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rcallicotte
03-12-2012, 05:13 PM
I'm watching as an observer and an admirer, so I think I'm being objective and hope I'm being helpful.

Newtek needs to get away from the third-party bandwagon and needs to supply their Lightwave product with the goodies we get from other third-party vendors.

Explanation:

1. No, I don't mean we need to forget about or disenfranchise third party development. Let it continue as it will.

2. By goodies I mean the wonderful third-party packages that everyone here and abroad knows about, which are even reasons why people still use Lightwave.

3. This will ensure that Lightwave has a future rather than the sad fact that someone might make a fantastic third-party package for Lightwave only to let it die in a few years and leave us without.

4. Lightwave can be the all-in-one beautiful package that is sure, steadfast and reliably beautiful to use. I believe this.

shrox
03-12-2012, 05:19 PM
I concur.

gerry_g
03-12-2012, 05:40 PM
If I was making such a plea I think I would at least have the courtesy to name names if only to avoid unnecessary ambivalence, secondly far more expensive packages although providing more core functionality out of the box still rely heavily on a third party plugin infrastructure.

rcallicotte
03-12-2012, 06:29 PM
@gerry, I know. I'm trying to keep this objective and also actually give a framework without prejudice to Newtek, if they will listen. I'm nobody to give advice, really.

I do think that this split has been the slow demise of Lightwave's overall popularity. When third-party software discontinues, then the users suffer. I'm sure some have suffered more than others.

DigitalSorcery8
03-12-2012, 06:39 PM
I do think that this split has been the slow demise of Lightwave's overall popularity. When third-party software discontinues, then the users suffer. I'm sure some have suffered more than others.

:i_agree: completely.

shrox
03-12-2012, 06:51 PM
...I do think that this split has been the slow demise of Lightwave's overall popularity. When third-party software discontinues, then the users suffer. I'm sure some have suffered more than others.


:i_agree: completely.

More concur-ence.

UnCommonGrafx
03-12-2012, 06:58 PM
I dunno.

I think the community has done more harm than disappearing apps.

I can think of Alter and dynamite as the two big apps that left us with money on the table.

All the others I can think of, like Worley, have gone away because their tech has gone the route you speak of.

I bought OGO Hikari last night. I thought it was dead.

NT needs to complete the internal architecture of lw to have a unified node system upon/around which they can integrate the two programs we know today. They should make a robust sdk of which third-parties can 'plug in'to, lscript, python and beyond.

C4D attempted to do this. They still have 3rd parties. 3dmax, too.
The only one's without, per se, would be maya and xsi. I think this would be because of what I said above: a robust sdk which 3rd parties can take advantage of. In the case of maya, mel artists who do code to take advantage of the main app. For example, coding for maya smoke tools with mel as opposed to making a turbulence smoke plugin for LW.

I want NT to stay running deep and silent.

probiner
03-12-2012, 07:09 PM
rcallicotte, in my ignorance, I disagree with you.
While it's great to have built-in features with good integration, LW would probably with:

- Focus on LW structure: How it is organized! What it can handle! What's the intended mindset for Modeling-Animation-Rendering-Performance-Standards-etc; and provide a range of tools that profit from this structure.
This is the application base-camp and why ppl will love it, find it powerful or easy to get into.

- Along side have an SDK that gives 3rd parties full access, so they can expand LW capabilities beyond what NT would ever consider to develop, while keeping integration at best.

Even with all the great new features that pop-up, we all know that LW's mindset on many areas is frozen and adding more features to a dated mindset doesn't linearly mean a better software in the long run.
So I would say the CORE premise was good; now if it was feasible or sustainable/manageable; I return to my ignorance :D

Think of the energy that ppl put in to make those 3rd Party features and the global waste it is when NT develops similar features at the same time (!)
Of course if some plugin is dropped by the dev, and it's crusial, it's nice of NT to arrange it's inclusion and keep updating it :)

Cheers

speismonqui
03-12-2012, 07:17 PM
I think the community has done more harm than disappearing apps.

:agree:




NT needs to complete the internal architecture of lw to have a unified node system upon/around which they can integrate the two programs we know today. They should make a robust sdk of which third-parties can 'plug in'to, lscript, python and beyond.

C4D attempted to do this...

NT too, you're defining what CORE was supposed to be, it didn't work as planned sadly.

Dexter2999
03-12-2012, 08:01 PM
I've long said that I would love to see Newtek actually devote time and energy into promoting the partners. Spend an afternoon (or day) at SIIGRAPH or NAB pointing out what partners products like VoluMedic or LWCAD can do to help.

LW doesn't do everything out of the box. That doesn't mean it doesn't do everything you need it to.

How much would it hurt to actually have a page in the products/store for partners and plug ins? It isn't like they are competing products. There is some quibbling to do about commissions on trades and such but I'm sure it is "do-able".

Netvudu
03-12-2012, 08:48 PM
3D Studio MAX has grown up on its third parties popularity...Vray, Fume FX, Rayfire, Krakatoa, Thinking particles and many many more are usually the main reason for may people using Max.

I think itīs just another marketing strategy. Itīs difficult to say whoīs right.

Even myself, I sometimes feel split-minded. For instance, I like a lot what Mike Wolfīs company does (db&w), and its certainly good for us, but at the same time, I find it rather ridiculous that an off-the-shelf version of Lightwave canīt save the buffers inside an Open EXR file when the rest of the industry is doing it years ago.

djwaterman
03-12-2012, 10:18 PM
How much would it hurt to actually have a page in the products/store for partners and plug ins? It isn't like they are competing products. There is some quibbling to do about commissions on trades and such but I'm sure it is "do-able".

Totally agree, rather than walk away from the 3rd party stuff they need to make it part of the selling point of Lightwave, a page on the site that points you to these much used companions.

There is a tab on the site currently called Plug ins or something, but it doesn't do this.

Titus
03-12-2012, 11:11 PM
Understanding that NewTek has a slow programming cycle, third party developers help LW to be bigger. If NewTek reinvents the wheel adding VPR to LW, making Worley leaving the arena, who wins?

akademus
03-12-2012, 11:32 PM
I also tried to point it out to several times before. Things like LWCAD, KRAY, PLG tools and number of different beauty additions to LW should be more clearly pronounced. Its a win-win for both NT and 3rd party developers. NT will draw more costumers if they show to them that LW in fact can do this, that and that, through plugins or by itself and small developers like DP, TrueArt and others will gain more exposure.

It reminds me of case I had in a studio where I worked. Nobody really knew how to make decent UV maps in LW. They found LW tools to be too cumbersome. When I started shooting out maps in matters of minutes, everybody started asking how do you do that. There is PLG UV plugin sitting in plugins repository on network drive for years and nobody knew about it. Everyone just thought LW is not really good at making UVs!

akademus
03-12-2012, 11:37 PM
Understanding that NewTek has a slow programming cycle, third party developers help LW to be bigger. If NewTek reinvents the wheel adding VPR to LW, making Worley leaving the arena, who wins?

I'm pretty sure Worley stopped developing FPRIME long before VPR. Just checked know last FPRIME update was mid 2009. And I'm highly suspicious he somewhat helped them out with it.

Silkrooster
03-12-2012, 11:51 PM
Maybe I am wrong, but I think one of the reasons why 3rd party developers go away has more to do with the sdk. In that certain features they need to create or update a plugin is out of their reach. So they are more likely to go to a company that has an easier sdk to work with. I probably should clarify, by sdk, I mean hooks into the app itself more than the sdk.
Maybe if they brought the programmers in to their alpha circle where they have access to the lightwave source code, maybe just maybe the programers can say, ah ha, now I see why it didn't work and here is what you newtek need to do to fix it.
Also I believe they should bring in said programmers to help them code, since they have access to the source code and have signed a NDA, the programmers could then write code for lightwave itself so everyone wins. The programmers may even be more willing to embed some of their older code into lightwave, if they get royalties from it and have a head start at creating new plugins for versions of lightwave that they normally would not get a chance to work on as fast. I hope that made sense.

DigitalSorcery8
03-13-2012, 01:54 AM
I think that 3rd parties leaving the nest has MORE to do with the super small market share LW has and the sdk more than anything. Max and Maya have a HUGE market share so their 3rd party developers have a LARGE built-in market. LW... not so much. I think that Lightwolf and Elmar could chime in here about that. I doubt 3rd party development has made them very rich.

I agree that Newtek should concentrate on on unifying the app and SERIOUSLY imrpoving the sdk. Building a solid architecture is paramount since a rock-solid foundation would also help 3rd parties - but ONLY if the sdk is open like CORE was beginning to show. But then having a great sdk and solid foundation would also allow them to more easily create solid features that work with ALL other features. How many features currently in LW don't work with the other features currently in LW? One plugin can't talk with another plugin. This is what Newtek needs to concentrate on - something that will help them AND 3rd party developers.

Joe Alter through a temper tantrum and left - partly for being criticised and perhaps partly because Newtek chose Sasquatch over his solution - who knows? Dynamite... who knows? Perhaps the developer finally realized that LW wouldn't provide him with many customers. In any event, the LW community is what it is. Only Newtek can improve it by improving LW, improving customer service, improving the website (which is beginning to happen), improve training and SERIOUSLY improve marketing.

MentalFish
03-13-2012, 04:25 AM
Personally I am wary of becoming dependent on 3rd party solutions, especially if it is done by a small team or just one person. I.e. the baking plugin, Microwave, as sweet as it was, quickly went out of my toolbox when I moved over to Mac and the developer never updated it to work on Intel Mac LW (not even 32bit). Also HDInstance, I bought it, and as soon as LW for Mac turned 64bit, no more luv from that either.

I think NewTek should do everything in their power to license DPKit and other goodies from Denis Pontonnier as well as do everything possible to get the PLG tools: http://homepage2.nifty.com/nif-hp/index2_english.htm
Instant modeler improvement (and hopefully some updating for us silly Mac users)

rcallicotte
03-13-2012, 06:00 AM
What I am saying -

1. Lightwave needs to have a robust base full of the things that make some of the major plugins so appealing. Just a few of these would tighten up a strong base of the Lightwave package.

2. #1 would steer us away from the slow-boil of third-party applications that might or might not be around in a few years, while Lightwave continues on with or without these applications.

3. No more "third-party or no third-party" - just a strong robust standalone package with great animation tools, great Fx, great specialty modeling tools and continued solid modeling and rendering, but a strong path (SDK) open to everyone who wants to contribute to this already robust standalone package.

To ease the pain of what I seem to be saying, instead think of the possibility that a major third-party vendor could assist Newtek in adding their software changes to the base package (by consultation, code or both) and then still have an ability to add to this great package with further add-ons, etc. later as a third-party vendor - the best of both.

Lightwolf
03-13-2012, 06:33 AM
I think that Lightwolf and Elmar could chime in here about that. I doubt 3rd party development has made them very rich..

Let me put it this way... I suspect there's three full time third parties dedicated to LW (as in: developers, not companies). At most.
Everybody else can't make a living from developing LW plugins only. It may add more or less to the bottom line, but it's not the only source of income.

Yes, this isn't even close to "rich". ;)

Cheers,
Mike

OnlineRender
03-13-2012, 07:16 AM
What I am saying -


3. No more "third-party or no third-party" - just a strong robust standalone package with great animation tools, great Fx, great specialty modeling tools and continued solid modeling and rendering, but a strong path (SDK) open to everyone who wants to contribute to this already robust standalone package.


your joking right ? without these 3rd party guys and coders LW would be very limited ,there is not enough dev time between releases to cover all bases .... without scripts from people like Mike Green ,Simon Coombs ,mentalfish,Luke,Denis and so on you would be stuck in the dark ages ,for example I want to save transform object from frame 100-1000 you cant do that native ...but some very clever coder has already done it in lscript form without these people and people writing for LW life would be a complete hassle ....

rcallicotte
03-13-2012, 07:20 AM
No. But, you can read it in context and that would help.




your joking right ? without these 3rd party guys and coders LW would be very limited ,there is not enough dev time between releases to cover all bases .... without scripts from people like Mike Green ,Simon Coombs ,mentalfish,Luke,Denis and so on you would be stuck in the dark ages ,for example I want to save transform object from frame 100-1000 you cant do that native ...but some very clever coder has already done it in lscript form without these people and people writing for LW life would be a complete hassle ....

OnlineRender
03-13-2012, 07:35 AM
there is no argument that developers should be given more exposure and solid platform to publish there work , that's common business practice and something newtek could probably setup in a week , but again that's marketing nothing to do with SDK , perhaps python being implemented might bring in new blood from a coders perspective but again if they don't have some form of official outlet there is no real attraction "not saying every dev wants to go the NEWTEK route but a simple weblink is more than what is atm, take modo for example they have an excellent repository and show there 3rd party devs some love its swings both ways people want to publish and modo want want there writers , another example is the blender UI that hooks upto a DB , its more fluent and more controlling for the user , NT have to start building bridges again ....but take it from the other side of the coin maybe some devs like going on there own ...

MentalFish
03-13-2012, 07:41 AM
The general problem with third party tools is that we are unreliable/unpredictable in terms of updating the tools. If I had made all my scripts as compiled .lsc and someone was depending on them, LW version X comes out and BOOM the script does not work for some reason, they would be fudged. I.e. my Circlify script seems to be broken now, but at least uncompiled for anyone to look at.

If a lone ranger 3rd party developer is in a state of perma-afk/hit by a truck/gone fishing for 2 years, and so on, then too bad for the people depending on a tool that does not work anymore. That is the problem with one man band solutions. With corporate ownership and backing, when programmer X is gone, then they can get programmer Y to continue the work. Not so when it is a one man show where the source code disappears with its author.

rcallicotte
03-13-2012, 07:50 AM
Thank you for making it even clearer, MentalFish. Not because you are unreliable, but because the third-party-dependency concept breeds a possibly unreliable software package. Actually, as attentive as the developers are in Newtek for Lightwave, it's more like the legend of how to boil a frog - slow boil.

I want a package that includes easy-to-use, fancy, cool modeling tools like we know exist already outside of LW in third-party apps, an animation package that includes two or three major third-party solutions we all love and adore and FX that matches anything any third-party vendor now provides. These things in the core of Lightwave as a package in and of itself is what I want.

Then, if the open LW SDK allows for these same third-party applications to enhance what is already a reliable and solid package of good tools, great.

This is possible.





If a lone ranger 3rd party developer is in a state of perma-afk/hit by a truck/gone fishing for 2 years, and so on, then too bad for the people depending on a tool that does not work anymore. That is the problem with one man band solutions. With corporate ownership and backing, when programmer X is gone, then they can get programmer Y to continue the work. Not so when it is a one man show where the source code disappears with its author.

geo_n
03-13-2012, 08:02 AM
Do what Lux is doing with Modo.
Source escrow clause incase of death, bankrupt, loss of interest from a third party dev.
NT can continue working on it afterwards.

Titus
03-13-2012, 09:53 AM
I'm pretty sure Worley stopped developing FPRIME long before VPR. Just checked know last FPRIME update was mid 2009. And I'm highly suspicious he somewhat helped them out with it.

What Worley and other third party developers did was to indentify and test new features for NewTek. Sure, there was a viper before that, but how good it was?

And this "free scouting" happens not only with LW, other companies do the same. I'm not saying NewTek is being evil with programmers, maybe it's the natural way in this type of symbiosis. IMO NewTek should care more about the plug-in ecosystem, because everyone wins.

Dexter2999
03-13-2012, 09:56 AM
Do what Lux is doing with Modo.
Source escrow clause incase of death, bankrupt, loss of interest from a third party dev.
NT can continue working on it afterwards.

I was thinking the same thing with a clause in the SDK, but not sure that could/would apply to everything.

shrox
03-13-2012, 12:05 PM
Let me add...

Hurray Denis Pontonnier!

jasonwestmas
03-13-2012, 12:13 PM
3D Studio MAX has grown up on its third parties popularity...Vray, Fume FX, Rayfire, Krakatoa, Thinking particles and many many more are usually the main reason for may people using Max.

I think itīs just another marketing strategy. Itīs difficult to say whoīs right.

Even myself, I sometimes feel split-minded. For instance, I like a lot what Mike Wolfīs company does (db&w), and its certainly good for us, but at the same time, I find it rather ridiculous that an off-the-shelf version of Lightwave canīt save the buffers inside an Open EXR file when the rest of the industry is doing it years ago.

Yes, it's this kind of thing that NT needs to correct. It has less to do with 3rd parties making cool things and more to do with them filling in the FUNDAMENTAL voids that NT left open for so long. That doesn't seem right in the long run.

Lightwolf
03-13-2012, 12:40 PM
I was thinking the same thing with a clause in the SDK, but not sure that could/would apply to everything.
Neither... unless they really want to alienate developers.

Heck, if AD added something like that clause there'd be a massive outcry here about the evil empire. :D

Distribution contracts though are a different thing...

Cheers,
Mike

DigitalSorcery8
03-13-2012, 01:21 PM
Do what Lux is doing with Modo.
Source escrow clause incase of death, bankrupt, loss of interest from a third party dev.
NT can continue working on it afterwards.

That was based on PURCHASING the rights, not just arbitrary 3rd party development. Now if Newtek significantly (financially) aided these 3rd party developers, then perhaps that would be a viable possibility. But... depending on the plugin, that would take a decent amount of cash.

Lightwolf
03-13-2012, 01:33 PM
:hijack:

...It has less to do with 3rd parties making cool things and more to do with them filling in the FUNDAMENTAL voids that NT left open for so long...
Oy, I object to "fundamental".
When my partner in crime, Dagmar, met Florain Kainz (the inventor and main developer of OpenEXR) at Siggraph 2010 (while I was, unfortunately, in a different panel) he told her that he thinks exrTrader is the most complete OpenEXR saver out there... :D

Just saying. :hey:

Cheers,
Mike - who missed out meeting Florian :(

Sensei
03-13-2012, 02:32 PM
Newtek needs to get away from the third-party bandwagon and needs to supply their Lightwave product with the goodies we get from other third-party vendors.

Is not NewTek doing this all the time??

FiberFX, so no 3rd party hairs..

VPR, so no 3rd party previewers..

Instancing, so no more 3rd party instancing..

Bridge, so no 3rd party bridge (made by Pawel Olas).

And so on.

shrox
03-13-2012, 02:36 PM
...FiberFX, so no 3rd party hairs..


But it's broken isn't it? That rather forces one to look for something that works.

jasonwestmas
03-13-2012, 02:38 PM
But it's broken isn't it? That rather forces one to look for something that works.

You mean unusable for animation? I tend to disagree.

DigitalSorcery8
03-13-2012, 02:56 PM
You mean unusable for animation? I tend to disagree.

Well since there is thread after thread and post after post that states this, I haven't seen any animation with FiberFX. If you CAN get good results but it is extremely difficult to set up... there is little worth.

jasonwestmas
03-13-2012, 02:58 PM
Well since there is thread after thread and post after post that states this, I haven't seen any animation with FiberFX. If you CAN get good results but it is extremely difficult to set up... there is little worth.

Completely subjective statement but if I can set it up just fine then most people can I'm sure. People tend to jump to conclusions if things don't work out the first go, including me sometimes. Most of the statements I have seen had nothing to do with 10.1 or 11 FFX.

DigitalSorcery8
03-13-2012, 03:00 PM
Completely subjective statement but if I can set it up just fine then most people can I'm sure. People tend to jump to conclusions if things don't work out the first go, including me sometimes. Most of the statements I have seen had nothing to do with 10.1 or 11 FFX.

Then PLEASE point me to some FiberFX animations. I would love to see this actually working.

PS. Then it also falls on Newtek to provide COMPLETE documentation so that people CAN set things like FiberFX up correctly. No?

jasonwestmas
03-13-2012, 03:12 PM
Then PLEASE point me to some FiberFX animations. I would love to see this actually working.

PS. Then it also falls on Newtek to provide COMPLETE documentation so that people CAN set things like FiberFX up correctly. No?

NT is working on the docs and videos (I think). But FFX is used in Terra Nova in case you wanted something practical to see. I'll be showing some more complex examples eventually.

jasonwestmas
03-13-2012, 03:13 PM
:hijack:

Oy, I object to "fundamental".
When my partner in crime, Dagmar, met Florain Kainz (the inventor and main developer of OpenEXR) at Siggraph 2010 (while I was, unfortunately, in a different panel) he told her that he thinks exrTrader is the most complete OpenEXR saver out there... :D

Just saying. :hey:

Cheers,
Mike - who missed out meeting Florian :(

Sorry Mike, likewise I was just saying. "Fundamental" is too subjective a word it seems.

DigitalSorcery8
03-13-2012, 03:18 PM
NT is working on the docs and videos (I think). But FFX is used in Terra Nova in case you wanted something practical to see. I'll be showing some more complex examples eventually.

Sorry, that's too broad. WHERE is it used? The grass? Two second shot? That's like saying Maya was used in Serenity. Yeah it was, but for (apparently) one sequence. And in TN, you've got MANY LW artists that can deal with this problem - not to mention that they may have contacted Newtek directly for some serious help. I have not seen ONE decent animation with FiberFX in this forum. And I seriously doubt that you can find any. FiberFX is still not a serious hair solution for the "LW masses." As Newtek has said themselves, the proof is in the pudding. And one or two videos isn't going to cut it. At this point, Sasquatch is better.

Dexter2999
03-13-2012, 03:23 PM
But it's broken isn't it? That rather forces one to look for something that works.

Doesn't matter. It effectively killed sales of 3rd party and just flooded the forums with complaints to fix it for years.

jasonwestmas
03-13-2012, 03:51 PM
Sorry, that's too broad. WHERE is it used? The grass? Two second shot? That's like saying Maya was used in Serenity. Yeah it was, but for (apparently) one sequence. And in TN, you've got MANY LW artists that can deal with this problem - not to mention that they may have contacted Newtek directly for some serious help. I have not seen ONE decent animation with FiberFX in this forum. And I seriously doubt that you can find any. FiberFX is still not a serious hair solution for the "LW masses." As Newtek has said themselves, the proof is in the pudding. And one or two videos isn't going to cut it. At this point, Sasquatch is better.

Grass and fur of course. . .anyway I'm not a salesman, what works best for everybody I think is just to make another thread, be specific about your problems and people like me can help you.

Lightwolf
03-13-2012, 05:18 PM
But FFX is used in Terra Nova in case you wanted something practical to see.
Jennifer also posted a list of the workarounds that she had to create in order to make it usable (one example being problems related to the export of motion vectors).
Luckily that has been fixed in 11.0.

As a side note, I've used FFX for seemingly simple projects twice. The first one was no problem (just the bristles of a brush) - the second a massive pain and hair-puller (10.1 - again motion vectors and crashes caused by them, fibers without guides rendering in the wrong position, shading issues with area lights). And that's just rendering paint rollers. :cursin:

I haven't had a chance to try it in 11.0 yet.

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-13-2012, 05:19 PM
Sorry Mike, likewise I was just saying. "Fundamental" is too subjective a word it seems.
That's why I added a big smiley. :D

Let me add another one to make sure: :D

Cheers,
Mike :bday:

jasonwestmas
03-13-2012, 05:20 PM
Cheers Mike :D

geo_n
03-14-2012, 12:11 AM
FFX is used in Terra Nova

I watch TN every ep. I did see the making of animatronic dinos in youtube where they were using it for close ups where hair was clearly seen.
Just wish joe shave and haircut was avail for lw. But I read too many old posts of bad blood between joe and nt.

rcallicotte
03-14-2012, 08:08 AM
Is anyone else here amazed at the innovations we miss because of "bad blood"?

jasonwestmas
03-14-2012, 08:15 AM
Is anyone else here amazed at the innovations we miss because of "bad blood"?

we actually miss? Or do you mean overlook completely. I tend to agree.

rcallicotte
03-14-2012, 09:38 AM
Both - we miss because we didn't see and overlook because we want to.



we actually miss? Or do you mean overlook completely. I tend to agree.