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View Full Version : Xstream..Will It, Won't It?


IvanB
10-23-2006, 10:16 AM
Hey all,

I'm looking to get Xstream for Vue 6, and have started this thread to give me a better idea about Xstream and what it will and won't do, to see if its worth it..
I will be using it with Lightwave.

The reason for this thread is, because there isn't any REAL info, tutes etc, detailing its capabilities. All I have seen is a vue scene with a static object in Max and that looks good.
I want to be able the have animated objects and character etc in my scene.

To start off I have two questions.

1. Am I able to create a scene in Vue, then once in Lightwave (or whatever 3d app others may be using with it) do I have all my normal application features ( animating, rendering, texturing and modeling etc), or does Xstream place a limit on my app?

2. How bad is it to match the scenes between programs..For example, is the camera and lights from 3d app used or from vue?

I have a few more questions, but this will do for now..

If I do decide to get Xstream, I will be definatly making some video tutes detailing the good and the bad ( hopefully there is no bad!) and the workflow required to get a result.

Thanks in advance,http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon13.gif
Ivan.

Ps..This thread wasn't made so people can Bag the crap out of Xstream too much, Lets try to talk about the positives as much as possible.http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon10.gif No, I dont work for E-on!

videodv
10-23-2006, 03:47 PM
I have just tried out the xstream demo with cinema 9 but due to other commitments I could only get a small amount of time with it before it expired, but this is what I found.

1. rendering was about 4 times faster in cinema using the atuo option (cinemas own renderer) with a render setting of "geometry" in cinema (like vues preview render) and preview render in vue selected and I got a final render of the eqivalant of "final" in vue, 640*480 simple scene. If I slected the "best" option in cinema then the render was much longer about the same as in vue itself but the quality was top notch - no artifacts at all. This was for static renders.

2. On the animation front I tried two animations one moving the camera in vue ( I found you can scrub your timeline in cinema to see it move) and one using particals for a fire effect. Both worked without a problem and it was a beeze to work between the two apps.

When you first setup a scene between the two it puts into cinema a vue camera and light and I think you have to work in vue with the cameras and not your own app (run out of time before I could try this). I could put new lights into cinema without a problem.

I just about had time to tryout some basic modeling and animating in cinema with the vue scene and once again I never had a problem with what I was trying to do.

In conclusion (I would liked to have more time to play) I found working with the two a dream to use and very simple, althought I never got time to tryout some very large scenes I am very impressed with the connection between the two and I shall be looking at vue 6 + xstream with new eyes.

videodv.

IvanB
10-24-2006, 03:28 AM
Hey Videodv,

Thanks for that..It sounds VERY promising!

Q: When you mentioned rendering in vue..Was that just the vue setup, without your 3d apps objects..or were your 3d objects also present in vue?

I definatly would want to render in Lightwave, as its pretty fast and I suppose I can then add my blurrs and depth of field etc.

Q: Do you think its possible to say, setup your camera in 3d app, vuesynch that info to vue..then start the xstream part of the process?

It would be nice to have a Xstream demo for Lightwave!

Ivan.

videodv
10-24-2006, 07:56 AM
Hey Videodv,

Q: When you mentioned rendering in vue..Was that just the vue setup, without your 3d apps objects..or were your 3d objects also present in vue?

I definatly would want to render in Lightwave, as its pretty fast and I suppose I can then add my blurrs and depth of field etc.

Q: Do you think its possible to say, setup your camera in 3d app, vuesynch that info to vue..then start the xstream part of the process?

It would be nice to have a Xstream demo for Lightwave!

Ivan.

I created a couple of scenes in vue and did some test renders from there before I started using cinema+xstream so I could test the render speeds one against the other this was before I started to use any objects in cinema.

you can only see the vue scene in your app with your objects and not the other way round so any positioning ect has to be done in your app but any camera work has to be done in vue.

I see no reason why you cannot setup and synch the camera info from your app to vue then use that as you can save your scene and then use xstream for say rendering and animating ect in your app.

As I mentioned I run out of time with the demo which was a bit of a pitty as I could not test all the possiblities I would have liked to, but with vue 6 due anytime now who knows?.

There is a demo for lightwave version 9 at least its in the list when you install xstream you may want to check it out and see.

videodv.

IvanB
10-24-2006, 08:36 AM
Thank you Videodv...Your a champion.

I didn't relise there was a demo for Lightwave...I'm downloading!

Before I go ahead and install it...It looks as if it will install another copy of vue (a trial version) or will it just install Xstream?...bit confused.

Thanks for the info you have provided..I'm heaps more confident about getting Xstream, now its just a matter of e-on bringing out vue 6 and the full (specially priced pre order of Xstream).

Thanks again
Ivan.

IvanB
10-24-2006, 10:39 AM
Hi All,

Me again...Just installed the Xstream Trial, and have to say..I LOVE IT!!..Its awsome, I will definatly Buy it when available with 6...

I am free to use Lightwave as I wish (havn't tested it fully Yet)..at this stage I have added trees to an existing LW scene with animated objects etc..AWSOME..The best thing is I am using a "depth of field" thing (image filter) in LW called digital confusion..works a treat.

There are cameras from vue and lightwave to choose from..move the vue camera in LW and its updated in vue..Only thing I'm yet to workout is the scaling.

I will be testing a whole heap for the next few days, and will create a video tute, hopefully by the weekend showing how it works.

Videodv..Your a champion!

Ivan.

videodv
10-24-2006, 02:39 PM
No Problem Ivan

You have just echoed my feelings about xstream as well :)

Wish I had more time to try it out but never mind vue 6 + xstream is not far off.

looking forward to you seeing your findings.

videodv.

bruno021
10-24-2006, 11:27 PM
Scaling is a big issue with Xstream/Vue5, but real world units are listed in the new Vue6 feature list.

IvanB
10-24-2006, 11:49 PM
Thanks Bruno,

Where can I find the feature list?

Ivan.

The-G-Man
10-25-2006, 12:28 PM
Maybe I've just been unlucky, but Xstream with LightWave ( not the trial version - I bought it) keeps crashing for me.

IvanB
10-25-2006, 02:42 PM
Hey G,

Sorry to hear that G...

At this stage I have been testing like crazy, and so far so good..I've been comparing render times and have found LW renders a bit quicker...
I have loaded a few of my already created scenes, and have had no problems..I've switched back and forth making all kinds of changes, adding stuff removing stuff all is good. I have experimented with all sorts of blurrs, dof and really like the results...Scaling is a bit of an issue, but I got around that by placing a cube (as a reference) in vue and matching it up to my LW objects..not too bad.

I have a question for you..Do you use screamernet render farm to render..If so can you render a vue xstream scene?..didn't work for me (is it to do with the "trial" version?)

Ivan.

The-G-Man
10-25-2006, 04:20 PM
Hi Ivan,

I don't use Screamernet, but I do use ButterflyNet Render (www.liquiddreamsolutions.com) with my small 20-machine farm (works great). But I've not tried net rendering with Xstream. I think it's a licence issue if you need a bunch of nodes. I don't have the cash right now. What with the crashing I put Xstream on the back burner and composited between LW and Vue in Premier/After Effects. Works for me. Still a few issues to address, but then that's every day in 3D land.

If you meet another 3D guy who has a full head of hair, you know he must be a beginner. :)

best, Graham

IvanB
10-26-2006, 08:35 AM
Thanks Graham,

I've done some research and found that you have to purchase Render Nodes @ $99 each, in order to use other pc's as a farm http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon9.gif..It kind of put me off xstream a bit. Its a shame they didn't include 5 free nodes, a bit like hypervue.

My xstreams not crashing, but then again its a trial bundle..you get a trial version of vue 5 installed with the xstream plugin (so I have two versions of vue installed)...Who knows whats going to happen with the real thing.

How do you setup Butterflynet?..Do you use the SN setup or the SN nodes?..Or is it a whole new setup?..I'm having issues with my SN...I have a scene 60 frames..1 minute per frame = 1 Hour with 1 pc...Used SN 5 pc's also took 1 hour http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon9.gif..Dont know whats going on, and no one can help, but there trying. If you could shed some light that would be awsome.

Ivan.

The-G-Man
10-26-2006, 10:35 AM
ButterflyNet Render comes with it's own, easy to use, setup. I strongly suggest that you do yourself a favour and download their trail version and take it for a spin.

Take a look here: http://www.liquiddreamsolutions.com/support.html at the tutorials which explain just how easy it is. Also you can split a still (TGA format) between nodes for faster rendering.

I also use their renderme.p plugin with LightWave to send jobs to the render stack while I get on with something else.

Check it out. :thumbsup:

G

IvanB
10-26-2006, 01:00 PM
Thanks Graham,

I'm all confused now (scratching head)..Thanks for the link, I have checked out the setup, as much as it looks easy..I'm not sure I have an idea on how to do it...

I have a guy in the LW forum trying to explain stuff, but its too technical for me..Having to redo .bat files etc...ARRRG! http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon8.gif also something about multi-threads...copying pasting configs..Oh man!...My nodes render one at a time at the moment..bummer!http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon9.gif

This might sound lazy, but the only way I'm going to be able set up my lightwave render farm is with a video tute..I dont understand network termanology.

Back to testing Xstream!http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon7.gif

Thanks again..
Ivan.

The-G-Man
10-26-2006, 01:49 PM
Ivan,

The video tutes (viewlets) over at www.liquiddreamsolutions.com explain everything. No nasty cut and paste ... life's too short. Just follow those and you'll be up and running in about 30 minutes. This way is the non-techie way. If I can do it anyone can :)

G

IvanB
10-26-2006, 02:16 PM
G...I was wrong!

I downloaded the trial..Somehow managed to set it up and was able to render a scene (1 node) only...I think I will buy the 5 node for LW version. $45

Thankyou...you da man!!..no no yes you are!

I have just downloaded the tutes..AWSOME!

I just hope the nodes will render at the same time.

Thanks again, thank you! thank you!http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon7.gifhttp://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon13.gif
Ivan.

The-G-Man
10-26-2006, 02:31 PM
Great, I knew you could do it!

The nodes WILL render at the same time and you'll cut huge chunks off your waiting time. Enjoy! It will be $45 well spent.

Currently I'm sat on the fence for upgrading four of my render nodes to Intel Duo 3.4GHz boxes to shorten my waiting time even more. Trouble is, Mr PiggyBank has cobwebs inside him .... :eek:

Apologies to all Vue readers for us getting all bent out of shape over LightWave. But then, it's nice to know that suffering isn't the exclusive domain of Vue artists. :)

IvanB
10-26-2006, 02:48 PM
Thanks G

I too would like to apologies to the Vue artist,

But I guess this all came about with regards to Xstream and Lightwave rendering...So if you intend to use Xstream and lightwave, this may be the way to go for a render farm.

Now I think its time to get back to Xstream..I'll have a video up for people to see how Xstream works in a couple of days!

Ivan.

IvanB
10-29-2006, 10:28 AM
Hi all,

Back to Xstream,

I have been playing around, and still thinks is awsome, however its a shame about having to purchase nodes for a render farm @ $99 a pop...Cos you really need it, perticularly when you use a bunch of trees.

Now, I'm having some funny stuff happen when I render an animation, video or image sequence....What happens is the render time goes up every frame..I tested at variouse frames along the timeline and the render time was the same with each individual frame, When the frames are render in a sequence the time increases...I had 80 frames to render frame 1 was 1 min 20, by 80% it was 8 mins a frame.

Does anyone have an idea what might be happening?..does it have anything to do with it being a trial?

Thanks,
Ivan.

PS: Butterfly Net render is awsome!

LightFreeze
10-29-2006, 11:23 PM
Hi Ivan
someone had a similar problem on the newtek forum and the fix they discovered was to start a new scene, then load the problem scene , heres the link (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57698)

IvanB
10-30-2006, 02:14 AM
Hey Lightfreeze,

Thankyou for that, I've checked it out..still a bit confused, but atleast I can try reloading scenes and see what happens.

Thanks again,
Ivan.

IvanB
10-30-2006, 03:49 AM
Hi All,

Ok, I have fixed the problem of increasing render times per frame. Should you also have this problem, this is how you can fixed it.

If you saved your scene by "Incorporating vue scene in LW file"

The first thing you do, is go to VUE (while your Xstream scene is open), and save the scene as a seperate "vue scene" aswell, Now we have a vue scene and a LW scene. (the LW scene will have vue incorporated in it)

OK, Now we need to load everything up again.

In LW, "Load items from scene" ( these are your LW objects only..untick vue scene) then from the xstream panel..Load the "vue" scene..Now you will have your LW objects and the vue scene in LAYOUT (I have found, If you run xstream before you add your .mdd files to your object..the .mdd will not load..So do that first). Now if you render your scene now, the times should be correct.

If you just reload your LW-Vue incorporated scene again, the problem will continue.

I hope that made sense.

Thanks Lightfreeze...and the people in the NT LW forum.

Ivan.

IvanB
11-01-2006, 06:48 AM
Hi All,

Heres some example animations, and a video showing how Vue5xStream(Trial) works with Lightwave.


Vue5xStreamFolder (http://www.esnips.com/UserProfileAction.ns?id=40dacfe2-91ce-475f-84e5-1805f766e6b9)

Ivan.

nanaboso
11-01-2006, 10:56 AM
Thanks Ivan.

Darn, now I really, really want Xtream. You make it all look so easy, as opposed to many others who very often only writes about problems with this software.http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon7.gif

IvanB
11-01-2006, 01:41 PM
Hey Nanaboso,

I Know, its weired, a lot of people are having heaps of trouble with Maya and Max etc..

It looks easy, cos to be honest, it is...well so far!..There are still some issues, but I somehow work around them..Best thing to do is SAVE, SAVE, SAVE your projects, just incase.

The only thing im having trouble with is DOF, as the vue scene is a complete object in lightwave..The DOF setup in Vue isn't transfered to LW, im not sure how to do it..Maybe some one can tell me...I'll keep trying.

One other thing, you can set your vue scene up, without LW and xStream (more stable that way) once your done, save that scene, then close it. Launch LW and xStream and load the newly created, or an excisting scene, then work between the two.

I'm so hanging for Vue 6 and xstream!..Real bad!...Apparently its now due in Q4.

Ivan.

visualchaosfx
11-06-2006, 02:54 AM
I have 3D Studio Max. If I were to buy Vue 5 xStreme will the render times be faster when render the Vue enviornments in Max?

IvanB
11-06-2006, 03:19 AM
Hi visual-chaos-fx,

I cant vouch for max..cos i dont use it, but i found that it was easier and I THINK a bit faster in lightwave...I think it still uses Vue's render engine and vue settings to render the vue environment, personally i think the work flow is better...Keep in mind that the vue environment comes up as an object in your 3d app (well it does in LW)..the environment consisting of trees and objects are not seperate in the 3d app, and im not sure how to get DOF happening...The dof settings and setup from vue dont transfer to LW, in my case.

Get the trial vrsion and test..thats what i did, and loved it...now im waiting for xstream for vue6...(the other thing i'm happy about is being able to match move to lw from syntheyes and include vue environment.)

Ivan.

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