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View Full Version : How good is LightWave for supercomplex open-air scenes?



igneous
08-13-2012, 04:53 AM
Hi,

I am looking for a 3D package to complement Vue 10.5 and Terragen in creation of supercomplex landscapes, terrains and environments. Think billions and billions of polygons.

I haven't used LightWave, or in fact done any serious 3D for well over 8 years, so I don't know what to expect from modern 3D software. All I know is that once upon a time I used LightWave and liked it, and that Ryan Bliss still uses it in conjunction with Vue.

Admittedly, modo would be my first choice, not LW. But unlike modo, there is a Vue xStream plugin for LW, as well as things like TurbulenceFD and Maxwell Render.

So, opinoins?

50one
08-13-2012, 05:03 AM
Well, this kind of details will slow down any engine, so don't expect miracles, however from my experience I can tell that LW layout will be faster than modo when it comes to displaying heavy scenes - anything above 2m(subpatched) polys on screen...

HenrikSkoglund
08-13-2012, 05:40 AM
I have been working a lot with these kind of scenes both in Modo, Vue 10 and now as of late, LW11.

I have to say that with the new native instances engine in Lightwave it is WAAAY faster than both Vue and Modo, at least in my scenes. I didn't actually plan to go back to Lightwave but after seeing what It could do with fully detailed trees over fields of grass I just had to.

Admittedly, you can still get some hefty rendertimes depending on a huge amount of factors and admittedly, Vue has some nice landscape centric features such as the landscape modeller, but it's pretty easy to import them back into LW or Modo anyway so...

What is also quite amazing is that VPR is so incredibly fast that you can actually make realtime preview's of landscapes with trees up to a certain limit, of course and depending on your hardware.

CaptainMarlowe
08-13-2012, 05:46 AM
With the native instancing and the fast renderer, I often use Lightwave for complex scenes, to a point I don't use Vue any more.

Here are two scenes I made with Lightwave that have thousands of instances and count millions of polys (before instancing) :

French gardens (flickering is a result of a fast render choice, you can get much better results)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWO17q3JmrU

And an animated nature (leaves and flowers being animated with procedurals, which are a great time saver)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyWBlsmgEG4

Lightwave lacks a good atmospheric engine, though, skytracer being old, and some terrain modeling features (i usually create my terrains in Terragen 2 free edition, which has a lwo exporter)

kopperdrake
08-13-2012, 06:06 AM
I recently posted an example showing an image having around 500 million polygons here:

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=105577&d=1342521757

Not exactly billions and billions, but the object memory in LightWave was only around 350Mb. With instances I would say it was doable. I wouldn't shirk from it myself, but lighting (radiosity) etc can take a hit, as would any engine.

HenrikSkoglund
08-13-2012, 06:19 AM
Here's another example. It's an image made with LW 11 and the native instances system. I believe it took about 10-15 mins to render in 1920x1080 on my workstation. Vue models are often of poor quality, these models are unoptimized and fully detailed, as is the 2 layers of grass.

http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/479357_10150708880287402_463176589_o.jpghttp://

prometheus
08-13-2012, 06:35 AM
if set up right..Lightwave might work well, however ..I would suggest take a look at cinema4d as well, rather that than modo I think.

the new cinema4d has some serious sculpting tools especially well suited for landscaping..without even going zbrush workflows.

you can paint cracks and terrain details direct in viewport..and most important, in scene context against anything else in scene.

I also heard that handling high poly amount should be much faster in cinema4d...just heard it somewhere.

They used cinema 4d for additional terrains and landscaping together with live photos from Iceland in the movie Prometheus, which I saw on friday actually..
You also have a direct terrain tools t start with in cinema, Im not here to promote cinema against lightwave, you can acheive amazing things too with lightwave, but it is questionable if it can handle huge data well compared to cinema?

You would probably need to use aps control of subdivision levels, aps with distance to camera and have high detail only there, or/and use aps with weight maps to get detail only where needed.

About vue slowness, Im not sure that anyone has compared with similar scenes in order to tell this correctly, if you pull in spectral atmospheres and above that clouds, and use AA system or quality settings of the atmosphere, it will of course be much slower, Lightwave donīt have anything like that for atmospheres, so you would have to work in vue without that for a more correct comparison.

procedural terrains, if that is used you can not compare that either, lightwave doesnīt have that technology, except available within the ogo taiki plugin.

a proper comparison would probably be to only use instanced trees, and nothing else to get a decent aproximation wether vue is slower than lightwave, besides that you probably need to go advanced render settings rather than using final settings in vue.

Michael

prometheus
08-13-2012, 06:39 AM
nice render Henrik, some tweaking on shadows and light and that will look really great.

Yes..thatīs a quite fast render.

vue lighting GI and shadows are dispersed more realistic and beautiful in vue thou..In my opinion.

Have you checked and tried pavel olas diffuse weightmap trick.?

http://www.polas.net/tutorials/tutorial06.php

Michael

OnlineRender
08-13-2012, 06:59 AM
lightwave and Vue ... 6 hours :P

since the thread is already stretched .

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7djilxEMc1rvbhboo1_r1_1280.png

prometheus
08-13-2012, 07:43 AM
nice render too, but that is with spectral atmosphere and low level fog cloud layers from vue right?

so no wonder it takes time to render.

Michael

HenrikSkoglund
08-13-2012, 07:48 AM
nice render Henrik, some tweaking on shadows and light and that will look really great.

Yes..thatīs a quite fast render.

vue lighting GI and shadows are dispersed more realistic and beautiful in vue thou..In my opinion.

Have you checked and tried pavel olas diffuse weightmap trick.?

http://www.polas.net/tutorials/tutorial06.php

Michael

Thanks, yes it's a quite a quickie actually, made more or less to try LW11s instancing system a while ago. I haven't tried that trick with the diffuse weightmap, but I know there's always things to improve when it comes to natural renderings, there's just so many things to work upon. Like transluency for example etc etc that all adds to the rendering time of course.

And of course, sky renderings in Vue does not come free either, it all takes it's time. Ozone 6 for LW maybe? Seems very good. Atmosphere's though... I really don't know if I can agree there. I made a lot of tests with Vue since I saw the same thing about Vue having a more realistic scattering, but after tweaking the scenes in Lightwave I thought the results started to look the other way around, actually. I think it's just easier in Vue because they have their preset system with atmospheres and skies that you can quickly try for each scene. You might still be right though, technically. But I usually do not fancy Vue renderings since it kinda looks... I don't know, maybe too similar to each other? :)

prometheus
08-13-2012, 08:15 AM
. Atmosphere's though... I really don't know if I can agree there. I made a lot of tests with Vue since I saw the same thing about Vue having a more realistic scattering, but after tweaking the scenes in Lightwave I thought the results started to look the other way around, actually. I think it's just easier in Vue because they have their preset system with atmospheres and skies that you can quickly try for each scene. You might still be right though, technically. But I usually do not fancy Vue renderings since it kinda looks... I don't know, maybe too similar to each other? :)

I agree..most vue renders look bad, but that is more related to the artists, I see so many things I know I could correct for them if they were to send scenefiles etc.
overall typical colors that are to saturated, to much bluish fog, to much greenish look etc, poor cloud density/shapes that are blobby.
(vueīs poor fractal noises are to blame within presets for that)

Ehh..the atmosphere sky air properties and fog haze, sky anisotrophy..realism in vue is way ahead of what we can get in lightwave today though, also the way you tweak it from within one modul and how to set the sun and lighting,GI etc. is much better workflow implemented.

ozone though is another thing, it doesnīt match up to vue infinite standalone, the reasons for that are, you can not tweak atmosphere and get instant fedback within the scene, you have to drop the editor each time, sure..they improved the plugin UI with a much larger previewer, but you can not see lighting and fog clouds shadows within the scene as in vue previewer.
Ozone also lacks the option to change or control cloud density per fractal function which can be done in vue.
Ozone lacks position control and rotation control within the UI.

Ozone lacks the cloud detail tab where you set roughness and detail scaling of clouds.
Ogo can not create planetary view point render, which you can do in vue, and with ogo taiki plugin.

I would prefer Ogo taiki if it were available for 64 bit and if the interface could be improved, along with speed increasemen, you would have full control over cloud density, and it could use all lightwave procedurals such as gardner clouds and weather, you could tweak it in VPR and se it directly within scene context, you can use particles for special clouds or smoke. you can add air anisotrophy for heat distortions.

Unfortunatly I do not see anything happening with skytracer, which you would need textured shadows in order to get realism in cloud shadows, and that is slower than anything from ogo taiki or ozone.
Skytracer isnīt a truly volumetric engine either that works to obscure objects or look from above etc.

unfortunatly we have to stick with what ever version ozone putīs out, or use the other old stuff.

Michael

HenrikSkoglund
08-13-2012, 08:28 AM
ozone though is another thing, it doesnīt match up to vue infinite standalone, the reasons for that are, you can not tweak atmosphere and get instant fedback within the scene, you have to drop the editor each time, sure..they improved the plugin UI with a much larger previewer, but you can not see lighting and fog clouds shadows within the scene as in vue previewer.
Ozone also lacks the option to change or control cloud density per fractal function which can be done in vue.
Ozone lacks position control and rotation control within the UI.

Ozone lacks the cloud detail tab where you set roughness and detail scaling of clouds.
Ogo can not create planetary view point render, which you can do in vue, and with ogo taiki plugin.



Too bad with the Ozone plugin... didn't know it was so crippled. Haven't tried it.

Yep, i know they have nice settings for atmosphere's in Vue and that the workflow is nice for that, but hey, that's the applications whole purpose :thumbsup:

I like Vue in a way, I really do. But I think you can get better stuff out of Lightwave, along with faster rendering. It's just that you are set in an environment that is not only meant for doing landscape stuff, which means that some things is harder to achieve or ie takes longer to achieve.

prometheus
08-13-2012, 08:43 AM
Too bad with the Ozone plugin... didn't know it was so crippled. Haven't tried it.

Yep, i know they have nice settings for atmosphere's in Vue and that the workflow is nice for that, but hey, that's the applications whole purpose :thumbsup:

I like Vue in a way, I really do. But I think you can get better stuff out of Lightwave, along with faster rendering. It's just that you are set in an environment that is not only meant for doing landscape stuff, which means that some things is harder to achieve or ie takes longer to achieve.

Yeah I know...I started a thread some time ago regarding this, maybe some guys at newtek read it carefully and found some things making sense in there and find it worthwhile to implement, as I mentioned in the thread ..there are a few simple additions they could do to catch up against pure Landscaping software, but it will all fall flat with the notion or mindset of ..Nah..let those software do what they do best, we donīt go there.
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=129112

we can now move around in a previewer like vueīs and see most things, we can now add huge amount of instancing, but we miss simple things like infinite planes preset with ground material or water surfaces, we miss simple dig and raise sculpting etc, vegetation airbrush painting might be in reach soon though, we have seen something similar like that with sumatra and veggi paint.

drag and drop displacement presets and rocks etc..canīt be to hard to implement, the absolute most hardest part must be working on the atmosphere system itself.

Michael

HenrikSkoglund
08-13-2012, 09:34 AM
Yeah I know...I started a thread some time ago regarding this, maybe some guys at newtek read it carefully and found some things making sense in there and find it worthwhile to implement, as I mentioned in the thread ..there are a few simple additions they could do to catch up against pure Landscaping software, but it will all fall flat with the notion or mindset of ..Nah..let those software do what they do best, we donīt go there.
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=129112

we can now move around in a previewer like vueīs and see most things, we can now add huge amount of instancing, but we miss simple things like infinite planes preset with ground material or water surfaces, we miss simple dig and raise sculpting etc, vegetation airbrush painting might be in reach soon though, we have seen something similar like that with sumatra and veggi paint.

drag and drop displacement presets and rocks etc..canīt be to hard to implement, the absolute most hardest part must be working on the atmosphere system itself.

Michael

True, there are a few gem's in Vue that is nice. But I must say I really like how things are progressing in LW now, it's quicker and smarter development than in a long time (ever?).

Still, there's a lot of stuff that needs improvement of course.

prometheus
08-15-2012, 04:14 AM
Experimental tip..
You could try and see how instancing of terrain gridīs would look like.
However..since displacements will be an instance it will be a repeated fractal displacement, so to get some more variations you would need some more objects with different displacements.

hereīs a sample image..just a fast test so you could tweak and tweak endlessly to get your favourite procedural in there.

dented procedural on a 50x50 meter subpatch polygrid with 50 divisions, level 6 in subpatch display and render subpatch.
some falloff settings to zero down edges, but could be improved with gradients,maps or weight maps instead.

instanced 10 times on x and z axis, some varitations in rotation and scaling and offset.

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=106250&stc=1&d=1345025654

Michael