PDA

View Full Version : Does anyone have PolyTrans?



shrox
11-08-2010, 10:50 AM
We are thinking about buying Polytrans, does anyone have experience with it? We need to move from Lightwave to Max.

Shrox

lardbros
11-08-2010, 11:40 AM
We translate a HUUUGE amount of CAD data, so we bought it about 8 years ago, never used it... so carried on with Deep Exploration.

Then last year, decided to go for it again, just in case it did something that Deep Exploration didn't do. First model we loaded, it crashed... asked for help using their free support, and was told it was something wrong with the file, but couldn't send the file to them to check. Gave up, loaded it in Deep Exploration.

Another time... we got another CAD file format, and the same thing happened... they blamed it on us, we decided to use Deep Exploration... despite their help guru telling me that 'they are in different markets'.

It may work as a go between for 3ds max and Lightwave, but I found the interface to be severely old fashioned in design and use. I wasn't using NuGraf though, which may be better?

Anyone else had much luck with this tool? It's marketing seems to work as many people buy into it, but must just be bad luck that we haven't had any use for it. Which is a shame.

Otterman
11-08-2010, 11:44 AM
Yep use it alot and it works fine and dandy. I convert cad to lightwave though! Not sure if it has max output! Need to check when I get back to work.

lardbros
11-08-2010, 11:48 AM
Yep use it alot and it works fine and dandy. I convert cad to lightwave though! Not sure if it has max output! Need to check when I get back to work.

Hmmmm, we're converting to .max, using the Max plugin... but maybe that's where the problem lies? Not sure you can save as .max unless you own the software.

Also, it's only 32-bit and we're dealing with MA-HOOOOSIVE CAD files. Only 64-bit Deep Exploration appears to handle the stuff we chuck at it.

kosmodave
11-08-2010, 11:58 AM
I purchased Accutrans from http://www.micromouse.ca/.

It exports to various formats one of them being 3ds so should open in max. It also exports to Modo and Maya so is very handy, although I have never used these options so can't vouch for the accuracy with materials etc. It is very very keenly priced and you can download a fully functional 30 day trial to test. :thumbsup:

Dave

lardbros
11-08-2010, 12:11 PM
Yeah, 3ds is okay for most things, but for CAD it only supports 60,000 points or something. Just so everyone knows! :D

never heard of micromouse though... I'll take a peek! Thanks

trick
11-08-2010, 12:18 PM
I have used PolyTrans for many years to convert complete scene files (incl.animation especially camera) from Lightwave to Max and scene files from FormZ over lwo.*/lws.* format to Max. There were some small issues but they were solved by Robert lansdale (Programmer/Owner) very quickly. I learned that most issues were because of constraints in the base programs, not because of PolyTrans.

Titus
11-08-2010, 12:48 PM
We are thinking about buying Polytrans, does anyone have experience with it? We need to move from Lightwave to Max.

Shrox

You need Max and the polytrans plugin to convert to .max format.

shrox
11-09-2010, 10:24 AM
I downloaded the demo, it doesn't recognize IK from LW...

Sensei
11-09-2010, 05:17 PM
Then last year, decided to go for it again, just in case it did something that Deep Exploration didn't do. First model we loaded, it crashed... asked for help using their free support, and was told it was something wrong with the file, but couldn't send the file to them to check. Gave up, loaded it in Deep Exploration.

Another time... we got another CAD file format, and the same thing happened... they blamed it on us, we decided to use Deep Exploration... despite their help guru telling me that 'they are in different markets'.


It's of course PolyTrans problem, not your. Any good application must be enough stupid proof to handle correctly damaged files, wrong entered data, wrong downloaded data etc, without any crashing, and preferably showing information to user about problem.

The only allowed crashing is when it's happening in 3rd party libraries, like buggy graphics drivers. But such issue should be quickly verified by loading same object using completely different machine, not using the same gfx, second vendor.
But professional programmer would find alternative way optionally enabled by user to bypass driver issue (like enabling Legacy OpenGL in Modeler).

lansd
11-11-2010, 02:00 AM
Then last year, decided to go for it again, just in case it did something that Deep Exploration didn't do. First model we loaded, it crashed... asked for help using their free support, and was told it was something wrong with the file, but couldn't send the file to them to check. Gave up, loaded it in Deep Exploration.

I find it truly unfortunate when comments like this are made without any context. Having read the LW forum for the last 15 years this is the first time I will have had to post a proper contextual follow up to Tim Laird's comments, as they are not atypical of my user base:

1) Indeed, Tim has been one of my users since 2002 and with a new license in 2008. Of anyone I have ever received a series of registration comments from, Tim was the most critical of my brochures, marketing, my UI from not looking pretty, etc. but we exchanged a series of good natured emails after which he noticed my revised marketing layouts in 3D World. Tim is a designer, as stated in emails, so he and I don't share the same ideas of how design and layout should be done. Fair enough, but I am a purest electrical engineer and not a graphic designer.

2) I will openly state that my SolidWorks importer has been the main and defacto implementation for the last 14 years used throughout the world. It works **100% error free**, and that is just how it works no matter what anyone perceives otherwise in comments which forums always banter around. SolidWorks + ProE are the cornerstone of all my Okino sales, so if they didn't work then I'd know about from any one of my users immediately. Tim is the one and only person who experienced his problem with the file, the file that he didn't send to me. I license the source code from SolidWorks Corp for those that do not own a copy of SolidWorks, hence this crash or problem is local to his file as I told him in May. "DE" and eDrawings do not use the same methods and data that I import from SolidWorks files, all of which was properly explained to Tim over several emails.

2b) Tim didn't mention that SolidWorks itself crashed on the same data while trying to save it out to Parasolid, IGES and STEP so that he could use it through our BREP solids CAD importers. I've dealt with SolidWorks every day since it first came to market and don't recall a time when someone personally told me SW crashes on export. Had Tim sent me his SolidWorks file then I could have reverse engineered it and explained what was wrong with the internal data structures. Simply loading it into another app logically does not mean that the entire file is fine. SolidWorks files do not have only one set of geometry in them.


Another time... we got another CAD file format, and the same thing happened... they blamed it on us

Since I try to keep in mind all conversations I have with everyone, I could not locate nor recall any other issue. Tim did ask for DWF-3D support and updated DWG support, which he got in May 2010. Tim makes it sound like "I blame everything on the customer". I provide some of the best and most educated tech support in the conversion industry, and I would never 'blame' anything on a customer. In the reality I live and work, there's almost zero tech errors in the software throughout a year. Tim is one of my once-a-decade cases, but only because he didn't want to provide the SolidWorks file, which itself would have needed a review from Dassault Systemes.


we decided to use Deep Exploration... despite their help guru telling me that 'they are in different markets'.

Again, I'll openly state that I only hear of a person even mentioning Deep Exploration at most zero to one times per year. Tim was that one person in 2010. If you knew the 3D CAD market as well as I do then you'd know how the various CAD providers position themselves relative to their target markets and pricing levels. I am not a 'help guru' but one of the key CEO's in the translation industry, and know these markets inside out.


It may work as a go between for 3ds max and Lightwave, but I found the interface to be severely old fashioned in design and use.

And I have done that very explicitly for core reasons. As an engineering R&D company our one and only focus is to write the main, error-free implementations of each core 3D file format over a period of years and decades. I learned during early sales that people just wanted to get in and out of the software, and not be encumbered by learning a user interface. People buy our Okino software for its core and high quality converters, and never my UI. This is also why you won't find any modelling capabilities in the software for the same reasons. Also, as another thing I learned early on, people feel they are 'paying too much' when they start to see user interface elements that don't relate to the conversion capabilities they wish to purchase - as I like to say, it would be easier just to have one button called "Convert" on a single dialog box, and people would still be happy. If you want to buy the shiny red car based on its appearance, then please do so, but I sell based on the engine in the car and not the "looks cool" UI as Tim had requested in his comments to me. Nonetheless, everyone has their opinion, and I completely respect Tim's comment. However, they must be stated in the proper context in which the software is developed and sold.


Anyone else had much luck with this tool?

I just want to say that I am not being harsh on Tim, but these comments don't relate to the proper reality of my Okino software. PolyTrans has been the main and defacto conversion system since the early 90's, but just as people will perceive one animation system to be better than another, there will always be someone who chooses a different conversion system based on price, user interface, the color of the icons (yes, most people choose based on icon colors and how they are drawn on a toolbar!), personal preference, etc.

lansd
11-11-2010, 02:08 AM
I downloaded the demo, it doesn't recognize IK from LW...

IK is a concept local and proprietary to each 3D animation system. I and my staff have long supported, and pioneered, animation and skinning deformation conversion between the main 3D animation systems since our 1997 release. When dealing with anything "procedural" in Lightwave you would need to bake it into animation curves. Our PolyTrans-for-3dsMax and PolyTrans-for-Maya do that automatically for any animated object which changes its matrix, as we have direct access to the animation controllers. For Lightwave, we wrote our own clone of the animation system so that we could import and retain native Lightwave data without needing a local copy of Lightwave on the machine. Thus, we can deal with the data in the file which can map over to SRT animation curves, but nothing procedural in nature that relates to the proprietary sub-systems inside of Lightwave itself. But in all of the conversations with my Lightwave user base since 1993, IK simply never comes up in a conversation - usually it is procedural shaders or constrained cameras which Lightwave users use often that I chat about.

lansd
11-11-2010, 02:20 AM
Hmmmm, we're converting to .max, using the Max plugin... but maybe that's where the problem lies? Not sure you can save as .max unless you own the software.

While a minor point in this thread, I'll follow up with the answer I must have typed at least a thousand times over. It has always been the #1 misunderstood question in the 3D animation industry, mainly from LW users due to them buying .max files from TurboSquid, Digimation and other model provider vendors. I'm sure I have other postings in the Newtek forum about this.

The ".max" format is not a 'geometry file format' as everyone perceives. It is more of a state snapshot of how all the plug-ins of 3ds Max work together to create the final scene. 3ds Max is of the second generation of animation software which was based on the concept of a program with zero functionality, with its functionality provided by plug-in modules. Ditto for Maya, C4D v6+, and Softimage XSI. Lightwave was the only program not to make this transition as did the other animation programs around 1994 to 1997, and hence why the .lws and .lwo files can still be read/written today just as they were in 1999 for V6 and earlier for v5. This is why you'll find all free and non-free converters, which deal with .max format, must be plug-ins for 3ds Max itself -- they need direct access to the 3ds Max SDK in order to evaluate each plug-in module, or ask that plug-in to write out specific data.

lardbros
11-11-2010, 03:05 AM
Hi Robert,

I had a feeling you were watching :)

My apologies for taking things out of context, and paraphrasing hugely... I do have a great respect for your work, and know there are many success stories of Polytrans and NuGraf... but this is the real world, and sometimes things just don't work. Whether it's down to the CAD contractors doing things clumsily in their CAD software (we don't have access to SolidWorks at my workplace) or the way it's been sent to us... or the locked down build of Windows on our machine? Whatever the source of the problem we have been unlucky with our use of your tool. I don't feel I need to say sorry, but it is very unfortunate indeed.

Again, things have been taken out of context from our conversations, and my comments are not the view of my company, but simply the people who I work with and I.

I'm definitely NOT getting into a this is better than that point of view with anyone, as I'm sure people haven'thad as much luck with Deep Exploration as we have. Don't worry Robert, I definitely do not think your comments to be harsh on me, nor do I wish any of my comments to be harsh to you.

Someone simply asked for comments on your software, so i gave my true and real-to-life user experience. The truth of the matter being that we work in a highly secure environment and cannot give CAD data to give to developers, if we could, I'm CERTAIN that you would have helped us resolve the issue, but it cannot be the case, and will never happen. This I think is a sticking point, as most people would just hand the file to you and you can have a resolution to the problem... and tell us what caused it, which would have helped too.

I certainly understand that you aren't happy about any negative comments about 'your baby' and I know, and have heard great stories about people having a good experience with the software. I simply don't want to tread on your toes as you clearly have a greater knowledge on file format conversion than I do, but in terms of how the UI is designed (even the .max plugin) doesn't feel right. Anyway, we discussed this in great detail before, no need to do it again :D

I also felt in our original conversations that you thought I was after a graphical user interface like Bryce or other similar abominations, but I don't... I simply want something that works in every situation, and works the way people think (the fact that people all think differently doesn't help matters :) ). Which i'm sure polytrans does with many people, but unfortunately, not for us.

prometheus
11-11-2010, 03:06 AM
We are thinking about buying Polytrans, does anyone have experience with it? We need to move from Lightwave to Max.

Shrox

What´s the reason for the move from Lightwave to Max, Is it a temporary project need, or Is it a switch over to use Max more?

And can you share how the thoughts around that was, why the need to move to Max?
Im just eagarly curious to know.

Michael

lardbros
11-11-2010, 03:07 AM
... and sorry to add this to the bottom... but when I initially put the, probably slightly harsh comments, into your comments box on your website, I sincerely thought I was trying to help and give a brutally honest opinion. Of course, this is my opinion... but still, it was completely honest :D You clearly have no problems selling Polytrans, so you must be doing something right eh? :)

lansd
11-11-2010, 03:24 AM
I had a feeling you were watching :)

Thanks for your quick follow up. Everyone will find that I have never wasted bandwidth in the Newtek forums nor wish to do that today. Tim and I are under the same understanding, but again, I just wanted to clarify the situation as I saw proper. To be brutally honest, I would die and roll over if I knew of any bug in my Okino software, so quality is a core concern at all times - my dedicated user base knows of that well. Also, as a general note, I am the system architect and financier of the product, and overseer of the product's quality, but much of the work is done by all my staff so I don't want the forum to continue to think it all comes out of my hands, as many have over time.

As for the UI, I hate it more than *anyone* and will openly state that, but again I've made it for be drop dead simple so that Mary Jane down the hall can start up the product and do conversions. I have extensive UI controls for plug-in toolbars, windowing systems, etc. but (as I noted) my average users don't want to see that. There are other excellent programs on the market which have slick UIs, ideal for viewing and mark-up (more than most on this forum are aware of), but they are not of my specific target market - we sell conversion solutions that solve problems.

As for negative comments, I accept all if they are valid. The primary reason I continue to front Okino email communications is so that I can keep my ear to the ground and hear what the general populace wants. One 'negative yet valid comment' from a new user of mine in May caused me to rethink our 3D World layouts, so now I have a new "circular conversion" layout which helps animators understand what the product does. For the UI, I have my ideal layout in mind as well, but I must keep to our policy of a simple UI for the general user.

Now I'll go back to being a quiet forum reader, not poster.

lardbros
11-11-2010, 05:09 AM
Thanks for being courteous Robert, as I feel I have done you a disservice by posting any negative comments. We will certainly continue to monitor Polytrans, it would be stupid not to...

3dWannabe
11-11-2010, 06:50 PM
I'll throw this in.

A year ago I purchased a 3ds model from TurboSquid. They tried and tried to use Deep Exploration to port it to Lightwave without much success.

In frustration, I contacted PolyTrans. Robert went into depth over many emails to help explain why the TurboSquid model had problems and was able to convert it into something that I could use.

If I ever do buy a conversion program, I'd feel very comfortable with PolyTrans,

I really think they know their business and bend over backward to help users.

Riff_Masteroff
11-12-2010, 08:58 PM
I have used polytrans over the course of many years and recommend it. That being said, most of the import/export functions have quite a few options . . . so . . . the user should take some time to get familiar. Btw . . . I do wish that Mr. Lansdale would consider an .ifc in/out.

lardbros
11-13-2010, 03:44 AM
Actually, while I'm here... there is a certainly one export I would love in polytrans, and that would be Virtools. A 64 - bit version of polytrans and a Virtools export would make polytrans pretty unavoidable. Especially if it took into account all the animation and shading options.

I think Realicon do something with polytrans and Virtools but it's out of our price range.

silviotoledo
11-16-2010, 01:23 PM
I have used Polytrans 4 years ago and the transfer was so good. Perfect compositing, except that max makes antialising inside and lightwave outside, so we have only half pixel difference.

I don't know about nowadays. Does Polytrans exports to LW 9.6 scenes?

shrox
11-16-2010, 03:01 PM
This AR project goes from me using Lightwave to the developer using Ogre. Getting my animations into Ogre has been difficult. We were going to use PolyTrans or NuGraf to export to Max so the developer could export to Ogre using Max.