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Tassie Marcus
07-05-2014, 12:55 AM
Unity and LW. Back teaching Computer graphics after a ten year gap. Not used LW for some time. Is Unity in LW the full featured product?. Computer Science courses teach JavaScript. Would LScript in LW cover this. Trying to combine student interest in gaming, engineering and media with the one package. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks

MarcusM
07-05-2014, 08:27 AM
Hi

You can do a lot with LW and Unity. There are some limits in LW for game dev but you must know what you need.
For students for sure the best would be Maya and Zbrush, from point of view future work in game dev.

Here are few my posts with models done all in LW and put in to Unity:
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?134461-Tip-Tutorial-Bake-textures-UV-borders-prepare-in-PS-Unity&highlight=bake+tutorial
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?140955-Military-suppoert-vehicle-low-poly
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?141073-ZU23-2-anti-aircraft-autocannon-low-poly
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?138026-Low-poly-military-vechicle-BRDM-2
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?131677-Low-poly-Iveco-Daily
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?130677-Low-poly-VW-T5-object
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?131292-Low-poly-Honda-Accord-model
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?130391-Low-poly-models-for-swimming-simulator

Tassie Marcus
07-05-2014, 09:37 PM
Unity and LW. Back teaching Computer graphics after a ten year gap. Not used LW for some time. Is Unity in LW the full featured product?. Computer Science courses teach JavaScript. Would LScript in LW cover this. Trying to combine student interest in gaming, engineering and media with the one package. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks

Thanks Marcus M I'll look through your posts. Maya cost is a bt much for our college and it would appear more cost effective to saty with LW. Thanks again.

Danner
07-06-2014, 06:05 AM
Unity and LW work fine together, but LScript and JavaScript are quite different.

robertoortiz
07-06-2014, 08:48 AM
Cool. This is really useful guys. Thanks.

Rayek
07-08-2014, 12:30 AM
If Javascript is taught, why not use Unity's Javascript to build small applications and games?

Also, you might want to consider Blender instead of LW for the course:
- great interoperability with Unity - Unity loads Blend files natively, and also supports Rigify in Blender for semi-automated humanoid rigs;
- open source, and thus available to every student;
- it's free, and runs from a USB drive if necessary - this makes Blender extremely friendly in a classroom environment (even on machines that are safeguarded from installing new software);
- Blender is the de facto standard nowadays for many indie game developers to create game assets (most Unity users work with Blender);
- there is a high school text manual available for Blender: http://www.cdschools.org/Page/455
- there are far more quality tutorials available for free for Blender;
- Blender offers 3d painting and sculpting, as well as good baking (now also in Cycles). These are important for game assets nowadays, and Lightwave lacks sculpting and 3d painting.

I am not against Lightwave (not at all) - just that in this case Blender may be a better option. At the very least consider Blender as a secondary tool.

Some game art/low poly tutorials for Blender:
http://www.gamefromscratch.com/page/Complete-Blender-Game-Art-Tutorial-From-zero-experience-to-2D-or-3D-game-ready-asset.aspx
http://cgcookie.com/blender/cgc-courses/low-poly-game-asset-creation-fire-hydrant-in-blender-and-unity-3d/

If you get the Blender Foundation DVDs you are allowed to share those with your students (Creative Commons license). That is what I did as well.
http://www.blender3d.org/e-shop/product_info_n.php?products_id=133
http://www.blender3d.org/e-shop/product_info_n.php?products_id=149

Also consider Substance Designer and Substance Painter - I believe the educational versions are very affordable.

And since you mentioned engineering: show the students how to 3d print models!
http://www.blender3d.org/e-shop/product_info_n.php?products_id=160

lightscape
07-08-2014, 12:47 AM
If its a consideration to use other software I wouldn't use blender even if they gave it away with cash incentive. Job placement is very very poor for blender. Not to mention the projects that are done in blender are paying peanuts. Indie type projects rarely pay well if at all.
The workflow itself, though subjective, is known to be harder to grasp than simpler appz like lightwave and modo. Rarely do people find learning blender easy as an initial entry to 3D. Or are the vast majority of people in CG wrong about blender? :)
I would consider industry standard appz like maya, max and zbrush more than anything if it's a consideration to use other appz and for students future.

Rayek
07-08-2014, 01:22 AM
If its a consideration to use other software I wouldn't use blender even if they gave it away with cash incentive. Job placement is very very poor for blender. Not to mention the projects that are done in blender are paying peanuts. Indie type projects rarely pay well if at all.
The workflow itself, though subjective, is known to be harder to grasp than simpler appz like lightwave and modo. Rarely do people find learning blender easy as an initial entry to 3D. Or are the vast majority of people in CG wrong about blender? :)
I would consider industry standard appz like maya, max and zbrush more than anything if it's a consideration to use other appz and for students future.

The OP mentioned lack of financial resources, and also that this is a more general course in computer graphics. Otherwise I would have agreed with you that Maya or 3dMax would have been a better choice if those students are working towards an industry job.

But since it is Lightwave we are talking about, and budget IS a consideration, Blender offers more flexibility in my opinion. Sculpting, fluid and smoke dynamics, painting, full object and camera motion tracking, a full nodal compositor... There is just more to work with in this particular classroom setting in my opinion.

And let's not forget that Lightwave's split personality (layout<->modeler) can be a quite jarring experience as well.

Btw, a poll was held over at the Unity forums a short while ago, and the use of Blender outnumbered all the other packages by far. And I do not think the OP's course is meant as a full-on industry targeted course, so the use of the tool to explain the principles is probably not that important. Though I am uncertain what the final goals are, of course.

Even on the Modo forum users are starting to see Blender's strength for game asset creation, and feel Modo's development would be better off forsaking that market at this point: http://community.thefoundry.co.uk/discussion/post.aspx?f=4&t=60807&p=810920

And Epic Games just sponsored the Blender Foundation once again with a 10.000 euro donation:
http://www.cgchannel.com/2014/07/epic-games-funds-blender-development/

It's quite obvious where this is going. The big AAA game dev houses will not switch to Modo, Lightwave, or Blender. But seeing Epic is making sure Blender is the best (free) tool to generate assets for their engine, and most Unity users create their assets in Blender, I would not say Blender is a bad choice for fledgling game developers at this point.

I am not saying one is better than the other - only to consider which package would fit the course and students more.

Tassie Marcus
07-08-2014, 06:22 PM
Thanks for the fantastic advice. I will follow up on the suggestions.