View Full Version : Fun Speculation : The future of LW's CURRENT scanline renderer...

10-06-2003, 09:36 AM
"But LightWave doesn't do scanline rendering!!!" you say. Well, actually, yes it *does* have the beginnings of a scanline renderer under the hood, but it's pretty primative in its current incarnation... If you've ever used the VIPER feature in surface editor, you've seen the early steps towards a scanline renderer that not only understands geometry, surfaces, and some degree of lighting, but also has amazing potential in that it understands object "footprints" within a frame.

What's so exciting about identifying object footprints? Why, rendering speed of course! Think about what normally happens when you render a frame : every single pixel in the camera's view gets calculated each and every time. The current VIPER demonstrates that it can determine what part of a frame is occupied by a specific surface, so if you flag the surfaces of all the objects in motion and then combine the footprints from the previous and current frames, you can identify what parts of the current frame need to be re-rendered! :) Think of the possibilities -- for a frame where the camera and lights are stationary, you might be able to inherit a large percentage of the pixels from the previous frame (say 90%), and only recalculate the remaining percentage (10%)... What a speed boost that would offer over traditional rendering methods where every single pixel is calculated!

True, this would not be beneficial in all circumstances, and determining zones for moving shadows offers an additional coding hurdle, but think of the possibilites! Under specific conditions, it would provide a *substantial* speed boost while rendering (and if you don't meet those requirements, you're no worse off as you'd normally render the full frame anyways...) Admittedly VIPER is still very primitive and only useful as a surface preview renderer in its current incarnation, but the fact is that it *does* exist, and it is a fledgeling scanline renderer within LW (something many folks have been begging for.) I'll also remind you that VIPER has been around since 6.0 -- given the time which has passed in which development may have progressed, we can hope that it has become more than just a preview tool... ;)


10-06-2003, 03:28 PM
Interesting speculation! I don't think the next two or three releases of Lightwave will have a total rewrite of the renderer. Then again, that's also just speculation! ;)

10-06-2003, 11:15 PM
LightWave has always been a hybrid renderer, meaning it is both scanline and raytrace.

10-06-2003, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by EyesClosed
LightWave has always been a hybrid renderer, meaning it is both scanline and raytrace.

just like renderman, but renderman is more robust.

Hey Beam,

Here is a quote for your tag line

If you play a Windows XP installation CDROM backwards, you hear
a message from Satan.
Even worse... if you play it forwards, it installs Windows XP.

and this one

"Computers are like air conditionners, they stop working properly when
you open windows."

10-07-2003, 01:12 AM
I think renderman has only gotten raytracing in the last few years, before that raytracing was done with external programs.

Nice windows jokes BTW ;)

10-07-2003, 04:11 AM

10-07-2003, 07:07 AM
I've got a good one for you Beam:


Everyone has to watch this clip. Both Mac and PC users alike. It is absolutely hilarious...

10-07-2003, 07:23 AM
LMAO! :)

10-07-2003, 08:52 AM
I'm a bad Mac user. I'm sitting there watching the video, knowing it's a parody, and trying simultaneously to think of solutions to the problems the guy brings up and equivalent types of confusion that Windows brings Mac users. But, lo and behold! I'm not going to.

It was a funny video. On the track of parody videos, did anyone see the "Symphony for the Dead" video made by the Mac development team at Avid just prior to the release of Avid Symphony (a number of years ago)? I'll have to see if I've got it lying around here somewhere. It's funny the other way ;)

10-07-2003, 08:58 AM
I saw this linked today and had alot of fun with it http://people.freenet.de/sDuke/ :p

10-07-2003, 09:43 AM
That's a pretty good example of Windows 95.