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Paintmonkey
02-07-2006, 06:40 PM
O.K., so I've been using Lightwave for years for video. Always hated the render engine and the inevitable crashes (about 1 for every 5 times I hit F9). Have lost more than 100 hours on a recent hi-res project and have a fixed budget so I'm losing money too.

HELP - I NEED A BETTER RENDER ENGINE FOR LW 8.5 SCENES.
Worley's Products seem well worth the money. BEFORE
I INVEST ANYMORE TIME WITH LW's 1994 VINTAGE RENDERER, PLEASE HELP SHED SOME LIGHT ON WHETHER F-PRIME IS THE BEST PRODUCT. Or should I spend the time transitioning to MAYA?

Note: Main Host is G5 dual core with 3Gb RAM and latest everything - Video card is NVidia 6600.

Exception
02-07-2006, 06:55 PM
If your renderer crashes there is something wrong. I've never had the rendere crash, layout, modeler yes, but during a render? no. I can imagine it crash with some bad plugins.
Anyway, make sure everything is dandy.

In addition, you have the following choices; Upgrade LW to 9, Fprime, Kray and Maxwell Render.
Upgrade to 9 seems to address some speed issues, but you never know untill it's here.
Fprime is well worth the price and is beyond being an excellent renderer also a time saver for scene setup and previews. Its a fire-and-forget solution because its so easy.
Kray seems to be the fastest way to do radiosity in Lw, and actually in the whole of 3d land currently, but you will have to come to grips with its workings first. It renders like Lightwave, that means, not like fprime's progressive renderer.
Maxwell is pretty but dead slow.

I would like to stress that if your renderer is crashing you either have a software (plugins, bad installs, bad windows, bad video drivers....) problem or a hardware problem (memory?)

good luck

hrgiger
02-07-2006, 07:07 PM
Pretty much what exception said. I've never had a crash during a render. Something is not right with your system, not Lightwave's "vintage" render engine.

Personally, it sounds like Fprime would be well worth your investment dollars. Fprime will give you, in most cases, an almost instant view of your scene even using radiosity. It's invaluable as a setup tool and previewer and is gaining ground on becoming a full solution renderer.

BTW, I think it is more fair to call Lightwave's render engine the 2000 vintage engine since weren't they the first ones to have a HDRI renderer and wasn't that around 2000 in v6...

Paintmonkey
02-07-2006, 07:25 PM
Sorry, may have mistated. Didn't crash during render (like you both, I have never had a render crash midstream). I have however had countless crashes when commencing rendering - and this has had nothing to do with shaders or effects because the same thing has been experienced on Five machines which have working hardware/sw (albeit different configurations and processors).

FPrime seems ideal because it will let me work on comping print projects while they're crunching. I know setbacks are inevitable, but after waiting 48 hours for a single 12,000 x 9,000 frame to render and ending up with nothing, I'm ready to pay for anything better than LW's engine.

lw3d23
02-07-2006, 07:28 PM
I have such experience, and usually the problem is caused by shader or, any plugin, not LW renderer. I will try to switch off the plugins one by one, and find out which one causes the problem.

Stooch
02-07-2006, 07:46 PM
Sorry, may have mistated. Didn't crash during render (like you both, I have never had a render crash midstream). I have however had countless crashes when commencing rendering - and this has had nothing to do with shaders or effects because the same thing has been experienced on Five machines which have working hardware/sw (albeit different configurations and processors).

FPrime seems ideal because it will let me work on comping print projects while they're crunching. I know setbacks are inevitable, but after waiting 48 hours for a single 12,000 x 9,000 frame to render and ending up with nothing, I'm ready to pay for anything better than LW's engine.

that is some hardcore resolution you are working with. no wonder. get high quality, fast ram to reduce memory errors. and alot of it. might as well shift to x64 because you are pushing the limits.

although there are renderers out there which are far less affected by size....so what gives?

Titus
02-07-2006, 07:48 PM
but after waiting 48 hours for a single 12,000 x 9,000 frame to render and ending up with nothing, I'm ready to pay for anything better than LW's engine.

Maybe your error is trying to render a 12,000 x 9,000 pixel image, this is alone a +100 MB file in memory.

I have rendered images for bilboards before and the solution is to render by chunks, then join the patches using photoshop/GIMP. This way you will have less problems with memory management and you can rerender only the failed pieces (if any).

Stooch
02-07-2006, 07:52 PM
yeah i ended up making it into strips too.

Exception
02-07-2006, 08:10 PM
Yes, strips here too for that resolution.. Lightwave will render it, but there is no more memory for the image saver plugin.
Fprime has the same problem, however worley has written a Low Ram TGA saver that prevents most of these cases. With Fprime you can always pull the empty frame render trick anyway to get your saved data anyway.

Weepul
02-07-2006, 08:44 PM
I use LW on a Mac and have experienced crashes upon commencing renders in scenes where the only challenging element is a modestly high poly count - no shaders or complex interpolated radiosity or anything of the sort.

FPrime doesn't support everything that LW's renderer will do, but it has rendered such scenes without problem (just a slight hesitation as it processes the scene data.)

FPrime has a few instabilities, but they're fairly predictable and avoidable (ie. replacing or removing an image that's currently in use, occasionally adding or removing texture layers, occasionally when updating geometry from Modeller...pause FPrime when doing these things if you suspect potential problems.)

paulhart
02-07-2006, 08:50 PM
All of the above holds true at this end also. I have a WinXP Dual AMD64 with 4GB of RAM, but it will "blow-up" if the image size gets too big. There is a threshold just above 2GB. Have your Windows Task Manager open and watch the performance screen. I had one that could predictably blow at this threshold. The solution for me was Amleto, setting it to a number of segments in the Server window of Amleto, and making sure the segment was set lower in Lightwave. Works excellent, fairly fast, and I can use the older PC's on the network to cut render times. The other point that was made above is crucial, some plugins are less forgiving. If you get an 'error' window on the crash, check out the details of the report and I have found out who was causing the crash. I had first thought it was Amleto, but this strategy revealed the culprit as a plugin. Good luck on the effort. Oh, and YES, to FPrime, doesn't work yet in the network manner but for setup and some renders it is grand....
Paul

Lightwolf
02-08-2006, 01:39 AM
I have a WinXP Dual AMD64 with 4GB of RAM, but it will "blow-up" if the image size gets too big.
Do you also run windows XP64 and the 64bit version of LW?

Cheers,
Mike

pixym
02-08-2006, 05:49 AM
...I have however had countless crashes when commencing rendering...

Yes I had experimented this kind of problem when I worked on Mac... It is one of the reasons for me to put Mac (G5 2ghz dual) away for Lightwave!
One way I remember to not have this issue is to make a save all object before hit F10 or F9.

Red_Oddity
02-08-2006, 07:50 AM
No other renderer with prevent crashes when the memory floods with data (blame Microsoft on this one, not NT)
Heck, you don't want to know the amount of problems we have with trying to render seamingly simple 2K material on other renderers (MentalRay for Maya is one big problem child, no BSP tweaking will prevent the endless crashes due to memory shortage)

Try to kill anything that might use memory (this includes LWs OpenGL texturing aswell and not to mention the Windows Explorer)

paulhart
02-08-2006, 08:59 AM
Lightwolf asks: "Do you also run windows XP64 and the 64bit version of LW?"

No, still running the 32 bit flavor of Win and IFW2, for now.... I bought this workstation with the "big" change in mind, but I am waiting until Vista is out and more driver support is established, as this is my primary workstation. The other network stations are previous hand-me-downs, but they do cut the renders in half!!
Paul

Lightwolf
02-08-2006, 09:28 AM
Lightwolf asks: "Do you also run windows XP64 and the 64bit version of LW?"

No, still running the 32 bit flavor of Win and IFW2, for now....
Well, in that case LW won't be able to use more than 2GB anyhow, and roughly 1GB of your 4GB aren't used by the OS. So you're are only running a 32bit system now.

You could always set up a dual boot system with XP64 and LW8.5 64 for those heavy scenes...

Cheers,
Mike

paulhart
02-08-2006, 09:45 AM
Lightwolf, Hello...
Yes I am aware of the WIN limit, frustrating for the moment, but I do run the /3GB switch on boot successfully which helps Fusion and seems to make Lightwave less sensitive to the 2GB threshold, but I haven't tested this extensively, since paid work tends to drive the time equation. I do know that the Amleto 'segment' solution has made large illustation renders possible for some scenes that routinely crash on F10 renders. On boot up, the OS counts up to 3.66GB, but the board I am using only allowed 2 or 4Gb RAM choices as it is setup to run alternating banks for "more speed." I have contemplated running a true dual boot, just draggin along I guess....
Paul