View Full Version : Lightwave Pipeline.

05-16-2010, 03:49 AM
Hey everyone,

I imagine most of you are in the CG industry and have quite a bit of knowledge. I'm just starting out and currently attending Full Sail University and getting my Computer Animation degree. They teach Maya but I've really just been set on Lightwave since I've seen it in action!

I was wondering if y'all could share your knowledge on how seamlessly (or not) Lightwave integrates with other 3D software and post-production software (nuke, fusion, etc.).

Also, something else has come to my attention. Compositing doesn't seem to be as easy in LW than other 3D apps (Like Maya for example) where you just assign a "Use background" shader and everything is set. It seems like you have to fiddle with the luminance and diffuse settings to get it just right. Am I missing anything?

Finally, how does Lightwave stack up in the CG industry as far as film and commercial advertisement goes? My areas of interest are advertisement and Visual Effects. I know Lightwave is known for VFX but is there something that I should be aware of that it can't do that would give me problems in those areas?

Thanks in advance, I really respect all of you since I've seen a lot of y'alls work:)

05-16-2010, 09:42 AM
Hmm kinda think it strange that nobody has replied ,maybe there thinking up a good answer .

Firstly Learn Maya / max / mostAD products, infact every app you can get your hands on, not threw choice but to keep up with the mass'es !

in short LW can fit into any pipeline , it's just matter of tweaks ,pluggin , scripts , and HOPE , LW straight out of the box , is a solid animation tool , with probably one of the best render engines built to date , although saying that Blender is slowly catching up on that aspect . But Core has VPR and Bullet physics now implemented .

Riggin is a big *meh* although IK is pretty good ,splinegod would be better person to ask ,on that subject .

as for pipeline , i think LW can pretty much import and export to most apps ,and if not there is always a work around

Get used to saying that " WORK AROUND " .

seems to be the common theme , hek you can even get blender fluids into LW . see Cageman posts .

for the price of 1 AD seat , you can buy 3 LW seats outright >you do the maths :D

LW is great tool in the right hands . some of these peps here can blow you out of the water with there tweaks and WORKarounds .

now watch this .............

05-16-2010, 06:40 PM
Thanks so much for the reply. It's good to know LW is used in production settings and that there is a way to do anything you need it to do. Like I said before, Full Sail teaches how to use Maya so I'm trying to get used to LW on the side and any problems I have with LW I can just switch over to Maya for a quick fix and then back to LW.

Something else I wanted to know about is the compositing inside of LW. Do you know a good "work around" for that?

Also, can anyone recommend any good books on learning LW? Thanks!

05-16-2010, 08:07 PM
I'm not sure if people do compositing within LW for speed or if it's just for motion matching, but I try to do as much compositing as possible with a compositing app. I just like the control of the separate layers and tweaking stuff individually. For example when comping renders with live footage, AE can match the grain from the footage to the render layer. That's my pref. Maybe someone else can chime in with some insights.

As for books, Dan Ablan's stuff has always been good. And, as funny as it may sound, the manuals. Lightwave 3D Lighting by Boughen, for a few.

05-16-2010, 08:33 PM
Learn Both Lightwave and Maya. ( They can work together for good and it's kind of foolish just to learn one 3d package). One is cheap and powerful in many areas, the other is just powerful in different areas and more popular.

05-16-2010, 09:40 PM
Riggin is a big *meh* although IK is pretty good ,splinegod would be better person to ask ,on that subject .

LW IK solver isn't the best, although it got some attention in 9.6, it still needs some work. I'm finding the SoftIK solver in Messiah to be pretty good though. As for deferring to another - I'd roll with RebelHill's rigging stuff. That should explain every bit of rigging you could dive into in LW, save for Node Item Motion.

My thoughts on a pipeline, is that LW is great for a number of things, depending on what you're doing. As for my pipeline, I rely on the LWO2 format pretty heavily. So I usually model in LW modeler or sculpt a creation in 3DC with voxels, retopo and save to LWO. Texture my assets in 3DC, photoshop (and sometimes Corel Painter) and then surface in LW. Finally, depending on the job, I'll either be rigging in Messiah or LW Layout (finding myself in Messiah more and more lately), and doing my final renders in LW (though I am going to be exploring the Messiah render soon).

All of the above program directly support the LWO2 format, so everything done to a mesh (vmaps, weight maps, UV maps, morph maps, etc) all transfer smoothly between one app to another.

SIDENOTE: I just picked up Messiah (it's on sale at the moment, BTW!) recently and have found it to flawlessly integrate with LW! It's quite nice.

05-16-2010, 09:41 PM
LW works good in production w/AD products. I do lots of modeling in LW and bring it to MAX/Maya using obj and fbx. I also use LW for rendering visual FX studies and pre-vis(so much quicker and nicer for rendering than Max, having FPrime helps!) to give to my team to finish up in Max. I find LW very quick for my needs and it has been great to get our solutions up and running quickly.

05-17-2010, 03:00 PM
Thanks everyone for the answers. Another thing that seems strange to me is that it looks like LW's smoke and hair systems don't seem to be very good.. is there any way around that? Thanks! :)

05-17-2010, 03:12 PM
You mean hypervoxels and Fiber FX? FFX is very strange in 9.6. It works sometimes and other times it just doesn't look like what you expect or you get artifacts during animation. Hypervoxels 3.0 is pretty powerful for smoke and fire. It's just that your animation is limited to what your particle systems can do which is also pretty flexible in lightwave from what I have seen.

Plugins are a different story. There is worley sasquatch hair and fur which will give you a pretty nice look for a lot of shots. http://worley.com/E/Products/sasquatch/sasquatch.html

And there is Jawset Turbulence fluid/voxel animation stuff coming. http://jawset.com/

05-17-2010, 06:11 PM
What about realism though? or is most of the realism work done is post production? I'm really just looking for a piece of software that will help me get things done quickly and efficiently. It'd be nice to hear how LW helps get things done more efficiently and on time compared to other packages. Thanks so much in advance!

05-17-2010, 07:42 PM
Mr. Rid (Who is a professional who uses hypervoxels and loves to talk about necessary levels of realism) does ADD a lot to his hypervoxel stuff in post. There are better options outside of lightwave but that's just more money you have to spend and more tools to learn.