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haffy
01-29-2015, 05:58 AM
Hi, I have allot of questions as I'm new to 3d. But I will try to narrow it down. In school I learned 3ds MAX and have used Maya just to try it off.

I will use the 3d software package for 3d conceptual work. Will start of by sculpting in Zbrush and move it to LW to add threes and landscapes and so on. DAZ and Marvelous will have there parts in it to. Is LW going to work for this?
I love the simple UI, the crossplatform support and the pricetag of LW, thats why I am looking at it and asking for help.


First of, why is LW not that popular? I see hobyists and professionals using LW all the time, but is there something you can't do in LW? I recently bought and read the Digital Modeling by William Vaughan (who sems to know what he talks about), and he uses LW and has worked for Pixar to name one. Does the pro only use LW for modeling work and then exporting it?

Does LW have support a workflow with Zbrush? And if so, is it easy?

Is there any realy nice renderers for LW, like V-Ray? Or what is the solution?

It could happend that I also will do some architectual work, does LW have any CAD import plugins?


I recently bought a new computer, moving from Mac after like 15 years, to PC (Mac has lost the grasp of "pro line" in my opinion). Not loving it, but the price was better and I could get me an Quadro K2200 card. Does LW support it? I want to use it. And with that said, I hope to use Mac in the future again..

Do you guys have any tutorial site to recomend besides the one at newtek page? I want to se some that WOWs me.

Thanks in advice for any help and answers to my questions, I know you guys see them all the time.


* Sorry, English is not my main language..

Marander
01-29-2015, 06:31 AM
Hello haffy

Maybe I can answer some of your questions (I'm just a hobbiest):

- First of, why is LW not that popular? - In LW you have Modeler and Layout, it's not one single software. So what you can not do (or only with complicated workarounds, at least for me), is animating your modeling for example. You model and rig in Modeler and then synchronize to Layout for texturing, lighting, animation and render for example. But if you select an object in Layout and hit the Modeler button, you can immediately edit it again. Many non-LW users would like to see a unification (only one app). It doesn't disturb me that much and keeps you focused on one task. And Modeler needs to catch up a little with other solutions, but I think it's on a good way. Besides that (and maybe fluid simulation), LW can do almost everything (in my humble opinion).

- Does LW have support a workflow with Zbrush? - Yes, GoZ integration very cool what I saw in a tutorial once, just one click to exchange objects.

- Architecture: There is LWCAD which is brilliant and version 5 will be out soon. There is a DXF import / export but I have not tried it.

- Renders: The LW Renderer itself can produce fast and excellent renders but if you like GPU support there is Octane. No VRay so far available for LW.

There are tons of tutorials around. Here's a list of artist and their work done in LightWave:

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?142934-LightWave-Heroes

Have fun,

Marander

prometheus
01-29-2015, 06:45 AM
there are some third party renderers like octane plugin, arnold plugin..both from juangon, and it seems awesome..though there are some restriction to them..not being able to use all funcitons in lightwave.
there are also K-ray which produces very nice renderers suitable for interiors.
HDR light studio is something to look in to also, it allows you to paint in lightsources in the UI and makes it great to set up scenes, search for all this in youtube to find out more.

Then again..if you Learn lightwave native rendering settings and ligthing,shading texturing, you can probably spit out almost equally good renderers.

Goz is the input/output support lightwave has for zbrush, do some youtube searches or look at the lightwave groups youtube page and you will find overview and tutorials.

Lw-cad from wtools, can import dxf,and some cad files, but depends on format, it could be that you need a converter software like poly trans or former deep exploration.

As for Mac...there are many plugins..and especially older ones for lightwave that are not working on Macs...Personally I knew that when I decided to choose computer..and I choose to stay away from macs because of that, otherwise..the lightwave UI looks nicer and softer with mac, and most stuff might work exellent, but there will be occasions it will not work as smoothly and not with all plugins either.

tutorials..well you can search this page in the search field, and it will pop up some threads that contains gathered links.

why is lw not popular...it is popular, depends on who you ask:)

Lightwave have been struggling with sort of old code, and developers going a different way..like modo, and some misdirected develpment phase, and lightwave is one of the few packages that do not have a single app interface, it consists of modeler and layout, and there is a divided point of view from users on how they feel about that, some people that I met who works with graphic designs, asked me..is it still having two seperate interfaces with an evil smile, so that is probably One Major reason.

The lightwave team has recognized that, and wanted to change that..so we can model and animate within the layout stage, and they are constantly trying to work on better tools for it, they tried to rewrite lightwave completly with that in mind..but
many of us didnīt like how it looked like..Including me, I have nothing against modeling capabilities in layout..I am pushing on it, but I didnīt want a completly alien software from what it originally was.

Michael

pmwhite
01-29-2015, 06:54 AM
Hello haffy
I am a Hobbiest also. I have been using lightwave for some time now & in my experience lightwave can do anything the other 3d applications can. you can animate in Lightwave, in fact it now has a really good and powerfull Rigging solution called genoma. Lightwave has a real-time renderer called VPR & is arguably one of the best quality renders around. dont take my word for it. download the free demo & have a look at what the pro's can do with it, and see the hollywood blockbusters & TV shows it is credited for. Like any software you have to learn how to use the tools to get the most out of it. with a little practice you can create realistic renderings & Hollywood quality animation in line with the most expensive solutions out there. Thats my opinion for what it's worth. give it a go, what can you lose. see what you think! Good luck.

Snosrap
01-29-2015, 06:59 AM
Hi, I have allot of questions as I'm new to 3d. But I will try to narrow it down. In school I learned 3ds MAX and have used Maya just to try it off.

I will use the 3d software package for 3d conceptual work. Will start of by sculpting in Zbrush and move it to LW to add threes and landscapes and so on. DAZ and Marvelous will have there parts in it to. Is LW going to work for this?
Absolutely.



I love the simple UI, the crossplatform support and the pricetag of LW, thats why I am looking at it and asking for help.
I think the UI was a big draw for a lot of us LW users. Also as far as 3D packages go I think LW is one of the easiest to learn. One thing about the workflow that you need to be aware of - modeling takes place in it's own application called Modeler and animation/rendering etc. takes place in another application called Layout. There has been countless discussions about this separated environment and supposedly the developers are working to bring the two together. (Currently the two apps talk to one another with a third behind the scenes app called the Hub that allows updates to models back and forth to each app and for the most part works pretty good depending on who you ask. For instance it works fine for me. :) )



First of, why is LW not that popular? I see hobyists and professionals using LW all the time, but is there something you can't do in LW? I recently bought and read the Digital Modeling by William Vaughan (who sems to know what he talks about), and he uses LW and has worked for Pixar to name one. Does the pro only use LW for modeling work and then exporting it?
It is popular - especially for episodic TV - you just won't find used much in big blockbuster movies. William Vaughan (Proton) used to work for Newtek as the LW "evangelist" and continues to use LW and now Modo professionally.


Does LW have support a workflow with Zbrush? And if so, is it easy? LW has GoZ support.


Is there any realy nice renderers for LW, like V-Ray? Or what is the solution? The native renderer is great, but if there are other third party renderers that integrate nicely into LW as well. Off the top of my head - Maxwell, Octane, Kray and FPrime.


It could happend that I also will do some architectual work, does LW have any CAD import plugins? LW will import DXF's etc.. There is also a third party CAD plugin called LWCad that is indispensable for archvis work.



I recently bought a new computer, moving from Mac after like 15 years, to PC (Mac has lost the grasp of "pro line" in my opinion). Not loving it, but the price was better and I could get me an Quadro K2200 card. Does LW support it? I want to use it. And with that said, I hope to use Mac in the future again.. LW should work just fine. The native renderer does not use the GPU but Octane does - not sure if the Quadro K2200 card is the best choice for that however. Not saying it isn't - I just don't know.


Do you guys have any tutorial site to recomend besides the one at newtek page? I want to se some that WOWs me.

Check out Kray's gallery here http://www.kraytracing.com/joomla/gallery and my Pinterest page. :) https://www.pinterest.com/thelightwaveguy/pins/?z=1 and this https://www.lightwave3d.com/news/article/artist-spotlight-jason-allen-lee/

Marander
01-29-2015, 07:31 AM
Also I would like to add that LW has the best and fairest license model in my opinion. Not as in other applications with rental subscription models, online activation, license bound to hardware, or indie models that encrypts your scene files which is a no-no for me. You can install the LW software on any computer (Mac or PC) you like, just use it only once in the network at the same time. And you have 999 render nodes for free.

Also LW is very slim that it allows you to run several Modelers and Layouts the same time (provided you have sufficient RAM). You can easily continue modeling while Layout is calculating dynamics or rendering for example. Or open another Layout to quickly check a texture in VPR while the other one is busy.

prometheus
01-29-2015, 07:32 AM
Hello haffy
I am a Hobbiest also. I have been using lightwave for some time now & in my experience lightwave can do anything the other 3d applications can. you can animate in Lightwave, in fact it now has a really good and powerfull Rigging solution called genoma. Lightwave has a real-time renderer called VPR & is arguably one of the best quality renders around. dont take my word for it. download the free demo & have a look at what the pro's can do with it, and see the hollywood blockbusters & TV shows it is credited for. Like any software you have to learn how to use the tools to get the most out of it. with a little practice you can create realistic renderings & Hollywood quality animation in line with the most expensive solutions out there. Thats my opinion for what it's worth. give it a go, what can you lose. see what you think! Good luck.

VPR best quality?...well VPR is intended to get previews as close to the real renderer without you having to wait while tweaking your scene, but call it best quality renderer, donīt think so? I think you accidently mentioned it a little wrong...VPR is one of the fastest previewer, and the native lightwave render is one of the best quality renderes.

roboman
01-29-2015, 09:16 AM
>First of, why is LW not that popular?

Well Lightwave at one time was the big name used software. There were others that only a few studios could afford and several others that just couldn't do what lightwave did. Lightwave was only on the Amiga computer and Amiga quit developing and then for the most part went out of business. The PC's were faster and the graphics had caught up with the Amiga, so the animation packages on the PC had caught up with Lightwavein capabilities and speed. The supper high dollar ones had come down in price and Lightwave had to make a jump to the PC, spending lots of time and money rewriting the software. All the Users had to make the jump from Amiga to the PC and during that time they lost users to other software. Arguably, some of the other software did better marketing. Then Lightwave decided to basically shut down for several years and totally rewrite the software from the ground up. They were not happy with the resulting and still unfinished software and decided to go back to the old Lightwave and up date it. By then a lot of users had left, 3rd party developers had moved on to other things, the software hadn't really been keeping up with the others or promoting itself for several years and being out of sight for years , people had forgotten about it.

roboman
01-29-2015, 08:56 PM
That sounds really bad. I have an older ver of Max and a certificate that says I know how to use it. I've played with lots of 3d software and like Lightwave best. I tend to get a fair number of generic assets from Poser and Daz. I import a lot of others from customers cad files and find myself using Lightwaves modeler as often as any of the cad programs I have access to. Basically I just just like the workflow and interface better then any of the other programs. It manages to do every thing I want, even if not always the way I want. It's always seemed a comfortable program for one person or a small group to use. The biggest thing I like about it is that I don't use it every day, every week or month, but when I go back to it it makes seance. Even when I had only used 3ds and Max for a couple of years, Lightwave was easier to go back to then Max.

Also Lightwave is adding stuff at a good pace and working towards getting back to where they were. It's my favorite animation software for doing the few paid jobs and hobby stuff I do.

haffy
01-30-2015, 01:08 AM
Thanks guys, allot of good answers in a short time :) To reply on a few answers:

I bought the Quadro K2200 as it was recomended by Autodesk for Maya and Max, do not know allot about it. But one thing i found when i started to use the computer is that I now haw 32 bit support in Photoshop. And the OpenGL realtime stuff works great in Modo, but as rendering goes I have not figured it out yet. Will take one step at a time, starting with modeling. I hope it's good, it was not that cheap.

As for the two separate programs (modeler and layout), I kinda like it. It limites the amout of buttons and disturbing stuff.

As for blockbuster movies, I saw that they used LW for Avatar, but when researching it was used for low res layout..

I will try LW out once again and se what it can do, and if it's a good fit for me.

Thanks for the good answers ! This sems to be a nice forum :)

prometheus
01-30-2015, 07:40 AM
Thanks guys, allot of good answers in a short time :) To reply on a few answers:

I bought the Quadro K2200 as it was recomended by Autodesk for Maya and Max, do not know allot about it. But one thing i found when i started to use the computer is that I now haw 32 bit support in Photoshop. And the OpenGL realtime stuff works great in Modo, but as rendering goes I have not figured it out yet. Will take one step at a time, starting with modeling. I hope it's good, it was not that cheap.

As for the two separate programs (modeler and layout), I kinda like it. It limites the amout of buttons and disturbing stuff.

As for blockbuster movies, I saw that they used LW for Avatar, but when researching it was used for low res layout..

I will try LW out once again and se what it can do, and if it's a good fit for me.

Thanks for the good answers ! This sems to be a nice forum :)



quadro machines is often good with large objects, and some fancy 3d display to handle and view objects in a smooth fashion, not sure about maya and max and why that would be especially good, working with cad models, then quadro is prefered.

for Ligthwave Iīm not sure really, nowadays you would probably like to check titan cards, and make sure you got a lot of cuda cores for fluid simulations and also for realtime rendering with third party renderers like octane.

Yes..I like the split aproach too, but it should be an obstacle to bring almost every possible model tool in to layout as well, if I choose to work on models seperatly while layout has something else, that is nice and a good workflow, but if I need to manipulate, edit, create and animate modeling operations in layout..thatīs what I need, and if itīs not there..then itīs an obstacle the lightwave group needs to work on, And I think they are trying to do just that..and they have publicly regognized those obstacles..time will tell how well they can remove them.

Rob Powers ..the president of the lightwave group, was one of the first..if not the first to be hired by James Cameron to work on Avatar and setting up the industryīs first VAD department (virtual art department)
some initial animals and plants/environment that I think he showcased for James, and sharing the passion for marine life, they sort of bonded.
Then it was a mix of lightwave and vuexstream to work out pre-viz I think..but you should check the lightwave magazines..and not rely on what I say:)

You can read a little about following your Bliss (följ din instinkt,passion) in this issue, at page 7 where Rob describes a little about that...
http://static.lightwave3d.com/marketing/lightwave_magazine/issue_03_summer_2014/issue_03_summer_2014-lightwave_magazine.pdf

Also check all the other magazines which contains valuable tips and guides and insights...
https://www.lightwave3d.com/community/lightwave_magazine/

Donīt think Lightwave renders where spit out for avatars..more previz and maybe some models in the beginning, where lightwave have been used extensivly, that is particular evident in many many tv -shows, not sure if any other software holds so many emmy awards or is used as extensivly in series as lightwave is used, lightwave is fast, great renders, and often easy to work with and work in conjunction with other software, it may reach a limit for very very high end effects showed in some blockbuster movies, but getting up there..and you have to spend thousands and thousands of more dollars, which of course large studios might be able to afford..and hope for the movie to make sucess too.

Babylon 5 (one of the first shows ever to use 3d) CSI,stargate, stargate, battlestar galactica, defiance,terranova,fringe etc..and probably some more I donīt recall right now are some of the shows lightwave has been a factorl
star wars scens with r2d2 flying, made in lightwave, some iron man suites,and som particle effects for fire in ironman..
The movie sin city pushed green screen studio filming and 3d, the movie 300 they used a lot with lightwave...some buildings, arrow hitīs...some fake smoke around the oracle.
Da vinci code..or if it was angels and demons? the inside of the church they were not allowed to film on spot, so it was modeled and rendered in lightwave I think.


That is just some excerpt taking directly from what my brains just recall instantly this moment....Edit, last samurai, sword penetration, and some soldier crowd cloning with particles etc..and there are much more which
I canīt recall or I would have to do research and come back.

I think lightwave has delivered some nice stuff in the 11 cycle based on their core tech platform, and they might soon be picking up real pace to match many other areas in high end vfx..I donīt think they are there yet, but soon maybe.
Then there is so many ways you can use lightwave for, from printing graphics, product illustration, visualisation of landscape, buildings archviz, 3d printing and artwork, to motion graphics, your own passionate short films(which might be hard with many other software) to tv-shows, commercials and also making it to the big screen.

Michael

prometheus
01-30-2015, 07:44 AM
hereīs a list...I would like to see a reference on all of those movies/tv-shows, where it is linked or described exactly how lightwave was used etc.
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/List_of_films_that_used_LightWave_3D

A lot of modeling work and employing lightwave for it is often the case, like this effect shot in matrix reloaded, I believe the trucks are modeled in lightwave, but the render is not lightwave, the particle effecs are based on a fluid sim..but they opted for particle effects with 3dmax plugins from sitni sati-afterburn volumetric plugin, which has a very nice fire and explosion control.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q95FbitaBT8

I could take on that work to extensivly give a better showcase on how, if I get the time, and if the lightwave group sends me a free copy of the 2015 version:D

By the way Haffy, what city are you in? Iīm in stockholm.