View Full Version : Does LW render faster with a better video card?

03-03-2007, 09:38 PM
Hey, I'm just wondering if LW renders faster with a more powerful video card. Whether any rendering goes through the card or just the CPU. And if not, is there anyway to get this happening, a plugin or something?

Thanks in advance,


03-03-2007, 10:52 PM
LightWave does not use graphics card for final render..
Some 3rd party developers are writing PIM plug-in that renders using gfx card, but it'll be rather for simple things like games, without nodals, shaders, volumetrics, image & pixel filters support..

03-03-2007, 11:12 PM
Ah I see. Thanks.

It's suprizing that most computers have powerful graphics processing cards, yet programs like LW don't use it. Why not? Is it too hard? Wouldn't it speed render times up a LOT?

03-03-2007, 11:48 PM
Graphics card rendering is from nature not precise.. And writing shaders and procedural textures is problem - you can't use CPU based one (or have to use CPU to bake them to regular images - this automatically disallow using ray-tracing in them), but have to make another set of them (double work) - gfx based shaders are also simpler - without ray-tracing or with rather limited implementation..

03-04-2007, 12:16 AM
I understand now. So they process the graphics in a way that's too dissimilar to the normal CPU based rendering.

Do you know which companies are writing a Plug-In that allows rendering using a graphics card?

03-04-2007, 12:26 AM
So they process the graphics in a way that's too dissimilar to the normal CPU based rendering.

LightWave v9.0 has just dropped rendering algorithm similar as done by gfx card (Classic Camera) to use just ray-tracing for everything (any non-Classic Camera type)..

PIM is under development since at least June 2005..
Here is thread on CGTalk..

jin choung
03-04-2007, 12:58 AM

there is VERY COMPELLING REASONS to use the (as you have noted) very powerful processors in modern graphics cards!

the results are very very good now with per pixel lighting and such and for preview renders and even for very many FINAL RENDERS, these cards can provide extremely good output for extremely small time!

lw USED to have a feature called RENDERGL and it did render frames to file using the open gl of the time (not that great). i have mentioned this before but i will take your excellent post to re-mention it, WE SHOULD HAVE RENDER GL AGAIN!

first, we should make sure that the open gl for the display subsystem is sufficiently BLACK BOXED so that it can KEEP UP with the steady progression of technology and driver updates with a small .dll download or something like that and then we should make a ROBUST RENDERGL option for the modern day.

sure, it's not as precise and sure it may lack a lot of features of the raytrace renderer.... but sometimes, THAT'S OK!

most things in film/video is about smoke and mirrors and cheats anyway. and having more options is better than having less.


03-04-2007, 03:15 AM
But the cool thing about pim is that it allows things that you can't do with a normal render engine. e.g. live camera(-s) feed onto polygons, chromakeying, doing multipass output in one go, interactivity, and a whole bunch of other things that I can't talk about. PIM has two faces:
1)interactive realtime and
2)rather fast (but non RT on a single machine) and high quality (endless aa, mblur etc).
There's much development, but you shouldn't accept a job on it, cause you think it will come within a few days. We didn't get a release date, just wait.


jin choung
03-04-2007, 03:40 AM

but yah, it's a ways out and i'm assuming it's not free.

i believe max and maya both have rendering available through opengl hardware and it shouldn't require a lot of code to simply render out to a file/movie what the display is already rendering to screen.

but i have a suspicion that the current opengl implementation is not very encapsulated... or not enough to make updates and feature buffing fast. they should fix that. because the real time stuff changes ridiculously fast, at the pace of computer games... and that's FAST.

they gotta make it a free floating module that can be updated quick and small with every new card and driver.

in fact, they should make it SO black boxed that they can add in a DIRECT X module without much fuss. that's how modularized it should be.

and yes, we should have a direct x renderer too. again, a big boon for game developers... especially with the big vista push with the up and coming DX 10.

BTW, i hope PIM is implementing their renderer with that degree of encapsulation. they're gonna need it.


03-04-2007, 07:42 AM

and yes, we should have a direct x renderer too. again, a big boon for game developers... especially with the big vista push with the up and coming DX 10.

..hail hail