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Thread: LW 2019 MAGAZINE REVIEW - 3d WORLD MAG

  1. #61
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPSchmidt View Post
    For my part, I am interested in native Lightwave clouds; I don't own Houdini and although I have and use Blender, I would like to try to keep as much as possible in Lightwave.

    I would be interested in a package that combined training with presets and scenes and included a variety of cloud types that is focused more on skyscapes, although hero clouds definitely have their uses.

    I've created clouds using VDB in Lightwave, and while they are serviceable, I would like to get more variety and better cloud formations while learning more about their generation and animation.

    Typically I would use stock video for cloud backdrops or composite clouds into a rendered scene using Trapcode, but while that is serviceable, you don't get the same level of realism in the environment. It looks real... but it doesn't feel real. Clients can't really tell the difference in the environment, but I can.

    Understood, Lightwave is desired then
    For Large skyscapes lightwave isnīt ideal, not houdini either nor blender (skipping maya and max and cinema4d since I havenīt touched them for many years)
    Modo I tried some two years ago..but in my opinion Ligtwaveīs way of doing it is easier and now better looking I think, probably faster also but canīt say for sure.

    For large skyscapes that only leaves us with Terragen and Vue if you wanīt the best.
    But back to Lightwave, it is somewhat doable with very large volume item containers, or try with particles as I have done with old hypervoxels..but I think you should avoid that due to the blending nature of volume particles, perhaps better using just several volume items, or just a very few particles serving as large particle clouds.

    I do not own houdini myself, only apprentice versions which at least allows for saving out vdb to lightwave and I can render without watermark in nice glory, as long it isnīt commercial..should I go commercial in any project, I would look in to indie versions.

    When it comes to hero clouds and shaping them and noise and lighting/shading....Lightwaves volume items are mainly procedural texture shape driven for both first shape (noise)and seconary shape (aslos noise)...If you want to design the cloud shape by a model or sculpt...you would have to convert to vdb with mesh to vdb, but then you got no noise (hypertexture) you would need to use velocity and advection vdb nodes..and simulate calculate in timeline to get a texture going on, that is a bit slow to do and
    houdini does this much better since you can apply advection noise to a static cloud unlike how lightwave does it.

    Changing geometry shape is also just a matter of changing the path to another object in houdini and you get it updated with the same volumetrics and noise but with a different model that is shaping the cloud, eually would be to replace object in lightwave perhaps, and hopefully the vdb tools and nodes will be intact.

    For all blender and houdini and terragen glory, I still think Lightwave basic approach of adding a null and making it volumetric is one of the better ones to get going with a basic cloud, houdini cloudfx as I understand it is built differently and by itīs nature a bit slower than lightwave for a basic volume setup, once you have build your cloud and let it cook in houdini..which can take some time depending on quality and resolution, then itīs very sweet to use for realtime feedback.

    For creating simulations that can yield hero clouds much more true to how a cloud actually is building up, we now have the vdb gas solver, and once simulated it can yield very very nice looking clouds, havenīt worked that much with them because it is very very slow to use, thus I rather work with blender fluid simulations and forces to build up clouds.
    the shading in blender is easy to control with the new pbr volume shader and additional nodes, sending it to lightwave is easy to do as well, but you need high resolution sims most oftenl.

    I hope to be able to cover that in some form soon.
    Ivé seen that Liberty3D and Adam Gibson I think as well as Kelly has some cloud stuff, and Gibson covering some VDB tools for that, but I also see that the end result isnīt really portraying anything near cloud realism...but are perhaps focusing on the technical side of how to use the tools(which they most likely know more about than me), then it may be up to your own skill to push it to that extra realism level.

    If I am going to embark on deeper understanding and work more on providing tutes and content, it would be nice to know how much interest there is out there, Of course I will try to point to a blog, or site with sample content of various clouds, a project that is in the cradle still, is to showcase cloudmaking between houdini, blender, Terragen and Lightwave..vue was something I used a lot previously with ple versions, but the noise functions for clouds wasnīt of my liking..and probably still isnīt improved, however...they did put in vdb loading now, so that is of high interest..what I saw from their youtube channel is interesting.

    The best illumination and shading comes from Terragen, as well as noise functions and skylighting, but I am having a hard time with its UI and value controls, you just canīt design a hero cloud as easy as you do in Lightwave or Houdini.

    And this post doesnīt really belong here, should be in one of my many cloud posts but undoubtly ...a review gives birth to all kind of stuff that Lightwave can do.

  2. #62
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Lightwave has always felt solid yet cutting-edge, implementing new tools and technologies early on. While its morphing tools and particle systems have been strong for years, there has been room for growth in other areas and 2019 sees these covered.


    This is why we can't have nice things.
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB/2018.0.7 on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.6),32GB RAM, NV 980ti

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