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Dirk
12-16-2005, 10:25 AM
What are the biggest drawbacks of FPrime? Seems I need it, but I would like to know if there are any "hidden" problems, I've read the FPrime page at Worley's, about not having Hypervoxels, Lensflares, Glow, Screamernet... Does Fprime create a copy of the scene in memory, or how does it work? Did somebody use FPrime for character animation?

Thanks in advance

jeremyhardin
12-16-2005, 10:53 AM
fprime's preview does not render HV. fprime's render does.

fprime does not cause problems with screamernet (in my experience) but it does not utilize any kind of network rendering. that's the biggest drawback IMHO. no network rendering with it.

Tiger
12-16-2005, 11:05 AM
F-Prime do render hw, but not real time.
Otherwise I never had any problems or crashes.
I must say-go for it :thumbsup:

WilliamVaughan
12-16-2005, 11:05 AM
lack of network rendering

Wade
12-16-2005, 11:33 AM
It can not render the as many of polys/image maps LW can. Its a memory thing. Up to a point it is faster better... but too and crash.

Lewis
12-16-2005, 11:42 AM
PRICE is biggest one IMHO :).

lwaddict
12-16-2005, 11:48 AM
I'd have to say that NOT having it is the biggest drawback...
I keep hearing about it, but outta site, outta mind.

Second drawback would be the price.
Eveytime I get ready to buy it, I look over the list of Worley plugs
and realize that if I buy FPrime, I may as well save up for full Sas
and G2.

Worley? How about a Christmas package deal on all of em?
Come on...we love you man. :thumbsup:

Chris S. (Fez)
12-16-2005, 11:54 AM
Worley usually offers a $100 discount during his first week of selling a new product. I always bite.

Dirk
12-16-2005, 12:58 PM
So HVs dont show up in a FPrime Preview, but in final FPrime renders? Is that true for the other missing features like Lensflares and glow also?

jds580s
12-16-2005, 01:08 PM
So HVs dont show up in a FPrime Preview, but in final FPrime renders? Is that true for the other missing features like Lensflares and glow also?

no lens flairs and glows won't show up in Fprime render either along with other post processes & image filters.
Which are drawbacks.

toonafish
12-16-2005, 01:28 PM
Fprime also has issues with motion modifiers like Follower, Cycler and even Targetting will confuse it sometimes. I'm working on a project right now that I want to render with Fprime and it's driving me nuts. I have to bake a lot of motions before I can render, and for some stuff I even have to bake to MDD's because LW won't bake the motions properly.

Worley support told me it's a LW bug.

Joscci
12-16-2005, 05:23 PM
The idea of not having FPrime is pretty much non-existent among serious LW users (and Hobbists) -- some use it as a previewer, others to complement the native LW render engine, while others down right use it exclusively and wouldn't render any other way. However, if you've been a long-time exclusive LW user who's (finally) considering taking a trip down to FPrime's Fantasy Island and spend some time down at Worley's Chocolate Factory, then you should be aware of the following points that could potentially require a change in your workflow (not listed in order of importance).

As of Version 2.10:

- It currently doesn't support PIXEL Filters (except for Worley's own G2 plug-in). Commercial plug-ins such as X-DOF 2.0, Shadow Designer 2.0, etc, will not work.
- It currently doesn't support any of LW's IMAGE Filters -- check the Image Filter list to see if there's anything you'll be missing there as LW has an extensive set of Image Filters.
- Currently, you can save Image Sequences in all supported image formats supported by LW, but unlike LW, you can't export movie sequences such as .AVI or .MOV files -- to most people this is a non-issue.
- Currently, when saving Image Sequences, FPrime can only save RGB and ALPHA channels, meaning you can't export Specularity, Diffuse, Luminosity, Shadow render buffers, etc -- to some people this could complicate their compositing tasks.
- Currently, HyperVoxels are only supported through FPrime's renderer, but they cannot be previewed interactively through the FPrime real-time previewer.
- Currently, FPrime supports Caustics, but only with very specific requirements (i.e., it only works with Radiosity enabled and you must use at least 2+ radiosity bounces) -- see this thread (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=241303&page=1&pp=15) (tipped by 'Habaņero') to find out more about this.
- Currently, FPrime doesn't support any Surface Shaders such as TB's Bevel Shader, Shadow Designer, Cell Shading, Coffee, ASA_LightAbsorbtion, Fresnel Shaders (easily correctible via Gradients), etc.
- Currently, FPrime doesn't support Shadow Maps as FPrime treats all shadows as Ray-Traced (except for Area-type lights, of course).
- Currently, FPrime has no integrated Network Rendering support - though it is possible to distribute frame ranges for rendering on different machines via multiple scene files (provided you're legally licensed to do so).
- Currently, FPrime has no support for Volumetric light effects (easily correctible if you use compositing).
- Currently, FPrime cannot support any of the line generating features found in the Object Properties > Edge panel.

Most of these limitations can be corrected in post, provided you work and think intuitively. Though it is still in its infancy and has yet still a long way before completely replacing LW's own native rendering engine, FPrime renders are fast and in my opnion even more beautiful than LW's own native renderer. It allows you to work faster, and it increases your productivity as just about everyone around here will easily attest to.

Hope this helps.

Cheers!

belseth
12-16-2005, 07:00 PM
It's an excellent previewer for lighting and textures but don't count on it for final renders. I figured it would pay for itself in time savings for lighting so I bought it but I've found it pretty useless for final renders. It's not much faster than the lightwave render and there's just too much it doesn't support.

Don't get me wrong it's an excellent product and I don't regret buying it I just wouldn't buy it as a rendering solution. Hopefully 9.0 will help there if they ever release it.

jeremyhardin
12-16-2005, 07:05 PM
i agree and disagree with what is being said here. it's saved my ***** more than once with print renders. i didn't have time for render-splitters and such, but FPrime chewed through the render just like any other. i finished a 8.5" x 11" 300 dpi render with all area lights and multi-bounce monte-carlo radiosity overnight.

the same scene took all night in LW too, at 800x600. hehe.

so it all depends on the situation.

Matt
12-17-2005, 04:46 AM
Yep have to agree with Jeremey here, we use it all the time for print renders, because I KNOW they will be finished in the morning!

It's a pain, but your can do your own network rendering by whipping out the dongle and setting different frames on other machines, clearly only good for stills, not animation, unless you set one machine doing 100 frames etc.

nemac4
12-17-2005, 10:49 AM
I agree with Jeremy as well. I would hate to be without it.

G2 offers several shader options with fprime though the lw shader limitation can be a pain.
Also ,... no motion blur in the preview render.

Dirk
12-17-2005, 11:18 AM
Hey, big thanks for all the input. Is exposing the image possible with FPrime?

Joscci
12-17-2005, 11:27 AM
What do you mean 'exposing'? Are you talking about creating a Floating-Point render, or did you mean 'exporting?'

nemac4
12-17-2005, 11:31 AM
you can save out to HDR but there are no exposure controls... though you can reload the render to the forground under the compositing tab and render to drop it into the lw buffer for adjustment with the exposure options.

Dirk
12-17-2005, 02:28 PM
Hm, seems that quite some workarounds are needed with Fprime from time to time. On the other hand, for surfacing and lighting, it could be quite handy.

toonafish
12-17-2005, 02:48 PM
Yep, for me it's one of the things on a small list of reasons to stick with Lightwave. Even though it has it's drawbacks I couldn't do without it anymore.

Quiver007
01-07-2006, 03:07 PM
Fprime has saved me weeks of rendering. I've even rendered scenes that take over 10 hours a frame to render in LW's renderer in less than an hour a frame in Fprime. I think it is a vital part of a LW pipeline and is very usefully for seting up lighting and texturing.

Well worth the money.

hrgiger
01-07-2006, 06:18 PM
When you see Fprime instantly show a render that is using monte carlo radiosity with 2,3,4+ bounces, you'll know why you bought Fprime. It's far from a final render but as has already been mentioned, it's a lifesaver when setting up a scene with lighting and texture work.
As far as disadvantages, I wouldn't say that it not being able to export .avi's or .mov files is a disadvantage. Generally, you should be rendering to individual frames anyway, but that is a debate for another thread...

Intuition
01-07-2006, 08:21 PM
Well, I can attest to using F-Prime for animation and it works great.

First off, many people do not animate using high quality radiosity unless they have access to a render farm.

Before I had access to a render farm I was always using 3 seperate computers and rendering different sections of the animation across all 3 computers (i.e. 1-30 on comp 1, 31-60 on comp2, repeat etc). Or of course just rendering 3 seperate animations at the same time.

Well, when I did The Mars Underground we used F-Prime (just came out at the time too) for rendering the animation because we were not using a farm and had to render animations on single comps or seperate the animation by frames sections on all 3 computers.

F-Prime has beautiful radiosity and motion blur.

I made the same scenes with Hypervoxels and used matte objects then compositied them in with AE or DF. It worked better to use an external compositor anyways due to the blending modes available.

Clouds or rocket plume voxels were just comped in later.

www.themarsunderground.com

Check the trailer for an example of F-Prime rendered stuff.

The scene with the ship deploying its chute ropes was f-prime radiosity and motion blur.

So even without caustics, shaders, imagefilters we got by that by using a combo of LW native engine with an external compositor.

toby
01-08-2006, 12:59 AM
I had to render something with radiosity and a lot of bump on it - the noise never went away. Had to use the native renderer.

Panikos
01-08-2006, 02:11 AM
FPrime is not suitable for rendering avis or movs due to this refinining way of operation. FPrime could possibly render in avis,movs only on classic mode.
However its a dangerous idea to render directly in avi/mov in any way, cause in case of a crash you will have nothing.
You better render in frames, and then use a blank scene in LW to assemble an avi-mov out of background images.

I respect my work very much and I never set it under such risky experiments.
:eek:

habaņero
01-08-2006, 09:14 AM
- NO CAUSTICS! (At least not to my knowledge) -- OUCH!

It does do caustics though by means of tricks (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=241303&page=1&pp=15).

With surfacing, my impression is that you can get a long way with gradients and other techniques. Microbump on specularity/reflection/glossiness=microfur. You get superior fresnel in terms of speed over real fresnel and precision over fast fresnel, with gradients in my experience. And we are after all getting nodal supported in Fprime with 9, I see no reason to complain on Fprime's surfacing capabilities as of yet. The problems in supporting shaders among other things also is a SDK limitation, while it perhaps aint relevant to a buy decision it is something that I think should be mentioned. Steve Worley delivers incredibly high quality work, and in my experience excellent and free support. And there are going to be changes in a good direction with all these issues and their reason as well with 9. As an investment over some years, I think Worley's record is good indication what we will get with Fprime3. I doubt it'll be more expensive for you if you buy 2 now.

Joscci
01-08-2006, 09:43 AM
As far as disadvantages, I wouldn't say that it not being able to export .avi's or .mov files is a disadvantage. Generally, you should be rendering to individual frames anyway, but that is a debate for another thread...

Okay, well, I have to stop you right there, Mr. Just because .AVI or .MOV sequences are of no importance to you, or a select few doesn't mean that having the ability or option to use them makes them useless to other people such as my self. To make this kind of generalization, really has no point or merit, and quite frankly, is a bit naive.

Just because I get by without using Z-Brush, for example, doesn't mean I should declare the program useless for others who make extensive use of it, nor because I get by (so far) without using MODO, doesn't grant me the authority to label the existence of such product impractical.

So, using the same anology, just because you and a select few think .MOV or .AVI sequences are a bad idea, or is a useless feature (or that it shouldn't be used) doesn't mean that I and others think it is also a bad idea or useless feature, as the 3D Community is vast and unique and everyone works in their own unique ways to accomplish the same goals.

*I* don't make extensive use of this feature, but I like having it there, because I use it to create 'dailies' by creating small 320x240 (or smaller) renders to verify timing and obvious rendering issues. Why? Because it saves me the most valuable aspect in any (OF ANY) production: time, Time, TIME! You can't tell me that rendering image sequences only to have to re-render them or assemble them in another package to create an .AVI or .MOV file is exactly time efficient. In addition, using this feature allows me to save the second most important valuable asset in a production: Memory and Disk Space. Being able to render looong 'dailies' in .AVI or .MOV and spitting them out in a compressed video format taking only a couple of Megabytes instead of Hundreds of Megabytes can be a joy to any man's heart. In addition, these 'dailies' can be passed on to the Editors so that they can begin planning and designing how they want to cut the shots together using dailies as proxies before a single full-resolution frame even exists! So bottom line is: [Saved Time] + [Less Resources] = [Reduced Costs & Money Saved!], and if a stupid insignificant little feature such as this can help me do this, then I'm certainly going to try and make use of it.

In either case, if I ever really needed to create .AVI or .MOV file sequences I would just use the native LW renderer, but then "Workflow" and "Unified Coalesence" of software packege's features comes into question, meaning, the more I can do within one package and the less jumping around between FPrime and LW's Native Renderer the better. Many users love MODO, and others love Z-Brush, or both, but if I could do everything these other programs can natively in LW, then that would be even much the better, and by the same token, if FPrime could do more by overcoming so many of its *minor* limitations then so much the better, for I, like you, want the same thing -- do everything we can do right now, but faster! -- whether rendering final animations, or silly little .AVIs (or .MOVs).

Is it a 'distadvantage' NOT being able to do this in FPrime.. ****, NO! Not a disadvantage, I don't think I would, or have labeled this as a disadvantage, but it is certainly a limitation -- not a critical one, but a limitation nonetheless. Having a feature in package A and have it dissapear in package B makes this in relative terms a limitation regardless to question of its usefulness.


FPrime is not suitable for rendering avis or movs due to this refinining way of operation. FPrime could possibly render in avis,movs only on classic mode.
However its a dangerous idea to render directly in avi/mov in any way, cause in case of a crash you will have nothing.
You better render in frames, and then use a blank scene in LW to assemble an avi-mov out of background images.

I respect my work very much and I never set it under such risky experiments.
:eek:

I too respect my work very much and would never place my work under such risky experiments (not for final renders anyways -- who in their right mind would?), however, even more important, I also happen to value my time too much to devote my machines and comitting them to the time-consuming task of a full-blown final render (even for FPRIME) without at the very least making some responsible minor verifications first, by way of .AVIs or .MOVs or other... wouldn't you agree?

Also, FPrime is not suitable for rendering .AVIs nor .MOVs simply because it CAN'T, so that's all that technically can be said about that for now. However, .AVIs or .MOVs are simply sequential assemblies of image sequences, so it is programmatically and technically possible (even for FPrime's refining rendering method) to assemble its sequences as such, once the frames reach the targeted render level.

Listen, we all know even without the "caustics, shaders, and image filters" that FPrime has saved just about everyone and their mamas more times than anyone can count on including myself as I am also proud owner of it, but the fact of the matter is that FPrime still has its share of 'limitations' and I stand by my opinion that it still has a long way to go before it becomes a full blown renderer or a full replacement for LW's native rendering engine. Yes it's good, it's as sweet as honey, it's a miracle from the gods, but NO, FPrime is NOT the all-be-alll solution TO everything. It may be for some circumnstances, but certainly not for every circumstance.

All I know is that the starter of this thread wanted to know of FPrime's biggest drawbacks and I thought that he should know of them, because statements such as, "its price" or, "not having it is the biggest drawback" really offers no valuable objective information that is of any use. If you're new to FPrime, you should be aware of them and prepare yourself to think differently if you want to accomplish the same goal -- produce beautiful renders.

habaņero
01-08-2006, 10:53 AM
It does excellent caustics, faster than LW and precise enough for animation, no scale issues. Adjustable in intensity, you can have the effect subtle. What I miss a little is SSS, there are some fairly usable and speedy hacks but it is a true limitation I'd say.

What I disagree with is the general impression you could get from this thread, the balance so to say. It is true that it aint the primary render of a lot of people, but other people put out some really incredible work with it and have remapped their F9 button (... !) personally I do lots of Fprime renders, combined with passes from LW it can be incredible in speed vs quality.

"All I know is that the starter of this thread wanted to know of FPrime's biggest drawbacks and I thought that he should know of them"

I kinda hear what you are saying but my answer to his question would be that some of what is listed here as limitations really aint if you arrive at what at least to me is the logical workflow. I'd rather call them "differences" which is a word that aint either particularly negative or positive.

Eg it is pretty darn practical to render the passes like ambient occlusion, Z, shadows and surfaces with the LW .psd export really fast (maybe no GI, raytracing etc) first, and then just let Fprime bake away during the night. While you can't have an .avi, after quality 1 of an Fprime "daily", you can check timing issues right there instantly with Fprime viewer (plays frame directories like .avis) , beats LW for speed for that. It also is just a minute or two to cook up an avi in your choice of post package or free utility, I sortof don't see any limitation though a small inconvenience. But then I probably gained speed through the whole project and on rendering, it comes out on the plus side in my accounting. Some of the stuff listed like shadow maps aint so much limitations as differences, and again, shadow maps can be cooked in in post real easy for final renders. I think that is my main issue with that list, many of those things go away if you would do stuff like Dof, grain, hdr exposure in post anyway. Which to me makes a lot of sense, adjusting the cineons in PS/AE is superior to the LW controls in my experience, as is the speed of cooking up DOF in post. If you are used to do everything in LW and want to switch entirely to Fprime, the differences can be problems or inconveniences. And on top of that there are hard limitations like no sasquatch hair, no a_velvet, etc. Fresnel, I make that with gradients anyway, not missed.

For the quality of what you are getting, I don't find it expensive. It is finished and properly supported software, and it saves a ****load of time.

What is limiting is noise, but then that grew on me and it is a question of a little skill and a few tricks applied and then becomes managable. With the limited region feature, a lot is possible, you can just turn up lighting quality on problem areas. Some HDRI images just don't seem to like Fprime, or needs an image filter like hdr_exposure or a blur, or downsampling. While others play nice. Small luminous objects can be a no no in Fprime, but a lot more so in Native.

Finally I use 3d photo browser, the "mess" in the folders are now invisible to me. That used to be a little nuisance, I think I maybe aint to different from Joscci in disappreaciating repetetive clicking eg bad (windows) UI.

Try and compare it to maxwell ... 999$ for released version, 499$ for a ticket to the 3 year betatesting drama show ...

hrgiger
01-08-2006, 01:34 PM
Okay, well, I have to stop you right there, Mr. Just because .AVI or .MOV sequences are of no importance to you, or a select few doesn't mean that having the ability or option to use them makes them useless to other people such as my self. To make this kind of generalization, really has no point or merit, and quite frankly, is a bit naive.


Well, as I said, it's a debate for another thread but since you responded...

If I need to check timing issues, that's what Lightwave previewer is for. I can easily jump through my stills to check for any rendering quality issues. Heck, even Winow's Filmstrip viewer available in all folders lets me quickly jump through my frames and gives me a 'flipbook' sort of animation. And if I really want to see a rendered AVI or MOV, it literally takes seconds to load my frames into Premiere and a minute or so to render out a 30 second clip to a video file.

It is just my opinon that there's not much need for Fprime to render out AVI's. No need to be in a twist over it.

Intuition
01-08-2006, 06:37 PM
ME <----wonders how anyone could assume HRGiger ever being Naive?

ok...back to your regularly scheduled program. :D

lwaddict
01-09-2006, 07:55 AM
Sounds a lot more like another
great plugin that requires programs that use plugins to support your original program...

but that's just me.

I've seen FPrime in action...
and to be honest, if you setup a scene in LW Natively with an equal amount of effort (as it would appear FPrime requires...just reading your words now)...
you'll get some pretty fast rendering speeds.

It just doesn't seem worth it...yet. Maybe later when it's finished.

Again...could just be me.

Joscci
01-09-2006, 10:12 AM
What I disagree with is the general impression you could get from this thread, the balance so to say. It is true that it aint the primary render of a lot of people, but other people put out some really incredible work with it and have remapped their F9 button (... !) personally I do lots of Fprime renders, combined with passes from LW it can be incredible in speed vs quality.

"All I know is that the starter of this thread wanted to know of FPrime's biggest drawbacks and I thought that he should know of them"

I kinda hear what you are saying but my answer to his question would be that some of what is listed here as limitations really aint if you arrive at what at least to me is the logical workflow. I'd rather call them "differences" which is a word that aint either particularly negative or positive.


Habaņero, you make some good points. I have to say that I 'partially' agree that perhaps some of FPrime's 'traits' (let's call it that for now -- more neutral) could preferably be described as 'differences' instead of 'limitations'. I say 'partially' because whether you see these 'traits' as differences or limitations depends on where you're coming from, which is why I stated that 'having a feature in package A and have it dissapear in package B makes this in **relative terms** a limitation regardless to question of its usefulness'. If you're new to the industry (and I don't mean 'you', but people in general), then perhaps these could be viewed as differences, but if you've been working with a particular package for a long time, and are accustomed to a workflow that works for you, then perhaps these could come across as limitations that will require you to make chages to your workflow -- albeit for good reasons, but changes nonetheless, so it is really something that differs from user to user.

You must allow me to also point out that the only reason I refer to these **FACTS** as limitations is because WORLEY himself refers to them as **LIMITATIONS** listed out plain-blank on his own website, and I believe that Worley himself feels as such because, and this is my assumption, that he too wished he could implement such features as well but was unable as we all know due to LW's SDK limitations.. err.. traits, at the time. So, you can't possibly blame me for something that Worley himself has already done!? lol.

I can understand that you don't want new users getting the wrong impression, but I must tell you that nothing I have said so far represents my own personal opinion (referring to my first post), as I am merely stating specification facts that new users, *NEW*, should fundamentally be aware of even if in reality a clever hack (as WE ALL know) exists to circumvent each of FPrime's traits and as such, my intention was merely to provide the whole picture to this great product -- never to blasphemize or instigate it or its users.

If you were to ask me for my personal opinion regarding a product, or say, a Car, I wouldn't say, "Man, just f-ing buy it, it rocks!", I mean, come on... how would that be helpful to you? I'll tell you what's great about it, but I would in all honestly also tell you what you won't get, at least not immediately out of the dealer, and if that Car had a 4-cylinder engine even though you were most likely expecting a 6, I wouldn't dismiss or hide that fact from you either, as you may or may not be suggesting -- but that's just me and I may be wrong, some people just rather not know and 'get on with the show'.

In either case, thanks for your comments. :)

P.S. Thanks for pointing out the 'Caustics' trick -- *THAT* one, I didn't know, though it is still, in my opinion, a 'hack'.



Well, as I said, it's a debate for another thread but since you responded...

If I need to check timing issues, that's what Lightwave previewer is for. I can easily jump through my stills to check for any rendering quality issues. Heck, even Winow's Filmstrip viewer available in all folders lets me quickly jump through my frames and gives me a 'flipbook' sort of animation. And if I really want to see a rendered AVI or MOV, it literally takes seconds to load my frames into Premiere and a minute or so to render out a 30 second clip to a video file.

It is just my opinon that there's not much need for Fprime to render out AVI's. No need to be in a twist over it.

LoL, so I'm to blame for reacting to your comments, but you're not to take credit for bringing it up in the first place? :rolleyes:

Just for the record, I'm not 'twisting' over anything; you have to have a good attitude in life, otherwise, what's the point, right? I was merely trying to make a point, that's all. You see how you explained how you handle sequences whenever you want to check for timing or whatever else? That's how *YOU* and probably many others do it -- I respect that. However, for me, or you, or anyone to say, 'well, you shouldn't be using the Window's Filmstrip to check that sort of stuff anyways' as you say you do would be me generalizing the issue. It is your way, and again, I respect that, but your way is not everyone's way and this is the point I was trying to make, which is why I referred to your 'statement' (and in no way being specifically directed at you) as coming across as a *bit* 'naive' (Hint to 'Intuition'). My problem with your comments have to do with the fact that although I'm pretty sure you weren't targeting anyone specifically, that I disliked the idea of someone telling me or suggesting what I should, or what I should generally be, or not be doing and although you may (or may *NOT*) be making such assumptions, not everyone here is a 'n00b'. And although I agree that not having the ability to export .AVI or .MOV sequences is not critical (not even to me anyway) it remains a specification FACT -- I merely listed it and some users are flipping out and 'twisting' over it.

Using the 'Car' analogy I used with Habaņero, most people don't care whether a car has an ashtray or not -- it's a specification that is not critical and maybe even unimportant. However, there's somebody out there that cares for that information and that person or persons, will happily take advantage of it. Again, just because a particular point is of no importance to you, Jake, Jane, Pablo, Pedro, Fifi the dog, myself, or the rest of the 'two-thirds that don't care', it doesn't mean that it is of no importance to someone else and if you or anyone else really has a hard time seeing this, then I don't know what else to tell you. :confused:

Peace!

Nigel Baker
01-09-2006, 12:01 PM
Hello all,

As anyone who has not testified here.
Once you start using FPrime, you will wonder how you worked without it.
Even though it does not do everything.

It is still Brilliant.

hrgiger
01-09-2006, 01:34 PM
Just for the record, I'm not 'twisting' over anything; you have to have a good attitude in life, otherwise, what's the point, right? I was merely trying to make a point, that's all. You see how you explained how you handle sequences whenever you want to check for timing or whatever else? That's how *YOU* and probably many others do it -- I respect that. However, for me, or you, or anyone to say, 'well, you shouldn't be using the Window's Filmstrip to check that sort of stuff anyways' as you say you do would be me generalizing the issue. It is your way, and again, I respect that, but your way is not everyone's way and this is the point I was trying to make, which is why I referred to your 'statement' (and in no way being specifically directed at you) as coming across as a *bit* 'naive' (Hint to 'Intuition'). My problem with your comments have to do with the fact that although I'm pretty sure you weren't targeting anyone specifically, that I disliked the idea of someone telling me or suggesting what I should, or what I should generally be, or not be doing and although you may (or may *NOT*) be making such assumptions, not everyone here is a 'n00b'. And although I agree that not having the ability to export .AVI or .MOV sequences is not critical (not even to me anyway) it remains a specification FACT -- I merely listed it and some users are flipping out and 'twisting' over it.

Using the 'Car' analogy I used with Habaņero, most people don't care whether a car has an ashtray or not -- it's a specification that is not critical and maybe even unimportant. However, there's somebody out there that cares for that information and that person or persons, will happily take advantage of it. Again, just because a particular point is of no importance to you, Jake, Jane, Pablo, Pedro, Fifi the dog, myself, or the rest of the 'two-thirds that don't care', it doesn't mean that it is of no importance to someone else and if you or anyone else really has a hard time seeing this, then I don't know what else to tell you. :confused:

Peace!

Um, ok. I think you've over explained your point for some reason. Really. I'm not sure why my stating my view on Fprime is all that big of deal to you. I don't make decisions regarding FPrimes output methods. Explain your point to Worley.

I get your point, but it doesn't change my view or my freedom to express it. Sorry.

Red_Oddity
01-10-2006, 03:12 AM
Okay kids, stop bickering *ducks behind couch waiting for flame to be directed in his direction*

Anyhoo, for lighting and tweaking reflection and refractions this is a MUST have plugin, instead of waiting for 5 to 10 minutes on a low low res LW preview, you can have a normal res preview within under a minute.

As for compositing software this is a brilliant tool, you can actually have FPrime render out a single or half quality pass off 200 frames with 20 area lights and go to compositing directly, FPrime just keeps adding detail until you're satisfied with the quality, or you can dump the scene as a normal LW render on the renderfarm. My only gripe is the lack of buffer output (UV, Normal, Material and Object ID, etc.)

just my 2 cents

colkai
01-10-2006, 03:12 AM
FPrime - as a previewer is indispensable
As a final renderer, unless you are using shaders, beautiful and faster than LW

If you use shaders, less useful, for now. One always hopes the SDK opening up will eventually allow Mr Worley to address that issue. (Caveat - still very useful for layout / lighting and basic shading).

Worth the money? - Tough call, I got in at the "opening sale" so for me, very much so.
As an individual, it will depend on if you could justify it, as a studio, I wouldn't of hesitated.

As for rendering to MOV / AVI, it's safer in terms of possible 'lost work' to output image sequences, plus, so fast and easy to do this in LW after the sequence is rendered I wouldn't dream of doing it any other way. You mileage may vary.

habaņero
01-10-2006, 07:57 AM
Jossci, you don't call them limitations, in your first sentence you call them "drawbacks". And you use lots of CAPITAL LETTERS, making the advertised limitations of the product perhaps sound more important, which they in my experience aint, either important or drawbacks, just the advertised limitations. So I suspect we maybe do disagree a little, although I think not a lot really. I am a fairly new user, as you oberved, I just got LW this summer and I think that perhaps is why I can see problems with your first post. For people that know what each item in your list means, it is easy to assess it, but for people that don't know what most of those things mean or how often you need them etc? it could make them confused even though you make a buy recommendation in the bottom, and the way you put that list, it kinda makes it sound like using Fprime is complicated which it really aint, quite the opposite. I think you are a bad car salesman in this case :P

For people new to 3D I would actually say about exactly like your friend, "Man, just f-ing buy it", it really does rock. It'll make learning lightwave a 100 times smoother ride.

Hacks, there are quite a few hacks to LWs native render or real life photography as well, I don't see that as a generally bad thing, rather on the plus side. Hack covers two way different concepts, it is either something you do to work around a bug or something you do to harvest unused potential in whatever software or hardware supplied. The first if numerous is often an indication of bad quality product while the second is the benefit of good quality tools or parts.

Fprime have rather few of the first kind, at least I didn't get affected yet, I didn't even know about the problems with targets etc and I used that with Fprime several times. There are a number of the last kind, some of them shared with LW and some of them not. To take the Caustics hack example, it is actually a lot easier and faster to set up caustics in Fprime than in LW, though safe to say both have their pro and con. You really do write "no Fresnel" there, but one of the first things I learnt about Surfacing is that it is both faster and better to set up fresnel with gradients, I don't consider that a hack.

To follow the car salesmanship theme, I'd say it is a really good and sturdy car, and Worley doesn't oversell it saying it is a pushbutton physichs simulator or anything like that. It does exactly like advertised, no bugs that affect workflow in any normal case with me, excellent support (service). I'd liken it to a good new Volvo, lots of airbags, good ABS, and a lot more power and sophistication than you would think from the design. It won't crash in the first place, gets you there in the time available, lasts. Made mostly in Scandinavia :]

To put this in perspective, Maxwell, there you have the exact opposite, it is a science to set up, it needs a large amount of hacking around bugs, it is advertised like the second coming and it in fact have "negative" support, the company reps are in effect bullying and ridiculing (if not ignoring) users asking good questions about the software or demanding their money back at no-delivery, which in fact seems to be their obvious right after two separate EU consumer laws. And Maxwell still have a fanboy phenomenon that is much more noticeable than Fprimes in my experience, a whole cheerleading team of revisionist historians ... It is that kind of experience I would not wish for people new to 3D, just intense punishment all the way to get to results that might or might not be really good. Fprime, I can recommend it with my heart so to say, it won't replace F9 entirely but it is the single LW plugin you don't want to miss out on. I have it on F5, F6, F7 and F8 .... First large Software purchase after buying LW, I would say Fprime in almost all cases and particularly for people new to 3D. If the price is steepish, upgrades are mostly free, bugs are few and gets fixed, support is given and it pays back in the form of time saved and deadline lifesaving, which is about as close to hard money you can get. Maybe for students on the academic version it is too much of an investment before they get any freelance work, but definitely pick it up at discounts. If there is some budget, its little sister G2 is high on the list as well.

just my 3$43cents

lede
01-10-2006, 03:31 PM
The biggest draw backs to f-prime?
I would say not having it.

When I frist approched texturing it seemed a nightmare to learn and took for ever to get test results. Lighting was a mystery to me and I never knew if I moved a light around if it affected anything and when you wait 25-40 minutes for a test render it hard to get anywhere fast. But now with F-Prime I start testing my models early on in the building phase to see how it will look rendered. OpenGL is great but there are times its nice to see if your model will look okay textured or if there is a problem with the poly flow.

F-Prime rendering to an animation could be helpful I agree but not a strong enough reason not to get it. Sorry to hear in production this causes some people tons of headaches. Not sure if there is a fix for this since F-Prime has an endless refinement process but if there is a way I'm sure Whorley will be the one to find it.

So overall I would rate F-Prime usefulness a 9 and completeness a 6.5. Using it will redifine your workflow and enhance your learning curve.

-Lee

Joscci
01-11-2006, 10:00 AM
Hello, Habaņero...

I understand that the first sentence addressed the list as "drawbacks", but if you check out my post's title, you'll see that I address it as 'limitations.' I was merely establishing continuity as an answer to the question of the thread starter. I understand that it might come across as a bit contradicting, but I don't understand how that can be since as far as I'm concerned, my understanding was that the word 'limitation' was synonymous with 'drawback'... or at least my thesaurus thinks so -- I could be wrong.

As far as me being a bad Car Salesman, lol, well, I never pretended to be one as Car Salesmen (no offense if there's any here) would never disclose anything negative about anything as their objective is just to sell something and collect commisions, which come to think of it, you're slowly beginning to sound like one, perhaps?.. My advice regarding the 'car anology' was meant to be coming from an honest user with product experience, something that I would never expect from most Salesmen.

As far as 'hacks' go, I never implied for hacks to be good or bad. Hacks -- or more precisely -- workarounds, are an everpresent aspect of the 3D industry regardless of the App in question, even for FULL-featured ones. My use of the word was meant to describe any feature that is not integrated or natively supported by the product. For example, Radiosity is natively integrated in both LW's Native Renderer and FPrime. One merely has to activate an option to enable such feature. On the other hand the story is not quite the same with Caustics. Caustics is natively supported by the LW Renderer (which in my opinion is in no way that hard to make use of), and even though FPrime supports Caustics, it can only be pulled off under very specific circumnstances -- and although I will agree that FPrime caustics seem more beautiful (everything about FPrime is more beautiful, quite frankly), in my opinion, I feel that this is a feature that has yet to be FULLY integrated in FPrime. I will, however, agree that I was wrong in the misconception that FPrime didn't support Caustics at all as I now know, but only to a certain degree -- I will correct the list to reflect this.

And regarding Maxwell... I really wish you woudn't have brought that up, LOL... or you'll get me started on the topic of 'Malpractice in the 3D Software Industry'. I will say this, though... I can't see how you can compare Maxwell to FPrime. I mean, Maxwell is a standalone renderer that is not specifically tied to any one 3D App and is in no way obligated to support any one specific feature of the host to which it's tied to, so it doesn't surprise me one bit that some users are having a tough time adjusting with the new paradigm shift. FPrime, on the other hand is a plug-in, and a LightWave plug-in at that -- a component designed to at the very least work in conjunction with, or even better and if at all possible, enhance an App's feature set to fill and satisfy a very specific need or set of needs. Forgive me if I start to come across as being a little hardheaded here, but I fail to see how a product that is meant to enhance or at the very least complement a product that requires one to surrender numerous features in order for it to operate exactly be described as simply being 'different.' Maybe for a new user to BOTH, LW and FPrime s[he] would view it this way, but if you're an experienced LW user and have invested both time and hundreds of dollars on other plug-ins and see them become useless because of lack of support by the newer plug-in (intended or unintended by the developer) well it's difficult (at least for me) to see this product as merely being different and not consider it to be limited. And if you possibly happen to be the type of person that primarily focuses on basic surfacing features, then I would never expect that type of person to understand this. So, I suppose it was because of my own personal experience that I brought some of these points to light and felt inclined to bring these points to attention by CAPITILIZING them -- so I apologize that they're such an eyesore for you. lol. Moreover, It was just my way of (or attempt, I should say) to help out.

I don't want you or anyone to get me wrong here, I think that Worley is one of the **BEST** things that has happened to the LW community, and that FPrime is one of the greatest products to debut yet for LW, which is why I recommeded it as a "Must Buy" and it was not something I stated as a means to sugarcoat the issue. Consequently, the fact of the matter remains that FPrime is still in its infancy, and as much (just like you) I'm blown away by certain aspects of it, but that doesn't mean that I will turn the other cheek and pretend or act as if certain limiting factors didn't exist, since after all, I'm no salesman and it is not my job to sell FPrime to the community -- I can only recommend while remaining truthful to myself, and everyone else about it. Some will dislike it and to some the truth hurts, but I won't hesitate to point them out.

Cheers!

P.S. I will modify the list bring it up to date and to take on a less, shall we say, negative tone -- should be easier on the eyes now -- I hope... :o)

habaņero
01-11-2006, 04:20 PM
I knew this spanish girl and she would always complain in broken english that I was hardheaded. I know about english but for some reason I was really sure that it meant "brutal" and so I would argue with her about that, replying her that I really wasn't even though I hunt and fish, only hit a guy once and so on. An she would just shake her head in disbelief... Big "Aha" when I finally checked the dictionary ... :P

Fprime, I'll quit the entire car business, I'll just call it a great and sturdy sailship and you can call it a car, I'll retract all my statements about cars and the sale of them, anyone reading my posts againg please substitute as appropriate. That should about settle matters. :]

Joscci
01-12-2006, 08:42 AM
Hay, Caramba!... lol... I think if I had a spanish girl, she too would argue that I'm "hard in la cabeza" (hardheaded), lol. I think we both possess a little bit of it. :bangwall:

Speaking of transportation mediums, let us sail/race away into the information super LightWave and get to work! :thumbsup:

Cheers.