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Chad_Shadow
05-28-2009, 09:52 AM
Hi guys,

I was trying a project @ a friend office.
He has HD_Instance 2.0.4 (64bit) with LW 9.5 (64bit) / QUAD / 8GB RAM / 1GB Geforce 9400GT...

We tried to populate his urban project with some XFrog plants that use UV Jpeg file for Color / Transperency alpha leaves.

After preparing the whole distribution points (800 points exactly) over this complex sloped project, when we did a Render test, we noticed that most of the trees are rendred BLACK !!!

We rendered the trees only expecting a memory problem, but 8/ it came the same as in project !!(Plz chk attachement)

Anybody encountered such problem before ??

3dworks
05-28-2009, 10:36 AM
working here with 9.6 and HDI 2.0.6... - on OSX.

btw. it worth worth to copy the transparency map to the clip map slot of the instanced object (usually just in leafs and petals) and delete the transparency in surface editor - this speeds up rendering a lot! don't forget to keep a separate copy of the original tree(s), just in case...

Scazzino
05-28-2009, 11:57 AM
Yes, if you are using transparency maps rather than clip maps and have a low ray recursion limit set then you'll get the background color wherever you have more overlaps than the recursion limit.

As 3dworks mentioned, copy the transparency map to the object's clip map and then disable the transparency map. You can leave the transparency map in there so it's still saved with the object, but leave it disabled so only the clip map is used. This will render MUCH faster and won't require a crazy ray recursion limit.

3dworks
05-28-2009, 02:36 PM
here a very simple test render which i did this afternoon, using 2 different xfrog trees to populate the scene...

cheers

markus

Chad_Shadow
05-28-2009, 11:34 PM
Hi Markus and Scazzino ,

Thanks for the help.

The problem is that each tree is composed of different surface names as barkcolor, leafcol, leafcol_leaf, etc ... and each surface has its own Transperency channel.
As u know, xfrog leafs come as a collection of UV boxes, not instanced.

How to copy the transperency into the clip image of the whole tree object in this case ?

Markus, in ur attachement, did you instanced the Xfrog tree as is (with the transperency alphas) ??

3dworks
05-29-2009, 04:06 AM
chad shadow, for the rendering i prepared the 2 trees with clipmaps.

probably LW doesn't like greenworks texture names, because when loading the LWO's into layout the texture assignements where messed up - the special bump maps and transparency maps where not used but replaced by the diffuse color maps. so this is to fix anyway. i also preferred to remove the specularity maps, as they give a completely unnatural shading. probably at greenworks they are using an automatic translation software for LWO's - a pity, because it compromises the rendering of those otherwise excellent trees. i wish they would care more about this, also given the price point of their collections!

in any case, to set them up with clipmaps, just open the leaf surface of the corresponding leaf object, copy the transparency map, then open the properties box of the leaf object and paste this map into the 'T' slot in render tab. just make sure that the alpha map is sitting there, not just the diffuse map. the corresponding UV set is copied from the surface transparency slot automatically. best is now to check once with fprime or a limited region test render - maybe you have to invert that b&w map to clip correctly. repeat this operation for the remaining tree parts (objects) containing surface transparencies...

hope this helps.

edit: did you keep the greenworks trees with their correct hierarchy, yes? the trunk object should have as children all the other tree parts. you simply link the trunk object as one layer in HDI.



Hi Markus and Scazzino ,

Thanks for the help.

The problem is that each tree is composed of different surface names as barkcolor, leafcol, leafcol_leaf, etc ... and each surface has its own Transperency channel.
As u know, xfrog leafs come as a collection of UV boxes, not instanced.

How to copy the transperency into the clip image of the whole tree object in this case ?

Markus, in ur attachement, did you instanced the Xfrog tree as is (with the transperency alphas) ??

Chad_Shadow
05-29-2009, 06:51 AM
It tried it Markus,

I tried the Clip image and removed all transperency from leafs.
They're rendering perfectly alone, but once instanced and opened in project, I am still having the black overlay :(
Some worked others still bleack as u can see in attachement.
As if the instances are not receiving any light !!

Is it a resolution problem ? (we're required to send 7000x5000 image size)

Chad

3dworks
05-29-2009, 06:59 AM
It tried it Markus,

I tried the Clip image and removed all transperency from leafs.
They're rendering perfectly alone, but once instanced and opened in project, I am still having the black overlay :(
Some worked others still bleack as u can see in attachement.
As if the instances are not receiving any light !!

Is it a resolution problem ? (we're required to send 7000x5000 image size)

Chad

maybe. what kind of light are you using? did you try to render at smaller size? also, did you update HDI to 2.0.6, maybe it's resolving some issues...

kopperdrake
05-29-2009, 07:20 AM
I've never had this problem at any resolution. When I get an XFrog tree I try and figure out how many transparency maps have been used in the model - usually it's between 1 and 3, depending on if it has just one leaf type or several and things like flowers and buds. I then collect everything using a particular leaf type into its own layer, so in layer 1 in Modeler I have everything with no transparency map (trunks, stems, branches and so on), then in layer 2 I'll have every piece of geometry that uses, for example, 'leaf1' transparency texture and so on. I usually end up with an object of between 2 and 4 layers. Then I turn off the transparency texture in the Surface Editor, but I don't delete it as it's good to keep, and move the whole tree into Layout. In Layout my objects are nicely sorted by transparency map type, so as Markus says, you can copy the transparency map from the surface editor in to the relevant clip map for each object layer, making sure you have the blending mode set to 'normal', and sometimes it also needs Invert Layer turned on.

Sorry if you already do this but I just thought I'd lay it all out.

Now something I have also found is a reluctance for jpegs to render properly on occasion. Most XFrog plants come with 32bit TIFF files, with the alpha channel being used as the transparency map. I make things simple for LightWave. I open each 32bit TIFF file and save out a 24bit colour targa file for the colour, and a greyscale 8bit targa for the transparency/clip map. Sometimes I've had LW get confused as to which texture to use where with the 32bit set up, this way it's nice and simple and no textures are referenced.

Try that and see if it works - ditch the jpegs and go with targas.

monovich
05-29-2009, 10:17 AM
have you fiddled with the hd instance memory settings? just a thought.

Chad_Shadow
05-29-2009, 04:13 PM
Guys, thanks a lot for your help, the problem remained.
I think it is a "strange" bug in 2.0.4 version.
I tried almost everything :devil:

Markus
========
i am using one "Distant" light with FG radiosity.
I checked and unchecked everything, one by one :) ...
I tried all types of radiosity, all kind of Rays quality and precision.

I tried Pal size but the black lines are still there so it is not a Resolution prob.

I even tried Vue7 xstream instead but it is crashing ... euh ... like always :)))
By the way, the image you uploaded, is it an HDI Xfrog tree ?

Kopperdrake:
============
I liked your deatiled explanation, i hope this thread will be useful for all users.
The problem is i always used the 32-bit images TGA and TIF UVed on planes. Used Clonez (modeler) to populate the whole scene for scaling and distibution then i used Face2Cam plugin (layout) to let them face my cam . It worked great for me in the past years, especially with rush projects/ thousands of trees.

But such method is becoming obsolete with other programs advanced instancing as Max, Modo, etc ... However,with the use of Jpeg UV planes, you cannot compete with instanced 3D trees, flowers, shrubs ..
The Depth/shadows you get with 3D models are perfect not to mention the different appearence of the same tree you get especially during animation.

When we will have instances as LW native !?!
HD Instance is great but it is still a 3rd party plugin :S


Monovich
=========
I kept using the 100-256 MB (default) and tried to increase it later to 2000 MB :) No luck.


Anyway, i did the following:
1- I rendered the project with instanced trees with "Just Shadow" checked.
2- I created 3 TIF images using orthographic cam for trees used and UVed them to three planes.
3- "Clonez" the 3 planes and spread them then "Face2cam" them (Had to go back to 32-bit LW9.3.1)
4- Rendered them with all other components as Matted/Constant Black.
5- Compose the whole on Photoshop :S

Loss of time/nerves + 2 overnights for a strange strange plugin behavior !!
Good they only asked for Perspectives not animations ...



Last questions:
===============
Any advices of Libraries for Trees and Flowers LW-textured-ready ?? (other than xfrog and Dosch)
Same question for LW textured Interiors ? (Beds, Dining rooms, etc ...) ==> ie as Evermotion for Vray and Max ... We're starting testing Kray ...

praa
06-18-2009, 06:00 AM
maybe you just forget to activate volumetric radiosity in the render globals / GI settings

HDI is all about volumetrics...

Danner
06-18-2009, 07:49 AM
I had something similar happen to me once.. but it was on a test so I was never pressed to fix it, I filled a hilly landscape with flowers and all the flowers rendered black. So I placed the camera up close to see what was going on.. and the flowers were receiving the light from the bottom, but I only had one light and it was on top!! I wonder what would have happened if I had rendered it again with a light from the bottom... hmm.

fyffe
02-13-2010, 10:08 PM
If any of you still have issues with black instances, please shoot me over a file. As far as I know it's fixed, since I haven't heard any reports in quite a while. But if it's still out there somewhere, please let me know. Thanks!

archijam
02-14-2010, 02:09 AM
Ditto to praa- make sure volumetric radiosity is on in the volumetric panel.

With proper parenting setup, xfrog with clip maps always work for me...

Remember to do a cleanup and layer separation on the xfrog trees first, they can have 2 point polies and other weirdness.