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Ryste3d
06-08-2013, 12:57 PM
Is it time to move on... I do archviz and business is good, but the competition do better. When a clients ask about my Interior model library (only AD people ask for this, thank good) I normal just sent them a link to Turbosquid. And the result is always the same. They want MAX models and if I am lucky there will be an fbx available or maybe OBJ – but no texture or no UV mapping or its simply messed up. I spend so much time re-applying materials, adjusting reflections, bump maps, hi maps etc. not to forget polycount – sorry we cannot use that carpet because it has 3 million polys, but I can try to do some RD in the weekend to se if I can find a way with instances.

Wouldn't it just be so much easier buying a few Evermotion MAX scenes with Vray light already set up and drag and drop Turbosquid furniture's with Vray materials already applied right into the scene and hit render.

One thing is for certain – no matter how much I love lightwave, it is not industry standard. Maybe I’m just having a bad day with a difficult client.

GraphXs
06-08-2013, 01:13 PM
Sometimes the grass isn't greener on the other-side. Max/Vray is nice, but always not a walk in the park. If ya can afford it maybe it would be better for you and when MAx isn't getting the job done then hop back into LW. Though I feel LW still can provide ya with all your needs, but sometimes ya gotta work a little harder to figure out how to get it to do what ya want. All 3D software ca be a PITA. Yes, client can be a PITA as well!

jasonwestmas
06-08-2013, 02:57 PM
I'm not certain what kind of archviz style or workflow you are hoping to achieve but I just don't see vray and/or max being as a simple adding TS models and then hit the render button. Any outstanding image is going to take a lot of modification of the models, textures and materials if the modeles and textures weren't initially intended to work with each-other in the same image. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as bringing in a bunch of pre-built assets and expecting them to look appealing when they are in the same image. Maybe you're talking about really generic looking concept designs, I dunno.

For highly repetitive work that requires a lot of different materials. . .I would spend more time building and organizing your own preset and texture libraries so they are easy to find in lightwave so that you can just select your poly groups and then add your surface presets as a general starting point. Simple UV maps are pretty trival too and I rarely need to use them with man-made objects that you see every day. But again I don't fully understand your subject matter possibly.

If your scenes are so big that you are having trouble working because of performance or workflow issues, only then would I choose to use a different package. I wouldn't change my package just because of formats or the availability of pre-built assets tbh. You can make your own pre-built stuff to reuse and modify later.

alexos
06-08-2013, 03:08 PM
Is it time to move on... I do archviz and business is good, but the competition do better. When a clients ask about my Interior model library...

I hear you and I can but share your pain. Sad truth is, VRay is the standard in archviz and yes, with the amount of render-ready libraries out there they've pretty much cornered the interior design market. I mean sure, there's the old argument, "you can get the same results with Lightwave/Kray/Whatever", but: no, you really can't, and even if you're a monster and get real close, it'll take at least twice as long. I know VRay users (be it Max or C4D) who can produce a great-looking image in three or four hours, and not because they're surfacing-and-modeling freaks; me, I've on occasion spent the same three hours just fixing a single piece of furniture. There simply is no comparison and yeah, I know mass-produced VRay renderings "all look the same", but most clients simply don't care.

Exteriors are a different thing - you won't get much help from stock libraries there - but I'm certain that if most of my work involved interiors, I would have (grudgingly) switched to some VRay-supported package a while ago.

ADP.

alexos
06-08-2013, 03:32 PM
I'm not certain what kind of archviz style or workflow you are hoping to achieve but I just don't see vray and/or max being as a simple adding TS models and then hit the render button. Any outstanding image is going to take a lot of modification of the models, textures and materials...

You're right about the "outstanding image" concept, but (and of course I can only speak for myself here, but I believe this is what Ryste was talking about) the problem is more trivial than that. As an example, just last week a client asked me if I could render a series of images for their new offices; and they gave me a long, very specific (brand and model) list of furniture and fixtures - chairs, desks, cabinets, lamps, even mobile partitions - I should put in there.
I had almost nothing ready and two choices: either buy the Max-Vray versions and then proceed to convert them (which would mean, apart from the usual oh-man-look-at-all-those-triangles pains, asking some friend with a Max license for help) or model pretty much everything from scratch. Which, given the deadline and budget involved, really wasn't an option.
I weaseled out of it thankfully, but there you go - that's where I have a problem; because, assuming I have the same skills as the hypotetical, Evermotion-touting Max user, but it takes me four days to produce something that he can do in one, it doesn't matter if my final image is slightly better than his; the client won't pay me four times as much.

ADP.

jasonwestmas
06-08-2013, 03:34 PM
but I'm certain that if most of my work involved interiors, I would have (grudgingly) switched to some VRay-supported package a while ago.


I'm speaking as someone who just creates stuff for animation and not for reality design. . . This is interesting. You mean you would use Vray just because of available 3D assets on sites like Turbo Squid? How does that work as far as stuff that can be actually purchased for someone's home you are designing in reality? For example: are clients happy if you create an image with furniture pieces that do not actually exist but are just "in the ballpark" for what can actually become a reality in their home? IOW Are these meshes based on real objects that are for sale? I just don't understand the logic here. :)

btw I'm not Anti-Vray, I think it renders light and displacements in a really appealing way.

jasonwestmas
06-08-2013, 03:38 PM
You're right about the "outstanding image" concept, but (and of course I can only speak for myself here, but I believe this is what Ryste was talking about) the problem is more trivial than that. As an example, just last week a client asked me if I could render a series of images for their new offices; and they gave me a long, very specific (brand and model) list of furniture and fixtures - chairs, desks, cabinets, lamps, even mobile partitions - I should put in there.
I had almost nothing ready and two choices: either buy the Max-Vray versions and then proceed to convert them (which would mean, apart from the usual oh-man-look-at-all-those-triangles pains, asking some friend with a Max license for help) or model pretty much everything from scratch. Which, given the deadline and budget involved, really wasn't an option.
I weaseled out of it thankfully, but there you go - that's where I have a problem; because, assuming I have the same skills as the hypotetical, Evermotion-touting Max user, but it takes me four days to produce something that he can do in one, it doesn't matter if my final image is slightly better than his; the client won't pay me four times as much.

ADP.

Ahh ok Brand named stuff. Is there a place to buy (IKEA ;) ) brand name designs in the form of vray materials applied to 3D models? I wasn't aware of this, interesting for sure.

jasonwestmas
06-08-2013, 03:45 PM
http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/realistic-sofa-3d-max/649576

Like this sofa set thingy, is this directly connected to a real product I can put in my home? What are the legal ramifications and how do you find the real product in a reasonable amount of time, heh. I guess it just comes down to information you happened to have handy and readily available right.

Edit: ok I think I get it now :) Kinda funny people do this imo.

http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/max-chesterfield-traditional-tufted/575556

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://www.chesterfields1780.com/img/uploads/original/classic_cromwell_sofa_1.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.chesterfields1780.com/us/en/store/product/cromwell/gallery&h=600&w=850&sz=164&tbnid=4Ek9jJxN40OjyM:&tbnh=96&tbnw=136&zoom=1&usg=__fj_xWztLB1imQ4rbtpRyauY6DQU=&docid=xMU0SBuK0OE65M&sa=X&ei=MaezUcamBsnTqAHPlIHICQ&ved=0CDIQ9QEwAQ&dur=2159

So yeah, I think Alexos has it right then. If you work a lot with brand name stuff like this sofa, then I think I'd go with Vray.

UnCommonGrafx
06-08-2013, 04:14 PM
My two cents...

If Max will pay for itself by getting you work, the time has long passed;
If you accept it as a tool, like dpont stuff et al, Max can serve as an uber-plugin for lw;
There is nothing wrong with the idea of getting Max to make yourself more money with less work;
I noticed that most (assets on TS, etc.)have FBX as well;
Since FBX works in LW, memory is cheap and 64bit alleviates lots of old myths about memory limits, one may be able to leave poly counts as they are and just roll with what's had.

Ask yourself why you used lw in the first place and see if it's still making you the money you want with the time you want to give. Go to the beginning of the above list and go.


Always a perplexing question when folks put it the way you have. You state it like bridges have to be burned and bombed. lol As opposed to, "I need to add this tool or not, what do you think?"


Again, I think the thinking seems to be clear enough: a tool to make more money is that. Burnt bridges, extra work or more ram, fbx availability...these seem to be the questions or problems to solve.

Sensei
06-08-2013, 05:05 PM
or model pretty much everything from scratch. Which, given the deadline and budget involved, really wasn't an option.

Once modeled chair, table or other stuff can be reused.
Some buy, some make them in their own free time/during portfolio building stage.

cresshead
06-08-2013, 06:37 PM
I have 3dsmax and lightwave...max is cool n all but mental ray is a pain in the *** most days especially as it doesn't have a previewer...makes stuff slow for testing renders.
The mental ray materials are not easy to master.

I havn't bought Vray so can't attest to that..but max plus Vray is quite a lot of cash and vray RT doesn't appear to be anyway near the speed of VPR although vray does look to have an
excellent material library.

3dsmax isn't a click n go solution..it has it;s won strengths and weaknesses, defo try out the demo versions of 3dsmax and vray before you go dropping a ton of cash on it.
You'll really need a decent system to run 3dsmax 2014 it's chuggy and really needs an SSD to make it behave like a normal app such as lightwave, blender and modo.

I usually run 3ds max 2009 as it's far more productive and yeh i probably need a new pc to really run max 2014 as they have dropped support for Vista so onlly 64 bit windows 7 and
windows 8 for now on,

shrox
06-08-2013, 07:27 PM
Well, we can still be here to cheer you on what ever program you end up in.

Surrealist.
06-08-2013, 09:42 PM
I think software choice is a very important decision. I have been in the "time to move on" state of mind with LightWave before. But I think it really is irrelevant. The only thing that is important is the work that you do. And use the tools you think need to be used to get the job done. In the end, time is money. But there is no way to put a price of the tool that works for you. Particularly tools that simplify the process or are more robust at certain tasks. In fact, I don't think that any other consideration than simply if a tool works best or not for a particular task is worth weighing out. Sure financial is a big one. But the right tool for the job pays for itself quite easily.

Also it never hurts to learn a new app and have more tools in your arsenal.

So my opinion is you don't have to move on from LightWave. Simply add Max/Vray to the arsenal. It will pay for itself many times over if you are in the arch vis business. You will always come back to LightWave for certain tasks. And the LightWave renderer is no slouch for that kind of work unless of course you are running into large data problems. Vray has the proxy object (reads large objects from disc rather than being stored in ram) which will pay for itself in ram savings alone and a god send with larger scenes. I don't think you could go wrong with it.

geo_n
06-08-2013, 10:41 PM
Its pretty quick to convert 3dmax models to lw with obj. I use evermotion assets, too and takes 10-15 minutes to convert each asset. Typical interior for lw is 7 hours, 4 hours for 3dmax vray because its drag and drop asset.
If you have the cash go for it. Archiviz has always been 3dmax vray domain especially working with dwg files its easy. This is the case where file format(dwg,max) is important when working other people.
i only do 3 archiviz projects a month now so can't justify the cost. I'd rather spend the money on trips :D

erikals
06-09-2013, 01:24 AM
why move, why not use both?

jwiede
06-09-2013, 03:13 AM
My two cents...

If Max will pay for itself by getting you work, the time has long passed;
If you accept it as a tool, like dpont stuff et al, Max can serve as an uber-plugin for lw;
There is nothing wrong with the idea of getting Max to make yourself more money with less work;
I noticed that most (assets on TS, etc.)have FBX as well;
Since FBX works in LW, memory is cheap and 64bit alleviates lots of old myths about memory limits, one may be able to leave poly counts as they are and just roll with what's had.
The OP specifically addressed in the first post that the FBX and OBJ versions available rarely come with UV/texturing that properly imports and basically require resurfacing once in LW. When using LW means having to resurface everything, while using MAX+Vray means the objects are "ready to render", Ryste3D's (& Alexos') point is valid, there isn't really any way to efficiently compete using LW in such situations. If such jobs make business sense to pursue, adding MAX & VRay just makes sense in that situation.

Obviously, adding MAX & VRay and continuing to use both them and LW is viable. Historically, though, it's worth noting that many (most?) users in such situations seem to "drift away" from LW after adding another package.

Surrealist.
06-09-2013, 05:13 AM
Yeah that is true in my case. But there are many times when it comes in handy. Also I still get work through LightWave contacts and using it is usually the best if not only option in these cases with a few exceptions such as modeling only.

Danner
06-09-2013, 09:01 AM
We are a mixed Max/LW house and my boss and my clients always prefer the Lightwave renders for interiors and V-ray for exteriors. This could very well depend more on the operator than the software itself but my boss likes LW for the speed of setup thanx to VPR interactivity, he can sit behind me and tweak lights, surfaces and camera motions and enjoys the experience, he gets really frustrated with the max guys when he wants to sit and modify something, it takes too long. And the fact that most renders are under a minute has him seriously thinking about going all LW, but the Max guys are redeeming themselves with a couple of spectacular exterior shots they just made.

erikals
06-09-2013, 09:52 AM
strange, i thought exterior renders would be where LightWave / VPR really kicks...
why not use LightWave for those situations?

Ryste3d
06-09-2013, 02:48 PM
We are a mixed Max/LW house and my boss and my clients always prefer the Lightwave renders for interiors and V-ray for exteriors. This could very well depend more on the operator than the software itself but my boss likes LW for the speed of setup thanx to VPR interactivity, he can sit behind me and tweak lights, surfaces and camera motions and enjoys the experience, he gets really frustrated with the max guys when he wants to sit and modify something, it takes too long. And the fact that most renders are under a minute has him seriously thinking about going all LW, but the Max guys are redeeming themselves with a couple of spectacular exterior shots they just made.

hmmm, I am a bit curios what kind of interior renders you are rendering in under a minute?

cresshead
06-09-2013, 03:40 PM
hmmm, I am a bit curios what kind of interior renders you are rendering in under a minute?

either the render size is 30 pixels by 20 pixels or the lighting is OFF and they just grab viewport!

Danner
06-10-2013, 02:45 AM
hmmm, I am a bit curios what kind of interior renders you are rendering in under a minute?

Things like these:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP79RPxOay0

To get to those render times we render at HD 720 using cache'd shadow mapped lights only, luminous polygons, radiosity cache (the radiosity baking is around 1 hour per take) and a monster rendering machine.


strange, i thought exterior renders would be where LightWave / VPR really kicks...
why not use LightWave for those situations?

We also do exteriors with LW, and interiors with Max. We divide the work per property to get a more uniform look.

djwaterman
06-10-2013, 03:41 AM
If you ever get time to do a tutorial about this render workflow it would be very cool.

jwiede
06-10-2013, 05:53 AM
Things like these:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP79RPxOay0

To get to those render times we render at HD 720 using cache'd shadow mapped lights only, luminous polygons, radiosity cache (the radiosity baking is around 1 hour per take) and a monster rendering machine.
It seemed like the only movement was of the camera/viewpoint, so what's the benefit of using radiosity cache in that case? Also, how long are the frame times without cached radiosity?

Danner
06-10-2013, 07:12 AM
The radiosity cache is made to save rendering time, I use between 15 to 20 frame step on the cache preferences (depending on camera speed) and render the cache before rendering the sequence, that way the radiosity for the whole scene is rendered beforehand and quickly thanx to the frame step. When the cache is done I lock the cache and hit F10 or send it to screamernet. The first radiosity-cache-frame renders in 10-15 minutes, the rest in 1-3 minutes, this usually means an hour to hour and a half of cache rendering.
A non cached frame takes between 11 to 17 minutes to render at my current radiosity settings, I used to use them much lower, but now I use 3 bounces, 1000 RPE, 500 SBR, 40š angular tolerance Min PS 1 (sometimes if I find small noise in corners I set it to 3) Max PS 100, multiplier 100. It's worth noting that I don't use those settings while setting the scene up. I take them waaaaay down (50 RPE, 25 SBR, 15 MIN PS) and turn draft mode off in VPR to light and texture the scene.

This are general settings and render times, many scenes render in less than a minute and some up to 5min per frame (lots of reflections/reflactions in a scene for example).

If this weekend is not too busy I'll make a quick tutorial.

geo_n
06-10-2013, 08:33 AM
For under 5 minutes(baking gi+actual rendering) per frame it looks about right. A bit on the scanline looking side.
Kray can render better quality with less time with blurry reflections and good lighting also with baking ofcourse.
The OPs problem though is the actual production time. If evermotion, cgaxis and other vendors make lw presets it would save a lot of time for commercial productions such as archiviz.

Netvudu
06-10-2013, 09:06 AM
It seemed like the only movement was of the camera/viewpoint, so what's the benefit of using radiosity cache in that case? Also, how long are the frame times without cached radiosity?

uh? sorry John, but I donīt get this question. Precisely because itīs just the camera moving around it is possible to cache radiosity in a few angles and get a consistent cached solution with no moving splotches even at medium-low interpolated RPE values. From my experience, just 5 or 6 well selected angles can give you consistent cached and clean radiosity, which means almost-free radiosity for the whole sequence.
The problem, of course, appears when something moves, either a light or an object.
If itīs just one or two moving object I sometimes render it/them on a separated pass with occlusion and fake color bleeding at comp, which is far better than trying to raise up RPE to ungodly values until you get clean interpolated radosity.

jwiede
06-12-2013, 08:58 PM
uh? sorry John, but I donīt get this question. Precisely because itīs just the camera moving around it is possible to cache radiosity in a few angles and get a consistent cached solution with no moving splotches even at medium-low interpolated RPE values. From my experience, just 5 or 6 well selected angles can give you consistent cached and clean radiosity, which means almost-free radiosity for the whole sequence.
Yeah, it was 5am, and apparently undersampling the cache wasn't occurring to me then.

Silkrooster
06-12-2013, 11:19 PM
why move, why not use both?

I agree...

geo_n
06-14-2013, 10:59 PM
why move, why not use both?

Jack of all trade master of none.
Its getting harder and harder to master each app not just the 3D animation packages. So why use two?

erikals
06-14-2013, 11:23 PM
true, but i'm sure you could manage two 3D apps...
if it's worth it in this case, not sure, depends on how you like to model in 3DMax.
if 3DMax modeling is alright by you, i guess you might as well jump to AutoDesk
(as long as you are ok with their policy and pricing...)

Silkrooster
06-15-2013, 02:01 AM
Jack of all trade master of none.
Its getting harder and harder to master each app not just the 3D animation packages. So why use two?

Why give up what you already know? Future learning process would be with the new app not the old.

geo_n
06-15-2013, 03:10 AM
Why give up what you already know? Future learning process would be with the new app not the old.

Like anything in life 3d is a perishable skill. You use one app more than the other you tend to get weaker with the other one. I've forgotten everything I've learned in blender a year ago when I opened it recently. :D
The only way I don't forgot lw and 3dmax now is I adapted lightwave to most 3dmax shortcuts
Basic modes(mrs), tools(modelling) are the same.
But when studios, clients and projects switched to the other more modern app you have no choice but to adapt and give up the old.

Surrealist.
06-15-2013, 06:17 AM
Nah!

Expand your horizons man. You can not go wrong.

I use over half a dozen 3D related apps 4 of which are 3D/animation packages and 2 of which I regularly get paid work. One of those is LightWave, the other is Blender

The other 2 are fairly new but I also use them so supplement the tools that I do not have in LW and Blender. And as time goes on I will be able to procure work in those apps as well. Yeah the key shorts mess with your muscle memory, but why is it that you have to stop learning one set of key shorts? Where does it say there is a limit to the things you can remember? I constantly switch between apps all the time and the more I do that the more that actually becomes repetitive and I remember to actually switch gears.

It is all relative man!

geo_n
06-15-2013, 08:38 AM
You need thousands of hours to master something.
The best lightwave artists are the veteran lw artist who have real world experience and spent thousand of hours in it.
They stuck with lw through the years and their work speaks for itself which is impressive.
Sometimes this could be mistaken as lightwave is fast. The truth is the artist has just learned the software thoroughly.
Its the same with maya generalists, 3dmax specialist, xsi gurus. They have years of experience focusing with one app and the work is [email protected]$$.
I haven't seen many users with those skills that use multiple appz even if they have been 3d artist for more than 5 years.

jasonwestmas
06-15-2013, 09:15 AM
You need thousands of hours to master something.
The best lightwave artists are the veteran lw artist who have real world experience and spent thousand of hours in it.
They stuck with lw through the years and their work speaks for itself which is impressive.
Sometimes this could be mistaken as lightwave is fast. The truth is the artist has just learned the software thoroughly.
Its the same with maya generalists, 3dmax specialist, xsi gurus. They have years of experience focusing with one app and the work is [email protected]$$.
I haven't seen many users with those skills that use multiple appz even if they have been 3d artist for more than 5 years.

Their work isn't kick *** because of one application. It's awesome because of talent, passion and they chose to specialize at something like creating cool building and landscaping designs or rigging, or character design that these days can include several programs. I believe after you create something pleasing artisticly with one set of tools, it can be reasonably adapted to another set of tools that perhaps offer even more control when needed.

Surrealist.
06-15-2013, 09:18 AM
You need thousands of hours to master something.
The best lightwave artists are the veteran lw artist who have real world experience and spent thousand of hours in it.
They stuck with lw through the years and their work speaks for itself which is impressive.
Sometimes this could be mistaken as lightwave is fast. The truth is the artist has just learned the software thoroughly.
Its the same with maya generalists, 3dmax specialist, xsi gurus. They have years of experience focusing with one app and the work is [email protected]$$.
I haven't seen many users with those skills that use multiple appz even if they have been 3d artist for more than 5 years.


Good points. And I can see some truth in that for sure. Is there and absolute truth to sticking with one app to become a master artist? Frankly I don't know. I am not a master artist. I am not there yet. If/When I get there, I'll comment on it. In the mean time I have gained a great deal of experience and general knowledge that for me helps to round out my appreciation of what apps can do. It does help.

But this is what I have found so far. I have found that what I learn in one app transfers over to other apps. That skill is just that, skill. Learning how to apply that to another app is - I say this from experience - just a matter of adapting to another environment. And that is it. It took years to be a master enough of a modeler to get repeated work. I have since transferred that skill now - with a very minimum comparative effort - across 4 applications and I am now as proficient in either of them. Along the way I have also begun to add sculpting to the mix. I am not there yet. I have mastered the tools more or less. But the skill is another thing entirely. Once I get that, I'll be able to move into any app I should want.

Fortunately for me you don't have to be a master kick *** artist to get work. If that was the case, I'd be out of work by now. Thankfully the world is full of many different types of jobs for many different kinds of artists. Particularly the jobs that master artists don't want to mess with.... ;-) that also pay well.

Now did I start out trying to be a "master artist" by mastering many apps? Of course not. Have I lost time along the way? Yep. Has it affected my production? Absolutely. But I would not trade the experience. Mainly I was looking for a comfortable home for not just things that are mostly skill-related such as Modeling, but for things that are also heavily reliant on technology such as dynamics. I have found in this case the app does matter.

Along the way though I can comment on the fact that skill building is about 1000 more time consuming than learning an app. From direct experience, not just theory or observation.

And back to my earlier comments. The app does matter. You can be also in the the situation that you have invested in something that will not get you where you want to go. There are some things that are heavily dependent on technology. Other things that are purely skill.

I don't see from my experience that it would matter that I knew more than one app and thus hinder me from being a master artist. But I won't be able to comment on that for another 5 years.

Take it up then.

jasonwestmas
06-15-2013, 09:21 AM
Absolutely, it's not as if a modeler or animator looses ability by switching applications lol. You merely loose some time to learn where things are is all. Which is a different matter.

I do think that talented people do have great memories however, so there is something to that when judging whether or not you are capable of learning things quickly enough for yourself. I admit I usually take the path less traveled by because it's slower but more rewarding imo. Being a specialist means there is less to remember technically. . . and getting more things finished more quickly. But there is a down side to that as well.

geo_n
06-15-2013, 08:05 PM
Their work isn't kick *** because of one application. It's awesome because of talent, passion and they chose to specialize at something like creating cool building and landscaping designs or rigging, or character design that these days can include several programs. I believe after you create something pleasing artisticly with one set of tools, it can be reasonably adapted to another set of tools that perhaps offer even more control when needed.

Talent can only get you so far. Even athletes know this. Even in martial arts where they share the same principles, you don't do mixed martial arts unless you have spent a lot of time with one style and mastered it.
In 3D its critical to learn what the most use app there is and master it to stay relevant in real world productions.
If its freelance, its not so much I guess but times are changing for freelancers, too. Like what the OP said the client need max files.
But still...why use two appz when one is more capable and more used in productions or industry standard?
One of the few lw rigging masters left speaks out about changing times.
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?135790-Rob-is-out-praising-the-merits-of-the-dual-app-workflow/page25

jasonwestmas
06-15-2013, 08:26 PM
Talent can only get you so far. Even athletes know this. Even in martial arts where they share the same principles, you don't do mixed martial arts unless you have spent a lot of time with one style and mastered it.
In 3D its critical to learn what the most use app there is and master it to stay relevant in real world productions.
If its freelance, its not so much I guess but times are changing for freelancers, too. Like what the OP said the client need max files.
But still...why use two appz when one is more capable and more used in productions or industry standard?
One of the few lw rigging masters left speaks out about changing times.
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?135790-Rob-is-out-praising-the-merits-of-the-dual-app-workflow/page25

Yeah, I hope you didn't think I meant you were totally off base, it's just a matter of circumstantial know-how, personal taste and the type of work we are involved in of course. Everyone learns in their own time. I have spent too much time learning new techniques and tools I admit, It's one of my flaws. On the other hand, I see it as wading and filtering through a lot of irrelevant stuff to reach the techniques that really do help me create better images and animation. So based on what I have fixated my hands and eyes on so far, I do put more emphasis on the similarities between digitally based "creative" tools than the differences however. When one wants to achieve a certain type of effect faster I have found that looking elsewhere does pay off in the long run occasionally. . .not always.

Surrealist.
06-16-2013, 02:59 AM
I know some musicians personally who could play circles around most of the guys around them on 3 or 4 instruments. 3 or 4 completely different disciplines where very few things translate at all. I have known a musician personally, who could play at the concert piano level by the age of 16. And know of prodigies who were much younger than that. A 7 year old girl who painted like Picasso. Like real Picasso, not dumb *** water colors that sort of looked like it. A personal friend who is an actor. He can jump right into the character, pretty much any character literally within split seconds and do it so convincingly you'd think he had spent weeks preparing. And on the other hand worked with actors who needed up to an hour to prepare a heavy scene. And all kinds of levels in between. Will the mufti-instrumentalist make it to 1st chair violin at the London Symphony? Sure, as long as he/she can fill the roll. Will he/she then become a famous touring artist? We can not say. That is not in our hands to pontificate. There is something else at work here. I don't pretend to know what it is. But I'll put my money on the bet that nor does anyone else and that trying to figure that out in some kind of definitive terms like do or do not concentrate on one skill over the other or one software over the other is really not the answer and will not lead to a real solution to the issue. And for sure, I'd say that most people who "master" things don't get there by being careful and listening to people tell them to lessen the scope of their knowledge. The best teachers always encourage experimentation and broadening of knowledge. So to me it is hardly good advice to do the opposite and could be at best merely speculation. Because if you don't know that person personally, you don't really know all of the disciplines they have studied. Chances are that that person's knowledge base is far more expansive than most people are aware of. And certainly much broader than they have led on to people who interview them for a particular magazine or what have you.

djwaterman
06-16-2013, 05:53 AM
If you are doing mostly archviz work with paying clients, then I reckon it is probably time to move on or transition over to 3ds and Vray. Personally I'm still awaiting the new version of Kray, that might change things but it's not out yet so who can say.

jasonwestmas
06-16-2013, 12:29 PM
I know some musicians personally who could play circles around most of the guys around them on 3 or 4 instruments. 3 or 4 completely different disciplines where very few things translate at all. I have known a musician personally, who could play at the concert piano level by the age of 16. And know of prodigies who were much younger than that. A 7 year old girl who painted like Picasso. Like real Picasso, not dumb *** water colors that sort of looked like it. A personal friend who is an actor. He can jump right into the character, pretty much any character literally within split seconds and do it so convincingly you'd think he had spent weeks preparing. And on the other hand worked with actors who needed up to an hour to prepare a heavy scene. And all kinds of levels in between. Will the mufti-instrumentalist make it to 1st chair violin at the London Symphony? Sure, as long as he/she can fill the roll. Will he/she then become a famous touring artist? We can not say. That is not in our hands to pontificate. There is something else at work here. I don't pretend to know what it is. But I'll put my money on the bet that nor does anyone else and that trying to figure that out in some kind of definitive terms like do or do not concentrate on one skill over the other or one software over the other is really not the answer and will not lead to a real solution to the issue. And for sure, I'd say that most people who "master" things don't get there by being careful and listening to people tell them to lessen the scope of their knowledge. The best teachers always encourage experimentation and broadening of knowledge. So to me it is hardly good advice to do the opposite and could be at best merely speculation. Because if you don't know that person personally, you don't really know all of the disciplines they have studied. Chances are that that person's knowledge base is far more expansive than most people are aware of. And certainly much broader than they have led on to people who interview them for a particular magazine or what have you.

I can agree with the fact that we hardly know enough about people in general to say that narrowing or broadening the scope of their exploration is beneficial or not. I just know from my own experiences from myself and other conversations, that on occasion I have in fact overwhelmed myself to the point of losing focus on what I wanted to achieve in the first place (getting lost in the forest of tools and circumstances of life, so to speak). But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Much like creating art in general, anyone ( based on conversations with other people) would probably get better results and gain a greater understanding of things (time permitting) if we push things too far, "breaking things", as opposed to not pushing them far enough and thus not achieve what it was that we sent ourselves out to achieve. We pay the cost either way, that's what I've learned.

Surrealist.
06-16-2013, 01:24 PM
True that. Can definitely get too much of anything. Finding the balance is the key I suppose.

JonW
06-16-2013, 07:46 PM
You need thousands of hours to master something

The saying is roughly "You need to spend 10,000 hours to become an expert"

I think it is a lot more with 3d as the goal posts are continuously moved. Actually moving quicker!


I have spent a stack of time with LW but only know an extremely narrow aspect used for my type of work. I just don't have enough time to cover even a quarter of what LW can do, let along all the other applications.



Like anything in life 3d is a perishable skill.

I had a 3 month holiday. No mobile phone, no GPS & no computer for the entire period. I really enjoyed the break. It was really interesting when I got back to the keyboard. It felt really strange to me, I just did not have any feeling for it. It took a few day to get comfortable & about a week to 2 weeks to feel at home. The same thing with the applications, extremely rusty at first.

I was really amazed how after only 3 months just how rusty one can get. It just goes to show, you have to revisit all fields of your skills on a regular basis so permanent damage does not set in.

Waves of light
06-17-2013, 02:44 AM
I can agree with the fact that we hardly know enough about people in general to say that narrowing or broadening the scope of their exploration is beneficial or not. I just know from my own experiences from myself and other conversations, that on occasion I have in fact overwhelmed myself to the point of losing focus on what I wanted to achieve in the first place (getting lost in the forest of tools and circumstances of life, so to speak). But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Much like creating art in general, anyone ( based on conversations with other people) would probably get better results and gain a greater understanding of things (time permitting) if we push things too far, "breaking things", as opposed to not pushing them far enough and thus not achieve what it was that we sent ourselves out to achieve. We pay the cost either way, that's what I've learned.

Quoted for agreement.

Keeping on top of the stuff you already use is hard enough, focus becomes even more blurred when new software or hardware is released. And then there's trying to fit it in around your full time job and clients.

geo_n
06-17-2013, 03:29 AM
The saying is roughly "You need to spend 10,000 hours to become an expert"

I think it is a lot more with 3d as the goal posts are continuously moved. Actually moving quicker!


I have spent a stack of time with LW but only know an extremely narrow aspect used for my type of work. I just don't have enough time to cover even a quarter of what LW can do, let along all the other applications.




I had a 3 month holiday. No mobile phone, no GPS & no computer for the entire period. I really enjoyed the break. It was really interesting when I got back to the keyboard. It felt really strange to me, I just did not have any feeling for it. It took a few day to get comfortable & about a week to 2 weeks to feel at home. The same thing with the applications, extremely rusty at first.

I was really amazed how after only 3 months just how rusty one can get. It just goes to show, you have to revisit all fields of your skills on a regular basis so permanent damage does not set in.

Hehe. I didn't put a number of hours but 10000 hours seems a good number to be good at something.
There are exceptions for those who are talented who can adapt easily. But again talent can only get one so far in anything. Focus and discipline is equally important.
Its funny about your story, I have senior collegues who are 10-15 year lw veterans. Switched to 3dmax completely around 2007. Had a project that used lw around 2010. They seemed lost with lw 9. Lol.
They don't know why they can't select an object, a light, a camera at the same time. Hahaha.
If you don't use it you lose it. Ah well......

Surrealist.
06-17-2013, 05:47 AM
Yeah I can not even use Modeler anymore. But that took about 5 years. And the real reason for that is not because I don't have the capacity to switch gears. It is because modeler does not give me any reason to. However Zbrush, Blender and Maya do. Blender for work. Zbrush for sculpting and Maya for pretty much everything else. Modeler is like, well an ancient relic. I have absolutely no reason to ever go back to that backwards application for anything with the exception of prepping models for clients. And those skills come back soon enough within a few minutes. It is all relative.

And it is funny I just got yet another job using Blender. This time I am having to go back and use the unwrap tools in Blender 2.49, that I have not used in 2 years because the client requires it for whatever reason. Not important. So now I have to reach back into Blender of old.

But it is work. It pays the bills. For me that is a hard reality of using so many different apps. Now I am also picking up a job using Maya to do lighting,

Bottom line is survival in general requires you to be able to adapt and move with the current to stay ahead. This is why I say it is never a bad idea to expand. There is nothing but nothing certain in life but your own personal skills and ability to create your own destiny.

jasonwestmas
06-17-2013, 09:56 AM
Ultimately, using multi-apps. is about getting the jobs. Hopefully we won't have to switch apps. as much in the future but we do what we can do.

jasonwestmas
06-17-2013, 10:00 AM
Quoted for agreement.

Keeping on top of the stuff you already use is hard enough, focus becomes even more blurred when new software or hardware is released. And then there's trying to fit it in around your full time job and clients.

Yes, I do find it is just as rewarding to just stop everything and think about what I want to accomplish (as an artist/designer) in the next day or so without filling my head with more technical information.

shrox
06-17-2013, 10:19 AM
Ultimately, using multi-apps. is about getting the jobs. Hopefully we won't have to switch apps. as much in the future but we do what we can do.

Yes, I have to switch from a 3d program to a paint program just to generate a map! How 19th century is that!

jasonwestmas
06-17-2013, 10:27 AM
Geeze Shrox, caveman joe you are. :)

Surrealist.
06-17-2013, 10:32 AM
Yes, I do find it is just as rewarding to just stop everything and think about what I want to accomplish (as an artist/designer) in the next day or so without filling my head with more technical information.

Yeah there are days like that. It has to come in a balance. The very reason we are wrangling all this stuff is to get to the point of creating and not thinking about it as much. I also find the opposite true. If I am creating too much the perfect balance is taking in a tutorial. Actually I kind of like spending about 1 hour per day keeping my self sharp learning and it helps balance out the creative stuff. But that is not something I do all the time. Just that when I do, I notice I get less burn out on work.

shrox
06-17-2013, 10:34 AM
Geeze Shrox, caveman joe you are. :)

The hardest part of being a digital caveman artist is getting the pixels all square using the charred end of a stick on rough rock walls.

Waves of light
06-17-2013, 10:57 AM
The hardest part of being a digital caveman artist is getting the pixels all square using the charred end of a stick on rough rock walls.

Is that stick .6 or have you moved to the cloud stick yet?

shrox
06-17-2013, 11:01 AM
Is that stick .6 or have you moved to the cloud stick yet?

No cloud stick for me. Sometimes I like to take my stick with me. Also, if I wear my stick down to a nub, do I need a new subscription, or will the cloud recognize my new stick, even though the old one was oak and the new one is birch?

geo_n
06-17-2013, 09:03 PM
Ultimately, using multi-apps. is about getting the jobs. Hopefully we won't have to switch apps. as much in the future but we do what we can do.

A business or company that needs to do the numbers, sometimes mult apps is not feasable. Cost of maintaining multiple appz is expensive. A small to medium size studio can't afford to have multiple licenses of 3dmax, maya, lw, xsi, vray, plugins, adobe, fusion, nuke, etc. Plus artists who are only proficient at multi appz but not strong on single apps are not an asset meaning my employers would hire someone strong in either lw or 3dmax but not someone only proficient with both.
Personally I can't afford 3dmax, maya, etc. That's why I use lightwave for my own stuff and that keeps lw workflow fresh in my mind. Other artists are very rich to afford softimage, maya, 3dmax at home :D. Rather spend that on something else.

JonW
06-17-2013, 09:50 PM
Cost of maintaining multiple appz is expensive.
I actually bought LW at great expense for myself years ago & used Max at work! But these days LW/LWcad fits into my budget. I just can't justify keeping a suite of expensive applications up to date. For my purposes a few things have to give. There is only so much money I am prepared to fork out each year. The last major expense was to replace a dead printer ($4.5k)!

Waves of light
06-18-2013, 12:46 AM
Running a small business, that is one of the reasons I have stuck with LW, cost. The upgrade price keeps it within budget (and I was lucky because I have/had the next 4 locked to $495 after the C**E demise). And as I only use 3D/CG in about 10% of client jobs, with a view to increase that over the coming years, I can't even think about looking at Max, Modo, Maya, etc. It's the same reason I stick with 3DCoat over Zbrush... Andrew's upgrade price of $88 was a no-brainer.

4.5k - that must have been a nice printer!

jasonwestmas
06-18-2013, 07:06 PM
It's the same reason I stick with 3DCoat over Zbrush... Andrew's upgrade price of $88 was a no-brainer.

4.5k - that must have been a nice printer!

3dc is nice but . . .huh? Zbrush upgrades are free. :) I guess you mean the down-payments for multiple zbrush users.

jasonwestmas
06-18-2013, 07:12 PM
A business or company that needs to do the numbers, sometimes mult apps is not feasable. Cost of maintaining multiple appz is expensive. A small to medium size studio can't afford to have multiple licenses of 3dmax, maya, lw, xsi, vray, plugins, adobe, fusion, nuke, etc. Plus artists who are only proficient at multi appz but not strong on single apps are not an asset meaning my employers would hire someone strong in either lw or 3dmax but not someone only proficient with both.
Personally I can't afford 3dmax, maya, etc. That's why I use lightwave for my own stuff and that keeps lw workflow fresh in my mind. Other artists are very rich to afford softimage, maya, 3dmax at home :D. Rather spend that on something else.

Well we all have to pick something to specialize in but that doesn't mean generalizing (occasionally) is a bad thing to do for your career. Plus, It's not that hard for some people to know two 3D apps extremely well after 10 years of study. It's pretty necessary in my world and I'm not rich. :)


On one game project I worked on for ipad I used max for CS biped , 3dc for retopo and texturing, zbrush for sculpting and lightwave cad and PS for concepting some rooms. We had an awesome concept artist who also could zbrush but he really didn't retopo very quickly at all and the way he built his zbrush meshes made the retopo process very long and tedious for me when I had to take over where he left off. In the end I got more work hours out of it than he did because I had to retopo, skin and animate the characters. . . and then render them for 2D promos later on. That doesn't mean I was more valuable but I got more money out of the gig I'm sure, because I knew more of the pipeline. Is a concept artist going to create better concepts than me; or is an animator who only animates going to do things faster than me, damn straight they will,but that doesn't mean he is more useful on the entire project and vice versa. . .still I get more hours than those "other guys". People trust me to do a good job and they save time by letting me handle more without having to hunt down specialists constantly for contract jobs. That's hardly ideal way to go about it but that is often the reality in my world.

Waves of light
06-19-2013, 12:12 AM
3dc is nice but . . .huh? Zbrush upgrades are free. :) I guess you mean the down-payments for multiple zbrush users.

Sorry, what I meant was... because I'd already gone down the 3DC route (version 2 I think) sticking with the $88 upgrade over $699 for ZBrush to keep costs down.

I had no idea that Zbrush gave away free upgrades. Is that just for the next point/R version, or will you have to pay at some point?

bobakabob
06-19-2013, 12:51 AM
Haven't had to pay for years but it wouldn't be a surprise if Pixologic charge for future upgrades. I don't think they've made any promises.

djwaterman
06-19-2013, 12:55 AM
If I'm wrong some one will correct me, but I think it's free upgrades for ever, at least so far that's been the case. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Waves of light
06-19-2013, 12:55 AM
Thanks for the info. Bit of a thread hijack, so sorry Richard. Back on track...

khan973
06-19-2013, 03:02 AM
Is it time to move on... I do archviz and business is good, but the competition do better. ...sorry we cannot use that carpet because it has 3 million polys, but I can try to do some RD in the weekend to se if I can find a way with instances.

Man, I'm sorry you're experiencing that, I also felt that way one year ago. We were working for a client and there was a Huge scene I wanted to port from Max to LightWave.
We don't have proxy / xref, nor Layout and Modeler can Handle big files. So here is what I came accross:

FBX Export:
Sounded great, but reaality was different, it has to open a big scene and create objects after objects in a folder and it was taking ages.
Fortunately we were using Scene2modeler (old version) to export many objects in one object to make things easier.

Performances:
So we had to get the scene exported bits by bits then we re-applied a shader and then we broke down in instances when it was possible. It took us 2 hard weeks. After that, iy was taking up to 40 minutes to open the scene... when 10.0 releaser, it was far less (cheers for the optimization).
So we had around 10 different mini scenes we would import and merge when needed to make a bigger scene. It was impossible to load everything at once.

Instances (Kray)
So the trick was working until To top that, we realized Kray instances was referenced in a manner that would mess up your instance ID when merging scenes, so we had to reapply instance one by one (or at least check them all) everytime we were merging scenes.

Limits:
Our smaller scenes put together were working until there was a mirror or reflection showing the scene was like a set, empty where the camera doesn't face.

Rendering:
Besides taking a sh*t load of RAM, when I swas hitting render, I had time, lots of time actually...
Sending to a renderfarm would lead to 24 hour rendering without a result...
Using Sensei's Virtual Render made things better.
Anyway, it wasn't imaginable to render animations.

Happy Ending!
The cool side is that we've been able to deliver on time, but guess what, the last 3 days, we used the Max scene and let a max artist do the renders. Bucket rendering was calculating Images in less than 10mins, and the VRay settings correctly applied allowed us to render animations really quick. We never had to load/unload parts of the scene.

I really felt like an amateur and I was pissed at NT. I've never put my company in a such bad position and I lost a bit of my associate's trust over LightWave's capabilities.
My point of view on LightWave is that it's nice for many things, but too many obstacles when it comes to heavier stuff.

The software doesn't handle enough polys, it chokes to easily
We would need a better optimization strategy (like displaying 20% of the polys if needed)
We need a better referencing strategy (objects are already by essence, but scenes referenciong could be good too) for collaborative work
A proxy system would be great: 1 simple shape or custom shape and real object loaded at render time
Render engine is outdated, especially its speed when it comes to multiple reflections
We need a good Photon engine for Arch viz
Bucket rendering is MANDATORY

Just to mention a few improvements.

Besides that, I kept telling that to LW3DG team, come on, surface presets are just too lame!
You can't beat VRAY presets. We could have many basic presets (layer system) and node presets.
We could have on the website a whole section for sharing and getting surfaces.
We need a better /bigger icon for surfaces (I was surprised to discover that actually the saved image is bigger) and a way to generate them.

And to finish here, we need a real preset logic and strategy for scenes, rendering settings and so on... As imperfect as it was , LW CORE was adressing the majority of these issues. And I really look forward to seeing a new LightWave cycle making us heavyweight again.

To be realistic, we are not enough Wavers who are willing to pay for super cool stuff that make our job more efficient so that's why 3rd party get discouraged. So there is still a long long way to go before I can feel like we have the tools to make us fast workers but I have faith in Rob and the team.

My take is do what is possible with LightWave, and for the rest, hire someone who knows his stuff and has the right tools.

DogBoy
06-19-2013, 04:13 AM
I had no idea that Zbrush gave away free upgrades. Is that just for the next point/R version, or will you have to pay at some point?

I bought into it with 2.5, and i haven't paid for an upgrade since. Best value for money evah :D