View Full Version : what's the deal with LW[8] upg p.2

jin choung
06-11-2003, 02:25 AM
howdy fellows,

i noticed that the advertised date to get in on the free dfx+ with two modules is june 30.

but unless my calculations are incorrect, this is going to be well before we find out what the heck LW 8 itself will offer.

unless this deal is wholly a ploy to get us to upgrade IRREGARDLESS of what lw 8 will offer, i hope that this extremely cool deal will be extended until or again when lw 8 details are revealed.

but again, this is one of those kinda 'beggars can't be choosers' thing.... heck you can't knock newtek for giving us more stuff.

so in no way should this be perceived as a rant or tirade. simply a request.


p.s. there's VERY little info i can find out on dfx+ and the two modules on this or their website. what's the deal? for instance, WHAT KIND OF TRACKING? 3d or 2d? also, what the heck EXACTLY does the dfx+ 3d package offer?

06-11-2003, 04:50 AM
I too am interested in this deal but can't find any reviews or detailed info... can someone please explain what I'd gain from DFX+! :confused:
I'm not exactly fluent when it comes to compositing... lets just say if I'm creating shorts for a portfolio would DFX+ really make any difference to me?


06-11-2003, 07:13 AM
I actually sent eyeon an e-mail asking for detail information about DFX+, and they didn't have any further information to supply. I just downloaded the demo, but it's only for DF, so I'm going to have to try a figure out which features are included in this offer.

It's very peculiar that there isn't a single DFX+ review anywhere on the Internet.

06-11-2003, 10:08 AM
Jin, the purpose of the [8] upgrade offer is as a vehicle for allowing registered LW 7.5 owners to participate in the DFX+ bundle offer. We are in the business of selling NewTek products and sometimes of selling NewTek products with a value-add offer that incudes products from other companies. We are not in the business of just selling products from other companies, so in setting up this deal we've created a package that lets anyone who wants to buy a full seat or upgrade an existing seat participate in this special offer. In the case of registered [7.5] owners, that meant doing something new for us, offering purchase of a future update. This is not uncommon among our major competitors, virtually all of whom do this via "support contracts" and provide less information about the updates users can expect than we already have, however briefly, in our announcement of the preview of [8].

The fact of the matter is that all of the puzzled threads asking "Why is NewTek selling an upgrade that isn't shipping yet" would be "Why didn't NewTek make some way for 7.5 owners to get the DFX+ package offer" threads if we hadn't made this offer.

06-11-2003, 10:33 AM
Digital Fusion is their full blown floating point version with all modules built in. DFX+ is their 8-bit/channel version with the modules sold separately. The modules controls appear to be grouped together at the top so if you have downloaded the demo, you should be able to figure which controls you will not have. I suggest anyone getting the demo also get the courseware files and running through the first chapter they provide.

06-11-2003, 10:52 AM
Here is a little more info on the two packages - http://www.leitch.com/productsCatalog/PostProduction/DIGITAL_FUSION_AND_DFX.pdf

06-11-2003, 10:55 AM

Can you explain what are the practical disadvantages of 8-bit compositing software in comparison to 16-bit compositing software?

Doug Nicola
06-11-2003, 11:15 AM
If this isn't covered by anyone else by this Friday, I'll post on this thread exactly what is included in the DFX+ package. A complete itemized list of components in the base package and modules 1 and 4.

The descriptions I've seen so far are a tad general.

Regardless, DF and DFX+ look like fantastic compositing systems for windows users, and I needed a boost in this area (besides my fun but old copy of Aura 1.0c).

From what very little I have learned so far, the 8-bit limitation will allow you to do plenty of quality work with multimedia and video outputs, but would not be sufficient for film-resolution output. In general, I think the higher bit per channel levels allow for smoother blending of lighting effects, HDRI stuff and so on.
Maybe Cory can elaborate on this or correct me.

$1800US in free software?? Thanks NewTek and eyeon! I have no doubt that, as-yet-unseen, LW 8 will be worth it, too.

06-11-2003, 12:33 PM
I've never taken AfterEffects out of 8 bit mode so I can't tell you too much about the advantages of 16 bit mode from a compositing perspective. I can say there has never been anything I couldn't do because I was in 8 bit mode. Unless you render out in one of the 16 bit modes you are using 8 bit anyhow.

From my digital photography, I shoot everything in RAW which is a 12 bit format. That extra range (4096 shades vs 256) allows for a lot more flexibility in editing exposure, contrast, etc. When it comes time to convert the shot to 8 bit, there is no visible difference on the screen between the two versions.

You probably have to be doing film work or some serious keying to need the 16 bit range. From other posts, I guess this software was used on a Spielburg movie on the SciFi channel. How bad can it really be, especially for free? I was going to upgrade to LW anyhow. LW8 is a make-or-break upgrade for Newtek and I just don't see them dropping the ball.

jin choung
06-11-2003, 02:30 PM
hiya chuck,

like i said, it's not a complaint or a tirade or rant. beggars can't be choosers and i know it.

but again, just a request that when the final details of lw8 get outed, we get another opportunity.

and again, that's a request.... no is a perfectly suitable answer.

thanks again.


06-12-2003, 12:37 AM
Hi Chuck,

Will LW[8] have major bug fixes like the particles problem and a couple others?


06-12-2003, 10:46 AM
We certainly plan to have a number of things fixed, in addition to having the planned new features. If you want to make sure that any particular items you are aware of are fixed, please be sure to report them to [email protected] What are the details of the particular "particles problem" that you are asking about?

06-12-2003, 12:56 PM
Thanks for getting back to me so soon. I'll post a bug to the bugs email address you noted. I did post in the general forum yesterday, but I admit, it was rather vague.

The problem I'm having:

I have a cube set up with a particle emitter generated by 'collision-event' with the Nozzle being the 'object-surface'. Birth Rate is set to 500 and Particle Limit is 10000. Key effect is set to 'key-env'.

I have a rod set up with collision. Type set to 'object'. Mode set to 'event'.

The objective is to run the rod accross the box creating what looks like welding sparks flying everywhere. This works for about 100 frames and then I get:

Application Error
The instruction at "0x004b22d8" referenced memory at "0x0000000f". The memory could not be "read".

If I set the box nozzle to a 'box' instead of 'object-surface' it works fine. So this tells me that there are two factors here.

Nozzle set to 'object-surface' and the amount of points.

I turn down the birth rate and it works, though there aren't enough particles to make it convincing.

I plan on substituting the box for a different and more complex object where box nozzle setting will not do.

Debugging Info (MS Visual C++):
004B228A call 004EC8E2
004B228F mov eax,[0052E624]
004B2294 mov dword ptr [esp],eax
004B2297 call 004EC81C
004B229C xor eax,eax
004B229E mov [0052E624],eax
004B22A3 mov [0052E620],eax
004B22A8 mov eax,dword ptr [ebx+39Ch]
004B22AE and eax,0FEFFFFFFh
004B22B3 mov dword ptr [ebx+39Ch],eax
004B22B9 add esp,1Ch
004B22BC pop ebx
004B22BD pop ebp
004B22BE ret
004B22BF xor edx,edx
004B22C1 jmp 004B2217
004B22C6 lea esi,[esi]
004B22C9 lea edi,[edi]
004B22D0 push esi
004B22D1 sub esp,8
004B22D4 mov edx,dword ptr [esp+14h]
*004B22D8 mov al,byte ptr [edx+0Fh] ;Access Violation
004B22DB test al,1
004B22DD je 004B22E4
004B22DF mov esi,dword ptr [edx+8]
004B22E2 jmp 004B22F7
004B22E4 mov eax,[005C3808]

apparently at memory address 004B22D8, edx is 0 where it should be holding a memory address instead?
It's zero'd out at 004B22BF. Then it looks like it's populated with what should be another address at 004B22D4. So maybe something's not being pushed on to the stack?


06-12-2003, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the detailed info - I'll pass that on to the dev team...but please do be sure to send it to LWbugs...

Doug Nicola
06-14-2003, 11:32 AM
Here's the component list for DFX+ with modules 1 and 4, grouped by tool category:

-Channel Booleans
-Color Gain
-Color Space
-Pseudo Color


-Depth Blur

-Custom Filter
-Directional Blur
-Hot Spot
-Unsharp Mask



-Chroma Keyer
-Luma Keyer
-Matte Control

-Custom Tool
-Time Speed


-Corner Tracker
-Single Tracker

-Camera Shake

-Coordinate Space
-Corner Positioner
-Grid Warp

06-14-2003, 02:15 PM
Is this offer going to be for current owners of LW 7.5 or could someone with an older version of lightwave buy this upgrade and get DFX+ too?

Doug Nicola
06-14-2003, 03:51 PM
Here's the quote from NT's press release:

"Registered owners of LightWave [7.5] and earlier versions who pre-purchase a LightWave [8] upgrade for $495US during this period will receive DFX+ immediately, at no additional charge, and will receive the LightWave [8] upgrade in electronic form when it ships later this year. Purchasers who are upgrading from LightWave [6.5] or earlier versions will also receive an electronic upgrade to [7.5] at the time of their purchase."

So, yes, older versions get the deal, too.

jin choung
06-14-2003, 07:59 PM
hey doug,

thanks much for the info.

but can you break it up into the 2 add-ons? so what's in the package 1 and what is in package 4?

it's package 4 that still has me scratching my head as to what - if anything - it does.

thanks again.


Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 12:48 PM
Hi jin,

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how about a thousand pictures?

Here's a lot of quickie screenshots. There are no images or sequences loaded here; I'm just showing the tool windows.

The first shots are the module 4 package, which is everything in the Depth category.

Then the Tracker from module 1. But there are other things that are in the modules, too, that aren't shown in my screenshots.

Then a small sample of other stuff from the base package.

This is only a very tiny sample of what's in DFX+ package!! Really, if you can, download the DF demo, and you can see everything that's in the list above.

Just to be clear, jin, the whole deal is one install off of one CD, and there is no obvious breakdown of what exactly is in Modules 1 and 4, and what's in the base package. I'm just going on how I figure it works out from what I see installed and what's described on the eyeon site.

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 12:48 PM
depth blur:

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 12:49 PM

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 12:52 PM
Grid Warp:

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 12:53 PM

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 12:55 PM
Shader Light tab:

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 12:56 PM
Shader Shader tab:

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 12:58 PM

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 01:02 PM
Corner Tracker:

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 01:03 PM
Single Tracker:

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 01:04 PM

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 01:06 PM
Merge Modes:

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 01:07 PM
Depth Merge:

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 01:09 PM
Some channels:

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 01:10 PM
Some More Channels:

Doug Nicola
06-15-2003, 01:11 PM
Aux Channel tab:

Doug Nicola
06-16-2003, 02:54 PM
Some more specific info on modules 1 and 4 from the DFX+ online help:

Module 1 - Visual Effects

Tracker Tool And Tracker Modifier
The Tracker tool detects the motion of a selected pattern of pixels in an image and generates a path from that motion. One or many patterns can be tracked within a single tool. The motion from the pattern can then be applied to any other control in your flow, driving position, rotation and scaling.

The Tracker can stabilize your footage, either by removing motion entirely to produce a rock solid image, or by preserving the original intent of the motion while smoothing any `noise' or unsteady motion in the shot.

The tracked motion can also be applied to a foreground image to match the movement in the background plate for believable 2D / 3D image integration.

Four or more trackers can be used together to track the four corners of a rectangle, and to replace the contents of signs or computer monitors and other such shapes. Perspective in an image can be identified, tracked and removed to match perspective from one scene to another, or compensate for odd camera angles and lenses.

Letterbox Tool
The Letterbox tool can be used to perform image conversion from one format to another, taking into account pixel and image aspect ratios to preserve the original aspect of the footage. The Letterbox tool can also be used to perform Pan and Scan style conversion of large format images to more restrictive formats like PAL or NTSC.

Camera Shake Tool
The Camera Shake modifier applies randomized motion to your footage, simulating the effects of environmental noise from small vibrations to large scale earthquakes. Adjustable control over the period and intensity of the motion, as well as the type of randomizer, makes this tool flexible enough to simulate organic noise (like an unsteady camera operator) and mechanical noise (like a camera mounted on a car).

Expressions And Calculations
Expressions and Calculations connect controls together using simple (or complex) mathematical expressions that can access the values from any control on your flow, at any time in the project.

Offset And Vectors
Offsets and Vectors calculate new positions for controls based on the difference or offset between two other positions. These mathematical controls can be used to increase the size of a blur as a subject moves further away from a camera, to force an element in your composite to revolve around another, or to lock two elements together.

Shake Modifiers
The Shake modifier drives the animation of a control using a random number generator. This modifier provides flexible seeding, dynamic animatable ranges, and adjustable smoothness.

Midi Extractor Modifier
The MIDI Extractor modifier drives the animation of a control using the events and controls from a MIDI file on disk.

Module 4 - 3D Tools

Grid Warp
The Grid Warp tool applies simple or complex mesh deformation to your images. Independent source and destination grids provide powerful mapping of vertices between the grids, allowing for simple, animatable morphing of the image.

Spline tools can be used to develop either grid, automatically generating a grid that matches the shape of your object with adjustable tesselation and snapping.

Z-Buffer Composition
This module adds the ability to merge images based on the Z-Buffer channel as well as the alpha channel. This technique eliminates the concept of foreground and background since pixels are combined based on their position in 3D space as well as their transparency.

Full support for z-coverage channels and background channels is provided to ensure that your Z-Buffer composite is properly anti-aliased.

Depth Blur Tool
The Depth Blur tool uses the Z-Buffer data in an image to apply blurring based on the depth of each pixel in the scene. Adjustable, animatable near and far planes provide a way of simulating rack focus pulls in post production.

Texture Tool
The Texture tool uses the UV mapping channels from a 3D rendered image to apply textures to an image.

Shader Tool
The Shader tool uses the XYZ normal channels from a 3D render to adjust or replace the lighting applied to the scene, with control over ambient, diffuse, specular and reflection brightness. It also provides a mechanism for applying new reflection maps to the scene.

Fog Tool
The Fog tool uses the Z-Buffer data in an image to create realistic fog that thins as it approaches the camera, and thickens as the fog recedes into the distance. Use noise maps or external images to moderate the color and appearance of the fog.

Object And Material ID Masking
Mask the effect of any tool using Material or Object IDs assigned to an element in a scene.

Channel Boolean Tool
This module adds support for many additional 3D image channels to the Channel Booleans tool

jin choung
06-16-2003, 03:12 PM

that was a lot of work. hope they're paying you for it! :)

thanks much for the info.

i think i finally have a grasp of what the features actually are.

i really love their node based system. you have a node. you click it. you can alter its properties. you can connect it to as much other stuff as you want.



Doug Nicola
06-16-2003, 03:23 PM
You're welcome!

No one is paying me anything...yet... ;) Just my enthusiasm for this fantastic software. You know, I was wondering what and how to invest in a compositor, and then NT just happened to come along with this deal. I had been thinking in terms of AE or other more common stuff, and had never really payed much attention to DF. I'm glad that changed!

Nodes are too cool. Infinitely configurable? Sure, sounds good to me. :)