View Full Version : Have 9.6.1...shall I upgrade to 11?

03-20-2012, 03:16 PM

I wonder if it's worth for me to upgrade to LW11. Currently I have LW 9.6.
Maybe I need to explain my situation a little bit better. I bought LW 9 some years ago. I dabbled a little bit in it and I liked it better than other programs like Maya or Max...it just fit my way of thinking better. At that time I was a complete beginner, had never used 3d apps before at all. However, due to real life issues, I did not really have time to actually learn properly, so in the small amount of sparetime I mainly just read 3d forums and various 3d books. Also I bought 3d coat and pmg Messiah when it was so cheap. But as said, I never had the time to really dig into all these programs and start to learn.
Fast forward a few years to now. I am still a beginner, but I have now time again, and I want to learn 3d. I think I have quite capable software to achieve my ultimate goal, which is learning 3d properly using LW, 3d coat and animating in messiah. My goal is to create a short movie with a character in it, in the style of pixar or dreamworks (I know qualitywise that won't be possible, but I mean from the way it looks...nothing "realistic"...maybe somehting like the plankton invasion series) but first comes learning the basics such as modeling, surfacing, texutring and animation in general, then character animation and last but not least rendering.

Now I wonder if I should upgrade to LW11...I realize I would have better done that earlier when it was cheaper, but I missed that...such is life.
I know more or less which major features are new in LW11 and 10, as compared to 9.6. But what I don't really know is If i need them as a hobbyist. What woudl you do in my situation? I feel like to learn the basics, it's not necessary, but then again I somehow feel it makes sense to stay current. So my question is would you advise me to upgrade? Or better invest money in some plugins or other tools? What I rather don't want to do is to buy another app such as modo, simply because I think it won't help me a lot if I have something more to learn that is different from LW.
What do you think? If I'd upgrade, which features would be most useful? Is mdd export/import better than with LW 9.6.1? What about render times or rendering in general...is there big improvements? Besides upgrading, which plugins would you recommend?
Thanks a lot for any input already!

03-20-2012, 03:27 PM
Well I would upgrade as there have been a number of additions and many improvements.

Lightwave is one of the few software packages that I do keep up to date - where I might skip a Creative suite upgrade or 3... :)

If you are going to get back into learning then upgrade then what you are learning will be current and you will not have to relearn what you just learned.

My 2 Cents and they are worth every penny.

03-20-2012, 03:27 PM

stiff paper
03-20-2012, 03:30 PM
If you really are still learning some of the basic tasks in 3D, then you don't strictly need to upgrade to LW11. You can learn all about modeling, texturing, rigging, lighting and animation in LW9.6 just as well as you can in LW11. Also, there are still plenty of resources around for 9.6, it isn't like it's all disappeared.

What it comes down to is how much you want to play with any of the new features in LW10 and LW11, and whether, right now, that's worth the price of the upgrade for you. And, really, only you can decide that.

03-20-2012, 03:43 PM
Definitely upgrade. The new interactive renderer VPR is brilliant for learning. It gives you immediate feedback when lighting and texturing your models and scenes and will save you hours of time instead of having to sit through test renders.

03-20-2012, 03:51 PM
Thansk guys for the hints...very cool how fast one gets responses on these forums ;-)! Say I'd skip 11 and wait for 12 to upgrade..will this be possible for the same upgrade price or will I have to buy a new full version?
It seems to me the best new feature woudl be VPR, as it saves time when learning lighting and texturing. What about better mdd support? Also is the render speed improved compared to 9.6?

03-20-2012, 06:33 PM
Upgrade to LW 11 for modelling, lighting, rendering+ RebelHill's rhiggit plugin to enhance LW animation + Zbrush for texturing and you can't go wrong. Render speed & open gl seem very much improved.

Have you checked out the short film Ruin to see what Lightwave animation is capable of?

03-21-2012, 02:21 AM
At home I have a 9.6.1 V and I started recently using 10.1 and try 11 at job... now I know I must update ASAP


03-21-2012, 03:35 AM
meh.... tbh there is a LOT of cool new stuff in 11. Folks'll talk about things like flock, or bullet, etc, but the best changes for me have been under the hood stuff that u wouldnt even understand unless u know LW already.

VPR, faster rendering and the faster motion system (rig evaluation) are likely to be the biggest things that'd tempt u... but until uve had some time (and Im talking several months to well over a year here) to get into learning LW proper, ur unlikely to really be able to leverage those changes in any meaningful way.

So far... NT havent changed their upgrade policy... so for u to buy 11 will be $695... wait around to get 12 instead... same price (unless there's a change before then).

So if uve got the cash, and just fancy it, then go for it.. but in all honesty, from the situation u describe urself in, Id say take it or leave it.

03-21-2012, 04:40 AM
I agree with RebelHill. If you're still learning the basics, 9.6 is fine for now. Wait until 12 to upgrade. If VPR will help you learn faster, then go for it! Also, if you want to use flocking, instancing and Bullet in your learning process, go for it! In my opinion as a fellow beginner, VPR and faster render times are the greatest assets to help you learn faster. VPR is a must-have if you want to learn to texture using nodes (which you really should do).

03-21-2012, 07:27 AM
Guys, thanks again for the input. I think I wait for 12 with an upgrade. After all, it's not like 9.6.1 is not sufficient to create cool stuff. And I think only for VPR, which probably would be the only feature for me as a beginner that i really could immediately profit from, shelling out 700 bucks is too much. So I guess better wait for 12 and then (hopefully still) get even more new features for the same price.
So thanks again guys for your opinions!

03-21-2012, 04:45 PM
If I had to answer quickly, I'd say by all means yes! LW 10-11 is miles above 9.6.x, and not just for new features, it's more stable and, IMO, allows you to be a lot more productive. Some of the new features duplicate and improve on what you could do in 9.6.x but only if you purchased a lot of third party plugins for 9.6.x. When you consider all this, LW 10-11 may seem like a bargain.

For me personally, the improved data exchange tools made the kind of short films my wife and I create with Lightwave possible on our tiny budgets and tight schedules, so upgrading was a no-brainer. Once a few rigging and fur issues are resolved, the software is going to be more or less complete for our needs.

For you (or anyone else) however, it all depends on what you want to use LW 11 for. LW 9.6.x was a very capable release and it carried us here at the Box for a very long time. (That said, after a year of working with 10.x, we would never go back to 9.6.x now.) If, as a hobbyist, you don't feel you really need the new features in LW 10-11, then you need to consider if the optimizations will be worthwhile in your situation.

Luckily, Newtek has a trial version available (http://newtek.com/products/lightwave/lightwave-downloads.html). Download it and decide for yourself!

Good luck! ;)


03-21-2012, 07:43 PM
I am in the same boat - still 9.6, and I wonder whether to upgrade or not. In my case I mainly use Lightwave for rendering, but since I have integrated Blender in my pipeline, and with all the improvements lately there (3d motion tracking, cycles, gpu-accelerated rendering, smoke sim, bmesh and now a dev focus on vfx-->mango), I doubt LW11 will bring anything earth-shaking into my pipeline.

But some of the new v11 features are still very attractive - aarghh, what to do, what to do...!

Greenlaw: you're right, just download the trial - commencing download now.

Andy Meyer
03-21-2012, 11:46 PM
i'm about to upgrade from 9.6 to 11. i got 10 for free but never used it. imho 11 is a great release. the updated renderer alone is worth it. and if you work with nodes, the better node editor is worth it to.

03-22-2012, 12:14 AM
The Bullet implementation is worth the price...
You wont be sorry.

03-22-2012, 12:31 AM
I think at your stage of learning you can stay with what you have, sit back and wait for 12 and then decide (I'm assuming it will still be the same cost). 12 should be awesome, but you'll get plenty done with the version you have. I haven't used it but the rebel Hill Riggit plugin looks like something that someone who wants to make a short film with characters would want, maybe spend your money on that. Up to you.

03-22-2012, 01:51 AM
I skipped LW 10 as 9.6.1 was good enough for me and I'm glad I did. 10 was a waste of time as far as I can tell (don't flame, I just did not find it compelling at all), but 11 was great and you should definitely get it.

Despite knowing what the features were of 11- there were many welcome surprises and nice little touches that make it more professional than 9.x. btw I also bought messiah on the dare to share and am disappointed with it overall (and I assume it's abandonware and won't get any more development love) however that you also got 3DCoat is awesome. That's totally worth learning and is excellent software, particularly for painting or creating UV maps and doing retopo on good shaped models with too many polys or bad poly flow. It's easy to transfer UV maps from one model to another similarly shaped one with it and is an excellent complement to LW!