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View Full Version : Must-have plugins commercial or non for new studio



stevenpalomino
11-02-2012, 12:32 PM
Hey all,

I'm putting together some numbers and lists for another box I'm going to build eventually and thought I'd list out all the things I had in hopes that maybe y'all could give insight / other ideas on plug ins I might want to consider or scratch out.
Here's what I have with prices in no particular order (these are not including tax so all totals are approximate and some are in euros that I converted so It could change):

LightWave - $1,499
LWCAD - $299
Janus - $99
Kray - $415
FPrime - $199 (Yes, I still use this to get placeholder frames into AE. So helpful.)
TurbulenceFD - $520
Swift Edge Loop - $50 (use this all the time guess I won't need it with the new 11.5 insert edge loop though)
EXRTrader - $65
Thickener (also comes with 11.5 but free for the current plugin!)
PLG_UV (freeee!)

That brings the total to about $3147. It could be as low as $2147 though depending on how much you can buy LightWave for here on the Forums ;)

Any other plugins y'all have found you can't live without?

nickdigital
11-02-2012, 12:36 PM
TrueArt has some nice ones.
http://www.trueart.pl/?URIType=Directory&URI=Products/Plug-Ins

unReal is free but you have to be on PC.
http://d-creation.sblo.jp/

Jovian is nice to have.
http://www.joviancolorpicker.com/

Phil
11-02-2012, 01:11 PM
As ever, it really depends on what you see yourself doing. My favourite list would include most of those that you have listed, along with :

infiniMap
TrueGroup
IFW2
vRoom
RHiggit Pro

There are still many cases where HDInstance comes in useful, despite native instancing.

Sasquatch is also potentially useful, but does require a hardware dongle for license control (Worley's working on an update, I guess, but it's impossible to know when it might appear). The Taft and Polk collections contain a huge number of useful addons as well (Acid, hoser, tracer) depending on your needs.

Vue xStream is another one that I use regularly, but the on-boarding costs are very intimidating. Maintenance is, though, extremely reasonable.

modo also makes a great companion for LW, for various reasons.

Waves of light
11-02-2012, 01:18 PM
Not really plugins, more separate programs, but I'm well into 3DCoat and I'm currently checking out ShaderMap2

3DCoat - http://3d-coat.com/buy-now/ ($395)
Voxel Sculpting, Texture Painting, UV mapping and mesh retopology

ShaderMap2 - http://shadermap.com/home/ ($39.95)
Render Map creation (Normap Map, Diffuse, Colour, etc.)

Rayek
11-02-2012, 02:28 PM
Having Blender as a 'plugin' in your tool set doesn't hurt either.

stevenpalomino
11-02-2012, 04:30 PM
@Nick Yes I was considering just getting TrueArt's modeling pack. All the plugins for $300.. not bad at all seeing as they are all worth about $1000+ separately. Also, I forgot to add Jovian. One of my Favorites.

@Phil , I forgot about IFW2. I'm going to have to add that to the list. They have some great textures / nodes. I'll have to add RHiggit possibly depending on how useful Genoma is. I'm not sure what vRoom, TrueGroup, and infinimap do though.

@Waves of Light , Yes! I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole 3DCoat vs zbrush thing though. I haven't heard a good biased comparison yet. I'm really wanting to hear something like, "ZBrush is more useful is you're doing ___ work and 3DCoat is better used for ___" I imagine they both do close to the same thing but I'm trying to figure our which one would better help me get work out and done faster. I know lightwave has the GoZ so I tend to lean more that way just because it seems to be more streamlined. And I've heard you can sculpt endomorphs in zbrush too?

Of course plugins like dpkit / lights / filter are a no-brainer (Thanks Denis!!)

nickdigital
11-02-2012, 04:49 PM
TrueArt also has some surfacing nodes that are really handy. They've got more than just those excellent modeling plugins.

jeric_synergy
11-02-2012, 04:51 PM
If I were a modeler, I'd really lust after TA EasySpline-- that thing looks awesome.

stevenpalomino
11-02-2012, 06:23 PM
Also, I'm a bit confused. What's the difference between Maestro2 and RHiggit? They both look awesome. Looks like RHiggit does the actual rig and Maestro is more of a controller for the rigs? They'd be unstoppable together :eek:

nickdigital
11-02-2012, 09:02 PM
Bevel++
http://www.softgeometry.jp/lightwave/lightwave3d/bevelpp/

stevenpalomino
11-02-2012, 09:23 PM
Oh no! I forgot about Bevel++! I could've really used that on a job I just finished.. oh well.. now i know ;)

erikals
11-02-2012, 09:44 PM
too many to mention, too hard to pick a must-have :]
they are all great, in their own way, for their use...

http://www.youtube.com/user/erikalst/videos?sort=dd&query=plugin&flow=list&view=0

Phil
11-02-2012, 09:55 PM
@Phil , I forgot about IFW2. I'm going to have to add that to the list. They have some great textures / nodes. I'll have to add RHiggit possibly depending on how useful Genoma is. I'm not sure what vRoom, TrueGroup, and infinimap do though.

vRoom : www.euriskostudios.com

It's a pretty neat room shader, ideal for convincing buildings, etc. It does require some careful geometry configuration (the geometry of the windows defines how the virtual rooms within the shader are created - shared edges between window panes allow a shared virtual room to be generated. It's rather amazing.

infinimap : www.infinimap.com

This allows for extremely large images to be used. It comes, in licensed form, with a batch converter that takes most image formats and spits out Tiled EXRs or, on Windows, you can choose JPEG2000 instead. These mipmapped images work with a level-of-detail engine in infiniMap so that you never pay the same kind of memory penalty for using these enormous images - only what is visible, and appropriate, is streamed from the disk. Since LW is somewhat memory heavy, I've come to rely on this.

TrueGroup is from TrueArt. It works around the IFF chunk size limitation in LWO files. It's relatively easy to have a complex nodegraph that exceeds the 32 KB chunk size limit in the IFF specification that LWO files use. When this happens, you end up with a corrupt object that cannot be, in any way, recovered. TrueGroup sits as a node in the nodegraph and references a node network that is stored and defined as a text file, working around this problem. It's rather neat. There's also GlobalMaterials, which extends that idea.

stevenpalomino
11-02-2012, 10:15 PM
@Phil , thanks for that info. Just looked into the video for vRoom. Looks super handy. I don't do too much arch viz stuff.. but that is incredible! Infinimap seems almost essential if you're going to tackle big projects. Definitely putting that on the list. I don't do too much with nodes (I wish I knew more though), but will keep this one in mind while I work on my nodal skills! Thanks!

@Erikals I was hoping you'd give me your top 10 or something haha. You've got the most comprehensive videos on lightwave plugins! I always look up different plugins just to find you've already done a video on it! Thanks for all the videos! I'll look through them again. Any that come to mind as must haves? ;)

nickdigital
11-02-2012, 10:16 PM
You might never need to use this but it's good to keep it in your toolbox.
Ivy generator
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?130950-Ivy-Generator-2012&highlight=Generator

db&W's frameD
http://db-w.com/products/framed/about
If you're gonna work with image sequences a lot this plugin will be handy.

Liberty3D's Ubercam
http://www.liberty3d.com/tools/ubercam-camera-plugin/
Not sure if you need additional camera types.

nickdigital
11-02-2012, 10:33 PM
I'm sure these are on erikals' YouTube page but anything by Denis. Why it took so long to list him is shameful.

http://dpont.pagesperso-orange.fr/main_en.htm

stevenpalomino
11-02-2012, 10:38 PM
@Nick hahaha That's funny I was actually just watching a presentation you did on FrameD at the LA user group. Definitely looks useful. I haven't needed more cameras yet. Ivy generator does look awesome though!

erikals
11-02-2012, 10:39 PM
agh, totally forgot Denis,

his plugins are so much used, i think we all just forgot, as Denis' plugins are a given 'must have'...


i haven't covered much of Denis' plugins though, since i'm not a node guy (yet anyway...)
(RebelHill, Bryphi, Cageman have some tutorials covering those though) :]

stevenpalomino
11-02-2012, 10:40 PM
I'm sure these are on erikals' YouTube page but anything by Denis.

I did in post #6 :)
Of course though. Thanks for putting the link. He deserves as much exposure as possible.

stevenpalomino
11-02-2012, 10:45 PM
..his plugins are so much used...Denis' plugins are a given 'must have'...

Yes! His plugins have saved me in a few recent jobs. Especially the edge node. Edge beveling isn't a big deal.. but when the client changed their mind the last minute.. it was great to throw a node in there and have all the text instantly beveled and I threw it back to the client in like 5 minutes. Got me more jobs from that client for sure.

nickdigital
11-02-2012, 10:52 PM
I did in post #6 :)
Of course though. Thanks for putting the link. He deserves as much exposure as possible.

Ah cool I read through that post so fast I missed it. I'm still shocked it took so long and I was the first person to respond to this thread so I feel like a heel! I should know better! Lol

Heh, hopefully my frameD presentation made sense. :-)

stevenpalomino
11-02-2012, 11:27 PM
Yeah! Great presentation. Very thorough. I didn't even think about the whole mouth animation park that you showed. I'm sure I'll use that in the future. I'm still not 100% sure what it's for though. Seems like a powerful image sequence editor / handler. What the difference between that and putting the image in the background through the compositing window?

nickdigital
11-02-2012, 11:45 PM
Yeah! Great presentation. Very thorough. I didn't even think about the whole mouth animation park that you showed. I'm sure I'll use that in the future. I'm still not 100% sure what it's for though. Seems like a powerful image sequence editor / handler. What the difference between that and putting the image in the background through the compositing window?

I canít find the thread that announced frameD on the forum. I explained a lot in that thread so I'll just do it again.

Think of the frameD file like an edl or iTunes playlist. It's just a file that says when to load up what image when. The file is the same as an animation file to LW so you can use like any other image sequence. Use it as a bg background or an image map. Since you can edit the contents of the frameD file you can change the contents of the sequence in a non destructive way. Imagine the client says they don't like a specific frame in your sequence. Without frameD you'd have to rebuild your sequence. In frameD you just edit he sequence like you would your iTunes playlist.

frameD also has a proxy system. Scrubbing a sequence in Layout can be very laggy. With frameD you can swap out to different pro y resolution settings easily. Work in one proxy resolution but render at full rez. All in frameD. No need to swap out manually back and forth.

stevenpalomino
11-02-2012, 11:52 PM
Ah alright. Yeah I saw in the presentation when you had the air train or whatever it is and you were switching out rez's. Very handy indeed. What does y'alls animation pipeline look like over there at nick? Do you use the built-in animation tools? Maestro? RHiggit?

nickdigital
11-02-2012, 11:59 PM
Ah alright. Yeah I saw in the presentation when you had the air train or whatever it is and you were switching out rez's. Very handy indeed. What does y'alls animation pipeline look like over there at nick? Do you use the built-in animation tools? Maestro? RHiggit?

Well we don't do much character anim like that. More like robot/vehicle stuff and rhiggit is more rig than we need for some of our work. Genoma will probably be useful due to its modular system.

Waves of light
11-03-2012, 06:14 AM
@Waves of Light , Yes! I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole 3DCoat vs zbrush thing though. I haven't heard a good biased comparison yet. I'm really wanting to hear something like, "ZBrush is more useful is you're doing ___ work and 3DCoat is better used for ___" I imagine they both do close to the same thing but I'm trying to figure our which one would better help me get work out and done faster. I know lightwave has the GoZ so I tend to lean more that way just because it seems to be more streamlined. And I've heard you can sculpt endomorphs in zbrush too?

Of course plugins like dpkit / lights / filter are a no-brainer (Thanks Denis!!)

Yer, for me 3DCoat was a cheaper option than Zbrush, and it does the things I require (UV mapping, voxel sculpting, UV painting). But I must admit I haven't been back to Zbrush since the end of version 2. I see a lot of people using both, I there seems to be a lot of improvements to 4r4 so when funds allow, I may go and have another look.

3DCoat has a tweak room, which I think you can use to create morphs. It's got a 30 day free trial, so have a look a see if it's useful.

I just found 3DC more intuitive than Zbrush back then, and with the amount of updates and new features I've received for the v3-v4beta pro licence, I think we'll be purchasing an upgrade.

Also, re. FrameD - here's a youtube video from the LA Lightwave user group - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ekoly5xMjZo&feature=g-all-u

stevenpalomino
11-03-2012, 11:06 AM
I thought I'd post links to those who might be new and need help finding things. Also included a little discription and [current] Price in dollars.

LWCAD [$299] (modeling and architectural tools.)- http://www.wtools3d.com/
Janus [$99] (Render Pass Management System) - http://faulknermano.com/janus/
Kray [$415] (Global Illumination renderer) - http://www.kraytracing.com/
FPrime [$199] (Interactive Preview Render) - http://www.worley.com/E/Products/fprime/fprime.html
TurbulenceFD [$520] (Fluid / smoke dynamics) - http://www.jawset.com/
TrueArt plugins [Varies] (Lots of great modeling / surfacing plugins) - http://www.trueart.eu/?URIType=Directory&URI=Products/Plug-Ins
ExrTrader [$65] (Export layered Exr images) - http://www.db-w.com/products/exrtrader/about
InfiniMap [$384] (Basically removes limits for texture sizes / space limits) - http://www.db-w.com/products/infinimap/about
IFW2 [$69] (procedural textures / nodes) - http://www.shaders.org/ifw2_textures/index.htm
Maestro [$149.95] (Animation control system) - http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/maestro/
RHiggit [$51] (Frikkin awesome Auto-rigger) - http://rebelhill.net/html/rhiggit
Bevel++ [$42] (better beveling tool for modeling) - http://www.softgeometry.jp/lightwave/lightwave3d/bevelpp/
Denis Pontonnier plugins [Free!] (DPKit, DPFilter, DPLight, DPInstance, DPVerdure, etc. Will solve all your problems and bring world peace) - http://dpont.pagesperso-orange.fr/main_en.htm
Jovian [Free] (advanced color picker) - http://www.joviancolorpicker.com/
unReal [Free] (Advanced Toon shading system) - http://d-creation.sblo.jp/



If anyone can think of more I'll add them!

Danner
11-03-2012, 08:37 PM
SP move

It's one of those that once you start using it you wonder how you lived without it.

http://www.pictrix.jp/lw/Sp_Move/index.html <-- 32bit
http://www.pictrix.jp/?p=6138 <--64bit

LWCAD has snap drag too but this one is free and I like it's workflow much better.

stevenpalomino
11-03-2012, 11:42 PM
Is it just snapping tools? Downloaded it. Seems like it's just snapping tools right? either way.. still awesome time-saver.

Waves of light
11-04-2012, 01:40 AM
These are all free and very useful plugins:

Align and Distribute (for those who don't have LWCAD)
Clone+
DEdgeBevel
DUniSlide
Extrude+ A2.1
Greeble_nurnies
HeatPress
Px_Navel (very useful for creating holes or circles in subpatched meshes)

Danner
11-04-2012, 06:27 AM
Is it just snapping tools? ...
Yeah basically. It snaps your selected geometry to any point in your forground or background layers, but not only that it also snaps to either axis of any point. For example you can snap only to the X axis of any point.
Left mouse button moves/snaps all of your selected geometry, right mouse button move/snaps only the point under your mouse.
To to snap to a custom axis double click on two points outside your selected mesh, a line will extend from those two pionts and you can snap to that line.

erikals
11-04-2012, 07:50 AM
looks like a great plugin.

p.s.
you can snap only to the X axis of any point in LW by holding down Ctrl button and dragging.

3dWannabe
11-04-2012, 09:52 PM
Janus render pass management http://faulknermano.com/janus/

combined with exrTrader, of course!! http://www.db-w.com/products/exrtrader/about

Turbulence smoke and fire fluid dynamics http://www.jawset.com/

stevenpalomino
11-04-2012, 09:57 PM
Those are great plugins. I've got them on my list already. So grateful for the 3rd party plugin community we have here :)

raw-m
11-05-2012, 01:04 AM
Thanks for pointing Px_Navel out (http://www.pictrix.jp/?p=3851)! Anyone know if theres a Mac64 version, or something equivalent?

stevenpalomino
11-05-2012, 09:30 AM
As far as I know there isn't 64-bit of mac or PC :S I wish!

jwiede
11-05-2012, 11:21 AM
It'd be useful if folks would note whether plugins are avail for Win32/64 and/or Mac32/64.

For example, neither Janus nor Bevel++ are available for Mac32/64, sadly. I'd buy both in a flash if they were.

stevenpalomino
11-06-2012, 02:54 PM
yeah If I need to check any of that usually I just do a search on http://www.lwplugindb.com/
They do a pretty good job at noting all that. If you're lucky you find a cool demo of the plugin from erikals on his youtube channel ;)

Waves of light
11-06-2012, 03:01 PM
Thanks for pointing Px_Navel out (http://www.pictrix.jp/?p=3851)! Anyone know if theres a Mac64 version, or something equivalent?

No problem, it was Lewis who originally pointed that one out in one of his car tuts. Pictrix is an excellent site, if you have google translate! Only prob is most of his plugins are PC only and 32bit. I don't use 64 bit modeler because of this.

@jwiede - yer, good point. No good getting peoples hopes up if it ends up not being available for MAC. But I do what Steven does, and check the lw plugin database.

jeric_synergy
11-06-2012, 06:40 PM
No good getting peoples hopes up if it ends up not being available for MAC.
Ahem, works for me. Gets the word out about the plugin, either way.

Can't coddle the mac users 24/7.

stevenpalomino
11-06-2012, 07:57 PM
..can't coddle the mac users 24/7.

lol!

chikega
02-08-2013, 10:31 AM
QuadPanels

http://www.liberty3d.com/store/liberty3d-tools/quadpanels/

Jim M
02-08-2013, 11:26 AM
DPont plugins - $Donation
Kray - Commercial
Turbulence - Commercial

(Realflow / Zbrush / Afterfx)

raw-m
05-21-2013, 02:36 AM
Heads up: Navel now available for Mac: http://www.pictrix.jp/?p=5989

Seems to come in two parts, PX_Navel and Px_Navel_UI. You have to call up Px_Navel_UI if you need to change the settings after the first run of the plugin. A little weird but works!

Waves of light
05-21-2013, 02:47 AM
Heads up: Navel now available for Mac: http://www.pictrix.jp/?p=5989

Seems to come in two parts, PX_Navel and Px_Navel_UI. You have to call up Px_Navel_UI if you need to change the settings after the first run of the plugin. A little weird but works!

Such a useful plugin. Holes in sub-d geometry made easy.