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OlaHaldor
06-18-2014, 03:43 AM
I'm considering bringing my 10 years of hobby/fun/amateur 3D work to a new level. I don't have an education. Period. But I work in the TV and film business as a colorist and onliner on a daily basis. However, with the masses of inexpensive software becoming available (they're literally giving it away for free, and anyone can become a 'colorist') forces me to look for new ground for a source of income.

My interest for 3D brought me to LightWave over a decade ago, after I had a go at 3D Max r2 and didn't understand a thing. LightWave made perfectly sense because of the uncluttered interface. Clear text, no icons. I loved it.


I cannot find ANY 1-year or 2-year training either online or in Norway in general, where LightWave is the focus. Thus I gotta take what's available.
There's a couple of schools that teach 3D design for generalists, and 3D game design where you basically learn the same as the 3D design course on year 1, and the second year you'll dive into UDK to bring your ideas and games to life.

All I know so far is that it's based on Maya. I've never touched Maya except a PLE years ago, whereas I didn't understand a thing - just like with Max.


Have any of you made the leap from LW to Maya? I'm nowhere ready to get rid of LW. It'll always be with me. But Maya might be a handy tool to know in general perhaps?


I feel I'm running loops chasing my tail. Should I apply, should I not? The big "I don't get Maya" idea is getting to me..

toeknee
06-18-2014, 04:25 AM
Hey OlaHaldor, I encourage you to be open minded. I have had the opportunity to be proficient with every major 3D app. I still use Lightwave as my main tool because it just feels natural. Maya has had a very long and slow road to workflow but it is getting much better. I am looking forward to learning Bifrost. I would consider looking at C4D just because it is a much easier transition from LW than Maya is. The workflow has a good consistency to it. The other perspective is that if you are going to grow and learn a new tool, you might just want to go way different. I say this because I taught Houdini for four years and it is a very powerful tool that works well with LW. It seem that there is always a good amount of people looking for Houdini people as well.
Good luck with whatever choice you make big steps in education are never a mistake.

OlaHaldor
06-18-2014, 05:27 AM
Thanks.

The classes are Maya specific though. There's barely anything else being taught in classrooms here. Those who don't teach Maya are using 3D max in their classes.

Danner
06-18-2014, 05:46 AM
I really like doing 3d but I can't recommend anyone to take any course on it, if you think there is a lot of competition as a colorist.. we can get people to do 3d work for us for peanuts and their schools were not cheap.

Netvudu
06-18-2014, 06:58 AM
Maya will do fine for you as a generalist if you understand what will bring to the table. For starters, you render quality will go down the drain for the first year or so, simply because no matter how you put it, Mental Ray is terribly unintuitive and unfriendly (Maya users spoke wonders of Mental Ray when it was the only option. Now that they have alternatives, itīs terrible..go figure). It also bogs down heavily on heavy scenes, and you will not get nice renders until you know it really well. I recommend trying to get hand on an educational version of Arnold or V-ray so that you can compete at a decent level with your Lightwave renders.
Modelling-wise itīs pretty decent. Itīs getting very nice updates and itīs quite capable. You will struggle with the units but otherwise it works well.
Animation-wise youīre in for a treat. Easier animation tools, great viewport and well-though layouts, lots of scripts to help....
Rigging-wise you can go as deep as you want. It is the current standard of the industry for this.
FX-wise supposedly Maya is very good and on of the standards....that was years ago, though. Currently is more of a mixed bag. Some good tools, specially Ncloth, which shines over the rest. Nparticles are pretty nice as well, as long as you donīt plan on rendering them. If you are willing to do some MEL scripting you will be able to get pretty deep into FX with Maya. If you plan on using the stock tools...you wonīt like many things. Rigid bodies are terrible...unless you use the Pulldown-it commercial plugin. Fluid containers are on the lower tech-curve...unless you purchase FumeFX or PhoenixFD commercial plugin. There is a terrible native point replicator...unless you buy Krakatoa which is a commercial plugin...and a long similar etc...

Maya is thought for big studios. For the generalist...itīs much better to complement another tool IMHO

robertoortiz
06-18-2014, 07:31 AM
I am on the same boat.
Since a lot of the animators in my studio are proficient in Maya, it would be unfair for us to not let them use their tool of choice.
so everyone is getting cross trained.
Personally I love modeling and shading in LW, but hate doing character animation in it, so I guess I am in for a treat.
:)

BigHache
06-18-2014, 08:10 AM
I had a job that owned a license of Maya, but I didn't know it at all. I bought an intro book and got a subscription to Digital Tutors for a few months and taught myself. Beautiful system.

I also would not recommend taking a class unless it was near the price of a Digital Tutors subscription.

bazsa73
06-18-2014, 10:19 AM
Go for it. One day you get job because you know Maya. It happens always like that.

KurtF
06-18-2014, 03:51 PM
http://www.3dbuzz.com/training/bundle/mastering-maya-the-fundamentals

I learned more about Maya from this disk than I did in two classes at school. It's a better value as well, plus you get to keep and replay at your leisure.

hazmat777
06-18-2014, 06:52 PM
http://www.3dbuzz.com/training/bundle/mastering-maya-the-fundamentals

I learned more about Maya from this disk than I did in two classes at school. It's a better value as well, plus you get to keep and replay at your leisure.

Have to agree with this. I love their approach to teaching. I got Maya fundamentals a long time ago and loved it. Plus their customer service is great.

roboman
06-18-2014, 08:57 PM
I've taken a bunch of classes for cad and cam programs, as well as for 3ds/max. Lightwave I just kinda started using, back in the Amiga days. Other then a few bad classes, they all gave me ideas on things to do and how things could be done. If it's not a lot of money it's probably worth it, if for no other reason them to meet other people who are interested in the same sort of things you are.

OlaHaldor
06-19-2014, 12:29 AM
Thanks for your input guys! Appreciate it! :)

The 3D Design class is 1 year. 3D Game Design is 2 years, but I suspect the first year is basically the same as 3D Design in terms of what you learn, because UDK stuff is the second year.

One very positive thing about the school is that you can apply for financial support, grants and loans, from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund. The school is about $16,000 a year, regardless of what you study, part of this can be covered by grants and loans. I can study the same on their online offer, and that's half the price - but no teacher or classmates to discuss with. There's a forum but I don't know how well it works. Travel and living expenses I gotta cover on my own.

However, online courses like 3D Buzz or Simply Lightwave, are not valid to apply for grants and loans at the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund. I gotta pay from my own pocket in total.

It's not that I want to learn Maya. If I'm not going to that school, I probably won't get into Maya at all and keep using LightWave for what I do.
On the other hand, it would be great to have a graduation to show on my CV - as of now I'm the good old self taught dumb *** who can't say where I learned my stuff from.



I'll check out 3D Buzz. Thanks!

Netvudu
06-19-2014, 05:15 PM
I also would not recommend taking a class unless it was near the price of a Digital Tutors subscription.

WHAT IM EXPRESSING HERE IS MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION, AND DOESNT REFLECT NECESSARILY THE OPINION OF THE COMPANY I WORK FOR.

IMHO, worst tip ever. I understand this might read biased as I teach at FX Animation school, but seriously, if you donīt want to go to any school, thatīs fine, get some online or pre-recorded video tutorials, but donīt get anywhere close to Digital Tutors (or Lynda). Tutorials, like schools and teachers can be very good or terribly bad. Tutorials that only teach you button pushing and lame examples will only build lame skills and bad practices on you and no deep knowledge on the internals of what youīre doing.
If nobody tells you what will happen when you go beyond the ball and floor example into a true production scenario you will fail and meet disaster. If you donīt understand why things work in a way or another beyond the parameters, you wonīt be able to get away from any problem you get into in a real scene.

I have nothing against Digital Tutors as a company, but 90% of what Iīve seen from them (with a couple of rare exceptions) were TERRIBLE lessons: shallow teaching, with glaring omissions and sometimes downright wrong statements. They all treat the student as if he/she were dumb as hell. The scenes they use look and feel terrible, and get solved with many non-elegant methods that would create havoc on any big scene.
If you learn from there, you will start from a much lower position than learning from anywhere else, plus youīre paying for it. Get a real value from your money.

Donīt feed fast food to your brain. It works once and satisfies your knowledge hunger but in the long run it creates wreak on your skills. Get good food and build strong foundations.

Thereīs a very simple way of knowing how good/bad the place where you will learn is. Check students demo reels. If they are good (and not "cheated" I wonīt go into this), chances are the formation is equally strong. If the reels are poor or you canīt find any around...you will hear thousands of excuses for those...it doesnīt matter what they say. It still excuses. You canīt show quality, thereīs no good preparation there.

jasonwestmas
06-19-2014, 06:46 PM
Assuming the reputation of the instructors are good, take the maya class, the knowledge you gain using very good animation tools would carry over into any animation package.

OlaHaldor
06-19-2014, 11:35 PM
I'll snoop around and see what others think of the instructors, and the classes in general. I've got a response on a norwegian forum about the class itself though. He said that given my experience (based on what I've posted on the forum I guess), he didn't think it would suit me well. It's more like a 101 course - for everything. Not just Maya, but 3D, texturing and all other topics in general. So I googled and searched through YouTube. The student work did not look.. good.. That put me off a bit, to be honest.

That leaves me with the 3D Game Design class, which is 2 years and learning to work with UDK.
You can read about the class (https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.noroff.no%2Fstudieoversikt%2Ffa gskolestudier%2F3d-spilldesign&edit-text=) using Google Translate, if you can understand the poor translation.

Surrealist.
06-20-2014, 06:21 AM
If you are worrying about future employment I would perhaps look at the class offering as some kind of indication as to what the job market is going to be like. For more of a feel for that there is always the CG Talk job postings which are a fairly good barometer as to which companies are hiring and for what software.

But it is an extremely fast paced and competitive field. I would save my money and time and simply study at home. The manual is free, download it. Study. If you want to keep using LightWave just dig in. There is no shortage of infomation on 3D these days. You can learn anything you need to. Start getting involved in some kind of project or make your own. Read up a lot. Experiment a lot and you can go at your own pace and get further likely in less time.

And the bonus is you get to stick with LightWave.

If you want to go with Maya save your money and buy a copy and study yourself. Even getting a grant does not help you with the other expenses. You can get an educational license from AD and use it at home to study until you are ready to start working with it.

Rentals, lots of options.

Just not a big fan of any institutions as they can not keep up with the fast paced technical advances and I am more of a self starter anyway.

That's just me.

jasonwestmas
06-20-2014, 07:34 AM
yeah get a copy of maya, really nice animation tools. There's a boatload of maya tutorials to which is partly why it is so popular. Plus it works nicely with Lightwave.

OlaHaldor
06-20-2014, 09:22 AM
I got in touch with a current student at the school. They teach anything Autodesk and Adobe it seems. So that means you'll have access to both 3D Max and Maya.
I also learned they have a 2D/3D DAK/CAD/BIM class which is also a 1 year deal.
So to sum it up, I could take 3D Design 1st year, 3D Game Design 2nd year, and DAK/CAD/BIM the 3rd year.
Sounds interesting. And expensive.

And here's a bummer. If I take all this through the web, not physically in a classroom, I miss out on being part of a team, learning from other students, and not least; the tutoring for software is through Lynda.. Don't know what to say now. I've also seen a couple of random YouTube videos of the students. They're mostly 10 years younger (and are completely new to 3D). I'm split between "YAY!! IT'S ALL SO EXCITING! I WANNA GO THERE!" and "bah.."

jasonwestmas
06-20-2014, 10:01 AM
I wouldn't bother unless you are really in need of very rudimentary instruction. There are pretty advanced tutorials out there already, you'd get more for your money if you are disciplined enough on your own.

jeric_synergy
06-20-2014, 10:01 AM
Can one GET an educational version without actually being enrolled in a certified institution? I know c4d was very picky about this.

As for teamwork: yes, that's tough, but perhaps your city has animation/art clubs that could provide you with that sort of fellowship. Or, start one.

IMO the best way to move ahead is to have a SPECIFIC project, and create that. There's an excellent BLENDER book that walks you thru the whole process: script, storyboard, audio, -- if you make a one or 2 minute short, believe me, you'll learn plenty and you'll save thousands.

Surrealist.
06-20-2014, 10:14 AM
Agreed on the short idea. Another idea is to look into some internships. They vary greatly but some might be just the thing.

But the bottom line is you have to define the goal. If it really is to get work, I'd say stay home, learn a ton, put together a killer reel. No matter what software. But if job placement is a big deal there are likely more opportunities for Maya or Max. But that said occasionally there are LightWave jobs to be snatched up and there are not too many guys qualified to fill them these days. So I'd say just set a goal, decide where it is you want to be and what you want to be doing and work toward getting those skills mastered. Toss together a reel and portfolio, and start applying.

jeric_synergy
06-20-2014, 10:39 AM
I'd say MAYA and C4D 'round here (Seattle and area). I've talked to video producers who have never HEARD of LW.

I >>WISH<< I could find a Lightwave house around here: our user group was very moribund, and eventually all drifted away. :(

jasonwestmas
06-20-2014, 11:11 AM
Yes, Internships and working on very specific projects will help you immensely!

jeric_synergy
06-20-2014, 11:42 AM
The tricky bit is feeding yourself, paying rent, and other trivial matters. 8~

OlaHaldor
06-20-2014, 02:33 PM
Oh absolutely, jeric. That's part of the reason to go for a 1 or 2 year deal and apply for grants and loans. As well as actually having papers that says "Ola knows his stuff".
I've been working longer than I've been at school. I didn't go to high school nor college, I went straight to work, thus I have nothing to show for when possible employees want some papers - so this is also part of my reason to go to school.

I've been talking a lot with my fiance now, and she's really eager for me to study and preferably in a classroom with classmates and the whole shebang. She believes strongly in having papers to show for in the future will help. I hope she's right.


So I'm thinking;
- take the 3D Design class
- Purchase a subscription at Simply LightWave (to keep in touch and updated with LW3D stuff) and other sites like Liberty 3D. If anyone knows anything else LW3D related I should have a look at, I'm listening.
- Use the complimentary Lynda.com subscription that comes with the 3D Design class a lot, for Maya and anything else that's relevant
- Use my usual tools alongside the class (SynthEyes, 3D Coat, World Machine, TurbulenceFD, and so on..) to fill in or add to, if needed, the weekly assignments.

After a year at that school, we'll see how it goes and if I feel it's something I want to continue on. Then at least I'd have papers on what I did that first year.



Maya it is then. Just gotta apply for the class, grants and loans now.

jasonwestmas
06-20-2014, 03:39 PM
References from companies/people and your demo are most important.

Wickedpup
06-20-2014, 04:07 PM
Considered looking outside Norway? Like Sweden?

OlaHaldor
06-20-2014, 06:14 PM
I don't think my fiancee would approve being apart for so long. ;) She's got a good and steady job.
If I had the chance, I think I'd apply for DAVE school. Dream on..

faulknermano
06-20-2014, 10:38 PM
I have nothing against Digital Tutors as a company, but 90% of what Iīve seen from them (with a couple of rare exceptions) were TERRIBLE lessons: shallow teaching, with glaring omissions and sometimes downright wrong statements.

Just for the record, I ditto this.:agree:

sampei
06-21-2014, 08:30 AM
References from companies/people and your demo are most important.
this, nothing more and nothing less. For some employers papers can be a decent plus but only after you caught their attention with impressive reel/work experience. OlaHaldor I didn't catch if you plan to specialize or not?

digitaldoc
06-21-2014, 09:22 AM
Best of luck to you Ola. Check and see if the school has any affiliations with gaming or production companies where you could possibly intern as well. Internships can be extremely valuable in making contacts for you as well as checking out employment opportunities that might interest you. Many students pay huge sums of money for online and/or classroom education in 3D/Visual effects with huge student loan burdens and few prospects of real full time employment on graduation. Throw in a few accounting and science courses if you have the time which may set you apart and give you some additional skills which will make you more valuable to prospective employers.

Surrealist.
06-21-2014, 09:38 AM
+1 on just showing your work.

A piece of paper in this industry is virtually worthless. This is a misplaced recommendation. Something that would hold up in other purely technical fields but not this one - at all. And therefore efforts in that direction are completely wasted in this case.

This is the one field for sure driven only by what you can do even more than software. Although that is a factor and another story. I do recommend Maya.

OlaHaldor
06-21-2014, 10:42 AM
this, nothing more and nothing less. For some employers papers can be a decent plus but only after you caught their attention with impressive reel/work experience. OlaHaldor I didn't catch if you plan to specialize or not?

At this moment, I'm open to all options.


I've tried to tell my fiancé, her parents, my parents, siblings and friends that the creative industry is quite different than others when it comes to papers and education. But with the given situation where newbies with little insight thus lower prices keep forcing the prices down and take on the jobs a better suited and experienced person should have, I'm basically out of a job.

So instead of doing nothing, at least I can do this, and see what it leads me to. I'm very interested in arch viz, and wish I could work with that. I'm also very interested in doing VFX, such as water, explosions, smoke and things like that, and not least games and map/environment creation, all though I have no idea how to. Yet.

jeric_synergy
06-21-2014, 11:45 AM
While you're learning, offer your services pro bono to non-profits and charities you favor. You'll get experience, experience w/dealing with OTHER peoples goals, contacts, and a nice warm feeling.

sampei
06-21-2014, 01:59 PM
At this moment, I'm open to all options.
I've tried to tell my fiancé, her parents, my parents, siblings and friends that the creative industry is quite different than others when it comes to papers and education. But with the given situation where newbies with little insight thus lower prices keep forcing the prices down and take on the jobs a better suited and experienced person should have, I'm basically out of a job. So instead of doing nothing, at least I can do this, and see what it leads me to. I'm very interested in arch viz, and wish I could work with that. I'm also very interested in doing VFX, such as water, explosions, smoke and things like that, and not least games and map/environment creation, all though I have no idea how to. Yet.
I use this example to explain it: when you commission a table from a wood artisan you ask to see his past work: if his furniture is precise, has a good finish and is strong that's all you need to know. Who cares where he learned his craft as long as he delivers? so here's my humble opinion if you are serious about arch viz (feel free to take it with a pinch of salt or two): you do not need a course to get good at it. It's all about realism, so start with photography: buy a dslr and make it second nature to observe the world through it. It's imperative you learn about lighting, begin to observe light and shadow in your daily life, take your camera and a notepad everywhere you go, tons of great books on this subject too. Forums and galleries are crammed with amazing work. Learn from it. Study pro photographers, buy magazines and build a collection of great shots to inspire you and from which you can learn from. The 3D stuff is only a tool to create a picture, you can learn all about it later and all you need is already in manuals, forums, books and videos ready for you to absorb. If you want to do it, all you need is lots of time. Not sure about the vfx stuff but you could always learn it on the sideline and implement it in your arch viz pieces. In the odd chance you haven't seen it, here's something to inspire you: http://vimeo.com/7809605

Surrealist.
06-22-2014, 03:09 AM
At this moment, I'm open to all options.

I've tried to tell my fiancé, her parents, my parents, siblings and friends that the creative industry is quite different than others when it comes to papers and education. But with the given situation where newbies with little insight thus lower prices keep forcing the prices down and take on the jobs a better suited and experienced person should have, I'm basically out of a job.

So instead of doing nothing, at least I can do this, and see what it leads me to. I'm very interested in arch viz, and wish I could work with that. I'm also very interested in doing VFX, such as water, explosions, smoke and things like that, and not least games and map/environment creation, all though I have no idea how to. Yet.

There is of course Houdini Apprentice which for 99 USD you can use for a year. Train up on it, learn to do killer effects, send out a reel and have a job in one year - or less.

Maybe just focus on one of those things? Arch Vis would be good for LW. You would not have to change apps necessarily. But you'd probably find a lot of shops using Max. But you could cut through that with killer LW renders and get a job regardless in a lot of cases.

Learning LightWave better than you know now to put out some killer renderings would lessen your new job window to a matter of months.

I would impress upon your friends and family the time factor. You can turn this around on your own much faster. Maybe negotiate a 6 moths window to get a new job on your own. And after that consider school.

OlaHaldor
06-22-2014, 05:04 AM
Hey OlaHaldor, I encourage you to be open minded. I have had the opportunity to be proficient with every major 3D app. I still use Lightwave as my main tool because it just feels natural. Maya has had a very long and slow road to workflow but it is getting much better. I am looking forward to learning Bifrost.

I've never heard of Bifrost until you mentioned it. Became curious what it is and had a look at some videos. WOW!
Is Bifrost a plugin or does it come included with Maya?

That's actually a big incentive to learn Maya.

Surrealist.
06-22-2014, 05:12 AM
Yeah it is in Maya and it is pretty cool. Beginning stages of integration into Maya however and it has limited features, but still pretty cool. If you are considering specializing in FX though really look into Houdini. Maya is good at a lot of things but it is an app that is best if your main focus is character animation. If not you are better to look at other apps for special effects, if that is going to be your focus.

Basically in my opinion it is Maya hands down if you are producing character animation. The dynamics in Maya are very well suited for characters. Cloth, Hair and so on. Then the new features such as Xgen, Bifrost and so on are very good and welcome features along with open subdiv. You can not really go wrong.

But again, top dog for VFX is Houdini.

So I would first, decide what you want to focus on and what the pipeline you want to be working in will be. Then go from there.

jasonwestmas
06-22-2014, 08:58 AM
In many cases where you are only doing camera fly-throughs of beautiful renders of "man-made" structures/products (more or less concept art) you can pretty much do that in any application (with post-process work) to the same level and could get hired just because you are graphically talented and not because of how many tool-sets you know. They may ask you if you have mental ray, octane, final render, keyshot or vray experience etc. and I would suggest learning how to use a second render engine or three for those types of jobs. Mainly this is because most of the time you'll be: Sketching/modeling/sculpting/painting/Lighting/Shading/rendering/compositing. Kind of technical but not very specialized between the software.

If however you are planning on learning a lot of motion graphics, special FX or Character stuff I would suggest picking only one of those fields and to specialize in the most popular software for it (if you want a job) first and getting really good at one of them because these disciplines are are so artist-specialized, HIGHLY technical and different. You'll need the best tools for this type of work to stand out as well as being a talented artist imo.

OlaHaldor
06-25-2014, 12:05 AM
OK guys. I've made the step. But it took a different turn than I first thought.
Turns out there's a different school here that also teach mainly Autodesk software. However, these guys are super fast at answering their emails, compared to the first school who still haven't answered my two emails in two weeks.

I got a few answers regarding using what I'm familiar with if I see fit, but still learning Maya. The instructor said that many come to learn Maya, but also knows at least one other app. The trend the past couple of years is the students know Modo, and keep using it through out the course when they see it's a better fit for the task. And I guess I'm no different when it comes to LightWave.

The instructor said he and the other instructors encourage the students to know multiple software so they can use what's going to solve the problems and challenges they will meet.

And it sound like I can do just exactly what I want, and the instructor will back me up. Say, I'd like to learn more about arch viz.. Ok! The instructor will bring in someone good at arch viz to have a lecture, not only for me, but for the whole class. If I wanna give VFX a more in depth look, he'll bring in someone who worked on something exciting. After all, the school is literally just minutes away from the studio who did VFX for "Kon-Tiki". There's plenty of people to get a hold of! :)


I applied to the school who answered my questions. Now I'm just waiting to see if the application goes through.

lightscape
06-25-2014, 03:22 AM
To be honest you should really just focus on learning maya if that's what they're offering. Give it a few years of total dedication and you wont regret it. Once you become an expert in maya then its good to combine the strength of lw modelling and its renderer.

djwaterman
06-25-2014, 03:37 AM
I'm sure he/she will, once the basics of Maya are introduced that should take care of itself. Good luck with your application.

OlaHaldor
07-06-2014, 05:57 AM
I got in. Returning the signed contract tomorrow and then it's done. I'm a student from August.

sampei
07-07-2014, 11:09 AM
got to admit I'm glad you didn't follow my advice, hope you find it's been worth it in the end...work hard :thumbsup:

chikega
07-07-2014, 09:24 PM
There is of course Houdini Apprentice which for 99 USD you can use for a year. Train up on it, learn to do killer effects, send out a reel and have a job in one year - or less

Houdini Apprentice actually has no time limit. Resolution is limited and there is a watermark. Houdini Apprentice HD has higher resolution and no water mark for $99/y.

Surrealist.
07-08-2014, 05:38 AM
Yeah that's true. I did not mean to confuse by leaving off HD. I don't even consider the unpaid version anymore as I just figure it is worth the 99 bucks to go HD if you are going to put out a reel.

OlaHaldor
08-27-2014, 01:32 PM
Alright guys, first week of school is soon over. And I'm having a blast. :)
I clearly see reasons to know Maya, but I also see reasons to stick with LightWave, at least for modeling.

We've gone through very basic stuff so far, mostly extruding boxes and cylinders into different objects so the new and inexperienced guys understands the foundation of basic and low poly modeling. The objects have mostly been subpatched (or smoothed as they say in Maya?).

It's fun, it's kind of addictive, and I would love to have some of the tools in LightWave. I'm sure I'm not alone with that.
One thing's for sure - I won't even try to do any arch viz modeling. Oh boy! LWCAD <3

Surrealist.
08-27-2014, 03:34 PM
By the way what version of Maya are you using?

I also have a tendency to stick with my original program for modeling until I am more familiar with the new app. It is certainly different than LightWave and you'll miss some tools.

Good to see you are having a blast. I really loved learning Maya. Wishing you continued success!

OlaHaldor
08-28-2014, 12:17 AM
It's Maya 2015. We're also given access to other tools like Max, Mudbox, ZBrush and Modo. But I bypassed the "do not install software" and got LW3D with LWCAD in yesterday. Simply can't get my head around Mayas rendering yet. But bringing a model or a scene from Maya had me going with a spectacular render in no time, compared to all the hassle I had to do to make something I'd like to call a "typical newbie Maya render". I'm sure you know what I mean.

Surrealist.
08-28-2014, 01:20 AM
Yep, you have to get your head around Maya and Mental Ray. It is not appropriate for me to really get into a discussion about Maya support here. But you can contact me privately and I'd be glad to help you with a quick start for MR rendering in Maya so you can get that going too if you like.

OlaHaldor
10-08-2014, 05:57 AM
We've just delivered some model project - I completed it in LightWave with LWCAD. I can't imagine making such details as effortless in Maya as I do with LightWave.
But we've also started animation now, and I'm very, very impressed already with just a basic thing such as deformers.. Is there anything equal to non-linear deformers in LightWave? I must, embarrassed, say that I haven't looked much at animation tools in LightWave except Bullet dynamics, hard/soft body dynamics and the very simple translate/rotate stuff - because I've never had to.

We've been given a task to make a ball and a box into characters. No face. No arms. No legs. They should work as the shapes they are. But you can rotate, bend, stretch, squash, twist.. Do whatever you can think of. And within half a day I have made a rig I'm pretty happy about both for the ball and for the box.

Happily, I found a way to get the motion baked into cache and import to LightWave (using the DP_MD plugin) for rendering. I prefer vanilla LW or Octane for that.

It's not much, but it's what I got done monday after a few hours of practice. Octane render done in a swiff!
I'm really looking forward to make a little story about a ball and a box! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQH7rchb8bM

Surrealist.
10-08-2014, 06:14 AM
Yeah once you get the basic settings in Mental Ray it is fairly quick to set up basic renders as well. Just takes getting your head around Mental Ray settings.

What I usually do if I just want it quick and dirty is simply go to the Render Settings panel and under indirect lighting create a Physical Sun and Sky.

This automatically sets up final gather and you have your node settings in the Attribute editor for the mia_physicalsky.

Then I select the sun object in the Outliner and scale it up. Then I can rotate it around visually into position.

A few trips to the manual will help.

But for Mental Ray have a look at the mental ray docs to get your head around the concepts you'll need to know to fine tune your scene.


Anyway looks like you had some fun. Looking forward to more updates. :)

jeric_synergy
10-08-2014, 08:53 AM
"except Bullet dynamics, hard/soft body dynamics "

Those are the WORST bits!!! And, IMO, that's not animation, it's simulation. 8~

Mr_Q
10-08-2014, 10:11 AM
A sad state for Lightwave right now. NO ONE is teaching it. We are literally running out of LW artists to hire here in Los Angeles! I've had buddies from three other companies, also my own, asking for bodies and there's nothing to be found. Maya is taking over even more now by DEFAULT.

Further frustrating is no new artists seem to be training themselves at home. At least not in quality numbers. That's how I got my start back in the late 90s. Hell, most of us did. Kids coming out of school worth-a-damn for such things was pretty much non-existent until the mid-2000s.

Surrealist.
10-08-2014, 10:32 AM
True. What kind of skills are you looking for particularly?

Just curious.

JohnMarchant
10-08-2014, 11:04 AM
Of course there is another way of looking at all this. If in the future LW comes back to the main stream all of those few that have the LW skills already will be in a very good position. It is still the skills not the tool that counts. Even major VFX houses that are all Maya still use other software as well like ZBrush and the like. Modeling in Maya and Houdini the last time i did it was not a good experience. LWG3D needs to get LW to be a modeler like Modo and C4D and a Layout like Houdini, that would make me a very happy bunny indeed.

OlaHaldor
10-08-2014, 11:26 AM
"except Bullet dynamics, hard/soft body dynamics "

Those are the WORST bits!!! And, IMO, that's not animation, it's simulation. 8~

You're absolutely right. And that just proves how limited my animation experience and knowledge is. :) Thus, happily learning it from scratch in the class, and then working countless hours at home, with the goal to be one of the top three students.

For what it's worth.. I'm having some great fun on this animation project so far. I'm about to start animating the box soon. Still a WIP, things to be done, added, refined, you name it. And it'll all go back to LightWave for final camera animation and rendering. I simply can't stand the render stuff in Maya..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfQdsueGer8

wesleycorgi
10-08-2014, 01:54 PM
A sad state for Lightwave right now. NO ONE is teaching it. We are literally running out of LW artists to hire here in Los Angeles! I've had buddies from three other companies, also my own, asking for bodies and there's nothing to be found. Maya is taking over even more now by DEFAULT.

Further frustrating is no new artists seem to be training themselves at home. At least not in quality numbers. That's how I got my start back in the late 90s. Hell, most of us did. Kids coming out of school worth-a-damn for such things was pretty much non-existent until the mid-2000s.
I wish I had a portfolio/reel that I could speak of! My stuff is mostly non-VFX stuff. (I'm a self-taught LWaver).

Farhad_azer
10-10-2014, 04:46 PM
WHAT IM EXPRESSING HERE IS MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION, AND DOESNT REFLECT NECESSARILY THE OPINION OF THE COMPANY I WORK FOR.

IMHO, worst tip ever. I understand this might read biased as I teach at FX Animation school, but seriously, if you donīt want to go to any school, thatīs fine, get some online or pre-recorded video tutorials, but donīt get anywhere close to Digital Tutors (or Lynda). Tutorials, like schools and teachers can be very good or terribly bad. Tutorials that only teach you button pushing and lame examples will only build lame skills and bad practices on you and no deep knowledge on the internals of what youīre doing.
If nobody tells you what will happen when you go beyond the ball and floor example into a true production scenario you will fail and meet disaster. If you donīt understand why things work in a way or another beyond the parameters, you wonīt be able to get away from any problem you get into in a real scene.

I have nothing against Digital Tutors as a company, but 90% of what Iīve seen from them (with a couple of rare exceptions) were TERRIBLE lessons: shallow teaching, with glaring omissions and sometimes downright wrong statements. They all treat the student as if he/she were dumb as hell. The scenes they use look and feel terrible, and get solved with many non-elegant methods that would create havoc on any big scene.
If you learn from there, you will start from a much lower position than learning from anywhere else, plus youīre paying for it. Get a real value from your money.

Donīt feed fast food to your brain. It works once and satisfies your knowledge hunger but in the long run it creates wreak on your skills. Get good food and build strong foundations.

Thereīs a very simple way of knowing how good/bad the place where you will learn is. Check students demo reels. If they are good (and not "cheated" I wonīt go into this), chances are the formation is equally strong. If the reels are poor or you canīt find any around...you will hear thousands of excuses for those...it doesnīt matter what they say. It still excuses. You canīt show quality, thereīs no good preparation there.

I absolutely agree with everything you said sir.

OlaHaldor
10-10-2014, 06:11 PM
I'm soooooo so happy I can bring animation cache over to LightWave to render and animate camera etc.. I might be too unfamiliar with the way Maya handles camera animation, but I find it a major pita compared to the ease of manipulating translation and rotation in LightWave. And once again - LightWave and Octane have the easiest way of setting up a good render. Always been fond of the fact I don't need to be a rocket scientist to make something look good enough.

Another wip. :)
There's still a couple of seconds to add in the end. The ball will jump, and the box will follow. After end credit they will move into frame again, camera will move to the right and they come across a pyramid on its head. THE END. What they do with their discovery is up to the viewers imagination.

I'm done with this animation two weeks before the animation assignment week has started, delivery deadline in three weeks.. Enough time to make another 1 min animation. :thumbsup:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBb8QvYHTzc


And I have to agree about the video tutorials. And I'm very happy I didn't go for the internet course at one of the schools (which is basically an open door to anything Lynda and Digital Tutors included with the tuition - they don't have teachers at the school doing the online course - but mentors for assignments) which would've cost me dozens of times more than actually having a subscription on my own.

The little I've seen of these videos during classes at school have been OK for those who's never touched anything 3D, but they're very limited to continue doing basic stuff since there's very little or no tutorials to take it beyond the 101 getting started videos.

The teacher at the school I attend is doing a great job to challenge the newbies, and expect more of those of us who have some experience. Just like I want it to be.