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View Full Version : Why Lightwave is needed now more than ever (After the Rhythm and Hues fiasco)



robertoortiz
02-25-2013, 02:31 PM
I fear for the future of the VFX industry.
With the implosion of the FX industry and the recent fiascos over the closure of Rhythm and Hues after winning the VFX Oscar, I fear for the future of the industry.

But I am glad that If I lose my job and I am forced to freelance on the side,
there companies that will have my back.

In this recession Pixologic, NewTek, and even Luxology have become lifesavers
for a lot of struggling artists.
They have not gone crazy rising their prices, and they seem to be trying to release products catered towards smaller studios.

Anyway thanks NewTek.

You rock

-R

(and yes I have not forgotten about the open source community, but this a thread about for profit companies)

Nicolas Jordan
02-25-2013, 02:46 PM
I'm actually glad I don't work in VFX even though it would be fun from time to time depending on the project. The Arch-Viz work that I do might not be as exciting or challenging as VFX work but it seems to be fairly stable work to make a living on. There has always been a constant need to visualize architecture throughout history and there always will be. I think the future of VFX is going to be mostly freelance instead of large studios eventually.

bobakabob
02-25-2013, 03:00 PM
Agreed, without progressing to Lightwave 5.5 in the mid 90s from Ray Dream designer I would never have got started in 3d. I seemed to pick up freelance work pretty quickly, making models for a local software company. Back then Max cost a fortune and even the educational version was ridiculously expensive, about 800 quid in the UK. What's more its clunky toolkit couldn't hold a candle to Modelers nifty metanurbs, the Zbrush of its day. Newtek have never forgotten small businesses and hobbyists / enthusiasts, hence their loyal following despite some blips along the way. Upgrades have almost always been great value and it's great to see LW rebooted by such an enthusiastic and creative team. Exciting to see where LW is headed especially in the realm of animation.

Spinland
02-25-2013, 03:03 PM
I'll add my voice to the chorus. I'd never have had the gumption to break out on my own as a freelancer without access to powerful and affordable tools like Lightwave.

:lightwave

50one
02-25-2013, 03:10 PM
What's going on? This is one of the threads praising Newtek and LWG3D :) that itself prove that the guys behind the product are succesful! WELL DONE !

bobakabob
02-25-2013, 03:22 PM
Even back in the 90s the forums were - weirdly - full of people predicting the demise of our favourite software :)

Greenlaw
02-25-2013, 03:29 PM
Agreed, without progressing to Lightwave 5.5 in the mid 90s from Ray Dream designer...
Ray Dream Designer, now that's a name I haven't hear in a while. I began my 3D career back in the 90's using this program, creating artwork for board games, fast food restaurant premium toy designs, and character designs for some notable animation studios. At the time I had great fondness for the program but eventually outgrew it.

Like you, I moved up from RDD to LightWave 5.5 too. :)

G.

bobakabob
02-25-2013, 03:43 PM
Ray Dream Designer, now there's a name I haven't hear in a while. I began my 3D career back in the 90's using this program, creating artwork for board games, fast food restaurant premium toy designs, and character designs for some notable animation studios. At the time I had great fondness for the program but eventually outgrew it.

Like you, I moved up from RDD to LightWave 5.5 too. :)

G.

Those were the days :) I loved the name Ray Dream and was astounded navigating in 3d space on my Dell PC with 96 MB RAM. As I remember it came in a bundle with some other design apps. It seemed so understated yet revolutionary. I could never get the hang of the modeller, though the renderer was cool. Those shiny toy candy surfaces, checkerboards and mirrors!!!

lwanmtr
02-25-2013, 08:01 PM
Even back in the 90s the forums were - weirdly - full of people predicting the demise of our favourite software :)

Happened with every new version of LW..doomsayers all saying it was the last version, yada, yada. lol

Megalodon2.0
02-25-2013, 08:15 PM
I fear for the future of the VFX industry.
With the implosion of the FX industry and the recent fiascos over the closure of Rhythm and Hues after winning the VFX Oscar, I fear for the future of the industry.
I think the VFX industry will do okay for quite some time - just not in the US except for small, specialty shops.


In this recession Pixologic, NewTek, and even Luxology have become lifesavers
for a lot of struggling artists.
They have not gone crazy rising their prices, and they seem to be trying to release products catered towards smaller studios.

Anyway thanks NewTek.
Uhmm... what was the price of LW pre-recession? Something like $995 for a full version.
And the price raised during the recession? $1495 now? That's not REALLY keeping the price down.
And didn't Lux also raise their pricing several hundred dollars?

Just saying... the prices HAVE gone up and not by just a little since this recession began.

lwanmtr
02-25-2013, 08:36 PM
Lightwave had been at 995, then went to 1495 a while back, then it was lowered, then raised again.

Modo price has gone up, though...and you have to buy their Recoil dynamics seperately (unless they changed that).

Megalodon2.0
02-25-2013, 08:44 PM
Lightwave had been at 995, then went to 1495 a while back, then it was lowered, then raised again.

Modo price has gone up, though...and you have to buy their Recoil dynamics seperately (unless they changed that).
LW was at 995 for a LONG time, then only went up at what was it... v10? during the recession. But yes, it WAS as high as... something like $2395 around v6?
Recoil now comes with Modo601. But of course the price is higher too.

Igu4n4
02-25-2013, 09:37 PM
Ray Dream Designer, now that's a name I haven't hear in a while. I began my 3D career back in the 90's using this program, creating artwork for board games, fast food restaurant premium toy designs, and character designs for some notable animation studios. At the time I had great fondness for the program but eventually outgrew it.

Like you, I moved up from RDD to LightWave 5.5 too. :)

G.

Ahh you remember those days Dennis? I kind of miss that program :(

st3.

Surrealist.
02-25-2013, 09:44 PM
LightWave is doing great. And it has always had a place in the market. It has suffered a serious set back in 2000 and it has taken this long to finally start recovering in a major way. This happened because people cared about it and understood the dangers of allowing it to continue down a path of extinction. And these people deserve due credit for seeing that and actually doing something about it.

In the last 8 years, I think the dev team right now has the most positive dynamic I have seen. They seem very connected to us and very interested and most important, dedicated and talented.

I think LightWave will remain more or less in its same place in the general market as it always has. It just seems like there is so much to improve and there is. But I think that is what it will take to keep it where it is as well as with a nice steady increase, and as we have seen, win some people back.

djwaterman
02-25-2013, 09:51 PM
There will always be room for some big players, even if some of them are falling at the moment. There is an over supply of skilled workers for what is a relatively specialized non vital service. The Economy everywhere is doing bad and globalization means that companies have to compete with developing economies quite capable of doing the work. I am quite disturbed to hear all this blame Hollywood, blame the big studios talk, people seem to forget that major studios are not immune to going under, they barely keep themselves afloat year after year and one over investment in a turkey is all it takes. Most studio execs are in a constant state of anxiety knowing that if they don't deliver they will be shown the door. It's all show business and a total gamble, there are certainly less risky ways for a corporation to make money, but they continue in the game as best as they know how because at some level they actually like movies. Thank God someone is risking everything to bring movies into the world and allowing a few lucky and talented people to make a living creating them.

Having said all that, for the independent artist,we have a lot of cheap tools at our disposal, LW being one of them, so we at least has the possibility to create and realize our own projects, maybe start an agency with friends, make a film, TV show, web series, comic book, line of toys or whatever. We don't have to pin all our hopes on the survival of the big studios is what I'm trying to say.

Celshader
02-25-2013, 11:05 PM
The mightiest VFX works are the result of collaboration between many artists. That's what makes Richard Parker, Gollum and the Hulk so powerful to watch -- they show years of expertise coming together to make majestic music. They are great VFX symphonies, and I look forwards to watching more large-scale VFX compositions in the future.

Most of my own production experience is limited to VFX concertos -- smaller projects with smaller crews. I've also played the occasional quartet, duet or even solo on smaller projects.

If the VFX industry completely disintegrates, however, I can follow the examples set by Greenlaw (http://www.littlegreendog.com/movies/happyBox/happyBox.php), Makoto Shinkai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voices_of_a_Distant_Star), Terrance Walker (http://animeworld.com/reviews/understandingchaos.html), Jason Wen (http://www.animationtrip.com/item.php?id=499), Timothy Albee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaze,_Ghost_Warrior) and Richard Mans (http://www.abiogenesisfilm.com/) and create my own short film all by myself. I can use a render engine that was good enough for Hunger Games and Amazing Spider-Man. I can apply all the LightWave 3D skills I picked up over my VFX career towards my own work.

For me, LightWave is freedom (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZb-oX1GPck#t=9m10s).


We don't have to pin all our hopes on the survival of the big studios is what I'm trying to say.

Agreed.

Surrealist.
02-26-2013, 12:32 AM
True. Actually I started using LightWave in 1992-3 under that very premise. This is why the Ralph Bakshi video always hits home to me. He is a little blunt and forward, perhaps offensive to some people. But he makes a strong case. From day one, LightWave to me was a tool to use as a filmmaker. That is why by 1995 I was already writing feature length scripts with the hopes of producing them in 3D. So for me this has been a long journey.

Also I don't agree that certain tools are best suited for large studios and others for smaller ones. That may have been the case 20 years ago. But software companies today seem to be targeting tools toward individual artists. I think all tools have the ability to be enhanced with scripting and in-house plugins. So I don't think that even defines a "Studio Tool" anymore. Tools come working with more and more features out of the box. That to me is the trend, along with procedural based tools like Houdini and ICE which (probably more in the case of ICE in my opinion) put the creation and design of higher end tools and features in the hands of artists who don't also have to know scripting and programing - necessarily.

If there is a shift going on it is more towards artists not specializing as much and more generalizing. And I would say that that is a good survival move anyway for an artist.

As to the bank-ability and the probability of making an indie film that can save your career, I would strongly recommend against it. That is an entirely different subject. And it is far more risky than going it alone as a freelancer. Far more. So I would be wary of putting my hopes there entirely.

Make a go of it as a freelancer and only make films if you have a passion for it and with stories you feel the need to tell. I would never recommend anyone do it for the money or career first. That will come. But it by itself is a profession -writing and producing - that takes years to understand and become successful at. Just like anything.

Matt
02-26-2013, 01:03 AM
This industry more than ever needs cost effective solutions, so this thread is very relevant.

It's also why the "3D software battles" over who uses what are completely counter-intuitive. This is the time when we all need to set aside differences / allegiances and stick together, for the good of industry and the amazing work 3D artists produce. That's how I feel at least, for what it's worth.

Celshader
02-26-2013, 01:04 AM
This industry more than ever needs cost effective solutions, so this post is very relevant.

It's also why the "3D software battles" over who uses what are completely counter-intuitive. This is the time when we all need to set aside differences / allegiances and stick together, for the good of industry and amazing work 3D artists produce. That's how I feel at least, for what it's worth.

Hear, hear!

lwanmtr
02-26-2013, 01:12 AM
Agreed

chikega
02-26-2013, 06:05 AM
I started my 3d career with Softimage in 1995 at work, while at home I used Impulse Imagine. I suffered through the demise of Imagine as well several other software ventures, I would have to say that I was a bit worried about Lightwave not keeping pace with the industry. I remember back when Lightwave was one of the most popular forums on Cgtalk and I watched it dwindle over several years as 3dsmax, Maya and Cinema4d numbers started swelling. I watched the fold of Flay, Kurv Studios, Spinquad, ... the non-development of Worley's products and Relativity, Shave and a Haircut development ceasing for LW before that, Lukaz ACS now with modo along with the developer of T4D rigging using modo. It didn't look good for Lightwave. But I do believe with the recent energy of Rob Powers, Lino Grandi, things are finally turning around. :)

BeeVee
02-26-2013, 05:03 PM
There will always be room for some big players, even if some of them are falling at the moment. There is an over supply of skilled workers for what is a relatively specialized non vital service.

Don't want to quote you out of context, but I would say that vfx is no longer non-vital to the film industry, or even TV industry these days.

B

lwanmtr
02-26-2013, 05:21 PM
Most every film these days has some vfx in it. Not every vfx shot is a cg tiger...some are as simple as adding rain to a scene or a tire rolling across the shot.

Surrealist.
02-26-2013, 06:15 PM
... set extensions....and... and....

lwanmtr
02-26-2013, 06:17 PM
... set extensions....and... and....

Fluffy Bunnies

aidenvfx
03-03-2013, 07:18 AM
There will always be room for some big players, even if some of them are falling at the moment. There is an over supply of skilled workers for what is a relatively specialized non vital service. The Economy everywhere is doing bad and globalization means that companies have to compete with developing economies quite capable of doing the work. I am quite disturbed to hear all this blame Hollywood, blame the big studios talk, people seem to forget that major studios are not immune to going under, they barely keep themselves afloat year after year and one over investment in a turkey is all it takes. Most studio execs are in a constant state of anxiety knowing that if they don't deliver they will be shown the door. It's all show business and a total gamble, there are certainly less risky ways for a corporation to make money, but they continue in the game as best as they know how because at some level they actually like movies. Thank God someone is risking everything to bring movies into the world and allowing a few lucky and talented people to make a living creating them.

Having said all that, for the independent artist,we have a lot of cheap tools at our disposal, LW being one of them, so we at least has the possibility to create and realize our own projects, maybe start an agency with friends, make a film, TV show, web series, comic book, line of toys or whatever. We don't have to pin all our hopes on the survival of the big studios is what I'm trying to say.


The reason the studios are blamed for a few reasons. One is there are more then a few VFX artists that have talked about producers saying they want to force a VFX studio out of business to make sure they are getting the cheapest labor.

Now part of the issue comes down to contracts and all VFX houses needing to force studios to live by them or pay more for them. When a concept design is drawn and then created in 3D or when a VFX shot is done and then the director changes his/her mind that change is chargeable back to the studio it is not free. I have zero first hand experience of this but that is what much of the talk is about. Directors not being able to make up their minds or changing there minds and studios refusing to pay for the changes.

As for the studios taking on risk. While many of them cry they lost money on some film sometimes it is bull such as one of the Hairy Potter films they claim they just broke even on.

Other times it is due to studio stupidity and the blame still falls to the studio. A perfect example is "Mars needs moms" which is not a bad movie for young kids but it could have being made for a tiny amount of the budget it was made for. There was zero reason to make it in motion capture for $200 million dollars. I question if any of the executives even bothered to read the script before signing the cheque.

Everyone herd about "Battleship and how horrible it did at the box office. Which while domestically is true world wide it made 303 million dollars. Now they still lost money because of the crazy amount of marketing etc. I would also say that in the case of "Battleship" it's main problem was basing it on a board game. They could have just made the movie not had any merch cross over with hasbro and it likely would have done better. The film well not great was no worse then the Transformers movies.

As for all large VFX houses going away I don't think it will happen. There is to much R & D and complex expensive sims work the small shops.

geo_n
03-04-2013, 10:35 AM
Luxology have become lifesavers
for a lot of struggling artists.
They have not gone crazy rising their prices, and they seem to be trying to release products catered towards smaller studios.



Lux will probably raise prices after 701 when they've added more features to be on par or above what lw offers. But software purchase doesn't really affect medium to big size studios anyway. Studios like R&H would use the best software anyway not the affordable one. They can afford it.
They went bankcrupt for trying to underbid with other studios with cheaper labor located with tax incentives.

robertoortiz
03-04-2013, 02:00 PM
Lux will probably raise prices after 701 when they've added more features to be on par or above what lw offers. But software purchase doesn't really affect medium to big size studios anyway. Studios like R&H would use the best software anyway not the affordable one. They can afford it.
They went bankcrupt for trying to underbid with other studios with cheaper labor located with tax incentives.

Yes I knew that.
When I posted this thread I kept thinking of all my friends in the industry who cant afford the latest home license of their software.
And how a lot of us will be forced to do freelancing becuase of this industry wide implosion.

My point is that the niche that LW is filling right now, is becoming more and more important, as people are forced to tighten their belts.

Megalodon2.0
03-04-2013, 02:12 PM
Now part of the issue comes down to contracts and all VFX houses needing to force studios to live by them or pay more for them.
And then the studio will use a DIFFERENT VFX house the next movie. VFX houses are stuck - they want more work from the studio and don't want to rock the boat because if they do, they will more than likely NOT end up with more work.


As for all large VFX houses going away I don't think it will happen. There is to much R & D and complex expensive sims work the small shops.
As long as movie studios keep asking for cheaper and cheaper, more and more VFX houses will cease to be viable and ultimately go out of business. ALL large VFX houses? No, your probably right. Places like ILM and Weta will remain, but the "smaller" shops like R&H will not. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if ALL of them in the US will go bankrupt (except ILM) and most of the work will end up in Canada and the UK. With more and more going to Asia. Hopefully something will be done before that happens, but it will be VERY difficult.