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faulknermano
07-29-2008, 09:27 PM
Hi folks, just wanted to announce the sale of this utility I've been developing in my company for almost a year now. It's multi-pass management system. I've used this in production (two movies, and three TV shows) for the duration of the time it was in development.

It's a bit extensive, in terms of the wide range of parameters you can change per pass. Plugins, even 3rd-party and 'native' ones can be manipulated on a per-pass level as well. 'Data blocks', as I call them, like Clip Maps, or Displacement Maps, can also be manipulated. But the thing I particular like is how render passes can be customised and standardised - basically, render pass presets - so to make breaking scenes up very fast.

There are a lot of other stuff that can be done with it, but you'll only appreciate it once you're in the thick on things. ;)

I'd have to say, though, that it may not necessarily be the easiest thing to learn. But I got some tutorials up; hopefully that helps. I also have a 15-day trial version up. The site is at:

http://janus.riot-inc.com/

I've also made a yahoogroup for support purposes.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/janus-lw/

Janus is initially going for USD 199 (introductory price), up until August 30, 2008, where it will priced at its actual, USD 249.



best,

lernie.


(message also from the lw3d at yahoogroups):neener:

Fritz Arn
07-30-2008, 01:32 AM
Hi

Very very interesting tool. I only use LW 9.3 64 Bit...Does this tool work with the 64 Bit verion of LW?

Best regards.

Fritz

faulknermano
07-30-2008, 01:38 AM
i didnt test it with 64-bit (i run only lw32). although, unlike the Mac version, i dont forsee any substantial (i.e. structural) problems with it. try to have a go at it and see. feel free to email me for specific issues, too.

faulknermano
07-30-2008, 01:41 AM
to clarify, since the utility is an LScript, it really is founded on the stability of lcore as it was distributed by NewTek. because lcore varies for each LW variant, so does its performance. but technically it should run.

that said, the Mac version had some extreme problems that made it unusable. hopefully this will change in future builds.

Captain Obvious
07-30-2008, 02:24 AM
Will you have my babies?

Cageman
07-30-2008, 02:36 AM
Looks very interresting but boy does it look complex! *lol* :)

I read it works with ScreamerNET... does that mean it can be used with any rendermanagement software (Muster, Butterfly etc) that can handle ScreamerNET?

faulknermano
07-30-2008, 05:03 AM
yeah, it looks a bit complicated, and i had a tough time trying to explain. the tutorials, hopefully, demonstrates it.

as for render management, yes... it operates independent of any network render farm. it simply spits out breakout scenes. however, for test rendering it utilises lwsn in mode 3, which has the added benefit of previewing what you'll see in the farm-rendered frames.

actually it's part of my plan to test-render using mode 2, but again, still independent of render farms. this will be done by trying to non-intrusively order nodes on standby to render. but that's only the plan for the moment.

Exception
07-30-2008, 05:41 AM
Good grief!
Just when surpasses is gone, this comes along!
I think it's one of those things that is very much needed for larger LW production houses. I hope it'll go well for you with this. Congratulations and thanks!

Chilton
07-30-2008, 08:02 AM
Hi,

LScript should not have any problems on the Mac side. If you encounter problems, please file bug reports so we can get them fixed ASAP.

Thanks!
-Chilton

faulknermano
07-30-2008, 08:13 AM
hi chilton, i did file it as:

https://secure.newtek.com/FogBugz/default.asp?14724_arrn9388

i see that the case is 'closed'. that means it was addressed? i dont see any other detail or link pointing to the description of the solution or anything.

faulknermano
07-30-2008, 09:04 AM
Good grief!
Just when surpasses is gone, this comes along!
I think it's one of those things that is very much needed for larger LW production houses. I hope it'll go well for you with this. Congratulations and thanks!

thanks for the words. :)

earlier i mentioned janus was complicated. but then talking about it to myself and i realised that, no, it's not complicated to the degree that you must learn many things before being able to use it. it's just that janus just as a way of working that has not been established within the "LW way of working", mainly because we have no inbuilt LW pass management standard to draw from. imitating other pass systems is fine, and to a certain degree i have been influenced by Maya's render layers.

but janus is still a different idea, but a simple idea nevertheless. to those who are still with me, let me give you two simple thoughts that gave birth to this utility and is the main thrust of its workflow, and tell me whether or not it's simple:

- i need to render an element separately (which may be consist of any number of other elements)
- i need other elements to not render, but may ultimately affect that desired render element.
- i need to composite this element properly, it may be as a foreground element, or background element, so mind the alpha channels!

from these two thoughts i started out with hard-coded combinations, like how certain item will be toggled Unseen By Camera, which ones will be turned to Matte Objects, and which casts shadows. apparently, some guys who havent used a pass system before found it too... eccentric, so then i started looking at Maya's render layers. i picked up something there and made it more user-friendly. but in the course of that i decided to make it customisable, because i wanted "real-time flexibility", and i needed "real-time design" - being able to change things on the fly and have it stick as a preset for the next scene (or future use). saving settings wasnt enough for me: i wanted things to be identified as a 'type', so that when you saw render pass type, you knew exactly what you were going to get. say, Beauty pass meant it was going to render a beauty, and Occlusion pass was going to render an occlusion pass of your element. nothing fancy about it, except the coding. ;)

it's very likely that i've been emphasising the complicated part because i want people to see the power and flexibility that's available. but in all honesty, once you get pass the terms, the only concern you have is which element you want rendered, and how you want it rendered. janus does come with the presets i currently use, and which i have used for two movies and ongoing TV series. it has served me well, over the course of a year (and i sometimes still create specialised presets for particular scenes). but i guess the point here is that the fundamental functionality is in place, and it works, and it's fast. and i also want to know the user is always free to tweak it.

archijam
07-30-2008, 09:23 AM
faulknermano - Congrats on the release ... and nice work/website!

Chilton
07-30-2008, 11:04 AM
Hi,


hi chilton, i did file it as:

https://secure.newtek.com/FogBugz/default.asp?14724_arrn9388

i see that the case is 'closed'. that means it was addressed? i dont see any other detail or link pointing to the description of the solution or anything.

Dunno. It looks like Bob was unable to reproduce the problem. I'll take a closer look later today.

-Chilton

Phil
07-30-2008, 11:20 AM
It works on *cough* recent 9.x builds of LW, except there's a crash bringing up the preference panel. Lernie has the details in his inbox.

faulknermano
07-30-2008, 11:32 AM
hi phil, thanks... sent you something back. ;)

faulknermano
07-30-2008, 11:39 AM
Hi,



Dunno. It looks like Bob was unable to reproduce the problem. I'll take a closer look later today.

-Chilton

hmm, maybe i could send in a larger portion of the script? of course the case is closed. i should open up another report then....

RebelHill
07-30-2008, 12:11 PM
At the time of writing, four buffer savers in LightWave are supported. These are namely:
* LightWave Render Buffer Export (NewTek - bundled)
* DSTORM Buffer_Saver 1.12 (DSTORM) (3rd-party freeware)
* DPONT GetExtraBuffer Saver (Denis Pontonnier) (3rd-party freeware) (LW9.x only)
* LightWave RPF Export (NewTek - bundled)

I noticed this.... how about EXRtrader... thats got buffer saving too

Chris S. (Fez)
07-30-2008, 12:46 PM
Interesting. Does this work with Fprime?

Phil
07-30-2008, 01:44 PM
hmm, maybe i could send in a larger portion of the script? of course the case is closed. i should open up another report then....

Feel free to re-open the case, if justified. Simply reply to the original confirmation mail you got from FogBugz - that will reopen the case. On my tests with 9.x, though, the issue looks to be solved, aside from the issue I mentioned to you privately.

calilifestyle
07-30-2008, 03:53 PM
Just wanted to say this look very useful and powerful.

faulknermano
07-30-2008, 08:02 PM
At the time of writing, four buffer savers in LightWave are supported. These are namely:
* LightWave Render Buffer Export (NewTek - bundled)
* DSTORM Buffer_Saver 1.12 (DSTORM) (3rd-party freeware)
* DPONT GetExtraBuffer Saver (Denis Pontonnier) (3rd-party freeware) (LW9.x only)
* LightWave RPF Export (NewTek - bundled)

I noticed this.... how about EXRtrader... thats got buffer saving too

exrTrader is planned, but i havent gotten around to getting my own copy, thus i wasnt able to support it (although if i had it would've been my first priority). mike wolf and i are in correspondence about this currently. so exrTrader may soon follow this list. :)

faulknermano
07-30-2008, 08:07 PM
Interesting. Does this work with Fprime?

in short yes, but in a way in has little to do with FPrime. remember that this is not anything like Surpasses. Surpasses was a real-time layers system. it's power was more apparent when you were working in Layout. that's why you could see things in Fprime as you made changes

janus, otoh, is a breakout system, which applies settings on to a scene depending on the kind of pass you want, and then spits it out as a optimised sub-scene for render, either through a screamernet farm, or through a batch file (lwsn mode 3).

if you're talking about FPrime as in batch render: there's is no issue. the final breakout scene is like any other lws; it may be rendered on any lw farm.

adk
07-30-2008, 11:26 PM
This looks mighty powerful and a much needed addition to the LW arsenal faulknermano. Big thumbs up on such a monumental effort :thumbsup: Will definitely play around with the demo and see what comes of it cause I can definitely see myself needing/using something like this. Cheers.

The Dommo
08-02-2008, 10:28 AM
ahhaa... will give the trial a go. Not sure we have the funds to buy a few licenses in the immediate future though.. :(

faulknermano
08-04-2008, 01:25 AM
updated the trial version (minor fixes):

http://janus.riot-inc.com/trial/Janus_Trial.zip

Limbus
08-04-2008, 01:52 AM
This sounds really nice. Great that we now have more systems to choose from.

Florian

Fritz Arn
08-04-2008, 10:59 AM
Hi

I tried to install the janus trial as described in the manual, but when I try to choose the janus plugin in the master plugin section I receive the error:

Could not create data object for Janus_Trial_Build0003T plug-in.

I run WinVista 64Bit and LW 9.3 64Bit.

Any hints?

Best regards.

Fritz

faulknermano
08-04-2008, 07:42 PM
fritz, you're in the janus-lw group. i replied over there. ;)

faulknermano
08-26-2008, 01:48 AM
i just wanted to announce the latest version of Janus which deals with 9.5 compatibility issues. i've updated the Trial version to reflect this too.

also, exrTrader v1.2 is finally supported.

link to site:

http://janus.riot-inc.com/



all the best,

lernie.

Lightwolf
08-26-2008, 02:15 AM
also, exrTrader v1.2 is finally supported.

Great news, congratulations.

As a quick note, exrTrader 1.2 hasn't been released yet, but registered users can contact us to get a copy of the beta if they need it for Janus now.

Cheers,
Mike

faulknermano
09-30-2008, 07:55 AM
hello folks!

it's been some time since the first release of Janus. Due to my insecurity about the user-friendliness of Janus, i decided to take up the challenge of making Janus a bit more approachable. i decided to create a 'Pass Wizard', a step-by-step dialog that serves as user-friendly front-end for the main Janus system.

at any rate, if you havent tried Janus yet, or tried it but put off because of its interface / workflow, try the Pass Wizard.

the link:

http://janus.faulknermano.com/trial/Janus_Trial.zip


furthermore: i still have a few modification to complete within the main Janus system so that the Pass Wizard can more effectively utilise 'buffer-type' passes (without using buffer savers). so basically, there's still more to come. :)

faulknermano
09-30-2008, 08:00 AM
oh, and the link to the documentation on the Pass Wizard:

http://janus.faulknermano.com/docs/online/support_html/JanusModule_PassWizard.html


note that the Pass Wizard is accessed from the Module menu in the main Janus interface.

faulknermano
10-15-2008, 09:44 AM
Janus Trial has been updated with the latest build.

There were many improvements and bugfixes from the previously-released build. This includes:

-fully-implemented partial overrides which allow you to get buffer renders in situations where LightWave's internal buffer does not work. Jon Whisman of Pixelgraft demonstrates (http://www.pixelgraft.com/MPR.html)how Janus enables you to get various buffers when using HDInstance, since HDInstance does not show up properly in the internal buffers.

-various Pass Wizard fixes. Pass Wizard now utilises partial overrides to achieve desired buffers.

-Janus now attempts self-configure on startup to lessen configuration-related problems.

-added more flexibility on how to automate the output of image files and breakout scenes.

-added a scene format specifier which allows you to render breakout scenes using DStorm's LWSNC without errors.

-improved exrTrader support by fixing related bugs.


http://janus.faulknermano.com

faulknermano
10-15-2008, 10:36 AM
edit: http://www.janus.faulknermano.com