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Sebasvideo
04-01-2014, 12:49 PM
I know that if you want real interaction with Lightwave you need xStream or Infinite, but I was wondering if the Complete version can be used to some extent with Lightwave. For example, can you export camera and lights from Lightwave to Complete? Like with an FBX or Collada file? And then, is the only way to merge the two by compositing, or is there a better way? For example, if I want to make a scenery in Vue, and I have a car in Lightwave, even if I can match the camera and light positions, is there any way to make the car reflections show what Vue has rendered?

Sebasvideo
04-03-2014, 08:24 AM
Nothing?

RebelHill
04-03-2014, 08:31 AM
Well... Xstream is the "real" way, as it'll render vue inside LW (or whatever host app)... that'll give you fully interactive shadows, reflections etc between both parts. Without that, its always gonna be some sort of comping "fudge". You can send camera animation back n forth via fbx, no problem there, but for getting reflections and the like, the best you can do is to render out a 360 enviro from vue and use that as an image world enviro in LW. It wont give you the same kind of angular accuracy as you'd get having the things "in scene" together... but its the closest you're gonna get without.

Sebasvideo
04-03-2014, 08:49 AM
Thanks, at least I have a better idea of what it can and cannot do. What I don't understand is, what kind of internal system does Vue uses, any of its versions, to be able to produce and render such huge detailed terrains, when Lightwave slows down to a crawl when working with a 4 square km plane with very simple grass, and Modo is even worse in that aspect.

RebelHill
04-03-2014, 09:23 AM
Yeah...

Its not much help.... but its kinda like asking how come I can dual boot by pc into windows and mac OS, have gigs of ram, terabytes of storage, perform massive computations, really fast... and my iphone cant? They're both just computers?

The fact is you can build something which, superficially, appears the same, but who's construction is actually very different underneath. Object in LW, modo, maya... they're... explicit, terrains in vue are more "implicit". They arent objects that you build in the same way, they're parametric, procedural... its as if the mesh is... pre-computed. When you scatter trees and rocks, then can be instanced "inside" this procedure.

Technically speaking... thats a very poor description, but its a reasonable outline (if you will).

And whilst this may sound wonderful... its also very task specific... because by constructing the geo to "work" in this way, you also cut yourself off from being able to operate on it in others (can you model a car, or rig and animate a character in vue... nope). Just like a plane and a submarine... both just metal tubes with sticky out "fins" that have to cope with massive differences in external vs internal pressure and propel themselves forward through a fluid medium. But you cant use one machine to do the job of the other, and neither can you build a machine that can multitask to either role.

I know it may not seem to make sense just looking superficially from the outside... but there's always reasons for things being the way they are, its not the case that the folk who make LW or vue have just "missed" that the other thing is possible and "forgotten" to include such functionality. Best advice I can give in that regard is... treat it as a black box, if u dont get it... dont worry about it, just take it for what it is.

Sebasvideo
04-03-2014, 09:41 AM
And whilst this may sound wonderful... its also very task specific... because by constructing the geo to "work" in this way, you also cut yourself off from being able to operate on it in others (can you model a car, or rig and animate a character in vue... nope). Just like a plane and a submarine... both just metal tubes with sticky out "fins" that have to cope with massive differences in external vs internal pressure and propel themselves forward through a fluid medium. But you cant use one machine to do the job of the other, and neither can you build a machine that can multitask to either role.

Interesting. Now, while you can't model a car, rig it and animate it in Vue, can you put that car in the Vue generated terrain and have it drive on that terrain, for example if there is a rural highway? Or is everything generated in Vue only for background?

RebelHill
04-03-2014, 09:47 AM
Yes you can... similarly, you can take a boned, animated character and pull that in via fbx... vue can handle this "standard" geometry too. But whilst you can go scattering millions of rock or tree "objects" around your scene... you just try pulling in a million of those cars or characters, and see what happens. (hint; you will be sad).

Sebasvideo
04-03-2014, 10:07 AM
Yes you can... similarly, you can take a boned, animated character and pull that in via fbx... vue can handle this "standard" geometry too. But whilst you can go scattering millions of rock or tree "objects" around your scene... you just try pulling in a million of those cars or characters, and see what happens. (hint; you will be sad).

So let me see if I got this right: in Vue xStream you can build terrain in Vue and access it directly in Lightwave. If you only have Vue Complete 2014, you can build your models, say a couple of cars, in Lightwave, animate them driving on a road that in Lightwave is just very basic geometry to avoid slowdowns. Then in Vue you can build that same road with the same distances and world positions, plus a lot of other terrain, vegetation, mountains, clouds, etc, then bring in the cars via FBX and the cars will drive along that same road. Is that correct? If it is, would the cars surface reflect the Vue surface (all inside of Vue)?

Now, if I had mostly static objects, but I needed a huge amount of land, as far as the horizon can see, something that is proving rather impossible with Lightwave, with Complete I would have to build the terrain, which for what I've seen can be huge, then render a 360° view to use in Lightwave as a reflection environment, and then composite the renders out of both programs in AE, am I right? Even if the reflection is not absolutely perfect, at least I would be seeing a reflection.

The reason I'm asking is, the company I'm doing this job for, which is not a big company, has other jobs down the line that can benefit from Vue, and perhaps they would be willing to spend money on Complete since they asked me if I need some extra software and are willing to buy it, but $1700 for xStream, probably not. Plus the other concern is how long it would take me to learn it to the point of producing something decent, even if it's not movie quality, but we don't need that either anyway.

RebelHill
04-03-2014, 10:17 AM
Pretty much... ofc, you have to resurface anything you bring into vue with vues materials. Otherwise, bradly... yep, thems your options/workflows.

Sebasvideo
04-03-2014, 10:37 AM
So you can have a few models, bring them into Vue Complete, resurface them there, and build all the terrain around it. And you don't need to bring in a camera and lights from Lightwave, you can set those up in Vue, is that right?

Meaning, you can use Vue as a kind of LW Layout, bringing in your models, surface them with Vue materials, build the big terrain around them and move a camera in that scene?

RebelHill
04-03-2014, 11:06 AM
yep

Oldcode
04-03-2014, 11:11 AM
I had Vue xstream V11 student edition a couple of years ago. Basically, you bring your models and other normal geometry into Lightwave, animate them as you like, and then use the Vue within Layout to create Vue terrains and objects around your Lightwave scene. It's not bad when it works, but it takes a lot of resources and a lot of time to render to get decent results. I also found it to be very buggy (crashes a lot), and has some weird quirks that I found to be very annoying.

Another problem I had is the Lightwave/Vue plug-ins that you install into Layout often interfered with other plugins I had installed in Lightwave. The big one for me was with Real Flow. Real Flow has plugin so you can import and export data back and forth between Real Flow and Lightwave. When I had Real Flow installed, Vue would not work. It would crash the second you tried to open the Vue GUI inside Layout.

Considering that I could not use Vue and Real Flow at the same time, how much Vue xstream costs (last I checked it was about 1700 dollars), and how buggy it is, it was not worth it.

I originally thought about Vue to do scenes like forests and jungles, but I can do that very easily with Lightwave’s instancing feature. You can do decent skies in Lighwave’s Sky generator, and if you download Bryce 7 for free, you can create mountains and other terrains and import them directly into Lightwave.

Hope this helps.

Good Luck,

Sebasvideo
04-03-2014, 11:53 AM
Thanks Oldcode, the problem with the Lightwave instancer is that it's not that effective when you need a really large area of grass. Trees might work, but grass, even if you instance patches of 2 sq. meters and not individual blades, slow down the machine to a crawl when instancing into 10 million or more.

How are the rendering times in Vue? The Lightwave sky generator is terrible, the clouds look awful and it takes ages to render. A frame that would render in a few minutes can take well over an hour with Skytrace. The clouds I see from Vue renders seem much better, but how long does it take to render that huge terrain? And I would also need to know if Vue Complete can render networked, and if projects from Vue Complete can be sent to render farms like garagefarm.net, can projects from Vue Complete be opened in Vue Infinite or whatever version they have at render farms?

CaptainMarlowe
04-03-2014, 12:11 PM
Vue renderer is considerably slower than LW in my experience. I used Vue Infinite a lot before, but, I just have a basic esprit version, just to convert some of my stuff for selling on Cornucopia3D, now.
When I need to create terrains, I usually use Terragen 2, as the free version had the possibility to export LWOs and create my scene in Lightwave. As for atmosphere generator, Vue does quite a good job. You also have the Ozone option, although I'm quite dissatisfied with e-onsoftware pricing policy.
If I had to go for a complete solution, I would go for Terragen 3 creative+animation, use the old Lightwave 2 TG2 script (which works in TG3) to match camera movement and orientation, render the landscape in TG3, then my animation in Lightwave with the TG2 animation in backdrop and shadow catcher node applied on roughly matching terrains (or terrains exported in LWOs from TG2).
I'm happy to that extent, that I kept the old TG2 and the old LW to TG2 lscript.

jhinrichs
04-03-2014, 12:16 PM
Vue is wretched slow. I did a cloud animation for a DVD. 5 seconds, 1080p at 60fps. Just clouds in the sky using the lowest possible render settings and it still took like 50 hours to render. This is using Vue Complete. All I use Vue Complete for now is for terrain maps, maybe for an occasional still image.

If you're curious about the render times, or how the various versions of Vue work you can download the free learners editions of all their software. They are all mostly functional, the renders are watermarked and I think some object export stuff is disabled. I'd download the xTreme Learners Edition and check it out.

Sebasvideo
04-03-2014, 12:24 PM
Thanks, yes, I was planning on doing that, downloading those free editions and getting a feel of how they work. But I'm still trying to make it work in Lightwave, because even if the company agrees to buy Vue, it would only delay the project and I already got paid for the full project, so I need to finish it as soon as possible rather than starting to learn a whole new program. I'm not worried about the render times because we're going to use garagefarm.net, as long as it's doable.

prometheus
04-03-2014, 12:41 PM
Vue is wretched slow. I did a cloud animation for a DVD. 5 seconds, 1080p at 60fps. Just clouds in the sky using the lowest possible render settings and it still took like 50 hours to render. This is using Vue Complete. All I use Vue Complete for now is for terrain maps, maybe for an occasional still image.

If you're curious about the render times, or how the various versions of Vue work you can download the free learners editions of all their software. They are all mostly functional, the renders are watermarked and I think some object export stuff is disabled. I'd download the xTreme Learners Edition and check it out.

I donīt think so, depends of hardware, and also what you compare too, you compared it to be slow against what? what spectral cloud layer did you use?

Michael

- - - Updated - - -

Sebastian...vue rendering isnīt that slow, you need to consider all the algorithms taking place to depict naturalistic phenomena as fog,haze, air scattering, volumetric sunlight, it comes down to which sky model you choose from as well as which spectral cloud model you choose, the spectral 3 is very slow though, spectral 2 much faster and that is the same issue when using ozone 6 plugin for lightwave, using the spectral 3 model isnīt enjoyable, thus actually hypervoxels might be faster for some things, though we lake infinite cloud planes which density is based on textures, not particles or point clusters.

comparing vue and lightwave you canīt really, since we donīt have equally sky generation models or volumetric handles to compare too...itīs all different animals.

The closest thing to vue sky (ozone excluded) would be the ogo taiki plugin, but it is extremly slow too for high quality clouds, and is very hard to set up, otherwise it can take advantages of features ozone can not, like air refraction from heat, using particles for smoke or cloud billowing, it also provides planetary views, which ozone donīt, but vue does.

So no matter how you approach it, you seem to end up with long rendertimes in lightwave anyway if you want to simulate or match the environment volumetrics of vue.
Skytracer is horrible, it canīt cast ground shadows, you canīt have sun/godrays..even if the doc says it can..which I believe must be some fake effect ...I have never seen it in skytracer.
and you canīt fly above skytracer either, and as mentioned, skytracer is even slower than hypervoxels or ozone/vue..if you are using the textured shadows, and without it ...it will look like crap.

now a physical sky model is of course dponīt sunsky, it lacks somethings like setting up a sunlensflare/star filter will have to be done manually and with a script to match the sundisc, and of course you need to activate the lensflare.

I donīt think we can count on some improvement on the dpont sunsky to even match up with ozone/vue volumetrics, from what I heard from dennis, he wasnīt keen on adding a raymarching volumetric sunlight, or a volumetric fog handler, and I donīt think he has the resources to add any infinite cloud planes with textured based density driven clouds.

I think I have tried a lot of options, except for modo voxels and cinema4d clouds..and neither blender, houdini I have tested.,,,vue,ozone,ogo taiki, dpont with hypervoxels for clouds...(terragen ruled out due to messy UI and extremly slow previews when tweaking)
neither is completly satisfactory for me...still.

expecting render times at 20 min or so for these type of effects is an illusion, think 1 hour 3 hours maybe for it.
or maybe 8 hours a frame for some landscape stuff in cinema4d on the prometheus movie, and that without volumetrics and sky, that was due to the extremly high polylevel on the terrains only I think.

Michael

Tranimatronic
04-03-2014, 12:48 PM
but I needed a huge amount of land, as far as the horizon can see, something that is proving rather impossible with Lightwave,

Just a suggestion, but that seems like a brute force approach. 4Km of land, after a certain point the grass could just as easily be a texture. Even with a camera that moves VERY quickly, you could hook the instance weight up to a gradient attached to the camera. ?

RebelHill
04-03-2014, 12:51 PM
Just a suggestion, but that seems like a brute force approach. 4Km of land, after a certain point the grass could just as easily be a texture. Even with a camera that moves VERY quickly, you could hook the instance weight up to a gradient attached to the camera. ?

Exactly what I was saying in the other thread... Trying to put that much detail in the scene is just overkill and serves no purpose other than to slow you down. You populate based on distance to camera and work out the transitions in post.

prometheus
04-03-2014, 12:51 PM
Sebastian, also try ozone...it lacks some stuff from vue in the cloud generation, and you might wanīt to use the spectral 2 cloud layers only and not the spectral 3 cloud models...since they are soo slow.
ozone only lets you tweak the atmosphere with itīs own previewer, when you exit that, you can see it in vpr though and move around camera or other stuff and seeing ozone in the vpr, but not tweaking it live in vpr...in ogo taiki you can, but it has itīs own issues.

ozone will give you a blend of using lightwave with the atmospherics of vue, I had some issues of volumetrics not behaving interacting with lightwave objects, but havenīt revisited it to see what was going on.
And you still have to add grass patches, a solution might be to render out grass patches in different passes, and maybe different polycount levels further away. then mixing all in comp later.

And as mentioned...you could get away with textures at such distances.

prometheus
04-03-2014, 12:55 PM
there is a plugin called Trueinfiniteplane from trueart, a procedural approach I think.
http://www2.trueart.pl/?URIType=Directory&URI=Products/Plug-Ins/TrueInfinitePlane

Good someone is providing it,though I would like to see and think it should be in lightwave nativly.
My advice for sensei, sell it to the lightwave group if possible and if they are interested, Im not sure if it sells or not?

And you can also simply create a ground poly plane of 12km,40km,60 km...but use it as the infinite ground with textures only, add terrain patches or/and grass with smaller planes or subpatches for terrain.

Michael

Sebasvideo
04-03-2014, 01:12 PM
Exactly what I was saying in the other thread... Trying to put that much detail in the scene is just overkill and serves no purpose other than to slow you down. You populate based on distance to camera and work out the transitions in post.

Trying the "Level of detail" feature gave me pretty bad results... just to test, I set it to 30 meters, set the camera to slowly travel up while rotating downwards. There was a gap of several frames where the instances would be gone, but the replacement object wouldn't show. But I could test it again and see how it goes. Now, hooking up the instance map to a gradient in the camera, I'm kind of lost there. I'm trying to find a solution that allows me to finish this quickly, even if the render time will be longer, because that I will do with a professional render farm.

Sebasvideo
04-03-2014, 02:04 PM
Just wondering, but neither of these two options, Vue or Terragen, offer GPU rendering, correct?

prometheus
04-03-2014, 05:37 PM
Just wondering, but neither of these two options, Vue or Terragen, offer GPU rendering, correct?

I think that is correct, havenīt noticed any new GPU render support for any of them.