PDA

View Full Version : Animated radiosity options - plugins, applications and native LW



biliousfrog
11-23-2009, 12:33 PM
I've been working with another LW guy recently and we had a lot of 'fun' figuring out how to get radiosity working for some animated scenes. I've had some architectural jobs get held up so I've got a little breathing room to reconsider how I might approach them with regards the rendering.

The only thing that will be moving in the scenes is the camera, which makes things a bit easier, but Lightwave can still be a bit funky when it comes to rendering animations with radiosity. I'm weighing up whether to go a different route to make my life easier and potentially ramp up the quality in the process.

Option 1 is to stick with Lightwave. The project I mentioned at the start is just using straight background GI, no caching, interpolation or anything, it's the only way that we could prevent glitches in every scene and it's ok speedwise. The arch-viz jobs are going to have waaay more detail so I don't know whether it will work...actually, from my tests, I really doubt that it will.

Option 2 is FPrime, it's more predictable but pretty slow nowadays with decent GI compared to Lightwave. It also means that I couldn't use shaders (not much of a problem), vRoom is hit and miss and it's not as forgiving with certain ngons.

Option 3 is Kray. I haven't used it since the original demo which was eventually removed because of how unstable it was...so not good memories. I'm quite reluctant to buy something without testing it first and although the results look great I haven't read much about it's speed for animation work. There's also the issue of using it with vRoom, some say that it works but it isn't supported, worst case I can composite them afterwards.

Option 4 is Modo. The most expensive option but might be the most cost effective long-term. I've been very keen to switch over for years but this version is by far the most appealing as it does almost everything I need from a 3d application. The only thing missing is animation but Lightwave is plenty for me 99% of the time and the MDD integration is supposed to be very good. Obviously the renderer is key here, that's the #1 reason I'm looking about at the moment, so it needs to be good for animated GI.

Option 5?...any more ideas?

I'm just trying to weigh up the most cost effective options for animated GI from a Lightwave standpoint. Things to consider are obviously quality, speed and cost but also things like ease of use, learning curve, extra features and workflow such as using existing plugins, render node licences, support etc.

Any thoughts?

SplineGod
11-23-2009, 02:42 PM
If just the camera is moving why not just bake the radiosity on the whole scene for one frame or bake everything into textures?

Larry_g1s
11-23-2009, 03:03 PM
I've used Kray heavily for some arch. viz stuff as well as a character animation scene where I cached the GI. Both solid results. In the arch. viz stuff it was just the camera moving. I'll see if I can post some examples.

jameswillmott
11-23-2009, 03:12 PM
LW should handle just camera moves just fine. Just bake the cache first...

Hieron
11-23-2009, 03:54 PM
Just camera moving? No brainer: static cache it and go. Fast, easy, no issues. Why you would not cache it and not do interpolation is beyond me, it works very very well.


If you got stuff moving in the scene (people, cars etc) it will become slightly more complicated, but that's a general issue for renderers. There are surely some tricks to get around it. Just finished rendering a 500x 500 meter detailed scene with +- 5M poly's, 600 animated people and 20 moving cars. Used both static cache on it (you can get away with it surprisingly often :)) and a little GI trick for other shots.

Intuition
11-23-2009, 08:21 PM
Go with modo. Get the demo and set up your scene and do a GI cache. Its much more straightforward then any of your other options.

The main hangup I have with modo is the shader tree. Its not that I don't know how to use it. I do. Its just that it is modo's weakest ink right now. Still, that being said you can use a selection filter so the shader tree will only show the shaders on the currently selected object which reduces srolling.

The renderer is top notch though and comparable to Vray in both speed and quality. Actually a little faster then Vray in many cases due to the F-Prime nature of the preview viewport.

Kray is amazing also but I would pick modo just because you are getting the the great modeler AND renderer. Seriously. Pick up the 30 day demo and test it your self.

Seriously, ask anyone here who uses modo.

biliousfrog
11-24-2009, 02:22 AM
I've had problems with caching, which is why I'm considering other options. I'll admit that other projects have involved some other movement within the scene which would cause issues but I've found that the GI can be very unpredictable - it might work fine for the entire scene apart from a 5 second part in the middle which is flickering and glitching, unless you happen to test those frames in advance it can waste days of rendering. I've also had issues with network rendering with a cache where one computer would get glitches for some reason...they're things that can be worked around but I wanted to see if there's a better option before spending even more time 'firefighting' rather than getting to the root of the problem.

Larry_g1s
11-24-2009, 12:13 PM
Here is a character animation exercise I did rendered out in Kray with GI cached. So not only is camera moving but also a character. It's not the highest quality but decent.

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=952114#post952114

biliousfrog
11-24-2009, 01:18 PM
Here is a character animation exercise I did rendered out in Kray with GI cached. So not only is camera moving but also a character. It's not the highest quality but decent.

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=952114#post952114

That's really nice Larry and fun to watch.

I had a quick play with the new Modo but the render side of it has me stumped...I'm struggling to find any settings that I can tweak such as GI bounces, AA etc...I need to spend some time with the help system.

Larry_g1s
11-24-2009, 01:29 PM
That's really nice Larry and fun to watch.

I had a quick play with the new Modo but the render side of it has me stumped...I'm struggling to find any settings that I can tweak such as GI bounces, AA etc...I need to spend some time with the help system.Thanks biliousfrog, I appreciate that. :) Here is a link to some interior work with just the camera moving rendered in Kray: http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=952146#post952146

JonW
11-24-2009, 02:01 PM
If its only the camera moving in LW & nothing else is moving or changing then LW is not too bad. I usually use Baked Radiosity.

Using Screamernet I had a problem with LW just not been able to find the Cache file even though I was telling it where to look. Once this extremely painful issue was solved & LW could find the the Cache file when using SN it worked well.

http://newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98254

Baked Radiosity is the main reason I got the W5580 because unfortunately at present this has to be done on one computer. (The i7 & x55xx are so much quicker than the previous CPUs)

Don’t forget that you can add to the baked Cache file with as many different cameras & or resolutions to fix difficults area on a model.

Hieron
11-24-2009, 02:54 PM
Kray is something I'd gladly look into when time opens up coming month. Especially the time interpolated caching method, I suppose you used that for this animation Larry?

Did a very simple test, and blurred reflections seemed very quick too, is that common to Kray, to be able to do blurred refl and refr faster than LW?



Jonw: yeah, I'm considering a W5580 system for similar reasons.. Never had much issues with specifically the cache file though.. Since I moved the server to Linux, SN has been flawless... *looking for wood*

Intuition
11-24-2009, 09:47 PM
That's really nice Larry and fun to watch.

I had a quick play with the new Modo but the render side of it has me stumped...I'm struggling to find any settings that I can tweak such as GI bounces, AA etc...I need to spend some time with the help system.

Click on the "render" text at the top of the render tree to get the usual render options. Make sure you are looking at the properties tab in the lower right.

Also, click the final color output just below it to set color space.

biliousfrog
11-25-2009, 02:56 AM
Click on the "render" text at the top of the render tree to get the usual render options. Make sure you are looking at the properties tab in the lower right.

Also, click the final color output just below it to set color space.

Great, thanks...I thought I'd tried that but must have missed those tabs. :thumbsup:

Anti-Distinctly
11-30-2009, 06:40 AM
Option 2 is FPrime, it's more predictable but pretty slow nowadays with decent GI compared to Lightwave. It also means that I couldn't use shaders (not much of a problem), vRoom is hit and miss and it's not as forgiving with certain ngons.


There's an issue with FPrime as it uses a dynamic number of threads to render, so thus ignores some render settings that vRoom needs to set up some things before rendering. This had the more obvious effect of, as the render refined over time, all the lights would turn on.
I've been in communication with Steve Worley who was exceptionally helpful and this issue has now been fixed and will be released relatively soon.
Feel free to email me about ngon issues, as they shouldn't be a problem.


There's also the issue of using it with vRoom, some say that it works but it isn't supported, worst case I can composite them afterwards.


It's not officially supported simply because there may be unforeseen issues that I have no ability to fix, as it may be an unforeseen integration issue with a non-LW renderer. Having said that I've not had anyone complain of any issues with Kray so far, which is nice.


As for radiosity caching, I've had no luck with it. It just seems to lead to ever increasing render times.