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View Full Version : Liberty3d.com Citizen's review of 3rd Powers Toolset



Ryan Roye
02-10-2014, 07:27 PM
Does it live up to the hype? What does it look like? Limitations or areas of improvement? I talk about it in this video:


http://youtu.be/zrzUHuSKYv4

http://www.3rdpowers.com/

Ryan Roye
02-11-2014, 08:58 AM
Something else I thought should be mentioned concerning "3rdPowers Cage Deformer vs. Chronosculpt" which is a comparison i've seen made more than a few times. Here's my analysis based on my experience with both tools:

Cage Deformer is far better for working with low-to-medium detail meshes because you get the benefit of a "sculpting" workflow directly in Lightwave and don't have to lose any element of preview-ability in order to make edits. One can make the mesh deformations work with existing rigs, and no MDD baking/export/import is required (you will have to export MDD to share work with people who do not have the plugins, however). As said in the video, the work done in CageDeformer can be layered on top of existing rigs; something Chronosculpt doesn't do.

Chronosculpt is better for high-poly meshes and completely obliterates Cage Deformer in terms of performance; removing the worry of mesh density, detail, etc affecting feedback while editing. The timeline is easier to manage and is scalable with bezier-editing available. One can motion-sculpt the entire character without consequence and with much greater control rather than just a small section of them, or having to worry about the density of the "Cage" limiting control. Chronosculpt also has mirror-editing capabilities unlike Cage Deformer.

So, consider the two tools best suitable for specific scenarios. If you need performance and ability to handle whatever meshes are thrown at you and want the greatest amount of control, get Chronosculpt. If you don't work with super dense models and/or want to keep your whole workflow in Lightwave, go with CageDeformer. Both are great tools, but how useful they are to any user strongly depends on their needs as an animator!

jeric_synergy
02-11-2014, 09:26 AM
:thumbsup: Loving the porny music bed at the top!

erikals
02-11-2014, 10:57 AM
thank you for post #2 also...

confirmed what i though, luckily i'm a low-poly-person... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

prometheus
02-11-2014, 12:32 PM
wow..nice...good informative showcase there.

I didnīt know the metamesh worked interactivly like that, and with booleans.
Have to take a deeper look at this, is the bundle still valid? or is that too late?

Michael

Oedo 808
02-11-2014, 01:21 PM
wow..nice...good informative showcase there.

I didnīt know the metamesh worked interactivly like that, and with booleans.
Have to take a deeper look at this, is the bundle still valid? or is that too late?

Michael

The bundle option is no longer up on the store.

prometheus
02-11-2014, 01:28 PM
The bundle option is no longer up on the store.


Ahh..to bad, they should have had such video demonstration available earlier..showcasing it this way...The plugin isnīt even in the lightwave plugin database, last updated news for any plugin
is october 2013.

So I might only get metamesh..or save for something bigger like the full modo and metafusion.

Michael

Ryan Roye
02-11-2014, 01:37 PM
The bundle option is no longer up on the store.

The discounted bundle benefit people who wanted to buy CageDeformer the most (since its priced at $199). So, if one is more a modeler/designer than anything else and has no need for cage deformer, know that folks who fall into that category aren't missing much in terms of savings. Metamesh can also perform boolean-like functions, so if one were to pick only 1 tool from the whole set, that's the one to grab.

Oedo 808
02-11-2014, 02:07 PM
Ahh..to bad, they should have had such video demonstration available earlier..showcasing it this way...The plugin isnīt even in the lightwave plugin database, last updated news for any plugin
is october 2013.

So I might only get metamesh..or save for something bigger like the full modo and metafusion.

Michael

Yeah, it wasn't really a hard sell was it. Maybe Matt or someone could drop them a line and offer to do a quick promo for them if they or any other outfit the LWG know of have some other products to release. I can only assume that perhaps the language barrier played a part in there being a skimpy promo, and it's in LW's interest that these things get pushed, as this thread has demonstrated I guess.


The discounted bundle benefit people who wanted to buy CageDeformer the most (since its priced at $199). So, if one is more a modeler/designer than anything else and has no need for cage deformer, know that folks who fall into that category aren't missing much in terms of savings. Metamesh can also perform boolean-like functions, so if one were to pick only 1 tool from the whole set, that's the one to grab.

I agree, while the offer was still going I picked up MetaMesh and HeatShrink+, deciding that the full package wasn't for me. I really like HeatShrink+, when you are fitting a low cage mesh to a higher density model, HeatShrink can be a bit awkward with sharp angles, but using Wrap with HeatShrink+ to smooth things out then Normal you conform to the surface is really quite good.

jeric_synergy
02-11-2014, 07:04 PM
??? If the video they had didn't convince you, I don't know why this one would do any better. I definitely woulda jumped if I had the funds.

I'm not sure HOW far backwards it's reasonable to ask a vendor to bend. I think 3rd Powers did their bit already.

erikals
02-11-2014, 07:40 PM
each to his own i guess...

Oedo 808
02-11-2014, 08:25 PM
??? If the video they had didn't convince you, I don't know why this one would do any better. I definitely woulda jumped if I had the funds.

I'm not sure HOW far backwards it's reasonable to ask a vendor to bend. I think 3rd Powers did their bit already.

You've got to be ****ing kidding me, look at what is already available as demo for MeshFusion or whatever Modo's offering is.

@erikals, another post where I haven't got a clue which way the sentiment is directed, but if you feel that the promo skimming over each plug-in was ample, I'd be surprised.

In some ways I want to say, no skin off my nose but if LW affiliated plug-ins suffer, their development and the propensity for future development suffers, and that is skin off my nose.

Ryan Roye
02-11-2014, 09:04 PM
In some ways I want to say, no skin off my nose but if LW affiliated plug-ins suffer, their development and the propensity for future development suffers, and that is skin off my nose.

I agree completely, which is one (of many) reasons why I make videos like this. Good tools and good content needs to be put out there and sometimes the developer, artist, or whomever cannot communicate the benefit of their work or the tools they use effectively alone. In regards to 3rd Powers's demo video... yes it did show what the tools do, but they did nothing to ease the anxiety factor that potential customers could have. People don't like having any aspect of their investment be unknown and eliminating the mystery eliminates the anxiety and helps the person feel better about buying... and helps ensure that only satisfied customers will get their hands on the product and therefor reduces negative feedback and increases recommendations; that's just speaking from my own personal experience as a consumer.

Granted, historically programmers have never been the greatest marketing gurus so it could definitely be worse in terms of presentation.

EDIT: Also, think about the lack of mention in regards to documentation and sample scenes... for all the buyer knows, these tools could have lacked either and communicating their existence *BEFORE* the user buys would go a long way to help ease that fogginess there.

erikals
02-12-2014, 02:03 AM
@Oedo 808, also see post #4
no, i just don't understand why the jeric_synergy always have to be annoyed about this and that...
it's like the 20th time he is disappointed... but i guess that's how synergy gets his energy.

to me this video was insightful, even just a confirmation on something can be valuable.

Waves of light
02-12-2014, 02:25 AM
Ryan, thanks for taking the time to put this up. You showcased each function really well and it gave me all the information I require to make a decision on purchasing all or individual plugins. I do, however, have one question: The boolean operations (around 5:44) - the cuts in the bottom section of your example (so the circles and the smiley face) seem to join the out and inner mesh with edges, yet the top, larger box cuts don't. Is that a setting or a bug?

120126

geo_n
02-12-2014, 02:41 AM
I liked it so much I watched it twice. Ryan is a natural mentor and presentation is always funny and interesting. You should be offering training in schools as a profession.

erikals
02-12-2014, 03:14 AM
You should be offering training in schools as a profession.

+5 http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif


just a note, one thing about Cage Deformer is that it cannot save poses.

prometheus
02-12-2014, 05:29 AM
I liked it so much I watched it twice. Ryan is a natural mentor and presentation is always funny and interesting. You should be offering training in schools as a profession.

agreed...good voice and presentation technique.

the metamesh presentation from 3d powers site is a timelapse, not showing wireframes of the metamesh either by the way, and it is more interesting and properly presented when you can hear a voice over and
get feedback at true time recording, it was just more informative.

Michael

Ryan Roye
02-12-2014, 05:59 AM
just a note, one thing about Cage Deformer is that it cannot save poses.

It can't save/load motions either, so as I mentioned in the YouTube comments the lamp example in my opinion can be impractical if the user ends up wanting to save/re-use motions or set up constraint dependencies (directly with the rig, not like shown in the 3P demo) which can't be done in Cage Deformer. IE: If I wanted something to wrap around the lamp's head, without the benefit of complicated point-info constraints I have no way to determine where everything should stick because there's nothing to select, and the object is being driven by things inaccessible to the rest of LW. The lamp example I'd only ever recommend doing if one is really pressed for time and they just need to get the darn thing moving as quickly as possible (one-time-use assets fall into this category).

No one should consider it a complete replacement for rigging certain things at this stage; I don't recommend using Cage Deformer for motion elements of a character which you intend to re-use, transfer between scenes, etc as it can lead to wasted work; it is far better and more efficient to use it for detailing existing animation on an existing rig and its motions.

Ryan Roye
02-12-2014, 06:28 AM
Is that a setting or a bug?120126

I'm probably not the best to ask... regardless I provided a second quick video which will hopefully answer the question. I don't believe the inner/edge wires will join up with the existing mesh from my observations (which is what the tunnel option is for?)


http://youtu.be/PJR5w4Zx8rs

Waves of light
02-12-2014, 06:45 AM
Hey Ryan. Thanks for the second video. That sort of clears it up. I can see that you're using Catmull-Clark. If you use subpatch and run boolean operations with Meta-Mesh does in then try to preserve quad and tris polys?

Sorry again for the detailed questions, you insights are really appreciated.

Ryan Roye
02-12-2014, 07:29 AM
I can see that you're using Catmull-Clark. If you use subpatch and run boolean operations with Meta-Mesh does in then try to preserve quad and tris polys?

Mostly? I see MetaMesh being better for curved booleans/fusions, but it'll always try to put triangles/quads at the edges/interiors which can make things more workable than booleans in some cases. See video for some more demos:


http://youtu.be/NNSX5X8S03w

As noted somewhere in the other 3rdpowers thread, it seems optimal to use MetaMesh with objects that have similar levels of polygon density.

Waves of light
02-12-2014, 07:41 AM
Mostly? I see MetaMesh being better for curved booleans/fusions, but it'll always try to put triangles/quads at the edges/interiors which can make things more workable than booleans in some cases.

As noted somewhere in the other 3rdpowers thread, it seems optimal to use MetaMesh with objects that have similar levels of polygon density.

Well, I'm sold on MetaMesh and Boolean Tools. I can see that if you were to use, as you say, boolean cutting objects with similar mesh density (all quads and tris) then the cuts are cleaner. It looks such a time saver.

Thanks again for the vids Ryan.

Ricky.

jeric_synergy
02-12-2014, 10:59 AM
I too find Chazriker's presentations pleasant, and his voice especially so.

I wasn't slagging this presentation, it's nice and detailed AND it's from a user, not the vendor: my badly made point was that the vendor's presentation certainly sold me on the utility of the tools. Chazriker's additions are just frosting on the delicious cake.

But, yes, my bad: the vendor should certainly have included the information that sample scenes were included (Why they didn't, who knows? After spending that effort it would certainly make sense to add it to the marketing.)

Snosrap
02-12-2014, 11:54 AM
I do, however, have one question: The boolean operations (around 5:44) - the cuts in the bottom section of your example (so the circles and the smiley face) seem to join the out and inner mesh with edges, yet the top, larger box cuts don't. Is that a setting or a bug?
120126

That's just due to the subtracting object being square vs. round/cylinder. Even LW's own booleans work like that. :)

Waves of light
02-12-2014, 12:30 PM
Thanks Tim, that makes sense, I suppose. I think, because I'd seen MetaMesh 'fix' the mesh after a boolean, that I was expecting the boolean tool to o the same.

Cheers,

Ricky.