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View Full Version : Where is the pixie dust?!?!



starbase1
07-16-2006, 06:53 AM
OK, so where do I find the control to apply pixie dust to particles?

I have even looked in the manual!
:help:

cagey5
07-16-2006, 06:57 AM
Volumetrics tab [Ctl F6] should show options to add pixie dust. If it's not there perhaps the plug hasn't been added.

starbase1
07-16-2006, 10:16 AM
Thanks for that.

Not sure if I am impressed by playing with it though - seems to me you could do pretty much the same thing and more with an HV sprite... Unless I am missing something...

warrenwc
07-16-2006, 11:57 AM
Yeah, but Pixie dust has some interesting settings & renders faster.
Also takes up less memory.
I can use more particles on my system with Pixie dust than I can with HVs.

starbase1
07-16-2006, 12:07 PM
What are the interesting settings? Can you share a preset or two?

All I could get were soft blob or sharp blob...

warrenwc
07-16-2006, 03:24 PM
I'm afraid I've only just played with it so far;
http://members.cox.net/warrenwc/FrogEggsC.mov
But during the Beta I saw some pretty good water & smoke with pixies.
Someone? Anyone?

-FP-
07-17-2006, 10:25 AM
What I'm seeing so far looks exactly like sprite HVs, which were available as far back as Lightwave 6.5 or earlier. It would be nice to see some examples of "pixie dust" effects that can't be done with sprite HVs. Is there a screengrab somewhere of the pixie dust interface options?

T-Light
07-17-2006, 11:30 AM
As far as I'm aware pixie dust is a faster 'sprite only' method of using HV's. I don't think it's capable of anything HV's aren't, it's juster faster to set up and render.

starbase1
07-17-2006, 12:31 PM
Well, here's the panel...

Assyou can see the options are minimal, and I have no idea what the grid does... Unless I have missed something the docs have VERY little to say. No presets either...

starbase1
07-17-2006, 01:21 PM
Well, I tried adding some gradients on colour and size, and it did get a bit more interesting.

Still not terribly fast though, and nothing I couldn't do in similar render times with HV's... I still don't understand the grid though...

Anyway, I've attached a scene with particles and pixie dust if people want to pla. It should be 100% self contained.

Nick

mouse_art
07-17-2006, 02:28 PM
Pixie_dust can really easy be slower, trough wrong settings, but you can be double as fast, but the quality is not there anymore. :P


Play with the grid settings.

Karmacop
07-17-2006, 04:33 PM
The grid settings break up the particles for sampling. Large grids mean it'll have less segments to check, but once in that segment it'll take longer to find which particle it actually hits. Small grids mean it'll take longer to check all of the segments, but once in the segments it'll be faster to find which particle it hits. You'll just have to test some different settings with your scene and see what renders faster.

Pixie dust can also do more things than hyper voxel sprites as far as colouring and the alpha channel goes. Pixie dust is for real sprites (a flat 2d image with no shadows) while hyper voxel sprites are for faking volumes.

mdunakin
07-18-2006, 12:22 AM
I'll be posting a few sample presets up pretty quick here and you can play with those.

Let me dig through what I have a see what I can post up here, ok?

...........md :)

starbase1
07-18-2006, 04:03 AM
The grid settings break up the particles for sampling. Large grids mean it'll have less segments to check, but once in that segment it'll take longer to find which particle it actually hits. Small grids mean it'll take longer to check all of the segments, but once in the segments it'll be faster to find which particle it hits. You'll just have to test some different settings with your scene and see what renders faster.

Pixie dust can also do more things than hyper voxel sprites as far as colouring and the alpha channel goes. Pixie dust is for real sprites (a flat 2d image with no shadows) while hyper voxel sprites are for faking volumes.

I still don't get it - sampling? It seems a bit over the top for a soft or hard edge to a blob...

I must be missing something.

Nick

Karmacop
07-18-2006, 08:19 AM
The sampling thing .... hmm ... it's kind of like how Lightwave speeds up it's rendering. Say you have 100 particles in the scene, instead of testing all 100 particles pixie dust splits them up into a grid. So we split the particles into a grid of 5 cubes, each with 20 points in them (100 particles all up). When Lightwave renders instead of testing against every particle it'll only test against the particles in that grid area. So Lightwave will test the 5 grid areas, and if it hits any of these areas it'll test against the 20 particles in that area. You can see that this can be faster because if lightwave is only rendering inside one area it'll only do 21 tests (the area and then the 20 particles) instead of 100 tests (one for every particle).

Also, here's something that as far as I know of hasn't been possible with hyper voxel sprites.

dablan
07-18-2006, 12:50 PM
Pixie dust is also a better looking render than sprites in HV. I've found that I can get cleaner smoke and particles with it, over sprite mode.

mdunakin
07-18-2006, 03:06 PM
OK, here's the first part.
This is to show what else can be done with PDust.
I still need to scrounge up all my presets though, so give me a little time and I'll get those posted as well :)

I had 5000 particles originally, but set this scene to only use 1000 and it still looked pretty good.
Average render times per frame at Low AA and 25% Motion Blur, were around 2mins-2.3mins.
Some were shorter and some were 2.3mins and others were 2mins.
All depended on where at in the animation the camera was at.
And BTW, this is rather old and I have since made better looking clouds and they are more complex.
Sadly though, I seemed to have misplaced everything somewhere during the install.
So I hope I didn't loose `em somewhere?! LOL
Just remember, that you can really push this thing and stretch out the PDust particles and
make the clouds do even more complex things and have truelly cool, fluffy, fuzzy edged clouds.

Sorry, but I needed to get these images removed and will update them tomorrow with modified versions.
Sorry for everyone's inconvenience :)
Numbers had to be removed, whoops! LOL

http://www.md-arts.com/lw/Ground_Fog_PDust_Scene_07_720_01.mov

http://www.md-arts.com/lw/Ground_Fog_Scene_PDust_07_720_01_010.jpg

That time beats out HVs any day of the week though :thumbsup:

Well, now I'll look at getting the sample scene file put together and some presets too.

So, I'll be back a bit later....................md :)

.

mdunakin
07-18-2006, 03:16 PM
Exactly as Karmacop has described the Grid, is what is going
on and beleave me, it can make all the differnces in the world!
But, this is also one of those things where, well, change the settings to higher
and do a test rendering and then lower it and do another and see what happens?
I can't even recall what my settings were for the Grid in my scene I just posted the results of?
but that was made some time ago and all I did was re-render it when i went to bed last night LOL

But, he explained it a lot better then I might of been able to,
as I spent more time just having loads and loads of hours of hours of FUN!
And you can easily stay up till all hours of the night just messin around, simply because
render times are soo much faster that you can really have more time to experiment :)

Thanx for that great explination, it saved me from trying to spit out the right words LOL

...................md :)

.

Karmacop
07-18-2006, 08:56 PM
That ground fog is a great example of what pixie dust can do :)

colkai
07-19-2006, 03:33 AM
I get a 404 error trying to access it.

starbase1
07-19-2006, 04:15 AM
Now how did you get that logo on there?

All I can see is soft or hard edge settingss, I must be missing something...


The sampling thing .... hmm ... it's kind of like how Lightwave speeds up it's rendering. Say you have 100 particles in the scene, instead of testing all 100 particles pixie dust splits them up into a grid. So we split the particles into a grid of 5 cubes, each with 20 points in them (100 particles all up). When Lightwave renders instead of testing against every particle it'll only test against the particles in that grid area. So Lightwave will test the 5 grid areas, and if it hits any of these areas it'll test against the 20 particles in that area. You can see that this can be faster because if lightwave is only rendering inside one area it'll only do 21 tests (the area and then the 20 particles) instead of 100 tests (one for every particle).

Also, here's something that as far as I know of hasn't been possible with hyper voxel sprites.

Karmacop
07-19-2006, 09:04 AM
Ahh, now I see your problem. If you just use the "fuzzy" and "from particle" settings then yes, all you get are fuzzy blobs. If you change the setting to custom you can then texture the particles. I just added the LW logo to the opacity channel and sized it to the size of the particle. Dead easy :)

starbase1
07-19-2006, 09:57 AM
Thanks Karmacop - I'll try it when I get home!
Nick

Carm3D
07-19-2006, 10:30 AM
I did this (http://www.carm3d.net/Media/Entity.htm) with Pixie Dust.. Particle calc by Fire & Smoke Generator (which seems to be problematic in 9).

warrenwc
07-19-2006, 11:22 AM
Nice! & Thanks Karmacop, maybe obvious, but I didn't even think of that.:thumbsup: