View Full Version : Maxwell renderer beta out with pics...

11-21-2004, 10:29 PM

Seems to work like Fprime. Longer u leave it better the result.

11-21-2004, 11:33 PM
So at least, we now know there is pretty much nothing to wait from them...

I'd say one thing... F-prime seam to be faster...

Go Worley ! GO !! :D ;)

11-21-2004, 11:45 PM
naaaah not interested, what else ya got :p

11-22-2004, 06:24 AM
the great thing is that they say they plan to support Lw as well. ;) very good.

11-22-2004, 09:48 AM
Maxwell seems to be suited to only the highest end of rendering systems according to the reading over there at CGTalk. It seems like you'd have to have a pretty powerful setup to take advantage of it.

Also, how is Maxwell going to render volumetrics and shaders and such when the current Lightwave SDK doesn't allow it? I just sent them an email to ask them about that. Maybe they know something we dont' yet and maybe we'll find out soon enough because I'm sure Fprime will be taking a major step forward which is nice since I already own that one and have little interest in buying yet another renderer.

11-22-2004, 04:17 PM
Lets not forget who maxwell is made by!

11-22-2004, 08:48 PM
Lets not forget who maxwell is made by!
Who is it made by?

11-22-2004, 09:25 PM
It's made by Next Limit. The folks behind RealFlow.

People shouldn't be retarded about this product though. It's funny people here are badmouthing it, and it's not even out yet...well not other than a beta at least.

Besides, a new product that has the potential of advancing your capabilities, even if it's in a minor way, should be applauded. Hell, they're even going to support Lightwave - that should be applauded as well.


11-22-2004, 11:18 PM
no wonder in Maxwell....

+ I've e-mailed them a while ago, asking for LW... they only told me they have plans for LW.... just plans.... and as U may know.... plans are just plans...

++ I've seen renders as nice as their renders.... look Otacon's renders.... it all depend on the settings and the people behind....

This is where Worley is falling way behind... the presentation.... I mean all the people are looking Maxwell, because of the renders we've seen on their site....

Maybe Worley should hold a competition for the best F_prime renders...

Winner(s) get a suite with all his plugs and upgrades for 2 years.... :D

Indeed, I am sure if Worley would put some "jewel renders over his site for the next F_prime.... we'll forget about Maxwell... who BTW does not so well yet....

Next Limit.... a simple Co. like many many many Companies... vulnerable....

+++ I've tried the last realflow3.... well, .... Lotsa Instabilities.... :D :rolleyes: and very $$$... as their "new" Maxwell... I mean ... If I recall correct, F_Prime was not even Half priced....


11-23-2004, 04:17 AM
Progress - http://ixor.gr/maxwelltest/maxwell.htm

cgarchitect has a whole thread dedicated..

11-23-2004, 04:41 AM
Quoting myself...

Also, how is Maxwell going to render volumetrics and shaders and such when the current Lightwave SDK doesn't allow it? I just sent them an email to ask them about that.

I got an email back from Maxwell about the renderer and Lightwave SDK.

"Hi Steve, the plugin for Lightwave will export the scene and some other parameters from Lightwave into a propietary file format (Maxwell Scene) that Maxwell can handle. We don't plan to integrate it in Lightwave so far. Obviously we cannot translate everything from Lightwave to Maxwell, like procedurals, shaders, etc, that's why we plan to add our own material editors in the future. Maxwell is a very innovative concept, and part of the job has to be done outside the 3D platform. Anyway we will try to port as many features as possible from Lightwave."

So basically, it sounds like Maxwell wont' support shaders and volumetrics either just like FPrime. Also, it says it will add material editors in the future so who knows when that will be?

I'm not badmouthing Maxwell, but right now, I'm hoping for more from Fprime, again, especially because I already own it. Worley says they're working on a major update. We assume that to mean they're working to close the gap between itself and Lightwave's SDK, but who says it can't be adding new visual features like photon mapping and other high end features? They've already improved on Lightwave's motion blur. I certainly wouldn't put it past Worley labs to have that capability.

11-23-2004, 05:49 AM
The pix look pretty grainy still. Lets hope something good comes from this.

11-23-2004, 06:39 AM
It's made by Next Limit. The folks behind RealFlow.


How do you know, i haven't seen anything about this. Its another Next Limit as far as i know.

11-23-2004, 06:56 AM
and even though it would be the "Next Limit " from realflow.... so what...? That does not prove anything...

Now HGiger, read my post !

Let's sing together ! Go... Worley GO ! Go Tsunami...! Go F_prime !! :D :cool:

11-23-2004, 12:29 PM
Yeah Herve, bring on the tsunami.

11-24-2004, 04:55 AM
I downloaded the scene rendered by one of the maxwell beta testers - it not quite the same as the object didnt have all the bits in and I had no idea what the light and surface settings were - but here is a quick bodge of the scene on the equivalent Dual 2.8 GHz zeon after 15mins ( I've halved the time as the current FP can only use 1 CPU ad Maxwell uses 2)

I had 1 area light at the top.

11-24-2004, 04:56 AM
Here it is after the equivalent of 240 mins on Dual Xeon

11-24-2004, 05:02 AM
Cleaner - Yes.

Really I don't think there is a compelling reason to get this renderer just yet - all though it does appear to be a bit quicker and produces slightly cleaner images in the detail - but then my lighting and surfaces are different - so this cannot be said with certainty. Also who knows what Worley has up his sleve post 8.2 release? Competition however is good - it is about time.

180MW / 240FP mins - not much between them - neither is suitable for animation so only print work where post could fix the odd artifact - also FP allows you to come back and re-refine the image further after a shutdown!

This image is the above FPrime render put through NeatImage

11-24-2004, 07:03 AM
also FP allows you to come back and re-refine the image further after a shutdown!

Yeah, can Maxwell do that? That feature alone is worth twice of what I paid for Fprime.

But like 3DBob said, competition is good and it's good to see Lightwave opening up to a few third party renderers finally. Hopefully, that area will only improve.

11-24-2004, 07:48 AM
Well, i'd say this.

surely Fprime will be able to work fully integrated with Lw, but it's a Lw related only product.
it will be fantastic though just because Worley said he plans to make iit work with shaders and so on even because products like G2 or disgust work so great with Lw it would be a sin not to use them, plus alot of other shaders aand products.

also Worley talke d bout an enhanced and good workin Screamernet for F prime so i think we are waiting for something very cool, working like current engine, but with great advantages for faster production.

then , renderers like Vray and Maxwell will be a good option as well, especially for archi viz work. probably they will be better integrated later due to Lw SDK opening.

Also, if i remember well, Vray has a material manager, and Maxwell will have one in the future so no real prob.

great options for us to work with. :)

11-24-2004, 07:57 AM
Based on the ability to zoom into an FP window and seeing how an FPrime image is built up, it is my personal belief that a high resolution FP render could be distributed across a network in grid square chunks for distributive rendering.


11-25-2004, 02:48 AM
For single shot stuff - just let FP sit on your spare CPU as I did yesterday. Below is a raw image (converted to JPG) with NO post processing. If this was a textured room with reflection and all - I would defy anyone to see grainyness or to see a commercial difference between this and something Maxwell could achieve (not including caustics which maxwell does achieve).


11-25-2004, 03:14 AM
really good render....
are we going to have to pay a fee for the next F_prime upgrade ....

btw, search here a thread, F_prime DOES caustics.... just a strange way... :D

11-25-2004, 04:22 AM
Worley normally only charges for major updates that add big changes in functionality. Normally updates are free. I'd like to see a major update.


11-25-2004, 07:28 AM
I'm not really basing this on cold hard fact, but I'm pretty sure the next update will be free from Worley. I think that Worley realizes that they are selling us a tool that is somewhat broken due to the Lightwave SDK. Also, Sasquatch got a few pretty nice free updates and there has only been one update of FPrime and it was immediately afterwards with some bug fixes.

That and I hope like hell it's free. I'm still paying for the first time.... :(

11-25-2004, 08:13 AM
Well, considering how much money FPrime can save you, I dont mind paying something extra. Worley deserves it.
Ok, I know some people cannot afford it, well I am sorry about that. I've been under hard financial condition too.

Herve, yes FPrime renders caustics.

I can write a lot about caustics generally, SSS and weaknesses involved.
There are Caustics/SSS generated by Lightsources and Caustics/SSS generated by geometry. We havent seen the latter (yet) as they require more calculations, they are subtle but subtlery is beautiful.

I love this evolution of CG-industry, however this battle between features and Processing Speed is endless.

God is Perfect, humans not.

11-25-2004, 10:35 AM
hi I am not a Lightwave user - just the guy that uploaded the two scenes in that webpage to see and compare Maxwell rendertimes vs others...

thank you for spending time testing...

if yo have any question about maxwell I will be happy to answer it to you.

Please do not ask Maxwell compatability with LW - I can not answer any question related.


when a LW plugin is available I will post result there too.

11-25-2004, 10:41 AM
Yeah, can Maxwell do that? That feature alone is worth twice of what I paid for Fprime.

No. Maxwell can not continue a finished rendering right now.

It might be available - next updates

11-25-2004, 12:30 PM

updated with dif. rerndering engine benchmarks!

11-25-2004, 03:18 PM
hi I am not a Lightwave user

We forgive you. :)

As far as the continueing a render, that is one great ability of Fprime. The only disadvantage is it takes up an enormous amount of disk space because it saves scene information files for each frame along with the renders. I'm just curious, are there any other renders out there that do that? I just think that's a great feature.

11-25-2004, 03:34 PM
regarding refining renders...lightscape does this...here's my version...the 3ds file frm that chap is a very poor export so i made my own version over the top of it in lightwave and saved it out as a lw 5.6 model & scene than threw it into lightscape 3.2..no smoothing..so looks blocky but that max/3ds scene was poorly exported as each teapot was mega triangulated...which in max it would not be so it's an unfair contest..so i exported a teapot from 3ds max as a obj which was set to 4 which is the default res in max..which is fair comparison ..i also made the scene a realistic size...4 meters wide...

if anyone wants the lightwave object/scene..i'll post it out.

anyway...thelightwave version...on my pIII 700 mhz

let it compute the radiosity for about 2 mins...
then hit render with raytracing..which took about 60 seconds..


11-25-2004, 04:44 PM

updated with dif. rerndering engine benchmarks!

Γειά σου Ανδρόνικε :)

11-25-2004, 07:00 PM
another bash...

let lightscape run for a bit more to get a higher quality radiosity solution then re rendered ad threw a concrete panel texture on it...

11-25-2004, 07:07 PM
viewport screen grab from lightscape with the imported lightwave model/scene i created.

this shows the adaptive subdivision of the mesh that was created to calculate the radiosity solution.

11-26-2004, 07:19 AM
as you probably know you can export the lightscape scene out and back into either 3ds max[version3 or 4] or into lightwave 5.6 [newtek kindly sent me the lightwave 5.6 install so i can do this with minimum fuss] as whilst you can bring the .ls scene into lightwave 7 or 8 there's a few hoops to jump thru..

in this small animation i brought the scene out of lightscape [was a lightwave model] and imported it into max 4.0...the lighting came with it as it bakes it into the lo rez mesh [not the adaptive sub divided one] then renders kick out really quick...i also changed the texture to a brick map once inside max..

for me whilst maxwell and vray do offer some good things..it's still useful to look backwards to what's been around for some time..remember that lightscape is a retired app now..last update was in 1998...still i find myself wishing for some of the cool tools either inside lighwave or in xsi or max..

lets hope the developers of lightwave, maxwell and vray also take time to see what's been around for a while and re introduce such tools into new apps. :)

11-26-2004, 09:20 AM
...remember that lightscape is a retired app now...

I still get tears in my eyes when someone mentions this. And furious too.
I still use it and use VRay too. Although I really like VRay, if you know to model correctly (I use FormZ in which you can boolean everything so you have NO overlapping polygons) Lightscape still gives better results in no time. If Newtek could make a hybrid form of Lightscape (to bake lighting on vertices) and VRay (to save a solution per pixel to disk) Lightwave will certainly be on top again with it's renderer

11-27-2004, 01:55 AM
Roadmap update at Maxwell...

some cool things there - like continue a rendering like FP etc...

02-05-2005, 01:07 AM
one of my tests with maxwell...


02-05-2005, 01:56 PM
I'd really like to see someone get hold of the lightscape solution importer for L6.5 and recode it for 8+ - surely the original programmers are alive?

Did someone mention how to get an *.ls file back into LW 8?

If you new how to model to get the best out of lightscape - it was blindingly fast and you just stopped the baking solution when it reached the quality you desired! Genious.

ahh those were the days - maybe I'll fire up my old dec Alpha with LW6.5/LS3.2 installed and see what I can come up with.


02-05-2005, 05:11 PM
I know how to do it :)
My tutorial isnt finished at all, but this should help you along with the 'old and nasty' way of getting your solution into LW:

Always nice to see Lightscape bash all other renderers. It really is the best render solution for spaces out there. Thats final.

I was about to go and do substantial work on my LS to LW tutorial today, but i got stuck on my graduation project. Tomorrow I will.

Cresshead: those are nice comparisons. On a PIII 700!! Im sure better results are easily obtainable without too much of a render hit. you are aware that Lightscape DOES have smoothing?

02-06-2005, 12:03 AM
Personally I’m happy to see other companies working on rendering solutions for LW, because in my opinion, Newtek’s render engine sucks hard. The end result is fine but the process is so ridiculously archaic it isn’t funny. It’s slow, too d**n slow for this day and age, and it’s capable of bottoming out even the most powerful computers. Even the fact that you can’t continue to work while the render is going on is way behind the times. C4D’s render engine for instance is capable of working away while you continue to work, plus it’s faster than LW’s, much faster. Come on Newtek put some resources in either developing a modern, fast render engine or go out and purchase one. I mean LW has so many other things going for it, it’s too bad this area is so far behind the times.

02-06-2005, 01:39 AM
Lw rendering could be archaic and slow, but it renders well. the engine has been used on several projects and also on Citroen C4 advertisement , that looks very good.
I know times are important , however Lw one is one of the best renderers built in with an app i ever found out there, thinking also to render node cost. this is very important for a small studio or solo users with 2, 3 pc used to render too.

this being said, i'm happy that different companies are making render engines supporting Lw as well, and obviously i like that something like F prime is there to improve our work.

Nt dev team is working hard for us, so i think we'll se good things on the rendering area, once other parts of the app wich need enhancements will be addressed. :)

02-06-2005, 03:39 AM
Personally I’m happy to see other companies working on rendering solutions for LW, because in my opinion, Newtek’s render engine sucks hard.

Dear Fausto, you have an opinion that is shared with others, however I think it is an unfounded one. And frankly, I don't like it when people go out and claim things like this. I have enough grudges against newtek, and there is a lot to improve in Lightwave, but what you are saying is plain and objectively false.

I believe it might be a lack of experience or knowledge on your side which is making you say this. Have you looked around enough for mathods of using the lightwave renderer as a speedy tool?
I am pretty confident that if you give me a scene rendered in any program whatsoever, I can come close to or even beat the rendertime of that example using lightwave, without losing image quality. The only exception is Lightscape, but even that is not impossible.

02-06-2005, 06:55 AM

Frankly, I'm not going to get into a pecker contest over this, firstly there isn't adequte space and time to write a detailed description of what I do or don't do, and secondly there's a lot to consider when evaluating something as sophisticated as a 3D render engine. My statement was after all just my opinion.

You're right, I probably lack your experience, although that's not a given, it's probable. Could experience help me to make my renders take less time, likely, given the fact that I haven't done work in game development, so my acquired skills in scene, and model optimization are rudimentary at best.

I haven't created real complicated scenes though, not really, any objects that I model have a low Sub patch level, scenes usually have no more than 4 lights, AA is set to enhanced low or medium at best, and animation is becoming less and less of a goal for me. However, I don't think one has to have the degree of experience you're suggesting to make a gut judgement of the LW render engine.

Is it better than Maya's native engine, yes, is it better the C4D's, to some, me included subjectively yes in the end result, but not how it functions as part of the work flow. C4D's engine is fast, stable, and produces ok results, LW's engine in my opinion isn't fast and it is not stable, crashes are frequent, but the end result can be beautiful. Now I guess it's a trade off, but my personal opinion is, there's huge room for improvement in LW's current render engine. So maybe my words were a bit harsh, SUCKS HARD, perhaps I should have said, SUCKS SOFT instead. All I know is, I'm glad to see that others, including some software developers see the need and are doing something about it. I wonder if Fprime would have made such an impact if LW's render engine was all you think of it.

PS, any pointers on how to decrease render times are always welcome.


02-06-2005, 11:50 AM
Sometimes, rarely... I bodge a scene together and it is a little slow rendering. But I've never had a commercial problem with the speed - especially when I can drop the frames over my available machines. As to stability - I have RARELY ever had a crash when rendering a frame in lightwave - since 3.5 on the amiga! Sometimes when using a modelling tool or in layout - but those bugs have all but been completely squashed - 8.2 is approaching the legendary stability of 3.5 or 5.6!

Factor the increadable workflow bonus of FPrime and I'm very happy with the tool!


02-06-2005, 11:55 AM
Hey Exception - please finish the tutorial for the new method - please please please!


02-07-2005, 01:37 AM

You're right, I probably lack your experience, although that's not a given, it's probable. Could experience help me to make my renders take less time, likely, given the fact that I haven't done work in game development, so my acquired skills in scene, and model optimization are rudimentary at best.

I am also not in game development, and am pretty bad at keeping my polygon count down. Also I like to turn up the volume in terms of expensive rendering processes. Whenever I turn on reflection for something, my finger itches for the reflection blurring. However in terms of rendering I have aquired the knowledge and experience necessary for me to make the most out of the still large format renders I make. Sure they can still last for hours and hours, but still im sure any other renderer would.
I don't like the small test scenes that are used to test engines amongst peers. People thro 3 balls in a box with one area light and start to frantically optimize their scenes for their specific program or engine and claim it is the best. This is nothing like real life where other matters count just as much.

In any case, Im willing to help you to see if we can speed up your scenes.

I haven't created real complicated scenes though, not really, any objects that I model have a low Sub patch level, scenes usually have no more than 4 lights, AA is set to enhanced low or medium at best, and animation is becoming less and less of a goal for me. However, I don't think one has to have the degree of experience you're suggesting to make a gut judgement of the LW render engine.

that is true. I alwso have great problems judging the KRAy renderer because of its gazillion settings and my inability to get a good fast render out of it. This doesnt make it a bad renderer, but for me, for now, an unuseable one.
Fortunately Lightwave is not as complicated. there are some simple steps and tricks you need to be aware of to speed things up... A LOT.

I wonder if Fprime would have made such an impact if LW's render engine was all you think of it.

Fprime made such a fuss because it was the first external renderer. And Fprime is good. But not so much in terms of speed. Fprime isnt that fast at all when we talk about radiosity. Lightwave itself is much much quicker in almost all circumstances. Being able to preview your entire scene however is very valuable, and also the DOF and Motion blur of Fprime are excellent. Being able to resume a stopped render is priceless. this all makes Fprime great, but frankly, not really its speed. Im sure the next installment will see great speed enhancements. It wouldnt be that hard for mr worley to incorporate some kind of noise reduction, which would help a lot.

PS, any pointers on how to decrease render times are always welcome.

Well, if you tell me what kind of scenes you are rendering, I will try. Perhaps just make a scene and give it to us, so we can have a look at leasure.

02-07-2005, 01:38 AM
Hey Exception - please finish the tutorial for the new method - please please please!


I spent all day yesterday on Part II... a little patience please : )

02-07-2005, 02:46 AM
Hi Exception,

In your own time of course - thankyou for your effort, the investigations you have undertaken look very thorough. It's a bit like someone who knows exactly how good Lightscape really is.


02-07-2005, 03:51 AM
Bear in mind that my tutorial will not be free.
That is, the tutorial will be free, but you will need to buy some programs in order to use the workflow described in it. This can be as little as 30$ though.

02-07-2005, 04:42 AM
Fair enough - I have polytrans, but I think it is way old. I do have LS 3.2 and all versions of Lightwave. What is it that costs $30?


02-07-2005, 04:56 AM
I have PM'ed you about it. I have agreed not to say anything public before I conferred with the creator of that which costs $30. I didnt make this workflow possible just by myself, withotu him I couldnt have done it.

02-07-2005, 07:42 AM
Here... for your viewing pleasure. This is what youll get from the tutorial.

640x480, low enhanced AA in under one minute (P4 2.2 Ghz).
Grain was added with Virtual darkroom. Corona is present too.
Ill continue posting about the tutorial and everything related to it only in its official thread here... >http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=30533

06-03-2005, 05:19 AM
Hi Exception

You say you can match or better any renders from *other engines* using LW!? I find this hard to take!, I've used LW for 5-6 years now and use Mental Ray also but must admit these renders from Maxwell


do look very good and I really could not see how you could produce the same/better result in LW. Are there any samples around that match these?.

Yes the LW engine is not the fastest engine out there but it's very good!! but these new engines are looking very ineresting indeed if a little slow!!


06-03-2005, 05:40 AM
not so much in terms of speed. Fprime isnt that fast at all when we talk about radiosity. Lightwave itself is much much quicker in almost all circumstances.

OK, I've edited out my initial response. ;)

Have we had this converastion before? Was your thinking on this that it takes longer to get as good results with FPrime? I wouldn't call myself an FPrime fanboy (quite), but it has just made LightWave SOOOOO much more fun for me. It was a joke between me and my wife back in the day, I would come out of the office and start watching TV, she'd be like, "Rendering?", me: "Yep". That doesn't happen anymore. :cool:

If you say the renders are sub-par for print purposes or something, I'll have to take your word for it, but my radiosity renders (http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showpost.php?p=202700&postcount=11) turn out pretty frickin sweet.

Captain Obvious
06-03-2005, 06:27 AM
It was a joke between me and my wife back in the day, I would come out of the office and start watching TV, she'd be like, "Rendering?", me: "Yep". That doesn't happen anymore.
Hahaha :D
Worley should put that on his front page. ;)

06-03-2005, 06:45 AM
you cant match these (maxwell) in lw... no way.... :D

06-03-2005, 07:08 AM
LOL, O herb, check the lighting on the secend link!! looks very real indeed!! a little grain yes but all those images look very nice. I've had a real good look over the gallery and your website :-), and still can't spot anything with such depth to the light. I'm not defending/selling Maxwell far from it!! I'm just saying I fail to see any samples matching these!! I linked to, as I hardcore 3D artist I'm always looking for new tool's and I think Maxwell could be well worth looking into, via XSI in my case not LW though!! as I think the interaction between XSI and Maxwell maybe easier


06-03-2005, 07:30 AM
Having used Maxwell for two weeks with lightwave I have to agree with the sentiment that you can't get its quality with ANYTHIG ELSE. I have loved and used Lightscape and many other tools over the years - but this really does come up with the goods.


LW/Maxwell workflow is a doddle.

Mawell is currently in Alpha and has limited material options - but you can still do stuff in it that is IMPOSSIBLE in lightwave (I've been using lightwave since 3.5) or FPRIME for that matter. It really is stunning. My recommendation to any waver out there is get this tool before the 15th and save yourself a packet.

MW only allows single textures on channels at the moment (making some types of texture impossible) so my current workflow is LW (model), FP/LW (texture), LW or Microwave (if i could afford it) for texture baking, Light set-up - LW/MW, Render MW.

But most jobs LW/FP is faster and does the job. For photo real Arch/Prod vis MW Rocks.


06-03-2005, 08:25 AM
right now there is no xsi <> mxw bridge.... later...

Maxwell rocks.... I will update my site soon.... :D

06-03-2005, 10:20 AM
anyway of seeing those piks you so happy about from Maxwell without the hassle of registering on yet another forum!


just post em here!

then we can all marvel at the quality and not just read about it.

[had along day]

steve g

06-03-2005, 12:17 PM
Sure thing CressHead :-)

These are a mix of daylight then night lit images I'm sure you could knock these up in a few hours Cress ;-)



06-03-2005, 12:22 PM


Have you any test pics from MaxWell you can show me? and for the record the bridge for XSI is not far off :-)



06-03-2005, 01:37 PM
Nothing spectacular, I'm still learning - but these are all as they come out of the renderer.

You can also stop and start renders - but not as easily as Fprime.

You can also network render animations and stills and cooperatively render a single frame across multiple CPUs - although this works, it is very ALPHA at the moment. The network rendering is doddle to set up (excepting cooperative mode) - but you have to work it out as the supplied instructions miss out most of the vital steps!

Braccelet Animation (MOV) (http://www.tir.co.uk/Gallery/Bracelet_Plastic.mov)

They claim there will be baking - but I'm not certain yet - It would be very slow - but the potential is amazing - particularly if you could cooperatively bake, something LW can't do.


06-03-2005, 01:54 PM
Hi Cresshead,

The forum is supposed to be for registered users only - though I think anyone can set up an account - I don't think they are checking.

Also you can save a render description file called an MXI and zip it with the images used and fire it off to another site for rendering.

We are looking at providing a render service for MW for those that are interested...

I will say that all those tricks learnt to speed up FP are relevant - if you build geometry in the same way - you are laughing.

The out of focus image was my first attempt - different light temperatures and a bit more geometry in the other.


06-03-2005, 01:57 PM
I had a quick go with the same crappy scene and FP. Here is the result - Same numebr of bounces - 8.


06-03-2005, 02:08 PM
Looking nice 3DBOB, it's good you value how powerful this engine is!!, the lighting in these test renders looks very nice!! the the setup sounds simple also.

How are you finding the speed? user's are saying a good few hours are needed for a final image!, not surprised really, these are true light calulations here!!! hardcore maths!. Mental Ray 3.4 has multi hit FG and I've seen a few tests done with this!! again very very impressive lighting, sadly not in XSI 4.2 as yet!! for the record my company use XSI Advanced + LW, both strong in there respective areas but both lacking the light modeling tools of these new engines.

It's a real pain really that we have to jump from tool to tool!! but hey I'm up for learning new tools so not so much of a hardship.

BTW did you buy Maxwell or is there a demo>? not that £150 odd quid is gonna hurt :-), I take it runs on buy mac/pc and the I know the plugs are free



06-03-2005, 02:58 PM
The bracelets got to level 16 in about 2 hours on 2GHz P4 boxes - No noise reduction used. The trick is getting the lighting right by choosing Fstop, Amount of illumination, Exposure time and ISO & clicking the low quality setting whilst only trying to render a minute 160X120 image. It has a preview window that updates in a similar way to FPrime - but not interactive and much slower to boot - but with the above approach you can quickly (relatively) see the overall lighting level of your scene. Also for internal Arch Vis only put the room and a couple of objects in to improve the speed of your iterative analysis.

If you want reality MW

For cell shaded and the vast bulk of pre-vis and vis and many other types of animation - Use lightwave and/or FP to get work out the door before your client turns grey.

The room took about 12 hours before I got this out on a dual 2.8GHz Xeon - but you can cooperatively Network render it - and 8 machines supposedly takes 1/8 the time - but I'm not completely convinced.

The Fprime render took several hours also - but I cant remember.

I bought maxwell - and I'll be getting several more licences for the render facility.

The thing is - If your a hobbyist - long render times are not really relevant and If quality is king then for commercial work like still photos then this is the DBs. You can use lightwave NOW and get this quality of rendering NOW.


Heres some links to other works done by other MW alpha users. Enjoy:-

shoes (http://img136.echo.cx/img136/3701/solesurvivor28tk.jpg)

USB Key (http://www.jfww.com/maxwell/usb_flash/tom_adj.jpg)

Pool (http://www.fcemedia.com/alien/maxwell/images/room1a.jpg)

Otacons Darts (http://img225.echo.cx/img225/175/scenedarts24dr.jpg)

Thomas Kline bottle (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/ThomasAnag/Misc/Maxwell/klein2-mxl.jpg)

Glass (http://img158.echo.cx/img158/5558/outputreal9nn.jpg)

Piano (my favourite) (http://www.hypergraphics.it/maxwell/a1.jpg)

Captain Obvious
06-03-2005, 04:37 PM
Would you mind trying to render that room in Fprime using emitter polygons instead of (point?) lights? Maxwell doesn't use lights in the same way as most renderers, right? It would be a more "apples to apples" comparison that way, and it would get rid of those awful sharp shadows in the Fprime version. While you're at it, you could also make the lamps in the roof less intense and add a sun, to make it more like the M~W rendering. ;) If you're feeling generous, you could even post the scene. I'd like to see what LW's interpolated can do with it.

06-03-2005, 05:39 PM
There are 16 circular lights in that room in maxwell as polygon emmitters. I did start with the same in FP for my own comparative purposes, It was so slow to get anywhere that after having spent twice as long trying to match MW output - I just went for some quick and dirty Spots. Sadly, spots in FP are only raytraced so no shadow blurring. I was going to sit a group of area lights up - but really I had to much commercial stuff to be getting on with.

I am afraid I can not upload the geometry on this one - but I may give it another go with emmitters - but FP (at 8 bounces) was taking way longer than maxwell to get acceptable results.


Captain Obvious
06-03-2005, 06:14 PM
How does, say, three bounces and some ambient or fill lights perform?

06-04-2005, 03:42 AM
This is the point, you are always tweaking and cheating in LW - something i've been doing for years. In Lightscape and MW you set up lights where they should be, give them an appropriate intensity - and you get a pleasing visual.

Lightwave does have the advantage of a massive range of texturing options which I love - But I can bake these and frankly it's much less hassle to do lighting for Interiors in MW, even with it in Alpha. I have three licenses of LW and 2 FPs. I'll be getting more MW licences - Why?

Sadly MW only gives you 4 CPUs per license - and it appears that it will treat a Dual-core as 2 CPUs, which I think is a bit off.

LW gives you unlimited render nodes.

For fast GI Kray seams to be the engine of choice - it deals with lightwave geometry and can bake to allow for super fast Arch Vis. What is more it comes with a 5 computer render license - so if you have Tyan Quad Athlon64 X2 rack units you can have 40 CPU cores for your rendering pleasure.

For Photoreal Static stuff and small scale still life animation - MW (this position may change as it goes through to Beta and then final release)

For all other stuff I'm sticking with plain LW/FP as it is so flexible and powerful.


06-04-2005, 06:32 AM
he he I second you on that one 3D Bob.... :D

Captain Obvious
06-04-2005, 07:41 AM
This is the point, you are always tweaking and cheating in LW - something i've been doing for years. In Lightscape and MW you set up lights where they should be, give them an appropriate intensity - and you get a pleasing visual.
Well, I have no choice but to agree with that. The point of any photorealistic rendered is to allow you to just set up the lighting as it would be in real-life and make it look like it should. No fill lights, no ambient, to ambient occlusion (except maybe for a dirt shader :p )... Since I do not have Fprime and F9 isn't exactly blazing on this 1.6GHz G5, tweaking lights and such is downright horrible. I often spend more time rendering than I do actually tweaking.

A renderer like MW does not really suit all things, though. The point of 3D graphics is often not to create things that cannot exist. Maxwell would probably have a hard time rendering a material that is not physically accurate.

06-04-2005, 04:30 PM
well i'd be a liar if i said i wasn't impressed with the kitchen scene renders as they look truly photoreal :D

very nice...

now then down to my supa dupa question...

productivity...i'm guessing that maxwell is NOT a radiosity renderer like lightscape in that once you wait 2-4-10 hours for the render to pop out in Maxwell you can't get another frame in 2-3mins..it'll take another 2-4-10 hours for frame 2 so that maxwell is not a resolution/view independant renderer and will be mega slow for fly thru animations of that kitchen scene...which then makes it a stills renderer not a renderer suited for animation at that quality we see in those stunning renders!....this MAY change with the beta version and the final release but the maxwell website is VERY lacking in fine details on just what their render can/will do in the nr future.

for the time being lightscape still rules for client use... or max 7.5 as this now has adaptive mesh subdivision which give max 7.5 true lightscape qualities but in 3dsmax.

i'd love to be proved wron..an soon so i could get maxwell with some knowledge it could replace lightscape in usage and quality.


06-04-2005, 05:55 PM

just to show what lightscape can do in comparison to maxwell here's some lightscape renders from cg architect's website...
as you can see that are quite good, maybe not as photoreal in some aspects as maxwell but they do renderout very fast once the claculation for radiosity has been processed...same goes for max 7.5 as this finally has lightscapes capabilities.

06-05-2005, 04:29 AM
Hi Cresshead,

I agree with you on the baking issue as I said previously. Also - I have the network rendering package for lightscape that allows you to bake a solution over the network.

I do find that lightscape stuggles with large numbers of polys - as for that matter does the current version of MW - though some of the scenes I have rendered have well in excess of a million. FP and LW are pretty good when it comes to high poly count - FP alone - and especially LW with HD Instance.

The poly ceiling is meant to be sorted for the MW beta - and there have been statements to the effect that there will be baking in future (although I haven't seen a commitment as to when). Additionally this may use its novel cooperative rendering technology built-in that would allow you to produce a bake across a network. Following this it should be a plural of seconds per frame.

A distinct advantage of MW over LS in my experience is that it is not interpolated - which means you don't have to slice in geometry or be very specific with your models like you do in LS. With reference to the bottom left image you posted there is "light creep" in the ceiling. This meant that in LS you had to slice in detail into surfaces e.g. where chair legs met the floor. or where blocks were over other blocks to avoid "light" or "shadow" creep - the LS manual goes into much detail about this. Does M7.5 have the same issues?

This means that you can build objects with the geometry necessary for the form - place and render - much simpler.

Also Kray has very advanced baking - you can do baking of the whole scene or just use its adaptave caching so that it only re-calculates what was not previously in view - a real time saver as stuff behind camera throughout a ArchVis anim never needs to be calculated - but all stuff in view that has been calculated is cached so no LW flicker. Kray also has the advantage of some of the most advanced rendering technologies available.


06-05-2005, 09:23 AM
i've not upgraded to max 7.5 from max 4.26 as yet..still saving my pennies for it!....all £1300 worth of 'em!..so not sure if there's any light creep issues with max's version of lightscape in max nowdays.

maxwell does look very "real" and i love the idea that there's only a few controls for it...not like final render's hundreds of spinners!

in the end their all quite good be it lightwave, lightscape, f prime, maxwell or kray
and i'll take a look at the demo of version 1.0 when its out and get a client to pay for it if i like the look of it! :) ...gotta be the way really!

steve g

06-05-2005, 12:53 PM
This meant that in LS you had to slice in detail into surfaces e.g. where chair legs met the floor. or where blocks were over other blocks to avoid "light" or "shadow" creep - the LS manual goes into much detail about this. Does M7.5 have the same issues?
Yep, MAX 7.5 his the same geomtry requirements.

Another reason I don't like the Lightscape/Max-Radiosity approach is the method of applying the effect. By default it relies on meshing and vertex shading, which can easilly turn a 3Mb file into a 60Mb file (or more), and MAX is probably the worst of the bunch at displaying large meshes in the viewports (the display in viewport can be turned off though). MAX 7.5 is an improvement in that it allows for dynamic meshing, but it still creates massive files.
The other method is to bake the information onto textures and retexture all the objects with the new textures. There is a certain amount of automation to this, but I still consider it a lot of work.

Personally I prefer the Vray method, which I hope Maxwell adopts. This is to create a seperate light-map file. The lightmap file can be very large as well, but it is only loaded at render time, which means viewport interaction isn't effected. Another advantage of the light-map approach is that that it can be incrementally added to.

06-05-2005, 01:51 PM

Yep, MAX 7.5 his the same geomtry requirements.

In that case - it has no interest for me - The extra hassle modelling in LS/M7.5 could be put over to rendering an animation over my network.

Also, I wouldn't waste your money - £1200 would get you 5 licences of MW (that's 20 CPUs render licence) at the moment and change - and frankly NOTHING can produce better renders! I defy anyone to show me.

Alternatively - you could get:-

Rhino 3 - US$895 (best Nurbs modelling in the market - Product design)
ZBrush 2 - US$489 (Most novel and powerful sub div and mesh painting - organic)

AND 1 licence of MW and 1 Licence of KRay! To augment LW8.x (which looks like its own rendering is having a much needed face lift).

With this line up there is NOTHING that you could not model or render in anything other than the BEST way.


06-05-2005, 04:01 PM
3d bob...are you trying to sway from the dark side of the evil empire [autodesk] :D

max 7.5 is more than just a lightscape type renderer..it not probably the best place to talk about max...on a newtek forum!


7.5 has .........
fx:- clothing sims, fur/hair, reactor
renderers:-scanline,mental ray, light tracer,radiosity
animation:- character studio, spline ik,ik, mo cap support
horrible mesh editing system!
good patch modeling
rubbish nurbs!
ies lighting
animate anything...
pixel shaders for games etc....
and a bunch of stuff more, including some whacky bugs! :eek:

06-05-2005, 05:06 PM
All the different engines have thier own advantages.

I also believe none of them cancel the oethers out.

F-Prime, no matter how good its render engine is, will always be utilized for scene visualization.

Kray, haven't used it yet, looks as though it streamlines the rendering by being able to bake certain elements in the scene as well as having a pretty quick render.

Maxwell is really the slowest of the bunch, but it can produce ridiculously real renders.

When the 64 bit revolution consumes us all the Maxwell quality stuff will be less hard to achieve and maxwell will certanly be quicker as well.

I think that Newtek, I'm hoping anyways, will have some engine updates of thier own by then as well.

Maxwell, is only practical for animation if you have a render farm. Unless you only need stills.

Lightscape looks great considering the renderspeed.

I think the great thing is that we have all these options.

Here is a Maxwell render I did last night. I'm still tweaking it (which is why its noisy). MW still has some issues with transparent diffusion materials. WHich is why the lampshade is not transparent yet.

06-05-2005, 06:12 PM
Hi Cresshead,

AUTO**** should die ever since they killed my beloved Lightscape (i paid £3500 for it!) So excepting my predjudice, yes they do have some interesting tools - the most important over LW is cloth and character animation tools.

But hey for a paltry £165 you can have the very latest project messiah delivered to your doorstep! It has awesome cloth dinamics. Having never used them before I animated this shirt in 40 minutes - you could adjust the material settings whilst PM was looping the anim and it re-calculated the Cloth REALTIME on my dual 2.8 Xeon.

Shirt Anim (http://www.tir.co.uk/Gallery/shirt.wmv)

Nothing special, rendered in FP. Lightning quick I might add.

It also has awesome character animation - great SSS/GI and top notch true sub pixel displacement at render time.


LS is not being developed - Kray surpasses its quality and Speed (though not its userbase) and has all the knobs of the latest renderers and is being rapidly updated It can also render QTVR spherical and cubic maps with a simple click of the mouse (this allows for that ambient shader plug-in http://lw-fin.org/plugins/asa/fii/plug_fii.html to allow for super fast character animation in Kray baked GI environment).

MW is being rapidly developed and its broard spectrum links will make it a renderer of choice for photoreal stuff. When it gets baking - Well its in the bag as far as Arch Vis goes.

As I said before - LW even in its current form can bang out commercial work with an extroardinary range of looks RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX. The joy is - no one need have output envy anymore - there are options available to us now....

These are good times on the wave.