Flamingo nXt

easy rendering for Rhino in Windows

I've been using nXt and really enjoying its speed, but I have a few questions and comments.


1.  How can one adjust the focus of spotlights to create softer shadow edges?


2. Was there a compression change for saving out jpgs in the 12/21 beta?  The file size is now about 25% for the same render, and they are fairly noisy.  Can we have that full quality back or an option for export quality?


3.  It's great to be able to use that instance of Rhino while rendering. On a few occasions I've accidentally started another render before one has fully stopped, and there isn't a way to save out the first render.  Especially if it had been running for a long time, it would be nice to have a way to save it, or be warned when starting another.


4.  The nXt image editor is fantastic for making final lighting adjustments, but I wish the brightness, burn, and saturation had finer controls.  Making only .01 adjustments can have a substantial effect on the image.

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Glad you are liking some of the imporvements.


1) The softness of the shadows is related to the Radius of the source.  On an spotlight you can edit this in object properties.  The larger the radius, the softer the shadows.


2) We looked through the code and did find where is changed.  We will get it working in the next build correctly.  In the mean time, can you use PNG files?


3) There is a way to let renderings stack up on each other.  If you go to the Flamingo NXT pulldown > Options.  There is a Modal Render switch on the panel.  Check that off, you will get the behavior you are looking for.


4) I think we can do this.  We will change this and see how it works.  It sounds like a great idea.


Thank you for the feedback.

Thanks for the reply, Scott.

1. The radius doesn't really seem to affect the shadow edges. I just did a test with one Rhino spotlight (no hdri, sky or ambient) with a wattage of 100, beam angle 50, and radius from .01 to 10000 and the shadows don't really change. If you want me to send you the images somewhere I can, I'm not getting an attach option here in this thread.

2. No problem - glad you found it.

3. My modal rendering was unchecked already. It seems to work in simpler setup renders, but the first render has gotten hung up with more complex ones. I waited minutes - but maybe it needed longer.

Thanks again.
If you hit reply, under the edit box is an upload file link.  You should be able to get me the file through that.  Or, ou can send it to my email at scottd@mcneel.com.

These images are from nXt 64 21-Jan beta on V5 64 12-Jan in Win7.  There is a discrepancy between the spotlight radius value in the Rhino properties and the nXt control panel light properties, but it still doesn't explain the sameness of these images.  In the rhino properties, the radii used were 0, .1, 1, 10, 100, and 1000.  In the nXt light properties, these values turn into .006, 5.73, 57.296, 90, 90, and 90.  Also attaching the v5 3dm I used - just one pure white 100 watt rhino spotlight, beam angle 50, with no additional lighting.  The white circle in the image is a surface - spotlight is out of frame.  Each image made with 20 passes.


And FYI, the forum reply doesn't work correctly using Firefox 3.6 on Win7.  I'm using IE8 to write this and attach files.








Scott, have you had a chance to check out the spotlight radius?  Is it not working correctly, or am I missing something?

Sorry, I have been a bit busy the last couple days.  You are not missing anything.  It is a bug.  The initial radius cannot be changed. 


I have reported the problem, it should be fixed soon.



Thank you for the testing model, it helps.

Thanks Scott, looking forward to the fix.  A few more bugs/issues/suggestions:


1.  In the last few Rhino5 WIPs, the light settings in the nXt lighting control panel (and the rendering resolution settings) are no longer saved with the 3dm.  When reopening a file, an HDRI sky and ambient Studio light at 1.00 come up even though the file was saved with both of those turned off, and the resolution resets to 300000 pixels.  Also, not all of the wattages in the nxt lights list match the Rhino light properties value.


2.  I know it was brought up in this thread: http://nxt.flamingo3d.com/forum/topics/shut-off-shadow-for-a-light-in , but is it possible to bring back the ability to shut off shadows on a light source?  Your suggestions don't really work in cases when I'm trying to match the lighting on objects to be inserted into an existing photograph.


3.  I'm not sure if it's a Rhino or an nXt problem, but many of the nXt light values in the Rhino light properties don't show up when selecting one light and then another.  Hovering over the area with a mouse sometimes will make it appear, as will switching from the lights tab to the material or object properties and back.


4.  The realtime image adjustment is great, but the channel changes made during the render aren't saved with the .nxt file.  It would make sense if they were, along with any adjust image changes.  In addition, I think the channels UI should be the same for both the realtime renderer and the nxt image editor.  For instance, please add a number control to the channel slider and a channel multiplier control to the editor.  This way I can make changes on a smaller resolution test render and write down the settings to be transferred over to the full size final render.  Or even better, be able to export out these settings to be able to apply to the full size render.  Does this workflow make sense?

1) We wil look at this and get it fixed. 


2) I m interestied in getting an example for this issue.  Can you setup a scene that you need this?


3) Are you changing the values int eh NXT control panel or the Rhino Properties page?  Or both?  This sounds like a display problem.  Can you grab a screenshot?


4) Yes, I agree, we should match these values.  I will see what I can do to get this to happen.  If I understand you, you favor the Flamingo Render window controls over the NXT image editor controls?

On your 1. we have all the features fixed, except the Wattage match.  I think we have it fixed, but I cannot verify it.  Do you have a simple 3DM file that has this problem?

1, 2 and 3.  I will send you an email.


4.  I wasn't specific enough before.  I want to be able to enter a number in the render window like in the editor, while still being able to use a slider.  Having a number allows me to transfer that setting to another render.  I think I also like the multiplier that is in the render window - it seems more elegant than the editor where a number larger than 5 can be entered, but moving the slider left then moves it back below 5.  Maybe an even better solution is a Grasshopper-like slider with a value and user-definable bounds? 



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