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View Full Version : Fiber FX not rendering, but is ray tracing?



cyclopse
01-24-2017, 11:27 PM
So, below is a picture of my scene file:

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As you can see, the fibers are in place as a mohawk on my robot.

Then there's the render (also like this in VPR):

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As you can see here, there is hair in the reflection (made the fibers 100% luminosity, and red so they stand out and can be seen). Also, they show through the translucency of one of the cerebral spikes on the bot's head (you can see some red showing though) and you can see white streaks from fibers in the transparency of the back plate of the robot. But for some reason, the camera doesn't show them at all.

Any ideas? This is the weirdest s-- I've seen in Lightwave... and I've seen some weird s--

cyclopse
01-25-2017, 12:14 AM
And it just keeps getting weirder. If I put a 100% transparent ball (flipped normals to the inside of course), it renders just fine. WTF?

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wolfiboy
01-25-2017, 02:19 AM
The same happens for me when I'm using Vue as plug-in. I think as long as FiberFX is a pixel filter there can be problems with other plug-in that use some pixel-functions. The only solution I found out was - as you did - to put some invisible 'lightwave-geometrie' around or in the back of my FiberFX. I.e. in the camera-view the area where the fibers are seen must be filled with some lightwave-geometrie.

cyclopse
01-25-2017, 02:31 AM
Weirdest thing is... I'm not using any other plugins (except morph mixer)

Thomas Leitner
01-25-2017, 03:04 AM
Hi,
it seems to me that you use pixel filter fibers. If you would like to see your fibers in VPR you have to check "Volume Only" in your FiberFX settings. In your final rendering you should see your hair anyway.

ciao
Thomas

cyclopse
01-25-2017, 03:36 AM
Hi,
it seems to me that you use pixel filter fibers. If you would like to see your fibers in VPR you have to check "Volume Only" in your FiberFX settings. In your final rendering you should see your hair anyway.

ciao
Thomas

Hmm. That doesn't seem to be correct. As you can see in my second post, fiberFX is showing up fine, but I did not check Volume Only. There was no diff on render vs. VPR. Only thing that made a difference is the transparent sphere around the camera.

Thomas Leitner
01-25-2017, 03:55 AM
Hmm. That doesn't seem to be correct. As you can see in my second post, fiberFX is showing up fine, but I did not check Volume Only. There was no diff on render vs. VPR. Only thing that made a difference is the transparent sphere around the camera.
Hi, that is exat the way it should be. It only shows up in reflections and refractions (behind your transparent sphere). Did you render it?
Did you test the "Volume Only" checkbox (without transparent sphere)?

ciao
Thomas

cyclopse
01-25-2017, 04:11 AM
Hi, that is exat the way it should be. It only shows up in reflections and refractions (behind your transparent sphere). Did you render it?
Did you test the "Volume Only" checkbox (without transparent sphere)?

ciao
Thomas

Yes, the problem is with rendering. I could care less about VPR (unless I'm working on textures).

As you can see in the first post, that is a render window. That being said...

I'm not sure where you got the idea that FiberFX only works in volume mode with VPR, or even that this is how it's supposed to work. It's not. Like I said before, it works fine (VPR AND render) in the character's base scene. It's only in the main scene that it's having issues. At this point I'm wondering if it's more of having a problem with the indoor environment (as the character is now inside an object - the theater - that has inward-facing normals). It's a total guess. But whether it's that or not... this is a glitch with LW for sure.

If you're having problems with VPR and fiber fx on your computer (only showing in volume mode), maybe it's some sort of Cuda vs. OpenCL or PC/Mac issue? I'm on a PC with an nVidia Titan X (Cuda).

Thomas Leitner
01-25-2017, 04:22 AM
...I'm not sure where you got the idea that FiberFX only works in volume mode with VPR, or even that this is how it's supposed to work. It's not....

...If you're having problems with VPR and fiber fx on your computer (only showing in volume mode), maybe it's some sort of Cuda vs. OpenCL or PC/Mac issue? I'm on a PC with an nVidia Titan X (Cuda).

Hi,
It is.
From the LW manual (page 969):
".....Volume Only - This toggle needs to be checked if you would like to see your fibers in VPR...."
and from working with FiberFX, of course.
No Cuda vs. OpenCl problem, a "how LW FiberFX works" problem.

ciao
Thomas

lardbros
01-25-2017, 06:17 AM
Hmm. That doesn't seem to be correct. As you can see in my second post, fiberFX is showing up fine, but I did not check Volume Only. There was no diff on render vs. VPR. Only thing that made a difference is the transparent sphere around the camera.

I'm pretty sure Fiber FX was altered, so if using the normal Pixel Filter mode, it detects when the fibers are reflected/refracted and then converts to Volume mode automatically (for those reflected/refracted bits only.)
So, when you render in the normal Pixel mode, you will see them in reflections, but it's automatically converting to volume mode, but only on those sections that are reflected or refracted.
By putting an inverted, transparent sphere over the camera, you are forcing FFX to do volume mode for all fibers, so you may as well delete the sphere, and turn on Volume mode anyway.

The fibers will look different, so you may need to tweak them a bit to get the look you want, but if you have transparency etc. it's the best mode to use.

Thomas Leitner
01-25-2017, 07:21 AM
I'm pretty sure Fiber FX was altered, so if using the normal Pixel Filter mode, it detects when the fibers are reflected/refracted and then converts to Volume mode automatically (for those reflected/refracted bits only.)
So, when you render in the normal Pixel mode, you will see them in reflections, but it's automatically converting to volume mode, but only on those sections that are reflected or refracted.
By putting an inverted, transparent sphere over the camera, you are forcing FFX to do volume mode for all fibers, so you may as well delete the sphere, and turn on Volume mode anyway.

The fibers will look different, so you may need to tweak them a bit to get the look you want, but if you have transparency etc. it's the best mode to use.

Hi,
as you said: PixelFilter rendering mode cannot support refraction and reflection. So they have implemented an automated switch to "Volume Only" for refracted and reflected fibers and this is why VPR shows them.
ciao
Thomas

jwiede
01-25-2017, 02:16 PM
I believe you're both kind of missing Cyclopse's point: Pixel Filter mode doesn't appear to be working for final render (see OP's second screenshot in first post, that's an image viewer window). Regardless that it shouldn't work in VPR, FFX Pixel Filter mode should work for a final render.

cyclopse
01-25-2017, 03:07 PM
i believe you're both kind of missing cyclopse's point: Pixel filter mode doesn't appear to be working for final render (see op's second screenshot in first post, that's an image viewer window). Regardless that it shouldn't work in vpr, ffx pixel filter mode should work for a final render.

thank you!!! Ugh!

lardbros
01-25-2017, 04:56 PM
Does volume mode work though?

jwiede
01-25-2017, 06:06 PM
Does volume mode work though?

Well, I believe that any hair is showing up in refl/refr establishes that volume mode is working at some level. At the same time, that he hasn't just switched suggests there may be reasons he cannot, such as it requiring too much render time.

Cyclopse, save your scene and all objects, exit LW, reboot your machine, then reload and try again?

cyclopse
01-25-2017, 06:15 PM
Well, I believe that any hair is showing up in refl/refr establishes that volume mode is working at some level. At the same time, that he hasn't just switched suggests there may be reasons he cannot, such as it requiring too much render time.

Cyclopse, save your scene and all objects, exit LW, reboot your machine, then reload and try again?

Volume mode gets the same results. I did restart. Same results. It's something with this particular scene. The character's base scene (with all the same ffx settings works just fine.

jwiede
01-25-2017, 07:12 PM
Volume mode gets the same results. I did restart. Same results. It's something with this particular scene. The character's base scene (with all the same ffx settings works just fine.

Wow, so even in volume mode the hair only shows up with an odd number of ray entry/exits? That's really odd. This is with 2015.3? Mac or Windows (and which)?

cyclopse
01-25-2017, 07:59 PM
2015.3
Windows 10 Pro
Intel I7 5690X
X99a Chipset
32 GB Corsair Dominator 3Ghz RAM
nVidia Titan X

I did add a 3dvr plugin recently (Ubercam), but it's not in use on this scene.

- - - Updated - - -

Oh... and same results on farm renders, so it's not the config on the individual comp. It has to be something with the scene.

jwiede
01-25-2017, 08:37 PM
What's the surfacing setup for the hair? Any special nodal setup that might be making the hair only visible to secondary rays?

Also, might want to PM Greenlaw. He's kind of an FFX "expert", and might have a better idea of what's going on.

cyclopse
01-25-2017, 10:29 PM
First, thanks everyone for your help so far...

Nope, nothing special. Just using the standard shading with no nodes.

I do have 15+ lights in the scene with shadow maps (stage with stage lighting). Lots of reflective surfaces.

Something with the scene is funky though. Now it refuses to render (just locks up) since I added a (very small) hypervoxel emitter. (only 50 particles/sec with a 3-frame lifetime on the particles - flames from the bottoms of the boots of the robot to keep it floating above the stage - definitely going to have to use a card instead now). Once I removed the emitter, it would render again.

What really worries me is there are at least 4 other robots and effects I still have to add (as well as a full audience in the theater). It's a relatively basic scene. Not that many objects (most of them are just the nevron controllers for the first robot).

Thomas Leitner
01-26-2017, 03:19 AM
I believe you're both kind of missing Cyclopse's point: Pixel Filter mode doesn't appear to be working for final render (see OP's second screenshot in first post, that's an image viewer window). Regardless that it shouldn't work in VPR, FFX Pixel Filter mode should work for a final render.


thank you!!! Ugh!

Oh come on boys.
Nobody missed Cyclopse's point:

....I'm not sure where you got the idea that FiberFX only works in volume mode with VPR, or even that this is how it's supposed to work. It's not. ...
So many wrong things are spread in forums. Other users read and believe this....

Maybe you missed the point that we answered the question to help finding the reason for the problem?

Back to your problem:
"Classic Camera" causes the same thing. It only renders the volume part of the fibers (e.g. behind a transparent plane).


ciao
Thomas

cyclopse
01-26-2017, 04:11 AM
Oh come on boys.
Nobody missed Cyclopse's point:

So many wrong things are spread in forums. Other users read and believe this....

Maybe you missed the point that we answered the question to help finding the reason for the problem?

Back to your problem:
"Classic Camera" causes the same thing. It only renders the volume part of the fibers (e.g. behind a transparent plane).


ciao
Thomas

Can we please get off the VPR thing? It was only a side mention. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. The issue here is rendering.

lardbros
01-26-2017, 05:16 AM
lol, I don't think you hurt anyone's feelings... just a weird issue.

If you submit it to Newtek as a bug, then they'll fix it! Or look into it anyway.

Shadow maps aren't really useful these days, I'd definitely turn those over to real shadows. Also, just in case... don't use the Classic Camera!


I think we'll need more details to assist fully. Is there any chance you could post screengrabs of the render settings, your camera settings, possibly your FFX settings, and maybe your materials settings?
Do you have any shaders activated on the shader tab in the material editor, or maybe any postprocess stuff going on?

cyclopse
01-26-2017, 04:28 PM
lol, I don't think you hurt anyone's feelings... just a weird issue.

If you submit it to Newtek as a bug, then they'll fix it! Or look into it anyway.

Shadow maps aren't really useful these days, I'd definitely turn those over to real shadows. Also, just in case... don't use the Classic Camera!


I think we'll need more details to assist fully. Is there any chance you could post screengrabs of the render settings, your camera settings, possibly your FFX settings, and maybe your materials settings?
Do you have any shaders activated on the shader tab in the material editor, or maybe any postprocess stuff going on?

I'll get some screen grabs as soon as this render is over for you. The only nodes I'm using is on a different object that uses a normal map. I may actually have it set for classic camera, I'm not sure. But nothing else special about the scene. And the only reason I'm using shadow maps is to get soft shadows without having to use 20 area lights for the same result (huge rendering time difference with that).

cyclopse
01-26-2017, 07:55 PM
Yes, it was set on Classic. I set it to Michell, and got the same result though just now... just a massive increase in render time. Here are all my settings:
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spherical
01-26-2017, 08:19 PM
Seems you may be confusing one "Classic" for another. We're talking about not using the Classic Camera, not Classic Reconstruction Filter. The panel shows that you are using Perspective Camera. One good way to not use Shadow Maps and not use Area Lights in order to get soft shadow edges is to use DP Lights. They have individual settings for size (controls shadow edge softness) and samples (controls noise) independent of the LightWave overall samples settings that you have both set to 1.

cyclopse
01-26-2017, 08:25 PM
Seems you may be confusing one "Classic" for another. We're talking about not using the Classic Camera, not Classic Reconstruction Filter. The panel shows that you are using Perspective Camera. One good way to not use Shadow Maps and not use Area Lights in order to get soft shadow edges is to use DP Lights. They have individual settings for size (controls shadow edge softness) and samples (controls noise) independent of the LightWave overall samples settings that you have both set to 1.

I'll give those lights a shot for the shadows. Hopefully they render faster than the classic spots. Even on my farm it's taking 15 minutes a frame.

jwiede
01-26-2017, 08:43 PM
Cyclopse, a last-ditch option to keep in back pocket is to try to load-from-scene all the assets across into a different scene, to try with a new scene but without having to regenerate everything from scratch. LFS can be a bit flaky in LW2015, so be sure to backup scene/objects before trying LFS with new scene.

cyclopse
01-26-2017, 09:47 PM
Seems you may be confusing one "Classic" for another. We're talking about not using the Classic Camera, not Classic Reconstruction Filter. The panel shows that you are using Perspective Camera. One good way to not use Shadow Maps and not use Area Lights in order to get soft shadow edges is to use DP Lights. They have individual settings for size (controls shadow edge softness) and samples (controls noise) independent of the LightWave overall samples settings that you have both set to 1.

Wow, those lights knocked 10-15 percent off my render times. I wonder, do you know if they use GPU to assist? If so, I can't use them on my farm (dell servers with no 3D card in them). If not... sweet!


Cyclopse, a last-ditch option to keep in back pocket is to try to load-from-scene all the assets across into a different scene, to try with a new scene but without having to regenerate everything from scratch. LFS can be a bit flaky in LW2015, so be sure to backup scene/objects before trying LFS with new scene.

That worked! No more need for the ball! It also decreased my render time an additional 10% (on top of what the DPlights did).

THANK YOU BOTH!!!

spherical
01-26-2017, 10:56 PM
Wow, those lights knocked 10-15 percent off my render times. I wonder, do you know if they use GPU to assist?

No, they don't. Nothing uses GPU, unless it is an external renderer (Octane, Thea, etc.).

cyclopse
01-26-2017, 11:18 PM
No, they don't. Nothing uses GPU, unless it is an external renderer (Octane, Thea, etc.).

Sweet. Thanks again!

lardbros
01-27-2017, 03:38 AM
Cool... So you're all fixed up then? :)

One issue with shadow mapped spotlights, is that the map of the shadow has to be calculated each frame, unless you cache them, but they can also eat up an awful lot of ram under some circumstances!
Always best to go area lights or dp lights really! They look more realistic too.

cyclopse
01-27-2017, 03:53 AM
Cool... So you're all fixed up then? :)

One issue with shadow mapped spotlights, is that the map of the shadow has to be calculated each frame, unless you cache them, but they can also eat up an awful lot of ram under some circumstances!
Always best to go area lights or dp lights really! They look more realistic too.

They definitely look sexier. You can always tell an old-school LW guy who just came back by using old methods in an attempt to speed things up. Used to be that shadow maps were always the way to go. Any raytracing used to take forever! (Just came back to lw last year... been on Maya since 2003... when Pentium IVs were en vogue). Thank you for the help!