View Full Version : FPrime or Maxwell?

11-28-2005, 04:36 PM

I am looking at getting Fprime or the Maxwell renderer, I like FPrime, but I also use another program called Sketchup. As Maxwell renderer will also render inside that program, should I go for it or am I still better to get FPrime?
I hope this is not to daft a question, it's just that while Maxwell is in beta stage you can get it at about half price.

Any comments or advice would be appreciated.


11-28-2005, 05:20 PM
Well it depends on what kind of work you do....
Mainly Still simple images, Maxwell is cool.....
But honestly their is no comparison to be made....

FPrime is a previewer, renderer and speedwise ****s all over Maxwell...
Maxwell, is still a immature product with many weaknesses..

I find Maxwell to be a great idea that's executed badly....
The release candidate will be released on Friday this week...
So maybe it will show some major improvements in noise,speed and bugfixes.

I'd be much happier with a FPrime purchase, just because of the money and time the plugin has saved me...... Where Maxwell has cost me large amounts of money, for very little gain......

11-28-2005, 10:43 PM
If I were in your place I would have some patience since everything will get its final shape in the near future.

But if you own LW, you should buy FPrime anyway

Captain Obvious
11-29-2005, 01:05 AM
Maxwell looks very promising indeed. Many people claim it's slow, but at some things, it's actually very fast. It has terrific complexity scaling, and it can do some stuff few other renderers can. However, Next Limit's customer support seems kind of iffy, and they keep pushing back release dates. Worley, on the other hand, seems to be a cool guy...

Maxwell pros:
*Pretty darned realistic
*Handles some things few other renderers can
*Faster than Fprime in some few instances
*Realistic material setup
*Compatible with a whole bunch of applications, so you're not tied to Lightwave

Maxwell cons:
*Iffy customer service
*No actual finished product yet
*Really slow in some regards
*Costs more money than Fprime
*Not compatible with Lightwave materials
*Can't do non-realistic rendering

Fprime pros:
*Faster, for the most part
*Compatible with LW materials
*Can do non-realistic rendering, and is thusly more versatile
*Is an actual finished product; you don't pay hundreds of dollars just to become a beta tester

Fprime cons:
*Not quite as photo-realistic
*Seems to be slower at a few things
*No realistic material setup (yes, this is both a good and a bad thing)
*Only works with Ligthwave

I guess what it all boils down to is how important it is for you to be able to render in SketchUp. ;)

Edited to add:
Remember also that SketchUp models can be imported into Lightwave fairly easily, as far as I can recall. Having the renderer work only inside Lightwave might not be a big problem, since you could just bring the model into Lightwave and texture it there. LW's texture manager is pretty dang good if you ask me. I see no reason for you to value rendering in SketchUp all that highly, since you can easily export the model to LW and render there.

11-29-2005, 01:20 AM
I think Maxwell is pretty much overkill for 90% of render work. It's accuraccy is both blessing and a curse wich pigeonholes it inside one niche (photorealistic rendering of still images). IMHO, unless you produce stills and nothing else, you should look elsewhere.
Also, we already have one slow&accurate rendering engine inside LW, no need in getting another.

I'm personally waiting for Vray to become standalone, so I can use it with LW, Autocad, Rhino, Revit, whatnot. Brazil is also going standalone in near future.

Oh, I forgot to mention FPrime... well, as Panikos said: get it anyway and get it NOW! You'll thank us later. :thumbsup:

11-29-2005, 01:38 AM
Not sure why people say FPrime is _just_ a previewer, because it's not, left to render at the right quality level it looks great. We use it all the time for final print renders.

From what I've heard of Maxwell it's slow as ****, we're talking days over what FPrime could do in hours!!! Sure Maxwell might look much better at the end of it, but for me time is everything, unless Maxwell can deliver those types of renders (at PRINT resolution) in reasonably times, I see it no more than a very expensive toy at the moment.

11-29-2005, 05:46 AM
not sure but from what i have gathered both render engines are built on the same priciples, the main difference being that maxwell has physically correct materials built in as standard................

like most peolpe above have said, if its architectural stuff you are doing and your client is willing to pay and wait for the long render times maxwell is the way to go............anyway one job should pay for maxwell outright............

Fprime is a must when using lightwave, for what i use it for anyway, you can render radosity, reflection, refraction and millions of polygons in minutes as opposed to hours using lightwaves renderer................

at the end of the day its down to the ability of the user, there are some terrible images on the maxwell forum also!!

Captain Obvious
11-29-2005, 06:07 AM
I suppose Maxwell and Fprime have their similarities, richardo. Not in their internal workings, but how they behave. Both are refining renderers, where you get a rough preview in a matter of seconds or minutes, a nice but noisy image after a while, and a noise-free image after a longer while. Additionally, they both use per-pixel sampling for the global illumination. This is slower than most other methods, but more accurate. The downside is that it produces noise.

11-29-2005, 06:20 AM
consider to use fprime for anims and maxwell for pics
and anims where the lightining is very important.

This is a great tool for the materials and the quality
of light and then for the architectural works.

In attach my last test, 3d models from lw 8.5 and
rendering in maxwell with lw connection...


Captain Obvious
11-29-2005, 09:32 AM
Care to set up the materials and let Fprime have a go at that, ADL? :) Or, if you're feeling extremely generous, you could share the scene with the rest of us. I'd like to let F9 have a go at it as well. If you're not comfortable with that, it's fully understandable and I won't hold it against you in any way, though.

Either way, there is a black... something, right on the top of the handle, and the flower seems to have some odd lighting going on. Is this Maxwell behaving oddly, or something else?

11-29-2005, 10:22 AM

This version of the logo was made by the maxwell people themselves ... :D Bottom of the page (http://www.maxwellrender.com/whitepaper/index.htm).

It is an interesting tool, but I wouldn't compare it to Fprime that provides a lot more than just a renderer. Also Worley labs is a great company in my experience with extremely low bug factor and great support while Next Limit is in my opinion a rubbish company that overhype, have insane amount of bugs, easily over several full versions, rubbish support, very weak documentation and so on. The first question you should ask about a Maxwell render is render time. On the next limit site, the examples can easily be weeklong renders on monster rigs, that goes for all their products.

Both Maxwell and Realflow can be great tools and lots of fun, but I'd say you can be pretty sure that sending the same amount of money to Stewe Worley and Next Limit, you will get a lot more for them in all aspects from Worley.

11-29-2005, 10:58 AM
I don't own Maxwell but am VERY impressed with the look one may achieve with it...that said, you'll likely use FPrime everytime you use LightWave - the time required for surfacing and lighting scenes is greatly reduced. For this reason, I would purchase FPrime over Maxwell - short term return on investment will be much better IMO.

11-29-2005, 05:07 PM
if you own LW, get fprime first

fprime = here now

maxwell will be here shortly (but is still getting it's act together, and is slow)

then get maxwell if you really want to. I wouldn't tho

all imho

11-29-2005, 07:02 PM
If you can only have one, fprime is the better.

11-29-2005, 07:26 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies, it is much appreciated. FPrime it is :)

12-02-2005, 08:46 PM
I was reading how tonight the V.1 release candidate for Maxwell is available after many delays...like several months.
Initial feedback by some early adopters describe it as a total mess 8~

12-03-2005, 05:18 AM
I was reading how tonight the V.1 release candidate for Maxwell is available after many delays...like several months.
Initial feedback by some early adopters describe it as a total mess 8~

yup, and what is even more disturbing: no OSX version! they will release it 'later this month', what probably means not before january in NL language :devil:

Nigel Baker
12-03-2005, 06:57 AM
Yes the idea of a release on the Second turned out to be the Third and a very limited release. It is only for some operating systems and only some applications. So the release date is only a partial truth.

12-03-2005, 09:39 AM
It is generally called a "sham" by its users in the maxwell forums. Take a look at this, it is a single days worth of bug reports:

GUI & rendering bugs

BUG: Basic Weight Map Crash

“glass" material fails render

bug bug bug and bugs

BUG: Rendering doesn't honour "hidden" settings.

<b>.lwo import does not separate individual objects</b>

crash when adding bitmap textures

BUG: Crash on any modification of camera.

Viewpoint Camera Toggles (Editor, Camera Views) Inoperative

don't work with maya

BUG:Crash when drag and drop material to object in viewport

<b>BUG: Import of .OBJ file</b>

BUG(?) render time units inconsistencies

BUG: Physical Sky Settings not saved in .MXS file

BUG: Spinner values don't update as you click.

BUG: Material preview corruption

Object Gizmos Size

FIXED: Crash and installation problem

More from a guy that got some results except for:

- no sky or skydome
- no textures
- if I use the dropdown menu from the viewport and chose Render, it crashes, every time. But if I just use the render button, it doesn't. In fact it hasn't crashed once.
- if I try and change the weightmap param in material editor, it freezes.
- opening material browser stalls it for a few secs.
- buttons on top row don't stay depressed, so you don't know if you're in move or rotate...
- in mxcl, preview window doesn't seem to work
- changing iso/shutterspeed doesn't seem to work
- enabling/disabling material layers doesn't do anything

And another list from the LW forum:

-no textures (crash)
-no sky(render black)
-no sun(render black)
-no integrated render(crash)
-almost no objects (majority of lwo don't load)
-no manageable render time options (one filed in seconds, other in minutes, and fianl display in hours...)
-no material presets
-old mxs totally screwed up....
- "render converges to this" doesn't work
-very slow opengl (slower than LWs can you imagine!!)

And finally a real goodie, it is customer rep "Tom" at the support forums answering a question he ignored a few times in the same thread:

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 3:13 pm Post subject:
Tom. Do you have a clue of when the C4d plugin will be updated ?

You can choose one of these answers:
1. I donīt know
2. I donīt care
3. We canīt do it
4. Next week
5. Before christmas
6. C4d, what is that ?

//Dan ; )


Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 3:37 pm Post subject:
6 but also 5 and 4 is possible besides 3 is never, nor 2 but 1 really
Next Limit Team

And finally this statement from another official rep called "whiskey":


Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 1241

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:23 am Post subject:
believe me i'm as shocked as you all are..we went from RCs with 5%functionality to 15% to 30% to 50% to 70% and now back to 0.0003%..things really looke d great till today..what can i say?

Bwahaaha! 70% !! I want some 70% software now ! I wonder if it refers to the amount of pixels that will render or the amount of people that don't want full refund!