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darrenb
09-03-2003, 07:23 AM
couple of questions dogging my decision to go with Lightwave.

I suppose like most when cashing out £1000 + on software you need to make sure you are getting the right software. Some time ago I had the opportunity to look into LW7.5 as a newbie and scoured the forums for views on LW versus the other mainstream packages. Got quite involved with the Electric Image forum before finally deciding to go the LW way. I bought several books on LW and read from front to back, but still not bought the software and left it for a while.

Most recently picked up the 3d bug again and got a copy of both LW7.5DE and Cinema 4D xl8 demo. I have played with both for a short while and there are certain things that I like about both packages. The two areas that are bugging me at the moment is Cinema 4D's soft IK which from the demo animations look to provide realistic floppy parts of the anatomy (dogs ears etc.) that are affected by say head movement etc. Cinema 4D has hypernurbs, which seem to enhance or make easier the modelling process. Finally I have read that the renderer in 4D is faster?

I have this real deep down desire to go LW but just need some reasurances that I will not be missing out on some of what seem to be better/newer features in cinema4d - HELP:-)

UnCommonGrafx
09-03-2003, 07:33 AM
No no no,
You should get Cinema 4D! I've done the floppy ears in lw, and it was stupid easy: lazy points or the inertia plugin. And LW is about to come out with a new version after two years. Then you can have great envy for a few years while you save up more money.

Sarcasm loud and clear here?

Darren, you can't go wrong with this purchase. Heck, if you find you don't like it you can sell it and still get Cinema 4D. You came here to get the biased push you need. Just step off the deep end and take the dive!

Aegis
09-03-2003, 07:56 AM
Darren, I have a copy of LightWave 7.5 I am selling for around £700 if you're interested - It's a full commercial version (not Academic or NFR - Not For Resale) It's also eligible for the free upgrade to LightWave 8 when it's released AND it comes with a copy of Aura 2.5b

email me at [email protected] if you're interested.

As for your questions, Cinema 4D has certainly evolved into a capable package and it's been around for quite a while but LightWave was the first desktop 3D modelling and animation package used for professional broadcast work and has continued to be updated and enhanced making it the most capable out-of-the-box 3D package available today.

LightWave's Modeler is an amazingly powerful tool enabling you to create just about any object you can think of - Tools similar to Cinema's "HyperNurbs" have been available in LightWave for some time now - LightWave's "MetaNurbs" or subdivision surfaces are one of the most flexible modelling methods you can use to create organic objects.

LightWave Layout features a softbody system called "Motion Designer" if you browse these forums you'll find some QuickTime video tutorials by Lee Stranahan - there's one about Motion Designer which will show you the basics of animating cloth - Lee has promised that more tutorials will be added to cover this and many other subjects (and yes, you can do floppy-dog ears with it if that's your thing ;))

LightWave's renderer is rightly acknowledged as one of the best in the business - Volumetrics, HyperVoxels, Radiosity, Caustics, Area Lights, Raytracing - There are no replacement LightWave renderers so everything you see in the gallery here has been rendered by LightWave - admittedly it's not the fastest renderer out there but the quality speaks for itself.

As far as new features go, NewTek recently previewed some (but not all) of the functionality of LightWave [8] at Siggraph - major improvements to workflow and character tools are expected in the next release including "instant" IK rigging, bone dynamics, vertex animation, a new softbody/hardbody/cloth dynamics system and much more - we're all expecting great things from the next release :D

trygve
09-03-2003, 07:57 AM
I had the same dilemma this summer, choosing between cimema 4d or Lightwave.

Both are great, but I decided to go for Lightwave. And I'm so happy with it.

- Lightwave is best buy out of the box: Dynamics, Character animation, particles, hair-system, sub-D modelling, superb render with radiosity and support for hdri, and much more.

- To get the same in Cimema4d, you must buy a lot of the modules, the standard version does not even support hdri og radiosity in the renderer. Cinema 4d will a lot more expensive.

- Biggest point for meg: Lightwave have a GREAT and friendly community and a LOT of learning materials available. Here in Norway, there is one book covering Cinema4d, but several covering Lightwave. And there is a LOT of learning material on the internet. It's so much easier to get up and running.

My last point: whatever you choose, you will get a great piece of software, and the most important is that you are willing to invest time in learning it. When you have made your decision, you can invest all that time in that one package.

cresshead
09-03-2003, 08:39 AM
try this...go down to your local newsagent and buy this month's 3dworld mag as this has a full version of cinema6 CE....the only restriction is render size is stuck at a max of 600 x 400 pixels..if you want the uinresticted version it's £79....upgrade...

so far a safe bet?

buy lightwave and 3dworld mag and you'll have both for the cost of lightwave7.5!

steve g:D :D :D :D

Mylenium
09-03-2003, 08:40 AM
Even today I'd go for LW. I have for quite a while "been forced" to work with C4D (since 5.21) and especially with R8 I don't see a real step forward and most of what is sold as a new feature is just patch work. The only thing I envy are Thinking Particles.

C4D was good once, but personally I think with R7 and on they kind of blew it. It's not really fast anymore (both while working and rendering). On the contrary - sometimes it feels extremely sluggish. The feature set has not really expanded over the last 2 versions and you only get a lot of features only with the additional modules including such basic things as UV editing (which is funny in a way, since C4D always had UVs).

What perhaps is most important, is the lack of a professional user base. C4D has always been used mainly by hobbyists and a few people in the print area, but if you think of serious animation C4D is probably the one tool you will think of last. This means in practice that on some level you will get stuck in your own development because there is little to compare to or only few people to ask. This is very unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, even though some production houses start to use C4D a bit more. This is perhaps LW's strongest point - the community is just superb.

Mylenium

anieves
09-03-2003, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by Mylenium
Even today I'd go for LW. I have for quite a while "been forced" to work with C4D (since 5.21) and especially with R8 I don't see a real step forward and most of what is sold as a new feature is just patch work. The only thing I envy are Thinking Particles.

C4D was good once, but personally I think with R7 and on they kind of blew it. It's not really fast anymore (both while working and rendering). On the contrary - sometimes it feels extremely sluggish. The feature set has not really expanded over the last 2 versions and you only get a lot of features only with the additional modules including such basic things as UV editing (which is funny in a way, since C4D always had UVs).

What perhaps is most important, is the lack of a professional user base. C4D has always been used mainly by hobbyists and a few people in the print area, but if you think of serious animation C4D is probably the one tool you will think of last. This means in practice that on some level you will get stuck in your own development because there is little to compare to or only few people to ask. This is very unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, even though some production houses start to use C4D a bit more. This is perhaps LW's strongest point - the community is just superb.

Mylenium

C4D has modules? man, am I glad LW has no damn modules. What kind of "complete package" is that?

hrgiger
09-03-2003, 09:24 AM
I really like the looks of C4D's dynamics but it looks like we're catching up a bit with LW8. The edge weighting is of course, another great feature.

Of course, if they ever packaged Body paint along with C4D, it'd be a tough call. I would love to have a 3D painting app in with Lightwave.

grundgedanke
09-03-2003, 09:24 AM
i had to make the same decision four weeks ago. i decided to buy lw and i am happy with it. it is really the best out of the box package at this price. cinema would have cost about 2000 Euros in the XL Version. The 700 Euro Standard Version has "no" features. And the studio bundle with all the stuff would have cost 3000 Euros.

I don´t know, but maybe you can get one of these wonderful special lw bundles here in europe. i bought the one bundled with 5 character modeling trainnig dvds at 998 Euros. But there should also be the package with DFX available. Just have a look at the european newtek website.

i would say: go for lw!

Matt
09-03-2003, 09:38 AM
being un-biased download the demos, try them both buy the one you feel most comfortable with.

each has pros and cons, it won't be clear cut.

re: render quality I don't think there's much in it TBH.

LW's renderer _was_ the best in the business, but it needs a BIG update, however it IS the best for what you pay.

not used C4D at all, but I've seen some amazing stuff done in it, as I have with LW.

Vincent Brumbac
09-03-2003, 08:17 PM
Plus if you buy now you get Digital Fusion for free and a free upgrade to LW8.

Cheers

Vincent D. Brumback

facial deluxe
09-04-2003, 12:07 AM
A friend of mine has C4D R8. It's implemented with a lot of great features. But the thing is, I do Character animations, he tried and cried. :)
The soft IK thing is not that easy.
I haven't see yet stunning CA done withC4D...
Thinking Particles looks great, but with LW8 I think we'll have enhanced particles too.

wacom
09-04-2003, 01:26 AM
If you do comp work, use a PC, and don't have another comp app that you simply love to death then get LW with DFX+ and you can't go wrong. LW has limitations out of the box...but you'll find more pleasant suprises too! The experience of the people using LW who are on this forum is priceless- and you can't get that with C4D at any price!
;)

Emmanuel
09-04-2003, 06:35 AM
Pump Action was good enough for ILM to hire the artist ;)
You can do CA pretty well with C4D and plugins I guess.

Fausto
09-04-2003, 08:05 AM
hrgiger
You can use BP with LW, they've (Maxon) created a plugin that allows the two to communicate. BP is a good product, I'm not sure how it stands up against other apps, Deep Paint 3D etc.

I have C4D, and quite frankly, LW is such a better app I can't see how C4D will ever be on par. Out of the box, without the countless FREE lscripts and plugins LW just has so much more to offer.

Cheers,

tjnyc
09-04-2003, 08:11 AM
I just got C4D 8.2 Studio, which cost me as much as LW 7.5. Got to love those summer deals. Anyway, I haven't done much work in LW since 6 and 7, but I plan to get back to LW for CA when 8 comes out. C4D OpenGL is very fast and it is a very stable application if you are using either an ATI or Nvidia cards. Render is very fast, faster than LW and you don't need to bump up antialiasing to get quality even with Radiosity like in LW. MOCCA with Soft IK and IK dynamics is actually quite impressive, but it could be alot easier to setup IMHO, but once you know what you are doing, it really is a powerful CA tool, better than LW CA at this moment, but might change with LW 8. Thinking Particles and PyroCluster are awesome tools, easier to setup than Maya's effects tools, faster than Maya's and just as good as what you can get out of Maya. I am switching most effects shots from Maya to C4D in the near future. LW modeler is still better than C4D, and C4D doesn't support Ngons on any level, which reallys hurts it. Dynamics in C4D is more like a toy than a real tool. Body Paint R2 is freaking AWESOME, it alone was worth the price I paid for C4D Studio. Multipass rendering is a breeze to setup and use in compositing apps like After Effects which it has a plugin interface for. All in all C4D is a excellent choice, but LW isn't a bad one either. You can't go wrong with either one.

Good luck.

jb_gfx
09-04-2003, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by Vincent Brumbac
Plus if you buy now you get Digital Fusion for free and a free upgrade to LW8.

Cheers

Vincent D. Brumback

Not exactly, what you get is a crippled version of Digital Fusion named DFX+ (8 bits per color channel max instead of 16bits in full version, no AE plugins support, no macros, etc..)

UnCommonGrafx
09-04-2003, 09:38 AM
Crippled?

Chuckle, not hardly.... I don't do film so the extra resolution is a waste for me. But if a house wants to hire me, I already know how to use DF.
Saslite is crippled-ware; DFX is not.

Doug Nicola
09-04-2003, 09:40 AM
"I first worked with DFX+ 4 at DreamWorks Television for the recent Sci-Fi Channel mini-series, Taken. DFX+ 4 was brought on because of the great toolset, overall stability, network rendering, intuitive workflow, price point, production pipeline integration, and beautiful composites. Basically, we used it all the way through our pipeline and I would definitely use DFX+ on future projects."

-John Lima
Digital Effects Supervisor DreamWorks Television
Steven Spielberg's Taken

Crippled? I don't think so. And DFX+ DOES have AE plugin support. Yes, the LW deal is "only" modules 1 and 4, with the base package tools, but this is a ton of extremely powerful stuff. Then throw in 20 free tools from Krokodove, free tools from Blur Studio...free AE plugs.... and so on.

Edit:
DFX+ is amazingly powerful. And this is an awesome deal that you probably don't want to pass up if you're on a PC and using LW, and need a great comp tool.

jb_gfx
09-04-2003, 02:35 PM
Ok, ok crippled is a maybe a bit too strong there but english is not my native language. I just wanted to underline the fact that Digital Fusion is not EXACTLY DFX+. But yeah I agree that DFX+ is a great tool.

Anyway in that quote from John Lima when he points that DFX has an "intuitive workflow" I can only disagree. The workflow is cool when you get the habit to use it but it's not at all intuitive, it looks more than Maya's gaz factory style. When you comes from more classic tools like Aura, After Effects... getting the Digital Fusion's workflow is a real pain.

Earl
09-04-2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by jb_gfx
Anyway in that quote from John Lima when he points that DFX has an "intuitive workflow" I can only disagree. The workflow is cool when you get the habit to use it but it's not at all intuitive, it looks more than Maya's gaz factory style. When you comes from more classic tools like Aura, After Effects... getting the Digital Fusion's workflow is a real pain.

I think it depends on the individual. I find that DFX+'s userinterface and workflow are extremely intuitive. Being a first time user (when it arrived via the upgrade to 8 bundle), I had no experience whatsoever with DFX or any interface of this style. All programs I've used are either Corel/Adobe style interfaces, Office style interfaces, or (of course) LightWave. The workflow in DFX was a refreshing change, and I'm quite impressed with their program's design.

Vincent Brumbac
09-04-2003, 09:29 PM
Yes, I should of said DFX+. You are right. It only is 8 bits per channel. Which according to the website is the only difference between the two packages. And yes, it only comes with modules 1 & 4. But it is only costing me $500. It is a steal in my opinion. I don't have a compositing program beyond Aura. Can't wait to get it.

Cheers

Vincent D. Brumback

badllarma
09-04-2003, 11:43 PM
I've got to say guys the ones waiting for DFX you will NOT be disapointed the upgrade cost x 2 would still be well worth it (but don't tell Newtek and Eyeon :D )

We've just got rid of our other comp software and just using DFX now, nodes are just cool once you tried it watch a few VTMs and get stuck in you will not go back trust me.

Just think everything you do can be saved as your own custom tool set for future use at the end/ or during a project.

Time saving, you have got to believe it! :D

jb_gfx
09-05-2003, 05:44 AM
Personaly I really like the nodes based workflow, anyway I first found the animation part a bit strange and the GUI being very loaded. BUT I know my comments may sounds rudes about the program, that's not my point tho, DFX is a great piece of code and it's really powerfull and well integrated with 3D animation packages like LW, i.e I'll never get back to After Effect now.

Andrew
09-05-2003, 07:20 AM
I use Lightwave and a friend of mine uses Cinema 8 and we discuss this all the time. To be honest I don't think there's much between them, they both have great renderers and have more tools than you'll ever use. I think Lightwave is a better modeler for one reason and that's because Cinema does not support ngons. Lightwave has a more powerful animation system but Cinema as great lighting. One things for sure you won't be disapointed with either.

By the way 3dWorld mag this month has a free copy of Cinema XL6 on the cover with upgrade deals.

Andy