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animotion
11-02-2003, 01:09 AM
Hi all,

First off let me set it strait that this is not a slam post! I have been using LW professionally since the Amiga days. also any one that replies to this post please keep it on the same subject and issues as mentioned here so that my post doesn’t morph into some thing else.

These issues are for LW up to ver. 7.5c not LW8, the truth is none of us know what will be in LW8. let me know of your thoughts and experiences on these topics on LW7x.

I know that these issues have been mentioned before but I want to try to get mine in into one post. hopefully NT will take these issues and do something about them.

1. Deformations in layout:
This has been a thorn in my mouse for a very long time, it is such a pain to get correct deformations from modeler to layout or using hold bones no matter what workarounds or plugins I use. the only true and clean way to do this is to have the capability to rotate your bones in layout , move the points or lattice, save the deformation and have it assignable to a bone rotation value, slider and or other functions. xtool is still not a clean one to one way to do this function as what is available in other animation programs. I have spent many frustrating hours and days on this. My models have to have accurate deformations.

2. Moving background plate sequences:
No matter what the quality level or frame size the background image sequence is LW will not play it in real time! more like every tenth frame time!. I have Messiah and it will play full video size sequences at 30 frames per second without problems on the same machine, and this is the version that is launched from within LW, think about it LW is loaded plus Messiah is loaded and it outperforms LW with a double resource load!!!.

LW is used in a lot of feature films, what are these guys doing to get around this obvious problem?. The problem is not my video card.

3. Motion Designer:
Poor interface, sloppy, slow, inconsistent, incompatible, inaccurate. NEED I SAY MORE?.

Again this post is not about LW8, although I did buy the upgrade, I just wanted to voice my concerns and hopefully these will be implemented into LW8. If not I will have to start considering other options.
I would like to hear what other animators feel about these issues.

Thank you
;)

EyesClosed
11-02-2003, 01:45 AM
LW is used in a lot of feature films, what are these guys doing to get around this obvious problem?. The problem is not my video card.

Keep in mind that LW is rarely the main workhorse in feature films--rather just a small part of the pipeline. I'm sure the production has a handful of skilled programmers to solve many of the issues with workarounds (some sort of plugin/script).

skarab
11-02-2003, 01:46 AM
i agree with your points, I'm not sure about the image sequence if you mean its playback speed in realtime or when rendered. I haven't had the same problem.

I also think this thread would be more appropriate in the feature request section.

oliver

animotion
11-02-2003, 02:24 AM
I am referring to the playback speed while previewing and animating not after the render.

I posted here because I am bringing up points of concern and not suggesting a specific feature.

are you saying that if you load a tga or jpg or any other video sequence into the backround (camera view background composit) of layout that it plays at full 30 fps?.

In all the years using LW and plenty of fast machines I have never seen this done. Are we on the same page?

Thank you;)

skarab
11-02-2003, 02:47 AM
hopefully these will be implemented into LW8

that's what made me think this should be in the feature request section, whatever though.

I apologise for that error of mine, I just tried it again and it was very slow. But I remember doing this some time ago when compositing some lightwave special effects onto a friends claymation film and it ran a lot faster. I was using an oxygen card back then, I now have a gforce 4ti, which may make a difference, but maybe I was just hallucinating.

Jabba
11-02-2003, 05:07 AM
Originally posted by animotion
Hi all,
1. Deformations in layout:
This has been a thorn in my mouse for a very long time, it is such a pain to get correct deformations from modeler to layout or using hold bones no matter what workarounds or plugins I use. the only true and clean way to do this is to have the capability to rotate your bones in layout , move the points or lattice, save the deformation and have it assignable to a bone rotation value, slider and or other functions. xtool is still not a clean one to one way to do this function as what is available in other animation programs. I have spent many frustrating hours and days on this.

I will be now sound like a scratched record, but for me only one reasonable solution is joining modeler and layout whathever it is. Not for having it like one app or because we are all lazy to switch between them (and argument that it saves memory or if somebody want to just do modeling he dosn't need layout running isn't well-founded). We all yelling about that just because is solve lots of problems LW had.
Imagine that you finish your model, bone it (withou weightmaps - Btw: gamedeveloper NEED weigtmaps because without them, characters simply don't deform), and animate it (withou switching or saving). Then you realize that you have to corect some chest deformation by holding bones. Why to do that if you sould just in the animation frame where this deformations are most visible just create a weightmaps (And what about if every bone will have its empty weigtmap created by default?) and tweak it RIGHT IN view and at frame where you spot that freaky deformation - rather to switch back to modeler, blindly setup and tweak wm in there and just switch back to layout to realize that you don't tweak it precisely.
Or Imagine that you'll need to corect the deformations about elbow, knee or shoulder. The trick about morphing those joints acording to bone rotation is called SMART SKINNING - just find that in google and you will find lost of tutorial how to do that in Maya (for example). They are able to do that just while they're animating - even more, they clone the main object, have them all with the animated one in viewport and in time, they correct deformation on that morphed one 'on the fly'.
Deformation latices are another example. Even if LW will had them, you will need to tweak DL cages blindly in modeler and then switch back to layout to see if you do it right.
Or tweaking morphs on the fly while youre animating - or tweak endomorphs when you realize that some phonement morph isn't perfect...
And there are lots and lots of examples that speaks for joining M & L.


2. Moving background plate sequences:
No matter what the quality level or frame size the background image sequence is LW will not play it in real time! more like every tenth frame time!. I have Messiah and it will play full video size sequences at 30 frames per second without problems on the same machine, and this is the version that is launched from within LW, think about it LW is loaded plus Messiah is loaded and it outperforms LW with a double resource load!!!.
LW is used in a lot of feature films, what are these guys doing to get around this obvious problem?. The problem is not my video card.

Yes, I give up rotoscoping animation long time ago. And even normal working speed of LW isn't that fast as it could be if you compare it to others. Even if I work with lowpoly characters, when they have IK driven bones, LW start to be like power point presentation rather than confort animating program.

hrgiger
11-02-2003, 09:03 AM
If this is about 7.5 and not about 8, why bother posting now? It's a little late to be fixing problems in 7.5.
I agree with you about 1 and 2, but then this has been requested many times in the past and Newtek is well aware of the limitations of their software so this isn't really a wake up call or anything. We have new softbodies/and rigidbodies in LW8 so it's sort of redundant to ask for an improved Motion Designer at this point.
This should be in the feature request forum. Skarab was right to begin with.

animotion
11-02-2003, 09:19 AM
hrgiger,

If we don't continue to voice our opinions about these weak features it will not be fixed in ver. 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 ect.

I am not looking for any fixes to LW7 I upgraded to LW8 and will not recite any LW8 features untill it is out.

Thanks.

hrgiger
11-02-2003, 09:24 AM
Your concerns are noted. Newtek follows these boards. And that's why we have a feature request forum.

hopicus
11-02-2003, 07:26 PM
1. Deformations in layout:
This has been a thorn in my mouse for a very long time, it is such a pain to get correct deformations from modeler to layout or using hold bones no matter what workarounds or plugins I use. the only true and clean way to do this is to have the capability to rotate your bones in layout , move the points or lattice, save the deformation and have it assignable to a bone rotation value, slider and or other functions. xtool is still not a clean one to one way to do this function as what is available in other animation programs. I have spent many frustrating hours and days on this. My models have to have accurate deformations.

I completely agree with you on that one, [ the rest too, But that one most of all...]
Personally, I would like to be able to rotate bones in modeler and set up all of my bone rotation activated morph targets [ or whatever you want to call em ] in modeler as well,...

im keeping my fingers crossed that the reason we haven't seen much, if any, of whats going to be in modeler, is due to the fact that newteks made some major changes in LW8, and now layout and modeler are now one app or close to being one app...

and hey, while im here, does anyone out there know when we might be getting the full story on what exactly is going into lightwave 8,... its november now, which means it should be shipping somewhat soon, and the suspence is slowly killing me:D ... whens the promotional media blitz going to start?

Lastly, I think we should be able to talk about whatever we want in the community section... I've never understood those who need to catagorize, label and arrange everything in existence... [ sigh ]

hrgiger
11-02-2003, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by hopicus


Lastly, I think we should be able to talk about whatever we want in the community section... I've never understood those who need to catagorize, label and arrange everything in existence... [ sigh ]

You are free of course to talk about whatever you want to in the community section. It's only the moderators choice if the thread is going to be moved or not.
It's not about categorizing or organizing. Perhaps if you want the actual developers of Lightwave to hear your concerns, perhaps the feature request forum would be the best place. That's what it's there for...[sigh] Only IMHO of course.

ngrava
11-02-2003, 10:19 PM
Hey! There's this plugin called "Rotate Skelegon"
http://www.animationsnippets.com/plugins/rotateskelegons/index.html
Check it out and see if it fits the bill. You can also use it with this guys Smart skin plugin but my problem with it is that it's two linear and you can't over drive the morphs.

-=GB=-

ngrava
11-02-2003, 10:29 PM
Oh yeah, for the background image issue, make a nice little AVI or QuickTime of the backbround plates and use them instead. It makes a real difference. BTW, you just load the backgroud plates into lightwave, show them in the camera view and then render a preview. Then, just save the preview and... you get the picture.

-=GB=-

animotion
11-03-2003, 12:31 AM
the rotate skelegons plugin is very limited and falls apart when trying to do complex deformations. Just like the rest of the available workarounds.

colkai
11-03-2003, 08:09 AM
I believe the point hrgiger is trying to make is.

If these are frustrations and you want Newtek to consider fixing them in future releases, then 'features' is the best place.

If it is just a rant, then here is fine and dandy.

The forums are marked as they are for a reason.
Also, have you scanned through the feature request forum, are such things already listed?

If so, why not add to that discussion to bring the thread up to date and make Newtek aware that the particular request is still a hot topic?

Again as hrgiger said, if it is about using LW7.5 only - then I guess realistically you have little chance of any 7.5D patch, (if it appears) having such changes in it.

hrgiger
11-03-2003, 09:05 AM
Thanks Colkai, that's what I was saying, I apologize if I wasn't clear about it.

Deformations in Layout have been a big issue for me as well and I would also like to see a good solution for them. We have animatable points in Layout in 8 and I definately think that's a step in the right direction. Hopefully, they will be able to fix some deformation problems while animating. We'll see. I tried XTool (check it out at: http://home.nordnet.fr/~phoneikon/XTool_Main_001.htm ) out last night, it's a plug-in that will let you animate points in the current lightwave. It's a very cool plug-in but I was having a little trouble to get it to work like I wanted. I made a simple pipe, bent it with bones, and tried to shape up the points afterward to give the best deformation. That was no problem, however, the points that I moved on that frame, stayed there in other frames as I moved the scrub bar around and I just hope in 8 it will be easy to fix the points on a particular keyframe, and have them move back to what would be their original positions on subsequent keyframes. Anway, like I said, we'll see.
Softbodies in 8 look very much improved in both speed and calculation, as well as features so like I said before, it seems a little redundant to ask for an improved motion designer at this point.
I haven't really used moving background plates so I can't really comment on their performance.

animotion
11-03-2003, 11:23 AM
The issue is my original post not the fact that it is in this thread. NT reads this section too, right?. This is in the feature request section also. We all agree on the problems with LW7x and the fact that LW8 will be better but none of us know for shure what will actually end up in LW8 right?. I have done machin language (binary) programing before and I know how features can be cut for one reason or another. like I said before it is not too late to ask for what we want.

Postin our concerns lets NT know that that these problems mean a lot to us and saying that it has been mentioned befere is a ver bad way to strive for reform. I do wish that these problems are addressed in LW8 but I will belive it only when I see it for myself.

;)

mattclary
11-03-2003, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by animotion
These issues are for LW up to ver. 7.5c not LW8, the truth is none of us know what will be in LW8.


Originally posted by animotion
I do wish that these problems are addressed in LW8 but I will belive it only when I see it for myself.

So it's been about LW 8 the whole time, right? So just wait until 8 comes out, then you can critique it properly.

hrgiger
11-03-2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by animotion
The issue is my original post not the fact that it is in this thread. NT reads this section too, right?.

I honest can't speak for who at Newtek reads this section other then the moderators. Sure Chuck will read this as well as Proton and Paul but they're not the developers either, at least not that we know of.;) My guess is, the developers aren't reading the community section for new ideas on improving Lightwave..
I see that you posted this in the feature request forum and I think that's the right move. I think you'll generally get more feedback and response about those issues there and less about which forum is the right one to post in.....;)

Nemoid
11-04-2003, 07:55 AM
The thing i like the most is that we have Proton as a moderator , because he's a good artist and animator and IMO knows vey well
the probs of Lightwave.

he's not a developer, but communicating what we need from an animator POV is the best thing for programmers to implement things in a user friendly and efficient way.

for example, when Meni was in Nt, Bang! phantom points came out.

Now Proton is in Nt and...

P.s. Proton didn't pay me for posting this as someone could think. :D

WilliamVaughan
11-04-2003, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by Nemoid


P.s. Proton didn't pay me for posting this as someone could think. :D


But I do apppreciate the comments :)

Jabba
11-05-2003, 01:37 AM
Oh. Proton, nice to see you there.

Would you be so kind (please.. please.. please.. please...) and have an eye on NT and Betatester that they streamline and betatest old features too? It seems to me like in every update all cares about new stuff and nobody paid atention about old issues ;(

Like noninteractive skelegon tree in modeler (if you select bone in list, modeler don't mimic this selection in viewports), or all VMap tools - if you select a VMap in the bottom-left corner popup, non of VMap tools have that active VMap selected in their requester's popup by default...

Also that rightmousebutton menu works different ways at different panels. In modeler for example, if you select some Wmap in Vertex Maps window and then do rightclick on other Wmap and chose one of the commands (delete for example), it deletes the selected WMap but not the one you clicked on and have opened the menu for (even if it was a right click...)

Also, sometimes (and it happends almost everyday), when I delete UVmap (or Weight) on modeler and have HUB and Layout opened with same model, it seems like HUB keeps that information and for clean export, I need to close M, L and Hub and then open it and load the model back to wipe that information.

.. and if you have bones character with weightmaps in layout and replace the main model, it seems that LW don't pay attention to that newly loaded (replaced) model's weightmaps and still trying to use weightmaps by some internals IDs even if their names are same. It works fine (and newly loaded [replaced] model is deformed by bones right) just to a moment when you save the scene, close the Layout, open it and load that scene again - bones are moving but characters stand still until you manualy traverse bones in Bone Panel and clicked on the WeightMap popup for each of the bone (as I said, even if the new model weightmaps have a same name and are properly set at the popup - until you update the requster by clicking on that popup, LW don't use them).

.. and.. a lot more.. It's a realy nightmare to work with all of these... (if you want I can share a list..)

best regards,
and I hope you're the right guy that keeps LW alive. At least it seems. Because you're by the years almost the only man (are you a human, don't you? ;)) that talks to comunity and even post something behind the scenes so one could thing that something happends.

cresshead
11-05-2003, 05:59 AM
jabba please post your list of bug fixes that need to be made on the approporate forum as well, otherwise the programmers may not see them to bust the bugs you describe.

steve g

Jabba
11-05-2003, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by cresshead
jabba please post your list of bug fixes that need to be made on the approporate forum as well, otherwise the programmers may not see them to bust the bugs you describe.

steve g

I'm not sure that posting them to apropriate forum helps. Most of them are really old bugs and I can't believe that betatesters don't reported them when they apear. So I trying to post them here 'coz I wanna make a wave of rumour and because Proton was there and he seems to be alive.. A living human who cares ;)

Nemoid
11-06-2003, 02:12 AM
Originally posted by proton
But I do apppreciate the comments :)

that's what I think. I always say what I think.

@Jabba you did well to post your bugs and probs report here as well. every place where the staff can find them is a good place.

Now, I know for true, that in the past, Nt didn't pay so much attention to bug reports even if someone gave them huge lists and suggestions for how to fix them.

I may seem too much optimistic, but I think this is not the case now.

on the contrary, IMO there have to be a strong connection between moderators like Proton and Chuck and the programmers team, so that innovation comes with the aid of the community. :)

Jabba
11-06-2003, 04:55 PM
I'm still impressed what's goin' on out there in another threads. I understand that LW content is important and for hobbyis or new customers DFX bundle will be cool, but how is it that almost nobody cares about the main aplication?

Everybody screams and twist and wave in the ecstasy when they're seeing images from LW content and nobody cares about the main point. It seems to me like NT is trying to mask something.

I personaly think that the biggest prove that something is changing and the biggest moment in NT history was the screenshot that Proton posted about month ago. It was the one with popup menu about envelope button with copy/paste and other commands. That's the thing that should have warm the crowd. Not bundled content.

I thought that we're all wainting for new version of LW not the composition software or new content. If it means that we will wait up to day and pay for new content or composition software (that everybody who use LW profesionaly have anyway) something is wrong. Or it will be vice versa? This highly awaited and whole numbered version of LW will be content and composition software and modeler and layout will be bundle?

Have I miss something? Am I the only one who's fearful? Oh my god, it will be number 8. Not 7.6 or 7.7f ... 8!.

animotion
11-06-2003, 05:39 PM
jabba I don't think you have to worry about that. Newtek is just generous like that. I started this post here and am glad I did because it looks like its getting more action here than in the feature thread.

Newtek is not the kind of company that tries tricks to try to hide things. We are all looking for better tools and I think we will get some nice surprises.

Don't stop voicing your opinions, that's what this forum is for.:)

Jabba
11-06-2003, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by animotion
Don't stop voicing your opinions, that's what this forum is for.:)

I'm quite sure that lots of users (and maybe NT staff too) don't want to hear all this ;)
For many years of stagnation, negative responses will be in minority, and even if somebody say something that was truth, others stone him to death ;). Just how long that minority yells for M&L integration... and even if it could solve lots of things, it was always the same - "if you don't like it, buy other apps". Now it seems that some people realized that someone could say because he like LW and wants the best for it.

But it's right. Something is changing. If I say all those things that I said in last few weeks lets say 2 or 3 years ago (and I try that ;), my post would be 'overposted' and drowned down by other satisfied angry users. The fact that I'm still alive (digitaly) and there are others who think the same (and I know that my speech is commonness and brutal when I feel the needs to say the thruth) is the prove that we're at border of something new.

j3st3r
11-07-2003, 01:45 AM
Welcome to the camp of naysayers, Jabba. Anyway how is your court? Do you still empley that chick, Oola? :)

I was attacked personally by my friend, that I wrote my opinion on CgTalk about the LW8 upgrade (or what we can assume of it). He is a stisfied user, he can live without undo, without edges, etc.

I do believe, that LW can do thing faster, smarter than other tools. I do believe that one may set up specific particle effects in a short time, but I do also belive that when the change of this setup is required, it may take long-long time to edit.

I`m very disappointed about undo. I was almost laughed, when Newtek proudly demoed that silly only-transform-undos. I need undo mostly on surface editor...Changing a color of a surface...adding new texture layer...removing layers...that MUST be undoable. My friend told me, that before every changes I should save incrementally, and reload the scene, if I don`t like something. Heh...I used to work with hundreds of megabytes of textures...reloading a scene used take 2 minutes at least. The slowest "undo" ever...

What I see, that saying everything can be done in LW, is accurate. But always with workaround. It`s nice, if your result is perfect at the first attempt, and there is no need to alter something. In other softwares (even in MAX), most scene object (nodes, materials, simulations) can interact with each other. Maybe first setup takes longer time. But editing them, is much faster.

I hope LW8 will change this. I like LW, I like to work with it. But I like it to be IMPROVED

Nemoid
11-07-2003, 02:31 AM
Well, about undos, the truth is that if a program isn't projected with multiple undos from the basis, its impossible to deeply implement them later.

Modeler was based on multiple undos. Layout was not. simple.

the implementation of undos for all functions requires a rewrite.
I know it for true. the same for edges in mod.

when I talk about enhancing Lw with the current structure, and i talk about limits of the structure itself, that's what I mean

there are things wich you will hardly see without a rewrite.

on the other hand , other things can be enhanced greatly without this huge job of a rewrite.
that's what I think Nt is doing now. enhancing Lw at the maximum level allowed from the current structure, and code.

SplineGod
11-07-2003, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger

Deformations in Layout have been a big issue for me as well and I would also like to see a good solution for them. We have animatable points in Layout in 8 and I definately think that's a step in the right direction. Hopefully, they will be able to fix some deformation problems while animating. We'll see. I tried XTool (check it out at: http://home.nordnet.fr/~phoneikon/XTool_Main_001.htm ) out last night, it's a plug-in that will let you animate points in the current lightwave. It's a very cool plug-in but I was having a little trouble to get it to work like I wanted. I made a simple pipe, bent it with bones, and tried to shape up the points afterward to give the best deformation. That was no problem, however, the points that I moved on that frame, stayed there in other frames as I moved the scrub bar around and I just hope in 8 it will be easy to fix the points on a particular keyframe, and have them move back to what would be their original positions on subsequent keyframes. Anway, like I said, we'll see.
Softbodies in 8 look very much improved in both speed and calculation, as well as features so like I said before, it seems a little redundant to ask for an improved motion designer at this point.
I haven't really used moving background plates so I can't really comment on their performance.
Hey Steve,
I dont know if the Xtool demo is the most uptodate version. The version I am using is very stable and works very well. I have been able to bend a forearm bone and then sculpt the points into a desired shape at that pitch angle. It was pretty easy to use CYCLER to make those points move to predetermined positions based on the pitch channel of that bone. It works great. I image that LW8 will allow the same functionality. The nice thing is being able to sculpt the points and then save transformed. XTool also worked flaylessly with Motion Designer as well. If collision objects were interpenetrating with the target object I could simply grab the points and pull them out. The effect was additive with the MD deformations. This is something LW8 will definately do and is a great time saver. Xtool also allows points to be assigned to an object or null. This object can be used as a pivot point for those
points to counter the twisting of the shoulder or upper arm bones.
Also Ive found that I can bend the forearm bone and then at various angle of that bend, go and use morph mixer to blend morphs to get particular shapes at those angles. Again, I was able to easily tie those deformations to the pitch angle of the bone using CYCLER. For me it gives much better results then simply tying a morph to a channel using an expression or channel follower. This method allows the morphs to mix and blend in a variety of ways and then drive it with a single channel.