LUXUS RENDER REVIEW
I got an email from Daz promoting a new product called Luxus. I immediately sat up and clicked the link and read up on it.
"Luxus allows you to render a DAZ Studio scene to an image using LuxRender. Luxus will automatically translate your scene to LuxRender, or you can control the translation by adding parameters specific to LuxRender in your DAZ Studio scene."
Now one of the "hardships" to using Reality is the integration of the plugin and how you have to use Reality Lights and it can get a bit difficult at times. While not impossible I have finally (after some issues for over a year and a half) gotten some fantastic pieces out of Reality. That being said, I am always looking for a simpler way to get the results I want with less hassles. So I purchased Luxus, installed it and began rendering. Out the box it seems to process scenes faster. It also AUTOMATICALLY translates existing lighting versus Reality that will not render existing lights but asks for Reality Lights. Luxus also will use the default view as a camera since it is native to Daz Studio. In Reality if there is no camera it asks to create one.
To be fair I do prefer Reality's built in material window and the ability to convert scene properties to lights. I have on more than one occasion converted a computer surface to a light source and then used the Preset for tv/computer screens to great effect.
Now using my existing Reality Renders as a gauge I tested a scene I had done previously that took about 12 hours or more to render to 2k S/p that's approximately 166 samples per hour. Some of that may be my RAM which I'm upgrading today and I'll reevaluate after the upgrade. However Luxus had gotten to 180 S/p within about 15 minutes which astounded me. That would make it 720 samples in an hour which translates to 8,640 S/p in 12 hours. That's nearly 4x as fast as Reality 2.5.
I'm not a professional at evaluating these things I only have my own experience to speak of so I will approach this as any lay person.
3Delight does it's usual exceptional job at a steady pace. Overall everything looks precisely the way I designed it. DOF camera turned out really well and terrain looks good if not perfect. When it saves I choose the place or leave it at the default Render Library path and name the file upon completion.
LuxRender via Reality 2.5 exceeds my expectations. With the help of my new RAM (went from 4GB to 16GB) it renders nearly twice as fast as it had before. DOF looks good. The only hangup is that the materials in bow and arrows were lost in translation. I'm okay with that but it can be frustrating at times to wait for a render then have to go back and fix stuff. Within the Reality GUI you pick the save location and output name prior to rendering.
LuxRender via Luxus. The Good: it's hella fast at almost four times the speed of 3Delight or Reality, however something is seriously being lost in translation. The DOF camera is gone completely. The Bump Maps are being handled totally wrong and the lighting seems overexposed. Within the native DS4.5 GUI the file saves much like 3Delight however you have no ability to adjust lighting in realtime so I choose to use the LuxRender GUI (the same one used after you hit "Render Frame" in Reality) so that I can use LuxRender's adjustment features and see what the finished product looks like on the go. Turns out like you see above ONLY when you exit LuxRender you do not know where your file is. It does not go to the place you set in the DS4.5 native GUI render panel. So after reading the Luxus documentation thoroughly and posting to the Luxus forum at Daz's community center I discovered via a poster to the forum Luxus saves in the temp file set in the Daz Preferences pane. So I go there and find nothing. I'm stumped. So setting it to render again I wait another 20+ minutes and before exiting LuxRender I go to the temp folder and viola there is the resources being used to make the file. It choose a default name d42.png. I stopped LuxRender and closed Daz and went back to get the PNG file. It was gone. Once more I set the file to render YET AGAIN and this time I copied the final result before exiting LuxRender which is the one I used for above.
Bottom line: If they can solve the translation issues with even a modicum of Reality's expertise while still keeping their speed which blows Reality away, SphericLabs would have a killer product. Until then, this render engine was frankly rushed to the market before it's time.