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Overview
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What is LightMan?
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LightMan is a small collection of easy to use Lightwave PlugIns which will enable you to interface with RenderMan Renderers, utilizing the full power of the RenderMan Scene Description Language and compliant Renderers.

LightMan 1.1 is now available for LightWave 6.5b and 7(b), Win32/Intel only!

Download
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LightMan will work without a key for unlimited time but will export only 3 Objects and 1 Light. Obtaining a license key lifts this restriction.
LightMan is available in a version for LightWave 6.5b, LightWave 7 and LightWave 7.5:

LightMan 1.1 for LightWave 6.5b (Win32/Intel)
LightMan 1.1 for LightWave 7(.5) (Win32/Intel)

See here for installation instructions.

Ordering Information
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The price per license is €249.00.
Custumers who already bought version 1.0 get a free upgrade (their key will still work with 1.1).
Bank transfer, US and german checks and PayPal (send money to td@td-grafik.de) are accepted. For credit card purchases please visit one of the Resellers.

For ordering fill out the LightMan Order Form (pdf, doc) and fax it to +49-2066-993173.
Send any questions to td@td-grafik.de.

Resellers
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Name Country Served Regions Direct link
3DWired.com
Sweden Skandinavia go there

LightMan Features
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Some of the most important features are:
  • (1.1 NEW!) Translation of LightWave Surface Descriptions to RenderMan Shaders (including animation)
  • (1.1 NEW!) Support for ART's RenderDrive/PURE Rendering Appliances
  • Full Export of Geometry including Deformations, SubPatches, MetaBalls, Points and Lines
  • Full Export of Animation
  • Transformational Motion Blur of Camera, Objects and Lights and deformational Motion Blur for Objects
  • Full Export of all native LightWave LightSources including Area Lights, Raytraced Shadows and automatically generated Shadow Maps (if supported by the Renderer)
  • Background Color, Gradient or Image
  • Replacement of LightWave Surfaces by RenderMan Shaders
  • Replacement of Objects with RIB Archives, Procedurals or abitrary RIB Statements

Why RenderMan
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LightWave has a nice Renderer so what is the point of using an external Renderer? There are quite a few good reasons actually:

Choice
RenderMan is a standard with a bunch of supporting Renderers of different quality and price tags. Especially with deadlines approaching it's often good to just choose a different renderer instead of tweaking around certain weaknesses of a certain renderer. With LightMan you can interface to many different renderers, even free ones! Check out the list of supported renderers.

Quality
The RenderMan Standard was established by the wide use of Photorealistic RenderMan, which hasn't become the industry standard for high quality movie special effects without reason. This also raised the bar for other RenderMan compliant renderers. Most RenderMan compliant renderers are extremly good on Motion Blur and Depth of Field.
One big downside of the LightWave renderer is it's bad texture filtering. With the default filter settings it usually overblurs but at the same time can still show aliasing artifacts. This is especially noticeable in animations. Texture filtering is one of the areas where RenderMan renderers usually unleash their real power. The pictures below show a simple texturing test scene rendered with Lightwave (left) and Entropy (right), with comparable PixelSampling settings (LightWave: Antialiasing Off - Entropy: PixelSamples 1 1):



Speed
The LightWave Renderer is fast, but especially with high quality settings Rendering times can grow very high. Most RenderMan renderers will provide you with higher quality pictures faster than the LightWave renderer.

Memory Efficiency
Handling scene complexity is a very important task in rendering movie effects and the RenderMan standard has lot's of hooks for intelligent complexity management which are integrated in all RenderMan renderers currently supported by LightMan.

Flexibility
With RenderMan you can get your hands at every stage of the rendering process. Easily create custom Procedural Objects, inline geometry created with other packages into your scenes for rendering, create custom Surface Shaders or Light Sources and much more!


LightMan Mailinglist
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Join the LightMan Mailing List to stay updated about new Releases and for general discussion of problems, suggestions or RenderMan related issues.

Website:
groups.yahoo.com/group/lman
Subscribe:
lman-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Unsubscribe:
lman-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

Supported Renderers
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When you know about a RenderMan Renderer you want to use but which is not listed here, feel free to report that to td@mirage-3d.de to have support for that renderer added.
The Renderer Resource Files below will only work properly with LightMan 1.1!


Vendor Product Name Renderer Type Latest LightMan
.rmr File
Pixar
Photorealistic RenderMan
REYES
prman39.rmr
DotC Software
RenderDotC
REYES
rdc33.rmr
SiteXGraphics
AIR
Scanline/Raytracing
air20.rmr
ART
RenderDrive/Pure
Raytracing in Hardware
renderdrive.rmr


LightMan Image Gallery
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LightMan 1.1 Test Images



User Gallery


The RenderMan (R) Interface Procedures and Protocol are:
Copyright 1988, 1989, Pixar
All Rights Reserved


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