View Full Version : Just bought 11 ... am I going to regret this?

09-11-2012, 07:35 PM
I've been using 9.6 forever. I get work done, it pays the bills. I've been envious of VPR but other than that for the kind of work I do it's good enough and I refuse to use cracks.

Just this week I lost all ability to set a keyframe. Hitting Return or "Make Keyframe" did nothing. It just stopped working. I'm sure if I reinstalled 9.6 I could get it up and running, but I got an email today from Newtek about a few days left on an upgrade.

I figured it's been years since I upgraded so I took a shot and went from 9.6 to 11 (then I guess 11.5). Honestly, I've been out of the Lightwave scene for years.

What are the top 3 things I will love and bottom 3 things that seem to be driving the Lightwave community nuts.

Above all, wish me luck!

09-11-2012, 09:40 PM
Faster render speeds, even over 9.6. Better object handling (# of polys, surfaces, etc...). Bullet physics engine... good for smashing things apart.

I wonder... when you're hitting "enter" might some other widget have the focus and so catch the enter key itself rather than creating a key? Not sure about "make keyframe" button.

09-11-2012, 10:52 PM
Like you said.. VPR has been a HUGE thing for me.. one down side to that though is that it doesn't have the "progressive render" that FPrime has (which I still use for that reason).
Instancing is a huge thing too.. although you can't have dynamics with instances..
Finally, something that hasn't come out yet (but will in 11.5), "GoAE". This will make my life so much more easier. I was using the transmotion plugins and all that.. and was about to go the aelink route.. but it's good to have it integrated. No "cons" there.. afaik.

The instancing problem is a huge thing for me though... I'd love to be able to add bullet dynamics to instances.. there's just so many uses.. grrr!!

09-12-2012, 12:59 AM
I suggest you (the OP) go thru all the demo content and look at how all the new features are used. For instance, the "Particle Logo" is actually made with Instances. --I didn't see that coming.

09-12-2012, 04:07 AM
Like Cryonic says - fast render speeds - has cut my expected rendering hardware expenditure in half.

09-12-2012, 10:01 AM
For me?

Faster Rendering

09-12-2012, 10:07 AM
The top three things for me are instancing, Bullet and VPR (I had it in 10 too, but for you). The main thing that drives me wild about 11 is how happy everyone is. There's very little grumbling and no-one is complaining that things aren't working. Even the manual is good! ;)


09-12-2012, 10:31 AM
Instancing, VPR and Bullet are huge deal for me..
I am looking forward to Genoma in 11.5

09-12-2012, 11:19 AM
I like the old things about LW - stability, great renderer, pretty easy to learn and navigate, layers, animation tools which aren't overcomplicated. I like the new things coming - Genoma, After Effects integration, soft-body, new modeling tools along with the present cool tools like GoZ, fibers, VPR, flocking, bullet dynamics, python, instancing, render buffer.

Glad you did it!

09-12-2012, 11:28 AM
no regrets at all you should rather be getting ready to jump into your dancing shoes because 11/11.5 are loaded with alotta goodies that ll get you thanking God for upgrading all the time.:)
here is a copy/paste of the feature list for both 11/11.5 from the official lw website

New Features in LightWave 11

Instancing Mass duplication of objects with little memory overhead.
Bullet Dynamics Production Proven Physics Engine.
Fracture Pre-shatter objects for use with Bullet using a variety of algorithms.
Flocking Create natural swarming, crowd avoidance behaviors with ease.
Unified Sampling New sampling system which features higher-quality sampling at often reduced render times
Shadow / Reflection Catcher Blend believable shadows and reflections into background plates easy and fast
Car Paint - Iridescence Updated Car Paint shader to support iridescent effects, giving you more realistic results
Python Scripting Industry standard, SDK level access Python scripting
Virtual Studio Tools Playstation™ Move support, SDK and much more
ZBrush™ GoZ™ Support GoZ support for Layout and Modeler, with zero-config installation
Render Buffer Enhancements The new Compositing Buffer Export panel makes exporting render buffers easier
FiberFX Enhancements New Stroke volume rendering mode, new instancing support and speed improvements
Print Camera Utility Overhauled utility for setting up renders for print
Align to Plane Easy object alignment for modeling off-axis
Scene Loading Optimizations Significant speed boost with some scenes loading up to 7X faster
Optimizations Speed improvements to IK performance and GLSL shading means smoother working in Layout

User Interface Enhancements
LightWave 11 has a number of workflow improvements that add up to a better user experience and overall faster creative environment:

•Node Search - The list of available nodes can now be searched to quickly find a specific node.
•Adding Multiple Nodes - Adding multiple nodes in one go is now possible using the menu option
•Grouped Property Panels - Commonly accessed properties that affected rendering are now grouped into one panel to speed setup
•Faster Access to Morph Mixer - This often used feature has been pulled out from the Displacement list and placed on the main Deform tab to speed up workflow
•Optimizations - Speed improvements to IK performance and GLSL shading means smoother working in Layout for animators
•Scene Loading Speed - Featuring a significant speed boost with some scenes loading up to 7X faster
•Faster Layered Objects - Experience speed improvements when working with multiple layers in Modeler
•Align to Plane - Allows you to toggle the alignment of your object in Modeler to the World Coordinates and back. Making it easier to work with tools that operate better when aligned along an axis

New Features Coming in LightWave 11.5 (Free Update)

Dongle-Free Licensing No more dongles, enough said!
Genoma Fast, modular instant rigging system for Modeler, including presets
Soft Body Bullet Dynamics Soft body and cloth comes to Bullet, along with wind forces
Modeler Tools Update ABF UV Unwrap, Edit Edges, Place Mesh, Slice, Thicken, Heat Shrink, Extend-It, Pick Tools
Flocking Update Predator / Prey behavior, new Director types and Node control
Instancing Update Per Object control, speed and memory improvements
FiberFX Update Multiple styles per object - stored with the object, new styling controls, updated UI
VPR Update Depth of Field, Motion Blur and Anaglyph Stereo now visible in the renderer
GoZ™ Fiber Mesh™ Support Building on the robust GoZ support in 11, 11.5 now supports ZBrush Fiber Meshes
Adobe™ After Effects™ Support 'GoZ style' After Effects interchange for Cameras, Lights and animations

Workflow Enhancements


It's not always the big ticket features that get people excited, sometimes it's the little improvements that users appreciate. 11.5 continues this trend - addressing a number of everyday workflow enhancements, here are some highlights:

•Centered Speed / Velocity Curves - You can now optionally center speed / velocity curves in the Graph Editor to better work with curves not located around zero
•Granular Surface Editor Copy / Paste - You can now copy / paste individual surface parameters including: Basic, Advanced, Environment, Shader and Node Editor
•Dome Light Image Maps - Dome Lights can now accept an image map to contribute to the lighting intensity and color. Great for simulating Global Illumination
•Spline Node Connectors - The node editor now supports spline-based node connections. This makes it easier to see where connections are routed
•LW Color Picker - The LightWave color picker has undergone some interface refinements to make it easier to work with
•Color Space GL Shader - Color Space now uses OpenGL shaders to color correct, increasing working speed when it is activated
•Fit / Fit All - Previously limited to Orthographic views in Layout, now added to perspective mode, small but very useful when working in a Scene

09-12-2012, 11:41 AM
Even the manual is good! ;)
Is it (full-on 11.x) here yet? :) The trend is certainly upwards and better, that's for sure! :thumbsup:

09-12-2012, 01:18 PM
No regrets here either - VPR = timesaver, Instances = great geometry saving, Bullet = just plain fun to blow things up!

This is a good time to get onboard the LightWave train, I should know, I've been on this particular train for quite a while.

09-12-2012, 01:59 PM

New Features Coming in LightWave 11.5 (Free Update)

Dongle-Free Licensing No more dongles, enough said!

This feature is available now with 11.3 ;)

Darth Mole
09-12-2012, 02:32 PM
All the stability, ease-of-use, workflow blah blah is fine, but I like that it's made more attractive to the opposite sex, I can now play lead guitar like Brian May and I got a fee puppy.

09-12-2012, 05:34 PM
...but I like that it's made more attractive to the opposite sex, I can now play lead guitar like Brian May and I got a fee puppy.

Some guys get all the luck. Since using LW11 I'm more attractive to Brian May, can play lead guitar like a puppy, and the free sex thing was a wind-up...

09-12-2012, 05:45 PM
I just like that it easier to interchange between Lightwave and GOZ, VPR is a real plus

09-12-2012, 06:38 PM
Making keyframes still works the same on 11. Maybe trash the old 9.6 configs and then install 11.

09-12-2012, 07:00 PM
Genoma (LW11.5)

FFX still not quite there
No Modeler tools in Layout (coming in LW12 maybe)
if you are into CA >
no good bendyrigs, no lattice, no Layout weightpaint, no muscle sim.

09-13-2012, 12:07 AM
If you're upgrading from 9.6, you won't be disappointed. Faster and better rendering alone is worth upgrade but there’s so much more.

When VPR was first introduced 10, I was a little 'meh' about it but since that time VPR grew into an essential part of my workflow. I love that VPR can accurately display almost any shaders and materials--the new Skin material, for example, looks great in VPR and matches final render very closely. VPR can even display FiberFX--it's not an ideal previewer for FiberFX because with full density it can be a bit slow in VPR, but I still find it useful enough for quickly tweaking fiber shading properties. (When I use VPR for FiberFX, I typically disable FiberFX layers I don't need to see and temporarily reduce fiber density to speed up the preview. Limited Region is handy here too. When I'm done tweaking, I reset the density and re-enable the layers.)

Speaking of FiberFX in Ligthwave 11 (SP3), I recently found it to be very useable now. We used it for several human characters in a monster-sized production (for the Box anyway) earlier this summer. There are still a few issues Newtek needs to address with FiberFX but for the most part it performs well and looked great on this job. (I can't say what this production is yet but it’s coming out VERY soon. I'll make an announcement in the forums as soon as I'm allowed to.)

At work, we made heavy use of Lightwave 11's Bullet and Instancer on this job. Lightwave Bullet is still in an early stage but it’s already awesome. At home, my wife and I have been using Instancer in our third short film and it's saving us hundreds of hours of work.

If you want/need Lightwave to work with other applications, the new I/O tools definitely make the upgrade worthwhile. For example, the completely re-written FBX import/export (starting with 10.x) has been key to a lot of the work I've done for the past couple of years, both at work and at home. I use it for moving cameras between many other programs (Fusion, Motion Builder, Maya,) and it's made transferring mocap animation data to Lightwave rigs so much easier for me. At work, new features in the native .mdd baker/reader made working between Rhythm's proprietary animation pipeline and the Box's 'off-the-shelf' software a lot easier.

And if you use ZBrush, Lightwave GoZ is going to be your best friend.

If that's not enough, be sure to see what’s coming in 11.5 (https://www.lightwave3d.com/new_features_11-5/). Lot’s of great new stuff and it’s going to be a free upgrade for registered 11.x users.

So if you can use any of the above, no you won't regret your purchase. It's all up to you though. :)


09-13-2012, 07:16 AM
if you are into CA
no good bendyrigs.

Can't we already do this stuff in lw?
Rebelhill has been doing it since the 9.6 days

09-13-2012, 08:01 AM
yep, but neither the RH or the IKB method does it well...

09-13-2012, 11:38 AM
What are the top 3 things I will love and bottom 3 things that seem to be driving the Lightwave community nuts.

For me, what I love:

1) being able to SHIFT-CLICK while VPR is running was a massive time saving step from 10.x.
2) The free upgrade to 11.5 makes the small upgrade cost seem even more worth it
3) Unified sampling: So easy/fast to globally set your samples. Mind=BLOWN.
3a) Improved graph editor curves--nice and thin. Matt's done a great job adding some nice sublime UI touches.
3b) What Greenlaw said about import/export scene data, not just meshes. The FBX importer/exporter's already saved my hide on at least one job

The thing I've noticed that still give folks a little bit of a hard time aside from some of the CA/Modeler related stuff already mentioned is ClothFX. I certainly don't "hate" ClothFX and while I don't feel like an expert I've tried to help a few folks on here that have found ClothFX more than a little difficult to work with. This isn't necessarily LW11's specific fault, just one of those old tools that will probably get a good dusting/replacing in the next few iterations of Lightwave.

Finally: the vibe on the forums have DEFINITELY taken a turn for the better with more positive interaction between users--there are a LOT of very knowledgeable folks that really DO try and help on their own time, and don't make you feel awful about it. Kudos to them and the mods that keep everything on track. LW11's "love" effect? Quite possibly maybe.

09-13-2012, 03:17 PM
Top 3 things for myself:

Native instancing

Bottom 3 things

Modeler and Layout still seperated
Performance issues
Fiberfx still not great at all

09-13-2012, 03:39 PM
It can happen you regret not buying it sooner :p

Good Luck

09-16-2012, 06:02 AM
It can happen you regret not buying it sooner :p

Good Luck

yeah, I second that
you might regret you waited too long :)

09-16-2012, 11:01 AM
FFX still not quite there
No Modeler tools in Layout (coming in LW12 maybe)

Well, there are a *few* modeling tools. At least you can make a simple spheres, ground planes and a couple other basic primitives in Layout now. We did have the ability to make/add some primitives in earlier versions of LW, but not the basic (and more useful) ones.

Areyos Alektor
09-16-2012, 05:21 PM
no Layout weightpaint

You have Vertex Paint in Layout. Just add a button ;)

("Edit" / "Edit Menu Layout" / "Search" / "Paint", select a tab in "Menus" column, "Add")

09-16-2012, 06:09 PM
nah, doesn't work realtime :/

there WeightPaintTool, but is also limited, doesn't have an "multiply" photoshop alike function. also just 32bit.
is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuHDOn35bVY

09-17-2012, 02:11 PM
VPR is the best. Not only is it a great previewer, what I noticed is how much more experimenting I do now because I get instant feedback on what something looks like on surfaces etc. I find I've learned more about Lightwave and I have a better understanding of what certain settings do because instead of looking at a sphere in the surface preview or lighting, glow, fog etc. I can see realtime what the setting does. (Well, near realtime) Honestly, you will get spoiled by how useful VPR is.

Other than that, Bullet is tons of fun, native instancing helps really sell big scenes and GoZ, gotta love it.

09-17-2012, 03:26 PM
Well, there are a *few* modeling tools. At least you can make a simple spheres, ground planes and a couple other basic primitives in Layout now. We did have the ability to make/add some primitives in earlier versions of LW, but not the basic (and more useful) ones.

um, i can't even make sudivisions to a cube.
Layout modeling tools might as well be absent.
NT is working on it though, as confirmed by Matt / Rob 3 weeks ago.

Areyos Alektor
09-17-2012, 07:00 PM
nah, doesn't work realtime :/

That's right.

But you must make the difference between a tool older, and no tool at all :) It makes many services nevertheless.

Await the arrival of Genoma and the changes it will cause.

09-17-2012, 07:03 PM
Unified Sampling
Improved FBX
Separate Modeler/Layout toolsets
Stability/Reliability Issues
Outdated "static" UI/Poor multi-mon support
Bullet would have made the "Good" list if it had constraint support, but alas. State of documentation is very close to going on "Bad" list (will if not reconciled in 11.5). Only reason FFX isn't on "Bad" list is I find the UI / multi-mon-support issue more day-to-day annoying.

09-17-2012, 07:05 PM
WeightPaintTool is ok for now, but hope to see a fix soon.
for the interested, in action >
Muscle Bulge > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJOSCFEVSHE

09-17-2012, 08:36 PM
Aside from the fact that we STILL have animation tools inside of modeler only, LW11 is a must have, especially if LW is has always been your favorite set of tools. Performance/speed in Layout is quite nice all around (modeler is still slowish) and organizationally it's easier to find things. I use modo, zbrush, LWCad and Messiah with Lightwave and in my opinion is the best generalist combo. Expensive combo, but still amazing and it's good to support these developers imo.

09-18-2012, 01:56 AM
Also make sure you understand the new AA .. it's great, but you need to understand how the min/max actually works .. I think rebel hill made a video.

09-20-2012, 06:24 AM
Does anyone remember the shadow catcher node?
Its really cool esp for comp work.