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Thread: NewTek marketing and publicity

  1. #136
    Man of many cells. shrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stooch View Post
    ...the fact that lightwave has the awesome render node pricing (cant beat free) makes me a proponent for maya-lw workflow. im sure there are many ex lightwave maya users out there who share my sentinments. pretty much all of my feature requests in this thread would make any maya user take notice. one only has to say, fast and easy sprite rendering workflow and you will get any maya users attention. sure there are maya fluids but they have inherent limitations. such as limited grid volumes, huge cache files, render memory issues and atrocious problems with network rendering. cloud shader for maya SUCKS. you cannot have multiple emitters interact because maya CANNOT DEPTH SORT the particles, you have to break out each particle solver! mental ray has a shitload of limitations and gotchas and weird render errors that require convoluted and creative solutions. such as freezing particles high above the emitter so that the bounding box doesnt collapse with your particle volume and appear as a weird anomaly at render time. etc...
    This is the sort of stuff that turned me off to Maya. The very first time I used it, the tutorial was buggy!
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  2. #137
    Almost newbie Cageman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stooch View Post
    I am one of them and im always here ready to give my opinion and help. I use lightwave with maya at work right now and i have lots of things i would want to see in LW based on my maya experience. most importantly im not naive or fanboyish about any of the apps to mislead people with false hopes and promises. I personally would LOVE to use lightwave with maya to render voxels. because i have written literally pages of mel code to get particles and shaders to do my bidding. mental ray integration is a nightmarish kick in the nutts and its not even half as fast as lightwave.
    There is a tool that allows you to transfer particle motion from Maya to LW (essentially, each emitter will become a .pfx cache ready to be applied to an emitter in LW). The tool is slow though, so you have to be prepared to wait several hours (the codfish particles took around 2 hours to export and that is a single emitter). However, it's more or less a single click operation without fuss or mess... just long wait.

    Maybe it would be worth a try? Anyhow, you can find it here.


    *snip*

    just STUPID STUPID limitations that make using maya particles and volumetrics with MR a royal pain in the ***. the only real option to a properly rendered particle effect is to use hardware shading (with its own limitations) or maya standard render (which is slow as ****)
    Fortunately enough, we have our own tool developed for Maya Hardware that can be shaded with 6 lights, cast shadows on itself and other emitters and has a correct transparency sorting. It's been developed by a single guy on and off for about 2 years. So, for us, Maya is kick *** for smoke/fire effects. The first incarnation of it was used in this trailer (all smoke/fire effects). It was released...omg.. I can't remember..about a year ago, I think. *lol*. We used it in this one as well, and when we did this trailer it had matured even more (Anders Egleus is an awesome dude).

    But, those that doesn't have access to these types of inhouse tools, will face the same limitations you described above (and this is just one example of many). Hence the reason I've been arguing with Toby about LWs usefullness in some situations, even for BIG studios (yes.. I'm bold enought to say that).

    the best way to get a decent looking missile trail with particles in maya, is to hack it by instancing a copy of a fluid shaded volume on each particle! Forget proper volume shadowing! WTF! and then setup a stupidly convoluted nodal setup in order to affect the fluid shader with particle attributes. and it renders slow as **** and looks worse than any hypervoxel volume mode that comes straight out of lightwave with literally a few mouse clicks.
    Yeah... that's the reason why Anders spent so much time perfecting hour inhouse tool.

    rendering motion blur in mental ray... HORRIBLY SLOW. infact it is so slow that it destroys any advantages from the MRs blisteringly fast GI. Requiring work arounds and alot of tweaking. in lightwave at least you can use the brute force stepped blur from yore for most applications and its more than adequate and much faster than MR. Sure for more extreme blur scenarios like helicopter rotors, etc MR is better suited with its linear blur with lots of steps but the second you have to turn on the 3D blur you are SCREWED.
    Not really... motionvectors can do ALOT. There are other techniques as well to fake situations where motionvectors aren't enough. But safe to say is that, except for motionvectors (which does alot, but not all) those other techniques involves some tedious processes, so if you don't have the time to do so, LWs PRMBlur or stepped mblur are indeed very nice to use. Bottomline is that the techniques are not locked to any specific application, so whatever speedups you gain in Maya would also be applied if using LW (or any other app).


    sure there are tradeoffs with maya doing alot of thigns well. thats why i would love to see a better effort from newtek to make a hybrid setup. where i can mix maya and lightwave render outputs.
    Could you please elaborate more on this? What exactly do you have in mind?
    by the way, maya 2009 obliterates lightwave and even modo for subpatch modeling. because they stole alot of the modo ideas. but at the same time they have history.
    I've been somewhat vocal about moving over to subd modeling for characters and other organic stuff in our pipeline, but I've been told MR doesn't work with subds. And that's pretty much the end of the story.

    If presented with maya/lightwave pipeline, i would never touch modeler for effects work. sorry but it cant keep up with its dinky non history, non undo workflow.
    Modeler doesn't have undo? That was news to me.

    Anyhow... subds are not compatible across applications anyways, or so is what I've experienced when testing. I havn't tried it with Maya 2009, that is, exporting a CC-subd from Modo and load it into Maya. It's very important for us that what we do in Modo can be moved into Maya, since Modo is the prefered modeling app here.


    when it comes to rigging anything other than a rock, there is infinitelly more flexibility for using maya as my modeler.
    It is for you, not for me. The way I work with weights and other types of vertex maps in conjunction with rigging, doesn't really apply in Maya. I still hate the fact that weights in Maya are tied to the joints, rather than applied as a vertex map as in LW. I can be alot more flexible in LW regarding this, which is very important for my workflow.

    however when it comes down to rendering and lighting, its lightwave all the way. ALAS the hardbody and cloth solvers in lightwave SUCK! so again i would do that in maya and bake it out into lightwave.
    Again, I've used both hardFX and clothFX for some stuff in our highres trailers. There are certain types of effects that clothFX is very good at. On top of that, nCloth is locked to its own cache system and as far as I know, can't be converted into the standard Geometry Cache. This did pose problems for our rendering, so, by using clothFX in LW, I could transfer the cache as MDD to Maya using PointOven and then convert it to a Geometry Chache... problem solved.

    So as you can see, i would stand to GREATLY benefit from having a hybrid workflow and i knwo that any maya user out there who has went through the same pains i do as a VFX artist would agree with me. I could totally see Lightwave be the "fume fx" plugin for maya, as long as newtek gets on the ball and makes the effects part of lightwave more robust and follows in the footsteps of VUE (or allows enough flexibility for a third party solution). Think about it. any studio can afford the price tag of adding a seat of LW to their pipeline. let their other artists keep using their wofklows but as far as im concerned, an effects artist is a special case where he needs the best tools for the job. Not necessarily constrained with the software of the rest of the team.
    100% agree.


    LEts use realflow for example, when it comes to liquid, maya, houdini or blender wont cut it! So there is nothing wrong with shelling out for a MORE EXPENSIVE - $3,000! app because it does something that they cant to out of the box! at the end of the day, the ffects artist is like a wizard of hackery, figuring out complicated things. and since typically they are a small part of the team, adding a few seats of LW wont hurt anyone AS LONG AS IT CAN DELIVER USEABLE OUTPUT, with proper layers and passes.
    Yes. This is something LW can't do "out of the box", but both PassPort and Janus combined with exrTrader really bridges that gap and makes the workflow for multipass/layer rendering so much better. With the advancements that LW-renderer has got throughout the 9.x series, I did expect some more work in this area by NT, but it didn't happen (except for a very neat Refraction Color/Refraction Alpha buffersaver). If NT could strike a deal with Lernie Ang or Jeremy Hardin to bundle either PassPort or Janus and Michael Wolf for bundling exrTrader with LW9.6, that would be great, but I don't see it happening. :/

    I can do alot of these things myself with out newtek but this is a marketing thread. so we need to think of potential buyers, not existing lightwave users. These things should be stupidly fast and adaptable to an existing project structure.
    Yes... I see alot of things to improve in LW, certanly if attracting users from other apps is a goal.

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  3. #138
    cageman. loving the trailers too! go soviets!

    I did this in maya, its basically a rig that auto generates all the keyframes in all the channels for all the elements that are part of this rig. i can duplicate it, type in the start frame, place it where i want it, type in some randomization values and im done. I can reference this rig into another scene and tweak to my content. nothing breaks on import. all illumination is built in. its automatically setup to render with renderlayers. there is alot of complex things going on in melscript and of course it makes use of fluids. i want to do rigs like these in LW. where i can generate keys with lscript, etc and have a lightweight rig that any artist can use while hiding all of the guts from them so that they cant mess anything up. this should be completely doable with lscript with no fancy SDK or external LWS hacking..

    http://www.stooch.net/outgoing/dmFX_test10.mov

    it should be 1) load 2) place 3)type in a few parameters and hit render

    hell even automate caching. no more typing in the location of PFX files or BDDs, as soon as you hit render, if there are no cached elements, it will automatically figure out where to place the cache based on project settings, do the cache and start rendering.

    basically i want the power in lightwave to completely automate all redundant and repetitive work. the second we can do that, you can bet your *** that everyone in the industry will take notice. this goes WAY beyond VFX.
    Last edited by Stooch; 01-12-2009 at 06:47 PM.

  4. #139
    Almost newbie Cageman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stooch View Post
    cageman. loving the trailers too! go soviets!
    Thanks.


    I did this in maya, its basically a rig that auto generates all the keyframes in all the channels for all the elements that are part of this rig. i can duplicate it, type in the start frame, place it where i want it, type in some randomization values and im done. I can reference this rig into another scene and tweak to my content. nothing breaks on import. all illumination is built in. its automatically setup to render with renderlayers. there is alot of complex things going on in melscript and of course it makes use of fluids.
    That's pretty neat, yes! We have similar systems over here for debris and explosion, but I'm not sure how those works. Usually, the effects/mel dudes just do their magic. The "debris-maker" we have, has become very userfriendly so that us non-technical dudes can make use of it. But I have to add that the more technical dudes usually have to do a cleanup pass once we are finished using those tools because there are so many things that, apparently, can mess with the renderer.


    i want to do rigs like these in LW. where i can generate keys with lscript, etc and have a lightweight rig that any artist can use while hiding all of the guts from them so that they cant mess anything up. this should be completely doable with lscript with no fancy SDK or external LWS hacking..
    Yeah... that would indeed be very neat.

    Another thing that I would like to see changed is the FX Link for particles. Not being able to tweak particle motions after you've linked gemetry to particles is kind of counter productive.

    it should be 1) load 2) place 3)type in a few parameters and hit render

    hell even automate caching. no more typing in the location of PFX files or BDDs, as soon as you hit render, if there are no cached elements, it will automatically figure out where to place the cache based on project settings, do the cache and start rendering.
    Yeah... that would be good. A standard folder inside content directory that is always used if the user havn't set the output themselves. Usually though, when I use hardFX, I simulate one piece, cache it, move to the next *repeat until finished* . This is related more to the limitations of hardFX though (bad solving, etc) and by simulating heropieces one by one I end up having alot more control.

    Once hardFX is revised into something that allows for a "fire and forget" mentality, your ideas of how all redundat work could be minimized really would make sense to have.

    On that note, I hope you keep an eye on what Jay3D is doing.

    basically i want the power in lightwave to completely automate all redundant and repetitive work. the second we can do that, you can bet your *** that everyone in the industry will take notice. this goes WAY beyond VFX.
    Yeah. I hear you. With LWs approach to "no bs rendering", with all that has been said above, it could truly become a very vital option for large effects work.

    On a similar note... I read an article in HDRI 3D about Sony Imageworks use of Cinema 4D for alot of stuff in Speed Racer. Apparently, it had alot to do with Cinemas PSD-loader that allows to take a specific PSD-layer to use as a texture (very neat feature I have to add). So, essentially, the texture artists had a single PSD with layers (spec, bump, color etc).

    LW can render out PSDs that holds different buffers as layers (pretty unique saver, imho)... why we can't load PSDs similar to how Cinema can do it, is beyond me.
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  5. #140
    Quote Originally Posted by Cageman View Post
    That's pretty neat, yes! We have similar systems over here for debris and explosion, but I'm not sure how those works. Usually, the effects/mel dudes just do their magic. The "debris-maker" we have, has become very userfriendly so that us non-technical dudes can make use of it. But I have to add that the more technical dudes usually have to do a cleanup pass once we are finished using those tools because there are so many things that, apparently, can mess with the renderer.
    thank you! ah yeah i spent alot of time writing mel that will side step alot of the issues, im happy to say now that at this stage, its almost to the point of not needing cleanup. but oh man the hoops i had to jump through (and there are STILL limitations i haven't licked yet) and i love licking limitations.

    limitations..... arghhghhghgh....

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