balls may or may not have an alignment in the middle (waiting on a Q&A I’m told)

I’m going to render the top downs first, then re-render the master with these changes.

ETA on both top downs, 1 day, ETA on the re-render of the master 1 additional day.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me ANYTHING you can in terms of constructive criticism for the master sometime today.


this is awesome, it’s hard to tell that they aren’t real images of an actual field, still a few places you can but it’s still really cool

Thanks! Honestly the re-render will be better. I didn’t realize how many little things were off here. It’s probably because I’ve been sick this last few days and I’ve been trying to rush this a little more than usual.

I am awestruck by your ability to do this. At what age can kids start learning to do this? None of my kids can even type yet. Amazing stuff you do! :slight_smile:

Great job on the renders, they look like real life. I remember a few years ago there was a discussion on doing a vex render farm using BackBurner. I would be willing do donate CPU time if it would help with your renders.

Wow that looks pretty much photorealistic. The only comment I have is that in my opinion the red carpet looks a little flat color wise (the shadows don’t show up too well, like you have the awesome worn down texture of the field tiles then the perfectly red carpet). Other than that it’s amazing.

Thanks, again for complicated reasons the re-render is going to be better, so yeah more to come.

I “acquired” my first copy of max my freshman year of HS. The educational community didn’t exist back then, or if it did I didn’t know about it.

I’ve taught middle school students basic modeling and animation. The concepts aren’t that hard. What I do mostly is modeling, materials and lighting.

My spacial reasoning IQ is straight 150, which I absolutely attribute to being legally blind. By having to work harder to process the world to get usable data from it, I believe my brain grew gobs of extra stuff in and around processing all things visual. I’m lucky to have near perfect color perception too and to be such a detail oriented person.

Thanks! I do mostly GPU rendering now, but it’s actually hybrid in that it can use both CPU/GPU. If I was going to render an actual animation, this would be necessary, but I only intend to render a few large frames, which should wrap up in the next 48 hours or so.

Actual animation is very tedious and honestly not really my specialty. It’s slow and painful and very involved. They’d have to pay me a lot of money to animate at this quality, just for the time, let alone what it would take to actually render it even at 1080p.

And I don’t intend to render anything beyond 8K in the foreseeable future. This is wayyy overkill.

Yeah the carpet is bleh. It does pop, but I couldn’t get hair and fur working well. I may have another go at it tomorrow or I might leave it as it is, or try something else. Haven’t decided yet.

The first top down is @ 20% and is looking good. To create the top down without the objects I only re-render the areas where the objects are, which in this case is really small so the second top down will be much faster.

After that I’ll tackle the master again with the changes I’ve made plus some additional tweaking. This is a game of iteration. What we have now is close, but it’s not quite there. I probably shouldn’t have released it in it’s current state. Oh well, it’s a conversation at this point.

This is what the field looks like to me…

The reason I didn’t catch the intersecting meshes between the skirt of the field and the logo bit is because both of those meshes are actually converted into high detail, more smoothed meshes at render time. This keeps my viewport much less bogged down.

You can also see some of what I had to do to the nets to get that look. The nets are also smoothed additionally at render time.

New is the tape on the floor. SOMEONE called the tape the only unrealistic thing in the scene, so obviously I had to fix it. Now it looks all crappy like a human actually laid it down strip by strip. And yes it’s dramatically less reflective.

And here’s a further out view exposing the camera and lights…

As I mentioned there are only 10 lights in the scene and four are buried underneath the field.

The scene is rather simple, the scene for Round Up was much more involved overall. But hey, sometimes simple looks good.

When you are fixing the field tape, you may also want to look at the driver station tape.

First TD is up. See main post.

I would like to say that this is quite amazing and mind blowing!! The detail and the realistic lighting is just absolutely amazing!!! My only suggestion is to either get rid of the red carpet or tone it down a bit. It does make the image pop, but it is too overpowering. Otherwise, it is amazing. You should be very proud of yourself!:slight_smile: (Sorry if I was too late to tell you this before you re-rendered.)

Thanks! Seriously, this isn’t easy. I do it for you guys, I have nothing more to prove here.

It’s not. I’ll make a darker carpet and probably a non carpeted version.

Both top downs are up, the first had to be rerendered because the freaking camera got bumped (3D mouse woes).

Both are perfect as far as I can tell, I’ll address the master soon. Going to play KSP and get over this cold for now then I’ll come back fresh.

Thanks Cody. We all appreciate what you are doing!!:):slight_smile:

I hope you get over your cold soon.

OK re-renders are all complete. All issues addressed, as well as a few not mentioned here.

I’ve given these a once over and I’m quite satisfied with the result.

Pending any large oversight, these are our finals. Be sure to force reload the main post to get the images to refresh.

WARNING - Very large files (> 200MB)
The raw EXR files that came right off the press can be found here.

The rest of this thread will be for Q&A regarding the renders or to request additional details, views or feedback for future renders.

Enjoy. -Cody

I’ve also decided to disclose under the same license basically all the textures used in this render.

I didn’t include the actual Vex game logo image I used because I kind of did that a strange way that would be difficult to reproduce properly (used a very basic color map plus a cutout), but everything else is pretty much there including my special light map that I’ve been using for this project.

There are surprisingly few textures. I can make most things work with color and noise inside max.

I thought about disclosing the scene file, but I still think it would do harm to the online animation challenge so I’ve decided not to once again. Sorry. I might be willing to elaborate on the details on some of the materials created in this scene if someone specifically asks about them.

Now Jool and Ike are expecting company, but first I have to figure out how the new resource system in KSP works…

Is it possible you could share the model for the net brackets? Ive already broken a few and supplies are limited. So i was hoping i could print them.

Vex provides that model, you can find a model of the entire field here.

For some reason, the links to the larger resolutions do not seem to be working. If I am not the only one having this problem, is there a chance those could get re-uploaded to somewhere?

Ya the issue is with the link not the location.
example link

remove the %22 and add : after http, or just delete everything before polynomic

The full corrected link is

Both the %22 seem to be formatting from the old forum and can be deleted.

Awesome! Thanks!