Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Discussions about the use of Realflow in Lightwave
Wout
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:26 pm

Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Post by Wout » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:32 pm

Hey,

So far I haven't been able to successfully import meshes into Lightwave 9.6 coming from Realflow 5 except when using an lwo sequence with the surf replace plugin. Importing the .bin files initially works but when you save and reopen the scene, the file path is blank leaving you with just the mesh of the current frame when you last saved...

Lightwave 9.6
Realflow 5
Plugin version 1.2

Any thoughts on this are more than welcome!

Cheers ,

Wout

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

Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Post by imshadi » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:26 pm

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.

Jim M
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:31 pm

Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Post by Jim M » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:22 pm

How Frustrating! I have just been trying to get this to work for the last hour.
Every time I load the scene its bust.

I cant go back to 1.1 as I need some of the bug fixes for SD import.

Does anyone know if this is being addressed, as other than this its a brilliant plugin.

+ Shadi if you open the scene file in notepad of a scene saved with v1.1 plugin... what does it say underneath Particle import & Mesh import. As if its just not saving the correct paths to scene file, I can write a script to do it sort it... then the 1.2 plug will work.

hp
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:14 am

Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Post by hp » Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:06 pm

Jim M wrote: How Frustrating! I have just been trying to get this to work for the last hour.
Every time I load the scene its bust.

I cant go back to 1.1 as I need some of the bug fixes for SD import.

Does anyone know if this is being addressed, as other than this its a brilliant plugin.

+ Shadi if you open the scene file in notepad of a scene saved with v1.1 plugin... what does it say underneath Particle import & Mesh import. As if its just not saving the correct paths to scene file, I can write a script to do it sort it... then the 1.2 plug will work.
Hi Jim!

Which OS do you use? I have a new build of the plug-in which I can send you to check if it solves your problem or not.

Peter

Jockomo
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:57 pm

Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Post by Jockomo » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:04 am

hp wrote: Which OS do you use? I have a new build of the plug-in which I can send you to check if it solves your problem or not.

Peter
Could you guys put up 1.1 in the download area of the customer gateway?
In fact it would be really useful if you would put up all of the legacy plugins.
Why not post your latest build as well? That way more people can test it, and use it if it's available and can fix a problem.
Scott Lissard - videovoodoo.tv

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

Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Post by shaun_michael » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:18 pm

Jockomo wrote: [quote=hp]Which OS do you use? I have a new build of the plug-in which I can send you to check if it solves your problem or not.

Peter
Could you guys put up 1.1 in the download area of the customer gateway?
In fact it would be really useful if you would put up all of the legacy plugins.
Why not post your latest build as well? That way more people can test it, and use it if it's available and can fix a problem.[/quote]
It's an interesting idea, but in the past NL have put non-functioning, or buggy plugin's up for download which creates even more frustration. If NL do post a beta version, people need to take it as that, beta.

In Peter's defence he did send me an update a while ago but I've been so busy I've not had the time it deserves for testing and feedback. When I'm in front of my main system again, hopefully tomorrow, I'll get down to business. In the meantime, maybe you could PM Peter (username hp) and ask if he's willing to allow you to beta test also.

Shaun

hp
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:14 am

Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Post by hp » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:09 pm

Our strategy is not to release beta to the public just give it to some testers. But I gladly send builds to anyone who asks NL or me via PM or e-mail. And I also appreciate any bug reports or feature requests, anything what makes the plug-in more comfortable.

Anyway, version 1.2.1 will be released in the next few days.

Peter

fmahalem
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:59 am

Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Post by fmahalem » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:03 pm

Anyone having problems using the start/end frame or offset frame in the mesh importer?

It seems to do nothing to my sequence, I was trying to start the mesh animation at frame 78, so I tryied putting 78 on the start frame, or 78 on the offset, or -78 on the offset, but nothing works. It starts from 0 at frame 0 always.

I even tryied to delete the files from 0-78 and import the 79 files first, and it still tries to read mesh numer 0-78!!

rf 5.1
lw 9.6
lw rf plugin 1.2

Please! fix that too!!

Jockomo
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:57 pm

Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Post by Jockomo » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:19 am

According to the second post, version 1.1 is the one that is currently working.
From what I understand, that version is not in beta, but is previous to the currently down-loadable version.

Now I understand that previous versions of the plug-ins may have various problems. Honestly every plugin I've used for lightwave released since RF version 2.5 has had some sort of problems, sometimes problems that could be resolved by rolling back a version or so.

But from my point of view, I'd rather have access to 1.1 when I find time to test out the software than to find out that I need 1.1 and have to either dig around through my archives to find it or beg for it to be uploaded.

I'd hope RF would rather make available something that I may need to solve a problem than assume I am too incompetent to realize that there is a newer version that should be tried first.

What about my RF v4 license? Am I not allowed to still download the files and plug-ins I need to run it? Is it now expired since v5 is out? I'd hope I can download and use v4 if for some reason my backup of the software is lost.

I can understand not making the files publicly available, and I can understand not making beta versions of the plugin available at all; but since I have to login to the RF site with my account info to access the files. I don't see the problem in posting legacy versions of the plugin up there to be available in case it's needed for older scenes or solving problems.

Also, I'm in production now so I don't have as much time as I'd like to evaluate the software. When I did get the trial, of course I couldn't get it to work properly. Hopefully I can get another trial when I have time to test it.
Scott Lissard - videovoodoo.tv

Jim M
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:31 pm

Lightwave 9.6 And Realflow 5 Broken

Post by Jim M » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:15 am

Hi Peter,

I am using XP64. Any help greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jim

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