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View Full Version : 'must have' plug-ins for LW 9.6? Need advice from LW Masters!!



3dWannabe
12-09-2009, 08:20 AM
I'm trying to figure out which plug-ins to buy in this tax year, and I thought I'd ask the experts (as I'm certainly not).

Other than JimmyRig and RealFlow (which are not really plug-ins), I haven't purchased any yet.

I'm running Win7-64 on a dual quad core Xeon Nehalem, 24GB RAM, GTX 285 - if that affects my choices.

FPrime and HD Instance certainly seem interesting (loved the santa's helper video created with HD Instance).

I just saw some cool work on LW done using x-dof, but it seems like they've stopped development on it. They also have, what seems to me, a cool shadow plug-in. But, again, they seem to have done no work since maybe 2004 and 2002.

This is the 'cool' work I was talking about (apparently with LW, x-dof, Photoshop and JimmyRig)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9noxrPD6Vw

I just want to create magical things like that (but, I expect talent and skill are still back-ordered - drat!), and am looking for ways to do that while speeding up my workflow, increasing render qualty and lessening rendering time (contradictory desires).

Sensei
12-09-2009, 01:55 PM
I would not be myself, if I don't recommend EasySpline from TrueArt's Modeling Pack http://modelingpack.trueart.eu ;)

ps. I think so that Fprime, HD_Instance and X-Dof are mutually exclusive. For 99% you cannot mix any of them with other two..

Andrewstopheles
12-09-2009, 03:31 PM
a lot of plugs don't work in 64 bit so check b4 u buy

JonW
12-09-2009, 03:38 PM
LWCad, is a must have.

Onyx trees, not a plugin but very good.



You have a nice little computer with 24 gb ram, an SSD would be worthwhile if you don’t already have one.

Sensei
12-09-2009, 03:51 PM
a lot of plugs don't work in 64 bit so check b4 u buy

Using 64 bit Modeler doesn't make sense. You never run out of memory. Long time before reaching it, refreshing and editing is not possible..

With Layout, agree.

gordonrobb
12-09-2009, 04:24 PM
For uving try PLG UV Edit. Plus it's free.

3dWannabe
12-09-2009, 06:02 PM
Using 64 bit Modeler doesn't make sense. You never run out of memory. Long time before reaching it, refreshing and editing is not possible..

With Layout, agree.

I'm a day away from getting Win7-64 running on my new box. Are you saying I'll need to dual boot to 32 bit to run Modeler, or will I be ok?

geo_n
12-09-2009, 06:19 PM
I'm trying to figure out which plug-ins to buy in this tax year


I think you should buy only the plugins that you really must have given that core is a capable modeller and then some right now.
Remember you will not be able to use them anymore in core.
And because of that only lwcad is offering a free upgrade to core version so its a good buy right now. So your investment won't be obsolete.
Maybe invest in layout plugins since that might still be usable in lightwave hc version. hdinstance, kray.

RudySchneider
12-09-2009, 07:42 PM
...Are you saying I'll need to dual boot to 32 bit to run Modeler, or will I be ok?

Nope. You can run 32-bit apps on a 64-bit machine. I use 32-bit Modeler ('mainly 'cuz so many plugins are 32-bit only), and 64-bit Layout for memory-intensive scenes.

hrgiger
12-09-2009, 08:06 PM
LWCAD would be the only plug-in I'd consider at this point if you really want a plug-in. Not only is it the best modeling plug-in EVER for Lightwave, buying the most recent version will get you a free upgrade to the CORE version when it comes along. And the only reason I say that I wouldn't be buying a lot of plug-ins is mainly because CORE is going to be replacing classic Lightwave (eventually).

I would have said Fprime too but CORE is already going to have an interactive renderer built into it.

Dont' forget there are a lot of useful free plug-ins out there as well. If you do any UV work and painting textures for your UV maps, you'll want UVImaginator. This will export your UV map to whatever resolution you need to an image file.

I used a free lscript called thickener to add volume to polyganal objects but now that function is in LWCAD 3.5.

I don't own any, but you may want to take a look at Sensei's plug-ins.

And yeah, if you want to run plug-ins that are 32 bit and you have a 64 bit machine, you'll have to install both the 32 and 64 bit versions of Lightwave. You can run 32 bit apps in a 64 bit environment, but the 32 bit plug-ins will not work in the 64 bit app.

JonW
12-10-2009, 01:06 AM
You don’t need dual boot. But while you are at it put you OS on an SSD.

colkai
12-10-2009, 02:26 AM
Another shout to LWCAD (I see a pattern forming ;) ), could not live without it.
I also use Bevel++ but beyond that, most of the "essential" plugins I use are free, (normally from Pictrix :) ).

Cageman
12-10-2009, 03:14 AM
If you are heavy into rendering, or want to be able to wrangle things out QUICKLY, especially complex scenes that has to be broken up into several renderscenes, I would be a fool not to recommend Janus (http://janus.faulknermano.com/). I use it ALOT.

If you are a compositing junkie and want to be able to play around with renderbuffers in the compositing application, I would add exrTrader (http://www.db-w.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=81) to the mix. Janus has a built-in exrTrader interface and the two works extremely well together.

Regarding nodes and node-editors, I simply can't refuse to recommend everything done by Dpont (http://pagesperso-orange.fr/dpont/main_en.htm). Appart from his DPKit and NodeItemMotion, he has a great set of procedural textures found in Renderman collection as well as a set of Lights and a couple of cameras. It's all free of charge! :)

Another usefull tool is MentalFish motionbaker script (http://mentalfish.com/plugins/). Pretty much THE tool to use if you want to bake constrained items to keyframes (you need to do this if you work in a multiapp pipeline, or simply want to be safe when sending to a renderfarm).

A bunch of tools from Chris Peterson (http://www.chrisepeterson.com/lscripts.php) are really usefull, such as Clone Hiearchy Repeat, PointsToNulls and ReplaceSelected.

And, of course, one of my multiapp pipeline savers; PointOven! (http://www.ef9.com/ef9/PO.htm) Actually, PointOven generates vertex caches directly to disk, unlike LW where the scanning is done to memory and then dumped to disk. So, there is no real polylimit when using PointOven for generating a vertex cache. Also, PointOven generates vertex caches enmasse, so if you have a LW-scene with 100 objects that all needs to be baked to a vertex cache, PointOven will do them all in one go.

Hope that helps.

:)

3dworks
12-10-2009, 08:05 AM
1. i can only recommend fprime, as it is not only a great real time previewer (which makes especially lighting and surfacing setup a completely interactive experience) but also a great renderer - still fast even if you have hundreds of area lights and millions of polys to render...

2. especially if you are into rendering animations with top level GI, bust also if you need fast high quality stills, have a look into kray. it's an amazingly fast high quality render engine plugin which is not only fun to use but will pay for itself soon if you have to render time critical animations. as it is a complete render engine it will need a bit of attention - but the results are worth it! ...and the kray community is already known for its helpful support in all situations ;)

http://www.kraytracing.com

last tip: shadermeister - an ingenious way to shade your scene globally without the need to manually setup each surface again. a few clicks and you are rendering occlusion passes, id matte passes and whatever you need... extremely handy if you need more than the simple RGB + alpha output from your scene. you can even write your own node based global shaders for special needs and apply them with one mouse click. http://www.db-w.com/

cheers

markus

3dWannabe
12-10-2009, 08:46 AM
As fprime was suggested, I got a response on another forum commenting on it:

-----
Personally, fprime is no longer a vital 'must have' plugin. It used to be, because the rendering speed was great, and you could get stuff out pretty quick. But, these days, the Lightwave renderer is so much faster, and also allows you to use other plugins and shaders, which fprime simply cannot render or access.
Fprimes main use these days (and for which I think it was initially designed for) is checking textures live, and just making sure everything is looking right. Either that, or putting out a very quick render for test purposes.
----

It seems like there are things you must give up with fprime?

Or - is that user thinking of an older version of fprime?

I'd looked at the kraytracing site before, as I'd heard it mentioned. Do you have to give up certain features to use it?

thanks!

mike_stening
12-10-2009, 09:20 AM
2 questions (and this is based off what i am learning fromthe current job i am running)
i do alot of his res still shots, but they tend to be one offs at a time. now the current job is alot of shots and they are mostly large format, crunching this lot out in LW takes ALOT of time especially with DOF and MB passes and lots of detailed objects and large textures.

so which would be better? kray or janus?

Sensei
12-10-2009, 09:24 AM
so which would be better? kray or janus?

These are completely different kind of plug-ins.
Kray is 3rd party non-interactive renderer.
And Janus is script that's generating scenes with disabled/enabled objects/settings ("passes"), that you later have to regularly render in LW..

Kray should be compared with LW built-in renderer, Fprime, TrueHair Preview, Vray, Maxwell Render etc.

Janus should be compared with Surpass and PassPort..

3dworks
12-10-2009, 10:07 AM
As fprime was suggested, I got a response on another forum commenting on it:

-----
Personally, fprime is no longer a vital 'must have' plugin. It used to be, because the rendering speed was great, and you could get stuff out pretty quick. But, these days, the Lightwave renderer is so much faster, and also allows you to use other plugins and shaders, which fprime simply cannot render or access.
Fprimes main use these days (and for which I think it was initially designed for) is checking textures live, and just making sure everything is looking right. Either that, or putting out a very quick render for test purposes.
----

It seems like there are things you must give up with fprime?

Or - is that user thinking of an older version of fprime?

I'd looked at the kraytracing site before, as I'd heard it mentioned. Do you have to give up certain features to use it?

thanks!

fprime as a previewer is still out of competition. doing even fast test renderings is not the same thing as interactively building up lights or texturing a scene. there's however trueart's previewing engine which seems to do a similar job, just without the GI part.

about fprime as a render engine, it depends probably also on what kind of work you are doing. with very heavy scenes, fprime's polygon crunching speed is still unrivaled imo. LW's native engine is very slow when the GI scenes are massive, even if optimizing them as you can. fprime can deliver a very nice montecarlo GI - it's just missing very few things, like caustics and the rendering of external shaders (but it supports texture shaders). 95% of all nodes in 9.6 are supported anyway - just not those which need preprocessing or postprocessing.

same is true for kray - it has also some few SDK dictated limitations + a very few more - like light exclusion lists - just read about those on the company website. in any case, fprime is more 'LW' compliant, which means it will rather well 'mimic' native LW output, whereas kray is an engine which is focused on final rendering, not a previewer - which needs surfacing and light setup tweaks here and there to get the same look. on the other side it gives you way more options for GI scenes. for the way it works, you can compare it more to vray than to the native LW engine. however, it is supporting the same nodes and texture shaders like fprime.

in the end it all comes down on what your needs are. the LW engine offers natively an excellent image quality as well, and if used with some knowledge and not too massive scenes, also its GI is very fast...

mike_stening
12-10-2009, 12:14 PM
These are completely different kind of plug-ins.
Kray is 3rd party non-interactive renderer.
And Janus is script that's generating scenes with disabled/enabled objects/settings ("passes"), that you later have to regularly render in LW..

Kray should be compared with LW built-in renderer, Fprime, TrueHair Preview, Vray, Maxwell Render etc.

Janus should be compared with Surpass and PassPort..

ok maybe i didnt word it right.

basically im looking at possible options for speeding up rendering with global illumination, i love the LW render engine and what it produces but is there anything comparable but quicker (and where did they put the "just 3D it" button?)
i mentioned janus as i had the thought of splitting out things like DOF and MB passes so it renders just that and the other stuff is done in a seperate faster pass.

i wasnt comparing janus to kray as they are obviously very different in what they do just wether one would be a better option over the other for my situation.

Cageman
12-12-2009, 11:15 AM
ok maybe i didnt word it right.

basically im looking at possible options for speeding up rendering with global illumination, i love the LW render engine and what it produces but is there anything comparable but quicker (and where did they put the "just 3D it" button?)
i mentioned janus as i had the thought of splitting out things like DOF and MB passes so it renders just that and the other stuff is done in a seperate faster pass.

i wasnt comparing janus to kray as they are obviously very different in what they do just wether one would be a better option over the other for my situation.

Here (ftp://LightWave:[email protected]:21/Cageman_Janus_exrTrader_and_Fusion_Quick_and_Dirty/) is a quick and dirty tutorial where I break out a GI-render with Janus. No DOF or MBlur in that video though, but as you can see it is quite easy to break things out. The good thing with this is also the fact that if you have more than one computer, you can have all of them render different scenefiles.

:)

3dWannabe
12-21-2009, 06:13 PM
I'm pretty much sold on HD Instance.

With FPrime, I'm less certain.

If I understand, it is very useful during real-time modification of lighting, but there are many parts of LW - and other tools such as HD Instance and X-Dof - that won't work with FPrime.

Has that changed, or is that about to change, with new versions of FPrime or LW (9.6.1?)

And I'm still evaluating the other suggestions. Hard to try to anticipate what will be useful a few months from now when I'm hopefully making real progress with LW.

Sensei
12-21-2009, 06:38 PM
With FPrime, I'm less certain.

IMHO this or other real-time interactive renderer is absolute must have for anybody working in Layout. I am starting my interactive renderer first after lauching Layout everytime, and closing last. Not every scene needs instancing, but all needs setting up lights, cameras and textures.



Has that changed, or is that about to change, with new versions of FPrime or LW (9.6.1?)

IMHO that will never change.

3dWannabe
12-21-2009, 06:50 PM
Sensei - you make a convincing case for FPrime.

There may be only crumbs left in my stocking for Xmas if I buy it, as FPrime is not cheap!

GraphXs
12-24-2009, 01:45 PM
Sensei- Is your previewer out?

Captain Obvious
12-24-2009, 02:19 PM
Using 64 bit Modeler doesn't make sense. You never run out of memory. Long time before reaching it, refreshing and editing is not possible..

With Layout, agree.
Except if you do heavy image map-based texturing work, then you can run out of memory really quickly.

Mr Rid
12-24-2009, 07:05 PM
'must have' plug-ins for LW 9.6?
Maya 2010

Cageman
12-24-2009, 07:14 PM
Maya 2010

A good point!

It makes sense, since a majority of things done in the VFX industry relies on this application, one can never go wrong in knowing the basics about it. Even when you might end up doing all the work in LW, it is important to know how to move the data to/from this application.

:)

Captain Obvious
12-25-2009, 09:31 AM
If I understand, it is very useful during real-time modification of lighting, but there are many parts of LW - and other tools such as HD Instance and X-Dof - that won't work with FPrime.

Has that changed, or is that about to change, with new versions of FPrime or LW (9.6.1?)
It could, potentially. Apparently, HD-Instance works in Kray. I haven't tried it myself, but other users have reported it as working. If it works in Kray, it should be possible to get it working in FPrime or the TrueArt renderer.

Sensei
12-25-2009, 10:05 AM
Kray is not interactive. So user interface is locked and user can't change plug-in settings during rendering.

I have feeling that I have tried HD_Instance v1.x with TH and it worked, but was crashing during changing HD_Instance settings.
..or maybe it was with VirtualRender...

3dWannabe
12-25-2009, 04:04 PM
With HD Instance, if Animated Radiosity cannot be used (Happy Digital said he would run some tests on it), what is the 'best' Radiosity setting to use with an animated scene?

He said he used 'full radiosity' with 9.3 for the Santa's Workshop scene ( http://www.happy-digital.com/instance_videoClips.php?videoClips=2 ) and that 9.6 should be 'less flickery' even without using animated radiosity.

Out of curiosity - why doesn't NewTek provide a way for the top plug-ins to communicate so they can work together?

I'm sure Core is going to be great, but - I'd much rather pay more money [to NewTek] and get rapid fixes to LW 9.6 [like 3D Coat provides almost daily], than wait until Core - and all the 3rd parties that will need to integrate with it - to provide a solution.

Tomorrow doesn't exist. I'm interested in today.

Sensei
12-25-2009, 04:40 PM
Out of curiosity - why doesn't NewTek provide a way for the top plug-ins to communicate so they can work together?

There are several ways plug-ins can communicate, some existing since ever, like making global functions/variables plug-in class (whole LWSDK is one big structure of global plug-in classes). I have used it once while making Kray SDK, for special communication between TrueArt's VirtualRender and Kray.
In newer LW versions v9.x, there is communication ring messaging system.
But almost nobody use them (LightWolf and me, are probably the only one who used them ever) - two or more programmers would have to sit down and talk about it and implement communication layer. With so low number of LW plug-in copies sold chance that customers have both or more plug-ins on their system is low. So, it would be just waste of time.



I'm sure Core is going to be great, but - I'd much rather pay more money [to NewTek] and get rapid fixes to LW 9.6 [like 3D Coat provides almost daily], than wait until Core - and all the 3rd parties that will need to integrate with it - to provide a solution.

Solutions exist, but nobody use them, because it doesn't bring money. Free plug-in makers have even less pressure for using them..

If solutions would not be inside of LWSDK, really desperate plug-in makers could use operating system specific messaging systems. Every OS have tons of them (incompatible with other OS-es).

BTW, I don't see a reason to use 3rd party plug-ins communication in context of this discussion about cached GI file..

3dWannabe
12-25-2009, 06:58 PM
BTW, I don't see a reason to use 3rd party plug-ins communication in context of this discussion about cached GI file..

I may be misreading it, but I took the reason that HD Instance does't work with LW's 'animated radiosity' to be due to some kind of lack of communication between the plug-in and LW.

I 'think' I saw a note on the FPrime site, saying there were some things they couldn't do due to lack of communication (the way LW was built to handle plug-ins) that even affected how FPrime could talk to other Worley plug-ins. (Just bought FPrime, so I'm trying to get up to speed on all this)

And I sure wish FPrime would work with HD Instance (which I'm about to buy), but I don't fully understand why not.

I may be misreading the situation entirely though.

BTW - I'm trying to get my head around this - and while reading db&w's shaderMeister pdf, it mentioned these limitiations (listed below) - so there must be some limitation built into LW currently. I'm just trying to figure out how there affect my ability to work with several 3rd party plug-ins (I hate it when I don't know - what I don't know).

http://www.db-w.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=126

Incompatible with FPrime
Due to LightWave 3D SDK limitations FPrime can't render shaders. As these are crucial for shaderMeister, FPrime isn't able to render any modifications due to shaderMeister.

Incompatible with HDInstance
For the same reason as the FPrime incompatibility, shaderMeister won't be visible on items that are rendered by HDInstance.

Captain Obvious
12-25-2009, 07:09 PM
Kray is not interactive. So user interface is locked and user can't change plug-in settings during rendering.

I have feeling that I have tried HD_Instance v1.x with TH and it worked, but was crashing during changing HD_Instance settings.
..or maybe it was with VirtualRender...
Wouldn't it work if you locked and refreshed the renderer? All I meant was that the SDK connection is there, so it should at least be theoretically possible. The updating bit might prove tricky, though.

Sensei
12-25-2009, 07:28 PM
I may be misreading it, but I took the reason that HD Instance does't work with LW's 'animated radiosity' to be due to some kind of lack of communication between the plug-in and LW.

I don't have HD_Instance, so cannot check it by myself..
Except your previous message, I have never read that HD_Instance doesn't work with animated radiosity. At v9.3 times there was no such option in Lightwave (cache GI file was added in v9.6). So, maybe he used v9.3 in the animation you mentioned just because newer LW didn't exist?



I 'think' I saw a note on the FPrime site, saying there were some things they couldn't do due to lack of communication (the way LW was built to handle plug-ins) that even affected how FPrime could talk to other Worley plug-ins. (Just bought FPrime, so I'm trying to get up to speed on all this)

Yes, there is couple things never supported because they're not executable from 3rd party plug-ins: shaders, image-filters and pixel-filters. Shaders died after adding Node Editor in LW v9.0. Not to mention there was only two serious shaders: IFW package and infiniMap, both were converted to nodes as soon as v9.0 was released.
Image filters- I don't know any serious one.. Even if Fprime would work with them- it simply doesn't have any buffers that image-filter plug-in needs except RGBA! It would need additional coding to calculate these buffers and use much more memory and slower preview update..
Pixel-filters- there are two serious of this kind- Sasquatch and FiberFX, although some don't count second one as 'serious' ;)

As you can see you don't loose much without support for them..



And I sure wish FPrime would work with HD Instance (which I'm about to buy), but I don't fully understand why not.


When you will buy it, you can share with as whether it works or not..
With two so big enhancements, there is million things that might break working together. And differ depending on last number in version.

geo_n
12-25-2009, 07:31 PM
It could, potentially. Apparently, HD-Instance works in Kray. I haven't tried it myself, but other users have reported it as working. If it works in Kray, it should be possible to get it working in FPrime or the TrueArt renderer.

It doesn't work in kray. Kray can see the instances but it doesn't render correctly in kray. I think happy digital might be seeing kray as competition being that kray has the same instancing feature BUT without the coolest animation offset crowd faking massive alternative feature of hdi. So communications between the developers has stopped. According to jure they tried many times to ask for assistance from happy digital.

Sensei
12-25-2009, 07:36 PM
Wouldn't it work if you locked and refreshed the renderer? All I meant was that the SDK connection is there, so it should at least be theoretically possible. The updating bit might prove tricky, though.

Do you mean press pause in previewer, then do changes in some plug-in and press resume? In TrueHair Preview it would definitely work this way. In Fprime I don't know technical details whether it frees resources during paused stage or not.

I don't know about what SDK connection, you're talking about. Fprime is opening independent, operating system specific window, with OpenGL texture, and writes directly to texture memory from rendering threads..

TrueHair Preview opens fully LightWave friendly window using SDK (so the same code runs without changes in both Windows and MacOS X). In <LW v9.6 or v9.5 it uses operating system specific resources to delay between forcing update. In LW v9.6+ it uses newly added in that version timer.
Only Overlay mode is using serious hack, to force update of LightWave window viewport.

3dWannabe
12-25-2009, 07:40 PM
I don't have HD_Instance, so cannot check it by myself..
Except your previous message, I have never read that HD_Instance doesn't work with animated radiosity. At v9.3 times there was no such option in Lightwave (cache GI file was added in v9.6). So, maybe he used v9.3 in the animation you mentioned just because newer LW didn't exist?
.
I won't risk angering the 'powers that be' by quoting, but if you have the 9.6.1 beta look at LW961-ReadMe.txt and search for HD Instance. What it said there caught my attention.

I'm not yet enabled for the beta forum [the docs said it would take a few days], or I'd ask there, and I'm trying to figure all this out to make purchases before the end-of-year.

Sensei
12-25-2009, 07:44 PM
If I were you, trying to decrease taxes, I would suggest buying HD_Instance.. :)
Even if it won't have use in interiors, you will find it helpful in exteriors as grass, tree and vegetation cloner.

If you're seeking other ideas for plug-ins (TreeDesigner and Fire&Smoke Generator) check out this page
http://www.polas.net/
This is my friend from Poland, who migrated to Australia.
Hehe.. He mentioned me at front page.. ;) I had no idea about it..

Captain Obvious
12-25-2009, 08:04 PM
It doesn't work in kray. Kray can see the instances but it doesn't render correctly in kray.
Oh. Well, never mind then. :( I remember hearing someone saying that it worked, but I guess they were wrong or I misunderstood.



I don't know about what SDK connection, you're talking about.
Accessing volumetric plugins, like HD-Instance.

Sensei
12-25-2009, 08:25 PM
Oh. Well, never mind then. I remember hearing someone saying that it worked, but I guess they were wrong or I misunderstood.

I have feeling it was in HD_Instance v1.7-v1.8 times.. Check dates of this message, with when v2.0 was released, and Kray version/revision.. This way authors, if have backups, could compare and realize what was changed since then.


Accessing volumetric plugins, like HD-Instance.

There is just one LWVolumetricEvaluateFuncs global, one for all volumetrics. Caller even can't check what kind of volumetrics are there. They are not named in human readable characters, checkable for 3rd party plug-in, or human. TrueHair volumetric, called from Kray, or TrueHair Previewer worked fine (although long time initialization of hairs must be delayed to rendering threads, otherwise whole interactivity is killed; Kray this problem doesn't concern). If it doesn't work with HD_Instance, there is probably something uninitialized from Kray side (while making working Kray with VirtualRender, Grzegorz had real trouble understanding why to send screen coords to volumetric plug-in 2-3 years ago, and I lost patience convincing him that some plug-in can use it for kd-tree/octree type of optimization but in 2d screen coord space; at the end he didn't initialize them AFAIR; don't know how is now). I bet for 1 million bucks that after seeing HD_Instance source code, even without comparing with Kray source code initializing volumetric execution (have the same in TrueHair, so can disable some initializations to simulate effect), I would fix it in 10 minutes.. ;)

If you have HD_Instance and Kray, I can try to find bug. But you would have to make for me series of example screen-shots.

Sensei
12-25-2009, 08:52 PM
I have idea how to check whether Kray initialize Screen X/Y fields in volumetric access structure even without looking at source code- take TrueArt's Node Library (http://www.trueart.pl/?URIType=Directory&URI=Products/Plug-Ins/TrueArt%20Node%20Library) > Extended Spot Info > X, connect it to Standard Material Color input, and output connect to TrueInfinitePlane (http://www.trueart.pl/?URIType=Directory&URI=Products/Plug-Ins/TrueInfinitePlane). Rendered image should have black to white gradient from left to right. Tested with LW render, and TH.

3dWannabe
12-25-2009, 09:10 PM
Sensei - TrueInfinitePlane looks pretty useful. But, only in 32 bit?

Sensei
12-25-2009, 09:22 PM
Sensei - TrueInfinitePlane looks pretty useful.

Yes, it's very useful in test scenes when you need quick and nice looking ground that catches shadows (LW built-in Environment Gradient has always solid color).


But, only in 32 bit?

My machine which was used for compiling 64 bit plug-ins is broken.

Captain Obvious
12-26-2009, 04:21 AM
I have feeling it was in HD_Instance v1.7-v1.8 times.. Check dates of this message, with when v2.0 was released, and Kray version/revision.. This way authors, if have backups, could compare and realize what was changed since then.
It was in a Skype chat, and I don't have the logs saved anywhere. I'll check with the other testers, though — it'd be nice if HD-Instance worked in Kray, and I don't have a license for it so I can't check it myself.



I have idea how to check whether Kray initialize Screen X/Y fields in volumetric access structure even without looking at source code- take TrueArt's Node Library > Extended Spot Info > X, connect it to Standard Material Color input, and output connect to TrueInfinitePlane.
I'll have a look when I get back to my LW seat. :)


Btw, Sensei — how about compiling your stuff for 64-bit? I've been interested in a few of your plugins a while, but I don't run 32-bit software. Perhaps you could ask someone else in the LW plugin community to compile it in 64-bit for you? Michael Wolf, maybe? I think he compiles the 64-bit and Mac versions of Denis Pontonnier's plugins.

Lightwolf
12-26-2009, 10:44 AM
http://www.db-w.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=126

Incompatible with FPrime
Due to LightWave 3D SDK limitations FPrime can't render shaders. As these are crucial for shaderMeister, FPrime isn't able to render any modifications due to shaderMeister.

Incompatible with HDInstance
For the same reason as the FPrime incompatibility, shaderMeister won't be visible on items that are rendered by HDInstance.
I suppose I can shed some light into this.

Essentially, FPrime and HDInstance use the LW SDK in a way that it was never designed to be used (come to think of it, shaderMeister as well ;) ).
Now, shaderMeister needs to use shader type plugins (not to be confused with texture layers and nodes, which are plugins used for surfacing as well) for a number of technical reasons. It's pretty much the only way to hook into LWs shading pipeline in an automated fashion.

On the other had, shaders are one of the oldest types of plugins for LW, they're ancient. And they have never really been exposed within LW in such a way as to allow other plugins to actually evaluate them. And evaluate they must to be able to render their effects.

Having said that (as Sensei mentioned earlier), shaderMeister does have its own SDK for other third parties to hook into, and it's been sent out. However (again, as Sensei said) since the amount of customers that use a certain combination of plugins is relatively small, even if the "communication" exists it may not be worthwhile to implement (unless it's just seen as a challenge).

Three exceptions that I've been involved with:
BNR has native support for exrTrader.
Janus has native support for exrTrader (both developers got the specs for how the plugin settings are saved in a scene, and they are available for others).
PackageScene.ls from NewTek has (ComRing based!) hooks to allow third parties to also include their content when a scene is packaged (infiniMap takes advantage of that).

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
12-26-2009, 10:46 AM
Michael Wolf, maybe? I think he compiles the 64-bit and Mac versions of Denis Pontonnier's plugins.
Nope, I only do the Mac ports, Marvin Landis handles the x64 compiles.
Having said that, compiling is one thing (it doesn't even require a 64-bit machine) - testing another though. And testing (as some would rightfully argue) is an inherent part of a software development process.

Cheers,
Mike

Captain Obvious
12-26-2009, 11:38 AM
Nope, I only do the Mac ports, Marvin Landis handles the x64 compiles.
Having said that, compiling is one thing (it doesn't even require a 64-bit machine) - testing another though. And testing (as some would rightfully argue) is an inherent part of a software development process.
Should've checked first. :P

I'd happily help out testing more LW plugins. :)

3dWannabe
12-28-2009, 11:24 AM
Maya 2010
My head may explode, but Maya and the other tools in that suite would certainly be useful.

Is Toxik included in Maya 2010, or has it's feature set been absorbed into Maya? The Autodesk site seems to indicate that Toxik's features are now part of Maya?

I've got AE, but I noticed some very favorable comments on Toxik for use with compositing LW.

BTW - this video (created by krisavery using LW and JimmyRIG)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9noxrPD6Vw&feature=player_embedded

He apparently only used x-dof (in LW) and Alien Skin's exposure (in Photoshop CS4) to post process.

Is there a way to get the same warm 'look' inside of LW, or must I post process (in AE, CS4, Toxik - or something).

erikals
12-28-2009, 04:38 PM
i think it's too easy to say "Maya 2010" considering it has Tons of pitfalls.
it really depends on what you use it for.

but talking LW plugins, here are some you may want to consider,
(note that there are many good ones i haven't added)
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D495DCA5001810EB

fyffe
02-13-2010, 09:29 PM
I think happy digital might be seeing kray as competition being that kray has the same instancing feature BUT without the coolest animation offset crowd faking massive alternative feature of hdi. So communications between the developers has stopped.

Not so much that. KRay can read the HD Instance 1.8 settings and I was all for it. But with HD Instance 2 there's no way to get KRay to incorporate the new placement features without handing over most of the HD Instance code to KRay. Believe me I thought about how to do it, and it can't really be done without literally merging the two plugins.

erikals
02-14-2010, 02:35 AM
Fyffe, do you have any plans / considered porting HDi to Core?

*Pete*
02-15-2010, 02:01 AM
Fyffe, do you have any plans / considered porting HDi to Core?

i think it would be useless, even though HDI is a masterpiece among instancing....CORE already has its own instancing system built in.

erikals
02-15-2010, 03:18 AM
maybe you are right,

but the instancing in Core is fairly limited.
an idea would be to use Core's instancing and add features to it.
i'm especially thinking of animation offset and using weightmaps to control the placements.

and in the future maybe even more advanced features such as combining upper body presets with lower body presets.

and displacements, if possible.

sampei
02-15-2010, 07:52 AM
don't have time to read the whole thread but the plug-ins I can't live withouth are:
- DUNI slide
-frpime
-poly coloring
-edgebevel
-SP poly and move
and untangle and translate plus aren't really plugins but they're awesome and I use them all the time !
also the PLG ones for UV mapping are ace...there's more, many more :D