View Full Version : Re: Global Illumination and other stuff

11-06-2003, 10:09 AM
I am quite new to lightwave so bear with me.
I am trying to move from Imagine (no Radiosity) and Lightscape (Radiosity). I do Architectural renderings and want a package that combines the best of both worlds (the 2 programs above are maybe not the best of both worlds but worked fine for me in the last ten years of me running an Architectural rendering firm)
Now Imagine from Impulse no longer seems to be getting upgraded and Lightscape has been discontinued and discreet wants you to buy 3d Vis at regular price (not much of an upgrade deal). I have mastered Imagine over the years and use it mainly for exterior renderings, where it produces good looking rendrings and the rendering engine is very fast. the old Steve Worley Essence textures for imagines as well as the Richard Jennings and the built in Imagine texture produce very nice results. Lightscape aslo produces great results but you have to get a lot greater care in making your indoor models or else your radiosity rendering will screw up. Anyways thats enough for backround.

I am finding a lot of Lightwave features a bit awkward and perhaps some seasoned user could answer some of my questions.
1. In Imagine a camera can be moved in a global space similar to in Lightwave, but when you rotate a camera in imagine you can the move it in a local coordinate system based on the direction the camera is pointing. Does lightwave have such an option?
2. Global illumination rendering is slowwwww! Lightscape with its progresive refinment method of Radiosity gives you a fairly quick evaluation of the scene whearas global Illumination in Lightwave brings my 3.2ghz machine to its knee's. Even reducing the sampling in Lightwave doesn't speed much up.
I purchased Lightwave mainly for this feature and now find out it is almost unusable in an production enviroment. Are there any ways to speed up the radiosity end of the program?
3. when rendering in Imagine you could pick a small rectangular portion of the image to render, therefore checking things like placement of people in a scene whithout other complex items in the render such as cars with high detail slowing down the rendering. Does Lightwave have such a feature?
4. I have great trouble getting textures to scale properly in lightwave. In imagine the texture (surface) requester was very easy to use to get scale accurate textures. I lightwave I seem to fill in the values in the surface texture plugins such as the lw2 textures I purchased and the results are often out by factors of 100 or more. I this something about how my projects are set up?
I beleive there is a si,metric and english units option, do these imapact textures and lighting?

Sorry for so many questions but I am learning as much as I can while still using my old programs for production. Any answers on the above questions would be appreciated.

11-06-2003, 04:11 PM
1. No there is not
2. global illumination in lw is high quality, but unfortunatly not very fast. the only tips I can give is to reduce the sampling, turn on cache radiosity and shading noise reduction, and maybe set the type to background only
3. yes, press ctrl-l and l to move the boundaries
4. have you tried the automatic sizing option?

good luck with lw :)

11-06-2003, 07:53 PM
Thank for the reply. I will try your hints and see how I make out

11-07-2003, 02:53 AM
1. - Go to "Layout/Coord System/Coordinate System: Local"

2. Make sure you don't use "Indirect Bounces" unless you absolutely have to - baking radiosity into textures maps where possible helps too.

3. Ctrl-L enables Limited Region which can be toggled on or off from the Camera Properties panel.

4. Yup - Automatic Sizing - 'nuff said.

11-07-2003, 05:50 AM
What the others said....

As far as speeding up radiosity, you can try lowering the ray recursion limit in the render options panel below it's default 16. This is usually more then you need but you usually want to use at least 2. This is especially helpful when you have raytrace reflections enabled.

11-07-2003, 07:56 AM
Thanks Andrew and others! I tried Andrew's first hint:
1. - Go to "Layout/Coord System/Coordinate System: Local"
solved my camera aiming problem and the Ctrl L seems to work for my zone rendering problem. All in all I am very pleased with the replies I got on these Issue. I hope when I get more experienced at Lightwave I will be able to help out others like you have helped me. Right now I am swamped under with work, 1. School exterior rendering
2. Interior of a University concourse
3. 14000 sq ft house (yes 14000) exterior rendering (c/w 8 car garage)
4. A retail golf store interior.
5. 2 residential house exteriors.

and a few more smaller projects. My problem as well as I am sure many others have is that we try to jump into a major project without learning our new whiz bang program (Lightwave) first. As I get older I am not sure if the babtism by fire method is the best way to go. I really want to use a Lightwave global illumination solution for the University concourse but my lack of knowledge of the finer points of Lightwave as witnessed by my questions scares me off a little. In one of my conversations I had with Steve Worley a few years ago he told me in switching from Imagine to Lightwave I will be frustrated for the first months then I will finally get it.
I see the high quality of the architectural renderings on the newtek site and I want to be at that level right away. Sadly I must have patience and know the quality of my renderings will improve only with time and patience. It is Rough when you know another program and have used it for production for the last ten years and not fall back on it when the going gets tough.

Thanks again for all your help.

P.s. is there a newbie area on the forums for me to post silly questions like these?

Anyone who wishes to see some of my past work can look at my web site at http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/llight/ it has not been updated in about 5 years but will give you a bit of an idea of the type of projects I work on.(not much need to update as I have a select group of people I work for and I now have a day job and only do renderings on nights and evenings) You can also see some of my newer renderings on the renderosity web site gallery under the name "robk".

01-07-2004, 02:36 AM
Don't bother trying to do workarounds (That is what i had been doing the last 2 years), you can buy Lightwave if you want to do other things other than Architectural Viz, take some time, make some reasearch and decide which one is better for you.

Take a look on this forum (http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12578&perpage=15&highlight=radiosity%20baking&pagenumber=2)

I'm a fan of Lightwave, don't get me wrong, and I love when NewTek kicks Max and Maya, but when is about making money and is your business, oh boy, just look around.

Best combination for me: Max and Integra... the fastest and best looking solution for ArchViz.

Integra Plug-in (http://www.integra.co.jp/insight/gallery.htm)


Lightwave, try to make animations with interpolated rad, montecarlo (not on your lifetime,maybe yes with the 80Ghz Pentium 8), try to bake textures, jeje, just try it. don't tell me that you do archviz, and do not plan to make animations.

MentalRay, very, very slow, great quality, I think that is great just for stills.

VRay, same situation.

Max radiosity, hm, mixed emotions, good at some point, fast on the rendering, after calculating the Rad solution.

Brazil 1.2, very good, very fast,better than FinalRender or Vray, very good quality, but still slow to do animation.

Insight, the best for me, very fast, good quality (Not like Brazil or Lightwave), but you can think about making animations on avery short time, I'm just waiting to buy the version compatible with Max 6.

I made the switch to Max, I still have LW very close to me, But I'm not planning to pay an upgrade just for very good character animation tools. I think that LW 8 is awesome, but I'm not planning to continue using frustrating workarounds.

What are your needs, or it's about money?, If youplan to be a full time all terrain explorer, why bothering buying a toyota rav4 jsuto cover 30% of your duties?, invest some more and cover the 100% with a Hummer H2. You can have the return of your investment on a very short time.

01-07-2004, 03:12 AM
>> I see the high quality of the architectural renderings on the newtek site and I want to be at that level right away. Sadly I must have patience and know the quality of my renderings will improve only with time and patience. It is Rough when you know another program and have used it for production for the last ten years and not fall back on it when the going gets tough.

Hi Rob,

i made a similar switch a few years ago and it took half a year before i used Lightwave for my first real job. But since i use it only for texturing and rendering it was an easier switch.
I just used old finished projects to become comfortable with Lightwave, that way you always have a good comparsion and can achieve your special style. And yes, patience is the key....