View Full Version : Sasquatch vs FiberFX

12-27-2011, 05:37 PM
Hi Folks.

I love Sasquatch, I really do love to use it! The results it gives are just fantastic! But it's a plugin with flaws. The fur doesn't reflect in mirror surfaces and it only casts shadows with spotlights :(. I'm always hoping to hear of an update to it because I feel it deserves one, but there doesn't seem to be any news and it's been in its current state since I got it back when I first got Lightwave which was Lighwave 8!!

FiberFX is part of Lightwave now, it has been for a while, and I've seen some impressive pics of it in action, but the truth be told, I've never used it. Never even looked at it in Lightwave. Now I want to try and get info on it. What I'm after with this thread is a comparison from those in the know. Those of you who use it, and preferably those who also use Sasquatch, what's the pro's and con's of the two fur tools? Do you have a preference? Any input would be much appreciated.

12-28-2011, 11:21 AM

I used both sasquatch and fiberfx as a test to check them out.
The fiberfx renders super in still images, but in an animation
setting, the fur becomes distorted and completely screws up
the render.In the other hand, sasquatch renders super in both
stills and animation. So if you need an animation instead of a still,
sasquatch is the way to go. If you only need a still, then fiberfx
gives you the chance to make good looking fur in complement
to the sasquatch fur. It makes a good addition to your fur
Cheers !!!


12-28-2011, 11:54 AM
I hate Sasquatch with all my soul. It's a pain to get the hair exactly as you want.

Sorry for this rant :devil:

12-29-2011, 05:16 AM
pixologic just did it again, check out the new fibermesh

12-29-2011, 05:53 AM
Yeah, that new fibermesh looks amazing... That $595 for my license of Zbrush that I paid like a hundred years ago was the best money I have ever spent!

12-29-2011, 06:29 AM
Looking forward to the release of that!
Wonder how export is going to work... Talk about a DENSE mesh.

12-29-2011, 06:41 AM
I've used Sasquatch ever since it came out. Despite have to work around some 'quirks', Sasquatch has proven very fast and reliable for many productions here in the Box. I've used for many creatures and human hair. We have also used it for grass and weeds.

The downside to using Sasquatch is that you must use shadow mapped lights and it doesn't generate motion vectors. We often wind up cheating post blur effects by using vectors generated by a proxy object, or by expanding from a character mesh pass and masking it with the alpha from the hair/fur pass. This is not accurate but most the time, you really tell when it's in motion If it became absolutely necessary I suppose we would render it with actual motion blur in LW, but I can't recall ever having to do that.

Another issue with Sasquatch is you need to render with Classic Camera or you may run into AA problems during compositing.

Finally, Sasquatch also requires a bit of 'hacking' to get a separate cast shadow pass out of it, and it's never really perfect.

We put up with all these 'quirks' because, quite frankly, Sasquatch was the only practical solution for 'realistic' hair/fur for Lightwave for many, many years. If it didn't look so good, we probably would have switched to another renderer for fur/hair like Houdini.

The last time I used Fiber FX was during the 10.1 open beta, and IMO it was shaping up nicely. Unlike Sasquatch, FFX renders fine with Perspective Camera and it can cast raytraced shadows. If you use DP lights, you can get it to cast nice soft raytraced shadows. Unlike previous FFX, it renders reliably for stills and animation. FFX's nodal editor is more flexible than Sasquatch's properties.

I didn't get a chance to test rendering separate cast shadow passes from FFX during the 10.1 beta. It was problematic in 9.6.x but hopefully this has been fixed by now.

What I'm most excited about with FFX in 10.1 is the option to export motion vectors for the fur/hair. However, back in beta (last spring was it?) I did run into a problem with motion vectors from animated (clothFX) hair, like one axis being inverted or something. I haven't had a chance to test this again after the official release but I do know that the guys at Pixomondo have been successfully using this feature in Terra Nova for non-animated fur and it looks really good. FYI, Celshader mentioned that your render manager should be set to close and start a new SN shell for each frame, otherwise you may get corrupt motion vectors. Go here to learn about other FFX 'quirks' and how to overcome them:

Mostly motion buffer export issues, but it's worth the fuss. (http://forums.newtek.com/showpost.php?p=1189882&postcount=7)

Hopefully these issues will be fixed before Lightwave 11 comes out. But even as it stands, if we were to get another hair/fur project in the Box today we will certainly give FFX serious consideration.


12-29-2011, 01:24 PM
Thanks for the detailed replies, much appreciated. I think I'll have to give FiberFX a look, go do some test renders with it and see what it's all about.

12-29-2011, 11:57 PM
Ugh. Sorry for all the typos...that's what I get for writing posts at 5 am. :p

Mr Rid
12-30-2011, 12:44 AM
The downside to using Sasquatch is that you must use shadow mapped lights ...


Although you may use the fur-bake workaround that saves much render time and allows you to use any type of light and GI. A dated tut- http://www.worley.com/Tutorials/AlbeeShading/index.html but use the faster/easier surface baking camera instead of the old surface baking plug.

Basically you pre-render only the base mesh in a simplified scene, with any light types, and no fur. Use the surface baking camera to save out a UV sequence (with moblur). It can be low-rez since it will only be used for color information for the fur. That UV sequence is then used in the color channel of the fur (the sequence must also be mapped in an unseen channel on the mesh so it will update in Sas- if the UV sequence is only loading in the fur color channel, it sticks on the first frame for some reason). Any soft area shadows and GI that rendered in the mesh scene are now baked into the fur's color channel so you dont need shadow tracing, and it renders way faster.

I found FFX to be a nearly unusable mess in 9.6. Was using it recently for something simple and discovered that I cant load-from-scene into a scene with FFX. It blows away FFX, but still shows up in GL. Have to clear FFX, save, reload, re-apply settings. This was a real pain since I needed to LFS a lot.

02-13-2012, 05:44 PM
I tried for weeks to get a simple lawn to look good using Fiber FX and had no luck. So, I bit the bullet and bought a new liscense of Sasquatch for my 64-bit system. Loaded up settings from an LW 9.6 system and after a couple minor tweaks I pretty much had what I was looking for.

Here are a couple samples:

With Fiber FX, I couldn't get away from artifacts of the geometry. I tried quads only, I tried heavy tripling, different sub-division order, etc. and nothing helped.

Used my original geometry with Sas and was where I needed to be right off the bat.

I watched William Vaughns videos on Fiber FX and it seems pretty straight forward, but I simply could not get decent results except when using a single poly example like he did for his grass demo. As soon as the geometry got more complex, artifacts. Perhaps there's some technique, setting, or little known trick that would make it work but I felt I'd spent enough time trying and to drop back to what I knew worked.


02-15-2012, 07:29 AM
Turned out quite nicely! (and I adore Sas!)