View Full Version : Best render engine for LW?

Lord Snarebotto
03-08-2006, 05:12 PM
This is probably a dumb question, but I'm wondering what the best render engine is for LightWave.


Is the built-in renderer great all by itself?

I'm still waiting for my package to arrive via UPS, but wanted to get a heads-up on this question before it arrives.

Thanks in advance. :newhere:

03-08-2006, 05:45 PM
Well yes LW's renderer is the best, it's also really the only render engine supported by LW...

FPrime, Kray, Maxwell

Are available as plugins, they have their advantages, but mainly speed...

It will depend on what you do with LW, as to if you need Kray, Maxwell or Fprime...

Fprime is well reccomended if you need a Viper replacement,
but as a full renderer it's still very limited.

03-08-2006, 06:21 PM
Worley Labs Fprime and G2 plugins do wonderful things, but they aren't supporting the 64 bit version of LW so far. LW 9.0 will have some major enhancements that may really cut into their appeal. Since you should be getting LW 9 as a free upgrade, I would stay with the LW renderer until you see what all it (and the LW9 version) can do!

03-08-2006, 07:16 PM
The LW engine is perfectly good for most things and has a big advantage in that you can run as many nodes as you like for free (up to 1000 I think) if you can get your head around ScreamerNet (I think it was called that due to animators screaming at it to work). It can also be slow (although you can throw more nodes at a render) and really does need an update to keep up with the technical advances in other renderers, so just as well 9 is on the way.

03-09-2006, 04:13 AM
If you want to use radiosity within reasonable times, then go for a third party renderer, LW's engine is just too slow.

I've found FPrime to be the best all-round renderer in terms of quality, ease of use and speed.

From the images on their website, Maxwell looks to be the best for quality, but from what I hear, it's far from finished and Next Limit really messed up by selling what was essentially a Beta version. It might be a little more complex to setup due to it's real world approach too, but I can't say for sure, I've not used it.

KRay looks okay, but be prepared to spend a lot of time tweaking, there are a LOT of settings!

- - -

What we need is a renderer that is as built-in as native LW, the speed and ease of use of FPrime and the quality of Maxwell, then we'd all be happy! (Oh, and allows render nodes too!)

03-09-2006, 04:47 AM

The others are traditional renderers (albeit faster than LW's own in Kray's case), whereas Fprime changes the way you work for the better, in setup and rendering. YOu just leave it going while you work and it plays catchup, rendering away the scene as it changes till you're ready to look at it again.

03-09-2006, 08:53 AM
FPrime is a great bit of software, amazingly fast, but there are several things to bear in mind. It takes up RAM so have plenty. The render depends on the viewport resolution of the sub patches(if you are using them), which can mean having to fiddle with the sub patch resoloution, slowing down viewport response. But perhaps the main issue is that it does not currently render all the LW shading/render/lighting options so you may still have to do further post production to get the look you wanted.
But as a lighting set up tool, it's great.
Personally I'd rather LW had a renderer that was so good that external renderers were redundant...

03-09-2006, 10:20 AM
Can any of the external renderers render shaders/render/lighting options beyond those that fprime can?
As far as I was aware they couldn't as yet, it's an sdk limitation rather than an fprime limitation, so that's no reason to choose one renderer over another. Or am I incorrect?

03-09-2006, 02:35 PM
I'm pretty sure you're right Dodgy. I also thought that the others didn't even use LW's native Procedurals but this may have been changed in newer versions. Also, i can say for certain that the others won't render Hypervoxels, so F-Prime would be my choice of weapon. (As i'm saving my pennies to buy it myself!! :) )

03-09-2006, 03:07 PM
Since LW revamped the render engine for v9 it seems to be much better than v8.x's version.


03-09-2006, 06:42 PM
The current Lightwave engine is unsatisfactory for architectural work, its radiosity and raytracing is farrrrr to slow and not viable for business.

If you get FPrime its helps alot but only for stills.
Kray is the best for community interest and updates.

id say Kray is the more lively of the two for archi work.

LW9 is said to be revamping its render engine thanks to a main man from Electric Image.

For TV output im not sure anymore maybe it was once good but now over taken , but maybe lw9 will bring it back?

03-10-2006, 01:47 AM
LW9 is said to be revamping its render engine thanks to a main man from Electric Image

They've not said anything about addressing radiosity speed/quality have they? Thought it was only a re-written raytracer?

Captain Obvious
03-10-2006, 01:54 AM
They've not said anything about addressing radiosity speed/quality have they? Thought it was only a re-written raytracer?
LW's radiosity is raytraced (not the caustics, though), so any optimizations made to raytracing will also speed up radiosity renderings.

03-10-2006, 06:44 AM
if you enought how lw work, you have all that you need to work on internal lw render engine, fast, high quality, render node free, optimized for high polynumbers.

for radiosity best solution is baking light, to avoid slowdown, that help you to speed up your render. or you can fake some parameters with occlusion shader or some tricks.

second choose is FPrime, for speed and confortable in the realtime preview.

i tried kray and maxwell but i think are too young and slow to use in production.