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Thread: OpenVDB support- How can LW make is easier to use?

  1. #1
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    OpenVDB support- How can LW make is easier to use?

    As some of you already know I recently upgraded to the latest version of Lightwave after using LW 2015 for a while. As I catch with Lightwave 2019 I am in awe on how powerful OpenVDB tools are.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTJQyxV80OE
    You can do snow, water, mud etc effects in native lightwave.

    But I am also a bit overwhelmed on the node heavy implementation. And losing the straight forward native particle support for the new volumetric engine hurt a bit.

    I wonder if there might be a a way to add an interface to these tools?
    Maybe it could be an opportunity for a plug in vendor.

    What do you guys think?
    This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government, CG Networks or CGTALK.com. The opinions expressed on this posting are on my own volition.

  2. #2
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertoortiz View Post
    As some of you already know I recently upgraded to the latest version of Lightwave after using LW 2015 for a while. As I catch with Lightwave 2019 I am in awe on how powerful OpenVDB tools are.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTJQyxV80OE
    You can do snow, water, mud etc effects in native lightwave.

    But I am also a bit overwhelmed on the node heavy implementation. And losing the straight forward native particle support for the new volumetric engine hurt a bit.

    I wonder if there might be a a way to add an interface to these tools?
    Maybe it could be an opportunity for a plug in vendor.

    What do you guys think?
    The new volumetric engine works with the native particles, so I am not sure what you mean?..itīs just that the volumetrics is applied a bit differently and controlled differently than old legacy hypervoxels, the old legacy hypervoxels is still there and can be activated, but you have to check use legacy volumetrics in volumetrics tab and under volume intergrator, and then add the Hv 3.0 interface in the more windows/ image processing/legacy volumetrics tab.drop down list add Legacy volumetrics.
    What you canīt have is viper previewing it otherwise the old legacy works as it should...and better when it comes to nulls anyway.. since you can stack many nulls together in a way you couldnīt before without having it freezing, some slight difference in shading though due to new lights.

    As for the new volumetrics, you can apply that to particles as well, but not on points, unless adding particles emitting from points..but it is a messy workaround you should have to do, there is no volumetric random size control as we had in legacy, you have to add that through nodes, or go to particle emitter and use Itīs random size, particle age is much more tedious to setup when you want a nice age shading, on the positive note..we have the black body radiator..but you of course need to know how that works as well within nodes, unfortunately the UI and workflow isnīt as slick as the dynamite plugin was...but itīs faster and more stable.

    As for VDB tools, yep..that is also what I have been saying, VDB tools need a framework around itself, pre-made add fluid container, for those with little scripting skills probably not so difficult, but just to go through the, add null, enter properties, change to vdb, enter nodes, find the vdb nodes, add the vdb node, connect the vdb nodes, and hit play...tedious..tedious.

    The very basic would be add a null that is already changed or set to a VDB type, that is the minimal basics, and add a null item that is already set to be a primitive volume...basics, further on a VDB container that is already set up with a gas solver.

    Blender has for example quick smoke, super easy to create a fluid smoke going if you just start with that everytime, You just select your mesh, hit spacebar (in 2.79) then it creates a container, it applies the fluid engine on to the mesh you have selected..and you just hit play to get smoke going and see it rising, then itīs of course a matter of adding additional wind forces setting a decent resolution and perhaps change to fire and smoke both (default only smoke)

    One thing that I might think be interesting and something that I am not sure if blender or ifTFD actually has and does the same way, with the new VDB tools..you can use the native particle system in Lightwave as the force to push the velocity in the gas solver, that is a bit different as to being the actualy emitting density source as we have in blender and in tfd, that usually requires setting correct size and can yield blobs since it is based on each particle, but with this in the
    VDB tools, it doesnīt get broken up due to particle distance, it gives a more smoother gas/fluid flow.
    itīs just a pity it is so slow to simulate and so poor too visualize in openGL.

    While it may be in the cradle state or a little above, the VDB tools is exciting ..if it is maintained with improvement in the next versions, se above, I like that road and prefer it over any other third party, there is always an element of what happens if one third party developer vanishes in thin air, takes very long time to update, and when a new Lightwave version is out, there is a lot of waiting before the third party plugin may be updated to match any new features.

    They do need to adress wind forces, turbulence, vortex and more...Ideally we need forces that works the same on particles, VDB fluids, and bullet, not forces and dynamics specificly restricted to itīs own engine.
    Thatīs why I like blenders take on it, forces works on particles, fluids, dynamic bodies just the same..and I can get a better accuracy in realism when destroying a mesh with particles blowing away, with mesh fracture blowing away, and fluid emitted smoke from those elements will also be affected in the same force field and behavior if I want, I could turn it off individually for any of the items as well if I need to.

  3. #3
    Make it faster.

    Caching the results in ram would help those who have the memory to spare.
    Professional-level 3d training: Ryan's Lightwave Learning
    Plugin Developer: RR Tools for Lightwave

  4. #4
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Roye View Post
    Make it faster.

    Caching the results in ram would help those who have the memory to spare.
    That is a must when the simulation fluid form is pleasing, and when you are about to do the shading of it, you can then play back and forth smoothly without screwing the simulation up, and see how the smoke or fire looks..or liquid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    The new volumetric engine works with the native particles, so I am not sure what you mean? .
    You are right it does, but lets admit that is in a very VERY round about way.

    I guess I wish there was an easy way to add custom interfaces to a collected nodal group. And maybe even be able to share them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Roye View Post
    Make it faster.

    Caching the results in ram would help those who have the memory to spare.
    Agreed. Speed optimization is a must now.
    This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government, CG Networks or CGTALK.com. The opinions expressed on this posting are on my own volition.

  6. #6
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    Ryan is right , 'cos Houdini does that!

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    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    I have mentioned this in other threads as well..

    In lightwave to get advection and some turbulent noise on a mesh converted to a vdb volume(outside volume advection that is), you need to advect the noise by velocity simulation, in houdini I do not think it works that way, at least I do not see any need of calculating it..maybe it does, but anyway..in houdini you just enter itīs noise settings and set the scale, and some other parameters to get that additional noise on top of a mesh that is turned in to a volume, thatīs what I would like to see in order to avoid playing through a timeline and thus avoiding simulation time.
    Houdini can be a little slow though depending on vdb resolution when "cooking" the changes, but the slowness is based on what level of detail and resolution needed, not because of a required simulation.

  8. #8
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Perhaps not in line with the topic, make VDB easier to use, but in the line with enhancement of VDB features.
    Particle advection, which still is something TFD canīt handle In lightwave that is, in cinema4D it can both use weight emission and particle advection I believe.

    In blender we have smoke flow forces, you simply add a smoke force to the scene and pick the domain smoke to use, and any particle emitter in the scene will then follow the smoke velocity/density..
    Itīs actually only today that I have been checking that out, so I am not there yet to control the particles to perfection together with the smoke.

    But something like that, a new force in Lightwave that allows to affect native particles by extracting data from a VDB container and itīs gassolver velocity data, and then push or let the particles inherit that velocity.
    I think such feature could take some of my particle work to another level...and a lot of fractal style art, space art with nebulae etc.




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