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bobakabob
08-22-2005, 05:08 AM
Just wondered if anyone could clarify texturing developments in LW9? I gather LW is moving towards a node based approach. Will this be in addition to the LW texturing tree - that is, an option? I'm a little concerned as I don't find the node based systems in other 3D packages anywhere near as intuitive as Lightwave texturing. :lwicon:

BeeVee
08-22-2005, 05:59 AM
It will be an option...

B

Captain Obvious
08-22-2005, 07:44 AM
As far as I figured, you can use either the layers manager that exist now (by clicking the texture button, presumably), or nodes, or both. Both probably means that you can use the excellent layers manager in the node system. If you don't like nodes, don't use them, basically.

Node-based systems take a little getting used to, but once you've gotten the hang of them, I think they're a lot more versatile, efficient and powerful than anything else. For example, if you want to add a procedural texture in LW[8] and modulate the scale based on another procedural map, there is no real way of doing that. With a good nodal system, you just add a procedural node to the scale of the first node. Piece of cake! ;) I'm really looking forward to 9.

gjjackson
08-22-2005, 08:06 AM
I think Amelie has some functions as that. You could download a demo and see how the nodal systems works.

Ross_DD
08-22-2005, 08:39 AM
Hi,

(sorry for my very bad english language...)

with total respect for all opinions, i hope LW don't change its surface-texturing layers-approach instead of node system...
i'm a graphic-designer very pasionate about 3D-graphics (with LW) and one of the first reason of my LW choice (instead other 3D-packages...) is the surface-texturing system based on layers, similar to Photoshop method...
i'm very interested about every LW new implementation (personally, i hope in some texture-painting tools implemented in the next version...) and node-based texturing approach is a good tool;
i know that's good for many other LW Users but my preference is the actual layer system but it's very good the implementation of both layers and nodes for LW surface-texturing purposes (i prefer layers but it's right to satisfy everyone).

Thank You Very Much.

Scott_Blinn
08-22-2005, 11:28 AM
As far as I can tell, the Node system is just an alternate interface (UI) for the existing surfacing system.

Wade
08-22-2005, 11:43 AM
It will be an option...

B

So says :newtek:

Lightwolf
08-22-2005, 12:48 PM
As far as I can tell, the Node system is just an alternate interface (UI) for the existing surfacing system.
I honestly doubt it, especially since it is supposed to be Nodal which goes way beyond the current layer based approach.
I also hope it goes _way_ beyound the current surfacing system (i.e. same base nodes for all surface channels as well as displacement for example ... or a motion modifier :D ).

I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Cheers,
Mike

Scott_Blinn
08-22-2005, 02:50 PM
I honestly doubt it, especially since it is supposed to be Nodal which goes way beyond the current layer based approach.
I also hope it goes _way_ beyound the current surfacing system (i.e. same base nodes for all surface channels as well as displacement for example ... or a motion modifier :D ).

I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Cheers,
Mike

I'll second that! I'm just trying not to get my hopes up too high until I see the system in action. :-)

Gui Lo
08-22-2005, 05:15 PM
In the vidz they do say that the user can use nodes or layers. My guess then is that anything that can be done in layers can be achieved in nodes and visa versa.

So I hope they enhance the layer system as well as giving a nodal UI.

Textures at the moment adapt as they are copy/pasting from/to the colour channel to/from say the bump or transparency channel. The colour is lost or the colour needs to be added in the channel. I wonder how nodes can handle this since we should be able to take a gradient and apply it both to the colour channel and to the trnsparency and also to the diffuse. Keeping the UI showing the colour for the gradient does not give truthfull results and the channel would need altering seperately. Therefore I think for simple multiple use of the same texture I would still prefer to use the layers UI for flexibility.

Gui Lo
08-22-2005, 05:39 PM
Sorry, to add to my last comments. In the vidz the user can use layers within nodes or nodes within layers.

My preference at the moment would be to use nodes for the interactive stuff(e.g. a gradient is linked to the distance from object) within a general layers system.

Silkrooster
08-22-2005, 08:32 PM
Has any one heard if new procedurals have been added or not?
Silk

julos
08-23-2005, 04:18 AM
it's good to have both, one can make you understand the way the other one works.

wacom
08-23-2005, 09:28 AM
Hey- if even I can figure out the basic node operations then you can! For the most part to get basic surfaces you most likely only need to connect one or two nodes to the base material- and that alone will give you almost all of the functionality (if not more) than the LW layer based system. From there it's just a simple mater of chaining even just those together to build things up in a "layer" type way.


The most important things are (IMHO):

Is everything labled well? Do the labels make sense for each node and its connections?

Is there GOOD documentation on what each node does?

Will it put in-between nodes in when you try to connect dis-similar nodes say color to scaler?

Will you be able to copy a branch and paste it?

I'm fairly certain it will be powerful though as the stuff shown by tess on nodal was already 99% of the way there- the interface etc. is what I want to know more about. I also hope that most of the nodes var are animatable over time with the graph editor.


Hi,

(sorry for my very bad english language...)

with total respect for all opinions, i hope LW don't change its surface-texturing layers-approach instead of node system...
i'm a graphic-designer very pasionate about 3D-graphics (with LW) and one of the first reason of my LW choice (instead other 3D-packages...) is the surface-texturing system based on layers, similar to Photoshop method...
i'm very interested about every LW new implementation (personally, i hope in some texture-painting tools implemented in the next version...) and node-based texturing approach is a good tool;
i know that's good for many other LW Users but my preference is the actual layer system but it's very good the implementation of both layers and nodes for LW surface-texturing purposes (i prefer layers but it's right to satisfy everyone).

Thank You Very Much.

Bytehawk
08-23-2005, 10:04 AM
it is cool !

MrWyatt
08-23-2005, 01:33 PM
is a nodal texturing approach any good? well **** YEAH . ever tried to do something easy as a sheet of paper with two different sides in lightwave before? and i donīt mean the old just-duplicate-the-object-and-flip-it-trick. i mean the real ability to have a different texture on each side of the same poly. a nodal system can do that with no problem. and thatīs just one of many things you can do with it that you couldnīt do with LWīs layer system

have a look at an old thread i started on spinquad http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6125

now show me how to do that without nodes.
:D

Gui Lo
08-23-2005, 11:18 PM
With respect Mr Wyatt, I think you have mistaken a utility within Shader Tree called pol-face with the properties of a nobal system.

A nodal system may not have pol-face but is still a nodal system and also a layer system may have an additional colour channel to do a single poly with two side colours and remain a layer system.

A Mejias
08-24-2005, 09:31 AM
Does anyone know what tech the LW 9 node shader system is based on? Is it original code or did NewTek buy and existing plugin?

evenflcw
08-24-2005, 06:01 PM
It's supposedly based on a 3rd party developed solution called Nodal. Who the developer was specifically was never revealed publicly and it wasn't sold publicly either. Apparently NT has picked it up and will be integrating it into LW (probably with assistance from the original developer, as seems to be the trend with all previously 3rd party tools getting integrated into LW these days). There were some discussions and sneakpeeks from it here and on Spinquad forum at the start of 2005.

lw3d23
08-24-2005, 06:32 PM
Is it fully intergrated into LW as the surface editor? or just a shader?

KillMe
08-24-2005, 08:13 PM
i believe its currently a shader but will be fully intergrated when 9 ships - at least thats what i pciked up from teh sig vids

Tesselator
08-25-2005, 01:02 PM
I'll second that! I'm just trying not to get my hopes up too high until I see the system in action. :-)

No! Go ahead and get your hops up! Expect true greatness!
You won't be disapointed!

Bytehawk
08-25-2005, 01:11 PM
it IS cool
:devil:

Scott_Blinn
08-25-2005, 01:26 PM
No! Go ahead and get your hops up! Expect true greatness!
You won't be disapointed!

Well if you say so, but if it isn't All That(tm) I have you to blame now! ;-)

Bytehawk
08-25-2005, 01:49 PM
you will say ooooh and aaaah and wow
i assure you
it is THAT good

the demo's they 've shown you barely scrape the surface (pun intended)

Tesselator
08-25-2005, 02:01 PM
Gui Lo wrote:
In the vidz they do say that the user can use nodes or layers. My guess then is that anything that can be done in layers can be achieved in nodes and visa versa.

Well yes and no. If the press release says nodes in layers and layers in
nodes then I assume it means that each of the two systems can "contain"
the other within it. But it would only stand to reason that each of the
systems will have thier own advantages and disadvantages. Truthfully
however there are no disadvantages of a Nodal system over a layered
system if the system was built respectably. There are many disadvantages
of a layered system when compared to Nodal systems when deployed
for texturing and shading in 3D apps such as LightWave.

The advantages of Nodes over Layers are enormous! Truely "orders of
magnitude" greater just like the press release says.


So I hope they enhance the layer system as well as giving a nodal UI.

Textures at the moment adapt as they are copy/pasting from/to the colour channel to/from say the bump or transparency channel. The colour is lost or the colour needs to be added in the channel. I wonder how nodes can handle this since we should be able to take a gradient and apply it both to the colour channel and to the trnsparency and also to the diffuse. Keeping the UI showing the colour for the gradient does not give truthfull results and the channel would need altering seperately. Therefore I think for simple multiple use of the same texture I would still prefer to use the layers UI for flexibility.

Ya, you're misunderstanding nodal flows. In most nodal systems that
I have used it's a simple line drag operation to use the same texture
for any other channel inputs. For example:

You build your nodal flow, drag output to color, drag to normal mapper (3D
bump), drag to spec, drag to difuse, done. It can get more complicated
as you see fit.

I'm quite sure that NT will continue to support layers in LW. It would
unprecidented for them to drop one system over another in the span
of a single release so I would assume that precident applies here as well.

I will make one VERY BOLD statement here! There is NEVER a situation
in which a pure layered system has ANY advantage AT ALL over a Nodal
system for texturing and shading given equally substancial developments.
NO MATTER WHAT your task is a Nodal system WILL ALWAYS be faster,
require less user effort and offer more power over a layered system given
the same degree of user familiarity witht the system being used. Both the
effort and power refered to in the previous statment is applied in a linear
scale in relation to texture or shader complexity. This means for example,
that with simple textures node flows may only be 10 time more powerfull
and require 5% less effort but the flow for a not too unreasonably complex
texture may be thousands of times more powerfull and require 50% less
effort to achieve.

Effort here is measured in the number of mouse clicks, number of keystrokes,
and the accumulated distance of mouse travel required to complete the
operation in question


Old habbits die hard and the ONLY exceptions there will ever be to my
statements here is where user "familiarity" with the given system is not
ballenced in the comparisson or where te two systems are not "designed"
with an equal mesure of intelligence. The shader tree in xSI can be
used as an example here. It is not a very perfect design of a nodal
editor and therefor there are actually many occations when texturing
with layers are easier to set up than to create the coresponding flow
for. Still perhapps never more powerfull but definatly easier to setup.

A Mejias
08-25-2005, 02:12 PM
Well, I'll say this now and get it out of the way. I've been asking for a node based shader system in LW since version 4! I mean, even Ray Dream had something like that back then.

So far each new version of LW has added one or two things that I've wanted since then. Ver 9 may break that trend by adding a hand full a cool AND useful features from my list. :D And if the SDK continues to open up, all those impossible plugins will finally surface. (No pun intended.)

Tesselator
08-25-2005, 02:20 PM
it's good to have both....


I agree completely!!! History has shown us that users often base
tool choices on a variety of reasons - some having nothing to do
with the particular ability or ease of use. We often use the term
"personal preference" to discribe this. It's totally ok with me!
Personal preference can rock too! :lwicon:

Chris S. (Fez)
08-25-2005, 03:28 PM
I am so thrilled with Newtek right now. :thumbsup:

* I should add that though all this stuff looks phenomenal on paper, I'll reserve final judgement after a few production runs. But if this stuff is stable, man :D ...

colkai
08-26-2005, 03:31 AM
I have to agree, LW9 is stacking up to be a monumental change in how LW is going to work. Of course, yes, we have to wait and see how it actually turns out before we are "allowed" to do the dance of joy, but as you say Chris, on paper, it's looking awesome.
I'd also say, something people do rather tend to forget with Newtek, this is not only a pre-release statement, (as work is ongoing), but as normal, any point updates are free until LW10 / LWX (cool new name?).
Given the core re-write is very much in evidence in the fatures so far listed for 9.0, who knows what Newteks new Dev team can come up with for the point releases.
I've always been a bit optimistic about LW releases, but never more so than with this one.
Plus, well, given my limited POV on this, I would have thought that with nodal based surfacing becoming part of LW, it gives an edge to those who need to know more than one package as they can translate skills between say XSI / LW or any other system with nodes, with a smaller learning curve. Shiny!

Chris S. (Fez)
08-26-2005, 10:17 AM
LWX (cool new name?)

I like it! As for the other stuff: :agree:

MrWyatt
08-28-2005, 11:04 AM
With respect Mr Wyatt, I think you have mistaken a utility within Shader Tree called pol-face with the properties of a nobal system.

A nodal system may not have pol-face but is still a nodal system and also a layer system may have an additional colour channel to do a single poly with two side colours and remain a layer system.

Well, with respect to you, but no i havenīt mistaken anything. i work with nodal systems like maya all the time so i do absolutely know what a nodal shading system is and i know that a lot of nodal systems have the possibility to shade both sides of a poly with a different texture and it was just taken as an example what a nodal system is good for, or better how you can achieve things that LWīs layer system cannot. i couldnīt care less if there is a layer system out there that can do this specific thing the point was to show how you can achieve something using a nodal shading system that layers in LW cannot. there are tons of examples you can do with nodes that you cannot with layers, i just happened to pick this one because i know itīs a thing iīve allways struggled doing in lw and found myself praying for a nodebased system like mayaīs a million times. the only point is, while nodes may look intimidating and complex at first glance, they are just so much more powerfull and thus worth digging into. once you get the hang for it youīll never look back. and for those who donīt like it, simply donīt use it. itīs that simple. no need to try to tell the world that nodes are bad just because some guys donīt like to use them.

Celshader
08-28-2005, 12:10 PM
...the possibility to shade both sides of a poly with a different texture and it was just taken as an example what a nodal system is good for, or better how you can achieve things that LWīs layer system cannot. i couldnīt care less if there is a layer system out there that can do this specific thing...

I know you don't care, but others might...

LightWave's native "Slope" Gradient can do this to a double-sided polygon that lies flat on the XZ plane. Make the poly double-sided, 100% Luminous and 0% Diffuse. Then apply a color Gradient based on its Slope, with different colors at each end of the gradient. The poly will have a different color on each side.

This is a parlor trick, with no practical application other than perhaps ClothFX-controlled confetti with a different texture on each side of the poly.

What you described, MrWyatt, is far more advanced than this Slope parlor trick, and I look forwards to having access to this advanced tool in the future. I like the idea of polys with different texture properties on each side -- it will halve the amount of geometry currently needed for gemstones (http://www.mohhs.com/lw/pdf/Gems.pdf). No more need for "air layers" of geometry!

MrWyatt
08-28-2005, 12:46 PM
I know you don't care, but others might...



sorry the "i couldnīt care less" speech was pulled, because i felt a little mad. i simply donīt like to be tought lessons about things by individuals who obviously know less about the matter than me(or others). i didnīt mean do come accross that rude. so sorry again. i just want people to know that unless they know what they are talking about, they shouldnīt say that i missunderstood something, that i actually didnīt


This is a parlor trick, with no practical application other than perhaps ClothFX-controlled confetti with a different texture on each side of the poly.

What you described, MrWyatt, is far more advanced than this Slope parlor trick, and I look forwards to having access to this advanced tool in the future. I like the idea of polys with different texture properties on each side -- it will halve the amount of geometry currently needed for gemstones (http://www.mohhs.com/lw/pdf/Gems.pdf). No more need for "air layers" of geometry!

this is actually a nice trick, but as you say pretty limited as it only applys to flat faces and only single colors, so no ability of using file textures or different procedurals, but a nice trick nonetheless. and about the air layers thing. that is the example i should have given. absolutelly doable with nodes, you could do it with TB Shader Tree right now, imagine what a waste of polygons we had to suffer before, everytime we wanted decent looking glass. With nodal you donīt need it anymore.

Bytehawk
08-28-2005, 01:45 PM
One other BIG advantage of nodal system versus layers system like we have in LW now is the fact that if you need a noise texture affecting for example the diffuse and the inverse to the reflective channel you don't have to recalculate the texture the second time, so in those cases nodal texturing is faster at render time. And this alone makes using the nodal thing in LW a verry good thing.

Gui Lo
08-29-2005, 12:31 AM
Mr.Wyatt,

I was not commenting on your knowledge or indeed understanding of 3d surfacing nodal systems. I was saying that whether a system can or cannot do a feature does not make a comparisson.

The Wirefusion Nodal system deals with interaction between different media and if someone suggested that a layer system would be better because then it would have feature x like all the rest of the layer systems then I would say that they misunderstood the nature of nodal and layer systems.

I use Nodal systems and I really like Nodal systems but I understand that they are a means of presenting data to the user and allow user a means of interaction with the data.

I loved your "'i couldnīt care less' speech" so maybe to add more fuel to the fire I'll say that producing a glass surface is also a weak example :D

With LW a Nodal and Layer system would be great and I can't wait.
Gui Lo

wacom
08-29-2005, 12:34 AM
I'm not sure if nodal will have it, but another thing nodal systems can do is split out which rays see what. It's helpful to the reflections, diffuse, GI etc. seperatly with a ray-type node when doing radiosity renders etc.

It also can give you the ability to alter how a surface, not just an object, is seen by the render engine.

StereoMike
08-29-2005, 01:08 AM
All this talk about Noodles, now I'm hungry...

toby
08-29-2005, 01:30 AM
I'm not sure if nodal will have it, but another thing nodal systems can do is split out which rays see what. It's helpful to the reflections, diffuse, GI etc. seperatly with a ray-type node when doing radiosity renders etc.

It also can give you the ability to alter how a surface, not just an object, is seen by the render engine.
I think all they'd have to do to the current system is expand the options in the environment tab, and it could do the same thing.

I have to believe that nodal systems are more powerful than the layer based, but I'm unconvinced that it's complexity is not proportional. Perhaps if I saw a more user-friendly approach than Maya's - which shouldn't be too hard :) Maya goes to a great deal of trouble to make things as complicated as possible :P