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SP00
08-02-2006, 10:37 PM
Hey Guys,

I was at the Siggraph Pixar Booth and they got this Brazilian guy to explain how Renderman was so much faster than Mental Ray and how they got better quality shots with relatively shorter render times.

I was just wondering how does Renderman compare with Lightwave's Renderer in terms of Quality to Speed ratio. Of course, this comparision would be with similar settings and scenes.

One of the things he said that impressed me was that Renderman was 4x faster than mental rays. Not sure how that compares to lightwave. Would anyone be able to do a quick comparison, given that you have access to Renderman?

Nicolas Jordan
08-02-2006, 11:12 PM
I think it would depend on whats be rendered in the tests and comparisons. Some render engines are better or faster at certain things like GI or rendering huge amounts of polys faster. Lightwaves GI is probably slow compared to some render engines at the moment but we will probably see some huge improvments soon! :)

Lightwave will be able to render better looking motion blur soon from what I have been hearing. :thumbsup:

SP00
08-02-2006, 11:35 PM
Yeah, I just wish I can get some solid facts. I would just like to see how Lightwave compare to what some considers the standard for big studios. With that, I also took a look at the Maxwell Renderer at Siggraph. Seems very good, but again, I would like to see some solid numbers. Maybe someone can run some test, with a variety of scenes. Better yet, does anyone know of a site that would have these numbers.

I also understand that Lightwave is a lot cheaper and Render man is $999 by itself.

archiea
08-02-2006, 11:51 PM
I believe that Rendermanhas superior anti-aliasing & motionblur. The antialiasing issues can be seen with texturemapping. Also renderman is far more customizable than LW. this is my dedduction from working separately with both, as opposed to side by side, also pre v9 LW. The new Camera in V9 may address this. You also really need to know what you are doing in renderman... I'm curious is Renderman for Maya bridges that gap....

I will say that LW 9's new shader models is a big step in LW's rendering ability.

UnCommonGrafx
08-02-2006, 11:51 PM
Look at it this way: would you be comparing if the quality wasn't comparable betwixt the two?

The way I've read those add-on renderers is that you can't necessarily do what you can do in LW. That is to say, set it all up in the host app and just press render to get what you want. You have to program the renderer, i.e., it doesn't use the same texturing system as the host app so you have to use 'theirs'. This is the older model and it's changing fast.

Nowadays, they have hooks in the apps to allow you to call up the Render's shaders and apply within the program. Maxwell, I believe, is in this category.

Truly, different ways to skin the proverbial cat. I think it's fascinating that people use LW as the renderer even though they are doing a lot of other work in other apps. That says lots, too: it's about the bottom line and 999 free nodes go a long way. That and a sexy, production proven, newly renovated render engine.

Titus
08-02-2006, 11:52 PM
RenderMan is more than a fast renderer, it's a rock solid program. The idea of PRMan (Pixar's RenderMan) is to use programmable textures (shaders) and many tricks to work with scenes which may contain millions of polygons. This program has more than two decades of constant development, just imagine the recent addition of catmull-clark SDS to LW being default in PRMan for years, and yes Dr Catmull works at Pixar.

If you want to use RenderMan at its full capacity you need people writing shaders and plugins (DSOs), if not you will hardly notice anything special about it, beleive me.

SP00
08-03-2006, 12:57 AM
I guess, I"m asking this questions because I don't have much experience with the other render software besides lightwave, 3dsmax scanline, and Mental rays. I have been hearing alot about how in renderman the default program can give you great results out of the box with very fast render times. It doesn't really matter to me, since it is only for Maya, but I would like to personally know how good lightwave is to the competition. I just don't want to be ignorant since I have more experience with LW renderer than the competition. Especially if I get into a debate with someone about the strength and weakness of LW.

Also Maxwell is calling itself as a light simulator. So for indoor lit scene you can have 1 sun light and it should be able to light your indoor scene without the need of additional indoor light placement. This simplifies life when you are aiming for realistic lighting conditions. I'm not sure if that is what it really can do, but I'm going to get the demo and try it out.

Also, I know that the use of APS setting in LW9 can reduce render time dramatically. I"m wondering if renderman or mental rays have something similar running in the background, but in reverse. Maybe an Adaptive Pixel Deformation (reducing polygon count to hidden geometry).

Titus
08-03-2006, 01:09 AM
Yes, RenderMan has almost any trick you can pull out of a hat. Basically if you want to compare LW with RenderMan you can't win, also they are so different.

UnCommonGrafx
08-03-2006, 06:54 AM
Actually, I think it's the program that has DEFINED subpixel theory in this regard.
As has been stated, we are following them more than they us.

You can't win in an argument on the two. Nod your head and tell them they are right. Then, wonder why you are in the argument... Is it because your render was admired and thought to have come out of another program?


As I came here for the purpose, I shall suggest it for you and anyone else in this wonderment stage: Go to SIGGRAPH. Go to the classes, if you have the desire; always get the plus or better, join; check out their special areas. If you really want the education in a conversational way, it can be had here.
Even cheaper and more immediate would be the purchase of a renderman book. I get mine at the half-priced bookstore.

Cageman
08-03-2006, 08:16 AM
Yes, RenderMan has almost any trick you can pull out of a hat. Basically if you want to compare LW with RenderMan you can't win, also they are so different.

Hmm... well, Renderman for Maya (the one that works similar to MR for Maya) is pretty slow on anything related to raytracing (reflections, refractions etc).

Celshader
08-03-2006, 08:43 AM
RenderMan is more than a fast renderer, it's a rock solid program.

That's not what I heard from an artist who'd worked on big projects that involved Renderman. He claimed Renderman's buggy as heck. However, he also said that Renderman is so flexible that good Renderman programmers can easily code their way around any bug.

So, Renderman may not be "rock solid"...but that doesn't matter if you or someone you know can write code.

Titus
08-03-2006, 09:40 AM
Raytracing in Pixar's RenderMan is fairly new, I understand raytracing was widely used only in their last couple of movies (The Incredibles and Cars). This techonology wasn't very mature but the new version now comes with stuff like occlusion point cloud, they used this first in Monsters Inc and radiosity works really fast.

Celshader: I've been working with RenderMan on big projects for years and I yet have to see this program crashing, but hey, I also have to see LW crashing! :).

m.d.
08-03-2006, 09:43 AM
RenderMan is more than a fast renderer, it's a rock solid program. The idea of PRMan (Pixar's RenderMan) is to use programmable textures (shaders) and many tricks to work with scenes which may contain millions of polygons. This program has more than two decades of constant development, just imagine the recent addition of catmull-clark SDS to LW being default in PRMan for years, and yes Dr Catmull works at Pixar.

If you want to use RenderMan at its full capacity you need people writing shaders and plugins (DSOs), if not you will hardly notice anything special about it, beleive me.

yes and I believe Ed Catmull is now president of Disney, after the merger.
I believe we can also thank him for many graphics related algorithms...i.e...
catmull-clark subdivisions,catmull-rom resampling filters ect ect.A total genius computer geek that now runs Disney.

Cageman
08-03-2006, 11:27 AM
Celshader: I've been working with RenderMan on big projects for years and I yet have to see this program crashing, but hey, I also have to see LW crashing! :).

Cool... btw... Renderman for Maya and PRman are almost two different renderers and only have a couple of things in common, if I understand it correctly?

Captain Obvious
08-03-2006, 11:48 AM
The cool thing about PRman is that you get things like micropoly displacement, motion blur and depth-of-field for free. It doesn't increase the render time. However, raytracing (and GI) is probably faster in Lightwave.

archiea
08-03-2006, 12:05 PM
RenderMan is more than a fast renderer, it's a rock solid program. The idea of PRMan (Pixar's RenderMan) is to use programmable textures (shaders) and many tricks to work with scenes which may contain millions of polygons. This program has more than two decades of constant development, just imagine the recent addition of catmull-clark SDS to LW being default in PRMan for years, and yes Dr Catmull works at Pixar.

If you want to use RenderMan at its full capacity you need people writing shaders and plugins (DSOs), if not you will hardly notice anything special about it, beleive me.

In a way, I think LW and renderman are really apples and oranges... one is a self contained 3D renderer with a front end, the other is an open ended programming language for 3D rendering.

Now LW's shader tree is a step in the right direction in terms of the ability to custom make shaders. While it represents a huge step up from LW's antiquated layer based surface editor, its still far less flexible than a programming language...


however, in the hands of a good artist... one won't care what renderer is used...:D

Imatk
08-03-2006, 12:20 PM
If you want to use RenderMan at its full capacity you need people writing shaders and plugins (DSOs), if not you will hardly notice anything special about it, beleive me.

This perfectly sums it up.

It's really tough to compare the two I would think. I've just started delving into Maya and have quickly realized that these two programs are simply different animals.

The speed of Lightwave (production-wise) is so much faster in the area of texturing than Maya that to say Renderman for Maya (or any other platform I guess) is "better" or "faster" is kind of like asking, "how long is a piece of string."

BUT there are things you can do in Maya (and Renderman I'm sure) that IF you have the time (and that's a BIG FRIGGIN IF) you can perhaps go beyond Lightwave in certain areas.

But it's relative. Like someone said, in the end it really comes down to the artist.

Titus
08-03-2006, 12:32 PM
Cool... btw... Renderman for Maya and PRman are almost two different renderers and only have a couple of things in common, if I understand it correctly?

Not exactly. PRMan is a standalone renderer, it needs a translator to spit the scene in a format understandable to PRMan (RIB or RenderMan Interface Bytestream), there are some converters like Mtor (Maya to RM), Liquid (Maya to RM), LightMan (LW to RM), etc. You need another program to create and attach shaders to any surface.

RenderMan for Maya is a cheaper and lighter version of PRMan, it is more integrated to Maya (actually you have acces to it in the render globals), but at least in the first version you had limitation to not use your own shaders, not network rendering. I understand it was intended to put renderman in hands on artists without the need to being technical directors and programmers.

Dave Jerrard
08-03-2006, 05:11 PM
The speed of Lightwave (production-wise) is so much faster in the area of texturing than Maya that to say Renderman for Maya (or any other platform I guess) is "better" or "faster" is kind of like asking, "how long is a piece of string."Those discussions also frequently deteriorate into the usual:
"It reaches all the way to both ends"
"My string is longer than yours"
"Mine's yellow"
"Yeah, well, twine doesn't count!"
"Well, we all know the only good string is nylon"
"Mine's Yellow!"
"Cotton rules! Everyone knows that."
"Have you seen those mono-filaments?"
"I said mine's YELLOW!"
"Trick question. Monofilaments are very hard to see. We're talking stings here."
"Actually, superstrings have no ends. They win."
"Mine Is YELLOW!"
"Shut up about your yellow string. That's a rope you idiot!"
"It's still yellow."
"I like chains"
"Do ribbons count?"


Each has it's own strengths & weaknessess.

He Who Wonders Why He Bothers To Gnaw Through Those Leather Straps In The Morning.

Bliz
08-03-2006, 05:36 PM
I studied Renderman for a while. The big advantage Renderman has is that it is very memory efficient.

Rendering an animation sequence 'x' number of frames long in LW requires that the one scene file has all the information needed to render the animation. Renderman works differently in that each frame of animation gets it's own .rib file. i.e. in simple terms each frame gets it's own scene file.

PRMan's Deep Shadow technology is also very good. Imagine shadow maps that visually just work how you'd imagine. They make a big difference for shadows cast by narrow things like tree branches or hair.

But yeah, they are two very different beasts. LW is good for it's own reasons. When I started work on the New Captain Scarlet TV series, the production company was using Renderman. For some reason still unbeknown by me, they could only get a handful of shots rendered in renderman in the space of three months. The show needed an episode to be rendered every two weeks so they had to switch to LW which has a renderer that has in the past proved itself to be capable for quick turnaround TV shows where the lighter has to be a one man band and create the shaders, lighting, fx etc. and not part of a big studio with distinct shading, lighting, fx departments.

archiea
08-08-2006, 03:00 PM
very good summary!



I studied Renderman for a while. The big advantage Renderman has is that it is very memory efficient.

Rendering an animation sequence 'x' number of frames long in LW requires that the one scene file has all the information needed to render the animation. Renderman works differently in that each frame of animation gets it's own .rib file. i.e. in simple terms each frame gets it's own scene file.

PRMan's Deep Shadow technology is also very good. Imagine shadow maps that visually just work how you'd imagine. They make a big difference for shadows cast by narrow things like tree branches or hair.

But yeah, they are two very different beasts. LW is good for it's own reasons. When I started work on the New Captain Scarlet TV series, the production company was using Renderman. For some reason still unbeknown by me, they could only get a handful of shots rendered in renderman in the space of three months. The show needed an episode to be rendered every two weeks so they had to switch to LW which has a renderer that has in the past proved itself to be capable for quick turnaround TV shows where the lighter has to be a one man band and create the shaders, lighting, fx etc. and not part of a big studio with distinct shading, lighting, fx departments.

Bog
08-08-2006, 03:18 PM
In a way, I think LW and renderman are really apples and oranges... one is a self contained 3D renderer with a front end, the other is an open ended programming language for 3D rendering.

And that sums it up.

LightWave, you push F9.

Renderman, you hire a team of coders.

Randog
08-08-2006, 04:10 PM
And that sums it up.

LightWave, you push F9.

Renderman, you hire a team of coders.

Not when you are talking about Renderman for Maya.

keep in mind there is: Renderman, Renderman for Maya, MTOR....

archiea
08-08-2006, 05:10 PM
And that sums it up.

LightWave, you push F9.

Renderman, you hire a team of coders.

I thinkr enderman for maya trys to bridge that gap. I do agree that renderman requires a bit more up front. But the trade off is that its highly customizable and is at home with large renders.

on the other hand, LW's shader nodes brings broadens LW's shader abilities tremendiously.

cagey5
08-09-2006, 12:47 AM
Maybe but mine's yellow.. ;)

Stjepanovic
08-17-2006, 02:22 PM
This is a wrong comparison. A renderer inside LW as it is the the case with the Cinema 4dXL is an integrated solution. Mental Ray, VRAY, Maxwell, RenderMan etc are intricate, task specific solutions. Each of these packages are great and have a good and the bad side depending for what you are using it or what kind of aesthetic you look for. So, in short, it is wrong to compare LW with RenderMan. LW is all-the-tools-inside the box solution. Renderman was developed as a custom renderering engine for Pixar animation Studio and eventually they made a commercial version of it. Likewise VRAY is avialable only for 3DMax and Rhino 3D. Maxwell while ecellent for light effect is not good for rendering animations but ir works even with LW layout or Modeller files. I hope I helped a little bit.

Matt
08-17-2006, 05:42 PM
Renderman maybe good, but who the **** has time to PROGRAM a 3D rendering package!

Not me that's for sure!!!!

Bog
08-17-2006, 06:11 PM
How many is a Brazillian?

Barred
08-18-2006, 05:24 AM
This is a wrong comparison. A renderer inside LW as it is the the case with the Cinema 4dXL is an integrated solution. Mental Ray, VRAY, Maxwell, RenderMan etc are intricate, task specific solutions. Each of these packages are great and have a good and the bad side depending for what you are using it or what kind of aesthetic you look for. So, in short, it is wrong to compare LW with RenderMan. LW is all-the-tools-inside the box solution. Renderman was developed as a custom renderering engine for Pixar animation Studio and eventually they made a commercial version of it. Likewise VRAY is avialable only for 3DMax and Rhino 3D. Maxwell while ecellent for light effect is not good for rendering animations but ir works even with LW layout or Modeller files. I hope I helped a little bit.
:agree: