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View Full Version : LW x Maya - "people" render compare - just a question, not arguing, ok?



caesar
03-19-2004, 07:42 AM
I really love LW, (and excuse me my "brazilian" english) its rendering quality and everything, but I just have one question that keeps coming over and over - when I visited the galleries of various 3D apps, thereīs just one thing that *completely* amazes me and, in my oppinion, I havenīt seen be matched in any 3D app - even LW - its the people renderings in MAYA (person, face, skin, etc). What a perfection! I keep on asking me - I never used MAYA, but people says its has a crappy render - a good output with it needs mental ray or renderman. So, what MAYA gots that we, or anybody else, hasnīt? Is this a user/artist thing? Even with G2 LW - like the others 3d apps - canīt beat that MAYA renders (my oppinion in that range of render - anything different from that is more than ok)? How could it be????:confused:

Any suggestion or thoughts?

hrgiger
03-19-2004, 07:44 AM
My thoughts are you can't really expect to start a thread like this and not get somebody's feathers ruffled.

I've seen some real crap come out of Maya too.

Mattoo
03-19-2004, 08:05 AM
If ever there was a need for the "..it's the artist not the tool" type response then this is it.

Mayas' renderer has a few technical reasons why it's a bit crap but for most people they won't notice. However Alias did fix a lot of the problems in Maya 4 and the impression that it's rubbish comes from Maya 1 -3.
You'll only really come across those remaining problems in more complicated scenes. A simple scene, such as a photoreal head, is not going to come across many of the problems.
Animating large scenes in Maya is where the problems show up eg. shadows and reflections not taking motion blur into account, that sort of thing.

In comparison, Mental Ray is better in almost every field and there's few excuses why someone would want to use Mayas own renderer.

As to why you see so many well done photoreal heads and stuff from Maya. I'd put that down to the type of user that is attracted to Maya - generally, because Maya has a steeper learning curve than most, so only the most serious users will be able to get anywhere near photoreal heads.
With Maya, you either know it or you don't, there's not much room for intermediate user, unlike LW/MAX/C4D etc where the learning curve is more linear.

There you go.... no feather ruffling going on there.

caesar
03-19-2004, 08:14 AM
Thats true, Im not saying that any 3d app is better or superior than ours. Thereīs no hocus pocus from any app/hardware (maybe FPrime ?). Im a LW user, and Im happy-satisfied with it and I have no interest in switch ;). People here please pardon me if I offend you (ok, hrgiger :)? I think LW is the perfect tool for me, and Im waiting sleepless with you for version 8, dont misundertood me...
We know that people is the difficult thing to mimic - even in 2d - the movement, the skin, eyes, hair, expressions, etc. All jobs that I see in various 3D apps were be very, very good, but it can be noticed for a fake image.
I was enjoying some 3d galleries with man/women image, and all that really makes me think - is it real? - had a MAYA in the app field below the image. And i tried to find any other image made by any other app and nothing - I hope Im not been an idiot with my posts....

jevinstudios
03-20-2004, 11:26 AM
Maya's renderer has definitely improved greatly over the last release, and with the addition of mental ray, you have all the power at your fingertips to render any scene element with picture-perfect perfection. I actually use Maya's native renderer quite a bit -- it's fast, and the batch renderer is wonderful. I bring in MR when I need caustics, Global Illumination or fine displacement. Otherwise, Maya's native renderer (in addition to it's other 3 renderers) works beautifully.

Now, one thing to note -- when working in a professional environment, every scene we create is set-up in layers, and each layer is rendered in a separate pass, then pulled into After Effects for compositing, special effects additions, etc. This way, you have complete control over every scene element, can adjust levels individually, and re-render "broken" elements with speed and ease if necessary without having to crunch long render times on a complete scene re-render.

In a high-end production environment, this is the most efficient way to work. And, Maya's native environment makes this extremely fast, efficient, and simple to do. (We no longer do ANY rendering in LW -- 100% of our animation and rendering is done in Maya, using LW for modeling, UV mapping and texturing)

I think many LightWave users need to re-think compositing as a way of life; hopefully the give-away of DFX+ might help this happen. By separating scene elements into separate render passes (including shadows), you have perfect control, and even shadows can be motion blurred beautifully in post.

By incorporating this system into our studio, we've cut our render times in half, and increased productivity and speed by 100%.

Boris
03-20-2004, 12:48 PM
Required viewing:
http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8599

Also, for a huge discussion on skin textures:
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=63930

Boris

Zach
03-20-2004, 03:31 PM
I work at a strictly Maya house and I must say that Maya's renderer is slow, but not crappy.

Besides the artist, it's the complete control over shaders that makes maya's images so awesome.

Lightwave is great, but maya's node based shading networks, utilities, blah blah blah, are hard knock down.

anywho, you're shooting yourself in the foot if you don't diversify the tools in your toolbox.

especially since we've been waiting for 8 for about a year since it was announced.


:o

jevinstudios
03-20-2004, 06:50 PM
Very well said, Zach. By diversifying my toolset, I've opened up more possibilities with my work, client base, and overall quality of the projects we deliver. I've been saying this all along to those who complain about LW's shortcomings and want to switch apps -- don't eliminate or switch apps, but add an app to your arsenal. By doin so, you expand your toolbox and further squash the limitations that got ya frustrated in the first place....

Beamtracer
03-21-2004, 02:04 AM
Maya's renderer is unsuitable for Film & Television.
The quality is not there.

Major film projects never, I mean never render in Maya. They'll always use some other third party renderer that they can add, to avoid Maya's crappy internal renderer.

It's just an indisputable fact.

I think Maya has reached its peak, and will go down hill from here, as people realize there are better alternatives.

jevinstudios
03-21-2004, 08:01 AM
Beam -- WAY off. "Spy Kids 3D" used Maya's internal renderer for most of the shots where Maya was used. Maya's renderer is a very professional tool with release 5, and will be even more so in the upcoming 6 due out this summer. Plus, mental ray is fully integrated with the app, so you've got that tool right there at no additional charge.

We use both Maya's internal renderer and mental ray on a daily basis -- our work is award winning and has secured millions of dollars in contracts for our clients in the aerospace industry (as well as being featured on the Discovery Channel). Maya's renderer was crappy a few years ago, but is now just as good as LW's, in my own practical experience. Plus, with Maya's node-based architecture and attribute spreadsheet editor, you have complete control over rendering every aspect of every node of every object in your scene -- which, if used judiciously, can make rendering extremely fast, reliable, efficient, and oh yes, beautiful!

deepbite
03-21-2004, 09:30 AM
Jevin,

Can you show us some of your Maya renderings?

Thanks

jevinstudios
03-21-2004, 10:06 AM
Sure (all of the shots here used Maya's internal renderer, with objects in the first 2 images created exclusively in LightWave)--

http://www.jevin.com/graphics/DesertedMetropolis1.jpg

http://www.jevin.com/graphics/DesertedMetropolis2.jpg

Here's another image:

http://www.jevin.com/graphics/CoffeeForOne.jpg

And our mascott:

http://www.jevin.com/graphics/SpringClownJack.jpg


http://www.jevin.com/graphics/ClownHead.jpg

And a shot picked up by Alias for a Maya promotion:

http://www.jevin.com/graphics/Apaches.jpg

But, I am not trying to promote Maya here, as I have respect for NewTek and the use of the forum rules. I LOVE LightWave, and would NEVER give this software up -- only because it has the BEST modeling toolset in the biz. We just prefer to animate and render in Maya, that's all, but LightWave holds just an equally important position in the pipeline as the primary tool for object creation.

Again, I cannot stress enough that I have no intent to push Maya on the LW Community, as I am still a loyal LightWave user as well. Only just saying that with recent releases, Maya's native renderer has caught up to LightWave's.

Chazz
03-21-2004, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
Maya's renderer is unsuitable for Film & Television.
The quality is not there.

Major film projects never, I mean never render in Maya. They'll always use some other third party renderer that they can add, to avoid Maya's crappy internal renderer.

It's just an indisputable fact.

I think Maya has reached its peak, and will go down hill from here, as people realize there are better alternatives.
Sorry, but I have to say (as a Maya user) that this is completely inaccurate and obviously spoken by someone who has never even used Maya.

I don't think there are any crappy renderers out there...maybe just crappy artists.

Beamtracer
03-21-2004, 06:55 PM
If you want to use a 3D package for animation, you can't judge its render quality from a still image. All the major 3D packages can produce good still images.

When it comes to animation it's a different matter, as animation can reveal artifacts, generated by the renderer.

I stand by my statement that Maya's internal renderer is not one of the better ones, despite all the hype surrounding Maya. Major film projects often use some of Maya's tools, but they don't use the renderer for final output.

akota
03-21-2004, 08:34 PM
Hi Jevin,

Just wondered if your Avatar was inspired by Project 2 in the Maya Foundation book?

Jason

Lightwolf
03-22-2004, 03:00 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
Major film projects never, I mean never render in Maya.
Oops, I would have agreed with you a couple of weeks ago, but "Back to Gaya", the first full CG animated film from Germany (and it surely took them some time), was rendered using Maya's native renderer. Exception: Hair/Fur, rendered in Max.

...hm, then again, I wonder if LWs renderer is really up to it as well, just thinking about the image filtering problems...

Cheers,
Mike

Zach
03-22-2004, 03:47 AM
** THIS MESSAGE IS TOO LONG! DO NOT READ!!!!!! **


This is a rather silly discussion... only for the fact that its a rather redundant and never ending debate on preference and opinion.

The guys I work with are Maya fanatics, just like most of the people here are for LW. I don't care really. I've pretty much given up on convincing anyone that one software is better than the other.

When you talk to someone who outputs outstanding work in a program, telling them that there is better software out there that kicks the butt of the software they use, most likely you will just get a raised eyebrow followed by an off-handed remark.

We're all just a bunch of frigging nuts.

I'd post some of the stuff I've been doing in Maya, but it's top secret. Sorry.

Anyway, Maya (even though it crashes way more than I've ever seen LW crash) has a long list of improvements to keep on making the grade of being the most used software in the industry. Just dropping the price to 2k has really (in my unsubstantiated opinion) put a wrench into the wheel works of all the other companies producing the same genre of software. Not only has there been such a buzz about Maya in the last 4 years, but now its as affordable as our beloved LW.

I tell you, I can't get a job doing 3D in Portland unless I know how to use Maya. Vinton, Bent Image Lab, Animation Dynamics, etc. all use Maya. It's like when Flash was getting big and you had clients asking youl, "Do you know Flash? We want Flash on our website." and they had know idea what flash was, but they knew they just had to have it.

Maya is currently the equivelant of Flash for 3D. People are just so impressed when they hear you use Maya.

The thing is, yeah, you can kind of say no one uses Maya's renderer for feature films, but you can also say that about LW, Max, Cinema 4D, Bryce (hehehe, I just had to throw that one in ;) ). Most studios outputting features with 3d/vfx use render man or mental ray, or something they friggin developed in house.

For the most part, Maya has lots of room to grow, and with its architecture, there is no reason why it shouldn't. The modelling tools are rather anemic on the Polygonal side of things. The OGL stuff reacts strangley on different vid cards (ie, right clicking doesn't always work in certain panels, or the HotBox menus get all messed up), the Renderer is rather slow, the Referencing of objects (basically it's what LW does natively with objects in Layout) is a little buggy as well as instancing objects. Sometimes the surfaces on instances get all messed up.

There are things LW and Maya can learn from eachother though.

LW from Maya:

1.) You can "tear off a copy" of a tab in a panel, or make a floating viewport ( I don't know about you guys, but having more viewports than 4 can be pretty handy. )

2.) You can make a viewport into the Graph Editor, or a the Render viewer or anything else that is a floating panel. That's just kewl.

3.) Node based surfacing is just a damned kewl feature.

4.) All sorts of key combinations are available for hot keys( ie Ctrl, Alt, Shift. Currently, LW could give 2 poops about the Alt key)

5.) Selecting an input box and RMB draggin on it is like draggin on a slider. There just ain't enough sliders in LW. This would be a nice feature for the Numeric Input channels in Layout. Why can't we get the functionality of LW's surface editor over there? LMB draggin on Numbers or Arrow boxes. I mean, C'Mon!!!

6.) Animatable Points with lattices, deformers, blah, blah, blah (please don't say LW8 has them. There is No freakin' LW8!)

7.) When I unweld UV's, is it really necassary to unweld the points in all the other viewports?

8.) Paint Effects. 'Nuff said.

9.) A Layout Layer system would be nice. Rendering Layers is just the tip of the iceburg. Layers are just kewl.

10.) Utitlity Nodes. Those are great!

11.) Putting textures in gradient keys is pretty neat!

Maya from LW:

1.) Would it kill Alias to put at least 500 different types of polygonal tools into the software? Jese! I hate modeling simple objects in Maya. Stuff like beveled boxes just make me sweat!

2.) How about Radiosity? Everyone else is doing it. I guess Mental Ray kind of covers that.

3.) When I numerically enter a number on the x axis, would you please not pretend x is y. Or maybe you can just do H,P.B. H,P,B is the poop!

4.) Why do your procedural texture suck butt? LW's kick butt, not suck it!!

5.) What's up with that friggin Icon shelf thingy? Can't you just have an option that tells you what the tool is by name instead of putting all these obscure pictures there? C'Mon!!!!

6.) What's this Units B.S. I like seeing the m's and cm's and mm's.

7.) Scrubable dynamics without baking them would be nice!

8.) Keep 'em separated. I just like calling on objects as if they were actors and props. Maya referencing is too finicky. You can't parent references to eachother!

9.) Can anybody say HyperVoxels? Oh Yeah.

10.) Maya needs to have Mr. Worley developing software for them like he does for LW.

11.) Realtime Displacement maps would be neat. I always like to see that surface deforming without a render!

OK, I'm tired.
These are the things that both appz need but don't have.

1.) Make "Kewl-assed Model" button.
2.) Make "kewl-assed Animation" button.
3.) Make "Send Lots of Money to My Bank Account" button.

jevinstudios
03-22-2004, 06:18 AM
Just wondered if your Avatar was inspired by Project 2 in the Maya Foundation book?

Yeah -- isn't that funny? That was the first project I ever did with Maya, a few years ago. But, I liked it so much, I decided to keep it as my company's Mascott. Not too bad for my first Maya creation, huh? Kinda like posting the first dollar received in a business on the wall......

K

caesar
03-22-2004, 08:45 AM
jevinstudios
I think many LightWave users need to re-think compositing as a way of life; hopefully the give-away of DFX+ might help this happen. By separating scene elements into separate render passes (including shadows), you have perfect control, and even shadows can be motion blurred beautifully in post.

Jevin, I knew just a little about composing with layers in video ( besides I have the Photoshop experience) and I know After FX a little too, and your post let me interested. Could give me a little light on it?

By diversifying my toolset, I've opened up more possibilities with my work, client base, and overall quality of the projects we deliver.

I agree, but since Im still a LW beginner, Iīd prefer to keep my time deepen my LW skills. I already took a look at other 3d apps - but I got a little stuck and the thinking in expenses in new licences, effort to learning, training...Ill wait some more time. Verily, the LW 8 is adding *almost* every feature I soght in other apps (Iīd love a LWPAINT tool).

Boris
Thanks for the forum link, and thx a lot for the Ripper link - his work rocks ! Thatīs what Im talking about! Photo realistic head!

Zach
This is a rather silly discussion
I agree too - every app has his limitations - and price range $$$$ - use what you prefer - or could afford :)

But I agree too with Jevin, keep on with just one app cant bring all the great tools avaiable right now....

Now, I just said the MAYA render was crappy (since I dont know anything in MAYA) because I read in cgtalk.com a guy who was a MAYA user who said he just could use RENDERMAN for final output - thats why he was talking about the high end users - and its a different case when we compare to the LW range of use.

This high end market advertising is what makes MAYA so hyped - most clientes think that the MAYA is something magical, kinda of elite users, etc...even some MAX users I know treat it like a unreacheable holy grail.

Well, it doesnt matter for me, im a mid range user, I think the native LW render is awesome, the free unlimited render nodes are great, modeling tools, worley, interface, surface editor, shaders, GI, hdr, hv...well, I want just more, bring us 8 !!!!

akota
03-22-2004, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by jevinstudios
Yeah -- isn't that funny? That was the first project I ever did with Maya, a few years ago. But, I liked it so much, I decided to keep it as my company's Mascott. Not too bad for my first Maya creation, huh? Kinda like posting the first dollar received in a business on the wall......

K

Cool Jevin, nice job! :D

akota
03-22-2004, 09:53 AM
Put down the guns! The debate needs to end and people need to focus on what matters: Creating! I've said it before, and I'm here to say it again. Use what works, use both if you want or need to! That's what I do. For the sake of brevity I'll just say that for my use LW modeling is easy and fun and Maya rigid bodies and paint effects are neat and fun. They both apps have pros, they both have cons. With the ease of compositing these days I render what I need from LW and I render what I need from Maya and combine them :D

caesar
03-22-2004, 10:39 AM
Thatīs exatcly what I was loooking for...LW user - REJOICE !!!

The Ripperīs head posted at cgforum.com - iluminations just a HDR image - man, LW render engine rocks! Canīt wait for 8!