Still the "milky surface while network rendering" problem

Discussions about the use of Realflow in Lightwave
VirtualFM
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:03 pm

Still the "milky surface while network rendering" problem

Postby VirtualFM » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:18 am

Hello!

I browsed the forum and noticed a recursive trend of problems of getting the surface settings to load across a sequence of LWO meshes generated by Realflow. It seems this problem is temporarily fixed and then comes back with the next release of the plugin.

I am using plugin manager version 1.3.1 and I tried with both Lightwave 9.6 and Lightwave 11 with the same results: I only get a milky white surface when network rendering because it's not loading the right surface.

-I made sure I added the Mesh Replacement plugin, both from the displacement "RF Mesh Importer" and the main Master Plugin with no results.
-I made sure I used a "Custom Surface" pointing to a specific directory
-I also tried to leave the "Custom Surface" unchecked and saved my desired surface settings in the desired "Meshes" folder with the same name as the object sequence, as Realflow seems to like it.

I only get a white surface. Thankfully, this works well when rendering locally, but not on a renderfarm, not even trying to use LWSN on the local machine (that ruled out a possible problem with the renderfarm plugin settings or the renderfarm setup).

Besides using that utility to change surface settings in a sequence of objects (which I don't trust much because that comes from the 90's or really early 00's and the LWO object format has somewhat changed, and besides it takes a long time when dealing with 2 million polygon objects like I deal sometimes), is there actually a way to make this network rendering work with the right surfaces?!

Maybe I am missing something really obvious, but since this happens on and off throughout different Realflow releases, please Nexlimit, could you get this "surface loading" right for he next release of the Lightwave plugin and just don't mess with it anymore?!

Thanks!


Darth Mole
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Still the "milky surface while network rendering" proble

Postby Darth Mole » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:42 am

I've just started playing with RealFlow again in conjunction with LW11 and I get the same issue, but on a single machine - the surface is never maintained. To get round it I simply saved all my meshes as .LWO files and loaded them all in one go (using + key), then shift-selected all the surfaces, pasted whatever surface I wanted to use, then did a Save All Objects. Fortunately LW11 is robust and can load a lot of stuff - I had 300 meshes in Layout in one go, but you could easily do it in smaller batches.

I also used LW's built-in object sequencer as it seemed easier and less finicky that the Next Limit plug-in. I am looking forward to getting a plug-in update to solve all these rather trivial issues. I hope that one will be forthcoming at least for when RF 2013 is released later this year.

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Oldcode
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Re: Still the "milky surface while network rendering" proble

Postby Oldcode » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:07 am

Another way around the surfacing problem is to use the Surface Replacement tool for Lightwave objects.

http://www.mediafire.com/?go4z7w79d7rzd24

Create a surface file in Lightwave and then use the above too to add that surface to all your LWO objects in a sequence. The only problem is it seems to have a limit of 1000 objects per run.

Good luck,
"My sword and my service are yours."

"Then forever remind him of his vow, Knight of the Old Code."

Darth Mole
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Still the "milky surface while network rendering" proble

Postby Darth Mole » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:46 am

Ah, no good - it's PC-only. I'm on Mac.

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Oldcode
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Re: Still the "milky surface while network rendering" proble

Postby Oldcode » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:21 pm

Yeah, that really sucks. I've written to Next Limit several times about a lot of bugs in the Lightwave plugin.

I found the above utility purely by accident over on the Newtek forum. It was written several years ago and I'm very surprised the have not addressed this problem more thoroughly.

One bug that I told them about is when you save your LW scene with the RF object sequence, the next time you come back to that LW file, you have to tell the plugin where the RF objects are again. The path is in the field, but LW can't see the sequence unless you browse to the folder with the objects and double click again. You have to do this every time you open the LW file. I told the Next Limit people about this and the guy who answered the email said that they get right on it to find a fix. Not heard anything since.

Anyway, have you tried copying your sequence of Lightwave objects onto a portable hard drive and finding a friend who has a PC?
"My sword and my service are yours."

"Then forever remind him of his vow, Knight of the Old Code."

VirtualFM
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:03 pm

Re: Still the "milky surface while network rendering" proble

Postby VirtualFM » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:48 am

Darth Mole wrote:To get round it I simply saved all my meshes as .LWO files and loaded them all in one go (using + key), then shift-selected all the surfaces, pasted whatever surface I wanted to use, then did a Save All Objects.


Another option is to set the surfaces to be edited by "Scene" instead of "Object" and load all the objects. In this manner you only have one surface to deal with and don't have to Shift-select all the surfaces in all the objects (which, since usually there are hundreds of objects, takes a long time to do).


Darth Mole wrote:Fortunately LW11 is robust and can load a lot of stuff - I had 300 meshes in Layout in one go, but you could easily do it in smaller batches.


That really only works with small simulations like pouring liquid or something like that. I had some big splashes where each object reached 1.5 to 2 million polygons. You cannot load half-a-dozen at the same time, less alone 300! It takes forever anyway.

We really need that surface thing fixed. It's such a simple thing and it's causing tons of problems and seriously crippling Lightwave usage.

Darth Mole
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Still the "milky surface while network rendering" proble

Postby Darth Mole » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:39 am

Yes, agreed. I tried a larger sequence with more complex meshes and had to surface them all in four or five chunks which took ages. It's pathetic that the LW plug-in has had no love for SO long. Maybe I'll fire off an email too...


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