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View Full Version : LW8-Upgrade?: MASSIVE like abilities?



Miles
10-20-2003, 09:49 AM
Sorry if I've missed a prior thread discussing something like this, but I'm strugling with justifying the cost of upgrading. Personally I could use ease of use with client CAD files, but that's beating a dead horse...

Regardless, I'm trying to justify what appears to be a character driven upgrade with LW8 and maybe some here can help with that. Are their any plans to take LW's features beyond individual characters and deal with ease of use with multiple characters (Crowd/Agent/AI) features; maybe not unlike those used in LOTR (Lord Of The Rings) with the MASSIVE features? Something along those lines might sway me (for personal project use) to buy into a LW8 upgrade even if it'll not provide a good upgrade justification for my client needs with CAD files.

Thanks for any insight...

cresshead
10-20-2003, 10:07 AM
you'll find that the capability of "massive" crowds in lightwave is already in lightwave 7.5..take a look at the last ep of buffy where there were more than 5000 characters if i remember right..done in lightwave 7.5 they used motion designer to bake the motions so they didn't need the bones systems anymore to deform the thousands of characters...some lateral thinking can go a long way!

as to the request of a massive style plugin for lightwave 8...we'll have to wait n see..the soft body/hard body and rigid dynamics have been turbo charged so with that in mind such things as the thousands of characters in buffy will be even simpler to create.

steve g

Titus
10-20-2003, 10:22 AM
Do you think NewTek has spent the last months designing a visual programming method to create agents?

Well, I don't think so.

cresshead
10-20-2003, 10:47 AM
to be quite fair in latest 3d iterations of various 3d apps including maya/max..not one of them has made a "massive" plugin...the call for such things is so small that plugin developers such as the creators of AI implant take up the slack in such cases and you pay a hefty price as the market is so small the r nd needed to make to plugins needs to be re couped in onlt a handful of sales to make the idea profitable.

3dsmax had character studio which in turn has a crowd feature with delegates that attract and repel plus have their own cognetive behavoirs but crowd really pushes to it's limits with 20 characters rather than 2000 or 20,000... at 20 you need to start planning to composite your characters before max folds under the pressure.

of course there are scripters and plugin creators for max/maya and lightwave that write their own custom code to do such things but most stay "inhouse".

lightwave has shown that with a little effort you can make /do just about anything that you need including huge crowd scenes.

steve g

Miles
10-20-2003, 10:56 AM
Do you think NewTek has spent the last months designing a visual programming method to create agents?Titus: Well, Is not that the point of asking such questions in these forums? Maybe you could have a cup of coffee or whatever sets you straight in the morning and then enlighten us with how NT's months of designing a visual programming method into LW8 will make agents a null and void way of dealing with massive amounts of characters. I don't know, so you tell me/us not in the know and help NT to sell another upgrade seat of LW8. Otherwise, the input doesn't really serve well as Insight to the question.

cresshead: Thanks... That at least sounds like a direction worth looking into I and maybe others weren't aware of and I appreciate the insight. Maybe Lee with his video tutorials might be willing to enlighten us with an example of this sort of multiple character work.

Exper
10-20-2003, 11:18 AM
You can find a Crowd example using PFX at PresetCentral! ;)

Crowd Scene
http://www.presetcentral.com/presets/browse.html?maincat=ParticleFX&subcat=Scenes

Bye.

Titus
10-20-2003, 11:26 AM
Miles: Maybe my response sounds harsh, that wasn't my intention.

chriz
10-20-2003, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by cresshead
you'll find that the capability of "massive" crowds in lightwave is already in lightwave 7.5..take a look at the last ep of buffy where there were more than 5000 characters if i remember right..done in lightwave 7.5 they used motion designer to bake the motions so they didn't need the bones systems anymore to deform the thousands of characters...some lateral thinking can go a long way!

as to the request of a massive style plugin for lightwave 8...we'll have to wait n see..the soft body/hard body and rigid dynamics have been turbo charged so with that in mind such things as the thousands of characters in buffy will be even simpler to create.

steve g

The vampires in the Buffy finale have little to do with a program like 'Massive." Massive is designed to generate behaviors based on motivation and triggers. I had to choreograph the vampire army myself. Yes, MD allwed me to cram lots more vampires in there, and LW was pretty robust with an insane amount of data, but the actions were all pre-baked, not simulated. If I had dropped a "Slayer" into that crowd of ubervamps, they would have ignored her. In Massive, they would have swarmed her and then moved on without me makeing them do it.

cresshead is correct in that the market for such tools is small, so I wouldn't expect massive functionality to show up in LW8 natively. That being said, there are folks like Brad Herman who are working on crowd dynamic programs that work with Lightwave. We used Brad's system in "Children of Dune," and a subset of his tools to help bake the vampires in "Buffy."

I guess another point is that you don't always need the total solution to make something look good. We didn't have Massive, nor the time, nor the money to make Massive for "Buffy." We did what we could given the time and budget we had, and it turned out LW was the best tool for that particular combination.

Now if Newtek does give us AI agents........

WizCraker
10-20-2003, 04:27 PM
Also AI is not the easyist thing to program, Try writing a simple Tic Tac Toe Game using an AI Algorithm, you will do a lot of hair pulling trying to get everything working like it should. With only 9 squares depending on who moves first there is something like 900,000 possible boards to look over. So the AI algorithim needs to look ahead a few steps and play the opponint to see where the best move would be by eliminating and not looking at the bad moves. Same goes for writing an AI algorithm for a 3d object, I would guess massive uses a step Algorithm to set specifics on what a Character can and cannot do, then based off of those instructions it makes a choice on what to do next based on the surrounding objects. What makes AI so difficult is setting up the initial Steps and how to go about in it. The technology from Massive will likely come down in price once more people start needing objects to 'Think' for themesleves. But like others have said above the people that wrote Massive to solve a problem that Maya was limited at doing.