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View Full Version : Annoying limitations in Lightwave!



jaxtone
07-27-2009, 03:36 PM
This is a thing that makes me go nuts on my favourite software. Anyone out there who can tell me why Lightwave cannot deal with a model like this?

New York city 3D top model with great textures:
http://www.3dworldclub.com/preview.aspx?ModelCode=15146

ingo
07-28-2009, 02:03 AM
Just curious why doesn't it work, to many high resolution texturemaps ?

3DGFXStudios
07-28-2009, 03:22 AM
Yea tell us why!? :)

jaxtone
07-28-2009, 03:36 AM
Yeah I guess so... the following message arrived this morning from the supplier!

- Please disable texture previews in viewport.

So I did and now it was possible to see the model and even render it out with textures and all.

However when imported the model is placed in a totally wrong plane when itīs imported and since the model is too large to handle with adding null rotators or even try to place in Lightwaves normal 3d-plane I wonder if you know how to import this model so it ends up in a correct angle. Otherwise itīs gonna be hard to animate traffic on this models weird plane...

P.S. I guess an alternative would be to create another 3D-plane but I would not prioritate this. There must be an easier way in the import session, anyone?


Just curious why doesn't it work, to many high resolution texturemaps ?

Lightwolf
07-28-2009, 04:12 AM
However when imported the model is placed in a totally wrong plane when itīs imported and since the model is too large to handle with adding null rotators or even try to place in Lightwaves normal 3d-plane I wonder if you know how to import this model so it ends up in a correct angle.?
Wow, how odd. What format did you get the model in? It looks more like a borked export than anything else really.

Cheers,
Mike

Edit: P.S., How many texture images are included with the scene?

ingo
07-28-2009, 05:25 AM
Wow, how odd. What format did you get the model in? It looks more like a borked export than anything else really.

Cheers,
Mike

Edit: P.S., How many texture images are included with the scene?

The website says 2550 textures.

Have you got the lwo file from them or a different format ? If its the lwo file i would suggest you contact them so they can change it so that future users will have no problem too.

Lightwolf
07-28-2009, 05:28 AM
The website says 2550 textures.

Ouch, at 1K each, that's 2550*3MB each (for RGB), roughly 7.4GB and another 50% of that if you use mip-maps. In my books that's 10GB - it's surprising if it makes LW sweat and makes OpenGL sweat either.

Cheers,
Mike

Phil
07-28-2009, 05:58 AM
infiniMap to the rescue :D

Lightwolf
07-28-2009, 06:11 AM
infiniMap to the rescue :D
8-bit palletised images could help as well, and resizing non-hero textures to half their size.

Well, that or infiniMap ;)

Cheers,
Mike

jaxtone
07-29-2009, 06:12 AM
I downloaded the models as LWO (Lightwave Objects) unclicked the boxes to avoid the pre-texture display in LW. I could now render some of the stuff but as you already know in the wrong XYZ-plane.

I asked the supplier a few things and did get an answer:

"Hello. Unfortunately we don't know Lighwave program well, but in 3dsmax there is 'Align to Plane' command available. Probably your program have this feature also. As we know Andrew Lock's city models is custom build using Andrew's own city generation program. Thanks."

I have soaked the internet trying to find out who this guy is. He have made what it seem to be one too many great models to be invisible, but he is actually really hard to find. I mean the right guy thatīve made these models and would be the one to know how to treat them right.

P.S. Phil and Lightwolf! I donīt get this:

"8-bit palletised images could help as well, and resizing non-hero textures to half their size. Well, that or infiniMap".

In which way and how would this be done? I thought that infiniMap just made seamless textures. If thinking of that the model contains a few hundred separate images connected to each texture map I donīt see that I will have enough lifetime in my bag to sort this out before I am gone forever, at least not in this body!

Lightwolf
07-29-2009, 06:25 AM
I thought that infiniMap just made seamless textures.
It looks like I need to update the product description ;)
No, it's got nothing to do with seamless textures. What it does is load textures (partially) on demand while rendering.
Only the image data needed for your final image is loaded (and uses RAM).

Looking at those 10GB of textures, with infiniMap you could probably render a 1080p frame using less than 0.5GB for the image textures.

Cheers,
Mike

Greenlaw
07-29-2009, 10:57 AM
In which way and how would this be done? I thought that infiniMap just made seamless textures. If thinking of that the model contains a few hundred separate images connected to each texture map I donīt see that I will have enough lifetime in my bag to sort this out before I am gone forever, at least not in this body!

We do large city scapes frequently, and we always convert our city textures using Photoshop's Index Color mode and saving as 8-bit png. LightWave is pretty forgiving with this and it will usually blur/aa the texture just enough to where it looks good in a render. Our city textures are also usually scaled down to what's appropriate (i.e., no bigger than necessary.) You should, of course, do your image scaling before doing the Index Color conversion.

And by all means, keep backups of your original image files as this is a destructive process!

To check the total image memory usage in your scene. Open the Image Editor and look at the top box--this will tell you your total RAM usage for images. We try to keep the memory for an entire scene to below 100MB if possible. (And if we're being efficient, we can usually do it.) This will not only make a scene renderable even on creaky old systems, it will preview faster and more reliably in FPrime and will render faster in ScreamerNet (because of faster load times.)

If the memory usage is too high, click on each image in the Image Editor and take note of its size and format. Most of the images should be 8-bit unless there's a good reason to use 24 or 32. For example, where you don't want to use 8-bit is anywhere where you need to render a broad range of values, like in the sky or a large smooth wall with few features--Index Color will very likely cause banding in these areas. When you find an image that should be a lower depth, replace it and resave the object that's using it.

Or, as others have mentioned, you can use Infini-map, which is probably the smarter way to go in these situations. (And which we probably SHOULD get here in the Box. I'll have to talk to my boss about it.) :)

Greenlaw

jaxtone
07-29-2009, 11:49 AM
Thanks a lot for this information... I really needed to be updated in this matter, and probably a lot more issues as well.

I will go to their website and see what the rate is or if there are any try before buy alternatives to see if infiniMap can do the job!

Thanks again!


It looks like I need to update the product description ;)
No, it's got nothing to do with seamless textures. What it does is load textures (partially) on demand while rendering.
Only the image data needed for your final image is loaded (and uses RAM).

Looking at those 10GB of textures, with infiniMap you could probably render a 1080p frame using less than 0.5GB for the image textures.

Cheers,
Mike

jaxtone
07-29-2009, 11:59 AM
Hi!

Thank you for you input. Glad to hear that you have loads of skills when it comes to city scapes, must say it sound both interesting and impressive.

The solution you suggest seems to be a great and instant alternative when the wallet is pretty empty which in fact is the truth after this summers vacations and stuff.

I will try this out in Photoshop first since it seems like the supplier makes a great plugin with a not so great price... at least at the moment and at least if you pay it yourself instead of your boss. :D

They announce a free of charge LE-version but I canīt find the download link and are not sure if this can do the job when trying out if infiniMap is the functional in my case. The LE-version that I find no download link to is limited to a shader and supports planar mapping only. It loads, saves and renders scenes and objects created with the registered version and can be used for network rendering as well.

I donīt know in which way itīs limitations are compatible or reduces options since I never tried the full version.

Anyone out there that believes that the LE-version will do the job temporary?

http://www.db-w.com/content/view/107


We do large city scapes frequently, and we always convert our city textures using Photoshop's Index Color mode and saving as 8-bit png. LightWave is pretty forgiving with this and it will usually blur/aa the texture just enough to where it looks good in a render. Our city textures are also usually scaled down to what's appropriate (i.e., no bigger than necessary.) You should, of course, do your image scaling before doing the Index Color conversion.

And by all means, keep backups of your original image files as this is destructive process!

To check the total image memory usage in your scene. Open the Image Editor and look at the top box--this will tell you your total RAM usage for images. We try to keep the memory for an entire scene to below 100MB if
possible. (And if we're being efficient, we can usually do it.) This will not only make a scene renderable even on creaky old systems, it will preview faster and more reliably in FPrime and will render faster in ScreamerNet (because of faster load times.)

If the memory usage is too high, click on each image in the Image Editor and take note of its size and format. Most of the images should be 8-bit unless there's a good reason to use 24 or 32. For example, where you don't want to use 8-bit is anywhere where you need to render a broad range of values, like in the sky or a large smooth wall with few features--Index Color will very likely cause banding in these areas. When you find an image that should be a lower depth, replace it and resave the object that's using it.

Or, as others have mentioned, you can use Infini-map, which is probably the smarter way to go in these situations. (And which we probably SHOULD get here in the Box. I'll have to talk to my boss about it.) :)

Greenlaw

Phil
07-29-2009, 01:11 PM
I will try this out in Photoshop first since it seems like the supplier makes a great plugin with a not so great price... at least at the moment and at least if you pay it yourself instead of your boss. :D

Back when RAM was expensive, infiniMap's price was pretty decent. It's a more challenging prospect now for general use, given that RAM is virtually free, BUT if you are dealing with as many textures as you are, and cannot compromise on the pixel depth, it's a no-brainer.


They announce a free of charge LE-version but I canīt find the download link and are not sure if this can do the job when trying out if infiniMap is the functional in my case. The LE-version that I find no download link to is limited to a shader and supports planar mapping only. It loads, saves and renders scenes and objects created with the registered version and can be used for network rendering as well.

It's not front-and-center, but if you click on the '3 editions' link on infinimap.com, you'll get this page :

http://www.db-w.com/content/view/110

Click on 'Get infiniMap LE' and away you go. You'll need to register to download.


I donīt know in which way itīs limitations are compatible or reduces options since I never tried the full version.

infiniMap full comes with implementations as a shader, as a procedural texture and also with nodal systems. The shader is limited because you cannot use it with FPrime, and the procedural textures are not able to support UV mapping (unlike the shader and nodal systems) due to LW limitations. The limitations are clearly stated in the table on the page mentioned above.


Anyone out there that believes that the LE-version will do the job temporary?

If the object is using planar mapping, you should be good to go. You'll have a job converting so many images because the batch convertor is only available in the non-free versions. Converting each of 2500 images is going to take you a while.

jaxtone
07-29-2009, 01:56 PM
I checked up the NY-modelīs attached images by rightclick and chose properties. The first image had a file size of 5.24 kB and a bit depth of 24.

I also tried to upload all the 406 images that is 28 MB on the hard disk into Lightwave! When doing this in one session Lightwave screams STOP and say that all image files that exceeds an average size of 100 MB are corrupted.

Then I imported them in a row of 20 at a time, switched off MipMap and suddenly Lightwave accepted all images and when I later imported the NY-city model it all made sense. Except for one little thing! The model is still imported on a totally messed up construction plane.

I now wonder if thereīs any easy solution to either make the model adapt to the cameras construction plane, or if it in Lightwave is possible to make the camera accept the models construction plane?

This would make it much easier when adding items such as animated cars or humans into the cityscape.

Lightwolf
07-29-2009, 05:14 PM
I will go to their website and see what the rate is or if there are any try before buy alternatives to see if infiniMap can do the job!

Well, you can always PM me or mail me: michael(dot)wolf(at)db-w(dot)com - as I programmed it :D

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
07-29-2009, 05:19 PM
I checked up the NY-modelīs attached images by rightclick and chose properties. The first image had a file size of 5.24 kB and a bit depth of 24.
The file size on disk doesn't help you a bit, as the images are probably compressed. Once loaded they will use more memory in LW.
Just load a single image into LW and check the image panel to see how much it takes.
http://www.lightwiki.com/Optimised_image_use


Except for one little thing! The model is still imported on a totally messed up construction plane.
That sounds like it'll be a mess to solve. Can you show a screen shot of a single object as a wireframe in quad view in Layout?

Cheers,
Mike

jaxtone
07-30-2009, 11:41 AM
I have emailed you some information!

J