PDA

View Full Version : Making an Animated Movie with Lightwave?



Airwaves
04-22-2014, 02:40 PM
For several years now I have wanted to make a full length animated movie and plan on doing so. As I have talked with different people in the film industry, animators and animation schools about the possibility, I would get the same information about which software to use and such. What got me interested in making a movie was Lightwave and as I have researched the possibility of starting this endeavor it got me wondering why Lightwave canít be the major software used in the pipeline?

I realize that a lot of the modeling can be done in other programs and zbrush is pretty popular to many people here in Utah, but I want to know as far as the majority of the animation sequences if you guys believe it could be done mainly with Lightwave?

Feel free to share your thoughts as I am anxious to hear what my Lightwave group thinks.

ernpchan
04-22-2014, 02:53 PM
It certainly could be. If you want to do high quality animation, while LightWave is certainly a possibility, another program like Maya or supplementing LightWave with something like messiah might be a better option. It's not that LightWave can't do good animation, but it does have some limitations compared to a program like Maya. Because time is money, unless this is a free pet project for you, using the most efficient tools would be best to be efficient.

Doing a feature is going to be a lot of work regardless of the program you use. There's more to doing a project of this scale than just having a good idea. There's script, storyboards, casting, asset creation, music, post production, and so on.

Doing a short would be a good project. It'll give you a taste of the process without being overwhelmed. Some studios use shorts to test their RnD and etc before pushing things to the larger production pipelines.

Oldcode
04-22-2014, 03:01 PM
Lightwave is a good program to have in your toolbox, but unless you know the program very very well, it can't be everything.

I use a few different programs to get effects I need, but then I bring most of that stuff into Lightwave for the final rendering. I'm not a pro. This is just a hobby for me that keeps me out of trouble, or gets me into trouble depending on your point of view. It's a constant learning process. And I agree with Ernpchan, start with small shorts and use them as learning experiances.

The programs I use include...

Lightwave 11.6
Poser Pro 2014
Bryce
Real Flow 2013 Learning Edition

Good Luck,

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 03:12 PM
Thank you for your comment. I do agree that a short would be a good way to start and that is part of the business plan right now.

I appreciate what you said about supplementing because I have always wanted to use members strengths and many of the people here use Maya. I originally started to learn in Maya but for me personally I found it much easier and faster with lightwave but I have always been better at over seeing projects as a whole than doing the animation myself. Thanks

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 03:14 PM
I know that post production will obviously entail a lot more than just lightwave but I really like hearing your points of view on this. Have any of you worked on an animated short that turned into something larger?

ernpchan
04-22-2014, 03:26 PM
Have any of you worked on an animated short that turned into something larger?

My senior project was my reel which helped me get a job. Does that count? :D

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 04:38 PM
My senior project was my reel which helped me get a job. Does that count? :D

That counts in my opinion. :thumbsup:

I have worked with quite a few beginning animators just out of college and I usually see the same thing, their project reel is what helped them get the job.

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 04:42 PM
Lightwave is a good program to have in your toolbox, but unless you know the program very very well, it can't be everything.

I use a few different programs to get effects I need, but then I bring most of that stuff into Lightwave for the final rendering. I'm not a pro. This is just a hobby for me that keeps me out of trouble, or gets me into trouble depending on your point of view. It's a constant learning process.

Good Luck,

So if this is a hobby what do you do as a day job if you do not mind me asking? I worked as an accountant for about 7 years and tried several different businesses until I got enough experience to venture into this last one making animated math videos for elementary schools.

erikals
04-22-2014, 04:59 PM
LightWave is very capable these days, for VFX, Cartoons, ArchViz, Modeling

check some of my links in my signature,

also check out 3 party plugins such as,
TurbulenceFD
3rd Powers Lattice
LWCad
Octane
DPont

if you wanna be a 3D generalist, then LightWave is a very good choice imo...

Ryan Roye
04-22-2014, 05:00 PM
I've created over an hour's worth of abundantly-animated content for our series of Delura (www.delura.tanadrine.com) almost entirely in Lightwave. I will say that getting things where I want them to be in terms of quality and production speed has been incredibly challenging; this is the kind of stuff normally tackled by a full-time team of 4-5 people at bare minimum (which I do part-time mostly by myself)... and even then that's considered a skeleton crew. No software in existence remedies entirely the sheer amount of work required to get this stuff going mostly or completely solo; you still have to come up with the idea, write, re-write, direct (if you have voice actors), create assets, animate, light, render, edit, audio editing, etc etc, and know that research and development will take at least 40% of your time if not more due to having to wear all the hats in a multi-disciplinary marathon. It takes a long time to gain enough knowledge to become skilled at every area of a program like Lightwave... and even then you have to understand concepts that lie outside of the program (IE: alpha channels for images, video editing, and so on)

In my opinion Lightwave is the very best program for this kind of stuff... so long as you grab the right 3rd party tools (both commercial and non-commercial). I used to say Lightwave deformation capabilities left something to be desired until 3rdpowers stepped in and re-defined what was possible and practical... sculpt-editing bullet dynamics is really fun and convenient :)

The final thing I should mention is this:

Work within your means and avoid complicating things without extremely good reasons to do so. You aren't a behemoth of artists stacked a mile high like Dreamworks/Pixar so it is foolish to try to emulate that level of production as what they do represents decades worth of work for a single person. Be efficient, and only focus on what *really* matters... the best 3d production software on the planet won't cure poor writing!

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 05:13 PM
Thank you Chazriker,
I totally agree with you. When I start I plan on having around 40 to 50 people on the project for the short and maybe more when it builds into more than that. A few years back I started my own business in a totally different field along with a friend of mine. I ended up being the jack of all trades and wore too many hats. Losing that business was hard but a worth while lesson as it taught me a lot.

Lightwave does seem to offer so much that I personally believe that it could be at least 50% if not more of the pipeline I would need. Thanks

ernpchan
04-22-2014, 05:15 PM
When I start I plan on having around 40 to 50 people on the project for the short and maybe more when it builds into more than that.

Is this a paid project? That number of people is almost like a full on animation-studio.

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 05:49 PM
Is this a paid project? That number of people is almost like a full on animation-studio.

This would be a paid project and I do plan on starting an animation studio for the full movie. I realize this is a massive endeavor and not easy by any means but eventually it will happen. To be completely honest I am better at getting investors and the business side of things than animating. I do agree with you all that a short is the best way to start and get enough people with the right skill set on board. If I need to pay people for the short I can do that but would rather get people who want to be part of the studio.

ernpchan
04-22-2014, 05:58 PM
Good luck. As someone who's been at major studios for the last 10+ years, it's no small task to create a successful animation studio with a population that large.

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 06:03 PM
Good luck. As someone who's been at major studios for the last 10+ years, it's no small task to create a successful animation studio with a population that large.

Thank you. It will be very hard and there will be some hard times I am sure but I would hate to look back 30 years from now and wonder what would have happened if I did try.

I really think you are right about doing the short first, I wanted to get the short done to test the waters. By the way that is so cool that you have got the opportunity to work for a major studio, I have heard of numerous people tell me they cannot find work.

ernpchan
04-22-2014, 06:09 PM
By the way that is so cool that you have got the opportunity to work for a major studio, I have heard of numerous people tell me they cannot find work.

A lot of it is about being in the right place at the right time and I've been very lucky at that. Also, this isn't the type of industry where just because you have a reel/diploma you're qualified for a job. I think a lot of people have the misconception that just because they fire up the program or go through a program they're instantly qualified.

jeric_synergy
04-22-2014, 06:16 PM
40-50 people? That's bigger than most Seattle production houses. 'Wayyyy bigger.

OTOH, getting inve$tors is a FAR rarer skill than animation, so....

ANYWAY, if you haven't already done some pretty significant projects, I'd say don't even do a "short": do A JOKE. There's plenty of work to experience even in this joke:


A horse walks into a saloon. The barkeep asks "Why the long face?" The horse shoots him.

In my storyboard for this:

it's an Old-West saloon. There's a tonne of modeling right there.
The horse is a bipedal gun-slinger type (think "Quickdraw MacGraw", but darker, more Lee van Cleef). There's some non-human character modeling.
Long duster on the horse. There's fabric animation, and secondary animation.
The barkeep is human: human modeling, with lipsync: clothing, hair, skin.
The "extras" in the saloon are chickens. Chickens playing poker.
Footfalls and spurs jingling: sound effects
Western? Dust in the air: volumetrics

(this is why I can't get anything done: I can't simplify worth a damn.)

So, even the SHORTEST of "shorts" can involve a LOT of work. Just sayin'. Good luck.
121581 121582

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 07:16 PM
I've created over an hour's worth of abundantly-animated content for our series of Delura (www.delura.tanadrine.com) almost entirely in Lightwave. I will say that getting things where I want them to be in terms of quality and production speed has been incredibly challenging; this is the kind of stuff normally tackled by a full-time team of 4-5 people at bare minimum (which I do part-time mostly by myself)... and even then that's considered a skeleton crew. No software in existence remedies entirely the sheer amount of work required to get this stuff going mostly or completely solo; you still have to come up with the idea, write, re-write, direct (if you have voice actors), create assets, animate, light, render, edit, audio editing, etc etc, and know that research and development will take at least 40% of your time if not more due to having to wear all the hats in a multi-disciplinary marathon. It takes a long time to gain enough knowledge to become skilled at every area of a program like Lightwave... and even then you have to understand concepts that lie outside of the program (IE: alpha channels for images, video editing, and so on)

In my opinion Lightwave is the very best program for this kind of stuff... so long as you grab the right 3rd party tools (both commercial and non-commercial). I used to say Lightwave deformation capabilities left something to be desired until 3rdpowers stepped in and re-defined what was possible and practical... sculpt-editing bullet dynamics is really fun and convenient :)

The final thing I should mention is this:

Work within your means and avoid complicating things without extremely good reasons to do so. You aren't a behemoth of artists stacked a mile high like Dreamworks/Pixar so it is foolish to try to emulate that level of production as what they do represents decades worth of work for a single person. Be efficient, and only focus on what *really* matters... the best 3d production software on the planet won't cure poor writing!


For dong Delura part time almost by yourself is amazing! I just got done watching some of the episodes. That is awesome!

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 07:24 PM
A lot of it is about being in the right place at the right time and I've been very lucky at that. Also, this isn't the type of industry where just because you have a reel/diploma you're qualified for a job. I think a lot of people have the misconception that just because they fire up the program or go through a program they're instantly qualified.

I totally agree with you on that. I got my degree in accounting but not from one of the big schools so there was no recruiting whatsoever (they have a lot of that for auditing). If you did not get recruited you had to prove that you were qualified to employers but really it boiled down to knowing the right people and a little bit of luck. Now getting a good accounting job is even easier than animation jobs right now so I can only imagine how tough it is.

OnlineRender
04-22-2014, 07:25 PM
Good luck. As someone who's been at major studios for the last 10+ years, it's no small task to create a successful animation studio with a population that large.

was thinking the same ...

Airwaves I admire your determination and drive but I think you need to ground yourself a little .... 20 + people is huge let alone 40+ ,

firstly get a small team of 4 people and get an animatic or pilot out the door,it will give you a good indication of how things will pan out and it will also give you a chance to R&D , it's sounding very indie atm are you thinking crowd funding ?

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 07:31 PM
40-50 people? That's bigger than most Seattle production houses. 'Wayyyy bigger.

OTOH, getting inve$tors is a FAR rarer skill than animation, so....


So, even the SHORTEST of "shorts" can involve a LOT of work. Just sayin'. Good luck.
121581 121582

That is a big dream that is for sure and I may not even need that many people but we will have to cross that bridge when I get there.

Ok, so I really like the way you broke down the storyboard into a JOKE. Sounds like you have done stuff like this before?

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 07:39 PM
was thinking the same ...

Airwaves I admire your determination and drive but I think you need to ground yourself a little .... 20 + people is huge let alone 40+ ,

firstly get a small team of 4 people and get an animatic or pilot out the door,it will give you a good indication of how things will pan out and it will also give you a chance to R&D , it's sounding very indie atm are you thinking crowd funding ?

You definitely are right. I kind of blurted out the end goal but I need to start small and this is one reason why I wanted to get advice from this forum. As for the funding I have several options ranging from a list of private investors to crowd funding. Crowd funding is great for a lot of things and I can tell you all the wrong ways to do it since I have been there. Since I have been in different types of businesses before I kind of lean more towards the investors but crowd funding is a great way to test the waters but can stink really bad if your investor comes across a failed campaign. (not fun, let me tell you)

For the animated short I have also talked with some animation schools about working on the short but was afraid it would take too long and not look the way I want it to. Again I do not have the experience that many of you have so all this information is really good to hear.

ernpchan
04-22-2014, 07:43 PM
Hopefully you have a sound business plan in place. When you say movie are you actually thinking theatrical? Cuz finding a distributor will be very very difficult without an established reputation let alone capital to create the prints and market the product.

DTV is probably easier but of course you'll have less exposure and therefore eyeballs.

ernpchan
04-22-2014, 07:48 PM
Webisodes could be an option. YouTube already has the infrastructure to get to people. You just have to provide quality content. It'll let you focus on the product without getting overwhelmed with all the other stuff. Then grow from there. Some cartoons were born out of someone's short or Webisodes.

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 07:49 PM
Hopefully you have a sound business plan in place. When you say movie are you actually thinking theatrical? Cuz finding a distributor will be very very difficult without an established reputation let alone capital to create the prints and market the product.

DTV is probably easier but if course you'll have less exposure and therefore eyeballs.

Theatrical would be the goal but I will be honest that I have looked into other avenues because realistically that would be very difficult unless a big company picks it up after liking the short but that is a long long long shot. The funny part about Utah is that just being here makes it even harder in that arena. LOL

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 07:57 PM
Webisodes could be an option. YouTube already had the infrastructure to get to people. You just have to provide quality content. It'll let you focus on the product without getting overwhelmed with all the other stuff. Then grow from there. Some cartoons were born out of someone's short or Webisodes.

That is a great option. Thank you.

ernpchan
04-22-2014, 07:57 PM
Yeah I notice you're in Utah. When I was in college my concentration teacher said you're gonna have to move to Los Angeles. No matter what people say, Hollywood is still a sexy word. So if you wanna get into entertainment you're gonna have to move.

The online world has democratized what people can accomplish. More people watch content online than on TV and in theaters now.

jeric_synergy
04-22-2014, 08:29 PM
Ok, so I really like the way you broke down the storyboard into a JOKE. Sounds like you have done stuff like this before?
Not really, although I've had a lot of video production experience. My animation experience is more along the lines of classic "flying logo" stuff.

However, that joke scenario was one I roughed out when I was trying to (and didn't) learn Blender. -- It was a big surprise to me that a lot of directors DO NOT "see a movie in their heads" before shooting. That's an option for video/film production, not so much for animation.

It's a two edged sword: an accurate estimate of what's REALLY going to be involved can be pretty disheartening. Ignorance can be bliss. But the ability to anticipate requirements makes scheduling and work distribution .... possible.

I just turned down a job because my estimate was 8 hours. The director thought it should be possible in "a couple hours". Perhaps for some people, but not me, and I've worked with him before so I know what a poor communicator he is, so my estimate "cost" me the gig. But my stomach thanked me.

++++
One good paradigm for getting up to speed is "Robot Chicken" : they are the masters of the quick gag.

Airwaves
04-22-2014, 08:46 PM
Not really, although I've had a lot of video production experience. My animation experience is more along the lines of classic "flying logo" stuff.

However, that joke scenario was one I roughed out when I was trying to (and didn't) learn Blender. -- It was a big surprise to me that a lot of directors DO NOT "see a movie in their heads" before shooting. That's an option for video/film production, not so much for animation.

It's a two edged sword: an accurate estimate of what's REALLY going to be involved can be pretty disheartening. Ignorance can be bliss. But the ability to anticipate requirements makes scheduling and work distribution .... possible.

I just turned down a job because my estimate was 8 hours. The director thought it should be possible in "a couple hours". Perhaps for some people, but not me, and I've worked with him before so I know what a poor communicator he is, so my estimate "cost" me the gig. But my stomach thanked me.

++++
One good paradigm for getting up to speed is "Robot Chicken" : they are the masters of the quick gag.

I understand what you mean. I think in part that is why the vfx industry is suffering because directors can see several versions without paying more.
I do the same thing with some of the animations I do but since I do it for elementary students they may not care how well the animation looks.

jeric_synergy
04-22-2014, 10:21 PM
I wanted to ask: what are the nature of the math animations? More mograph, or what?

Ryan Roye
04-22-2014, 10:31 PM
From my vantage point, a well-rounded team of artists that could complete a full length movie in a reasonable amount of time and at a decent quality in Lightwave based on my own experience would consist of the following (this assumes that careful attention has been applied to coordinate and organize this team):

- 2x Project Manager/Directors and/or supervisors
- Voice Actors (using Delura as a reference, I have approximately 7 people who do all the vocals, including myself)
- 3x modelers (sharing the tasks of texturing, surfacing, prepping assets/backgrounds for the animators)
- 3x general animators (who can complete at minimum 30 seconds of detail full body animation a day per character. This does not count high-detail facial movements.)
- 1x technical animator (dynamics, effects work)
- 1x Lighting/rendering artist (who utilizes available post-production friendly rendering practices)
- Audio editor/foley
- 1x Post production and video editor

So, not counting the voice actors that's about 12 people. This is mainly to minimize any "hat-switching" the crew must perform to keep efficiency high. This list also assumes that people in their respective slots are highly focused in their assigned areas of expertise. The modelers must know how to properly prepare geometry for even for characters, the animators (at least here) must know all aspects of rigging, motion etc.

Workload intensity of each shot is also a huge variable of course... the project manager/director needs to understand the demands of each phase of the production process. A shot of a bar with lots of people in it doing a lot of different things is going to require a lot more time and attention than someone sitting in a car by themselves and driving with a repeating or blurred background.

geo_n
04-22-2014, 11:23 PM
40 to 50 is a lot of people. One of my collegues who worked for squaresoft subsidiary had 40 people in their studio and not all are artists. It got dissolved though since its hard to maintain that many people.
Most productions working on commercials, game cinematics are under 10 people. Mostly made up of 3d and comp, sound guys.
Lightwave is still capable and still has some studios using it for pachinco and game cinematics, anime, commercials. You just need to find and hire lw users which is rare nowadays.

SquishyAni
04-23-2014, 12:03 AM
Hello there Airwaves, you have friends nearby, specifically here in Orem, Utah.

In answer to your question, we are currently working on an animated short, getting up to about 7 min. All done in Lightwave, and Composited in AE and Premiere. Final Cut also if we need. Been taking a while since we need to pay the bills with actual contracts. Currently we are doing a lot of work for the Upcoming FantasyCon in Salt Lake City, July 3-5. Not trying to Plug it, just letting you know if you see a 3D Dragon for FantasyCon, that is all Lightwave.

Lightwave has been able to fulfill all our needs for an animation pipeline. Granted, we are only a small team of two. As such, we need to wear tons of hats and lightwave helps us EASILY do that. I used Maya in my school of animation and in my experience, it did not make it EASY to be able to switch from one hat to the next. It seemed you needed a larger specialized team to get the most power out of Maya. For a smaller team, though, lightwave has a TON of power out of the box, without the need to be a programmer or script writer (which is what I found a Maya team needed).

In all honesty, there is no reason as to why you couldn't do a complete animation in Lightwave. I agree with the others that have mentioned that a successful animation is STORY and CHARACTER. Can't stress that enough. Take "Battle for Terra" for example. Completely done in LW, but it wasÖ ermÖ. not the best animation by far. The work was low budget, and the story and characters weak. Not the best example for LW, but they COULD have done so much more. I saw where they did a poor job NOT because of the program they used, but because of the lack of work. Just saying, though, all LW. But the TOOL in which you use doesn't determine if the art is great or not. Lightwave is as capable as other programs in this regard. Just a few things that need to be considered:

Hair - The best plugin is still Worley's Sasquatch (3rd Party), not native to LW. FiberFX is still too buggy to have proper results IMO

Animation - This is what I do most. Specifically Character Animation. Many say that Maya is the better animation tool, but just watch our animation Flex's New Workout on our website squishyanimtion.comÖ all Lightwave. It can do it. The only main thing I feel that Maya has over LW in this regard is the way the Mesh deforms around bend at the elbows, knees and such. Maya compresses it better than LW weight maps do. This is something I brought up to Newtek in the survey we took a while back. Hope they took note ;)

These are probably the only main issues I can see as being a problem on a full length animation. Other than that, you have a great renderer, FAST modeling tools (seriously, Maya is still clunky when it comes to modeling). Bullet is awesome, and solid. You have a slew of GREAT plugins that work as mentioned before. That covers it.

Long reply, I know. I want to stress that I don't have PERSONAL experience using lightwave on a LARGE team. All I'm saying is that LW can stand against the rest. And really, all 3D programs out there need a team to get the MOST out of them. Maya needs 3rd party plugins just as much as LW does. There are my 2 cents.

erikals
04-23-2014, 01:09 AM
Hair - The best plugin is still Worley's Sasquatch (3rd Party), not native to LW. FiberFX is still too buggy to have proper results IMO

maybe, but i know Greenlaw used it in productions with good results.
many FFX bugs have been fixed, though not sure how many...

SquishyAni
04-23-2014, 02:25 AM
maybe, but i know Greenlaw used it in productions with good results.
many FFX bugs have been fixed, though not sure how many...

True, It has been improved a lot. And I sure hope they continue to improve it. In my work, I haven't had good results without crashes and long render times. Sasquatch is more stable and renders faster I found. But like I said before, it is just a tool. If it works well for you, then excellent. In the end we all need good Hair, except man back hair. That's never pretty ;)

sami
04-23-2014, 03:01 AM
Hi Airwaves, I'm gonna throw this out there from left field because as much as the idea might get stomped on here, I do think it is something you should consider: Use Lightwave & Zbrush/3Dcoat etc for creating assets, animated rigs with bones and morphs, but don't render the film - do/assemble/act the film itself in Unity 5.

Realtime rendering is amazing these days and whatever it can't do aesthetically, can easily be worked around stylistically if you are so inclined. Now I should disclaim that I am a huge LWer (using it since v 4.x) and personally prefer it over Maya etc (though clearly see their strengths), but to me realtime 3D acting and capture/playback (a'la Nevronmotion style) is the future! Marry this up with procedural animation controlled by realtime physics or actors/virtual-stagehands and you can really streamline the production process and get great results. I mean creating a film as one might construct a game can allow tighter performances and more spontaneous takes.

Remember when they used to have 5 people (or whatever) controlling a giant Jabba the Hutt puppet? Why not have 5 people with Wii controllers/Kinects or other input devices controlling a virtual actor in realtime? With the right pipeline, this could be a very creative environment that gives much more immediate feedback/results on film (capturing the realtime output or just the performance and playing it back in a final "game" of your movie engine). (and yes, I know this is being done in big movies now - but now it is in $ reach of much smaller budgets).

And code in Unity is a dream compared to scripting or proprietary code for Maya/LW and other pipelines! C# code is so clean and easy and fast to develop in to augment the pipeline you form for your film.

While this idea is neither the traditional cel animation style nor the regimented typical CG pipeline, I believe you can incorporate elements of such methods, but in a more agile fashion and potentially achieve superior results at a far better price point. It really warrants investigation before you hire your big team and spend a lot of cash doing it the "old fashioned" way ;) - it kind of boils down to whether current limitations aesthetically are worth the render time (and who is to say you can't pre-render elements or video and use them as realtime texture sequences?) and possible development time creating a new, somewhat unproven workflow.

I'm currently investigating developing more tools for such collaboration and virtual performances for production, and intend to use such for my own future productions.

Give it a few CPU brain cycles and see if such a concept fits your vision and would work for you. Good luck!! :)

erikals
04-23-2014, 08:54 AM
Hi Airwaves, I'm gonna throw this out there from left field because as much as the idea might get stomped on here, I do think it is something you should consider: Use Lightwave & Zbrush/3Dcoat etc for creating assets, animated rigs with bones and morphs, but don't render the film - do/assemble/act the film itself in Unity 5

or maybe Unreal 4...
Unreal Engine 4 now available as $19/month subscription with 5% royalty


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hwhH7upYFE

mummyman
04-23-2014, 09:38 AM
MeniThings: Battle for Terra... Lightwave: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT-seshyqUM

Airwaves
04-23-2014, 11:03 AM
I wanted to ask: what are the nature of the math animations? More mograph, or what?

http://www.commoncore4kids.com/

The math animations are a fun thing for me to do for schools and teachers. I can create them relatively fast and easy and with all the cool stuff Lightwave has it has not been difficult to make them. The kids like the videos even though the animation is sub par at best and it is all done in lightwave. In fact I have tried not to do too much flashy stuff because kids stop learning when it happens too much and they do not pick up the math concepts.

All videos done in Lightwave by me (I pay people to model what I need) and the coolest part is that a year and a half ago I did not know anything about animation.

Airwaves
04-23-2014, 11:06 AM
From my vantage point, a well-rounded team of artists that could complete a full length movie in a reasonable amount of time and at a decent quality in Lightwave based on my own experience would consist of the following (this assumes that careful attention has been applied to coordinate and organize this team):

Workload intensity of each shot is also a huge variable of course... the project manager/director needs to understand the demands of each phase of the production process. A shot of a bar with lots of people in it doing a lot of different things is going to require a lot more time and attention than someone sitting in a car by themselves and driving with a repeating or blurred background.

That is a great break down of people required. I might add 2 people on the post production though but other than that I think that is a great way to start out!

Airwaves
04-23-2014, 11:12 AM
Hello there Airwaves, you have friends nearby, specifically here in Orem, Utah.



That is awesome that you are close by. I have worked with other animators but most of them do not use lightwave and finding a lightwave user in Utah is good to know. I would love to see more of your animated short and from your website it sounds like you are setup pretty well.

I do agree with you that I think I could do most if not all in Lightwave but it would require animators that really know Lightwave. I am glad to hear you say that Lightwave can stand against the rest. I tried Maya and while I am no expert it seemed that there was lots of extra steps to do things that Lightwave could do in one or two. Either way I am glad to hear your response. Thanks and I look forward to seeing more of your material.

Airwaves
04-23-2014, 11:36 AM
Hi Airwaves, I'm gonna throw this out there from left field because as much as the idea might get stomped on here, I do think it is something you should consider: Use Lightwave & Zbrush/3Dcoat etc for creating assets, animated rigs with bones and morphs, but don't render the film - do/assemble/act the film itself in Unity 5.

:)

That is an option. I am not downing that idea at all but I know so little with that. Have other cinematic shorts or movies been created with it? I mean fully animated ones since I do not want to use actors so much.

I apologize if I sound stupid with this question but is this the same thing as what they do with Sid the science kid? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnKFj4hKjfY

Airwaves
04-23-2014, 11:38 AM
or maybe Unreal 4...
Unreal Engine 4 now available as $19/month subscription with 5% royalty


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hwhH7upYFE

All I can say is wow that is cool. I have so many ideas for what I could do with that just for the math website I make animations for. A math game would be cool.

sami
04-24-2014, 07:11 AM
That is an option. I am not downing that idea at all but I know so little with that. Have other cinematic shorts or movies been created with it? I mean fully animated ones since I do not want to use actors so much.

I apologize if I sound stupid with this question but is this the same thing as what they do with Sid the science kid? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnKFj4hKjfY

yes, like that - but their setup is potentially excessively complex and proprietary - you can do it with off the shelf stuff. Also besides characters, don't forget procedural animation and physics which can be triggered by someone on stage. That video makes it look out of reach of a small studio and makes cartoony results - one could get realistic results with a lot more going on than a single character...

sami
04-24-2014, 07:16 AM
or maybe Unreal 4...
Unreal Engine 4 now available as $19/month subscription with 5% royalty



I have to disagree -- as despite how many gamers may romanticize the Unreal engine, the 5% royalty (any royalty for that matter) just kills the deal for many of us. Don't you watch SharkTank, and see the other billionaires scoff at Kevin O'leary when he asks for a perpetual royalty?? ;)

Plus Unity doesn't have the technical debt and legacy code Unreal has - it was designed well from the get go.... but hey that's just like my opinion, man :-p

Daphne
04-24-2014, 09:47 AM
Not to derail the thread but Flex's New Workout was great SquishyAni.

Mummyman, are you using LW for your medical animations as well? I have been a huge fan of XVIVO's work for awhile and was curious about that.

mummyman
04-24-2014, 10:27 AM
I PM'ed you


Not to derail the thread but Flex's New Workout was great SquishyAni.

Mummyman, are you using LW for your medical animations as well? I have been a huge fan of XVIVO's work for awhile and was curious about that.

mummyman
04-24-2014, 10:30 AM
Has anyone really pushed Unreal 4 engine? I'd love to give it a try, but not looking forward to animating in Lightwave and importing baked files for output. Their demos do look killer...but... well, it's a big but. But I'm for saving render times. And there's no 5 percent fee for animated videos done with the software... (I don't think) Since it's not a shipped game-title.


I have to disagree -- as despite how many gamers may romanticize the Unreal engine, the 5% royalty (any royalty for that matter) just kills the deal for many of us. Don't you watch SharkTank, and see the other billionaires scoff at Kevin O'leary when he asks for a perpetual royalty?? ;)

Plus Unity doesn't have the technical debt and legacy code Unreal has - it was designed well from the get go.... but hey that's just like my opinion, man :-p

chikega
04-24-2014, 11:12 AM
Concerning "The Battle for Terra", it wasn't all Lightwave ...

Interview with "Terra" director Aristomenis Tsirbas

Now as far as Lightwave goes thatís kind of our secret weapon because where Maya does have a decent renderer, itís extremely slow. Most other renderers are also very slow and if you want to get a real high quality result it would require an unaffordable amount of computing power in our case to make the film look as good as we want it to look. We want the visuals to be near photo-real.

But Lightwave came from television and itís optimized to look good and to render quickly. Lightwave artists in the industry are known as generalists who can work very fast. In fact a few large studios have Lightwave departments and they are their secret weapons and tend to do things faster, better, and quicker than the departments using Maya and other renderers. What we did is create a pipeline between LightWave and Maya by hiring Christian Aubert, who created a program called Beaver Project, which communicates between LightWave and Maya. So the short of the long in our production pipeline is we take the Lightwave animatics and convert them into Maya. The Maya animators animate the characters and then we spit out the deformation of the characters back into Lightwave and do almost everything else in Lightwave: all the vehicle animation, all the lighting, texturing, and rendering. The rendering ends up being full quality and despite the film having a very warm, photorealistic look weíre able to get render times of more often than not an hour or less per frame using a 300 processor render farm.

http://www.mania.com/mania-talks-terra-director-aristomenis-tsirbas_article_54153.html

mummyman
04-24-2014, 11:27 AM
Cool! Good to know, chikega... Thanks for the info. Haaa I remember the Beaver Project too.

chikega
04-24-2014, 01:07 PM
No prob, mummyman. :)

Character animation has historically been a weak spot for Lightwave. There are countless examples in the past where other software was used to fill in the gap. For example, messiah was used in the film "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius". If one were to stay totally in Lightwave, then investing in plugins like Rhiggit 2 would help tremendously.

erikals
04-24-2014, 01:36 PM
LightWave is Great for those kind of renders, and even faster today,
both because of stronger CPUs, but also because the LW render engine itself is improved.

here's a HD trailer btw >
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDsJVhpbWUw

mummyman
04-24-2014, 02:28 PM
LightWave is Great for those kind of renders, and even faster today,
both because of stronger CPUs, but also because the LW render engine itself is improved.

here's a HD trailer btw >
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDsJVhpbWUw

Funny how the brain works! I remember the movie, title, who worked on it, etc... but I don't think I actually ever sat down to watch it!

erikals
04-24-2014, 02:46 PM
never to late you know... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/king.gif

mummyman
04-24-2014, 02:59 PM
True true! I may have it floating around my office somewhere.

silviotoledo
04-24-2014, 03:52 PM
Lightwave is fast, easy to use, cheap but you will probably find that lightwave users and lightwave character animators are very very very hard to find.

What kind of complexity characters will you have? Lightwave does not have muscle simulations for doing realistic characters, cloth simulation and softbody dynamics are poor.

I've sent you a Private inbox link.

Airwaves
04-24-2014, 04:10 PM
Lightwave is fast, easy to use, cheap but you will probably find that lightwave users and lightwave character animators are very very very hard to find.

What kind of complexity characters will you have? Lightwave does not have muscle simulations for doing realistic characters, cloth simulation and softbody dynamics are poor.

I've sent you a Private inbox link.

The complexity in characters I believe Lightwave could handle. I am no expert but I would like to hear what other people think as well about cloth simulation and softbody dynamics. I know there are other packages that might excel in that arena, so which ones do you recommend for cloth simulation and softbody dynamics? Just wondering.

SquishyAni
04-24-2014, 04:38 PM
Not to derail the thread but Flex's New Workout was great SquishyAni.

Please don't feel bad for derailing at my expense ;)
But in all seriousness, thank you for your compliment. Glad you enjoyed it! We have the 7 minute follow-up animation close to 80% done. When it is, you know I'll be dropping a line here in the forum:D


Concerning "The Battle for Terra", it wasn't all Lightwave ...

This I did not know. I stand corrected, my apologies. Love that I learn new stuff everyday here. Thank you for the post, chikega.


Character animation has historically been a weak spot for Lightwave. There are countless examples in the past where other software was used to fill in the gap. For example, messiah was used in the film "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius". If one were to stay totally in Lightwave, then investing in plugins like Rhiggit 2 would help tremendously

Anything from RebelHill is GOLD. Though I haven't used Rhiggit 2 yet, I bought the Rigging Tutorials videos from him years ago, and they allowed me to just build the custom rigs myself. So, yes, proper rigging of a character is something to have to study up on a bit. But, that goes true for ANY 3D program you are working with. RebellHill stuff will make that step FAR FAR EASIER.

erikals
04-24-2014, 06:11 PM
yep, you could also check out these... >

Common Scenarios for Character Animators
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRfTqYtSQr0

Lattice by 3rd Powers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJGjKg_P6KM

Syflex for LightWave (updated, and now cost only $200)
http://www.syflex.biz/buyLW.html

TAFA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j2z4kkXUsU

chikega
04-24-2014, 09:17 PM
No apologies necessary, SquishyAni. I'm learning all the time, myself. :)

I think erikals has made some excellent suggestions. I would also add to that list, RHR Rigging tutorials, if one really wants to get under the hood. I'm going through them currently and Craig is a gold mine of knowledge concerning rigging in Lightwave.

Concerning applications outside of Lightwave: I would say Houdini is the powerhouse of them all. Because of it's procedural nature, everything talks to everything, meaning there is no segmentation between solvers. So, if you have soft body on a character, the cloth will react to the softbody, hair will react to the cloth moving about, particles (cloud, water, fire, smoke, etc..) can interact with any of the aforementioned, etc... Their organic softbody (finite element solver) is unreal. But unfortunately with all that power comes a HUGE learning curve.

robertoortiz
04-25-2014, 07:42 AM
My advice to the community is to take a page from the early development of Maya and do SHORTS.
Pick up an coming talent/established talent from inside and OUTSIDE the LW community and
provide licenses of LW and rendering services.
IN return they get to ASK for tool they need to do their work, and help guide the development of next gen LW.

There is a precedent for this,
the development of Maya 1.0 was helped greatly by Chris Landreth's 1998 animated short film called "Bingo".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu9L23A6yDU

sami
04-25-2014, 06:34 PM
Has anyone really pushed Unreal 4 engine? I'd love to give it a try, but not looking forward to animating in Lightwave and importing baked files for output. Their demos do look killer...but... well, it's a big but. But I'm for saving render times. And there's no 5 percent fee for animated videos done with the software... (I don't think) Since it's not a shipped game-title.

Thanks Mummyman, I just assumed *any* commerical work which uses the engine that you profit off of requires the royalty...

valu
04-25-2014, 08:14 PM
I have a character animation studio in Brazil and I work with LightWave since the version 5.5 and every production that I do is character-based.
So, for me, LightWave work just fine for animation in my concern.
There are things that I don't like in LightWave and I think it have to be improved.
Hair and fur system is so bad in LW, that I think it should be redesigned.
Modo and Blender's new version seems to be real cool in that matter.
Cloth simulation is still a problem to LW as well.
Rendering in LW is very good but when comes to Sub Surface scattering at bigger sizes, like theater size ( 2k or 4k) and even FullHD It's really Slooooooooooooow !
Good luck with your project! Keep it up!
You can see some of my work here
http://www.valu.com.br

jeric_synergy
04-26-2014, 10:13 AM
Valu, if hair and fabric is problematic, but you still use LW for character animation, how are you addressing your hair and fabric needs??? Export via FBX?

valu
04-26-2014, 11:20 AM
I'm not 😁 Jeric_synergy.
I'm still suffering... Hahaha.
I use a lot of postproduction sculpting on top of the sym, faking moviments and fixing natural errors from the cloth sym tool
Like penetration of the cloth on the body. I use a lot of morphing as well and a lot of tricks to acomplish a simple task.
For the hair, I do a lot of postproduction in After Effects to make the hair look good. It's a real challenge.
My last project with Fur I really tryed to do in LightWave but it looked like grass, so I've tryed Modo for the first time.
I baked the animation, saved the MDD file, applied the fur on Modo and rendered there.
That's the result
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVHf9OAY6fk

It was really sad for me, because I fight for the LW's hair and Fur for years and it had some improvements, but it's not there yet.
For me it's really sad because I'm planning to do a feature film and all the characters have fur and hair ( animals), and I'm absolutely sure that I cannot accomplish this task rendering in LightWave.
I really wish I could because I love this software.
The main catch is that Modo now has his own animation platform and if I have to do a boring geocash, export , or FBX, etc, maybe it's easier to learn the Animation tools on Modo.
Right now I am in the middle the road here. I wish Rob could listen and make something really great with this tools, so I don't need to move on from my beloved native tool.

Ryan Roye
04-26-2014, 11:31 AM
I know Syflex pretty much solves a lot of the cloth simulation weaknesses that Lightwave has at the moment. The examples of Syflex being used in Lightwave don't really demonstrate well what it is capable of (like most LW 3rd party programs, sadly).

100% agreed with fur/hair simulation in Lightwave; until we can get something viable... or if Worley would finally step in and update Sasquatch, I'm stuck using age-old alpha hair techniques.

jeric_synergy
04-26-2014, 11:31 AM
I am saddened by this, but it sounds like you've already made the case to LW3dG, and we can't force them to fix things, we can only point them out. :cry:

Airwaves
04-26-2014, 12:38 PM
I have a character animation studio in Brazil and I work with LightWave since the version 5.5 and every production that I do is character-based.
So, for me, LightWave work just fine for animation in my concern.
There are things that I don't like in LightWave and I think it have to be improved.
Hair and fur system is so bad in LW, that I think it should be redesigned.
Modo and Blender's new version seems to be real cool in that matter.
Cloth simulation is still a problem to LW as well.
Rendering in LW is very good but when comes to Sub Surface scattering at bigger sizes, like theater size ( 2k or 4k) and even FullHD It's really Slooooooooooooow !
Good luck with your project! Keep it up!
You can see some of my work here
http://www.valu.com.br

I really like your work. It is really good. I do agree with other people in this thread that I may not be able to stick to just lightwave. It makes me wish I had a hundred good programmers at my disposal to help make the hair and cloth simulations better in Lightwave.

Airwaves
04-26-2014, 12:41 PM
From this thread and others I see that many people are making their own animated shorts and even full theatrical movies. Maybe this is a crazy idea to many people but why don't all the people who can and are able to, get together and make an amazing animated short or even full movie?

Blender as you know does combined projects like Syntel and others. Maybe Lightwave does this but I just did not know about it. Or maybe I will be the first to do it. :thumbsup:

jeric_synergy
04-26-2014, 01:01 PM
'Cuz we're trying to pay rent and buy groceries?

vonpietro
04-26-2014, 01:06 PM
hi
i thought i'd just say something about doing a big project like a film independently.

i think a small test project would be in order as people have said,
if you have a full scale movie - set up a few opening shots, gather some people
there is web tracking software that would allow you to manage a group collaboratively (free too)

try out a few people that would want to help out on the project, work at tasking everyone to their strengths.

You dont need to use any one program for the entire process, it can be some of one and a bit of the other, according to their strengths- lw is half as much as maya, but blender is free.
You can bring blender fluids into lw too - so a hodgepodge of software cheaply can be had.
need a composite program - again blender has a pretty robust one for free built in Its good enough for quite alot, not a nice as say fusion though obviously, fusion is awesome.
it can be done inexpensively.

with lw though you need alot of plugins to help it for things like smoke, fluids, and cloth, which puts it back up to maya level of cost. oh well

good luck

Airwaves
04-26-2014, 01:22 PM
'Cuz we're trying to pay rent and buy groceries?

Can't argue against that. True that.

Airwaves
04-26-2014, 01:31 PM
hi
i thought i'd just say something about doing a big project like a film independently.

i think a small test project would be in order as people have said,
if you have a full scale movie - set up a few opening shots, gather some people
there is web tracking software that would allow you to manage a group collaboratively (free too)

try out a few people that would want to help out on the project, work at tasking everyone to their strengths.

You dont need to use any one program for the entire process, it can be some of one and a bit of the other, according to their strengths- lw is half as much as maya, but blender is free.
You can bring blender fluids into lw too - so a hodgepodge of software cheaply can be had.
need a composite program - again blender has a pretty robust one for free built in Its good enough for quite alot, not a nice as say fusion though obviously, fusion is awesome.
it can be done inexpensively.

with lw though you need alot of plugins to help it for things like smoke, fluids, and cloth, which puts it back up to maya level of cost. oh well

good luck

I definitely want to start with a short to get the ball rolling. I am glad that you mentioned blender fluids because I wanted to make a scene for the math video website that has fluids spraying out of a bottle or can. I was not even sure if Lightwave could do that?

mummyman
04-26-2014, 07:17 PM
Thanks Mummyman, I just assumed *any* commerical work which uses the engine that you profit off of requires the royalty...

Well, I recently went to PAX east, and spoke with one of the NVIDIA guys and he was showing me a lot of their tech demos for Unreal E4. He claimed there would be no royalty fees... but who's to say for sure. Those aren't shipped titles! It's worth checking into, but I really REALLY don't want to have to add another whole software to my production pipeline.

roboman
04-26-2014, 07:30 PM
I remember Terrence Walker around 2000 deciding to make his own animated movie " Understanding Chaos. In that project, I not only did the animation by myself, I also did the sound FX editing, composed the music score and voiced every single character". He has since done several more. http://www.studioartfx.com/

Several people have made animated movies or shorts them self or with a few friends.

erikals
04-26-2014, 09:01 PM
Hair and fur system is so bad in LW, that I think it should be redesigned
still not sure why it's so bad, is it the Modeler guides part that is bad...?


Cloth simulation is still a problem to LW as well
get Syflex... ? :]


Rendering in LW is very good but when comes to Sub Surface scattering at bigger sizes, like theater size ( 2k or 4k) and even FullHD It's really Slooooooooooooow !
render a separate lowres and add it in post later on, much easier, this is one way of doing it, but there are other methods too >
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_J3rgpp3HY

SquishyAni
04-26-2014, 11:01 PM
still not sure why it's so bad, is it the Modeler guides part that is bad...?

Crashes a ton, at least in my experience on the Mac OS. Gets very slow as it approaches larger surfaces (like grass). Sasquatch surprisingly still renders faster, and is more stable. FFX needs more love and care. I've tried to use FFX on many contract projects saying "Maybe THIS time I'll find a good use for it." But then I just fall back into Sasquatch after many failed attempts and crashes. One nice thing for grass, though, is instancing. Instancing is rock solid in that regard. Grass never looked better ;) But sadly, no FFX, just a bunch of instanced grass blade ploys.

Airwaves
04-26-2014, 11:39 PM
I remember Terrence Walker around 2000 deciding to make his own animated movie " Understanding Chaos. In that project, I not only did the animation by myself, I also did the sound FX editing, composed the music score and voiced every single character". He has since done several more. http://www.studioartfx.com/

Several people have made animated movies or shorts them self or with a few friends.

I am glad to hear that. It definitely makes me more excited to do what I want to do. Thanks

chikega
04-27-2014, 12:00 AM
I remember Terrence Walker around 2000 deciding to make his own animated movie " Understanding Chaos. In that project, I not only did the animation by myself, I also did the sound FX editing, composed the music score and voiced every single character". He has since done several more. http://www.studioartfx.com/

Several people have made animated movies or shorts them self or with a few friends. ... and Terrance is an avid MODO user nowadays.

Surrealist.
04-27-2014, 12:14 AM
I would say the biggest mistake you can make is having convictions at any place along the line.

If you are on a budget, stuck with what you have but only for that reason. Don't then make the mistake that since you committed to that choice for budgetary reasons, you latter don't look at options along the way that will help you and your team do things faster, better, more efficiently and most of all, help you realize your vision.

If you stick to that as a conviction, you'll be OK.

In my opinion there are a lot of issues that can be distracting. But if you only look at choices you make as - if they will help you get things done, then you can evaluate the importance of the various factors of change that are inevitable in this industry.


Modo.... as I have been saying....I would be watching that one. And 801 is proof that these guys are serious about making inroads on the competition. Just keep your eyes peeled. This is the software to watch in my opinion. It is getting very close to something that can compete with larger offerings.

jeric_synergy
04-27-2014, 12:49 AM
Modo.... as I have been saying....I would be watching that one. And 801 is proof that these guys are serious about making inroads on the competition. Just keep your eyes peeled. This is the software to watch in my opinion. It is getting very close to something that can compete with larger offerings.
It's interesting that you'd feel that way, --doesn't the lead that C4D has suggest it may have a shot at the low-end leader?

*time lead in animation that is....

Surrealist.
04-27-2014, 01:22 AM
It is not low end in my opinion

I see the top end options as Maya (still can buy Softimage 2015) 3D Max, Houdini and Cinema 4D. That is pretty much it. Each having strengths of their own.

In the low end there is Blender LightWave and Modo. Pretty much the fare as far as what offers an alternative IMHO.

Alternative defined as fully functional Modeling Character Animation and Dynamics. And of course rendering textures etc.

Modo is setting itself up to be in a position to take a serious number of the Maya seats away. Because a good number of those seats do not require nDynamics for instance of other features. But simply require a good all around (modern) solution to Modeling Animation and Dynamics. By 901 they should theoretically be able to cut into the Maya market in a significant way.

Unfortunately LightWave still suffers from old technology in animation. That needs to be replaced. And until it does, Modo will be the leader there. That is how it looks to me. Meanwhile Blender is not standing still.

valu
04-27-2014, 01:48 AM
It is not low end in my opinion...
Unfortunately LightWave still suffers from old technology in animation. That needs to be replaced. And until it does, Modo will be the leader there. That is how it looks to me. Meanwhile Blender is not standing still.

For me, as far as ANIMATION, LW is on the game. I already animated in Maya and Max, but I really prefer the Old LW. It's easy and fast.
If you have a person that know how to Rig ( rigging is not that hard in LW ), you can animate easily !
There are other issues on the management of the assets on the scene , but that's another story !

chikega
04-27-2014, 09:33 AM
Modo is setting itself up to be in a position to take a serious number of the Maya seats away. Because a good number of those seats do not require nDynamics for instance of other features. But simply require a good all around (modern) solution to Modeling Animation and Dynamics. By 901 they should theoretically be able to cut into the Maya market in a significant way.

I watched the Livestream MODO 801 presentation and Brad Peebler was touting that MODO has become a "bookend" solution for some studios, meaning that MODO is used for modeling, Maya for animation and MODO for rendering. So, by 901, MODO will probably have a good chance at being a 'complete' solution.

Concerning hair and fur, 801 has made some improvements in it's hair shader, but you'll be hard pressed to find any long hair examples. Blender has some excellent long hair examples in contrast.

http://cgcookie.com/blender/2014/04/24/using-cycles-hair-bsdf-node/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVJyGzPJIeQ

Greenlaw
04-27-2014, 10:31 AM
For me, as far as ANIMATION, LW is on the game. I already animated in Maya and Max, but I really prefer the Old LW. It's easy and fast.
If you have a person that know how to Rig ( rigging is not that hard in LW ), you can animate easily !
There are other issues on the management of the assets on the scene , but that's another story !

I mostly agree. While animating with LightWave does have its limitations, it's certainly not 'bad'. I've worked on a ton of productions in the past 16 or so years, ranging from cartoon to realistic styles of animation of people, animals and other creatures--almost all created in LightWave and I think most of the work turned out quite nicely. It was only in the last few years that the group I was with for a dozen years (the Box at Rhythm and Hues,) switched from a LightWave-only pipeline to a LightWave-Maya pipeline, and that decision was driven mostly by the fact that it had become difficult to find LightWave animators in Los Angeles. Nowadays, as a freelancer, I'm working mostly in LightWave again (with occasional stops to Motion Builder when I need mocap retargeting and editing,) and I'm doing quite well with it.

On the other hand, I also agree that LightWave is suffering from an aging architecture. For example, you still can't edit and paint weight maps in Layout, you can't edit morph shapes in Layout, morphs and non-linear morph driven by controls using Cycler and other methods do not update interactively, using weight maps for joints is not consistent with using weight maps for bones, the joints system is not directly compatible with third party systems like Maya and Motion Builder--all of this and more does hamper efficiency and can make LightWave less desirable to use in a production environment, especially when you're on a tight schedule. If these basic issues had been addressed years ago, LightWave might have retained much of its lost ground.

IMO, LightWave delivers an incredible value for what it costs, and it is certainly very usable for creating shorts and feature films on an 'indie' budget. Also, since the formation of LightWave 3D Group, I've been optimistic about LightWave's future because the group has been very responsiveness to user feedback. (FWIW, LW3DG has addressed many of my own LightWave concerns and requests in the past few years--when you submit a fogbugz, don't send complaints because that's not very helpful. Instead, present a detailed case for why you need LightWave to work a certain way and be sure to include content (LightWave scenes and models, illustrations, video links, etc.,) that clearly demonstrates your concerns.)

While I know LW3DG still has a lot of work ahead of them, they made great strides during the LightWave 10 cycle and the current LightWave 11 cycle, and if they can at least address the above limitations and a few other things, they can begin to reclaim some of their territory. I can't wait to see what's in store for 12--given recent developments in 11.x, Chronosculpt and Nevron Motion, I think the next version of LightWave going to be pretty amazing. :)

Back to the topic at hand, when we're not busy with freelance work, my partner and I create our own indie productions as Little Green Dog and we primarily use LightWave for our 3D shorts. You can see some of our work at our Little Green Dog Vimeo Channel (https://vimeo.com/channels/littlegreendog). Right now we're mainly focused on created non-commercial short film productions, and our goal is to use these small productions as credentials to produce larger scale productions in the future. I think we'll be ready to move up to our first feature or series production after we finish our next two or three short films.

LightWave has been a major component in our plans and so long as LW3DG continues delivering the tools and functionality we ask for, we see little reason to change our pipeline.

Just my 2-cent opinion. ;)

G.

bazsa73
04-27-2014, 01:08 PM
I am doing right now a small character job which consists several close ups of a cartoon hand and a dancing figurine.
I did the closeup of the hand in LW using Lino's genoma hand rig out of the box and I am much pleased with it. The client and the director too.
But I did the dancing character in Messiah.
I had to collect my courage to test Messiah for the first time in a real life scenario but I do not regret it. It is a pity that its documentation is scattered and
I had to figure out lots of rigging tricks by myself and learn those weak points Messiah doesn't like, e.g. replacing a mesh which has a soft body attached to it.
I just love the beautiful deformations Messiah does, I would love to see the same effortless ease in LW too.

jeric_synergy
04-27-2014, 02:36 PM
Man, you'd think pMG would be happy to be bought out/hired as an adjunct to LW3dG.

Marketing is not their strong suit.

erikals
04-27-2014, 03:22 PM
Crashes a ton, at least in my experience on the Mac OS. Gets very slow as it approaches larger surfaces (like grass). Sasquatch surprisingly still renders faster, and is more stable. FFX needs more love and care. I've tried to use FFX on many contract projects saying "Maybe THIS time I'll find a good use for it." But then I just fall back into Sasquatch after many failed attempts and crashes. One nice thing for grass, though, is instancing. Instancing is rock solid in that regard. Grass never looked better ;) But sadly, no FFX, just a bunch of instanced grass blade ploys.

i've heard it worked alright for Jennifer and Greenlaw, this one might be FFX too >
https://vimeo.com/groups/lightwave/videos/92338478

maybe the crashes are a Mac thing?

Worley still have an ok Sasquatch price though, $200... >
http://www.worley.com/E/ordering.html


note, do not use Sas or FFX for grass, it's slow and looks bad, use instancing.
use NeatVideo to get rid of remaining flicker.

Greenlaw
04-27-2014, 04:29 PM
Yes, I've generally had good luck with FiberFX, but there are a few tricks to using it successfully. My B2 thread (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?133274-The-Brudders-2-Production-Log-%28Well-sort-of-%29) covers some of the issues. The thread has some obsolete info but going through it should give you some pointers for getting good renders and animation with it. I have no experience with it on Mac though.

I need to update that thread--I recently found a problem with FiberFX in 11.6.2 that requires using an earlier version for animation. I'm not exactly sure when FiberFX broke but I do know that latest version referred to that thread was 11.5.1 which was working reliably when we last worked on 'B2'. LW3DG is aware of the problem and they're fixing it.

(Sidenote: my main issue with FiberFX back in 11.5.1 was flickering shadows caused by using multi-sample lights like Dome and DP Infinite. You can work around the issue by avoiding this type of light and relying on FiberFX's own sampling, but if you really need multi-sample lights (like we do,) the thread describes workarounds for that too. That said, I'm hoping they can improve compatibility with MS lights so I won't have to use these workarounds.)

As for grass, yes, Sasquatch was better for that, at least for covering large areas of terrain. Another benefit was that Sasquatch's native dynamics worked nicely for simulating windy days. The downside with Sasquatch is that you have even fewer options for lighting and shadows, you must use Classic camera for proper AA, and it doesn't support motion vectors export like FiberFX does. I keep Sasquatch installed in case FiberFX really fails me but I haven't needed to use it for about three years now. Nowadays, if I'm creating a landscape with grass, I would first try using Instancer or possibly Vue Infinite or xStream before going back to Sasquatch. With Instancer, you can cheat dynamics that look pretty good in FG and MG distances; with Vue, you can get very realistic dynamics automatically.

Most of the time, when I need that much grass coverage in the background, I prefer to create a matte painting--that renders fastest of all and it doesn't 'buzz'. More typically, I'll choose a hybrid solution--normal geometry or Instancer in the FG and a matte painting for the BG. I've worked on several productions where we used only Vue for cg terrain and grass but that's getting into a whole other topic.

In a car commercial I worked on years ago, I used HD instance to populate a live action terrain with cg sunflowers. For distance fields, however, I used tracked matte paintings created with HDI and Photoshop as much as I could--this solved any buzzing issues and tracking problems, and the paintings generally looked like the fully live plate. (Better actually since I was allowed to paint a 'prettier than reality' landscape.) So, depending on what you need, there are a lot of ways to tackle these situations. :)

G.

SquishyAni
04-27-2014, 05:36 PM
The downside with Sasquatch is that you have even fewer options for lighting and shadows, you must use Classic camera for proper AA, and it doesn't support motion vectors export like FiberFX does.

Ah yes, I forgot to mention that. Thanks for reminding me. Sasquatch is stuck with the classic cam and AA. Even though the results are still good, its limiting other tools that Classic Cam cannot use, like Photoreal Motion Blur. And it tends to render a bit slower.

robertn2k
05-02-2014, 07:37 AM
Each Spring here in the Media Production Program at Florida State University I teach a workshop course on Lightwave 3D for TV. The course emphasis is on using Lightwave for motion graphics work, logos, animated backgrounds etc., etc. The class is small just 8 students this Spring. This semester I decided to add some character animation elements to the mix to see what my students could come up with. The results were mixed but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the work they turned in. I though I'd share a couple of samples of the work they submitted. The final assignment asked them to create a 1 minute animated short feature. There were required elements like camera moves, multiple objects, envelopes, modeling etc., etc. One submission is a compilation of the students work this semester. I hope you enjoy the samples. Links below.

http://www.nicklively.com/#!stormtroopers/cbex

https://vimeo.com/93570906

chikega
05-02-2014, 09:01 AM
Cool, another LW artist in the Southeast. I enjoyed the student work. The dialogue was pretty funny. I guess that storm trooper doesn't have to worry about alimony anymore. :) The second show reel was very impressive. Thanks for sharing.

silviotoledo
05-04-2014, 03:56 AM
Everything really depends on the style of your movie. If you can do it in Lightwave, it will be cheap and fast, but you will have limitations and absent of specialized people for character animation.

In general Lightwave have some weaknesses I recommend you to avoid in your character design. If you avoid you will be happy.


3rD powers tools started to create some good deformers for lightwave, but they need to be integrated and some more tools are necessary. I've not seen effort in character deforming area on lightwave. We can't do Muscle simulations in lightwave what is extremelly necessary for realistic characters. The sculpt program is separated and only works with cached geometry. There's no layer animation. The rig plugins are powerfull but TOO HEAVY! You will have pain when there's more characters in scene. You will need doing custom rigs to have productivity. Fiber Fx requires a lot of patiente. Too much patient. Max and Maya have too much more tools for hair and fur that works fast and better.
Lightwave have not a realistic cloth simulator. Cloth FX is good for capes and simple simulations.

silviotoledo
05-04-2014, 04:13 AM
Battle for Terra was a film that could be easily done totally in Lightwave. No complex rigs. No complex characters, but they used Maya for animation once there was not character animators with knowledge in Lightwave. Sad.

In Brazil, I only know around 6 character animators able to work with Lightwave. I only know three more on Spain and two at Argentina. Not sure about EUA. It would be hard to join 10 character animators. I guess the same problem happens in USA actually.

silviotoledo
05-04-2014, 04:42 AM
The complexity in characters I believe Lightwave could handle. I am no expert but I would like to hear what other people think as well about cloth simulation and softbody dynamics. I know there are other packages that might excel in that arena, so which ones do you recommend for cloth simulation and softbody dynamics? Just wondering.

We started a feature animation project and in our early tests we found that:

CLOTH

Bullet Cloth - it makes you crazy. It never works as expected.
Cloth FX - it makes you crazy too. For some reason collision fails a lot.
Syflex - Made me crazy on past experiences. 'm traumatized too.
Maya N cloth - Amazing but requires Maya
Marvelous Designer - This saved my live! But requires post processing.

SOFTBODIES

Bullet - No way to use this! It never works as expected.
Soft Fx - this work a little better for some cases in wich volume preservation is not required.
I wish I have 3RD Powers. This would really be usefull

LONG HAIR
Avoid it! Fiber Fx will kill you! It never works as expected.
Bullet Simulation - Oh my God! I do not deserve such torture! It never works as expected.
Use always short hair and you wil survive!

SKIN SHADE
It computes all the enviroment with the skin shade so render times goes infinite. The solution was doing compositing. Never rendering complex backgrounds with skin shade together.

Hail
05-04-2014, 08:55 AM
Do you really know your way around lightwave at all???
Just jumping in and saying "this tool doesn't work" without any practical examples to show sounds like beer talk to me:D
Many folks here have proven time and again that... the tools you are discrediting so much work and you can get a lot of great stuff out of them if you know your way around things.
So if the tools are not working for you, don't you think its fair show how you tried to use them to be sure you didn't get it wrong before jumping in to say they don't work?
I may agree with you on the hair and fair solution in lw. As far as I can tell, only Greenlaw knows how to use it.
So yes, FiberFx leaves a lot to be desired but to say cloth and skin solution in lw sucks too sounds very empty indeed.
The skin nodes in lw are very capable solutions and you can get an awful lot of good stuff out of them but again you need to know how to use them.
Same goes for cloth.
Whiles bullet cloth might not be the ultimate cloth simulator out there, you can get very decent simulations out of it and heyyy.. have you checked out syflex lately???
The developer has resumed work on it and from what I have heard from people using it.. its great!
Its far better and stable than the syflex you used decades ago and the best part is... it is cheap! Cheaper than it ever was and cheaper than MD.
You might want to take a look at those tools again:)
Cheers!

Greenlaw
05-04-2014, 11:21 AM
In general Lightwave have some weaknesses I recommend you to avoid in your character design. If you avoid you will be happy.

On this, I do agree, although not specifically about LightWave. All tools and methodologies have their strengths and limitations, and the way to a successful production is in knowing what they are and to design your production around them. It's okay to push the limits but if you go too far, you'll become frustrated and your production will never get done.

But when you really get down to it, creating a film is not about the tools, it's much more basic than that. What you really need before you start animating anything in any program is an engaging story to tell. The tools you choose to tell that story are absolutely secondary.

G.

Greenlaw
05-04-2014, 11:38 AM
Regarding LightWave, I've always found it to be far more capable than many people give it credit for. And that's not a 'fanboy' response--I have to use LightWave everyday in production and somehow it always pulls me through the craziest jobs. Yes, LightWave needs to become better and more efficient for today's production needs, but even in its current form LightWave delivers a lot of bang at a modest price. This fact continues to be important for smaller production studios and indie artists who can't sustain the significantly higher cost of using Maya. I can draw a similar comparison between using AfterEffects and Nuke--lacking a nodal UI, AE has serious limitations, but AE is also very powerful for what it costs, and in the right hands it can certainly get the job done.

LW3DG keeps surprising me with each new LightWave release these past couple of years, and I'm confident they have some really big surprises in store for version 12. Hopefully, we'll hear some news about that at this year's Siggraph. (This is just user speculation of course--I know nothing about what they're really planning.) :)

G.

jeric_synergy
05-04-2014, 02:55 PM
Considering that people make animations with the CRAZIEST tools (backlit sand, anybody? Pinboards?), I'd say DESIRE and an insane amount of dedication are the two most crucial ingredients.

Surrealist.
05-04-2014, 04:49 PM
3D production is a highly technical field. It is also married to - for better or worse - all of the techniques of film production; art, design, cinematography, direction, editing, etc.

Like all fields of art, there has to be a balance between, time, money and quality to get anything done.

However, because it is technical, there are exact limitations. You either have the feature to do X or you don't. You either have X amount of ram or you don't. And under this general heading all software is not created equal. It is not all up to the artist. It can't be. That is an impossible statement.

Lets just take one example. LightWave cloth. It actually works. And after a month of testing I was able to figure it out. And I would not hesitate to use it in production under certain circumstances.

However, uncontested is the hard fact that Self Collision does not work. The actual cloth dynamics are fairly nice. Just that in some situations the cloth will intersect and there is nothing you can do about it but adjust other parameters and start compromising as a workaround.

Cloth Dynamics in Blender give you about the same results. However, Self collision actually works. Thus giving you a bit more flexibility with things you can do and less compromise.

Syflex (I have used in Softimage) is probably one of the more robust solutions I have tried. But for character stuff it still lacks certain settings that make life easy.

nCloth in Maya probably hands down the best cloth solution I have ever used. Completely designed with character animation in mind. Has all of the right settings and attributes to solve the various issues you run into in other solutions when using cloth dymaics on characters.

Same goes for nHair.

Now this is not to say that even if you have all of the right tools you still have all of the other ducks in a row. Just recently I ran into a deadline on a fluid simulation with ICE. Much to my surprise and horror in the last hours I came to realize that there was a serious ram limitation for the particular collisions we were trying to get. The polygonizer just crapped out and ate up all of the ram. Sure I could have spent a deal more time in TD finding where we were weak in optimization. Something we overlooked. But there was no time. So the only solution was to change the storyboard.

And that runs right into the "better" of the for "better or for worse" in the relationship. Because at the end of the day we are filmmakers. And really, having to pull from your bag of tricks to pull off gags in film goes back as far as the theater goes, which is centuries.

So yeah at the end of the day we are artists and should have all of the skills of the trade at out fingertips at any given time.

But at the same time the more limitations you run into the more you compromise, and the more you compromise the more your art suffers. Some of these situations might turn out to be good things. (The shark that failed to work in Jaws for instance). And you could say that the artist is able to make thngs things work to his advantage. And that can be true.

But technology is technology. The shark works or it doesn't. You can either change lenses on your camera or you can't. You can shoot in 35 millimeter, or 16, HD, 4K or 2K etc. These are all exact limitations.

So back to software. What you want for your pipeline is to remove as many of the limitations as you can afford to. It is not wise to go into something knowing ahead of time there are serious limitations you could be facing. And at the very least you should know exactly what those are and plan accordingly. Because one thing is for sure as you jump into production there will be 1001 things that can and will go wrong or seriously limit your vision in some way. And you will have to compromise.

And this to me answers the question as to why some software falls out of use and other software gets adapted. I'd say the simplest answer is to follow the numbers. They never lie.

Ideally what you want to do is tip the balance in your favor as much as you can. Give yourself as much flexibility as an artist as you can. The end results will show. It does make a difference. And just as a purely practical matter, even though you can do some things in software X about as good as software Z. At the end of the day,the software that will be used the most is the one that has less limitations, is faster, more flexible and production proven (feature for feature). The more work you have to do to achieve something technically the less time you have to work on purely creative choices. That in a nutshell is what it is all about.

silviotoledo
05-04-2014, 07:02 PM
Sure good artists can do everything and Lightwave is a great tool, but doing a feature film is not the same of doing a TV commercial or a short. It's a real crazy amount of killing crying hard work :), specially if you have a very small team. You will need solutions that work for all situations, not a solution per scene.

If you use Maya you will have less technical pain, but it will require much more technicians 'cause Maya is a bit more complex and much more expensive to work with.

I really don't like blender. I've been using blender for 6 months. It's powerfull but for me, it's still too far from lightwave in production. Use it as a plugin.

Well, I have to say that dynamics in Lightwave is too weak in comparison to Maya. Bullet is Crazy. You do a good scene, and copy all the settings for a new scene and do a very similar animation but it does not work as expected. Generally it destroys your work. You get crazy!

Lightwave does not have MUSCLES SIMULATION and so it will be very hard for doing photorreal creatures animation. So your focus is on cartoon.

Next time I will think about doing an animated movie I will do it like MONSTER HOUSE. No hair simulation, no cloth simulation. Focus on history is ok.

But I have to say that lightwave need a bit more effort to be a character animation tool. The missing tools are:

- LAYER ANIMATION
- RETARGET ( not separated as nevronmotion )
- ANIMATION SCULPT ( not separated as Cronosculpt and not destructive as over chache )
- WEIGHT MAP PAINTING IN LAYOUT ( with bones posed )
- BETTER DEFORMERS ( 3rd Powers is a start but need to be integrated and a stack and nodal connection is also needed )
- A CLOTH SIMULATOR ( to fix or to redesign cloth fx )
- SOFTBODIES ( better soft fx with volum conservation )
- MUSCLE SIMULATION - I assume I'm the only person that want this for Lightwave, but you will never do the Tiger from Life of Pi in Lightwave without it.
- DRIVEN KEYS ( modo does it pretty nice )
- OPTIMIZED RIGS ( less heavy genoma presets )
- maybe some more tools :)

So, do scene tests before start a project or you will have a lot of pain.


and I agree with all surreslist said!

silviotoledo
05-04-2014, 07:18 PM
Its far better and stable than the syflex you used decades ago and the best part is... it is cheap! Cheaper than it ever was and cheaper than MD.
You might want to take a look at those tools again:)
Cheers!

Yeah! need to review syflex again then! I guess the old problems was related to Lightwave itself, not syflex. Lightwave was not able to address correct the colision data.

geo_n
05-04-2014, 09:52 PM
- MUSCLE SIMULATION - I assume I'm the only person that want this for Lightwave, but you will never do the Tiger from Life of Pi in Lightwave without it.


Life of Pi quality CG using $995 lightwave??

erikals
05-05-2014, 01:13 PM
with 99 Pro LightWave artists who knows what we could've done...

here's one... >
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAZIvyAJfeM

Greenlaw
05-05-2014, 03:20 PM
All I'm saying is that if you're going to make your own film (short or feature length,) you first need to have a good story to tell. No amount of whiz bang tech is going to make a bad story better. (I know that doesn't stop Hollywood from trying but maybe they're proving my point.)

After that, you need to design your production to fit within your means. If your skill level or your software isn't capable of executing what you've written, you can either buy software that has that capability and take the time to learn how to use it, hire people who can do the work for you, or simply re-write the story and/or design the production to fit the tools/skills you already have.

I'd go with the third option--it's easier and cheaper, but that's just me. :)

G.

silviotoledo
05-05-2014, 05:44 PM
Life of Pi quality CG using $995 lightwave??

Why not? :) Michael Commet, wich created the impressive Maya Muscle system was a lightwave user.

And this is an open source plugin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0akFtKiayo

Chris Jones work is impressive, but requires a lot of time and work. With a muscle system it would be easier to do it without a too complex and heavy setup.

And the powerfull system from Sony looks similar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNCB9wZP8k8

geo_n
05-05-2014, 06:54 PM
A 995usd product is not in the price bracket to pay a developer to create a highend muscle system such as those in Life of Pi. If you want highend muscle system you should be willing to pay 5k usd up or more, or pay a developer with own pocket. But I doubt a lot of people in the modo, lw price bracket are willing to pay for increased price of modo, lw at 5k usd.
Opensource is a different model. They're into it for research, hobby, make a name and get hired, and not for sustaining a business.

erikals
05-05-2014, 07:29 PM
Chris Jones work is impressive, but requires a lot of time and work. With a muscle system it would be easier to do it without a too complex and heavy setup.

no, that stuff is done manually, maybe FaceRobot can do it, but doesn't matter, xSI is gone... :/

Surrealist.
05-05-2014, 09:54 PM
All I'm saying is that if you're going to make your own film (short or feature length,) you first need to have a good story to tell. No amount of whiz bang tech is going to make a bad story better. (I know that doesn't stop Hollywood from trying but maybe they're proving my point.)

After that, you need to design your production to fit within your means. If your skill level or your software isn't capable of executing what you've written, you can either buy software that has that capability and take the time to learn how to use it, hire people who can do the work for you, or simply re-write the story and/or design the production to fit the tools/skills you already have.

I'd go with the third option--it's easier and cheaper, but that's just me. :)

G.

Words of wisdom. :)

Airwaves
05-05-2014, 09:55 PM
Definitely sage advice. A great story makes the movie that much better.

jeric_synergy
05-05-2014, 10:02 PM
Currently reading "The Nobel Approach", and story is the most important aspect of any production.

Surrealist.
05-05-2014, 10:02 PM
Why not? :)

Because when it comes down to signing he checks, no one in their right mind would give anyone the money to do it, when those funds are better spent on software and personnel who are qualified so that attention can be put on the story and creative elements.

And if money is to be spent doing something that has not been done or needs an R&D budget, the money goes to those qualified to work, and within the context that there are no tools available. Not wasting time and money re-inventing the wheel.

A personal project?

Sure , knock yourself. And f you are a great salesman you might convince some people to even toss money your way.

But by and large when the money comes, it does not come easy. And it usually goes to those qualified to spend it.

Story elements aside as Hollywood constantly reminds us of course.

Surrealist.
05-05-2014, 10:37 PM
It is true and these are words of wisdom. But at the same time, once that is done, someone has to produce it. And at that point it becomes almost purely a technical matter. Even though the idea of telling a story and how to do that are never lost in any aspect of the production, not to mention problem solving, it still is mainly up to your grasp of the technology and access to tools that determine the quality. Put into the context of clients and deadlines or even the fiscal realities of an independent "labor of love" project, the quality suffers based on technical matters as much or more as it does from skill and talent. Even if we are not talking money, long hours and exhaustion from over work can be a factor that cuts into creativity. And one of the main culprits here is bad software. Unfortunately.

chikega
05-06-2014, 12:35 PM
Some inspiration for the original Thread starter. 1 man 2 computers 6 months. I can't believe this is almost 10 years old.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWFrBEBTEtY

Surrealist.
05-07-2014, 12:21 AM
Yeah that was an inspiration to me as well years back. Can't believe it has been that long. Bought his book, learned rigging and animation in LightWave from his techniques which are very solid in my opinion.

However compared to other packages you don't see a lot of people working at that level in LightWave.... that is telling in itself.... not to beat the horse dead.

chikega
05-07-2014, 12:32 PM
Tis true ... there are not a lot of LW character animators out there. Occasionally I'll find a few examples like this one:

Baby Boom Short Film

http://vimeo.com/94355041

chikega
05-07-2014, 12:39 PM
And here is the making of Baby Boom.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAQz8xkT9dw

chikega
05-07-2014, 12:55 PM
This one doesn't have any character animation per se, but still awesome after all this time (over ten years old as well):


Akryls


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qJ8bYZl3Hw

erikals
05-07-2014, 04:05 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGW0aQSgyxQ

chikega
05-07-2014, 07:11 PM
It would be something if the LWG had the wherewithal to reunite some of the former LW legends, like Taron and Timothy Albee, and team them up with the current high-level LW artists, each with their speciality niche, such as like Dave Jerard, Chris Jones, DW Burman, Craig Monins, Kevin Phillips et al.

I think that's why Blender has advanced so well. They create movies every couple years and they unite a team of some of the best Blender artists and programmers, and they work together to make a short film. During their time together there is a lot of cross-pollination between the artists and programmers. If the artists run into a problem, they present the problem to the programmers and they develop new features.

Surrealist.
05-07-2014, 07:36 PM
It is interesting when I thanked Allen Hastings at an event many many years ago for LightWave because it helped me as a filmmaker to do things I would not have been able to do otherwise, he was genuinely appreciative and told me that the main reason that he started making LightWave in the first place was because he was a filmmaker, and wanted a tool to help him realize his visions. I thought that was cool.

I agree, you can not separate the two areas. They need to be intimately connected. And even AD as large and "disconnected" as they may seem to people, is very much connected to studios and artists in the process of developing tools.

silviotoledo
05-08-2014, 07:40 PM
We must remember Lightwave was one of the three TOP 3D softwares from Market.

Today, Maya, XSI, Houdini, Modo, Max, C4D and Blender have better deformers than lightwave and Lightwave is the only software that does not have a muscle system available yet. It's not a question of price, but the focus on CA shoud be more agressive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytW8UW8yASc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VlthWa5pu8


But no problem, Lightwave is still a productive and amazing tool. So we have to solve technical problems with creativity.

erikals
05-08-2014, 08:17 PM
to be fair, LightWave can do this without pain >
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytW8UW8yASc
except the first seconds of that video that is based on imported data from a separate in-house app, so leaving that part out...

fairly good muscle sim can be done in LightWave today, ain't got the time for a tutorial right now, takes time.
maybe in the future, but yes, it can be done.

XSI has muscle sim, but after all, AutoDesk shut it down... so forget XSI...
yes, Max also has muscle sim, but AutoDesk is moving all the FX stuff into Maya,
if you still use Max you might as well stop and jump to Maya. (Max has been given the ArchViz route)

CA in LightWave is better than ever, so i wouldn't worry...

geo_n
05-08-2014, 09:09 PM
We must remember Lightwave was one of the three TOP 3D softwares from Market.

Today, Maya, XSI, Houdini, Modo, Max, C4D and Blender have better deformers than lightwave and Lightwave is the only software that does not have a muscle system available yet. It's not a question of price, but the focus on CA shoud be more agressive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytW8UW8yASc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VlthWa5pu8


But no problem, Lightwave is still a productive and amazing tool. So we have to solve technical problems with creativity.

NT can hire someone like Erick Miller who wrote a muscle system in maya in C++ for Spiderman 3, etc.
http://erickmiller.com/docs/sap_434_MusculoSkeletalShapeSkinning.pdf
Are you willing to pay upwards 3k usd for lightwave though?

Surrealist.
05-09-2014, 08:08 AM
Good question.

I am willing to pay that price if a program can beat Maya in every aspect of the game as far as features.

What is the reality of there being enough features in LightWave to even justify that price within this decade? Of even Modo for that matter which is moving in that direction a lot faster.

chikega
05-09-2014, 08:36 AM
Can lightwave do the muscle and skin deformations in this short story? :P

Actually this is a great example of a good story line supported by good animation.


https://vimeo.com/94502406

Surrealist.
05-10-2014, 06:33 AM
lol... you mean you don't need muscle deformation to tell a story?

They have a fairly impressive reel:

https://vimeo.com/83207974

Perhaps to keep it on topic the question might be, ask the people at this studio what software they use and why.

erikals
05-10-2014, 07:46 AM
Dang that was Funny... ! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/biggrin.gif

djwaterman
05-10-2014, 09:40 AM
I wonder what was in the box?

blackmondy
05-11-2014, 05:36 AM
Today, Maya, XSI, Houdini, Modo, Max, C4D and Blender have better deformers than lightwave and Lightwave is the only software that does not have a muscle system available yet. It's not a question of price, but the focus on CA shoud be more agressive.


Newtek should really just buy over Messiah Studio and integrate it tightly into Lightwave.

Surrealist.
05-11-2014, 07:35 AM
But I think the fact that it exists outside of LightWave is what makes it what it is. And allows him to develop freely a very unique set of tools.

On the other side I am not so sure they'd be inheriting such a good thing. It has a very hodge podged kinda wonky interface in my opinion. There are a lot of things that have not been finished, have been left as "good enough" and, I don't know... it is a great little app, but I don't think it could be as much of a liability as anything.

That is all assuming it could even be integrated more tightly than it is.... back to the first point.

And on the LightWave side you have a Layout program that has basically been left untouched for 2 decades in terms of level of technology. So this is going to be the host for another app that has also been half baked?

To me the future of LightWave animation ought to be along the lines of Chrono Sculpt and other more modern features that look ahead both technologically and conceptually.

brent3d
05-11-2014, 08:34 AM
Incorporating Messiah would resolve the advanced CA out of the box issue.

brent3d
05-11-2014, 08:41 AM
But I think the fact that it exists outside of LightWave is what makes it what it is. And allows him to develop freely a very unique set of tools.

On the other side I am not so sure they'd be inheriting such a good thing. It has a very hodge podged kinda wonky interface in my opinion. There are a lot of things that have not been finished, have been left as "good enough" and, I don't know... it is a great little app, but I don't think it could be as much of a liability as anything.

That is all assuming it could even be integrated more tightly than it is.... back to the first point.

And on the LightWave side you have a Layout program that has basically been left untouched for 2 decades in terms of level of technology. So this is going to be the host for another app that has also been half baked?

To me the future of LightWave animation ought to be along the lines of Chrono Sculpt and other more modern features that look ahead both technologically and conceptually.

But imagine if LW did ship with Messiah, that would be an awesome start.

Surrealist.
05-11-2014, 09:35 AM
It already does, basically, Messiah is so cheap and also it works as a plugin to LightWave. I think it is going backwards. Furthermore they just went through a huge promotional deal where they basically gave it away for 10-20 bucks per copy. And that got them what? I don't think it got them that many more users at the end of the day. And a lot of people dropped it after they learned what a mess it was in. Just too much trouble to take seriously for most people who are serious about finding a reliable animation tool. And so there is the existing user base which is not at all that large. What exactly is NewTek to gain from this purchase? A tool that even when given away did not prove to be something a lot of people stuck with. And current LightWave users. Probably still have a copy around. What is in it for us? It is not even a good move financially. There are no numbers there to back it up. And when you consider the number of people outside of LightWave that have it on their computer that are not using it. So where is LW3DG going to make the money back for the purchase? And even still what is going to be the big advantage over LightWave including it and something you can already get as a plugin? There really is not a lot to justify here.

And technically speaking it is a liability. They'd have to develop it. Who is going to do that? The way it is developed now is very much a feel of something that is constantly in beta. I mean they only develop it far enough so it works. And then leave it at that. Ease of use or familiarity is not high on the list when it is only one guy.

I think it would not only be a bad financial move, I think it would be a potential PR disaster for LW3Dgroup.

Julez4001
10-24-2016, 06:27 PM
... and Terrance is an avid MODO user nowadays.


Standby on that one.....
Phil Nelson, sir, your phone is ringing!

Julez4001
10-24-2016, 06:29 PM
It already does, basically, Messiah is so cheap and also it works as a plugin to LightWave. I think it is going backwards. ......

And technically speaking it is a liability. They'd have to develop it. Who is going to do that? The way it is developed now is very much a feel of something that is constantly in beta. I mean they only develop it far enough so it works. And then leave it at that. Ease of use or familiarity is not high on the list when it is only one guy.

I think it would not only be a bad financial move, I think it would be a potential PR disaster for LW3Dgroup.

Messiah:Studio as an animation s more than a complete solution. It's the render side that always felt beta and frankly something they should have never persued.