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Thread: Game Over Man visual FX created in Lightwave

  1. #46
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    blurring, and then pulling back a little on blend strength,
    right side original downloaded youtube clip, since I donīt have time to locate the original image files, so quality of raw material not the best.
    Left blurred.



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  3. #48
    Registered User darkChief's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Mr Rid, great work as always.
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  4. #49
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Rid View Post
    It is one of several very useful plugins (5D Monster, and Tinderbox) that I REALLY wish I could still use! Those plugs only work in Fusion 4, and Fusion 4 only runs in XP. XP Mode in Win 7 does not fool F4 into working. The Glass tool was particularly great for smoothing out voxel puffball tendency, and other FX. I have not quite figured out how to fake it.

    After communicating with Eyeon support about getting Fusion 4 to work in later versions of Windows, they were not willing to bother.
    Hardly surprising. I had a "liberated" version of Fusion 4 at that time.

    But good ol' XP. I used to demonstrate how robust it was during an editing session. I'd literally yank the power cord after having the unsuspecting client make a simple change such as shorten a clip. Upon reboot, the project was as restored to the previous change; i.e. you lost one minor edit, not the entire project.
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  5. #50
    Profesor Pixel Poo Mr Rid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    ...the ol cig smoke challenge...
    Your PFX cig smoke looks nice. I dug up some old smoke tests from LW8.3/Fusion 4 days, using the nifty Glass tool, that also allowed some cool liquidy FX. I semi-faked the effect for a recent "ghost "effect. Also try playing with levels, Erode and Filter-Emboss Over, which sims about half of what Glass did.
    Last edited by Mr Rid; 09-28-2020 at 02:44 AM.
    "O K, so what's the speed of dark?"

    Demo reel 2017
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOOixvRhcs4

  6. #51
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Rid View Post
    Your PFX cig smoke looks nice. I dug up some old smoke tests from LW8.3/Fusion 4 days, using the nifty Glass tool, that also allowed some cool liquidy FX. I semi-faked the effect for a recent "ghost "effect. Also try playing with levels, Erode and Filter-Emboss Over, which sims about half of what Glass did.
    Ohh..I made much better ones just recently with particles, but I donīt like adding such effects such as glass, I think it doesnīt distort the smoke naturally, can bee nice for other effects as you used
    on for thos effect, but for cig smoke.. I think all the dynamics should be within the particles themself and wind dynamics, as for fusion blurring, I just used the main blur filters, and a little (yes..I had that on my stuff as well before you mentioned it (erode/dilate), you also have warp vector distortion, vortex and grid to manually displace..but a bit of work with that.
    Pseudocolors can be nice if you want to tint it with some glow gas in various spectrums, but one have to be careful with that since it could introduce flicker or highlightedt pixels that becomes stronger.

    I will try and get the time to render our at least a couple of opengl preview of various particle dynamics motions, some slight changes with various undulations, rendering not sure I can do all of them though.
    I will post that in another smoke thread trying to keep this one more cleaner for your work.



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  7. #52
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    As I mentioned in the smokey givaway thread, krita filters can be nice, better than fusion blurring anywya, with fusion you blur the edges too much, in krita it remains sharp in the edge borders, and also often inside the smoke where there are more density,
    it depends also how you set the anisotrophy controls for that smoothing filter.

    It takes more processing power though than the fusion filters, and I would have to load several layers or go through each image by image and apply the krita filter (no batch processing as far as I know of)
    But if I were to use that on my cig smoke particle sims, it would look really really nice.

    As for particles VS fluids? well...

    1. Particles at lower amount will be easier, faster to simulate and tweak with wind forces and procedural textures for small undulations, hardly any sim tim at all (50-100 000) particles, raising it to 350 000 is needed in the end to get enough particles for a decent ground material of smoke density, but you could get away with that depending on how you blur it, or use multiple emitters with particle blur offset, going 1000 000 and up to 6-8 millions, it will become just too slow to be nice to work with, though it is doable.
    Good thing, you do not have to wrestle with shading that much, just the blur process.
    But at least you can simulate the lower level and get a feedback pretty much instantly on the look of the dynamics, which you can not do with fluids.

    When I raise from 50 000 to 350 000 particles, generally I will have to wait for 8-12 seconds for the particles to settle/cook to that state, then playing it will still be within just a few seconds per frame, rendering not that long either.
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    2. Fluids require an already high resolution grid for smoke to show as it should, you canīt sim at lower resolution and get the same basic result and then increase, not in any decent way I think, so that is the conīs with that, then the actual simulation time, and then you have the shading to work with various density gradients which can be tricky to get lesser density where needed.

    There is one exception though, and that is the fluid standalone tool Embergen, which will allow you to pretty much tweak the motion of a smoke in realtime, all you have to do is export to VDB.
    Limits with no actual mesh emitting from animated meshes, they are planning on incorporating that later though.

    Embergen is definitely something of interest for me, not sure about the cost and licensing though, and I would like to have seen animated meshes in there, with options to use weight maps or similar for emission, if that goes well and a decent cost/licensing, then I think I am in on that one, just been testing the earlier demos, not the most recent that has an option to try out the VDB exports to lightwave, for 14 days of full trial.



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  8. #53
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    And last compare, then enough of this interrupting your actual work thread

    Se compare, krita filter so much smoother, yet sharper than a standard fusion blur.





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  9. #54
    Profesor Pixel Poo Mr Rid's Avatar
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    The Krita blurs look good. Your process inadvertently demonstrates why Lightwave is not the tool for realistic FX like smoke, fire. water ;-) It is like trying to saw a tree limb with a kitchen knife. I have not seen or gotten anything practical out of the new volumetrics either. Better to use proper fluids.

    Here is an example of the old 5D Smoke plug for Fusion 4 that I rendered on an ancient Celeron I still have with XP, that rendered in about 1.5 seconds per frame, with only a bit of post blur. That plug was miraculous for around 2002, but only good for small, cig-scale smoke.
    https://app.box.com/shared/static/nj...dx0ir6qmd1.mov
    Last edited by Mr Rid; 09-29-2020 at 06:21 AM.
    "O K, so what's the speed of dark?"

    Demo reel 2017
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOOixvRhcs4

  10. #55
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Rid View Post
    The Krita blurs look good. Your process inadvertently demonstrates why Lightwave is not the tool for realistic FX like smoke, fire. water ;-) It is like trying to saw a tree limb with a kitchen knife. I have not seen or gotten anything practical out of the new volumetrics either. Better to use proper fluids.

    Here is an example of the old 5D Smoke plug for Fusion 4 that I rendered on an ancient Celeron I still have with XP, that rendered in about 1.5 seconds per frame, with only a bit of post blur. That plug was miraculous for around 2002, but only good for small, cig-scale smoke.
    https://app.box.com/shared/static/nj...dx0ir6qmd1.mov
    Perhaps, fluids..as seen with embergen it looks good, but itīs tricky to get right with fluids as well I think, wether it is houdini, TFD, or Lightwaveīs newer gas solver.
    Lightwaves gas solver, yes..the problem is the lack of true forces and the performance, display and the framwork built around it all to work with it in a Initiuve way..(for me anyway)
    the display of ticks only and zooming in and you can hardly see the opengl presentation is quite bad, they need to adress that ASAP, then the simulation needs to take advantage of GPU, further that ..true force reactions are needed
    , as I am aware of there is only ways of using vector nodes, procedural textures, and particle velocity as a force.

    In this sample I used the ripple procedural in to the gas solvers force input, so it gives a little of that pulsing convection in the beginning of the fire, the sample however.. can not compare to TFDīs nicer curls as demonstrated by Lightwave guru.
    Sample could be better in resolution as well...




    I still have more I would like to tweak and try out with the gas solver, the problem is that it sort of takes too much time to work with.
    And I still have more to try with old legacy particleFX, not directly so much smoke, but various plasma field effects like this...(also smoothed a bit with krita, particles initial motion with procedural textures)
    Samples below, a slight smoothing in krita with the smooth anisotrophy filters.

    I worked a bit more with krita and could load in a lot of frames in one go in to seperate layers within one krita doc, and there is options to use filters on all visible layers, though I just got some errors, but I need to try out more.
    Otherwise it would be a process of checking each layer, apply the filter, go to next layer, apply filter for any of the hundreds of image sequences you may have.
    There is a macro recording function, but I do not think it works to apply a filter automaticly per layer.






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  11. #56
    Registered User gdkeast's Avatar
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    That IS some good looking smoke!

  12. #57
    Profesor Pixel Poo Mr Rid's Avatar
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    Pretty nebulas. Reminds of the astonishing pioneering particle work of Doc Baily- http://www.centerforvisualmusic.org/Baily.htm

    Which in turn reminds of playing with Vlam back in Fusion 4 days again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    ... Lightwaveīs newer gas solver. ...
    Is too unintuitive, convoluted, slow and riddled with procedural artifacts. Like so many promising features added over the years, it needs to be taken to it's logical conclusion, which usually does not happen.

    And all dynamics and volumes need to interact with force-feedback. i.e. PFX and cloth push against each other. Bullet is isolated, with no winds or weight control, or separation of settings per material.

    I think Embergen still does not allow import of cameras or animations, so I would not mess with yet. I need production-ready. And I first need to know tool limitations so that I dont paint myself into a corner.

    I know the fun of coming up with creative workarounds. But if jury rigging is needed to resemble the result of a better tool, then the better tool should be used. The forums are full of amusing tricks that are easy to achieve by somewhat aimlessly playing around, but it is very different when trying to make an effect fit the tone, timing, interaction and continuity within multiple shots, with limited time, and a client with an unpredictable degree of pickiness.

    That 20 year old, 5D Fusion plug spits out realistic smoke in minutes, as opposed to the days required to experiment with trying to master faking fluid swirls with archaic PFX, effectors and voxels. Imaginative workarounds can be useful for more abstract FX. But on a schedule, I would not bid using LW for most FX (except limited use of fluid plugs), nor hire anyone to. It is a waste of time, and at best results in a wobbly house of cards that is too uncontrollable and limited. I would hire an expedient Houdini artist, and there are many more of those available.

    I barely finagle falling snow out of LW because it is simpler. But if a client wanted more specific behavior, I risk getting in a bind. I need to bid with ample room for variation, not within a restricted corridor. Many times I've hit the limits of jury-rigging LW, and was lucky the client stopped requesting changes, usually where we ran out of time. One more change would have toppled the house of cards.

    I recall only once having to tell a client 'No, I cant do that,' on the complex Red Cliff army shots, that pushed the edge of LW. As the director kept expanding the sequence, I kept pulling out workarounds. But I knew he was likely to make the reasonable request for uneven terrain instead of conveniently flat, which was not possible to accommodate. I had to say 'sorry, no.' Then the client asked if we were using Massive, which another house was using for other shots. Me: "Uh... Lightwave." Client: "Oh." If we knew in advance the client wanted complex behaviors, I would not have bid to tackle it in LW, and would send the shots to a house with an established crowd pipeline (something I wish LW had, since it is otherwise suited for set extension). I expect big directors/budgets to make big changes. That is another reason I prefer working on more modest budgets, where LW is more appropriate. And there are too few senior LW artists available to help when work overflows.

    I recently had to do a couple of different incarnations of an abstract "specter." It was easy to get a typical smokey thing out of TFD, that I knew the client would like. But for one version, I wanted to experiment with PFX and Fusion workarounds to hopefully come up with something a little different looking, which I'm not sure I achieved, although the effect wound up cut from the movie. So it gets stored in the bag-o-trix for perhaps another project calling for something similar.


    But for the smokey version that was used in the movie (and less interesting looking IMO), I was safe with TFD, within the limited budget. Although, the client did throw a curveball late in the schedule, and asked for an unusual behavior where the specter squeezes thru a crack. That had to be done in two days, and I was lucky I already had a 'squeeze-thru-slot' trick in my bag from years earlier, skipping time-consuming RnD.
    Last edited by Mr Rid; 10-02-2020 at 03:53 AM.
    "O K, so what's the speed of dark?"

    Demo reel 2017
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOOixvRhcs4

  13. #58
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Rid View Post
    Pretty nebulas. Reminds of the astonishing pioneering particle work of Doc Baily- http://www.centerforvisualmusic.org/Baily.htm

    Which in turn reminds of playing with Vlam back in Fusion 4 days again.

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    Is too unintuitive, convoluted, slow and riddled with procedural artifacts. Like so many promising features added over the years, it needs to be taken to it's logical conclusion, which usually does not happen.

    And all dynamics and volumes need to interact with force-feedback. i.e. PFX and cloth push against each other. Bullet is isolated, with no winds or weight control, or separation of settings per material.

    I think Embergen still does not allow import of cameras or animations, so I would not mess with yet. I need production-ready. And I first need to know tool limitations so that I dont paint myself into a corner.
    .
    Yes we agree, that is what I kind of have said a lot about the VDB tools, a little different formulated, but pretty much the same essence in it, forces not working together, the framework around it to be initiuive, how convulted it is when working with it etc.
    they have fbx (camera only import)
    Personally I think I would like to have mdd import as well.
    Alembic, they canīt decypher, and they have stretched out to those who knows anything about it, they really wanīt to implement full alembic support and have that in their Public roadmap.
    https://trello.com/b/ulnwrMxv/embergen-public-roadmap

    "Yes!

    During the initial beta release at the end of this month you will have the ability to import static meshes for emission/collisions. Sometime within the next few months (or less) we plan to have support for animated mesh imports."


    The rest of your stuff about the red cliff, interesting..will have to digest that later, as well as the spectre effect.
    Have to check that vlam plugin as well.

    Amberlight seem to have some interesting fractal animation stuff, though I think itīs only 2D.
    https://www.escapemotions.com/products/amberlight/about


  14. #59
    Profesor Pixel Poo Mr Rid's Avatar
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    Vlam was a free novelty plug- http://www.krokodove.com/wordpress/vlam/ like a barely tweakable fractal with little control, and not really practical. Again, only Fusion 4 in XP.
    Example:


    Amberlight looks like a more controllable version of Vlam.
    "O K, so what's the speed of dark?"

    Demo reel 2017
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOOixvRhcs4

  15. #60
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Thanks,

    I love the fractron 9000 (free) though not developed anymore it seems, and any animation script I havenīt found or searched enough for, so only stills.
    What you see in ths video showcase when I jump from my saved fractals, that isnīt just pre rendered images ..Itīs almost realtime update of the fractal when refining, the direct viewport (thatīs why the attractor handles are there), and that was on my older less cuda core computer in 2014.
    The problem is that you can tweak and tweak endlessly to come up with so many cool things, itīs addictive..
    But Amberlight is something that I think would fit me, if it has any other competitors...I do not know.


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