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Farhad_azer
07-15-2014, 03:01 PM
Hi there

very happy to be here, i am a new Lightwave user and adventurer,

I apologize if this question is asked before but what are the total process of renderin animation with moving obj and camera (without GI) to be absolutely clean and smooth and with zero flickering?

i have not enough information on codec for avi or things like that and consider myself an absolute beginner.

Would u plz direct me to approprate thread?

Thanks in advance.

Ryan Roye
07-15-2014, 03:35 PM
First off, everyone including myself will advise that you render out image sequences. This ensures that if Lightwave is disrupted, or if your computer crashes at any point, you'll be able to continue the renders where you left off. If you don't need to do any compositing, always render out using PNG 24 (or, if you want to conserve HD space and don't mind a lossy format, use JPG). Have Lightwave save all your images into a folder.

You have several options in processing the image sequences:

1) Drop the image sequence into a video editor that can read and display them. If you can do this, I recommend this over everything.

2) Use Lightwave's compositing tab to convert the image sequence into video format. While this is a fairly sluggish way to go in terms of time required to process, it is a native way to do it.

3) Use a program like VirtualDub to preview and process the image sequence. This makes it easy to preview your images as if it were video, and it processes much faster than Lightwave.

As for the flickering thing, you have to ensure that your settings for samples and anti-aliasing are turned up high enough so that when you use soft-shadow casting area lights and similar, you won't have to deal with grainy results.

BokadCastle
07-15-2014, 05:17 PM
this is now about $20, but worth it.

it's by RebelHill Craig Monins.

https://cmivfx.com/store/440-lightwave+flicker+free+animated+radiosity

djwaterman
07-16-2014, 01:15 AM
You said (without GI), that's global illumination also known as Radiosity, if it's not switched on you wont have any problems with flickering. I suspect you mean't to say with GI. As mentioned render image sequences, set them up under the render tab, render globals/ first tab (General) is where you can set up the frame count, the last tab (Output) is where you set up the destination file and name, choose the (save RGB) section for image sequences and choose a file extention type such as TGA or what ever you need. When all this is set up you can hit F10 to start rendering.

Farhad_azer
07-16-2014, 08:28 AM
Thanks charziker, really useful tips, about virtualdub i had never heard of that, i googled that and going to use it soon.

dear bokadcastle and djwaterman thans so much for the answer, GI is too soon for me, maybe later.

may i plz ask also which image format is recommanded most? u mentioned PNG and TGA and i normally use jpg which seems to be smallest in capacity. is there only one format that i can stick into it till rest of my life?

thanks again
p.s: i do not use any compositing or post process package.

prometheus
07-16-2014, 09:10 AM
noise and aa might disturb it to look like flickering too, if you use a dome light for that overcaster occlusion look ..you need to raise the light samples in the render panel, usually you would need at least 4 samples or more to get rid of the noise.
same goes for using occlusion shaders, but raise the shading samples in the render panel, or noise wil occour.

And render out to tga or png maybe, load in compositing program and then render/save out to a nice quictime format, directly rendering out to quicktime might be useful for previews, but it could also contain codec losses or artifacts.

Dont ever render out to jpg, that is compressing with loss of quality, Tga 24 or 32 bit depending on if you need alpha channel in the image or not.

If you donīt use any compositing or post process package, well ..then you need to change that workflow, I myself use after effects, but I think there are some free alternativs for you to load in the image sequences.

even if you manage to get a good compression with quicktime animation highest quality, which might be suitable otherwise, you risk to start a long renderer and something happens causing lightwave or your computer to freeze or crash, then you would have lost it all, rendering to images, ensures that you at least will have rendered some images finished until the crash, and you could simply start again with those remaining frames.

note...I have in many cases just let the lightwave preview system VPR render out itīs frames in quicktime and posting it on youtube without any processing, so that codec works for previews, and experimental showcase, but
if I were to do some serious showcase reel or work, I would render to images.

Ryan Roye
07-16-2014, 09:13 AM
may i plz ask also which image format is recommanded most? u mentioned PNG and TGA and i normally use jpg which seems to be smallest in capacity. is there only one format that i can stick into it till rest of my life

If you don't do compositing or do any kind of image editing after rendering, just stick with PNG 24 for everything. You will want to explore PNG32... and eventually EXR if you want to adjust imagery after its rendered.

prometheus
07-16-2014, 09:26 AM
hereīs the number one and two quicktime settings I prefer to use when doing previews.
the quicktime animation settings are the best, but results in large file sizes, H264 give less size but can result in color loss or gamma settings not being good enough.
And note..quicktime isnīt supported if you use the 64 bit versions of lightwave.

123064

spherical
07-16-2014, 02:01 PM
Just stay away from JPG, except for single frame render output perhaps. LightWave doesn't work entirely well with them when used internally for transparency maps and textures, etc.

Farhad_azer
07-17-2014, 04:19 PM
Thanks for excellent advice fellas
my main mistake was setting for avi and low value for sampling.
i honestly have used jpg for my entire life, now i should make transition to png or other formats. ( i hear a lot about png, so i am going to use it)
i will tell my result.
thanks again dear Lightwavers.

prometheus
07-17-2014, 05:37 PM
Thanks for excellent advice fellas
my main mistake was setting for avi and low value for sampling.
i honestly have used jpg for my entire life, now i should make transition to png or other formats. ( i hear a lot about png, so i am going to use it)
i will tell my result.
thanks again dear Lightwavers.

Just take some time on google to read up on different image formats, if you have worked with jpgs, fine..but only for publishing on the net and only for still images, otherwise go for tga or png for animations, EXR is also something that many proīs seem to use..though I havenīt had any need for it.

And note..if you canīt find any decent image compositing program, you can always load png image sequences back in to lightwave, and then save out to quicktime, you could of course render to quictime directly, but as mentioned, if something crashes etc.

hereīs some videos...
image sequence tutorial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OaVrpnf1rI

hereīs one from Dana Burman showcasing both rendering out to sequence and then how to compile it and load the images back in to lightwave.(without sound but text description)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0QDc_e501c

Michael

Farhad_azer
07-19-2014, 10:18 AM
Thanks a lot prmetheus (Michael), i honestly have used jpg for my entire life.

i should update myself to new and more professional formats.

i will surf the internet to find about those mentioned files.

Do u know any resource which discuss rhe difference between them? (including their advantage and disadvantage)

Would you plz direct me there?

thanks again for ur valuable guides.

Ryan Roye
07-19-2014, 10:53 AM
Do u know any resource which discuss rhe difference between them? (including their advantage and disadvantage)

Not sure on what would make a good guide (wiki it?)

But, in a nutshell:

JPG = Use this ONLY if filesize is a big issue. For instance, you could render out a single image as a JPG to send to a client so they don't have to download a 3-5 meg file to see it. Not recommended for motion animated content (because in a way, you are introducing TWO lossy compiles when you convert it to an mp4).

PNG24 = A good all-purpose format, the filesize of PNGs are dependent on the number of colors the image contains... so in low-color scenarios, these can actually be quite a bit smaller than JPG

PNG32 = This is exactly the same as PNG24, but has what is called an "Alpha channel". Think of an alpha channel as a pair of scissors that "cut" parts of your image out when read by programs. This is the most basic format for use with compositing and it is what I currently use.

EXR = This is an advanced image format built for compositing; it holds a LOT of data (therefor the filesize is quite large per image), but you can contain all of your render passes inside a single file as I understand it.

I honestly don't know that specific advnatages/disadvantages some other formats have over PNG that seem comparable such as TGA, never had a compelling reason to look into it.

BeeVee
07-21-2014, 06:24 AM
Hi Farhad,

Like the others, I would recommend you steer clear of the JPEG format unless you are making quick, throwaway images - as tests for examples. PNG has been around since 1995 and has a number of significant advantages over JPG. Have a look at the Wikipedia page for an in-depth guide here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Network_Graphics but here are the most important issues:

* The compression in PNGs is lossless. This might mean more space taken up on disk, but not in memory. Try the following: Save a JPG image from somewhere with the best quality, then a copy of the image with the best compression and, if you can, save the same image as a PNG. Compare their sizes on disk, then load all three into Layout and open the Image Editor. In the small window to the right of the image thumbnail are several bits of info: Type, Depth, Size and Mem. Compare the three images. Even better, as a further experiment, convert the image to greyscale and save out three versions again and compare them in LightWave's Image Editor.*
* A greyscale PNG only contains a maximum of 256 "colours", making a much smaller file. A greyscale JPG is still a full-colour image and so much bigger on disk. This makes PNG ideal for the channels in the Surface Editor other than Color, namely Bump or Reflection and so on. Other than the Color channel, all channels just use greyscale values so it is a waste of memory to use colour images.
* A PNG can contain an alpha channel, an area of the image that is transparent, unlike JPG.
* PNGs can be at a higher bit-depth than JPG. Where a JPG is what LightWave calls a "24-bit" image, where 24-bit actually means 8-bit (256 levels of) red + 8-bit green + 8-bit blue making 24 bits in total, what is more commonly referred to as an "8-bit per channel" or 8bpc image; a PNG can be "24-bit" or "32-bit" in LightWave parlance, indicating either the three 8-bit channels for red, green and blue, or those three plus an 8-bit channel for alpha. PNGs also support up to 16 bits per channel, meaning a total of 64k (65,536) colours for red, 64k colours for green and 64k colours for blue, plus a 64k-level alpha channel.

Hope this helps,

B

* This has changed so that a greyscale JPG uses no more mem than a greyscale PNG in newer versions of LightWave...

Farhad_azer
07-21-2014, 07:46 AM
Thanks again friends.

i absolutely got it. my first animation (simple logo animation) had a glass material and i was rendering in avi and then switched to jpg. my poor setting for antialiasining also caused the flicker i guess.

I am going to work in PNG format. explanation by chazriker was really simple and clear. Dear BeeVee, thanks so much, the information in wikipedia is really detailed and your description also helped a lot.

I have not yet decided to do compositing/post-processing. but it seems almost a must.

Thanks all for your time and helps.