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ackees
03-09-2004, 01:54 PM
Does anyone know if Fprime does Sasquatch too? I thought it was odd that the head model had no hair (http://www.worley.com/cool/eyesFPrime.jpg). Also is non radiosity even quicker?

bloontz
03-09-2004, 02:10 PM
It's stated on Worley's site that the SDK limitations don't directly allow it at the moment but that he is working with Newtek and if that fails he could do a workaround to make it happen.

ackees
03-09-2004, 03:10 PM
Fprime is so exciting, I think it’s the sort of thing people were expecting from LW 8. But will they leave Sas ‘high and dry’? Why not get Sas working fast too?
If this thing is as good as it seems I may wait until it is fully integrated in LW 9 or X and get FPrime for now.

bloontz
03-09-2004, 04:12 PM
I have confidence that things will be sorted out eventually. I placed my order as soon as the order form showed up.

ackees
03-10-2004, 01:11 AM
So what happens if Sas is in the scene? Does it just not render, or does it slow down FPrime, or bug it out, or refuse to render? You expect a statement like ‘compatible with all our plugins’.

Dodgy
03-10-2004, 02:40 AM
Should imagine it just won't render it. It won't be able to get the data and isn't written to do anything with it.

I shouldn't image it'll crash out if it finds a plugin it can't deal with. God, the number of 3rd party plugins i have....

ackees
03-10-2004, 03:38 AM
However wonderful Fprime is (and don’t get me wrong Worley are a good company , however I do not believe that improving Sas and getting it to work with Fprime is beyond their current capabilities) . I have serious misgivings about this because there is a trend in software development at the moment which basically boils down to a type of deliberate obsolescence in software development. After you have invested time and money in a package you are left ‘high and dry’ by new developments. The really nasty companies do not fix current bugs (or short falls) but make a costly upgrade and lock you out of an upgrade after a couple of generations or so. More and more companies seem to be forcing upgrades rather than fixing problems .

bloontz
03-10-2004, 06:42 AM
Here's Worley's statement of linitations-

"LightWave Integration and Inevitable Limitations.

LightWave's "SDK" provides information to third party plugins. Unfortunately its design does not directly support replacement rendering systems. This limits the capabilities of tools like FPrime since LightWave does not share all of its scene information. The most noticeable limits are no shader or image plugin support, nor LightWave volumetrics, so these effects simply do not appear in FPrime. These limits currently include our own G2 and Sasquatch plugins. Other limits are LightWave glow and lens flares.

G2 support would be helped by an improved SDK, but we may later "manually" connect G2 to FPrime. G2's design focus is to extend and enhance shading and lighting of scenes. FPrime's rendering focus will make it a terrific complement, creating a killer combination.

Newtek has been thrilled by FPrime as it has developed. Their developers are currently busy finishing LightWave 8 for its release. After LW 8 ships, they intend to work with us to extend the LightWave SDK to help FPrime and other third party tools. Currently there is no FPrime feature or quality difference between LightWave 7 and 8.

FPrime runs within LightWave Layout. There is currently no Screamernet-like, FPrime-engine-based, network rendering system.


FPrime saves in all standard LW image formats. FPrime's computations are in full floating point (like LightWave's) and therefore it can save extended precision formats like Cineon and OpenEXR. The initial release of FPrime exports only RGB and A buffers. Later versions of FPrime are very likely to export other channels."

robk
03-10-2004, 07:14 AM
I saw Worley using procedural textures in the worm demo and there were textures on things like the vase in the radiosity demo, so I assumed prcedural textures would work.
Now I am a little worried. I ordered FPrime and if I can't use my IFW2 textures for things like brick and shingles for my Architectural renderings Fprime will be almost usless to me except for getting a heads up on scene lighting. Do any beta testers out there know if the IFW2 textures will work? Will image maps at least work so I could use a repeating brick texture? Not my first choice since repeating maps tend to look very unrealistic.

Lightwolf
03-10-2004, 07:25 AM
Procedural textures will work, Shaders won't.

Cheers,
Mike

robk
03-10-2004, 08:32 AM
I always thought that IFW2 textures were procedural textures, if not what is the difference between a procedural texture and a shader? Is a shader a procedural texture done by a third party and the same thing done by Newtek themselves called a procedural texture? On the IFW2 home page he refers to his textures as procedural. Here is a heading off one of his pages "IFW2 Textures Procedurals Index".

Lightwolf
03-10-2004, 08:37 AM
Hi robk,
the main difference is where they're applied in LW (and what they do internally).
Procedurals are applied in any of the texture windows (the in with the layers), whereas shaders are applied under the shaders tab in the surface editor.
Internally, the difference is a follows: Procedurals can only modify the base values LW uses to shade the object (i.e. diffuse, colour, transparency ect). They are called _before_ LW starts to shade a pixel.
Shaders on the other hand can actually override LWs internal shader, and shade completely on their own (velvet, toon shading etc.), by not only modifing the base values, but controlling exactly how they are applied to the current pixel (depending, for example, on lighting etc).
Cheers,
Mike

robk
03-10-2004, 09:01 AM
I just tried applying a Lightwave procedural texture by clicking on the texture "T" box beside the color setting and it did nothing. What gives. Shouldn't that be the place the procedural texture is applied. Some of the textures partialy worked when applying the texure to the bump setting.
Sorry after 10 yeas or so of using Imagine by Impulse I am just switching over to Lightwave. In Imagine all procedural textures were handled the same way wether they were Impulse's or a third party procedurals like Essence textures by Worley or RJJ textures (the imagine equivalent of IFW2 texures).

I think I need the CG garage tutorial videos! I downloaded Dan Alban's Tire and Wheel tutorial and learn't more about Lightwave modelling in that half hour than in the last two months trying to read the semi-trailer sized Lightwave manual. Are there any other good tutorial Videos that anyone can recommend out there.
Sorry I did not mean to get this far off topic.

bloontz
03-10-2004, 10:05 AM
After you click the T the texture editor should pop up, select Procedural Texture from the Layer Type drop down, then you will find the IFW procedurals in the Procedural Type drop down.

robk
03-10-2004, 10:51 AM
Bloontz said:
"After you click the T the texture editor should pop up, select Procedural Texture from the Layer Type drop down, then you will find the IFW procedurals in the Procedural Type drop down."

You sure can tell I am a newbie. I do not have my registered version here at work just the Demo version of Lightwave, so I don't have my IFW2 textures installed here I only have them intstalled at home on my registered copy. I did not know the IFW2 textures showed up as you mentioned. At home recently I have been applying them under shaders instead, but now I remember when I did my first (and only one so far) paying project on lightwave I was able to click on the IFW2 texture to fit the object which is not available when you load the texture as a shader. I had been wondering where that resizing button had gone, so the first time I used the IFW2 textures I must have loaded them as a procedural
you can check out my first project if you want. it is at the address below:
http://www.renderosity.com/viewed.ez?galleryid=590824&Start=1&Artist=robk&ByArtist=Yes

Now I really feel dumb. I wonder why the IFW2 textures would load both as a procedural by clicking on the "t" button and also as a shader under the shader tab. Why the have it in both places?

bloontz
03-10-2004, 11:05 AM
The shaders offer additional functionality beyond what the procedurals can do such as enhanced specular models and other types of shading implementations. There is also the ability to layer shaders as material maps. I still think Fprime will be well worth the initial sacrifice and have no doubt that it's shortcomings will be addressed.

robk
03-10-2004, 07:25 PM
I seem to go from highs to lows. After I got home from work and checked out the IFW2 procedurals, they were there ( I was delighted). Indeed the IFW2 textures work under the "T" box, but as Bloontz said they are quite limited as compared to the shader versions, also the IFW2 tiles section (the group I need the most) is not in the procedurals section. I tried the Lightwave brick procedural and it is mickey mouse compared to the IFW2 shader controls.
I hope after version 8 is released a concerted effort to open the SDK so Fprime can tap into all of Lightwave's features.

CiaranM
03-10-2004, 08:55 PM
One way you may be able to use your IFW2 shaders (for me it's DarkTree) is to bake them onto your objects, so that they may be applied as image maps, then rendered using FPrime. They will no longer be resolution independent, but in many cases you could get acceptable results. Those shaders that alter the specular properties of your surfaces are not bakeable, however you could do a quick specular pass (specular on black surfaces) using the default LW renderer. This is good practice anyway as it alows greater control in compositing and will usually be a comparatively quick render.
But as everyone agrees, hopefully such workarounds won't be around forever.

Dodgy
03-11-2004, 02:51 AM
As Ciaran said, you could bake them. I've been tempted to try texturing something entirely procedurally, without image maps, as you can scale the IFW textures across different parts of a surface using weight maps (great for dinos etc), so this would be well cool. You can set the bumpy ones to a greyscale gradient so you could bake that out separately too.

This would render faster anyway because it would all be image maps now, it just would need a bit of setting up...

jevinstudios
03-11-2004, 05:42 AM
I'd say: "Don't waste your money" on FPrime. No hair/fur, no shaders, no images, no volumetrics, no lense flares -- ridiculus! Another reason to export to a more advanced renderer for final production (which we do)....

I'm very tired of half-baked products being released, and this is obviously one of them. I've heard this problem with NewTek's shielding of SDK info to developers repeated many times now; this is the prime reason why Joe Alter has abandoned LW from supporting Shave and a Haircut (the BEST hair and fur app on the market -- even surpasses Maya's native fur!).

C'mon, NewTek -- let's open up the code so that your users can have truly stellar plu-gins, and not this kinda stuff riddled with limitations!

Lightwolf
03-11-2004, 05:59 AM
I don't really think it is a waste of money, to the contrary. If I just look at how user of other packages switch to a completely different package/render combo just to, for example, do hair, the limitations of FPrime don't seem so harsh to me.
Volumetrics and shaders is a shame, it does support image mapping though. And I guess the speed makes up for most of the missing features. If I just think of the time I could save on my current, small project alone, that is well worth the price of admission. Then again, I don't need hair, hardly ever use shaders, and pretty much use LW out of the box. And don't ask about the last time I used lens flares ;)
Mind you, rewriting the SDK isn't as easy as it sounds to fully support FPrime. Not only would FPrime have to be able to access the plugins, but vice versa, whenever the plugins call a raytrace function, that whould be re-routed to FPrime as well (which, on the other hand, would mean a tremendous speed boost for a lot of plugins, including volumetrics).
Cheers,
Mike