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View Full Version : Interesting article about SERENITY effects and LightWave



Emmanuel
09-25-2005, 12:58 PM
http://www.vfxblog.com/vfx/2005/09/zoics_loni_peri.html

Chris S. (Fez)
09-25-2005, 04:57 PM
Thanks for the link. Very interesting.

Ouch. Not really a glowing review of Lightwave's motion blur and memory management.

I just watched the whole series on DVD. Can't wait for Friday.

cresshead
09-25-2005, 05:26 PM
yup serenity and battle star have some huge fx shots...
with lw8.5 and 9.0 thoses issues should be gone...we hope! :lwicon:

WizCraker
09-26-2005, 12:40 AM
This seems to sum up Lightwave from others.


Rendering in Lightwave: Lightwave has issues with motion blur. We worked around this by spitting out vectors and creating motion blur in 2D. Lightwave has texture memory issues. The huge models crashed like crazy and this required constant rerendering. The guys, who are the best in the business with this tool, were very frustrated by the limitations.

If they focus on one thing I hope it would be the texture memory issue. Of course the others are important too.

toby
09-26-2005, 01:25 AM
I'd put texture memory second only to AA and motion blur. It won't get used for features anymore until they improve those.

I assumed that since the creator of EI's Camera was onboard, this would be one of the improvements, but there's no mention of it in the LW9 feature list.

operation
09-26-2005, 03:59 AM
lot of users have to use a second package or forget Lw for some effects due to the workflow software. :bangwall: :newtek: (it's real for other package too ..of course)

ps: I don't want to start a war... (for Lw fans)

I am just an 17 years experienced user in Visual Effects (CGI) and had a lot of time difficulties to do some effects LW.
I had to switch, fake, tweak... (it's ok to use tips but when it takes more time to tweak than to work ...).


But I am sure that Nt listen to the customers more now than in the past. Mr Bishop is a good "point" in the Nt team. It will take a long time (2 years minimum) to come back on the front line of 3d Software. (I am talking about features and a good workflow).

The proove is the version 8.5... Certainly version 9.0 for Siggraph 2006.(of course it's better to wait than to hurry-up).

to NT team:
If you want to keep us (as customers). Take your time, make us a good software. think, re-think in case something could be better or need more work. Less bugs. but don't hurry for update.

I still believe that LW can be updated in a good way ( as I said in old posts , it takes time to clean the code and update features with an old code).

And I say 'us' = I am talking of people working in CGI industry, working with deadlines, network projects and complex pipelines. (just in case someone says: "it's perfect for me, I have no bugs, why do you want more from LW ? Why don't you use an other package? etc..."

You can convince one person, but if it's for a team and a complex workflow, everybody must agree with your final choice about the final package to use.

Hope you understand what I meant.

Good luck, cheers !

Dirk
09-26-2005, 06:37 AM
You'll find links to two other articles about LW here:

http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=40873

Don't want to say that there aren't issues, but as far as I can tell, LW worked very well for them.

Paul_Boland
09-26-2005, 12:40 PM
Never seen Serenity over here, and from what I've read of it online, I don't think it would be my cup of tea at all.

As for Battlestar Galactica, yeah, I watched that on Sky One and enjoyed it. Looking forward to its return. However, I have to say, while the SFX shots are indeed great, the camera control in them is crap!! It's like there is a guy there with a camera, filming the special effects scenes, and then he sees something and zooms in for a closer look, and then zooms back out to see what else is going on. You end up with the special effects secquence been poorly shot and it ruins them. Hope they stop doing that for season 2.

cresshead
09-26-2005, 12:45 PM
re battlestar cgi camera...i actually like the style as it ties into the nervous twitchy on your toes feel to the whole show...slow panning shots would feel odd and cinematic rather then documentry style and would take away the grittyness of the show....as you may tell i love battlestar...was the best filmin the last 5 years bar nowt! [3hr pilot dvd] and best tv show dvd first season!..........yup....love it! :thumbsup: :lwicon: :newtek: :) :agree:

gerry_g
09-26-2005, 01:06 PM
IMHO the real issue with the Lightwave renderer isn't confined to just motion blur or memory management, it's the entire look and feel of the thing, personally I like it even if it is a little slow ( something being addressed in release Nine I know) but by comparison to what's out there commercially right now it's not top dog. Some of the modern renderers are real tarts and make lightwave look like a plain Jane........ Vray was mentioned as there pipeline renderer of choice in the piece, so you wanna see a like for like comparison between Vray and Lightwave, look here

RENDERING ENGINES COMPAREED (http://www.winosi.onlinehome.de/Gallery_t14_01.htm)

Wade
09-26-2005, 02:15 PM
IMHO the real issue with the Lightwave renderer isn't confined to just motion blur or memory management, it's the entire look and feel of the thing, personally I like it even if it is a little slow ( something being addressed in release Nine I know) but by comparison to what's out there commercially right now it's not top dog. Some of the modern renderers are real tarts and make lightwave look like a plain Jane........ Vray was mentioned as there pipeline renderer of choice in the piece, so you wanna see a like for like comparison between Vray and Lightwave, look here

RENDERING ENGINES COMPAREED (http://www.winosi.onlinehome.de/Gallery_t14_01.htm)


Lightwave looks to have held up very well to me. to each his own. :rolleyes:

cresshead
09-26-2005, 02:18 PM
comparing rendering engines is very subjective and also very difficult to balance and get a 'winner'....


lightwave has the 'look' that many prefer even if it's not the fastest out there currently ..it also is fairly simple to setup compared to others such as final render for 3dsmax[i have final render on max btw]...whilst final render can utput some simply stunning still pictures..lightwave can also..maybe the rendertime is longer but the setup time is shorter!

also lightwave rende has some quite nifty extras such as hypervoxels...vray would need to add either afterburn or pro optic suite and the last time i used pro optic suite with pyrocluster etc it was VERY slow and didn't look as good as hypervoxels either....depends on your needs for your shots...

i see many fx for tv adverts and tv shows still prefer lightwave to vray or mental ray....though mental ray is a great renderer and so is vray!....

you als have to balance the app that you run your renderer on...

with maya you have their inbuilt renderers plus mental ray and renderman ...not a bad bunch to choose from but i've read that not all tools/fx work in all renderers...

xsi has..mental ray..love it or loathe it.....

max has scanline, light tracer, radiosity, mental ray, vray, final render, brazil and a bunch of others too....but you'll have to put up with max [good or bad!]

lightwave has...lightwave renderer, k ray and fprime

cinema has cinema basic or cinema advance renderer[based on final render]

messiah has..messiah renderer based on arnold renderer..........


choose you weapon!

T-Light
09-26-2005, 03:32 PM
Paul_Boland-

However, I have to say, while the SFX shots are indeed great, the camera control in them is crap!!
Cresshead-

re battlestar cgi camera...i actually like the style as it ties into the nervous twitchy on your toes feel to the whole show

I Agree with Cresshead, the shaky camera and zooms really added to the action. Another thing I really liked about that camera work was pulling out from say a relatively large freighter to show the awsomb scale of Gallactica or the Alien mother ships. Brilliant work.

However, I agree that this sort of camera work has been done to death in other shows over the last couple of years, I'm getting tired of reaching for the sick bags everytime a new 'copusoap' pops on the box. :thumbsdow

WizCraker
09-27-2005, 12:18 AM
Never seen Serenity over here, and from what I've read of it online, I don't think it would be my cup of tea at all.

As for Battlestar Galactica, yeah, I watched that on Sky One and enjoyed it. Looking forward to its return. However, I have to say, while the SFX shots are indeed great, the camera control in them is crap!! It's like there is a guy there with a camera, filming the special effects scenes, and then he sees something and zooms in for a closer look, and then zooms back out to see what else is going on. You end up with the special effects secquence been poorly shot and it ruins them. Hope they stop doing that for season 2.

check out the trailers. Looks kind of sweet. Trailer 1 (http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/serenity/) Trailer 2 (http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/serenity/trailer_2/)

And the official website Serenity (http://www.serenitymovie.com/)

Summer Glau who plays River looks like she will be kicking some ...

AbnRanger
09-27-2005, 01:52 AM
also lightwave rende has some quite nifty extras such as hypervoxels...vray would need to add either afterburn or pro optic suite and the last time i used pro optic suite with pyrocluster etc it was VERY slow and didn't look as good as hypervoxels either....depends on your needs for your shots...
Hey there Cresshead...I've used Max to create some thick volumetric clouds, using Afterburn, in order to fly a modeled jet through them...and really like the results. I'm real new to LW so I haven't really had an opportunity to toy with Hypervoxels yet, but I wonder if I can get close to the same results using it, compared to Afterburn. I'm talking tall, thick, and highly detailed clouds; not just some distant wispy clouds that I can easily do in Vue 5.
Thanks

Limbus
09-27-2005, 03:19 AM
Hey there Cresshead...I've used Max to create some thick volumetric clouds, using Afterburn, in order to fly a modeled jet through them...and really like the results. I'm real new to LW so I haven't really had an opportunity to toy with Hypervoxels yet, but I wonder if I can get close to the same results using it, compared to Afterburn. I'm talking tall, thick, and highly detailed clouds; not just some distant wispy clouds that I can easily do in Vue 5.
Thanks

You might want to take a look at the Ogo_Taiki plugin here:
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~pq1a-ogs/taiki_e.html

Here is an example I did the last days:
Sky.avi (http://www.florianvonbehr.de/tmp/sky.avi)

Florian

Chuck
09-27-2005, 08:59 AM
I'd put texture memory second only to AA and motion blur. It won't get used for features anymore until they improve those.

I assumed that since the creator of EI's Camera was onboard, this would be one of the improvements, but there's no mention of it in the LW9 feature list.

With credits in 180 films, often with 100 or more shots per film with elements created and/or rendered with LightWave, it is in fact a standard film production tool, and a number of new projects are currently in production using LightWave. Some of the issues described in the comments were actually not restricted to LightWave - Zoic's talented and ambitious artists push every tool to its limits, and per their reports Maya had it's difficulties with scenes of the scope created in this film as well. We'll have a profile of the project that will put the issues in a more complete context published in our profiles section soon.

It is also the case that the issues mentioned in these articles are well on their way to being addressed for v9.0 and beyond. And please rest assured, the list we've published so far for v9 and beyond is not exhaustive.

Intuition
09-27-2005, 09:51 AM
Not to start a war cause I really respect the guys over at Zoic and thier work is great. Yet a client came over to Eden FX for fixes on the TV show Invasion and the stuff was done in Maya. We had recreated the shots in Lightwave and the client was happy.

Surface is also animated at Eden FX and its all Lightwave as well.

http://www.digitalanimators.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34712

This is a subjective argument about quality but it still supports the debate that Lightwave is not out of the contending at all. The results were achieved much quicker as well.

Happy Clients is always a great end result.

Please don't turn this into an Eden vs Zoic thread. We love alot of thier work and they do awesome stuff. I'm just showing that Lightwave is in no way obsolete and yet I do agree things need to be refined. LW64 should resolve the texture memory and scene size issues. Will 9 resolve the motion blur?

I think it has been mentioned.

spec24
09-27-2005, 10:20 AM
You might want to take a look at the Ogo_Taiki plugin here:
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~pq1a-ogs/taiki_e.html

Here is an example I did the last days:
Sky.avi (http://www.florianvonbehr.de/tmp/sky.avi)

Florian

Very nice sky Limbus. How long did that take to render and on what machine? I tend to steer away from hypervoxels due to the time it takes to render them.

Limbus
09-27-2005, 11:08 AM
Very nice sky Limbus. How long did that take to render and on what machine? I tend to steer away from hypervoxels due to the time it takes to render them.
It took about 15min. for a 1280x720 on a P4 with 3Ghz. I was surprised that it was that fast because Ogo Taiki is know for its huge rendertimes but I guess either the latest version of the plugin or Lighwave included some speed improvements.
I dont hink that this plugin uses Hypervoxel thou.

Florian

Karmacop
09-27-2005, 11:30 AM
I think i found the secret message ....


... animated at Eden FX and its all Lightwave as well.

http://www.digitalanimators.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34712

This is a subjective argument about quality but it still supports the debate that Lightwave is not out of the contending at all. The results were achieved much quicker as well.

Happy Clients is always a great end result.

Please don't turn this into an Eden vs Zoic ...

I think we can all read between the lines .... :neener:

operation
09-27-2005, 11:44 AM
Of course there is no war between studio, it will be stupid ( we take your remark as a professional remark)

I agree with you Intuition.

Sometime Lw can make good pictures. I have been working on Maya for years and I didn't get the quality of Lw render ( But honestly the render engine is slow ... very slow ... ). The most powerfull engine I used was Mentalray.
Of course I don't Forget Vray,Brazil and Finalrender but Mentalray have special parameters to make it a very powerfull engine ( Mentalimage was working on it for years .. ).

To say the true, a lot of customers, studios, don't use LW at 100% ! Sometime only the modeling is done under LW, sometime rendering ,etc... and the rest is done with an other package.

I always read some poeple writing about LW : "I am happy with LW, I can do everything I don't understand why you can't .... maybe you are a newb ... and need more practice ..." :)

For some people 10 or 20 maybe 50 % of the tools is enough for there needs, BUT !! but when you are working with producers and "screeners" , they don't care about the tools ... and sometime they don't know what is possible or not with your software or your computer .... they just imagine an effect, and you have to execute.

Every software have limitations, that's why we swap between packages or have more than one tool in the pipeline (sometime in-house tool).

Morality: don't think that all shots are done with an unique tools. Sometime in my projects I cimposite 2 differents picture coming from differents software (ie: background rendered in 3dsmax, Particles rendered in Maya, with characters rendered in LW)... with a compositing tool you can make blend differents shoots to make a unique image.

what you must know, Lw was choosen most of the time to to the good render quality and the free network renderer ... ( it shipper to render with Lw because you can use only 1 license and render on unlimited network ..) = shipper renderfarm.
That was the strength of Lw render Engine ...

colkai
09-27-2005, 11:49 AM
Please don't turn this into an Eden vs Zoic thread. We love alot of thier work and they do awesome stuff. I'm just showing that Lightwave is in no way obsolete and yet I do agree things need to be refined.
I don't think for one minute most of us would even think you were implying anything other than support for LW and to be honest, I think a lot of what Zoic has said has been taken out of context.
To those who have followed LW for some time, it's a given that EdenFX and Zoic are big voices for showing jsut what LW can do in the face of, sometimes a severely, biased clientbase.

As long as you guys keep pushing the limits, Newtek will keep raising the bar, that's good news for us all. People who never push a piece of software never really challenge the developers to produce something amazing.
Change was never driven by the reasonable man. ;) :p

Paul_Boland
09-27-2005, 12:23 PM
Looking forward to that report, Chuck.

As for the discussion on Battlestar Galactica, I'm afraid I really didn't like the rough camera work at all. One scene in particular comes to mind. It was when the fighters were landing on Galactica so it could jump to hyper space. The camera was looking down the landing bay, out its open doors, into space. Suddenly the fighters came into the scene and the camera 'jiggled' up and zoomed into the fighters. This one scene actually messed with my head as I lost focus on what it was I was looking at, all because of the crazy camera movement. I appreciate that the developers are trying to do an on the spot documentary type look to the SFX sequences, but I would prefer they didn't. Still love the show though, but I'm more a Star Trek fan myself :thumbsup: .

Also, I've seen the trailers for Serenity, thanks for the links. Don't think it is my cup of tea at all. Oh the massive space effects with all those ships looks great, but I don't think I'll be running to the cinema to see it.

Dodgy
09-27-2005, 12:41 PM
Some of the modern renderers are real tarts and make lightwave look like a plain Jane........ Vray was mentioned as there pipeline renderer of choice in the piece, so you wanna see a like for like comparison between Vray and Lightwave, look here

RENDERING ENGINES COMPAREED (http://www.winosi.onlinehome.de/Gallery_t14_01.htm)

Yeah but to acheive that 2 min to 8 min difference there is a noticeable drop in quality. The Vray renderer has noticeable artifacts on a machine which had 2 processors to LW one on that scene. So if you consider that the vray should be more like 4 mins, and was very artifacty, LW looks pretty good. They need to up the Vray quality to match the LW pic. If you let the LW render go down to the Vray quality, then you'd probably see a match in render times.

Intuition
09-27-2005, 03:30 PM
Every software have limitations, that's why we swap between packages or have more than one tool in the pipeline (sometime in-house tool).

Morality: don't think that all shots are done with an unique tools. Sometime in my projects I cimposite 2 differents picture coming from differents software (ie: background rendered in 3dsmax, Particles rendered in Maya, with characters rendered in LW)... with a compositing tool you can make blend differents shoots to make a unique image.

what you must know, Lw was choosen most of the time to to the good render quality and the free network renderer ... ( it shipper to render with Lw because you can use only 1 license and render on unlimited network ..) = shipper renderfarm.
That was the strength of Lw render Engine ...


Good comments, I must say that we often use Maya to do clouds as thier fluid boxes have great clouds right out of the box. Vastly superior to LW presets in regards to fluffy clouds. Render timewise they are pretty fast for the quality too.

I'm always hoping Newtek can achieve something like this with clouds in Lightwave as Hypervoxels do great things but render very slow.

I agree, use the tools for thier strengths. Maya included.

Intuition
09-27-2005, 03:38 PM
I think i found the secret message ....



I think we can all read between the lines .... :neener:

I tried to hide it but you found me out.... :thumbsup:

time to contact my buddies over at Zoic for some damage control.

:beerchug:

Lightwolf
09-27-2005, 04:08 PM
LW64 should resolve the texture memory and scene size issues. Will 9 resolve the motion blur?

Did the new AA modes in 8.3 help you a bit there? Just curious...
...as for texture memory, you know my stance on that ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Chuck
09-27-2005, 04:50 PM
Surface is also animated at Eden FX and its all Lightwave as well.

I like Surface, and I like the work you folks at Eden are producing for the show! :)

Looks like it's going to be a fun year for watching the effects all around.

:beerchug:




LW64 should resolve the texture memory and scene size issues. Will 9 resolve the motion blur?

I think it has been mentioned.

Actually, the team feels there is a lot they can do with improving the memory management in all areas that should extend the range of what's possible in LightWave in the 32-bit environment, as well as in the 64-bit. Jay has talked about the need for motion blur improvements, and as I understand some of the issues would be dependent on the render core changes. I don't think we've stated specifically whether MB is on the chart for v9.0, but we have not released an exhaustive list for what will be in the first release by any means, so it's a possibility.

colkai
09-28-2005, 02:27 AM
Sounds to me Chuck that you're as excited as us folks over the surprises the new team are pulling out. :D :lwicon:

AbnRanger
09-28-2005, 03:58 AM
Limbus]You might want to take a look at the Ogo_Taiki plugin here:
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~pq1a-ogs/taiki_e.html

Here is an example I did the last days:
[URL=http://www.florianvonbehr.de/tmp/sky.avi]Sky.avi
Thanks Limbus, I'll give that a whirl and see what kind of results I can come up with. Nice example by the way.

T-Light
09-28-2005, 08:36 AM
Cheers Limbus, just been to the site and the examples (including your own) are amazing. Wouldn't dream of trying this with Hypervoxels.

In your earlier answer in this thread you said...

It took about 15min. for a 1280x720 on a P4 with 3Ghz.

Was that for a single frame or the entire animation?

Limbus
09-28-2005, 08:42 AM
Was that for a single frame or the entire animation?

For a frame.

T-Light
09-28-2005, 09:14 AM
Limbus-

For a frame.
I was just trying out a couple of the beta examples there and realised my mistake. Still excellent quality for the speed mind. :)

Roll on 9+ with faster Volumetric HV's.

T-Light
09-28-2005, 11:59 AM
Limbus this plugin is O.U.T.S.T.A.N.D.I.N.G.

Thanks again for bringing it up. :thumbsup: