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View Full Version : One of the greatest Lightwave Debates RESOLVED



rapscallion
05-17-2010, 01:49 PM
For years there has been an ongoing debate here on the forum, on other forums, and in the world at large about whether or not Lightwave is a suitable tool for Character Animation.

I've always felt that the inception of this argument is something of a mystery, because despite all the things that people say are possible with Maya (and other non-Newtek tools), Lightwave does still have a solid enough tool-set to allow for decent character animation. There are plenty of good samples out there if you really search hard enough, and there are also a good number of professional productions that have used it and spoken highly of it.

Now I don't want this to turn into a Lightwave vs. THE WORLD thread...so let's get to the point.

Without having personal experience with Lightwave as a character tool, I don't think anybody can really comment or participate in the great debate. For the first many years that I was reading the various arguments, I was working in other areas of Lightwave - so I had no first-hand experience to use as a benchmark for grading the conversations. But starting about 3 years ago, I began a very character intensive project and stuck with Lightwave from the beginning all the way up to this very moment.

After 3 very stressful and challenging years of creating nearly 100 minutes of multiple-character animation scenes exclusively with Lightwave, I feel that I can make a very educated statement that, in my mind, ends the debate:

It is not the tool-set that stops Lightwave from being a competitive character platform, but the Lightwave community.

Now before you all come with your guns drawn, please allow me to explain that statement a bit.

I feel that the Lightwave community is more responsible for the bad reputation of the tool as a Character platform than the tool itself, because finding people to work as character animators using Lightwave is almost impossible. Of course, we all see the few great masters who come on here and occasionally blow our minds with awesome samples - and then we also see the occasional demo reel or student film that really shows potential. But when it comes time to crew up for an animation project with lots of character work involved, the number of respondents is very low. If I were to post two ads at the same time, one for modelers/texturers and one for character animators, the modeler/texturer add would yield dozens or possibly even 100 or more applicants, while the character animator ad might bring back 2 or 3 responses. Then of those 2 or 3 responses, I'll most likely find 1 or more likely ZERO people who are actually qualified or committed enough to take on the job.

Let me break away for a moment to say that THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE PAY RATE. I'm sure many of you have seen my postings for THE LIVING CORPSE and know that in each and every ad I've been very clear about the fact that our budget is relatively low for animation - WE ARE NOT PAYING PIXAR RATES - but we are paying what I think is fair relative to what we have and also relative to what most of the freelance work I've personally taken on in previous years has paid. Additionally, I will state that I have posted for jobs that were not related to my current project - some of which were paying Pixar rates - and the response was equally dismal.

So with that clarification made, let me get back on track:

Even when qualified candidates do respond, I've found that the drop-out rate amongst Lightwavers is unusually high for this industry. I've got about 12 years of professional experience in the FX and Animation world, and I can honestly say that historically - and in my experience - Lightwavers take on work and then FAIL, QUIT or DISAPPEAR much more often than their Maya brothers. I've had anywhere from a small handful up to more than a hundred CG artists working under me at any given time, and I can remember just a few Maya artists bailing or failing in all those years - yet on my current project alone I've had at least 11 quitters, 3 thieves and a good solid handful of people who just cracked up under the pressure and had to be released of their responsibility for their own good and the good of the project.

I love Lightwave and have been a big supporter for years, even in situations where I had to fight and stick my neck out to gain the trust of the people with the money who would have preferred we go Maya 100%. But I've come to the conclusion that the Lightwave community as a whole cannot really support a Lightwave movement in the professional animation community. Hopefully this will change.

I apologize to those who are dedicated and reliable and may take offense at my statement. It seemed like a 'state of the union' address was desperately needed - even if just to get the weight off my chest for a few days.

Thanks, Lightwave. And thanks to those few Lightwavers out there who prove that some of us can be relied upon to see our commitments through to the end in a reliable and professional manner.

shrox
05-17-2010, 02:02 PM
For years there has been an ongoing debate here on the forum, on other forums, and in the world at large about whether or not Lightwave is a suitable tool for Character Animation.

I've always felt that the inception of this argument is something of a mystery, because despite all the things that people say are possible with Maya (and other non-Newtek tools), Lightwave does still have a solid enough tool-set to allow for decent character animation. There are plenty of good samples out there if you really search hard enough, and there are also a good number of professional productions that have used it and spoken highly of it.

Now I don't want this to turn into a Lightwave vs. THE WORLD thread...so let's get to the point.

Without having personal experience with Lightwave as a character tool, I don't think anybody can really comment or participate in the great debate. For the first many years that I was reading the various arguments, I was working in other areas of Lightwave - so I had no first-hand experience to use as a benchmark for grading the conversations. But starting about 3 years ago, I began a very character intensive project and stuck with Lightwave from the beginning all the way up to this very moment.

After 3 very stressful and challenging years of creating nearly 100 minutes of multiple-character animation scenes exclusively with Lightwave, I feel that I can make a very educated statement that, in my mind, ends the debate:

It is not the tool-set that stops Lightwave from being a competitive character platform, but the Lightwave community.

Now before you all come with your guns drawn, please allow me to explain that statement a bit.

I feel that the Lightwave community is more responsible for the bad reputation of the tool as a Character platform than the tool itself, because finding people to work as character animators using Lightwave is almost impossible. Of course, we all see the few great masters who come on here and occasionally blow our minds with awesome samples - and then we also see the occasional demo reel or student film that really shows potential. But when it comes time to crew up for an animation project with lots of character work involved, the number of respondents is very low. If I were to post two ads at the same time, one for modelers/texturers and one for character animators, the modeler/texturer add would yield dozens or possibly even 100 or more applicants, while the character animator ad might bring back 2 or 3 responses. Then of those 2 or 3 responses, I'll most likely find 1 or more likely ZERO people who are actually qualified or committed enough to take on the job.

Let me break away for a moment to say that THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE PAY RATE. I'm sure many of you have seen my postings for THE LIVING CORPSE and know that in each and every ad I've been very clear about the fact that our budget is relatively low for animation - WE ARE NOT PAYING PIXAR RATES - but we are paying what I think is fair relative to what we have and also relative to what most of the freelance work I've personally taken on in previous years has paid. Additionally, I will state that I have posted for jobs that were not related to my current project - some of which were paying Pixar rates - and the response was equally dismal.

So with that clarification made, let me get back on track:

Even when qualified candidates do respond, I've found that the drop-out rate amongst Lightwavers is unusually high for this industry. I've got about 12 years of professional experience in the FX and Animation world, and I can honestly say that historically - and in my experience - Lightwavers take on work and then FAIL, QUIT or DISAPPEAR much more often than their Maya brothers. I've had anywhere from a small handful up to more than a hundred CG artists working under me at any given time, and I can remember just a few Maya artists bailing or failing in all those years - yet on my current project alone I've had at least 11 quitters, 3 thieves and a good solid handful of people who just cracked up under the pressure and had to be released of their responsibility for their own good and the good of the project.

I love Lightwave and have been a big supporter for years, even in situations where I had to fight and stick my neck out to gain the trust of the people with the money who would have preferred we go Maya 100%. But I've come to the conclusion that the Lightwave community as a whole cannot really support a Lightwave movement in the professional animation community. Hopefully this will change.

I apologize to those who are dedicated and reliable and may take offense at my statement. It seemed like a 'state of the union' address was desperately needed - even if just to get the weight off my chest for a few days.

Thanks, Lightwave. And thanks to those few Lightwavers out there who prove that some of us can be relied upon to see our commitments through to the end in a reliable and professional manner.

So hire me.

Hieron
05-17-2010, 02:58 PM
My guess is that:
-Many CA minded artists with a strong drive went for Maya/XSI etc. (you yourself said you had to stick out your neck etc, many people would just budge) Leaving a quite thin crowd behind in the CA area.
-The ones still around may also be generalists for whom it is less ideal to be working in a bigger production, also on a free lance basis for a lower pay, than can be had if the generalist works on jobs of their own.
-There is a very strong pull towards Maya (for instance) in general, CA in particular. If I'd be without a clue, but a strong drive and looking on forums what to learn. LW wouldn't be mentioned, ever. So influx of talented people is quite low I guess.

That won't change without some very serious marketing, good examples and some tweaks to the CA system.

ps: albeit a bit late, stuff like Rebelhill's video tutorials and rigs etc may help to get users on track. I don't do CA myself usually, but got those videos right away in case I ever need it. It seemed quality stuff.

pps: so is there a excerpt/reel of those +- 100 minutes of LW CA projects? :)

tudor
05-17-2010, 03:11 PM
When it comes to animation, not talking rigging here, the program is of minor importance.
If the rig is good, you know how to set keys, move in time and find your way around the graph editor, you are set to go, nomatter what program you prefer.
I animate in several programs, and after a few minutes in a new program, hotkeys are learned and I have no problem.
Rigs can be done well in Lightwave, this has been proven, so there is nothing stopping us. I do think a lot of people are scared away from this forum though because of the attitude towards the CA in lightwave here, when the sad thing is there isn't!
Yes, cloth, muscle bones jadajadajada, but that has nothing to do with proper character animation, that is just dressing on the sallad. LW got its ups too, trust me, I know from experience.
Before complaining about your animations not looking as good as pixars, look at yourself, not the program. animation is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration.

shrox
05-17-2010, 03:18 PM
CA, always difficult for me because I never know when I am done. Someone might look at something I did and say it looks great, but I think it looks like crap. I guess my strengths are mechanical movements and real world physics like vehicle movements planes, cars, spacecraft) and crashes.

One of the best character animators I know is Terrence Walker.

VonBon
05-17-2010, 04:38 PM
:eek: no he didn't.

:lol:

we gone do better Boss. :grumpy:

rapscallion
05-18-2010, 12:24 PM
So with three thoughtful comments and one sarcastic pointless remark the conversation is over? The voice of the community has been heard?

Sadly, I believe my point has been proven.

robertoortiz
05-18-2010, 12:28 PM
Ugh no.
I am sorry but the lightwave animation toolse is at least one generation behind if you compare it other apps like Houdini or XSI.

Lightwave is awesome for a whole bunch of things, but CA is NOT one of them.

rapscallion
05-18-2010, 12:36 PM
Ugh no.
I am sorry but the lightwave animation toolse is at least one generation behind if you compare it other apps like Houdini or XSI.

Lightwave is awesome for a whole bunch of things, but CA is NOT one of them.

Perhaps the toolset is a step or two behind the industry leaders, but the community is at least that far behind, if not more so. Until people start trying to animate characters professionally with Lightwave, there will be no measure for the true worth of the toolset as it stands. It is hard to blame Newtek for failing to add through their time and resources to a toolset that is going unused.

By the way, can you please show some examples of your character animation where the Lightwave toolset has failed you?

tudor
05-18-2010, 12:41 PM
Uhh? As a professional animator for over 10 years, using several different application I say you work with what you are given, and that character animation in LW is not a problem.
I have taught other people to use LW for animation before when required and other then the usual *****ing about "where's that hotkey? navigating in space is easier in xx program!" (their usual program) it has been no problem. Show them how to place keyframes, manipulate the limbs and where the graph editor is and they are good to go.

With CA, dont confuse rigging with animation. They are two different beasts, and LW has improved a lot in the 9.x cycle in rigging aswell as animation. Animators usually dont modify the rig. They use it.

Nothing of this answers the initial question rapscallion asked though. Why do LW artists bail out while others stick with it? Are we all just a bunch of immature amateurs?

robertoortiz
05-18-2010, 12:43 PM
Ok I can point out certain holes in the character animationtoolset for Lightwave.


True Non linear editing capabilities (XSI)
Character Rigging (XSI Hands down),
Character scripting (MEL)
Advanced Face animation tools (FaceRobot)


and that is just for starters.

Guys i love lw, but lest face it, the character animation toolset REALLY needs a overhaul.
Thank God CORE offers a chance for this.

rapscallion
05-18-2010, 12:47 PM
Nothing of this answers the initial question rapscallion asked though. Why do LW artists bail out while others stick with it? Are we all just a bunch of immature amateurs?

Thanks, Tudor. That was the original question I was trying to find an answer to. I think you put it a bit more bluntly than I did, which is probably why the message got a bit lost and has resulted in more of the same old Lightwave vs. The World rhetoric. We all know that Lightwave can (and will) be a 'better' tool for animation as changes get made to the code - but regardless of that, my original posit still stands.

robertoortiz
05-18-2010, 12:50 PM
It is not the tool-set that stops Lightwave from being a competitive character platform, but the Lightwave community.

.

BTW you do have a point on this issue.

rapscallion
05-18-2010, 01:04 PM
BTW you do have a point on this issue.


Yes. My point is that Newtek is serving a specific community with their toolset. For years, Character Animation tools have come under fire from all comers, whether they are skilled/experienced with Character Animation or not. But I think firing full guns against Newtek is a bit off track, because at this time there is not really a Character Animation faction in the community to use those tools that are always being called out for revision. I'd like to see a more professional approach to working with Characters from the community as a way to promote the need for those changes that are being called for all these years.

As mentioned above in the post that started this thread, it is almost impossible to crew up a project for Character Animation with Lightwave. Out of the many thousands (tens of thousands?) of users of Lightwave, ads placed in the following locations have returned less than 100 replies over a 12 year period of searching for Lightwave Character Animators:

Newtek Forum
Spinquad Forum
CG Talk
Monster
Entertainment Careers
Hollywood Reporter
Variety
Backstage West
Craigslist
Concept Art
and many more...

I've kept every resume or reply that has ever been sent to me during all my various crewing situations, and I can say that without a doubt, I have heard from less than 100 unique Lightwave Character Animation applicants in all that time. And of that tiny group, I've hired dozens and been let down by dozens.

Similarly, I've posted ads in most of the same places (Lightwave specific spots excluded) for Maya Character Animators and had 1000's of replies, hired hundreds and been let down by less than 10 that I can recall.

This thread is not about the software functions. It is about the community. Why are so many people quick to jump on Newtek to fix up their toolset, but then when you try to find people to help make that need tangible, the world goes quiet?

shrox
05-18-2010, 01:14 PM
...This thread is not about the software functions. It is about the community...

Very true.

Hieron
05-18-2010, 01:14 PM
Can't comment on bailing out LW'ers, so far my experiences have been good.

However:
"on my current project alone I've had at least 11 quitters, 3 thieves and a good solid handful of people who just cracked up under the pressure and had to be released of their responsibility for their own good and the good of the project."

sounds pretty bad. Then again "not paying Pixar rates" is pretty vague as well. At the moment it is a bit onesided. Perhaps agreements were not exact enough and with low pay there is very little goodwill to put in some more effort?

Either that, or LW'ers have a quitting gene.. :)


edit in seriousness: could it be as I stated above, anyone serious about CA moved away a while ago? Leaving a very thin crowd of less professional users that do CA more on the side behind? (I'm not saying there are no professional CA users with LW, I refer to the ones that do take up freelance jobs and speaking generally)

Danner
05-18-2010, 01:15 PM
There is this thing called inertia too, if you have ever played World of Warcraft you know that Horde usually wins over Alliance, why? because that is the way it started, now if you really love battling other players you go to the horde side, just because it wins more battles, why does it win more battles because people who love player vs player go to the horde. I'm getting repetitive here but you see my point I hope. A tiny or initial advantage becomes huge later on.

Hieron
05-18-2010, 01:22 PM
This warrants a new post I think:


So how about some CA'ers, stick together and push it to the next level and set up a combined effort to get CA started again with LW?

There is some material available rather recently (free rigs popping up on the forums all of a sudden, sometimes 2 a day *wink*), I know. But perhaps just a bit more, promoted better even outside LW. A book as well? (I try and at least get a good peak at RebelHills videos, but my schedule does not allow any time for serious CA efforts atm)

You got 92 posts Rapscallion. I assume you are busy as ... but many people are. The CA side may need some seeding.
(that's why I also asked for a compile of good CA stuff done with LW, if it is not seen by many, no one will be convinced either)

shrox
05-18-2010, 01:26 PM
I'd like to see a realistic human rig "appear", unless I missed it!

VonBon
05-18-2010, 01:26 PM
Send me some examples of the depth of animations you work with.

I can animate, I just don't like setting it up also i don't like the rig
to be cluttered. :D

I've been working on simplifing things for me personally.

I think some of the problem is the thought of having to have a character
fully rigged with all the bells and whistles before you can animate.

I don't work in the movies but I would think they use character/rig setups
based upon the shot/scene.

VonBon
05-18-2010, 01:40 PM
I'd like to see a realistic human rig "appear", unless I missed it!

If you mean with muscles moving then I don't think so. Maybe if a
specific rig is created for a specific shot then yes.

or we would need a mesh sliding function. Like a dynamic but realtime
to have it all working in on rig. or a muscle system.

whats is required in order to qualify as a "realistic human rig"?

shrox
05-18-2010, 01:41 PM
If you mean with muscles moving then I don't think so. Maybe if a
specific rig is created for a specific shot then yes.

or we would need a mesh sliding function. Like a dynamic but realtime
to have it all working in on rig. or a muscle system.

whats is required in order to qualify as a "realistic human rig"?

Something not cartoony.

Andrewstopheles
05-18-2010, 01:53 PM
Since the thread was started with observation and opinion I feel my own observation and opinion should be considered an appropriate response.
And this thread is rubbish.
It's like polling a million smokers and reporting that less than 50% of them die from lung cancer, therefore smoking is not related to lung cancer. You have to consider your audience and subject matter.
You hire a bunch of inexperienced Lightwace CA artists you get what you pay for.
Lightwave has not been a primary tool for CA for many people for years, so naturally there will be less artists available who are skilled with it.
CA can be done with LW and it's been stated over and over.

Nangleator
05-18-2010, 01:58 PM
So how about some CA'ers, stick together and push it to the next level and set up a combined effort to get CA started again with LW?
Best method I can think of for educating LWers in CA is to start something like the Speed Modeling challenges.

Rigging challenges, using the same model;
Walk cycle challenges, using the same model and rig;
Lip synch challenges, using the same audio and rigged face;
5-second animation challenge, wherein the character:


Takes a drink from a cup;
Picks up a knife and wields it;
Trips;
Etc.

The Speed Modeling challenges are fun and entertaining. Cut out a lot of the tedium of an animation task, and lots of people might try it.

rapscallion
05-18-2010, 02:00 PM
Hieron and others: yes, I suppose the dearth of professional Character Animators using Lightwave could very well be a result of migratory patterns that were started long ago.

Andrewstopheles: Who said I hired inexperienced Lightwave CA artists? In some cases, yes, in many cases, no. As for getting what I pay for: On more than one occasion I've paid very competitive rates that are well above union minimums - but still ended up with animators who just didn't have the resolve or the interest to follow through on their commitments, which once again brings it back to a failing in the community of Lightwave Character Animators. Yes, of course, there are some great guys who are totally solid and trustworthy - several of whom are working with me at this very moment - but they are the minority by far, and it took years to weed them out from the pack.

Heiron: I like the idea of putting forth a challenge to the community to reignite the growth of CA as a serious aspect of what we as Lightwavers contribute to the greater animation good.

Andrewstopheles
05-18-2010, 02:15 PM
Your challenge to the community might be fair, I don't know.
As for hiring the wrong fellas, that's an HR issue.

Hieron
05-18-2010, 02:22 PM
Not sure if a challenge to the community is going to do much good, the people involved could be quite busy and challenge sounds free.

I'm happy RebelHill put in the time to make some 30 hours of tutorialvideos and bought it on the spot. Don't even have the time to learn it yet. I'd be interested in rigs applied in a production-like setup as well. (discuss actually doing the animation etc) Reference book could be good as well.

Nangleator
05-18-2010, 02:27 PM
Not sure if a challenge to the community is going to do much good, the people involved could be quite busy and challenge sounds free.
That sounds logical, yet people have been modeling for free on over 80 modeling challenges.

When it's course work, it's for your own good. If it's good for you, you keep doing it.

rapscallion
05-18-2010, 02:53 PM
As for hiring the wrong fellas, that's an HR issue.


I think what you're missing here is that hiring in general seems to be a problem when it comes to Lightwave Character Animators. Unless I'm mistaken, it isn't like there are hundreds or thousands of great and trustworthy Lightwave Character Animators just waiting to get the call. As mentioned previously, 12 years of hiring calls for projects ranging from low budget to major studio operations have resulted in less than 100 unique applicants. How can you blame HR people for the Lightwave communities lack of Character Animators to hire? HR people don't make artists, they hire them.

rapscallion
05-18-2010, 03:09 PM
You can't. It's the fault of Newtek for not creating the right tools to make CA easier for the average LW artist. IMO of course. Can CA be done in LW? Yes. Apparently a few have been able to do it - Timothy Albee with the Cylons for example - but realistic CA with humans.... don't really recall seeing any. The ball is in NT's court with CORE. I'm onboard. I hope it's worth it. :thumbsup:

I'm with you. I refuse to step away from Lightwave. I've got too many years and too much commitment into it already. Someday we will all most likely be vindicated in our love for this tool - but it will come down to the artists in the end. No matter what Newtek does with our beloved Lightwave, it will be the artists who define its capabilities in the eyes of the global animation community. If we keep saying it can't do things, outsiders will have no choice but to believe it. And if there is nobody to hire when a company does give Lightwave a try, they end up back with Maya or XSI or whatever else. So there are two things we really need:

1. More attractive tools to lure and keep people working with character animation in Lightwave*

2. Artists creating artwork that brings producers and investors around to the idea of implementing Lightwave as something more than a compliment to their Maya based workflow

*note that I used the word 'attractive', because in many cases people choose what to use because of the long list of features, regardless of whether they end up using those features; I've worked on plenty of Maya based shows where the rigs were simple as dirt and everybody was quite happy with the results - which means that many of the 'features' that people often crucify Lightwave for neglecting to implement aren't even being used by the people who have them at their fingertips ;)

OnlineRender
05-18-2010, 03:23 PM
I started CA today ! I totally Suck :D but ill practice and practice and practice and guess what practise even more , then you'll see I still suck .........

The final render that i finished today was OK , kinda had that 90s game motion , but i was keyframming using MESHMAN_v1 by vonbon , although the rigs solid , it pops in some places , I hope he will take some time and work on it some more , because the basic bones are there :D , ill post results later in the week .

I really should have made a dope sheet , but "meh" .......


and whats the deal with 9.6 dope track , keyframes were off " for example I wanted to delete keyframe 50 i had to goto 51 to delete the actual frame .. then all my keyframes on the dopetrack vanished . I could not select anything , i had to revert scene to last saved , no biggy ,because Ctrl + S is inbuilt in my finget tips , but it could lead to some problems . I must admit i enjoyed using LW9 today , its a big jump from 7.5 - 9.6 but i kept using Max shortcuts which was a nightmare

shrox
05-18-2010, 03:32 PM
...and whats the deal with 9.6 dope track , keyframes were off " for example I wanted to delete keyframe 50 i had to goto 51 to delete the actual frame .. then all my keyframes on the dopetrack vanished...

Unwanted fractional frames, I fix them in the graph editor. They appear even with fractional frames disabled.

tudor
05-18-2010, 03:56 PM
A good default rig that is easy to set up for any character is needed.
Let it come in different flavours. Simple for cartoon, with squash and stretch etc, more advanced for realistic.
Animators want to animate, not rig. Expecting an animator to be able to rig is like expecting a painter to mix his own colours from dirt and vegetables . Sure some of the masters did it, but the average joe.. nah..
Rigging, nomatter what program is a *****. It is an art form in it self.
I once worked with a very experienced (disney) animator who absolutely did not even want to hear how the rig was constructed. FK for arms, IK for legs, check. FK for spine and head, check. OK good to go!

Want to animate without fuzz? Try my simple rig:
http://newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=108990
(the last post by me has the best rig)
Want help adjusting that rig to your character? PM me. If I can help you animate without worrying about rigging, great, no prob.
Not the most advanced rig in the world, esp when it comes to deformation, but it has more bells and whistles then most maya rigs I work with.

OnlineRender
05-18-2010, 04:46 PM
Want to animate without fuzz? Try my simple rig:
http://newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=108990
(the last post by me has the best rig)
Want help adjusting that rig to your character? PM me. If I can help you animate without worrying about rigging, great, no prob.
Not the most advanced rig in the world, esp when it comes to deformation, but it has more bells and whistles then most maya rigs I work with.

awesome THANKS ! , I agree Riggin is an art !

Dexter2999
05-18-2010, 04:47 PM
We have a similar "Catch 22" situation here in Central Florida when it comes to film work.

Why isn't more work done here?
You don't have the talent base.
Where is the talent base?
They went to where the work is.

In the case of animators, I think many/most found other packages easier to work with. So that is where they went. They want to worry about animation, not about the software.

Of course this isn't the case 100% of the time, but certainly a good chunk of the time it is the case.

rapscallion
05-18-2010, 04:59 PM
We have a similar "Catch 22" situation here in Central Florida when it comes to film work.

Why isn't more work done here?
You don't have the talent base.
Where is the talent base?
They went to where the work is.

Funny that you should say this, because after 15 years of living and working in Los Angeles, I relocated to Central Florida 6 months ago as a way to get closer to what some consider a 'Lightwave Hotbed'. Unfortunately, my luck with using Dave School Grads has so far for the most part (with the exception of one stand-out) been indicative of the larger situation that prompted this thread in the first place.

I am personally 100% committed to building up a reputable animation production facility focused entirely on FEATURE ANIMATION created with LIGHTWAVE as the backbone for modeling/rigging/animating/lighting/rendering/fx/etc. My current project is now headquartered out of Tampa, and we're already in early pre-production on the next project which will be almost entirely Central Florida based with only a few remote workers.

The biggest challenge will be to see if I can actually find enough talented and dedicated people to make this move prove fruitful; after 15 years in Los Angeles, it was clear that Feature Animation with Lightwave was not going to happen there - so hopefully it can be done here.

Hieron
05-18-2010, 05:15 PM
If http://stnx.at/ad7i is anything to go by, Europe is a hotbed :)

I still got no clue what type of work you usually get done with LW.

GraphXs
05-18-2010, 05:24 PM
Why not just hire any 3D animator, that's great you want to use LW for CA. So hire maya, xsi, full sail students, max, blender, etc,etc animators to help make your movies in LW. LW is just a tool and you can train/teach any 3D artist to use it. Sure they will complain about LW but they have a job and it's what they want to do.

It's to bad IKbooster isn't getting more love, it really has great features for IK/FK, start/end IK chains, nice floating controllers/gizmos, etc,etc. Joint Bones are great and do some nice things, but IKboost was just quick in setting up IK on the entire rig!

rapscallion
05-18-2010, 05:31 PM
Why not just hire any 3D animator, that's great you want to use LW for CA. So hire maya, xsi, full sail students, max, blender, etc,etc animators to help make your movies in LW. LW is just a tool and you can train/teach any 3D artist to use it. Sure they will complain about LW but they have a job and it's what they want to do.

It's to bad IKbooster isn't getting more love, it really has great features for IK/FK, start/end IK chains, nice floating controllers/gizmos, etc,etc. Joint Bones are great and do some nice things, but IKboost was just quick in setting up IK on the entire rig!

I've temporarily converted artists in both directions on more than one occasion over the years, and it can work out just fine without any issues. But hiring people so that they can be paid to train isn't always practical. More often than not, the people with the money want hired team members to begin work immediately; convincing an investor that their money is well spent on teaching animators how to animate usually does not go over very well - but I have done it and it has worked, just isn't the approach that I want to commit to for every project.

As for IKB, I'm a proponent of many of its functions, though we're using it primarily as a 'booster' for the existing IK, rigging and animation tools of Lightwave. Some people support the method of using it from start to finish as a rigging/animation tool, and I respect that and have seen it work in production - but my personal approach utilizes standard rigs with occasional use of IKB where it suits the situation to enhance what we're already doing without it.

rapscallion
05-18-2010, 05:44 PM
There is this thing called inertia too, if you have ever played World of Warcraft you know that Horde usually wins over Alliance, why? because that is the way it started, now if you really love battling other players you go to the horde side, just because it wins more battles, why does it win more battles because people who love player vs player go to the horde. I'm getting repetitive here but you see my point I hope. A tiny or initial advantage becomes huge later on.

I meant to comment on this earlier... What you've said is very true... Stemming the tide is a very difficult thing to do... thanks for your thoughtful input ;)

Dexter2999
05-18-2010, 08:11 PM
Even with your proximity to DAVEschool, you still are subject to the 80/20 rule.
80% either do just enough to get by or fail.
20% excel.

Unfortunately, a large portion of that 80% sit idle in the area. The other 20% are out pounding the pavement looking for jobs in areas with higher employment averages for their chosen trade.

I hope you beat the percentages and find your good people.

jasonwestmas
05-18-2010, 08:37 PM
aaaaaanggggnnnnt, wrong rapscallion. The fundamental inflexibility of lightwave for interactive deformations is a huge gap in the CA workflow. That is why people avoid it for CA more than any other reason.

It used to be the CA tools themselves that really needed a lot of help but the tools are in fact much better than they used to be for IK/FK bone setups. This does not include the deformation properties and those levels of controls however, those are still as weak as ever which includes Vmaps in general.

tudor
05-19-2010, 12:59 AM
The fundamental inflexibility of lightwave for interactive deformations is a huge gap in the CA workflow. That is why people avoid it for CA more than any other reason.

Can you please explain what you mean with this?

Salv8or
05-19-2010, 04:00 AM
Very intresting thread. I have not done to much rigging or CA, but the with little I've done, my comments reads something like this.

To make a "simpler" rig, I dont think theres to many differences in making it happen in lightwave or lets say maya. THe work you put in to it is pretty similar. The downside lightwave have is the fact that the feedback in lightwave feels alot slower. I dont know why, but for some reason LWs OGL have always seemed very slow compared to other softwares I've worked with. The tools we have in lightwave to make more complex riggs is not what some other softwares have to offer. I think that the general "mentality" or attitude we have towards making CA in lightwave is what kripple us. To become what ever you want to be, you have to beleave you can do it, and do it often. In conclution my oppnion on the matter is that: The OGL feedback is slow, and for more advanced riggs there are no straight forward way of doing sertain stuff. (like muscle sliding) But for CA its mostly the OGL that feels abit tired.

Perhapps people tend to leave lightwave when it comes to CA because there just arent so many studios that utilises LW as ther main CA tool.

pooby
05-19-2010, 04:10 AM
I've written on this subject more times than I've had hot dinners, but it doesn't hurt to revisit now and again.
Firstly, in Lightwave there is nothing stopping any animator producing the same quality of physical body movement. Posing-Timing etc as in a Pixar movie. That is, of course, possible. *

However, that's not as much of a compliment to lightwave as you might think. - ---A great pixar animator could use an old cine-camera and a pile of elephants' dung and produce animation that is much better than an average animator could achieve in Maya, Max or XSI. The talent, focus and dedication is everything.

The point is that, comparitively speaking, Lightwave is a pain to work with. Its not one thing that makes it a pain.. Its a combination of hundreds of little and big things.
Some of those things have got a lot better in LW9, but its metaphorically like replacing the panes of glass on a practically derelict house that some people still live in.
It makes things nicer for those that are still there, however, It would take a LOT more work than that to entice people to live there. So much so, that its better to build a new house from scratch.

Animation is hard and takes a lot of training and practice. If you are going to dedicate your career to that. Wouldn't you want to use tools that not only are comprehensive and appropriate, but also have a community of other inspiring animators using them, and be able to actually use those tools professionally for work?

That why most pro animators wouldnt use Lightwave. It would be deliberately making life harder for yourself in a medium that is damn hard anyway.
The people who animate in Lightwave, in general, tend to be artists who treat animation as just another discipline to learn like texturing or lighting, and that approach is never likely to turn out amazing work. It takes YEARS of focussed training to be good at animation.

As to why these artist seem to be quitters? Well my only theory would be that most of the focused and dedicated animators would not not be using Lightwave.
Leaving only animators to whom software loyalty, and sticking within their own comfort zone has more sway over their behaviour than the focus on their passion for animation. (which, in my mind, should be free and independant of any computer software).

Those people dont have focus.




*it is what mostly what happens between the animator's input and the rendering of the final character that is where Lightwave is very very basic. Lightwave is capable of 'bendy doll' deformations and little else.

OnlineRender
05-19-2010, 04:17 AM
Im going to the best LW CA ARTIST in the world , just phone me in 4 years ! :D

TeZzy
05-19-2010, 04:26 AM
This won't add much to the conversation but I must admit, rigging and animating in lightwave has made me appreciate things and not take things for granted......lol

Mr Rid
05-19-2010, 04:33 AM
It is not the tool-set that stops Lightwave from being a competitive character platform, but the Lightwave community.

Not correct, not resolved. Advanced characters usually mean muscles, fur/hair/scales, cloth, dynamics, scripting, all areas LW sorely lacks in compared to AD apps and support. The difference between third party support for Maya and for LW is like the difference between shooting a bullet, and throwing it. There are very good reasons why many LW animators moved to Maya for CA. And why longtime LW houses switched to Maya when faced with heavy character animation projects. LW tools are limited. Anyone who says LW is about as capable as the AD apps just doesnt know the extent of control in those apps. As far as anyone has been able to come up with, I worked on the only studio feature films to use LW for character animation, but those few relatively straightforward shots were a pain to pull off. When faced with a more complex character job for a feature, and after talking with several LW gurus, LW was simply not up to snuff. The task was handled much more easily in Maya. LW's CA tools are limited in comparison. 'Core... etc...'

Hieron
05-19-2010, 04:36 AM
Thanks for revisiting it though Pooby, your work is known and I really like what you did. Really appreciate the input.

RebelHill
05-19-2010, 05:54 AM
I think Id like to point out also, that having worked for several years, primarily with characters and LW, theres other issues at play too.

By far the largest number of CA gigs Ive had have been limited someway in either budget or time, or both... and the requirements are ususally for jsut a simple bit of movement, some walking, bit of waving arms around wildly, etc.

The point is that a lot of the time... people are doing character projects with LW that only require basic (read cheap n crappy) animation... and this leaves little room for animators to stretch or challenge themselves. There just isnt the time or budget in most LW led projects to produce the kind fo refined/clean/professional looking CA that we see drifitntg out from the main studios/AM/etc.

But one thing I can tell you is that theres certainly penty of folks out there who are interested in CA in LW... the fact that these threads keep popping up being evidence enough of that imo... and the other thing is that there are most definately people out there getting stuck into LW CA, cos Ive been booked solid for weeks and weeks on end building all manner of character rigs for them.

But one of the projects Ive been on recently has been an animated short. many of the animators are AM, pretty much all of them are maya folk. I naddition to building the rigs Ive had to provide instruction on how the controls are laid out, etc... but also instruction on how to animate in LW... which isnt anything far reaching for them... here's how to set/delete/move keys, heres how to tweak curves, load channels, flatten handles, etc... and thats about it.

When you're doing hand keyed performance work of this nature, tools such as non linear, scene instancing, etc... become less important, and these guys already know how to move a puttpet around, makes keys and edit graphs... so it doesnt take much to teach any one character animator any other package really.

There are some issues obv... performance being the main one... LW def doesnt run as speedily as others with its character rigs, and with multiple rigs in a single scene things get very sluggish very quickly... but there's workarounds for that, you can script the rigs so they can be turned off when not in use, so you can switch betwen characters with increased erformance, etc... but theres still plenty improvements that could be made here, and Im sure they CAN be done in LW.

So my other thought is that since core is gonna be lacking really anything in the way of a CA toolset for a while to come, that NT really should invest a bit in LWs character tools now... things have come a long way, and Im sure they can be improved and tuned to provide a CA solution thats effectivel full featured and capable. No need for all the shiny lil myriad of advanced, non linear/muscle tools, that we see elsewhere... jsut good performance, simple easy animation environment and workflow... and a quick, simple rigging solution.

I may need to work some on that last one.

tudor
05-19-2010, 06:50 AM
RebelHill:
Great post. It summarizes how I feel aswell.
* Most of the time you dont need a fully photo realistic human rig.
* animators can easily switch program
* a better way to quickly apply pre made rigs to new models
* sadly agree with the peformance when it comes to multiple character.

Tranimatronic
05-19-2010, 07:56 AM
I have rigged and animated in Lightwave. I have also been a part of a project that I have dropped out of.
I rig/animate in anything but lightwave, I render in nothing but lightwave.
I do not rig/animate in LW because I had a job once that was under a tight deadline and LW crashed so many times while trying to paint skin weighmaps (I believe it was LW8) that in order to get things done I had to switch to Maya. I have not tried LW since. I blame the software for that.

I dropped out of a project because the coodinator found out I also did lighting, modelling and texturing. The Maya animators did animation only. I got switched to doing lighting. I was given the model and the footage that needed to be matched, and asked to light the whole thing. I signed on to do a short stint of animating. The footage was a REALLY badly shot, a nightmare to match, poor quality performance, the model was one of the worst I have ever seen. The project was doomed. It was never going to be complete unless it was totally started again from scratch. In short - It was ****.

Instead of telling the truth, I said I needed to go 'for personal reasons'. The guy had this 'pop idol' (you know - the ones at the start that are the worst singers on the planet, however somehow beleive their faith in themselves is going to win them through) belief that everything he had done was brilliant. He wouldn't have believed me if I had been honest, so I said 'gotta go' and vanished. I have never seen or heard of the project since, and Yes I do feel bad about it.

If you posted an ad for a Lightwave animator for CA work I would think "good luck with that" and not apply, already getting (probibally a very wrong) image of you on pop idol singing a very bad Brittany Spears.

As to your original post, yes I totally agree it is the community that is keeping the notion of LW being bad for CA alive. Yes I think I need to re-look at LW's current CA toolset, but the problem is I have a system now that works for me. I am looking forward to Core, and hoping it can be a viable alternative to my lw-maya-lw pipeline, but only time will tell.

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 08:06 AM
Can you please explain what you mean with this?

I should point out that I'm strictly speaking for a stylistic view of animation and rendering. Meaning I'm not usually engaged or interested in hyper-realism like some of these VideoFX artists on these forums are. I'm more engaged in "video game" styles that have a energetic feeling to them and a materialistic surface appeal. Things that look attractive to the eye overall without having to mimic reality perfectly.

In order to do all of this right however, I have to make things feel like they are intended to feel when animated and different from each other. The only way to do that is to have the deformations of a certain surface material collapse and bend in a certain way and collapse differently than other materials dressed on a character. In the world I design for, thick animal hide must deform like leather would; Thin translucent skin still needs to stretch over muscles and bone when flexed; Thin cloth still needs to float, wrinkle and crease in the some areas. These are not ONLY hyper-realistic needs, they are also materialistic necessities for surface depiction in a stylistic approach as well.

Materials are not merely a rendering feature but an animated deformation feature of a character's animated materialistic composition as well. This doesn't mean that the materials need to look and feel like they would in real life, I'm not usually concerned with that. BUT the materials DO in fact need to appear to be different in composition from one another when they bend and collapse (deform). In my opinion, LW was never designed to do this well at all. I might be able to do this better in lightwave if:

I. Vertex maps could be instantly created in Lightwave and I could view the changes immediately.

a. Weight painting directly on a posed model does this in other applications.
b. Creating morphs in layout would enable corrective morphing as the character deforms.
c. Set driven key could drive morphs to automatically correct the deformations when bones bend and animate.
d. Good luck animating three or more complex characters in a scene. The openGL performance is pretty bad when using Vmaps.

There are a lot of other little things about the structure of lightwave that just make the whole process of rigging and skinning the character difficult and slow. Something that Newtek really doesn't demo very often if at all.

Skinning in general is a real pain in LW when you have a character that is wearing several different materials or geometry that is layered on top of each other. If you have a nearly naked character I do have to show some pretty believable bone movements under the skin and severe attention to the deformations of the shoulders and crotch of the character. Those areas always need more work than usual for extreme poses.

When I used XSI's paint weighting tools I automatically thought, ohh so this is what painting weights should be like. When I used maya's "set driven key" to setup a mechanical arm on a character that had secondary movements in the shoulder, I thought how nice it was not to have to animate every little part manually. It could be done automatically when the arm IK was moved, It was just a quick process. It is obvious the architects of these applications thought about these kinds of needs that I have.

tudor
05-19-2010, 08:29 AM
Jason: Thanks for explaing.
I must agree to a large extent.
Especially about the separation of where you create the weight maps vs where you use them. I do however like LW's way of having several bones share a weightmap.
Creating corrective morphs should of course be in layout, as well as vertex animation when needed as well as a proper lattice and wrap deformer. I do however not have a problem with using driven key (or rather expressions or cycler) to apply these corrective morphs or other secondary motion.

If I remember right, Pooby commented on the rendering of the dog/human character in his sig, that rig driven displacements were easy in lightwave, thats for folds/creases etc. Correct me if I am wrong Pooby.

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 08:47 AM
If I remember right, Pooby commented on the rendering of the dog/human character in his sig, that rig driven displacements were easy in lightwave, thats for folds/creases etc. Correct me if I am wrong Pooby.

Displacement maps (If that is what you are talking about) are more of a surface detail element. I really don't see how they could be controlled at all in a corrective deformation/ driven key/ cycler context. I would rather want to control the animated cage and control the deformation of the displaced surface that way.

Edit:

Now if we could sculpt the displacement while the character is in a POSE, now THAT would be something worth while for NT. I'm hoping Core will enable something like this some day.

pooby
05-19-2010, 09:44 AM
If I remember right, Pooby commented on the rendering of the dog/human character in his sig, that rig driven displacements were easy in lightwave, thats for folds/creases etc. Correct me if I am wrong Pooby.

I meant that, you could see them in OpenGL in lightwave, which made them easy to control. Ironically, the only reason you can see them is because of the crappy old fashioned way that I was dealing with displacements. (that I was forced to use with Fprime)

The displacement wasn't driven by any lightwave rig.. All that was happening was the opacity was following Null channels exported from XSI.

Chris S. (Fez)
05-19-2010, 11:26 AM
Layout's GL displacements are fast, interactive, and powerful...not unlike sculpting stone with a missle launcher. Deformations need to be expanded to include precise hammering/chiseling tools.

shrox
05-19-2010, 01:05 PM
...not unlike sculpting stone with a missle launcher...

I'd pay to see that.

kip
05-19-2010, 01:45 PM
Of course Rapscallion's opening contention that "Lightwave does have a solid enough tool-set for decent character animation" is totally subjective. Where is the bar? Well, the bar is swaying around somewhere between "two guys with 386's and a 300 baud modem in 1989 working in mom's basement, putting out eight seconds of dancing mascot for twelve-hundred dollars" and a "crew of 20 to 160 salaried college grads with full benefits, 24/7 project management, unlimited interweb access, working in a fully catered, custom designed studio with dedicated render farms and masseuses, putting out 60 minutes of animation for $50 million". That's a fat bar with a lotta beer.

Apparently the response to the statement "It is the Lightwave community not the tool-set that stops Lightwave from being a competitive character platform" appears to be "wrong" because "LW tools are limited" (Mr Rid) and "a combination of hundreds of little and big things make Lightwave a pain to work with." (pooby).

Those may be correct responses, but maybe they are not complete responses . . .

LW9's current tool set would have generated considerable drool from the animators of "Tin Toy" or "Red's Dream" (not to mention cutting down production time) but since those days the Newtek focus was considerably different from that of Soft, Wavefront, TDI, Vertigo, Alias et. all. Reliable IK developed in other products much sooner and from there the story may have been written: early on when someone wanted to animate 3D characters, they went to Soft, which meant the feedback loop for Soft as a character tool was much stronger sooner and of course 3D characters were much more fun than flying logos. By the time Newtek started dealing with IK, Soft and other companies were already finished with deformations, physics, and various other things. So on the character front, Lightwave has always been playing catch-up, and that is definitely a Newtek failure, not a "community" problem.

The whole "character animation" development situation was amplified by missing the boat in the college/training market, where Alias funded a ruthless marketing machine that bludgeoned everyone else for years, to the point of seeing the majority of 3D apps swallowed up by one company. An extension of that trend wouldn't be good for anyone.

All that said, LW 9.6 may not have the same toolset that AD's apps have, but you'd have to be wilfully ignorant of what character animation is to claim that Lightwave can't do it. Are we concerned with "animation and story-telling" or "eye candy and the crowing of code-monkeys"?

Obviously even Newtek think the beast needs help, otherwise there would be no "Core". Meanwhile, focusing the discussion with some actual project names and footage along with defining some related numbers (costs, timelines, support staff, salaries) and the type of pre-production work completed before the animators start work would be nice. Otherwise isn't this just another "superman can lick batman" thread?

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 02:04 PM
"Otherwise isn't this just another "superman can lick batman" thread? " Superman and batman can't be tested, they are imaginary. LW and other applications aren't, they are real and they can be tested.

If you're ok with treating a fleshy character or a character that has layers of geometry on it as a hard surface Doll model then yes lw is capable of doing this without too many issues. If you are after believable levels of deformation control as the character is posed in a complex manner then no, LW isn't the right package for the job.

shrox
05-19-2010, 02:15 PM
"Otherwise isn't this just another "superman can lick batman" thread? " Superman and batman can't be tested, they are imaginary...

Arnold Schwarzenegger vs Lou Ferrigno then. Can they act?

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 02:37 PM
This thread is not about Lightwave vs. Other Software, though it seems that no matter what you try to discuss on this forum, the mention of Character Animation always turns down that road. A few people have actually touched on the actual topic of the thread in their replies, and to those people: Thanks!

For anyone who wants to continue with the traditional dead-horse beatings, go ahead and do so...but I'm still open to hear from people with opinions/thoughts pertaining to the original posit of this thread, as well.

shrox
05-19-2010, 02:42 PM
To me it comes down to this, are we trying to impress each other or the audience?

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 02:46 PM
To me it comes down to this, are we trying to impress each other or the audience?

That is true. Entertainment value is not determined by feature sets.

Now if only there were enough Lightwave Character Animators to make Character Animation in a professional and reliable way...

Intuition
05-19-2010, 02:50 PM
There is no argument here.

If you have completed any rigging in XSI or Maya you know exactly why they are far superior. End of argument.

Now, can CA be done in Lightwave? Absolutely. There are many here who have learned how to use the CA in Lightwave and do so at the professional level.

If people, myself included, leave lightwave and find everything else easier to rig and CA in then you stop arguing that its a "AD marketing strategy" and begin to realize that the explanation is simple. Effective features for rigging and CA. XSI and Maya are about even in CA and rigging with my preference going towards Maya but only slightly. I have no problem doing it in XSI due to the ease of its tools as well.

In Lightwave you have a great workflow in regards to many aspects but CA is just not one of them. Though you can learn the CA tools well enough to do great work in my opinion it is the difference between "shooting or throwing the bullet" as was mentioned in this thread earlier.

Blame the community or what ever, but Lightwave is still CA 1.0 while others are in CA 3.0. Its the only explanation for dozens of projects where there was animation completed in Maya or XSI then mdd'd into Lightwave for rendering? Why go to Maya at all if LW is great at CA?

That point also shows you how non-cost effective mental ray is for rendering at many smaller houses. ;)

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 02:58 PM
There is no argument here.


I guess that depends on which argument you are talking about. It seems you are commenting on the 'Lightwave vs. The World' argument, which is specifically what this thread WAS NOT ABOUT.

Now, with regard to the official posit of the opening post on this thread, I think there is still alot to be discussed. Regardless of feature sets, if there are not reliable and responsible and productive Character Animators working with Lightwave, then it makes Lightwave Character Animation something extremely difficult to pursue from a production standpoint. That is why I started this thread. I wanted to discuss the unreliable nature of the Lightwave Character Animation faction of the Lightwave Community when it comes to applying for, accepting and delivering work within the professional job market.

So, as stated in the first post, and again on more than one attempt to steer this thread back on course, it seems to me that regardless of the toolset and its possible failings, it is as much, if not more so, the responsibility of the community for Lightwave's success - or lack thereof - as a Character Animation platform.

h2oStudios
05-19-2010, 02:58 PM
As to rapscallions original post - My comment would be as follows -

"I come to a Lightwave forum in search of Lightwave Character Animators, for a job that requires them" - right?

The majority of LWers that I've heard of (I only know of maybe 2 (off-the-web) personally) seem to be generalists; "Sure, I model, animate, texture, etc. for so & so comapany or whatever".

So, when you post these jobs for LW CA's, you'll get some people that say -"Hey, I can pose a character, I know the basic animation principles, sounds like fun" Then when reality kicks in and they realize that what they got themselves into is some heavy SHlT, they would naturally have the urge to run for the f**king hills.

Not necessarily because they're shltty CAs, but because (imo) LW has only recently, with the implementation of 9.6, even slightly began to come of age in the CA dept. adding a wee bit more to the Rigging toolset (not that you couldn't have done some decent rigging before, even in 7.5 I've been able to get a rig to suffice my, then, own personal needs).

Recently, we've got more people popping up with rigs and such. And RH's tutorials among others. If these kind of resources and some of the "new-tech" now in 9.6 were around... say... 4 years ago, then maybe there would be a greater LW RIG/CA army now. There just isn't enough LWers in existence who's specialties are in CA atm.

But I think the point is -

You post a LW CA Job -

I reply to your post as a LW CA, & show you my demo-reel (cuz if ya didn't like what you saw ya wouldn't hire me in the first place, right?).

You hire me and I would assume, supply me with the Rigs for the shots.

If your Rigs are shltty, then I'll tell you they're shltty, and your rigger/dept. f**king sucks, but if this is what I have to work with then so be it, but don't expect me to pump out 10 secs of quality in a week.

Communication, man, communication! :D

If I wasn't serious about CA in LW, then I wouldn't take the job in the first place.

Take a Poll of how many people on this forum actually consider themselves LW-CAs. I'm curious to see the results. ;)

Intuition
05-19-2010, 03:06 PM
Now, with regard to the official posit of the opening post on this thread, I think there is still alot to be discussed. Regardless of feature sets, if there are not reliable and responsible and productive Character Animators working with Lightwave, then it makes Lightwave Character Animation something extremely difficult to pursue from a production standpoint. That is why I started this thread. I wanted to discuss the unreliable nature of the Lightwave Character Animation faction of the Lightwave Community when it comes to applying for, accepting and delivering work within the professional job market.

Well, Larry Schultz could comment here since he has a lot of LW CA under his belt. Also maybe, William Vaughn. But even in that context I would think that the only way to see improvement in the area that you are looking for is to have some comparison to other solutions.

So as you stated in your original post about not wanting a "Lightwave vs the world" posts I still think that there is huge relevence in seieng how other apps getthe job done.

I did see a japanese website showing weight painting inside layout. This would be a huge timesaver. Mainly I think of time spent when jobs of rigging or CA come up. Even if you could get an army or Lightwave people good at CA I don't think it would be as fast as a moderately decent XSI ro Maya CA/rig person. This is why the "industry" has this attitude. I think becasue it is far more common to have people coming from Lighwatve to properly learn maya or XSI CA tools then it is to see a Maya/XSI person come to Lightwave to learn CA tools.

Lightwave being the end renderer at many smaller houses that still use XSI or Maya for animation also help fuel this idea about Lightwave not being a CA application and such the hiring scenario you speak of.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 03:18 PM
As to rapscallions original post - My comment would be as follows -

"I come to a Lightwave forum in search of Lightwave Character Animators, for a job that requires them" - right?

The majority of LWers that I've heard of (I only know of maybe 2 (off-the-web) personally) seem to be generalists; "Sure, I model, animate, texture, etc. for so & so comapany or whatever".

So, when you post these jobs for LW CA's, you'll get some people that say -"Hey, I can pose a character, I know the basic animation principles, sounds like fun" Then when reality kicks in and they realize that what they got themselves into is some heavy SHlT, they would naturally have the urge to run for the f**king hills.

Not necessarily because they're shltty CAs, but because (imo) LW has only recently, with the implementation of 9.6, even slightly began to come of age in the CA dept. adding a wee bit more to the Rigging toolset (not that you couldn't have done some decent rigging before, even in 7.5 I've been able to get a rig to suffice my, then, own personal needs).

Recently, we've got more people popping up with rigs and such. And RH's tutorials among others. If these kind of resources and some of the "new-tech" now in 9.6 were around... say... 4 years ago, then maybe there would be a greater LW RIG/CA army now. There just isn't enough LWers in existence who's specialties are in CA atm.

But I think the point is -

You post a LW CA Job -

I reply to your post as a LW CA, & show you my demo-reel (cuz if ya didn't like what you saw ya wouldn't hire me in the first place, right?).

You hire me and I would assume, supply me with the Rigs for the shots.

If your Rigs are shltty, then I'll tell you they're shltty, and your rigger/dept. f**king sucks, but if this is what I have to work with then so be it, but don't expect me to pump out 10 secs of quality in a week.

Communication, man, communication! :D

If I wasn't serious about CA in LW, then I wouldn't take the job in the first place.

Take a Poll of how many people on this forum actually consider themselves LW-CAs. I'm curious to see the results. ;)

Thanks for the comment...yes, I think you are correct...most LW Character Animators are more likely generalists with ambition to work with characters...and from there, the undeniably daunting task of actually accomplishing that goal on a deadline can and does send some running for the hills...

It does seem that there has been an awful lot of rigs and rigging tutorials of a much higher quality popping in since 9.6, so hopefully this will give people an outlet to experiment/express through characters inside Lightwave...but at the same time, there are examples of animation done with lesser rigs in older LW versions that are still filled with entertainment value...as an example, I'll post this:

http://www.themagistical.com/home.html

Please keep in mind that I did not work on this project, but it was rigged and animated entirely with Lightwave. If I'm not mistaken, they used ACS4 for many of the biped characters, and good ol' fashion IK or FK rigs for everything else; as for morphs, straight endomorphs and MorphMixer handled the job. Of course, this is not meant to be a sample of a 'realistic human rig', nor am I posting it here as a way to say that Lightwave doesn't or never will need more advanced tools - but I am posting it here to show that good quality animation with very high entertainment value is quite possible with Lightwave once you stop focusing on the limitations.

Also, please don't waste space on this thread discussing the story, the lighting, the texturing, the voices or anything else about 'The Magistical' that isn't a direct result of the rig.

As for how this link is related to the original posit of the opening post of the thread, it is relevant because out of the dozens of animators that have come and gone on my current project, a few of the artists who really stuck it out and delivered in a professional and reliable way were also responsible for much of the animation on 'The Magistical'. So there are some artists out there committed to Lightwave as a character tool, and they are doing good work with it and representing themselves and the community in a very professional and respectable way - but at the same time, they are amongst a very small minority in the bigger picture when it comes to locating and hiring Lightwave Character Animators. Even from this group, there was one theif who took my money and never delivered a single frame of animation.

Hieron
05-19-2010, 03:20 PM
What would you like to keep discussing then? Seems to me the quality of other tools is quite important in the whole debate, since it leads to the very low total amount of CA'ers in LW in the first place.

So I suggested earlier the same thing as Pooby did: very few people are left. And I guess many of those are generalists.

Not many starters would head out with the urge to be an animator.. dive onto the net to look for the suggested "best" application and come out with LW as their choice.. Or what is ebing taught at schools.

So what does that leave?

The question I'm having, why are you sticking with LW if it is THAT hard in the first place? And if you truly would like to see things changed then in some way, there must be better promotion for LW as being fine for many CA things. (LW CA demoreel, dedicated tutorial website, example rigs, etc)

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 03:23 PM
Well, Larry Schultz could comment here since he has a lot of LW CA under his belt. Also maybe, William Vaughn. But even in that context I would think that the only way to see improvement in the area that you are looking for is to have some comparison to other solutions.

So as you stated in your original post about not wanting a "Lightwave vs the world" posts I still think that there is huge relevence in seieng how other apps getthe job done.

I did see a japanese website showing weight painting inside layout. This would be a huge timesaver. Mainly I think of time spent when jobs of rigging or CA come up. Even if you could get an army or Lightwave people good at CA I don't think it would be as fast as a moderately decent XSI ro Maya CA/rig person. This is why the "industry" has this attitude. I think becasue it is far more common to have people coming from Lighwatve to properly learn maya or XSI CA tools then it is to see a Maya/XSI person come to Lightwave to learn CA tools.

Lightwave being the end renderer at many smaller houses that still use XSI or Maya for animation also help fuel this idea about Lightwave not being a CA application and such the hiring scenario you speak of.


Thanks for writing again...much appreciated...

I saw that same website with the tools for painting weights inside Layout; in fact, we are using rigs based on that same artist's workflow that was talked about many times here on the forum in the past - but most people dismissed his toolset, because the instructions were in Japanese only...

And, yes, I agree that with Lightwave being a go-to render tool for the end of productions, it is hard to make people think of it as a more complete package. I've worked in more than one company where people literally thought of Lightwave as a 'toy' - but at the same time, none of them had actually ever tried it. This goes back to one of my earlier statements that regardless of what Newtek does with Lightwave and Core, it will be up to the community to show the world what the tool and the users of those tools are capable of, artistically, technically and professionally. If everyone keeps rallying around the 'Lightwave can't do it' pole, then the aforementioned 'inertia' will continue to grow and swing even more people away from Lightwave as a Character Animation tool.

Hieron
05-19-2010, 03:35 PM
- but most people dismissed his toolset, because the instructions were in Japanese only...


My japanese is a bit rusty.. if you could find someone to write such a workflow down it might help?

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 03:39 PM
What would you like to keep discussing then? Seems to me the quality of other tools is quite important in the whole debate, since it leads to the very low total amount of CA'ers in LW in the first place.

So I suggested earlier the same thing as Pooby did: very few people are left. And I guess many of those are generalists.

Not many starters would head out with the urge to be an animator.. dive onto the net to look for the suggested "best" application and come out with LW as their choice.. Or what is ebing taught at schools.

So what does that leave?

The question I'm having, why are you sticking with LW if it is THAT hard in the first place? And if you truly would like to see things changed then in some way, there must be better promotion for LW as being fine for many CA things. (LW CA demoreel, dedicated tutorial website, example rigs, etc)


Perhaps you are right that the quality of other tools is important in this discussion, but let me ask you:

If someone who owns a Hyundai goes in for a tune-up and the car comes out running terribly, should the mechanic who did the work be able to simpy state,"Hey, Ferrari brand cars are much better than your Hyundai, so what did you expect?"

I would think that many Hyundai drivers would find this unacceptable. And in the same way, I find it unacceptable that when hiring Lightwave Character Animators, it is almost to be expected in 50% or more instances that they will fail/bail/disappear without ever completing the work in a satisfactory manner - and it seems that many people here on the forum find this to be completely acceptable, with Maya's feature set being pushed forward as the reason that we shouldn't be appalled. So if tomorrow, all the world's Maya Character Animators just switched gears into 'unreliable in the workplace' mode, what would the excuse for them be?

As a dedicated Lightwave employer, I'm simply searching for some answers about the community and why it is so challenging to be a producer with Lightwave as the backbone. There have been many thoughtful replies, and many of them I must agree with - and, yes, the appealing toolsets of other softwares does have some bearing on the reduced number of potential employees.

As to why I stick with it? Why not jump ship if Character Animation is a big part of what I'm trying to do? Well, I suppose the answer is that I have not really encountered nearly as many limitations as others seem to have faced. Maybe it is the nature of the work I'm doing, or possibly the resourcefulness that I'm willing to employee in bridging the 'limitations'. Ultimately, I love Lightwave's streamlined interface, ease of use, relatively shallow learning curve, affordablility, render engine and more.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 03:43 PM
My japanese is a bit rusty.. if you could find someone to write such a workflow down it might help?

There are some free translators online that make the instructions dissectable if you are patient. Additionally, he has videos and still images posted that show many of the functions step-by-step. It took me about 4 dedicated days to get through the instructions and tutorials, after which we've been using it ever since. I've also created tutorial videos of my own with English voice-over to help initiate animators to our project using the rigs; at some point in the future I will try to gain permission from our legal department to post those videos here on the forum along with links to the tools.

Hieron
05-19-2010, 03:44 PM
I guess importing using Pointoven etc is (edit) not entirely ideal...

About Hyundai: those cars never had a choice. I'm quite sure, that if the raw metal had *any* say at all, and seen some cool ferrari ads, they would never ever walk over to the Hyundai factory but make their way to Italy with all haste. I'm guessing the "animators in the bud with a drive" have the same tendency.

Regardless whether "most" things can be done with LW as well.. if CA is what you want to do, why not go for the shiny lil package. (price may be less of a concern to some, for various reasons).



at some point in the future I will try to gain permission from our legal department to post those videos here on the forum along with links to the tools.

That may help your cause to some degree I think.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 03:47 PM
About Hyundai: those cars never had a choice. I'm quite sure, that if the raw metal had *any* say at all, and seen some cool ferrari ads, they would never ever walk over to the Hyundai factory but make their way to Italy with all haste.

Funny :D

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 03:58 PM
If everyone keeps rallying around the 'Lightwave can't do it' pole, then the aforementioned 'inertia' will continue to grow and swing even more people away from Lightwave as a Character Animation tool.

You are taking this all wrong imo. Nobody that has been here a while thinks Lightwave is a silly Toy or thinks that it can't do much. Many people here are just aware of what is not feasible with CA when using Lightwave. Nobody here is saying that you can't do CA with lightwave either. It is after all the type of look and style that one is after that matters. But let's face it, half the characters out there that people enjoy to create are rather complex things that need detail oriented tools for deformations.

Not everyone is going to be interested in robots, and dolls for CA. These things are what LW is great at animating. It's just wonderful in that regard, this should be obvious to most people. Not to mention all the beautiful vehicle and airship animations/ renders I see come out of Lightwave.

The huge gap many here talk about is that LW doesn't provide that needed level of control in the animated deformation department. It is much more productive to rely on other applications for that. I after all don't depend on LW to create displacement and normal maps for organic characters, I use Zbrush for that. There's nothing wrong with that kind of thinking. Organic characters with soft cloth and/or deforming gear is not a trivial task, these are serious hurdles that need serious attention. The fact that LW design has never focused on this is huge downer for many in the context of most taking Lightwave CA seriously, that's just the hard truth of the matter.

So you can create your character animations in Lightwave all you want, just be aware of the style you are after, that is my suggestion.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 04:07 PM
Organic characters with soft cloth and/or deforming gear is not a trivial task, these are serious hurdles that need serious attention. The fact that LW design has never focused on this is huge downer for many in the context of most taking Lightwave CA seriously, that's just the hard truth of the matter.

So you can create your character animations in Lightwave all you want, just be aware of the style you are after, that is my suggestion.

This is a reasonable statement, but it still holds no bearing on why the dropout/failure rate is so disproportionately high with Lightwave Character Animators who are already contracted and in some cases paid. I suppose if it is because they are being hired to do things that can't be done, it would make sense for them to give their notice if they feel that way - but in my experience, it doesn't work that way. One day, you've got an employee working happily with much enthusiasm, then the next day they are gone from Skype and Messenger, and emails are going unreturned. This is not a function of the toolset, in my opinion.

Intuition
05-19-2010, 04:10 PM
Thanks for writing again...much appreciated...

If everyone keeps rallying around the 'Lightwave can't do it' pole, then the aforementioned 'inertia' will continue to grow and swing even more people away from Lightwave as a Character Animation tool.

Well, I am part of the "Lightwave can't do it...as well" pole.

No matter how many times I setup a rig in Lighwave I always felt it could be better in A,B or C or X, Y and Z and when I learned how to rig in XSi I pretty much went.... "yeah.. like that" and never had trouble rigging in XSi again.. ever. Also when I made myself learn maya rigging I was really like "oh hell yeah.. like that for sure. omg I wish I had learned this 10 yaers ago".

So much so that I bought an old SGI O2 computer off ebay to try the maya 4 that was included and was blown away that the toolset had not really changed much even 10+ years ago. At which point I knew that my CA exploration/experience had been completely limited by toolset. This is not to rip on LW because it is very capable for the price as an overall package, but rather to note how much more work I would have completed with Maya or even XSI had I learned it much earlier.

In my current job I am making a full skeletal model that will be rendered like an X-ray. We will see the skull and skeleton, the muscles and tissue all moving and interacting. I do not have to worry because I already know that I do not need to "figure out" a way to get it done. The rigging is traditional in regards to joints/control objects/model/weights.. a standard biped rig. Then there will be the muscle system moving around deforming geometry that will have muscle rendering with SSS and other layers. I can't even imagine trying to make this work in LW. In maya I can enter the job witha toolset that is already tried and tested and doesn't involve any guesswork. Same tools they used 5 years ago with Lord of the rings creatures only more refined now. This kind of stuff is old hat for XSI and Maya. I mean old old hat. In Lightwave you still have this feeling like...oh, maybe version x.xx will have the ____ that makes this better.

Even though there are many who have learned how to thread that needle well in Lightwave. I know a guy named Jesse Toves over at BSg who does all the rigging in LW and they are amazing rigs, lightwave or not but he has seen me put together a rig in XSI and was really surprised at how fast the rigs come together in a unified environment.

I hate to say it but the multi app CA pipeline (app-X +lw for rendering) has done more for LW's reputation then anything the community can possibly do to fight against it in my opinion.

I may be wrong but, I sit amongst many old LW alumni here at DD who all admit that Maya, max, and XSi are far superior for CA since they have seen it first hand daily for 5+ years now. Some of these guys were here for Titanic. Many now use Maya. I don't know how else it can be stated.

I do hope though that a Lightwave solution can be achieved. Kind of like how Turbulence has opened up Lightwave to more fluid fx work. I would like to see Layout get unified environment rigging/weighting. Might help change the opinion greatly since we all aren't Larry Schultz. ;)

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 04:26 PM
I may be wrong but, I sit amongst many old LW alumni here at DD who all admit that Maya, max, and XSi are far superior for CA since they have seen it first hand daily for 5+ years now. Some of these guys were here for Titanic. Many now use Maya. I don't know how else it can be stated.

No, you definitely aren't wrong. There are, without a doubt, times when more = more, I can't and won't contest that. But at the same time, I would suspect that if the Lightwave community had started building up a reputation for reliable Character Animation all those years ago when Maya really started to make its stand as the industry leader for film/television Character Animation, the rivalry would have escalated differently without such a clear-cut winner. Honestly, I think part of it has to do with price. I can remember when a license of Maya and a machine to run it would easily top over $35K per workstation, and we all know that in 'Hollywood', more expensive means better. Was there ever a time that a license of Lightwave was as costly or more costly than a license of Maya? I would bet 'no', but if it had been, maybe 'Hollywood' would have taken more notice. I remember when FINAL CUT PRO first started coming around; I bought in at v1.0 and never looked back at Avid again - but it took many years before people started considering it as more than a hobbyist toy, always claiming that it didn't have professional features that would allow it to be part of a Feature Film pipeline - but I can tell you right now that starting from v1.0, it had absolutely everything needed to manage EDLs, timecode, etc etc etc...the main reason people didn't jump to it sooner was the price - basically 'Hollywood' knew it couldn't be a competitive tool because it didn't cost nearly as much as a $100K avid system.

Anyway...got on a rant there...but a relevant one, because much of the focus of Newtek's development path was laid out years ago when it saw a niche for itself in areas not so heavily reliant on Character Animation - which also forced them to focus the bulk of their marketing dollars on artists/hobbyists working in a totally different sector. I can recall more than one full-size billboard for MAYA near the corner of LaBrea and Sunset in Hollywood over the years, but never saw even a single flier going around for Lightwave.

pooby
05-19-2010, 04:39 PM
You are makng it sound like it's just marketing perception that differentiates lightwave from Maya or xsi. It really isn't.
The chasm in animation and deformation ability between lightwave and these packages is huge.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 04:43 PM
You are makng it sound like it's just marketing perception that differentiates lightwave from Maya or xsi. It really isn't.
The chasm in animation and deformation ability between lightwave and these packages is huge.


No, that is not what I'm stating. My comment with regard to marketing, is that there was a chance way back when for Newtek to take Lightwave in a different direction by focusing their energy and advertising dollars on Character Animation. In this case, I'm clearly stating that Newtek failed those interested in Character Animation by letting Maya and others get such a huge headstart back when there was still a relatively level playing field. So the statement has relevance with regard to my initial posit, because it offers up some background on why it has become very difficult to find and hire reliable character animators to work with Lighwave.

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 04:49 PM
Back in 2002 Maya 4 was on a much higher playing field than Lightwave 7 in the CA department. It always has been that way for CA.

Intuition
05-19-2010, 04:50 PM
Anyway...got on a rant there...but a relevant one, because much of the focus of Newtek's development path was laid out years ago when it saw a niche for itself in areas not so heavily reliant on Character Animation - which also forced them to focus the bulk of their marketing dollars on artists/hobbyists working in a totally different sector. I can recall more than one full-size billboard for MAYA near the corner of LaBrea and Sunset in Hollywood over the years, but never saw even a single flier going around for Lightwave.

I do remember the costs of these things. My first siggraph was in 1995 in Downtown LA when SGI rule dthe planet.

I also remember final cut and avid having a go at it. Heck I remember D-vision as the early offline editor before both Avid and Final Cut.

Yet the point you make about Maya being successful due to its cost is not really relevant. I mean for the longest time Lightwave was much more prevelant then Maya (err power animator in those days) in the early to late 90s. Many of us remember trying power animator and later maya but due to Lightwave's capabilities at the time Lightwave was further ahead in many areas. Not CA mind you but in modeling and rendering for certain.

Maya's earlier releases did not have the same modeling or rendering capabilites as Lightwave. LW6 had the first radiosity solution over any app. Lightwave also had the first non-frozen live subD. Before 5.5 I think you always had to "freeze" your meshes. Lightwave had hypervoxel shading before the big 3. Lightwave also had the first openGL texture view.

Somewhere between Lightwave 6.5 and 8.0. Mental Ray, renderman, Vray, final render, and Brazil took back the market from Lightwave as having the only nice GI solution. Also during this time Maya, max, XSi began to get the leading edge particle dynamics and fur systems. LW fell behind. It had nothing to do with how expensive the packages were.

Lightwave continued to battle by being gifted with F-Prime during this time. Helping push it as a rendering lookdev behemoth.

And while having f-prime was great and helped many smaller houses reduce delivery times and costs, film projects were more interested in seeing how far they could push the process with technology which is why so much development went into maya during say the matrix trilogy.

Meanwhile Lightwave houses went from 3 weeks per episode to 1 week per episode while film projects were getting expanded budgets so they could push the tech farther and farther hence more new technology per release for maya, max, XSI.

I don't think cost matters anymore. Its merely overall general capability. I mean, project cost matters. They help define development.

Lightwave needs to have better capability in CA/rigging if the reputation it has is going to change. No marketing or community outpour is going to change that. I mean, by all means, do a rigging challenge and teach us all how to do rigging Lightwave style better then any of us knew that will make us shelve our XSI and Maya.

I can promise you a six figure income job at DD if you do so. I just don't think thats going to happen.

Dexter2999
05-19-2010, 04:50 PM
I agree that better tools enable a good animator to do better work. More effort into animating and less into making the software do what they want it to do. I mean if you had the choice between a tool box from the 1700's and set of power tools, which would you choose to work with/ It's kind of a "no-brainer" (unless you are Amish.)

BUT as I pointed out in another thread, people can crank out garbage animation even with the best tools. I have no idea what tools they are using but there are many instances of high exposure work that, to me, just look shoddy. MICKY'S CLUBHOUSE, VEGI TALES, NASONEX BEE, GENERAL CAR INSURANCE, and the SCRUBBING BUBBLES are some of the most blatant examples that come to mind. Maybe they were done with LW, maybe they were done with MAYA, I don't know. What I do know is that the bar is set kind of low when that is deemed the acceptable level of quality.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 04:55 PM
Back in 2002 Maya 4 was on a much higher playing field than Lightwave 7 in the CA department. It always has been that way for CA.

Right. But if Newtek had decided to focus on CA starting back in the early days, all those years between then and now would have been plenty of time to shore up any shortcomings. It also would have been plenty of time to market the tool as a Character Animation platform to build the user base and establish a hiring pool that allows producers to actually pursue Character Animation with Lightwave. They've spent so much time and money developing and promoting Lightwave as a hobbyists' best-friend, that the result is a weak talent pool - especially with regard to Character Animation.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 05:00 PM
BUT as I pointed out in another thread, people can crank out garbage animation even with the best tools. I have no idea what tools they are using but there are many instances of high exposure work that, to me, just look shoddy. MICKY'S CLUBHOUSE, VEGI TALES, NASONEX BEE, GENERAL CAR INSURANCE, and the SCRUBBING BUBBLES are some of the most blatant examples that come to mind.

I've seen a few of those things, and the render style looks very Maya-ish to me...quality aside, at least they were able to get them done...if someone were to attempt producing one of those shows in a reliable and professional manner with Lightwave, it wouldn't be the tool that stopped them - it would be the inability to crew up and get things going.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 05:05 PM
Lightwave needs to have better capability in CA/rigging if the reputation it has is going to change. No marketing or community outpour is going to change that. I mean, by all means, do a rigging challenge and teach us all how to do rigging Lightwave style better then any of us knew that will make us shelve our XSI and Maya.

I can promise you a six figure income job at DD if you do so. I just don't think thats going to happen.

I agree that better tools will help the reputation, but even with the best tools on this planet or any other planet, it won't make much difference if producers find that they can't hire enough reliable people to use the tools professionally.

I suppose this is something of a 'chicken or the egg' discussion...

as for me proving anything about rigging, that isn't the point of the thread and never was...I'm sure there are several other members of the forum with much better rigging skills than myself - and I'm also sure that you can find expert riggers with XSI or Maya to talk down about even the most advanced Lightwave rigs...

I'm here speaking primarily as a producer who has found it very difficult to establish and maintain a reliable Lightwave Character Animation team - all the other talk about software toolsets and X vs Y vs Z is only marginally relevant to why I started the thread...

h2oStudios
05-19-2010, 05:09 PM
Right. But if Newtek had decided to focus on CA starting back in the early days, all those years between then and now would have been plenty of time to shore up any shortcomings. It also would have been plenty of time to market the tool as a Character Animation platform to build the user base and establish a hiring pool that allows producers to actually pursue Character Animation with Lightwave. They've spent so much time and money developing and promoting Lightwave as a hobbysists' best-friend, that the result is a weak talent pool - especially with regard to Character Animation.

Easy there. A near foot-in-mouth statement ;) :D.


I've seen a few of those things, and the render style looks very Maya-ish to me...quality aside, at least they were able to get them done...if someone were to attempt producing one of those shows in a reliable and professional manner with Lightwave, it wouldn't be the tool that stopped them - it would be the inability to crew up and get things going.


Bottom line is that just aren't enough CA SPECIALISTS using LW around here (they're all in Japan, lmao), bad deforms or tools or foul odor aside, just not enough CAs to meet a REAL need for LW based CA. Hence the job drop-out guys, because they probably haven't really the experience using LW for such. Period.

Resolved? :D ;)

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 05:11 PM
Right. But if Newtek had decided to focus on CA starting back in the early days, all those years between then and now would have been plenty of time to shore up any shortcomings. It also would have been plenty of time to market the tool as a Character Animation platform to build the user base and establish a hiring pool that allows producers to actually pursue Character Animation with Lightwave. They've spent so much time and money developing and promoting Lightwave as a hobbysists' best-friend, that the result is a weak talent pool - especially with regard to Character Animation.

Bingo! Lightwave really has not been presented well at all and there has been so much denial about LW CA in the past that tools really didn't get looked at. BUT I don't blame the community for that, it was just that NT had other markets they were aiming at, Architectural and product Previz is definitely two of them. Hobbyists are a third market. The Documentation for LW took a nose dive for LW9.x, that's another reason people have avoided LW for CA.

Pro users have been saying all this for years and years. It wasn't till LW9.5 did NT really take CA somewhat seriously. Unfortunately yeah this is a way too late. Despite how professional the other tools and rendering are. The rendering alone is why I stuck around. It really fits my personality and needs, for now.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 05:13 PM
Easy there. A near foot-in-mouth statement ;) :D

I meant relative to other tools. If you post ads for Maya Artists and ads for Lightwave artists on the same day in the same place, I guarantee you will receive more Maya Applicants. Go ahead and try it. Start an account at CGTalk and attempt to crew up some projects. You'll find that Lightwave specific ads return only a small % of what the same ad for a Maya Specific ad would return. I don't think there is anything 'foot in mouth' about that. Just a cold, hard fact.

pooby
05-19-2010, 05:15 PM
When I used to use lightwave for animation at my studio I could never ever find any Lw animators that were of a high enough standard. When I got in Maya people I spent so much time trying to explain why this or that wasn't in Lightwave and there is no undo etc that eventually I gave up.
That's just the way it is. There is no point wishing it were different. Now if I need an animator and post I get reels from world class animators who can hit the ground running.
I think if you are wanting to run a studio and not just wave the flag for Newtek then I would suggest expanding your pipeline to include xsi oR Maya

h2oStudios
05-19-2010, 05:18 PM
LOL. Oh man, this is getting too much. I'm going to ask Tim Albee how the f**k he makes it by doing CA with LW on his work, and he'll give me some Zen answer like - "Find your Chi, it's a balance of positive and negative. Don't let the material world block the energy that flows through you"... lol.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 05:21 PM
When I used to use lightwave for animation at my studio I could never ever find any Lw animators that were of a high enough standard. When I got in Maya people I spent so much time trying to explain why this or that wasn't in Lightwave and there is no undo etc that eventually I gave up.
That's just the way it is. There is no point wishing it were different. Now if I need an animator and post I get reels from world class animators who can hit the ground running.
I think if you are wanting to run a studio and not just wave the flag for Newtek then I would suggest expanding your pipeline to include xsi oR Maya


That is a really tough pill to swallow, but I have definitely considered it. I go back and forth in my mind about it. But I'll always want to end up back in Lightwave for its lighting/rendering functions, so leaving for an intermediate step just seems counterproductive when you have limited time/resources/people. I do like waving that Newtek flag, though...but, I suppose when it is all said and done, the budget and the specific requirements of my next project will dictate what happens. Thanks again.

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 05:26 PM
LOL. Oh man, this is getting too much. I'm going to ask Tim Albee how the f**k he makes it by doing CA with LW on his work, and he'll give me some Zen answer like - "Find your Chi, it's a balance of positive and negative. Don't let the material world block the energy that flows through you"... lol.

A while back Timothy wrote in one of his books that he preferred XSI but Lightwave was more bang for the buck at that time. This was back in 2002-03 I think. On the rendering side I think I would have to agree with that but I dunno about the other stuff, CA in particular. I was primarily a max and lightwave guy at that time though, very new to this industry.

Personally, I just think hair and fur was hard to come by at that time and it was Sasquatch that kept Timothy in LW for so long. ;) Who knows what he is using today.

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 05:28 PM
That is a really tough pill to swallow, but I have definitely considered it. I go back and forth in my mind about it. But I'll always want to end up back in Lightwave for its lighting/rendering functions, so leaving for an intermediate step just seems counterproductive when you have limited time/resources/people. I do like waving that Newtek flag, though...but, I suppose when it is all said and done, the budget and the specific requirements of my next project will dictate what happens. Thanks again.

Try a .mdd pipeline. . .it's fun. seriously.

pooby
05-19-2010, 05:34 PM
There are some great advantages To animating outside lightwave and to the mdd format. The main one being that all your animation can be referenced in multiple scenes. By having your animation stored in external files it is very easy to Project manage.

h2oStudios
05-19-2010, 05:47 PM
A while back Timothy wrote in one of his books that he preferred XSI but Lightwave was more bang for the buck at that time. This was back in 2002-03 I think. On the rendering side I think I would have to agree with that but I dunno about the other stuff, CA in particular. I was primarily a max and lightwave guy at that time though, very new to this industry.

Personally, I just think hair and fur was hard to come by at that time and it was Sasquatch that kept Timothy in LW for so long. ;) Who knows what he is using today.

Slightly OT-
Hmm.... Something tells me he's still using LW for CA. Dunno, I just have that feeling. If not, hey.

But... I'm kind of with OnlineRender on this though - I'm going to stop what I'm doing right now, bust out a fly CA Rig, and spend the next 4 years become a freakin LW-CA Guru. By then LW might be buried in sand for all I know, but hey, at least I'll be a damn good LW-CA.

Cheers & Good Luck, Rapscallion. :thumbsup:



*I'm on the XSI website purchasing a license... shhh.*

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 05:52 PM
Cheers & Good Luck, Rapscallion. :thumbsup:

*on the XSI website purchasing a license... shhh.*

Thanks!

And funny tagline :P

TeZzy
05-19-2010, 05:54 PM
so after a few pages, is it the community or newtek who are responsible for how many LW Character animators?

Mr Rid
05-19-2010, 06:04 PM
LOL. Oh man, this is getting too much. I'm going to ask Tim Albee how the f**k he makes it by doing CA with LW on his work, and he'll give me some Zen answer like - "Find your Chi, it's a balance of positive and negative. Don't let the material world block the energy that flows through you"... lol.

More likely, 'Amadhi- artist formerly known as Timothy Albee' may advise you to put on a furry suit. Course, you may have to go thru his agent first (how many animators need an agent?). That feller is sump'n special.

Intuition
05-19-2010, 06:08 PM
so after a few pages, is it the community or newtek who are responsible for how many LW Character animators?

Well, as I stated before, I know a few great CA in Lightwave.

They can do a pro job in Lightwave with what is there. They know the gotchas and what to look for when things break. Jesse Toves is the main rig/CA at BSG and there is also Sean Jackson who does general rigging and CA. Between the two of them they get Lightwave to behave very good in CA. Now that being said the majority of stuff I've seen them do is either robots (cylons, machines etc) or small characters like insects and bugs.

The humans they do are often in space suit which is a little forgiving.

But overall they are good rigs that act correctly.

So, one could say that the community doesn't provide enough Character specialists. On the other hand, the topics I've covered state that CA needs are handled elsewhere in other software. At this point you could say that NT didn't focus enough on CA.

I mean they did finally added proper up/pole vector for IK control during the 9.5-9.6 cycle. This did help solve alot of snapping issues in LW. There were improvements overall but I think the general design of modeler/layout makes therig/CA process more difficult then it needs to be. Unless you use Larry Schultz method with no weights which most don't know. Not even me. I gave up long ago and even still rigged some stuff for BSG a couple years ago.

So yes, one could then blame NT for not focusing on CA enough. yet NT may think that since they are creating Core that they may not want to patch up LW even though the release of turbulence has definitely shown that LW has some mileage left after all. As though Layout could continue to evolve alongside the big 3 and attain the CA, and dynamics, tools it needs to be competitive. Core may be the ultimate solution for what everyone need in LW but since no one knows for sure they have to move forward some how.

TeZzy
05-19-2010, 06:26 PM
I just think software loyalty gets you no where, so like many have said....if you can get a multi app pipeline....do it

TeZzy
05-19-2010, 07:14 PM
Yea, depending on the situation of course but clearly a multi app pipeline will allow for a wider variety of talent. But like you say if it can be done with one app then of course stick to that.

But my comment about software loyalty stands.

Mr Rid
05-19-2010, 07:32 PM
Why are y'all (its ok, I'm from Texas) still debating this? Didnt you know, this topic is officially RESOLVED.
84970

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 07:58 PM
Why are y'all (its ok, I'm from Texas) still debating this? Didnt you know, this topic is officially RESOLVED.
84970

Yeah the people who reply to them don't start them elsewhere after they reply. ;) They keep coming though.

geo_n
05-19-2010, 08:41 PM
Multi app for animation is no go. Its ok if youre doing scene by scene but sometimes sharing assets its better to just have one animation pipeline. Mixing maya max lw to do animation is more trouble than its worth. Models can be imported from any software but animation and characters....
Anyway why do people separate rigging and animation? To get to animation you will have to use good rigging tools which lw 9.6 got better but cant really touch maya,max,xsi in comparison. Just like to get that good ferrari model you need good modelling,uv, surfacing tools.

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 09:23 PM
one animation pipeline. Mixing maya max lw to do animation is more trouble than its worth.

Why's that? .mdd export/import is worth the trouble because it isn't much trouble. If you are talking fbx and dae animation then I can agree with that.

geo_n
05-19-2010, 09:49 PM
Why's that? .mdd export/import is worth the trouble because it isn't much trouble. If you are talking fbx and dae animation then I can agree with that.

no i meant mixing animation.
not animation in maya then rendering in lightwave. that case lw is not really animating just rendering so its less trouble as you said. :D
many times we have scene where the animation is done in lightwave then we have to export that animation to 3dmax for hair, etc and vice versa and that was really really a pain.

jasonwestmas
05-19-2010, 10:07 PM
no i meant mixing animation.
not animation in maya then rendering in lightwave. that case lw is not really animating just rendering so its less trouble as you said. :D
many times we have scene where the animation is done in lightwave then we have to export that animation to 3dmax for hair, etc and vice versa and that was really really a pain.

ohh, ok, eek. :D

3DBob
05-19-2010, 10:12 PM
Interesting approach to this topic.

I have much I could say, first I'd summarise how we are where we are.

3D talent normally learns modelling texturing and lighting first - with these skills I got paid work for 15 years for print, advertising, arch vis, web, corporate graphics, interactive gaming, product visualisation etc etc....

Point is, for a sole trader or SME - you don't have to be an animator to make a good living - and besides - 3D takes huge resources, going from 1 or 5 staff to the necessary 100s to make a major animation in the past was not an easy task - the barrier to entry was huge, it still is.

The reason I see that much of the LW community is in the no CA department, is that they could afford to get into it without being in PIXAR and make a living to boot. A reason LW became a tool of choice for Non CA in studios - was a cheap, fast high quality renderer and people that knew how to use it - because of the former.

The reality about high end CA is that actually most real jobs don't need or don't have the budget for Golemn/Naavi whatever - and those that do have established tools/providers to do that. If LW had the best CA tools in the world in 6 months - those studios would still use their existing pipelines for many years. There aren't millions of jobs for people animating golemn/naavi/king kong/ marauding hoards of Orcs or whatever.

Now here is the thing, LW can do a large number of the CAs that people actually want. You don't need amazing rigs with wrinkles and muscle bones to Get Stuff Done.

I have been building a studio in India now for 2.5 years having been with LW since video toaster 2 in an A3000 - I never had gaps in my professional LW work long enough to get into LW animation properly although I did do several things over the years. I have allowed my recruits who have all had 2 years access to Maya & Max prior to joining me to sit with Maestro, LW, PMG etc etc - some spending months on the nuances of each rigging tech.

We have come to the conclusion that you can get most CA that people can/will actually pay an SME for done without having to buy AD products.

In so many respects - after trying alternatives, if you want to just Get Stuff Done, it is so fast to just do it in LW. We have over the past months had some of our learning the RHR and many other training sets for the various apps. Whilst the unbelievable realtime feedback speed in Project Messiah is so nice, my animators are time and again saying, can we just do this in LW.

We have been animating Yaks, Goats, Dogs, Ants (proper ones), crabs and Humans in LW and PMG.

PMGs new AutoRig 3 in PMG 4.5 is really nice - Rigging can be done very quickly and with the weighting system, can be made to work very well in short order... I have also got retargetting off to a fine art and we are developing script pipelines to get blended animations from both JimmyRig via LW/DAE/Animeeple, iPi and Animeeple alone into both LW with IKB and PMG ARig 3. Both these end options allow you to easily animate over the top of the re-targetted Mocap.

With baking of animations to Mdd, doing fast multi character animations is perfectly possible. PMG is getting a new script to make this approach even quicker.

I would argue that if you are a sole trader, small group of artists, SME - most CA jobs you would get you can do in LW - just learn it. For high end stuff, add PMG to your toolset and if you need a chunk of animation done, learn to add MDD using PMG so that you will be ready with a workflow should you need a block of animators that are only experienced in another app to fill a hole for the duration of the CA in a specific job. A good freelancer would have his own "whatever app they prefer" licence and so you don't have to carry the burden of the subscription etc.

As an aside, we are looking to build Southern Indias first LW focussed training academy over the next two years - in part because there is no one available at the standard I want (except the talented people I have trained thus far!) in any app (we are already producing better stuff than the multitude of moribund maya animators here). We are looking to have 80 people graduating at the end of the first 2 year course. They will need to have excellent English, have a degree, and some skill like acrobat, performer, singer or fine art/scupture artist - and 1 year basic 3D course as a minimum requirement to enter the course. We are aiming the course primarily at Asia, but anyone is welcome.

I too have had people flunk on a job over the years through inability, exhaustion, an extra 50/day when I was already paying 200/day on a 6 month contract where they could work from home, the reality is that 3D is not trivial - it needs skill, talent, dedication, ingenuity, time and money to do the best work.

3DBob

t4d
05-19-2010, 11:13 PM
I see your point and there is a very good reason you are right in your statement

LW Character animation pipeline ( rigging, animation workflow, scene management )
is not as good as other packages

character animation is a art form in it's own right

SO the question is IF your a character animator would you use LW or better tools to learn and refine the art form you spend most of your time doing ?

Most would answer NO,. blender that is free has better tools SO that leads to lightwave having very little Character animation users.

rapscallion
05-19-2010, 11:36 PM
I see your point and there is a very good reason you are right in your statement

LW Character animation pipeline ( rigging, animation workflow, scene management )
is not as good as other packages

character animation is a art form in it's own right

SO the question is IF your a character animator would you use LW or better tools to learn and refine the art form you spend most of your time doing ?

Most would answer NO,. blender that is free has better tools SO that leads to lightwave having very little Character animation users.

Hei Peter...good to see you on here...thanks for commenting...

It seems more and more like the conclusion to be drawn from this thread is something of a 'chicken or the egg' conundrum. Without alluring tools, we can't get build up a solid and reliably professional Character Animation faction within the community - but without a community demonstrating in a bold, obvious and regular way the need for the tools, it leaves Newtek with CA as a low priority. Of course, many people have been demanding improvements to the tools for years, but clearly the pressure from that demand is not enough to outweigh the number of copies they are already selling without making the changes.

rapscallion
05-20-2010, 12:06 AM
I'll have to disagree with this. THIS... IMO, is the primary reason for CORE. On this forum we have been consistently asking NT to be a serious contender for the "big boys" and Newtek has listened. Newtek KNEW they had to seriously improve the software and CA was (AFAIK) one of their main concerns. CORE won't be CA-ready for quite some time (again, IMO) but I believe that it will be a major focus. The pressure WAS successful. :thumbsup:

Of course, you are right, they have mentioned that Core will make long-awaited advances to the CA toolset - but have any of those long-awaited changes been implemented beyond what has already been done for LW9.6? I'm not saying they don't have plans or won't make changes, but from what I have seen, there are some areas of Core that are already showing big leaps - many of which are inspired by community demand - so I think that it is fair to say that any big leap we see getting made before we see a big CA leap is something that has been prioritized above CA improvements.

t4d
05-20-2010, 02:03 AM
Hei Peter...good to see you on here...thanks for commenting...

It seems more and more like the conclusion to be drawn from this thread is something of a 'chicken or the egg' conundrum. Without alluring tools, we can't get build up a solid and reliably professional Character Animation faction within the community - but without a community demonstrating in a bold, obvious and regular way the need for the tools, it leaves Newtek with CA as a low priority. Of course, many people have been demanding improvements to the tools for years, but clearly the pressure from that demand is not enough to outweigh the number of copies they are already selling without making the changes.

I think if you lay the egg (Newtek giving good Animation and production tools sets )

the chickens will come ( Character animators will use and promote them )

character animators did not leave because forum users said LW is not good at Character animation. ( you learn Lightwave and along the way at some point you try to do Character animation. )

those who wanted to focus on Character animation left because if you had a hard day in LW doing CA,.. and you played with any of the other 3D tools out there for a day or 2,.. and you would see all the issues in LW 9.6 has,. not there !! and see alot of other cool things they did not think of to help you rig and animate characters.


if tomorrow Core had great Ca tools,.. the very next day you would see good character animation being done in Core.

shrox
05-20-2010, 08:51 AM
The egg did come first, insects and fish had eggs long before chickens did. As well as dinosaurs. Which leads to this, is Lightwave in danger of becoming a dinosaur? It is not for me, but there are those whose needs are more advanced than my current needs, but that is evolving too. 15 years with Lightwave and I still don't know it all, but for CA I have used Max as well, and the Biped is pretty easy.

Apps like SketchUp are limited only to modeling, but does anyone know if it's architecture was designed to allow for expansion into animation and quality rendering? That would be a clever move on their part. The interface turns me off though, I like words rather than made up icons.

rapscallion
05-20-2010, 10:57 AM
I like words rather than made up icons.

100% agreed on that. One of the main things that I've always loved about Lightwave is that words instead of icons, means that anyone can sit down and figure how things work without needing a decoder ring.

bjornkn
05-20-2010, 12:19 PM
I use SketchUp all the time for modelling architecture. Nothing I have used comes close to the ease of use, precision, flexibility and power. IMO it's an excellent example of an app with lots of power, but with a very easy and intiutive GUI, as opposed to LWs.
In regards to icons vs text buttons I'd prefer icons (with tooltips) any time. I use the buttons very seldom anyway, because I use shortcuts for all the tools I use most. And icons, being smaller, clutters the screen much less than those text buttons in LW. The LW text buttons are limited to a short name which often is very cryptic, while tooltips (very essential) can have a long description as well as the shortcut key(s) for it.
Animation in SU is very basic, but when it comes to realistic rendering there are a lot of options to choose from, among others you can choose vRay. The architecture seems to be pretty flexible iow. I do all my "quality" renders in LW though.

shrox
05-20-2010, 12:56 PM
I use SketchUp all the time for modelling architecture. Nothing I have used comes close to the ease of use, precision, flexibility and power. IMO it's an excellent example of an app with lots of power, but with a very easy and intiutive GUI, as opposed to LWs.
In regards to icons vs text buttons I'd prefer icons (with tooltips) any time. I use the buttons very seldom anyway, because I use shortcuts for all the tools I use most. And icons, being smaller, clutters the screen much less than those text buttons in LW. The LW text buttons are limited to a short name which often is very cryptic, while tooltips (very essential) can have a long description as well as the shortcut key(s) for it.
Animation in SU is very basic, but when it comes to realistic rendering there are a lot of options to choose from, among others you can choose vRay. The architecture seems to be pretty flexible iow. I do all my "quality" renders in LW though.

I think a word is a much better clue than a wavy box, or a checkered ball. Tooltips can take several seconds to appear depending on what you are doing in the background. But with enough use I guess anything can become second nature.

probiner
05-20-2010, 03:59 PM
icons are nice, words are great, tooltips are cool. And having the option to use one and/or others is the best.

bjornkn
05-20-2010, 04:13 PM
I think a word is a much better clue than a wavy box, or a checkered ball. Tooltips can take several seconds to appear depending on what you are doing in the background. But with enough use I guess anything can become second nature.Let's get back on topic?
I enjoyed reading you CA guys discussing :)
BTW, I find it a bit hard to deduct the difference between Move, Move Plus and Translate Plus. Doesn't give me much clue about the difference I'm afraid. A few words in a quick tooltip would help differentiate them. After using them a few times you wouldn't need the text any longer, but use the shortcut. LW is full of those tools that does almost the same job or have meaningless names with postfixes like plus, pro or similar.
I spent many years with trueSpace too, because the GUI was so much better (for me) than LWs.

sampei
05-21-2010, 03:18 PM
icons are nice, words are great, tooltips are cool. And having the option to use one and/or others is the best.

:agree:

Nemoid
05-23-2010, 09:10 AM
i think one of the best examples of Lw being behind in more complex CA is Meni using Lw for modelling and animatics, and Maya for real animation in its Battle for Terra.
He's a veteran Lw guru and could use Lw for sure, but the movie project was long, and complex even if it didn't involve photoreal human characters, so he used Maya however. I also think this was also because you can find animators more easily.
BTW this doesn't mean you cannot do good animations in Lw but i wouldn't adopt it for a big project.
I' d also distinguish animations involving complex deformations and animations involving robots and mechanics.
Lw is pretty capable to do mechanics very well, as you can see in many TV shows and movies, but regarding deformations, its difficult.
You first have a quite annoying workflow if you use weights, and also you have no deformers, lattices and other stuff which helps greatly to rig complex shapes, do complex stretch and squash and more. so while rigging is difficult however, even in other apps, its easier to obtain those features in them.

rapscallion
05-25-2010, 11:23 AM
Thank you to all those who read or responded to the thread...of course, it was never really meant to find an actual answer, because those types of answers are too subjective in nature for all to agree 100% one way or another...I was hoping to instigate a discourse on the nature of professionalism in the workplace specifically in regard to users of Lightwave in the Character Animation field, and I think that we accomplished that to some degree...if anybody else comes across this thread and wants to further contribute, please don't hesitate - and I'll be keeping my eye on it just in case there are new ideas or questions raised that bring about a strong desire to reply...

I love Lightwave and look forward to seeing how the tools and the community continue to evolve in the coming months and years.

Thanks one more time to everybody.

Mr Rid
05-25-2010, 12:31 PM
Thank you to all those who read or responded to the thread...of course, it was never really meant to find an actual answer, because those types of answers are too subjective in nature for all to agree 100% one way or another...I was hoping to instigate a discourse on the nature of professionalism in the workplace specifically in regard to users of Lightwave in the Character Animation field, and I think that we accomplished that to some degree...if anybody else comes across this thread and wants to further contribute, please don't hesitate - and I'll be keeping my eye on it just in case there are new ideas or questions raised that bring about a strong desire to reply...

I love Lightwave and look forward to seeing how the tools and the community continue to evolve in the coming months and years.

Thanks one more time to everybody.

Its not subjective. LW character animation tools are limited in comparison to AD apps. NT dev has always lagged behind the Jones', for whataver reasons. Your declarations of "One of the greatest Lightwave Debates RESOLVED" and "It is not the tool-set that stops Lightwave from being a competitive character platform, but the Lightwave community" are subjective presumptions.

pooby
05-25-2010, 01:45 PM
because those types of answers are too subjective in nature for all to agree 100% one way or another...

No, we dont all agree. But one thing is for sure. Lightwave's pro animators are like tumbleweed blowing through a desert of static -rendered models.

For someone to choose dry barren-ness instead of a rich jungle of fun. Well, they probably aren't the most clued up individual in the world. Or maybe they just enjoy being king of the hamlet.

rapscallion
05-25-2010, 02:13 PM
Its not subjective. LW character animation tools are limited in comparison to AD apps. NT dev has always lagged behind the Jones', for whataver reasons. Your declarations of "One of the greatest Lightwave Debates RESOLVED" and "It is not the tool-set that stops Lightwave from being a competitive character platform, but the Lightwave community" are subjective presumptions.

Apparently you still don't get what this thread is about. You seem stuck like a needle on a scratched record. We get it, the tools aren't as advanced as AutoDesk - go ahead and start a thread about that if you want. This thread here is about the Lightwave community, and you've yet to make a single comment about that. Go ahead and crew up two shows at once - one for Maya and one for Lightwave - then report back with some relevant subjective input about the experience. But if you just want to talk about which software has more buttons or whatever, please do it on an appropriate thread.

rapscallion
05-25-2010, 02:18 PM
Or perhaps they are VERY good and like a challenge? Or perhaps they LIKE LW and choose to just use that piece of software? Or perhaps they can't afford the other high-end packages?

I'm sure all the various reasons are subjective, with some being more complex than others. In the end, great artwork does not rely on any specific software - if it did, there would be no subjective choice and every artist would have only one software to choose from. But clearly, that is not case, because even amongst those who do not want to use Lightwave, there are people using a mix of Maya, Houdini, Motion Builder, 3DSMax, etc. If there was no subjectivity, there would be no choice - yet there is.

ericsmith
05-25-2010, 03:53 PM
No, we dont all agree. But one thing is for sure. Lightwave's pro animators are like tumbleweed blowing through a desert of static -rendered models.

For someone to choose dry barren-ness instead of a rich jungle of fun. Well, they probably aren't the most clued up individual in the world. Or maybe they just enjoy being king of the hamlet.

With all respect, that statement really hits me the wrong way.

I'm currently working on a big project with a lot of character animation. The project is an animated kids show, so I'm not needing to do photoreal, highly detailed human characters (they're actually not human at all).

What I do need is to produce a lot of work very fast. Like 15-20 seconds of animation a day fast. And I'm making or exceeding those targets because LW is well suited to a fast paced (abiet simple) workflow.

Also, I have Maestro. Without it, I figure I would only be able to do 5 seconds a day at best, and I'd be spending a lot more time doing layout and setup work by hand instead of with the automation I've designed into the process. And considering the fact that LW is the only 3d package out there with the proper extensibility to allow for everything Maestro has to offer, that makes the big apps like Maya and XSI lose a bit of their luster to me.

Don't get me wrong, They certainly have their strengths. But in my case, so does LW.

So to say that I'm only using it because I'm clueless just doesn't seem right.

Eric

rapscallion
05-25-2010, 04:05 PM
With all respect, that statement really hits me the wrong way.

I'm currently working on a big project with a lot of character animation. The project is an animated kids show, so I'm not needing to do photoreal, highly detailed human characters (they're actually not human at all).

What I do need is to produce a lot of work very fast. Like 15-20 seconds of animation a day fast. And I'm making or exceeding those targets because LW is well suited to a fast paced (abiet simple) workflow.

Also, I have Maestro. Without it, I figure I would only be able to do 5 seconds a day at best, and I'd be spending a lot more time doing layout and setup work by hand instead of with the automation I've designed into the process. And considering the fact that LW is the only 3d package out there with the proper extensibility to allow for everything Maestro has to offer, that makes the big apps like Maya and XSI lose a bit of their luster to me.

Don't get me wrong, They certainly have their strengths. But in my case, so does LW.

So to say that I'm only using it because I'm clueless just doesn't seem right.

Eric



Hei Eric...good to see you on the thread...I was wondering if/when you'd have something to say...I'd have to agree that not everybody making character animation needs all of the things that are regularly called out as shortcomings of Lightwave - and with tools like Maestro, people might be surprised at just how many of the shortcomings have already been addressed in one way or another...this is not to say that Maestro makes the Lightwave toolset exactly the same as the Maya toolset, because it does not - but at the same time, I don't think it needs to be the same to be useful and allow for fast paced production.

It is too bad that there aren't more professional Character Animators willing to make things work within Lightwave. For years, Lightwavers have been joining the exodus to other packages for Character Animation - but it would be great if more outsiders were willing to step in and actually try Lightwave, too. Of course, many of the 'serious' Character Animators here will think (and probably state) that this is a totally foolish idea - but if the project in question doesn't require more than what Lightwave can handle, then what is the problem? I mean, does 'VEGGIE TALES' really need Maya? What are they doing in 'Veggie Tales' that can't be done in Lightwave?

Possibly, as stated in my initial posit of the opening post of this thread, it is just too difficult for Producers and Studios to hire and maintain a Lightwave Character Animation team, as opposed to an actual shortcoming of the tool-set itself.

pooby
05-25-2010, 05:40 PM
Eric I am referring to an animator. I don't mean a generalist who animates. I am a generalist who animates. That is different and there are a whole load of other reAsons to use lw in that case.
But I stick to my assertion that for a professional freelance animator to base their work in lightwave is folly.

ericsmith
05-25-2010, 06:24 PM
Fair enough.

I certainly wouldn't dream of trying to pursue full-time animation work at other studios without getting a solid foundation in Maya first.

Eric

Surrealist.
05-28-2010, 09:52 AM
Yeah my initial response is simple. You don't have the tools you don't have a community of users. What you would have theoretically is a community of dabblers in CA. Because those would be the only ones left. And the only reason that they are still here is because they don't know how bad it is yet. Then you'd theoretically have a few guys who are real good. Both new people and old. And some of those, perhaps, flaky. Then you can say it is the artist not the tool etc... bla bla bla. Old tired debate. I don't know what the figures are. Just guessing, theoretically, based on the OP assumptions.

The thread title and conclusion is rather presumptuous. And it kind of puts the emphasis on the wrong thing. It is like saying that there are not any good flip book animators because the community of flip book animators have let down the flip book. And now the flip book suffers.

If this conclusion has any merit, all we'd have to do is convince people to use flip books, and then use them professionally and responsibly.

Unfortunately the world has moved on to animation stands and cameras. You won't find any students interested in flip books because they don't give you the same results as the new animation stands do.

But of course we do have a few great artists making brilliant stuff with flip books.

What could be wrong?

GraphXs
05-28-2010, 10:22 AM
I mean, does 'VEGGIE TALES' really need Maya? What are they doing in 'Veggie Tales' that can't be done in Lightwave?

Veggie Tales, at least the original series was done in SoftImage. Also most of the animation was done with a lattice deformer. So "yes" I would say it would easier in a package that has a lattice cage deformer. In LW I guess bones would/could do the same but in Soft it would be easier to set up the vegetables and get the moving.

Ya know LW animation/tools aren't bad at all, I 've used ACS4 rigging plug-in in the past and it had some great rigging tools. I also liked the fact that in LW I could animate all the bones away from each other or lets say "break" the rig to get more out of the pose. Like having the arm reach super high above the big head of a cartoony character. Maestro tools are wonderful as well and can take all the advanced rigging set-up and make it easier and fun. IKB would've done better if newtek new what it had when it came w/v8. Hope with LW10 and Core newtek does give the missing features so LW bad wrap of character animation gets smaller and smaller. Until then, I thinks it's great that you are using LW for character animation. I say just get any 3D animators and train them in LW, it will only help prove that LW can and does character animation. :thumbsup:

jasonwestmas
05-28-2010, 10:38 AM
The manipulators that you can have with IKB are really great, in fact I prefer them even though they need some work. But the basic concept behind them are great. For example, I love the idea of not having to switch between rotate and translate tools that I can move and rotate an object with the same manipulator. I'm not sure about other apps but Maya has a universal manipulator that is a little clunky looking and it gets in the way of selecting another object but is a similar concept. I hope this gets a hard look when developing for core.

Red_Oddity
05-28-2010, 02:50 PM
The manipulators that you can have with IKB are really great, in fact I prefer them even though they need some work. But the basic concept behind them are great. For example, I love the idea of not having to switch between rotate and translate tools that I can move and rotate an object with the same manipulator. I'm not sure about other apps but Maya has a universal manipulator that is a little clunky looking and it gets in the way of selecting another object but is a similar concept. I hope this gets a hard look when developing for core.

I don't have Maya at hand at the moment so i'm not sure the universal manipulator has this feature as well, but when you use the rotation tool, you can make the rotation manipulator click through-able by toggling virtual trackball on or off.

jasonwestmas
05-28-2010, 04:18 PM
I don't have Maya at hand at the moment so i'm not sure the universal manipulator has this feature as well, but when you use the rotation tool, you can make the rotation manipulator click through-able by toggling virtual trackball on or off.

Nice, I'll try it out thanks. :) Just one of those things that bugged me but not enough to remember to look into it.

Surrealist.
05-29-2010, 07:20 AM
Apparently you still don't get what this thread is about. You seem stuck like a needle on a scratched record. We get it, the tools aren't as advanced as AutoDesk - go ahead and start a thread about that if you want. This thread here is about the Lightwave community, and you've yet to make a single comment about that. Go ahead and crew up two shows at once - one for Maya and one for Lightwave - then report back with some relevant subjective input about the experience. But if you just want to talk about which software has more buttons or whatever, please do it on an appropriate thread.


I think it is very appropriate really. I made kind of an lame analogy about tools. But I do think it is relevant to discuss here. And I find it a little bit like skirting the issue to try and pan off the subject of tools to some other thread.

It is part and parcel to the entire problem.

We can sit here are argue the artist or the tools till the cows come home.

That's an individual thing. But to step back and make broad statements about the community is a little more of a broad stroke. And I don't agree with Pooby. I think it is entirely objective. In fact I think it is so glaringly obvious that it will smack you in the face if you even glance at it.

There are two things to consider here.

1) Artists like to stay abreast of the latest tools if they can. It is an extremely competitive field.

2) New artists coming up, ignorant as they may be (such as myself) initially will likely get to a point where they realize that something is wrong or come to the point that they need more, and simply move on.

It really is that simple. You can do what was done to LightWave and just sit back and expect the "community" to step up and save LightWave character animation.

That is just not realistic. You can't force something like that. You can even encourage it. It has to happen as an evolution.

What has happened in general is a devolution of LightWave. How and why is not important. But this was simply mirrored in the community. It devolved. And that is completely natural.

It is also completely natural for responsible, talented individuals to gravitate towards tools that work and work well. (and please people here, don't take that as a slam against the community here. I have been around a long time and I know there are man great and responsible CA artists here - from my experience anyway. I am making a more broad statement along the lines of the OP)

If LightWave had not devolved, then many of these people would be here not at AD because of the price point alone.

The tools devolved if by no other reason than they were not kept up to speed.

Tools are very very much a part of the equation. You can't pass that off.

This is not about "the artist or the tool"it is about the broader social economic realities of the real world. It is just the way it works.

To solve the problem in the LightWave community all that would have to happen is make the CA up to date and actually work well. They would not even have to be innovative. They'd just have to be as good, and work.

Then you'd see a gradual evolution in the community and it would turn around.

If the tools were also innovative, you'd see a much faster growth.

jasonwestmas
05-29-2010, 09:00 AM
LW tools devolved? You mean that in the sense that they surrendered or delegated authority to other tools in the industry? If lighwave CA tools devolved they devolved to more modern animation tool sets and via importing mdd animation from other programs.

LW tools got better but only in certain "tool sets". Other tool sets haven't been touched much and operate the same as Lightwave 5 and 6 I think (9-14 years ago). These older tool sets are being held back Newtek's priorities (that seem to be changing at last) and by lightwave's disconnection from adding deformation control to a model in a context of a complex character pose. The objective is of course to be able to intuitively sculpt geometry to correct odd deformations that could never be corrected with a weight map or fix problem areas (in an extreme pose) that are either hard to foresee or impossible to foresee. These corrections need to be able to be animated and driven by skeletal rotation axes. These options have been in Maya for a long time if not from the beginning.
I would be able to forgive the somewhat shallow methods for sculpting hair and collision dynamics for cloth if animated deformation correction was possible.

m.simpson
05-29-2010, 10:33 AM
I'm a hobbyist and I came to LW only a few years ago. I don't know any other application. I'm not even that great at LW but I dream to be. It takes me awhile to get going as I have a demanding full time job that's not in 3d and I also have 2 small children. So I dip my toe in from time to time. I stay up late at night and fiddle with this and that. Would I love to change career for a job in VFX, 3d and CA - heck yes.

I've really enjoyed this Lengthy thread. I'm going to try and avoid the pipeline and other app debate. Just not qualified to do so but instead focus on my training and end user experience.

Being a hobbyist if I ever was to take this serious enough to be good at it I would end up a generalist. IMO it just the way the information and training is presented to you. You start out learning how to model and texture and then you try for that photoreal render you've seen others achieve. After that perhaps some basic logo style animations and then you have ago at compositing. And finally after years of tinkering, you think, I wouldn't mind having ago at CA. You buy a couple of books - and there are only few available on the market and they are slightly out of date compared to the software. After blowing the dust off the book, you ignore the kids and you rig your first little alien or pig and say "bloody hell, that's hard work" and you layout a few key frames and you say "bloody hell, that's hard work too." So you start looking at autoriggers and before you know it you are spending money on other tools or perhaps looking at other apps.

What I'm trying to say is - that the community needs to be inspired and encouraged in a pleasurable way to attain the skills necessary to become good CA. The problem being a) the learning curve and b) the information available to end users. There should be some really simple to use rigged characters in the content cd. Something fun to use and with it's own detailed primer on how to use it. And then perhaps another primer on how the rig was made.

Standards - has Newtek ever thought about creating a certification system. I wouldn't want to take work away from Kurv or Dan Albion so perhaps Newtek could work with this guys to modulerise the material to archieve certification. It could help sales too for these guys and also focus the material.

For example

Modelling 101 course - watch newtek video a,b,c, submit work, in addition to achieve certification you must watch kurv video, a, b, c or Dan Albion's video a, b, c and submit work.

There could be different pathways in certification, e.g.

CA pathway-

Animation Principles cert- etc.
Basic CA for beginners cert, using rig a and b - create the following scene.
Rigging cert. types of rigs etc., rig the following char using rig type A

VFx pathway -

etc.

It's just an idea. If an online course system was in place for hobbyists like myself - I would attend. But the prices would have to be reasonable, too.

Personally, I used to hate certification but at work we have an IT guy who blagged his way in and it's just obvious he's out of his depth. And I can see the need for certification, as a means of getting people like myself up to the standards you require.


Just a thought.

Surrealist.
05-29-2010, 06:48 PM
LW tools devolved? You mean that in the sense that they surrendered or delegated authority to other tools in the industry? If lighwave CA tools devolved they devolved to more modern animation tool sets and via importing mdd animation from other programs.

LW tools got better but only in certain "tool sets". Other tool sets haven't been touched much and operate the same as Lightwave 5 and 6 I think (9-14 years ago). These older tool sets are being held back Newtek's priorities (that seem to be changing at last) and by lightwave's disconnection from adding deformation control to a model in a context of a complex character pose. The objective is of course to be able to intuitively sculpt geometry to correct odd deformations that could never be corrected with a weight map or fix problem areas (in an extreme pose) that are either hard to foresee or impossible to foresee. These corrections need to be able to be animated and driven by skeletal rotation axes. These options have been in Maya for a long time if not from the beginning.
I would be able to forgive the somewhat shallow methods for sculpting hair and collision dynamics for cloth if animated deformation correction was possible.

They "devolved" by default is what I mean. Same idea is that if your income stays exactly the same for a long period. By "default" according to inflation your income is decreasing.

You can't just leave things alone and then expect everything in the world to stay the same. Everone else is working to improve.

NewTek knows this. I am not saying anything outrageous. And they're recent efforts to improve the 9.x cyle were eventually scrapped - they say - because they could not make it work with the old code. That code was "devolving" as time went on.

The problem with LightWave is a series of bad executive decisions that go back quite a few years. And the major decision - which has been debated here to no end - was the decision to keep improving the existing LightWave and not just scrap it and start over. But how could they...? money and so on. It has been debated. Enter CORE. Just unfortunately too little too late. IMHO. When it came out my only complaint was that it should have happened years earlier.

Now, I can not talk for every user. But the statement at the top of this thread was a broad generality. I made a broad generality of a response. But I think it is true. The LightWave character animation tool set is usable but simply not up to par with even Blender which is available to anyone who wants to use it. It is a great plugin to LightWave if you choose to go that pipeline.

If you look at what Timothy Albee has done, you realize, hey, much is possible with LightWave CA. And true it is. And he is one of the better examples of a community of great artists out there in LW.

But broadly speaking, you can let a software get old in a particular area and expect people to faithfully wait around. Many will. But for the most part, if you look at the industry broadly and make a statement about why there is a faltering community of artists in LightWave, or that they are not up to par in quality and reliability, then I think you can simply look at the toolset failing over time as the reason, or at least as the main contributing factor.

That is all I am saying. You have to look at it objectively.

Subjectively from my personal experience, I have been around since 1993. I always considered LightWave my first choice. But I never really got into the CA tools far enough to really have an opinion. But came along time to to a large project with CA. I got the TA book and studied it, I did every tutorial I could find on IKB and mastered the techniques. I worked with cloth full time R&D for several weeks and mastered it pretty much. I don't think there is a quirk with cloth I have not encountered and solved. But there were some things that simply did not work. One major one is self collision. But that is another discussion.

The point being, I eventually had to decide. Am I going to continue to fight with this software? Or am I going to look elsewhere? Now, if I had money to spare, I would have seriously considered XSI or another option. But I did not.

Fortunately for me, Blender was free and I decided to get over the interface and check it out. The rest of the story is not important. I eventually decided to scrap LightWave completely.

Now you see, this is subjective. I am a long time fanboy of LightWave and I still am. But I am also realistic about what I am doing. So I moved on. I had to. There was no other responsible choice for my production.

If that can happen to me - and if you know me well you'd realize that this is a major major thing to decide - then it can happen to other people. And likely it has happened to many good people, even more talented people than me.

You could write me off as a guy with limited CA talents/ability and so on. But when you see this happening to other far more talented people than I then you have something to consider broadly.

What I am saying is you can't just subjectively state that LightWave is great, and that you don't mind the faults, and that you can use it, and it is overall a great tool despite this, and expect everyone to feel that way.

Many people will and have simply said, nope. Not going to deal with that. I'll look elsewhere. That is the reality you have to look at more objectively.

That does not negate the great artists and some of the great animation that has come from LightWave. It is just a realistic industry-wide objective vew of the problem. It starts with the software and goes out from there.

Once that is improved, you will see an increase of great/responsible artists attracted to it.

The reason many great and responsible artists are still here is only something you can evaluate on an individual basis. Because I am sure the reasons are varied. Money, time, comfort zone, production needs, book deals, the list could go on.

But broadly the user base for CA has faltered.

jasonwestmas
05-29-2010, 07:30 PM
They "devolved" by default is what I mean. Same idea is that if your income stays exactly the same for a long period. By "default" according to inflation your income is decreasing.

You can't just leave things alone and then expect everything in the world to stay the same. Everone else is working to improve.

NewTek knows this. I am not saying anything outrageous. And they're recent efforts to improve the 9.x cyle were eventually scrapped - they say - because they could not make it work with the old code. That code was "devolving" as time went on.

The problem with LightWave is a series of bad executive decisions that go back quite a few years. And the major decision - which has been debated here to no end - was the decision to keep improving the existing LightWave and not just scrap it and start over. But how could they...? money and so on. It has been debated. Enter CORE. Just unfortunately too little too late. IMHO. When it came out my only complaint was that it should have happened years earlier.

Now, I can not talk for every user. But the statement at the top of this thread was a broad generality. I made a broad generality of a response. But I think it is true. The LightWave character animation tool set is usable but simply not up to par with even Blender which is available to anyone who wants to use it. It is a great plugin to LightWave if you choose to go that pipeline.

If you look at what Timothy Albee has done, you realize, hey, much is possible with LightWave CA. And true it is. And he is one of the better examples of a community of great artists out there in LW.

But broadly speaking, you can let a software get old in a particular area and expect people to faithfully wait around. Many will. But for the most part, if you look at the industry broadly and make a statement about why there is a faltering community of artists in LightWave, or that they are not up to par in quality and reliability, then I think you can simply look at the toolset failing over time as the reason, or at least as the main contributing factor.

That is all I am saying. You have to look at it objectively.

Subjectively from my personal experience, I have been around since 1993. I always considered LightWave my first choice. But I never really got into the CA tools far enough to really have an opinion. But came along time to to a large project with CA. I got the TA book and studied it, I did every tutorial I could find on IKB and mastered the techniques. I worked with cloth full time R&D for several weeks and mastered it pretty much. I don't think there is a quirk with cloth I have not encountered and solved. But there were some things that simply did not work. One major one is self collision. But that is another discussion.

The point being, I eventually had to decide. Am I going to continue to fight with this software? Or am I going to look elsewhere? Now, if I had money to spare, I would have seriously considered XSI or another option. But I did not.

Fortunately for me, Blender was free and I decided to get over the interface and check it out. The rest of the story is not important. I eventually decided to scrap LightWave completely.

Now you see, this is subjective. I am a long time fanboy of LightWave and I still am. But I am also realistic about what I am doing. So I moved on. I had to. There was no other responsible choice for my production.

If that can happen to me - and if you know me well you'd realize that this is a major major thing to decide - then it can happen to other people. And likely it has happened to many good people, even more talented people than me.

You could write me off as a guy with limited CA talents/ability and so on. But when you see this happening to other far more talented people than I then you have something to consider broadly.

What I am saying is you can't just subjectively state that LightWave is great, and that you don't mind the faults, and that you can use it, and it is overall a great tool despite this, and expect everyone to feel that way.

Many people will and have simply said, nope. Not going to deal with that. I'll look elsewhere. That is the reality you have to look at more objectively.

That does not negate the great artists and some of the great animation that has come from LightWave. It is just a realistic industry-wide objective vew of the problem. It starts with the software and goes out from there.

Once that is improved, you will see an increase of great/responsible artists attracted to it.

The reason many great and responsible artists are still here is only something you can evaluate on an individual basis. Because I am sure the reasons are varied. Money, time, comfort zone, production needs, book deals, the list could go on.

But broadly the user base for CA has faltered.

Right, what you are saying sounds familiar to me.

Like I said to other people, I have no problems at all using LW for hard bodied CA. In fact that's usually what I see done with LW, hard body stuff. I just can't get past the bad deformation options so I was forced to look for better options in that regard and just import mdd files into lightwave for rendering. so I could actually enjoy the work-flow somewhat even though I had to learn yet another application. When people I worked for asked me if I knew motion builder for MoCap, I said no, so I learned it. Video game companies asked me if I knew maya for rigging, I said no, so I learned that. (They knew I could rig and clean up mocap somewhat) Same with Max, just depends on the project what package I had to use as a freelancer. Most people I've met are looking for technical people more than artists. But maybe that's just coincidental.

For more creative and conceptual work I always come back to lightwave. When I found out that is what Rob Powers uses for his conceptual work, I said to myself that's no suprise to me, LW is great for that. I can't let this LW rendering engine go, it's just addictive to use. Can't say that for the other tools but that's ok. I love just whipping out a biped rig in max or softimage and just get animating right away, that is quite fun too.

Surrealist.
05-29-2010, 08:15 PM
Cool. Got it. I think I may have misread and made an assumption there.

So I think what I said perhaps should be taken as a more broad statement on the subject rather than directed at what you said.

Thanks for the clarification.

ArwingXL
07-06-2010, 03:56 PM
"not everyone has initiative"

As someone who's worked with the original poster for a long time, and has also been a freelance generalist for going on my 7th year, I have a mixed bag. Let's take a step outside of our boxes for a moment, shut off our computers, and think a bit.

Before it was program crashes, nonworking plugins, absent or incomplete tools, or even platform battles, who can name what was the biggest killer of artists willing to actually work with their medium of choice? Business-sense. We all go to school to learn how to do this stuff, but there's a definite crowd of people who don't know how to sell their work. I mean, when was the last time you heard of someone having Nuclear Physics Block or trouble with inspiration to manage a consumer database? It doesn't happen.

Ya want to know why? THese are trade skills. Art itself is a trade skill. You work to fund your life, but its kind of my opinion [man] that Lightwave, Ogre, Blender, etc. don't have a dazzling amount of people who treat it that way. You kick *** at architecture? Work with an architect or studio that needs environments. You make good characters? find a studio who needs your characters. If you're a jack of all trades, find yourself a movie lead on, taking into considerations that there will be awesome productions and not-so-awesome productions. Everyone has their place, BUT....

...not everyone has initiative.

ericsmith
07-06-2010, 07:21 PM
ArwingXL,

I've read your post 2 or 3 times, and I can't figure out even remotely what you're trying to say.

I don't mean this to be insulting or anything, it's just that I really don't get it.

Eric

ArwingXL
07-06-2010, 11:25 PM
Sorry, sometimes I skew stuff when I'm typing quickly, in this case before a game of D&D.

Basically, my point is there are a royal crapload of Lightwavers that don't have enough business sense to exist outside of a studio or within eye's view of a director of some sort. You give them work, they start strong, and then dissapear, or breakdown, or lose motivation and never return. This goes for modeling, texturing, character animation, etc.

Writers suffer this same condition, but are trained to keep finding ways to move forward, but not many lightwavers(or maya guys even, especially most of my friends out of Fullsail), at least those not of generalist variety with some sort of background before 3d.