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ChristopherVFX
07-10-2014, 01:47 PM
I know that Lightwave 3D is a great program, and can make excellent environments, like I saw in Avatar. I'm relatively new to Lightwave, and I really can't find very many good ways to learn it myself... and my results are mediocre, at best. I REALLY want to learn how to make photorealistic environments and such. I know I have much to learn, so does anyone have any tips or know of a good place to start in making realistic environments?

Thanks. Hope you all have a great day. :)

MarcusM
07-10-2014, 02:27 PM
What part in shot, in compositing, in final Avatar movie, was made in LW?

ChristopherVFX
07-10-2014, 02:31 PM
I heard in one of Newtek's videos that all digital environments in Avatar were done in Lightwave, that's all I know.

ernpchan
07-10-2014, 02:33 PM
The virtual layout was done with LW.
https://www.lightwave3d.com/news/article/avatar-building-a-virtual-3d-art-department/

Final shots in the movie were eventually done in another program. But I believe a lot of assets they built during the virtual layout were translated to the final assets for the movie.

LW is capable of doing nice environments though.

ChristopherVFX
07-10-2014, 02:38 PM
Hmm, okay. I've been trying to learn LW off and on for about half a year now, and I can find very little to show me how anything's done. The Newtek Lightwave demo reels are some of the few videos I find that have from decent to good looking results. But again, I find very few things on how to do it well.

MarcusM
07-10-2014, 02:43 PM
You should check Octane, Kray and sIBL on this site:
https://www.lightwave3d.com/third_party/

Check differences between each camera(render time, quality), each Light and Photometric on the end:
http://www.mrcad.com/download-free-ies-lights/

Check export buffers for later visualisation retouch and SubPatch levels in Layout.

Old but still actual:
http://www.except.nl/lightwave/RadiosityGuide95/

Also in Content (F1) is a lot of informations. (not working in Chrome)

You have VPR now, it's pleasure to play in LW ;]

Good luck

cresshead
07-10-2014, 02:45 PM
places to visit:

liberty3d for video training
http://www.liberty3d.com/

http://simplylightwave.com/

youtube: search lightwave tutorial
lightwiki on facebook
lightwave facebook page

books:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lightwave+3d&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Alightwave+3d

prometheus
07-10-2014, 02:58 PM
I heard in one of Newtek's videos that all digital environments in Avatar were done in Lightwave, that's all I know.

Well...as said before, I think it was mostly previz, made by Rob Powers himself ..and I think He also used a combo of lightwave and vue, how much actual renders or assets really used in final shots, that only Rob could say I guess. You could search for some threads by rob or check siggraph on youtube on the defiance, and see how lightwave played itīs part, Rob also mentioning vue and lightwave...check 9.04 in this clip where he mentions that..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0DlmXRAO8g

I think Rob Powers started with doing some creature work on some sea organism and got to show that to James Cameron and that landed him the job as virtual environment supervisor..I think:)

Note, some of the most photorealistic...full cg images of natural surroundings often comes out as still images from vue or terragen, but those are not always used (rarely used) since they take extremly long time to render..and thus mostly used for stills with some exception..(terranova for example).otherwise itīs probably mostly maya stuff..or houdini, they are more flexible for changes and dynamics in a scene and working with cameras ..rather than using vue or terragen cam and physics.

Tree and vegetation stuff was some part vue I think, but a lot of it was also done with the special software called "speed tree" due to the amount of dynamics and control needed for the trees.
sky stuff and volumetrics I have to little information on what they used, but I think that was a lot of composition in nuke or fusion, apart from some initial spacecraft drop sequence scene flying down to pandora, which looked very nice...I really didnīt fancy the way the sky looked like in pandora, but thatīs just my taste.

If you compare against prometheus for environment, that took on a more realistic look and a completly different environment based on the landscapeīs of wadi rum, where they used cinema4d for a lot of the terrain stuff, and
extracted dem data purchased from google earth as well, but they couldnīt use all cg terrain...it would be to much to handle for them, so they had a mix of real live photage on some fly by passes in the mountains I think..mixed
with cg mountains, and the atmospheric was probably a mix of real life photage of clouds mixed in compositing and some mixing to get the reveals of light and shadows on the landscape.
I think it took something about 8 hours per frame for some landscape renders due to the high amount of polys or micropolydisplacements in those shots.

Back to avatar..I really liked the lighting in there in some scenes, especially light beams in the forest that touched the characters with such nice blooming, and the water and liquids in there was great too.

Instancing in lightwave and vpr, is helping doing some more Natural environment, if they through in some better volumetrics and sky systems(with cloud layers) That would be so awesome, even though it will
be render time consuming.
Ogo taiki would be great if it could be improved, you could look in to ozone as well...but there so much annoying things and lacking of vue features about it..which I think prevents you from being creative in doing sky landscapes.

Michael

TwoCoins
07-10-2014, 10:21 PM
Newtek. Lightwave 3d. And LA lightwave group YouTube channels all have a wealth of information On them. Many of the members on this site have YouTube channels with great tutorials. Erikalst has some amazing videos. He pretty much beaks down and tests every button on the interface lol. But for me learning lightwave was more about learning the software. I have learned More from other tutorials such as 3ds max, maya, blender... Etc. There are some great blender environment tutorials. Don't be afraid to step out, the workflow is pretty much the same. The concepts are the same. Once you get that it's just a software thing. Different names for very similar tools... I guess my point is if you can't find a lightwave specific tutorial on something you want to do, odds are someone has done one with something else. A little creative adaptation and you have it. Doing that actually helped me learn lightwave's software faster, while helping me get a strong foundation in fundamentals of modeling, surfacing, lighting etc...

Be creative . Have fun. Experiment.

Danner
07-11-2014, 04:26 AM
Environments.. forests? mountains? city? For a forest you need good base objects of trees with clip mapped leaves, and use instances.
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?129591-Making-a-forest
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bliPxn5e7mM

ChristopherVFX
07-11-2014, 09:08 AM
Environments.. forests? mountains? city?

Actually, all of them. But I'm most looking into trees and cities right now. I've looked at that tutorial before, but isn't it based on a Plugin? I can't ever seem to get plugins to work.

Danner
07-11-2014, 09:37 AM
Plugins are not that complicated to install, you just have to download the appropiate one for your version of LW and Os and add it in LW. Then bind a key to it (alt F9) or add it to your menus (alt F10)

All you need to know is that current plugins might not work with older versions of LW, 32 bit plugins don't work on 64bit instalations of LW and that Mac and PC plugins are different. .LSC and .LS are script based plugins that work on 32, 64, mac and pc on most recent versions of LW.

There is a ton of extra funcionality added to LW with plugins, and many of the essencial ones are free.

Danner
07-11-2014, 09:40 AM
For example:

http://dpont.pagesperso-orange.fr/plugins/Sunsky.html

Is great for setting up realistic exterior lighting.

prometheus
07-11-2014, 09:47 AM
For example:

http://dpont.pagesperso-orange.fr/plugins/Sunsky.html

Is great for setting up realistic exterior lighting.

Only for sunny days or clear night skies:)
thereīs two threads now about the upcoming new ozone 2014 plugin for lightwave, have to wait for the ple version and see if they now managed to improve on ozone, I gave the eon team some feedback on it, so just maybe they have managed to improve it more.

Michael

prometheus
07-11-2014, 09:56 AM
Actually, all of them. But I'm most looking into trees and cities right now. I've looked at that tutorial before, but isn't it based on a Plugin? I can't ever seem to get plugins to work.

As mentioned be carful and choose the right plugin for corresponding 32 bit or 64 bit version of lightwave, you could create your own plugin folder called third party ..drag the plugin in to that foloder, then in layout or modeler go to add plugin, and browse to that folder and that plugin.
for free treeīs you should get dpontīs verdure..
http://dpont.pagesperso-orange.fr/plugins/Verdure/DP_Verdure.html

or download some free models from xfrog, is available in lightwave format, often in variations of three withing the same species, downside with them, can be heavy in polyamount so they work best mostly for close ups, and you also have to merge layers since the leafs are on different layers I think.
http://xfrog.com/category/samples.html

For cities we currently donīt have any good city generator, have to model yourself, or download free models or purchase..
lw-cad will be very helpful for modeling such stuff, thought it doesnīt match up against procedural modeling approach such as it is done with houdini, or revit...in terms of adjusting stuff and changing stuff.
sketchup can be helpful as well for some stuff.

rednova
07-11-2014, 11:55 AM
Dear Friend:
I recommend reading "lightwave 3d 8 character animation" (check on amazon)
Is very good and takes you from newbie to advanced for doing character animation in lightwave.
I am using this book combined with lightwave 9.6 in my desktop pc. Is a great book !!! Easy too !!!
"essential lightwave 3d 8" is also good and has tutorials on character modeling. (Both written by Timothy Albee)
Enjoy !!! Keep on lightwave !!!

chikega
07-11-2014, 08:06 PM
]Here's a site with links to hundreds of tutorials:

http://members.shaw.ca/lightwavetutorials/Main_Menu.htm

erikals
07-11-2014, 10:27 PM
more video tutorial links > http://tinyurl.com/7832bja

also i believe the LightWave render should be good enough for Avatar like stuff...
this was rendered in LightWave >


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZlwy_9cM0o


LightWave still have some "quirks" but hopefully they will be fixed in the next release, LightWave 12

TwoCoins: thanks, yes... and it never stops... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/047.gif

prometheus
07-12-2014, 05:16 AM
more video tutorial links > http://tinyurl.com/7832bja

also i believe the LightWave render should be good enough for Avatar like stuff...
this was rendered in LightWave >


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZlwy_9cM0o


LightWave still have some "quirks" but hopefully they will be fixed in the next release, LightWave 12

TwoCoins: thanks, yes... and it never stops... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/047.gif


well yeah..for some stuff, with instancing and itīs great renderer, vegetation is more easy today in lightwave, terrain geometry with some good normal mapping or use dponīt bump to normal nodes instead of ordinary bump will help adding a little more detail to terrains, then itīs also a matter of hardware and memory in order to push high displacement levels as much as you can...it all depends on type of environment of course, just terrain or both or just vegetation.

Terranova was a mix of lightwave,terragen, realflow and after effects.

from pixomondo...
"Rendering and lighting are done in LightWave 10.1: "We found LightWave 10.1 invaluable for our custom pipeline that was developed for the Terra Nova two-hour premiere," adds Pixomondo supervisor, Eric Hance. "We used LightWave in nearly 200 shots, including all of the dinosaur creature renders, many of the environments, and several of the futuristic earth cityscapes. NewTek was responsive to our needs, and we look forward to working closely with them [throughout the series]."

Speaking of environments, the time portal, described as "light rapids," was done in After Effects, with all kinds of lens flares and then displacements and fractals added as they venture deeper. And the Terra Nova mountainous regions were done in Terragen 2, and the waterfalls in RealFlow."
http://www.awn.com/vfxworld/terra-nova-new-breed-dinosaur

jeric_synergy
07-12-2014, 09:08 AM
You should check Octane, Kray and sIBL on this site:....
I think that's a HUGE misdirection for a new-ish user. There's LOTS to learn before one starts worrying about advanced renderers.

If the OP wants to work on his/her lighting chops, I'd recommend starting with the dozens of objects in the free Content from LW3dG, construct a room with those objects, and light it. Then start playing with Surfaces.

MarcusM
07-12-2014, 10:31 AM
I think that's a HUGE misdirection for a new-ish user. There's LOTS to learn before one starts worrying about advanced renderers.

If the OP wants to work on his/her lighting chops, I'd recommend starting with the dozens of objects in the free Content from LW3dG, construct a room with those objects, and light it. Then start playing with Surfaces.

He wrote "...I REALLY want to learn how to make photorealistic environments..." that means jump on deep water. He should be aware of this solutions.