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michaeldejong
08-20-2012, 01:54 PM
Hi I was wondering if anybody could clearly explain what I would gain from upgrading my video card. It seems that companies are making cards with very impressive GPU power. I just want to know ways this will improve my lightwave experience, as I figure it is not going to affect my final render times.

Thanks guys :)

:lwicon:

3DGFXStudios
08-20-2012, 01:58 PM
For Lightwave you don't need a fast videocard. Only your ogl view is a bit faster and smoother. I'd only update if its a really really old card.

Snosrap
08-20-2012, 08:40 PM
For Lightwave you don't need a fast videocard. Only your ogl view is a bit faster and smoother. I'd only update if its a really really old card.

Agreed. Maybe a future new LW infrastructure will benefit from higher end GPU's, but for now - no.

Titus
08-20-2012, 09:07 PM
There was a promise to get some benefit for Dstorm Liquid Pack.

Greenlaw
08-21-2012, 01:12 AM
It depends on how you use Lightwave. Currently, Lightwave itself does not take advantage of GPU processing but some plug-ins, like Turbulence FD for example, can use GPU processing within the Lightwave environment. I imagine other GPU aware plug-ins may arrive in the future, either for dynamics calculation or rendering but at this stage that's speculative.

Some standalone programs that support Lightwave, like 3D-Coat for example, do take advantage of CUDA, which is one of the best reasons to get a decent gaming card. For me, I've been using iPi DMC for all my Lightwave motion capture data, and a fast GPU is necessary to get reasonable tracking performance. (My computer has an Nvidia Geforce GTX 460, which is fairly modest by today's standards, but it lets me track motion capture data at about 0.67 sec/frame--fast enough for production.)

Luckily, many of these cards are relatively cheap these days. Make sure you have a strong enough power supply though or get a low power model like I did. The size of the card may matter too--in my case I needed a shorter profile card to be able to fit it in my box.

G.

moussepipi2000
08-21-2012, 01:45 AM
volumedic usr gpu too if i remember

kopperdrake
08-21-2012, 03:22 AM
Oh, I didn't realise that Turbulance used the GPU - I keep looking at that plugin - I just need the time to play with it and the rate LW is being updated I can barely keep pace with the goodies in there these days!

dsol
08-21-2012, 11:01 AM
Getting a CUDA supporting card is definitely a better bet right now (until more apps support OpenCL) - so consider getting an Nvidia card with at least 1GB RAM (more is better). As others have said, Lightwave doesn't use GPU acceleration for anything other than OpenGL preview (so if you use VPR a lot, it won't make any difference).

One day, I hope 3D software supports some of the newer GPU techniques enabled in DX11 and OGL4 - there's some crazy cool developments in that area, as demo'd here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MzSmdC49Ns&feature=player_embedded

LW_Will
08-21-2012, 02:37 PM
I'm looking at getting a GTX 660ti... the retail is $300 and its only 15% slower (smaller bus 196bit as opposed to 256bit) than the GTX680 at $400. And it STILL has 1344 cuda cores! Nearly 3X as many as my GTX460, that was $250 at the time.

Sounds amazing to me!

Bitboy
08-21-2012, 03:47 PM
To watch a little of what Matt Swoboda talked about check these two Fairlight productions (Matt Swoboda aka Smash). All realtime demos with particles. Some beautiful stuff in there. :-)

Blunderbuss (2009): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTOC_ajkRkU&feature=youtu.be&hd=1

Numb Res (2011): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTOC_ajkRkU&feature=youtu.be&hd=1

scratch33
08-21-2012, 05:30 PM
And maybe, worley announce fprime biased gpu engine next week...
And a good graphic card is a must have in this case...

:p

hrgiger
08-22-2012, 02:14 PM
Or when they implement openSubdiv in LightWave...

sculptactive
08-26-2012, 11:59 PM
Buy an average GPU for LW and with the money you have saved buy a better CPU.

Top of the line GPU is a waste of money where LW is concerned.

prometheus
08-27-2012, 03:03 AM
For Lightwave you don't need a fast videocard. Only your ogl view is a bit faster and smoother. I'd only update if its a really really old card.

Why do some people always just narrow it down to Lightwave do not need a fast video card, as mentioned above about turbulence taking advantage of it, though not Lightwave directly..what will happen if the guy has aimed to work with fluids and turbulenceFD, and goes to buy some ati card or non cuda and finds him self swearing..damn I didnīt know about that.

Sure ..you can go on and say lightwave do not need a fast video card, but why not mention stuff that might?

Im pretty much convinced that we will soon se more of GPU very soon, just a hunch.

Lightwave Alone, and today do not need, but think about this..etc.

Michael

Greenlaw
08-27-2012, 03:14 AM
I totally agree. For many users, Lightwave does not stand alone. All of my Lightwave work is supported by a number of other programs, some of which definitely benefit from GPU processing. (For me it's iPi Desktop Motion Capture and 3D-Coat. Even Photoshop benefits greatly from a fast card.)

And who's to say parts of Lightwave won't be GPU enhanced in the near future--some current third party Lightwave plug-ins are already GPU enhanced.

G.

sculptactive
08-27-2012, 04:36 AM
Why do some people always just narrow it down to Lightwave

Of course you are right especially where 3DC is concerned, but that's not what michaeldejong was asking in his post.

3DGFXStudios
08-27-2012, 05:04 AM
exactly!

JonW
08-27-2012, 05:43 AM
Maybe when some of these programs are licensed to one computer & most of their processing is shifted to the video card they may license it to the video card as well!

prometheus
08-27-2012, 06:10 AM
Of course you are right especially where 3DC is concerned, but that's not what michaeldejong was asking in his post.

Better to be safe than sorry, better to say A and B.
I think quite a lot of newcomers might not ask in a correct way or full out to what they have in mind later on, So I prefer to tell the full story than half the story to be on the safe side.

If someone says Lightwave...why should you exclude everything else that works in conjunction with Lightwave just because he only ment Lightwave, and perhaps forgot about mentioning plugins etc?
Just narrow minded to give such advices I think

geo_n
08-27-2012, 06:18 AM
I mainly use lightwave and 3dc at home.
My videocard is way lowend compared at work but I don't see a difference at all using lw. Even with 3dcoat don't expect performance gains with highend cards with cuda. Its been a major complaint for some users who invested in expensive cuda cards and the gain is only maybe 10% with cuda.
TFD is not even a consideration for most lw users and its a waste to invest in an expensive video card based on one plugin unless you do fluid simulations everyweek as a living which is highly doubtful for lw users.
Highend cards will not improve your lightwave experience. Highend cpu and ram will.

prometheus
08-27-2012, 06:26 AM
I mainly use lightwave and 3dc at home.
My videocard is way lowend compared at work but I don't see a difference at all using lw. Even with 3dcoat don't expect performance gains with highend cards with cuda. Its been a major complaint for some users who invested in expensive cuda cards and the gain is only maybe 10% with cuda.
TFD is not even a consideration for most lw users and its a waste to invest in an expensive video card based on one plugin unless you do fluid simulations everyweek as a living which is highly doubtful for lw users.
Highend cards will not improve your lightwave experience. Highend cpu and ram will.

Sorry your wrong..
Most users doesnīt certify not giving everyone the whole story.
I hear a lot of guys screaming for fluids and how sweet turbulence are, so cuda implementation was an absolute waste of time?

And Well..then I am the only lightwave user enjoying improved lightwave experience with TurbulenceFD, canīt stand using cpu for the simulations when itīs so much faster with my gtx 480 card, then thereīs other benifits from other tools outside of lightwave, but thatīs another story.
I do not use turbulence weekly nor for living, havenīt even purchased the full version ..Yet, matter of time only, but I would have been sorry if I hadnīt got my graphics card with cuda only to try turbulence out, but I made sure to check what cuda ment for things like fluids even
before it was available in Turbulence.

Also thereīs future implementations to think of, or forget about it as you wish.

geo_n
08-27-2012, 06:39 AM
prometheus - Do you own license of tfd now because I remember you don't.
If one has disposable cash that can afford tfd for play then I guess an expensive card is a no brainer. Maybe you're in that odd third group.
I only considered two groups, pros who do sims for a living and pros who don't do sims for a living. One needs highend cards the other group doesn't.
3dc is not so optimized for cuda so that's a fail. Tfd is not really an option for most lw usrs. Lots of screaming for fluids in lw but really these people only want to play not pay just like the scream for volumedic lite with gpu, low sales.
The OP should save the money and spend the cash on where its going to be useful 90% of the time, cpu and memory.

prometheus
08-27-2012, 07:17 AM
prometheus - Do you own license of tfd now because I remember you don't.
If one has disposable cash that can afford tfd for play then I guess an expensive card is a no brainer. Maybe you're in that odd third group.
I only considered two groups, pros who do sims for a living and pros who don't do sims for a living. One needs highend cards the other group doesn't.
3dc is not so optimized for cuda so that's a fail. Tfd is not really an option for most lw usrs. Lots of screaming for fluids in lw but really these people only want to play not pay just like the scream for volumedic lite with gpu, low sales.
The OP should save the money and spend the cash on where its going to be useful 90% of the time, cpu and memory.

yeah ..yeah..this is a matter for each individual to make their decisions really, I just think it is better to give information on what uses what and what not rather than just leaving out factors, wether or not they will be using it or not is their decision.
As I mentioned earlier..no I do not own license, but I will soon, and you got to play before you pay:)

By the way, volumedic lite hasnīt support for cuda as I know of..does it? just gpu cards but not cuda specific?


Michael

prometheus
08-28-2012, 04:55 AM
Nothing In the Lightwave Bullet engine today at all that takes advantage of GPU? and for the future Bullet soft/cloth dynamics?

Just some article..
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2011/02/17/amd-manju-hegde-gaming-physics/3

Michael

rwhunt99
08-28-2012, 06:30 PM
I was checking out Lightwave group and they indicated they had hired a former Nvidia guy. Even though I believe he was a marketing manager, it might provide a bit of insight on where they might be heading.

erikals
08-29-2012, 02:30 AM
 
there is a new Render "option" coming for Lightwave, as stated at Siggraph by Rob and Jen,
it might be GPU driven, not sure.

also not sure if it runs inside LW, or if it is something else.
(for example a plugin that talks to a 3rd party render engine)

 

OFF
08-29-2012, 04:44 AM
The power of Arion inside 3ds Max
http://www.randomcontrol.com/maxlive

geo_n
08-29-2012, 06:10 AM
Yes ofcourse its a case by case basis. But how many lw users actually own TFD or volumedic that takes advantage of highend video cards. 400euro is not exactly disposable cash for hobbyist. Hobbyist are even thinking twice upgrading to lw 11 for almost the same price. For pros who can get back that 400 euro sure its no problem at all.
With highend videocards you also need highend psu. Personally I haven't spent for a highend psu at home using lw. The most expensive one is 70USD range to power a 8800gts I had before. New cards can get power hungry. Can't just slap these cards on home desktop pc's so that's an added cost to consider with no benefit to lw viewport performance.

prometheus
08-29-2012, 06:30 AM
Yes ofcourse its a case by case basis. But how many lw users actually own TFD or volumedic that takes advantage of highend video cards. 400euro is not exactly disposable cash for hobbyist. Hobbyist are even thinking twice upgrading to lw 11 for almost the same price. For pros who can get back that 400 euro sure its no problem at all.
With highend videocards you also need highend psu. Personally I haven't spent for a highend psu at home using lw. The most expensive one is 70USD range to power a 8800gts I had before. New cards can get power hungry. Can't just slap these cards on home desktop pc's so that's an added cost to consider with no benefit to lw viewport performance.

Case by case basis yes, in my case I consider myself in general to be a hobbyist, only a little stuff from renderings at work.
But even so I will invest in turbulence FD yet that has no impact on what I do today for living, I didnīt think about will I do this and that for living when I researched and purchased my computer, I was thinking can I do this and that in decent manner based on my artistic point of views.

If I were to test TurbulenceFD with cpu only, I would say to myself..a little to slow to work with, not sure..but being able to test it with gpu and cuda, makes that decision more certain.

Im pretty good at saving my money when I can and for certain things I want, and my salery is a midrange salery, yet I considered it affordable for me when I purchased my computer, se specs in my sign.
And I could even afford a pretty decent laptop too.
For me Itīs a matter of what I see as a priority to put my money on...I even got a lot of savings in my account nowadays, but hasnīt always been like that.

I donīt drink beer..only water for free and that we got a buckload of here:)
To me 400 euro isnīt that much, but donīt tell the plugin developers:)

Michael

geo_n
08-29-2012, 06:52 AM
If I were to test TurbulenceFD with cpu only, I would say to myself..a little to slow to work with, not sure..but being able to test it with gpu and cuda, makes that decision more certain.



Do you have data how much gain a highend gpu is faster compared to a I7 ivy bridge cpu? Is the gain more than 10x with gpu? TFD also defaults to cpu calculation once it reaches maximum gpu memory. Most serious projects will overcome the gpu memory and go default anyway. I would bet that an i7 ivy bridge cpu would be on par to a highend gpu in complex scenes calculating from start to finish. But the I7 improves nearly everything in the desktop not just TFD.
But the discussion is not really useful if the OP is not interested, not buying TFD anyway. :D

prometheus
08-29-2012, 07:00 AM
Do you have data how much gain a highend gpu is faster compared to a I7 ivy bridge cpu? Is the gain more than 10x with gpu? TFD also defaults to cpu calculation once it reaches maximum gpu memory. Most serious projects will overcome the gpu memory and go default anyway. I would bet that an i7 ivy bridge cpu would be on par to a highend gpu in complex scenes calculating from start to finish. But the I7 improves nearly everything in the desktop not just TFD.
But the discussion is not really useful if the OP is not interested, not buying TFD anyway. :D

Lol...you make it sound like cuda and vidia card is an absolute waste of money, and the option of having cuda support as Jascha has implemented is unnecessary? wonder why such talented coder even bothered?

Agreed, I can not verify cpu value against gpu card value and performance there in.(who can?)

What you see is what I got...I have enjoyed much faster fluid sims with the GPU, octane feels faster than keyshot, and I enjoy using Fractal 9000 which takes advantage of cuda, end encoding of video formats.
GPU sims VS CPU is a no brainer with my computer from the results I see.

intel I7 960
and gtx 480 nvidia GPU

Jim M
08-29-2012, 07:57 AM
I disagree with your perspective, though I understand it Geo N. Prometheus's experience is inline with mine I reckon.

AfterFx & Sorenson Squeeze benefit from GPU processing. Infact, whilst rendering on CPU in lightwave I often am compressing files in sorrenson.

+ GPU does massively benefit any 3d app. Displaying 3 million polys in opengl is all done on the CPU?? I noticed the other day switching between graphics cards on my machine the performance was dramatically different. We have GPU rendering already in lightwave, think about it...

Greenlaw
08-29-2012, 09:16 AM
FWIW, over here I see quite a big difference between in running the CUDA version of 3DC vs. the non-CUDA version, but, to be clear, only for voxel sculpting. I don't think CUDA speeds up anything else in 3DC.

Also, a CUDA enabled card is not necessarily expensive. The graphics card I have is certainly not 'highend'--it's an Nvidia GTX 460 and at the time of purchase (1 1/2 years ago?) was about $150.

Personally, I got this card to speed up iPi DMC, but my previous card was my first CUDA enabled one and I did enjoy a major performance boost for voxel sculpting when I upgraded to that card.

Of course, any given user's 'actual mileage may vary' because other hardware/software factors can come into play. However, having a decent CUDA enabled card is certainly not a waste of money if you have software that can use it.

IMO, if you don't think you need fast GPU card (CUDA enabled or otherwise,) you probably don't. And don't buy one if you only think you might need it in the future--when it comes to graphics cards, the tech, specs and prices tend change quickly and suddenly without warning, so whatever you buy could drop significantly in price overnight or maybe even become 'obsolete'. If you get a fast card (CUDA or not) do so because you have an immediate need for one.

G.

Greenlaw
08-29-2012, 09:22 AM
BTW, for TFD for Lightwave, I own a license and there is DEFINITELY a processing boost with a fast GPU card. This is great here at home but it really makes me wish I had a better graphics card at work.

Sometimes it's better not to know I guess. :P

geo_n
08-29-2012, 12:49 PM
Lol...you make it sound like cuda and vidia card is an absolute waste of money, and the option of having cuda support as Jascha has implemented is unnecessary? wonder why such talented coder even bothered?



And you're missing the point which was pointed out already by other users. The OP said lightwave. :D
You also missed the point that its fine if you're a pro buying 400euro plugin and earn it back later on. For hobbyist that's a case by case basis as I said. But how many hobbyist play with a 400euro plugin? Even a die hard particle fan such as yourself haven't bought in doubt many normal hobbyist will, too.

Not all cuda implementation is optimized which I already said that there are 3dc users who are disappointed with cuda performance in 3dc.
I also own octane since way back but I gave up on it because kray spanks it silly with speed for final renders.

Jim M - sorry we don't have gpu rendering in lightwave. Where's did you get that??? OP said lightwave not afx, etc.

Greenlaw - try to use voxels with big brush on mid range and high end card, you won't notice big difference. This is a major complaint from 3dc users because the gain is maybe less than 10%. Andrew even said so that working on cuda optimization will take weeks,months but speed gain will not be very much. Multi threading 3dc is what made it faster and better code. But mudbox brush is smooth with big brush try it. Zbrush no doubt even with lowend cpu/gpu setup is silky smooth.
But you're right if you don't have software that uses cuda or gpu optimazation now like LIGHTWAVE, there's no point in buying right away since in less than a year a faster card at the same price will come out. The card you invested in that gives no better lw experience is obsolete in a year. :D

prometheus
08-30-2012, 05:56 AM
And you're missing the point which was pointed out already by other users. The OP said lightwave. :D
You also missed the point that its fine if you're a pro buying 400euro plugin and earn it back later on. For hobbyist that's a case by case basis as I said. But how many hobbyist play with a 400euro plugin? Even a die hard particle fan such as yourself haven't bought in doubt many normal hobbyist will, too.


Ivé already mentioned why I havent missed the point of "OP said Lightwave"
Mainly.. advice should be given in context to more than what the requester ask for, with the notion that he or she might not know exactly what he needs and might ask poorly about it.

As far as missing the other point, do not bring up me not having bought it yet, that has nothing really to do with it, other variables to account for why I havenīt bought in to it...Yet.

Michael

geo_n
08-30-2012, 06:25 AM
if that's the case that we have to consider possible software that uses gpu well then we should all buy high end gfx even if we dont own them or plan to buy them because maya, max absolutely scream on quadro cards. If only vpr was gpu accelerated my view would change.
I mention you dont own it to point out that even for a die hard particle fan its not a must have purchase otherwise you would have bought in the early bird. A more casual hobbyist will not buy it definitely ehen they play with blender. So whats the use for highend gpu for this group? For pros again this is less an issus since a project would recoup the cost. Lw plus tfd plus highend gpu= no brainer.

prometheus
08-30-2012, 06:48 AM
if that's the case that we have to consider possible software that uses gpu well then we should all buy high end gfx even if we dont own them or plan to buy them because maya, max absolutely scream on quadro cards. If only vpr was gpu accelerated my view would change.
I mention you dont own it to point out that even for a die hard particle fan its not a must have purchase otherwise you would have bought in the early bird. A more casual hobbyist will not buy it definitely ehen they play with blender. So whats the use for highend gpu for this group? For pros again this is less an issus since a project would recoup the cost. Lw plus tfd plus highend gpu= no brainer.

A decent midrange graphics card will do fine (like my nvidia geforce gtx 480, I got 460 at work) for hobbyist and semi proīs, if you aim for a lower range graphics card, well..do something else than 3d.

What I did was to search around what could benefit from cuda and gpu, so I went for gtx 480 since it had so many cores, and for all the fuzz and how well spoken it was for regarding simulations and other graphic task such as encoding, certain tasks in after effects etc, even the bullet engine was or has support for cuda.
At the time I didīt have knowledge of fractron 9000 as I recall, but found Out that cuda support was their for it too.

Regarding buying in or not, I had credit card and payment issues( not lack of money)

Then Itīs a matter of time when I see myself Having time to work more with turbulenceFD, and there was Issues popping up with new releases of turbulence, and I still await for some enhancements such as particle advection and more, before I will purchase it, but It has nothing to do with the GPU or CPU connection to Lightwave.

You keep talking about high end...I wouldnīt consider gtx 480 high end Grahics card really, it is mainly more a gaming high end card, but for graphics more a midrange.

Nvidia Quadro FX 5800 pro graphics cards might qualify for high end cards, that is with 4 Gb memory, which ILM set up to be needed for huge fluid simulations in the last airbender for example.
But thatīs out of my leauge unless I get to do some good payed job for fluid
simulations.

http://www.postmagazine.com/Publications/Post-Magazine/2010/July-1-2010/CUDA-SPEEDS-UP-CREATIVITY-FOR-THE-LAST-AIRBENDER.aspx

Michael

prometheus
08-30-2012, 06:55 AM
If only vpr was gpu accelerated my view would change.


Do not be surprised if that shows up soon, I suspect it will, could be wrong..but I donīt think so, just a Hunch.

Might be that Jascha develops an internal turbulence previewer for Lightwave and maybe cuda supported, but that is just me speculating.

Michael

Cageman
08-30-2012, 11:21 AM
This discussion derailed quite much...

My few cents is that you can get a pretty good games-graphics card (NVidia) with CUDA, and you will not have to pay that much for them. Even the low-end gamingcards are nowdays shipped with CUDA, and, from what I've heard is that NVidia cards are more stable to run LW on.

There are also, as others have pointed out, a couple of third party plugins for LW that do take advantage of CUDA if you have that.

When purchasing a gfx-card it is good to think about what you want to do with it, and what you might concider to do. Latest version of Fusion has a lot of goodies that can take advantage of CUDA, and TMPGEnc (a lowcost but very nice and effective video converting software) (http://tmpgenc.pegasys-inc.com/en/), also takes advantage of CUDA.

So, lets say you would have to pay $70 more for a decent CUDA enabled card, there are many things outside of LW (and some inside of LW if you ever purchase those plugins) that will take advantage of it. So, indirectly with the line of work you do in LightWave, wether LW itself takes advantage of CUDA or not, there are other tools, as has been mentioned by myself and others, that boost your performance (turning your LW-rendered imagesequence into MOV/WMV/AVI faster etc).

Cageman
08-30-2012, 11:27 AM
There was a promise to get some benefit for Dstorm Liquid Pack.

From what I know, Liquid Pack is using PhysX, and as such, if you install PhysX, you can tell it to use the GPU, and when doing so it should work in any application utilizing it.

geo_n
08-31-2012, 01:50 AM
A decent midrange graphics card will do fine (like my nvidia geforce gtx 480, I got 460 at work) for hobbyist and semi proīs, if you aim for a lower range graphics card, well..do something else than 3d.


I'm using low gt430 at home for lw with no impact on viewport, 49watt tdp. Running 8 hours a day save a lot of money on elec bill for sucky lw viewport.
At work I'm using mid gt460 for 3dmax and lw, 150W tdp 12-15 hours a day. Bosses pays for bills and its big. :D
Gtx480 was highend before with high price, high temp, high tdp, high psu req. Now its obsolete and cheaper mid cards probably perform faster.
But as you said newcomers might not ask the right question. A newcomer probably also doesn't own most of the software that takes advantage of gpu when Non-newcomers don't even own them, too.
Would they get as much use of the gtx480 class card, maximizing its potential using lw, tfd? Maybe if they were earning from it or using 3dmax, maya, etc.
Wait until one actually own software that needs it that's all I'm saying.
Cards get obsolete and improved upon with better efficiency in a very very short cycle.
http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=106623&d=1346399322