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Thanks, that's very helpful. I was kind of vaguely aware that you could do that but didn't realise it was so quick and easy.
It's worth noting that the object origin on your nice brick has to be the same as the object origin on the ldraw bricks for this to work. Otherwise, they wind up out of place after you link object data.
Yeah, I've been pretty careful to make sure the object origins between the LDraw bricks and my bricks match up. A few of them slipped through the cracks, though.
I had a few ulterior motives behind making this test, and I think in those regards it was a success. I'm pretty happy with the animation, too. It was also an excuse to make an animation with the improved modeling I've done (arms and hands). I do have plans to make a film with this guy eventually, but I've gotta do something about the render times. This one took 23 hours, not including a minor setback that required an additional 1-2 hours of rendering.
Unless you have more processing power, there's not a lot you can do (other than changing the render to a lower quality). If you know enough about computer hardware, and had the funds, you could build your own mini render farm.
Right now I'm rendering on a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5. My computer doesn't do GPU rendering, otherwise I could have cut down the render time by a possible 90%. The short-term plan is to get a computer that does support GPU rendering. I did just figure out that rendering a white background added a good 2-3 minutes to each frame, which won't do much for when I have a full set, but for tests like this that's very good to know.
Are you doing this in cycles? If so, use lamps instead of emission planes and, in the lamp properties, switch multiple importance sampling on. It massively reduces the noise on glossy surfaces and lets you render at much lower sample rates. I managed to do all my Matrix shots at 500 and below.
500 samples? I'm only using 50 here. I am using emission planes, but they've got multiple importance sampling turned on. Funnily enough, the only lamp I had in this shot didn't have MIS on.
I love the acting in this. Is it for the ElevenSecondsClub?
Yes, it was, but I didn't get it finished in time.
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