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  1. #1
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    LightWave Physical Sun / Sky settings and other render engines

    LW 2018 / 2019 have the new physical sun / sky model based on Hosek-Wilkie.

    As I mentioned in another thread I'm not convinced by its quality and easy of use but that's maybe because I'm not familiar with it.

    Based on Prometheus request to provide screenshots of sun / sky settings in other render engines I created this thread.

    For example I was not able to create soft shadows with the LW Sun. Also in 2019.1 it's not possible to modify the horizon blur. Note that other engines also provide additional Sun / Sky models like CIE or Preetham. If it's of interest I can render those too.

    It would be great to see some good LW sun / sky settings and rendered results.


    Pic 1: LW Sun / Sky

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pics 2 - 4: RedShift Sun / Sky / Environment

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    Pic 5: Vray Sun / Sky

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    Pic 6 - 7: Cycles4D Light / Environment (no specific Sun / Sky settings)

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    Pics 8 - 9: C4D Physical or ProRender Sun / Sky (crazy amount of features and settings)

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	145472 Click image for larger version. 

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    In this scene I added a couple of parametric objects and default RedShift Sun / Sky - Render time a bit more than a minute. I would probably increase the sun intensity and lighten the shadows a bit in those.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS01.png 
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    Render 1: Default Redshift Sun / Sky - note the hard shadows

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS_Render01.png 
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    Render 2: Redshift Sun / Sky with softer shadows

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS_Render02.png 
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    Render 3: Redshift Sun / Sky with modifed Turbidity and sun rotation

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS_Render03.png 
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    Render 4: Redshift with Environment object

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Render 5: another example of Redshift Sun / Sky (15 sec render)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS_Render05.png 
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Size:	2.34 MB 
ID:	145478

    Please don't judge textures, I just used default rock object and material without any bump/normal/displacement/roughness and no post processing.
    Last edited by Marander; 07-17-2019 at 07:05 PM.

  2. #2
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post
    LW 2018 / 2019 have the new physical sun / sky model based on Hosek-Wilkie.

    As I mentioned in another thread I'm not convinced by its quality and easy of use but that's maybe because I'm not familiar with it.

    Based on Prometheus request to provide screenshots of sun / sky settings in other render engines I created this thread.

    For example I was not able to create soft shadows with the LW Sun. Also in 2019.1 it's not possible to modify the horizon blur. Note that other engines also provide additional Sun / Sky models like CIE or Preetham. If it's of interest I can render those too.

    It would be great to see some good LW sun / sky settings and rendered results.


    Pic 1: LW Sun / Sky

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_LW01.PNG 
Views:	149 
Size:	56.5 KB 
ID:	145464

    Pics 2 - 4: RedShift Sun / Sky / Environment

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS02.png 
Views:	56 
Size:	54.0 KB 
ID:	145466 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS03.png 
Views:	42 
Size:	48.7 KB 
ID:	145467 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS04.png 
Views:	38 
Size:	19.2 KB 
ID:	145468

    Pic 5: Vray Sun / Sky

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_Vray01.png 
Views:	47 
Size:	68.7 KB 
ID:	145469

    Pic 6 - 7: Cycles4D Light / Environment (no specific Sun / Sky settings)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_Cycles01.PNG 
Views:	30 
Size:	23.1 KB 
ID:	145470 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_Cycles02.PNG 
Views:	33 
Size:	44.1 KB 
ID:	145471

    Pics 8 - 9: C4D Physical or ProRender Sun / Sky (crazy amount of features and settings)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_C4D01.PNG 
Views:	34 
Size:	99.2 KB 
ID:	145472 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_C4D02.PNG 
Views:	30 
Size:	185.0 KB 
ID:	145473


    In this scene I added a couple of parametric objects and default RedShift Sun / Sky - Render time a bit more than a minute. I would probably increase the sun intensity and lighten the shadows a bit in those.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS01.png 
Views:	75 
Size:	773.5 KB 
ID:	145465

    Render 1: Default Redshift Sun / Sky - note the hard shadows

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS_Render01.png 
Views:	88 
Size:	2.74 MB 
ID:	145474

    Render 2: Redshift Sun / Sky with softer shadows

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS_Render02.png 
Views:	77 
Size:	2.73 MB 
ID:	145475

    Render 3: Redshift Sun / Sky with modifed Turbidity and sun rotation

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS_Render03.png 
Views:	83 
Size:	2.48 MB 
ID:	145476

    Render 4: Redshift with Environment object

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS_Render04.png 
Views:	80 
Size:	2.04 MB 
ID:	145477

    Render 5: another example of Redshift Sun / Sky (15 sec render)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SunSky_RS_Render05.png 
Views:	83 
Size:	2.34 MB 
ID:	145478

    Please don't judge textures, I just used default rock object and material without any bump/normal/displacement/roughness and no post processing.
    Ok..
    Though You can really get the same results practicly for the backdrop with Lightwave physical sky, I do not see any particular quality in there that Lightwave physical sky could not do.
    The renderers you refer to may have some more options, ozone water wapor...if you want that you may want to use sunsky and preetham instead.

    Maybe the only thing would be the horizon blur.

    I need to post pictures as well..but itīs bedtime now, and it will probably include clouds.

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    I'm interested in a simple setup that can be used for animation.

    More important than the backdrop (which can be faked with an image) is the light itself, a nice warm early afternoon to evening light with nice shadows.

    For still images of atmosphere / environments I have VUE and Terragen but they render extremely slow.

    Now I don't expect render times like in Redshift but something noise and firefly free that renders within a few minutes per frame.

    It starts with having a default light in an 'empty' LW scene, do I just change that into a sun and use for the sky backdrop shader or do I need Stars in that panel? Why would I even require additional stars? Depending on the choice I can only modify the sun orientation in the world map which is not a good workflow except one requires exact time and position for arch viz (which I do not care about). Some engines automatically create a sun target object which is more useful to me.

    In case of other render engines it's basically one click to have good sun light in the scene but with LW I maybe do something essentially wrong?

    A simple setup like an infinite plane (or large plane in LW), an object and Sun / Sky rig including good render settings is what I'm looking for.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Marander; 07-17-2019 at 11:54 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post
    I'm interested in a simple setup that can be used for animation.

    More important than the backdrop (which can be faked with an image) is the light itself, a nice warm early afternoon to evening light with nice shadows.

    For still images of atmosphere / environments I have VUE and Terragen but they render extremely slow.

    Now I don't expect render times like in Redshift but something noise and firefly free that renders within a few minutes per frame.

    It starts with having a default light in an 'empty' LW scene, do I just change that into a sun and use for the sky backdrop shader or do I need Stars in that panel? Why would I even require additional stars? Depending on the choice I can only modify the sun orientation in the world map which is not a good workflow except one requires exact time and position for arch viz (which I do not care about). Some engines automatically create a sun target object which is more useful to me.

    In case of other render engines it's basically one click to have good sun light in the scene but with LW I maybe do something essentially wrong?

    A simple setup like an infinite plane (or large plane in LW), an object and Sun / Sky rig including good render settings is what I'm looking for.

    Thanks!
    The stars " sol" works as a sundisc, so you can add two suns, and depending on order they are stacked..you can have one of them specificly over the other...for that starwars ending scene

    otherwise at certain sun positions ..you may want to turn the disc of,(0 value) or adjust volumetrics so it glows around the disc instead.

    Animated is no issue, you just need to dial in the settings to your likings for a sunset.

    as for infinite plane, I agree ..it should be one by default, otherwise, make a 60 km groundplane or bigger..and it should in most cases serve as an "fake infinite" plane.

    The tonemapping I think they mus add a function for soon, I think it is mentioned in the docs that you may want to adjust luminance in the physical sky to adress some of that, but I do not think itīs good enough.
    a complete disable of the color space presets will yield a more colorful contrasted sky ..but may be a bit too dark as well.

  5. #5
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    To me the best option is to use the Physical sky and the environment light, with volumetrics also. I attach a test scene I've made.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	145481

    test.zip
    English is not my native language so please be patient.

    Salvador Ureņa
    http://urenasalvador.wixsite.com/portfolio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asticles View Post
    To me the best option is to use the Physical sky and the environment light, with volumetrics also. I attach a test scene I've made.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image000_001.jpg 
Views:	128 
Size:	157.6 KB 
ID:	145481

    test.zip
    Thank you Asticles. Your image is exactly what I'm talking of, that's what I get with LW. Awful unrealistic colors, bad light and extremely grainy. In my opinion LW2019.1 makes it even worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post
    Thank you Asticles. Your image is exactly what I'm talking of, that's what I get with LW. Awful unrealistic colors, bad light and extremely grainy. In my opinion LW2019.1 makes it even worse.
    Fairly certain the grain and lighting appearance is due to Asticles' render being very low resolution; the file size is only 156kb @ less than 640x480, compared to your attached renders which are between 2 and 3mb @ 1920x1080.

    It looks to me like it was rendered using the default render settings.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPSchmidt View Post
    Fairly certain the grain and lighting appearance is due to Asticles' render being very low resolution; the file size is only 156kb @ less than 640x480, compared to your attached renders which are between 2 and 3mb @ 1920x1080.

    It looks to me like it was rendered using the default render settings.
    I do not see any direct issue with the quality of color and light in the physical sky nor grain, itīs just that it hasnīt got that blur at the horizon as an option, Daz studios spectal background is quite nice in that regards.

    But I think I see other issues with the sunlight, previously we could at a lensflare on DP sunlight and rotate it by checking manual control...that is if we added the sk_sunmotion in the lights motion properties and set the right distant in km, that way the lensflare matched up.

    Now...DP updated his stuff for lightwave, so you could add the sk sun motion modifier in 2019 as well..But, I think Denis skipped th sk light and it now uses Lightwaves new sunlight, and the way it worked before was that you had to check manual in the sk sunlight, that is not an option and all you get is location, so you can not manually dial in the sun as you want and get a sunflare..so that is bad.

    I think I also see an issue with the size of the sunlight, it should yield softer shadows but I donīt think it seems to yield the correct softness when increasing size.

    As for asticles render, the grain is most likely Not resolution, but a result of too low volumetric samples, you may want to raise the Lights volumetric samples from 20-40, especially if you have volumetric clouds as well.
    Could be that the environment light is affecting the volumetrics as well..and you need right samples in such case, you could also turn that off for affecting volumetrics.

    As for lighting, most likely color space thingy, and the environment light as well.

    if not using GI, you loose out on the inderect lightning if that is checked for volumetrics, that can boost light mulitple scattering illlumination inside of cloud volumes.
    As for volumetric global scattering, you may want to set a very high asymmetry..like 0,8-0,95 this makes the volumetric glow around a light source more prominent in falloff so to speak and not spreading out in the sky so much.
    Similar in a volumetric item, settings above 0,5 will help the sunlight glow in the clouds a bit more.

    Got some images to gather, will have to check some..I have with godrays as well from the new sunlight, Not unpar with Terragen or vue exactly...but it may be tweaked to an acceptable level.

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    Thanks guys. I'll have a look again into LW and Sun / Sky this weekend. All I'd like to see is a render with LW Sun / Sky, good lighting with a simple object on a plane, noise and firefly free, without using a denoiser, showing the light and render settings screenshots and/or an attached scene. It should at least match quality of the 15 second render time I posted above with an acceptable render time (maximum a couple of minutes per frame, suitable for animation).

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    By the way Prometheus

    - I'm off topic again but devil takes it -

    Have you considered getting Gaea?

    I can really recommend it for landscape generation. I got the Enterprise version when it was in Beta with discount as Geoglyph user. I got this version because it's the only one with full offline license (similar to LW or Cinema). World Machine introduced online activation in the last beta in March and since then there was no new version. Very slow development. My maintenance just expired a few days ago and I'm not going to renew it for now. Gaea in the other hand gets a new version almost every week.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post

    As for asticles render, the grain is most likely Not resolution, but a result of too low volumetric samples, you may want to raise the Lights volumetric samples from 20-40, especially if you have volumetric clouds as well.
    Could be that the environment light is affecting the volumetrics as well..and you need right samples in such case, you could also turn that off for affecting volumetrics.

    As for lighting, most likely color space thingy, and the environment light as well.
    Yes, it was only a fast image, just to show that to me Lw can give some good sky environment.

    Nice renders Prometheus
    English is not my native language so please be patient.

    Salvador Ureņa
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    what are the rendertimes for lw stuff? i am just wondering if you will end up dialing in settings that get a good result but too long to wait.

    any examples of octane sky?

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    Another issue I ran into, generally it is hard to set up godrays with the new sunlight and global scattering and using volumetric clouds, you need to set a delicate balance with scattering weight, light volumetric intensity, global asymmetry etc...and a balance betweeen the Lights volumetric distance to the volume cloud item, and if not properly balanced..it will yield a sharp distance cutoff in the lightrays shadow between the cloud and the global volumetric scattering, I think this is something they need to adress, I will post samples of it....you may get away with it a bit by tweaking it, but I do not think itīs right to behave like that.

    But further more..the balance of having environment light with clouds and volumetric scattering, if you for instance have a full backlit cloud with godrays, the cloud will go very dark, you can adress that with scattering and shadow intensity of the volumetric cloud..but that would destroy the realism once you change lighting, so thus you use an environment light to light the cloud up globally, but then you are facing an issue with it destroying the godrays...that is because the environments light needs to have the same volumetric distance as the main sunlight, correcting that an it should be okay.
    I would like a version though that has an option to match the sunlight volumetric distance, need to feature request this.

    Another tip is to not have the backdrop having to much intensity, or increase max luminence so the sky is a bit darker, that helps pronounce any volumetric effect of lightrays.

    To Note, Lightwave is the only General 3D app that I managed to produce godrays in,/excluding Vue and Terragen..I still have to do my work on that for blender and Houdini, though I think I can do that with less problems in blender than in houdini.

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    huh...I just got a horrible bug showing it seems in one of my scenes with godrays, the scene had no ground item, and as soon as I ad a groundplane or a cube etc, it just destroys the volumetric lighting and kills it..very weird, I can deactivate the item ..but it doesnīt help, once I delete the object the volumetrics is back again.

    Must check this with other scenes first before I can bug report.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    huh...I just got a horrible bug showing it seems in one of my scenes with godrays, the scene had no ground item, and as soon as I ad a groundplane or a cube etc, it just destroys the volumetric lighting and kills it..very weird, I can deactivate the item ..but it doesnīt help, once I delete the object the volumetrics is back again.

    Must check this with other scenes first before I can bug report.
    Ups sounds like a glitch... I might test on the weekend too but have to enjoy the hot summer evening now

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