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Lightworks vs RedSDK Rendiring in TC 2017 Deluxe
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* October 24, 2017, 03:27:52 PM
Hi All!  I'm a long time TurboCAD user, but it's my first trip to the forums. Hopefully you'll find a little background useful. I have used TurboCAD for many  years, starting with TC v8, then until recently TC v21 Deluxe, and just within the past month, installed TC 2017 Deluxe. Until this year, I was making almost all 2D drawings, just started learning how to create 3D. I worked with 3D in v21 for about six months and had no problems - this using the built-in Lightworks renderer. Since switching to TC 2017, I've had to change to RedSDK for rendering, and have had numerous problems. The program has crashed at least half a dozen times when I try to perform a render and I find it generally not as easy to use as Lightworks. Which brings me to my questions:

1. I see that I can purchase the Lightworks plug in for TC 2017 Deluxe. This completely replaces RedSDK, correct? One wouldn't need to use both?
2. Assuming Lightworks does replace RedSDK, are there any plans to discontinue support/function for Lightworks in future releases of TC? Not that I upgrade often, obviously.... :)
3. Beyond personal preference, are there functional reasons to prefer one renderer over the other? I.e., are there things Lightworks can do which RedSDK cannot do, or visa versa?
4. I have read that RedSDK can make use of the graphics card GPU to significantly improve rendering speed - though this info is pretty tough to find. TC's own documentation does recommend use a of a high powered GPU for TC 2017, so it makes sense. Does Lightworks also make use of the GPU for enhancing rendering speed?


I looked on the TurboCAD Lightworks Plug-In page for these answers, as well as searching here. But a layperson/3D newbie, it wasn't clear to me what features touted in Lightworks are different/superior to what's included with the built-in RedSDK.

Thanks in advance!

Aaron

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October 24, 2017, 03:53:56 PM
#1
1. The Lightworks plug-in is in addition to RedSDK.  It does not replace it.
2. If you purchase Lightworks once, you get free upgrades (supposedly for life, but I don't understand that business model).
3. The explained reason for only having one rendering engine is to reduce costs on the royalties for two different rendering engines.  RedSDK has more realistic lighting and thus more realistic rendering (Henry Hubich will most likely disagree with me on this, but my most pleasing renders of transparent objects are via RedSDK).
4. From what I have seen on my TurboCAD Platinum system, the Advanced Rendering mode makes greater use of NVidia-based graphics cards, but you do not have Advanced Rendering in Deluxe.  That being said, I have read that the right graphics card can help even in Quality Rendering.  I haven't done any experiments to confirm, but you could install a Graphics Monitoring app (say, G-ZPU or the utility provided with Windows, depending on your OS).


Jeff

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TC Pro Platinum 2017, 2016 & 2015 (all with LightWorks) & V21
System: i7-5820K @ 3.30GHz, ASRock X99 Extreme4, 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, Gigabyte GTX 970, Samsung NVMe SSD 950 (256GB), Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) SP1


* October 25, 2017, 03:40:55 PM
#2
1. The Lightworks plug-in is in addition to RedSDK.  It does not replace it.
2. If you purchase Lightworks once, you get free upgrades (supposedly for life, but I don't understand that business model).
3. The explained reason for only having one rendering engine is to reduce costs on the royalties for two different rendering engines.  RedSDK has more realistic lighting and thus more realistic rendering (Henry Hubich will most likely disagree with me on this, but my most pleasing renders of transparent objects are via RedSDK).
4. From what I have seen on my TurboCAD Platinum system, the Advanced Rendering mode makes greater use of NVidia-based graphics cards, but you do not have Advanced Rendering in Deluxe.  That being said, I have read that the right graphics card can help even in Quality Rendering.  I haven't done any experiments to confirm, but you could install a Graphics Monitoring app (say, G-ZPU or the utility provided with Windows, depending on your OS).


Jeff


Jeff,

Thanks for the detailed reply. So if the Lightworks plug-in doesn't replace RedSDK, for what purposes is RedSDK still used if one is using Lightworks?  2D drawings/wire frame?

I personally haven't had enough experience with either engine, to say which provides the more realistic output. Since signing up on the forum here, looking through a few galleries and postings, the Lightworks renders almost always look better to my eyes, but I'm sure either would be sufficient - if the RedSDK can be made stable (I realize that is a question for TurboCAD technical support).

Ultimately, I will probably be creating my own textures from digital images. Is either Lightworks or RedSDK superior in terms of ease and flexibility for that function?

I'll look into the graphics monitoring app you suggest, which should let me tell if the GPU is actually being used (I don't appear to have the option to make that decision in TC.


Cheers,

Aaron

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October 26, 2017, 02:15:00 PM
#3
2D drawings do not use the rendering engines.  You can only render 3D objects (they can be Surface, Mesh or ACIS Solid, not all of which are available in Deluxe).

Lightworks renderings look sharper to my eye, but RedSDK looks better with transparent objects (also, to my eye).

RedSDK can apply images to objects as a material, but the material has to be properly sized or there will be visible artifacts.  Lightworks can do the same thing, but also has the ability to create textures/materials from mathematical formulae.  I created a material in Lightworks that looks like grey powder coat point that is very realistic (again, to my eye).  I plan to experiment on creating large images using Lightworks and using them in RedSDK renders to alleviate the problem with tiling from small images.


Jeff

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TC Pro Platinum 2017, 2016 & 2015 (all with LightWorks) & V21
System: i7-5820K @ 3.30GHz, ASRock X99 Extreme4, 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, Gigabyte GTX 970, Samsung NVMe SSD 950 (256GB), Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) SP1


October 26, 2017, 02:27:32 PM
#4
RedSDK is based of real life physics so material shaders that development have included and Physical Lights (fall off) can never be out of range.

Many, if not all, materials in Lightworks can go over the physical correctness as Ambient factors can be added in the shaders and can be set to reflect more light than they receive.

Lights can be set to have different fall offs.

Some say you have more artistic freedom using Lightworks and you have a few more options in the shaders than RedSDk which is really only based on using image wraps and solid colours.

RedSDK can be faster to setup to get nice renders quickly due to its fast GI calculations especially for exteriors and product illustrations etc.

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Daz...
V2016 64-Bit & 32 Bit Platinum Edition - Build 61.2
RedSDK Only in 64 bit & 32 bit = RedSDK & Lightworks
TurboCAD user since V3 and Turbocad 3D V1.
OS Windows7 Pro 64bit Lenovo W701 Laptop, 12GB Ram, 2 x 128 SSD harddrives, NVIDIA Quadro FX 2800M Graphics, Intel i7 CPU...


* November 06, 2017, 10:54:41 AM
#5
Thanks for the feedback, Jeff and Darrel! Lots of things to consider, it seems. I have reinstalled TurboCAD onto a clean install of Windows 7, which (fingers crossed) seems to have solved my crashing issues while rendering.

Cheers,

Aaron


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