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Paul_Boland
03-18-2018, 07:39 AM
Hi Folks.

Two months of using Lightwave 2018 and the new Node Editor which is now primarily part of everything in Lightwave still leaves me lost and bewildered :(. I really do think the implementation of this into being the primary interface for texturing and lighting controls is such a disaster because it's not very easy to use...

I have three questions which I know the answer to in my sleep for Lightwave 2015, but can't for the life of me figure out at all in Lightwave 2018...

1. How do I create a mirror reflective surface? Lightwave 2015 you have Refection which you can set to 0% - 100%. Lightwave 2018...???

2. Just like above, how to do I create a transparent surface? Lightwave 2015 you have Transparency which you can set to 0% - 100%. Lightwave 2018...???

3. In bump mapping, where is the Bump Amplitude gone? It was under the bump mapping controls in Lightwave 2015. Lightwave 2018...??? I see something called Bump Height but that doesn't seem to create the same effect.

Seriously, the Node Editor is a nightmare! So many inputs, so many outputs, and all I want to do is apply a texture to a surface or adjust a light property and now, to achieve those goals, I have to spend time battling with the Lightwave 2018 interface trying to wire up some chaotic jigsaw puzzle that makes no sense :(.

MonroePoteet
03-18-2018, 09:27 AM
If you really want LW2015 type surfaces, you can change the Material type to Standard, double-click on it and the pre-2018 parameters are available, including the Reflection parameter and Texture buttons for the parameters.

140741

For using Textures with the Principled BSDF material, you feed Layer=>Scalar, Color or Bump nodes (which have the Image, Procedural or Gradient type layers) or 2D Textures or 3D Textures into the Material nodal inputs rather than have a Texture (T) button.

Using the Principled BSDF material, you can double-click on the node to enter numeric values for most of the parameters. For a Mirror surface, set Metallic to 100%. For a transparent surface, set "Transparency" to 100%. Or you can feed a Constanct=>Scalar node set to 1.0 into the Metallic or Transparency inputs. The Bump itself is input to the Surface along with the Material.

140739

I'd recommend creating a Unit Cube or a Sphere with a default Principled BSDF surface, get into the Node Editor, press F8 and use the pull-down to apply a variety of the presets, and then look at the node graph created by the preset and experiment. Personally, I plan to keep LW2015 indefinitely along with LW2018, since I'm not that enthralled with "physics based rendering" or photorealistic results.

mTp

RebelHill
03-18-2018, 09:45 AM
Well, if you just use standard material...


1. How do I create a mirror reflective surface? Lightwave 2015 you have Refection which you can set to 0% - 100%. Lightwave 2018...???

Its exactly the same.


2. Just like above, how to do I create a transparent surface? Lightwave 2015 you have Transparency which you can set to 0% - 100%. Lightwave 2018...???

Its exactly the same.


3. In bump mapping, where is the Bump Amplitude gone? It was under the bump mapping controls in Lightwave 2015. Lightwave 2018...??? I see something called Bump Height but that doesn't seem to create the same effect.

Its exactly the same.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfpr627ML-w

Paul_Boland
03-18-2018, 10:20 AM
Thanks very much, guys, for the detailed replies. I am aware of the Standard Materials option but Newtek say that that is just there for backwards compatibility and you shouldn't use it for new work with the new engine. So I'm trying to see if the new Lightwave 2018 engine can compare to Lightwave 2015 and so far I'm not impressed or happy on many fronts.

Here is a simple scene done in 2015:
140748

It was very quick and easy to assemble and it looks great.

Here's the same scene in 2018 as initially set up when I couldn't figure out how to apply reflections and transparency:
140749

And here is the scene after applying them based on the help above:
140750

Seriously, the new engine is a nightmare to work with! What was simple and straight forward in 2015 is a very complex and seemingly impossible in 2018!?! As I said, I very much appreciate the help above, thank you! But why is it so hard to recreate simple scenes in the new 2018 engine that are simple to do in the 2015 one??? Can Lightwave 2018 compete with it's predecessor? Any additional help appreciated here in getting 2018 to copy the 2015 image...

RebelHill
03-18-2018, 10:47 AM
Standard is there for whatever reasons you want. If you want something to behave more like previous versions did, use that. If you want to work the new way, then you gotta learn the new ways.

You should start by going through all of these.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTds3QePYrWFKQSaSWGMnKF7-4W84I5Tz

Paul_Boland
03-18-2018, 11:38 AM
I copy & paste this direct from the Lightwave 2018 documentation, page one of surfacing...:

"Standard is still LightWave's main surface material for imported assets for reasons of compatibility with existing assets. New models are textured with PBSDF as the default surface. Standard is as far away from PBR as possible and its use should be deprecated. Surfaces using Standard will be less predictable and harder to manage than those using modern materials like Principled BSDF."

This says to me that the standard mode is not fully supported, it's unpredictable in the new render engine, and the fact that it should be deprecated that perhaps in future version of Lightwave it will abandoned completely. So we really should learn the new engine. And I'm all for learning the new engine. But while I appreciate the link you supplied, and I will watch the videos, thank you, it very much seems to me that the new render engine is harder to use and inferior to what Lightwave 2015 and below had. Lightwave 2018 is a downgrade and that's a shame... :(

SophiaRoboKitty
03-18-2018, 12:03 PM
The way I interpret the grammar of the sentence you quoted, it doesn't suggest that 2018 lacks support for old materials. The sentence "Surfaces using Standard will be less predictable..." uses the future tense. This (and the rest of the quote) suggests to me that future versions will gradually lose support for the old material system. From what I can tell so far, Standard materials behave as advertised. No offense, but your comment gripes about hypothetical problems that don't exist, and therefore... is it necessary? I've posted stuff like that before and later regretted it. Software developers already have to jump through hoops, so maybe try not to create hypothetical ones to add to their exercise regimen? ;)

Kryslin
03-18-2018, 12:06 PM
And here we just RH's blood pressure down... :)

You will need to get familiar with the Render Tab of the render options (control-p, "Render"). Since you have a lot of reflection and refraction, you will need to up your reflection and refraction samples. You may want to increase your light samples as well (Shift L, Light Properties). That will help get rid of those very bright spots littering your image.

There is no one size fits all render setting.

Also, unless you really need those bright highlights on the wall, you can reduce glossiness / increase roughness.
140754

This is what I got after about 45m of work (7m of it being render time)

Materials are all principled BSDF. illumination by a single point light and GI.
Cube in the corner is 50% in roughness, specular, metalness, and subsurface. By no means a realistic material.
Rear Sphere in 2% roughness, 98% specular and metalness.
Front Sphere is 2% roughness, 25% specular, 98% transparent, 1.5 IoR, transmittance color of (1,1,1).


Floor, Ceiling, and walls are all 2% specular, 98% roughness. Walls are the Flake procedural, Floor is Parquet procedural.

I have 8 AA passes, default filter, adaptive sampling. I have samples each for Reflective, refractive, and Subsurface. No denoiser.

And yes, I've got a few, pesky hot pixels, which may or may not be fireflies, but I suspect they're caustics from the 2 spheres.

Bill Carey
03-18-2018, 12:20 PM
I think what they're trying to say is that PBSDF is more predictable by it's nature. Standard still works and is endlessly tweekable, by it's nature. I'll bet you've run in to models textured for different lighting before 2018 that wind up looking terrible together in a new scene. The theory is models textured in BSDF should look pretty good together from the start, no matter what. I'm going back and forth, just relax and use what works for you.

Steday
03-18-2018, 12:28 PM
Hi paul

Going from LW2015 to 2018 could be a frustrating experience and we have to learn things again.
Here something that were not mentionned on the previous posts and that could help you :
1/ You could use Dielectric material for pure reflectivity instead of Principled BSDF
2/ You could use Conductor material for pure transparency instead of Principled BSDF
3/ don't forget to checked Glossy Reflections in the Shading Model Panel of the surface Editor to see reflections from other objets in the scene
4/ don't forget to check the parameter in the Render Tab, as say on the previous post

Hope it could help.

Paul_Boland
03-18-2018, 01:39 PM
Thanks for the continued input here. Leave it with me and let me work on it... Kryslin, great pic, that's what I want to see!! Thanks for the input and the image. I'll be back...

Paul_Boland
03-18-2018, 02:46 PM
And here we just RH's blood pressure down... :)

You will need to get familiar with the Render Tab of the render options (control-p, "Render"). Since you have a lot of reflection and refraction, you will need to up your reflection and refraction samples. You may want to increase your light samples as well (Shift L, Light Properties). That will help get rid of those very bright spots littering your image.

There is no one size fits all render setting.

Also, unless you really need those bright highlights on the wall, you can reduce glossiness / increase roughness.
140754

This is what I got after about 45m of work (7m of it being render time)

Materials are all principled BSDF. illumination by a single point light and GI.
Cube in the corner is 50% in roughness, specular, metalness, and subsurface. By no means a realistic material.
Rear Sphere in 2% roughness, 98% specular and metalness.
Front Sphere is 2% roughness, 25% specular, 98% transparent, 1.5 IoR, transmittance color of (1,1,1).


Floor, Ceiling, and walls are all 2% specular, 98% roughness. Walls are the Flake procedural, Floor is Parquet procedural.

I have 8 AA passes, default filter, adaptive sampling. I have samples each for Reflective, refractive, and Subsurface. No denoiser.

And yes, I've got a few, pesky hot pixels, which may or may not be fireflies, but I suspect they're caustics from the 2 spheres.

I copied your inputs as best I can. By putting Roughness on the walls at 100% it cleared off the glossy spots. But my two spheres still aren't right or like yours. What am I missing?

140759

Paul_Boland
03-18-2018, 02:54 PM
Hi paul

Going from LW2015 to 2018 could be a frustrating experience and we have to learn things again.
Here something that were not mentionned on the previous posts and that could help you :
1/ You could use Dielectric material for pure reflectivity instead of Principled BSDF
2/ You could use Conductor material for pure transparency instead of Principled BSDF
3/ don't forget to checked Glossy Reflections in the Shading Model Panel of the surface Editor to see reflections from other objets in the scene
4/ don't forget to check the parameter in the Render Tab, as say on the previous post

Hope it could help.

Sorry, this didn't work at all for me. I ended up with two black spheres as per the post above. Thanks for the input though.

Schwyhart
03-18-2018, 03:22 PM
Seriously, the new engine is a nightmare to work with

I 100% disagree. It's SO much easier to get good renders with v2018. Speed is debatable, but more complex? I don't think so.

Schwyhart
03-18-2018, 03:31 PM
https://docs.lightwave3d.com/display/LW2018/Removing+Noise+workflow

&

https://docs.lightwave3d.com/display/LW2018/Principled+BSDF

Paul_Boland
03-18-2018, 03:49 PM
Thanks for the continued feedback. I guess this is going to be a long-term learning process...

In the meantime, out of curiosity, I set all the textures to Standard and managed to achieve this render. I really pleased with it, it looks great. The ice ball lost it's blue hint but looks wonderful. The blue cube is a bit fuzzy. Biggest issue with this render though is the render time, 8 minutes 18 seconds is a lot! But I appreciate the help, thanks!!

140762

Paul_Boland
03-18-2018, 03:51 PM
I 100% disagree. It's SO much easier to get good renders with v2018. Speed is debatable, but more complex? I don't think so.

Just to address this point, in over two decades of 3D rendering, I never once got a fuzzy render until I got Lightwave 2018. Trying to deal with all the in's and out's of the new engine is a nightmare, but I'm trying to work through it.

Chris S. (Fez)
03-18-2018, 04:15 PM
I 100% disagree. It's SO much easier to get good renders with v2018. Speed is debatable, but more complex? I don't think so.

Yup. This is a learning curve.

rsfd
03-18-2018, 05:09 PM
haven't read all answers so far, but you need to be aware that the Principled-BSDF Shader is meant to create physically correct materials, so you will need to wrap your head around what that means.
There is no dialing in of values out of the blue or to ones likings. If you want to replicate i.e. Aluminium or Glas, you need to think about what Aluminium or Glas is.
All materials have physical attributes that are well documented. The Principled Shader offers 2 ways to deal with materials: Specularity/Glossiness or Metal/Roughness. The first one is usually for Dielectrics, the latter usually for Metals.
Specularity handles the Diffuse portion with the base color. Metal is coupled with Diffuse: if you raise Metal, Diffuse will automatically be reduced. Mixing i.e. Specularity with Metal isn't the way this shader is meant to work.

Not 100% identical with LW's implementation, but these 2 PBR-Guides could give you a good starting point for LW's new shader:
https://www.allegorithmic.com/pbr-guide
Besides LW-Help, you also can get some good information about the Principled Shader in the online documentation of Houdini or Blender, as both applications have it implemented.
Other than that, I would argue that just because you couldn't instantly get perfect results, this does not mean that the new renderer is to blame. Unfortunately, it's mostly the guy in front of the computer…
Maybe, in 1 or 2 weeks, you will be sorry for having started this thread…

jwiede
03-18-2018, 05:33 PM
Speed is debatable, but more complex? I don't think so.

Then you're not really looking very hard...

Just the removal of all the top-level surface "T" widgets, and replacing them with the need to manually wire up texture nodes & projection nodes, etc. and only then fill out parameters and assign textures, resulted in 2018's surfacing UI requiring substantially more actions to achieve was what doable with a single click in 2015's surfacing UI.

Not only did the loss of all those "T" widgets result in a significantly more complex (as in, objectively-measurably requiring more UI interaction to achieve same outcome) surfacing UI for 2018 compared to 2015's surfacing UI, 2018 also removed an important texture-sharing/-reuse capability that was present in 2015 and prior, and that also reduced UI actions required -- instead of referencing/reusing an existing defined texture configuration, now each use must be fully recreated.

Kryslin
03-18-2018, 06:23 PM
I copied your inputs as best I can. By putting Roughness on the walls at 100% it cleared off the glossy spots. But my two spheres still aren't right or like yours. What am I missing?

140759

With the principled material, specularity = reflectivity. Roughness is the inverse of Glossiness.

So, for the reflective sphere (in the back), I set roughness to 2%, specular to 98%, and metalness to 98%. My color was white.
The foreground sphere was roughness = 2%, specular = 25%, transparency = 98%, transmittance color <1,1,1>, and IoR = 1.5. Item's base color was white.
I would also bump up your recursion numbers (Render Options, Render Tab).

Shloime
03-19-2018, 12:38 AM
Hi paul

1/ You could use Dielectric material for pure reflectivity instead of Principled BSDF
2/ You could use Conductor material for pure transparency instead of Principled BSDF

Hope it could help.

Guess you mixed those up. Dielectric is for non-conducting materials like glass and stuff, and conductor is for metals.

Steday
03-19-2018, 01:11 AM
Yes Shloime, you are right, sorry

rsfd
03-19-2018, 03:50 AM
With the principled material, specularity = reflectivity.….
Just to add:
With PBSDF, Specularity is the reflection of Lights (> Specular Direct Buffer).
"Glossy Reflections" are the ("mirror") reflections of the Environment (> Specular Indirect Buffer).
(No "Reflection"-Buffer available for PBSDF).

sellis
03-19-2018, 08:08 AM
Paul,

I assume your objects were created in 2015?

I also got black results with metallic and transparent objects.
Found I had to right button click the surface, in the surface editor, and select convert, and then apply the BSDF to see the results in 2018.

Not sure this is the correct procedure but it worked for me.

Cheers

mummyman
03-19-2018, 08:20 AM
Just to address this point, in over two decades of 3D rendering, I never once got a fuzzy render until I got Lightwave 2018. Trying to deal with all the in's and out's of the new engine is a nightmare, but I'm trying to work through it.

Hang in there! Ya.. things are taking a bit for me as well. I feel your frustration!

Shabazzy
03-19-2018, 09:07 AM
...Seriously, the Node Editor is a nightmare! So many inputs, so many outputs, and all I want to do is apply a texture to a surface or adjust a light property and now, to achieve those goals, I have to spend time battling with the Lightwave 2018 interface trying to wire up some chaotic jigsaw puzzle that makes no sense :(.

I have a question to you Paul. Are you very familiar with the way nodes work? If not, then might I recommend buying the excellent LightWave v9 Texturing by Angel Nieves. It helped me understand the whole texturing process in LightWave phenomenally.

Also, you might want to check out some primers on BSDF (maybe read [digital] Lighting and Rendering by Jeremy Birn from New Riders). It'll make things regarding how light reacts to surfaces a lot more clearer and may give a better understanding as to why LightWave uses it as the default shader.

If you already know this stuff then just disregard it.

prometheus
03-19-2018, 11:16 AM
I have a question to you Paul. Are you very familiar with the way nodes work? If not, then might I recommend buying the excellent LightWave v9 Texturing by Angel Nieves. It helped me understand the whole texturing process in LightWave phenomenally.



Yes...one should learn nodes definitely..and I can not answer your question aimed to him...but for myself..
there are two main issues with nodes, and some side issues :)

1. I dare to assert that it doesnīt matter if you are a wiz on nodes, or intermediate or newbie, using nodes will in some cases be inevitable slower to set up than accessing a certain function, Mainly a texture function..
A case to refer to specificly is hypervoxels hypertexture, if anyon says they could do it just as fast as just picking a hypertexture in a drop down list ..then I would really question that and ask for a recording of how fast that is done, compared to how fast I would be able to do it with a drop down list, texturing I dare to state is also faster to setup for most cases with the layer system, and you can also change that texture at anytime without removing a node texture and look for another texture (using classic layer in nodes is not arguable for a comparison)

Sum ...itīs about working with speed and not messing with adding nodes and connect, unless you want to do more complex stuff.

2. then you got the part where some people have a hard time learning nodes, that is mostly individual though.

3. working inside of nodes with itīs present UI, lack of good navigation in nodes, poorly zoom capabilities, horrible jagged rubberband presentation, no way to replace a node or put a node between other nodes with a drag and drop, nodes stacking and overlapping when you start something.

4. Node evaluation...(not sure about this) but it seems that lightwave needs to process node textures in a way that makes much of it slower when updating vpr or rendering.

Morgan Nilsson
03-19-2018, 01:07 PM
https://academy.allegorithmic.com/courses/b6377358ad36c444f45e2deaa0626e65

This is a working link for the PBR Guide by Allegorithmic, vol2 can be found in there as well.

I really suggest you read up on it. Most of it is applicable in Lightwave as well. You can look at pretty much every other PBR renderers documentation and it will apply in Lightwave as well.

Edit: I just mentioned the link was broken on Allegorithmics discord and the original link is fixed, this one works now as well: https://www.allegorithmic.com/pbr-guide

Shabazzy
03-19-2018, 03:53 PM
https://academy.allegorithmic.com/courses/b6377358ad36c444f45e2deaa0626e65

This is a working link for the PBR Guide by Allegorithmic, vol2 can be found in there as well.

I really suggest you read up on it. Most of it is applicable in Lightwave as well. You can look at pretty much every other PBR renderers documentation and it will apply in Lightwave as well.

Edit: I just mentioned the link was broken on Allegorithmics discord and the original link is fixed, this one works now as well: https://www.allegorithmic.com/pbr-guide

Awesome share Morgan.

Thanks for that.

rsfd
03-20-2018, 03:43 AM
it happened that Allegorithmic updated their PBR-Guides just shortly after my post - obviously especially for Paul :D

jbrookes
03-20-2018, 10:24 PM
If you really want LW2015 type surfaces, you can change the Material type to Standard, double-click on it and the pre-2018 parameters are available, including the Reflection parameter and Texture buttons for the parameters.

mTp

Unfortunately, the render results for the same specular values using the Standard material option in LW2018 are radically different than in LW2015. Hopefully the LWG will address this since -- according to the LW2018 intro video -- the intent of Standard material was to help users of earlier versions of LW get assets rendering in 2018 more easily and match surface and texturing attributes as closely as possible.

hansen
03-21-2018, 06:18 PM
I have to agree. I am sure I will figure it all out but for now find the whole thing a mystery. I can't even figure out what the heck a protal is or how you use it? Luckily Newtek has provided several foundation tutorials that go at explaining everything in a tight efficent maner with plenty of quick guides to get you going quickly. Ha!

Morgan Nilsson
03-22-2018, 05:11 AM
I have to agree. I am sure I will figure it all out but for now find the whole thing a mystery. I can't even figure out what the heck a protal is or how you use it? Luckily Newtek has provided several foundation tutorials that go at explaining everything in a tight efficent maner with plenty of quick guides to get you going quickly. Ha!

Dude... The documentation tells you everything about what a portal is and how to use it.

hansen
03-22-2018, 06:06 PM
Dude... The documentation tells you everything about what a portal is and how to use it.

Portal - This turns the light into a concentrator, rather than a light in its own right. It is used for filling openings, like windows, for directing outside light into the room.

Hey your right. hHow could I not get it.
Or maybe there is a guide I am missing?

DogBoy
03-23-2018, 02:44 AM
Portals are like a combination of Environment & Area lights. You put them where a window or open door is and it samples the background that would be sending rays from that direction.

next_n00b
03-23-2018, 03:25 AM
Right now I am testing some interior render with Area Lights outside of the windows. They have Portal parameter checked and Light Intensity=0. Is this a correct setup for Portal Light to function properly? In this case it does not work well for me, actually it doesn’t work at all, there are no differences in render. Outside of the building is Environment Light (combined with HDRI Backdrop) for sky and Distant Light for sun. Global Illumination with Sample Backdrop is enabled. I also disabled Affect Diffuse and enabled Sample Backdrop on Environment Light.

Asticles
03-23-2018, 03:45 AM
Intensity to 1
Remove environment lighting.
Remove sample backdrop from render globals.
Enable Raytrace only on materials reflection and refraction.

https://docs.lightwave3d.com/display/LW2018/Portal

DogBoy
03-23-2018, 03:46 AM
Right now I am testing some interior render with Area Lights outside of the windows. They have Portal parameter checked and Light Intensity=0. Is this a correct setup for Portal Light to function properly? In this case it does not work well for me, actually it doesn’t work at all, there are no differences in render. Outside of the building is Environment Light (combined with HDRI Backdrop) for sky and Distant Light for sun. Global Illumination with Sample Backdrop is enabled. I also disabled Affect Diffuse and enabled Sample Backdrop on Environment Light.

That sounds very wrong :D. Interiors don't need Environment Lights, and you have turned off everything about your Portals. Set them to intensity 1 and Affect Diffuse.

next_n00b
03-23-2018, 05:48 AM
Thanks both of you for the tips. I am glad that this setup is wrong because Brute Force renders took hours and are still noisy :)*If I understand correctly Environment Lights are a substitute for the “old” Backdrop and off course they should not exist in the scene at the same time? Isn’t it the point that portals bring exterior light like some sort of environment inside the room? Is there some healthy correlation between samples on Area Lights as portals and Global Illumination Rays count?

Regarding the NewTek online docs, as someone who spent a great portion of his life as a software developer I cannot get rid of that feeling that these docs are written by someone who knows a lot about LightWave while it wasn’t checked by someone who does not know LightWave well.

hansen
08-20-2018, 07:52 AM
Thanks for the link to further information.
On Portals a few questions.
1. Does it matter what size the portal light is?
2. Does the distance from the window of the portal light matter? (up against the window, or a mile away)
3. All I ever see as examples are one room scenes with a few tea pots on the ground. Small room scenes with shinny balls also popular. If you are working on a 300 yard rec center with 40 foot ceilings for a college, does one light work the same as several?
4. Is the portal light directional? Will it change if the area light is just facing anywhere? Will different angles of the area light change the calculation?
5. does glass material change the calculation? I am guessing I should hide the glass windows from the portal light?

hansen
08-20-2018, 09:07 AM
Answering my own questions using the scene file downloaded here https://docs.lightwave3d.com/display/LW201Portal
1. It does matter what size the portal area light is.
2. Seems to need to be right up against the opening. So what? Almost in the place of glass window? Is there a way to turn all your glass at your openings into portal lights? That would be helpful. I guess luxegons.
3. No idea how to set up for larger spaces. I suppose a 90' x 25' of mullioned opening would require a 90' x 25' Area light. That sort of thing is never just a simple opening. Hardly ever a 30 foot room with several teapots laying about. So...don't know.
4. changing the pitch of the Area portal light changed the lighting. So...no pitch, just flat up against the window.
5. Adding a a quarter inch glass plane had no effect.
6. Turning off the textured environment seemed to have no effect.

Also Something I need help with. I opened the portal sample scene. Both the portal On and the Portal Off scenes. Then tried to turn the Portal off scene to the Portal On scene. I keep getting just a black render. I must be not turning on some obvious setting!

hansen
08-20-2018, 09:25 AM
OK. Now I am really confused.
Here is the ON scene rendered with Portal checked ON ... and the On scene rendered with Portal checked OFF.
Can not tell the difference.

What is the obvious and ultimately embarrassing thing I am missing?

MonroePoteet
08-21-2018, 07:46 AM
Well, in the sample scene, the Textured Environment gradient set up is too subtle to show a good example. It's basically pure white ranging to pure white with a really, really subtle blue.

The basic difference between a plain Area light and a Portal is that the Portal "are guides placed in indoor scenes that help the renderer to concentrate environment lighting through openings like small windows" from the documentation, here:

https://docs.lightwave3d.com/display/LW2018/Portal

So if you're not seeing any substantial difference with Portal ON / OFF, the Environment isn't very differentiated. Try using an HDRI image mapped Spherically for the Textured Environment, or use Image World, or use the Gradient Backdrop that's set up in the scene. Here's the render disabling the Textured Environment and enabling the Gradient Backdrop with Portal ON:

142542

while if you uncheck Portal, it goes back to a plain white Area light.

mTp

P.S. the link posted above has changed, the sample scene can be downloaded from the documentation page above.

Tobian
08-21-2018, 08:27 AM
To help with clarity here, the portal light *IS* a light, it's a light which samples the background, just like the environment light does, so don't use them together, unless you use object exclusions etc.

If your environment is plain white, then the results will obviously look exactly the same as a plain white area light, because that's basically what you have made.

The idea with portal lights is that area lights are much better at creating clean shadows, for interiors, than an environment light, which is better for external shots. They neither have to be super accurate nor watertight to the window, just make sure they completely cover the aperture. if you have multiple windows on a single wall, it should be fine to use a single area light to cover them all. Don't make them excessively bigger than the opening though. and make sure to set the MIS samples high enough to sample the environment cleanly. If you're using an HDRI, they will need high MIS samples.

When using a portal light, you are using it in place of another system. So don't have 'sample background' in radiosity, or in the surface settings, or you'll get both weird duplicate strength light, and noise, because both those systems cause bad noise in interiors (and hence why we have this instead). They may well be slower than the above settings, but you'll get waaaay cleaner results, which will take less samples to clean up. They are however not magical light focusing tools, or some other weird lens for rays.. they are just lights which sample the environment, and so work just like any other light.

hansen
08-21-2018, 02:40 PM
Let me try again.

1. Scene On rendered and the settings
2. Scene Portal OFF rendered and the settings
3. Scene OFF rendered with my attempt to change the sttings to the On scene settings. And the resulting black render.
I know I am being very very very dense, but What am I not turning on?

MonroePoteet
08-21-2018, 03:39 PM
I'm unable to reproduce the black render, using the apparently same settings that you have. The render time shown on the black render is very small compared to the others (5 seconds vs. 40 and 53 seconds), so it's almost like GI is getting turned off even though it shows being on. If I turn off GI, or reduce the Area light to 0.1lx, I get a very dark render, but even then I get a bit of light on the floor, defining the shape of the teapots.

Perhaps unique to the Mac? I'm running Windows 7, LW2018.0.5 (yes, I should upgrade to .6!).

BTW, if you actually want to use the Gradient Backdrop rather than the basically-white Textured Environment, you need to *disable* the Textured Environment modifier by unchecking the first column. Otherwise it overrides the Gradient Backdrop.

If you continue to run into problems, you might use Save=>Package Scene to package up the black-render scene, ZIP the resulting folders (I use 7Zip open software) and post it here for analysis.

Good luck!
mTp

madno
08-22-2018, 12:53 AM
I had something like that.
I deleted all Textured Environments -> added one again -> then it worked.

Maybe something like that on your side as well?

Tobian
08-22-2018, 02:31 AM
That's really weird, I'd probably start from scratch, it looks like a weird anomaly, because the spec is on, but not the diffuse. The only other thing I'd suggest ticking is 'visible to camera' to see if that triggers it, as I've seen that affect caustics?