lightwave plugin & render farming

Discussions about the use of Realflow in Lightwave
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r3dcube
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:04 pm

lightwave plugin & render farming

Postby r3dcube » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:20 pm

Hey guys,

I'm having some issues too with this plug-in. Running Lightwave 9.6 and have both 32 and 64 bit installed with the most current plugins from NL. Everything works fine on my machine in both bit versions, but when I pipe it out to the render farm the mesh doesn't update. The mesh does render though just stays in the spot that I start rendering from. Rendering on my machine works.

B
http://www.woodard.co.nz


User avatar
r3dcube
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:04 pm

lightwave plugin & render farming

Postby r3dcube » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:00 pm

Just to mention this is one of the first times working with RF in Lightwave, I'm more accustom to the Maya interface.

Have it setup on 3 of the farm machines rendering through F10. It works for a minute but the after a few frames it says, Could not write mesh object to R:....meshmesh01.lwo. I'm flicking through the RF/LW docs for the plugin but can't seem to find an answer. I assume that the Bin file is loaded into the mesh slot of the plugin, a .lwo is created and then rendered and the reason I am getting this error is because the two other machines have finished and are trying to access the file too?

Any help would be great! As this could turn into some very long render times!
http://www.woodard.co.nz

shaun_michael
Posts: 4766
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:04 am

lightwave plugin & render farming

Postby shaun_michael » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:02 pm

I've dropped you some notes in a PM regarding the plugin.

Shaun

imshadi
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:57 pm

lightwave plugin & render farming

Postby imshadi » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:30 pm

r3dcube wrote: Just to mention this is one of the first times working with RF in Lightwave, I'm more accustom to the Maya interface.

Have it setup on 3 of the farm machines rendering through F10. It works for a minute but the after a few frames it says, Could not write mesh object to R:....meshmesh01.lwo. I'm flicking through the RF/LW docs for the plugin but can't seem to find an answer. I assume that the Bin file is loaded into the mesh slot of the plugin, a .lwo is created and then rendered and the reason I am getting this error is because the two other machines have finished and are trying to access the file too?

Any help would be great! As this could turn into some very long render times!

I have gone through hell trying to understand why sometimes things work and others they don't when it comes to getting the meshes to import and render into Lightwave.

I think I finally understood.

Beware: the only version of the Next Limit Manager plugin that works is 1.1. This one does not come with Realflow 4 or 5. I had to get support to find it. But you can get it from NextLimit even if you're just trying the demo version.

It seems version 1.2 (the one coming with RF5) does not work either. It reintroduces the same bug which made versions previous to 1.1 not work

So the process goes like this: (This is supposed to be a Network render compatible procedure)

1. Add a Null.

2. Go to object properties (p) and under the Deform tab, add the Displacement RF Mesh importer. Double click on it.

3. Click on the File Path button. Go to the meshes directory on your Realflow project folder and select the first .bin (no lwo's are necessary anymore, and no surface replacing on an entire sequence of objects either, which is good). The plugin recognizes the base name of the mesh sequence and autoselects the padding digits in the slider that match.

4. Click on the Object Folder button. This part is tricky if you want to render on a network: Every time LW moves from frame to frame, the plugin creates a temporary object in .lwo format on the folder you choose, but it is a single object with no frame number, so, if several machines are using the same mesh sequence they would have conflicts writing on that file. The only solution I have found is to create a folder in c: for each computer and call it something like RealFlow_TempMesh. All the computers rendering will save to this path, but it actually refers to each computers own hard drive, so they do not conflict anymore. So, after clicking on the Object Folder button, go to c: create that folder and select it.

5. Do not click on the Add Replacement button YET! First, move forward one frame so that Layout reads the object sequence for the first time. At that point the Displacement RF Mesh Importer disppears and the null you added gets replaced by a real object. Only THEN is it possible for it to have a replacement plugin added.

Note: The mesh importer is already able to import the meshes frame after frame, but the Replacement plugin is necessary for the same to happen in LWSN when you are rendering á la renderfarm. It also seems that to be able to change the surface from the default white, the Replacement Plugin must be activated, since this is the one that actually loads a surface file for the mesh everytime you go to a new frame (the surface file is what you save from the Surface Editor)

6. So open the RF Mesh Importer from the Displacement tab again and click on the Ad Replacement button. This brings up the window for the RF Mesh Replacement. A surface file has already been created in the meshes folder. Keep track of it, since you have to resave it after you make changes to your surface. I do not advise trying to load it from any other location but the one RF chose by itself, so don't click on the Surface File button.

7. On the File Path field, left of the File Path button, the path to the bin already appears. Below that is the Particle Mesh Base name and padding.

8. Another Object Folder Button. The plugin inserts the path to the meshes folder here, but as I wrote before, this would cause conflicts in network rendering, so click it and select the folder c:RealFlow_TempMesh that you created before. Now, right after doing this, move forward another frame and you'll see in the Geometry tab in the Object Properties window how the Replacement plugin appears magically.

Note: Leave the Cache Mode in Current Frame. Realflow meshes can easily climb to the millions of polys, so caching more than one frame can lead very likely lead to crashes.

9. Move forward and backwards in time and you'll see the objects load. Now you can go to the surface editor and change the shading, but remember to save the surface file to its path in the Replacement plugin before moving again in time or else it will load it with whatever settings you had before. You can check that this works, first press "S" on the Surface Editor to backup your surface to the Presets library and then move just one frame forward. Your surface or surfaces will not change if the surface file has been saved properly. If the surface resets, then it was probably not saved in the right location. Check the Replacement Plugin for the correct path and filename. You can recover your surface from the Presets Window by double clicking on it. Then try saving the Surface File again, this time in the right place and with the right name.

10. Remember to create a folder c:RealFlow_TempMesh on every computer that's going to be rendering your scene.

Good luck.

If anyone gets saved by this, please say hi. That'll make it worth my time.

Best regards,

The Shady One.


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