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tedbragg
12-31-2005, 08:52 AM
I'm reviewing LW for a filmmaking magazine, and I'm curious which video card/3d accel. is considered the absolute best for accelerating LW operations.

I'm running an AMD 2800+ Semp. with an AGP 8x slot, Windows XP Pro...

Would I be better off using Win2000 instead? I hear conflicting reports that W2k is more stable than Pro, and Pro has better compatiblity with hardware, etc...

Presently my test rig is running off the mobo's built-in video, and it's agonizingly bad.

Mind you, I'm looking for something a filmmaker/animator would be after, not a general/gamer/developer.

ercaxus
12-31-2005, 02:47 PM
Try not to get the newest 6800 GS nvidia card. I did and I am suffering from driver issues.

DMarkwick
01-01-2006, 06:20 PM
I got an NVidia Quadro 980 XGL that works very nicely. I think I'm right in saying that the Quadro range are probably among the best you can get for LW use, although the newer more powerful ones (and thus probably the ones you'll be looking at using) are also very expensive. But then, they are professional workstation cards, so if you want to write a suitably professional review then you might have to fork out.

Other than that, my new machine uses a NVidia 6800GT and it also works OK.

Generally speaking, NVidia are more app-friendly cards in any case.

Tom Wood
01-01-2006, 06:33 PM
I got an NVidia Quadro 980 XGL that works very nicely.

Do you animate in Layout using audio? I've been going through an issue with audio static when in layout and we're going to try a video card with more memory to see if it helps resolve it. Started with the 380XGL, then the 500 Quadro, next....?

Thanks,

TW

tedbragg
01-01-2006, 08:14 PM
Yeah, the Quadro line was one I was looking at. One other question I've been getting is, can LW do much with realtime output?

The onboard GPUs on these cards can push demanding games, but aside from piling an animation/effects project into a game engine, how would one take advantage of the hardware engine? OpenGL and DirectX sport some dazzling effects, and the realtime crunching makes it a tantilizing prospect for time-constrained indies.

Here's a scenario:
A local/regional animated tv program. The vid card's GPU is used to render out in RT, onto 3/4 tape or HD. Scenes that'd take hours to software render only require a few seconds on home-grown PCs and Macs.

Granted, they'd be at the mercy of the vid card's capability, but let's imagine the visuals the company needs isn't all that groundbreaking. They just need something that can save them the time of a renderfarm spitting out software rendered scenes (and catch errors, goofs, etc along the way, much faster, and without having to re-render it)

CAN THIS BE DONE??? If so, how and what would I need to get to do it?

A solution like this would not only kick butt, it'd open up more jobs to folks who know RT stuff from OpenGL and DirectX...like out of work game developers, perhaps?

StereoMike
01-01-2006, 08:56 PM
This could be interesting for you (and everyone who ever wanted to do interactive content inside LW))

Poetry in motion
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=248382&page=10&pp=15&highlight=pim

It's a realtime openGL engine for LW (and well integrated). You can already map e.g. webcam output to a surface and it has also a chromakeyer...

pim is javascript programmable. You could write games with it. Export standalone .exes for presentations. Or make fancy things like the ones you mentioned. It's just the purpose of this plug :)

It's not out yet, but they're working on a first version.

Mike

DMarkwick
01-01-2006, 09:49 PM
Well I don't think LW has much RT capability, other than the adequate OpenGL workarea. As far as rendering in RT, well the layout does have a preview option which will happily render out the first panel's contents to an animation file, is this the sort of thing you're after? In which case a card with the best OpenGL performance is what you're looking for, and as far as I know that's Quadro.

nemac4
01-02-2006, 01:48 PM
I'm reviewing LW for a filmmaking magazine, and I'm curious which video card/3d accel. is considered the absolute best for accelerating LW operations.

I'm running an AMD 2800+ Semp. with an AGP 8x slot, Windows XP Pro...

Would I be better off using Win2000 instead? I hear conflicting reports that W2k is more stable than Pro, and Pro has better compatiblity with hardware, etc...

Presently my test rig is running off the mobo's built-in video, and it's agonizingly bad.

Mind you, I'm looking for something a filmmaker/animator would be after, not a general/gamer/developer.

The AGP slot will limit your choices a bit but I think the fastest consumer/gamer card is the nvidia 6800GT OC. I've been running the 6800GT OC since 8.5 was released and it has been good for me on my Athlon MP 2800s w/ win2k. But, I don't run the latest drives due to issues with the MPX chipset. I hope the issues will be fixed in the future.
I've tried the 6200 and the 6600 as well. the 6600 would not work on my system but the 6200 seemed OK. The 6200 w/ 256MB was still much faster than my old 4600Ti w/ 128MB and gave me OpenGL 2 for LW8.5. so if you are on a budget the 6200 should work. I've not tried any ATI cards other than the 9600 mobile which seems ok as well but a bit slow and didn't show all of the 8.5 procedurals.

nemac4
01-02-2006, 02:05 PM
They just need something that can save them the time of a renderfarm spitting out software rendered scenes (and catch errors, goofs, etc along the way, much faster, and without having to re-render it)

CAN THIS BE DONE??? If so, how and what would I need to get to do it?

A solution like this would not only kick butt, it'd open up more jobs to folks who know RT stuff from OpenGL and DirectX...like out of work game developers, perhaps?

There is also the "Just for your Eyes" opengl scene player. I've not tried it but it looks interesting. It's no Poetry in motion though.

from the Docs:

Don't forget that jfyeNG is designed to render real-time scenes.
So don't make use of advanced features of LightWave.

link: http://norecess.planet-d.net/

Here is a list a supported features :

SCENE
objects
motion
dissolve
parent
null
deformation
morph mixer (endomorph)
pivot point
lights (hardware accelerated versions only)
distant ONLY
intensity
motion
color
camera
motion
parent
zoom factor
scene
size
backdrop color

OBJECT
n-surfaces
scrolling
gouraud*
mapping*
planar
UV
cubic
cylindrical
spherical
environment (faked)
additive*
double-sided
n-edges

IMAGE
JPG
TGA
8,16,24,32 bits (raw, packed)

*=can be combined. Ex: both gouraud+planar mapping for a surface.

StereoMike
01-03-2006, 03:39 AM
regarding the graphics card I go with nemac. get an 6800 gt and rivatuner (free software) and unleash the quadro power inside of it. In fact it's the same hardware (besides of genlocks).
I was able to outperform 7800gtx boards with my software-modded 6800gt (modded, not even oc'ed), I got two times better results in specviewperf (an openGL benchmark) than those using a 7800gtx.
Modding the card is little effort compared to the result. It's software and you won't need to touch any hardware to mod it.

nemac4
01-04-2006, 06:08 PM
Hey StereoMike, I tried the riviatuner soft mod and got a nice boost in performance. Thanks for the tip! :thumbsup: