Even now in the age of 64bit computing RAM is a scarce resource. While it is quite common to have workstations with 8 or more GB of RAM, the images used to texture in 3D applications have grown in size as well. In certain areas image sizes of tens or hundreds of gigabytes are quite common. Higher render resolutions for HDTV, film or print also require highly detailed, high resolution image maps for texturing. We have decided to tackle this issue.
infiniMap is a LightWave 3D plugin that allows the user to render virtually unlimited size textures within a familiar interface.
This is accomplished by only loading the parts of an image into memory that are actually visible in the final render in the resolution needed for the final image. To determine the optimum resolution of the image need for the render, infiniMap uses a number of variables, including for example the distance of the mesh to the camera.
We have rendered animations of the earth using more than 3GB of images in video resolution using only 300MB of memory, including the memory used by LightWave 3D in the process. We have also rendered images in the terabyte range using infiniMap on computers with 500MB of RAM successfully.
A smart caching system ensures that the performance hit on render times is minimal, especially when rendering out animations. This also reduces the load in file servers when rendering on a farm. The loading of scenes with infiniMap images is much quicker than using natives images.
It has been our goal to integrate infiniMap as tightly into LightWave 3D as possible and to adhere to existing standards to make using it a smooth experience.
We also include support functionality, such as the automatic creation of openGL preview textures for Layout as well as a custom image browser to keep the most important settings in view while working.
Version 1.5 now includes a batch image converter that can use all image i/o plugins that are installed with LightWave 3D.
Currently supported image file formats are ECW (from ER Mapper), JPEG 2000 as well as OpenEXR (currently the OSX version only supports OpenEXR).
You can download and use the free, unlicensed version right after registering at our site. We also provide you with a thorough user manual as well as two comprehensive tutorials.
So go ahead, and render a world of image maps today.
Download infiniMap Le for free and try it out.
The unlicensed version is our "light" version of infiniMap. It works as a shader and supports planar mapping only. It loads, saves and renders scenes and objects created with the registered version and can be used for network rendering as well.
We also offer two tutorials with sample data.
infiniMap is available for LightWave 3D V9.0 and higher, 32bit /64bit Windows as well as the OSX UB (the OSX version only supports OpenEXR images).
Ports to other platforms are planned but are subject to the portability of base libraries we depend on.