Chapter 5 | View & Render Options


Virtual CRASH 3 has the ability to create visually stunning HD animations and images. The user has the option to create both still drawing and animations with the same render options, with or without raytracing effects. Raytracing can add an incredible level of realism to one’s visual aids; however, the render times will directly depend upon the user’s hardware specifications, as well as the render options selected within Virtual CRASH.

Virtual CRASH also allows one to visualize the interactive workspace environment using a number different drawing options. Let’s first explore these options.

Note, Virtual CRASH 4 includes the ability to create virtual reality, 360 degree, and 4K ultra-high-definition videos. See Chapter 20 to learn more.

Setup a Collison Simulation

First, let’s setup a simple collision simulation. Start by left clicking on “vehicles” to access the vehicle database.

Click on the “+” sign next to “car” in the left control panel to expand the car selection list. Use the thin scroll bar to scroll down the list of cars, or use your mouse’s scroll wheel.

Press the “+” symbol next to the make of vehicle you wish to use. Left click on the vehicle model you would like to select. Hold the left mouse button as you drag the mouse cursor into the workspace and release the left button to place the vehicle into the scene.

Place a second vehicle into the scene using the same procedure. You can modify the vehicle color, orientation, position, and speed by using the quick command dialogue box. You can access this by left clicking on your vehicle within the scene, and then pressing the right mouse button. Use the keyboard or slider to adjust the vehicles’ pre-impact speeds. Ensure your mouse cursor type is on “Select, Move And Manipulate” and position and orient your vehicles as needed for your simulation.

Adjust Workspace Drawing Option

Using the lower tool bar, you can choose from a number of different drawing options to visualize your scene as you work. For the “Contours” option, left click on the lower toolbar draw options icon, and move your mouse cursor up to “Contours” and left click.

Next, try the Wireframe view by following the same procedure, and left clicking on “Wireframe”.

Next, try to switch to the “Hidden Lines” draw style.

Next, try the “Flat” draw style.

Next, try the “Smooth” draw style.

Next, try the “Texture” draw style.

Finally, try the “Smooth + Texture” draw style.

Rendering a Single-Frame Diagram

You can select a specific frame to render from your simulation by using the time slider on the lower right side of the bottom toolbar.

By rendering your diagram, you allow Virtual CRASH to enable ray tracing effects; this enables more realistic appearing shadowing and reflections. The user must select the level of detail desired in the final output. To do this, left click the render options icon on the bottom toolbar, then left click on the desired Supersamples options.

Choosing a larger Supersamples value will result in a more clear and detailed output, but will take longer to render the scene. Finally, to render the scene, left click on “Render – Direct Light” or “Render – Skylight”. Choosing the “Render – Direct Light” option will use a simulated single light source in the scene, which will cause shadows to be cast in a single direction, where as “Render – Skylight” will use a diffuse light source”. Once you left click on “Render – Direct Light” or “Render – Skylight”, Virtual CRASH will begin rendering the scene within your environment editor window. 

In our current example scene, selecting “Supersamples 1x” and “Render – Direct Light” will yield:

Selecting “Supersamples 5x” and “Render – Direct Light” will yield:

Selecting “Supersamples 16x” and “Render – Direct Light” will yield:

Selecting “Supersamples 32x” and “Render – Direct Light” will yield:

Selecting “Supersamples 64x” and “Render – Direct Light” will yield:

Selecting “Supersamples 1x” and “Render – Skylight” will yield:

Selecting “Supersamples 5x” and “Render – Skylight” will yield:

Selecting “Supersamples 16x” and “Render – Skylight” will yield:

Selecting “Supersamples 32x” and “Render – Skylight” will yield:

Selecting “Supersamples 64x” and “Render – Skylight” will yield:

Rendering an Animation

Let’s now move on to rendering animations. You can watch an interactive tutorial on creating animations by left clicking on “help” at the bottom of the left control panel, then left clicking on “desktop”, and left clicking on “create animation.”

Let’s now go through the step by step process of creating an animation. First, press the “edit” button on the left side control panel.

Next, left click “animation” in the left side control panel (Figure 46); this will reveal your animations options.

You can select from a number of different animation output sizes. The values show the number of pixels in width and the number of pixels in height used in the final avi file. To access this option, left click on “size” and left click on your preference from the resulting dropdown menu.

By left clicking on “speed” you can select from a number of playback speed options.

This allows you to create videos that playback in slow motion. Generally, the slower the selected playback speed, the longer Virtual CRASH will take to create your final avi file. This is because slower playback speeds require larger numbers of frames to be rendered. 

Left clicking on “render method”, you have the option of creating animations using the current draw style you selected for your environment editor without the benefit of ray tracing.

This allows you to rapidly create animation files that can serve as previews. Simply left click on “current” to animate using your current draw type. To select high quality animation outputs, with ray tracing, left click on either “direct light” or “skylight”. These render types are discussed above in the context of rendering single frames. 

You can also select the level of detailed desired by selecting one of the “supersamples” options. Different supersamples options are discussed above in the context of single frame rendering. 

Left clicking on “codec” gives you five codec options for your animation.

After you have selection your animation options, simply press “create” to start the creation process.


Ground Reflections

You have the option to turn off ground reflections for the “Render –Direct Light” and “Render – Skylight” options. Simply left click on the render icon on the lower toolbar, then left click on the “Ground Reflectance” icon to deselect this feature.

Tags: How to create animation, creating animation, rendering, render, how to turn on reflections, how to turn off reflections, direct light, skylight, supersample, supersamples, ray tracing, draft.

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