Gregg "T.Rex"
05-27-2004, 08:47 AM

Does anyone know how one can render more than 4 million polygons in Lightwave? I have 4 gigs of RAM and LW easily runs out of memory with that poly count, trying to fit them all in memory. What's the use of hard disk swap files then?

I want to render about 50 million polygons, in the form of 10 high detailed characters. All showing in a 2K rez frame and close enough to see everything. HD Instance can't help here since each character has totaly different look and animation. Even a single character during render is exceded the 4 million poly count LW have...

Gregg "T.Rex" Glezakos
3D Artist

05-27-2004, 09:29 AM
Sounds like each polygon is going to be smaller than the pixels used to render it. Have you considered that something like 250k polys per character would probably suffice.

Other than drastically reducing your poly count, I can only suggest rendering in multiple passes, one character at a time.

Can we see a wireframe of one of these 4000k characters?

Elmar Moelzer
05-27-2004, 12:34 PM
yupp, wanna see that too ;)

Gregg "T.Rex"
05-27-2004, 05:50 PM

Right now, we're in pre-production and lot's of R&D take place. I can't show anything yet, but eventualy i will...

There's lot of displacement take place, hence the large poly count. I realy can't render even one character at a time, for later compositing work, with this poly count during rendering.

A character's cage is about 30k polygons. And i've to up the render subpatch level at least to level 9, for desent displacement.
We can do it in Maya, but i realy want to use LW instead...

05-27-2004, 11:28 PM
L Go with Maya, LW hates huge poly counts....

05-28-2004, 05:47 AM
L Go with Maya, LW hates huge poly counts....

Heh! In my experience it's the exact opposite - did you ever read up on the Buffy finale? Maya choked on the complexity of the scenes and LightWave came to the rescue ;)

05-28-2004, 11:13 AM
You can try hiding elements, then compositing them. If you have DFX+ or a similar software, you can render out the characters, and the background, etc, and then render out the alpha's for perfect(or at least near perfect, in my experience anyways) mattes, then put them all together in your compositing software.

05-28-2004, 12:15 PM
electric image handles huge poly counts pretty well.

05-28-2004, 04:14 PM
Would having some progressivly lower poly proxy versions of the models attached to the camera distance help? I have a feeling it would only make things worse though...

Too bad we don't have sub-pixel displacement yet...

Are you listening NewTek?

05-28-2004, 04:25 PM
I just know I acidentally made a large array of a 2000 polygon object in modeler and ended up with 2 million polygons. It took me an hour to delete them back down to where I wanted them. I should have just crashed modeler and started over but I would have lost some work I really didn't want to. I wouldn't say that LW handles really large polycounts very well. Of course, I don't have a high end workstation so that's probably most of the cause right there.

05-29-2004, 10:13 PM
For the size of models your creating you will have to "surface" the models using a program such as Paraform or Cyslice.

This allows you to create a low rez versions of the model (make sure you use quads for sub-d's - you'll need it) that retains the detail via hi rez displacement and bump and colour maps.

This is the technique used by FX houses such as ESC Entertainment on the MatriX sequals. It was the only way they could handle the detail from the high rez data sets of the scan data XYZ RGB gave them. The same technique was used on Peter Pan for Crocodile.

Unfortionately Paraform while a great program is very expensive.

The Paraform to Lightwave technique works well. It's a bit of a learning curve though. (Mind you they didn't use lightwave for Matrix). There are articles about the process Escape used from sigraph articles. Links to them were on CGnetwork.com about a month ago.

I don't know if this helps as its an expensive solution but again it's the only way I've seen to use data of this size in an animation package such as Lightwave or 3DSmax or MAYA. Of coarse I prefer lightwave. :)

05-30-2004, 09:13 AM
The subD LOD tool..
At a distance you wont see the displacement anyways.

Gregg "T.Rex"
05-30-2004, 02:55 PM

Thanks, but i never said it was a distance shot. Actualy, all the shots are close up shots. From face to full body shots. And, in 2K rez you see every tiny, weeny little detail, you can stuff in...

Subpixel displacement is a better way to go for these shots. Unfortunately the project team decided very quickly to abandoned Lightwave for these shots...

Thanks everyone,
Gregg "T.Rex" Glezakos
3D Artist

05-30-2004, 07:02 PM
well i guess you no longer are taking suggestions.. but i was gonna suggest either creating normal maps of your 4 mil objects onto 500k objects.. and/or render with fprime which actually excells with high poly counts.

and ya Newtek .. sub-pixel displacement pleeeease!!!

Gregg "T.Rex"
05-30-2004, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by kfinla
well i guess you no longer are taking suggestions.. but i was gonna suggest either creating normal maps of your 4 mil objects onto 500k objects.. and/or render with fprime which actually excells with high poly counts.

and ya Newtek .. sub-pixel displacement pleeeease!!!


We tried normal maps and while was ok for some of the characters, for others wasn't. Some of them have extreme details through displacement and normal maps can't discribe the edges, neither can discribe those deep shadows inside displacement detal as good as Turtle proved it can...

Were i work we use 50% Maya and 50% LW. For these type of shots, LW i guess didn't stand a chance, against true subpixel displacement. I wish though, i could get a model subdivided in very high poly counts, so i could get the same result as with subpixel displacement in Maya. But, that didn't work since the subdivided poly count turned to be about 8 million polygons per character (for results as if subpixel disp was used) and Lightwave was running out of memory and crashing when reaching about 4 million polys...

Uh, well... Maybe, in feuture LW versions we get subpixel displacement. Till then... :o :rolleyes:

Gregg "T.Rex" Glezakos
3D Artist

06-01-2004, 02:16 AM
geia sou Gregg,

One thing you could do is check if you have any excessive polygon maps on your objects. Make sure you remove all unneeded UVs, selection maps etc... I once loaded a bunch of .objs into modeler, and found the importer bloating the objects to 200% of the needed size due to vertex/polygon maps, and layout slowed down to a crawl.

06-01-2004, 03:12 AM
In my experience LW can render lots of polys okay provided you have the RAM, but working with high poly counts slows to an unusable crawl.