View Full Version : How important is FPrime to your average user?

02-26-2010, 03:03 PM
I am starting to use Lightwave alot more now, both for work and non work projects and finally have some dough to get some plugins. I have just bought HD Instance and am very happy with it so far, the next one I'm interested in is FPrime.

I am just wondering how much FPrime improves your workflow, why that is and given I am still a 'beginner to intermediate' user, is it still an essential buy for me?

Thanks for any advice. :)

02-26-2010, 03:14 PM
Honestly, fprime is an essential for some usage. All? Nope. For example, HDInstance won't work with fprime. Or visa versa.
Every future program will an FPrime like thing; why shouldn't you have the original.

02-26-2010, 03:16 PM
Thanks for the reply. Could you tell me a little more about how you use it and why it's so useful?

02-26-2010, 03:23 PM
Fprime is a interactive renderer allowing you to see changes as they're made as opposed to making an adjustment and then having to do a test render. Change something and your fprime render updates. I find it invaluable for lighting and setting the mood of a scene.
It is also great for final renders provided you don't need any of the features that Fprime does not support (such as the HD instance example above). Fprime allows you to stop and start a render. It also allows you to create a low rez sequence of frames fairly quickly (in the event maybe a boss or client wants a preview), and then you can use those same frames to further refine to a higher quality later.

In my opinion, Fprime has saved Lightwave for a good number of people. It was truly revolutionary when it was released. Now most other software applications have IPR's (interactive preview renderers) available either included or third party. This list will now include Lightwave CORE which has its own IPR (VPR).

02-26-2010, 03:27 PM
Lighting, texture development, quicker for rendering some things than the default renderer.
A quick different look because of the rendering differences betwixt the two engines.
THE BEST for non-radiosity images with LOTS of lights!

Because the built-in renderer is so quick now, it's quicker when doing radiosity checks. A good and acceptable, speed-wise, fprime render can be a much more acceptable render as it tends to be much cleaner. Splotch-less, as it were.

Materials render different. Period. Take advantage of this or not.

Hypervoxels have become much more fun being able to see them live. But viper has fprime beat in speed of preview of hypervoxels, I believe. Gonna go play to see.

02-26-2010, 03:36 PM
FPrime was essential for me for setting up lighting and surfaces, speeded up my workflow no end.

But since LW9.6 came out, I started using it less because the native renderer was much faster than it used to be.

But now I've switched to a Gamma Corrected Linear Workflow, I can't use FPrime at all, because it has no Gamma controls, and Worley don't plan to add that one function.

Shame, because it means without it, it's the end of the road for FPrime and me.

Mr Rid
02-26-2010, 03:57 PM
I very rarely use Fprime since I find it consistently crashes LW about every four minutes. FP does not work with instancing and wont auto update with HVs that I often use. It often renders stuff differently than what it will look like in LW, and regularly it renders some surfaces outright bizarrely. Once it kept insisting on rendering an object in a different position than where it actually was that I could not figure out. Being able to quickly and easily compare several before and after frames is very important for me, and I still use QV for that. Everytime I turn it on I have a problem with it. I am use to working in an optimized way, dealing with one aspect at a time, using only essential settings and limited region so my test F9's are very fast, so I dont miss FP.

I have only needed FP one time to animate spec hits moving very specifically over the surface of a car.

02-26-2010, 04:31 PM
for me fprime is still absolutely essential for the surfacing and lighting setup in a complex scene. i'm also using it still frequently as a render engine for exteriors because of the progressive refinement render workflow (start your non destructive photoshop compositing with a rough sampling level and drop the final rendering in when it is ready), which is very similar to working with maxwell.

unfortunately, performance with 9.6.x on multicore mac is not optimal and an update from worley is overdue...



02-26-2010, 07:02 PM
I use FP all the time and have grown to depend on it. I rarley use it for final rendering, but I use it for scene and texture development and don't to consider working without it.

Problem free? No, but nothing like Mr Rid is talking about (rendering objects in different positions? Don't think so). I have it running on several PCs with different O/S configurations (32 bit/64 bit, XP, Win 7) and FP is solid.

02-27-2010, 03:15 AM
Like a few folks, I've sort of "grown out of" FPrime.
I use it for quick surface checks as Viper sucks, but really, the LW9.6 renderer is so quick now compared to how it used to be that it's nicer to stick "native".

02-27-2010, 04:56 AM
yep, I have it, used it extensively in the past, and now I rarely use it. Simply because, it crashes from time to time, and very often what Ii see isn't what I get in the end with LW renderer.

02-27-2010, 07:27 AM
I use FPrime for quickly setting up lighting, and have found it essential for quickly learning and using the nodal shading system. If it wasn't for FPrime, I'd probably still be using the old layers system. At work, it's been useful for rendering Hypervoxels locally when we don't want to tie up the queue.

What version of LW and FP are you guys using that crashes so much? It's been pretty stable for me. It does get less stable if I have a huge scene with a lot of deforming animation and I try to scrub a lot, but I think it's always done that.

02-27-2010, 11:20 AM
I use Fprime 3.51 OSX.

This plugin crash a lot (lag , freeze Layout,etc.. ) and there is no support. don't expect to have answers or any help from Worley.

If I had a chance to test it before (a demo version) I would never bought it.
Try to find a good way to work without.

Maybe more stable on Windows ??
Lw renderer is faster, save your money !

02-27-2010, 01:37 PM
Interesting range of replies, thanks folks. I have been playing with the renderer in 9.6 and I am very impressed with the speed over previous Lightwave versions. I think I'm gonna stick with it for a while and maybe spend my cash elsewhere. :)

02-27-2010, 03:39 PM
My experience with Worley tech support has been same as Megalodon's: I get a response almost immediately, and they usually have a working solution for me or at least a good suggestion.

FPrime's greatest strength for most users is its interactivity; as fast as LightWave 9.6's renderer is, it is not interactive and you will spend much more time doing trial and error renders. Now, is it really essential to have this kind of feedback? No, not really. But if you're on the clock, every minute you lose waiting for a result costs money.

As a rendering engine for final images, the value of FPrime might be more arguable. FPrime is a great renderer but LightWave's renderer is great too. Render speeds for each depends on what you're trying to accomplish; in some situations FPrime can be faster and in others LightWave is.

FWIW, I think FPrime's final renders look a little smoother, but the difference can be subtle.

02-28-2010, 05:04 AM
....As a rendering engine for final images, the value of FPrime might be more arguable. FPrime is a great renderer but LightWave's renderer is great too. Render speeds for each depends on what you're trying to accomplish; in some situations FPrime can be faster and in others LightWave is......

i can only agree with that. I use FPrime for final rendering and tested the new LW9.6 renderer too, it was pretty impressive, i got 90 % of FPrime quality in 20 % of the rendertime. The problem are the missing 10 % quality, it needs a lot of tweaking and testing to get a comparable quality, but than in most cases the rendertime is longer in LW; not to forget the time spent for tweaking and testing.

The reason i still use FPrime is the ease of use (nearly no input parameters, only intensity and bounces) and that it renders and saves to the HD, so whenever someting crashes you dont have to start from the beginning (at least if you were smart enough to save the scene and objects before starting the rendering :bangwall: ).

And it works solid here on Mac OS X and under rosetta.