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Pixelight
03-10-2011, 10:34 AM
Hi there.
I'm a compositor wanting to get into 3D and I have narrowed down my choice of applications to Lightwave, mainly due to the great reputation of it's internal renderer and the huge community it has.

But before making my final decision I still have a couple of questions which I would like to iron out.

One thing I know I will be doing for sure is buying models online from websites like Turbosquid. But I have noticed that the huge majority of models seem to be for Max. I'm already anticipating to use LW for a project in fall and have already started to look for models for the project and all the models I have liked so far are made for Max. Now I know Turbosquid will convert scenes for you and that LW can import OBJ and FBX for example. But my question is how well do the conversions work? Will all the textures etc transfer? A lot of the models are done in Max with V-ray. How can that transfer to .LWO or OBJ and FBX? Because if textures etc don't transfer well you are no longer buying a "ready" scene but just a untextured model.
Since I predict needing LOTS of models and buying a lot of them will save me time this will be an imperative part of my decision. I really don't want to have to go with Max.

Thanks in advance.

ArtGoblin
03-10-2011, 10:49 AM
Well... my experience with exporting/importing obj, fbx and also 3ds (the old 3d studio max format) is that the UV's tend to keep in place. Some basic shader info might transfer as well (most importantly different surface groups/material groups). But you'll probably need to tweak the actual shader when you import into LW. That's basicly unavoidable in any program's case becouse of how different the renderers are setup to think. Hope that helps :) And I support your choice of not wanting to go with Max... I've been forced to work with it on several occation's, both work and school, and it just sucks so much (regardless of it's powers, those powers are a hell to organize, tweak and harness so I wouldn't recommend using max for anything else than architectural modelling, but then again, there are better programs on that subject around anyways)

Pixelight
03-10-2011, 10:59 AM
Thanks for the quick reply.
Yeah, I really don't like Max. One thing I heard about Lightwave and one of the things which made me choose it was that the renderer is extremely easy to use (nothing like the complexity of V-ray) and even with standard settings give very realistic results, which for me being new to 3D is just what I want to hear. :)

But it's interesting that you mentioned architectural modelling as this is exactly the type of models I will need the most. Buildings and interiors as well as some vehicles like cars and trains. So you don't recommend Lightwave for that?

Back to what transfer and what don't, I'm aware that tweaks will need to be made. I just didn't want to pay for a finished scene which looks great as rendered by Max/V-ray just to find out I would have to start texturing etc from scratch or pretty close to it once I get it into Lightwave nd it will never look that good without a lot of work. It wouldn't save me much time by modeling time.

geo_n
03-10-2011, 11:09 AM
I have some experience with transferring models from lightwave to max and vice versa. Look at my sig I work crossplatform for work all the time. :D
If you will use lightwave then only choose obj or lightwave formats at turbosquid. 3dmax with vray materials don't translate well into lightwave. Obj from other 3d appz usually have textures intact and some adjusting of materials will be needed in lightwave to account for differences in diffuse, spec, bump, etc.
There's no shortage of lightwave models in turbosquid even though the ratio is probably 5 3dmax to 1 lightwave.

ArtGoblin
03-10-2011, 11:11 AM
I'd recommend LW for most modelling gigs, and architecture is one of them. But I'll still admit that there are many tools that come with 3dmax that can make some architecture jobs much easier/faster to do. But luckily.. there's a plug-in for LW called LW_Cad and it suppliments all of your precision tools you'd want when modelling architecture. I personally have never used them, since I use AutoCAD if it comes to that.

Here's some render of some free models I found on the net in 3ds and obj format. spent about 10 minutes on tweaking the shaders on each model once they were importet into Lightwave...

Pixelight
03-10-2011, 11:16 AM
If you will use lightwave then only choose obj or lightwave formats at turbosquid. 3dmax with vray materials don't translate well into lightwave.

Do you mean only buy scenes which were originally made in Lightwave or only buy scenes in Lightwave or OBJ formats, meaning if I buy a MAX scene I should have Turbosquid converting the scene to Lightwave or OBJ for me?
If the the earlier, this will make my life much harder as most architecture models are Max only.


Obj from other 3d appz usually have textures intact and some adjusting of materials will be needed in lightwave to account for differences in diffuse, spec, bump, etc.

By that do you mean OBJ from Max is not the same/worse?


There's no shortage of lightwave models in turbosquid even though the ratio is probably 5 3dmax to 1 lightwave.

Well, most of the architecture models are Max only. Are there other sites besides Turbosquid where Lightwave models are more common?

Thanks.

geo_n
03-10-2011, 11:29 AM
It would be better to buy scenes originally made in lightwave since this is the native format for lightwave. Any conversion from other software will not translate exactly to what you see from a max file. Obj is a universal file but only the mesh data, only textures and uv are intact. No lighting,animation or rendering information is contained but its better than nothing and lightwave reads obj without needing translation. I would be wary of fbx or collada at turbosquid. They are not reliable.

Obj from max is ok depending on who translated it for you. When I do it, its all done manually. So it will depend on who is doing the translation. Since turbosquid will translate a max file they didn't orginally create but an artist created, then sometimes the translation could be just ok.

There are no site that cater mostly for lightwave models. Don't worry the lightwave library in turbosquid is massive. Just max is more massive.
Check out The3dstudio too which is 2nd rank in 3dcontent.

Pixelight
03-10-2011, 12:00 PM
I'd recommend LW for most modelling gigs, and architecture is one of them. But I'll still admit that there are many tools that come with 3dmax that can make some architecture jobs much easier/faster to do.

Like photometric lights? Does LW have photometric lights?



But luckily.. there's a plug-in for LW called LW_Cad and it suppliments all of your precision tools you'd want when modelling architecture. I personally have never used them, since I use AutoCAD if it comes to that.

Thanks. I will check it out.


Here's some render of some free models I found on the net in 3ds and obj format. spent about 10 minutes on tweaking the shaders on each model once they were importet into Lightwave...

Looks great!

nickdigital
03-10-2011, 12:07 PM
Like photometric lights? Does LW have photometric lights?


Yes.

Pixelight
03-10-2011, 12:11 PM
It would be better to buy scenes originally made in lightwave since this is the native format for lightwave. Any conversion from other software will not translate exactly to what you see from a max file.

I was afraid this would be the case. Since I'm not very experienced in 3D, buying models which are pretty much ready to render will save me tons of time in the beginning and so far all the models I have "selected" are Max only. :(



Obj is a universal file but only the mesh data, only textures and uv are intact. No lighting,animation or rendering information is contained but its better than nothing and lightwave reads obj without needing translation.

Well, that's all I need really. Lighting maybe would be good in some situations but chances are I would relight most of the time since one lighting set up wouldn't cut it for all the situations I may use the scene. But animation I don't need at all, specially that most of it is just buildings and environments where the only animation would be the camera, which I will chose my own angles anyways. Rendering I was not expecting since a V-ray setting will naturally not work without V-ray.


I would be wary of fbx or collada at turbosquid. They are not reliable.

Ok, thanks. Good to know. But by the way, what about scenes which are offered in several formats? Some very few are offered in .Max, OBJ and FBX for example. Given what you said I can't believe they are all optimized for the respective formats. It probably means made in Max and converted to the others which will probably not give the same results as the .max file. Am I correct?


Obj from max is ok depending on who translated it for you. When I do it, its all done manually. So it will depend on who is doing the translation.

Yeah, I downloaded a demo of Max and V-ray and imported one of the free turbosquid scenes into Max and exported it as FBX and also OBJ and tried importing it into a demo of Lightwave. well, couldn't get it to work.


Since turbosquid will translate a max file they didn't orginally create but an artist created, then sometimes the translation could be just ok.

This is really the problem. I couldn't find many Lightwave models I could use. For some reason the Max models on Turbosquid just seem to look more realistic/detailed. Or maybe it's just the style of models I'm looking for and given the bigger number of Max models available there it's easier to find them in .max files. I'm looking for old buildings etc. What I'm looking for at the moment is pretty much digital environments.

There are no site that cater mostly for lightwave models. Don't worry the lightwave library in turbosquid is massive. Just max is more massive.

Also, it's not easy to narrow the search down to Lightwave since it will bring up not only .LWO but also FBX, OBJ and anything that Lightwave can open/import.


Check out The3dstudio too which is 2nd rank in 3dcontent.

Thanks. I will check them out.




Thanks.

.

geo_n
03-10-2011, 12:59 PM
Ok, thanks. Good to know. But by the way, what about scenes which are offered in several formats? Some very few are offered in .Max, OBJ and FBX for example. Given what you said I can't believe they are all optimized for the respective formats. It probably means made in Max and converted to the others which will probably not give the same results as the .max file. Am I correct?

This is really the problem. I couldn't find many Lightwave models I could use. For some reason the Max models on Turbosquid just seem to look more realistic/detailed. Or maybe it's just the style of models I'm looking for and given the bigger number of Max models available there it's easier to find them in .max files. I'm looking for old buildings etc. What I'm looking for at the moment is pretty much digital environments.


.

Several formats are offered by some artist but the artist can't be good at rendering in all lw, 3dmax, maya, xsi, c4d, etc. They usually have the model optimized for one or two appz they use and some are straight translation and relinking of textures only. They just did the obj import for you basically. I made this camera in lightwave as a prop. It took atleast 20min to get the materials right in vray and I did it manually. I doubt if its worth it for turbosquid to test the translated model in 3dmax vray to get a decent render. They will have to check my uv maps, textures, material setting for max vray and setup new lighting and rendering just for this one model if they did the translation. 30US is probably not enough for the time they would need to get it right. So best to clarify with turbosquid support what the original model came from before buying.
The quality is indeed a quantity thing. More artist means more chances of getting the cream of the crop of artists. But that also means you get a lot of crappy models. :D

wesleycorgi
03-10-2011, 01:26 PM
There quite a few sites that offer native LW files, including within these forums. Also, NewTek provides a boat load of various objects that are included with your purchase.

I like using TurboSquid in a pinch (I prefer to model my own stuff, but usually my projects are short turn). But more often I am looking to Sketchup warehouse.

As a remedy to some of the conversion, I keep Blender handy because it tends to have more I/O capabilities.

wrench
03-10-2011, 01:31 PM
Don't forget there are a huge number of architectural models in the SketchUp warehouse and there is a plugin to bring SketchUp objects into LightWave too.

B

ArtGoblin
03-10-2011, 02:19 PM
Don't forget there are a huge number of architectural models in the SketchUp warehouse and there is a plugin to bring SketchUp objects into LightWave too.

B


OOOOOoooohhhh :) please tell me that plugin is a free one ! pretty please :D

wrench
03-10-2011, 02:23 PM
Okay, if you insist. The SketchUp plugin for LightWave is a free one. Okay? :) It really is though, written by Alex Young, RegularFry on here. I'm not on a machine that has it though...

B

ArtGoblin
03-10-2011, 02:28 PM
sweet ! feel like it's my birthday again or something similare :D would have given my left testical (wich just happens to be my favurate one of the two) for this knowledge a couple of weeks ago

dwburman
03-10-2011, 10:19 PM
I tried to d/l the sketchup importer a week or two ago and the link was dead.

jeric_synergy
03-10-2011, 10:37 PM
I've imported SketchUp objs into LWM, no problem.

geo_n
03-10-2011, 10:37 PM
I just received shocking news. As I've been selling models and creating custom models for more than 3 years on the side.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Artists,

I have decided to send this message personally as there are some important changes due to take place within our company. Over the past few months we have been conversing with TurboSquid, a competing marketplace based in the USA, and with Greg Solovyev, CEO of Exchange3D. We have been discussing common challenges and issues that our young industry is facing, which include quality control and content certification, international languages and currencies, licensing rights, and undercutting, just to name a few. It has been great to debate with such passionate individuals with different viewpoints on how we might take our industry to the next level.

As a result of these discussions we have decided to join forces with TurboSquid and Exchange3D and bring all our best ideas together. We have big plans for the future of our sites, and are committed to developing the best service and to bring you the sales you rightfully deserve. I will be working directly with TurboSquid staff in New Orleans to bring about these changes.

We are going to take the best of what each site offers and combine them to improve all three sites, including improved support, more payment options and access to a wider international customer base. Initially, we plan to unify accounts, support, payments, and royalty rates. Most of these changes will take place as we are able to implement them, however the royalty rates will change on May 1st, when Falling Pixel's royalty rates will change use the TurboSquid scale of 40% and 50-60% for exclusive sellers. Later, artists who sell exclusively on these sites will be able to publish once and syndicate content across all three sites. Additionally, features from Falling Pixel and Exchange3D, such as foreign currency payments and other internationalization features, will also be incorporated into the TurboSquid site so all sites are improved.

As always I am keen to hear any thoughts and suggestions regarding this and will be available to answer any questions you might have.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Lloyd
Managing Director, Falling Pixel.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Hello,

I have some news to tell you. I am leaving Exchange3D to pursue other interests. Exchange3D website will continue to operate as it always has been, but it will be operated by TurboSquid and Falling Pixel, who are joining together.

There is no need for you to make any action at this time. Your models can continue to stay on the Exchange3D website and sell as before, and you will receive the same royalties through the same payment method. With these changes, you will have better support, more ways to get paid, and more opportunity for sales to customers. In the future, we will unify accounts on all three sites, and artists who sell only on these three sites will be eligible for TurboSquid exclusivity program (SquidGuild).

I hope I did not surprise you too much. I enjoyed running Exchange3D, but the 3D industry changes, and it becomes more difficult every year to give you the good service you should have. TurboSquid has the resources to improve Exchange3D and address quality issues, undercutting, fraud, etc.

If you have questions about this change, you can email me or contact Exchange3D support. I wish you continued sales and success at Exchange3D.

Greg
Exchange3D

geo_n
03-10-2011, 10:42 PM
http://3dstocktalk.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=751
only two major players in the 3dcontent business now. The3dstudio and Turbosquid.

Snosrap
03-10-2011, 11:15 PM
I thought you had to have a valid install of MAX on your box for any conversion of Max objects. 3ds is fine, but Max is a closed format AFAIK, unless that has changed recently. Other than native .lwo's, .obj's are the best to import into LW in my experiance. The quality of on-line models can be suspect, and sometimes you can't tell until you spend the money and download it. Working with someones low quality models is no fun at all. Build your own. :)

dwburman
03-10-2011, 11:20 PM
The free version of Sketchup I was using (version 8) didn't export OBJs and I couldn't open the DAE files it exported.

The odd thing is that I was able to get a sketchup building into LW with no problems last year. Oh well, the project is over now. :)


I've imported SketchUp objs into LWM, no problem.

geo_n
03-10-2011, 11:29 PM
I thought you had to have a valid install of MAX on your box for any conversion of Max objects. 3ds is fine, but Max is a closed format AFAIK, unless that has changed recently. Other than native .lwo's, .obj's are the best to import into LW in my experiance. The quality of on-line models can be suspect, and sometimes you can't tell until you spend the money and download it. Working with someones low quality models is no fun at all. Build your own. :)

Yes you do, it hasn't changed and never will as its AD most favored app. :D
There are good and bad models online. But if you have to have a model today that will take atleast 16 hours to build, sometimes its better to buy it. Takes 10 minutes to get.
If its time consuming models and we're tight on deadline, the company I work for would rather buy a model on turbosquid than taking my time to build it when I can concentrate on more important aspects of a project. It saves time for small studios that don't have modelling departments, lighting specialist, animators, etc.

wrench
03-11-2011, 02:26 AM
I tried to d/l the sketchup importer a week or two ago and the link was dead.

I have it and am willing to post it here, just waiting for the okay from Alex.

B

Pixelight
03-11-2011, 04:52 AM
Several formats are offered by some artist but the artist can't be good at rendering in all lw, 3dmax, maya, xsi, c4d, etc. They usually have the model optimized for one or two appz they use and some are straight translation and relinking of textures only. They just did the obj import for you basically.

This is what i thought, thanks.


I made this camera in lightwave as a prop. It took atleast 20min to get the materials right in vray and I did it manually. I doubt if its worth it for turbosquid to test the translated model in 3dmax vray to get a decent render. They will have to check my uv maps, textures, material setting for max vray and setup new lighting and rendering just for this one model if they did the translation. 30US is probably not enough for the time they would need to get it right.

I just found out Turbosquid has a service where they will translate the file for you, meaning they will import the file in the application you want to convert it to and tweak and adjust all the settings to make it work perfectly with your program as it would originally in Max for example. Of course they charge you for that and it depends on how complex the model is and how much tweaking it would need. i wonder if it's worth it.


So best to clarify with turbosquid support what the original model came from before buying.

I make sure i do.



The quality is indeed a quantity thing. More artist means more chances of getting the cream of the crop of artists. But that also means you get a lot of crappy models. :D

Yep. This definitely seems to be the case. I honestly couldn't find one single .LWO architecture model on Turbosquid or the3Dstudio that I liked or fitted what I'm looking for.

Pixelight
03-11-2011, 04:53 AM
Don't forget there are a huge number of architectural models in the SketchUp warehouse and there is a plugin to bring SketchUp objects into LightWave too.

B


Okay, if you insist. The SketchUp plugin for LightWave is a free one. Okay? :) It really is though, written by Alex Young, RegularFry on here. I'm not on a machine that has it though...

B

And where would you download this awesome plug-in? :)

Pixelight
03-11-2011, 04:56 AM
I just received shocking news. As I've been selling models and creating custom models for more than 3 years on the side.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Artists,

I have decided to send this message personally as there are some important changes due to take place within our company. Over the past few months we have been conversing with TurboSquid, a competing marketplace based in the USA, and with Greg Solovyev, CEO of Exchange3D. We have been discussing common challenges and issues that our young industry is facing, which include quality control and content certification, international languages and currencies, licensing rights, and undercutting, just to name a few. It has been great to debate with such passionate individuals with different viewpoints on how we might take our industry to the next level.

As a result of these discussions we have decided to join forces with TurboSquid and Exchange3D and bring all our best ideas together. We have big plans for the future of our sites, and are committed to developing the best service and to bring you the sales you rightfully deserve. I will be working directly with TurboSquid staff in New Orleans to bring about these changes.

We are going to take the best of what each site offers and combine them to improve all three sites, including improved support, more payment options and access to a wider international customer base. Initially, we plan to unify accounts, support, payments, and royalty rates. Most of these changes will take place as we are able to implement them, however the royalty rates will change on May 1st, when Falling Pixel's royalty rates will change use the TurboSquid scale of 40% and 50-60% for exclusive sellers. Later, artists who sell exclusively on these sites will be able to publish once and syndicate content across all three sites. Additionally, features from Falling Pixel and Exchange3D, such as foreign currency payments and other internationalization features, will also be incorporated into the TurboSquid site so all sites are improved.

As always I am keen to hear any thoughts and suggestions regarding this and will be available to answer any questions you might have.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Lloyd
Managing Director, Falling Pixel.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Hello,

I have some news to tell you. I am leaving Exchange3D to pursue other interests. Exchange3D website will continue to operate as it always has been, but it will be operated by TurboSquid and Falling Pixel, who are joining together.

There is no need for you to make any action at this time. Your models can continue to stay on the Exchange3D website and sell as before, and you will receive the same royalties through the same payment method. With these changes, you will have better support, more ways to get paid, and more opportunity for sales to customers. In the future, we will unify accounts on all three sites, and artists who sell only on these three sites will be eligible for TurboSquid exclusivity program (SquidGuild).

I hope I did not surprise you too much. I enjoyed running Exchange3D, but the 3D industry changes, and it becomes more difficult every year to give you the good service you should have. TurboSquid has the resources to improve Exchange3D and address quality issues, undercutting, fraud, etc.

If you have questions about this change, you can email me or contact Exchange3D support. I wish you continued sales and success at Exchange3D.

Greg
Exchange3D


That's interesting news as I was just checking their sites yesterday. Are we moving towards a monopoly here?:D

By the way, I'm wondering what both of them mean by "undercutting"?

prometheus
03-11-2011, 05:17 AM
the sketchup lwo exporter to lightwave is up here at the forums somewhere posted by me, and from the license that is ok.

do a search for sketchup export or sketchup in these threads the zip is somewhere.

It works pretty nice to export with scale pretty accurate and rotation and polys transfered decently, however you canīt get the texture out unfortunatly, you would have to remap the stuff.

Collada export to lightwave was kinda broken since 7.5 I believe, at least
I believe they have a later collada version.
You can install sketchup 6 and try collada from there, that should work.

Then again Collada works with lightwave 10 ..If you create objects from scratch, but downloaded warehouse objects from google will probably not.

Michael

safetyman
03-11-2011, 05:22 AM
Pixellight -- How about this scenario: 3DS Max is what, $3495?, while LW is currently $895. Polytrans is $395 (converts .max files to other formats, as well as Softimage, Maya, C4D, etc.) So $895+$395 = $1290. You have money left over to buy a bunch of Max models from TurboSquid.

prometheus
03-11-2011, 05:33 AM
Hereīs the sketchup exporter again, on this page posted by me.
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65906&highlight=sketchup&page=8

or try direct...
http://www.newtek.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=89533&d=1288710765

Read the install instructions carefully, once installed correctly..the export option can be found under tools/export lwo.

You do need to go to windows/preferences in sketchup first thou, and under extensions check the basic lwo exporter.

Michael

read

Pixelight
03-11-2011, 05:52 AM
Hereīs the sketchup exporter again, on this page posted by me.
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65906&highlight=sketchup&page=8

or try direct...
http://www.newtek.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=89533&d=1288710765

Read the install instructions carefully, once installed correctly..the export option can be found under tools/export lwo.

You do need to go to windows/preferences in sketchup first thou, and under extensions check the basic lwo exporter.

Michael

read

Thanks Michael. Much appreciated.

Pixelight
03-11-2011, 05:54 AM
Pixellight -- How about this scenario: 3DS Max is what, $3495?, while LW is currently $895. Polytrans is $395 (converts .max files to other formats, as well as Softimage, Maya, C4D, etc.) So $895+$395 = $1290. You have money left over to buy a bunch of Max models from TurboSquid.

Yes, that definitely sounds like a good option if it will solve the .max scene import problem. I'm new to Lightwave and don't know about any of these options. In the end of the day it might end up being much much cheaper than paying Turbosquid to translate the scenes i want to Lightwave since I will need several scenes. Although maybe this Polytrans will not be as accurate as having them loading the .max scene into Lightwave and tweaking the individual settings to optimize it for Lightwave and have it render just as it would in Max and look like the Max render on the product page?
So with Polytrans all my problems are over and I can import .max scenes which will perfectly transfer to Lightwave?

prometheus
03-11-2011, 06:07 AM
I created a Pipeline-sketchup-lightwave section in the General support forum.
Basicly using the lwo exporter for the obj export, and collada export to get the texture library.
Check the forum.

Michael

lardbros
03-11-2011, 06:21 AM
I still thought you needed a copy of max to export as a .max file. This is certainly the case with Deep Exploration... not sure about Polytrans, but I'm sure this is the case too!

jwiede
03-11-2011, 07:25 AM
I still thought you needed a copy of max to export as a .max file. This is certainly the case with Deep Exploration... not sure about Polytrans, but I'm sure this is the case too!
Yeah, having run into this problem a few times, I was never able to find a solution to deal with .MAX files that didn't require a 3DSMAX install. Not all state that requirement clearly, but unfortunately all the ones I could find expect the app be installed to convert to/from .MAX files.

If anyone knows of a .MAX conversion solution that doesn't require 3DSMAX be installed, I'd love to hear of it.

As to your questions about tools for architectural viz. work, LW's renderer is quite capable in that regard, but it is worth mentioning that it also has a few problem areas as well. LW renderer's caustics are weak -- I can't think of a better way to describe the issue, they're just weak and require ramping the settings up rather high to get even remotely acceptable results. Also, if you're going to be working with animated GI, you can get decent results, but be prepared for a LOT of trial and error to get there. Depending on how important factors like caustics are to your needs, you might also want to take a look at Kray (http://www.kraytracing.com), an excellent third-party renderer for LW that offers tuning and GI features beyond those available in LW's own renderer. LW's lower entry cost will leave you with more money to purchase plugins to augment capabilities. You can equip a very extensive toolbox for LW for less than the cost of a single AD application by itself.

On the other side of the coin, the simple truth is that VRay is an amazing render engine, and in terms of performance, quality across all scenarios/features, etc. it actually represents an excellent value. It's a de-facto standard in the arch-viz community, as well, so learning how to use it well opens up job opportunities that LW simply would not. Also, it's receiving very active development, and some of the features (upcoming portable shading language like MetaSL, dispersion effects, area-based rendering detail level control) are unlikely to be seen in LW's renderer any time soon. There's a reason it's in the position it is, market-wise, and it has a lot to do with its abilities.

To make a decision like yours, I think you need to ask yourself some longer-term questions as well: You mentioned wanting to do arch-viz work, but is that as a hobbyist, or in a career context where you need to consider job-related skill opportunities as well? The factors balance out a bit differently depending on your mid- to long-term goals. I'd strongly recommend pursuing LW as a hobbyist solution, but if you're also trying to build job skills to get into arch-viz firms, I'd lean towards a VRay-equipped solution, as the "resume value" of VRay skills is generally greater than LW skills. It's very difficult to argue against Maya+VRay or MAX+VRay for workplace skills, as skills with those apps will open up job opportunities that equivalent LW skills simply would not.

If you're aiming towards freelance work, LW's value and flexibility will cover a lot of needs you might encounter in and outside arch-viz. The money you save going with LW will allow you to add tools like LWCAD which are some of the best available for precision and architectural modeling (IMO). And again, some of the areas where LW's renderer falls behind VRay can be addressed by third-party renderers such as Kray or Maxwell -- which'd be easier to afford buying LW instead of Maya, XSI or MAX, but in the case of Maya or XSI might not be necessary either.

That said, it's also worth noting that (AD App)+VRay means you have access to both MentalRay and VRay. Further, the toolset included with AD apps these days is very complete (for arch-viz, AD's inclusion of ImageModeler is particularly nice), but MAX lags a bit behind Maya or XSI in that regard. One of the strange things about MAX (to me, anyway) is that it's both expensive, and still requires adding plugins to reach a fully-capable toolbox. Honestly, going down the AD app path, I'd probably go with XSI+VRay or Maya+VRay before I'd go with MAX+VRay.

jwiede
03-11-2011, 07:43 AM
Speaking of arch-viz, one subtle thing you should be aware of is that LW doesn't include a geometry replication solution in-box. Kray (list $441/319€) offers one built-in but only for Kray renders, and Happy Digital sells HD Instance (list $299), a very nice solution for LW's renderer. For arch-viz work where you'll frequently need to splatter vegetation everywhere like some crazed shrubbery diety, you'll really want some kind of replication tool, to keep your poly counts down and render times reasonable. Vray also offers built-in replication/proxies as part of its engine.

Pixelight
03-11-2011, 07:57 AM
Hi jwiede, thanks for the extensive reply.

Firstly, I'm sorry if I gave the impression my interest is in arch-viz. It is definitely not.
What I meant was that I'm mainly interested in buying architecture models and scenes as well as cars etc rather than characters and the like. But I'm not going into arch-viz.
Actually my interest is VFX and as I mentioned before I need to build digital environments or digital sets if you will. This is why I'm looking for architecture models like interiors and buildings etc. With that info, I'm not sure how much it changes your reply or how much of it still applies.
I'm sorry that I wasn't more clear before. Thanks again.

Snosrap
03-11-2011, 09:44 AM
I still thought you needed a copy of max to export as a .max file. This is certainly the case with Deep Exploration... not sure about Polytrans, but I'm sure this is the case too!
Yep, Polytrans requires a licensed install of Max on your box.

prometheus
03-11-2011, 10:58 AM
Hi jwiede, thanks for the extensive reply.

Firstly, I'm sorry if I gave the impression my interest is in arch-viz. It is definitely not.
What I meant was that I'm mainly interested in buying architecture models and scenes as well as cars etc rather than characters and the like. But I'm not going into arch-viz.
Actually my interest is VFX and as I mentioned before I need to build digital environments or digital sets if you will. This is why I'm looking for architecture models like interiors and buildings etc. With that info, I'm not sure how much it changes your reply or how much of it still applies.
I'm sorry that I wasn't more clear before. Thanks again.


You could go vue and cornucopia model stores, the last terminator movie used that for creating some urban village.
And vue is nice for backdrop mattepaintings too.

Another plugin render for lightwave, could be Maxwell 2.5 with the fire plugin(doesnīt do fire) wich renders quite fast, It is pretty newly released.

You could also try out the vue Ozone 5 plugin PLe version wich just has been released...look for it at www.e-onsoftware.com and under products/trial versions ..free to use and never experies, It carries a vue logo on every rendered image thou, and thatīs okey, but after a while you get very nasty watermarks all over the images wich makes it hard to see your images properly.

Michael

lardbros
03-11-2011, 11:32 AM
Not sure it's possible to convert a .max file without 3ds max... it's an odd one, but you need 3ds max to do it, as a max file isn't just a mesh, it's a 'state' too. The .max file holds all the info on how the stack is held at the time, and what options were on/off etc.

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=7481504

Saying that though, there's this which might be something of help? I doubt it though

prometheus
03-11-2011, 12:23 PM
Once the VPR is polished and amped a little more in speed, You will love it.

a small sample of skytracer and fluids turbulence in the viewport, a couple of seconds for the vpr to refine, once the initial refinement is enhanced ..It will be great.

downloaded a wtc model from sketchup and imported, I didnīt do the textures thou, Ill get back on that...the model is pretty accurate in scale I believe so the turbulence plugin has to deal with a large container
Turbulence fire and smoke test container is set to a 1 m voxel size and a total of 25.7492 MV grid resolution 300x300x300 and the fluid emitter genera radius is set to 20 meters.

Im sorry about the bad theme taste thou, hope no one getīs offended.

Ill try with ozone 5 ple and fluids later on...and the big bulge volume will be removed from the fire on the fluids too, Iīll fix that later.
Google sketchup models could work fine for previz, but You would probably have to model or find better stuff at the end.
you could check viewpoint models.
http://www.digimation.com/home/Products.aspx?sm=mb

Michae

kopperdrake
03-11-2011, 02:16 PM
My tuppence worth. Don't worry about having to tweak objects bought from online places - my guess is that eventually you'll be changing the built-in textures anyway for individual clients, they usually ask for colour/material changes anyway for arch viz stuff. LightWave is so easy to texture in it's really no problem slapping a texture on a piece of untextured geometry and getting something half decent out quickly. Check out http://www.e-interiors.net/ for some raw poly data for decent design objects.

With regards arch viz, buy LWCAD for modelling. In fact, for most types of modelling, buy LWCAD. Factor it in to your initial budget - it can shave 20-80% off modelling time, depending on the object in question. Also, as someone said above, HD Instance for instancing.

With regards interior images, the new LW10's Linear Workflow system, by all accounts, makes interior images easier and quicker to render. I haven't tested it out myself - no time yet, but it's meant to cater for interior radiosity solutions in a more realistic fashion. Someone here more knowledgable will no doubt correct me/elaborate I'm sure.

Again - it's already been said, but it's impossible to convert from a .max file to anything else without having a licenced copy of Max installed on the machine. Once you learn basic texturing, you really won't miss that fact - unless you want to specialise solely in arch viz and use off-the-shelf models, but then you'd be up against the far east sweat shops (yep - I heard it was vfx that is your main push).

Are you planning on being a solo artist, plugging into other companies, or do you want to work as a team, or learn a 3D app to get a job in a studio? These questions will also have some weight in your decision I guess.

Pixelight
03-11-2011, 02:41 PM
Thanks for the info.



Are you planning on being a solo artist, plugging into other companies, or do you want to work as a team, or learn a 3D app to get a job in a studio? These questions will also have some weight in your decision I guess.


I'm a freelancer compositor. So I want to learn 3D to have 3D along with the compositing. So I can do my own backgrounds without depending on somebody else to do the 3D part for me. Thanks.

kopperdrake
03-11-2011, 02:57 PM
I'm a freelancer compositor. So I want to learn 3D to have 3D along with the compositing. So I can do my own backgrounds without depending on somebody else to do the 3D part for me. Thanks.

I'd see LW as being a great option in that case. It can be used in a relatively quick and dirty fashion whilst getting decent results. I still recommend HD Instance (think tufts on rugs/carpets, anything that involves a multitude of the same object). I still recommend LWCAD for modelling - invaluable. I would have recommended FPrime for quick lighting and texturing feedback, though VPR may have made that slightly less attractive.

Good luck in your choice!

Pixelight
03-11-2011, 03:07 PM
I'd see LW as being a great option in that case. It can be used in a relatively quick and dirty fashion whilst getting decent results. I still recommend HD Instance (think tufts on rugs/carpets, anything that involves a multitude of the same object). I still recommend LWCAD for modelling - invaluable. I would have recommended FPrime for quick lighting and texturing feedback, though VPR may have made that slightly less attractive.

Good luck in your choice!

Quick and dirty is nice for when you are under pressure. But can it do fantastic-awesome too?:D
I have been told that it doesn't exactly match V-ray quality in most cases but pretty close?

What is VPR?

prometheus
03-12-2011, 06:35 AM
VPR is the newly introduced viewport renderer in Lightwave 10.
It can render your scene in any viewport, and It works like a preview renderer wich in some scenes updates within seconds to give you a very fast preview of the whole scene.
more complex scenes and volumetrics with radiosity takes longer times to update thou.

The VPR is in itīs early stage It seems thou, and I believe it will get faster and better.

You donīt have to wait for ages to get a good preview of your rendered scene.

VPR is supposed to work with most stuff, and it works with hypervoxels wich are lightwaves native volumetrix voxel system for smoke,fire,sprite clips,surface mode for liquids etc, use sprites or volumetric for nebulaes etc.
Take a look here at the lightwave 10 vpr release video from Rob Powers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN3JfQ6Vi2c

VPR also works with turbulence fluids for fire and smoke and pretty nice too.
you can find turbulence here http://www.jawset.com/

VPR also shows fibr fx wich is lightwaves hair system.

Turbulence fluids is still in beta and under development
Fiber fx needs some polishing
hypervoxels are sweet and one of the fastest and simplest voxel systems, but some things needs improvements wich havenīt been done in years.

Michael

lardbros
03-12-2011, 10:23 AM
Just a quick thing to add to the discussion :)

HD instance is pretty much redundant now that Denis Pontonnier has made DP instance! It's great and free!

Lightwave compared to Vray is an odd thing... you can't completely compare 2 render engines... it's the individual artist that creates the work, not the renderer. VRay does have many more options though, but you do pay a premium for that too! We have it at work, but rarely use it as Mental Ray provides great renders, as does Lightwave

wrench
03-13-2011, 09:34 AM
But if you want quick and good-looking, then LightWave wins out anyway with shows like Battlestar Galactica, Outcasts, Lost, Fringe and many, many more all turned in with very short deadlines.

B

Pixelight
03-15-2011, 03:27 PM
Thanks for all the replies so far.

So to summarize it:

*Lightwave render is not as good as V-ray, but it can get pretty close (80%?) and it’s much easier to use and get good looking results and renders faster than V-ray.

*Lightwave render has problems with caustics. But I don’t necessarily need Kray unless I will be needing lots of caustics. Otherwise Lightwave stock render should do.

*Plug-ins I should consider: LWCAD, Fprime. Anything else?

*I don’t need HD Instance since DP instance is free and does the same. (Where do I download DP instance?)

*Things like Polytrans make no sense because I still have to have Max installed.


Is the above all correct?


On the .max conversion thing, it seems it’s not possible to do conversion without max. installed. But one can install a demo of Max which is fully working and convert a whole bunch if it would work. But I tried that without much success. Textures didn’t transfer.

But what about Turbosquid custom conversion services where their artists will modify and build anything and get a scene or model to work with all features in your destination application, in this case Lightwave.? Nobody commented on that. Has anybody used it? Good, bad, overpriced? It seems it would at least guarantee the model would render as close to the .max as possible in Lightwave.

Thanks.

Pixelight
03-16-2011, 10:44 AM
I'm also wondering if there is a place like c4dexchange.com for Lightwave? Thanks.

lardbros
03-16-2011, 12:15 PM
There's Preset Central for textures etc, but TurboSquid is always good for LW models!

wrench
03-16-2011, 02:36 PM
In any case, you *will* need to do work in LightWave, however you get the models, if you want to use LightWave. If you just want to be able to use those Max objects and scenes, with their texturing just as they are shown in TurboSquid, without doing any work on them there is only one solution - use Max.

B

GraphXs
03-17-2011, 10:52 PM
I transfer models back to LW all the time from Max. I do it with OBJs. They will maintain most of the textures and scale into LW modeler. Some clean-up is required, but not to much.

As far as rendering, Yes LW is easier to get up and going and it does look great! VRay in Max is wonderful and I use both LW and VRay/Max. VRay has a quick and clean with it GI solution, but materials can be more tricky due to having Max's standard materials and VRay materials. Ya can mix them somewhat, but it can be a PITA. For example a VRay material doesn't have a "spec" channel, it wants to create spec the realistic way (reflection based, but not fake "spec" 3D way) That is great, but it then takes longer to render. In LW I can mix the fake spec with reflections to get the best of both really fast! Also with LW10 and VPR, it's better at getting a render preview than Max/VRay. (Though it has been a while since I used VRayRT: VRays real-time renderer. I would say LW is overall easier then the Max/VRay combo and also a lot cheaper. As far as buying models, if you can get OBJ's from TS that would be the best option to get it into LW.

Pixelight
03-18-2011, 08:10 AM
Thanks.
I can't really justify the price of Max+Vray at the moment. So it's reassuring to hear that you had success in importing Max models into LW without much fuss.
Because no matter how much I look I just can't seem to find any realistic looking architecture models in .lwo

lardbros
03-18-2011, 08:30 AM
Can't you grab a free copy of SketchUp... there are huuuuge libraries of models, and then import them into Lightwave using the free plugin?

Mr Rid
03-18-2011, 11:24 AM
Daz and Renderosity also for inexpensive content.

dwburman
03-26-2011, 08:07 PM
Dosch Design has models that are compatible with LW.

The High Rise Building set has 25 buildings for $149 USD.

http://www.doschdesign.com/products/3d/High_Rise_Buildings.html

PSith
03-28-2011, 08:55 AM
Hi, everyone know about LW10 register? I've registered Lw10 but when i log in n click on my download tap i didnt see anything new to download. what's i did wrong?

wrench
03-28-2011, 10:09 AM
There isn't anything on the reg.newtek.com site yet. If you'd like to get LightWave 10 you have two choices right now as I see it. You can either go and find the build announcement for build 2067 and install that, or you can get the trial version of 10 here (http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/lwtrial.php). The trial version is the full version of LightWave, it just awaits your license.key and dongle to work.

B

erikals
03-28-2011, 11:14 AM
for realistic renders look towards Octane,... (great results and easy setup)
http://www.refractivesoftware.com/
(there also is a LW export plugin that you get access to if you decide to buy it)

Octane is 99€
Vray is $1350

...and Octane has just as good renders, if not better...