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Thread: Happy Digital - HD Caustics

  1. #1

    Happy Digital - HD Caustics

    Is anyone out there using Happy Digitals "HD Caustics" plug-in with Lightwave 9.3 or 9.5?

    I am thinking of buying it as I really need rock-solid caustics for a glass bottle animation I have to produce and Lightwaves caustics are either too splodgy looking or take hours per frame to render.

    If anyone out there is using it, does it work with the new Perspective camera and area-lights? All the examples on the HD website seem to have hard-edged shadows!

  2. #2
    Does no-one out there have this plug-in?

    I'm surprised as there are loads of posts complaining how slow/ugly Lightwave caustics are!

  3. #3
    Super Member dwburman's Avatar
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    You could try emailing Happy-Digital directly. I've had Graham or his wife reply to me every time I emailed a question to them.
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  4. #4
    I emailed them yesterday!

    No reply so far

    I can't believe no-one has this plug-in.

  5. #5
    \\ is sparkling // Iain's Avatar
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    I wouldn't buy it based on the gallery images.

    You can get decent caustics from LW when you need to but most of the time they're overdone for effect in CGI.
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  6. #6
    i guess this plugin is faking fast refraction caustics only (and probably does a great job doing so) but it is not a replacement for real reflection and refraction caustics as seen in other render engines. imo it's time for NT to rewrite their code to fit the other excellent GI features in LW.

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  7. #7
    It's decent, fast and 'stable' refractive caustics I'm after for a glass bottle animation.

    I've got OK results from LW caustics for a still image, but you have to crank up the numbers really high which means ridiculous render times which aren't acceptable for animation. Plus they have a tendency to flicker.

    I've got really nice, 'true' caustics with the same bottle model imported into my copy of XSI 7 with better render times, but I only have one license of Mental Ray so it isn't practical to render the animation in Softimage (I wish they would drop the price of MR licenses, they are ridiculous - but that's another discussion for another forum).

    So until Newtek sorts out Lightwaves Caustics it's either Happy-Digital or some sort of spotlight/image projection cheat.

  8. #8
    Steam username: Carm3D Carm3D's Avatar
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    It kinda works..

    I just tested it with 9.3.1. I can't get the chromatic aberrations to work. But other than that, it does do the funkified shadows. They're just monochromatic. It has been a while since I used it. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. Better talk with Mr. Digital to verify.

    Note: HDCaustics works best with point lights. Prepare for compositor trickery if you want to use it with other lights.
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  9. #9
    thanks or that Carm! I'm still waiting for a reply from Mr Digital.

    When you say it works best with point lights, have you tried it with an area light?

    Can you tell me how this plug-in is applied? Do you have to apply it to the source surface or the receiver or both?

  10. #10
    Steam username: Carm3D Carm3D's Avatar
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    Just the source surface.

    It works with area lights but doesn't look as good.
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  11. #11
    I finally bit the bullet and bought HD caustics.

    It doesn't seem to work!!!!

    As soon as I increase the refraction above 1.0 the area in the shadow that should get lighter, gets darker and I get a wierd black area in the shadow as well.

    I've emailed the people at Happy Digital, but seeing as I didn't get a reply to my original question, I'm not holding out much hope.

  12. #12
    Just a thought - It's been around for quite a while. Perhaps also ask Graham which version of LW it was optimized for, and if it's tailored to the latest versions (8.5, 9, 9.2-9.31, and 9.5 are all different stories as far as I know).

    I may also be camera type sensitive for the same reason, so test that too.

    Graham ALWAYS replies, so he must be on holiday (I'm an HD I customer...)

    Apart from that, there's just this message from Chuck..
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  13. #13
    Steam username: Carm3D Carm3D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonazure View Post
    I finally bit the bullet and bought HD caustics.

    It doesn't seem to work!!!!

    As soon as I increase the refraction above 1.0 the area in the shadow that should get lighter, gets darker and I get a wierd black area in the shadow as well.

    I've emailed the people at Happy Digital, but seeing as I didn't get a reply to my original question, I'm not holding out much hope.
    Are you playing with the cowsticks, nominal thickness and object size settings?
    Carm
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  14. #14
    I just got an email from Happy Digital.

    Apparently it doesn't work with 9.x, it does work with 7.5 and 'maybe' 8.5!!!

    I think it would have been useful for them to have put that information on their website. All it says is "for Lightwave 6.5 and UP". Seeing as the 9.x cycle of Lightwave has been around for well over a year now, I assumed (obviously wrongly) that "6.5 and UP" would include 9.x!!!

    I know this plug-in is relatively cheap, but I could have thought of a number of better things to spend $60 on than a plug-in that will get absolutely no use, unless I want to downgrade the version of Lightwave I use.

  15. #15
    Steam username: Carm3D Carm3D's Avatar
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    Sorry about that.. You could see from my test that it was only partially working for me. I thought that would have dissuaded you from purchasing it.
    Carm
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