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View Full Version : Proposal: LW Impossible threads (projects that would be hard to do in classic LW)



robertoortiz
09-14-2013, 08:23 AM
Hi guys,
I have been working on a concept for while and I wanted to share with all of you, since I am almost ready to launch it.


I have this idea of posting cg threads here in the LW GD forum that feature projects would be hard or impossible to do with the current Lightwave toolsets.

The idea is to use these projects (one per thread) to crowd design an efficient workflow on how we think a next gen app should handle said project. Each project will have at least one requirement that classic lightwave CANNOT do right now.

These threads would be structured like a real life project, with designs, photos/ storyboards and in some times script pages.
It would also include director /art director requests.
As I said i want these threads to look like real life. ( and thus why it has taken me a while to launch this)

The idea is to rethink lw from the ground up, and use these projects as a template.
I have NO expectations for the projects to be done at all, I just want to discuss with the community HOW it could be done more efficiently.
And of course the idea is to provide constructive feedback.
And since, for all intents and purposes, we are developing an app from the ground up, fan wanking of other apps IS NOT encouraged. (Blender I am looking at you)
The idea is to rethink ALL OUR WORKFLOWS.

So what do you guys think?
I am looking forward to your ideas.
-R

hrgiger
09-14-2013, 09:39 AM
i think it is an excercise in futility if you want to know the truth.

From the LW user standpoint, there is too much resistance to new workflows or new ways of doing things. There is the general impression for many who have used LW exclusively that it has some magic workflow that make it faster to get things done then in other applications despite the fact of the drawbacks that LW suffers from being a split application workflow. CORE also showed just how little interest in new ways of doing things LW users have as a whole.

From the LW development standpoint, i also see too much resistance to change. It seems to me that change is limited due to the fear of breaking older workflows. Its the reason that LW3DG wont get rid of junk geometry because current workflows make use of it.

robertoortiz
09-14-2013, 09:55 AM
Point made, but I will do it anyway.
From my point of view is not IF, is WHEN.
Chronosculpt has shown me that there is willingness within the LW group to try new ideas.

And to be fair the projects I have in mind who be hard to do for most 3d apps.
And the cool thing is that at least for the first project, it is base on projects I am getting from clients.

Ryan Roye
09-15-2013, 12:03 PM
"Impossible" needs to be taken with a grain of salt... because it can also mean that no one with the right skillset has attempted to do certain things in Lightwave. This is especially true for LW's animation tools. Here are some things that people have told me are "impossible" in Lightwave that are part of my workflow:

- Relative motion loading (load motions based on foot placement, leg length, scale, pose, position and orientation).
- Motion weight and scaling without Motion Mixer.
- Retargeting (IE: like motion builder... only with fewer steps required).
- Ragdoll physics.
- Expressionless multimorphs.
- non-destructive rig scaling and adaptation.

...and the list goes on and on.

jwiede
09-15-2013, 01:54 PM
Brilliant idea! This audience has a long history of calm, rational discussions of LW's weaknesses and how to address them, after all. :rolleyes:

probiner
09-15-2013, 02:04 PM
Well you've been doing it for some time now. What do you think about those threads?

jwiede
09-15-2013, 03:39 PM
Well you've been doing it for some time now. What do you think about those threads?

“Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.” (George Santayana, "Life of Reason")

rednova
09-16-2013, 08:34 AM
Hi: A long time ago there was a plugin called treedruid.I waited too long to get it. When I finally decided to buy it
by that time, the plugin was discontinued and quit selling. I would love to see treedruid come back.

robertoortiz
09-16-2013, 09:16 AM
"Impossible" needs to be taken with a grain of salt... because it can also mean that no one with the right skillset has attempted to do certain things in Lightwave. .

And we are in agreement. and that in my opinion is abig part of the problem.
We are so used to our current workflows
and we may miss the fact that there are some effcient way to do a task.


For example.

Say that the project I am suggesting has a series of logos.
A big part of the requirements is that the logos have to be converter from vector format to a 3d object..

For example the BP logo:
http://www.logotypes101.com/free_vector_logo/11129/BP_vector_logo_download.aspx

Right now, you havea multiple step process to conver the logo into 3d.
And first project I have in mind has a ton of hardcore logo requirements.



the idea of the projects but rethinking the workflow.
1) AImagine hte projects beign Lightwave only
2) Simplicty of workflow.


Ans since we are throwing quotes at each other, here is one from one of my favorite authors.

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
― Oscar Wilde

jwiede
09-16-2013, 12:11 PM
Roberto, if you're just putting up another thread about "things 'somebody' says LW can't do" full of strawmen, then tear them down, well, there's already a ton of similar threads -- what makes yours novel, let alone justifies such build-up? Why even bother asking what people think of it if you're dead set on doing it regardless of what anyone says? If you planned on doing it regardless of what others thought, then this thread isn't a proposal, it's just promotion, and neither subtle nor particularly endearing promotion at that (IMO).

Whatever, post the thread, good luck with that. Peace. Out.

jeric_synergy
09-16-2013, 12:56 PM
I'm not sure this is at all productive: I'd like to see "impossible in LW?" examples, so the clever folks here can shoot them down.

FOR INSTANCE: I saw a MAYA demo where the mocap actions intersected a knee with a mesh: the s/w bit in question was able to OVERLAY an adjustment of only the knee to save the animation. It was quite impressive and obviously useful.

At the time, it seemed to me that something w/DPKit (?? something from Denis) could probably create the same effect, but not being a character animator and being less than clever, I wasn't quite able to suss it out.

Folks chiming in here with "Oh, here's how you do that" would be really useful.

robertoortiz
09-16-2013, 01:44 PM
Look guys,
to be blunt.
I am interested in opinion of ideas for new workflow solutions for next gen 3d app.

That is it. No agenda, no secrets.

I just faith on the new team beign open to new ideas.

If my other threads are a problem, please do contact the administrator of the forum and please do make sure you share opinions.
That is of course your right.

The only reason I post this thread is that I would love to hear YOUR OPINIONS on new workflows.
In my studio, we have philosophy that everyone can comment on a project, and recommend a solution. The senior artists dont assume to have all the answers since we dont.

The idea I want to discuss with the LW impossible threads is present a new generation of requirements that small studios now get bombarded with.
I effect Imagine a new workflow baded on project.

And how we can RETHINK how LW does 3D since lets face it, most workflows are stuck in the 90's.
That is the focus.

If there is a problem with the title, fine ill change it, but the point is talk NEW ideas.
After all the CG workflows we all use (from LW to Maya) are from the freaking 90's for cying out loud.

Change is a good thing in the CG world. ANd i am sorry if I offended anyone.

Dexter2999
09-16-2013, 01:46 PM
Well, perhaps, this thread could be constructive in helping users but developers as well?

Say an issue is posted on something that other packages do but traditionally LW has been thought not to do.
An examination of how other packages accomplish the task compared to a breakdown of how LW might accomplish the task would help users in the short run, but maybe it could demonstrate to LW3DG issues they may want to re-examine things to either make it easier or maybe just possible.

We have seen that LW can do things we thought it couldn't (especially when Denis is cranking out plug ins), but if these things could be layed out in such a way and the data examined perhaps it would demonstrate more fully why this type of work isn't being done in LW. Let's find out if the problem is a lack of knowledge by the userbase or if the workflows are such that it is easier for users to move to other software.

I already believe that LW is handicapped in the showreel area. Part of this is because it is the preferred tool for inexpensive (read "CHEAP") effects work. (Strike 1) That work is being done by small teams of generalists rather than larger teams of specialists. (Strike 2) Or hobbiests who largely don't have in depth knowledge of some things like rigging, texturing, lighting, etc...(Strike 3)

But let's be fair. LW's price point makes it a great package for hobbiests, independents, and small shops. The fact that the user base is largely generalists means it CAN do effects with a smaller workforce. These are really positive things. Fast and cheap...but what people really want is quality. And the LW user base is a fraction of the size of other packages and percentage of high quality work is proportional.

But to get back on topic, people have claimed that LW "can't do good CA", but Chris Jones has demonstated it can. If not on the level of AVATAR, but certainly on a level of POLAR EXPRESS or FINAL FANTASY (the movie.) More of us want to know about these workflows.

robertoortiz
09-16-2013, 01:51 PM
But to get back on topic, people have claimed that LW "can't do good CA", but Chris Jones has demonstated it can. If not on the level of AVATAR, but certainly on a level of POLAR EXPRESS or FINAL FANTASY (the movie.) More of us want to know about these workflows.

Great post.
If I could get the ear of the developers of LW I you strongly suggest for them to do a post mortem on "the Passenger".
What he liked about LW, what he would change.

Ask him, point blank, is you could animated your characters more efficiently, ignoring the LW workflow, how would you do it?

jeric_synergy
09-16-2013, 02:09 PM
Roberto, no worries, but I think the subject line is misleading then.

RebelHill
09-16-2013, 02:12 PM
I dont think anyone finds these threads offensive in any way, Roberto, but I think many find them repetitive and unproductive... tbh, I dont think this'll be any different.

You'll get a whole bunch of suggestions that are tantamount to... "make good rig button"... "make pretty render button"... "make it artist friendly"... All articulated in a very nice, wouldnt it be great, kinda fashion... but as ever, none of it will amount to anything even remotely resembling an actual workflow/tool design with any kind of specifics as to how it could be implemetned. And what'll we have at the end of it... yet another few pages of cloud 9 wishlists intermixed moans and groans about the things that LW doesnt do, or doesnt do well.

IMO, its far better to just be realistic, draw the line on things that are LW either flat out cant do, or which it scrapes together in such a time/quality expensive fashion as to make it economically unviable for production... ignore them to hell and instead focus on what can be achieved productively now. Thus, I think it'd be of far more use to people to not waste any time either griping or daydreaming of an app that aint coming, and to instead focus their attention on learning better the app as it is now, including what makes it tick, and why the current workflows for things are the way they are.

robertoortiz
09-16-2013, 04:06 PM
I dont think anyone finds these threads offensive in any way, Roberto, but I think many find them repetitive and unproductive... tbh, I dont think this'll be any different.

You'll get a whole bunch of suggestions that are tantamount to... "make good rig button"... "make pretty render button"... "make it artist friendly"... All articulated in a very nice, wouldnt it be great, kinda fashion... but as ever, none of it will amount to anything even remotely resembling an actual workflow/tool design with any kind of specifics as to how it could be implemetned. And what'll we have at the end of it... yet another few pages of cloud 9 wishlists intermixed moans and groans about the things that LW doesnt do, or doesnt do well.

.
Ok good points.

The funny thing is that the first project I have in mind is something that with some development effort is doable.
It has ZERO character animation, and it is the kind of project I get often at work.
There is nothing wrong with talking.
And to be fair I do trust the creativity and wit crowd here, and frankly they are quite savvy, and can go beyond the "make good rig button"... "make pretty render button" comments.
A a experienced developer with a degree in computer science, I can attest that 3d apps have some of the most convoluted workflows for an artist app.
For me it is mindblowing the hoops we make the artists jump, so the sake of (and I belive this) folling the tradition of how things have always been done.

Lets try one thread. Nothing gained nothing lost.
And for fun a giggles.

hrgiger
09-16-2013, 05:01 PM
But to get back on topic, people have claimed that LW "can't do good CA", but Chris Jones has demonstated it can. If not on the level of AVATAR, but certainly on a level of POLAR EXPRESS or FINAL FANTASY (the movie.) More of us want to know about these workflows.

What Chris Jones has shown is that one extremely determined artist can do when they push through some of the obvious drawbacks of doing character animation in current day LightWave all the while admitting that some of it was a very head banging process. That doesn't mean that Lightwave is fully suited to doing character work and its just a matter of finding the 'mystery' workflow that he has found that very few others seemed to have. His mystery workflow is pure determination, plain and simple. What is possible in LightWave is a very different thing from what makes sense to do the very same things in LightWave. I certainly believe that anyone who is determined enough can get what they want out of LightWave. But in regards to your pondering if lack of knowledge or workflow that has caused others to move to alternate software, I think it is almost entirely the latter. Chris's recent rigging tests are certainly impressive, especially for LightWave. But let's not get ahead of ourselves by saying that LightWave is suited to doing the kind of work that went into Polar Express or Final Fantasy. Rigging and animation workflows in LightWave are just behind the times compared to the other software that people have left LightWave for. LW3DG knows this and say they are working on it. Remains to be seen.

Which leads into why I feel these threads are just in the end, hot air. I've known a few very talented artists who have left LightWave. Not only because the software became limiting to their particular type of CG work, but also becauuse they feel that their input to Newtek went in one ear and out the other or were just ignored all together. I would hope that LW3DG would be having dialogs with some of these talented people instead of just constantly embracing those who just think that LW is the bees knees the way it is. They don't seem to take criticism, constructive or otherwise, well at all. At least it has seemed that way.

Dexter2999
09-16-2013, 05:26 PM
For example.

Say that the project I am suggesting has a series of logos.
A big part of the requirements is that the logos have to be converter from vector format to a 3d object..

For example the BP logo:
http://www.logotypes101.com/free_vector_logo/11129/BP_vector_logo_download.aspx

Right now, you havea multiple step process to conver the logo into 3d.
And first project I have in mind has a ton of hardcore logo requirements.



the idea of the projects but rethinking the workflow.
1) AImagine hte projects beign Lightwave only
2) Simplicty of workflow.



Isn't this precisely what the 3DARsenal product was targeted at?

Putting that aside, The biggest issues with logos is that (1) most often they are not sent as a Version 8 EPS, (2) are not an EPS at all, or (3) a friggen piece of raster art that someone stuck into the file and "SAVE AS EPS"...like that will magically convert it into vector art.

Other issues with logo artwork is that AI files many times include numerous layers of simulated shading and highlights that you need to remove prior to importing. Or, as an EPS you get a piece of artwork that is shattered into tiny pieces and you have to wade through the fragments of what to keep or discard.

I know of no way to automate the process of cleanup. As for streamlining the process...well, the first thing to come to mind is to expand the Image Editor into Gimp/Inkskape territories. (With Ghostscript to utilize Adobe files.) But this seems like an insane assumption. Why put so much time and energy into recreating something like PS/AI which are ubiquitous in professional circles or Gimp/Inkscape which are free? I don't see an upside to the business end of that. No return on investment.

No, honestly the best way is communicate to the owner of the logo what your needs are in first place. (Which to be fair, only ONCE was I able to communicate to the clients art department directly in about eight years.) This is difficult as communication usually has to traverse a series of intermediaries. Each exchange being an opportunity for miscommunication. And many people are reluctant to give you that type of access, because somehow they feel it is loss of control or diminishes their importance (or "power").

On the one project where I was required to float about 30 logos they were in fact not 3D at all. They were PNG files on transparent cards, and the process was done in AE not LW. The most logos I ever floated in 3D was 12 and I had all of the files because I had created them previously for individual projects which ended with a group spinner.

robertoortiz
09-16-2013, 05:31 PM
LW3DG knows this and say they are working on it. Remains to be seen.
....
Which leads into why I feel these threads are just in the end, hot air. I've known a few very talented artists who have left LightWave. Not only because the software became limiting to their particular type of CG work, but also becauuse they feel that their input to Newtek went in one ear and out the other or were just ignored all together. I would hope that LW3DG would be having dialogs with some of these talented people instead of just constantly embracing those who just think that LW is the bees knees the way it is. They don't seem to take criticism, constructive or otherwise, well at all. At least it has seemed that way.
You are spot on on your points.
And to be honest, I get discouraged. BUt I have been quite impressed with the first true product from the LW3G, Chronosculpt, I feel cautious hope.

Dexter2999
09-16-2013, 05:36 PM
What Chris Jones has shown is that one extremely determined artist can do when they push through some of the obvious drawbacks of doing character animation in current day LightWave all the while admitting that some of it was a very head banging process. That doesn't mean that Lightwave is fully suited to doing character work and its just a matter of finding the 'mystery' workflow that he has found that very few others seemed to have. His mystery workflow is pure determination, plain and simple. What is possible in LightWave is a very different thing from what makes sense to do the very same things in LightWave. I certainly believe that anyone who is determined enough can get what they want out of LightWave. But in regards to your pondering if lack of knowledge or workflow that has caused others to move to alternate software, I think it is almost entirely the latter. Chris's recent rigging tests are certainly impressive, especially for LightWave. But let's not get ahead of ourselves by saying that LightWave is suited to doing the kind of work that went into Polar Express or Final Fantasy. Rigging and animation workflows in LightWave are just behind the times compared to the other software that people have left LightWave for. LW3DG knows this and say they are working on it. Remains to be seen.

Which leads into why I feel these threads are just in the end, hot air. I've known a few very talented artists who have left LightWave. Not only because the software became limiting to their particular type of CG work, but also becauuse they feel that their input to Newtek went in one ear and out the other or were just ignored all together. I would hope that LW3DG would be having dialogs with some of these talented people instead of just constantly embracing those who just think that LW is the bees knees the way it is. They don't seem to take criticism, constructive or otherwise, well at all. At least it has seemed that way.

I see your point, honestly, and I agree to a point.

This is the exact reason I said we need to look at what LW has to do to accomplish things done in other packages, and examine the process. Maybe the LW3DG isn't ready to rewrite the deformation code, but maybe they are prepared to take on smaller project that would take some of the "head banging" out of the project.

In short, he has a process.
What is the process?
What are the limits and problems of the process?
Could these issues be addressed any easier than fundamental re-writes?

From his thread, Denis has certainly done his part (in a near super human effort from where I'm standing...those turn around times were amazing!) Can the Dev. team do anything more on their part to further facilitate things?

There are still "bugs" or "kinks" in the system. Lets analyze it and see who can do what to make it work better.

VonBon
09-16-2013, 06:18 PM
I would like Newtek to give us some idea as to
what areas of Lightwave they are currently
working on so that we can focus our efforts in
the right direction.

jeric_synergy
09-16-2013, 10:27 PM
Indeed: we can make suggestions until we're blue in the face, and HAVE, and with no reaction at all from NewTek it's pretty frustrating.

A shotgun blast of suggestions, while easy to generate, aren't really useful to anyone.

As to Chris Jones, we need to video him for hours and hours and see exactly what in LW slows him down most. :)

Dexter2999
09-16-2013, 11:20 PM
Well, Chris is posting what he can of his process. If others follow it and collectively find the same problems we can begin to narrow "scatter" of the suggestions. We might find the problem is endemic to the process and insurmoutnable, or we might find something the dev's think is "doable"

jeric_synergy
09-16-2013, 11:30 PM
By no means think I'm not grateful for Chris' posts: but a semi-scientific observation/analysis of his process would doubtless be worth quantifying.

50one
09-17-2013, 12:02 AM
Indeed: we can make suggestions until we're blue in the face, and HAVE, and with no reaction at all from NewTek it's pretty frustrating.

A shotgun blast of suggestions, while easy to generate, aren't really useful to anyone.


I would like Newtek to give us some idea as to
what areas of Lightwave they are currently
working on so that we can focus our efforts in
the right direction.

Agree with tou guys. Truth is, that's the case with almost all software vendors, they all say that they're listening to their userbase and all that marketing crap, but reality is that smaller companies are 10 times more likely to listen...once you'll get a board of directors and fifty other people in the process of making anything it just complicates the user/software relations. Same goes for Modo, been using it since 201 times and the thread on Lux forums with the 'wishlists for xxx' version always appear after the current release(lol) although they're quite civil and most people would like to get some basic stuff added, it never really happens. That's life unfortuntelly, threads like this are absolutely pointless, waste your time and waste the kilobytes in the MySQL database...:)

geo_n
09-17-2013, 12:36 AM
Why discuss projects? Its too big a scope. Discuss tools and how it should be developed. That's how projects are done anyway. A good cg studio would have a developer writing tools for artists to use immediately. Doesn't even have to be pretty all the time. Same for lw. We probably don't know even half of the tools written for lw somewhere in lw based studios. Tools created for terranova, bsg, etc, or tools created by faulknermano, xxchrisxx for lw maya pipeline how they helped lw to be relevant in production. What made lightwave perform and be relevant in these studios should be studied by lightwave group and get the tools to the consumer level. Isn't that how AD expanded some of their toolseet by coordinating closely with highend studios then sharing those custom studio tools to make AD products better?

erikals
09-17-2013, 07:09 AM
fix the CA lacks.
speed up LightWave.

that's all we need...

Hail
09-17-2013, 07:53 AM
fix the CA lacks.
speed up LightWave.

that's all we need...

..and the useless undo system:(

erikals
09-17-2013, 08:32 AM
sorta, some undo tricks >

Lightwave plugin - AHK, Save Selection
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i1d1Gxf6I8

Lightwave test - Surface Undo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tH0NhDok-A

hrgiger
09-17-2013, 08:58 AM
fix the CA lacks.
speed up LightWave.

that's all we need...

You're joking right?

erikals
09-17-2013, 09:02 AM
ups, typo, that's all "i" need... ;]

jeric_synergy
09-17-2013, 09:03 AM
Are there any NUMBERS on how much CA actually gets done in LW's target demographic?

For instance, I'd find "Better text handling" far Far FAR more useful. (Text modeling is ridiculously lame. LWM doesn't even find all the fonts one has installed.)

robertoortiz
09-17-2013, 09:25 AM
In short, he has a process.
What is the process?
What are the limits and problems of the process?
Could these issues be addressed any easier than fundamental re-writes?

From his thread, Denis has certainly done his part (in a near super human effort from where I'm standing...those turn around times were amazing!) Can the Dev. team do anything more on their part to further facilitate things?

There are still "bugs" or "kinks" in the system. Lets analyze it and see who can do what to make it work better.

Agree with this post 100%

robertoortiz
09-20-2013, 06:06 AM
Are there any NUMBERS on how much CA actually gets done in LW's target demographic?

For instance, I'd find "Better text handling" far Far FAR more useful. (Text modeling is ridiculously lame. LWM doesn't even find all the fonts one has installed.)
Guys I wanted to invite all of you for the first lw impposible thread.
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?137769-LW-IMPPOSIBLE-THREAD-001-quot-Ocean-of-OIL-quot-Dynamic-Fonts-Shader-Morphing-Advanced&p=1345720#post1345720



I posted this today on the first LW impossible thread.

Lets talk Dynamic Fonts
I am sorry for the info dump guys, But I wanted to show the kind of requirements we get all the time.
Lets focus the conversation and concentrate on ONE thing.

On the script hidden within it there is requirement for a count-up clock.It counted from
1911 to the present.
The thing is that the clock has to change font types every decade
The fonts would be.
Times New Roman
Futura
Peignot
Flieger Pro
Eurostyle Font
Avant Garde Gothic.
Avant-Garde Font
Font Haus
Helvetica

This is somethign that After effect could od with ease, but the client wants the text to interact with the environment.

How could Lw implement this?

-R
Please do join me at the LW impossible thread. The first post has all the requirements (script/storyboard) off a project that needs those font requirements from LW. And please do be patient with the first post. It is info dump of epic proportions.

OFF
09-22-2013, 10:49 AM
erikals:
fix the CA lacks.
speed up LightWave.

that's all we need... + Brute force GI improvements! :)