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Thread: LightWave 3D® 2019: LightWave™ Bridge to Unreal Engine Plugin Update for UE 4.22

  1. #1
    NewTek Social Media Chuck's Avatar
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    LightWave 3D® 2019: LightWave™ Bridge to Unreal Engine Plugin Update for UE 4.22

    Epic Games has released Unreal Engine 4.22 with over 174 improvements, including early access support for new real-time raytracing and pathtracing functions, performance improvements in rendering, and in the virtual production pipeline.

    NewTek’s LightWave 3D® team is pleased to respond with an update to our LightWave™ Bridge to Unreal Engine plugin that gives LightWave users access to the new features and functions of Unreal Engine 4.22.

    Log In to Your Account and Download the Update

    A readme text with instructions for placing the updated plugin is included in the download.

    Read the complete news from Epic: Unreal Engine 4.22 released
    Chuck Baker
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    Software Developer's Dilemma: The better the new feature, the more feature requests it will generate. - C. Baker
    Please note that any statements regarding future product development are forward looking and subject to change without notice.

  2. #2
    Thanks Chuck and dev team. The Unreal bridge is unreal!
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  3. #3
    Super Member CaptainMarlowe's Avatar
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    Oh, that’s really cool news, thanks NT.
    By the way, I bought Ryan Roye’s lightwave to unreal tutorial. Straight to the point in less than an hour with tons of useful informations and tips. I learnt a lot in no time with them.

  4. #4
    Medical Animator mummyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMarlowe View Post
    Oh, that’s really cool news, thanks NT.
    By the way, I bought Ryan Roye’s lightwave to unreal tutorial. Straight to the point in less than an hour with tons of useful informations and tips. I learnt a lot in no time with them.
    I'm considering purchasing this tutorial as well. Does he get into how dense the LW scenes can be with geo and still have it working nicely?

  5. #5
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    Thanks Chuck and Devs, I was hoping for this update.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mummyman View Post
    I'm considering purchasing this tutorial as well. Does he get into how dense the LW scenes can be with geo and still have it working nicely?
    Geometry density is a non-factor in almost every situation... got a 5-million polygon scene you'd like to import? It's still gonna run at 60+ FPS... even if its all characters with bones and morphs in them and they are all animated.

    The only exception to this concerns alembic cache files, which you need to get simulations and other special deformation effects into Unreal. The "ceiling" here is much lower, so you'll start noticing performance drops at around 100,000 polygons for animated cache files.

    Although I don't cover it in these tutorials, other things, like particles and otherwise run extremely efficiently as well. GPU particles are basically free to render and incur no performance penalty whatsoever, but suffer from occlusion problems and can't emit light onto your scenery. CPU particles are much more flexible, but the ceiling is lower... though its a ceiling you'll likely never reach in a standard project.

    Volumetrics, post production effects like depth of field, and other stuff are all essentially "free"; their performance cost only ever really matters when you want your stuff to run smoothly on lower end machines.

    It is not all a bed of roses over in Unreal though, it does have drawbacks:

    - Large texture files around 4-8k can take a while to import into Unreal initially... this is likely because it does some kind of pre-processing to allow the textures to be processed faster in future sessions.

    - You lose access to advanced workflows involving extremely high detail particle simulations (Realflow, Houdini, etc). I have seen demos of openVDB support... but it's nothing i'd want to attempt to make a tutorial on.

    - Objects consisting of many materials/surface groups will be difficult to manage in Unreal. My workflow favors baking your environment so that you have 1 material and 1 UV map to make things easier. In the future though, i'd like to see the Lightwave bridge improve further to allow for simpler objects with 7 surfaces or less transfer over without the need for UV baking. It actually already does this, but it can't assign these extra surfaces automatically yet.

    - Compositing will be more difficult if you need that level of control. You can generate passes to some degree, but nowhere near the level of a standard renderer. Granted, Unreal does have post processing tools that lessens the need for compositing.
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 04-10-2019 at 04:33 PM.
    Professional-level 3d training: Ryan's Lightwave Learning
    Plugin Developer: RR Tools for Lightwave

  7. #7

  8. #8
    www.Digitawn.co.uk rustythe1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Roye View Post
    Geometry density is a non-factor in almost every situation... got a 5-million polygon scene you'd like to import? It's still gonna run at 60+ FPS... even if its all characters with bones and morphs in them and they are all animated.

    The only exception to this concerns alembic cache files, which you need to get simulations and other special deformation effects into Unreal. The "ceiling" here is much lower, so you'll start noticing performance drops at around 100,000 polygons for animated cache files.

    Although I don't cover it in these tutorials, other things, like particles and otherwise run extremely efficiently as well. GPU particles are basically free to render and incur no performance penalty whatsoever, but suffer from occlusion problems and can't emit light onto your scenery. CPU particles are much more flexible, but the ceiling is lower... though its a ceiling you'll likely never reach in a standard project.

    Volumetrics, post production effects like depth of field, and other stuff are all essentially "free"; their performance cost only ever really matters when you want your stuff to run smoothly on lower end machines.

    It is not all a bed of roses over in Unreal though, it does have drawbacks:

    - Large texture files around 4-8k can take a while to import into Unreal initially... this is likely because it does some kind of pre-processing to allow the textures to be processed faster in future sessions.

    - You lose access to advanced workflows involving extremely high detail particle simulations (Realflow, Houdini, etc). I have seen demos of openVDB support... but it's nothing i'd want to attempt to make a tutorial on.

    - Objects consisting of many materials/surface groups will be difficult to manage in Unreal. My workflow favors baking your environment so that you have 1 material and 1 UV map to make things easier. In the future though, i'd like to see the Lightwave bridge improve further to allow for simpler objects with 7 surfaces or less transfer over without the need for UV baking. It actually already does this, but it can't assign these extra surfaces automatically yet.

    - Compositing will be more difficult if you need that level of control. You can generate passes to some degree, but nowhere near the level of a standard renderer. Granted, Unreal does have post processing tools that lessens the need for compositing.
    Do you by any chance talk about rendering sequences in your tutorials? seem to have strange issues and im not sure if its from using imported cameras from lightwave, seems to be hard to find any kind of answer on unreal or google, basically ive been creating a scene, send it across with animations, set up all the post process volumes etc to get nice look, open the lightwave animation as a sequence, render to frames from the sequence window, problem is the camera completely ignores most if not all post processes from the volume, even when changing blending etc, the only work around I found was to manually set the values in all cameras but im not sure this works as unbound like the volumes can, but this can be a pain if you update the camera from lightwave as the post effects are reset, im sure I never had this issue if I created the camera from within unreal
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rustythe1 View Post
    Do you by any chance talk about rendering sequences in your tutorials? seem to have strange issues and im not sure if its from using imported cameras from lightwave, seems to be hard to find any kind of answer on unreal or google, basically ive been creating a scene, send it across with animations, set up all the post process volumes etc to get nice look, open the lightwave animation as a sequence, render to frames from the sequence window, problem is the camera completely ignores most if not all post processes from the volume
    Yes, I talk about rendering out image sequences among many other things. Also, remember that post processing volumes by default only operate within a box area unless you set them to "unbound".

    Edit: And yes... it is ... redicuously... table-flipping hard to find answers to problems. This was probably one of the most difficult projects I've ever worked on because of that reason. The content makes it look easy, but finding out where and how things are supposed to work together was stuff I had to piece together from countless hours of frustration The LW community really spoils us in that regard.
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 04-12-2019 at 10:47 AM.
    Professional-level 3d training: Ryan's Lightwave Learning
    Plugin Developer: RR Tools for Lightwave

  10. #10
    Dude! Dillon's Avatar
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    Instructions unclear:

    Do I need to put the newly unzipped LightwaveBridge folder in both the Unreal 4.22 / editor folder as well as the LW plugin folder?

    I suppose I needed to rescan my plugins after dropping the new UnrealBridge folder into both LW and unreal directories.

    Deleted the old unreal plugin in LW, and rescanned the plugin directory to scan in the 4.22 LightwaveBridge folder.

    Created a new project in unreal, tells me a new plugin (LWB) has been found. I enable it. Restart.

    Unreal now tells me that "the following modules are missing or were built with a different engine version - LightwaveBridge … Would you like to rebuild these now?

    I click yes. It does it's thing, but it says it couldn't be completed "try rebuilding from source manually".


    Not sure what's happening here.


    Thanks,
    Last edited by Dillon; 04-12-2019 at 04:58 PM.
    Video and Animation Auteur

  11. #11
    Dude! Dillon's Avatar
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    deleted
    Last edited by Dillon; 04-12-2019 at 04:49 PM.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dillon View Post
    Instructions unclear:

    I suppose I needed to rescan my plugins after dropping the new UnrealBridge folder into both LW and unreal directories.

    Thanks,


    See video. The unreal bridge button should be in your I/O tab, if not, you'll need to add it.
    Professional-level 3d training: Ryan's Lightwave Learning
    Plugin Developer: RR Tools for Lightwave

  13. #13
    Dude! Dillon's Avatar
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    Thanks Ryan.

    Did all that. Got Bridge in/up on LW. The problem is on unreal's side. Every time I try to enable the bridge, unreal restarts, and then gives me the error (see above) and then quits. Problem is on the unreal side.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Roye View Post


    See video. The unreal bridge button should be in your I/O tab, if not, you'll need to add it.
    Video and Animation Auteur

  14. #14
    of course you'll want to double-check that the folder that you inserted into the unreal engine install matches the version of the bridge you copied the folder to. Putting the 4.21 folder into a version of 4.22 of unreal can yield this message. If it does match, i'm not sure what the issue would be.
    Professional-level 3d training: Ryan's Lightwave Learning
    Plugin Developer: RR Tools for Lightwave

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the update. Now I just need Epic Games to release a 4.22 update for the Substance Painter plugin.
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