Iron Sky – Day 68
Well its now Monday. Luke and I left here around 10:30 or 11PM I guess – I’m not sure if he stayed around. I told him to go home, but like always he was in the groove doing some neat stuff with LightWave’s ancient and decrepit SDK (by some peoples standards). He never ceases to amaze me that he’s able to code a plug in that would have put a certain someone out of a job on BattleStar Galactica because it completely takes out the tedious set up time involved to produce a certain effect. If he needs to crash a few extra hours I have no problem with that. Tuomas and I have a few things to sort out with one of the hero models, which relates to what Luke has been doing as we need to see a few things close up and I mean really close up. That means making a hero “part” of that hero model so we can get in there with the camera in LightWave and have the shot hold up on the big screen.
One of our other team members is leaving us due to circumstances beyond his control back in the world. We hope to have his replacement and one more team member on deck here shortly. This will not hold us up in anyway as I have planned for this contingency. What we could use is another 10 systems for rendering. I’m not sure I can do much about that, but thank the gods we are using LightWave to render this show out. There is currently a mental ray render job on the farm thats been running since friday and its only now just finishing. Stuff of equal or greater “weight” in terms of rendering in my opinion has been going since saturday and yesterday and is either done or waiting for free nodes to complete the jobs and these are multi-pass renders. Meaning we effectively have to render 2 or more “passes” of the same scene to get what we need for our compositing team (who are doing some really kick ass work btw).
Again it just stuns me that Maya/Mental ray is used for anything at this level in this time frame and budget. It’s never a good idea. (Name the movie that last sentence is from and I will send you a free video out of my collection!)
In other news I have been getting my brain wrapped around HVs and dynamics again. For all its warts and dust, HVs can be incredibly powerful if you know how to drive them in a particle system and texture them linking those two things together. For anyone out there who has their doubts about the benefits of upgrading to LightWave3D 10.x consider this: VPR on its own when combined with HVs for when you need to set up a shot with HVs or quickly texture things and see how they look its indispensable. I was working in LightWave here all of yesterday afternoon, coming up with a variety of presets and looks for fire, smoke, gasoline burning, you name it – if it burned or smoldered I was doing it and without a single crash or blow out LightWave10 just kept on going. I would add more emitters, clone emitters, copy and paste settings, orbit around with the 3Dconnexion spacenavigator mouse (thanks for the birthday present Jim!) and it performed. I had 10,000 particles or more on each emitter and at least 10 of them in a scene at one point and it was still flying around easily.
With that said, the price of the upgrade alone, if it was just VPR what was the newest feature and only new feature in LightWave10 over and above 9.6 – its totally worth it. It’s just getting better and better as well. The stability in the latest 10.x builds is very good. Most people don’t push LightWave3D like we are and they complain that it doesn’t have X feature or Y function that some other apps have but I really think everyone needs to get a grip and understand that some of those “other apps” requires a linux geek in order to make it work. Last time I looked most geeks can’t fit into a box or down the internet(s) tubes to sit on your desk.