The objective of this project was to test various ways of approaching a scene with a high amount of repeated objects. Methods: Full individual geometry, Combined geometry, Instanced geometry and Low poly geometry with tex maps. I wanted to test not only the render speed but also what method is more efficient for a studio pipeline.
SPECS AND DETAILS
Maya 2016, RenderMan 20 and ZBrush (Brick insert brush).
Processor Core Intel i7-4790K 4GHz.
All the renders are done with no subdivision scheme and the same render settings.
The shader used for the bricks has procedural maps, there are no texture files taken into consideration for the file size of the first three methods.
We start from the basis that this object is seen from up close, so using just normal maps wont be enough to achieve the desired quality.
All methods used had almost identical visual results.
For scale simplification I considered all the highest values as 1 and calculated the relative percentage of the other values.
After testing these four different methods I came to the conclusion that the most efficient way to create this type of scene is using instanced objects. Not only the render was 30% faster than the fastest closest method, but the files are half the size, making it easier to handle through the pipeline.
There are different advantages to both the instancing and texture methods. In both cases you can reuse the separate models and the shader implemented in other opportunities. When comparing the method that uses textures with the others, we must also take into account the time that it takes to create the maps and prepare the scene for tex rendering instead of geo.