I'm the wrong person really to ask about Maxwell; I love it
with all it's shortcomings... I'm rendering an image right now, I'll
post a link to it when it's done. As stated, you can set MX to render
forever if you like (which is what I'm doing). When it gets to a point
you like, just stop it. If you want to continue rendering, you can
restart it as well. As stated, MX is a "real world" renderer; it
doesn't care about shadow types, radiosity, caustics, light types,
DOF, nothing. It renders everything as in the "real world" so the
images are much different than from other renderers. Yes, they are
still noisy, and take more to set up, but the results are worth it
As I said, right now I'm using Lightwave for "production"
renderings. I've been using it for many years, so it's kind of second
nature. I really like it as well. It's it's own animal, lot's to read
about to get great results, but good results are a few mouse clicks
My bitch about Photoworks is that there are MUCH better ways
of handling things than the way they are done in this
"implementation". It's very frustrating to use, though some people
take the time with it and get good results. For them, I say, good
work. I don't have that kind of patience.
Here's a tip for rendering, at least in Lightwave. LW only
"see's" on side of the polygon's created. Anything "inside" is not
needed. In fact, the more poly's in an object, the slower it moves in
LW modeler. So, what I do is this. In each part file, I make the
"surface" colors that might represent what the finished part will look
like. I color EVERYTHING "internal" WHITE. When it's brought into LW
Modeler, you can select polygons based on surface color. So, pull up
the "stats" window, select the "white" surface and hit delete. Now,
you are left with a "shell", and much less polys to deal with. Simple
and fast. Select the other surfaces and give them names and such as
you see fit.
As for Polytrans; it has been my experience that this uses
some algorithm developed by Robert Lansdale (Okino's "main" guy). It
creates (and someone can correct me if they want) an "optimized" mesh.
This is not "orderly" AT ALL, making adjustments to the surfaces
difficult (at best). Also, because the mesh is not uniform, smoothing
(smooth shading) can become a HORRENDOUS mess. As I said, others use
it all the time with no complaints, I just have never had good luck
As for Baren-Boym 3D File Export (http://www.baren-boym.com /);
they use a different approach. As you know, the model on your screen
is actually an OpenGL poly mesh for display. They "grab" this mesh,
and output it in the format you choose. This results in a much more
"uniform" mesh, which personally, I like better. The IMPORTANT thing
to remember is this; before "Saving As..." your model, crank up your
display settings to the maximum resolution. Remember, 3DFE is grabbing
the screen image; if it's low rez, you'll get a low rez poly mesh. I
prefer to have the highest mesh possible, and do poly reduction later
as I see fit.
One last note, Polytrans vs. 3DFE. When using Polytrans, you
can use their tool to "grab" your open file from SW and convert it to
a poly mesh. The workflow is basically: SW open to active part> Open
Polytrans> Import>"Auto grab" (or open the saved sldprt file). It
opens in Polytrans. Now, export to desired format. Too many steps for
me, especially if I don't get a "predictable" result.
-OR, using 3DFE you choose "Save As... in SW and choose your output
format. Done. Guess which one I like better.
If you don't tell anyone, you can see some renderings done using
models built in SW and rendered in Lightwave at
"www.jfww.com/renders/". Don't ask what they're for... it's a