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View Full Version : PBR in LightWave 2015 ( if someone had a doubt)



Ztreem
09-27-2017, 06:31 AM
I have heard a lot of people saying that Lw is not capable of rendering pbr and can not be used with substance painter and so forth, we need LW next...
As I doubt most of the things people say on these boards now a days, as most people seems to use other superior software of all kinds.

So I sat down and did a quick test just for fun...and it worked out just fine and it was not very hard or complicated to set up. So my conclusion is that LW 2015 works just fine with pbr workflows.
Here is a comparison with Lw vpr and Substance painter Iray render.

138083

This is for all Lightwave users that actually believe that you can't render pbr stuff in LW. That's all!

Surrealist.
09-27-2017, 07:03 AM
PBR is just another way to calculate shading. Does not mean you can't do nice renders in LightWave and use maps to drive it. And it does not mean you can't do some work to match the PBR render in many cases. With varying degrees of success.

You can.

Nice render!


For me I prefer the PBR workflow. Principled Shader. Love it.

Spec is OK too. Nice renders capable. Nodes in LightWave very powerful. I think it is good to know how to use LightWave. I am getting a lot better at it having used these painting apps to drive renders in LightWave.

PBR is superior. LightWave needs it. It does not have it. That is pretty cut and dry I think. Nothing to argue there.

kolby
09-27-2017, 07:08 AM
Nice. Could you share your node setup ?

Ztreem
09-27-2017, 07:17 AM
Nice. Could you share your node setup ?

138084

You could do more scientific research to make the gradient values more perfect so it works in all scenarios. This is just a first quick test.
It just seems like a lot of people think that pbr are some black magic that doesn't exist in LW.

kolby
09-27-2017, 07:37 AM
Pretty simple. Thanks.

Surrealist.
09-27-2017, 08:55 AM
138084It just seems like a lot of people think that pbr are some black magic that doesn't exist in LW.

Isn't Black Magic. It is a physically based, energy-conserving shading model that replaces traditional ad hoc models that have required extensive tweaking to achieve the same result, such as your node set up there.

And it doesn't exist in LightWave. Which your node set up clearly demonstrates.

Great node set up, though. And thanks for sharing!

Ztreem
09-27-2017, 09:48 AM
Isn't Black Magic. It is a physically based, energy-conserving shading model that replaces traditional ad hoc models that have required extensive tweaking to achieve the same result, such as your node set up

I only translate the values for the LW shader and make it energy conserving. No need for endless tweaking. Once setup , its done.

If you say that LW doesn't support real shading models or energy conserving materials then I believe you're wrong.

tonyhall007
09-27-2017, 10:26 AM
Simon Smalley did a video tutorial on Workflow: Substance Painter to Native Lightwave:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiGvMkCTIe4

Surrealist.
09-27-2017, 10:31 AM
I only translate the values for the LW shader and make it energy conserving. No need for endless tweaking. Once setup , its done.

If you say that LW doesn't support real shading models or energy conserving materials then I believe you're wrong.

I never said that. And I think you well know I didn't and are just avoiding the point I really made. Not playing that game here.

Ztreem
09-27-2017, 12:54 PM
I never said that. And I think you well know I didn't and are just avoiding the point I really made. Not playing that game here.

Maybe not exactly that but you indicate that just because you have to do the wiring of nodes yourself its not a pbr based system. That I can not agree with. If you read about pbr you'll quite quickly understand that LW's renderer fullfill all of the requirements, if its setup the right way. Pbr is not only one specific method or pipeline there are several way to set it up, nor do all pbr systems yield the same result they differ between implementations.
The principled shader in blender is nice and makes pbr easy to use but it is just a node hiding all the wiring and logic. I still say that is possible to do a pbr setup in LW's current renderer without the need for LW next. I do think that LW Next's implementation is easier and more up to date and more optimized for faster render times.

Ztreem
09-27-2017, 12:56 PM
Simon Smalley did a video tutorial on Workflow: Substance Painter to Native Lightwave:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiGvMkCTIe4

Doesn't seem right that he need to adjust the hdri image to get a similar result.

RebelHill
09-27-2017, 02:11 PM
PBR is really just a buzzword for working in a way that replicates/respects physical behaviour, mainly through principles of energy conservation on surfaces, falloff by distance on lights, etc... all of which you've been able to do in LW (and other apps for AGES). Nothing new there. What is newer, and increasingly common, is having surface shaders written that move this stuff under the hood (some of LWs current material nodes already do this to greater or lesser extents), as well as similar for the behaviour of lights, and additionally things such as the units that are used to describe certain properties. The very common "principled" shader that you see all over the place is just a example of a shader written with all the physical stuff built in, with "terms" (colour, metalness, etc) that make it intuitive to understand what's what. Those terms, by themselves however, are NOT what pbr actually is.

This gives a lil overview of doing pbr in LW as it stands... so it IS all there...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lcb5LyTmC2c

btw... in your network, youve hooked the metalness map into reflection, which is wrong. You want the specular map to reflection, ad the metalness map driving the reflection colour.

Marander
09-27-2017, 02:32 PM
I still say that is possible to do a pbr setup in LW's current renderer without the need for LW next. I do think that LW Next's implementation is easier and more up to date and more optimized for faster render times.

Yes, good work Ztreem, the Substance and LW renders indeed look very similar.

For LWNext I would expect native Substance material support to be up to date.
(meaning that you can load SBAR files directly in the texture editor --> without having to assign maps manually and the ability to modify published Substance parameters)

Ztreem
09-27-2017, 02:59 PM
btw... in your network, youve hooked the metalness map into reflection, which is wrong. You want the specular map to reflection, ad the metalness map driving the reflection colour.

As it seems to be several approaches to pbr rendering it may be a confusion. I've exported maps with Roughness/Metallic not Specular/Gloss, so I have no specular map. The metallic map defines what is a metal and what is not.
So the white areas have a high IOR as metals and the black areas have a low IOR as non metals. But I think it should be connected to color highlights as well as metals can have tinted reflections.

Like this:
138091

hrgiger
09-27-2017, 03:04 PM
So what you're really saying is that LW next isn't that much of a leap ahead after all....

Ztreem
09-27-2017, 04:48 PM
So what you're really saying is that LW next isn't that much of a leap ahead after all....

No, that's not what I'm saying. I just say that you don't have to wait for next to work with and render pbr materials.

- - - Updated - - -

New test.

138093

gerry_g
09-27-2017, 05:12 PM
metal has an anisotropic quality, it has a grain to it, dupont's metallic node is kind of more the look I would attribute to the base metalness and yes the metal rough approach I think is better than reflection spec one

I did this about a year and a half ago before I had Substance Painter, its completely non orthodox in terms of workflow

Chris S. (Fez)
09-27-2017, 07:26 PM
Corona and the new Arnold integration have made Max vastly more useable because they are finally approaching Layout's fast workflow.

A progressive renderer integrated with Lightwave's nodal texturing surfacing...I really can't wait. Seriously. Watch some of the latest Max tutorials on Lynda and Youtube. VPR and nodal, with Rebel Hill nodal tutorial knowledge, is still vastly underrated even in its current incarnation IMO.

Surrealist.
09-27-2017, 09:13 PM
Maybe not exactly that but you indicate that just because you have to do the wiring of nodes yourself its not a pbr based system. That I can not agree with. If you read about pbr you'll quite quickly understand that LW's renderer fullfill all of the requirements, if its setup the right way. Pbr is not only one specific method or pipeline there are several way to set it up, nor do all pbr systems yield the same result they differ between implementations.
The principled shader in blender is nice and makes pbr easy to use but it is just a node hiding all the wiring and logic. I still say that is possible to do a pbr setup in LW's current renderer without the need for LW next. I do think that LW Next's implementation is easier and more up to date and more optimized for faster render times.

I totally understand what you are trying to say. But I don't think you need to be trying to say it. Because it completely misses the point. And it is not at all accurate.

You are correct on some points there. But overall you are basing it on something that is not really true and accurate. Just because you have hooked up a few nodes and proved one small point (energy conservation) does mean you have proven anything regards to PBR in LightWave. In fact it is laughable.

Now you want to prove me wrong. Fine. Set up an entire system that mimics all of the attributes of the principled shader with nodes. Or any of the implantations for that matter. Show renders of all of these attributes.

I wont say you could not do it. But if you think it is something you could do that would give me the artist control I need and want and expect to get out of a PBR system in LightWave or any existing ones I currently use, in a very short period of time and can release a simple video to have me or any other artist use it very simply, I think you are dreaming.

But go a head. Prove me wrong.

There is a reason that a) these systems were not simply just released as tutorials with how to set up existing nodes, and b) a reason all of that stuff underneath is hidden.

People have designed these systems not so they could use a buzz word. They were designed for artists. And they cut through a lot of the crap as artists we don't want or even need to know how to deal with.

You want to make the claim that you have cracked one small aspect of this with nodes. Great. I know many people will be thankful. Keep going. Maybe your approach will eventually lead to more cool results. And more artists would love that.

But you don't have to come out and try to say it is so simple and it is proof that LightWave has PBR.

It does not have it. And that you even had to crack it at all with nodes is what I was saying, proof in in itself it doesn't.

And that - but only at a very high level - is the entire point of a PBR system.

It is for artists not geeks. And if the engineers working on these papers and systems felt it could all be easily "cracked with nodes", I am sure they would have done that and move on.

wingzeta
09-27-2017, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the cool node set up Ztreem! Not sure why anyone would complain about this. I'm sure no one has ever had to do a workaround in any other software. As far as workarounds go, this is very easy. As RH's video shows you could already get PBR results out of LW with a bit of knowledge. It will be great to have it sans workarounds in Next, but for now this is very useful.

djwaterman
09-27-2017, 11:39 PM
Yes it's true, LW has had PBR for many years now, but no official node set up designed for it, which is what everyone wants these days because PBR is more an approach to materials, it's not actually a thing, as RH said, people are getting hung up on terminology. LW addresses that market expectation with the next release, but the OP is correct in saying we don't have to wait to do PBR in the current version.

Surrealist.
09-27-2017, 11:56 PM
No, that's not what I'm saying. I just say that you don't have to wait for next to work with and render pbr materials.

- - - Updated - - -

New test.

138093

Where have you been?

We have been discussing this in detail for over a year to my knowledge. Examples given, custom nodes available node networks shared and so on.

Saying you don't have to wait for PBR in LightWave to render with a PBR-like set up (materials) is not at all the same as saying LightWave has PBR. There is a strong distinction in that.

This is why I simply said, you are saying something you don't need to be saying. I am not sure what the point is. Unless you have been on vacation for a year and don't know we have been saying a lot more than "you can't do it."

When LightWave next gets it, it has been stated it will come with a principle shader which - in my opinion is at the heart of all of these systems for the users.

I could care less what is in the guts.

Now had you come along and said, here is a contribution to the on-going discussions/workarounds for rendering PBR export textures in LightWave, no issue here.

But you didn't.

Now that aside. Great renders and well done on this effort!

jwiede
09-28-2017, 02:29 AM
I have heard a lot of people saying that Lw is not capable of rendering pbr and can not be used with substance painter and so forth, we need LW next...

Sorry, but your straw man is based on two distinct fallacies:

1. What was actually said is that LW is (currently) incapable of producing surfaces that _ensure_ they are physically realistic w.r.t. energy-conservation. Your proposed node flow does nothing to change that situation, it does nothing to prevent users from using non-realistic settings, nor indicates when they have done so. Obviously people have been producing energy-conserving specific materials for LW in the past, but changes to those materials easily break energy conservation and (currently) users have nothing to tell them when such a break has occurred.

The value of a proper Pbr shader is that it _ensures_ settings retain energy conservation properties, or at the very least, indicates to users when their settings have broken energy conservation. Right now, there is no efficient way to determine/confirm whether a given LW node flow breaks energy conservation other than extensive user-manual calculations. Your node flow is no different in that regard from other prior energy conserving node setups.

2. What was actually said is that LW (again, currently) provides no direct means of using Substances (incl. adjustable parameter support) as they are. People have been providing node flows for importing the separately-exported maps from Substances for some time, but those do not assure energy-conservation or indicate when settings are used that break energy conservation, nor provide a "safe" way to replicate the parameter adjustments possible with Substances (while retaining energy conservation).

Others have provided the same thing you've provided in the past. Your node flows are nicely done, and for those specific materials do appear* to do a reasonable job of producing energy-conserving results. Unfortunately, without a means to confirm whether a given node flow's current settings are physically accurate w.r.t. energy conservation (let alone assure they retain that property), their node flows (and yours) do not offer the same value to users as a PBR shader that automatically assures/confirms settings maintain energy conservation.

Hope that makes the LW situation a bit clearer regarding PBR surfacing.

*: Again, without a way to confirm or assure energy conservation, there's no way to know for certain without a lot of manual, complex user calculations. Judging energy conservation solely by "look", the results are generally more often incorrect than correct.

Otterman
09-28-2017, 09:40 AM
On a side note. Has anyone ever used textures from poliigon.com? I never figured out how to get these texture maps to work correctly in Lightwave. Perhaps its a PBR issue but with these workarounds I'm sure its possible.

Anyone have a working node setup?

MichaelT
09-29-2017, 02:54 AM
Pity we lost that PBR thread in the crash last year... had a lot of good information, and tips on setting PBR things up in current LW in there. To be fair.. the current LW can render PBR, but it isn't fully supported. The physics model in the upcoming version it meant to handle PBR properly, whereas now it is kind of a close hack. Internally I mean. But I don't remember everything that was said in that thread. Maybe someone else can fill in the blanks :)

Surrealist.
09-29-2017, 04:44 AM
Yeah. To my recollection at one point or another after all options exhausted (which is usually the case once you start really working with it in real situations) it inevitably starts here:


Getting LightWave to work with PBR texturing is quite tricky. None of the materials which are included can replicate the basic material efficiently, and sadly we don't have the ability to create our own (without coding). So, using a number of free tools, and knowledge of how Substance materials work we have heavily modified existing materials to behave in a physically plausible way. If you take a look inside the compound you can see what we've done. We needed to solve the following issues.

• Pass all of the named textures in the correct way (metallic has no corresponding value in any LightWave Material) • Make a fully energy conserving and reciprocal material, using Fresnel approximations, where the sum of diffuse and reflection can be no more than 100% (Delta does some of this work for us). • Create Colour Fresnel for metallic material approximations, and simulate the extinction coefficient of rough materials. • Add and multiply the additional textures over the top of the base material, such as Occlusion and emissive. Material tweaker makes this easier. • Boosting the specular component to emulate a correct correlation between light intensity and specular hotspot (reflection is already correct, when using HDR for example, this is just for lights) • Create artistic controls to allow the artist to tweak it in the scene.


http://static.lightwave3d.com/marketing/newsletters/2015/december/substance_painter/Substance_Painter_Compound.pdf

https://www.lightwave3d.com/news/article/substance-painter-in-lightwave/

http://www.andrewcomb.com/

https://www.pixat.it/

I believe this was the best answer given so far. And probably a good place to start. And as far as I can recall more or less the climax of the search into this. The rest of it I think was simply groping in the dark.

gar26lw
09-29-2017, 07:50 AM
Yeah, I came across the lightwiki weekly chat the other day and it's great to hear some guys chatting about lw and CG in general. Andrew Cromb - fantastic work dude.

jwiede
10-01-2017, 06:27 PM
It's a shame that LW doesn't really provide SDK support for programmatic inspection (really, retrospection) of nodal materials. Being able to construct tools that check for basic construction problems, and (given some user-hinting) rough assessments of balance between specular and diffuse terms (incl. looking for matching fresnel/reciprocal map uses/terms, etc.) would really be a boon for surfacing, esp. for those getting into nodal surfaces.

I had hopes that might change for LW Next, but from what was briefly shown, and some dev comments, it doesn't sound like there have been any major improvements in terms of SDK providing programmatic access to nodal materials' contents. We'll see, would definitely be useful.

Marander
10-06-2017, 03:12 AM
Here is a good example how texturing should look like in LWNext using Substance integration (it better has one).

https://alg-website.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded-media/player_scan_webm_0.webm

(meaning that it doesn't require manual import of maps but it can directly use sbar's with procedural parameters like other 3d applications do)

gerry_g
10-06-2017, 03:30 AM
All fine and good as long as they deem it worthwhile to maintain it and not let it lapse, as far as current nodes go its not just the opaqueness and lack of feedback thats a problem but many are wrongly calibrated to start with, someone once posted a list of nodes on the forum that were running in the wrong colour space or failing to gamma correct their inputs, two years late he posted the same list complaining nothing had been done to sort it out, bet you anything you like come the next release it still won't have been sorted out.

gar26lw
10-06-2017, 06:20 AM
All fine and good as long as they deem it worthwhile to maintain it and not let it lapse, as far as current nodes go its not just the opaqueness and lack of feedback thats a problem but many are wrongly calibrated to start with, someone once posted a list of nodes on the forum that were running in the wrong colour space or failing to gamma correct their inputs, two years late he posted the same list complaining nothing had been done to sort it out, bet you anything you like come the next release it still won't have been sorted out.

Why can they not fix this stuff? I mean, ok they are working on new version but 3 yrs plus and body can spend a little time to fix this?

Luc_Feri
10-12-2017, 09:48 AM
I'm not sure but I think PBR is nothing other than an efficient standardised fresnel based IOR alogrithm that mimics real life physical properties. Unlike setting up proper metals in V-Ray and 3ds Max like I did which involved setting up curves in each R,G,B channels with actual real life IOR curve values taken from scientific websites, but that takes plenty of time, effort and research.

With this PBR, the idea is that everything is reflective as they say, non metals being in the 2-5% reflective zone but actually I'll tell you a fact with substance designer/painter.

Every single non metal exported, doesn't matter what it is fabric, plastic, whateva will export a 0.05 value greyscale map for reflectivity, for everything, try it.

The metalness map is either black or white, it either is or isn't a metal. The variation with your textures comes in the from your spec/reflective maps and roughness map. Of course there is diffuse to drive the textures as well, for non metals the color/albedo is there but won't have any colour values in the spec map because it is always 0.05 value as I said. The conversion needed when exporting maps from SD/SP is to put your colour values in the specular map for metals. I think the metal map being more like a boolean value, either is or isn't metal, is to make sure any non metals don't receive any colour from the specular map, IF, your textured object is a mixture of metal material or non metal.

But didn't I just say all non metals export a 0.05 RGB value, that is correct, so for your non metals, the roughness map is the key, it will either drive very shiny surfaces like plastics with low roughness or blur these high gloss reflections with high value roughness values.