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View Full Version : What's up with LW8 and the Mac?



agrippa
11-04-2003, 04:57 PM
Hey Gang-

There's a bunch of talk and screens about the Intel version of LW8 but when it comes to anything about LW8 for the Mac, the conversation goes flat. What's the deal? I'm not even too bitter that NT is bundling a PC only "freebie" (DFX+), just want to know what's going on. Sure Siggraph was impressive, but beyond the handful of screen grabs and a bunch of speculation, NT is being pretty tight lipped. God forbid they build up some hype for the new version.

;P

Elmar Moelzer
11-04-2003, 05:31 PM
I dont know about the US, but in Europe NT has another bundle- option: 3 Desktop- images DVDs.
I even know a few PC- users who took this option instead of DFX+, so it is certainly not a bad offer.
CU
Elmar

Beamtracer
11-04-2003, 05:31 PM
I'm happily running Lightwave 7.5c on a brand new Apple G5 computer, and it's working very well.

I'm running Apple OS 10.2.7 without problem. Apple has just released an update to their OS (version 10.3) which breaks some features of LW7.5.

Newtek has said that LW8 will be fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.3, so I guess this provides the incentive for Mac users to pay for LW8.

Newtek has also stated that they are working closely with Apple to bring optimizations in Lightwave 8 specifically for the new Apple G5 machines.

Beamtracer
11-04-2003, 05:36 PM
Originally posted by Elmar Moelzer
I dont know about the US, but in Europe NT has another bundle- option: 3 Desktop- images DVDs.
That's interesting, Elmar. I wasn't particularly interersted in DXF+. Apart from being Windows-only, its 8-bit file format makes it unsuitable for high-quality compositing (unless you spent more money upgrading to something else later).

So, the Desktop Images DVDs sound like a good option. Pity the offer is not available all over the planet.

cresshead
11-04-2003, 05:57 PM
the 8-bit file format for digital fusion+ is fine for t.v broardcast and internet/dvd/video based work you really only need the higher bit depth for film work which is what the full fusion is used for...the 8bit's referes to each channel not the overall colours available with a 8 bit image which is 256 colurs....

8 bits separatley for the red, green, blue will give you 16.8 million colours... and an alpha.....just like what was available for combustion 1..and that also did some film work with it's 8 bits and sometimes it's 10bit cineon format...of course combustion 2 has floating point just like fusion..and C3...

steve g

js33
11-04-2003, 06:01 PM
Beam,

So you're bashing an App that is highly usable just because YOU can't use it. After Effects is only 8 bit unless you are using the production bundle. Even so it is highly useable as well.

I guess you better hand over that $5000 to get Shake then. :D

What do you composite with Beam?

You always talk like you are compositing Hollywood feature films in your bedroom.

What kind of work do you do? Chances are 8 bit AE or DFX would do just fine.

I know FCP supports higher bit depths but it is not really suited to compositing. I mean compositing with 100 layers which I have done and do with After Effects. I probably can with DFX as well but I've been using AE for 5 years so I'm more familiar with it.

Also you had to wipe the NEW OS off your NEW computer just so you could use it. I think 8 bit compositing apps would be the least of your worries right now.


Cheers,
JS

Beamtracer
11-04-2003, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by cresshead
the 8-bit file format for digital fusion+ is fine for t.v broardcast and internet/dvd/video based work you really only need the higher bit depth for film work Hi Cresshead. I'd disagree with you there, but if you're happy using an 8bpc file format that's fine.

I believe you should always work in a higher bit rate that your output format. 16bpc is more appropriate for film or television. From this you can convert to either 10bpc Cineon, or 10bpc broadcast YUV video.

Be aware that color grading introduces artifacts.
Be aware that conversion to a different color space introduces artifacts.

This is why 16bpc RGB is really the minimum for high quality work.

Elmar Moelzer
11-04-2003, 06:43 PM
I would not see it that strictly beamtracer.
Sure higher bitrate is great for avoiding banding etc. But you know that for more than 80% of all television- work 8bits/channel are sufficient. The higher bit/channel- formats also make for larger filesizes, which means higher bandwidth is required for playback etc.
Hehe, actually the more I think about it:
Considering the prices most customers are willing to pay here, they would not even deserve 8bits/channel ;)
CU
Elmar

Beamtracer
11-04-2003, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by js33
Beam...
...You always talk like you are compositing Hollywood feature films in your bedroom. Hehehe :D That's very funny.
Actually, you'd be surprised what can be done these days.

I'm using After Effects Production bundle on the Apple G5. The G5 seems to be the fastest machine available for After Effects work. It's a good combination, and I usually render to 16 bits-per-channel image formats. Shake would probably be better, but that's another story.

Lightwave is also running well on my G5. Yes, I haven't moved to the recently released Panther OS, but will migrate when Lightwave 8 comes out, which is being developed for that OS.

Try this experiment. Find an image file like a JPEG or something and load it into Photoshop. Have a look at the Levels control, and the histogram display. Now, adjust the levels, then color grade it, and save the file with a different name. Check the histogram on this new file. It'll be jagged and all over the place.

The fundamental thing about compositing (more than other apps) is that you want to adjust the levels and adjust the colors etc. This is why it's important to use a higher bit depth when compositing.

cresshead
11-04-2003, 07:57 PM
i think that many people are having a hard time with your "unsuitable for hi quality compositing"...you can make hi quality composites in digital fusion,AE no production bundle and combustion 1 for example...of course there's a limit to the bit depth in AE and digital fusion+ but really has no impact on hi quality composits per say...

if your dealing with film footage for t.v you may want to use a highter bit per channel but like i said before you'll find than there are many things that simply DO NOT WORK in anything above 8 bit per channel even if AE pro version is 16bit capable there are limits to what will be processed in those 16 bits and what cannot.

and getting back to the digitial fusion+ bundle for lightwave only being for pc users..well simply get the 5 dvd lightwave couse instead..that'll work for pc and mac...you have a choice.mac users don't lose out....

steve g

js33
11-04-2003, 10:59 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by js33
Beam...
...You always talk like you are compositing Hollywood feature films in your bedroom.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Originally posted by Beamtracer
Hehehe :D That's very funny.
Actually, you'd be surprised what can be done these days.

I'm using After Effects Production bundle on the Apple G5. The G5 seems to be the fastest machine available for After Effects work. It's a good combination, and I usually render to 16 bits-per-channel image formats. Shake would probably be better, but that's another story.

Lightwave is also running well on my G5. Yes, I haven't moved to the recently released Panther OS, but will migrate when Lightwave 8 comes out, which is being developed for that OS.

Try this experiment. Find an image file like a JPEG or something and load it into Photoshop. Have a look at the Levels control, and the histogram display. Now, adjust the levels, then color grade it, and save the file with a different name. Check the histogram on this new file. It'll be jagged and all over the place.

The fundamental thing about compositing (more than other apps) is that you want to adjust the levels and adjust the colors etc. This is why it's important to use a higher bit depth when compositing.

Hehehehe. :D

Actually I thought about it after I wrote that and said to myself...Maybe he IS compositing Hollywood Feature Films in his bedroom. :D

Beam, I agree the higher bit depth is better but I still say for TV and DVD 8 bit is usually good enough until everyone has HDTV.

Also noone uses jpeg for production work. Do they?
I almost always use tga files.

Cheers,
JS

Elmar Moelzer
11-04-2003, 11:52 PM
Yupp, same here. mostly TGA- files. Only for cinema or real demanding stuf we use other formats.
CU
Elmar

toby
11-05-2003, 12:41 AM
Also noone uses jpeg for production work. Do they?
I almost always use tga files.

Try it with a TGA file, it does the same thing. Tweak any channel with levels, hit ok, hit levels again and you'll see big gaps of missing color. I was taught to never make adjustments without switching to 16 bit mode, it's really not that hard to see posterization/ loss of color depth

Beamtracer
11-05-2003, 02:23 AM
Toby got the point.

The Lightwave DFX+ deal is great value for money, so a lot of people will be happy with it.

Just don't use it if you're doing broadcast work or outputting your stuff to Digital Betacam or DVCpro50 or something like that.

I'd prefer to get a deal that includes some nice DVDs instead.

takkun
11-05-2003, 02:34 AM
I was just testing out what Toby said and he's right. But I couldn't see noticable color banding until I adjusted the levels many times or if I adjusted levels to the extremes.

A good solution is to not use the Image>Adjust>Levels... tool which is destructive to the image and instead use a photoshop level adjustment layer, that way you can tweak the levels all you want and they are only applied once to the image or layer. The same goes for DFX+, if color adjustment is limited to one instance per input in a flow then color banding is not a problem IMO.

hrgiger
11-05-2003, 05:54 AM
This thread has gone from what's in store for mac users and Lightwave 8 to a debate about dfx...

Personally and this applies to both platforms but the upgrade will be worth it for me for even just a few of the new features of 8.


Improved softbodies/rigidbodies
animatable points/more control of individual particles
Instant IK
Faster IK/FK
Key editor in the timeline
Bone dynamics
Ortho bone tools in layout


If you want more content also, Lightwave 8 has it.
There was a hint that rendering speed has been improved in the last 3D world magazine but no details were given.
I'm sure there will be other things as well.
What else do you need, personally the things I listed above are worth the upgrade in itself as it will change the way I work. You might be different though...

toby
11-05-2003, 10:25 PM
Using levels a second time was just to see the histogram - the point is that it's one more thing that will degrade your image, unless you switch to 16 bit mode. You can also adjust the image further in 16bit.