View Full Version : advantages of FPrime

07 July 2005, 04:35 PM
hi guys.

I'm thinking of getting FPrime to get instant feedabck and faster renders. Are these the two only advantages or is the render engine better than the lightwaves own renderer? Any other advantages? Is it actually worth getting? I'd be using it for architecture scenes



07 July 2005, 04:53 PM
another cool advantage it has is that you can resume your renders.

you can decide to stop rendering your frames to a certain level of quality to show to clients a rough version of what the final result will be,rendered in less time, but still faithful to the final version. and then, you can resume them and keep on rendering till you reach the final output quality. :)

also, because the render is fast, and is faithful to the final image especially in terms of lighting, you can work really better with lights and see in realtime your adjustments.

07 July 2005, 04:58 PM
hi, thanks for the quick reply. Yea that really does seem like a great advantage. I have just been reading up on FPrime a bit more and found out it doesnt use interpolated radiosity which I have been using for interior scenes. Is monte carlo just as good used by FPrime? Also, doesnt this mean that if you use FPrime for instant feedback but use the lightwave renderer for your final render, wont the render be different to the feedback if I turn interpolated on?

Probably stupid, incorrect thoughts but I'm confused at the moment

thanks again

07 July 2005, 05:35 PM
FPrime´s Monte Carlo radiosity is so fast that you will start using it as you did use interpolated earlier.
In my opinion FPrime is a very good choice for interior renders. So go for it!

- U

07 July 2005, 07:31 PM
fprime is the best thing that happened to LW in past 5 years and hopefully NT will go into WORLEY direction since that is the only corect way to go... and i can smell that they definatly do that ..... i cant wait siggraph

07 July 2005, 09:32 PM
I was disappointed in fprime.

I bought it. It is such a fast renderer. Great software engineering. So much promise.

The problem is on Lightwave's side. fprime can't seem to hook into Lightwave's API properly. It can't use Lightwave's plug-ins.

I'm sure that for some people this doesn't matter, but there'd be many others who would consider this a show-stopper.

Maybe Worley Labs should develop their own stand-alone renderer with its own plug-ins. Those guys have enough talent to achieve something like that.

07 July 2005, 10:36 PM
First off, try a search for "FPrime" and you'd have your answers.

Second, the issue of FPrime not being able to use LW plugins due to the current state of LW's SDK has also been stated so often now that to not know that is like not knowing the sky is blue.

Third, why should Worley use his time making a workaround to the SDK when NT is (ok, slowly) working on opening it up? Maybe they'll announce it open at SIGGRAPH. Who knows? It is coming.

Lastly, even though you can't use shaders and other goodies with FPrime, it's still valuable for getting immediate response on lighting and texture changes. That alone is worth the purchase.

07 July 2005, 12:30 AM
- Better texturing skills - see what you are doing and the effect of textures immediately. Often, this alleviates the need for shaders for many renders. Seeing gradients immediately makes you wish for more options of gradients: circular and horizontal come to mind. :( But the old grid trick works. In real time. ;)

- Better lighting skills - chuckle, I read your statement and until you've WATCHED your radiosity scene come into focus, FPrime can't be appreciated. Even that sentence might be hard to appreciate...

- Comps now; clean in an hour or so - as he states in the literature, FPrime is the "pre-comp" tool for any comper. That is to say, assume you've cut your scene up with Surpasses and you have an FPrime rendering layer. This layer renders an alpha and beauty pass; start it off to render and open digital fusion, for example, with a comp for these renders -- start the comp after pushing the FPrime render button and watch your wip come into focus. VERY COOL!

- Assists with determining SD levels that work most efficiently

FPrime is a very cool renderer. The best of it all is that it's integrated and you don't have to do 'alternative world' scenes that can't then be reliably rendered in the standard renderer. Being able to have a consistent look betwixt the two is very important in that resources don't have to be spent twice, and re-thought, to do the one job.
A worthy tool, indeed.

07 July 2005, 12:58 AM
- Better texturing skills

- Better lighting skills -

I see people making similar statements quite often and I think they're very misleading.

Having tools such as FPrime do not magically improve your skills, they simply help to increase your efficiency by helping to speed up certain tasks.

You can give someone access to the most advanced, feature-packed renderer on the planet and they would still produce crap renders if they don't actually have any developed skills through practise and study.

Lighting in particular is a very complex art, and requires a good understanding of actual lighting theory to really execute properly. Having a fast renderer does not suddenly make you a better lighting artist.

Basically I just think it is very misleading to tell people that they will become better artists if they buy a plugin. You still need to know theory and understand what you're doing.

07 July 2005, 02:05 AM
Agreed, Leigh: it ain't a panacea for not applying oneself.
Am I the greatest of artistes in these areas because of FPrime? No, not at all. Not hardly. ;) Am I improved in my own skills with the help of this tool? Yes, as the efficiency in feedback has been a boon to understanding surfacing, lighting and their interaction.
In response to the original poster's questions, I believe these things can be achieved if you apply yourself and can be 'advantages' to owning/using FPrime. Just recieving the plugin won't do it, obviously. Much like getting another app because it's in vogue won't make one better.

I think those who think the way you've suggested might be misleading themselves. ;) Truly not my intention, though.

07 July 2005, 02:06 AM
That depends on how you look at it. Being able to see changes in either texturing or lighting in real time WILL help to improve your skills. Something I did a lot in the studio when I did traditional photography was to set up a light, and then quickly turn it on and off to see the effect it had on the scene. Observation increased my skill.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that it's easier to understand what all the complex settings actually do when you can see the results, instead of just assuming what the results will be. Better understanding leads to more skill.

On the other hand, you're right from the point of view that simply owning a tool doesn't make anyone skillful in using it.


07 July 2005, 04:34 AM
FPrime won't make you a better artist (literally), but FPrime will cut reduce your downtime so much that you will really appreciate it. Even with the limitation of NT's SDK, forcing you to make F9 renders if you use a lot of plug-in, FPrime is still the best real-time renderer you can probably find on the market. By using FPrime's Monte Carlo Radiosity, you can preview all your lighting/texturing changes in a matter of seconds. So, if you're undecided on, say, 4 different colors on your sofa to fit the house, and you want to see what each color looks like in the morning, noon, and evening, you can see them all with a click of the button on your settings, and they all update in seconds. Having done that, I don't think you would want to pre-viz your work without FPrime anymore :)

P.S. As for the final render to show your client, FPrime will still take as long as LW's native render, so to let you know. But prior to that stage, your downtime is reduced tremendously.

07 July 2005, 05:37 AM
Being able to see changes in either texturing or lighting in real time WILL help to improve your skills.

I am not arguing that. The fact is that you can also see those changes with regular renders - the only drawback with that being you have to wait a little longer. But you're still able to see those changes by doing render tests using the standard renderer. I know that's how I learned a lot about lighting and shading - making small adjustments and hitting F9.

My point was that to become a good artist with good skills, you need to study stuff and experiment a lot. FPrime helps speed up your experiments, but it doesn't suddenly make you a better artist. I often see people suggesting that this will be the case if you buy FPrime, which is what prompted me to comment. It was the word "skills" that caught my attention :)

07 July 2005, 06:51 AM
ant-sutton Fprime isn't obviously a magic wand, but its a good rendering engine,very similar in results to the Lw one and most important, a good prerview system for Lw.
very rapid , faithful to final render quality especially for raytracing, and doing good with montecarlo too.

you will often see advantages in some areas working with f prime, and , due to the limitations wich Worley and NT are going to solve ,other advantages using the current Lw rendering engine, wich is slow, but good.

as a preview system. F prime is fantastic. u can move geometry and lights and it updates the preview. u can see your adjustments quite in realtime, and this obviously reflects into your work, allowing you to make subtle adjustments faster. in that way, even if you decide going to render your image with Lw, you will be sure of final result.

Maybe also that' if you aren't in hurry, at Siggraph some Fprime news will be shown, and so u'll be able to evaluate better if its worth your money.
( i say this, because fortunately not so much time will pass waiting for Siggraph)

07 July 2005, 03:25 PM
fprime is excellent

the only time i am stuck with lightwave's renderer is when i have a lot of geometry or i need to use HD-instance (another supergreat plugin) or volumetrics (hd instance is a volumetric plugin)

for the moment HD instance can't talk to fprime but when it does!!! so long lightwave renderer!!! sooooo loooong (do you get the pun :) )

on the newetk board a user (lightwolf) said that in 8.3 there are already hooks for frpime to do hypervoxel and volumetrics!!!

07 July 2005, 05:21 AM
I use FPrime pretty much all day, every day, and I am a battle-hardened lighting artist. I'd highly recommend this tool to anyone who has to do any lighting and shading, simply by merit of the fact that if your time is worth money, then you'll save so much time by using FPrime, that you'll pay for it many times over in a very short time.


07 July 2005, 09:34 AM
fprime is excellent
on the newetk board a user (lightwolf) said that in 8.3 there are already hooks for frpime to do hypervoxel and volumetrics!!!

There's hope for a marriage between FPrime and volumetrics?? How? When?? I NEED IT NOW!! Seriously, I need to see my HD_Instance feedback updated in realtime with a real-time renderer. And to add to that, I want to see FPrime work with G2, and with other plugin-ins... Maybe when Newtek rebuilds its SDK?

07 July 2005, 09:40 AM
on the newetk board a user (lightwolf) said that in 8.3 there are already hooks for frpime to do hypervoxel and volumetrics!!!



07 July 2005, 10:39 AM
on the newetk board a user (lightwolf) said that in 8.3 there are already hooks for frpime to do hypervoxel and volumetrics!!!
Well, the hooks are there and documented, but I assume there must be some remaining issues (either that or Steve Worley is teasing us again ;) ). Onthe NT board somebody mentioned that Chuck said there are issues still to be solved as well...
But in general it is quite clear that volumetrics will come for FPrime...

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