PDA

View Full Version : First Lightwave 10 Review up



MaDDoX
12-31-2010, 03:02 PM
I was already writing this waiting for the Final LW 10 release, but wasn't honestly expecting it to be released just now. Thus my apologies if some of it is slightly rushed out, I'm sure I forgot some important stuff - yet hopefully it's still a nice read. Comments/critiques welcome ofc.

Happy and prosperous new year lightwavers :)

http://bit.ly/e195qx

Sekhar
12-31-2010, 03:25 PM
Thanks for the quick review! Lots of interesting background info, but IMO a bit too much since this was meant to be an LW 10 review. Also, some assertions like "VPR is exactly what you get out of Lightwave render buffers" are not quite true...yet. The tone of the article is conversational, but I'd drop the slang like in "not exactly a VPR 'coz it has no actual viewport."

Titus
12-31-2010, 05:51 PM
He he. Maddox, you're one of the most optimistic guys in town.

dwburman
12-31-2010, 07:58 PM
I think you forgot to mention Matt's new UI tweaks. :D

MentalFish
01-01-2011, 07:03 PM
"That considered, there is only a handful of full-featured contenders out there against the Autodesk "one company to rule'em all" approach - Cinema4D, Houdini and Lightwave 3D being the most notable ones. Among them Lightwave is, by far, the most mature platform, with no less than two decades of technology development to back it up."

Question, in what way / how is LightWave the most mature platform between those three?

dwburman
01-01-2011, 07:25 PM
I think a lot of people don't realize Cinema 4D has Amiga roots as well.

Netvudu
01-01-2011, 10:41 PM
I think it is a nice review if a bit too "hypey". I would have mentioned something regarding the new stereoscopic options.
Also, there´s a wrong statement at the very beginning. There´s no "Thinking particles" technology for Softimage AFAIK. I think what the author was looking for is the rather new "ICE" technology ("new" as in a multithreaded version of what Houdini has offered for many years).

MaDDoX
01-02-2011, 09:04 AM
Thanks for the comments guys, much appreciated! My writing style really tends to be on the conversational side, yet I've cleaned the text up according to some of your suggestions. Along my review and test sessions I've also captured snapshots to illustrate the sections and make it less "dry", it was just bad timing for me since I was - and still am - out of town for new years, so I didn't have all files with me. Tomorrow I'll up them and add to the review.


Maddox, you're one of the most optimistic guys in town.
Probably heh :) Nevertheless I really mean it when I say that Lightwave 10 does deliver. It still can't provide all that we want, sure, but let's be honest - what 3D app out there can? I think we Lightwave users got spoiled by the old days, truth of the matter is that the pipelines complexity increased too much for a single app to excel on every single department - and in what Lightwave does excel it's quite a powerhouse, v10 just makes that even more obvious. Considering its cost, it's a miracle that Lightwave can do so well most of the 3D production tasks, even complex ones. I believe that along years of trouble we've grown disappointed by the software's somewhat ragtag infra-structure, with plugins having trouble to talk to others and all, but fact of the matter is that Lightwave's competitors suffer from the same fate in different levels. What you gain in productivity in point A, you completely lose in point B, many times getting a slower production speed overall, quite rarely with a better final quality. So what's the point? I've jumped over the fence and haven't really seen any greener pastures, maybe that's why I sound so optimistic.


Question, in what way / how is LightWave the most mature platform between those three?
I could probably have used a less ambiguous term, since in most senses that word mean "reaching maximum development" which probably doesn't apply to any 3D software anyways. The meaning I was using the word for is:
. mature - old, older;


I think you forgot to mention Matt's new UI tweaks.
Matt UI tweaks? Guess I missed those, what's it for? If you mean anything related to the new qt interface rendering, it's indeed a big help to the overall performance of LW10. I also didn't mention the new stereoscopic preview, etc, and the article is still quite big as it was noted. Way too much ground to cover, I'm afraid :)


Also, there´s a wrong statement at the very beginning. There´s no "Thinking particles" technology for Softimage AFAIK.

True, Thinking Particles is a rule based particle system for 3ds max, I think it has a version for Cinema4D as well. Thanks, fixed.

pooby
01-02-2011, 02:49 PM
I believe that along years of trouble we've grown disappointed by the software's somewhat ragtag infra-structure, with plugins having trouble to talk to others and all, but fact of the matter is that Lightwave's competitors suffer from the same fate in different levels. What you gain in productivity in point A, you completely lose in point B, many times getting a slower production speed overall, quite rarely with a better final quality. So what's the point? I've jumped over the fence and haven't really seen any greener pastures, maybe that's why I sound so optimistic.

I don't know what field you work in, but my experience was utterly different. When I switched to xsi for everything but rendering, in terms of how it expanded my abilities to put on screen what's in my head, it felt like jumping from a goldfish bowl into the ocean. The freedom and scope I encountered also made cgi exciting for me again, as it still does to this day.
Also, the more modern and efficient tool set also sped up my production no end, so better quality, faster.
I had been getting no real progression in my work in lightwave for years like a wasp at a window pane, so I can testify that there are certainly greener pastures out there in my experience.

Netvudu
01-02-2011, 05:37 PM
I guess it depends on your focus, pooby. I understand you´re specifically talking about character animation and rigging, as well as character-related dynamics (cloth, etc...)?

jasonwestmas
01-02-2011, 05:53 PM
I guess it depends on your focus, pooby. I understand you´re specifically talking about character animation and rigging, as well as character-related dynamics (cloth, etc...)?

It is certain that the pastures are larger and greener for characters outside of lightwave. It's been that way for at least 8 years or more. NT can put as many naked, single skinned characters on their packaging as they want but the fact remains we are still limited to that within lightwave.

pooby
01-03-2011, 02:55 AM
I guess it depends on your focus, pooby. I understand you´re specifically talking about character animation and rigging, as well as character-related dynamics (cloth, etc...)?

For me, Modelling was the biggest speedup. I wasn't initially expecting to use the XSI modelling toolset, but had to tinker, if only to tweak objects to make 'jointmorphs'. I soon realised that It was just far quicker to make all my objects and unwrap them in XSI than LW. Also, its very easy to retopologise sculpts in XSI.
RIgging and animation etc is not even comparible. but a real joy in XSI is in what you can do with deformation especially with ICE. I can build muscle systems, custom fat simultations, complex weightmap generators based upon anything like proximity to other objects, tension, or literally anything. You can use these weightmaps anywhere in the rest of xsi.
I cannot compliment ICE highly enough. The dynamics in ICE are great, and are being added to all the time.
The scene management, external referencing (nesting) of models (models are more like scenes as opposed to objects) is brilliant.
Handling complex scenes is also very neat.
Xsi has a slickness and smoothness to it all that is very reassuring. Nothing feels incongruous or broken.

cresshead
01-03-2011, 04:43 AM
For me, Modelling was the biggest speedup. I wasn't initially expecting to use the XSI modelling toolset, but had to tinker, if only to tweak objects to make 'jointmorphs'. I soon realised that It was just far quicker to make all my objects and unwrap them in XSI than LW. Also, its very easy to retopologise sculpts in XSI.
RIgging and animation etc is not even comparible. but a real joy in XSI is in what you can do with deformation especially with ICE. I can build muscle systems, custom fat simultations, complex weightmap generators based upon anything like proximity to other objects, tension, or literally anything. You can use these weightmaps anywhere in the rest of xsi.
I cannot compliment ICE highly enough. The dynamics in ICE are great, and are being added to all the time.
The scene management, external referencing (nesting) of models (models are more like scenes as opposed to objects) is brilliant.
Handling complex scenes is also very neat.
Xsi has a slickness and smoothness to it all that is very reassuring. Nothing feels incongruous or broken.

so, what's the attraction to lightwave for you thesedays, is it the renderer?

for myself, the renderer is my main aspect of what i do in lightwave and with VPR that's another 'tick' in the cool box so to speak.

MAUROCOR
01-03-2011, 04:58 AM
so, what's the attraction to lightwave for you thesedays, is it the renderer?

for myself, the renderer is my main aspect of what i do in lightwave and with VPR that's another 'tick' in the cool box so to speak.

I was wondering the same thing. If he is so in love with XSI ( and it is ok ) why is he still here? Just curious...

-EsHrA-
01-03-2011, 05:31 AM
probably the same reason i am still here since we (I) once loved
lightwave and the community is very nice.

mlon

pooby
01-03-2011, 05:51 AM
I am keen to help out and test core as it evolves. I doubt to ever use it in production, but I am still fascinated with it.
I also follow Modo and other tools that I dont use primarily. You never know, one day Lightwave might come up with something amazing that i want to use, so its good to keep an oar in. I used XSI initially for what it gave me and I'd use anything else if I needed something in it that I couldnt get eslewhere.
I guess another big reason I stick around because I used LW for 10 years and have been visiting these forums for most of that time, so habit dictates that I still nose around, allbeit in more of a watchful role until CORE has something interesting to test.

I also have suspicion that the original Vision of Core is being eroded and compromised and could end up disappointing a lot of people. Maybe what Jay suggested was never realistically achievable, but it could be argued that its even less so now with the idea of continually developing Layout. It could be that I'm witnessing an oncoming crash and thats morbidly fascinating.
I think that, if youve been involved with Lighwave for so long: at the moment its a very interesting time. I glad that I am only a spectator though. It would be way too frustrating if I were actually on the train.

MAUROCOR
01-03-2011, 06:21 AM
I also have suspicion that the original Vision of Core is being eroded and compromised and could end up disappointing a lot of people. Maybe what Jay suggested was never realistically achievable, but it could be argued that its even less so now with the idea of continually developing Layout. It could be that I'm witnessing an oncoming crash and thats morbidly fascinating.
I think that, if youve been involved with Lighwave for so long: at the moment its a very interesting time. I glad that I am only a spectator though. It would be way too frustrating if I were actually on the train.


I really hope you are wrong in that. Core has a great potential and I prefer to believe the NT Dev team have the needed skills to create an excellent app.

pooby
01-03-2011, 06:32 AM
I hope so too. the IDEA behind Core has HUGE potential. I have always seen Core as a bold and necessary move and I applaud (ed) Newtek for taking that step.. it must have taken some persuading.

Once there is strong evidence of the idea, through clever design and skilled programming actually becoming a real tangible tool, then I'm sure things will be a lot more contented around here.

Whatever has been going on in the last 2 years to prevent it from showing anything but the most tenuous threads of evidence including the removal of the creator, should be of concern to all but the most happy go lucky, or stout traditional LW user.
My take is that I can smell some backtracking and if I'm right, that is a real shame.
If I'm wrong, maybe we'll see something really impressive unveiled pretty soon.

BoScheurer
01-03-2011, 07:41 AM
I really hope so.
Fighting for survival is a great motivator, while others might dwell at their success.
I think we will see something good, but it will take some time.

BoScheurer
01-03-2011, 09:27 AM
Maybe I was a bit harsh there.
Struggling for survival might not be the best word to use.
I hope you get what it is I am saying.

jasonwestmas
01-03-2011, 09:57 AM
Struggling for survival. . .aren't we all.

Netvudu
01-03-2011, 11:58 AM
I do see the point of pooby. I think we all sometimes feel like him.

BUT at the same time whenever you are in another app, it isn´t hard to miss Lightwave, specially at render time. Pooby doesn´t feel that way, most probably because he is so centered on character work that he´s fascinated by a tool which has always (not just recently) been clearly focused to character work.

Also, I´m far from defending "fanboyness". One shouldn´t be forced into the "sink with your ship" situation, but at the same time I can´t help but feel we HAVE a moral duty here. We have a responsability that as CG professionals we can´t ignore. If we all respond to the mermaid chant that many Autodesk products are (some of them by their own rights, some others just by marketing schemes) as consumers we will bear our own responsability on how our sector ends up.
If Autodesk ends up being a de facto monopoly, nothing will stop them from asking unfair deals from customers, and we´ll have very little to say about it. Either we pay whatever they ask for (which is already quite on the unfair borders) or we all end up using Blender or other free products, as we´ll have our part on the non-existence any rival products.

I´m not implying Pooby shouldn´t be using Softimage because Autodesk is the evil empire (by the way, they are). If he needs those tools, then by all means he should use them. I´m just warning about jumping into a dangerous bandwagon, just because so many people seems to be doing so. Maybe what Pooby thinks is "morbid curiosity" is just a slight remorse on somehow selling his independent artist soul? :D

I know many people that started using an Autodesk app and stayed there, and it was helpful for some of their careers .They obviously did right. I also know people who tried going that way and they were proved wrong, to the point of almost losing their business. It´s not a light decision to make.

And from my obviously biased experience (being myself a LW and Houdini user) when you find something missing or not working in Autodesk products, suddenly all that "crowd" of users and supporters, seem to evaporate. And at those moments you tend to feel pretty stupid about yourself. I felt that way thanks to Maya in a couple of occasions and when I arrived at the Houdini community and found tons of ex-maya users I started to connect the pieces (or rather, the nodes :D).

I do recognise that of all Autodesk temptations I´ve tasted, it´s Softimage the one I feel more attracted to, and I won´t deny I might learn it a bit more just to give more options to myself.

pooby
01-03-2011, 01:21 PM
I guess I dont really get hung up on the whole Autodesk thing as some do. If I want to start boycottng things on moral grounds there would be a whole host of targets further up the list than a company that charges me money to use an app that makes me money. It just doesn't make my blood boil.
If they ever started jeopardising softimage however, then I might consider getting all militant about it.

VonBon
01-03-2011, 02:36 PM
When the new Max comes out there will be no more Xsi or Maya updates,
other than what that community can do themselves from scripting.

I think LW can be a great "Animation" package aswell, the only thing missing is the wealth of animators in the LW community.

Question:
Do you think the animation Tools of Maya and Xsi are good because of the
Owners or the Users?

zarti
01-03-2011, 02:56 PM
imo ;

i Do think the animation Tools of Maya and Xsi are good because of the Owners or the Users.

i also think that , LW can be a great "Animation" package as well, the only thing missing is the wealth of animators in the LW community , which happens because of the above sentence .

and ... When the new Max comes out there will be no more Xsi or Maya updates, ... and that will be the biggest ' suicide event ' ever happened in this industry .



.cheers

Titus
01-03-2011, 05:01 PM
imo ;

i Do think the animation Tools of Maya and Xsi are good because of the Owners or the Users.

I don't get this statement. As a longtime LW user, now I love to animate in Maya or even Blender, while trying to avoid animation in LW at any cost.

zarti
01-03-2011, 05:30 PM
I don't get this statement.
well , there is a period at the end of that sentence . it makes sense to me .





.cheers

hrgiger
01-03-2011, 07:26 PM
I think that, if youve been involved with Lighwave for so long: at the moment its a very interesting time. I glad that I am only a spectator though. It would be way too frustrating if I were actually on the train.

You hit close to home here for me Paul. Even when I went off to learn XSI, I still poked around here from sheer habit and I suppose a sense of nostalgia I have for what Lightwave has been for me for the last almost decade now. I hadn't decided to fully abandon Lightwave either way but I had my eyes opened when I just saw how powerful XSI was and that was just when ICE had just been introduced in version 7. I can't imagine now with the introduction of Lagoa and many of the other improvements to the software since then. It's unfortunate that Foundation is gone and that XSI is out of my reach pricewise currently. I suppose they still have XSI mod but my ambitions aren't really focused on gaming so ideally I would like the full featured application.
But right now Lightwave leaves me with a lot of frustration. I too sense some backpedaling going on with the direction of CORE. I too hope I am wrong about that and the original vision of CORE is still the goal. I bought into hardcore for the sole purpose of the future direction of Lightwave. And obviously, one should not buy for what might be, I am invested in Lightwave and right now, I either can't afford or don't like the alternative software options (other then maybe Modo which I do own but again, it's missing some key features that keep me from using it more then for some modeling). And while I appreciate a few of the nicer features of Lightwave 10 such as VPR and the linear color workspace additions, it's not what I was really looking for out of the next version of Lightwave.

jasonwestmas
01-03-2011, 07:32 PM
And while I appreciate a few of the nicer features of Lightwave 10 such as VPR and the linear color workspace additions, it's not what I was really looking for out of the next version of Lightwave.

Same here. . .nice but really not what I was looking for.

GraphXs
01-03-2011, 08:55 PM
Lightwave animation could be wonderful if could handle more deformations with ease in layout/openGL. It would also be great if it worked with everything, modifier wise. I bet Newtek will continue with Core, it just might take a while. My guess it would replace old LW by the next 5 versions.

Sekhar
01-03-2011, 09:16 PM
I don't know about NT, but from my experience with corporate legerdemain (e.g., at Oracle), a manager with a major product release is a rock star, whether or not the product is worth much. Look at how the story can go (and is already going): under manager X CORE struggled and went one+ year behind with little to show; manager Y comes along, and boom we have LW 10! What a turnaround!

3D Kiwi
01-03-2011, 09:44 PM
Lightwave animation could be wonderful if could handle more deformations with ease in layout/openGL. It would also be great if it worked with everything, modifier wise. I bet Newtek will continue with Core, it just might take a while. My guess it would replace old LW by the next 5 versions.

By versions i hope you mean point releases. Version 9 was released in 2005 (correct me if im wrong) and version 10 in 2010, so that would mean core will be out in 2037

I guess i can wait...

VonBon
01-03-2011, 09:53 PM
And while I appreciate a few of the nicer features of Lightwave 10 such as VPR and the linear color workspace additions, it's not what I was really looking for out of the next version of Lightwave.

:agree:

hrgiger
01-03-2011, 10:18 PM
Same here. . .nice but really not what I was looking for.

Yeah. But of course we have to remember, we really don't have all of Lightwave 10 yet since CORE will not be released until sometime this year. And depending upon the state of CORE upon it's release and its intended direction for the future, I could still be very satisifed with Lightwave 10 and be glad to once again upgrade(to Lightwave 11) when that time comes. I don't, nor did I from the beginning, expect miracles from CORE for its first release. However, I did expect to at least see its potential for the future by that point.

jasonwestmas
01-03-2011, 11:12 PM
I don't, nor did I from the beginning, expect miracles from CORE for its first release. However, I did expect to at least see its potential for the future by that point.

Right, I didn't want to see miracles per say but I was hoping for a completed FiberFX (yes, I think it potentially looks better than sasquatch) and a new modeler that provided faster methods for both the mechanical and organic. I didn't just want to see new tools, I wanted the mind numbing key pressing and crazy micro-clicking to stop through smarter-context-macro-sensitive tools. Supposedly those things weren't primary objectives for Newtek, otherwise they would be ready by now. Instead NT chose to compete with 3rd party plugins that worked pretty well in 9.6. Plugins such as Point Oven, DPonts mdd nodes, Fprime.

I mean those 3rd party solutions would have to be replaced with more up to date features eventually but why now. So for the long time user who has invested in 3rd party support, NT's priorities are really wacked I think. For the new user I think LW10 is a great deal however, that is the only reason that NT will benefit from what they chose to do.

And why tease us with these half baked features like Catmull-Clark, FiberFX, ClothFX, IKBooster, and not fully support and improve their functionality. That nonsense makes my ears twitch and my eyes itch. I don't buy into the whole, oh we don't have the right people or time to fix that argument.

I have to admit I really like the Color Space stuff since it is a fundamental improvement to the entire render pipe, and I use LW primarily for rendering animation, not just for stills. More fundamental stuff like that is most welcome by me. . .kind of like how deformation performance and corrective morphs would be a nice fundamental improvement to make. Vertex map creation in layout too, that would be a huge fundamental improvement as well.

VonBon
01-04-2011, 12:28 AM
:cry: i want Miracles




:phone_cal

MaDDoX
01-04-2011, 05:24 PM
I don't know what field you work in, but my experience was utterly different.
I mostly do 3D for games nowadays, but I also do character animation for TV commercials and such.

Ok, Softimage. Personally I really enjoyed the original Softimage, and I do realize its tremendous advantages especially with its gigapoly engine which humbles anything else on the field. Yet the XSI releases somehow lost some of the software's "flair", menus started becoming a mess and it's a real turndown for me watching pulldown menus exceeding a common workspace screen resolution. I've enjoyed XSI's modeling, it's indeed comparable to Modo in terms of flexibility, but most reports I got from high-end users state that Modo still gets the productivity lead.

Game-specific: For weightmapping XSI was just standard stuff and I've seen newer and better features in Maya 2011 in comparison, and considering MotionBuilder does HumanIK better than any of the ripped-offs implementations, and the fact that I don't do any high-end simulations (at least nothing that I can't pull off easily in Lightwave or Maya) I haven't seen much if any need for SoftImage tbh. I actually found Cinema4D a more comprehensible system for advanced particles and dynamics systems, but that's mostly based on the interfaces, from what I've heard SI's ICE takes the lead here.

You also can't forget that SoftImage suffers from a similar sad fate as Lightwave in terms of availability of high-end tutorials, whatever your preference in terms of 3D software, many times it's smart to learn high-end techniques for Maya and "port" the knowledge to your preferred platform. That and the slightly cleaner interface are my two main reasons to recommend Maya over XSI for anyone considering another 3D package.


It would be way too frustrating if I were actually on the train.
Your morbid negativity "per se" is already disturbing, but why exactly would you be on a single train at this day and age completely befuddles me. Personally I wouldn't want to put all my coins on an app that has been relegated (in spite of everything their PR guys state) to third place along two equivalent competitors, owned by the same company. While Lightwave, Cinema4D and Houdini developers continue to put all their focus and strength to make their products the best all-around that they can be, they'll have my respect.


now I love to animate in Maya or even Blender, while trying to avoid animation in LW at any cost.
What exactly scares you away from Lightwave animation? I just got curious, really. 'Coz I do remember some quirks that irritated me and felt really better in Maya, like for instance the selection. It was damn quirky up to 9.6, that's one of those things I'm very happy about v10 - selection is much more precise and smoother, middle-click selecting bones even work heh. I have no idea how much of that improvement is just a side-effect of the new qt viewports rendering and OGL improvements, but I'm very pleased with the results.

Some stuff I did miss a lot in Maya like the more naturalistic (imo) way to manipulate the camera and interactively tune up clipping zones and "sensitivity" by grid size adjustment. What else are your complaints?


Lightwave animation could be wonderful if could handle more deformations with ease in layout/openGL.
It does now in v10 with the overall improved performance. I've actually got speedier deformation out of a subdivided model in LW10's viewport than in Maya, using the same joints exported out of Maya for comparison sake. This was unthinkable up to V9.6 and it does finally put LW in the "highly usable for CA" category in my book. Except if you're going for a seriously hardcore scripted rig, performance then suffers, but personally I find those complex rigs to be complex to animate as well so I tend to dodge them.

I know many disagree, I'd be glad to discuss this topic in-depth and defend my point. BTW, before anyone mentions, it's worth noting that for low- mid-poly deformations nothing can touch MotionBuilder and Softimage still beats anything out there for high-poly models manipulation.

pooby
01-04-2011, 06:08 PM
Your morbid negativity "per se" is already disturbing, but why exactly would you be on a single train at this day and age completely befuddles me. Personally I wouldn't want to put all my coins on an app that has been relegated (in spite of everything their PR guys state) to third place along two equivalent competitors, owned by the same company. While Lightwave, Cinema4D and Houdini developers continue to put all their focus and strength to make their products the best all-around that they can be, they'll have my respect.

Xsi far surpasses Maya and max in its capabilities and workflow speed, so why would I not want to use it?
I don't really give a monkeys where it's positioned. That's just market forces, because max and Maya are used and thus sell more. It's no reflection on the quality of the software. Xsi is gaining a lot of momentum, and soon ICE will have geometry creation. Which will make it even more appealing than it already is.
In about half and hour in xsi I can create a custom dynamic fat simulator. I have built my own muscle sim that far surpasses anything Maya muscle can do. I can only do this because of ICE. Its a way of making plugins for people who don't want to code. It does the complex maths for you. You can pretty much do anything you can think of deformation wise.
Its a way of working that is so beyond Maya and max's modifier stacks that I guess it's hard to comprehend unless you have tried.

I managed to do my Greg Mutt clip in a month in xsi, from design to final render.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o9Fod9KigU

I know for a fact that it wouldn't be possible for an individual (including myself) to do it that fast in another package. I did the research when I chose xsi, and I chose it for a strong reason. Despite being offered multiple free seats of Maya, which I turned down.
I got numerous emails from artists at places including weta, ilm, pixar, digital domain, double negative and even from a few artists on the avatar crew including the facial team. many expressed amazement that one person did Greg. I can do it because of the smartness of the tools I use.
The fact the rest of the industry hasn't made it a standard yet is more power to those of us that are ahead of the game.

jasonwestmas
01-04-2011, 06:23 PM
And that's what MANY have said about LW as well.



We have nodal muscle and fat simulators in Lightwave?

hrgiger
01-04-2011, 06:40 PM
It does now in v10 with the overall improved performance. I've actually got speedier deformation out of a subdivided model in LW10's viewport than in Maya, using the same joints exported out of Maya for comparison sake. This was unthinkable up to V9.6 and it does finally put LW in the "highly usable for CA" category in my book. Except if you're going for a seriously hardcore scripted rig, performance then suffers, but personally I find those complex rigs to be complex to animate as well so I tend to dodge them.



As has been shown by RebelHill and confirmed by several others, performance has actually taken a hit with Lightwave 10. Not gotten better, not even stayed the same, but actually worsened and not by an insignificant amount. Several different rigged scenes are being tested at anywhere from 20-50% decrease in FPS. And speaking of 9.6, it's also been stated that performance took a hit from 9.3 to 9.6. Now some new useful features have been added and it might be these things themselves that could be causing the slowdowns. Either way, performance should be increasing as Lightwave moves forward but that currently, is not the case.

hrgiger
01-04-2011, 06:43 PM
We have nodal muscle and fat simulators in Lightwave?

I think he's saying that many talk about Lightwave like you can work very fast in Lightwave compared to some of the other applications. And within a limited scope, I would agree with that.

VonBon
01-04-2011, 08:55 PM
I know for a fact that it wouldn't be possible for an individual (including myself) to do it that fast in another package.


wow, thats a BIG stretch

jasonwestmas
01-04-2011, 09:21 PM
Meaning being able to do something so quickly in one package. And there ARE ways of doing things (workarounds that LW people are known for) that make things look great. AKA... the LW generalist.

That said... Newtek has till LW11 for me. If these and other issues aren't resolved sufficiently by then, I'll be looking to switch to Blender or perhaps... ugh.... XSI. (I say Ugh NOT because of XSI but because of who owns it. - And no flame wars against AD please, just MY personal opinion.)

I thought you were speaking in a context of the Greg Mutt character. There are small details in the Greg Mutt deforms that I think are pretty hard to capture with LW tools. Actually I would have no idea how to do that in a practical way in LW.

Dexter2999
01-04-2011, 09:24 PM
Endomorphs? targets?

jasonwestmas
01-04-2011, 10:37 PM
I'm sure that if you experimented enough you could find some way of creating a similar look. It may not be exact, but it might also look pretty darn good too. As we ALL know, there is more than one way to do anything in this business. To state an absolute - "I know for a fact it wouldn't be possible..." is a definite no-no. I believe that there are plenty of people here in this forum that are capable of doing something similar - if they had the time. It may not be the same - it may not be better - but it may be AS good.

To be fair, Pooby was talking about possibility in the way of quickness comparisons, that's what he was talking about, not whether or not he could learn to do it in Lightwave. I'm sure I could script and plug my way to success with lightwave deforms if I wanted to learn and/ or buy into all that. But do I really want to do that if I can do it 3 times as fast by other means with nodes only and without scripting or extra plugins? I think that is the reason why Pooby went the way that he did.

jasonwestmas
01-04-2011, 10:45 PM
Endomorphs? targets?

You mean Linear Endomorphs and Linear Morph targets that have to be created in modeler without any deformation preview of the slider effect while modeling.

I like the idea of doing this in Core better (Animated PDeform) when NT gets around to doing that.

pooby
01-05-2011, 12:07 AM
Ok, it was wrong of me to state an absolute. I would say instead that, the method I used can't be practically replicated in max or Maya, in a month as firstly it would require quite a few plugins to be written to replicate xsi's behaviour and then, it would most likely run too slowly to be practical. Xsi is highly efficient at deformations and constraints.
So, you would need to build a completely different type of facial mo cap solver.
I work as a consultant with mo-cap and game companies. They write their own custom solvers and I help them improve their effect. These other types of solvers alone would take a substantial amount of time to make. On top of that, even if you wanted to just go with morph targets, the amount of time taken to make them and all the compensatory morphs and test them with your solver then tune them to anything useable would likely take a lot longer than a month, that's before you start thinking about doing everything else.
Plus, the morph method doesn't look as good as there is not any skin sliding. Its not very fleshy and I don't know of another practical method you could do in the time.
http://www.vimeo.com/16960939
So it's easy to say that it's possible to do in lightwave as I can't prove that it can't be done, but I would consider myself to be amongst the knowledgeable in terms of what lightwave can do in rigging and deformation. I pushed Lightwave as far as i could for years and I know that i wouldn't be able to do anything close even if I was given 6 months or a year.
I have no idea how you could even begin to make the mocap solver using Lw as you need a very robust set of expressions and constraints. Let alone start on the actual face.

homero
01-05-2011, 03:45 AM
well, i download the LW10trial just yesterday.... i m trying a couple of my scene and it's more slow in viewport than 9.6 ver and in rendering scene crashed(????why)....i checked the VPR mode too and it is really slow....my old&good 9.6 ver + fprime system is the really powerfull yet....

i guess newtek must sit at a desk and start to replanning 10 release....the first impression is really terrible.....

Cageman
01-05-2011, 04:10 AM
http://www.vimeo.com/16960939
So it's easy to say that it's possible to do in lightwave as I can't prove that it can't be done, but I would consider myself to be amongst the knowledgeable in terms of what lightwave can do in rigging and deformation. I pushed Lightwave as far as i could for years and I know that i wouldn't be able to do anything close even if I was given 6 months or a year.
I have no idea how you could even begin to make the mocap solver using Lw as you need a very robust set of expressions and constraints. Let alone start on the actual face.

While Gregg Mutt is a cool character and a nice achivement, I'm not sure I like the overal Mocap look/feel it has.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ-o0MVsguI

The closeup shots of the face in that video is alot more convincing and realistic in terms of movement in the face, imho.

TeZzy
01-05-2011, 04:36 AM
that elvis animation is pretty awesome. But it did take him 2 years....I assume not full time 2 years of course.

pooby
01-05-2011, 04:56 AM
While Gregg Mutt is a cool character and a nice achivement, I'm not sure I like the overal Mocap look/feel it has.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ-o0MVsguI

The closeup shots of the face in that video is alot more convincing and realistic in terms of movement in the face, imho.

Greg was a test to have a completely performance capture driven character. Its a different art form for a different function and if the argument is that Lightwave can do something along similar lines using a basic techniques and hand keying that some people might prefer the look of, then It would be futile to argue with that.

The Greg-style rig (of which Greg was a V1 prototype and has been much improved since) is designed to perfectly translate the actors peformance with minimum keying. Once built It can produce 3 mins of finished rendered animation in 3 days or less.

Taste is completely subjective. Some people just hate CGI for the sake of it, for example. Thats their prerogative.
However, all that aside, The point is that advanced techniques involving the interplay of constraints, weightmaps and deformers etc , of which there are many applications in movies and expecially creature work, are not possible in legacy Lightwave.
Hence CORE.

Dodgy
01-05-2011, 07:06 AM
I don't think NT have ever looked like they were backpedalling on core to me, and as for Jay being this great architect of core, before core was even announced I would have put all the key things of core on my LW next wish list. I mean, really, was it so hard to see a node based system, with python scripting, using an off the shelf UI and dynamics system with progressive renderer wasn't going to be the next generation of 3d software? LW 9, with its nodal panels everywhere and fprime, taken with everyone else's adoption of python certainly pointed to it. Where core started out wrong was pasting a lot of Maya's UI ticks onto the front, where LW's own modeler tool UI is a lot better, and this alienated a lot of the users who would be working with it. The concept is sound enough, but obviously needed a lot more work and testing, while the team found a neat way to get some extra mileage out of the old girl while that work was put in. NT obviously needed to get some cash in while core is developed, and while 10 isn't the next gen, it's got enough to keep me going. Hell, xsi only really got usable with 3.5 (my xsi loving friend tells me) I just hope LW doesn't take as long.

jasonwestmas
01-05-2011, 09:39 AM
Yes, it will be super interesting how much attention Core gets this year. I want the software to provide better ways of doing things though, not just a piling on of new tools we don't have inside of classic.

robertoortiz
01-05-2011, 09:50 AM
I don't think NT have ever looked like they were backpedalling on core to me, and as for Jay being this great architect of core, before core was even announced I would have put all the key things of core on my LW next wish list. I mean, really, was it so hard to see a node based system, with python scripting, using an off the shelf UI and dynamics system with progressive renderer wasn't going to be the next generation of 3d software? LW 9, with its nodal panels everywhere and fprime, taken with everyone else's adoption of python certainly pointed to it. Where core started out wrong was pasting a lot of Maya's UI ticks onto the front, where LW's own modeler tool UI is a lot better, and this alienated a lot of the users who would be working with it. The concept is sound enough, but obviously needed a lot more work and testing, while the team found a neat way to get some extra mileage out of the old girl while that work was put in. NT obviously needed to get some cash in while core is developed, and while 10 isn't the next gen, it's got enough to keep me going. Hell, xsi only really got usable with 3.5 (my xsi loving friend tells me) I just hope LW doesn't take as long.

Great post.

I think that some key factor that will benefit LW is the changing landscape of the 3d world and the lousy economy we are all in right now.

Add to that that a lot of older 3d Artists started with LW(with OLLLD versions like 5.5 ad 6.5) so they are familiar with the app.
But their recolection of their app is obvioulsy very outdated. Thanks to the crazy economy i have heard some of these artists, comment on how they are willing to give a secod look back to LW.

Of course LW is not the only non autodesk option out there, but that is good for the market.

And Oliver...
XSI is oe of the best programs i the market right now... But it is owned by a company that treats it like a red headed stepchild.
Arter all the true love of Autodesk is Autocad, followed by Max and then Maya.

jasonwestmas
01-05-2011, 09:55 AM
Which is basically how MANY LW artists learned how to do other things. You tackle one workaround area and then discover how to do something else which you would only have discovered by trying that workaround. And perhaps it wouldn't be quite as involved as you suggest. As I said... it may not be the same or better, but it may end up being AS good.

I'm not saying that XSI isn't better - I think it is - but I sincerely doubt that there aren't people here who could do JUST as good using LW. You can argue all you want, but until we have someone like Mr. Powers come out and say "yeah, Pooby is right - XSI can do this stuff better and faster than LW ever could" - you won't make me a "believer." ;)

Again, (not trying to be a jag-off) but I wasn't arguing "possible" just arguing speed and amount of time. I'm arguing the amount of time actually animating clean and detailed deforms on top of mo-cap, verses amount of time hacking the software to do that.

I really do start to question the sanity of some people (present company excluded of course) who prefer to do things that involves hacking the software and extending the project so it takes 3 times longer. But I guess if that's all one has at their disposal then that's what ya got.

Sometimes I wonder if hacking a software package without documentation is what most Lightwavers prefer to do over actually animating.

pooby
01-05-2011, 10:20 AM
XSI is oe of the best programs i the market right now... But it is owned by a company that treats it like a red headed stepchild.


But luckily, it has a very dedicated team of brilliant programmers committed to thrusting it into the lead.
With the economy being what it is, and with companies having to compete with more and more VFX houses in places with cheaper labour, it makes sense to use a faster and more powerful software than the competition.
XSI's market penetration is growing all the time.

wyattharris
01-05-2011, 11:56 AM
It's a pity that many still cling to myths (Speed? Ha!) that happily fossilize in this community. Hope core will be there embracing those changes.
Phew, strong words. But important ones to keep in mind.

Cageman
01-05-2011, 12:00 PM
It's a pity that many still cling to myths (Speed? Ha!) that happily fossilize in this community. Hope core will be there embracing those changes.

I think it would be more true to actually specify "speed". Each app I use (LW, Motionbuilder and Maya) have their sets of good stuff and bad stuff. All of them have.

Why should I use Maya if what I must produce can be done faster in LW? Why shoud I use LW if what I must produce can be done faster in Maya? Why should I spend time in either Maya or LW for a Biped character rig, when I can use Motionbuilder?

Oh... I just realized it... lets use them together... nice!

:)

ROY_NUZZO
01-05-2011, 12:11 PM
Cinema 4D is pretty much the standard in TV news organizations. Reason is the mountains of free and readily obtainable models - all cataloged. I watched as the news footage of a swan sucked into a jet engine causing a landing in a NY river... quickly got a duck and then the more probable correct duck and a better version of the actual plane and then the NY landscape with river - all in a few minutes=> boom => on air. By the time of the 11:00pm recap the nearby boats and onlookers were in the fly through.

jasonwestmas
01-05-2011, 12:23 PM
Yeah Oliver, I would have been impressed by LW10 if it was released 3 years ago and Fprime didn't exist. Still, I really enjoy the surface-building capabilities and rendering of lightwave with or without VPR. Much I see in LW is something I can do much faster in other applications I own. It's true that the things that I thought of as nice in Lightwave, eight years ago are being surpassed by other programs that are now mature and demonstrate different more advanced techniques. Getting that Lightwave feel in all "past-glory" never has been important to me because I'm used to "hopping around" since the beginning. Luckily I don't have to learn an entire Software package to take advantage of one or two tool sets. And I sure am glad connecting competing applications is priority for these companies, it just encourages me to go and learn something new based on my needs.

Certain tool-sets work easily for me while others don't. I find I can mix tool-sets from different apps together quite easily. I don't base my judgments of efficiency on feelings and familiarity as much as a logical flexibility through detailed documentation and some study. I love it when I can make something so much easier after just a days worth of study and experimentation regardless of my initial gut feelings about it. I'm simply open to research a little about a product and try it out after I have a clear idea of how I want my 3D subject to look.

Titus
01-06-2011, 12:49 AM
http://www.vimeo.com/16960939

I hate you! :D. The subtleties in that animation are amazing!


Great post.

I think that some key factor that will benefit LW is the changing landscape of the 3d world and the lousy economy we are all in right now.

I'm convinced we need to move on now and change paradigms, at least on advertising. I'm trying to automate some processes in my pipeline for product shots.

MaDDoX
01-06-2011, 10:37 AM
The fact the rest of the industry hasn't made it a standard yet is more power to those of us that are ahead of the game.
That's true, and the same can be said about Lightwave 3D users that know how to pull off the best from its singular benefits, production speed included. As for advanced rigging, I'm quite sure you're right in your point. Nevertheless, no two artists neither the different markets they work for will have the same needs. Currently nothing other than regular (not even quaternion) joint deformation will be taken by the most common game engines, maybe the odd simple blend/morph, and that risking the performance severely. If you do cartoony work you'll also rarely have the need for an advanced muscle system as well. So, like I said, Softimage is great and all, no doubt about it, yet that should never be the whole question, 3D production shouldn't be based off of the 3D software companies feature race. Questions like "Do I really need the extras this software offers me?" and "How long will it take me to learn that?" are major. Some people have the time and funding to not think much about those things, especially when they work for the movies industry or some vfx studio that actually invest on R&D, yet that's not true for everyone, I assure you.

No personal offense to anyone in that situation, it's just a feeling I have that the top studios artists get somewhat blindfolded of the reality and spoiled by the custom solutions they get, which in a sense metamorph their software packages into something else which's completely out of reach for the common artist.


As has been shown by RebelHill and confirmed by several others, performance has actually taken a hit with Lightwave 10. Not gotten better, not even stayed the same, but actually worsened and not by an insignificant amount.
I've worked with the final release yesterday and something weird did happen with it compared to the RC I've used to write the review, at least in one of my machines the performance really dropped dramatically. Even panning in Layout with no object, VPR off, leads to stuttering, while it doesn't happen in Modeler. Seems like a serious bug or a collection of them, if the fix takes long I'll just re-install the RC tbh.


XSI is oe of the best programs i the market right now... But it is owned by a company that treats it like a red headed stepchild.
Arter all the true love of Autodesk is Autocad, followed by Max and then Maya.


Why should I use Maya if what I must produce can be done faster in LW? Why shoud I use LW if what I must produce can be done faster in Maya? Why should I spend time in either Maya or LW for a Biped character rig, when I can use Motionbuilder?

Oh... I just realized it... lets use them together... nice! :)

Amen, I couldn't say - and haven't said - it better. It's pretty obvious that Newtek realizes that as well, after all much effort was put into the FBX plugins enhancements and it does show. For the super-fast rigging I still rather Lightwave than anything out there, IKBooster for tentacles and other appendages is still a winner, VPR+linear workfow is a truly amazing combo for cooking up renders, native hypervoxels + VPR is outstanding in comparison to post production or half-integrated plugins for other platforms, material editor is flexible and easy to use, radiosity is clean and render times are great. There's a ton to love in the new Lightwave, imo people trying to push their opinion on the contrary are just letting their unhealed wounds speak.

VonBon
01-06-2011, 10:51 AM
why is it that if somthing in LW doest work the way it does in
"Maya or XSI" it has to be called a Trick or Work-around?
Its just the way its done in LW.

just cause it doesnt work for you doesnt mean it doesnt work good for me.

If LW was dead no one would be here reading this.

LW must have had some good [email protected]#$% cause yall still here,
MAD, cause you cant have it your way.

:screwy:

The biggest mistake Newtek can make is making CORE into a clone
of an autodesk product. If that happens the LW is truly DEAD.

pooby
01-06-2011, 11:07 AM
Making subjective comments about what software one prefers to use is welcome. Its much better than implying that LW's character animation tool deficit is a myth.

However I am always Highly suspicious of people who say they prefer rigging in lightwave to Maya or Max or XSI, as, in all probability they havent learnt the others to the same level as Lightwave.
That to me seems the only explanation for the 'preference' of wanting to use a pretty inflexible and basic set of tools.

Its like saying you prefer to speak English to French, (when you only learnt french at school a bit.)

jasonwestmas
01-06-2011, 11:20 AM
"If you do cartoony work you'll also rarely have the need for an advanced muscle system as well."

Maddox,

Cartoony can mean anything stylistically and would be able to take advantage of any real-world physicality of a character. Even so, there are more options out there for the deformations in other applications, whether or not someone would be willing to take advantage of that is just a matter of taste anyway. (Extreme Example) In illustration Is a restriction of 4 colors less advance than using thousands of colors? Does that mean one restriction is better than the other? Not really, but one is certainly more complicated than the other and still a matter of taste and technological restrictions.

I don't think anyone here is debating that Lightwave has no advanced-level strengths but deformations are not one of those.

hrgiger
01-06-2011, 11:41 AM
why is it that if somthing in LW doest work the way it does in
"Maya or XSI" it has to be called a Trick or Work-around?
Its just the way its done in LW.

just cause it doesnt work for you doesnt mean it doesnt work good for me.



Its a workaround when youre using tools to achieve a goal that they were not designed or implemented to accomplish. It's like when you dont' have a hammer but you can take a crow bar and bang a nail in. It's not pretty but sometimes you can get the nail in enough to hold something together. You'll probably scuff the hell out the surrounding material though. And you'll often frustrate yourself too in the process.

jasonwestmas
01-06-2011, 12:36 PM
Its a workaround when youre using tools to achieve a goal that they were not designed or implemented to accomplish. It's like when you dont' have a hammer but you can take a crow bar and bang a nail in. It's not pretty but sometimes you can get the nail in enough to hold something together. You'll probably scuff the hell out the surrounding material though. And you'll often frustrate yourself too in the process.

Good definition.

Chris S. (Fez)
01-06-2011, 12:53 PM
I still say you can get 60% there faster in Lightwave than Max/Maya. Weight Maps are super fast for setup. Problem is that last 40% of finesse is so infuriatingly slow and frustrating in LW that Wavers lose the benefit of that initial boost...

But if you have a job that does not necessarily need "finesse", say, a static hard-body product shot, well, LW is still a super fast, reliable solution...

jasonwestmas
01-06-2011, 01:16 PM
I still say you can get 60% there faster in Lightwave than Max/Maya. Weight Maps are super fast for setup. Problem is that last 40% of finesse is so infuriatingly slow and frustrating in LW that Wavers lose the benefit of that initial boost...

But if you have a job that does not necessarily need "finesse", say, a static hard-body product shot, well, LW is still a super fast, reliable solution...

Yeah I would say that most animation done with lightwave today appears to be hard surface animation. If someone wanted some kind of character with a lot of muscular attenuation, has clothes and fur and lots of personal expression, I might start to cringe if they asked me to use Lightwave for such things.

VonBon
01-06-2011, 01:27 PM
Its a workaround when youre using tools to achieve a goal that they were not designed or implemented to accomplish. It's like when you dont' have a hammer but you can take a crow bar and bang a nail in. It's not pretty but sometimes you can get the nail in enough to hold something together. You'll probably scuff the hell out the surrounding material though. And you'll often frustrate yourself too in the process.

:lol::agree:

speismonqui
01-06-2011, 08:33 PM
maybe this is a dumb question but I haven't found the right info yet, LW10 has a few new icons in the viewport corners:
- VPR settings
- take snaphot
- ...

whats with the little camera? Does it do something?

jasonwestmas
01-06-2011, 09:37 PM
maybe this is a dumb question but I haven't found the right info yet, LW10 has a few new icons in the viewport corners:
- VPR settings
- take snaphot
- ...

whats with the little camera? Does it do something?

The camera icon is for hooking up a virtual studio-video camera to a lightwave view-port. Highlighting the icon enables the camera to use the viewport.

funk
01-06-2011, 10:34 PM
The camera icon is for hooking up a virtual studio-video camera to a lightwave view-port. Highlighting the icon enables the camera to use the viewport.

I'm not sure about the "virtual studio camera" but, the little camera icon needs to be enabled to see things like IES lights, Volumetric lights, hypervoxels etc correctly.

VPR views without the camera icon enabled have many of these things disabled. If you notice your VPR view looks wrong, it may be because you dont have the camera icon enabled on it

wrench
01-07-2011, 03:55 AM
It is to set the window that will be used for a preview.

B

jasonwestmas
01-07-2011, 01:02 PM
Absolutely - I was referring to the indeed completely undefined way that some users think of LW as simply being "the fastest 3D tool out there". "Other packages can only be used in large teams including dozens of TDs". Those kind of myths - pretty sticky. :)
I know that LW can be quick to work with, I just don't buy generalizations anymore. Sadly, many do.

Especially in the context of animation/deforms and setup options, the "others" are simply more interactive and give instant feedback with very little expression or "connection" work. So in that setup context needing a TD team is definitely a myth.

MaDDoX
01-08-2011, 05:51 AM
Cartoony can mean anything stylistically and would be able to take advantage of any real-world physicality of a character.
Of course, from cartoony to naturalistic / realistic styles there's a wide range of artistic possibilities, I was referring to the "classics" cartoon-like animation.


I don't think anyone here is debating that Lightwave has no advanced-level strengths but deformations are not one of those.
Are you sure Jason? After reading statements like "LW is dead", even if stated in a specific context, it's a tad hard to believe in that.


You can model in Maya - fast
Oliver, do you use NEX? If you do, I will agree, but that's not raw Maya. Even in its latest 2011 incarnation bare bones Maya still can't keep selections across different selection modes (and it sometimes loses selection by simply switching tools), that's something that Lightwave has done since like.. ever? Sure, you can adapt your workflow to those limitations (and Maya 2011 got spin edges, woohoo!), but I have a hard time believing you can compare Maya's modeling workflow (not the user's) speed to that of Max, Modo, Silo, C4D, Lightwave.. well, pretty much anything out there, really.


However I am always Highly suspicious of people who say they prefer rigging in lightwave to Maya or Max or XSI, as, in all probability they havent learnt the others to the same level as Lightwave.
Pooby, you are using some simple needling argumentation "technique" that offers no contribution to the discussion. That's just a smart variation of an Ad Hominen attack. Using "people" instead of a name doesn't change the form much, you're still trying to discredit someone. Considering I was the only one mentioning "rigging" specifically in the posts prior to yours, I'll reply to it. You don't know anything about my knowledge of Maya rigging and, even if you did, there's such a wide range of 'rigging' forms (eg.: simple constraints / driven keys or using Mel / expressions) that if you're talking about the high end of it it still has absolutely nothing to do with my specific claim about "super-fast rigging", which's related to get a character deforming and moving as quickly as possible, even if just for prototyping or testing purposes.

Pooby, I highly respect your work as a technical artist and whatever the reason for our disagreements - apparently misunderstandings - I'd like to keep it at a high discussion level.


I still say you can get 60% there faster in Lightwave than Max/Maya. Weight Maps are super fast for setup. Problem is that last 40% of finesse is so infuriatingly slow and frustrating in LW that Wavers lose the benefit of that initial boost...
I think you don't really mean "finesse" as that's more related to ones ability to tweak what's in there - as in tweaking motion curves and such - which Lightwave obviously can do well and it's hard work independently of the software. If you mean the toolset is not adequate for some high-end demands of the animation at hand, you shouldn't have used Lightwave to start with. My whole point is that these high-end animations are not the meat-and-potatoes daily tasks for most artists, those are exceptions instead, and high-end artists tend to skew their perception due to the very own nature of their jobs.

There's nothing inherently wrong with that as well, we all apply "statistics of small numbers" because our observational capacity is limited just as our available time to (try to) widen it. I'm really just pointing the obvious here, that if you work for local TV, advertisement and/or casual games the common work schedules and demanded features rarely if ever exceed the abilities of Lightwave.

It's curious why it's apparently offensive to state this "obvious", as if I was trying to delude people into wasting time with an uncapable package. Seriously, it's up to each artist to decide which tool to use, if it fits into their budget, if they can learn it fast enough for their purposes and if it's sufficiently feature-rich and stable to ultimately produce the results demanded by their typical clients, with quality and in a timely fashion. Our discussion here will only be useful as a point of reference for artists considering Lightwave 10 to form their own opinion.

Kuzey
01-08-2011, 06:58 AM
maybe this is a dumb question but I haven't found the right info yet, LW10 has a few new icons in the viewport corners:
- VPR settings
- take snaphot
- ...

whats with the little camera? Does it do something?


The camera icon is for hooking up a virtual studio-video camera to a lightwave view-port. Highlighting the icon enables the camera to use the viewport.


It is to set the window that will be used for a preview.

B

Just to clarify for those who haven't tried it yet...you guys are talking about Layout right, unless VPR made it to Modeler.

:D

"take snapshot" sounds interesting, can one export a VPR preview render as an image?

Kuzey

jasonwestmas
01-08-2011, 11:40 AM
Just to clarify for those who haven't tried it yet...you guys are talking about Layout right, unless VPR made it to Modeler.

:D

"take snapshot" sounds interesting, can one export a VPR preview render as an image?

Kuzey

Yes this is all layout stuff. The camera icon above each viewport is for marking which viewport will create previews. You can do an entire preview of any viewport that has VPR on and that will give you a VPR rendered animation.

I still think it is also for marking which viewport the virtual studio camera will use but I have no way of testing that out.

wrench
01-08-2011, 01:05 PM
The virtual camera stuff works on the viewport you have the mouse over.

B

jasonwestmas
01-08-2011, 01:37 PM
The virtual camera stuff works on the viewport you have the mouse over.

B

oh, that's interesting. Thanks for the head's up.

pooby
01-08-2011, 02:21 PM
Pooby, you are using some simple needling argumentation "technique" that offers no contribution to the discussion. That's just a smart variation of an Ad Hominen attack. Using "people" instead of a name doesn't change the form much, you're still trying to discredit someone. Considering I was the only one mentioning "rigging" specifically in the posts prior to yours, I'll reply to it. You don't know anything about my knowledge of Maya rigging and, even if you did, there's such a wide range of 'rigging' forms (eg.: simple constraints / driven keys or using Mel / expressions) that if you're talking about the high end of it it still has absolutely nothing to do with my specific claim about "super-fast rigging", which's related to get a character deforming and moving as quickly as possible, even if just for prototyping or testing purposes.

Pooby, I highly respect your work as a technical artist and whatever the reason for our disagreements - apparently misunderstandings - I'd like to keep it at a high discussion level.

My participation in the thread came to a natural end, but I suppose I can keep going a but longer if you like.
Yes, it was primarily aimed at you- It wasn't intended to be a veiled cryptic recipient, but you are not the only one to have made such claims so I used the term to encompass all who have. it wasn't a personal dig. As you say, I don't know anything about your rigging in Maya, but you have made enough gung-ho claims elsewhere in your review to suggest that comments regarding rigging, such as

nowadays there's little to nothing that can be done in Maya or Softimage that can't be done easier/faster in Lightwave. are based upon a shaky foundation. Furthermore, I know it to be incorrect as I can think of loads of areas- for example, making Compensatory morphs, skin sliding, skin mesh relaxing, painting weights in context, linking parameters together and applying expressions, animating displacements, applying dynamics to skin of deforming characters, clothing, animating hair etc are all common tasks in creature work but many of these tasks are practically impossible in Lw the rest are difficult, awkward or slow.
In fact I cannot think of a single area relating to characters where LW is faster to use than XSI, however simple, UNLESS your skill in LW exceeds your skill in xsi, in which case it is an unfair comparison and you don't have the authority to make the judgement.

So, are you telling me that you do in fact have the authority to say that your claim above is true? if not, My suspicion is correct.

zarti
01-08-2011, 03:49 PM
a.s.: my post isn't going to be of a high profile , just 2 other cents from a common mortal ...



I'm really just pointing the obvious here, that if you work for local TV, advertisement and/or casual games the common work schedules and demanded features rarely if ever exceed the abilities of Lightwave.if 'working for local tv-s , advertisement , etc' is equivalent with 'just manually rotate, translate and scale objects' ; then id agree with you on that .

but , what is obviously most interesting part of that sentence is the fact that you put an " IF " , a condition when you mention ' exceeding lw-s abilities '.

in fact those boundaries ( in many lw-s contexts ) are the concerns of some posters here and NTs itself from some years . imo , you are trying to enlarge lw-s ( well-known ) abilities' boundaries , but that doesn't make sense for sure to me ( and i'm almost sure others have their own ' facts ' ) .

this is a brief of what happened to me less than a year ago , a testimony : while working on a project ( broadcast graphics package ) had a nice idea to use instancing .

90 or 100 plus shaped patterns going in and out in different wavy flows . cool ! using Dpont's ( God bless him ! ) plugins this seemed easy and doable .
now , can you imagine the hell i went through ?? ... i'm not going to write here the ridiculous details of that tragedy .
still today i'm suffering from that performance ( complicated the relation with my client ) .
should my modest creativity / ideas be limited by the software abilities ?
or should i had chosen ( a year ago ) the other package ( i use today ) for that project ?

... the saddest true i knew a week ago ; when i tried to reproduce that project in my new 3d-app .
within few hours all the project was reduced in a single tool ( !! ) . no further comments on this one either ...

i haven't done character animations yet in my career , but from that example i'm able to project the power and the flexibility which a well-thought-app-architecture gives to a user in different contexts : modeling , shading , animation , pass and scene mngmnt , etc ., things which lw alone , with a clean install ( without plugins , God bless those-makers ! ) fails to offer compared with other apps .

imo , in short ; there is no need to defend lw in a lw forum ( ! ).

some forum members mention lw-s weakness while hoping for Core to come as a savior . i'm one of them .
nt has been working on that for some years ; which Obviously mean at least to me that 1- lw is a 'near-to-death-architecture' , 2- lw is , at least , 'those+' ( quantity ) of years behind the competition .


Seriously, it's up to each artist to decide which tool to use, if it fits into their budget, if they can learn it fast enough for their purposes and if it's sufficiently feature-rich and stable to ultimately produce the results demanded by their typical clients, with quality and in a timely fashion. Our discussion here will only be useful as a point of reference for artists considering Lightwave 10 to form their own opinion.
i'd agree with the bold part up here , but you again use too many " IFs " ; budget + learning + features + stability + quality + speed .

they sound 'threatening' if you consider that paragraph as part of a discussion which is going to be a reference for artists considering lw10 .
... or at least clarify that , so someone else couldn't get it as such ;)

--

just for curiosity ; are you a hardcore-member ?




.cheers

jasonwestmas
01-08-2011, 04:01 PM
Of course, from cartoony to naturalistic / realistic styles there's a wide range of artistic possibilities, I was referring to the "classics" cartoon-like animation.


Are you sure Jason? After reading statements like "LW is dead", even if stated in a specific context, it's a tad hard to believe in that.



Just because I enjoy arguing about clarity: Classical techniques of "Cartoony" doesn't mean the character is stiff and has doll-like deformations and therefore void of naturalistic squashing and stretching dynamics. Classical animation tends to be an exaggeration of deforming shapes seen in reality and tends to be hand-drawn shapes that have relatively flat shading.

You may disregard anyone saying "LW is dead" as they probably shouldn't be in this forum anyway.;)

Andrewstopheles
01-08-2011, 09:59 PM
It's alive! It's alive!
Always wondered if I'd ever get a change to say that in context. ;)

MaDDoX
01-10-2011, 05:57 AM
I know it to be incorrect as I can think of loads of areas- for example, making Compensatory morphs, skin sliding, skin mesh relaxing, painting weights in context, linking parameters together and applying expressions, animating displacements, applying dynamics to skin of deforming characters, clothing, animating hair etc

Most of what you refer to in the above sentence is deformation-related. I was especifically addressing rigging in that statement, there are enough mentions about "rigging" in the same paragraph to lead to that conclusion - although I should have made it clearer, true.


So, are you telling me that you do in fact have the authority to say that your claim above is true?
I don't think that my hand-picked claim above was what caused you to needle me, since it wasn't related to "fast-rigging", ie. the ability to start animating ASAP without spending hours (a month?) tweaking every little piece of the puzzle while navigating intricate menus. If you claim and can prove that you can pick a simple skeleton, bind it to a mesh and be able to immediately start ik-posing and adjusting the ik-chains on the fly, I'll take back what I said. Simple. I'm sure SI evolved since I've last checked it, so it might be the case.


imo , in short ; there is no need to defend lw in a lw forum ( ! ).
With that I'd promptly disagree. Sure, you're right that Lightwave doesn't fit every job, C4D for instance takes interactivity of advanced effects to a new level while Lightwave's current tech is still stuck to the old ways, and sometimes they're obnoxious or downright break. I'm not trying to hide the truth, it's right there for everyone to face it and Newtek is not hiding away from it as well, hence CORE is coming. No doubt it's needed, is that even worth mentioning? What really anoys me is how a good number of people in these forums forget all the good stuff that's in Lightwave and that does work quite well and in a more intuitive, easy-to-access way than most of its competitors.

There's no need to take past frustrations with the package so far, I've had a truck-load of frustration in Maya as well with stuff that, although workable and "nice to have the option" is just too slow to be practical - at least in my case. Even with all my gripes with the software, I'm still grateful for the money I could make using it.

In the end it is just a matter of using whatever fits the job instead of whinning to no-end about what a single package can't do. It's just a morale-breaker for the community overall and especially for the artists who can't afford a more expensive package. Even if there's any good intention on that, I seriously doubt such attitudes or statements will make Newtek push things forward any faster.

lardbros
01-10-2011, 06:51 AM
I like seeing positive things posted about Lightwave, I like the software a lot... I'm almost a fanboy...

BUT I still can see that Lightwave's rigging tools aren't a match for Maya, or XSI. 3ds max's rigging has some serious flaws, despite people saying the opposite, but Lightwave's are still worse. CAT into 3ds max is a good idea, but it's just been added amongst the rest of the crap that is still there.

I'm afraid that I agree mostly with Pooby. I have never, ever seen animation like Greg Mutt, done in Lightwave... nor 3ds max, by a single person. There have been things that have been close, but in such a short amount of time and done to SUCH a high standard... not possible. I would love for ANYONE to prove me wrong and show me an outstanding character animation done in LW, by one person, or even a team, that matches Gregg Mutt...

LW is great for MANY, many things... character animation isn't one, and neither is UV-mapping. It's alright... and it can be done, but it's not as easy as other apps.

dballesg
01-10-2011, 07:08 AM
Hi,

I read the thread with a lot of interest. But I wanted to point a couple of things.


What really anoys me is how a good number of people in these forums forget all the good stuff that's in Lightwave and that does work quite well and in a more intuitive, easy-to-access way than most of its competitors.

And the opposite on other packages it's true as well. There are a things that are easier to set up compared to the equivalent on LightWave.


In the end it is just a matter of using whatever fits the job

If you have the budget, for all means. :agree:


instead of whinning to no-end about what a single package can't do. It's just a morale-breaker for the community overall and especially for the artists who can't afford a more expensive package.

In my experience on this forums, if you do not whine, you do not get it done. Simple as that. Newtek tends to not think or foresee how certain features must work to satisfy both sides of the spectrum, hobbyists and pro.

The community needs to learn two things, one that we need improvements on many areas. And many times, people that whine have their good reasons, and they do it with the best intention, so EVERYONE gets the advantage of a new feature implemented.

The second one, like a smoker quitting of smoking, is to emotionally detach themselves from the package and start using other options, see what it is there on the world. Even try it with the demos provided by the competition. And then come back and whine if necessary with the proper explanations of why such features are needed, changed or improved.

Not everything that NewTek implements is well done, and the opposite is true for other packages. But comparing features from all of them, a lot can be learned and corrected.


Even if there's any good intention on that, I seriously doubt such attitudes or statements will make Newtek push things forward any faster.

In certain cases, has made NewTek reconsider how certain features have been implemented, change and correct them. If you are on the HC forums, you could easily found a couple of examples.

David

prometheus
01-10-2011, 08:43 AM
After ..not worked with, but trying out Maya,3dmax,cinema 4d, carrara,
my thoughts of lightwave in terms of speed are like these.

getting started with setting up sprites and volumetrics within objects or particle systems are in Lightwave much easier/faster to anything else I have come across, try working with volumetrics in houdini or set up sprites from there..not very friendly.
Yeah I know..feature wise Hypervoxels need a little upgrade.

The shear workspace and the fact that cameras, lights,surfacing,images,backgrounds are from the UI more accessable than anything else Ivé come across, try hit render in houdini and youll get an error since there arent a camera assigned from scratch to the scene, and youll need to create a render node first, just hit f9 in lightwave and off you go.

these are the base stuff, on the other hand.. in houdini you are up and running with particle systems and fluids with a blink of an eye.

Michael
http://vimeo.com/user680656/videos

jasonwestmas
01-10-2011, 11:12 AM
"instead of whinning to no-end about what a single package can't do. It's just a morale-breaker for the community overall and especially for the artists who can't afford a more expensive package."

What dballesg says is correct, and I'll add that Newtek can be very much in the dark on how foundationally weak the character tools are and they will ignore very primary needs for the animator unless we the users clearly explain what is obstructing our work-flows. I say this mainly because Newtek's priorities have clearly leaned heavily in the way of 3d rendering for the majority of the 9.x cycle. They just don't really care too much about layout's animation limitations. For whatever the reason, it's their business but I'm a paying customer too. It's nothing personal unless people make it out to be that way. This is a product we are talking about, not someone's bruised psyche. The forums and especially the beta forums are a place for debate.

jasonwestmas
01-10-2011, 11:50 AM
"Even if there's any good intention on that, I seriously doubt such attitudes or statements will make Newtek push things forward any faster."

This is what we have done in the beta forums and it has helped in some areas. Newtek does listen, but they do ignore too, and I doubt it's because they are mean. On the contrary I think they are too nice and laid back ;) I think their unbalanced application has something to do with the size of their company too.

dballesg
01-10-2011, 12:16 PM
I'll add that Newtek can be very much in the dark on how foundationally weak the character tools are and they will ignore very primary needs for the animator unless we the users clearly explain what is obstructing our work-flows.

:agree:


I say this mainly because Newtek's priorities have clearly leaned heavily in the way of 3d rendering for the majority of the 9.x cycle.

To be fair, during that cycle they added Joints, rewrote the IK system, and started the new Position, Rotation and Scale controllers integrated on the IK system. But all that work was built over a system that hasn't changed so much since LightWave 6.0. Therefore the limitations that we find and we will find until the base is fixed.


They just don't really care too much about layout's animation limitations.

Well I've seen systems on a very low level in CORE (SDK) that I will say are intended to tackle these problems. But we are talking about LightWave, the program that right now it's beign used in productions across the globe.


For whatever the reason, it's their business but I'm a paying customer too.

I am too, the same way is my boss, but we are a minority. That is the ones that want to rig and animate characters in LightWave, without lost our minds. There are too many people animating spaceships!! :D I believe it will be very rare that someone animating a spaceship will find a Gimbal Lock problem :devil: Or bones not providing their rotations, so they can't be referenced by expressions or motion modifiers, when you use Match Goal Orientation. To show a couple of examples.


This is a product we are talking about, not someone's bruised psyche. The forums and especially the beta forums are a place for debate.

:agree:

David

jasonwestmas
01-10-2011, 01:11 PM
Yep, those are all valid points too dballesg. Core was a great step in the right direction as it potentially can cure this problem of inflexible animation issues. I just hope it gets the attention that it needs to blossom into something functionally beautiful.

MaDDoX
01-11-2011, 09:33 AM
And the opposite on other packages it's true as well. There are a things that are easier to set up compared to the equivalent on LightWave.
I think I didn't, but if I ever said the opposite, my bad :)


In my experience on this forums, if you do not whine, you do not get it done.
Wow, did things really got down to this? Now you really made me feel displaced.. -_- I just have to miss the old days when everybody in the official forums was either trying to learn how to do something or happily sharing their knowledge with others, and nothing seemed like an impossible task. Call me nostalgic, I won't take offense.


Newtek can be very much in the dark on how foundationally weak the character tools are and they will ignore very primary needs for the animator unless we the users clearly explain what is obstructing our work-flows. I say this mainly because Newtek's priorities have clearly leaned heavily in the way of 3d rendering for the majority of the 9.x cycle.
Then how exactly the whining has propelled things forward? Maybe in the HC forums, but that's for a new product, for the current Lightwave none of the past noise has changed anything in Newtek priorities. I think Newtek is investing on development of areas where most of their (bigger) clients are demanding new features, which makes perfect business sense. I really can't believe after years of whining about the lack of better CA deformation features, interpolation-enabled IK for IKBooster, etc, they haven't got the message.

It might seem like making noise is the best approach to push them into adding the features you want/need personally, but as a matter of fact the more we spread and increase their bad reputation, the less sales they'll have. Then instead of contributing to have your feature added to Lightwave in the future, you will help having a bankrupt Newtek instead.

Sure, I'm exaggerating. At least I hope so. Anyways, I'd like to discuss more about the current deformation limitations and components (dis)integration in a separate topic, it's surely an important area, sorry if I sounded like downplaying it in some moments. Peace!

pooby
01-11-2011, 10:07 AM
I just have to miss the old days when everybody in the official forums was either trying to learn how to do something or happily sharing their knowledge with others, and nothing seemed like an impossible task. Call me nostalgic, I won't take offense.
[QUOTE]

I dont ever remember it being quite like that, but I guess compared to today, it was more contented 9 or 10 years ago.
Thats because back then, LW wasn't as far behind the pack. There were a lot more users too.
I for one found it depressing watching other packages overtake LW. Especially in the areas I was most interested in.

[QUOTE=MaDDoX;1099479] I think Newtek is investing on development of areas where most of their (bigger) clients are demanding new features, which makes perfect business sense. I really can't believe after years of whining about the lack of better CA deformation features, interpolation-enabled IK for IKBooster, etc, they haven't got the message.

But are not these 2 statements are at odds. I mean, why bother making CA tools when LW has relatively few clients who really need it?
In terms of a roadmap, Who is Lightwave really aiming at? One could argue that it almost seems folly at this stage to start trying to compete in Character animation when any chance of jumping on the bandwagon left many years ago.
I would be disappointed if they gave up on it. I am looking forward to seeing CORE develop and the more CA options out there the better. However, at the same time. I find it hard to imagine them making even the slightest impact in the industry - for example, I imagine that Modo will have CA quite a few years before CORE does.

cresshead
01-11-2011, 10:13 AM
the mists are clearing...


http://www.joepaduda.com/scrambled-toast-crystal-ball.JPG


i see the roadmap for core....:D

jasonwestmas
01-11-2011, 12:30 PM
Then how exactly the whining has propelled things forward? Maybe in the HC forums, but that's for a new product, for the current Lightwave none of the past noise has changed anything in Newtek priorities. I think Newtek is investing on development of areas where most of their (bigger) clients are demanding new features, which makes perfect business sense. I really can't believe after years of whining about the lack of better CA deformation features, interpolation-enabled IK for IKBooster, etc, they haven't got the message.

It might seem like making noise is the best approach to push them into adding the features you want/need personally, but as a matter of fact the more we spread and increase their bad reputation, the less sales they'll have. Then instead of contributing to have your feature added to Lightwave in the future, you will help having a bankrupt Newtek instead.

Sure, I'm exaggerating. At least I hope so. Anyways, I'd like to discuss more about the current deformation limitations and components (dis)integration in a separate topic, it's surely an important area, sorry if I sounded like downplaying it in some moments. Peace!



Well, you seem to have a pretty good attitude about all this, so that is a rare gem. But actually no, the beta forums also include the current lightwave and improving it. I want to make it clear that I am simply EXTREMELY disappointed with NT's attempts at improving animation and I am in no way trying to demean their excellent efforts in other parts of the software. I don't agree that little old me is going to hurt NT anymore than what they do to themselves. The software does in fact speak for itself.

When I state a problem with the software I try to do it in the Beta Forums where only people who understand what is going on with the current beta software are. I am way more explicit down there about what needs to be fixed. I don't talk about Lightwave in general anywhere else except in these forums but I'll talk about this out here where all the glory seems to be and to the community as a single user. ;)

I want to see Lightwave succeed and I believe many of us have a lot to contribute because many of us have seen the competition and use it on a regular basis. This helps us to identify the problems and provide other solutions, not just to inform what happens to be "lightwavy" in someone's initial gut feelings. Believe me, I know why LW is appealing too but it has little to do with the current animation set. That's not a good thing that I want to accept or ignore.

Lightwave has had a bad rap since I started using it (LW 7.0) and even back then Newtek was promoting character work done with it, just like they are today with LW10. It shows in their packaging and tutorials they are selling. How ironic, since that is clearly not what the majority of users use lightwave for. It is also not what Newtek software designers are focusing on either.

In the LW 7 days, Maya was getting it's start and Max was a big rival to Lightwave for those who didn't mind buying large expensive plugins. Lightwave's main selling point was getting more out of the box. It's a totally different story now with XSI, Max and Maya being very mature now. And now with animation tools that still closely resemble that which was out of LW6 (so I'm told), I think there is still a big problem with Newtek's line of sight and fields of fire for building a strong user base of the future. This is after all an animation world. Hard surface animations are nice but the idea of the future is incredibly short-sighted for anyone with an interest in Lightwave.

From what I have seen these past 9 years or so:

- Newtek has a real big problem with identifying Lightwave's strengths and weaknesses. When we are told that Newtek understands what needs to be fixed, they never talk about what it is they understand and what is planned in order to fix it. NT has never been of one mind to change much about what is fundamentally wrong with the animation tool set. So we get Core and for once there is a glimmer of hope only to be snuffed out for a while by a bad time/budget management plan. So now we get a second attempt at Core 1.0 for which the plans for release are still in limbo.

- There is a problem with identifying the largest user base. Here in the forums and in magazine articles I see the LW majority as those who create product stills and architectural fly-throughs. In marketing I see character animation promos, yet those tools use techniques that are 10 years old. Granted the Lightwave IK is more stable and more flexible now but that doesn't really improve the panel to panel and keyframing work-flow, selection, visibility filtering, or deformation limitations.

- There is a problem with Picking a direction for their software in order to capitalize on their strengths. I know quite a lot about these strengths but Newtek chooses to promote their software in a "do it all", "anytime and anywhere" "super fast" kind of lime light. These are unrealistic promotions and it only encourages long time users to snicker in the background. Instead try being honest with the software and promote those honest strengths.

- There is a problem with following through to please the majority of current users to help them promote and sell more licenses. If the funding for Core 1.0 is sufficient the why the rush jobs at the end of the quarter? do it right and take the time to plan. When doing this correctly NT will have the funding and the time to explore brand new directions to expand their market to other users not in the majority. This is an even larger fundamental problem than the fundamental problems with lightwave animation tools.

Well now that I have promoted myself as a condescending and overzealous person with too much time on his hands. . . but seriously I'm not trying to be mean spirited about all this, this is just really interesting to me and I want to see these problems resolved. OR if what I am seeing is all just an illusion, I would want NT to prove me wrong.

Intuition
01-11-2011, 04:52 PM
I would be disappointed if they gave up on it. I am looking forward to seeing CORE develop and the more CA options out there the better. However, at the same time. I find it hard to imagine them making even the slightest impact in the industry - for example, I imagine that Modo will have CA quite a few years before CORE does.

I actually had lunch with Allen Hastings a couple years ago when he stopped by EdenFX and he mentioned how the CA development team in modo were big fans of the Softimage/XSi methods.

He dropped by Digital Domain last year for a bit but all we kept asking for during the modo 401 demos was a linux version fo modo to which Allen and Ryan only gave us a cynical glance in response.

I have great respect for NT that they continued LW even though my primary interest here is of course Core. LW10 is pretty darn good considering the context to which NT has to deal with it as a legacy package. But like many here, my love for NT is now based on Core's potential as an app.

Why, when I have maya and modo and Vray for Maya with RT?

Well, Core has a unique customization feel to it that maya and modo have. That modular, I can hook up anything to anything or create any attribute or expression and have it run the gamut through all of the app's functions.

VonBon
01-11-2011, 11:31 PM
yall gone stop talkn bout my LW.

Pooby, go play with your AD buddies :D

some of you speak as if everything about LW is bad when actually its only
a few areas that need attention. CA tools/comm as we all know

im sure sure that XSI and Maya have things that they lack.,
and if not why are you here. o yea, cause AD will discontinue them soon.
:devil:

people like Pooby are the main reason why people leave. they come in
with their doom and gloom tactics to influence others, yall SPIES.
like to hear ya-selves talk.

the TRUTH is that Maya and XSI would suck if it wernt for individuals
scripting and writting custom code for it. to bad all those people blind
to whats happening.

how you say: GTFO AD Fanboys, yall in the wrong forum.

from VonBon with LOVE :heart:

pooby
01-13-2011, 05:18 AM
the TRUTH is that Maya and XSI would suck if it wernt for individuals
scripting and writting custom code for it. to bad all those people blind
to whats happening.


I cant speak for Maya, but this is certainly not applicable to XSI.
My Greg Mutt project didn't have any custom Code in it whatsoever.

I presume the rest of your post is in jest and you're playing the twit character for a laugh.

jwiede
01-13-2011, 07:11 AM
I could probably have used a less ambiguous term, since in most senses that word mean "reaching maximum development" which probably doesn't apply to any 3D software anyways. The meaning I was using the word for is:
. mature - old, older;
I think you missed the point made, though. Lightwave is NOT significantly more mature than Cinema4D in age. They both had Amiga roots and while LW's is a couple years older, it's not "far more mature" than Cinema4D in age.

lardbros
01-13-2011, 10:13 AM
It is significantly more mature in operation and interface though :D

MaDDoX
01-13-2011, 10:18 AM
One could argue that it almost seems folly at this stage to start trying to compete in Character animation when any chance of jumping on the bandwagon left many years ago.
True, yet at the same time no 3D package is considered "complete" nowadays if it ain't got decent CA tools. I doubt Newtek will follow the same route of Modo and try to become a specialized program. In Lightwave's case it'd have to be specialized for rendering, hardly wise considering the many cheap and high-quality competitors they'd have to face out there.


I imagine that Modo will have CA quite a few years before CORE does.
Not too hard to imagine, especially considering the highly talented coders they have, and the increasing adoption of Modo by the industry. Bigger sales = more money = faster development - if management is decent that is, although they do seem like a focused company. I really like Modo, there's just something in it that doesn't feel quite right compared to Lightwave, although I utterly fail to put my finger on it. In a sense even Maya feels more comfy at times than Modo, and that's something really hard for me to admit :o


seriously I'm not trying to be mean spirited about all this, this is just really interesting to me and I want to see these problems resolved. OR if what I am seeing is all just an illusion, I would want NT to prove me wrong.
I get your point. Well, tbh it's really downing to see the "vicious circle" that threatens to downspiral Lightwave into an Amiga-like fate. In the end I always thought about Lightwave as the last breath of inspiration from the exciting Amiga days, and I'm sure many feel/felt like me. Personally I'm glad that I can still use LW professionally and get both productivity and excellent results out of it, although I realize that's specific to the kind of jobs I do - and still with the help of other tools that I use alongside it, like Mobu, Maya and Modo (who knows, maybe SI in the future if pooby keeps touting it so well :)). With those packages becoming more and more ubiquitous and encompassing, my real fear is that CORE becomes too little too late, and that what I can use it for these days - still a lot, but like I said that's case-specific - in that timeframe it'll all done better, faster and easier in other packages.

So yeah, Lightwave 10 does excite me a lot and I understand that many don't share that feeling 'coz they have other demands for the type of work they do, but my excitement doesn't blind me to the fact that the future of Lightwave is threatened.


Lightwave is NOT significantly more mature than Cinema4D in age. They both had Amiga roots and while LW's is a couple years older, it's not "far more mature" than Cinema4D in age.
Three years difference in fact, according to wikipedia, I don't think that's puny by any measure in the 3D development world, especially in those early days. Curiously, is truly new 3D software technologies really getting more scarce these days or is it just my impression? Either we've pushed the envelope too far already, or the 3D app makers found out they're better get their act together and provide more flexibility and customization options, instead of bloating their packages with flashy new stuff that doesn't integrate well at all.

Before you say it: Yeah, yeah, hence CORE :) Although Autodesk should also get that hint for their Maya.

SBowie
01-13-2011, 11:18 AM
I presume the rest of your post is in jest and you're playing the twit character for a laugh.I sincerely hope so, because otherwise it is over the line, moderation-wise.

VonBon
01-13-2011, 11:50 AM
Im not ever "mad" at anybody, i gots nothing but respect for you pooby
and evryone else, but i will say it how i see it and i like to talk junk.

i do feel that people leave based off the influence of certain people. I just
dont think its fair for them to come here and basically cheerlead for
another companies product. State the flaws but no promotions.

as for the custum code and scripting, AD and like companies will purchase
the rights to certain "custom" codes and scripts created by third parties and make them part of the total package.

maybe im wrong, but this is what i see.

and yall is SPIES but yo DOOM an GLOOM aint gone work here. GTFO ;D


from VonBon with LOVE :heart:

cresshead
01-13-2011, 12:15 PM
there's plenty of doom and gloom for all the apps...

the ribbon u.i. in 3dsmax is clunky as hell, no phantom points in editpoly still.. [wtf], no live preview renderer, 'working pivot is a clunky hack compared to using modeler's 'action centre mode' dropdown., no "real" camera lenses to choose/use in 3dsmax, adding skin to a rig defaults to noodle city deforms...you have to spend time sorting out even basic deforms compared to lightwave.
3dsmax 2011 takes well over a min to start up...i usually hit the icon then go make a cuppa tea...

so all isn't GREENER else where....just a different set of annoyances in each apps lists of things it doesn't do well.

of course when people drop by to point out the weaknesses of lightwave they tend to forget/choose not to say the list of hideous things they have to put up with in their other app! :D

pooby
01-13-2011, 12:38 PM
The only reason I brought up XSI in this thread was to counter a claim in the review that nowadays LW can pretty much do anything the others can regarding rigging.
I am not trying to get anyone to drop LW for xsi.
However, if right now someone Needed high end rigging and deforms that LW could not provide then looking at XSI would be a good idea. Most people don't need that, so my comments are not that potent anyway.

jasonwestmas
01-13-2011, 01:28 PM
However, if right now someone Needed high end rigging and deforms that LW could not provide then looking at XSI would be a good idea. Most people don't need that.

The way I see it though is most people don't want to need that amount of control but yet it is available for being specific in depicting something that feels alive and expressive. Expressive in a way that respects the imagination of the animator. If there isn't enough control then we are in fact bound to what the computer says is correct rather than what our minds believe is the correct expression. This rule is in fact the same with shading and detailing an object that is to be rendered. Fortunately LW provides some rendering options that permit expressive levels of control accompanied with ease of use.

I guess if people prefer to give the computer more control than their imaginations, I guess it's their prerogative.

SBowie
01-13-2011, 03:48 PM
but i will say it how i see it and i like to talk junk. "Junk", huh? Ok, a little good-spirited 'joshing' is not tolerated among friends, which most here are to a greater or lesser degree.

(Otoh, it's worth noting that - just as in any family - someone will occasionally take out the trash if it starts to pile up. Just sayin' ...) :devil:

RLM
01-13-2011, 11:12 PM
the ribbon u.i. in 3dsmax is clunky as hell, no phantom points in editpoly still.. [wtf], no live preview renderer, 'working pivot is a clunky hack compared to using modeler's 'action centre mode' dropdown., no "real" camera lenses to choose/use in 3dsmax, adding skin to a rig defaults to noodle city deforms...you have to spend time sorting out even basic deforms compared to lightwave.
3dsmax 2011 takes well over a min to start up...i usually hit the icon then go make a cuppa tea...

Can I just add, crummy chamfering aswell.:D

metahumanity
01-14-2011, 09:06 AM
the TRUTH is that Maya and XSI would suck if it wernt for individuals
scripting and writting custom code for it. to bad all those people blind
to whats happening.




That´s not correct.

pooby
01-14-2011, 09:42 AM
This is one reason why you dont often need to "write custom code" in XSI

http://vimeo.com/18784546

VonBon
01-14-2011, 12:32 PM
my point is that Maya and XSI are where they are now becasue of
3rd party individuals and maybe companies that sell or give away
thier custom code and scripts. If the LW user base was the same size
it would be where Maya and XSI are now. The fact that Maya is choosen
by large production houses is why its the big dog. The CG industry made
Maya be as good as it is by calling on the individuals to make things work
the way clients wanted it to, or by paying another company to make
custom code and scripts so that they can make a shot/scene become
what they invisioned.

but uh, im done. :)

hrgiger
01-14-2011, 01:33 PM
This is one reason why you dont often need to "write custom code" in XSI

http://vimeo.com/18784546

Nice. I love the 'get neighbors' node. Hopefully even simple setups like that will be possible with CORE eventually.

jasonwestmas
01-14-2011, 02:10 PM
This is one reason why you dont often need to "write custom code" in XSI

http://vimeo.com/18784546

Is that shrink wrap effect used in the stretching and bulging of the muscles you used in the back and chest?

pooby
01-14-2011, 02:23 PM
I'm using some of that, in the muscle system, along with a bunch of other stuff.

pooby
01-14-2011, 02:39 PM
my point is that Maya and XSI are where they are now becasue of
3rd party individuals and maybe companies that sell or give away
thier custom code and scripts. If the LW user base was the same size
it would be where Maya and XSI are now. The fact that Maya is choosen
by large production houses is why its the big dog. The CG industry made
Maya be as good as it is by calling on the individuals to make things work
the way clients wanted it to, or by paying another company to make
custom code and scripts so that they can make a shot/scene become
what they invisioned.

but uh, im done. :)

This is Ill informed. XSI has comparatively few 3rd party custom scripts etc, as it doesn't need them as much as most packages and Maya is where it is because it is a highly flexible platform to develop for as it has a hugely open SDk and is totally customisable.
LW's SDK is very limited in comparison, so it would not make any difference how big the user base was. It just wasn't as appropriate a tool for studios as Maya.

ncr100
01-16-2011, 02:18 AM
This is one reason why you dont often need to "write custom code" in XSI

http://vimeo.com/18784546

Wow. That is just insane. :thumbsup:

The node tree has
* Externalizable Input, Output
* Encapsulation
* Flow control (Execute & Repeat)
* Broad range of nodes
making this a pretty useful feature.

wrench
01-17-2011, 07:24 AM
My review will be in issue 140 of 3D World.

B

MaDDoX
01-17-2011, 11:39 AM
The only reason I brought up XSI in this thread was to counter a claim in the review that nowadays LW can pretty much do anything the others can regarding rigging.
That might be a bold claim, but it's actually something that I've read (in general lines) from RebelHill, who I've seen you recognize as an authority on rigging more than once. Sure there are a handful of highly advanced setups that would be nigh impossible to reproduce in Lightwave, that's what the "little to nothing" word was supposed to cover. I worded it like that because in my point of view a very minimal share of the real-world applications for 3D actually requires such high-end features - a fully driven setup like Greg Mutt being one of those. I assume it as a fact (and correct me if I'm wrong), that not everyone is building up a portfolio to work on the next Avatar. I also won't get to the merit of what evolves art or not, although I do think that a ton of flexibility which demands technical expertise is more of a tease for most artists (which don't work on a team with a resident TA) than an actual productivity gain. In my experience what artists generally want are point-and-click, ready-to-use features, and that's not calling them simplistic, it's just realizing that what they want to spend their time with is the creative process - a very involved process by itself.

Anyways, I got your point, I'm sure you get my point by now, so let's stop beating a dead horse shall we?


Maya is where it is because it is a highly flexible platform to develop for as it has a hugely open SDk and is totally customisable. LW's SDK is very limited in comparison, so it would not make any difference how big the user base was. It just wasn't as appropriate a tool for studios as Maya.
That's highly and impressively correct.

bugzilla
01-17-2011, 11:57 AM
I hope LW can bounce back. I've been moving away from it more and more, which is a shame because when it works it's the fastest environment to work in. I don't know what this guy was smoking when he says LW's skin binding is so awesome. Hopefully they added interactive weight painting in LW 10. Looking forward to seeing the VPR in action.

pooby
01-17-2011, 12:26 PM
Anyways, I got your point, I'm sure you get my point by now, so let's stop beating a dead horse shall we?

Oh that's a shame. I like squabbling :(

jasonwestmas
01-17-2011, 01:01 PM
I didn't know that a dead horse was in the room. And I like to eat Squab, yummay.

IMI
01-17-2011, 09:48 PM
Hopefully they added interactive weight painting in LW 10.


That's a good point... so...

"Did they add interactive weight painting in LW 10?", he asked for the hell of it, although fairly certain of the answer...

First time I ever tried interactive weight painting on a rigged and skinned character (in XSI), I was like, oh man, where have you been all my life? ;)

jasonwestmas
01-17-2011, 10:00 PM
That's a good point... so...

"Did they add interactive weight painting in LW 10?", he asked for the hell of it, although fairly certain of the answer...

First time I ever tried interactive weight painting on a rigged and skinned character (in XSI), I was like, oh man, where have you been all my life? ;)

Ever use vertex paint? Not that it's great or anything but it works.

Chris S. (Fez)
01-18-2011, 12:10 AM
I used to weight meshes in Max and then export/import with FBX. Weights came in as weight maps of course. Worked great. If you want to stay in LW, I assume XSI can do the same.

MaDDoX
01-18-2011, 08:08 AM
I don't know what this guy was smoking when he says LW's skin binding is so awesome. Hopefully they added interactive weight painting in LW 10.
Why the heck would you want to do precision weight painting in Lightwave, anti-tobacco buddy? Interactive weight painting sucks for any kind of productive work with character animation. I've used Maya 2011 advanced weight painting toolset (considerably superior to SoftImage's counterpart since I've last checked it) to exhaustion in recent projects and it's still a chore to use it (not to mention buggy), you'd better just stick to the spreadsheet-like component editor to get any sort of consistent weighting. Yeah, so high-end. Compared to Lightwave's interactive weights-free dynamic "binding" it IS a joke.

If you want some rough isolation weights in Lightwave you don't need interactivity at all (what for? Don't you know what's the right and the left leg?), and even that can be avoided by wise usage of endomorphs. Only excuse for you to use very precise weightmaps in Lightwave is if you'll export to some real-time / game engine, in that case the Valkyrie exporter generally doesn't do a good job. You can then try the weight normalizer plugin by Timothy Albee, or even Polytrans if you have it. In any case of course I know that for games you have to rely on the weightmaps as your only way to "shape" deformations, as limited and sucky as it is. I wish Unity or UDK add dual quaternion skinning soon, that would actually make those maps retain some volume instead of being the "pinch-magnets" that they are.

Back to the point, if you want to animate in another package, you can either live with the low-quality weightmap generation from Valkyrie or normalize it externally in another weight-dependent app to get rid of any deformation spikes. Then you simply re-import only the animation back to Lightwave, with the proper deformations you've originally set, RebelHill has a really nice video on YouTube showing exactly how to pull this off. Bottom line is that if you're gonna render your output in Lightwave, you ain't need no stinking precise complementary (ie. 100%-sum) weightmaps.

Personally I find complementary weightmapping the most tiresome, time-consuming, anti-artistic-friendly and obsolete aspects of 3D character animation, I had an easier time when setting up a character in Lightwave 6.0 using SockMonkey (ie. 100% weights) than with those frickin maps. Yeah, I deeply hate them :grumpy:

jasonwestmas
01-18-2011, 08:21 AM
Weights-free dynamic "binding" is hardly precise even with hold bones. But I agree that I enjoy being able to just select some points and add to those points a weight value. Just need that ability in the animation environment, not just in the modeling environment.

And it's not as if Weight Painting is a bad idea, it just has its strengths and weaknesses just like any other tools set.

pooby
01-18-2011, 10:08 AM
Skinning using XSI's interactive weightmapping was and is a godsend to me.

I can't play the guitar. I can however, play the recorder.
By my logic, it doesnt then follow that the guitar is a joke and that the recorder is a better instrument. Its just that one is a bit more involved to learn.

So once again I throw down the gauntlet for a good old quibble and squabble match.

jasonwestmas
01-18-2011, 10:55 AM
Skinning using XSI's interactive weightmapping was and is a godsend to me.


I personally enjoy the symmetry mapping capabilities for weighting. Most of the time I can just select-verts between two bones, then smooth influence of the weights most of the time. . . very powerful.

lardbros
01-18-2011, 12:41 PM
My review will be in issue 140 of 3D World.

B

Hope you weren't too harsh Ben?!

wrench
01-18-2011, 01:42 PM
Wait and see... ;)

B

Cageman
01-18-2011, 03:15 PM
Ever use vertex paint? Not that it's great or anything but it works.

Yep. Actually, there aren't that much that needs to be added to it to be as good as what you find in Maya, toolswise. The things it lacks is smoothpainting and weightlocking, oh and when testing deformations, it doesn't respect hierarchies, so some limbs are hard to test. Unlike Maya however, you can choose to paint through mesh, while Maya is locked to only painting on the verts you see (this might have changed since v2010 though?).

jasonwestmas
01-18-2011, 03:37 PM
Yep. Actually, there aren't that much that needs to be added to it to be as good as what you find in Maya, toolswise. The things it lacks is smoothpainting and weightlocking, oh and when testing deformations, it doesn't respect hierarchies, so some limbs are hard to test. Unlike Maya however, you can choose to paint through mesh, while Maya is locked to only painting on the verts you see (this might have changed since v2010 though?).

Exactly and I enjoy a lot the capabilities that maya and xsi have in this area actually, especially the part where I can change weights in my animation environment.

Cageman, you ever get VPaint to work in Layout? I thought it was worked on but I could never figure it out. I guess it doesn't really matter though since the VP window is in itself yet another windowed environment.

IMI
01-18-2011, 03:39 PM
RE: Vertex Paint:
The key word at the beginning of this tangent subject was "interactive". Vertex Paint is in Modeler, not Layout. Far as I know that is. If there's a way to use Vertex Paint in Layout on a rigged, skinned and posed figure and see your joint deformations update in real time, I never heard of it.

In Softimage and Maya you can pose your figure and clearly see your bad deformations and just paint them out and the pose will reflect the changes in real time.

Not to say Vertex Paint doesn't work, but it's definitely not the same thing, since you have to save the model and use Hub to update and go back and forth between Modeler and Layout.

EDIT:
Jason beat me to it. ;)

jasonwestmas
01-18-2011, 03:42 PM
RE: Vertex Paint:
The key word at the beginning of this tangent subject was "interactive". Vertex Paint is in Modeler, not Layout. Far as I know that is. If there's a way to use Vertex Paint in Layout on a rigged, skinned and posed figure and see your joint deformations update in real time, I never heard of it.

In Softimage and Maya you can pose your figure and clearly see your bad deformations and just paint them out and the pose will reflect the changes in real time.

Not to say Vertex Paint doesn't work, but it's definitely not the same thing, since you have to save the model and use Hub to update and go back and forth between Modeler and Layout.

Well the closest VPaint gets is that you can use FK bones to test your deforms but that doesn't have anything to do with seeing how the Weight Maps work with the LW field weighting.

IMI
01-18-2011, 03:47 PM
Well the closest VPaint gets is that you can use FK bones to test your deforms but that doesn't have anything to do with seeing how the Weight Maps work with the LW field weighting.

Probably not the best, but definitely ONE of the best arguments for integrating Modeler and Layout into one app.
(Just for the sake of saying it, yes, I know...Core...Core...Core will... ;))

By the way, I wasn't targeting you with my "key word is interactive" comment. :)

jasonwestmas
01-18-2011, 03:56 PM
Probably not the best, but definitely ONE of the best arguments for integrating Modeler and Layout into one app.
(Just for the sake of saying it, yes, I know...Core...Core...Core will... ;))

By the way, I wasn't targeting you with my "key word is interactive" comment. :)

Yeah in an interactivity scale of 1-10 skelegons for testing FK vertex map deforms is around a 4. :) I surely would rather key frame my model in a pose and have the ability to see how the deformation happens over time and then paint or smooth my weights accordingly. Same applies for adding deformers and corrective morphs.

Edit: Actually VPaint happens within VPaint Within Modeler so you are in a sense two environments away from your actual rig that is within layout. ;)

IMI
01-18-2011, 04:13 PM
Edit: Actually VPaint happens within VPaint Within Modeler so you are in a sense two environments away from your actual rig that is within layout. ;)

Good point, although I was looking at it from the perspective of having Modeler on one monitor and Layout on another.
So then not having to hit a minimize or update button allows you to subtract that extra click that you would need in VP, and therefore bringing it back a little closer. ;)
Uhh, well, you know, that's just silly of course. :D

jasonwestmas
01-18-2011, 04:26 PM
Good point, although I was looking at it from the perspective of having Modeler on one monitor and Layout on another.
So then not having to hit a minimize or update button allows you to subtract that extra click that you would need in VP, and therefore bringing it back a little closer. ;)
Uhh, well, you know, that's just silly of course. :D

Yeah if the updating was more instantaneous then I can see using two monitors or one really big one. Once I tried just painting weights on the model using the airbrush tool but the airbrush is just waaay to sluggish. If that was improved I can see some advantages with that tool.

Cageman
01-18-2011, 05:54 PM
RE: Vertex Paint:
The key word at the beginning of this tangent subject was "interactive". Vertex Paint is in Modeler, not Layout. Far as I know that is. If there's a way to use Vertex Paint in Layout on a rigged, skinned and posed figure and see your joint deformations update in real time, I never heard of it.

Well... you can select the bones in VPaint and rotate them to see deformation based on your weighting. We used it ALOT on lower res characters/cagemeshes. It's pretty solid compared to Maya, where you have to create an animation first and then scrub the timeline to quickly see how the deformation works when a bone rotates in a specific axis. I would say that VPaint in that regard is way faster to work with... just select the bone and rotate, see the deformation, paint a little, reset to bind pose, rotate, paint, rotate, paint, reset to bindpose instead of actually having to create a bunch of animations beforehand to test deformations.

bugzilla
01-18-2011, 06:19 PM
Why the heck would you want to do precision weight painting in Lightwave, anti-tobacco buddy? Interactive weight painting sucks for any kind of productive work with character animation.... Only excuse for you to use very precise weightmaps in Lightwave is if you'll export to some real-time / game engine,

Personally I find complementary weightmapping the most tiresome, time-consuming, anti-artistic-friendly and obsolete aspects of 3D character animation, I had an easier time when setting up a character in Lightwave 6.0 using SockMonkey (ie. 100% weights) than with those frickin maps. Yeah, I deeply hate them :grumpy:

I'd have to say without a doubt you are in the extreme minority with this opinion. You might find a dozen old school Lightwavers who work this way, but the rest of the world has moved on to a workflow that, you know, works.

IMI
01-18-2011, 06:20 PM
Well... you can select the bones in VPaint and rotate them to see deformation based on your weighting. We used it ALOT on lower res characters/cagemeshes. It's pretty solid compared to Maya, where you have to create an animation first and then scrub the timeline to quickly see how the deformation works when a bone rotates in a specific axis. I would say that VPaint in that regard is way faster to work with... just select the bone and rotate, see the deformation, paint a little, reset to bind pose, rotate, paint, rotate, paint, reset to bindpose instead of actually having to create a bunch of animations beforehand to test deformations.

Well I couldn't argue with you Cageman. After all, you do animation far more than I do, and know LW and Maya far more than I do.
Still though, I can't see why it wasn't put in Layout to begin with. In retrospect it seems really strange to have animation/skeleton tools in Modeler, but I suppose that goes back to the early days of LW.
I guess that vertex map painting and weight maps in general can be seen as more of a modeler function, especially when weight maps and VP are used for more than just animation. But when specific needs require a weight map for an animation, the tools should also be in Layout, IMO.


EDIT:
Even so, by this point such things should have been changed. Workarounds are great, but after years and years and years of people creating and using workarounds, and then always defending them, Newtek probably figures "okay good, one less thing we have to work on since they have a workaround. " ;)

Cageman
01-18-2011, 06:28 PM
I'd have to say without a doubt you are in the extreme minority with this opinion. You might find a dozen old school Lightwavers who work this way, but the rest of the world has moved on to a workflow that, you know, works.

Hmm...

So... this "doesn't work"?
http://www.youtube.com/user/linograndi#p/u/21/r72qocWVfEg

or... this:
http://www.youtube.com/user/linograndi#p/u/23/xhohPQKNdos

or...this:
http://www.youtube.com/user/linograndi#p/u/28/Hk8rtZQah94

In any case... Lino who have done all the above regarding rigging, is the one who will release the Rigging DVD for NewTek, and he seldom or never use weights.

I do think that LWs weightpainting has to be updated quite some, hopefully not being a plugin that opens a new interface, but fully integrated (CORE?). That said, the approach that Lino uses really works as well.

Cageman
01-18-2011, 06:31 PM
EDIT:
Even so, by this point such things should have been changed. Workarounds are great, but after years and years and years of people creating and using workarounds, and then always defending them, Newtek probably figures "okay good, one less thing we have to work on since they have a workaround. " ;)

Workaround?

Uhm... I've used VPaint the way it is designed to be used... can't see that I used any workarounds in that one? Wether or not you like it, oh... that is a pretty different thing, I'm just stating how I approach things when I use VPaint compared to using Maya... different ways of working and that is all.

IMI
01-18-2011, 07:11 PM
Workaround?

Uhm... I've used VPaint the way it is designed to be used... can't see that I used any workarounds in that one? Wether or not you like it, oh... that is a pretty different thing, I'm just stating how I approach things when I use VPaint compared to using Maya... different ways of working and that is all.


Okay, that's cool. As I said, you know more about it than I do.

See though, this is what I'm talking about: Someone comes along and asks if a certain feature is available, and some people often say, well no, but you can do that this way, and then proceed to argue that the other way is just as good, if not better...

When all that was asked, in this case, is if LW had interactive weight painting. Now your idea of what that means in your work flow may very well be different than what most people think of, but at the same time I know you know exactly what was meant by the question.

Most people would probably consider that something of a workaround. In this case, making up for a feature that is lacking that other apps have by doing it another way that's not so obvious or less intuitive.
Let's face it though, LW doesn't exactly have the best reputation for CA in the business. Sure there are many who can do it, and do it great, but I see far more complaints about it than I see praise. Usually I just see its shortcomings compared to otherwise industry standard features in other programs and frustration over why LW doesn't have a better solution by now.

I know you do love LightWave and Newtek though, Cageman, and more power to ya for it. ;)

Cageman
01-18-2011, 07:51 PM
Okay, that's cool. As I said, you know more about it than I do.

See though, this is what I'm talking about: Someone comes along and asks if a certain feature is available, and some people often say, well no, but you can do that this way, and then proceed to argue that the other way is just as good, if not better...

When all that was asked, in this case, is if LW had interactive weight painting. Now your idea of what that means in your work flow may very well be different than what most people think of, but at the same time I know you know exactly what was meant by the question.

Most people would probably consider that something of a workaround. In this case, making up for a feature that is lacking that other apps have by doing it another way that's not so obvious or less intuitive.
Let's face it though, LW doesn't exactly have the best reputation for CA in the business. Sure there are many who can do it, and do it great, but I see far more complaints about it than I see praise. Usually I just see its shortcomings compared to otherwise industry standard features in other programs and frustration over why LW doesn't have a better solution by now.

Apparently, it seems to be a fact that many people never understood how to use Vertex Paint in the first place, and therefore say that there is no way to do interactive weightpainting. Did you know about the features in Vertex Paint before this thread? :)

Anyho... just to clarify here... Interactive weightpainting for me = the ability to manipulate a bone/joint, see the deformation done by weighting and adjust the weight. And for that, Vertex Paint works pretty darn well. It would have been quite useless if it didn't support posing of bones to see deformation. VPaint has features Maya does not and vice versa, so it kind of evens out in that regard (and to clarify here: I'm soley talking about the weightpainting toolset in Vertex Paint and checking how the weights affect the deformations compared to doing the exact same procedure in Maya).


I know you do love LightWave and Newtek though, Cageman, and more power to ya for it. ;)

Well... the thing is... LW makes alot of sense within the type of production and team I work in, it is certanly NOT the only app used, and for most of the stuff we have an elite Maya-rigger who do all the skinning/rigging in... well.. Maya. :)

I hope though, that you have gathered some new info on LW and interactive weightpainting.

:)

IMI
01-18-2011, 08:25 PM
@ Cageman,
I think what it is is that I just failed to fully comprehend what you were saying at first, actually. :o oops


Did I learn anything? Hell yeah, and thanks man. :)

Cageman
01-18-2011, 08:48 PM
@ Cageman,
I think what it is is that I just failed to fully comprehend what you were saying at first, actually. :o oops


Did I learn anything? Hell yeah, and thanks man. :)

Cool. :)

Now, if we would expand the scope to designing deformations where weights doesn't do the trick alone (influence objects, deformers, corrective blendshapes etc) we would start to see how Maya compared to LW has endless possibilities. But up until this point, I would say that there aren't much differences between the two, and depending on what you need to do, LW works just fine.

I'm very curious about Linos Rigging DVD, because, based on his approach, I havn't seen anyone comming close to what he is able to do regarding deformations in LW (well, Rebelhill of course, but he is using weights, Lino does not). But looking at the examples I posted earlier in this thread, Lino has certanly done things that looks as good as something done in Maya or XSI; defenately above average when comparing his work independent on what application was used. That alone makes it interresting for me to see how he does it and what his workflow looks like etc. Yes... it is an alternative technique that utilizes a feature in LW where bones/joints acts as deformers without any weights, and looking at the results, I really can't rule it out as a bad way to do things. It might be a technique not suitable in all situations, but that is why I think LW, Maya, 3DS Max, Houdini etc are all valid tools depending on the task at hand.

:)

jasonwestmas
01-19-2011, 09:47 AM
Cool. :)
Now, if we would expand the scope to designing deformations where weights doesn't do the trick alone (influence objects, deformers, corrective blendshapes etc) we would start to see how Maya compared to LW has endless possibilities. But up until this point, I would say that there aren't much differences between the two, and depending on what you need to do, LW works just fine.


Well, the agonies of layout go a little beyond deformation control for me when the scene starts to become more complex.
I've probably have animated in Maya more than Lightwave but I can setup a scene with several objects within maya and be ready to animate much faster. Features that facilitate this speed are the attribute editor; the pick masks; visibility masks;character sets; and the connection editor. The beauty of these features is that they have consolidated features (also well organized) that are intelligently put together. Though I may be able to assemble a few more features using 3rd party plugins in Lightwave, the way Layout is designed to handle extra plugins as independent panels is very sloppy and disconnected.

This sloppiness gets multiplied as the scene gets more complex. The only way I've been able to get anything close to maya scene management is through the classic scene editor using selection favorites and creating a long list of several selection groups using different combos of selections. Creating these selection sets can become tedious for larger scenes where you have objects blocking your view and need to hide and unhide them to better understand how your animation and scene is developing. Also there is no way to intelligently group your selection sets so your long list of sets are easier to read. I can't even move the sets around. . . horrible. With maya, asside from the fact that you still need to select your objects to add them to a layer this isn't tedious at all. And this is just setup, I could go on about keyframing too and keeping your Fcurves clean.

Anyway, my point is that Newtek needs to replace this lack of organization and panel hopping kind of workflow if more people are going to respect their animation software.

bugzilla
01-19-2011, 11:26 AM
Hmm...

So... this "doesn't work"?
http://www.youtube.com/user/linograndi#p/u/21/r72qocWVfEg

or... this:
http://www.youtube.com/user/linograndi#p/u/23/xhohPQKNdos

or...this:
http://www.youtube.com/user/linograndi#p/u/28/Hk8rtZQah94

In any case... Lino who have done all the above regarding rigging, is the one who will release the Rigging DVD for NewTek, and he seldom or never use weights.

I do think that LWs weightpainting has to be updated quite some, hopefully not being a plugin that opens a new interface, but fully integrated (CORE?). That said, the approach that Lino uses really works as well.

First, my point was that the world at large does not use Sock Monkey to rig characters like the first poster does, not whether good results are possible with the current system. Of course they are possible. It's also possible to animate characters without IK (like in the first Toy Story), but would you want to do that?

This is Lightwave version 10...10! and still no interactive weight painting tools IN LAYOUT! I don't want to swap back and forth between interfaces to see the effect of weights. I want to see them RIGHT THERE where they should be.

After reading your other posts, it seems that Lightwave can do no wrong in your eyes, and that's a big part of why LW's tools are lagging. I met a guy at the Newtek booth at Siggraph several years ago, veteran LW user, who called auto keyframing "auto scene destroy", and we shouldn't have it in LW. WTF?

There seems to be this looking backwards, living on the glory days of "Babylon 5" thought process here that is killing innovation in LW. Time to add new tools, radically redesign the interface, and surpass the rest of the world.

Anyone else tired of living in an Autodesk only world? Then someone needs to jump past them.

VonBon
01-19-2011, 03:12 PM
I know i dont want a clone of an "AD app" if that is the goal then
why would a person switch or stay.

Newtek needs to be not just different/LW but also innovative.
this is the chance to set a bar or change the game.

Newtek needs to "LEAD" innovation in 3D.
but that all comes down to the "MoneyMan"

CORE is still baby, hopefully it dont have a dead beat daddy, lol

IMI
01-19-2011, 04:30 PM
CORE is still baby, hopefully it dont have a dead beat daddy, lol


Now that's just funny as hell. :lol:

Meh... it'll be what it will be, when it is. Who knows when that is? It's anyone's guess, and the HC people don't seem to know what's going on either.
I'd love to have a peek in the HC forums. What build are they up to? What kind of arguments do they have? What does NT tell them?
Would make for great reading, in a geeky sort of way.

Meanwhile, I thank the gods for Autodesk, particularly XSI :bowdown:
If I had only LW to use I'd have gotten sick of 3D by now. ;)

jasonwestmas
01-19-2011, 04:36 PM
What does NT tell them?


Not much.

Most of the time it is like it is up here where we tell NT what is on our minds but just core specific.

Intuition
01-19-2011, 04:43 PM
Yeah, I don't want Core to become maya or Xsi or even another Lightwave or anything because we already have these apps.

What I was hoping for in Core is to have the best of all the worlds in one place. Thats a broad statement, I know, but that is why I made some vids based on modeling first. We want to look at every tool, feature and workflow (context sensitive tools and selections yeah) and get the best things we can together.

Core already has the nice VPR setup. There is a ton of room for it to take leaps and bounds. Especially in the UI customization department. I think that Core could be setup to look and feel like any 3d app. That will be the ultimate key to its success. Hotkeys, UI nav styles, etc could all be custom fit to almost any need.

This is why I keep coming back here. To help give feedback on Core. It doesn't have to try and be maya or XSi or even just a reskinned LW because if its done right it could do them all. Even better is how it will be able to take the best of them and become a nice uber app. Though this process may be slower then some want, I can see the potential.

IMI
01-19-2011, 04:46 PM
With maya, asside from the fact that you still need to select your objects to add them to a layer this isn't tedious at all.

Yeah I could agree with all you wrote, but particularly the above. Softimage's layer system is for all intents and purposes the same as Maya's, and I take huge advantage of it.
Also, animation layers. Now there's a stroke of sheer brilliance. :thumbsup:

jasonwestmas
01-19-2011, 04:59 PM
Yeah, I don't want Core to become maya or Xsi or even another Lightwave or anything because we already have these apps.

What I was hoping for in Core is to have the best of all the worlds in one place. Thats a broad statement, I know, but that is why I made some vids based on modeling first. We want to look at every tool, feature and workflow (context sensitive tools and selections yeah) and get the best things we can together.

Core already has the nice VPR setup. There is a ton of room for it to take leaps and bounds. Especially in the UI customization department. I think that Core could be setup to look and feel like any 3d app. That will be the ultimate key to its success. Hotkeys, UI nav styles, etc could all be custom fit to almost any need.

This is why I keep coming back here. To help give feedback on Core. It doesn't have to try and be maya or XSi or even just a reskinned LW because if its done right it could do them all. Even better is how it will be able to take the best of them and become a nice uber app. Though this process may be slower then some want, I can see the potential.

That is my take as well on the whole core workflow design. If the core workflow is easy to use then it will speak for itself regardless of what program core emulates the most. Granted some things should be consistent like providing navigation customization etc.

Cageman
01-19-2011, 10:50 PM
After reading your other posts, it seems that Lightwave can do no wrong in your eyes, and that's a big part of why LW's tools are lagging.

Maybe you should read my posts again then. :)

IMI
01-20-2011, 03:03 AM
That is my take as well on the whole core workflow design. If the core workflow is easy to use then it will speak for itself regardless of what program core emulates the most. Granted some things should be consistent like providing navigation customization etc.

And it (Core) really needs to have basic functions like a history stack and the ability to modify and delete said history at will, ala Maya, XSI, and so on.

I'll tell you one thing I really love to be able to do in XSI and Maya that you can't do in LW is to extrude along a curve and still be able to edit the entire extrusion later by moving the curve points, as long as the curve op is still in the history. That's just one thing though and I could spend all day talking about what Modeler is lacking, compared to certain other programs. ;)

And snapping, snapping, snapping. Core needs to be able to snap any one thing to anything else. Did I mention snapping? ;)

And, uhh... well I dunno, Core needs lots of things.
I don't want another XSI or Modo though, but I think that goes without saying. I'm sure NT is aware they can't just totally emulate some other app and call it Core.

OnlineRender
01-20-2011, 03:29 AM
And snapping, snapping, snapping. Core needs to be able to snap any one thing to anything else. Did I mention snapping? ;)


agreed , it's just nice being able to snap edges and polyz ,look at 3DC retopology tools , I love the way you can just click and drag point to make polyz

prometheus
01-20-2011, 03:45 AM
[QUOTE=
I'll tell you one thing I really love to be able to do in XSI and Maya that you can't do in LW is to extrude along a curve and still be able to edit the entire extrusion later by moving the curve points, as long as the curve op is still in the history. That's just one thing though and I could spend all day talking about what Modeler is lacking, compared to certain other programs. ;)

.[/QUOTE]

Px_bezier curve is helpful for editing extruded pipes,tubes or extended geometry, it helps if in that way you can edit the curve and see the extrusion while doing it, not exactly the same as a history stack thou.
but youré right, a history stack for these ops, are good to have, like lofting
in 3d max and simple switch out profile curves when ever you need and want to, Lw-cad with that kind of option in future core with history stack would be sweet, just go back and switch profilings, windows etc.

Michael

jasonwestmas
01-20-2011, 07:47 AM
And it (Core) really needs to have basic functions like a history stack and the ability to modify and delete said history at will, ala Maya, XSI, and so on.

I'll tell you one thing I really love to be able to do in XSI and Maya that you can't do in LW is to extrude along a curve and still be able to edit the entire extrusion later by moving the curve points, as long as the curve op is still in the history. That's just one thing though and I could spend all day talking about what Modeler is lacking, compared to certain other programs. ;)

And snapping, snapping, snapping. Core needs to be able to snap any one thing to anything else. Did I mention snapping? ;)

And, uhh... well I dunno, Core needs lots of things.
I don't want another XSI or Modo though, but I think that goes without saying. I'm sure NT is aware they can't just totally emulate some other app and call it Core.

and a "activate last used tool" command, like the period key in xsi and the y key in maya. ;)

I would talk about Jay's philosophy but I'm up here and not down there.

MaDDoX
01-20-2011, 11:44 AM
And it's not as if Weight Painting is a bad idea, it just has its strengths and weaknesses just like any other tools set.
As far as I recall, weight mapping showed up first in Lightwave, at least for the PC platform. They're definitely handy as rough region isolation tools and that's how I find them sane and a joy to use, especially with the additive model that Lightwave uses - ie. weights stack, properly increasing their influence when over 100%. What I really dispise is the complementary weights (100%-sum) implementation as in Maya (up to 2010) and Softimage, not only they suck as deformation "sculpters", this model makes influences take weight away from other influences, or have to be toggled on and off of a "locked" state, which is incredibly cumbersome and unintuitive and lead to countless headaches. If that wasn't a smoother way of working, Maya 2011 wouldn't have added additive weights skinning, even if in a somewhat lacking implementation. Internally it seems to be using the complementary model instead of a real additive one, but at least it doesn't lead to inadvertent setting weights to zero by increasing a neighboring influence.


By my logic, it doesnt then follow that the guitar is a joke and that the recorder is a better instrument. Its just that one is a bit more involved to learn.
That's definitely not my line of thought. It has nothing to do with "knowing how to use it", I'm describing objectively why Lightwave has a better system. Pooby, to start with the fact that something is harder to use has absolutely nothing to do with it being the best option. Second, it's not as if locking weights or using weight paint tools in Maya/SI is especially hard (it's just cumbersome), why do you infer it requires a superior level of smartness that I probably don't have? Just to keep your patronizing comments standard? Almost funny mr. Acid, but I won't buy your bait, sorry.


Unlike Maya however, you can choose to paint through mesh, while Maya is locked to only painting on the verts you see (this might have changed since v2010 though?).
Nope Cageman, up to Maya 2011 it still sucks the same, just as the latest XSI version I've tested (about 1 year ago) it can't paint through the mesh. Actually the only other app that I've tested which allows paint-through is Cinema4D.


Well the closest VPaint gets is that you can use FK bones to test your deforms but that doesn't have anything to do with seeing how the Weight Maps work with the LW field weighting.
Exactly, that's why I rather not use vertex paint at all, not even for game assets skinning due to the aforementioned limitations. It might be useful for the rough 100% weight paint pass though, for later refinement in another program. Talking of which, Maya's got an excellent plugin available called "stretchmesh" which gives you nice deformations and volume preservation even with rigid bind (100% weights only), with a really reasonable price. Considering Maya has no paint-through mode - which makes it extremely hard to paint pinched areas, forcing you to use blendshapes, etc - if you have Lightwave and not C4D, Vertex Paint might be a nice way to get lots of skinning done in minimal time. Even if you've got Cinema4D, you might find that the latest Lightwave has better FBX export capabilities than Cinema4D, I found C4D's FBX export really poor in my tests.

These and other amazing solutions like Maya's IKinema, which really speed up the production workflow, is what interestes me as an artist and producer. These are the kind of solutions that I'd like to see added to CORE. Even if they sound like limited and restrictive gimmicks for advanced Technical Artists, fact is that not every artist can (or wants to) wrap his head around node graphs.


Same applies for adding deformers and corrective morphs.
Why do you guys find so troublesome to make corrective morphs in Lightwave using clothfx's edit points + save transformed to use in joint morph+? Although in Maya the sculpting tools are superior *cough*andSlower*cough* you do have to duplicate and store the sculpted mesh to use as a blendshape target, delete history etc, then store the cone angles at the pose deformer plugin. I don't see how exactly it's an easier process, maybe I'm missing something.

Just curiosity really, I rather stay away from corrective morphs since they're simply not productive to set up and in the end don't even provide a pleasant deformation look on the final animation.


It's pretty solid compared to Maya, where you have to create an animation first and then scrub the timeline to quickly see how the deformation works when a bone rotates in a specific axis.
To be honest in 2011 they've added that feature (select+rotate bone). It's a bit awkward (it actually commits rotations instead of making them preview-only) not to mention it's inconsistent since it temporarily disables the weight shading and switch modes, sometimes kicking you out of the weight tool altogether. Well, that last comment is probably redundant since apparently the only "consistent" thing in Maya is its.. inconsistency. -_-


the rest of the world has moved on to a workflow that, you know, works.
It does, just as the Lightwave approach. Yet what "the rest of the world" use is sensibly more cumbersome and should go away, ASAP, and be replaced by whatever standard which is more appropriate to deformations and it's still got enough performance to be used on real-time engines. Complementary weights are way too poor when it's the only way to define deformations, just like Cageman said. Oh yeah, and thanks for saving me the Lino Grandi link-pasting bud :)

To be frank, it might be possible that I only feel so comfortable with weight-less influence skinning because I'm very old school, and back in the day Lightwave bones could only rely on region influence. People coming from other packages, or who only learned through the training available for the "industry standard", will surely feel odd and just start hunting for their weightmaps, since it's the only way they know how to do it. That's one thing, now ruling out Lightwave's original system as "inferior" simply because it's different than that of the competition makes no sense, especially when it provides outstanding results right out of the bat, instead of relying on a tedious and rigid multi-step process.

IMI
01-20-2011, 12:06 PM
and a "activate last used tool" command, like the period key in xsi and the y key in maya. ;)


Yeah and a context-sensitive right click menu to weed out the inapplicable operations, just to name another, but I think that was brought up by someone else recently.
I'm sure you HC guys are bringing all these points up to NT anyway. Let's hope they listen.

jasonwestmas
01-20-2011, 12:07 PM
Yeah and a context-sensitive right click menu to weed out the inapplicable operations, just to name another, but I think that was brought up by someone else recently.
I'm sure you HC guys are bringing all these points up to NT anyway. Let's hope they listen.

Yes, context sensitivity is great when it is done intelligently for an intuitive user.

pooby
01-20-2011, 12:47 PM
That's definitely not my line of thought. It has nothing to do with "knowing how to use it", I'm describing objectively why Lightwave has a better system. Pooby, to start with the fact that something is harder to use has absolutely nothing to do with it being the best option. Second, it's not as if locking weights or using weight paint tools in Maya/SI is especially hard (it's just cumbersome), why do you infer it requires a superior level of smartness that I probably don't have? Just to keep your patronizing comments standard? Almost funny mr. Acid, but I won't buy your bait, sorry.

You seem to be getting a little too emotionally attached for me to continue this debate as I don't want to further encourage your lashing out and name-calling. I was trying to keep it light.
All I will say is that I have a quite different experience to you regarding the bone weight subject matter, so ironically, my definition of 'objective' seems to be quite different to yours.
it's just great that we both enjoy our own workflows!

jasonwestmas
01-20-2011, 12:55 PM
I concur, I'm glad you sincerely enjoy your levels of control and current workflow MaDDox, I can't say that I'll stop stirring up the sand but I will try to avoid kicking sand directly into your eyes.

VonBon
01-20-2011, 01:15 PM
somebody gone get a Timeout :grumpy:

VonBon
01-20-2011, 01:29 PM
Dont sweat it Madd, next year Pooby want have XSI to look forward too.

hehe Haha, Muhu, muhuhahahahaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :devil:

Cageman
01-20-2011, 02:09 PM
Exactly, that's why I rather not use vertex paint at all, not even for game assets skinning due to the aforementioned limitations.

I quote this because you had a quote (and I quote):

"Well the closest VPaint gets is that you can use FK bones to test your deforms but that doesn't have anything to do with seeing how the Weight Maps work with the LW field weighting. "

What exactly are you refering to here?

Just to clarify, if you are going to use Vertex Paint, you should use it with the intention of weighting all bones. Secondly, we were able to rely on the deformations we saw in VPaint to get properly deforming characters, especially lowres characters or cage meshes.

As I mentioned in another thread, I'm quite convinced that there is a need for a VPaint videotutorial.

:)

Cageman
01-20-2011, 02:21 PM
What I really dispise is the complementary weights (100%-sum) implementation as in Maya (up to 2010) and Softimage, not only they suck as deformation "sculpters", this model makes influences take weight away from other influences, or have to be toggled on and off of a "locked" state, which is incredibly cumbersome and unintuitive and lead to countless headaches.

This really depends on how you choose to approach your weight painting. It is much easier if you work from outside to inside... what I mean is this:

Start with a foot, work your way into the ankle. Switch to the low leg joint, paint full weights allmost down to the foot. Add some smoothing so that the weight from the low leg joint and foot joint blend nicely together (this might require some back an forth between the low leg and the foot with the smoothing tools, but generaly it is quite fast). When that is done, lock the foot weight (because that one is now finished). Proceed with the same procedure between the upper leg and the low leg. Now, this will result in that you have to fix the weight for the low leg and foot relation, but you will not screw up the foot weight at all, since it is locked. Once you have done the fixes for the weight on the lower leg to again work nicely with the foot, you can lock the lower leg.

This method is pretty fast... I'm not an expert on it, but if you know how to do it, you can get pretty good skinning that deforms pretty well within a couple of hours on a moderate rig (no toes, but fingers and the usual joints you have for a MoCap rig).

But... this also applies on LW and VPaint... if you are used to it and know how it works, you can get it to do what you want within a couple of hours.

jasonwestmas
01-20-2011, 02:32 PM
I quote this because you had a quote (and I quote):

"Well the closest VPaint gets is that you can use FK bones to test your deforms but that doesn't have anything to do with seeing how the Weight Maps work with the LW field weighting. "

What exactly are you refering to here?

Just to clarify, if you are going to use Vertex Paint, you should use it with the intention of weighting all bones. Secondly, we were able to rely on the deformations we saw in VPaint to get properly deforming characters, especially lowres characters or cage meshes.

As I mentioned in another thread, I'm quite convinced that there is a need for a VPaint videotutorial.

:)

That's my quote. I wouldn't "use weightmaps only" for film work in LW. Likewise, in more complex situations I wouldn't exclude weight mapping and use only the resting bone weights either unless the character/creature was completely naked.

I use weight maps in LW to gain better control in situations where there is a layering of geometry on top of the character and in situations where the character's equipment is not all the same material and therefore would deform much differently than other pieces of geometry. VPaint is ok but it doesn't show you how the resting bone weights on a character interacts with the weight maps until you actually exit both the Vpaint environment and then the modeler environment. Certainly not an ideal workflow. It's obvious to me that the original designers of lightwave didn't have these kinds of character designs in mind.

zarti
01-20-2011, 03:18 PM
*sigh*

92041


smile dude =) , that mosaic is so easy doable in houdini :caffeine:

Cageman
01-20-2011, 03:47 PM
To be frank, it might be possible that I only feel so comfortable with weight-less influence skinning because I'm very old school, and back in the day Lightwave bones could only rely on region influence. People coming from other packages, or who only learned through the training available for the "industry standard", will surely feel odd and just start hunting for their weightmaps, since it's the only way they know how to do it. That's one thing, now ruling out Lightwave's original system as "inferior" simply because it's different than that of the competition makes no sense, especially when it provides outstanding results right out of the bat, instead of relying on a tedious and rigid multi-step process.

I have to agree here.

You know what... I will make a comparsion...

PTEX (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxNlAlOuQQQ&feature=player_embedded) vs UVMaps, what will you choose (if you are in a position where you can choose)?

I'm quite sure that most artists would want to choose PTEX because it allows them to go directly into texturing without the process of creating UV-maps. Quite nice!

I would argue that what LW is currently offering regarding weightless skinning, is what PTEX is doing to texture artists without needing UV-maps.

Does this mean that PTEX is the end all solution for all things related to texturing? No!

Does this mean that LWs weightless skinning is the end all solution to rigging and deforming characters? No!

But what they do offer is an alternative way to achive a similar goal, and that is pretty much it. Either you get it or you don't. Simple!

All this said and done, and to further make a point to those who believe that I'm a LW-fanboy and do not have any experience with other apps, I say this, focusing soley on Weight Maps:

IF you can get your job done faster without having to first paint the weights, wouldn't you want to go that route? (this is why I am very interrested in Linos videotutorial).

IF you are going to have to paint weights, there are many flaws with LWs current implementation, especially the lack of a tool that allows one to do it in Layout directly (and there are alot more things that LW needs in order to offer the same type of flexibility as other apps when it comes to further enhance the deformations, but that is a different discussion). Actually, you can style FiberFX in Layout... why can't you paint and refine weightmaps?

For the time being though, VPaint offers a pretty solid middleground and if you know how to use it, it takes away alot of greif in what is otherwise a very limited toolset.

Simply put: Without Vertex Paint, World in Conflict wouldn't have had any realtime ingame cutscenes.

Take a look at this page and download the two examples: http://hangar18.gotdns.org/~cageman/WIC_IngameCutscenes/

M12F01_Humvee_Briefing_Ingame_UnC_wSound.mov shows some pretty good deformation going on in the faces of these characters. It is all bones and everything was 100% weighted in VPaint.

For the animation, the bodies are all mocap, and for the faces we tried to use a homebrew facial mocap solution, however, many of the cutscenes didn't work too well with it due to audiosync problems. This particular cutscene was one of those that was completely broken regarding facial mocap and audiosync, and I had to animate the whole facial + lipsync on all characters from scratch in 1 day. For animation of facial (as well as body mocap) we used Motionbuilder (since LW lacks a good "morph target" interface to create bone-poses and blend between them, which is needed for bone/joint based facial rigs, especially if you have 16 scenes where most of the characters reappears. :D

M05F02S01-05_Bannon_Nuke_UnC_wSound.mov hopefully shows the little bit more of the bodies and how well the weights work, and again, all is weighted 100% in VPaint. Again, most of the lipsync in that one had to be done by 100% hand animation in a very short time. I belive I had 1 or 2 days or it.

Bare in mind that this was done for an RTS-engine more than 3 years ago (which, hopefully most people understand that such an engine is not designed to show these types of ingame cutscenes) and these movies are frapsed from the game, so there are some bugs here and there and frameskips. Also, worth noticing is that we only had 3 weights / vertex (engine limitation), so when staying in LW you don't have that kind of limitation at all (making it possible to make things even smoother).

Sorry for the large filesizes, I didn't have time to re-encode them to a smaller size. :/

Also worth a notice is that these characters are about 4000-8000 quads (I actually can't remember the actual size). For a highres character, we have about 24000 quads, but all modeled with subpatches, so all detail will go in once we add displacements. My point is, VPaint is quite responsive with 24000 quads. I'm just mentioning that since VPaint will bog down quite severly with alot of polys (even Maya gets slow, but the threshold is higher for sure), but if you use displacements, you don't have to overwork the capacity of any said tool regarding weights... in any case though, our highres cage meshes are weighted by another guy who uses Maya because he knows it and he is pretty darn fast with good quality!

Oh... and just for the record... the first time I ever painted weights was in Maya, not LW.

:)

IMI
01-20-2011, 03:58 PM
I'm just mentioning that since VPaint will bog down quite severly with alot of polys...


Hey speaking of bogging down, has there been any improvement there with LW 10?
I've had models in LW Modeler that were so high res I could barely move or edit them without constantly having to hide parts or put everything in its own layer, while Softimage chews them up and spits them out and asks for more. ;)
I remember the dragon from an early CORE video and how its 150 billion polygons were just flying by in faster-than-real time, but has any of that made it into LW 10?

Cageman
01-20-2011, 04:05 PM
Hey speaking of bogging down, has there been any improvement there with LW 10?
I've had models in LW Modeler that were so high res I could barely move or edit them without constantly having to hide parts or put everything in its own layer, while Softimage chews them up and spits them out and asks for more. ;)
I remember the dragon from an early CORE video and how its 150 billion polygons were just flying by in faster-than-real time, but has any of that made it into LW 10?

Nopes... but that is understandable though... there might be alot that can be fixed with LW, but that one... no way. CORE is leaps and bounds beyond LW when it comes to raw polygon handling and speed, especially when you start deforming stuff or manipulating verts/polys etc...

CORE is the future for LW, no doubt.

:)

jasonwestmas
01-20-2011, 04:08 PM
Hey speaking of bogging down, has there been any improvement there with LW 10?
I've had models in LW Modeler that were so high res I could barely move or edit them without constantly having to hide parts or put everything in its own layer, while Softimage chews them up and spits them out and asks for more. ;)
I remember the dragon from an early CORE video and how its 150 billion polygons were just flying by in faster-than-real time, but has any of that made it into LW 10?

I could probably use Lightwave a lot more if the performance was better. Right now LW is my "simple tool" environment and it works good for that. I'm definitely psyched up for more core builds.

Cageman
01-20-2011, 04:12 PM
That's my quote. I wouldn't "use weightmaps only" for film work in LW. Likewise, in more complex situations I wouldn't exclude weight mapping and use only the resting bone weights either unless the character/creature was completely naked.

I use weight maps in LW to gain better control in situations where there is a layering of geometry on top of the character and in situations where the character's equipment is not all the same material and therefore would deform much differently than other pieces of geometry. VPaint is ok but it doesn't show you how the resting bone weights on a character interacts with the weight maps until you actually exit both the Vpaint environment and then the modeler environment. Certainly not an ideal workflow. It's obvious to me that the original designers of lightwave didn't have these kinds of character designs in mind.

You do know that you can generate the Falloff Type in VPaint for bones that you don't want to weight? In this case, it is nice that VPaint or LW doesn't automaticly normalize weights wich means that your generated weights for bones using Falloff type instead of weights, will still have the same weight or rather influence, no matter how much you weight the bones you actually want to paint weights for. Since you generate the Falloff Type weight in VPaint, you will also see its influence when tweaking the "real" weights, so to speak.

The important thing though, is that you start off with doing the Falloff type automation in VPaint.

Cageman
01-20-2011, 04:29 PM
That's my quote. I wouldn't "use weightmaps only" for film work in LW. Likewise, in more complex situations I wouldn't exclude weight mapping and use only the resting bone weights either unless the character/creature was completely naked.

Ah.. yes... I agree... I would go for a hybrid solution (isolation maps for a set of bones/joints etc), which is pretty much what RebelHill is doing and it works pretty darn well.

:)

IMI
01-20-2011, 04:32 PM
I could probably use Lightwave a lot more if the performance was better. Right now LW is my "simple tool" environment and it works good for that. I'm definitely psyched up for more core builds.

Yeah in this day and age of things like using a high res mesh to project high res detail onto a low res mesh via normal maps, performance is a pretty big issue.
Of course you can make the maps with Zbrush or some other app, but in some cases it's just better to be able to do it in your modeling/rendering app, especially when it comes to poly editing you might need to do that you can't in ZBrush.
So I hope to see Core have that ability.

And thanks for the reply Cageman!

jasonwestmas
01-20-2011, 04:49 PM
You do know that you can generate the Falloff Type in VPaint for bones that you don't want to weight? In this case, it is nice that VPaint or LW doesn't automaticly normalize weights wich means that your generated weights for bones using Falloff type instead of weights, will still have the same weight or rather influence, no matter how much you weight the bones you actually want to paint weights for. Since you generate the Falloff Type weight in VPaint, you will also see its influence when tweaking the "real" weights, so to speak.

The important thing though, is that you start off with doing the Falloff type automation in VPaint.

If I understand what you are saying:

I can see using that "weight falloff => calculate weights" option if I did all my weighting in Vpaint. Then use the "weight map only" option with normalize weights on too. Good point.

Granted I would only do this if the mesh needed a lot of isolation mapping like you were saying.

jasonwestmas
01-20-2011, 04:55 PM
Yeah in this day and age of things like using a high res mesh to project high res detail onto a low res mesh via normal maps, performance is a pretty big issue.
Of course you can make the maps with Zbrush or some other app, but in some cases it's just better to be able to do it in your modeling/rendering app, especially when it comes to poly editing you might need to do that you can't in ZBrush.
So I hope to see Core have that ability.


Sure, but I have no problems using Zbrush displacements and Nmaps in lightwave, it's pretty nice workflow actually compared to other stuff I tried to do with LW. The Edge Interpolation of LW isn't 100% compatible with ZBrush maps but it certainly is usable with a little cleanup in PS, just gotta be careful when doing that.

Of course I would probably have no problems with UVs using Modo sculpting/displacement tools and then using those same UV displacement maps within modo.

Cageman
01-20-2011, 05:03 PM
If I understand what you are saying:

I can see using that "weight falloff => calculate weights" option if I did all my weighting in Vpaint. Then use the "weight map only" option with normalize weights on too. Good point.

Granted I would only do this if the mesh needed a lot of isolation mapping like you were saying.

Yeah.. as I said in a previous post.. VPaint only makes sense (in most cases at least) when you need to go for a 100% weightmapped solution, such as gameengines and whatnot. If you are staying in LW, the hybrid approach is a good one, which usually means isolation maps that are quite easy to create without any weightpainting tools.

btw... aren't you curious about Linos Rigging DVD?

:)

jasonwestmas
01-20-2011, 05:16 PM
Yeah.. as I said in a previous post.. VPaint only makes sense (in most cases at least) when you need to go for a 100% weightmapped solution, such as gameengines and whatnot. If you are staying in LW, the hybrid approach is a good one, which usually means isolation maps that are quite easy to create without any weightpainting tools.

btw... aren't you curious about Linos Rigging DVD?

:)

Well I watched 3 different demos from Lino at siggraph, and really it's not much different to what I learned from SplineGod's approach to hold bones 8 years ago. Larry works with animal animations a lot so using hold bones makes sense. I think the technique is very powerful for naked creatures but I don't tend to work with those kinds of creatures.

I actually would be more interested in Lino's methods of rigging the skeleton in specific types of alien creatures. The proportions of each species can change your approach to rigging dramatically some times. It couldn't hurt to closely study where he puts the hold bones and where he sets those up in his creatures to get the best effects. Every species is different and there is always the chance someone shows me something that I haven't seen before.

IMI
01-20-2011, 11:55 PM
Sure, but I have no problems using Zbrush displacements and Nmaps in lightwave, it's pretty nice workflow actually compared to other stuff I tried to do with LW. The Edge Interpolation of LW isn't 100% compatible with ZBrush maps but it certainly is usable with a little cleanup in PS, just gotta be careful when doing that.



Well what I was talking about is those situations where it's just more practical, easier and quicker to be able to do it all in your 3D package. I use ZBrush for normal maps and displacement maps, sure, but I've done a lot of things recently in Softimage where it was just better results using Ultimapper.
I mean, I can have my low res model and make a copy and then just crank up the polys on the copy and add all kinds of detail to it right there, including entirely separate mesh pieces, and not have to mess with ZBrush. Things like simple models like furniture and whatnot, and hard surface models for detail like bricks and cracks and all that good stuff, which I never have had much luck with in ZB.
Of course you can't do that in current LW - not easily at least. I think there might be a plugin or two, but again, if LW is going to choke on my high res objects, it's just not worth the aggravation.

-EsHrA-
01-21-2011, 06:21 AM
are there other reviews up?

bugzilla
01-21-2011, 07:35 AM
To be frank, it might be possible that I only feel so comfortable with weight-less influence skinning because I'm very old school, and back in the day Lightwave bones could only rely on region influence.

Aha! I thought so. Like I said in an earlier post, this "old school, don't-change-for-the-better-because-I'm-no-familiar-with-new-tools" mentality is what's killing LW development. That's why so many of the tools either feel tacked on or are in strange places, because the users from back in the day will freak out if the tools change even a little. Look at screenshots of LW and LW 9 looks almost exactly like LW 6. It's comforting, but without the ability to adapt and keep up with new technologies, LW is doomed to niche status like Animation Master was.

achilles
01-21-2011, 07:59 AM
Someone love LW!
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/468073451
Goooood!

prometheus
01-21-2011, 08:22 AM
Aha! I thought so. Like I said in an earlier post, this "old school, don't-change-for-the-better-because-I'm-no-familiar-with-new-tools" mentality is what's killing LW development. That's why so many of the tools either feel tacked on or are in strange places, because the users from back in the day will freak out if the tools change even a little. Look at screenshots of LW and LW 9 looks almost exactly like LW 6. It's comforting, but without the ability to adapt and keep up with new technologies, LW is doomed to niche status like Animation Master was.


Im more concerned about poser:p

Michael

lino.grandi
01-21-2011, 08:34 AM
Hello Jason!

I think you'll find the rigging tutorial very interesting. I really can't wait to show my approach to rigging in LightWave10.

I think the next LW10 build is going to make a lot of LW rigger and animators happy. ;)




I actually would be more interested in Lino's methods of rigging the skeleton in specific types of alien creatures. The proportions of each species can change your approach to rigging dramatically some times. It couldn't hurt to closely study where he puts the hold bones and where he sets those up in his creatures to get the best effects. Every species is different and there is always the chance someone shows me something that I haven't seen before.

prometheus
01-21-2011, 08:36 AM
Hello Jason!

I think you'll find the rigging tutorial very interesting. I really can't wait to show my approach to rigging in LightWave10.

I think the next LW10 build is going to make a lot of LW rigger and animators happy. ;)

I can´t wait either, cudos Lino for that stuff coming up:thumbsup:

Michael

jasonwestmas
01-21-2011, 09:49 AM
Well what I was talking about is those situations where it's just more practical, easier and quicker to be able to do it all in your 3D package. I use ZBrush for normal maps and displacement maps, sure, but I've done a lot of things recently in Softimage where it was just better results using Ultimapper.
I mean, I can have my low res model and make a copy and then just crank up the polys on the copy and add all kinds of detail to it right there, including entirely separate mesh pieces, and not have to mess with ZBrush. Things like simple models like furniture and whatnot, and hard surface models for detail like bricks and cracks and all that good stuff, which I never have had much luck with in ZB.
Of course you can't do that in current LW - not easily at least. I think there might be a plugin or two, but again, if LW is going to choke on my high res objects, it's just not worth the aggravation.

Yep, I honestly enjoy hard surface modeling more using Catmull Clark and that new pixar Sub-D. Then having the Nmap gen tools in the same package is a good thing too. The beauty of Zbrush is that I don't have to worry about topology when sculpting. I can start treating geometry construction as a texture which is ideal for finer details. I can do a lot of hard edge stuff in Zbrush but on the flip side, it is a little more work to get the basic shapes correct. Polygon tools are just faster at that. I tend to think of ZB as strictly a small recession and extrusion app (adding lots of nooks and crannies). I have yet to try shadow box though, that may solve some issues for Hard Surfacing.

lardbros
01-21-2011, 12:55 PM
Hello Jason!

I think you'll find the rigging tutorial very interesting. I really can't wait to show my approach to rigging in LightWave10.

I think the next LW10 build is going to make a lot of LW rigger and animators happy. ;)

Oooohhhh... this sounds VERY interesting indeed!!! More info from Lino than we've had from Chuck, Rob or Matt ;)

jasonwestmas
01-21-2011, 01:15 PM
Yeah, I'm very excited about any video from NT, thanks Lino!

lino.grandi
01-21-2011, 03:37 PM
Oooohhhh... this sounds VERY interesting indeed!!! More info from Lino than we've had from Chuck, Rob or Matt ;)

That's not true....I'm nothing compared to them.

They've done something incredible with LW10. As a user, I'm really so excited as I look at what has been done in the last 7 or 8 months. And even more as I think to what Rob, Matt and Chuck are going to lead LW thanks to their passion and LightWave knowledge.

I really think this is a very cool moment to upgrade to LW10 (and so have access to the LightWave10 Rigging: Revealed DVD).

dballesg
01-21-2011, 04:56 PM
That's not true....I'm nothing compared to them.

That is an understatement! :D

We need someone with Rigging and Character Animation knowledge on the team, so there is you! :) But as i told you the other day, there is still a LOT from other applications to investigate, copy and improve and put it on rigging tools on LightWave. And the other way around is true.


They've done something incredible with LW10. As a user, I'm really so excited as I look at what has been done in the last 7 or 8 months. And even more as I think to what Rob, Matt and Chuck are going to lead LW thanks to their passion and LightWave knowledge.

I'm much more excited about what they can do with CORE, now they are free of certain chains on the old systems in LightWave. I'm really looking forward they can find the "middle" road, where we keep what it's good and fast on LightWave and add what it is good on other production proven techniques and apply that to CORE.

The best of both worlds need to be the new motto! :thumbsup:

David

MaDDoX
01-24-2011, 08:05 AM
VPaint is ok but it doesn't show you how the resting bone weights on a character interacts with the weight maps until you actually exit both the Vpaint environment and then the modeler environment. Certainly not an ideal workflow.
That was his original point Cageman, as he pointed out. Nice tip about "weight falloff => calculate weights" in fact, I wasn't aware you could emulate that in vpaint.

Anyways, since people seem so eager for that, there's a really cool plugin that allows basic weight painting inside layout, and another one by the same author for "in-place" mesh editing, very useful for deformation morph-based correction - if that's your cup of tea. Search for "WeightPaintTool" in this page (link translated from japanese):
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.3dcel.jp%2F


Cool... conveniently for me, that concludes it: I was listening to a discussion apparently including someone who has not even understood the basic idea that corrective morphs are primarily meant to provide a more pleasant look on the final deformation?
Awesome. I love when people try to infer that I'm an idiot and then proceed to make a fool of themselves with moot comments like this one. As if everything that's *meant* to work out something actually does it. Hah. For your information, corrective morphs require an insane amount of morph targets and a lot of setup to achieve good results in animations - which's the whole point, right? Even if you go down that road, results can't hold a candle to what you'd get from proper muscle and skin wrapping deformations. Good luck getting this kind of look out of corrective morphs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPYwalEYkK8&feature=related

Now, if you, your specific character or your client don't require that high a quality of deformation, Lightwave can give you very good results in record time with simple muscle-emulation rigs like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtUZQTn0oQ8

Once again, in Lightwave you don't even need to paint weights to do it, although the volume preservation of the bones will require some fiddling with plug-ins or some expression work, if you want more flexibility than the "parent muscle compensation" bone settings provides. One little hint for those who actually care about doing stuff in Lightwave instead of verbally spanking it: try 'limited range' for the muscle-emulation bones, works like a charm ;)


I think the technique is very powerful for naked creatures but I don't tend to work with those kinds of creatures.
Well, dressed creatures do have a body underneath right? :) Seriously, it's quite easy to use the same technique for toon-like appendages and clothes (IKBoost has a nice toolset for simple bone dynamics), for realistic drapery you'd better go with Syflex if you have access to it. The built-in clothfx seems as imprecise for collisions as a real-time engine, which is a shame.


this "old school, don't-change-for-the-better-because-I'm-no-familiar-with-new-tools" mentality is what's killing LW development. That's why so many of the tools either feel tacked on or are in strange places
Nice speech, you really sound like you believe in that. Now, seriously, do you?

Also, why exactly do you think that I've used other packages less seriously or less intensively than I've used Lightwave? Overall I probably have a higher mileage in LW, but in the last decade I've used multiple 3D tools way more often than in the decade before that, and as a professional instead of as a hobbyist.

It's like Cageman mentioned, it's really tiresome the way every little positive mention about Lightwave is always met with "you're a fanboy" and a "you can't use anything else" comment. Supposedly as a way to push Newtek into bigger and better things. Yeah, so helpful. Nevertheless, I for one will keep trying to help the actual community with free tools and the share and discussion of techniques that we can use right now, you whiners can keep whining all you want.


I think the next LW10 build is going to make a lot of LW rigger and animators happy.
Looking forward to that Lino, thanks for the heads up :) While we're at it, why don't you hint to NewTek that they should just include the WeightPaintTool plugin in next Layout's release to make the weightmap-dependent, AD-minions happier? :D

jasonwestmas
01-24-2011, 08:58 AM
That was his original point Cageman, as he pointed out. Nice tip about "weight falloff => calculate weights" in fact, I wasn't aware you could emulate that in vpaint.

Anyways, since people seem so eager for that, there's a really cool plugin that allows basic weight painting inside layout, and another one by the same author for "in-place" mesh editing, very useful for deformation morph-based correction - if that's your cup of tea. Search for "WeightPaintTool" in this page (link translated from japanese):
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.3dcel.jp%2F

Fortunately I have Rhiggit which does provide a really nice 'base' for the weight mapping. It actually has sped up my LW workflow considerably. But no I haven't given that japanese plugin a try yet. It does look really good for finite control over creasing in the deformation if I needed some close up shots.



Well, dressed creatures do have a body underneath right? :) Seriously, it's quite easy to use the same technique for toon-like appendages and clothes (IKBoost has a nice toolset for simple bone dynamics), for realistic drapery you'd better go with Syflex if you have access to it. The built-in clothfx seems as imprecise for collisions as a real-time engine, which is a shame.

Yeah if I had a lot of flowing cloth to create I would break out the cash for syflex. But what I often deal with in my own personal projects are characters that have form fitting suits (heavier fabric that overlaps other geometry in some cases) that needs to buckle when bent and with the occasional shifting and sliding.

It's not practical to use traditional morph maps or deformers for these kinds of effects especially when I have to worry about collision and clipping. But animated vertex clusters in XSI tend to do the job for the most part. I animate the character and go to a frame with an extreme pose and then select the verts that I want to animate. I create a vertex cluster group based on the selected verts. The purpose of the vertex cluster is to create a secondary deformation on top of the primary deformation. I then model by hand the bending, buckling and shifting of the thick fabric based on an extreme pose. I can quickly test the results by scrubbing and adjusting the amount of the secondary deformation with a slider and then key it anywhere I want. The best part is that the vertex cluster can be animated with a motion curve.

Note, that I'm not trying to replace cloth and collision simulation but I am trying to make the fabric of choice deform differently than the characters body/skin type.

Intuition
01-24-2011, 09:37 AM
Someone love LW!
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/468073451
Goooood!

Oh, BTW I worked with Jesse Toves at BSG and he is, in my opinion, the best rigging and CA in the entire Lightwave 3D user base on planet earth, with John Teska being a close 2nd.

If anything, this guy should be doing tutorials for the LW community.

His rigs were so similar to Maya style rigs that I couldn't help but think he had worked in Maya or XSi before. Turns out he never did.

He pretty much showed up at BSG and re-rigged all the characters and they were beautiful rigs with proper control objects, geo groups (under locaters etc etc that would reset the world co-ordinate) ik Targets, etc.

It took him a bit more time to set them up then most could in maya, XSi but... big but....the fact that they were that good in LW showed a huge difference in what I think people, even now, expect LW can do. This was even before NT had added proper up vectors in the IK.

I wonder how well he is doing now with LW10? I should give him a call.


---edit---

Oh, it says in the interview he had used Maya. He told me years back that he hadn't used it much. I wonder if he does now? ;D

RebelHill
01-24-2011, 10:58 AM
This was even before NT had added proper up vectors in the IK.

Yeah...

Really though LW IK still doesnt have proper up vectors.

lino.grandi
01-25-2011, 09:01 AM
Looking forward to that Lino, thanks for the heads up :) While we're at it, why don't you hint to NewTek that they should just include the WeightPaintTool plugin in next Layout's release to make the weightmap-dependent, AD-minions happier? :D

Very cool suggestion! ;)

MaDDoX
01-27-2011, 06:26 AM
animated vertex clusters in XSI tend to do the job for the most part. I animate the character and go to a frame with an extreme pose and then select the verts that I want to animate.
That's definitely the kind of application where Lightwave is weak at, personally I find it a shame that Newtek has abandoned SockMonkey instead of evolving it, it could have easily evolved to a proper cluster and wrapper/lattice-like deformer, as it stands it's extremely limited in use. Messiah in comparison even got "Point Animation" in it's release 4 (or 4.5, can't remember), which's basically sculpting a pose in zBrush-like fashion, right in the middle of an animation.

Nevertheless, I find the way the additive weighting of the joints influence work in Lightwave makes stacked deformation to behave really consistently, you can pretty much have weighted vertex for any "cluster" you want and keyframe their relative positions. Check the way the secondary controls for the belly work in the Roid Ribbit rig that Willian Vaughan kindly released publicly. Maybe that's not the kind of control which you're talking about, if that's the case, since my knowledge of Softimage tools is very limited (working on it heh) please enlighten us.

jasonwestmas
01-27-2011, 09:54 AM
That's definitely the kind of application where Lightwave is weak at, personally I find it a shame that Newtek has abandoned SockMonkey instead of evolving it, it could have easily evolved to a proper cluster and wrapper/lattice-like deformer, as it stands it's extremely limited in use.

Check the way the secondary controls for the belly work in the Roid Ribbit rig that Willian Vaughan kindly released publicly. Maybe that's not the kind of control which you're talking about, if that's the case, since my knowledge of Softimage tools is very limited (working on it heh) please enlighten us.

Yeah, like I mentioned earlier, if the performance and of Layout was better I could probably use it a lot more for more detailed animation in general. For Example I discovered a 3 year old plugin I didn't know about called TA Poseworks. So I was thinking I really could get a lot of repeating animation done quickly in Layout after all. Just an awesome way to get a really quick run or walk cycle or any cycle for that matter.

Then I tried using motion mixer so I could "more cleanly" add any motion, anywhere in the time line and speed it up or slow it down "INTERACTIVELY" if I needed to. I would then bake it into the scene when I was happy with it. I thought motion mixer got fixed in LW 10 but yesterday it just would start crashing randomly with the character rig I was using. and it wouldn't open a file that had the motion mixer saved in the scene file. So I gave up on that and thought, ok I'll just create a favorite set for all the manipulators and edit the keys at once in the graph editor which is not the cleanest way to go about copying and pasting blocks of motion, the motion mixer is clearly much better for that. So I use the graph editor and find that It can't handle copying and pasting all the keys for a simple 20 frame runcycle. . . what!? I was really disappointed by that. So, I could divide those motion channels in half and deal with two different channel sets but what happens when the scene gets even more key frames later on? I would have to then divide my project into lots of different scenes to maintain good performance. The thought scared me. . .

So for this kind of project I'm going to have to resort to xsi 6 which I bought 3 years ago. I don't have the time atm to do a bug hunt for the sake of using motion mixer.

I'm really not implying at all that Lightwave is unusable for some projects but for the particular character stuff that I often deal with: This current project I'm working on that deals with a lot of runs and walks Other projects I've been working on with "more than simple" fabric deformations; I'll have to use other software to complete in a reasonable time.

So what would I use LW for? In LW's current state I would be constrained to only using LW for Performance based animation with "skin" suited characters unless I bought syflex. But for those prices I would be a fool not to invest in a better animation package that could deal with all three situations without breaking too much of a sweat.

This is just my recent experience with LW animation tools compared to what I have done in Maya and Xsi in the past. I am actually really impressed with the RIGs (Rhiggit and Roid Ribbit) that I have seen this past year done with LW 9.6. Newtek is definitely on to something but yet they ignore the other parts of the process for one reason or another. So the animation package becomes extremely unbalanced in a specific context.

You will often find posts on this forum that talk about how great something "Could" be but it isn't because someone decided it was "good enough" to sell for a certain crowd of people. Well sadly that crowd is not me when it comes to LW's animation tools.

What I do still enjoy about LW is the rendering suite. It is what I would still consider to be somewhat modern in its application, even without the cool rendering plugins from Dennis.

Cageman
01-27-2011, 01:54 PM
I'm really not implying at all that Lightwave is unusable for some projects but for the particular character stuff that I often deal with: This current project I'm working on that deals with a lot of runs and walks Other projects I've been working on with "more than simple" fabric deformations; I'll have to use other software to complete in a reasonable time.

For anything related to cloth, I'm starting to think that the tools for such things in any 3D app are way behind the curve when looking at how Marvelous Designer works. Everything from design to simulation is more or less realtime. I'm very impressed.

Looking forward to testing it once it has a solid pipe for exporting simulations to a vertex cache format.



What I do still enjoy about LW is the rendering suite. It is what I would still consider to be somewhat modern in its application, even without the cool rendering plugins from Dennis.

The renderengine certanly has alot going for it, but LW still lacks alot when it comes to pass management. The buffers are OK especially with exrTrader, but the thing that really got me was Janus, both as a concept as well as capability. I did use and betatest PassPort, but Janus went alot further and is something I never would want to be without when it comes to manage large scenfiles and renderpasses.

jasonwestmas
01-27-2011, 02:17 PM
For anything related to cloth, I'm starting to think that the tools for such things in any 3D app are way behind the curve when looking at how Marvelous Designer works. Everything from design to simulation is more or less realtime. I'm very impressed.

Looking forward to testing it once it has a solid pipe for exporting simulations to a vertex cache format.



The renderengine certanly has alot going for it, but LW still lacks alot when it comes to pass management. The buffers are OK especially with exrTrader, but the thing that really got me was Janus, both as a concept as well as capability. I did use and betatest PassPort, but Janus went alot further and is something I never would want to be without when it comes to manage large scenfiles and renderpasses.

Thanks for the heads up, I haven't heared of marvelous designer. Gotta keep an eye on that one. $700 sounds reasonable for something that interactive and works good.

Yeah I probably will be getting more into Janus as I get the time to do a lot of render management. I can't really imagine doing time efficient compositing without a good buffer system.

jasonwestmas
01-27-2011, 02:27 PM
Cripes, now that speaks innovation!

http://vimeo.com/18991032

http://www.marvelousdesigner.com/Marvelous/Demo.aspx

I can imagine hair dynamics working that way too.

Dodgy
01-27-2011, 02:38 PM
That's definitely the kind of application where Lightwave is weak at, personally I find it a shame that Newtek has abandoned SockMonkey instead of evolving it, it could have easily evolved to a proper cluster and wrapper/lattice-like deformer,

Agreed. Sockmonkey is almost LW's version of clusters, except vertex weighting isn't influencing the points with a fall off (Unlike bones), which is a severe limitation in my book.

I've taken to using Shift Spline transform for adding maya-like wire deformers on top of bone deformation since that can use multiple null controlled splines with each spline having its own weightmap..

The new plugin mentioned for painting weight maps in layout is okay, but lacks finesse but is better than nothing. For painting fully weight mapped controlled characters, vpaint is really nice, especially since you can slice an object up in LW, weight just one part and then paste it back together and the weighting will still work, which was impossible in previous versions of maya (Though I think it has since developed its own workarounds for this kind of operation). The one function it was missing was a blur weights paint mode.
I'd really love to get my hands on a proper mesh deformer for LW like this guy demonstrates on his web page.
http://www.3dcel.jp/index.html

MaDDoX
01-28-2011, 07:43 AM
So I use the graph editor and find that It can't handle copying and pasting all the keys for a simple 20 frame runcycle. . .
Jason, now that is really weird. I haven't seen this kind of blocking problem with keys in Lightwave not even in the oldest versions that I've used. Maya in comparison has bogged down on me so much, when trying to multi-select and edit keys, that the software has locked down completely in some instances. Are you sure this wasn't related to something else, like trying to select objects and bones and keying them at the same time? Did you try using the Scene Manager tracks as well?

As for Syflex, it's a shame that it's priced so high for Lightwave and it's included for free (AFAIK) with Softimage. Company money talks it seems. If Newtek wants to be honest to their claims about supporting CA to the fullest extent, they should try getting a deal with the Syflex developers. And it still won't be any built-in Marvelous Designer :)


I'd really love to get my hands on a proper mesh deformer for LW like this guy demonstrates on his web page.
Actually I can pull off this kind of stuff in Lightwave with SockMonkey on an arbitrary cage working as a lattice to deform an object within using ClothFX, the problem is that it's nowhere near interactive, since you have to refresh the .MDD every time you reposition your source objects. I've been thinking about it, DP Motion Designer pack has a "MDD MetaPointer" plugin which supposedly reads MDD data on a frame-by-frame basis, I haven't tested it but I imagine it's not real time. Do you think there's any chance that Denis could make that plugin get a toggle to auto-update itself every time a transformation is applied to an object in the scene? That could be just what we need as a gap-filler for point-based deformations.

PS.: Shift Spline Transform is one of those "novelties" that I haven't tried in Lightwave yet. Does it work fine (stable, good performance, etc)?

jasonwestmas
01-28-2011, 08:54 AM
Jason, now that is really weird. I haven't seen this kind of blocking problem with keys in Lightwave not even in the oldest versions that I've used. Maya in comparison has bogged down on me so much, when trying to multi-select and edit keys, that the software has locked down completely in some instances. Are you sure this wasn't related to something else, like trying to select objects and bones and keying them at the same time? Did you try using the Scene Manager tracks as well?


Most likely Graph Editor Doesn't like the rig I'm using

whoops, I accidently deleted my post. sorry.

MaDDoX
01-28-2011, 09:35 AM
DP Motion Designer pack has a "MDD MetaPointer" plugin which supposedly reads MDD data on a frame-by-frame basis, I haven't tested it but I imagine it's not real time.
I've took a break to test that option, it doesn't source + updates the MDD simultaneously, just as I imagined. To make things worse, it doesn't deform the target mesh well, it distorts the high res object a lot, unlike when you use clothfx.

What we would need to make this work would be a plugin "sourcing" the current frame from the cage in real time, to a file (even better, to a file in memory if that's possible, although ofc we can create a RAM disk ourselves), and another plugin reading the same current frame (only the current one like the dPont nodes do) from the MDD, also in real time. This way we could alter the "lattice" cage mesh in any form or fashion we like, and the target object would update in real time. Hopefully this would be somehow smoothed out to present results similar to those of clothfx.

I have no idea if that's feasible or not with the way things work inside Lightwave, but it shouldn't hurt to ask Denis about it :)

jasonwestmas
01-28-2011, 10:24 AM
Most likely Graph Editor Doesn't like the rig I'm using .


I dug up an old IKB/IK rig of mine (nothing fancy) and created a motion channel set that included all the bones and null manipulators. Within the graph editor I was able to easily copy and paste 100 frames for all those items (walk cycle). So obviously this Graph Editor performance issue is because of the complexity of the Rig. How many motion channel keys are being copied and pasted isn't as much of an issue.

Dodgy
01-29-2011, 12:31 AM
PS.: Shift Spline Transform is one of those "novelties" that I haven't tried in Lightwave yet. Does it work fine (stable, good performance, etc)?


As far as I've seen, it is stable and performs well.

Netvudu
01-29-2011, 07:42 PM
but only 32-bits which puts it out of my league.

MaDDoX
01-31-2011, 11:14 PM
but only 32-bits which puts it out of my league.
What, Shift Spline Transform? I thought they had included it native to Lightwave in both versions. It's indeed kinda sad that a couple really critical tools (for some workflows) are tied to 32-bit versions, like WeightPaintTool and the Legacy Autodesk FBX exporter.

Personally I don't mind having both the 32 and 64-bit versions installed, for what I do I don't find the 64-bit version having more performance (although I haven't pushed it much ofc), I tend to use the 64-bits version mostly for rendering. Anyways, it does get a mess sometimes switching across both versions if you're not careful with your shortcuts and windows configurations.