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hrgiger
08-24-2012, 07:15 AM
I am so frustrated with FiberFX. I cannot seem to be able to get any usable results with it for even semi-realistic human hair. The shading does not appear correct, the controls seem inconsistent with the results, and the hair always has a wispy look that cannot seem to be refined at all. While it certainly looks like a fiber of some sort, it just does not look like hair. I have yet to see a single realstic render from it anywhere.

And the only other option we have with hair in LightWave is Sasquatch from Worley Labs. But of course Sasqutach has its own limitations and has not been updated in some time. And an email I received from Worley Labs today tells me not to expect an update to Sasquatch anytime soon. They are not interested in competing with LightWave existing features.

Look at the results you can get from the hair farm plug-in in 3DS Max: http://www.hair-farm.com/gallery.php Look at the quality of the fibers, espeically on the long hair models and look at the quality of the shading. Specularity looks correct. Increasing specularity on FiberFx just turns the hair white in a lot of cases. The other great thing about hair farm is that you can use polygons to sculpt the fibers. I have emailed hair-farm to ask about the possbility of a LightWae port but I'm not holding my breath.

LightWave 11 is the 3rd major version of LightWave with extensive work done on FiberFX and it still needs work. Perhaps a new approach is in order? There are many papers out there on rendering hair in CGI, aren't there valid techniques to use that would work better? Isnt there some good open source code that could be utilized?

What are everyone elses thoughts on the matter?

rcallicotte
08-24-2012, 07:35 AM
Thanks for looking at it this way rather than criticizing. I like the ideas of more research by Lightwave devs to see what can be done. I know fibers and hair are almost two different creatures in this science. Modo had similar issues at the beginning and I haven't tried the new 601 features. Have you?

jasonwestmas
08-24-2012, 07:50 AM
I'll have another crack at it and report my findings. Just got put off on the render buffers for it, they looked like junk. FFX Hair itself is managable imo especially when creating the guides in Zbrush which is quite fun to do once you learn the brushes. It does take a lot of experimentation either way. The FFX shading in comparison to maya nhair/vray hair material and modo hair material is definitely inferrior but certainly not crap.

kfinla
08-24-2012, 08:15 AM
FFX has gone from unusable in 9.5 to reasonably stable in 11. I do agree that the shading model for FFX needs a bunch of work. I have not been able to get very pretty results with it. As a user of both Sasquatch and Modo's hair it is defiantly in 3rd place in regards to render quality, which is sad because the workflow isnt that bad at this point. Dedicated hair material?

MAUROCOR
08-24-2012, 08:51 AM
I can see your pain, hrgiger, and I am sorry about that!:D

I think more people should start asking for a better fur/fiber system in LW.
Til now I didnīt see a good example of a short animal fur. I am still trying so hard on this but I didnīt get success. I spent so many hours in my last project and then I have found a bug with size/weight maps and clump that I reported today.
I think fiber fx is an eternal wip, it is not really ready for massive use.
I did created some good projects with it, but it needs to improve a lot. It is very painfull now.
Please, give us the hair-farm e-mail address and may we can ask them too. Another good option besides sasquatch would be most than welcome.

jasonwestmas
08-24-2012, 08:55 AM
Maybe try the ornatrix people as well. http://www.ephere.com/plugins/autodesk/max/ornatrix/

jeric_synergy
08-24-2012, 09:12 AM
Now that the entire management team for Lightwave has turned over, perhaps its time to go sweet-talk Joe Alter.

That was a total Charlie-Foxtrot: what were they thinking to piss him off?

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 09:19 AM
Here's one of the issues I have with FiberFX. FiberWidth seems to actually mean Fiber Transparency. Default FiberWidth is 500%- which again, I dont' know how they come up with these arbitrary values.... What's wrong with a 0 to 100% scale? Anyway, I threw together these fiber guides quicky using Zbrush and rendered out with FiberFx in Lightwave. The render you can actually see the hair (which is too thick-looks more like straw) the fiber Width is set to 100%. The other render the fiber width is set to 1%. If you compare differnet widths among different renders, you'll see that the actual width of the fiber doesn't change, it just seems to become more transparent as you decrease the value(and those shadows on the 1% width sure don't look right). I suppose this is a limitation of the pixel filter.

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 09:27 AM
Please, give us the hair-farm e-mail address and may we can ask them too. Another good option besides sasquatch would be most than welcome.

[email protected]

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 09:46 AM
Another big issue: Shading. Here I've chanaged the hair color to black and upped the specularity to about 70%-not an insane value mind you. And it doesn't matter if I lower the diffuse or just change the hair color, both look the same. This is NOT what black shiny hair looks like. All it does is blow out the hair color with white or show the reflected light color (the red). Its not shading correctly simple as that.

jeric_synergy
08-24-2012, 09:46 AM
What I don't like is the lack of MEASUREMENTS: so many things are percentages. Too bad there's not a computer around to change the percentages into lengths... OH WAIT... :devil: :devil: :devil:

Also, some of the parameter names makes me wonder about the coder's grasp of English.

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 09:48 AM
Another render and i changed the red light color to a very light yellow white light. Again, not how black hair should respond to light at all.

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 09:50 AM
Should look more like this http://ntphealthproducts.com.au/cart/images/T/1109_1N-Black.jpg

jasonwestmas
08-24-2012, 09:55 AM
Here's one of the issues I have with FiberFX. FiberWidth seems to actually mean Fiber Transparency. Default FiberWidth is 500%- which again, I dont' know how they come up with these arbitrary values.... What's wrong with a 0 to 100% scale? Anyway, I threw together these fiber guides quicky using Zbrush and rendered out with FiberFx in Lightwave. The render you can actually see the hair (which is too thick-looks more like straw) the fiber Width is set to 100%. The other render the fiber width is set to 1%. If you compare differnet widths among different renders, you'll see that the actual width of the fiber doesn't change, it just seems to become more transparent as you decrease the value(and those shadows on the 1% width sure don't look right). I suppose this is a limitation of the pixel filter.

yes, unfortunately I think the thickness of a single hair is related to the scale of the object it's grown from. Kinda lame.

Kryslin
08-24-2012, 10:02 AM
I've been trying to move characters over to FiberFX, and it's been a pain. FFX appears to be decent at long shots, but not close in... Where I can get excellent results with Sasquatch, I get less than adequate results with FFX.

Add in some of the quirks of FFX (some models I can't add another instance of FFX, some I can, for instance), and massive memory usage (I ran out of memory on a 24GB workstation in 64 bit LW, trying to put a coat of short dense fur on a cat, whereas Sasquatch it only allocated it's buffer and ran in 32 bit), and I have to stick with Sasquatch for work.

I'll agree with other voices, perhaps another approach to Hair and Fur needs to be tried...

(Related question : What would be different about a model created in Lightwave 9.x, and one created in LW11? Different tags? Obsoleted tags? That appears to be the primary difference between a model I can apply multiple instances of FFX to, and one I can't.)

jeric_synergy
08-24-2012, 10:20 AM
yes, unfortunately I think the thickness of a single hair is related to the scale of the object it's grown from. Kinda lame.
"Kinda"? Why do you guys cut this so much slack? IT'S ABSOLUTELY LAME.

jasonwestmas
08-24-2012, 10:42 AM
So you can't get black hair at all? interesting.

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 10:44 AM
You can get black hair but the lighting in the scene often washes it out to a gray or white depending on the intensity or Light type.

jasonwestmas
08-24-2012, 10:45 AM
"Kinda"? Why do you guys cut this so much slack? IT'S ABSOLUTELY LAME.

haha, it's too easy to pick on lightwave my friend.

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 10:48 AM
haha, it's too easy to pick on lightwave my friend.

I don't think anyone is picking on LightWave. I think people are frustrated that after 3 versions of LightWave with FiberFX implementations, that we are still struggling with the system to get reliable usable output from it.

MAUROCOR
08-24-2012, 10:55 AM
You can get black hair but the lighting in the scene often washes it out to a gray or white depending on the intensity or Light type.

Have you tried to increase the gloss value? It should give you better results. And try to put lower values in the diffuse field too. Try to change the "Cuticle tilt" to zero or higher values than default. Higher values = lower specularity.

Another important thing is the value of the hightlight in the Color tab. (Actually I donīt understand why hightlights is in that tab, but, hey, it is there!)

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 11:18 AM
Have you tried to increase the glow value? It should give you better results. And try to put lower values in the diffuse field too. Try to change the "Cuticle tilt" to zero or higher values than default. Higher values = lower specularity.

Another important thing is the value of the hightlight in the Color tab. (Actually I donīt understand why hightlights is in that tab, but, hey, it is there!)

As I said earlier, lowering the diffuse or changing the color to black seemed to give me the same results.

Glow, do you mean gloss Mauro? Yes, that helps it from getting completley blown out but still does not look right. Same with cuticle setting. Both of which are upped on this render. Black hair is still getting washed out in areas instead of showing specular highlights.

BTW, the roots of the hair do not look good but I suppose that's partly due to the thickness of the fibers which I can do little about.

Hieron
08-24-2012, 11:28 AM
Too bad, I'm still not touching it with a stick.. only part in LW that is able to drive me angry or nuts. (losing brushed guides, scene file crapping out due to some model tweaking etc... argh)

Got a Modo license as well, will check out how that one works to be able to compare ease of use and result.

MAUROCOR
08-24-2012, 11:29 AM
As I said earlier, lowering the diffuse or changing the color to black seemed to give me the same results.

Glow, do you mean gloss Mauro? Yes, that helps it from getting completley blown out but still does not look right. Same with cuticle setting. Both of which are upped on this render. Black hair is still getting washed out in areas instead of showing specular highlights.

BTW, the roots of the hair do not look good but I suppose that's partly due to the thickness of the fibers which I can do little about.


Yeah, I meant gloss, sorry!

I know it is not right, and I agree that fiber fx is far from a great fur/hair system. I was just trying to help.

jeric_synergy
08-24-2012, 11:36 AM
Suddenly FFX is the hottopic on the forum. Synchronicity is weird.

jasonwestmas
08-24-2012, 11:41 AM
I don't think anyone is picking on LightWave. I think people are frustrated that after 3 versions of LightWave with FiberFX implementations, that we are still struggling with the system to get reliable usable output from it.

I struggle with lightwave in many ways. I'll see if I can take some mystery out of this black hair thing.

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 11:41 AM
I know it is not right, and I agree that fiber fx is far from a great fur/hair system. I was just trying to help.

No problem, I appreciate it. I would love for someone to come along and tell me that FiberFx works great and I just need to check some tickbox somewhere for it do so .

MAUROCOR
08-24-2012, 11:50 AM
No problem, I appreciate it. I would love for someone to come along and tell me that FiberFx works great and I just need to check some tickbox somewhere for it do so .


Sorry to tell you: It not works great!!!!

jeric_synergy
08-24-2012, 12:37 PM
No, see - just wait for the 2 or 3 people that get GREAT results reliably (VERY IMPORTANT!), and you'll understand that FFX is indeed awesome, and that all the users that don't manage to get it to work, or struggle with irreproducable bugs or are not happy with the control over the look, or etc..., which is probably about 99% of the user base, are just too stupid to get it to work... ;)
We could name that the "IKB/Splinegod Effect". :D

(no disrespect to Larry, quite the opposite.) :thumbsup:

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 12:39 PM
No, see - just wait for the 2 or 3 people that get GREAT results reliably (VERY IMPORTANT!), and you'll understand that FFX is indeed awesome, and that all the users that don't manage to get it to work, or struggle with irreproducable bugs or are not happy with the control over the look, or etc..., which is probably about 99% of the user base, are just too stupid to get it to work... ;)

I get the drift on this one believe me.

But I really would love to see someone get good results out of FFX and enlighten me. Because I'm just not seeing it.

AbnRanger
08-24-2012, 12:49 PM
Now that the entire management team for Lightwave has turned over, perhaps its time to go sweet-talk Joe Alter.

That was a total Charlie-Foxtrot: what were they thinking to piss him off?I saw him during Siggraph 2010 and he was developing a sculpting/facial animation plugin for Maya (started with Max but there was little interest shown from both the fanbase and AD, so he re-directed his focus to Maya), called "LipService/LBrush."
http://lbrush.com/features.htm

He might be interested in porting that tech to LW and assisting with Hair/Fur. Can't hurt to ask.

Real Time Hair:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqzMOqoXreg&list=UUP40zaN42XjqKmZ5oCrZSag&index=17&feature=plcp

geo_n
08-24-2012, 01:29 PM
Try the beard and hair demo content for lw 11.

VonBon
08-24-2012, 01:37 PM
you can get good results, they'll just take forever to render ;D

wyattharris
08-24-2012, 01:48 PM
I saw him during Siggraph 2010 and he was developing a sculpting/facial animation plugin for Maya (started with Max but there was little interest shown from both the fanbase and AD, so he re-directed his focus to Maya), called "LipService/LBrush."
http://lbrush.com/features.htm

He might be interested in porting that tech to LW and assisting with Hair/Fur. Can't hurt to ask.

Lipservice was originally on Lightwave also. Great program for organizing your phonemes and generating lip sync.



Real Time Hair:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqzMOqoXreg&list=UUP40zaN42XjqKmZ5oCrZSag&index=17&feature=plcp
Ugh, I wished I hadn't seen that. Shave was one of the best CG apps I ever used and that just makes me want to use it more.

It would be great if the new Lightwave 3D group could mend fences with Joe but during the recent dust up on CGTalk, Joe mentioned that it was us, the users that he didn't want to work with any more, not Newtek. I remember it getting pretty hostile towards the end but apparently someone threatened his wife, over software?!?

Crazy

geo_n
08-24-2012, 02:01 PM
you can get good results, they'll just take forever to render ;D

Are you using radiosity with fiberfx? Its better to create separate lighting for ffx.
Tweaked the demo content. 1min 35 sec render. Its acceptable render time on quadcore imho.

c.1
08-24-2012, 04:07 PM
Thanks, I just read through this entire thread and it made me feel really good about buying Sasquatch,(in fact I bought all of Mr. Worleys plugins at a great price) I'm still running LW 9.6.1 ('cos $695 just ain't in the budget right now.....but soon)(I like to think that I am more "retro" than "behind the times") and best of all it ALL works great even on my POS laptop, FPrime,G2,Sasquatch the whole package awesome. So again thanks, I look forward to upgrading to LW 12

jasonwestmas
08-24-2012, 04:10 PM
well if you plan on using worley stuff it's best to use LW 9.6

Celshader
08-24-2012, 07:13 PM
I get the drift on this one believe me.

But I really would love to see someone get good results out of FFX and enlighten me. Because I'm just not seeing it.

At Pixomondo, we used FiberFX for all the creature fur on Terra Nova and three episodes of Grimm.

I guess our success makes us the elite users of which Oliver spoke.

DigitalSorcery8
08-24-2012, 07:39 PM
It would be great if the new Lightwave 3D group could mend fences with Joe but during the recent dust up on CGTalk, Joe mentioned that it was us, the users that he didn't want to work with any more, not Newtek. I remember it getting pretty hostile towards the end but apparently someone threatened his wife, over software?!?

Crazy

I got into Shave and LipService later than most and I watched all of the mail going back and forth on the mailing list. I recall people getting angry, but I don't EVER recall anyone threatening anyone. I just remember Joe getting angry at a few people and then essentially saying "that's it, I'm done." I wish I had those emails easily available to review, but I wouldn't even know where to look. I guess it really doesn't matter anyway - he has zero intention of working with the LW community anyway. Sad since both S&H and LipService were great products. I still have the dongle. :)

hrgiger
08-24-2012, 07:56 PM
At Pixomondo, we used FiberFX for all the creature fur on Terra Nova and three episodes of Grimm.

I guess our success makes us the elite users of which Oliver spoke.

Any human hair that you can speak of or point to? Because that's what I was asking about.

DAMAKERS
08-24-2012, 08:41 PM
Hello all, I felt some curiosity about this thread and though I have not proved very well the FFX, too busy lately, here I leave something that maybe could help

http://www.damakers.net/temporal/LW_FFX_v001.jpg

Greenlaw
08-24-2012, 08:46 PM
I completed a job this year with several human characters with FiberFX applied--animated, male- and female-style, long, short, etc. The work is not public yet so I can't talk about it specifically but I'll let everybody here know when it's released.

FWIW, FiberFX worked out wonderfully for this job, especially considering the tight schedule, number of characters, and the fact that we couldn't find another artist to help me out with the hair stuff. In fact, my boss was very pleased with the result that we expect to continue using it for all hair/fur on future jobs.

Once things settle down a bit, I'll post my personal FiberFX notes from the job. My hope is that the info will encourage more users to learn FiberFX and maybe I won't have to do this solo next time. :p

G.

geo_n
08-24-2012, 09:15 PM
We need more presets for different types of hair like sas. The demo content for ffx is a good start but its so few. Also need better manual brushing. Rendertime and quality is getting good.

sampei
08-24-2012, 10:02 PM
I'm in the same boat, trying to get something realistic and failing so far.
After restudying the manual I attempted to recreate something like this

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_lKe2XK1kSnY/Szv7easotlI/AAAAAAAABJk/HhPvOPo03c4/s400/natalie-portman-shaved-head-3.jpg

I thought it would be fairly easy to achieve but so far results are quite poor.

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 12:16 AM
We need more presets for different types of hair like sas. The demo content for ffx is a good start but its so few. Also need better manual brushing. Rendertime and quality is getting good.
The problem with presets is that the look of the fibers can be highly dependent on the size of the object--this isn't just a FiberFX thing, it was true for Sasquatch too. That said, presets can give you a good starting point--I had several FiberFX settings I used over and over again on that job. The one thing I wish they will add to FiberFX that Sasquatch had was separate load/save copy/paste buttons for different panels and parameters--having just one global load/save for an entire layer was sometimes too restrictive during that job.

G.

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 12:18 AM
If I have time next week, I'll throw together a few 'NDA safe' images of how FiberFX was used in production at work and post a link.

G.

jeric_synergy
08-25-2012, 12:30 AM
I guess our success makes us the elite users of which Oliver spoke.
::looks around at the other forum users:: Jen, you DO know you ARE easily one of the elite around here, don't you?? :chicken:

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 12:50 AM
you can get good results, they'll just take forever to render ;D
FWIW, for many shots I was getting 2k hair passes down to a few minutes per frame. The longest renders were for close ups head shots with high density--those took between 45 min to an hour. IMO, this really wasn't bad for optimized production renders.

Ugh...hate talking about what I can't show. Will definitely make some 'safe' samples later this week to show what I'm talking about.

G.

geo_n
08-25-2012, 03:45 AM
The problem with presets is that the look of the fibers can be highly dependent on the size of the object--this isn't just a FiberFX thing, it was true for Sasquatch too. That said, presets can give you a good starting point--I had several FiberFX settings I used over and over again on that job. The one thing I wish they will add to FiberFX that Sasquatch had was separate load/save copy/paste buttons for different panels and parameters--having just one global load/save for an entire layer was sometimes too restrictive during that job.

G.

Presets are usually in real scale. Up to the user if they want to create scenes in weird scale l. Readjust materials and presets in those cases. Max hairfx has some nice presets. Sas has demo scenes with different hair types. Ffx manual iw not good.

stiff paper
08-25-2012, 04:48 AM
Ugh...hate talking about what I can't show. Will definitely make some 'safe' samples later this week to show what I'm talking about.

Don't think we've forgotten about "Part 2"...

(I'm joking! I'm joking!)

Hieron
08-25-2012, 06:17 AM
Ugh...hate talking about what I can't show. Will definitely make some 'safe' samples later this week to show what I'm talking about.

G.

Appreciated..

Also, I wonder. Did you go back and forth and tweak models after FFX had been applied to them already? That didn't go well in previous versions..
Can imagine that if you are in a bigger pipeline, you get finished and animated assets to apply hair to and this situation doesn't happen? Based on polygonal hair guides or FFX's own? Or the issues are fixed....

zardoz
08-25-2012, 08:21 AM
Well I've been using ffx for the last few days and it's really hard to get where I
want...I'm trying to get a nice hair for my Conan character in the gallery wip...i did some guides and it has been really hard to get the hair to follow it the way I want....half real, half manga...

zardoz
08-25-2012, 08:23 AM
When I get home I'll post what I'm trying to achieve...maybe some one can help me

jeric_synergy
08-25-2012, 09:42 AM
Presets are usually in real scale. Up to the user if they want to create scenes in weird scale l. Readjust materials and presets in those cases. Max hairfx has some nice presets. Sas has demo scenes with different hair types. Ffx manual iw not good.
IIRC, I modeled a fox at 1 meter in length, approximately RW measurements. (Including tail.)

FFX, at that time, was HOPELESS on the short hairs of the muzzle. I did some tests and indeed scale of the generating object has a HUGE effect on the appearance of the fibers. At TEN meters (10X), the fibers started t be useful.
Obviously, this is HUGELY inconvenient.

(Worse, as I recall, was if you actually scaled an object as an animation, the ffx effect changed THRU the animation, making it practically useless.)(Although that need would be rare.)

Why is this? Why can't fibers be like a piece of RW fur? If you drape an armature with a bearskin, it suddenly doesn't look different because the armature's a specific size.

I understand other fur/hair systems suffer from this too: WUWT?

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 09:57 AM
Presets are usually in real scale. Up to the user if they want to create scenes in weird scale l. Readjust materials and presets in those cases. Max hairfx has some nice presets. Sas has demo scenes with different hair types. Ffx manual iw not good.
Just to be clear, I'm talking about size, not scale. For example, you make presets for a scalp surface on a model that is just the head, and then apply the same preset to the scalp surface of a model that is the head plus the body, you will get completely different looks. This is because the body model is bigger than the head model, even if it's the same exact scale as the head model. This is true even if you kill all the body polygons and leave the head polygons--FiberFX still recognizes that this is a bigger model because, well, it actually is a bigger model. I ran into this situation early on in production because I was given head only geometry to work with and then later discovered that the head was being merged with the body geometry. Argh! Luckily, in this case the problem was easy to fix: I simply compensated by adjusting the Fiber scale factor in the FiberFX panel. This might not work in every instance though so it's best to start out using the size you intend to use in the final scenes.

Not a bug (I think it's mentioned in the manual) but it is something to be aware of. I think this is because the scale is based on the total area available to FiberFX in a model even if only a portion of model will have it applied for rendering. Something like that anyway.

Sasquatch would have similar issues with different sizes (not scale) if I remember correctly. It wasn't exactly the same problem but it kinda was because with Sas you also had to be aware or size/scale issues when using presets.

G.

jeric_synergy
08-25-2012, 10:22 AM
Not a bug (I think it's mentioned in the manual) but it is something to be aware of. I think this is because the scale is based on the total area available to FiberFX in a model even if only a portion of model will have it applied for rendering. Something like that anyway.
I would say while technically not a bug, it's a poor design decision.

Basing assumptions on the size of the mesh is ludicrous to me, a user. I'd expect settings to correspond to real world densities and lengths, but MOSTLY lengths, 'cuz that's what a modeler is interested in most, and the weirdness of rendered hair makes densities very idiosyncratic.

So I'll give up any realistic hair densities numbers, but to have to resort to a calculator just to specify "give me 8 inch long hair" or "one inch fur" is very user-hostile.

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 10:36 AM
Okay, now that you have me started, here's another thing to think about: yes, you should consider the consequences of object scaling in Layout to FiberFX. This should be obvious but during production, I ran into a less than obvious situation.

This was a totally different problem from the one described above:

Our characters were all modeled to proper scale in Lighwave but our animation was being done at 100x scale in Voo Doo, Rhythm's proprietary animation system, and we received .mdd files based on that. (This scale factor is the same as when working with Maya.) This workflow worked out fine except some animator were importing the .mdds through MDD Read at the default Meter scale setting, which of course 'grew' the characters in size, and then they scaled the objects down to 1% for what appeared to be proper Lightwave scale. This totally hosed my FiberFX settings and it took me a while to figure out what happened.

The correct way to import the .mdd data should have been to use the Centimeter option in MDD Reader, which would keep the characters at the normal Lightwave size. When this was done, no scaling needed in Layout and my FiberFX settings behaved exactly as expected.

Note: you should never scale your characters anyway, not just for the sake of FiberFX but also because it can hose other fx tools (like particles) and other scale dependent features. In one situation, it even messed up our motion vectors, but correcting the scale of the 100x .mdd files by choosing Centimeter import solved the problem.

Just an FYI to anybody else who runs into this in production.

G.

geo_n
08-25-2012, 10:42 AM
scale of the generating object has a HUGE effect on the appearance of the fibers.
(Worse, as I recall, was if you actually scaled an object as an animation, the ffx effect changed THRU the animation, making it practically useless.)(Although that need would be rare.)
Why is this? Why can't fibers be like a piece of RW fur? If you drape an armature with a bearskin, it suddenly doesn't look different because the armature's a specific size.
I understand other fur/hair systems suffer from this too: WUWT?

If you have hair on your body and stretch the skin under it, don't they look bald like vfx artist baldhead :D
If you squeeze the skin doesn't the hair look like denser hair? :D



Just to be clear, I'm talking about size, not scale. For example, you make presets for a scalp surface on a model that is just the head, and then apply the same preset to the scalp surface of a model that is the head plus the body, you will get completely different looks. This is because the body model is bigger than the head model, even if it's the same exact scale as the head model. This is true even if you kill all the body polygons and leave the head polygons--FiberFX still recognizes that this is a bigger model because, well, it actually is a bigger model.

Not a bug (I think it's mentioned in the manual) but it is something to be aware of. I think this is because the scale is based on the total area available to FiberFX in a model even if only a portion of model will have it applied for rendering. Something like that anyway.

Sasquatch would have similar issues with different sizes (not scale) if I remember correctly. It wasn't exactly the same problem but it kinda was because with Sas you also had to be aware or size/scale issues when using presets.

G.


G is right with the surface area. Watch out for it.
I'm no programmer but all the hair plugins I've used has this characteristic/algorithym. Hairfx, hairtrix for max. Sas for lw.
I haven't used hairfarm yet or any other hair plugins.
When I load a preset in hairfx I keep in mind that the mesh I apply it to is realworld scale, good equal size squarish poly, good polycount. Apply it randomnly and expect a different look from the preset. You get a sense how much poly in a mesh is needed to get the same look from the preset.
The hair is generated from the surface area of the polygon as written in the ffx manual similar to other plugins. If you resize the mesh(resizing the poly surface area obviously) then the numbers you input for the hair will not apply. One thing I do is increase the subdivision level to "shrink" the polygon surface area for mesh with hair which is usually a separate mesh. The effect though is having a denser, fuller hair. Its best to prepare the cutout polys to generate the hair from the beginning.

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 10:44 AM
Don't think we've forgotten about "Part 2"...

(I'm joking! I'm joking!)

Yes, yes, I haven't forgotten. :)

But I want to redo part 1 first--the example in that video really was just a quick throwaway test and I want to use something that looks more like what we did in production. With the new example I have in mind, I want to show some of the 'gotchas' to be aware of and how to get around them too.

I hope to get to it next week since we're not busy with 'official' work now.

jeric_synergy
08-25-2012, 10:50 AM
Good to know!

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 10:57 AM
One interesting thing about FiberFX is that sub-division density does not really change the look, meaning you can subdivide the mesh like crazy in Layout and FiberFX will hold onto the overall look of the fibers. Fiber placement will be different of course, but just slightly, and not enough to notice from shot to shot. This was important to us because the character sub-D level varied in some shots, i.e., very high for closeup and lower for distant wide shots. Of course, sub-d does not change scale or size, so maybe that should be expected.

However, if I remember correctly, we couldn't do that reliably with Sasquatch.

During production we found many other advantages to using FiberFX over Sasquatch. I'll go into those when I publish my notes and do those videos.

G.

jeric_synergy
08-25-2012, 10:59 AM
If you have hair on your body and stretch the skin under it, don't they look bald like vfx artist baldhead :D
If you squeeze the skin doesn't the hair look like denser hair? :D

IIRC, the issue was the hair on the muzzle, which in RL is very short, like 1 or 2 millimeters.

At the time FFX got very squirrelly if you used Scale values around <1%, which is what got the proper length ffx fibers for that mesh, which was approx the size of a RW fox (~1mtr). I'd say ffx's behaviour at those low numbers was very unpredicatable, nonlinear.

Scaling the fox up to 10meters allowed me to use numbers FFX was more comfortable with, but would have required resizing EVERYTHING in the scene.

I can't believe NewTek wants users to be FORCED to use crazy scales in their animations. FiberFX should be able to work at a variety of scales, predictably, from mammoths to paramecia.

Theoretically, could a global scaling factor be added OVER ffx, per object, that would allow the users to use it over a range of sizes? Right now I think you'd have a hard time making a RW mammoth and a 5-inch mammoth in the same shot, with the same hair look, due to this scale issue.

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 11:15 AM
Theoretically, could a global scaling factor be added OVER ffx, per object, that would allow the users to use it over a range of sizes?
That's what the scale value at the bottom does. Well, sort of. It's actually a global for a layer, rather than object, which is actually far more useful since you may way to adjust scale for different elements of a hairstyle. If you only use one layer, then it's global for the entire object though.

For example, I typically apply about 2 to 5 layers of FiberFX on a human character, including base hair, long bits, eyebrows, etc. The base layer is generally used to fill the space between the long bits and sometimes you may want to increase or decrease the scale slightly depending on camera angle or lighting. Having a scale available on layer lets you make the adjustment easily without messing up the 'look' of the hairstyle.

Oops...I'm already spending way more time talking about this than I meant to. All I really wanted to say was that FiberFX does work very well for human hair and has been used successful in film production. Without being able to show examples (because of NDA,) this is a bit frustrating to talk about though.

I'll get those 'NDA safe' samples made soon with notes. Right now I better get back to my own project before the entire day gets away from me. :p

G.

sampei
08-25-2012, 11:23 AM
All I really wanted to say was that FiberFX does work very well for human hair and has been used successful in film production. Without being able to show examples (because of NDA,) this is a bit frustrating to talk about though.G.

without getting into trouble, could you at least say how realistic these results were ? for example how much better than the head in your tutorial (btw thanks for that) ?

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 11:31 AM
I should point out that nearly everything I've mentioned pertains to using FiberFX with basic surface and/or external guide chains, but not with guides generated by Layout's Edit Guides option.

Two things to avoid in FiberFX for now are Edit Guides in layout (unless you're using to generate a separate object using Polygonize or save Transformed with LW Dynamics,) and Bias VMap. Bias VMap is actually an awesome feature for styling hair but unfortunately it's broken in 11.0.3 (it seems to be stuck in World space instead of Local.) I think they're fixing it now though because, according to the Siggraph press release, FiberFX in Lightwave 11.5 is supposed to store its hairstyles as VMaps in the .lwo object file instead of as a huge chunk of data in the .lws file. This should greatly improve flexibility for moving styles around from shot to shot and solve other problems in the current version.

FYI, the 11.5 announce is one reason I want to avoid spending too much time on FiberFX tutorials. What's been hinted at so far sounds like it could alter my 'tried and tested' rules for using the tool in production--but it will be for the better I think. :)

G.

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 11:38 AM
without getting into trouble, could you at least say how realistic these results were ? for example how much better than the head in your tutorial (btw thanks for that) ?
It's actually capable of a LOT better than what was shown in that test video. Of course, this depends on how much time you want to put into the hair. That example in the video was thrown together many months ago in hour or two for, including dynamics and rendering. In fact, I spent way more time in ClothFX than with FiberFX for that test. Also, this literally was my first attempt at putting FiberFX on a human head--I like to imagine I've learned a trick or two since then. :p

During actual production, I put a few days into some of the hairstyle and the results are much more realistic than the test example. Having done this in production once (the 'hard way' in some cases,) I think I could do it much faster next time, and some hairstyles may go WAY faster if I use ZBrush's FiberMesh for FiberFX guides. (I got into FiberMesh about a week too late for this job, so it wasn't used. Maybe on the next job.)

G.

jeric_synergy
08-25-2012, 11:40 AM
Well, I"m glad it's possible, but it sounds like SERIOUS training is required for the user.

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 11:55 AM
Yes, there is that. There has never been any good 'production' training material available for FiberFX, just a few simple demo videos. I was very lucky that my boss gave me a lot of time to R&D using it at work but the situation was a bit nerve-wracking for me at the time too. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end. :p

I did get some useful clues by looking at manuals and tutorials for other hair systems and trying to apply the ideas to FiberFX. But mostly, it took a lot of systematic testing, careful notetaking, figuring out what features worked reliably and what didn't, and then focusing only on the features that worked in the current release of Lightwave. For the first couple of weeks, the R&D was definitely crazy-making but once I established a workflow that would meet our goal, using FiberFX in production went fairly smoothly.

G.

geo_n
08-25-2012, 12:00 PM
One interesting thing about FiberFX is that sub-division density does not really change the look, meaning you can subdivide the mesh like crazy in Layout and FiberFX will hold onto the overall look of the fibers.

Not sure I agree with you with the subdivision not affecting ffx so much. This was a source of a lot of frustration from lw users in some threads. They want exactly the same look even if the model topology has changed or scaled. Not sure if its wise to think that. Subdivision changed in both pics. Imagine if a tail had different polymesh topology or density, the ffx settings won't apply the same.
Poly surface area should be similar squarish, size across the model to get the same look. Increasing or decreasing subdiv makes ffx render differently in my case.
But this is not ffx "issue" only. All the hair plugins I use(hairfx,haitrix,sas) also have this "issue".
Anyone using hairfarm confirm this?
Presets made for 5 cm square poly grids would be helpful I think as a baseline. That way people creating cutout polys for generating hair would have a starting point.

MAUROCOR
08-25-2012, 12:24 PM
Hey, I did my home work too!!!:)

Although my results are not too much realistic, I think I got some decent renders.
All original renders was 1600 x 1200 px and render times was about 8 minutes. If I was working with skin or simple skin these render times would go to the sky and beyond. That is why now I always work that way: Fiber FX = Fast Skin shader.

Guides were created in ZBrush and I exported a lot of them. In the Fiber FX tab there are only 4 fibers to each guide and only 1 cluster.




http://www.maurocor.com/imagens/stuff/character_hair_1.jpg


Here the same parameters but the scale is 20%.


http://www.maurocor.com/imagens/stuff/character_hair_2.jpg


An interesting note in that one is that I changed the Tip Transparence to 80% and the hair looks more natural.

http://www.maurocor.com/imagens/stuff/character_hair_3.jpg

MAUROCOR
08-25-2012, 12:35 PM
The hair set up:

http://www.maurocor.com/imagens/stuff/character_hair_setup.jpg

MAUROCOR
08-25-2012, 12:51 PM
Not sure I agree with you with the subdivision not affecting ffx so much. This was a source of a lot of frustration from lw users in some threads. They want exactly the same look even if the model topology has changed or scaled. Not sure if its wise to think that. Subdivision changed in both pics. Imagine if a tail had different polymesh topology or density, the ffx settings won't apply the same.
Poly surface area should be similar squarish, size across the model to get the same look. Increasing or decreasing subdiv makes ffx render differently in my case.
But this is not ffx "issue" only. All the hair plugins I use(hairfx,haitrix,sas) also have this "issue".
Anyone using hairfarm confirm this?
Presets made for 5 cm square poly grids would be helpful I think as a baseline. That way people creating cutout polys for generating hair would have a starting point.


Hey, do you mind to share the fur set up you used in this bunny? It looks very nice.
This way we can create a library that may help according to each work. What do you think?:)
Donīt forget to say the size of your model once it is so important!

zardoz
08-25-2012, 01:15 PM
Hi
Like I said I haven't used ffx before, mostly because most of my work is packaging, but recently I decided to recreate the characters from Conan future boy (this is my wip thread, http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=129976) and mauro that looks just like what I need.can you show your guides? I'll post mine later to try to get help on this project.
And I faced the same problem...i was working only with the head and when I added the rest of the body it was all messed up...

jeric_synergy
08-25-2012, 01:23 PM
And I faced the same problem...i was working only with the head and when I added the rest of the body it was all messed up...
The thing that bugged me (been a couple years) was the BRITTLENESS of ffx scenes: look at them cross-eyed and they blew up.

Do you guys who have been working w/it lately think that's a good characterization? "Brittleness" being the opposite of "robust".

++

On the scale issue: I'd like to see fibers' looks get divorced from the scale of the underlying geometry, and have them behave more like a furry fabric. When you throw a faux fur fabric (http://www.etsy.com/listing/92594989/winter-wolf-dark-chocolate-25mm-pile?utm_source=googleproduct&utm_medium=syndication&utm_campaign=GPS&gclid=CPiJzp3Bg7ICFWjhQgodBBMAcA) over an armature, it doesn't suddenly look different when on a dog versus a rhino.

I think users would find that to be a much more intuitive way of dealing with hair and fur.

Some sort of "wizard" that took a preset, analyzed the mesh, and made appropriate adjustments would be almost as good.

MAUROCOR
08-25-2012, 01:41 PM
Hi
Like I said I haven't used ffx before, mostly because most of my work is packaging, but recently I decided to recreate the characters from Conan future boy (this is my wip thread, http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=129976) and mauro that looks just like what I need.can you show your guides? I'll post mine later to try to get help on this project.
And I faced the same problem...i was working only with the head and when I added the rest of the body it was all messed up...

Hi, Luis!

Here it is the guides that I created in ZBrush.

Another way that I think would be good to do in your work is to create a second layer with the part of the head you want to put hair (that I call SCALP) and in layout, you have to parent the scalp to the layer 1 (or to the object if you prefer to create a separated object). If you are working with bones, then you should to parent the SCALP to the bone of the head and then create the hair only in the SCALP object. A tip is that you make the SCALP object just a little bit smaller than the head, this way you can dissolve the scalp in 100% and you will not have problems.
You can apply the fibers in the Scalp geometry and edit guides directly in layout if you want. And can even save the guides as poly chains if you prefer.

I am posting the guides that I used here.


http://www.maurocor.com/imagens/stuff/character_hair_guides.jpg

and the an example of the SCALP that I am telling you. In this example I did the geometry bigger than the head just to illustrated purposes.

Boa sorte no seu projeto!:thumbsup:


http://www.maurocor.com/imagens/stuff/character_hair_scalp.jpg

zardoz
08-25-2012, 01:42 PM
Well I would love to select the scale of the fibers in cms, that seems a lot more logic...if my character is 1,8m tall it could have hair 5 or 6cms long and if it it's 10m tall the hair could be 1m long. This seems simple and logic to me...my hairs, length doesn't depend on the area of my skin.

zardoz
08-25-2012, 01:52 PM
I was writing while you posted mauro.thanks for this. from what I see there's a lot of guides...i have 100 times less...maybe the problems I'm getting are related to that...I'll have to check zbrush...(i wanted to do everything in lightwave). I also have another layer for the scalp but it is applied with a map...I'll try with geometry.i already have the guides parented to the head bone.
(argh...writing in the phone is painful).
Obrigado Mauro.

jeric_synergy
08-25-2012, 01:54 PM
Well I would love to select the scale of the fibers in cms, that seems a lot more logic...if my character is 1,8m tall it could have hair 5 or 6cms long and if it it's 10m tall the hair could be 1m long. This seems simple and logic to me...my hairs, length doesn't depend on the area of my skin.
EXACTLY. Why the developer doesn't see the logic in this is beyond me.

There are individual humans behind coding decisions. I'd like to hear this one's rationale backing up this inconvenience. Although in the long run, I don't care: I just want a damn length.

I note that, IIRC, SasLite uses a percentage, but immediately translates it to a length for the user. Someone didn't forget that all this is running on a giant calculator, thank you very much.

zardoz
08-25-2012, 02:01 PM
Well like someone said before other hair plugins use the same method so I am pretty sure there's some logical reason for it.

sampei
08-25-2012, 02:03 PM
Hey, do you mind to share the fur set up you used in this bunny? It looks very nice.
This way we can create a library that may help according to each work. What do you think?:)
Donīt forget to say the size of your model once it is so important!
that's a fantastic idea sir :thumbsup:

It's actually capable of a LOT better than what was shown in that test video. Of course, this depends on how much time you want to put into the hair. That example in the video was thrown together many months ago in hour or two for, including dynamics and rendering. In fact, I spent way more time in ClothFX than with FiberFX for that test. Also, this literally was my first attempt at putting FiberFX on a human head--I like to imagine I've learned a trick or two since then. :p
During actual production, I put a few days into some of the hairstyle and the results are much more realistic than the test example. Having done this in production once (the 'hard way' in some cases,) I think I could do it much faster next time, and some hairstyles may go WAY faster if I use ZBrush's FiberMesh for FiberFX guides. (I got into FiberMesh about a week too late for this job, so it wasn't used. Maybe on the next job.)
G.
I see, that's really good to hear..I look forward to seeing how far you progressed :D

geo_n
08-25-2012, 02:17 PM
For the hairplugins I mentioned its best to create a separate layer/object because hairplugins use poly surface area to calculate hair growth even Sas for lw. Not sure why this is the way it is but its not exclusive to ffx.
So best to use cutout polys, "use bones from object" if its rigged. If you don't and you change topology on model you're in trouble. The hair will look different.
For ffx you need super dense hair guides not like sas. Not sure why though it slows down dynamics with that much hair guides.

MAUROCOR - I'll ask if I can post scene, its a wip of a childrens book I'm doing for client.

Greenlaw
08-25-2012, 03:31 PM
Not sure I agree with you with the subdivision not affecting ffx so much.
I see what you mean.

FWIW, I wasn't seeing this problem at all during production, probably because of my high cluster radius setting which randomizes the fiber placement so I didn't get that 'grid effect' at all. For me, this was preferable to using Relax, which places a huge hit on render times. When I subdivided the mesh for closeups, there was practically no noticeable difference between it and the low Sub-D setting--only a slight difference when compared directly but not enough to tell from shot to shot.

G.

jasonwestmas
08-25-2012, 03:34 PM
Just putzing around for a few hours I came up with this. The main things I changed was to crank up the spec and gloss and turn the highlighting way down, almost to zero.

The Hair Width setting remarkably works as expected this time. . . it does in fact make the hairs thinner not just transparent in this latest release. (70-100% for hair width for this model's scale which is about 400mm ). I used a lot of hairs in this but it rendered very fast.

MAUROCOR
08-25-2012, 03:57 PM
Just putzing around for a few hours I came up with this. The main things I changed was to crank up the spec and gloss and turn the highlighting way down, almost to zero.

The Hair Width setting remarkably works as expected this time. . . it does in fact make the hairs thinner not just transparent in this latest release. (70-100% for hair width for this model's scale which is about 400mm ). I used a lot of hairs in this but it rendered very fast.


Which release are you talking about exactly?

jasonwestmas
08-25-2012, 04:05 PM
.0.3

Celshader
08-25-2012, 04:11 PM
Any human hair that you can speak of or point to? Because that's what I was asking about.

I thought Sean Jackson's FiberFX wig (http://grimm.wikia.com/wiki/File:Spinnetod_Charlotte1.png) for the "Tarantella" episode of Grimm looked spiffy.

MAUROCOR
08-25-2012, 04:37 PM
.0.3

Hmmm... I decided to wait for 11.5 and skipped that one.

hrgiger
08-25-2012, 04:42 PM
The Hair Width setting remarkably works as expected this time. . . it does in fact make the hairs thinner not just transparent in this latest release. (70-100% for hair width for this model's scale which is about 400mm ). I used a lot of hairs in this but it rendered very fast.

That's not the result I'm seeing and I'm using 11.03. Did you try a very low setting like 10-15% or below?

hrgiger
08-25-2012, 04:47 PM
Mauro what does the fiber V input on the gradient do? I am messing with it now(on the width channel) and its giving me better results but I'm still getting a transparency effect which is not what I want.

hrgiger
08-25-2012, 04:58 PM
I thought Sean Jackson's FiberFX wig (http://grimm.wikia.com/wiki/File:Spinnetod_Charlotte1.png) for the "Tarantella" episode of Grimm looked spiffy.

It looks good although its hart to tell from that image. I guess the issue is, why doesn't fiberfx product better results like this easier? Sasquatch gave better results on default values but as Greenlaw even pointed out for his use of Fiberfx for production, he wrestled with it for some time to get the results he wanted.

And Jeric, I knew that scale was important for your model but I guess I never considered that if you test on just a head and then add a body later that your hair will look different. That is downright annoying.

jeric_synergy
08-25-2012, 05:02 PM
And Jeric, I knew that scale was important for your model but I guess I never considered that if you test on just a head and then add a body later that your hair will look different. That is downright annoying.
One might assume that, once you got an isolated patch of a mesh, like a scalp, tweeked in, adding to it would NOT affect the look.

Apparently, one would be wrong.

It's stunningly stupid. In the RW, lengthening a stuffed tigers tail doesn't suddenly affect his whiskers.

As I said above (somewhere): fur, hair, and fibers should act like a faux-fur fabric that doesn't have any computational relationship to the size of the mesh.

jasonwestmas
08-25-2012, 05:29 PM
That's not the result I'm seeing and I'm using 11.03. Did you try a very low setting like 10-15% or below?

yes, but that didn't look right for the scale of the model and/or the number of fibers per guide. What size is the head you are using out of curiosity? Also try volume mode and see if that does anything different. I didn't see much difference myself other than the shading was better in volume mode.

MAUROCOR
08-25-2012, 05:41 PM
Mauro what does the fiber V input on the gradient do? I am messing with it now(on the width channel) and its giving me better results but I'm still getting a transparency effect which is not what I want.

The V imput is the v map of the fiber (the map along the fiber describes better) and in this field you have the hability to add different values, making the fiber thinner or thicker at the point that you want.
I like to start the fiber with a lower number because it gives the fiber a more natural look.

I am testing now a scene containing just 1 fiber (yes, just 1) and I can see better how Fiber FX works.
For example, apparently you can put a value like 500000% and the result you get is the same as 500%. It seems that 500% is the higher value.
But try to change the Fiber Type to Tick Camera Align and in this case the fiber will have a width (as the name says)where you can see clearly how it is created.
You are right, fiber fx doesnīt work with real tickness, but a transparence that gives you the ilusion of the tickness.
I think that is the reazon some works just doesnīt look nice.

.................................................. ..................................................

This week I have found a new problem, when I used a weight map to determine the scale of the hair, in regions when the map is 0 (zero) if I apply some clump too, the place where shouldnīt have hair (hair scale 0) is not respected and magicly grows hair there.
I reported this as a bug but the answer was the developer sees that more like a "limitation".
It is very frustrating because I spent hours in a project of an animal with different hair size on its body, and everything was going well until I need to use the clump and then I have lost the entire project because it doesnīt work the way it was expected.


But hey, may we can convince the guy from hair-farm to develop the plugin to LW. Letīs try. It would be another option to us.

Celshader
08-25-2012, 06:02 PM
I guess the issue is, why doesn't fiberfx product better results like this easier?

If it cheers you up, a co-worker showed me yesterday that it is easier to get nice-looking results in LightWave 11.0.x FiberFX than it is in LightWave 10.1 FiberFX. So the development's going in the right direction.

MAUROCOR
08-25-2012, 06:09 PM
I am posting an interesting test that I did using only 1 fiber.


http://www.maurocor.com/imagens/stuff/hair_tests.jpg

MAUROCOR
08-25-2012, 06:32 PM
If it cheers you up, a co-worker showed me yesterday that it is easier to get nice-looking results in LightWave 11.0.x FiberFX than it is in LightWave 10.1 FiberFX. So the development's going in the right direction.

I was wondering how amazing would be if you (or your co-worker) could share with this community a sample that give us a light about these incredible results you are getting so easily with fiber fx (and no matter whith version of lw).
Certainly I would appreciate that a lot!

Because I am sure it is possible to rich great results with that but it is not being so easy to the marjority of the people here, as you can see. So, if you are in elite that Oliver told, would be very kind from you if you could share something more with us.

For example, so far I have not been able to achieve any good results creating a really short animal fur.
For long fur Fiber FX is amazing, to dinosaurs, to aliens, spheres, werewolfs, half-eaten rat, etc, but til now I didnīt see any animal with short fur that convinced me.

That is why any help from people who are doing nice works in this front is very wellcome.

hrgiger
08-25-2012, 06:51 PM
If it cheers you up, a co-worker showed me yesterday that it is easier to get nice-looking results in LightWave 11.0.x FiberFX than it is in LightWave 10.1 FiberFX. So the development's going in the right direction.

What would cheer me up is if I saw FiberFX working for a large number of users and people in general found it to be a valuable addition to LightWave. Because right now and for some time now, its felt like another IKBoost feature. Where you have a few users who swear by it, yet most people turn up their nose at it and never look back because they fight with it more then they are pleased with it and there are so few examples of it where its being used with good results en masse.

Celshader
08-25-2012, 07:15 PM
...there are so few examples of it where its being used with good results en masse.

I forgot to mention we also used LightWave 10.1's FiberFX for the fur on the half-eaten rat's a-- in Amazing Spider-Man.

Right now FiberFX gets the job done, I'll give it that. It's also getting better with each build, so the "en masse" part might be sooner than you think.

Dodgy
08-25-2012, 08:09 PM
Here are a couple of characters I've been working on.

jasonwestmas
08-25-2012, 08:13 PM
Here are a couple of characters I've been working on.

Purdy! Just to verify my claim Dodgy. Does hair width actually make your hairs thinner or thicker in your experience? They appear to do so here on my computer.

Dodgy
08-25-2012, 09:17 PM
I would say not Jason, just crank your width up to something ridiculous like 10000 to see they remain maybe 2 pixels width. Unless you use wide hairs instead of thin, or use volumetric of course, which are both affected obviously by hair width.

sampei
08-26-2012, 06:54 AM
Interesting that it doesn't render coherently from frame to frame. :)
do you mean fibers appear different or render times? yesterday I was having problems with cpu overheating and did an F10 of a basic ffx scene, mainly to monitor temps. I noticed the first render was 1:48s but then times dilated and eventually got to 2:40s-2:50s (no envelopes of course)...not too sure why this is. I'm on 10.1 btw.

Dodgy
08-26-2012, 07:13 AM
Was playing with old assets... fresh install of 11.0.3, fresh configs. No old FFX setups, just used the old mesh and the old guides (that are technically correct FFX guides) and started over.
Still feels pretty wonky. Don't quite like the look, have to dabble some more. Interesting that it doesn't render coherently from frame to frame. :)

Looks like you need thinner hair. I have mine down to about 40-50 and use more hairs. Also, make sure they're not all clumped together making thicker looking hairs.

jasonwestmas
08-26-2012, 07:24 AM
I would say not Jason, just crank your width up to something ridiculous like 10000 to see they remain maybe 2 pixels width. Unless you use wide hairs instead of thin, or use volumetric of course, which are both affected obviously by hair width.

yeah, I was looking at volumetric hairs in VPR and the hairs (I could have sworn) get thinner and thicker looking with the hair width setting. What I did was just lower the hair width down to 100% then increased the number of hairs per guide, then made sure the guide radius setting was the right size so the hairs weren't all bunched together or too far apart.

then I made another render with volumetric turned off and the hair thickness looked pretty much the same in F9.

kfinla
08-26-2012, 07:43 AM
What would cheer me up is if I saw FiberFX working for a large number of users and people in general found it to be a valuable addition to LightWave. Because right now and for some time now, its felt like another IKBoost feature. Where you have a few users who swear by it, yet most people turn up their nose at it and never look back because they fight with it more then they are pleased with it and there are so few examples of it where its being used with good results en masse.

Agree completely. I'm still waiting to see realistic render examples of FFX, cuz i've been looking, and hoping to see some since FFX was a 3rd party plugin (LW 8?). I've seen and made photo real still renders in Sasquatch, and yes the defaults were very nice to begin with. I'd love to see the raw FFX render in Jen's example that isn't hiding behind motion blur, depth of field, and dark lighting because using FFX for a still print shot like people are posting and complaining about vs. a film shot thats gone through comp and been blurred 3 separate ways is different, its feeling like hair vs. looking like hair.

jeric_synergy
08-26-2012, 09:01 AM
Interesting that it doesn't render coherently from frame to frame. :)
'Interesting'? I'd be more aggravated than fascinated. But that's just me. :stop: :D

Are you referring to the whiskers? 'Cuz to my low standards, the hair seems fairly good, the mustache has obvious problems, and the whiskers under the jaw line are hopeless.

This very much reminds me of my oft-referenced fox muzzle shot: are the scale (what any sane person would call "length") values down around 1%? 'Cuz I was trying to get a whiskery look, and it just wasn't happening, while the longer hair on other parts of the fox looked lovely.

What is the actual size of your head model here?

jeric_synergy
08-26-2012, 10:04 AM
The head is modeled to scale.
I'd love to chime in on all the UI and production stuff, but I'll limit this to:

Try making the head 10x its current size, in LWM (i.e. not with Layout/Scale), and try the whiskers again.

zardoz
08-26-2012, 10:06 AM
Those arcs I got them too. I reconverted the guides to curves and used sherpa to rebuild the two point polys and that was fixed.

MAUROCOR
08-26-2012, 10:16 AM
Those arcs I got them too. I reconverted the guides too curves and used sherpa to rebuild the two point polys and that was fixed.

Now I am working only with Sherpa. It is much more secure!

jeric_synergy
08-26-2012, 11:11 AM
Now I am working only with Sherpa. It is much more secure!
Never heard of Sherpa... I note that the lwplugindb.com entry is incorrect: there IS a 64 bit version.

I also added some tags, since it had NONE. >I^( :devil:

MAUROCOR
08-26-2012, 12:42 PM
Never heard of Sherpa... I note that the lwplugindb.com entry is incorrect: there IS a 64 bit version.

I also added some tags, since it had NONE. >I^( :devil:

Yeah, I use the 64 bit version.
This plugin is great to generate guides from splines. It always works very well.

hrgiger
08-26-2012, 04:12 PM
Well I did hear back from the developer over at hair farm. Here was his reply.

Dear Steve,


Thank you for your interest in Hair Farm. We would certainly like to have a LightWave version of Hair Farm in the future. We are currently working on porting Hair Farm to other platforms than 3ds Max and LightWave is one that we will definitely consider in the future. That said, I wouldn't expect to have a LightWave version of Hair Farm anytime soon.


Best Regards,
Cem Yuksel

Well, I wouldn't call it promising but at least it wasn't a flat out no way jose.

MAUROCOR
08-26-2012, 04:15 PM
Well I did hear back from the developer over at hair farm. Here was his reply.

Dear Steve,


Thank you for your interest in Hair Farm. We would certainly like to have a LightWave version of Hair Farm in the future. We are currently working on porting Hair Farm to other platforms than 3ds Max and LightWave is one that we will definitely consider in the future. That said, I wouldn't expect to have a LightWave version of Hair Farm anytime soon.


Best Regards,
Cem Yuksel

Well, I wouldn't call it promising but at least it wasn't a flat out no way jose.


Well, it is too bad it will not be soon.:(

kfinla
08-26-2012, 06:20 PM
I imagine Maya is the first port.

hrgiger
08-26-2012, 07:23 PM
I made up another wig in Zbrush to experiment with tonight. Again messing with black hair and I can't figure out why I'm getting highlights on the one side and just getting fading highlights on the other. The same light types are on either side of the model. Its frustrating to mess around with this for a few hours and not feel like you're getting anywhere.

Dodgy
08-26-2012, 07:58 PM
I made up another wig in Zbrush to experiment with tonight. Again messing with black hair and I can't figure out why I'm getting highlights on the one side and just getting fading highlights on the other. The same light types are on either side of the model. Its frustrating to mess around with this for a few hours and not feel like you're getting anywhere.

It's not the same shape on the both sides though, why should it?

jasonwestmas
08-26-2012, 09:06 PM
yeah you won't really know if it looks right anyway until you render out a turn around especially when dealing with specular "reflections" and translucent simulations like the highlighting.

Dodgy
08-26-2012, 09:22 PM
My hair in motion:

ranhell
08-26-2012, 09:25 PM
I gave up a while ago time over time things did not behave the way you think they would I hope this is fixed for 11.5 Ill try again some other day again..........again.......

ranhell
08-26-2012, 09:28 PM
Hey Dodgy thats pretty nice! You show off........:thumbsup:

Greenlaw
08-27-2012, 12:02 AM
During production I actually had very little trouble with spec for black and brunette hair--luckily, that was most of the characters. Where I ran into trouble was blonde hair--the spec on blonde hair was significantly harder to control as the character turned and moved it's head. When the character wasn't moving very much the secondary spec option looked quite beautiful but it was really tough to light consistently while in motion. In the end, I wound up simplifying the shading for the blonde hair because we were running out of time. It still looked quite nice though.

Ugh...once again, I hate talking about something I'm not allowed to show. I'll stop for now until after it's been released. :p

G.

geo_n
08-27-2012, 01:06 AM
My hair in motion:

Nice. Are you using volumetric ffx or both volumetric mode is off?
Honestly I don't see a reason to have different modes in ffx. Just adds confusion to users.

Dodgy
08-27-2012, 02:08 AM
It's the pixel filter not the volume mode.

Pixel filter mode is faster (not as much anymore, but maybe 7x slower, comparing vol and pixel filter on that head render.) but vol mode would work with everything in theory, so it's really up to you.

hrgiger
08-27-2012, 02:35 AM
It's not the same shape on the both sides though, why should it?

but the side thats faded doesn't even look like specularity is what I'm getting at. It doesn't look like anything that would happen in a rw lighting situation.

Greenlaw
08-27-2012, 02:59 AM
Nice. Are you using volumetric ffx or both volumetric mode is off?
Honestly I don't see a reason to have different modes in ffx. Just adds confusion to users.
The pixel filter is significantly faster and tends to look softer/whispier--arguably, it's a much nicer look. This mode, however, does not show up in VPR. I use volume mode to check lighting and shading in VPR and then switch back to pixel filter for final rendering. VPR is not a 100% match but it's close enough to be useful.

TIP: Full-on FiberFX can be very slow in Volume mode in VPR but there are many things you can do to make it useful. For example, if you break a hairstyle into multiple layers, you can speed up what you need to see in VPR by disabling what you don't need to see. Also, temporarily reducing density while in VPR mode can also speed up VPR rendering--I typically dial it down to just low enough to where I can still tell how my lighting affects the hair and then increase back the desired value after I'm satisfied with the lighting/shading. Limited Region is also your friend when viewing FiberFX with VPR.

G.

geo_n
08-27-2012, 04:40 AM
That's interesting. I'm only getting around 5% slower renders with volume shading on so I never used pixel mode. I also thought pixel mode doesn't cast shadow on other objects but looks like that WomanShaking_Hair.mov has some shadows.

sampei
08-27-2012, 05:26 AM
speaking of shadows, I noticed something curious. Even with cast and self shadows set to zero, shadow type still strongly influences render times.
Same goes for shadow depth, but with less dramatic increases.

geo_n
08-27-2012, 05:36 AM
speaking of shadows, I noticed something curious. Even with cast and self shadows set to zero, shadow type still strongly influences render times.
Same goes for shadow depth, but with less dramatic increases.

Shadow depth term is misleading. It actually affects the whole quality of ffx in general. Greenlaw pointed out that input parameter to me before.
It would be great if ffx was more optimized and faster overall in the next updates. Its a ramhog and files load very slowly if its in a scene.
The bug with timeline scrubbing is also annoying. But its getting there.

rcallicotte
08-27-2012, 05:54 AM
Fantastic.




Well I did hear back from the developer over at hair farm. Here was his reply.

Dear Steve,


Thank you for your interest in Hair Farm. We would certainly like to have a LightWave version of Hair Farm in the future. We are currently working on porting Hair Farm to other platforms than 3ds Max and LightWave is one that we will definitely consider in the future. That said, I wouldn't expect to have a LightWave version of Hair Farm anytime soon.


Best Regards,
Cem Yuksel

Well, I wouldn't call it promising but at least it wasn't a flat out no way jose.

jasonwestmas
08-27-2012, 06:18 AM
Yes, volume mode is closer to pixel filter I find in .0.3. For a wig, volume renders fast enough in vpr to be useful.

geo_n
08-27-2012, 06:44 AM
Yes, volume mode is closer to pixel filter I find in .0.3. For a wig, volume renders fast enough in vpr to be useful.

Yes its really improving. Like I said in the other thread. I don't have that nervous feeling anymore when using ffx in lw 11 unlike before some simple operations would crash ffx.
Just needs to be optimized more and more.

jeric_synergy
08-27-2012, 08:30 AM
Shadow depth term is misleading.
What would be a better term?

I'm all for having the terminology used in features HELP comprehension, rather than getting in the way of understanding the tools.

geo_n
08-27-2012, 10:39 AM
Maybe sampling quality?

Greenlaw
08-27-2012, 11:09 AM
Yes its really improving. Like I said in the other thread. I don't have that nervous feeling anymore when using ffx in lw 11 unlike before some simple operations would crash ffx....
Yes, FiberFX's stability improved significantly in 11.0.2. While I was using it in production, my crashes tended to happen after I swap out deforming object while VPR was running, which wasn't too surprising. (FPrime was notorious for crashing when doing this too.) Obviously, the solution was to just avoid doing that. Most of the time, FiberFX was quite stable though and I didn't have to worry about it much, at least not after establishing a reliable workflow.

I did run into crashing early on when I was trying to make Edit Strands in Layout work, which was one of many reasons I avoided using that tool during production. I hope this feature is improved in the next version because for styling, it actually works quite nicely. Towards the end of the job, I did use it for a couple of background characters. I took a risk in using it because we were getting so short on time and I knew I could get results quickly with it; also, some technical reasons (not related to Lightwave) came up that prevented me from using guide chains for these few background characters. It made me nervous to rely on Edit Guides but somehow it behaved itself in this situation. (Some of the artists I was working with during this time joked that FiberFX had grown weary of fighting me.) I don't recommend using Edit Guides though, at least not in the current release (11.0.2/11.0.3) but I'm eager to try it again when 11.5 comes out.

In case anybody is wondering what I did use for growing fibers, it was mostly guide chains. I started out using surface based hair combined with guide chains, which was the setup for some of the characters in the show. However, I found it far more reliable (especially in our mixed software pipeline) to use guide chains for all hair and this was what was used for most of the 'hero' characters. The guide chains were created using many different techniques, which I can go into later.

Well, it looks like I might actually have a big chunk of 'free time' this week so I'll start posting some 'NDA safe' examples soon. I'll let everybody know when they go up. :)

G.

P.S., if you're a Lightwave 11 user, be sure to update to 11.0.2 (SP2)/11.0.3 (SP3). If you're still using 11.0.1 (SP1), forget it--FiberFX will not render with LWSN with that version. 11.0 was okay but there were many internal interface improvement made in later versions, especially with how surfaces are listed in the FiberFX panel, which is very important if you have multiple characters or use the Load Items From Scene command a lot.

Greenlaw
08-27-2012, 12:07 PM
Btw, regarding pixel filter and shadows, yes, it does cast shadows. Even better, it casts raytraced shadows (unlike Sasquatch, which relied on shadow maps.) This is important because it means you can use almost any type of light with it. So how does it do this? When using the pixel filter, shadows are actually cast from the voxels version of the fibers. You can speed this up by using lower quality voxels and shadow settings, but if you go too low, it will flicker or get too chunky. Finding the right balance can be tricky depending on the hairstyle but once I found it, I tended to stick with it for that hairstyle through all the shots it appeared in.

Which reminds me, one serious limitation with the current FiberFX is that you apparently cannot exclude lights from it, which was a very useful feature in Sasquatch. I was able to get around this in production because all the hair was rendered in separate hair and hair cast shadows passes, but they really need to add this to the main panel. Most of the time, you can make hair look quite good with only two or so lights and improve your render times significantly. Limiting the number of lights that affect hair also makes it easier to light for animation.

And that reminds me of another limitation: You cannot use Hide From Camera with FiberFX. However, if you enable Save RGB from the FiberFX Panel, this effectively puts FiberFX into a Hide From Camera mode, which is what I used to render separate hair passes from FiberFX. (I had Save RGB save a 'dummy' file which I disregarded. This output is not particularly useful anyway because it's not anti-aliased properly.) BTW, to render the Shadow only pass, I used the same feature but used the traditional Shadow Density tricks to isolate the cast shadows in the main render.

There are a few 'gotchas' and workarounds to be aware of when doing this for compositing and I'll go into that later (with images to illustrate.) My overall impression when figuring this stuff out was that FiberFX wasn't really designed with layering and compositing in mind but it is possible to output high quality hair passes and shadow passes from FiberFX.

FYI, Sasquatch had its own lighting/shadow/AA issues when rendering separate hair and shadow passes, some which are very similar to ones I ran into with FiberFX, and from what I've read in other forums, some of these same limitations exist with other hair/fur system too (like Shave and a Haircut for example.) I'll go more into what I'm talking about later, with examples and solutions.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I do hope they make FiberFX a bit more compositer friendly in a future version. While it can be done now in 11.0.2/3, the procedure for getting separate hair/shadow passes is a bit 'hacky' if you know what I mean. :)

G.

Greenlaw
08-27-2012, 01:16 PM
Hmm...stop using it for a few weeks and already I'm forgetting things. Part of what I wrote above is incorrect. When I used Save RGB to simulate Hide From Camera, this was to create the Shadow pass only, not to render fibers only. I didn't use this feature to create the fibers-only because of the AA issue mentioned above. D'oh! :)

To render a fibers-only pass, I did it 'old-school' and used black matte objects for the characters. This was the only reliable way I could find to do it and get good AA from FiberFX as a separate pass. In theory, the Save RGB feature is meant to do this for you but I think without a coverage channel, you can't really composite it properly. (This is same data that would be used to anti-alias Material/Object ID and depth channels if Lightwave supported it. It's basically tells the compositing program how much of a pixel is shared by different objects so that channels like M/O ID and depth can be anti-aliased properly. FYI, Vue can output coverage and it works wonders for simplifying our compositing tasks in Fusion--I'm begging you, Newtek, please, please add this channel to Lightwave.)

One final thing: When you output FiberFX this way (with matte objects,) you may notice that the fibers will look a little 'chunky' when composited and not as whispy as when they are rendered 'in-camera'. To get that nice whispy look with separately rendered fibers only pass you need to render the fibers with Unpremultiply Alpha enabled. This has to do with the the fine sub-pixel and semi-transparent nature of the pixel filter fibers. (In case anybody is wondering, the same idea applies to rendering Sasquatch in passes, which had it's own option just for this purpose.) Just be aware that if you do this, your compositing program may require some additional options enabled for this to looks right.

(I'll go into that later too. Right now I'm just warming up and refreshing my memory.) :p

G.

jasonwestmas
08-27-2012, 01:33 PM
we're still in oldschool mode for compositing fibers still? arg.

jeric_synergy
08-27-2012, 01:41 PM
You guys who use FFX a lot should be burning up the "feature request" line, and I'd expect compositing support to be a hot topic. :(

MAUROCOR
08-27-2012, 02:21 PM
Depending the style of the hair you want you canīt use Volume Only.
It doesnīt render kink.

Hieron
08-27-2012, 02:24 PM
Well, it looks like I might actually have a big chunk of 'free time' this week so I'll start posting some 'NDA safe' examples soon. I'll let everybody know when they go up. :)


Much appreciated!
Really nice of you to explain some of the things you uncovered.

Greenlaw
08-27-2012, 03:52 PM
You guys who use FFX a lot should be burning up the "feature request" line, and I'd expect compositing support to be a hot topic. :(
Believe, me, plenty of requests have been submitted by me and others artists here in these forums. I got a little 'lazy' after we finished the job but will focus on FiberFX again soon. I don't want to wait until the next hair/fur job comes along. :)

G.

erikals
08-27-2012, 03:58 PM
...one serious limitation with the current FiberFX is that you apparently cannot exclude lights from it, which was a very useful feature in Sasquatch...

hope to see this one in LW12...

Greenlaw
08-27-2012, 04:03 PM
we're still in oldschool mode for compositing fibers still? arg.
Yes. It's not a big deal since everything else in Lightwave is more or less still done this way anyway. But, yeah, breaking things out needs to be made easier. (I mean layering in general, not just FiberFX.)

BTW, I bought a license of Janus when went on sale a couple of months ago. So far I've only played with it for a few simple tests and it's pretty cool. I really don't know enough yet to say if it's compatible with FiberFX but will let you know soon.

FYI, it looks like Janus (http://faulknermano.com/janus/)is still $99--I guess that must be its new permanent price.

G.

jeric_synergy
08-27-2012, 04:31 PM
FYI, it looks like Janus (http://faulknermano.com/janus/)is still $99--I guess that must be its new permanent price.
G.
That's a bargain if it eliminates the headaches I think it does. :thumbsup:

Celshader
08-27-2012, 05:00 PM
we're still in oldschool mode for compositing fibers still? arg.

S.O.P. at most studios, even if they're not using LightWave. It's not like artists can render Shave & a Haircut hair/fur directly inside a VRay render.

Even if they could, they'd want to comp it in just for more control over the final look.

erikals
08-27-2012, 05:12 PM
true, but not convenient for freelancers that needs to send out a change in less than 1-2-3...

as most of us don't work in the movie industry...

Celshader
08-27-2012, 05:28 PM
true, but not convenient for freelancers that needs to send out a change in less than 1-2-3...

Rendering FiberFX separately also seems to speed up overall render times. We're using it on scenes with radiosity, SSS, animated deformations and ZBrush displacements, though.

Dodgy
08-27-2012, 06:21 PM
...one serious limitation with the current FiberFX is that you apparently cannot exclude lights from it, which was a very useful feature in Sasquatch...

I can exclude lights on the Hair/fur object and this works as expected in 11.0.3. I guess it's not optimal for fur because you usually need to have your fur object rendering as it's the deforming mesh, but for long hair guides it works perfectly. You could use metalink though to control a fur object separate to the rendering object so you can control the lights on the fur, but still render the full light set on the parent mesh.

This has worked since 9.6 (just tested), so you might want to check before stating 'apparent' facts :)

erikals
08-27-2012, 06:29 PM
that sounds very promising! :] do you also have the option to exclude radiosity?

if it's possible to exclude lights / radiosity from the hair, and use a custom light setup just for the hair that would be very-very good. (as it cuts rendertime)

(for fur maybe you could duplicate the mesh and set it to 0% opacity?)

 

Greenlaw
08-27-2012, 08:21 PM
I can exclude lights on the Hair/fur object and this works as expected in 11.0.3. ...This has worked since 9.6 (just tested), so you might want to check before stating 'apparent' facts :)
Seriously? Now I'm wondering if my test scene at the time was bugged. Or maybe I'm just remembering this wrong, which is absolutely possible considering the crazy hours we were putting in at the time. :)

I'll check this tonight--thanks for letting me know.

G.

Greenlaw
08-27-2012, 08:41 PM
that sounds very promising! :] do you also have the option to exclude radiosity?

if it's possible to exclude lights / radiosity from the hair, and use a custom light setup just for the hair that would be very-very good. (as it cuts rendertime) 

FiberFX has the option to enable/disable radiosity in the FiberFX panel under the ETC tab. IMO, you should leave it off, especially for animation. IMO, radiosity doesn't necessarily make the fibers look better (I didn't think so anyway) and it definitely increases render time. For our project at work, I left it off all the time to keep the render times reasonable.

If I remember correctly, I think you need to render with volume enabled for Radiosity to work with FiberFX. I need to check that to be sure though.

As far as excluding lights from fibers, according to Mike I guess you can if you're using separate guide chains. Not that I doubt him (I don't) but I need to check that one too for my own sanity. If you're using a separate scalp mesh for surface based fibers, yes, I guess that should work.

(This is what happens every time I finish a job--my brain immediately starts flushing everything I learned to make space for new stuff. Good thing I take lots of notes.) :)

G.

jasonwestmas
08-27-2012, 08:50 PM
S.O.P. at most studios, even if they're not using LightWave. It's not like artists can render Shave & a Haircut hair/fur directly inside a VRay render.

Even if they could, they'd want to comp it in just for more control over the final look.

I wasn't dissing the act of compositing. Only the AA issues and junky shadows with fiberFX render buffers :)

erikals
08-27-2012, 08:55 PM
wondering, are the AA issues "fixed" if you use the old trick >
make the render size 200% for then to scale it down 50% in comp?

(i really need to check out LW11...)

Dodgy
08-27-2012, 10:35 PM
FiberFX has the option to enable/disable radiosity in the FiberFX panel under the ETC tab. IMO, you should leave it off, especially for animation. IMO, radiosity doesn't necessarily make the fibers look better (I didn't think so anyway) and it definitely increases render time. For our project at work, I left it off all the time to keep the render times reasonable.


Radiosity I would definitely fake using another light just to keep the renders time from going into orbit

geo_n
08-27-2012, 10:44 PM
Btw, regarding pixel filter and shadows, yes, it does cast shadows. Even better, it casts raytraced shadows (unlike Sasquatch, which relied on shadow maps.) This is important because it means you can use almost any type of light with it. So how does it do this? When using the pixel filter, shadows are actually cast from the voxels version of the fibers. You can speed this up by using lower quality voxels and shadow settings, but if you go too low, it will flicker or get too chunky. Finding the right balance can be tricky depending on the hairstyle but once I found it, I tended to stick with it for that hairstyle through all the shots it appeared in.


I just tried to use pixel mode again. Isn't this a pixelmode limitation since before? Have they changed this in lw 11? I'm not getting the shadow cast to other objects.
Maybe Dodgy made the splineguides renderable and cast shadows similar to do fake sas shadows.

geo_n
08-27-2012, 10:47 PM
Radiosity I would definitely fake using another light just to keep the renders time from going into orbit

Agree. No way hair and radiosity mix well together. Expect high rendertime. We're even using scanline for hair in max. There's no benefit using radiosity with hair.

geo_n
08-27-2012, 10:55 PM
Hmm...stop using it for a few weeks and already I'm forgetting things. Part of what I wrote above is incorrect. When I used Save RGB to simulate Hide From Camera, this was to create the Shadow pass only, not to render fibers only. I didn't use this feature to create the fibers-only because of the AA issue mentioned above. D'oh! :)

To render a fibers-only pass, I did it 'old-school' and used black matte objects for the characters. This was the only reliable way I could find to do it and get good AA from FiberFX as a separate pass.

(I'll go into that later too. Right now I'm just warming up and refreshing my memory.) :p

G.

Just verifying since its been a while since I used ffx, too in lw 10.1.
Shadowdensity doesn't not work for me in lw 11 even when save RGB is enabled in ffx panel which is a new function copied from Sas I assume.
I get the haironly pass in save RGB in ffx panel, and expected the shadow pass in the regular save panel in lw but the alpha is broken. Its showing the object with hair shadow.
But if it works then its going to be very convenient to render both hair and shadow passes at the same time. Really cool!

jeric_synergy
08-27-2012, 11:00 PM
Ugh. This all sounds like a mare's nest. I'm sensing that Mike Wolfe has a new market here....

Dodgy
08-27-2012, 11:04 PM
I just tried to use pixel mode again. Isn't this a pixelmode limitation since before? Have they changed this in lw 11? I'm not getting the shadow cast to other objects.
Maybe Dodgy made the splineguides renderable and cast shadows similar to do fake sas shadows.

Nope, FFX should cast shadows onto anything as long as you have all the relevant toggles on (RT shadows etc)

erikals
08-27-2012, 11:11 PM
 
the trick to "fake" the radiosity is to create a separate light setup that just affects for the hair.
did this with Sas back in the days and it worked very well.

though might mot work as good for quadruped creatures.
wonder by the way if the FFX hair is true radiosity, if it actually receives secondary bounces.

 

geo_n
08-27-2012, 11:17 PM
Nope, FFX should cast shadows onto anything as long as you have all the relevant toggles on (RT shadows etc)

Then I'm stumped. I turned on raytrace shadows in renderglobal and ffx shadow type to raytrace and have one directlight with raytrace shadows. No shadow in pixelmode. Works as expected in volumemode.
Shadowdensity working for you?

erikals
08-27-2012, 11:30 PM
maybe try to pump up the ray recursion limit...

geo_n
08-27-2012, 11:38 PM
Disregard my post with shadowdensity, it works. I rescanned with new configs since I noticed some stuff was missing like package scene, etc.

Greenlaw
08-28-2012, 02:17 AM
Glad to hear that. I was stumped because that feature absolutely worked for me during the entire job. :)

Regarding FiberFX Save RGB, yes, the standard RGB render result is the normal RGB render with cast fiber shadows but without the fibers; the buffer output is the fibers only. To get shadow only, you need to make the object receiving shadows a shadow catcher. I used Shadow Density but the new Shadow Catcher works too. For some reason I preferred using Shadow Density during the job. Sorry, I don't remember why though--I'll have to check my notes. IMO, the buffer output really isn't good enough for compositing but I save it anyways as a 'dummy' file just to get the 'Hidden From Camera' result for shadow catching. I'm pretty certain this feature wasn't meant to be used this way but I'm glad it works.

When rendering fibers only, I used traditional compositing tricks because the results were far superior. However, if you want it to look exactly like the 'in-camera' renders, see the earlier post about enabling Unpremultiply Alpha.

Ideally, I think the fibers in the buffer should have an option to apply AA exactly the way it gets AA when rendered 'in-camera'. Hopefully they can figure out a way to make this feature more useful in future builds--it would certainly simplify a few things for compositers.

Regarding Radiosity, yes, for hair it's better to fake it with a second or third light. I try to limit the lights affecting hair to two, and no more than three lights because with any more lights affecting hair, the render times become impractical and lighting quality isn't necessarily better. (Nothing new--I used to follow these same rules when using Sasquatch.)

G.

MAUROCOR
08-28-2012, 06:47 AM
FiberFX Z-Buffer is not working in LW 11.0.2? It is not here!

jeric_synergy
08-28-2012, 11:13 AM
When rendering fibers only, I used traditional compositing tricks because the results were far superior. However, if you want it to look exactly like the 'in-camera' renders, see the earlier post about enabling Unpremultiply Alpha.
G.
So many tips in this thread: if anybody wanted to write an article for 3D World, this would be a real contender.

Getting all the tips in one easily grasped document would be a real help. :thumbsup:

Hieron
08-28-2012, 01:59 PM
Why this haste to get stuff (not just this) into 3Dworld? When in print it is either slow or unhandy to get hold of, or it sits in a huge stack on a bookshelf and is outdated.. Surely in 2012 a nice internet based version would be preferable, slam a donate or purchase button on top of it.

By donations alone one would reach a similar amount as payment?... (perhaps I'm too optimistic..)

*Currently not on 3Dworld sub but got a huge stack of 'em right here. Funny for inspiration, but hardly a quick and handy way to get info?

hrgiger
08-28-2012, 01:59 PM
So many tips in this thread: if anybody wanted to write an article for 3D World, this would be a real contender.

Getting all the tips in one easily grasped document would be a real help. :thumbsup:

Yes, this thread is turning out to be filled with lots of information that will be helpful. Of course, a lot of the information has come from a lot of experimentation and things learned from what not to do with Fiberfx. I'm hoping the developers are learning just as much from this thread on how to improve it.

jeric_synergy
08-28-2012, 02:29 PM
Why this haste to get stuff (not just this) into 3Dworld? When in print it is either slow or unhandy to get hold of, or it sits in a huge stack on a bookshelf and is outdated.. Surely in 2012 a nice internet based version would be preferable, slam a donate or purchase button on top of it.

By donations alone one would reach a similar amount as payment?... (perhaps I'm too optimistic..)

*Currently not on 3Dworld sub but got a huge stack of 'em right here. Funny for inspiration, but hardly a quick and handy way to get info?
Dood, not everybody works like you do.

And about half of this is just to raise LW's profile and shut up the Mayans. Plus, doesn't 3D World have an online presence? (http://www.3dworldmag.com/2012/08/28/riding-the-wave/ )

Donations: I doubt it. We have donation media (LightWIKI), are they doing ok?


..a lot of the information has come from a lot of experimentation and things learned from what not to do with Fiberfx. I'm hoping the developers are learning just as much from this thread on how to improve it.
I'd say that's just about as valuable, if not MORE, than knowing what to do. Someone else's time wasted? Excellent.

erikals
08-28-2012, 02:38 PM
Hieron, just do what i do, tear out the most interesting pages...
throw the rest...

an alternative to 3DWorld is Liberty3D...

MAUROCOR
08-28-2012, 02:40 PM
FiberFX Z-Buffer is not working in LW 11.0.2? It is not here!

Someone, please?

Hieron
08-28-2012, 02:44 PM
Dood, not everybody works like you do.

Err suppose so... So that means to stop asking questions? I asked a question and gave reasons for it.. "just 'coz!" is an odd reply..


And about half of this is just to raise LW's profile and shut up the Mayans.

Ah yes.. I'm sure it'll shut them up if alot of the info given here is how to work around issues?
"do not use edit guides in Layout, they don't work" as written above?
(while very good info to have)


I'd say that's just about as valuable, if not MORE, than knowing what to do. Someone else's time wasted? Excellent.

yes, but hardly as sexy to shut up the Mayans?


Plus, doesn't 3D World have an online presence? (http://www.3dworldmag.com/2012/08/28/riding-the-wave/ )

They don't put all articles on the web surely?

Anyway nvm.. just saying that it will limit the crowd that accesses the information and will hardly convince *otherpackageusers*.

just imho ofc.

Celshader
08-28-2012, 02:57 PM
Someone, please?

Because of your post, I opened up LightWave Layout 11.0.3, loaded a ball, applied FiberFX fur to the ball, applied Compositing Buffer Export, checked the Compositing Buffer Export option for Depth, and hit F9. The ball showed up in the normalized Depth buffer:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9264841/forums/beta/2285/FiberFXDepthBuffer_in11.0.3.png

LightWave 11.0.3 is identical to 11.0.2 except for the network licensing option, so I figured there was no bug in 11.0.2.

MAUROCOR
08-28-2012, 05:28 PM
Because of your post, I opened up LightWave Layout 11.0.3, loaded a ball, applied FiberFX fur to the ball, applied Compositing Buffer Export, checked the Compositing Buffer Export option for Depth, and hit F9. The ball showed up in the normalized Depth buffer:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9264841/forums/beta/2285/FiberFXDepthBuffer_in11.0.3.png

LightWave 11.0.3 is identical to 11.0.2 except for the network licensing option, so I figured there was no bug in 11.0.2.

Thank you! I forgot that I should applied Compositing Buffer Export too. It is working, thanks!

GregMalick
08-28-2012, 05:47 PM
MAUROCOR,

Could you show a pic of your hair guides?

MAUROCOR
08-28-2012, 06:19 PM
MAUROCOR,

Could you show a pic of your hair guides?

I already did it!

http://forums.newtek.com/showpost.php?p=1267508&postcount=78