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Thread: FPrime + HD Instance = Frustration! :-(

  1. #1
    Super Member inkpen3d's Avatar
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    FPrime + HD Instance = Frustration! :-(

    I have been using HD Instance from Happy Digital for about a year now in my architectural visualisation work and have also recently purchased FPrime from Worley Labs to speed up my production pipeline. Both are really excellent plugins, which compensate for deficiencies in the core LightWave application, and I would highly recommend them for what they can do individually.

    However, what I find really frustrating is that FPrime does not render object instances generated by HD Instance. I have contacted both Graham Fyffe and Steve Worley regarding this issue (incidentally, they both responded very promptly) and apparently this is because there are limitations in the LW SDK. So here I am with these two amazing plugins in their own right that, if they worked together, would be an amazingly useful killer combination. But instead, I am forced to use either one or the other, which is just crazy!

    I appeal to the authors of these two plugins to get together with NewTek and work out a solution to this impasse. Surely, it would be to everyone’s benefit!

    Does anyone else share these sentiments?
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  2. #2
    I couldnt agree more, and i guess most here.
    Feature-wise, full instancing working universally with LW and Fprime is on the very top of my wishlist. I dont even care if instances are not seen in FP's interactive preview, it would be quite enough if it was just on rendering.


    Paolo

  3. #3
    Yes, but that is just a tip of an iceberg. How about why sasquatch doesn't work with Fprime or Kray, and why 3rd party renderers cannot use screamernet for network rendering or image filters or shaders... and the list goes on....

    Major holes in SDK need to be fixed. I'm sure Newtek knows that... unfortunately no one knows when this things will get adressed, if ever...

  4. #4
    bump!

    markus
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  5. #5
    Dreamer Ztreem's Avatar
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    Hopefully the SDK will be updated as they go along and change the code for things, but it's not going to happen over one night. I hope that LW will have native instances soon, then maybe Fprime will support it. We'll see when it happens...

  6. #6
    dynamics...so much fun ;) prospector's Avatar
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    Maby it's NOT LW?
    All 3 above and also Fiber Factory that I know of, are all post processing plugins.
    Maby if they were made to work in the rendering process earlier, I could get FF to work in mirrors and on the CCTV plugin.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by prospector
    Maby it's NOT LW?
    All 3 above and also Fiber Factory that I know of, are all post processing plugins.
    Maby if they were made to work in the rendering process earlier, I could get FF to work in mirrors and on the CCTV plugin.
    I wish there was a workaround, but unfortunately there isn't... If they could make it work then I'm sure they already would...

  8. #8
    Nothing ado about much Exception's Avatar
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    Err... well in this case it's really rather unfair to blame Newtek for this one... It's not as if there would be just a bunch of additions to the Lw SDK that would allow this to happen. HD Instance is a volumetric plugin that uses a post processing engine to calculate its doings. That means that it actually uses the Lw render engine to perform certain operations. It's not a stand alone utility. It would need to be rewritten and integrated in Fprime in order to work right.

    You might be happy to know that Nt has reported to have been working on an instancing solution native to Lightwave for within the lw 9.x version range.

  9. #9
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prospector
    Maby it's NOT LW?
    All 3 above and also Fiber Factory that I know of, are all post processing plugins.
    Maby if they were made to work in the rendering process earlier, I could get FF to work in mirrors and on the CCTV plugin.
    FWIW, if you enable Reflections in the Fiber Filter panel and turn on Ray Trace Reflections in the Render Globals panel, FF4 does show up in mirrors (in LightWave's renderer, not FPrime Render). I haven't been able to get the FF4 reflections to look anywhere near as nice as the source FF fibers though. My guess is that LW is actually rendering the FF4 voxels which are used to cast shadows instead of the FF4 fibers. Probably fine for blurred reflections.

    Fortunately, for me anyway, I haven't actually needed to do this yet. Even so, I'll have to ask Binary Arts about this.

    I haven't tried this with CCTV but I'd be surprised if it worked.

    As for Sasquatch not showing up in FPrime, we always render fur in a separate pass for compositing and processing. As good as Sas looks raw, you can make it look so much better this way.

    DRG

  10. #10
    does FF show in fprime ? if it is a volumetric, it could....

    Paolo

  11. #11
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, no, but it does show up in VIPER the way Hypervoxels do. Also, when you're using FF4 in surface or 'fur' mode, you can see the fibers represented as a wireframe in the viewport. If you want to, you can even see the voxels used for shadow casting in a viewport. Another nice feature is that you can cast raytraced shadows from FF4 fibers.

    If you'd like to see for yourself, I believe there is a downloadable demo available.

    Since you got me started, here's some more info:

    FF4's styling tools in Modeler are very good. The resulting guides are compatible with either Fiber Filter or Sasquatch.

    Unlike Sasquatch, one thing FF4 doesn't have is built-in dynamics for 'fur' mode. For that, you'll need to create guides and apply ClothFX or some other displacement method.

    Each plug-in clearly has its strengths, and depending on the effect I'm going for, I may sometimes use both FF4 and Sas in my projects.

    DRG

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exception
    It would need to be rewritten and integrated in Fprime in order to work right.
    Actually, it wouldn't be too hard. HD Instance only uses LW for querying the textures. Possible solutions are 1) Newtek helps FPrime to work with volumetric plugins, or 2) Worley puts in a volumetric 'hook' into FPrime that I can plug into, or 3) I put a hook in HD Instance that Worley can query from FPrime. Doesn't sound like anything that can't be solved over a couple of beers. There is one potential drawback, which is that both FPrime and HD Instance (and LW) will all be using RAM for their various data structures, but that might not be too bad in most cases.
    - Graham Fyffe
    proprieter, Happy Digital

  13. #13
    Lightwave junkie stevecullum's Avatar
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    Sounds like option 2 or 3 would be the best solution. Thing is tho, fprime can already render Hypervoxels, so hopefully you guys could work something out that would indeed benefit all!
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  14. #14
    Super Member inkpen3d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyffe
    Actually, it wouldn't be too hard. HD Instance only uses LW for querying the textures. Possible solutions are 1) Newtek helps FPrime to work with volumetric plugins, or 2) Worley puts in a volumetric 'hook' into FPrime that I can plug into, or 3) I put a hook in HD Instance that Worley can query from FPrime. Doesn't sound like anything that can't be solved over a couple of beers. There is one potential drawback, which is that both FPrime and HD Instance (and LW) will all be using RAM for their various data structures, but that might not be too bad in most cases.
    This is excellent news Graham - I knew you'd come up with a possible solution

    Like Steve Cullum, options 2 or 3 would be my choice. That way you and Worley do not have to rely on Newtek coming up with future SDK modifications to help FPrime to work with volumetric plugins. On this point it is worth bearing in mind that if Newtek are working on introducing instancing in a point release of LW version 9.x, then there's a possible conflict of interests from their point of view - they might not be too keen to spike their own guns by helping two commercial (and relatively inexpensive) plugins that, when used in combination, would render instances at lightening speed!

    I for one would be more than happy to pay for an upgrade to HD Instance just to have the seamless integration with FPrime.

    Regards
    Peter
    Last edited by inkpen3d; 11-09-2007 at 07:36 AM.
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  15. #15
    Lightwave junkie stevecullum's Avatar
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    I for one would be more than happy to pay for an upgrade to HD Instance just to have the seamless integration with FPrime.
    :agree:
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