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View Full Version : So far, impressed with LW 11 trial



SkiddlyMcZ
09-22-2012, 09:29 PM
Hi all. :)

I installed the LW 11.03 trial just the other day and I have to say that so far I'm rather impressed with it.
I'm not new to LW - I used to use LW, but stopped upgrading after 9.6 and that whole CORE thing, but it seems that LW has some positive direction now and I figured it was time to look into it again.

I'm a Softimage and Maya user, but I always loved the speed and beauty of the LightWave render engine. In many ways mental ray can't compare to its quality.
I also use ZBrush and Mudbox and am hoping LW will play nice with those apps as well, although I haven't tried it with either yet.

Anyway I mostly wanted to "introduce" myself, plus of course, mention that LW is looking sexy again these days. I love the VPR, although I'm wondering if there's a way to make it continue refining itself the way FPrime does. It seems to just stop after a certain degree and I can't seem to find a setting to change that.

Anyway, mostly I wanted to say hello. :)

nickdigital
09-22-2012, 11:32 PM
Welcome back. I'm not sure if vpr stops refining. The quality may just get to a point where every refinement is visually indistinguishable from the last but I'm not 100% sure on that. I think most use it for the instant feedback though you can save the vpr view as an actual render. You can't revisit and refine like you can with fprime. You picked a good time to get back into LW. 11.5 looks even better and you'll get that for free if you decide to upgrade to 11 from 9.

Cageman
09-23-2012, 02:28 AM
Anyway I mostly wanted to "introduce" myself, plus of course, mention that LW is looking sexy again these days. I love the VPR, although I'm wondering if there's a way to make it continue refining itself the way FPrime does. It seems to just stop after a certain degree and I can't seem to find a setting to change that.

Anyway, mostly I wanted to say hello. :)

Welcome back!

VPR is not endlessly refining as FPrime does, but I do believe that VPR will start to support the AA/AS-settings at some point in the future (maybe even as early as 11.5). Right now, VPR is, more or less, a quick render with AA level 1 and no Adaptive Sampling at all.

If you bring up the properties for VPR, you can uncheck Draft Mode if you want to have finer VPR render. This will not make it refine endlessly, but it will refine to a better quality (and it will take more time, of course). For really heavy scenes when setting things up, using Draft Mode and Half Resolution can really speed things up.

SkiddlyMcZ
09-23-2012, 06:28 AM
Thanks for the welcome, guys. :)

I didn't even know about the 'Draft Mode' setting, but I see how disabling it improves the VPR quite a bit.
Any ideas when LW 11.5 is hitting the shelves? In the v9 cycle it seemed updates just sort of happened when they happened, if at all, but I know that things at Newtek are a lot more stable now.

There's one thing that really really bugs me about LW, always had and always will... unless they change it of course:
It's the inconsistency in camera navigation between Layout and Modeler. In Modeler you can use the Alt, Ctrl and Shift keys plus mouse buttons to rotate, pan and dolly/zoom, but in Layout you can't pan vertically without using the button on the viewport with the RMB. And of course in the camera view you have to have either the move or rotate tools active in order to move the camera at all.
Well that and I've always wished LW offered a Maya interaction model with the camera itself, as well as the orthographic and perspective views. I really hope that a future version has such options. It would just make my 3D life so much easier to have all my 3D programs behave more or less the same at least where viewport and camera navigation are concerned.

Now I have to re-familiarize myself with the node editor. I've been using Hypershade way too long. ;)

jasonwestmas
09-23-2012, 07:28 AM
My personal opinion is that Lightwave 11 is still the fastest when it comes to achieving an optical sensibility that the user wants stylistically in a shading context. The nodal shading network in LW has a lot to do with that. Other renderers out there are more powerful in a "numbers crunching game", but that doesn't mean much when the goal is to achieve a specific "flavor" as an artist in your production. In other render engines it seems you are locked into a specific "look" and it's much harder to change that look and feel than it is in lightwave nodal.

So yeah definitely a great time to use lightwave, I hope it fits your projects well. I think LW12 has a great chance to turn things around completely as a must have toolbox for maya, max, softimage, modo, messiah artists.

As a side note, you shouldn't have any big issues using zbrush and mudbox with Lightwave. All you need is a TS normal and TIFF displacement map and a good UV layout and you'll bee good to go. These maps Work mighty fine with characters too with point cache and without. I personally have no use for GoZ with my workflow so I can't comment on that.

geo_n
09-23-2012, 07:34 AM
Personally the no dongle is a big bonus for lw 11.
Besides that theres unified sampling, bullet, improved vpr, performance optimization in layout, improved fiberfx, genoma, and small workflow tweaks make it a worthy upgrade than lw 10. Its a good time to upgrade.

SkiddlyMcZ
09-23-2012, 07:39 AM
Thanks for the info jasonwestmas, and yeah I see what you mean.

No dongle? Really? I never would have guessed that. I haven't even read much at all about LW 11 yet, pretty much just registered and downloaded the trial and installed it.

I sort of have mixed feelings about that. I mean, the dongle was great for portability, not so great when you forget it somewhere or lose or break it. ;)

So what do they do now, web or email activation? I guess I'm going to have to read up on this some more.

geo_n
09-23-2012, 07:47 AM
Drag and drop a license key to the layout banner or whatever its called. Put the license key in the usb thumb with the lw installer for postability. Installation is required if you will run dongle less. its very convenient and no worries about misplacing it anymore.

SkiddlyMcZ
09-23-2012, 08:04 AM
Drag and drop a license key to the layout banner or whatever its called. Put the license key in the usb thumb with the lw installer for postability. Installation is required if you will run dongle less. its very convenient and no worries about misplacing it anymore.

Oh I see. That makes sense, since that's the way the trial is enabled - by dragon dropping the key onto the splash screen.
Sounds cool, really.
Thanks for the info.

nickdigital
09-23-2012, 09:08 AM
Any ideas when LW 11.5 is hitting the shelves?

11.5 is slated for Q4 of this year.

Cageman
09-23-2012, 10:36 AM
Oh I see. That makes sense, since that's the way the trial is enabled - by dragon dropping the key onto the splash screen.
Sounds cool, really.
Thanks for the info.

The dongle still works as well, so it is a hybrid system. There are some third party plugins that uses their own licensing system (Worley Labs), that is not compatible with the new software based license. If you end up using any of Worleys plugins (so far those are the only ones I've noticed doesn't work), you simply put your dongle in and all is good.