View Full Version : Bizzare Problem

02 February 2004, 04:32 AM
I'm working on a project with an object containing many UV mapped image maps. I do almost all modeling on my PC, a dual Xeon 2.5 ghz Dell system with 2 gigs of ram and 3 gigs of free disk space. I do ALL rendering on the PC with 2, 4 or 8 threads. I also use Bodypiant on the PC to do most of the edits on my texture maps. But I also use a G4 Mac to touch up and edit the maps further.

The weird part: when I render the scene Lightwave just quits with no error message at all or sometimes an error that says "Lightwave encountered a problem..."
I couldn't figure out what the solution might be for the past couple days until I found out that the spontaneous quits and crashes would happens after the images were edited on my Mac, and copied over the older versions on the PC. The trouble stops when I re-save-as the images in Photoshop on the PC. The images are the same file type and name, so the really shouldn't be any difference by editing them on the Mac...yet there is a difference if I get all these crashes.

I can't come up with any other explanation for the crashes, but it does seem to be the cause. Having to save-as all the images a second time is definetely a pain.

Has anybody else seen anything like this?


02 February 2004, 05:18 AM
I have not, but you can set up Photoshop to automatically go through all the files and re-save them.

Can't say I'm all that surprised it's happening, but I cannot give you a specific reason as to why. Once in a great while I'll run into a JPEG file that LW can't read.

02 February 2004, 06:48 AM
what wrote earlier, re-saving-as the images is not the solution and I don't know what is. I really hate stuff like this.

NanoGator wrote

"Can't say I'm all that surprised it's happening, but I cannot give you a specific reason as to why. Once in a great while I'll run into a JPEG file that LW can't read."

When I think about what you wrote, I sometimes wonder why I've been so patient with Lightwave. I have these sort of issues too often. I started on the Mac and kept the faith when the OS X version 7.0 rendered screwed up UV bump maps. Eventually that got fixed, but it took way too many calls before NewTek would even admit to me that the OS X version had bad code that wasn't fixed until 7.5.
When I sent them images of my renders that *clearly* showed that there were render errors, they suggested that they weren't there or weren't important. "Just leave out the bump maps..." yeah right. But I kept the faith and paid for the upgrade to fix a feature I already paid for months earlier. Now I'm on the PC, with gobs of ram, disk space, ghz and apparently the same old issues.

I also think about the studios that have used Lightwave to great success like Area 51, Foundation Imaging and the group that did the vfx for the Battlestar Galactica shows. And there are scores of others, I know. But I also remember what I heard at Siggraph last year: most of those shops use 5.6, not 6.x and up because of the stability issues. But then there is Jimmy Neutron that must have been done with a modern version of LW with all the character animation. So I'm not sure what to think.

I have to admit that I'm concerned about 8.0 or whatever version ends up being released. The videos Proton has been posting are great, and I'm glad someone so talented is doing such fantastic work.

But the instability I'm experiencing and the long history of buggy releases have me skeptical about the future. I know its not my hardware because Maya, Electric Image, Bodypaint and Amorphium don't have stability isssues the way Lightwave does. They run just fine. As much as I like Lightwave, for me, working with it is almost like dealing with an unstable genius crazy person: it has potential, but I never know when it will freak out on me, and I don't trust it the way I trust the other apps. Right now it crashes 30+ times a day.

So on the last day of the first month of a new year I'm at a crossroads.

I have a copy of Maya Unlimited installed on my PC.

I'm tempted to say the two projects I'm working on will be the last ones I do with Lightwave. But I won't say that just yet. Plus I just joined my local LW user group.

02 February 2004, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by G3D
NanoGator wrote

"Can't say I'm all that surprised it's happening, but I cannot give you a specific reason as to why. Once in a great while I'll run into a JPEG file that LW can't read."

When I think about what you wrote, I sometimes wonder why I've been so patient with Lightwave. I have these sort of issues too often.

Well hold on a sec there: That implication of what I said wasn't that Newtek was at fault. I don't know where the fault lies. For all I know, the problem comes from whereever you got the images in the first place. You have a bunch of different companies trying to support a bunch of different standards, and yes, speedbumps are going to happen. I understand your frustration here, but problems like these are not the sole property of Newtek. Back when I used Max, I ran into goofy things like this. I run into it with After Effects, Photoshop, Internet Explorer, Office, you name it.

So will LW8 be better for ya? I'd say probably. From what I've heard, they've ported it to native OSX code. That should be good news for ya. (Wish I could tell ya for sure, but I'm not a Max guy.)

There's something I'd like to clear up here, though. I've seen a number of problems with Lightwave. Does that mean it's problematic? No, it means I've used it for several years and gotten my tentacles in various nooks and crannies of it. Despite some of the things I've run across, I still use it every night, and my workflow is rarely interrupted. So when you ask: how does FI etc do it? Well I don't see why they couldn't. Get me?

02 February 2004, 08:57 AM
like I wrote, I have since moved to the PC. Yes I have a Mac, but I've decided to use it for 2d work. That fact that NewTek has decided to devote so much time to OS X is irrelevant for me, because now I use a PC.

In any event I didn't mean to suggest you didn't keep the faith. But for me 3d graphics isn't about faith. And neither is choosing a platform. Yes, "it is a poor craftsman who blames his tools"...but when the tools gradually prove to be unstable or when the user becomes aware of alternative tools and their capabilities, he(or she) will move on.

And like I said, I haven't decided to do that *yet*. When it runs properly, LW is vastly superior to Maya in terms of simple stuff(spaceships, flying logos) and takes fewer steps to set up.

The specs:

Dell Dual Xeon 2.5 ghz 2gigs ram 3.5 gigs free disk space Win XP Pro

LW 7.5c

The problem:

LW will crash on rendering a complex object with multitple high res UV maps.
My images are large: they range in size from 1024 pixels to 4096 pixels.
My objects are sub-d with most of the object layers set to render at 6 divisions in the geometry settings option.

I monitor the render through the Task Manager; only half of my 2 gigs of ram is used up by LW, the render and other processes that are going on.

Sometimes loading the scene in question into an empty scene will fix this; sometimes not.


02 February 2004, 08:59 AM
I think I overreacted a bit in my last message, sorry about that. :blush:

As for moving: Just wanted to clarify that I'm not defending LW so much as I'm worried that if you move you'll be bitten by a similar problem. Know what I mean? I haven't heard of a perfect suite of apps yet.

02 February 2004, 10:50 AM
Hmmm... You might be surprised - It could be the video drivers in your system that are at fault. If they are the latest, try rolling back a version or two. If they aren't - Try upgrading to the latest.

I had LW crash a LOT with one particular version of NVidia drivers a year ago. It became worse and worse, until I too had like 30 or so crashes a day - Including everytime I exited LightWave - And worse, the whole machine would lock at the same time. The whole problem was those damned drivers - Rolled back, no more crashes. Upgraded later on and no crashes...

I'm assuming with such Hi-res textures you are either doing film or print work? Huge image maps have been one possible cause of crashing on a few scenes I've worked with in the past. I tend to optimise images down in both image size and bit-depth where possible...

Also don't go replacing image maps for textures in the image editor if running in a texture shaded viewport (change it to Shaded, or a non-textured view first). Its been known to sometimes crash LW while converting the image maps to OpenGL.

Just grabbing at straws there...

02 February 2004, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the tip, but what if one's card is an ATI 9200?

I'll try that. But I believe I did a while back.

In answer to your Q, lowering the resolution of my maps really isn't an option, I need the resolution. But with 2 gigs of physical ram, that really shouldn't be an issue, right?

02 February 2004, 03:53 PM
Try to render with 1 thread ...
I have exactly the same problem ( on Dual P1000 ,1 Gig RAM) with huge images (6000-8000 pixels) and multithreading ...
Also try Kevman3d tip - don't push your video card to limits with GL textures - lower texture res preview or even disable texture view ...
Also good idea to convert all bump, spec ,gloss, diff and other (except color) maps to gray scale ...
If this not halping - check your RAM for bad blocks :shrug:
I'm pretty sure that this is not Mac format issues (i'm use PC and have the same problems) .
Hope this can help u.

02 February 2004, 06:54 PM

May I suggest that you go back from 7.5c to regular 7.5. I have read about a lot of various issues with 7.5c compared to regular 7.5. I run 7.5 and never "upgraded" to the 7.5b or c.

That should be a viable option until 8 comes out.


02 February 2004, 09:08 PM
I updated my drivers late last night and it didn't change a thing. Still crashes on render, clip maps still flaky, and crashes both on loading and saving. All of these things it does intermittently, so its hard to pin down.

"May I suggest that you go back from 7.5c to regular 7.5. I have read about a lot of various issues with 7.5c compared to regular 7.5. I run 7.5 and never "upgraded" to the 7.5b or c. "

Funny. Tech support at NewTek said that 7.5c was the most stable. But, I will try that.

"Also good idea to convert all bump, spec ,gloss, diff and other (except color) maps to gray scale ..."

Naturally. Not only that, wherever possible I convert RGBs to 16 bit.

"If this not halping - check your RAM for bad blocks"

I purchased my 2 gigs of ram from a reliable vendor and ran several diagnostic tests on it early on; it passed all of them. But other apps like Maya, Electric Image, and some others don't have any of these issues. I mean this isn't rocket science. If there was something wrong with the ram or any other part of the hardware, wouldn't there be some signs in applications other than Lightwave?

I should also point out that these issues occur on my Mac also, which uses 7.5(not b or c)

If I down grade the PC to 7.5(not b or c) will that version of LW be able to open files from the later version?

I hope I haven't offended anyone. I just have a deadline like everyone else.

02 February 2004, 07:47 AM
Did u tried to render with one thread ?
And did other programs crashes with this amount of image maps ?

02 February 2004, 08:06 AM
Hold on... Did you say *16-bit* RGB?

As for 16-bit RGB, I must say that I have had only problems with that colour depth in the past (causing LW to crash whenever the images were loaded), and have had quite a few students also with the same issue (however they were attempting to load 16-bit channel images into Mac LW at the time).

I tend to leave RGB either as 24-bit or 8-bit, and grayscale as 8-bit.

16-bit - I wonder if this could be a cause of your intermittent problems? Do you wanna just do a quick check on that one? You never know...

As for the 7.5c issue - It could be, however I've run it in a production environment, along with 7.5b, and only ever really experienced a few dodgy panel redraw issues in either version. I dunno if that's the issue - But I wouldn't count it out...

02 February 2004, 08:23 AM
well I'm not using 16 bit files in the projects in question, but I have used them in the past without any problems. And I even saw 16 bit images touted in a manual--maybe the LW manual--as a way of managing in limited ram situations.

But when I get a chance later I try rendering with 1 thread and see if that helps.

In response to the Q about these projects being rendered in Maya or the other apps I mentioned, no not these specific projects, but others of a similar nature.

Some of the crashing has stopped as I dropped the file sizes of a couple less important maps. I'll post a render when I can. But I still feel like I'm walking on eggshells with Lightwave.


02 February 2004, 08:27 AM
Hey, that's cool to hear that the crashing issues are possibly coming under control... :beer:

Yes, do post a render if you can - I'm curious what you've been up to with such hi-res imagery! :)

Hmmm, ah well, forget my 16-bit comment then if its been working fine. I've always had problems, but that could be me pressing wrong buttons! lol! :rolleyes:

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