Latest FPrime version is 3.51

FPrime 3.51 change list

  • Top and bottom of tall camera views could get cut off during some interactive passes. Fixed.
  • 0% opacity HyperVoxels did not render even if they were luminous. Fixed
  • Control-clicking would also surface select as an unwanted side effect. Fixed
  • Standard material node always rendered black. Fixed.
  • Partial workaround to a LW ACT camera bug which slows down Layout in any scene with targeting.

Known LightWave Issues

  • LightWave UB has severe efficiency problems during multithreaded SDK queries. Because of this, FPrime UB currently supports only 2 cores on Mac UB. Newtek is working on this issue now for the next update to LW 9.6.
  • LW does not emit notifications for non-numeric values in HyperVoxels panels. This means that many changes to HV settings will require pressing the FPrime refresh button in order for the changes to be seen in FPrime.
  • LightWave does not give FPrime proper object shape information when the camera is in Bounding Box view, or when per-object Hidden or Bounding Box mode is selected. A workaround is to just turn off Bounding Box mode and use any other mode, and reload the scene.
  • The LW SDK does not support Precomputed Nodes for 3rd party renderers, so FPrime cannot support Fast Skin, Occlusion II, Sigma 2, SSS or SSS 2 nodes.

FPrime version 3.5

New Features

  • Free update for owners of FPrime 3.
  • Support for Mac UB.
  • Support for HyperVoxels in interactive preview mode (requires LW 9.6)
  • Support for LW's new custom light types (requires LW 9.6). FPrime now renders Dome, Spherical and Photometric lights in both interactive and render modes. 4th party light types may work but are not officially supported.
  • Support for Unpremultiplied RGB output in FPrime Render mode. Alpha Format must be set to Umpremultiply Alpha in the Render Globals->Output panel.
  • Many efficiency improvements, especially for 4 and 8 core rendering.
  • Support for surface and object picking in the FPrime Preview window.(requires LW 9.5 or greater). Left click a pixel to select a surface. Use middle button to select objects. An additional XRAY option is enabled by holding down the shift key while clicking. This allows you to select the surface or object behind the surface or object that you clicked on.
  • Improved Node support for latest versions of LW. The LW SDK does not support Precomputed Nodes for 3rd party renderers, so FPrime cannot support Fast Skin, Occlusion II, Sigma 2, SSS or SSS 2 nodes.

Known LightWave Issues

  • LightWave UB has severe efficiency problems during multithreaded SDK queries. Because of this, FPrime UB currently supports only 2 cores on Mac UB. Newtek is working on this issue now for the next update to LW 9.6.
  • LW does not emit notifications for non-numeric values in HyperVoxels panels. This means that many changes to HV settings will require pressing the FPrime refresh button in order for the changes to be seen in FPrime.

FPrime version 3.2

FPrime 3.2 change list

  • Support for LW 9.3.1 new area light flags (single sided area lights)
  • Automatic support for LW 9.3.1 new global light intensity.
  • LW 9.2+ reversed the direction of motion blur. FPrime detects and matches this.
  • Hypervoxel alpha channels weren't always correct. Fixed.
  • Radiosity noise significantly reduced for 3+ bounce radiosity.
  • Borderless limited region refinement could "wrap around" and show a quality of -99999. Fixed
  • Bump map textures and nodes, followed by nodes which used incidence angle gradient mapping weren't showing the effects in the gradient of the bump. Fixed..
  • Noise in radiosity from intense inverse square area lights is reduced.
  • An animated object which scaled down on one axis to 0 size could show the wrong shape when the scale was animated to non-zero. Fixed.
  • In LW 9.2+ only, FPrime was showing animated objects at the wrong position in render mode only when the first frame rendered was not frame 1. A workaround to the LW bug is now included to double-check LightWave's object positions.
  • Mac only: arrow keys, fn-backspace now supported in numeric gadgets in Leopard
  • Mac Leopard only: Image file requesters would often not show the file save types, not allowing you to pick a save format. Fixed.
  • Vista only: On some systems with execute-bit-enabled CPU security enabled, quitting LightWave would cause a (harmless) crash after Lightwave had completely exited. Fixed.

Known LightWave Issues

  • LightWave does not give FPrime proper object shape information when the camera is in Bounding Box view, or when per-object Hidden or Bounding Box mode is selected. A workaround is to just turn off Bounding Box mode and use any other mode, and reload the scene. This LightWave bug was not fixed in LightWave 9.2.
  • A LightWave bug in LW 9.0 and earlier can cause objects with motion plugins or tracking to appear in the wrong places in FPrime. This bug is fixed in LightWave 9.2.
  • Mac only: Crash when a texture is removed or an image changed while an FPrime window is open and active. This is LW crashing because it's deleted a texture when FPrime is still using it, and LW hasn't told FPrime yet that it's deleted it. On the PC side, we're able to transparently catch and recover from the LW crash. Unfortunately OSX doesn't have an easy solution, and while a LW SDK update would solve the problem too, that doesn't help with the problem now. The current workaround is easy but annoying. The crashes aren't random, so you can avoid them. Just make sure to close FPrime's interactive window before you delete a texture or change an image map.

Graphics Card Issues

  • Some graphics card drivers (and specific versions of drivers) are uncomfortable with intensely multithreading graphic windows like FPrime's interactive preview. If you have crashes when using the preview (but FPrime render is fine) then your drivers might be the cause. Updating drivers, (or, on especially on the Mac) changing per-application driver settings like disabling FSAA usually fix these oherwise hard-to-diagnose crashes.

Known FPrime Bugs

  • Cubic mapping can be incorrect on deformed objects. A workaround is to use Surface Baker to bake the color channel and then re-apply it as a UV which FPrime will render correctly.

FPrime version 3.01

FPrime 3.01 bug fixes

  • Animated displacements and morphs were not being shown in FPrime render mode and WSN. Fixed.
  • A possible lockup when exiting the render panel is fixed.
  • Material specularity no longer causes false radiosity glows
  • Renaming a surface on the Mac sometimes caused hangs. This is now avoided in most situations.
  • Previews now refresh when unpaused if the scene was changed while paused
  • Alpha channels now show proper transparency effects
  • ACT cameras which pass in unnormalized directions (mostly fourth party camera plugins) now get normalized, making them work more reliably
  • WSN (now version 1.01) now understands LightWave doubled UNC pathnames like \\\\mymachine\\c
  • WSN now reads default Content directory from Config files, and prints more information about which directories it found

FPrime version 2.1

New Features

  • Limited Region support for FPrime Render. In the simplest mode, this is just like LightWave's limited region, allowing you to render just a portion of your image. But FPrime Render is a progressive renderer, so limited region can be used in much more powerful ways. In one new mode, you can choose to refine just a limited region. This may work well if you have an image which needs more "cooking" to remove radiosity or texture noise in one area but not everywhere. You can now guide FPrime to work only on those areas. This can be repeated many times for different regions (even overlapping ones). This mode can also be useful to initially render a small portion of your image to determine a goal quality level. After you've found the level, you can turn off limited region and FPrime will work on improving the rest of the image without wasting the work already done.
  • You can also use limited region to replace a section of a previous render, especially useful for print resolution rendering. Imagine you have a poster sized render of a fire engine, but after rendering, you realize you need to add a flag to the back of the engine or update a decal on the side. You can make the change to your scene and set a limited region that covers the changed area. You can then have FPrime replace that region with new, a new re-rendered pass. This is similar to the old manual solution of rendering the limited region as a new image and compositing the replacement area onto the old render. The big common-sense caveat to this mode is that the re-rendered changes need to be local. If you change a light intensity which affects the whole image or have long shadows or radiosity which responds to a distant object, or use FPrime's 2D blur modes, the net changes aren't local, so rerendering just a limited region will not work, you need to rerender the whole image.
  • Render mode now shows render time both for the last frame rendered as well as for the entire sequence.
  • Minor speed improvements, especially in radiosity and area light scenes.
  • Significant render speed improvement when rendering on a dual or quad CPU machine with scenes with many surface textures. A LightWave bug causes render errors if many threads evaluate textures during an F9render. FPrime 1.5 and 2.0 used a workaround which throttled FPrime down enough to avoid the LightWave corruption. FPrime 2.1 replaces this workaround, and instead automatically pauses the FPrime interactive windows during F9 renders and unpauses them when F9 is over. Don't manually unpause FPrime during render or you'll risk corruption, though! Tests show heavily texture heavy scenes on multi-CPU machines can now be over twice as fast as FPrime 2.0.
  • A new Generic plugin, "Pause/Unpause FPrime" will toggle the pause state of all interactive FPrime windows. This is mostly useful for Macintosh users. LightWave on the Mac is sensitive to some changes like removing textures while FPrime is still displaying them. (Sensitive = "can crash"!). This new Generic plugin can be mapped to a keyboard shortcut, so you can more easily pause FPrime, make the "risky" change, and unpause FPrime.
  • Hypervoxel alpha channels are now rendered.
  • Now supports the beta Sentinel 64 bit dongle driver for Windows x64.

Bug Fixes

  • A bug caused FPrime 2.0 to render some scenes with many many reflective and transparent layers more slowly than FPrime 1.5. Fixed.
  • Refraction blurring was completely broken. Fixed.
  • Very slow sliding of light intensities would not refresh the interactive FPrime window. Fixed.
  • Frame scrubbing speed and smoothness of some scenes has been conserably improved.
  • Very rare polygons in some symmetric objects would be "lost" and not rendered at all. [Found by Panikos.] Fixed.
  • Macintosh numeric gadgets now respond to keypad Enter.
  • Dissolved objects were still casting shadows. Fixed.
  • The interactive window now remembers its last save path, filename and filetype.
  • File save type now defaults to Targa32 if it's installed. Previously FPrime just defaulted to the saver LightWave listed first, usually RLA.
  • Sometimes the text displayed in the Render dialog would be corrupted when rendering was aborted on a dual CPU machine. Fixed.
  • Image sequences were sometimes rendering as a solid color. This was narrowed down and turns out to be a LightWave bug. It's been reported to Newtek. In the meantime we've added a workaround that makes the problem much much less common.
  • 2D motion blur with objects or cameras with tracking was sometimes causing huge smears of color. This was narrowed down to a LightWave bug and reported to Newtek. We've added a workaround which basically
    disables 2D motion blur for those objects. This is still wrong but much much better than smears of color.

FPrime version 2.0

New Features

  • G2 1.7's effects are now fully supported both interactively and in final render mode. This adds new postprocessing effects (color correction, gamut management, film grain.) It allows new updated shading models (multiple specularities, skin shading), rendering of subsurface scattering, NPR effects (art mode), Reflection control (nonlinear reflections, independent backdrop intensities), global and per surface attribute boosting, compositing modes (LSD), light management with groups and per-light per-object per-surface intensity and shadow control, partial light
    exclusions, partial shadow opacities, inverse square light falloff blowout protection, rim lighting, random clone coloring, ambient light gradients, edge texturing, independent bump mapping for different channels, one-step glass models (no need to create special transparent "air" polygons for refraction), and more. All effects are shown interactively in FPrime's display and also render in FPrime Render mode.
  • Support for rendering HyperVoxels when using LightWave 8.3 build 801 or later. Only FPrime Render Mode support is currently enabled. Future updates to LightWave will hopefully allow stable interactive HV rendering as well.
  • FPrime's computation of LightWave scene changes has been completely rewritten. This allows FPrime to notice a few more minor effects (such as changes from one light type to another) but most importantly the amount of
    computation needed to REACT to a change has been reduced dramatically. This means user changes to textures or lights will now need only several milliseconds to process before the FPrime interactive window begins to show the changes. FPrime 1's delay was up to 1/2 of a second, which made light and texture changes very "chunky" and harder to smoothly tune. LightWave's own OpenGL updates react CONSIDERABLY slower than FPrime's new updates so LW's own display becomes a large bottleneck. An effective way to boost feedback speed even more is to set LW's Display Options Bounding Box Threshold to a low value of perhaps 1000, regardless of the speed of your CPU or video card.
  • Final rendering memory methods have been completely rewritten, specifically to allow efficient use of any and all available memory of any flavor. This allows much muh better behavior when rendering extremely high resolutions and/or complex scenes. In practice, FPrime 1 could usually render about 4500 by 4500 images as a practical upper limit, but FPrime 2 can render images about four times as large. A 300dpi 4 page magazine spread of 10200 by 3300 is now quite reasonable to render for most scenes.Also, when memory limits are reached, FPrime will immediately inform you when you start rendering, not later in the middle of rendering. FPrime can now also detect in advance when the "Low RAM Saver" mode will be successful and will imediately recommend it to you in those cases where LW's savers fail.
  • Light incidence angle texture gradients are now supported in LightWave 8.3 and later.
  • Changing an item's active checkbox (in Scene editor) is now detected and shown immediately.
  • Negative reflection values are now supported. (Yes, some people use this.)
  • When alpha rendering is disabled in render mode, FPrime now records a generic alpha of 1.0, not 0.0. This allows easier viewing in Photoshop which by default flattens the alpha with the RGB for viewing (even though the RGB channels are still there.)
  • 2D motion blur quality has been retuned to remove banding in super-extreme motions of 300+ pixels over one frame
  • .FPrime's initial start up delay is reduced.
  • Transitions in FPrime's interactive window rendering are now smoother, reducing the transient "zippered edges" appearance. This transition happens just as the incrementing number display begins.
  • Save file names now allow selecting a final "." in the filename, so "hello." will save files as "hello.0001.tga" and so on. This fits the standards at certain Hollywood studios.
  • FPrime's memory use when dealing with many (10+) LightWave clones has been reduced.
  • Logitech mouse wheels now allow even one-pixel zoom levels for full continuous zooming. (Requires driver support).
    All users can fractionally zoom by holding Control and dragging the mouse side to side.
  • Interface window and gadget colors have been updated from "yellow textured LW 7.0" style to "flat gray LW 8.0" style.
  • Backdrop radiosity computation is now over twice as efficient, dramatically reducing noise.
  • High levels of radiosity bounces (8+) no longer use any extra RAM to render. (Previously up to 12 MB was used to store temporary values).
  • Saving progressive rendering files is now up to three times faster on RAID disk arrays due to larger data chunk sizes.
  • Additive Transparency now reacts exactly as LightWave, instead of just being similar.
  • Macintosh users of ATI display cards have significantly improved panning quality in FPrime's interactive view, matching NVidia's quality.
  • Tightened FPrime's Master panel to minimize its size. A smaller panel uses less screen real estate, a big problem especially with many LW panels open simultaneously.
  • New generic plugin "FPrime Master" allows you to open the FPrime Master control with one interface button or assigned keyboard key. This is a lot easier than digging through LightWave menus to find the Master plugin page and double clicking the Fprime entry to open the interface.

Bug Fixes

  • Multithreaded renders with depth of field could create occasional speckle artifacts in final rendering. Fixed.
  • Final render images are shifted 0.44 pixels from before. This aligns output exactly with both LW's output and the interactive window's update even to the subpixel level.
  • Saved shadow alpha values were not always correct. Fixed.
  • Animated textures now properly motion blur with any frame per second value. Previously they always showed a 30fps blur.
  • After closing the interactive window, loading a new object, and opening the interactive window, FPrime didn't show the new object. Fixed.
  • Cloning a light now shows the new light effect immediately. A refresh is no longer necessary.
  • crash when radiosity with 12 or more bounces was viewed in interreflecting mirrors (which bounced 12 or more times), which was in turn viewed through one layer of refractive transparency, is fixed.
  • "Classic" render mode will no longer ask to use old progressive render data.
  • 1MB of RAM was wasted when the "Save" button was used from the interactive window. Fixed.

FPrime version 1.5

New Features

  • A new "Lighting Quality" control in FPrime's Master panel allows balancing between render pass speed and area light and radiosity graininess. A higher quality will reduce render noise every pass, but make those passes slower to render. You can (and should) use this to optimize render speed versus quality. For example, if you render a scene to level 5 quality and you're happy with the edge and texture antialiasing but area lights are still noisy, a higher Lighting Quality will help reduce the noise in 5 (slower) passes without wasting energy with extra unneeded edges. Conversely, if you have Depth of Field (which requires many passes to eliminate the DOF noise), a lower Lighting Quality will make each pass faster.
  • Automatic multiple CPU, multiple-core CPU, and Hyperthreading support added. The interactive render window uses extra CPUs to speed rendering in its "antialiasing" passes (as the numbers incrementing). The FPrime Render mode also uses automatic threading. Even Intel Pentium 4 Hyperthreading gives an extra 10% speed boost. (Make sure to enable HT in your P4 computer's boot BIOS.)
  • New filter design makes image details sharper as well as giving better edge antialiasing
  • FPrime Render mode now has one additional, (non-Newtek) save option, "Low RAM Targa". This avoids many RAM issues with saving print-resolution images. This tends to allow slightly larger images to be savable.
  • Depth of Field and motion blur are no longer shown in renders when LW itself would not render them. This is to match LW's output better. For example, using FPrime 1.0, you would see DOF effects every time LW's camera had DOF turned on, even if LW itself did not render DOF because of a low LW antialiasing setting.
  • FPrime Render has a new "+Alpha" button. FPrime will not use extra time or RAM to compute the alpha channel unless this is selected. This gives a minor render speed boost, and it significantly helps print resolution render RAM usage.
  • FPrime 1.0 stored surface attributes in a compressed manner that would create subtle banding in reflections. This has been changed in 1.5.
  • Negative luminosity and reflection is now supported in FPrime's AA and render modes.
  • Background images are now visible through unrefracted transparency.

Bug Fixes

  • When saving a file with a very long name, the file requester would sometimes not appear a second time. Fixed.
  • When in "Render to Level" mode, very quick-to-render scenes could "overshoot" the desired level. Fixed.

FPrime version 1.02

New Features

  • Unseen by Rays objects are now also unseen by radiosity to match LightWave. (Useful for Eki Skygen users)
  • Blurry reflection now blurs background environments (Like ImageWorld and gradients)
  • More common "optimistic" renders which make more than one quality pass per save for fast scenes in Render mode
  • "Equalize" mode in Render mode now works even when the frames are rendering optimistically (more than 1 quality step at a time)
  • Classic Mode button in Render mode disables during render.
  • Interactive engine now works harder on radiosity after first refinement passes have antialiased edges
  • Radiosity and area light quality tuning (very minor but helps with coarsest quality levels)
  • Render status gives constant progress update status, including fractional quality display.
  • New Generic plugin to remove all FPrime shaders from surfaces. [You need to use "add plugin" again to see the new Generic tool]
  • Render mode's filtering is a bit sharper
  • The interactive window's Refresh button is removed. You can use more robust Generic "FPrime Refresh" plugin instead. This change is for several reasons, in particular the Generic refresh can catch geometry changes that the in-panel one cannot. Also LightWave is Unhappy about independent windows refreshing geometry, which can (and did) cause occasional crashes. The Generic refresh command (which you can add as a menu button or hotkey) does not have these limitations. In particular this change prevents a common problem when using LightWave's "Load Preset".
  • New pause/unpause button. Useful when you are making major changes and you don't want the overhead of FPrime constantly updating as you're doing inital setup.ou'll often want to use Refresh after unpausing if you've made changes to your LW scene while paused.
  • Interactive mode display now dithers itself to prevent Mach bands in dim gradients. This for display only, not saving, since adding dithering to savers would add undesired noise to higher-quality savers like Cineon, OpenEXP, and other HDR formats.

Bug Fixes

  • An ugly crash for some users when using Render Mode on the Mac (especially with LW 7.5c, not 7.5a) is fixed.
  • A crash with flat (usually one single poly) objects with transparency is fixed.
  • Clip maps no longer use a ray recursion up like transparency. This makes clip maps consistent with LW and solves a variety of clip map discrepencies.
  • Very dim transparency and reflection roundoff errors are fixed (caused very very weak reflections to disappear)
  • Negative motion blur values work
  • The interactive mode window used to have a 1/2 pixel shift compared to both LW and Render mode.output: fixed.

FPrime version 1.01

New Features

  • Zooming can be done by control-clicking and dragging in addition to the mouse wheel

Bug Fixes

  • Save file paths with a "." or 4 sequential digits in a directory name now work.
  • No "black pixels of death" with reflection or radiosity of LW background gradients
  • Radiosity follows tinted transparency and dissolved objects
  • Camera motion blur length of 0.000 doesn't render final black frames
  • Corrupt LW surface names ("") don't crash Fprime (especially common on Mac)
  • Background fog with BG images now correct
  • Corrupted text redraw of status display numbers fixed
  • Light excluded objects don't cast shadows (to match LW's behavior)
  • Radiosity now follows per-object exclusion flag
  • Interactive window's pixel-aspect correction removed, now shows stretched but exact rendered pixels