PDA

View Full Version : Considering moving to LW



gravin
01-31-2012, 08:45 AM
So I'm leaving University and starting to work as a freelancer (but looking for studio work when possible) and I'm deciding between continuing to work with Maya as this is what I was taught in school or possibly moving to LW. My main motivation for sticking with Maya is it's more general utility tools. Things like the component editor, tools that let me get into the low level of things to make fine adjustments. Of course price is a big roadblock and as a freelance generalist It's a little steep. I'm not that familiar with LW so I was hoping some of the experienced users here could let me know if there are tools for editing vertex influence of bones on a per vertex level and any other power user tools available in LW that might ease the transition. I'm confident that I will be able to use LW for anything from a creative perspective but I don't want to get caught with my pants down because there are missing tools on the technical side when problems occur.

djwaterman
01-31-2012, 09:22 AM
If I were just starting out and already had a pretty good handle on Maya, then that's a good place to be starting from. I've been freelancing for years and am currently changing over to Maya, it's not because LW is no good, but the industry is just more Maya friendly.

Maybe the creative output from LW 11 can change that perception in the future but that's an unknown.

BigHache
01-31-2012, 10:35 AM
Things like the component editor, tools that let me get into the low level of things to make fine adjustments. Of course price is a big roadblock and as a freelance generalist It's a little steep. I'm not that familiar with LW so I was hoping some of the experienced users here could let me know if there are tools for editing vertex influence of bones on a per vertex level and any other power user tools available in LW that might ease the transition.

LW doesn't have any sort of history stack so if you made a cube, you wouldn't be able to edit the height parameter. Or a sphere, to change its tessellation before doing any serious vertex modeling. However, LW's input fields can do math and auto calculate between units. Meaning if your units are set to metric but you wanted to move something 2", you can.

Vertex Influence, the spreadsheet like Maya has isn't there, so you would use something like Weightmaps.

I've used LW for many years and started learning Maya about a year ago. They're very different... but fundamentally the same. It's not free but maybe a worthwhile investment, Lynda.com has a beginner series on LW 10 which gives a real thorough rundown of LW. If you did just a month there that wouldn't be a high cost to get an idea of comparison between the two programs.

Rayek
01-31-2012, 01:02 PM
I have been in the same boat as you - I went to 3d school (College of Multimedia in Amsterdam), and we used Cinema4d. After finishing, going freelance I decided to buy the studio v7 version (huge chunk of money). Two years later, and maxon decided to run their prices through the roof, and I could not afford to even pay for the upgrades anymore.

Then I did a sidegrade to Lightwave v8, was amazed by the feature set and the pricing, and learned it pretty fast - although I missed certain features (such as non-destructive modeling and better animation tools). So for me the solution was to use both Lightwave and Blender together - a flexible and inexpensive solution, though it did mean learning a 2nd app. With the rate Blender is developing, offering some features not present in most other apps, and Lightwave finally picking up development again, the future looks bright. Oh, and did I mention I got LW 9.6 as a free upgrade? That was a nice surprise - Newtek's upgrade policy so far has been very accommodating (unlike some other firms I could mention here, but I will not!).

What I am saying, is that as a freelancer it is easy to be flexible, and we are lucky to be working in a field where have this much choice!

ps make sure to get LWCad when you do decide to plunge for LW - essential.

thomascheng
01-31-2012, 01:16 PM
If you had to choose between maya or max, I would go with Max. I believe they are about 10x bigger in general than Maya, but maya if very concentrated in movies and tv shows, which gets the most attention. All other industries seem to be max. With that said, LW is my favorite.

OnlineRender
01-31-2012, 04:08 PM
TIP : go with what gets the job done.....

geo_n
01-31-2012, 04:46 PM
As a freelancer you might be forced to submit files that are more commonly used. They're not lw, modo, blender, xsi. Pick the software that gets the most work then pick the software that you can buy cheap, free and play 3d stuff.

dblincoe
01-31-2012, 04:46 PM
tip : Go with what gets the job done.....

+1


What ever you feel comfortable working in...you'll be faster at it.
What you can easily afford. No sense in picking the most expensive if you don't feel you'll earn enough to pay for your tools and learning the tools.

I've used LW for 12+ years and when I went freelance I kept using it. It has met every task I've needed. It's a pretty flexible 3d app and getting better each release, IMHO.

But really it comes down to what you feel most comfortable with.

Cageman
01-31-2012, 04:50 PM
We have completely moved away from Maya when it comes to rendering... A mix of Modo and LW gets the job done far more quicker and easier... especially LW when you add a tool like Janus.

dblincoe
01-31-2012, 04:51 PM
We have completely moved away from Maya when it comes to rendering... A mix of Modo and LW gets the job done far more quicker and easier... especially LW when you add a tool like Janus.

I hear so much good about Janus. I wish it was stable on mac.

Surrealist.
01-31-2012, 06:49 PM
So I'm leaving University and starting to work as a freelancer (but looking for studio work when possible) and I'm deciding between continuing to work with Maya as this is what I was taught in school or possibly moving to LW. My main motivation for sticking with Maya is it's more general utility tools. Things like the component editor, tools that let me get into the low level of things to make fine adjustments. Of course price is a big roadblock and as a freelance generalist It's a little steep. I'm not that familiar with LW so I was hoping some of the experienced users here could let me know if there are tools for editing vertex influence of bones on a per vertex level and any other power user tools available in LW that might ease the transition. I'm confident that I will be able to use LW for anything from a creative perspective but I don't want to get caught with my pants down because there are missing tools on the technical side when problems occur.

You could practically pay for LightWave with a competitive upgrade to Maya. Before the price change the competitive upgrade would have covered it.

Basically you'd be able to get Maya and LightWave for about 4 grand if you play your cards right.

From there believe it or not the upgrade to an entertainment suite is only 1,495. So you could additionally have Softimage, Mudbox and Motion Builder.

So for an investment of 5.5 grand you could have a veritable arsenal of programs to tackle any job. LightWave, Maya, Softimage (ICE Syflex, Lagoa, Face Robot) Mudbox, Motion Builder.

Might be a good idea in this case to contact a reseller in your area to help advise you on purchases. That is what I did and I found him to be very helpful in this regard.

Obviously that is a lot of stuff to learn. But you don't have to buy it all at once either. You can do it in steps.

Also, another thing. If you are looking for point level control and great rigging features as well as a nice animation system have a look at Messiah.

So the starting economy version might be LightWave and Messiah. If that is a concern.

But I think you are going to find that LightWave alone will not match what you are getting from Maya by a long shot.

Just some ideas to get you thinking.:)

clagman
02-01-2012, 04:04 PM
I second that adding LWCAD is essential (necessary).