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prince
08-02-2006, 03:22 AM
Hi,

I'm just wondering with the new node system in place, Do you guys think eventually the Texture layering system will eventually be phased out in future versions? I hope not:/

I really don't like the Nodal system, and still cant get my head round it. and hope the we still have the choice to use the layer system in future versons.:)

MrWyatt
08-02-2006, 03:35 AM
well as we have layer nodes in nodal editor I really wouldn't mind if some day the texture layer editor would go out the window. After all more and more people plead for a complete nodalisation of LW, nodes everywhere, Yeah.

Lightwolf
08-02-2006, 03:48 AM
I do hope the layers stay. They still seem to be a bit more efficient when rendering, and for 95% of my surfacing needs layers are all I need, and a lot quicker too.
I would love a conversion of layers to a node graph in the future though. Start off surfacing with layers, then switch to nodes if needed without loosing any of the surfacing.

As a side note, some time ago XSI added a layered system on top of the native node based shading, so their surely is a need and a reason for a layer based UI.

Cheers,
Mike

MrWyatt
08-02-2006, 05:20 AM
good points there. didn't know that about xsi. about the efficiency, how are layers more efficient than nodes, and why? could you elaborate a bit more? I really would not want to do something with nodes just because I can achieve something easyer and with less nodes than I would need layers, only th find out that it takes twice the time to render. I hope the drawbacks aren't that bad or even noticable. Are there specific nodes that are slower than their equivalent layers or shaders (in the shading tab)?
:confused:

Lightwolf
08-02-2006, 05:26 AM
Well, if you just want to stack a couple of image texture on top of each other, the layered system is imho more efficient, especially because it uses up a lot less screen estate. and you immediately see which layer is on top of which other layer just by looking at the order of them.

As for the speed hit: http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=419057&postcount=30
Mind you, this is overhead just from having nodes enabled, I'm sure it is less for surfaces, and would be even less if nodes were the only modes of evaluating surfaces (with a layer based system on top of it).

I haven't benchmarked anything yet, but I have the feeling that nodes render a bit slower, I'd need to bench it though.

Cheers,
Mike

GregMalick
08-02-2006, 09:55 AM
Unless NT figures out a way to convert Layers to Nodes it will be around. Otherwise any scenes from a prev-version using layers won't be renderable in the new version.

Can you imagine the complaining? :hey:

Lightwolf
08-02-2006, 10:00 AM
Unless NT figures out a way to convert Layers to Nodes it will be around. Otherwise any scenes from a prev-version using layers won't be renderable in the new version.

Make nodes completely scriptable :)

Basing a layer based interface on a node based data structure is a lot easier than vice versa :)

Cheers,
Mike

aurora
08-02-2006, 07:06 PM
I agree with Greg. I doubt they will kill layers. Nodes are powerful and I love them. Yet With the billions of presets and files out there set up for the good ole layer system. To loose them would be tragic at cosmic proportions.

Dodgy
08-03-2006, 03:14 AM
If they wanted to do a conversion on load, they could convert the layers to a 'layers node'. It already exists, but would mean backward compatibility would go. I can't see that happening for a while though.

Lightwolf
08-03-2006, 03:23 AM
If they wanted to do a conversion on load, they could convert the layers to a 'layers node'. It already exists, but would mean backward compatibility would go. I can't see that happening for a while though.
Hm, great, that would be the worst option. If there is a conversion, I'd expect it to build a full nodal graph, with every layer being a separate node.
The layers node is o.k. to quickly bring in older stuff or get more layered functionality in the nodal graph, but using it as a target for automatic conversion is imho a bad idea.

I'd rather like to see the option to take an existing layer (that affects one surfacing channel) and convert that into a series of connected nodes in the node graph, hooking up to the surface channel there. (mind you, for that to happen all procedurals would need a nodal equivalent).

Cheers,
Mike

bryphi7
08-03-2006, 03:28 AM
I think that they can keep both but bring the interfaces together...

1. have all nodes open to the right no matter what.
2. When you are selected on the root node, have the surface editor open to the right
3. If you click a "T" have it disable the nodal counter part, and open up the texture editor to the right...Click back on root node to get the surface editor back.
Am I making any sense?

basically have it all in one organized interface.

bryphi7
08-03-2006, 03:52 AM
Like this...

zapper1998
08-03-2006, 05:03 AM
I hope not, I am still trying to figure the nodes out....

starbase1
08-03-2006, 06:39 AM
It would be nice if there was a way to convert at least the simple textures into a nodal equivalent. I'm not up to speed on nodal yet - is there anything that the old system can do the new one cannot?

There are plenty of cases, like my planet surfaces with maps, where there are fairly simple settings on lots of channels, and it seems like unnessesary pain to manually move them over. I'd part with a bit of cash for a utility to help this along!

Nick

aurora
08-03-2006, 07:50 AM
Yeah there is at least one thing. Third party shaders both old like fresnel and new like CCTV are not nodes (yet). Canning the old surface editor would kill a ton of third party shaders too.
As for merging them together for me its the same as Modeler and Layout I prefer them seperate. Different beasts for different needs.

Stooch
08-03-2006, 10:19 AM
I vote for integration of layers and nodes. anything done in layers should always be represented by nodes in the background, so when you do open nodes, all of your existing layer stuff is translated into nodes and ready for tweaking.

Dave Jerrard
08-03-2006, 05:53 PM
I do hope the layers stay. They still seem to be a bit more efficient when rendering, and for 95% of my surfacing needs layers are all I need, and a lot quicker too.
I would love a conversion of layers to a node graph in the future though. Start off surfacing with layers, then switch to nodes if needed without loosing any of the surfacing.

As a side note, some time ago XSI added a layered system on top of the native node based shading, so their surely is a need and a reason for a layer based UI.

Cheers,
MikeI'm a layers guy myself, don't let all those node examples fool you. For playing aorund on my own stuff, where I don't have a deadline, I'll use nodes, mainly for the new shader possibilities. But when I have to get stuff done within a time limit, layers are way faster. I can see everything about a texture immediately with layers, without having to pan around a huge window trying to follow what could easily be hundreds of lines going off in all directions. With layers, I can scroll through my surface list and see what surfaces have textures on which channels instantly. Not so easy with nodes, where you have to open the node window for each surface to see if it's actually bineg used or not.

I know of other people that have come to LightWave from other node-based packages that love the layers too. They're wonderful, easy to set up, and really easy to follow, even if you didn't set them up yourself.

In most of my surfacing recently, I've been using the old layers for the simpler stuff, like setting up gradients for incidence angles, and using nodes for the more complicated stuff, like the shaders. It's just a lot faster to click a T button on the Surface Editor and set up an gradient there, than it is to dig through a menu to pull up a gradient, set it to incidence, figure out the change from a 0-90 degree range to a 0 to 1 range, and then find a place for that node and plug it in to where I need it. I also like the ability to scale my gradients the old way as well. Even though I can do this with the Layers nodes, I still have to dig through a menu to find it, and I still have to position the node. I spend a lot of time just moving nodes around so I can follow them easier.

Also, I have yet to find any way of getting the same kind of falloff control in Nodes that I have in Layers. Putting a decal on a wing or tailfin of a plane is a much more complicated procedure with nodes, while it only takes two image layers (or four if you use separate alphas).

I do like the way both systems work so well together though. You can use as much or little of either as you like.


He Who Won't Be Doing Much With Math Nodes Though.

Snosrap
08-03-2006, 08:52 PM
Having both is great, and IMO is the way to keep it.

Cheers
Snos

Ramon
08-04-2006, 01:21 PM
I have to chime in and say, I have always enjoyed LW's layered based texture panel. It is so logical and does all I need it to do.

That said it is nice to have the option to use node based but CERTAINLY NOT as a replacement for layers. Way to do Newtek, power to the wavers to decide which they wish to use.

SP00
08-06-2006, 02:31 PM
I think the Strength of nodes lies in its flexibility and transferability of a group of nodes to another. With the Layer nodes implemented into the nodes system. There really is no need for Layers since they work exactly like the normal system. However, the Nodes do not completely work with the viewport yet, so I will have to rely on the normal layers until they completely implement the node system.

Here is the link to get normal Layer functions into the Node system. ftp://ftp.newtek.com/pub/LightWave/LW9/Layer_Nodes.mov

Lightwolf
08-06-2006, 04:30 PM
There really is no need for Layers since they work exactly like the normal system.
There is still quite a difference in speed when editing. I wouldn't mind it replacing (note: as long as we retain the speed of old school surfacing in terms of editing and viewing what is going on) the current surfacing sometime in the future, but currently it is clearly not ripe enough.
(Just try to quickly scan through a bunch of nodal surfaces to check out basic parameter, using the current surface panel, I just need the cursor keys).
Cheers,
Mike

SP00
08-06-2006, 09:14 PM
I would like to be able to control click a few nodes to dump into the editor at once, instead of doing it one by one. That could speed up the process.

Bog
08-07-2006, 02:06 AM
Another vote to Save The Layers here (don't make me print T-shirts, kids!)

Reasons:

1) They're the fastest to set up. Click, drag dropdown, pick image, click autosize, done. Minimum clicks to map is good.

2) Photoshop users new to LightWave light up like the dawn and Get It immediately.

3) Legacy stuff. Converters are all well'n'good, but there's no *reason* to destructively edit the interface when simply adding nodes has worked fine.

4) Choice. There's more than one way to accomplish most tasks in LightWave already, which is great as multiple solution paths allow for creative results, rather than "The Right Way or the High Way."

I like the thought of having one's layers mirrored in the Node Tree, like the connection between Timeline and Storyboard in SpeedEdit. That strikes me as enabling both, without having to compromise either.

Stooch
08-07-2006, 03:57 PM
...
I like the thought of having one's layers mirrored in the Node Tree, like the connection between Timeline and Storyboard in SpeedEdit. That strikes me as enabling both, without having to compromise either.


precisely. i want both and i shouldnt have to redo things i already did in either...

esper8
08-07-2006, 04:34 PM
I say both too, always good to have a quick and efficient "get down and dirty" option and another way to skin a cat as well, so to speak