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Zach
11-02-2003, 04:34 AM
Hey, I don't really want to start on this next project until 8 comes out. (it's worth billions of dollars and i'll kick down some moula to NEWTEK if 8 comes out soon)

nah, actually, it is a (non-money making) side project, but I don't care to use motion builder (cause I haven't learned it yet) if I can use Lightwave and its kick ***** new IK (at least it looks more revolutionary than I've seen out there, and I would like to stick to using one great and almighty, kick butt app if I can).

so, how's about an upgrade!

hrgiger
11-02-2003, 08:59 AM
I don't think it's any different other then it may be a little faster and also easier to setup.
Ik isn't that hard to setup that I would be waiting for an upgrade to 8 to use it.

wacom
11-02-2003, 10:23 AM
Have you done this tutorial yet?

http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/contests/dec-02/winners/tutorials/layout/Chris_Olsen/index.html

I was thinking the same thing as you...but after a few days (yes days) I figured out
how IK in 7.5 could work for me. I'm of the opinion though that for some of us who aren't IK masters 8 will make the diffrence, and for those who are it will only make things less painful.

Chris Olsen's tutorial is a little rushed, but the main things to pay attention to in it are the little-iddy-biddy bank rotation and "root" bones he puts on his chains and the view ports he uses to draw skelegons in for the diffrent limbs. Download the .lwo and lws and see what I'm talking about. Just those two points alone will save you hours of gimble lock frustration and help your IK perform more reliably. No instant IK here...but a good bandaid 'til 8.

Don't forget that you'll be able to use your current rigs in 8...

BTW: Is there a Portland LW group that meets up around here?

Zach
11-02-2003, 02:30 PM
Man I wish there was a LW users group here (portland). I'd probably go all the time! I didn't know there were any LW users out here, I thought everyone used either Max or Maya. LW was pretty big here once apon a time at Vinton's but I think they are making a transition to an all Maya pipeline. I've met some other folks around town that used LW for a long time, but they seem to be making the switch to some other application (maya) and it bums me out. Maya is a darned good app, but I like working in LW much better (just interface and modelling preferences).

Maybe we should put up a thread asking all LW users in P-Town to see if they would be up for creating a users meeting.

I'm just such a lazy fellah, and for my senior project in school I put a 3 minute character animation together involving a man-sized spider, 2 virtual/3D me's, and a few other things, and I spent a lot of time on rigging myself and nearly ran out of time to do the of the animation!

The rigs I made were too cumbersome and slow (don't know why either, i've got a pretty good computer) and I ended up half assing everything(with a great amount of frustration) just to get it finished. I've looked at a lot of different ik/fk tutorials (Schultz's vids), and I was thinking about diving into the $400 investment Todd Grimes has at Desktop Images when I get a couple more projects out the door.

The only thing is, I dont' want to continuously relearn how to create character setups in LW(that is the laziness, I know everything changes all the time) and I really like the fk/ik switching Proton was showing and the auto ik at SIGGRAPH. That was one thing I was having a problem with. My character falls to the ground and pushes himself up with his hands, and it took me forever to get it to look "near decent."

I've already purchased the DFX+ deal and I've got Motion Builder and a friend who knows it pretty well, and I'm out of dough for anything else(but I'm sure I don't need anything else, right).

Thanx for the Olsen link, I'll definately check that out!

wacom
11-02-2003, 06:34 PM
Sorry if I let on to know better- I have a feeling that you're more aware of using LW IK than I. From what I've been hearing you should be able to get most of your stuff done with Motion Builder. I have the demo...but I don't have the cash to buy it.

Semi OT:

Yeah- it seems that everyone and there brother uses Maya...but for my price line LW is the only package that gives me what I need out of the box. Complete Maya is far from it... I chose LW since I like to model my own objects- and if I can't model it then I can't worry about animating or rendering it. I started by using 3DS in DOS, then MAX and Rhino, and now LW. LW is the only program that made me feel like I could do almost anything I wanted if I took a little time to learn it.

I do find it funny that people base what a program can do for them by looking to ILM, R&H, Pixar or such. I feel that the average small studio or single artist can create a lot more with LW than the other packages. I only base this by the images and the quality of work done by the average joe shmoe for each package. People seem to buy software like SUVs and Trucks...larger for larger egos. It's a shame that people view the cost of something as its value.

Is this horse dead yet? I feel like I gave it a couple of more kicks...

Zach
11-03-2003, 01:40 PM
Sorry if I let on to know better-

Didn't think you were... I'm sure I was though.

I agree with what you said above. It's the individual using the package. I've seen some great character animation put out by lightwave, and it's not so much the software your using but the patience/passion you put into it.

I think i see some wiggling white rice on the horse... better bury it.

Nemoid
11-04-2003, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by wacom
I do find it funny that people base what a program can do for them by looking to ILM, R&H, Pixar or such. I feel that the average small studio or single artist can create a lot more with LW than the other packages. I only base this by the images and the quality of work done by the average joe shmoe for each package. People seem to buy software like SUVs and Trucks...larger for larger egos. It's a shame that people view the cost of something as its value.



for the single artist, Lw is surely a good choice, because at a good price, you get a complete app in wich you can do excellent things out of the box even if particular things like CA and correcting deformations you need to use some workaround.

Other packages, Like Maya and XSI, but especially Maya, are deep and powerfull, but complex in certain tasks out of the box, like modeling for example. they show all their potential in good teams of expert people wich are specialized in different areas like lighting, animating, modelling so that they know every aspect of the areas.

an alternative could also be Max, wich price is a bit expensive, and the same is for C4D if you buy every special module.

basing your choice on what studies use is good if you base your work to be hired into these studies. if this is not your prob, you can use only Lw and be happy :)

Zach
11-04-2003, 12:51 PM
good call, but I just want to say, Modelling in maya isn't that bad. They've got great tools to get what you want real easily, (but the renderer is so darned slow!)

Jabba
11-04-2003, 01:45 PM
Lets face it in a global manner.

Yep. LW is a great choice for artists who wants to be creative and want a tool that let him be creative. It's the best choice. If you've got a lot of time to play and to produce great images and animation its fantastic.

Troubles apears when you put the LW into the workflow chain that is heavily loaded. The creative tool will change to a paddle (believe me), and that's why LW isn't so popular in those areas and is used (exept few examples) for simple tasks rather than as a main tool.

If you model a character or do an animation, it's a best value for money. If you have to produce a great looking characters with UV and complete set of animation twenty times a day by two years, you then realize that even simple workaround or missplaced button is a brutal drawback. That's why almost everybody uses Maya or Max. If you have a lot of time, you will be able to do same good looking thigs in those apps just like in LW. But when you need a paddle in the everyday hard work, their abilities are invaluable - and it isn't all about proxies and scene management over the whole team, it starts on simple tasks. And if you're in trouble, widely open SDK let you do nearly everything.

wacom
11-04-2003, 05:53 PM
Jabba-
I agree. It seems that we are just looking from a diffrent angle on this. If I wanted to work in a studio I wouldn't even bother buying software- I'd go and get hired and use what they use, or go to school and pick up the student version.

There will always be a better package, that does more faster, but there is only one me- and only my small budget. I've looked at the other packages, but for the price I'm not going to get what I want out of the "base" flavors. XSI, MAYA, MAX, C4D...the base products have some large holes and larger prices. XSI is the only one that's ever really shook my tree...but the cost...hmm

Most of my needs will be served with LW 8 and G2. Then again I don't work for a studio...

I think as a hobby I'm going to start going to other product message boards and seeing what they say about each other...just how green is it?

Zach
11-04-2003, 07:49 PM
Most of my needs will be served with LW 8 and G2.

Totally!

Really, I meant to start a thread that begged newtek to release the release date of 8.

Software wars don't really solve anything amongst their users. It's like people who use Macs, and the others who use PCs; Most are diehard against the other, but they are both good for different things.

I like Maya, I just don't like the interface, (procedural) texturing, and the slow render. Other than that, there are a lot of poly/subd tools that have been introduced and/or beefed up for modelling, and the nurbs are good for a lot of different/quick things. The biggest issue I have with modelling in Maya is that it isn't LW. The only thing I miss in LW from Maya is the snapping functions(snap to axis, curve, surface/mesh).

Any way, the horse is now starting to fester!

As far as modelling, LW and DI's tools are all I really need (although I'm really interested in Pawel Olas' plugs). I just want 8 to come out. It's been a long time since the last upgrd, and I'm tired of seeing MAXON, Maya, and XSI continuing on a regular release path when my favorite software seems to be being neglected!

Nemoid
11-05-2003, 08:18 AM
Xcuse me for the long post, so skip it if you don't want to read.

Well, Jabba, I quite agree with your vision, especially for what concerns animation and workarounds
many of us have to make in Lw to get it work properly, and of course, time is an important task to calculate in your works.

Lw currently integrates well in pipelines where is used for modelling, this is particularly true
still now, because the modelling Lw workflow is very good. the possibility to model directly in subpatches,
even if you don't have different algorithms for them is invaluable and very fast, as well as selections workflow,
the basic tools are quite good.even if they require enhancements and retouches as well..

integrates well also for what concerns previsualization, and other basic tasks.

for what concerns animation in Lw , I agree we are a bit off in that field, because Layout is not so powerfull as modeler is.
there are then probs deriving from Lw inner structure, and code. unlimited undos for all are not
possible in Layout, because its code isn't projected in this way. there are probs with plugs like G2 and sasquatch working with Screamernet
(IMO Screamernet itself its not whatI'd call a great easy way to setup and build your little renderfarm )

its obvious that a huge company can't have the time to find the workarounds and fix the probs and that they need apps wich
work very well for teams, very deep and powerful, flexible at the level of scripting, wich allows them to build their own tools
and enhance the workflow of the application if needed.

its clear as well, that Lw os powerful in the right hands, but that at the same time, to obtain the flexibility and power of the other apps
for huge works, can't be organized with the current structure.

since i love Lw philosophy, tools and after all, general workflow, the thing to do to fix that probs, if Nt wants to go
towards a huge company pipeline structure, is to build an integrated new version of Lw, inspired by the current tools
we have, but thinking in terms of flexibility, deepness and a happy life for animators as well as other artists (texturers, lihters, etc.).


So, we know that in the past this was not Nt direction.we also know that apps like Maya and XSI are with years
becoming more affordable, so that the gap between Lw and labeled "High end" apps from the price POV
is becoming subtle.

We don't know what exactly will be in Lw[8] and future releases, though, nor what Nt developing strategy
will become in the next future.

I'm sure however, that Lw workflow will be heavily enhanced towards CA,
this is very good. tools in modeler will be enhanced, as well as the general workflow of the app, so that the
workarounds to get the job done will diminish.

that's the current situation, and if I can add some thoughts I see in the 3D field we are in a transition period,
with the presence of solo modules like MB or Animanium, TSM itself ,Messiah, Silo, VRay, etc, wich show
the future of 3D apps as easy to use, deep & powerful way to work.
the only thing is that these pieces are not general apps. this measns that the workflow and power
of general apps in the different fields of 3D content creation can be enhanced greatly.

so , the good way I see its a R&D costant way, creating tools for the animators, putting new ideas into apps,
creating new technologies thinking to the needs of production and other important and basic things.
this can be seen here and there, but. IMO there's not one 3D software producer with this general strong
philosophy and boldness.

Nt in its side is working good right now, I think to enhance Lw with the current structure.
they can do a lot in this field, making Lw a kick *** app developing all Lw possibilities
into the limits imposed from this structure.
this is a job.

then, developing a new version with another modern structure (but with its own identity as well)
can be done in a parallel pipeline.
this is another job.

Jabba
11-06-2003, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by wacom
Jabba-
I agree. It seems that we are just looking from a diffrent angle on this. If I wanted to work in a studio I wouldn't even bother buying software- I'd go and get hired and use what they use, or go to school and pick up the student version.

There will always be a better package, that does more faster, but there is only one me- and only my small budget. I've looked at the other packages, but for the price I'm not going to get what I want out of the "base" flavors. XSI, MAYA, MAX, C4D...the base products have some large holes and larger prices. XSI is the only one that's ever really shook my tree...but the cost...hmm

Most of my needs will be served with LW 8 and G2. Then again I don't work for a studio...

I think as a hobby I'm going to start going to other product message boards and seeing what they say about each other...just how green is it?

But that's exactly what's disapointing me. Lightwave had potential to beat others not even in price/value ratio what is important for you (and I understand that - believe me) but with LITTLE CHANGES in almost everything. But those things where others are ahead isn't any of those eye candy features that maya or xsi had. Those things are even the smallest ones. The workflow itself and basic operations. NT glue-on about the old core things that they thing they are important but they lost their customers around the world not for those eye candy things, but for the fact that Lightwave stops evolving 4 years ago and start to look like a xmass tree. Almost every one of my friends in pruduction change the boat not because the aren't able to render fast or have a better volumetric engine or because they can't do crowds animations by a press of a button. They left because market was changed and even the move tool matters. Event the scene content management matters. Event change type of all lights in multiselection or even LWO format without saved normals or simply readable UVcoords matters.
Nobody changed it painlessly and everybody that I know was sad that he needs to do it - and even sadder because they all know that those things have to be there in version 6.5 or 7.0.

Everybody who has a time can do everything in application who he is using. I scream all those things here because I feel in my neighbourhood like a missionary on the lost island with the last church and the last boat is raising its sails.

You sais that If I wanted to work in a studio I wouldn't even bother buying software- I'd go and get hired and use what they use. That's a sad true. For me it's even sadder that I'm the one responsible for what you will be using if you take a job in our team. I haven't even time for my work because I spend almost all of my time by figuring out workaround and writing scripts for others just to prove that my decision to chose a LW as a main tool in production was right. My everyday answer for them has and is "just wait for eight. It will be better" - but even when 8 isn't out, even I have a heretic cogitation that I just want to do my job and I want to concentrate to what I'm mainly - lead 3D artist. Now I'm just 'patcher and fixer' and my head going to blow. And as I said, we're using just simple tools, because 3D world is about creating and moving points, grouping them together to polygons, set them mapping coordinates and put textures on them. I don't care if on other software I will be able to do crowd simulation or break some model just by pressing one button. If I'm not be able to get myself to that state where everything is prepared and last thing is pressing that button, that feature is totaly useles.

Jabba
11-06-2003, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by Nemoid



its obvious that a huge company can't have the time to find the workarounds and fix the probs and that they need apps wich
work very well for teams, very deep and powerful, flexible at the level of scripting, wich allows them to build their own tools
and enhance the workflow of the application if needed.


There I don't know if you mean NT itself or others. If you mean NT, I have nothing to add but if you mean their customers, the situation is, that even in other softwares there are a 'holes', but open architecture and clever core alow them to go around.
In the case of LW, for most of the things there are all doors closed. Even on simple workaround and timesaver scripts, I too often realize that Script have same limitations that LW itself and even plugin SDK has the same limitations. Then, if all those things go by some border, the one big workaround is to change the whole app ;(



since i love Lw philosophy, tools and after all, general workflow, the thing to do to fix that probs, if Nt wants to go
towards a huge company pipeline structure, is to build an integrated new version of Lw, inspired by the current tools
we have, but thinking in terms of flexibility, deepness and a happy life for animators as well as other artists (texturers, lihters, etc.).


I agree. Just small addition. First versions of LW where all those clever and well designed basic features are invented was superior. Then, NT change direction and it was trying to find his all way even if there was the clear and smooth big road ahead. It seems to me like this is one of those problems that puts LW when it is now. We wait for UVs and pray that we have it when others normaly uses them and I remember that I read somewhere in those days that 'this feature is not important'. Then we have a glued-on totaly unusable UVs that somebody incorporate into LW totaly without forethought. Even those that said that UVs are not important realized that it IS BASIC and NEEDED feature. NT said that that was enough and LW HAS UVs. In next release they corect their mistake and they gave as unweld command and discontinuos UVs. If there is somebody who is familiar with SDK and LWO format, he prove me that it was another glued-on feature. It seems that NT don't look how other are dealing with problems - and also they don't let others to fix those things by LW closed SDK. Just look about other aps. You talked about MAX and standalone MotionBuilder. If I will be a MAX user and I liked a MotionBuilder but I don't want to use it like a standalone, because of totaly incedible MAX's open SDK I will be able to use it right in MAX because they are able to wrote it as a plugin. I there will be an option to solve LW problems by bying a third party plugin I don't wait even minute and what's more important, I don't bother satisfacted customers by my problems in those threads. The only one argument will be "shut up and by yourself a xxxxx plugin if you want all those things that we don't need" - and I will shut up and I will be happy ;)
I thing that NT haven't time and resources to do those things better that others (saddly, mainly the time). I thing that what they need to do is just look at other apps, ask users, do some research and incorporate the best things from them (btw: that's what MAX is all about - they have open core and just buying and building their soft like if they build it from a lego pieces - and it works - but ofcourse, max has a same problem like a LW. It has a lots of uncured child diseases).



We don't know what exactly will be in Lw[8] and future releases, though, nor what Nt developing strategy
will become in the next future.
I'm sure however, that Lw workflow will be heavily enhanced towards CA,
this is very good. tools in modeler will be enhanced, as well as the general workflow of the app, so that the
workarounds to get the job done will diminish.
Nt in its side is working good right now, I think to enhance Lw with the current structure.
they can do a lot in this field, making Lw a kick *** app developing all Lw possibilities
into the limits imposed from this structure.
this is a job.
then, developing a new version with another modern structure (but with its own identity as well)
can be done in a parallel pipeline.
this is another job.

I'm just frightened that it's too late. If I see at siggraph demos that everything is about those main concept changes (and NT had a lot of time to do that) I will be little less, but siggraph was about another glued-on features. All we were seeing was a demo of features that was done before by someone else (mainly by japanese, because they have a strongest LW comunity). LW sparkling new hardbody dynamics isn't something more that BreakFX released long time ago, and improved PFX and reworked MotionDesigner. Ok. So we have a new plugins there - and a new SDK class. I heard that IKBooster is japanese too. Then we have a horrible tug-of-war about color and buttons and whole GUI, thirdparty tools to tweak bones in layout and glued-on secondary timeline because that one what's in LW isn't interactive. What NT alone do then all those times? For me, it seems that only one who work on LW at NT is Bob Hood. I believe, that all that problems with LScript isn't its faults and that LScript do exactly as much as LW core allow, because in most situations even plugins can't solve problems and deal with same limitations. If we see at siggraph collection of integrated third party plugins, where is all those NT hard work? Maybe I'm injustice to them right now o maybe not. Maybe they work really hard or maybe they just dealing with the same problems like other LW third party developers when they're trying to do all those new thigs that we need. But that's what is it all about - one big doubt. I'm praying that I'm wrong. I want to be. For me myself and lots of others, I need to be wrong.

Zach
11-06-2003, 09:56 PM
Now I'm just 'patcher and fixer'

That's what you'd be with any software package, given your job title, but it sounds more like you're a TD!

Unfortunately, LW was at the mercy of opposing forces for the last couple of years. NewTek, and the people who now make up Luxology. I think this is why most of LW's glue-on japanese features are in the current(and next) incarnation.

It's like when they tossed Worley's SasLite in. Worley doesn't work for NT. NT has been more of an acquiring company than a development company. I've been told that we should expect LW to be more of a rebuilt app in version 9. Right now they are just working on the interface and documentation issues and patching up LW's animation system. (That's one thing I missed about LW was the F1 help feature that virtually all windows programs have).

So here we are with a Christmas tree, but I think it's a pretty Christmas tree. Once we(users who don't program or do heavy scripting) get a great bones/ik/fk system, and are able to manipulate points in Layout (without that weird MotionDesigner work around in 8) through scripting and mouse to point manipulation, I really don't think that people who use LW or different apps will have the ammunition to say that LW is a good "preset style 3d package, but it just doesn't land the 'highend' status. "(by the way, I've heard people say that LW is a preset style 3d application like it is bryce or powerpoint).

SplineGod
11-07-2003, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by Jabba
Lets face it in a global manner.

Yep. LW is a great choice for artists who wants to be creative and want a tool that let him be creative. It's the best choice. If you've got a lot of time to play and to produce great images and animation its fantastic.

Troubles apears when you put the LW into the workflow chain that is heavily loaded. The creative tool will change to a paddle (believe me), and that's why LW isn't so popular in those areas and is used (exept few examples) for simple tasks rather than as a main tool.

If you model a character or do an animation, it's a best value for money. If you have to produce a great looking characters with UV and complete set of animation twenty times a day by two years, you then realize that even simple workaround or missplaced button is a brutal drawback. That's why almost everybody uses Maya or Max. If you have a lot of time, you will be able to do same good looking thigs in those apps just like in LW. But when you need a paddle in the everyday hard work, their abilities are invaluable - and it isn't all about proxies and scene management over the whole team, it starts on simple tasks. And if you're in trouble, widely open SDK let you do nearly everything.
I have used LW in a heavy workflow with impossible deadlines. Most of those projects were character related. I can only say that LW did very well. I just finished working on a pilot/short film for Turner Classic Movies. We had a very small team and in a month we modeled, textured, rigged, animated and rendered it all out.
The director loved it. We literally started with nothing and in less then a week had pretty much everything modeled and rigged and a chunk of animation done. The nice thing was being able to start with a standin character, get it rigged and start animating that first day. It was easy to swap in more advanced version, add facial endomorphs and so on without a hitch.
LW has an awesome workflow and I dont believe such a small group could have pulled it off any other way so quickly. The rigs were totally stable for us as well and easy to use.
A widely open SDK is only important where its important. For us it wasnt. We didnt have time to even think about scripting anything.
There are situations where that would be important. The deepness of other apps can be the paddle in many situations or a surgeons tool in others.
Lightwave is far more then capable in many situations and is much cheaper to operate with then anything else. No application is the end all, be all for every situation. Lightwave is quite capable of doing some complicated things provided someone is aware of how to properly set it all up and configure an optimized pipeline. :)

cresshead
11-07-2003, 09:50 PM
well put splinegod....

it seems that many people are blind to what lightwave achieves in film, t.v and games plus print..blah blah blah...all they see is that maya/max are the cool apps to have

they actually think that the hype around maya/max will hold true when they get the app themselves...yeah right!
all major film fx with maya rely on r&d teams, programmers and some VERY expensive plugins and EXTERNAL renderers such as renderman...and bespoke code written in mel....things you can't buy...


don't get me wrong though i like max...i bought it back in 1999 and got a job with it so it's paid it's way but i wouldn't be without lightwave now that i'm moving away from max...lightwave is proving to me to be a brilliant 3d app that i enjoy working in a bit more than max4/character studio etc....max is a good alrounder it'll have a go at most things but doesn't excel on anything...lightwave delivers what i need....nice models and very nice renders.

each to their own!........i'll still run max of course but lw8 looks to be a much better bet than say me upgrading to max6 or indeed buying maya complete....i've seen some maya video tutorials and so far i'm not impressed enough to want to learn it...ever....it look's like maya's has a low fun factor..

steve g



...hey..why don't they get 'em??...

Zach
11-08-2003, 03:02 PM
right, It's all down to what you know and how you work. And I agree with the low fun factor in Maya (man, can't they have an option to replace those icons with their names so you know what you are clicking on!?)

You know what would be good? Maybe we should be making this thread an fk/ik thread for LightWave, ie toss up a bunch of links to show us, A.D.D. fk/ik illiterate people (me) the glorious wonders of how LW really kicks out some grand ***.

I'll start.

Lost Pencil's Free Section at the Bottom (http://www.lostpencil.com/free.html)
Larry Schults' Vid Tutorials (http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/rigs.htm)
A rigged character Here at NewTek (http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/tutorials/animation/punch/index.html)
Mentioned Earlier in this thread I Believe. Chris Olsen, Author (http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/contests/dec-02/winners/tutorials/layout/Chris_Olsen/index.html)

Just an idea.

Jabba
11-09-2003, 05:17 AM
Originally posted by cresshead

i'll still run max of course but lw8 looks to be a much better bet than say me upgrading to max6 or indeed buying maya complete....

steve g


How you could say something like that? Did you see something that we don't? Where?
Is LW8 better for you because of integrated FXBreak? Or because of darkened GUI? Did you see something that's not there just to catch up competition?

Hard/Soft body dynamics - ok. Every 3dapps had it for years
Simple character rigging - ok. Every 3dapps had it for years
Changing property in multisection - ok. Every 3dapps had it for years

... eee.. what's next? There's NOTHING that could leads to state that "LW is BETTER or LW8 will be".

LW is just cheaper and from now, it seems that LW is trying to catch the others.

I'm just reacting to what i've quoted. LW isn't better. LW was for years the same app while others are evolving. I'm happy that I see that LW starts to change and that the crucial features are added. But those thing need to be here at 6.5 or 7. It's nothing to bless the NT about.

If you will be living in a city where every house will have its own water connection exept yours and after years of waiting your houseowner made one for you, you (if you will be living still there) will just say "FINALY ! AT LAST !" but you will not blessing him for what's others have all along and what's normal.

That's why I could be mean like I'm not happy enough and maybe little bit agressive. I just don't want to bless my houseowner for water connection if it is normal. I'm still living in that house just because I love the view and love the 'feel' of my flat. Without that, I moved long time ago.

cresshead
11-09-2003, 06:22 AM
i base all my comments on my personal experience of using and teaching 3ds max/character studio and lightwave to students.

some of the spec "on the side of the box" from many programs and plugins would believe that they make your life much simpler but when you actually use them it's a much bigger battle to get the to work...

i'm thinking that you did not see the newtek demo's of implementing ik using soft body dynamics and bone dynamics at siggraph?

it's one thing to have a feature and something completely different to how you actually use and set up a feature in your app of choice.

take bones for example.

in max you have the abilaity to make bones out of anything even lights!...so this is a great feature and the bones objects that max uses have some great features like a polygon physical size to then and such things as fins so that you can fill out the volume of your model with the bones and hide the mesh and just animate the bone system with good visual feedback of the model your animating...

that's the good side...
the other side is that you set your bone envelopes by making these bones a similar size n shape to your mesh then when you activate them they use this size to create the size of the bone envelope..great idea but i've yet to have a good deforming mesh from the initialisation of theses carfully sized bones...your next task would be to go n edit all the envelopes to fix the myriad of problems you'll encounter after you initialise the bones...

the same holds true for character studio most of the time..
you spend a lot of time tweeking envelopes and vertex assignments to make it work and not fold on you...


now then skip over to lw7.5

create a skelegon set of bones and don't pay too much attention to the creation of them...just drag n go with what looks pretty
in modeller

load into layout convert to bones...

and your mesh/model ususally works pretty darn good as is...
if you need to tweek just create soem weight maps to control the bones...things like ACS4 mean that you can in lw7.5 rig a character in about 10-15 mins....


now skip over to the ik shown in lw 8....to implement it
RH click...ohh and your done...

try that in max..............



it's not all about a feature list or catchup in a feature list...


it's about your time you'll have to put in to get these features to work as you want them to...

in max you can do great things but you'll spend a deal of time tweeking your settings to get a good starting point...in lw the features in lw7.5 and lw 8 work with the minimum of fuss...and with skelegons you can re use your bones for other characters ...

a bit like biped for max ecept that you can have more than a 2 legged characters.....with one head...

to be fair if your SO convinced that max6/character studio and maya offer better implemented features than lw7.5 or lw8 i wish you well and hope your experience in those programs are good for you and productive!

as the song lyric goes "don't believe the hype"

try it first.

steve g

CB_3D
11-09-2003, 06:57 AM
how do people find the time t write SO MUCH about something none of us has really seen so far?:D

Jabba
11-09-2003, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by cresshead
now then skip over to lw7.5
create a skelegon set of bones and don't pay too much attention to the creation of them...just drag n go with what looks pretty
in modeller
load into layout convert to bones...
and your mesh/model ususally works pretty darn good as is...
if you need to tweek just create soem weight maps to control the bones...things like ACS4 mean that you can in lw7.5 rig a character in about 10-15 mins....

That's right. If you want a comic like subpatch character you just model it, randomly clicked skelegons in modeler, convert it in layout and start to play - 10 minutes work as you said. Nothing bad here.
But if you need greater control about all aspects of this process and you need (and you're forced) to work clean and end up with something that's not a chaos that visualy works but something that is in all ways correct, you end up even on creating skelegons in modeler.

As I said before (in other thread) it depend of view angle. If you want to render something, you can do nearly whatever you want to achieve the goal that you want. But If you're limited by the basic techniques like simple bones and weightmaps are like everyone in gamedevelopement, you will soon realize that LW is just a bunch of glued-on workarounds to achieve the rendered output. Nearly nothing works there.
If I want to render a short comic movie, I have almost all tools and features I will need in LW, even that every second feature is a unlogic workaround and it will be better if it work another, more logical way. Even with that it still usable.
But LW is nearly unusable in gamedev, and don't say that this market is minor. Even now it seems that interactive 3D market is almost bigger than TV production. There're lot of money in it. And something about 3 or 4 years ago, NT lost its battlepositions in that battle.
I'm able to render just what I want, but nobody's care about that - our producers want it exported and it must be 100% same as in viewport. Even if you work twice as hard and workaround lots of problems like me, you end up with horrible workflow that's pain to recreate and even painfull if you need to work like that everyday. I created about 50 characters and we have something about 400 motions for our game project, and because of BUGs, I'm not be able to do even the most basic things like replace the character in scene by another - it works fine until you save you scene, close Layout, open it and reload that scene - bones are moving but character stand still. Yes, I finaly found workaround - you need to traverse all bones and reselect weightmaps for every bone even if the new model has a same named weightmaps - but it need to be done by hand and try to do that twenty times a day 6 days per week 350 days per year. You will hate NT for that too. And any of new eyecandy renderable feature can't change it. Because of not bakeable "match goal orientation" I need to produce much more helper bones and much more of IKgoals. NT don't repair that, they just bundle a couple of new motion plugins - haleluja - SimpleOrientContrain in 7.5 is bakeable ... it solve the main problem but put on my head others. LScript can add a plugins on items but it can't remove them. If you delete item in scene that those plugins using, LW crashed. I lost aprox. one unsaved scene at day because of that. And it's not because I don't know it. It's just because I need to work fast and simply forgot that LW crashes when I do that. One day, I take a time and say to myself: "ok, because I'm in rush, I need to automate this 'scene cleanup' process before I export it to DirectX file - lets see how to do that.... ", and I realized that Lscript don't allow me to write that script - I'm alone with it and nothing helps me. And that's only a small example.



now skip over to the ik shown in lw 8....to implement it
RH click...ohh and your done...

Yes. If you want to render a subpatch smooth caricature of human being for short comic movie, you will be able to do that quicker that before. But there's nothing new for me - and like in above example, I can just be fraigten of what else it brought. I can imagine that motions generated by hardbody dynamics or IKBooster will be renderable but unreadable by plugins or LScript or expressions or even NT's LW core tools and features just like "match goal orientation" 3 (4?) years old feature in motionpanel.



to be fair if your SO convinced that max6/character studio and maya offer better implemented features than lw7.5 or lw8 i wish you well and hope your experience in those programs are good for you and productive!

It's easy. If I look around, I see what others do in (lets say) Maya, and how even basic things like scene or surface management could save their time and speed the whole proces. If I look around in my neighbourhood, we are the one of two last LW based gamedeveloper (and we have easier live that them, because I was seeing the future and don't allow to use LW as a level design tool in our project). Everyone change the app - mainly to Maya - and when they said to me 3 years ago that it's foolish to think that LW (and NT) will change, and it's foolish to rely on LW itself, I just tell them "wait, 7.0 will be rewriten. NT promise that. NT said that everything will be allright".
And now? I'm sad because they're right. And I'm even sadder that it seems that I'm forced to switch to Maya too. And I'm looking like an idiot to our employees (because I forced them to learn LW) and to our producers (because I defend LW).

hrgiger
11-09-2003, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by Jabba
Everyone change the app - mainly to Maya - and when they said to me 3 years ago that it's foolish to think that LW (and NT) will change, and it's foolish to rely on LW itself, I just tell them "wait, 7.0 will be rewriten. NT promise that. NT said that everything will be allright".


I don't recall Newtek ever saying that 7 was going to be rewritten.
And if you're in charge of determining which software package you're going to use for game development for you company, then I think it's your responsibility to constantly re-evaluate what software best suits your needs. I don't see how that's Newtek's fault that you're looking like an idiot to your company.

Nemoid
11-10-2003, 11:14 AM
Well, Jabba, I can understand your reasons about Lw and its development in time, and especially about SDK, and old code problems.
I don't really trust to the fact of Lw being forever like a XMas tree, with 3rd party plugs attached and that's all, because the development seems to go in another direction now.

At Siggraph Nt showed only a part of new features, not all the stuff that will be in Lw [8], so even if the new release will not be an integrated node based app with a completely open SDK, it will work fine for many, many issues, and its evolution will not stop there. after all we have a lot of Movies and Tv movies (e.G. Children of Dune) in wich Lw seems to work very well for complex issues too.

on the other hand, since I can understand a pro can't simply stay there and see, the clever thing to do its to look around and looking for other apps if you want their flexibility when this flexibility is needed. maybe a mixed pipeline LW/Maya could do the job for you, as well as the classic Lw/Messiah pipeline wivch can be very good indeed.

I am for example studying Maya currently, and even if I don't like many things of it, especially the modelling tools and other things, I simply think that joining forces is better than stick with one single app for sure giving to me he possibility to have a wider look to 3D production.

a final consideration is that Lw can grow and grow with its current structure,and do very well. but an integration and rewrite will be required. this means also that a long time will pass surely till we will see it.

eon5
06-19-2004, 09:06 AM
nice post... really nice...


please... LW8 is out, what are you thinking about now ?

06-22-2004, 11:47 AM
I feel your pain Jabba. =]
There have been many days when I regretted leaving max behind in our game pipeline 2 years ago. I'm doing like HRGiger says and re-evaluating our character setup/animation software for our pipeline. We're looking at EVERYTHING that's out there. But so far, out of all of them XSI is really clicking with me.

I don't even care so much about modeling tools either. I found modeling nirvana in a cheap little program called Silo. LW has a decent modeler compared to the rest, but Silo has been one of my best software investments yet.