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[公告] LightWave[9]新訊息-from Jay Roth 02/10/2006

  • 站長
  • 台灣 台北市
  • 註冊日期:2004年2月13日14時02分
  • 發表文章數:1145篇
2006年2月10日01時02分
LightWave v9: a Letter from Jay Roth
Jay Roth Letter | LightWave v9 Features | Demo Videos | LightWave v9 FAQ | Open Beta FAQ
Dear LightWavers:

Last Friday, we announced that LightWave v9 Open Beta will begin on Valentine's Day, February 14th. We want to “show you the love”, but we do have a warning: those of you with significant others may want to wait a day. NewTek would not want to be held accountable for any relationship issues because you were using v9 Open Beta till all hours of the night!

We’re very excited about this new version of LightWave and we’re anxious to get your feedback. As we’ve stated, we’re rebuilding LightWave from the ground up; some parts remain the same, yet others are completely different. In this first release of the LightWave v9 series, we looked at what would benefit the greatest numbers of LightWave users: Reliability and Performance.

Many of you earn additional income using LightWave daily, and some of you make it a professional career. You folks need to have LightWave work reliably, in the harshest environment of all, the production pipeline. Even those of you who use LightWave less vigorously will appreciate the improvements in reliability incorporated into LightWave v9. I think that you will find this version of LightWave the most robust NewTek has ever shipped.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Regardless of whether you are a pro or an occasional user, you want to get your work done as quickly as possible. Many things figure into that simple thought: user interface performance, workflow, and of course, rendering speed. I am proud to say that this version of LightWave gives you all three.

You will see a tremendous improvement in speed while using LightWave v9 Layout. We designed a new OpenGL engine from the ground up, and the first results are here now. Viewport manipulation, object translation, rotation and scaling are significantly faster than previous versions of LightWave, in all of the major drawing modes: Wireframe, Shaded Solid, and Textured Shaded Solid. You may notice an initial pause when you first load up or switch modes – we’re working on that for subsequent releases – but then you’ll really operate at full throttle. Note that you will not yet see similar gains with deformations and bones, but you will in subsequent releases.

As a rendering preview option, you have the ability to use GLSL shaders, which will match the rendered results that you will produce without the need to render first. In some cases, this process will not be real time, but it will be faster than hitting F9.
As we go along, we will be making workflow improvements throughout LightWave. There are some small examples of this throughout Layout and Modeler in v9, with more to come. We didn’t want to go too crazy on this at first, as we know that many of you have very strong opinions about how things should work, and we look forward to incorporating your feedback as we go.

Rendering

Now, we get to a personal favorite of mine: rendering. Tremendous gains have been made in rendering since version 8.5. We have completely replaced the old ray-tracing engine, and have added a new, state-of-the-art ray-tracer. This ray-tracer uses KD-trees to manage scene data, and helps the imaging system sort though vast amounts of data very quickly. You may not notice the difference in scenes that have small amounts of data (polygons), but you will see a difference as you render more complex scenes. In fact, the more data you add, the better the performance gap will be between LightWave 8.5 and LightWave v9. This engine has really been tuned for extreme scenes, something more and more of you work with every day. We are still compiling meaningful numbers, but in some heavy duty test scenes we saw improvements of several times over 8.5.

Advanced Camera Tools

Of course, in order to render a scene, you need to work with cameras and materials. LightWave v9 has a new set of cameras and options called “Advanced Camera Tools.” There are a bevy of cool new effects that you can accomplish with ACT, and some of them are real mind benders – literally. You can create cameras that have the lens distortions found in real world cameras; you can move the camera along a path with the shutter open, while recording a single frame; the “slit scan” effects created for “2001: A Space Odyssey” were created in this manner photographically. You can create Orthographic views that allow you to show off your modeling and lighting masterpieces, and much, much more. We have added a few new camera types to LightWave. We have the original camera, now renamed “Classic.” We have a new “Perspective Camera” which is similar to Classic, but uses new algorithms to rip through complex scenes much faster than the Classic Camera. We have the Orthographic Camera, which mimics LightWave viewport views and removes perspective from your renderings, in addition to the Advanced Camera in ACT, discussed above.

Node Editor

On the material front, we have a completely new way to assign shaders and textures to your surfaces – the LightWave Node Editor. The Node Editor allows you to build a “node graph” of components to give incredible control over the look of your objects. The node graph tree can be simple, or very complex, depending upon your needs, and your level of sophistication. Node graphs are a different twist, and some folks may be a little disoriented by them at first. Don’t worry, our new documentation will offer you guidelines as to when you might choose to use the node graph, vs. the traditional layers interface that you are familiar with. In addition, we are offering tutorials and in depth explanations of the node-graph engine so you can get up to speed at your convenience. The new node graph is very powerful – it even has an SDK, so you or third-parties can create your own nodes! I can’t wait to see what you folks come up with…

New Shader Models

We realized something when we put in the Node Editor; it actually allowed us to leapfrog our implementation schedule a little. We are in this for the long haul , and there are some things that are going to take longer than others to address. One of the things we wanted to put in was the ability to use shaders other than LightWave’s default shading system. Some folks have written some great shaders out there, but there were limits to what LightWave’s internal shading pipeline allowed to be accomplished. This was very frustrating for us, to have to wait even longer to see these improvements. Thanks to the power of the Node Editor, however, we were able to break through that old, limited code much earlier than we had originally thought. I am very happy to report that you can now use a variety of industry-standard shading methods such as Oren-Nayar, Blinn, Cook-Torrance, Anisotropic and so on. And new nodes are coming every day.

Some of you might find a couple of new shading types of great interest: the first one is sub-surface scattering! This is our own version of the popular shader, and we think that you will like it. You have a lot of control over the final quality, and thus the render times involved. You can use a single scattered ray, or multiple rays. You can even cheat and not use any rays at all, if the look suits you. You will love the way it looks.

The other item you may find of interest is tangent-based normal maps. These normal maps can come from a variety of sources, and will look great regardless of whether you have a static object, or an object that is deformed with a skeleton. It’s fast and beautiful.

APS

Now we move on to another exciting new feature we call Advanced Pixel Subdivision, or APS for short. APS is a method of sub-pixel displacement that is very powerful and fast. You have control of the resolution of the displacement down to the amount of polygons per pixel that you want to use. For all intents and purposes, the appearance will be very similar to “micropoly displacements” but these are truly smooth-shaded displacements, and generate an alpha channel (for you compositor-types out there.) With APS, you can take a rather simple object, subD it, and add a tremendous amount of detail with little effort or penalty (especially compared to how you have done it previously – if you could have done it at all)

As APS is reliant upon subD surfaces, we added a new type of subD method, available in both Modeler and Layout: Catmull-Clark. There are many instances where you may find you prefer Catmull-Clark subDs, but there are tasks where you will find LightWave’s original Sub-Patch still excels as the tool of choice. Now, you have that choice.

Modeler

Modeler now incorporates edges in many modeling operations, which allows you to create objects in new ways. For a number of tasks you'll discover a preference for edges over the traditional point and polygonal modeling methods, and in other cases the traditional methods may still be best. Again, now you have a choice as to how you work. You will like edges when using Catmull-Clark subDs, though, as you can have control over edge weighting. In the future, we'll also migrate these edge capabilities over to the tradtional Sub-patches.

Other great new modeling tools have been added as well, and we have made some workflow optimizations, but more importantly we have put a great deal of work into the core of Modeler that will set the stage for extensive tool consolidation as well as major new tools and performance increases. Big changes are coming, and as always, we look forward to your feedback.

The Future

We are also starting the migration of modeling tools into Layout. This process will be longer and more involved than we first thought, and we are putting a great deal of thought and effort into the design. There are many issues in Layout that need to be addressed in order for us to really open up modeling power in Layout, but we are working feverishly on them. In LightWave v9, you will be able to use any modeler plug-in that works on whole objects. You will be able to use Vertex Paint to modify your vertex maps, and you will be able to create 3D text in Layout. As we work out new UI approaches for these tools, we will include them in subsequent releases in the LightWave v9 series.

One area that we recognize we need to further enhance is the character animation system. We want to make sure that we get this one right, and we are going to take the time needed to insure the best results. We are all working very hard to insure that you don’t wait too long to get what you want. We hear you.


In fact, I just want to point out that all of the staff in NewTek’s 3D Division, as well as NewTek CEO Jim Plant, fervently read all the different LightWave boards frequently. We see it all -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. In addition to speaking directly with you, and using other information gathering tools, we have found your comments about how to improve LightWave to be very useful. We have taken on a tremendous task, and we appreciate your support as we continue to recreate LightWave. We recognize the passion that you all have – we share it!

Below, we have included the current feature list for LightWave v9. You will also find the first in the series of new LightWave v9 videos. Be sure to check these out, we’re pretty sure you’re going to love what you see. And, we’ve got over 20 more LightWave videos in the works so check back often.

LightWave v9 is just the first in a long line of powerful LightWave upgrades. If we haven’t targeted your key area of concern yet, rest assured we will. (And yes, we are looking into the LW Mind Reading Helmet as part of the new LightWave accessories offerings however, it will come at an additional charge.)

Thanks to all of you for your commitment to LightWave. With your help we’re making LightWave the best 3D system in the world.

Best regards,

Jay Roth
President, NewTek 3D Division
  • 站長
  • 台灣 台北市
  • 註冊日期:2004年2月13日14時02分
  • 發表文章數:1145篇
2006年2月10日12時02分
以下是中文翻譯--若有不週之處敬請見諒!!
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親愛的LightWave使用者:

  上週五,我們宣佈LightWave v9的公開測試版將於2月14日情人節正式開始,我們想展現這份熱情,但是我們也想要提醒您,為了與您重要的另一半共渡這個重要的日子,您最好將這個測試的時間往後延一天,NewTek不想因為任何與LightWave v9測試的事情而使您佔據這個重要日子的所有時間。

  我們對於這次的LightWave v9感到非常興奮,同時也非常期待您回饋的問題與意見。就如我們一開始說的,LightWave v9是個完全重建的版本,某些部份會保留,但是其他部份會完全重寫。在這個第一次版本的LightWave v9,我們考慮的是如何滿足絕大部分使用者的使用需求,那就是軟體的穩定性與表現能力。

  許多人每天使用LightWave來打工賺錢,而有些人是仰賴LightWave來發展事業,所以您們都會希望LightWave能夠在所有的工作環境中與工作流程中都有非常高程度的依賴度與工作上的穩定性。所以您會發現LightWave v9將會比我們曾經推出過的所有版本都還要來的穩定與強大。

但是它並不僅止於此…

  不管您是專業使用者或只是玩家,您都希望以最快速有效率的方式完成您的工作。許多思考都呈現在幾個簡單的結論上,那就是操作介面的表現能力,工作流程的順暢度,當然還有算圖的效率。我在此非常驕傲的說,LightWave v9將同時給您這三項重點。

  您將會發現LightWave v9的場景工作效率有著極大的進步,我們重新編寫了全新的OpenGL顯示引擎,這將會呈現在這次的版本中,您會發現不論在視窗的操作,物件的編輯,旋轉縮放等動作都將比以往的版本快上許多。而在所有的主要視窗顯示模式,不論是網狀模式或是面狀模式與材質顯示模式,您會發現當您切換模式時視窗會有暫停顯示的現象出現,這將在接下來的版本會完成修正,即使有這樣的現象,您現在還是可以全速的使用新顯示效能的優勢。同時您或許還不會發現物件變形與骨架操作有苗顯的速度提升,但是請放心,我們會一併在接下來的修正版本中處裡完成的。

  關於新的算圖預覽的選項中,您將可以使用一種全新的GLSL著色模式,這種模式將會與您的算圖結果非常接近,但是並不需要先經過算圖一次的動作。雖然這種模式並不是像即時顯示那樣快速,但是至少比每次要按下F9要來得方便快速許多。除此之外,我們也同時做了許多工作流程的更新強化,這裡有許許多多的小例子關於場景與建模環境的更新,雖然我們知道許多使用者對於這些操作流程的改進有著非常強烈的意見,但是目前我們不想過於瘋狂的去強調這些強化的改變。我們會在這次測試版的過程中,一方面進行我們持續的改進,同時整合所有測試者回饋的意見。

  算圖部分:
  這裡要稍微介紹的是我最喜愛的部份:算圖引擎。LightWave v8.5之後我們在算圖部分有非常顯著的升級與改變。我們完全改寫舊有的光跡追蹤(ray-tracing)的算圖引擎,將原有的算圖引擎由一個全新最先進的光跡追蹤模式來取代。這個全新的算圖引擎使用KD-Trees的管理模式來記錄場景中的資料,並且可以快速有效的搜尋管理所有的運算資料。或許你不會在一些較小資料量的場景檔案工作中發現他的優點,但是一但你在執行資料量非常複雜與龐大的的工作時,你將會發覺有著明顯的差別。事實上,現在大家都把場景工作量弄得很龐大,而且已經成為日常工作的常態。我們通常會將工作整合為較有效率複雜度的工作量,但是在某些非常吃重的場景測試中,我們可以看到工作效能遠比LightWave v8.5版好上數倍之多。

  進階的攝影機工具:
  當然,想要運算出一場景,您需要在攝影機與材質設定上花些功夫來處理,LightWave v9提供一組全新的進階攝影機工具。您可以利用這些進階的攝影機工具(ACT)來完成許許多多的特效畫面,而其中某些特效更是完全出人意料的。舉些更明確的例子來說,您可以設定一些攝影機鏡頭的鏡片效果就如真實世界中的濾鏡鏡片。您可以在運算同一格畫面的時候一面將攝影機的快門打開,同時將攝影機依照您期望的路徑作移動。像電影2001太空漫遊這樣的攝影機特效您也可以在這樣的攝影機設定中來完成。同時您還可以設定與選擇特定的絕對角度來呈現您製作的模型與場景…,當然還有更多更多。新版本中我們加入幾種新的攝影機模式,除了原有的攝影機我們更名為傳統攝影機(Classic)我們現再有一種全新的多透視角攝影機(Perspective Camera)。這種新的攝影機不但提供更多種視角的運用並且可以更快速的在複雜場景中使用與工作。這些特定的視角設定更可以模擬工作視窗的視角,並且移除透視上的角度瑕疵,這許許多多的可能性都在上面提到的這個新的進階攝影機設定工具中被實現了。

  節點編輯器:
  在材質設定項目上,我們加入全新的設定材質模式…材質節點編輯器(LightWave Node Editor)。這種節點編輯模式藉由您所建立的節點編輯樹狀圖來編輯物件表面材質呈現的外觀。這個節點樹狀可以非常簡單或是極端的複雜,這完全取決於您編輯上複雜度的需要而定。這種節點編輯模式對某些第一次使用的人來說或許會有點摸不著頭緒,但是您不需要擔心,我們會提供詳盡的使用說明之電子手冊給您作為選擇節點編輯器邊及材質時的指南。這也可以讓您比較節點編輯模式與傳統模式的差別,兩者也可以相輔相成的使用。更進一步,我們也會提供教學範例與影片來深入解釋節點編輯器的使用模式,也讓您可以更輕鬆更快速的學會使用這種材質編輯模式。這種全新的節點材質編輯模式是非常強大的,它甚至還有SDK核心程式碼可以提供,所以您可以新增許多客制化的節點功能,我也非常期待看到您們所編寫出來的新功能。

  新材質模式:
  當我們在新增節點材質編輯器時我們發現我們可以在材質編輯模式中有個跳躍式的大前進。因為長久以來我們都因為LightWave原始核心的限制,很難將許多很好的材質模式應用到LightWave的材質編輯中。通常我們會需要很長時間的重整轉換工程才能將那些材質使用在LightWave裡面,這點讓我們覺得非常困擾。但是就在新的節點材質編輯器誕生的同時我們終於打破舊程式核心的這項限制,可以為新的LightWave加入各種材質編輯的模式,即使是目前最專業標準使用的材質模式都可以在LightWave中使用這些材質包括Oren-Nayar, Blinn, Cook-Torrance, Anisotropic與更多其他的材質模式,我們也期待將來看見更多新的材質模式被應用於LightWave之中。

  某些人或許會發現一些有趣的材質編輯模式…其一像是"肌底散射"(sub-surface scattering)材質設定,這是我們為這項廣受使用的材質模式所自行開發的版本,相信您一定會喜歡它的。您可以針對肌底散射做許許多多的編輯控制,因應運算品質與算時間的考量,您可以使用單一散或是多重的散射光跡運算,你甚至可以投機的不使用任何真實散射光跡運算來得到你所需要的效果,如果這樣的設定能夠滿足您的特定需求,您會喜愛它看起來的結果的。

  另一項您可能會覺得有趣的是tangent-based normal maps貼圖模式,這種貼圖模式可以使用不同來源,而不論你使用在任何靜態物體或是變形物件以及骨架操控的物件都可以看起來很完美。

  APS
  現在我們轉到另一項也是令人興奮的新功能,我們稱它為"進階像素細分"(Advanced Pixel Subdivision),或是簡稱APS。這個APS模式是一種細分區面的置換變形模式,它非常快速而且功能強大。您可以先控制細分區面的置換變形程度來達到你需要的解析度然後再使用。這與所為的"微面細分置換變形"(micropoly displacements)非常類似,但是APS能達到更為真實滑順的細分面,並且能夠同時產生遮罩圖層(alpha channel)以利您將來在合成畫面時使用。因此當您使用APS時,您可以使用非常簡單的SubD柔體物件,然後加入非常繁複的細節在上面,這將比您以前處裡複雜模型時所做的工程要輕鬆許多。

  由於APS必須仰賴SubD柔體模式才能使用,於是我們增加了另一種全新的SubD柔體模式(Catmull-Clark)可以同時使用於場景與建模環境中。您將會發現有許多情況您會傾向使用新的Catmull-Clark模式,但是有些時候您或許還是覺得原有模式還是有它的好處,因此我們提供兩種選擇並存。

  建模環境:
  建模環境中現在將線的編輯模式(Edges)加入,這將提供您更多的編輯模型的方式,某些工作您將發現線的編輯有它的優勢,但也有很多工作您還是會發現點面的編輯還是最適合的。我再一次強調,現在您有更多的選擇決定您將如何執行你的工作。您將會喜歡上線的編輯與Catmull-Clark柔體編輯模式的組合,同時您也可以控制線的權重強弱。再很快的未來,我們會將線編輯的功能整合到傳統的柔體編輯模式中的。

  其他新的功能當然也陸續加入建模環就中,但同時更重要的是我們將續建模環境的最佳化,使得LightWave的建模環境可以持續保有高效率與高品質的表現。我們也持續再針對建模環境的核心作更新的變革,以期將來不論任何新工具的加入或是既有工具都可以有更好的表現效能,這當然也希望能加入您意見的回饋。

  未來:
  我們同時將會持續進行場景介面與建模介面的整合工程,這個過程遠比我們當初想像的還要久一些,但是我們仍堅持投注大量的人力與想法於這方面的設計中。現在的場景環境仍也許多問題必須解決,才能將所有的建模功能開放給場景環境使用,但是我們正全力以最快的方式在進行。在LightWave v9這個版本中,您將能夠使用那些針對整體物件處裡的所有外掛功能,您也將可以使用端點繪圖工具(Vertex Paint)來編輯模型的點群資料圖層(Vertex Maps),同時我們也設計新的操作介面讓您可以在場景中製作3D立體字,這些都將在接下來的更新版本中推出。

  另一個部份是我們了解到我們需要針對角色動畫系統的加強,這項強化工程我們會投入所有可能的時間來建立,並且確定這個全新的角色動畫系統能有最好的效能與結果,也是大家所期望最好的系統,我們也保證會投入最多的精神與努力不讓大家等得太久,因為我們已經聽到您們的意見。

  事實上我想指出的是,我們所有在NewTek的3D部門同仁都和我們的老闆Jim Plant一樣會關注所有不同的LightWave的版面與意見,不論是好的意見還是壞的意見我們都聽到了,不論是來自任何角度的意見對我們來說都是讓LightWave更提升的好意見,我們衷心感謝所有使用者熱誠的意見回饋,這也是我們持續讓LightWave升級進化的動力,我們感受到您們的熱情,也將我們對LightWave熱情與大家分享。

  接下來我們還包括了最新的LightWave v9功能介紹表,同時您會看見第一批整理好的LightWave v9功能介紹影片,我相信您一定會喜歡這些影片的。接下來我們會持續推出超過20段以上的介紹影片,請常常回到這個網站看看。

  LightWave v9只是一連串LightWave強力進化的第一步,如果我們還沒有注意到您期望的部份,我們將會確認一定會做到。(開玩笑的說,當然我們也希望能研發全新的LW讀心術頭盔作為LightWave的周邊配備,當然這得要另外收費!)

  感謝所有熱愛LightWave使用者的各種意見與測試者的參予,有您們的協助我們一定可以讓LightWave成為全世界最好的3D動畫系統。

Jay Roth
NewTek 3D 部門總裁

本篇留言於 2006年2月11日20時02分 由 呂 編輯

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