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BazC
08-12-2005, 10:44 AM
I have a fairly low end computer, eMac 1.25GHz 768MB RAM and I have been using C4d to produce double page spreads in the region of 6000x4000 pixels. It takes a while but it always works without problems.

Having seen the price drop and the new features coming in LW9 I've been thinking about getting a copy of LW. I assumed (naively?) that all 3d apps would render print sized images quite happily, now I read that LW doesn't cope too well with big images presumably due to poor memory management.

I have also read that FPrime2 will render really big images easily but FPrime has it's limits too and I'd like to use Lightwaves native renderer.

So is Lightwave a bad choice for this kind of work or has LW9 had some major improvements in this area? (I've not read anything about this). I'd like to use Lightwave, I like the interface and I like it's renders and LW9 sounds like it's practically caught up again in 1 release. Plus it's astounding value! It's no good to me though unless I can render a double page magazine spread with my current hardware.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated! - Baz

IC12
08-12-2005, 12:44 PM
I've never had a problen producing large renders unless I've got high poly count+raytraced reflections+radiosity.
If small tests go reasonably quickly, a print res version will normally be pro rata time-wise.

With regard to FPrime, its limitations are easily overcome in most cases. The only real problem is Shaders which I rarely use.
I regularly do 3500x2000 renders with it and they come out REALLY quickly without a single problem.

biliousfrog
08-12-2005, 12:48 PM
I've never heard of any problems with print resolution, all of our jobs are at least A4/300dpi, some of them at A3 & some are several meters across (at lower dpi). I've also used FPrime to render at A3 with no problems.

Maybe others have different experiences?

RobertoOrtiz
08-12-2005, 01:20 PM
I work all the time doing large scale renders for print work and I never had a problem with Lightwave.

Dont believe all the negative hype.

-R

BazC
08-12-2005, 01:20 PM
Hey small world! I used to live in Lowestoft!

Thanks for the feedback from both of you. It makes me feel a little better! :o)

I came across this (http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=39478) thread this morning which rang alarm bells and when I started searching for threads on rendering for print I found loads of threads here and on the Newtek forums complaining about rendering at print sizes and saying how much better C4d is for this kind of work! :o( The guy who posted about using FPrime for large renders says he can maybe manage a 3000 pixel wide render using F9 and he's running a G5 that makes my eMac look like a toy! He does say FPrime will manage 10,000pixels plus without problems though. Of course he may be using massive textures, radiosity, blurred reflections DOF and everything else, he doesn't say.

Thanks again for the feedback, if Mr Vost feels like chiming in with some info on how LW9 handles really big renders it would be cool though! ;)

Cheers - Baz

BazC
08-12-2005, 01:23 PM
Thanks for the info Roberto, you posted while I was replying :)

sasa
08-12-2005, 01:34 PM
i have a slower computer than your [1GHz+1GB RAM+16MB VRAM] and all i do is print.
as you said "it takes a while but it always works without problems".
resolution+size is not a problem with LW. f-prime does help a lot.
i'd suggest you to first invest in a new mac [that's what i'm going to do].
system requirements for new apps are rising and ...............

long story—short: LW+mac+print = no problem

BeeVee
08-12-2005, 03:13 PM
Hi Baz,

The aforementioned Mr. Vost here, who's never lived in Lowestoft, but has spent some time there on a training course and didn't much like it.

As previously stated, LightWave doesn't really have any trouble rendering up to very large sizes (a friend rendered the B&H 555 campaign of cigarette ads at billboard resolution), however there are a lot of people that don't thoroughly understand LightWave and think that just hitting F9 to render should be the end of their efforts. You do need to make preparations and it is actually easier on a Mac because of fewer memory limitations (a Windows PC can only address 2GB per application in a standard 32-bit incarnation), but turning off things like mip-mapping, turning on bounding boxes, rendering from fresh or better yet from Screamernet, etc. all contribute to making it easier to render the full 16,000x16,000 images LightWave is capable of generating.

B

BazC
08-12-2005, 03:48 PM
"i'd suggest you to first invest in a new mac"

Thanks for your response Sasa! A new Mac would be nice but I think I'll have to wait a while before getting a Pro Mac, probably after the Macintels come out!

"The aforementioned Mr. Vost here, who's never lived in Lowestoft, but has spent some time there on a training course and didn't much like it."

Hiya Ben, yeah Lowestoft is an aquired taste lol!
Thanks for chipping in, the 2gig limit on Windows would be a luxury, my eMac can only take 1gig! It sounds as though with a bit of care I can probably do the kind of renders I'm used to but it does sound as though Lightwave could use some work in this area. I've never felt the need to make special preperations in Cinema, I just hit render and wait, and then wait some more lol!

Still, I've already bought a secondhand copy of LW, once it arrives I can start on some serious tests before deciding whether to upgrade!

Thanks for everyones help! - Baz

RPG2006
08-12-2005, 05:02 PM
BeeVee,

It would be nice to know exactly what sort of prepartions should be made. You've mentioned two suggestions mipmap and bounding box, that I certainly haven't considered before. Both my partner and I have experienced problems rendering for print, where Lightwave just seems to of locked up.

For instance I might use texture maps of 3000x3000, and I usually save them out in jpeg form. I know one of the strengths of targa format is the fact that alphas can be incorporated, but is targa just a better choice overall, over using jpeg.

Regards Fprime, when people mention that they've used it for hi-res format, do you render out in sections and then paste them back together in a 2d paint program, or can you actually achieve this one go?

RPG:)

samartin
08-12-2005, 05:15 PM
For instance I might use texture maps of 3000x3000, and I usually save them out in jpeg form. I know one of the strengths of targa format is the fact that alphas can be incorporated, but is targa just a better choice overall, over using jpeg.

When saving as JPG you will get some information lost which I'm sure you are well aware of, the only reason for compressing as a JPG is to save on disk space. At the end of the day, the JPG has still got to be uncompressed to be displayed in it's true glory. So if you have the HD space I would suggest you stick with TGA for rendering then there is no lost information...

AngelDream
08-12-2005, 05:55 PM
Lightwave doesn't have any trouble rendering up to print size. However, to speed things up, I render from the screamernet(using the win32 command line) in the stand-alone mode:

lwsn -3 \scenes\render.lws 0 0 1

Phyrea
08-12-2005, 06:31 PM
It would be nice to know exactly what sort of prepartions should be made. You've mentioned two suggestions mipmap and bounding box, that I certainly haven't considered before. Both my partner and I have experienced problems rendering for print, where Lightwave just seems to of locked up
Here are a couple. Ben might have some more to add to this. First, turn off "Show Rendering in Progress." Second, set your Output File to be saved to the hard drive, and turn off the Render Display (change Image Viewer to None). Use F10 to render, rather than F9. Also, for very large renders set your Segment Memory Limit (camera properties) to a lower number. Normally I keep mine at 512 MBs, but for a 6000x6000 pixel image my rendering time was greatly reduced by changing the Segment Memory Limit to 64 MBs. It also kept LW snappy during rendering.

BazC
08-12-2005, 07:48 PM
Thanks for the tips folks!


"Normally I keep mine at 512 MBs, but for a 6000x6000 pixel image my rendering time was greatly reduced by changing the Segment Memory Limit to 64 MBs. It also kept LW snappy during rendering."

Presumably because that stops Lightwave from using virtual memory? Still I would have thought a higher segment memory size, provided it was well within your total RAM would be faster?

Phyrea
08-12-2005, 09:10 PM
Presumably because that stops Lightwave from using virtual memory? Still I would have thought a higher segment memory size, provided it was well within your total RAM would be faster?
Normally it should be faster for LW to render an image with enough "Segment Memory" to render it as one segment. However, when you have a complex scene and you're rendering at a very high resolution, limiting the Segment Memory leaves more of your RAM available for the rest of your application. This can cause issues with certain Image Filters, but typically it works out fine. As I mentioned before, normally I leave mine at 512 MBs so that everything is rendered in one segment. Of course it varies from system to system, so a little experimentation never hurts. :)

Under the LightWave online Help, there's a section titled "Camera Basics" which goes over these settings. It also has a suggestion of getting around the issue of certain image filters that have problems with segmentation.

BazC
08-12-2005, 10:19 PM
Thanks for the explanation Earl, that's a big help! - Baz

gerardo
08-12-2005, 10:59 PM
Normally it should be faster for LW to render an image with enough "Segment Memory" to render it as one segment. However, when you have a complex scene and you're rendering at a very high resolution, limiting the Segment Memory leaves more of your RAM available for the rest of your application. This can cause issues with certain Image Filters, but typically it works out fine...

Yeah, but I've noticed with SplitRender (http://www.frenchwave.org/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=250) we don't have that kind of problem :)



Gerardo

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