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Andyjaggy
05-30-2004, 10:39 PM
When I bought LW about a year ago I was under the impression that it had one of the best rendering engines out there. I have now been using it for about a year and while I have been very pleased with it I have started to hear alot about how aged it is becoming, and how many key features are missing, and most of all how slow it has become compared to some of the other options out there. So in an effort to clear things up a little I started looking around at the popular rendering options out there, Brazil and Mental Ray to name a few, and have been very impressed with what I have read and seen, and now am really started to think that maybe LW's rendering engine is definately starting to fall behind. While it still currently does everything I need it to, I can see how more advanced users are definately in need of some more power behind the wheel, SSS, no more blothing with radiosity and area lights, better AA etc.... the good news is that there are alot of really smart people out there who right lots of powerful and free plugins for LW that greatly enhance its power. So my next step was to run over to Worley Labs and check out G2 and Fprime a little more closely, it looks to me that with Worley's plugins LW can play with the big boys once again. I suppose it would be similar to purchasing the advanced render pack for C4D, or a 3rd party renderer like Brazil. So anyway not that I have blabbed on for way to long my question is... how does LW's rendering engine compare with say 3D Max's, or Maya's Native rendering engines, and second how would LW + G2 + Fprime, compare with 3D Max or Maya + Brazil or another 3rd party renderer. (Discounting all problems with Fprime and the SDK) Would the results be as similar as I Would think? If so then why does everyone seem to be making such a fuss over LW's dated renderer? I suppose the reason I think this is that I had always heard for example that the native renderer in Max was no where close to LW's and you had to purhcase a seperate rendering package to get anything good, although version 6 does ship with metal ray now? Anway sorry fo blabbing so long, just want some opinions and discussion on the topic thanks.

UnCommonGrafx
05-30-2004, 11:42 PM
I find your post .... funny.

Feature lust nor having said features makes one a better artist. Practice is about the only guarantee.
If you can make money with it, it's great. If your skills or knowledge of the software can't get you the imagery you want, a package that costs more won't make them better, necessarily.

Lots of free software out there to give a test drive. I'm finding that chasing the betterment of my skils is better than chasing features. Especially those I think will come to lw in an upgrade to come.

The present dev team has my confidence that they will allay the fears of those looking for greener grass with quality tools and features..

Edbittner
05-31-2004, 06:26 AM
Pick up a copy of "Children of Dune" on DVD. Lightwave rendered all the effect shots at high def. resolution. If you've got the money for a seat of Maya,( you are going to need another renderer), go for it. As for us we are sticking with LW.
Ed
S*R* PRODUCTIONS

Andyjaggy
05-31-2004, 07:51 AM
I totally agree with you guys, I am under the general opinions that if you can't do it with LW then you can't do it with anything else either, as the LW manual says, "A poor craftsman blames his tools" that is why I have been kind of suprised at all the doom and gloom that I have been reading about LW lately. I suppose it is probably just people venting there frustarations about the reasease of 8.

Dodgy
05-31-2004, 11:14 AM
The main problem people has with the renderer is not its quality, but its speed. Quality wise LW is up with the best of them, but it hasn't been improved speed wise as much as other parts of LW. Most of the work on LW8 was done on the animation side, which seemed before its release to get the most complaints. Now those have been sorted the next big thing seems to be the renderer. It has had some improvements, but I expect more now the CA tools have come in. FPrime from worley has helped in this regard, as those needing speed can now get it at a very reasonable price.
There were some improvements, but I read somewhere a bug slipped in which countered some of the good work. Hopefully the next release (when it gets properly released) will see that fixed.

Vincent Brumbac
05-31-2004, 11:26 AM
"I'm finding that chasing the betterment of my skils is better than chasing features"

Well said.

Cheers,

Vincent D. Brumback

wacom
05-31-2004, 06:18 PM
It's true that it's slow and lacks a few features (SSS). However many compare it too thrid party renderers that cost anywhere from 500-1500 dollars. I wonder how many people upgrading to LW8 would have paid 1000 to upgrade.
Still...many would have prefered a second render engine to a copy of DFX+.

Andyjaggy
05-31-2004, 08:12 PM
That's true imagine if LW started charging for there render engine, LW price + 500 for the rendering engine. We are getting a great renderer for nothing, along with unlimited render nodes, that fixes the speed problem right there, to a point. So are there any users of G2 out there? Just curious if it is as cool as it looks. I guess if you really need SSS with LW then it is a very viable option.

cavalos
05-31-2004, 08:17 PM
Speed in first place!
But to be honest there are some things that can add or improve.

Texture Filtering
Anti Alias
Radiosity - GI
True 3D Motion Blur
SSS
Dispersion
True Micro-Triangle Displacement
Physical Correct DOF Raytracing
Diferent types of lenses
Better Area Lights
Bla bla bla...

Edbittner
06-01-2004, 04:51 AM
Yes, G2 rocks. Blows Viper out of the water. Unlike fprime, it's not a replacement for the renderer, but TRUE inter-active display.
Ed
S*R* PRODUCTIONS

Zarathustra
06-01-2004, 12:58 PM
SPEED. C4D is blowing us out of the water with speed and they have the balls to offer that $500 rebate if you give them your LW dongle.
I don't know about Maya's render speed on Mac.
All you PC guys get the added bonus of LW being optimized for your machine unlike us Mac guys. We have to wait for the promised future version of LW using Xcode.

I'd like to see faster rendering first, followed by opening up the code to guys like Worley so FPrime can use shaders AND not freak out everytime you open the Surface Editor.
Although I know nothing about 3rd party renderers like Brazil (well, I guess FPrime sorta counts) it would be nice to have the option of exporting to one.
Cavalos' list is nice, of course.
LW's DOF is pretty lame. I'm rediscovering DOF thanks to FPrime.

wacom
06-01-2004, 11:16 PM
While the C4D renderer is fast, I can't always say that it looks as good (and please don't get all worked up people). Same for Vray. Still I'd love to see us have the option of using those lighting maps to speed things up. They may not be 100% acurate, but for some of the viz people they'd have all they needed.

I don't want C4D's engine- I want something better. I think the Project Messiah 2.0 renderer is going to be real sweet by the first images coming out of it...and it's fast.

I've still got a lot of hope fo Fprime though...hell we've only got the 1.02 version...

Andyjaggy
06-05-2004, 11:40 AM
wow I didn't know C4D was offering 500 for you LW Dongle, that's wicked, about two years ago C4D was still kind of an obscure program that you never heard of, now it is very quickly becoming a very viable option for high end 3D, and seems to be targeting LW as its first victim. It will be interesting to see what happens. Time to pick up the pace Newtek!?

Zarathustra
06-05-2004, 11:55 AM
I MUST find time to play with the C4D demo.

I've just been told that:
1) C4D loads LW scenes, preserving lighting, bones, object textures, etc.
2) C4D renders WAY faster then LW
3) As a Mac user, they make you feel like a regular user instead of the redheaded stepchild
4) C4D's layout is VERY customizable, so you can make it look more like LW (you know, like what Modo promises)

Look at the C4D gallery, especially the photorealistic category. No problems with their renderer.

Someone (hey Policarpo) who has both should load LW's benchmark scenes into C4D and post the renders and rendertimes.

Hell, if it renders LW scenes at 4-10X faster, then it's worth it to buy it for rendering alone. How much would 4-10 new machines in your renderfarm cost?

Andyjaggy
06-05-2004, 12:21 PM
This is slowly turning into a C4D thread, a year ago when I started in the multimedia department at my school I noticed they had C4D 8 on all the computers. I never really thought much about it since I didn't consider it to be a good program, I did open it once and made a sphere:rolleyes: with it and rendered it. I always wondered why they had C4D since the animation department uses 3D Max :( Aka the dark one. Anyway... I think I will put some LW scenes on my firewire and take them to school to see what I can do with C4D. Although 8 isn't the most recent version is it? Isn't 8.5 out? I wonder if there is any substantial difference.

Zarathustra
06-05-2004, 12:28 PM
also cheaper to upgrade a program then 4-10 computers....

Well, the threat of Modo made NT start to be nice to us Mac users (who are rumored to be a larger part of the LW community then you'd think). Perhaps C4D will pressure NT in the same way.

I don't WANT to switch to a new app, but I'm a struggling artist with my own business and loyalty alone doesn't pay the rent and feed the family. I'd be an idiot if I didn't explore every option.

wacom
06-05-2004, 04:40 PM
Like I said, I don't want C4D or Vray, I want a hybrid system. It's those funky "light map" tricks they use that get the results so quickly. The "true" radiosity renders (when compared to FPrime) aren't faster, and can be much much slower. Hence why I want a hybrid. SUPER fast "fake" stuff for the stuff you can "fake" and ASAP raytracing and "true" radiosity for the stuff you can't.

I don't trust galleries either- I like to see real tests done by humans quickly. I'm going to hang out on the C4D board at cgtalk and see what the average joe is able to do...otherwise I could be looking at something that rendered in 1 second but took six days of tweaking. Go check out the Vray site gallery- such a mixed bag that I can't really make up my mind as to "how good" it is based on the images. SilverLW has Fprime and Vray...and he's shown that each one is faster than the other depending on the scene and the style of rendering...

The Ninja comparison render of C4D and Fprime on Policorps web site doesn't really tell me anything either...the images look VERY diffrent and the C4D doesn't even have any bounced light and looks more like a verison of background radiosity. In addition would this test be the same with 100 ninjas? Why did he use the FPrime preview window instead of the renderer for the test? I'm not saying that the C4D renderer isn't capable, just that I need to see and work with it more on my own to see. Much like I've learned that in its current state FPrime isn't always a trail blazer. Options...we need options...

OPEN THE SDK!

policarpo
06-05-2004, 05:11 PM
glad you are looking at my site.

thanks for taking the time to do so.

:D

options are always good...i always say.

silverlw
06-05-2004, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by cavalos
Speed in first place!
But to be honest there are some things that can add or improve.

Texture Filtering
Anti Alias
Radiosity - GI
True 3D Motion Blur
SSS
Dispersion
True Micro-Triangle Displacement
Physical Correct DOF Raytracing
Diferent types of lenses
Better Area Lights
Bla bla bla...

I agree with cavalos suggestions and would like to add,
"Non additive reflections". that should have been fixed looong time ago.

Zarathustra
06-06-2004, 09:33 AM
What would be beneficial is if somebody loaded and rendered the LW benchmarks and other long time familiar scenes into C4D and rendered them.
Seeing the side by side renders of the same scene, along with rendertimes would show the differences in results using the 2 apps.

The renders on Maxon's sight are great, but as Wacom points out it's impossible to know what was involved in achieving those results. LW could be 4-10 times faster to set a scene up, too. I don't know.

Aegis
06-06-2004, 09:57 AM
Somebody already posted some LightWave scene render times for C4D and LightWave on the NewTek forums and I seem to recall LightWave was faster at rendering them than C4D was...

Zarathustra
06-06-2004, 10:03 AM
link, please

wacom
06-06-2004, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by Aegis
Somebody already posted some LightWave scene render times for C4D and LightWave on the NewTek forums and I seem to recall LightWave was faster at rendering them than C4D was...

This is just so subjective...and the settings can play a huge role. Have you seen those renders Ocotocan is doing, like the one of the diner? He gave away some of his settings...but he can get great stills very quickly and they look so good. I can't seem to reproduce his methods though.

I just hope we get a few things with the next renderer if we can't get the SDK opened WAY up.

First- yes faster rendering. Mainly in the area of "fake'n it" or approximation rendering. This would help a lot of projects where bake'n it is the only, and often poor, choice we have. Arch Viz, high rez still projects, backgrounds etc.
We need more options. Good oclusion, luminace map, and other options would be helpful along with some updated comp output formats.

Second- more features, even if they are in a basic form, such as SSS and sub-pixel displacement. If the native LW renderer was faster, and had these features it would still be one of the best looking renderers out there.

Third- either easier to use/understand settings and/or better documentation of how those settings work with several very good and diffrent examples. I know that it's impossable to cover every nuance of such complicated things...but still...

I really don't think these things are too much to ask. These are things that can't be "faked" or easily compensated for.

chrisdz
06-07-2004, 09:29 AM
I'm not running the newest/hottest hardware - but I figured this might at least give an average joe "not a full time 3d professional" sampling. I'm using a dual 1.25 G4 mac with OSX.current.

The simple image scene was set up in LW8 - for the C4d example I just asked a friend to load up my LWS file and render it "as is" without any tweaking, so there are things that could have been done by a C4d pro to improve the image quality, I'm sure. We just pulled the camera to roughly the same position, turned on the same "render hogs" and hit "go". I really prefer the visual quality of my LW8 image for the relatively minor speed improvement. Again, not scientific - but honest.

(pardon the blurred bits to be polite to client privacy)

http://www.chrisd.com/images/rendersamp.jpg

policarpo
06-07-2004, 02:51 PM
interesting...i posted some stuff on my site if you wanna look.

Terrificfool
06-11-2004, 02:21 PM
Ever used Maya 4.5. Their native render never gave me anything... period. With Lightwave, I set up a few things, clicked twice, and BOOM a decent image. You know after 6 months of using Maya I finally found their equivalent to shadow mapping, which is essential in Maya, as you just get a solid shadow without it. Seeing as how LW's native renderer works and 4.5's didnt. Havent played around with Maya 5.0, but I expect its native renderer is about the same, as they added 3rd party rendering tools into the Maya package. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but in my opinion Lightwave's renderer can out render most other packages any day. Yes, it does take tweaking to get something really good, but nowhere near the amount I would have done if I was using Maya's native render(at least back in the 4.5 days).