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saranine
09-02-2014, 08:22 PM
I bought lightwave a year ago.

I still have no idea.

For instance today I tried to do the exercise on page 50 of the lightwave magazine. I created a disc. But I have no idea how to see what the dimensions are of the disc.

This is how far I have got folks. In 1 year of playing with lightwave the interface still makes the same amount of sense that it made a year ago: none at all.

You will say "go to a tutorial". Fine. But honestly I should have to go to a tutorial to learn THAT?

ernpchan
09-02-2014, 08:35 PM
Do you have the numeric panel open? Hit 'n' to bring it up. That'll give you feedback on what your tool dimensions are which in turn will tell you what sort of disc you're making.

I'm sure you're frustrated if that's how far you've gotten in a year. Feel free to use the forum. There are no stupid questions on here.

saranine
09-02-2014, 08:42 PM
Ok. I will say this: I will make it the aim of this thread to finish the tutorial/exercise on page 50 of the latest LW magazine - the "turbulence" one. Issue 3 summer 2014. I had found that numeric panel and thought that it might have something to do with it. OK. Thanks for the help. I'll have to work how this panel sets the size.

scallahan1
09-02-2014, 08:49 PM
Andrew,

Did you have the "Numeric" panel open (hit the "n" key) when you made your disc in Modeler? That has all the size info and lots of other stuff.

Steve

EDIT: Damn, I posted way too slow on this one. Time for bed.

saranine
09-02-2014, 09:11 PM
BTW just as an aside lightwave doesn't hold the record as the hardest software to use/worst interface. That goes to Photoshop. I just cannot get my mind around that thing. The whole layers/mask thing defied every attempt that I made to learn it.

I bought photoshop 7 years ago. I got absolutely nowhere with it. So a month ago I bought corel. I learnt more from Coreldraw in a week than I had learnt from photoshop in 7 years.

I don't want to ditch lightwave as being unusable. But I think that if I were still writing this thread in another year's time I probably would.

ernpchan
09-02-2014, 09:41 PM
Learning software in a vacuum is really hard. I'm always impressed when I meet someone who is self taught and good. It's a challenge cuz you have to learn how the software technically wants to work and then make the leap into translating the technical skillet into a creative one.

I'm not sure what tutorial you're trying to follow. Just be careful about biting off more than you can chew in one go.

saranine
09-02-2014, 10:02 PM
My style of learning software is experiential in the extreme; I just play with it for hours without looking at a tutorial. Now I have found the transform tools I am probably going to play with them for awhile.

They are all fun tools :)

saranine
09-02-2014, 10:06 PM
Well, photoshop is so bad that I had full access to VTC tutorials on it during my diploma of graphics design. Even that didn't help. I have to put photoshop down as the worst excuse for software that I have ever come across. I wasn't learning photoshop in a vacuum!!

I might have bought some lightwave beginner tutorials a few months ago. I might have a look at them.

netizen
09-02-2014, 11:23 PM
You are not alone, I brought my copy in April. I have found myself purchasing second hand copies of manuals, I now own fifteen manuals starting at Lightwave 8 and find myself needing all the manuals from 8, 9, 10 just to understand the product. It may indeed be a rich toolset, but from a new acquisition perspective it was pretty poorly documented. But the learning curve is only worth it if the product has a future. I have found this forum unsettling to say the least. It was a lot of money for a hobby.

ps. Prof you should know better. :-)

Marander
09-02-2014, 11:47 PM
Many / most things you learn in LW can also be applied to other 3D applications (and vice versa). If you're new to 3D you have to understand all the basic stuff like modeling, subd, shaders, lighting, uv mapping, rigging, keyframing etc which are similar in different 3D packages.

For example I have watched a modo tutorial how to create a car rim and I was able to replicate it almost 1:1 to LW and learned a lot about modeling techniques. Some tools have different names but they behave similar. I guess Maya and Houdini are way more complex to use. Blender is not intuitive to me at all, at first I didn't even know how to navigate in the viewport. I think LightWave's UI and the separation of Modeler and Layout are a good way to get into 3D. They only thing that I don't like so much is that so many features are hidden somewhere in plugin lists.

I'm also the "playing around in the interface first" learning type but at a point you must read some documentation in software this complex if you want to go beyond just playing. It's not different in todays enterprise software, the prerequisites, dependencies, interfaces, parameters are way too complex to understand without consulting manuals.

Many things can also not be read or watched and applied 1:1 to what you want to achieve. I have spend nights trying different textures, lighting and rendering parameters until it looked somehow acceptable and I know it will probably never look as I would want it to (not the software's limitation but my lack of expertise). This needs a lot of experience. Again, this is not different with other 3D packages.

After reading the LW10 / LW11 manuals you should have a fair knowledge of the tools. And the available tutorials can fill the gap. Learn the important shortcuts, this way common tools are second nature to you (hide / unhide, switch layers, selection modes, translate, bevel, connect etc.).

This thread is also helpful: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?139165-Basic-stuff-Lightwave-users-should-know-but-are-not-so-obvious but many things mentioned there are also covered in the manuals.

Good luck and don't give up!

Marander
09-03-2014, 12:38 AM
After you created the disc (using n which I think is used in almost every tutorial) you can measure existing geometry with the measure tools.

124001

It can be found in the Detail section in Modeler.

124002 124003


I bought lightwave a year ago.

I still have no idea.

For instance today I tried to do the exercise on page 50 of the lightwave magazine. I created a disc. But I have no idea how to see what the dimensions are of the disc.

This is how far I have got folks. In 1 year of playing with lightwave the interface still makes the same amount of sense that it made a year ago: none at all.

You will say "go to a tutorial". Fine. But honestly I should have to go to a tutorial to learn THAT?

pinkmouse
09-03-2014, 02:18 AM
Try a setup like this:

124004

I have the point/poly statistics window open to keep an eye out for non planar, one/two point polys, or Ngons, (more than four sides can muck up SubD models), Layers so I can easily move around a project, (get into the habit of naming layers here, then you can find stuff a lot easier, both in Modeller and Layout), and Numeric. As you can see in the above capture, the box tool is active, so at this stage I can click on any value and edit it to whatever I want, change the height to 2m, move the origin, add segments...

Hope this helps. :)

Danner
09-03-2014, 02:19 AM
With every piece of software there is an interface design that caters to the workflow that the programmers had in mind. So when learning new software I always try to figure out what that intended workflow is. In Modeler it's actually organized in a chronological way.

If you look at the tabs in modeler they are organized thinking about the workflow for modeling something. (create base geometry, modify it, multiply it, add detail, add a UV map, add bones or effects, export it)

In your case you want to make sure the size of something, where would you look? Well after you create something you can modify it's size, so I'd look into the modify tab, then look for things relating to size. I can see that size is under "transform" Then after some careful reading I noticed that under transform/more there is a command called "absolute size" This will tell you the dimensions of your geometry and let you change it to something specific if the size is not right. Also on the detail tab there are quite a few measuring tools. And also if you look at the bottom left corner you can see XYZ position numbers, this are coordinates of where your mouse is, this can also be used to see the size of something.

pinkmouse
09-03-2014, 02:48 AM
You are not alone, I brought my copy in April. I have found myself purchasing second hand copies of manuals, I now own fifteen manuals starting at Lightwave 8 and find myself needing all the manuals from 8, 9, 10 just to understand the product. It may indeed be a rich toolset, but from a new acquisition perspective it was pretty poorly documented.

Just over a year ago, I got back into LW after a 20+ year absence. The last version I used was 4.5 on my old A4000. There are still lots of the "new" tools I've barely touched, and some I have absolutely no clue about. But you don't need to know everything to get cracking results from LW, that's one of it's strengths. Documentation has never been a LW strong point, I remember struggling with the bend tool for days, let alone splines.


But the learning curve is only worth it if the product has a future. I have found this forum unsettling to say the least. It was a lot of money for a hobby.

But for a hobby, LW is still the best package out there. It can do many wonderful things, and produce excellent results. Yes, the future is uncertain, and I myself am guilty of "Tough Love" towards LW3DG, but even if it was discontinued tomorrow, you still have a very powerful tool at your disposal, and skills that will transfer to another package if you need to do so later on down the line.

Every4thPixel
09-03-2014, 02:59 AM
Maybe it's a good start to just start reading the manual.

RebelHill
09-03-2014, 05:36 AM
I don't want to ditch lightwave as being unusable. But I think that if I were still writing this thread in another year's time I probably would.

All of the main 3D apps have a SIGNIFICANT learning curve. If you hammer away at any of them and find you're not getting anywhere because its too "hard"... you won't fare better with another. Perseverance is the only way Im afraid.


But the learning curve is only worth it if the product has a future. I have found this forum unsettling to say the least.

Yeah... I wouldnt worry too much on that front. I think it's pretty safe to assume that LW DOES still have a future... All the noise you're seeing is more a reflection of the uncertainty that it has the future that demanding, professional, power users WANT it to have, and if that future will arrive soon enough to satisfy their needs for the latest greatest toolsets now, now, now.

Ryan Roye
09-03-2014, 06:08 AM
When you get stuck for too long, it is best to make a thread on these forums and ask people. When I first jumped on board I was in the very same boat... and in some cases I'm still asking questions and seeking help for the things that either aren't so well documented, or consist of keywords that make searching for the solution hard. 3D software has a high learning curve, so people have long learned to help eachother out in that venture a lot of the time.

tyrot
09-03-2014, 06:29 AM
first honestly ...lightwave is very very easy especially modeler. but as all the other software ..it is not something to be discovered but learned by reading it a bit... and watching... and enjoy this process. reading and watching..

there is 24 hours tutorials made by proton ...and in his modeler tutorials ...everything is explained very well..

so please watch that..do not watch all just modeler videos..it is soooo fun..

same thing happened to me with motionbuilder i got super confused, thanks to rebelhill and 3dative's dave... i started motionbuilder ...and how on earth ..i didnt use motionbuilder before... it is so good ..so easy so fast..so well thought. i wasted my years ignoring it..shame on me..

you are not allowed to reply here before watching at least 10 videos from proton:)...

prometheus
09-03-2014, 06:31 AM
I bought lightwave a year ago.

I still have no idea.

For instance today I tried to do the exercise on page 50 of the lightwave magazine. I created a disc. But I have no idea how to see what the dimensions are of the disc.

This is how far I have got folks. In 1 year of playing with lightwave the interface still makes the same amount of sense that it made a year ago: none at all.

You will say "go to a tutorial". Fine. But honestly I should have to go to a tutorial to learn THAT?


just use the absolute size tool...modify/transform/more/absolute size, and it will pick up the dimensions your object segment has and display it, just close it after, if you donīt want to transform it further, itīs great to rescale things on independent axis or locked, wich means if you check locked and enter a scale value in only one axis, it will uniformly scale the other axis in equal relation, if you have independent checked, it will only scale that axis you set the value for.
I suggest to go to the edit menu and drag that tool out of the "more" group and place it more directly acessable for a smoother workflow.
so this is a good tool to use if you are not working activly with an object and can check it it the numeric panel.

absolute size also works similar to the measure tool, so if you only select two point, it will display the distance between them just as good as with the measure tool.
Edit...only in respective axis position it seems, checked on a diagonal distance on a cube wich will not be the exact distance it seems.

inkpen3d
09-03-2014, 06:35 AM
You really might want to question your learning approach. With complex software packages such as Lightwave and Photoshop, ad hoc experimentation will at best only give you very limited and disappointing results - most probably it will lead to complete confusion and/or lack of progress, as sadly seems to have happened in your case.

I know it's very staid and boring and will mean investing a bit of effort on your part, but if you take the trouble to spend a bit of time reading through the LW manuals and watch some of the excellent video tutorials available on the internet (e.g. on the LightWave3d web site (https://www.lightwave3d.com/learn/)), then you'll find that this investment will reap significant benefits and you'll make huge strides in mastering LW (and the same of course goes for other packages like Photoshop). And, as someone else has suggested previously, start off creating something really simple until you've mastered the basic tool-set and workflow, then steadily progress to more complex objects and scenes.

Also, if you start to struggle or get stuck, keep asking questions here on the forum - there's no point in banging your head against a brick wall for days or weeks on end - we're all happy to help you out and the LW community is very friendly and, unlike some other forums, not adversarial nor do we mock people just starting out on the LW learning curve who ask seemingly obvious questions.

Hope that helps. :)

Regards,
Peter

Sensei
09-05-2014, 07:50 PM
Learning software in a vacuum is really hard. I'm always impressed when I meet someone who is self taught and good.

I have not read any single book about LW nor 3D (didn't see any)..

I have not read any book about C/C++ either (just a bit of Motorola 68k assembler, but that was at Amiga times, the most used book in my life, so used it was falling apart entirely).

shrox
09-05-2014, 08:11 PM
I am self taught with 3D Studio and then Lightwave, 3DMax and Maya are not as intuitive for me though.

Sensei
09-05-2014, 08:19 PM
Apps using icons, without texts, are really annoying to me. After a while, I am completely forgetting what does icon do. Icons don't describe well what they do.

CaptainMarlowe
09-06-2014, 12:59 AM
I'm a pure hobbyist, and I went straight from poser/hexagon to Lightwave. Learning it has never seemed so complicated to me (as a matter of fact, I tested simultaneously LW and C4D and I chose LW because I was lost with C4D).
Some tutorials are not necessarily the best way to start, especially when they assume that the users already have a fairly good knowledge of LW interface.
I recall that I went easily into LW thanks to :
- Reading the manuals (twice, as I'm not native English speaker)
- Reading Essential LW V9, which covers in the first place the interface and various panels you have to have open, and allows to get into LW in a very progressive way. This book is still a reference to me in a huge number of situations, 7 years later.

When modeling, I have taken the habit to have 3 panels constantly open : numeric ("n"), statistics ("w") and layers (F7), because I use them all the time.

jeric_synergy
09-06-2014, 02:02 AM
FWIW, I found it's almost impossible to learn any application without having a concrete project in mind.

Start with ONE simple thing: your own logo. Don't have a logo? Use your initials. Decide what you want them to do, and then find out how to do it.

It's the CONCRETE part that's the key: pushing buttons at random just doesn't cut it, I know, I've tried.

lightscape
09-06-2014, 03:20 AM
You won't learn unless you spend a couple of hours a day.

meshpig
09-06-2014, 04:50 AM
I am self taught with 3D Studio and then Lightwave, 3DMax and Maya are not as intuitive for me though.

I'm legally blind and self taught ; "auto didactic". I took up LW the day I voluntarily stopped driving 10 years ago. it's a stupid question as to whether i'm any good at it because anyhintg is better than not being able to draw. Admittedly been drawing since first arriving on Planet Earth...:)

regular
09-06-2014, 04:52 AM
FWIW, I found it's almost impossible to learn any application without having a concrete project in mind.

Start with ONE simple thing: your own logo. Don't have a logo? Use your initials. Decide what you want them to do, and then find out how to do it.

It's the CONCRETE part that's the key: pushing buttons at random just doesn't cut it, I know, I've tried.

Exactly! Goals and objectives - that's for about any project.

Kaptive
09-06-2014, 07:13 AM
In my experience, it isn't so important to know how all of the functions in Lightwave work, rather just knowing that a function exists, and ideally what it is called. This includes 1st & 3rd party plugins, techniques and deep features within the program itself.

If you have a sound knowledge in the basic aspects of the software, and can find your way around, then the broader knowledge of what you CAN do (not HOW you do it) allows you to quickly look up a way to solve the problem, refresh your knowledge on the solution, then implement it. Some enviable people have magnificent memories and can remember most functions after they have used them, but that isn't everyone and is rare in my experience. So this is how most operate generally.

You don't need to read the whole manual. Just invest your time on understanding the basic and universal functions. Know your way around. Do repetitive work using each basic function to burn the shortcut keys into your brain.
You'd be suprised at how much you can create in Lightwave with only a small handfull of tools.

Also, subscribe to as many Lightwave channels on youtube as you can. Watch/skim through tutorials about plugins and techniques. Become familiar with what is possible. You don't need to know it inside out. Just know that you can do it. You can look it up later when you bump into the problem. But if you didn't know that there was a solution out there in the first place, you'll spend all your time bumping around in the program trying to find your way. That is a recipe for disaster, frustration and anger (for most people).

So in summery, knowing WHAT you can do is far more important than knowing HOW to do it. People make tutorials for reference, and after you have done something once, the next time you do it, you'll just need to refresh yourself. If you use it a lot, then you'll probably master it... at which point, if you feel so inclined, feed back into the community and make a tutorial about it.

But if what you are doing now isn't working, then try a different approach. Go back to the start, and you might find you know more than you think once it all starts making sense.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful in some way.

Kaptive
09-06-2014, 07:29 AM
FWIW, I found it's almost impossible to learn any application without having a concrete project in mind.

Start with ONE simple thing: your own logo. Don't have a logo? Use your initials. Decide what you want them to do, and then find out how to do it.

It's the CONCRETE part that's the key: pushing buttons at random just doesn't cut it, I know, I've tried.

Good point. Just don't make your project too lofty at the start! Or if you do have lofty ideas, break it down into small chunks and tackle it that way. The smaller the chunks, the faster you'll progress. Make a list of what you want to do, and cross each item off as you complete it.

prometheus
09-06-2014, 07:52 AM
Apps using icons, without texts, are really annoying to me. After a while, I am completely forgetting what does icon do. Icons don't describe well what they do.

Depends on the tool and the design of the icon, and some is pretty standard icons, move,rotate,zoom...seem to be pretty standard everywhere, the problem is how the general 3d world are doing their own unique icons for some tools and there are so many and different tools that makes it harder, but itīs hard to definitely say ..this is the conclusion, it depends on the person what he preferes I guess.

there are cases like ..VPR settings, that text string is long and takes space, so a small icon do work better for that.
and in some cases it might be wiser to have icons if the tools are straight forward and commonly used, instead of having the brain actually read the text, the brain can interprate images faster in most cases, thus your workflow
can be smoother, but I have had a long debate over here before about icons vs text.

Houdini seem to be a software that should fit you Sensei, more thinking of the complex node network and how that is structured, and you also have both text and icons on most of the tools, I like how they have managed that UI in terms of combining text descriptions with icons, and the way they have implemented shelves so you scrool within those to find all the tools.
The best is probably the tab key wich allows you to browse through all tools in alphabetical order or quick search with a text string.

ncr100
09-06-2014, 10:14 AM
OT


...The best is probably the tab key wich allows you to browse through all tools in alphabetical order or quick search with a text string.

^^^ This - like a real-time search - breaking through arbitrary hierarchies of tools in menus, and finding arbitrarily hidden tools, might help LW usability and should be trivial to implement.

prometheus
09-06-2014, 10:21 AM
OT



^^^ This - like a real-time search - breaking through arbitrary hierarchies of tools in menus, and finding arbitrarily hidden tools, might help LW usability and should be trivial to implement.

yes indeed, it needs a good decent one single button mapped based upon what we users feel inituive, in layout the tab is mapped to display all windows popup modules, and that is perhaps what so many of us is custom to use, though I rather see that shortcut on something else the modeler subdivide toggle and layout toggle should be the same, wether or not it is mapped to tab key or S key or something else, it will bring consistancy to lightwave and workflow.

In modeler the closest thing you get to Houdini Tab function to display all tools, that is ctrl-shift middle mouse and you get a menu of all available tools in modeler, but you have to keep left and right hand holding those and scroll or you loose the menu. in Houdini you just need to hit tab and the menu is holding itīs active state making it easier to browse through the tools, and with a search function wich we lack in lightwave all tools menu functions.

going to the additional tab in modeler isnīt enjoyable ..have to scroll through a list, where in houdini it is displayed in a much larger view, modeler additional list donīt have alphabetic order which makes it harder to find stuff, houdini is structured in alphabetical order making it easier to find the tools you want, apart from the excellent text search function.

So there is room to improve on how we best can browse and acess the tools we want in a much faster way.

jeric_synergy
09-06-2014, 10:39 AM
If you have a sound knowledge in the basic aspects of the software, and can find your way around, then the broader knowledge of what you CAN do (not HOW you do it) allows you to quickly look up a way to solve the problem, refresh your knowledge on the solution, then implement it. Some enviable people have magnificent memories and can remember most functions after they have used them, but that isn't everyone and is rare in my experience. So this is how most operate generally.
This would be a much more viable approach if the documentation were A) better, and B) of an entirely different structure.

I should map the following paragraph to a function key, but, once again: STATIC documentation doesn't cut it. LW3dG does not fund the documentation effort at a sufficient level to generate comprehensive documentation --which is a MASSIVE task-- so any dox produced will always be lacking. Without constant amendment, with pointers to new and BETTER explanations, the dox will always be at best adequate. The documentation structure would be orders of magnitude more useful if it were structured as a company-moderated, crowd-enhanced, dynamic, centralized resource.


Company-moderated. Crowd-enhanced. Dynamic. Centralized.

I could gas on about each of these, but we're all smart here.

spherical
09-06-2014, 06:23 PM
I should map the following paragraph to a function key, but, once again:

NNNnnnnooooooooooo.............. :) Fog it instead. Add it to the Feature Requests forum. If you have, bug them about it.

jeric_synergy
09-06-2014, 08:52 PM
Dood, you're ten years late to that party.

Kaptive
09-06-2014, 10:16 PM
This would be a much more viable approach if the documentation were A) better, and B) of an entirely different structure.

I should map the following paragraph to a function key, but, once again: STATIC documentation doesn't cut it. LW3dG does not fund the documentation effort at a sufficient level to generate comprehensive documentation --which is a MASSIVE task-- so any dox produced will always be lacking. Without constant amendment, with pointers to new and BETTER explanations, the dox will always be at best adequate. The documentation structure would be orders of magnitude more useful if it were structured as a company-moderated, crowd-enhanced, dynamic, centralized resource.


Company-moderated. Crowd-enhanced. Dynamic. Centralized.

I could gas on about each of these, but we're all smart here.

Well yes, there is that. It isn't a perfect approach for the reasons you mention (and yes, that would be an excellent addition... could really help with... well everyone and everything lol).
But as a whole, most of the time I find what I need without too much wasted time or effort. Old forum postings, tutorials on YT, the documentation on occasion, books... though less so these days.

It is more about stripping a complex program back to your base tools, and having a much wider understanding of the correct way of solving problems... learning and dealing with them when you get there.

The real question is... What are the most useful basic tools and features that do 80% of the work?

I know that in modeller,the e, p, n, y, t and h keys are more likely to wear out sooner than all the others.

(Just as a note to anyone unfamiliar with the shortcuts)
e - Extend
t - Move
y - Rotate
n - Numeric
h - stretch
shift H - Scale

In fact I can't recommend enough learning the main short cut keys over using the menus and buttons. But searching the tabs and buttons is inevitable sometimes, so it can also be very useful to gather as many of your common tools on a new tab. Less clicking, less searching, so faster.

Anyway, i'm just gibbering because it's very late on a Saturday night. Bedtime!!

jeric_synergy
09-06-2014, 10:33 PM
The real question is... What are the most useful basic tools and features that do 80% of the work?
Here's another thing a CENTRALIZED documentation system could provide: actual NUMBERS about what features users reference most.

That could mean:

the feature is confusing
the documentation sucks
the documentation is wrong
users are idiots.


But at least you'd have an IDEA of what causes the most problems.

shrox
09-06-2014, 11:58 PM
I have forgotten how to access the mouse menu, or whatever it was called.

spherical
09-07-2014, 06:44 PM
Dood, you're ten years late to that party.

No I'm not. I was saying the same thing back then. If you've done all of the above, in addition to the many posts about it, then it's LW3DG that's late to the party. :D Point is, they're not going to read about it here, no matter how many times you rant. Discussion between us is fine, but expecting change to come from them is optimistic; to say the least. BeeVee is here and does what he can to improve things, as does Matt. Writing manuals is a very difficult task. Most people do not do well at it, because they can't "forget" enough. I would appreciate better docs, too. A quarter of that which is in the current incarnation doesn't tell me anything; except a definition of the term/function—not how it works or how best to use it—and what to expect when you do. Keeps the third-party tutorial business alive, though. :)

jeric_synergy
09-07-2014, 06:52 PM
I actually found, today, the original two page explication/job request that I sent to Jay Roth.

Still saying the same thing, although I've managed to boil it down to a pithy phrase.


I have forgotten how to access the mouse menu, or whatever it was called.
Seriously? --Here, I always forget to USE it, but I still remember how.

shrox
09-07-2014, 07:07 PM
...Seriously? --Here, I always forget to USE it, but I still remember how.

Well, do tell!

jeric_synergy
09-07-2014, 07:23 PM
Well, do tell!
I figured you were joking: CTRL+SHIFT+{click}, can be R/L/M, diff menus for each.

The defaults are very VERY redundant, you can easily flatten them.

prometheus
09-08-2014, 03:12 AM
did you guys miss to read "all the posts" 10 posts before this one:)
"that is ctrl-shift middle mouse and you get a menu of all available tools in modeler,"

I juat noticed though...that menu isnīt correct and full corresponding to what is actually in the modelers button menu, I thought it were..but
itīs not, thus making it less useful to actually use,

Marander
09-08-2014, 06:24 AM
As I mentioned in my earlier post, I find LW a pretty easy to use application and well suited for beginners. Many things can be done right from start without any prior knowledge, but more advanced stuff can also be learned with reading manuals or watching tutorials.

More difficult I find is to find the right settings for lighting, camera, textures, HV, proper subd modeling, UV texturing, workarounds for bugs etc. for what you want to create. This comes with experience. One might create a model and render it and it looks crappy while a LW master creates the same with perfect topology and beautifully rendered, a good composition etc. This is the real difficult part imho.

prometheus
09-08-2014, 06:32 AM
As I mentioned in my earlier post, I find LW a pretty easy to use application and well suited for beginners. Many things can be done right from start without any prior knowledge, but more advanced stuff can also be learned with reading manuals or watching tutorials.

More difficult I find is to find the right settings for lighting, camera, textures, HV, proper subd modeling, UV texturing, workarounds for bugs etc. for what you want to create. This comes with experience. One might create a model and render it and it looks crappy while a LW master creates the same with perfect topology and beautifully rendered, a good composition etc. This is the real difficult part imho.

That is only limited by your own time and training and for modeling and texturing, you do need some sort of artistic sense for it...otherwise it might not be worth doing it.
thereīs always thresholds when working with something, it might take 1-2 years for some stuff and even longer 5-8 years to become generalistic good at all things I believe.

Marander
09-08-2014, 07:51 AM
That is only limited by your own time and training and for modeling and texturing, you do need some sort of artistic sense for it...otherwise it might not be worth doing it.
thereīs always thresholds when working with something, it might take 1-2 years for some stuff and even longer 5-8 years to become generalistic good at all things I believe.

Yes Michael, I agree. It takes a lot of time (several years). I bought and started using LW this April properly (just playing around in Discovery before and other packages) and I'm only doing it as a hobby. But now I have a fair idea what modeling tool to use, camera settings, what dynamics or HV settings does what and which texture values work. But it will still take ages to do CA for example. The artistic part needs also a lot of development if you're a techie as I am (but this is what I love in LW, endless possibilities with nodes etc.).

I don't think you need to be a born artist to do 3D (good if you are born talented of course). Of course it's very important for professionals to know the art concepts, to know how to properly hand draw etc. But this is also a learning process, why else do so many students go to art school if it's something that you're born with? Same goes for music, after several years of practicing the ear gets trained and hears if sound is in tune or not.

Cheers, Marander aka Michael ;-)

prometheus
09-08-2014, 08:44 AM
character animation is probably one of the more difficult tasks to learn and do well.

rendering a cube is where you should start:) and do it well..that is with good aa, good lighting and surfacing.
expanding on that..I would say creating good still images of all possible things before pursuing animation stuff.

schools like those in barcelona seem to have a good project approach where each project faces the challenges you in fact will face in real production and thus you are learning faster and more focused..then again
some of us are located in wrong area, are feeling to old to go to school and might not be able to afford it.
for self learners the most important thing is passion and motivation..that determines your focus and how much time you spend to learn it, and hopefully someday that will start to show up in your portfolio and then just throw it against us here in the forums for us and others to marvel at.

Kaptive
09-08-2014, 09:53 AM
Learning 3D is full of epiphanies. For me, I've noticed that as the years go on, they become fewer and far between. But they still happen, and you realise that for 17-18 years you've been doing something either the hard way, or just using a very old technique that was majorly improved upon at some point and you just never noticed. This is why you never stop learning, and knowledge is never complete.

So long as you have a strong foundation in the fundamental principles behind a piece of software, the rest starts to make sense. The biggest issues and frustrations usually arise when the approach is wrong in the first place. You set off on a path to achieve a goal, and you realise after days or weeks of work that you put polygons in the wrong place or have way too many, or your original UV map is not good, etc. etc.

Though this can be tremendously frustrating, especially at the start, when you have bumped into a moment like this I can guarantee that you will remember the correct way next time. Mistakes are learning opportunities, always. Eventually you'll slip into a good and efficient pipeline that produces what you have in your head more accurately on the screen. But you have to go through it sometimes.

The best advice for anyone starting out, especially if you are young, is.... Do not allow your sense of personal pride stop you from asking questions... any questions. It's very easy to create something and then think you are the Don. No need to ask other people for help, because you feel like you already know it all. Or on the flip side, you feel useless at it and asking for help is to admit defeat.
Forget any of that rubbish that pride brings. No one knows everything, but I can bet that someone will know the answer to any problem you may have or at the very least be able to point you in the right direction.
Some aspects of 3D creation are so thoroughly used in the day to day that they rarely get spoken about, but to someone just starting out it is an impenetrable barrier that is stopping you moving forward. So stop your dithering and ask someone... here or somewhere else.

Another bit of advice, is if you are working in isolation and trying to learn it on your own, is to find someone else just starting out and help each other. If asking publicly seems too intimidating, then a friend who is also learning can really help. You support each other and solve different parts of the puzzle, then share results. The people you surround yourself with when learning software will probably be with you (one way or the other) for a major part of your life. Not always, but I bet many here have friends and associates that they still discuss things with today that they knew right back at the start.
These kinds of things don't get said much, but the value in them is off the scale for long term growth.

tldr.

1. Don't let pride mess with your head and ask questions if you can't work it out on your own.
2. Share the burden of learning with someone else on a similar level.
3. Try to learn a solid foundation in the "best and fastest way to do things". Number 3 is solved by number 1 and 2.
4. Enjoy getting awesome, but never stop learning and expanding your knowledge base.

:)