View Full Version : About F-Prime

12-10-2004, 02:19 PM
So I was looking around and it just seems so many people answer questions about speed with "Buy F-Prime" Personally I just can't afford the (pretty) hefty price tag (And I'm not sure I agree with the buy more stuff option) but I was wondering: Just how many of us out there have it? How many people consider it a necessity to their LW work? I seriously don't think that NT would integrate such a tool into LW (look at all the profit loss to Whorley) but if everyone IS buying it maby there are some issues to be addressed with the current engine (I know, 8.2 comming and all that...but).
Anyway, Just wondering about the trend

(Yep, I LOVE those parenthesis)

12-10-2004, 02:48 PM
Yes, I have it!

I`m just a hobbyist and doin L.w. for fun.
I find FPrime very, very useful.

Put a way some money every month,
and...Ta Daa...soon you have it!

No more F9-
use FPrime!

12-10-2004, 07:06 PM
I have it, paid for by myself, it was worth it :)

12-10-2004, 07:43 PM
Without a doubt the BEST plugin you will ever buy, totally changes how you work, worth every penny, beg steal and borrow to buy it - need I say more?

12-11-2004, 08:13 AM
It's the only plugin I have paid for and it is well worth the price. Especially if you are doing rad renders on a regular basis like me.

12-12-2004, 05:35 PM
Also the only plugin I've ever purchased, worth every penny, and I'm only a hobbiest.

If nothing else, it makes surfacing REALLY easy. It smokes Viper.

12-12-2004, 10:33 PM
I think that Fprime is worth what I paid for it but I have a few reservations.
I'm really hoping to see some improvements soon either to the Fprime program itself or as in the Lightwave SDK to open up more to allow Fprime to do what it is designed to do.
Don't expect Fprime to be better then the lightwave renderer in terms of speed in all situations. In several cases I've found it to be slower in terms of speed vs. quality. Sure, you can see a 5 bounce monte carlo almost instantly in Fprime, but you're just looking at the first pass and you can expect to wait many passes before that clears up enough to be usuable. I've seen it do several hundred passes and still have noticable grain in it. But generally I can get a much faster render out of Fprime then I can with Lightwave. Unless of course, I'm rendering volumetrics or using shaders which Fprime can't see.
The beauty of FPrime is that you get almost instant feedback on your lighting, especially in radiosity.

12-12-2004, 10:41 PM
I agree, FPrime is the money really worth. (it's fun to work with, surfacing ect,lightning, or just playing/experimenting).

12-17-2004, 08:13 AM
FPrime is worth it. Even if it didn't have the renderer, it would be worth it. To get instant feedback on your lighting and texturing is so incredible I'm stuck coming up with words great enough to praise it. I personally feel my lighting and texturing has improved vastly due to it because of how quickly you you can change and try something different instead of change, F9, wait............ ah, no that's crap, change, F9, wait...........hmmm, maybe if I do this, F9, wait..........

I've found radiosity to render faster then native LW and scenes with transparency and refraction really get faster. DOF not only looks better, but renders faster, too.

btw - 1000th post. Holy crap :eek:

12-17-2004, 08:17 AM
btw - 1000th post. Holy crap :eek:

Ah yes, the good old days...

12-17-2004, 08:22 AM
Well if I wasn't banned for awhile I'd have more :rolleyes:

12-18-2004, 11:49 AM
it's the only plugin I bought too, it is very good, it saves a lot of time when texturing and lighting..

12-18-2004, 05:18 PM
it's the only plugin I bought too, it is very good, it saves a lot of time when texturing and lighting..

Same here only plugin ever bought since using LW from 5.0. It is worth every penny.

I don't use LW often anymore [As I'm getting another Degree in CS from NMT, that is if you are wondering why.], but when I do go in to I use FPrime over the Native Renderer.

12-19-2004, 10:51 PM
Is Fprime an actual renderer? And what about G2, does that not give you feedback on your renderings and lighting as well? And why buy Fprime over G2?

12-20-2004, 04:22 AM
You should read the Worley site. Just about any question you could have about it is there, except for when any kind of update will be.

12-20-2004, 04:48 AM
Yes, Fprime is a full blown renderer with the exception of a few limitations. But only because the Lightwave SDK does not fully support 3rd party renderers. Yet.
G2 as I understand it (I only own FPrime) is both a lighting and surfacing tool but it does give you real time feedback on your lighting setups but I don't think it gives you all the info that Fprime does.

Tim Parsons
12-20-2004, 08:46 AM
At our shop we no longer use G2 since adding FPrime. The only two things I miss from G2 are the Gamut Control (this tool allows you to tone down hot spots created by lights, while not affecting other areas of your render.) and the ability to select surfaces by clicking on the image generated by G2. Also another nice feature of G2 was "Processing". This tool allows you to vary the color of cloned objects with the same surface names. For instance I did a scene in which I had gumballs in a coin operated dispenser, I cloned my gumball many times and then played with this tool to vary the color of each gumball. See sample. Also, while G2 does give real-time feedback of light color, strength, position and falloff, it does not update shadow position. G2 has it's own interface to tweak your surfaces, whereas FPrime uses the native LW surface panel. Also another drawback to G2 is the initial F9 render that needs take place to "capture" data for G2 to work, much like VIPER does native to LW. Another drawback to G2 is when working with transparent surfaces, surfaces behind the transparent surfaces don't get updated in the preview window. My guess as to the delay in an update to FPrime is that Worley is working to combine these two tools together. After all it seems to me that the technology that was developed (discovered) for G2 is what made FPrime possible in the first place. One last note, there is one nagging bug in FPrime that drives me crazy and that is if you save your image using more that 25 characters in the file name FPrime will not allow you to save anymore images. (You'll need to restart LW.) According to a call I made to Worley several months back this bug has been fixed, however he had no timeframe for the release of an update. Looks like he's waiting to make a big splash with other features to go along with the fixes.


12-20-2004, 11:43 AM
Thanks Tim,

I have spent a lot of time at the Worley site but some of these things were not very clear to me. That clears up most of my questians. If I get to where I'm ready to make an investment I can always contact the Worley team.

Thanks agian-

12-22-2004, 03:00 AM
Hmmm. One architectural job more-than-paid-for FPrime, and it wasn't really feasable to render it any other way in the time available.

It's not a magic bullet, but it does make a lot of things possible which otherwise wouldn't be (such as radiosity lit animations which render before the heat-death of the Universe).

However, it does have massive drawbacks. It doesn't grok volumetrics of any kind, or any shader plug-ins. Those are pretty frelling massive omissions - it'd be kinda nice if that got fixed in 8.2, but I'm not holding my breath. Also, the realtime update thing sticks sideways in my throat, 'cause that was the main reason I bought G2. So, functionally, I've bought the same tool twice. Admittedly, we all use LightWave in different ways and for different things, but all the same... *shrugs* Bleh.

It's hard to say. If you can't afford it, then presumably you're not using LW as your main source of income. I am, ergo buying FPrime was pretty much mandatory, like having a current-gen OpenGL accelerator card, or at least a gig of RAM. If you're not, then you might find it excessive. Being able to render radiosity at about the speed one could render raytrace scenes about 5 years ago is a pretty sweet trick, but LW is a plugin-oriented application. Having all the shaders and vols drop out of use is a major trade-off, and sometimes Just Not Worth It.

Don't get me wrong, it's bloody marvellous with what it does, and yeah it can be great to help with lighting or surfacing setups - but for that, so's G2.

Your Mileage May Vary, basically, depending on what you use LW for.