View Full Version : Lightwave 3D: Past, Present and Future (A Personal View and Blog)

11-18-2011, 11:19 PM
Hello All!

After following the last few days worth of postings; both here and abroad, I felt it was time to offer my own personal ponderings on Lightwave. I realize that there are numerous threads on the matter of LW Core and Lightwave 10 and 11; but I wanted to lay out what I see, from somewhat of a "beginner's" perspective (a beginner who's started over more than once in 3D and with Lightwave).

First off; let's get the ugly stuff out of the way. As I've said in a number of threads both here and elsewhere on the net; I believe NewTek made a mistake in the way they handled the Lightwave 11 roll-out...with respect to their long-time user base. Not taking into account everything that the Core users went through, and blind trust they placed in NewTek; when determining the price of the version 11 upgrade for them, is going to come back to haunt them in the future (in my opinion). You can throw out all the examples and numbers you like, but wrong is wrong. I'm very much not alone in this line of thinking (as the last week or so has shown). We've lost some valuable users because of the way in which this was all handled. It doesn't appear that it's affecting NewTek at all; if it is, it sure isn't showing (remember actions speak louder than words). That is, in itself, sad; as this Community of users used to be quite close and a tangible reason to use Lightwave in your pipeline. Whether we can get back to those days remains to be seen; but banning accounts and shouting (speaking generally) people and their concerns down isn't helping at all.

As with all things in life however; there is a flip-side to this coin.

Endless bantering and complaining can have a definite negative effect; both on the Community, and on the future of Lightwave. It is clear that a point has been made, quite strongly in fact; by numerous people here. There comes a time when even a dead horse will get up and walk away. We have to work with what we have for now, or else walk away and call it a wash.

I love a good debate as much as anyone; even one as heated as we've seen here in the last few days. I've even participated in it myself; both here and elsewhere on the net. But, in the end, it loses it's allure and becomes counter-productive; even for we "die-hard complainers. :D

Back in August of 2006; I was offered about as good a deal as you could get, on Lightwave 8, from NewTek. I graciously accepted, and soon after laid down some cash for the v.9 upgrade. I bought numerous tutorial series, from Dan Ablan (http://www.3dgarage.com/) (who I always recommend) and the now defunct Kurv Studios (about 13 DVDs). I started, and completed most of, Dan's Lightwave 9 Signature Courseware. Following that; I basically stopped creating 3D work for the most part. Various reasons abound on why (new job, family, moderating a demanding Forum/Community for Indie Game Devs, etc.); but the sole reason at the end of the day, was simply that I was procrastinating. I became real good at "talking" about what I wanted to do; making numerous lists and bullet-points. Even buying/collecting various plugins and programs (this is when I moved from Paint Shop Pro to Photoshop CS5...at a whopping $750). I have yet to truly get into Photoshop either...though (true to form) I did buy a training series for it! ;)

My point is this (at least for myself, personally). I started getting into Indie Game Development and 3D Modeling back in early 2004 (starting with TrueSpace/GameSpace). I don't have much to show for it at this time in 2011. This is something I wish to change, and have finally taken steps to do so...the biggest hurdle being minimizing my procrastinatory nature.

I've now fired up Dan's Tutorial series again, in order to get a good basic overview of Lightwave and 3D Modeling again.

The infamous "Crate Scene"

This is where I am now with Lightwave 9.6. This is the new beginning for me. I don't have the money or the (real) inclination to go to another package that could end up just being another program to add to my "collection". I have everything I need to be productive now. My plan is to get through Dan's Courseware; then go through the Viper Series I bought, followed by the Car Series and so on. This will continue until I am comfortable in most areas of Lightwave and 3D in general. Intermixed in all that will be my own study of using Lightwave for Game Development.

Which brings me to my next point. Lightwave 11.

If the new Unity feature is all that it's being touted to be (and there is precious little being said about it at this point....hint...hint...). I may very well either take the plunge with 11, or possibly wait until version 12 comes around. We'll be using the Full Commercial version of the Unity Engine; so anything that makes me quicker and more efficient (as basically one of two artists on the team), is worth the money being asked. Being able to do it with a package that I am already familiar with, is just icing on the cake.

I see Rob and the Team heading in a very solid direction with this latest release (I wasn't honestly convinced in v. 10). They have a long way to go; but it seems the LW Ship is now on a solid heading. We've all said what we felt we must in this matter. Now I suggest (for those of us still on board) that we start to give the Team the support (and kudos) that they both need...and deserve. I see good things on the horizon...with the occasional bump in the road. ;)

I know I have a long way to go myself.

My apologies if this post is a bit "discombobulated" as it's rather late, and I tend to ramble in the wee hours of the night. :D