View Full Version : Particles in XSI ...comparison but no flames
07-28-2006, 12:59 AM
I am a LW 9 and XSI 5.1 Fdn owner. I am just starting to learn XSI and was wondering how the particles compare. I'm asking because I am going to be doing a project shortly where some special effects particles will be needed, collisions, and pyro stuff. I have a couple of weeks to spend on leaning the basics of XSI particles if they are worth it vs. do it in LW for now. As far as I can tell, since I am a Fdn owner, I cannot edit or create scripts, don't have hard body (which I can probably fake by tweaking soft body settings) or hair (not needed anyway). It seems LW might be more robust than Fdn (just my initial impression) but I was wondering what other XSI'ers thought. I did see a tutorial for sale at www.3DTutorial.com (http://www.3DTutorial.com) that looked interesting to help learn XSI particles - any thoughts on that for a Fdn owner.
Thanks all for taking the time to read
07-28-2006, 03:35 AM
I'm not an expert at particles in LightWave or XSI, but from my meager experience, I would say "out of the box" XSI is better at controlling particles, but lightwave has the edge on rendering volume effects using hypervoxels (although they are extremely slow to render). The 3dtutorial video on particles is highly recommended (as are all their XSI tutorials) and will show you a lot of things that are not that obvious. Also, I would recommend going into the preferences and setting the interaction/properties and editor views to tab style property editors. This separates everything to it's own tab, so that all the options don't load up in a single page and makes things a little less confusing with particles.
If you have the money, the Binary Alchemy volume plug in ( http://www.binaryalchemy.de/index_dev.htm ) is handy for getting the hypervoxel like effects (and other volume effects) and I think it renders much faster than Hypervoxels. There are some great looking example scenes that come with the BA volume plug in, but the documentation/tutorials are a bit weak, so be prepared to reverse engineer some of the scenes to understand how they work.
As far as scripting, the only thing that you can't do in foundation is edit scripted operators, but I've heard they could be created externally (I have no idea how).
As for hair, don't forget about Bhairy.
07-28-2006, 12:32 PM
I was just browsing the xsi forum for some LW comparisons, so while I haven't used xsi, I'll offer some thoughts on LW:
I take it you know about the dynamite plugin? http://www.cantarcan.com/v11/html/main.html
it may help with your pyro effects as thats what its kinda made for. There is a lite free version which doesnt have the fluid sim, but you can get a nice ogl preview of your voxels & a whole bunch of other options.
Also, bear in mind that the HV's render faster if you render them on their own and comp them in. You can disable options and set things to low quality and they're quite fast (if it looks good enough of course :))
EDIT: Deleted due to me being a cretin.
07-28-2006, 06:43 PM
XSI's particles seem to render much faster, but that's mainly because you're often using billboards etc. The control is much better than LW in terms of age% controling things etc. and the amount of effectors you have working on them. That said it's a lot more complicated than LW in many regards and there are some things that are easy to do in LW that seem hard (to me) to do in XSI (like getting the particles to stretch based on velocity).
I find LW particle simulations run faster in many situations.
That said I've seen some very cool particle effects in XSI, but LW's volumetric engine is far easier to use for convincing effects. XSI also handles instancing and sprites for particles far better than LW.
It's a mixed bag...
07-28-2006, 09:51 PM
Thanks everyone for the responses. I'm going to do some tutorials and see how it feels - then I'll decide. Maybe I'll try to do it in both, if time permits, and see what works better for me.
Sam - thanks for the Binary link. I'm going to download the demo and try it.
Anti- yes I do know about Dynamite and it sure looks like a nice plug-in. I will try the demo also and see. It looks very easy to use and the results look great.
Mocaw - thanks for the comparison. It does indeed look like a mixed bag, as most software is I guess. Your comparison was very helpful.
I'm not an expert at particles in LightWave or XSI, but from my meager experience, I would say "out of the box" XSI is better at controlling particles, but lightwave has the edge on rendering volume effects using hypervoxels (although they are extremely slow to render).This is very much my impression as well. Hypervoxels are very hard to beat when it comes to rendering, but XSI's totally integrated approach to all aspects of the program means that XSI wins the control stakes hands down.
07-29-2006, 04:52 PM
...but XSI's totally integrated approach to all aspects of the program means that XSI wins the control stakes hands down.
This is one reason I'm lurking on this forum. xsi seems to lure me :)
07-29-2006, 04:52 PM
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