Bloom Unit and my experiences with photo-realistic rendering

Previously I was a 3D game artist working in game engines like the Unreal Engine, and using traditional modellers like Maya. I eventually started work at migenius’ Melbourne office, who are a company that focuses on highly accurate, photo-realistic cloud based rendering systems.

When I came to migenius I was asked to learn about their products and use them, as well as try out and learn other rendering packages which are available and gain an understanding of them.

The packages that I have started off using are Bloom Unit a migenius product, Lumion and Vray, but I am hoping to expand my knowledge in all of these rendering packages and others as time goes on.

I’m using this thread to share some of the experiences i’ve had using the different packages. It’s all based off of my experiences and if you believe differently to them, it would be great for me to hear your thoughts.

When I first came to the migenius team, I was a 3D artist who had been working in the video game industry. And there were concepts in 3D realistic rendering that I didn’t even know about. A few weeks after starting I was given the task of building and lighting a small scene, which was a bedroom scene.

So I used Lumion to light it initially as it had spot lights and all the other assortment of lights that you’d normally find within game engines (I had a reversed normal in the wardrobe roof). I was then asked if I could also try doing the lighting using the migenius product Bloom Unit.

To be honest, even as a 3D artist I was super surprised at the results I got out of both of the packages with 0 experience in either.

But their workflow was completely different, with lumion feeling more like a game engine and having to use multiple different light sources to make up for missing light. But then I got into Bloom Unit and to be honest I was amazed, I had spent like 2 hours in Lumion until I was happy, but with Bloom Unit I was done in around 30 minutes, once I had placed my lights I didn’t really need to edit anything else.

I was also still quite shocked as to the difference in quality of the lighting between the two products. I’m sure Lumion has improved a lot over the new releases over 7.5, i’m just showing my own experiences.

Yes that Lumion 7.5 render is pretty rough, compared to current capabilities.

I am planning to upgrade my rendering tools next quarter, currently using a basic tool - Raylectron, which has a very simple interface and process.

I previously reviewed BU (goes nicely with SU) over a year ago - is the interface and process any different now?
I am wondering about cloud services again as rendering really bogs down my system.

Sorry for the late reply, Australian time zones are so far apart from most of the world.

I haven’t actually gotten to use Raylectron yet myself, what was it that made you decide to upgrade your tools? I’m just wondering as I plan to learn most of the rendering packages available and would love to know some of the strengths and weaknesses before jumping in.

As to your question into in regards to Bloom Unit, there have been quite a few significant changes to the software over the last year, mainly with the release of the Bloom Unit 2 update.

The User Interface has changed a little bit due to the addition of new features and the reduction of some small features that were taken out of the software, but the overall design of the UI has remained in mostly the same layout.

As for the process of using Bloom Unit, nearly every aspect of the software has massively increased in speed due to additons of functions like the AI Denoiser and others.

I myself, was able to pretty much just pick up the software, and after having my SketchUp scene completed, I simply just went about applying materials and adding lights, just going for what I thought looked nice. The rendering system took care of everything else.

There are definitely more in depth parts of Bloom Unit that I wasn’t using when I made this scene, but I am still happy with the results I was able to achieve.

If you want to know about more of the specific changes that might affect you more specifically, i’m happy to help, I just tried to keep this as more of an overview.

Here are 2 short videos about the additions within Bloom Unit 2, If you want to give them a look they will definitely show you some of the new stuff that’s in Bloom Unit.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V20TPX7-GN0) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZD4bpmqcX8)

After using Bloom Unit for a little while, I was actually so glad that Bloom Units render view was in almost real-time, I’ve always been used to real-time as I was using game engines like unreal when I was an artist.

SketchUp’s scene editor gave me just a general understanding of what the base colours would be, but as an artist, it wasn’t enough for me. I like the gorgeous render views, and although there is a short upload time for your scene to enter the view, once it’s in you’re able to render in extremely close to real-time.

Being able to change my camera view and see my fully rendered scene in high quality within a few seconds was amazing for me as an artist, I was able to tweak and edit as much as I wanted without needing to worry.

When I was being shown the basics of Bloom Unit, all the features were super simple to pick up and use as well as the UI being easy to navigate and understand.

There were a few different concepts that I didn’t know about like IES lighting files and caustic sampling, but after a bit of explanation and research they weren’t hard to grasp, and then I got stuck in to using Bloom Unit.

The material system was easy to use with its 2 click process of selecting your texture and then just selecting the surface which you want the material on. I found the lighting even easier to use when I first started using it, as I mainly used the luminaire library within Bloom Unit. Although these are set to manufacturer settings and can’t really be edited at all.

So from never using Bloom Unit before, I ended up being able to add materials to it and light it within what I thought would take a few hours but I was able to get through those steps in less than an hour.