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Thread: FPrime or Maxwell?

  1. #1
    Registered User Davoid's Avatar
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    FPrime or Maxwell?

    Hello,

    I am looking at getting Fprime or the Maxwell renderer, I like FPrime, but I also use another program called Sketchup. As Maxwell renderer will also render inside that program, should I go for it or am I still better to get FPrime?
    I hope this is not to daft a question, it's just that while Maxwell is in beta stage you can get it at about half price.

    Any comments or advice would be appreciated.

    Regards,
    David

  2. #2
    Heir to the Throne RedBull's Avatar
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    Well it depends on what kind of work you do....
    Mainly Still simple images, Maxwell is cool.....
    But honestly their is no comparison to be made....

    FPrime is a previewer, renderer and speedwise ****s all over Maxwell...
    Maxwell, is still a immature product with many weaknesses..

    I find Maxwell to be a great idea that's executed badly....
    The release candidate will be released on Friday this week...
    So maybe it will show some major improvements in noise,speed and bugfixes.

    I'd be much happier with a FPrime purchase, just because of the money and time the plugin has saved me...... Where Maxwell has cost me large amounts of money, for very little gain......

  3. #3
    LightJustice Panikos's Avatar
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    If I were in your place I would have some patience since everything will get its final shape in the near future.

    But if you own LW, you should buy FPrime anyway

  4. #4
    Super Member Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Maxwell looks very promising indeed. Many people claim it's slow, but at some things, it's actually very fast. It has terrific complexity scaling, and it can do some stuff few other renderers can. However, Next Limit's customer support seems kind of iffy, and they keep pushing back release dates. Worley, on the other hand, seems to be a cool guy...

    Maxwell pros:
    *Pretty darned realistic
    *Handles some things few other renderers can
    *Faster than Fprime in some few instances
    *Realistic material setup
    *Compatible with a whole bunch of applications, so you're not tied to Lightwave

    Maxwell cons:
    *Iffy customer service
    *No actual finished product yet
    *Really slow in some regards
    *Costs more money than Fprime
    *Not compatible with Lightwave materials
    *Can't do non-realistic rendering

    Fprime pros:
    *Cheaper
    *Faster, for the most part
    *Previewer
    *Compatible with LW materials
    *Can do non-realistic rendering, and is thusly more versatile
    *Is an actual finished product; you don't pay hundreds of dollars just to become a beta tester

    Fprime cons:
    *Not quite as photo-realistic
    *Seems to be slower at a few things
    *No realistic material setup (yes, this is both a good and a bad thing)
    *Only works with Ligthwave


    I guess what it all boils down to is how important it is for you to be able to render in SketchUp.

    Edited to add:
    Remember also that SketchUp models can be imported into Lightwave fairly easily, as far as I can recall. Having the renderer work only inside Lightwave might not be a big problem, since you could just bring the model into Lightwave and texture it there. LW's texture manager is pretty dang good if you ask me. I see no reason for you to value rendering in SketchUp all that highly, since you can easily export the model to LW and render there.
    Last edited by Captain Obvious; 11-29-2005 at 03:26 AM.
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  5. #5
    Used Register doimus's Avatar
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    I think Maxwell is pretty much overkill for 90% of render work. It's accuraccy is both blessing and a curse wich pigeonholes it inside one niche (photorealistic rendering of still images). IMHO, unless you produce stills and nothing else, you should look elsewhere.
    Also, we already have one slow&accurate rendering engine inside LW, no need in getting another.

    I'm personally waiting for Vray to become standalone, so I can use it with LW, Autocad, Rhino, Revit, whatnot. Brazil is also going standalone in near future.


    Oh, I forgot to mention FPrime... well, as Panikos said: get it anyway and get it NOW! You'll thank us later.

  6. #6
    Valiant NewTeKnight Matt's Avatar
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    Not sure why people say FPrime is _just_ a previewer, because it's not, left to render at the right quality level it looks great. We use it all the time for final print renders.

    From what I've heard of Maxwell it's slow as ****, we're talking days over what FPrime could do in hours!!! Sure Maxwell might look much better at the end of it, but for me time is everything, unless Maxwell can deliver those types of renders (at PRINT resolution) in reasonably times, I see it no more than a very expensive toy at the moment.
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  7. #7
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    not sure but from what i have gathered both render engines are built on the same priciples, the main difference being that maxwell has physically correct materials built in as standard................

    like most peolpe above have said, if its architectural stuff you are doing and your client is willing to pay and wait for the long render times maxwell is the way to go............anyway one job should pay for maxwell outright............

    Fprime is a must when using lightwave, for what i use it for anyway, you can render radosity, reflection, refraction and millions of polygons in minutes as opposed to hours using lightwaves renderer................

    at the end of the day its down to the ability of the user, there are some terrible images on the maxwell forum also!!

  8. #8
    Super Member Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    I suppose Maxwell and Fprime have their similarities, richardo. Not in their internal workings, but how they behave. Both are refining renderers, where you get a rough preview in a matter of seconds or minutes, a nice but noisy image after a while, and a noise-free image after a longer while. Additionally, they both use per-pixel sampling for the global illumination. This is slower than most other methods, but more accurate. The downside is that it produces noise.
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  9. #9

    maxwell vs fprime

    Hi,
    consider to use fprime for anims and maxwell for pics
    and anims where the lightining is very important.

    This is a great tool for the materials and the quality
    of light and then for the architectural works.

    In attach my last test, 3d models from lw 8.5 and
    rendering in maxwell with lw connection...

    ADL
    www.imagonet.it
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Super Member Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Care to set up the materials and let Fprime have a go at that, ADL? Or, if you're feeling extremely generous, you could share the scene with the rest of us. I'd like to let F9 have a go at it as well. If you're not comfortable with that, it's fully understandable and I won't hold it against you in any way, though.

    Either way, there is a black... something, right on the top of the handle, and the flower seems to have some odd lighting going on. Is this Maxwell behaving oddly, or something else?
    Are my spline guides showing?

  11. #11


    This version of the logo was made by the maxwell people themselves ... Bottom of the page.

    It is an interesting tool, but I wouldn't compare it to Fprime that provides a lot more than just a renderer. Also Worley labs is a great company in my experience with extremely low bug factor and great support while Next Limit is in my opinion a rubbish company that overhype, have insane amount of bugs, easily over several full versions, rubbish support, very weak documentation and so on. The first question you should ask about a Maxwell render is render time. On the next limit site, the examples can easily be weeklong renders on monster rigs, that goes for all their products.

    Both Maxwell and Realflow can be great tools and lots of fun, but I'd say you can be pretty sure that sending the same amount of money to Stewe Worley and Next Limit, you will get a lot more for them in all aspects from Worley.

  12. #12
    Husband, Father of 5 nthused's Avatar
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    I don't own Maxwell but am VERY impressed with the look one may achieve with it...that said, you'll likely use FPrime everytime you use LightWave - the time required for surfacing and lighting scenes is greatly reduced. For this reason, I would purchase FPrime over Maxwell - short term return on investment will be much better IMO.
    Allen Bussell

  13. #13
    if you own LW, get fprime first

    fprime = here now

    maxwell will be here shortly (but is still getting it's act together, and is slow)

    then get maxwell if you really want to. I wouldn't tho

    all imho
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  14. #14
    If you can only have one, fprime is the better.

  15. #15
    Registered User Davoid's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the replies, it is much appreciated. FPrime it is

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