Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

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Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

Postby Aragon Speed » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:31 pm

I have read through the Luxcore threads, and not being a programmer I have no clue what most of the information in those threads means. I have been able to gather that you are swapping the language Lux will be coded in, and that GPU acceleration will now be an option within the main render engine instead of a separate test-bed program.

So my question is, what exactly does all this mean to the NORMAL end user who isn't a programmer? ("This is what we're doing; Have a look at this code/script!" WTF? Thanks for the complete lack of information for normal people guys...) Will it be faster to render? Will there be missing elements finally available? (Like the lack of true sss shaders)

Does it mean that Lux will support more exporters for 3D packages out of the box rather than just blender as they will be easier to create? - Blender, imo, is the most unintuitive abomination of a 3d package the devil ever created. I have used many 3D packages over the years (I have used Maya, ZBrush, AutoCAD, Cinema 4D, Lightwave, 3DS Max, Poser, DAZ and Carrara, MAX being my favourite probably because it was the first one I learnt and used) and Blender is the only one I absolutely refuse to use as I want to work on my models and not swear at the PC a lot. I understand why this was picked as the main modelling package to use as it is free and the easiest for people to grab, but it would be nice if others were supported out of the box rather than relying on the community to hack something together.

Sorry if this is starting to read as a whining post, but I am a little fed up with the lack of information for normal people, plus I have been sitting around for months now with an exporter for Max which is currently not working for me. Not that it used to work that great before, but at least I could fudge along and get renders out, now I'm stuck using mental ray and cannot use lux at all.

Anyway, back to my original question, what exactly are the benefits of the change to the Lux code?
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Re: Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

Postby tomb » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:23 pm

As you've already found out its main points are:
* New api for external programs/exporters (including a new license so it can be embedded in closed-source, i.e. commercial, programs)
* GPU/CPU options in one program
* And due to the previous point and internal structures, it should be quite a lot faster

That said, you should realise when you say "..rather than relying on the community to hack something together.." that that is exactly how lux is developed! There is only the community - there is no company or organization paying anyone anything (at least to my knowledge). Nada, zero, zilch, nothing. Only a small handful of "community" people contributing their skills in their own spare time. Most have full time jobs and families as well, so the spare time is limited.

So there it is. I think perhaps a more constructive approach would be to consider: "what can I do to improve luxrender"? It doesn't have to be code or technical things at all. Sharing renders, answering questions for new users, writing tutorials, spreading the word to draw in potential programmers/exporter writers etc are all valuable activities.
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Re: Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

Postby Dade » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:08 pm

Premise: you are touching many arguments and the answer may be complex. First of all, LuxRender developers have no other communication media but the forums. This mean an end-users have access to all kind of communications including the one intended for developers. Not only, there also many kinds of LuxRender developers (i.e. core developers, exporter developers, platform maintainers, etc.) so there often threads written to exchange information between the different level of development (for instance between core developers and exporter developers).

The above kind of threads will look look like black magic to the end-users but there is a good reason why they are in the "Core: Architecture & Design" section. I mean, it is the way they are intended to look.

At the end of the day, people get always an answer in this forum so you can just ask (like you did).

Aragon Speed wrote:I have read through the Luxcore threads, and not being a programmer I have no clue what most of the information in those threads means.


The most interesting piece of information for an end user are:

- license change: a more liberal license, encourage the development of exporters and custom applications based on Lux. Both free and commercial.

- support for interactive rendering and real-time editing of all scene properties (textures, materials, objects, light sources, camera, etc.). All this wasn't possible before. Again, it means that exporters and custom applications are likely to expose this kind of feature in the future.

- full Python language support (in addition to C++): it is becoming the de facto standard for modeler. Blender, 3Dsmax, Maya, Cinema4D, MODO, Poser, etc. are all supporting Python. This make easier to develop exporters.

- full GPU support. It is already available but will be more in line with what is already available for CPU-only rendering.

Aragon Speed wrote:I have been able to gather that you are swapping the language Lux will be coded in


Not really, we are full supporting Python but the code is still written in C++.

Aragon Speed wrote:, and that GPU acceleration will now be an option within the main render engine instead of a separate test-bed program.


GPU rendering is already available in v1.3.1 but it will be more complete and more integrated.

Aragon Speed wrote:So my question is, what exactly does all this mean to the NORMAL end user who isn't a programmer? ("This is what we're doing; Have a look at this code/script!" WTF? Thanks for the complete lack of information for normal people guys...)


Stuff in "Core: Architecture & Design" is likely to be intended for programmers.

Aragon Speed wrote:Will it be faster to render?


Yes, if you have one or more GPUs. LuxCore CPU-only rendering is also quite faster than classic LuxRender but don't expect miracles there.

Aragon Speed wrote:Will there be missing elements finally available? (Like the lack of true sss shaders)


It is a while that CPU-only rendering supports SSS and GPU rendering is likely to gain it soon.

Aragon Speed wrote:Does it mean that Lux will support more exporters for 3D packages out of the box rather than just blender as they will be easier to create?


As you may have already figured out, most of LuxCore work is intended to promote and simplify the development of integration and exporters for any 3D modeler out there.

You have also to understand that while Blender is available for every one at no cost, everything else far less accessible: 3Dsmax doesn't work on my OS and is ridiculous expansive, it is a quite huge obstacle to overcome.

Aragon Speed wrote: - Blender, imo, is the most unintuitive abomination of a 3d package the devil ever created. I have used many 3D packages over the years (I have used Maya, ZBrush, AutoCAD, Cinema 4D, Lightwave, 3DS Max, Poser, DAZ and Carrara, MAX being my favourite probably because it was the first one I learnt and used) and Blender is the only one I absolutely refuse to use as I want to work on my models and not swear at the PC a lot.


Don't look at me, I have usually to spend half an hour on Google every time I need to try something for Lux with Blender. For a casual user like me, Blender GUI is just plain painful.

But it is still the only option available for most Lux developers. Supporting commercial packages has always been a problem for Lux.

Aragon Speed wrote:Sorry if this is starting to read as a whining post, but I am a little fed up with the lack of information for normal people, plus I have been sitting around for months now with an exporter for Max which is currently not working for me. Not that it used to work that great before, but at least I could fudge along and get renders out, now I'm stuck using mental ray and cannot use lux at all.


Like I said, supporting commercial packages has always been a complex matter for Lux project.

However, Reality 3D has shown that LuxRender can be surprising successful also outside the Blender user base. The Poser/DAZ user base is probably the largest users group for LuxRender at the moment.

In my, opinion we need to rise some fund and to promote the integration of LuxRender with 3Dsmax, Maya, C4D, Modo, etc. It is pretty clear from the past, that we can not relay on people free time for supporting commercial packages; among the other things because commercial licenses are very expansive. Often we don't have one guy dedicated to the integration with each 3D modeler. And if even we have one, he has a load of work to do, all alone.

But there may be some news on this front in the future too ;)
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Re: Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

Postby tomb » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:24 pm

Dade wrote:But there may be some news on this front in the future too ;)


Ooh, you teaser ;-) Now I am curious too
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Re: Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

Postby SATtva » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:58 pm

tomb wrote:
Dade wrote:But there may be some news on this front in the future too ;)


Ooh, you teaser ;-) Now I am curious too

C'mon, don't say you don't know what it's all about. ;)
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Re: Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

Postby Rhys » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:21 am

SATtva wrote:
tomb wrote:
Dade wrote:But there may be some news on this front in the future too ;)


Ooh, you teaser ;-) Now I am curious too

C'mon, don't say you don't know what it's all about. ;)

Yeah, like ya know :? *twirls hair*
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Re: Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

Postby tomb » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:11 am

SATtva wrote:
tomb wrote:
Dade wrote:But there may be some news on this front in the future too ;)


Ooh, you teaser ;-) Now I am curious too

C'mon, don't say you don't know what it's all about. ;)


Well, there are several things it could be about actually 8-)
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Re: Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

Postby Aragon Speed » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:43 am

Thanks for the answers Dade.

And to everyone else - Sorry about the tone of my initial post, I was having a bad hair day and my frustrations came out in the post more than I meant them to. I do understand that Lux is being developed in people's spare time. I was team leader of a largish mod team for about 4 years and understand how RL must come first no matter how important the project you are working on may seem, and also how often people try to treat you the same as a normal developer. I use Lux because it is developed by a community that isn't interested in the money, but is interested in creating the best product that they can.

I have been promoting Lux, but as I can't render anything to show people what I am talking about, it is kind of an uphill struggle currently. ;)

As for the price of commercial software.... I have just upgraded from 3DS Max 2012 to 2014, and also had to upgrade Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro to CS6 - So yeah, I fully understand how you need to take out a second mortgage just to stay current. :D
Last edited by Aragon Speed on Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

Postby Lord Crc » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:52 am

Aragon Speed wrote:I have been promoting Lux, but as I can't render anything to show people what I am talking about, it is kind of an uphill struggle currently. ;)


As mentioned it's unfortunately tricky for us "regular devs" to support Max or similar, as we don't have access to the software.

Max has switched to Python as well though, which is good news. I think we should also consider developing a "Python exporter core" library that non-Blender exporter developers can use to aid integration with the new LuxCore/LuxRender stuff.
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Re: Luxcore. What does it mean for the non-programmer?

Postby Aragon Speed » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:01 am

Lord Crc wrote:
Aragon Speed wrote:I have been promoting Lux, but as I can't render anything to show people what I am talking about, it is kind of an uphill struggle currently. ;)


As mentioned it's unfortunately tricky for us "regular devs" to support Max or similar, as we don't have access to the software.

Max has switched to Python as well though, which is good news. I think we should also consider developing a "Python exporter core" library that non-Blender exporter developers can use to aid integration with the new LuxCore/LuxRender stuff.

Yeah, that wasn't meant as a dig at the devs, just stating a fact and letting you guys know that at least some of us are attempting to promote Lux. :)
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