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yoshiii
02-07-2015, 06:13 AM
Hello

What other software besides Lightwave will I need to make my own animations and stories? Doe Lightwave do everything or should I also invest in something like Zbrush?

MG artist
02-07-2015, 07:00 AM
Essential is photoshop to build textures and correct images. Also, you will need compositing software like after effects, fusion, or nuke and optionaly video editing software like premiere, cyberlink or pinnacle studio. For other texturing and sculpting software check my thread here http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?145528-3D-painting-sculpting-software

erikals
02-07-2015, 07:37 AM
yes, you need ZBrush or 3DCoat, but also consider... >


-TurbulenceFD
-LWCad
-TAFA
-Houdini Indie
-RealFlow
-InfiniMap
-Octane w/plugin
-PhotoShop
-Rhiggit (and ikbooster tutorials)
-Syflex
-UVLayout
-Perception Neuron
-PhotoScan
-AHK
-Quixel
-CrazyBump / ShaderMap / MindTex

OlaHaldor
02-07-2015, 08:10 AM
Consider Substance Painter too.

MonroePoteet
02-07-2015, 09:43 AM
I think it depends on what kind of stories and animations you intend to create. IMO, the basic set is:


1) Lightwave, for building models and animation sequences
2) An image editor for creating or modifying textures, masks / alpha channels, backdrops, etc. (I use Corel's Photo Paint)
3) A compositing tool to layer the final composition, add music, etc. (I use Ulead Media Studio Pro (no longer available) or SpeedEdit, which isn't really a compositor)

NOTE that you can do basic compositing in Lightwave, but a multi-layer compositor built for the job makes things much easier


RE: ZBrush, again it depends on what type of animations you intend to create. For example, if you're aiming for anime or other art where the models may not require high levels of detail, ZBrush may be extraneous.

The other tools I personally use are:


1) a landscape generator (VistaPro) to generate landscape backgrounds
2) a video editor (SpeedEdit and Media Studio Pro) to manage video elements incorporated with 3D elements
3) a match-mover (SynthEyes)

I'd recommend just starting with LW, an image editor and a compositor, and add tools as you exceed the limitations of these.

Be aware I'm only a hobbyist, so my creations are quite simplistic.

mTp

Surrealist.
02-07-2015, 12:12 PM
Consider Messiah for animating characters as well. Nice addition to LightWave.

erikals
02-07-2015, 01:18 PM
small update >


Modeling
LWCad
3rd Powers
PicTrix
+ tons free plugins

Texturing
Quixel / Substance Painter
CrazyBump / ShaderMap / MindTex
PhotoShop / PhotoLine

Dynamics
TurbulenceFD
Houdini Indie / RealFlow
Syflex
Houdini Ocean Toolkit LW

Animation
Rhiggit / IKBooster / Messiah
TAFA
Perception Neuron

Rendering
Octane
DPont plugins
InfiniMap
Advanced Placement

UV mapping
UVLayout / 3DCoat
Plg

Generators
PhotoScan
World Builder / Vue
Onyx Tree / DP Verdure / X-frog
Blender Grass Essentials

Video
DaVinci / After Effects / HitFilm / SpeedEdit /...
SynthEyes

Audio
Studio One / Reaper /...

Other
AutoHotKey

MG artist
02-07-2015, 01:35 PM
LOL, not exactly small erikals :) For vegetation, the plant factory from e-on software looks very promising, and has more features than x-frog ( I'm talking about the application not the pre-built models )

hrgiger
02-08-2015, 02:49 AM
You don't need any of that stuff, at least not at first. You use LightWave or another similar 3D program and when you find that you truly need some functionality that your 3D app doesn't offer, you look for it in another app or plugin. If you want to make animations with sound, you'll need an editor of some sort like Adobe Premiere (although there are plenty of alternatives out there if Adobe's rental only scheme doesn't work for you.)

pinkmouse
02-08-2015, 03:33 AM
Indeed.

Get LW, spend six months learning what you can and can't do, then look at the options that could help. Buying lots of stuff at once just ends up with severe multiple learning curves and frustration, and lots of expense for stuff you may find you don't actually need.

bobakabob
02-08-2015, 04:04 AM
Absolutely agree with hrgiger and pink mouse, buying all those apps at once? That way madness lies. Much better to focus on LW - modelling, rigging, texturing, rendering are the fundamentals and require a lot of patience to master. At this stage, the only additional app you should consider is for painting textures ~ Photoshop or Gimp.

3dworks
02-08-2015, 04:37 AM
what you absolutely need for doing serious animation with LW is a good image editor and a compositing program. all the rest is optional and i would try or buy it as needs grow.

as for these main tools, it depends if you are working as a pro or as a hobbyist. for the image editor, there's not much alternative to photoshop on the 'pro' side. but if you are doing 3d as a hobby, gimp and derivates can do most things, but the workflow is not comparable to PS in terms of speed and precision.

for compositing, there is more choice. the layer based (similar to photoshop) after effects is a classic, whereas nuke is node based. both can be very straight forward, depending on the situation. after effects - being part of adobe's creative cloud collection is very well integrated into the whole system, but when things get really complex, nuke might have an edge over a layer based system. then there's blackmagic (formerly eyon) fusion - also node based, but it's limited to windows and linux (at least for now). the nice thing is that you can get a free version from them, which has few limitations compared to the commercial one. on the open source side, natron seems to be the rising star, a sort of free nuke clone for both mac and windows.

as for reviewing animations, this free tool is my absolute favorite: http://djv.sourceforge.net

cheers

markus

erikals
02-08-2015, 04:49 AM
note, when i write DaVinci / After Effects / HitFilm / SpeedEdit /...
i mean that as alternatives, not to buy all of them...

the ones written after a slash are alternatives only, if that was unclear. only get one.

this is depending of course, but if you are a generalist you will need most of them. (most=over half)
currently i own, and use most of these >


3rd Powers
PicTrix
+ tons free plugins
PhotoShop / PhotoLine
TurbulenceFD
Houdini Indie
Syflex
Houdini Ocean Toolkit LW
Rhiggit + IKBooster
TAFA
Perception Neuron
Octane
DPont plugins
InfiniMap
3DCoat
Plg
World Builder
DP Verdure
HitFilm
AutoHotKey


will be buying these, hopefully soon... >

LWCad
Advanced Placement
C̶r̶a̶z̶y̶B̶u̶m̶p̶ / ShaderMap / M̶i̶n̶d̶T̶e̶x̶
PhotoScan
Onyx Tree / X̶-̶f̶r̶o̶g̶
Blender Grass Essentials
D̶a̶V̶i̶n̶c̶i̶ / A̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶E̶f̶f̶e̶c̶t̶s̶ / HitFilm Pro / S̶p̶e̶e̶d̶E̶d̶i̶t̶ /...
SynthEyes
Studio One / R̶e̶a̶p̶e̶r̶ /...

not saying that you should get most, but as a generalist, it's incredible how many of these that are "essential"
if you are not a generalist / freelancer, then you can get away with only 1/10th all of these mentioned

also, many applications only need an upgrade every 5th year or so, take TAFA for example
not a big fan of the AutoDesk / Adobe policy, so trying to avoid those...
though i might rent them for short periods in the future...

Ryan Roye
02-08-2015, 06:47 AM
To expand the tools you use with Lightwave, I would recommend free (usually open source) alternatives first before getting commercial solutions in reference to things needed to complete a production. They may not be the greatest, but are excellent learning tools and typically serve as stepping stones to more advanced software. This also ensures that you aren't buying into things that may be overkill for what you typically do as not everyone's needs are the same.

Good example:

When I first started making video content, my audio editor was Audacity (free/open source) and I completed many projects with it as all I needed was to cut voice clips together, adjust volume, and put in basic filter effects. Over time, I began to felt limited by the fact that Audacity has no curve-based editing functionality... you can't do anything that involves applying an edit/effect over time, so knowing that i've reached the boundaries of Audacity I eventually adopted Reaper, which isn't free, but is worth the asking price in the things it enables you to do.

Here's what I recommend as a starter kit:

Video: DaVinci (free)
Audio: Audacity (free)
Compositing: Fusion (Optional, only if you end up needing to adjust your video after rendering)

Understand that every tool you adopt, as mentioned above, entails some kind of learning curve; some more than others. Buy everything at once and you'll get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff you have to learn.

jasonwestmas
02-08-2015, 09:13 AM
I say after you get accustomed to some of the fundamentals in Lightwave, map out a small project you want to do in the near future, something you think you would enjoy working on. I say that because this kind of work is like a long marathon and I think for most people they can easily loose their way and just not get where they want to be. Once you get a good feeling for where you want to go with CG then you will get a better understanding of the type, quality and flexibility of tools you need to get the project finished in a reasonable amount of time. It's kind of a long road but worth it imo.

So don't only focus yourself with your toolset but also focus the sort of work you want to do for a long period of time because most definitely you don't want to learn everything at once, you will get lost.

MonroePoteet
02-08-2015, 09:43 AM
You don't need any of that stuff, at least not at first. You use LightWave or another similar 3D program and when you find that you truly need some functionality that your 3D app doesn't offer, you look for it in another app or plugin. If you want to make animations with sound, you'll need an editor of some sort like Adobe Premiere (although there are plenty of alternatives out there if Adobe's rental only scheme doesn't work for you.)

RE: my previous post, I agree with hrgiger and pinkmouse. Getting to know LW well will give you an astonishing capability, including building native textures and using native compositing. The texturing capabilities are really amazing once you understand layers, nodes, etc., and many rich surfaces can be created without an image editor. As well, LW gives basic compositing capabilities (background layer, foreground layer, foreground alpha channel color, etc.), which combined with rendering to 32-bit (alpha channel included) imagery allows complex layering without a compositor.

Most add-on tools make things easier in LW, but LW all by itself is a remarkably capable creative tool. Learning it well (plenty of online tutorials) is an excellent first step, and then expand your toolset as you find things you cannot do in LW.

mTp

erikals
02-08-2015, 10:12 AM
the most important thing is that you're inspired and find what you do to be interesting

didn't mean to scare you with the list...

jasonwestmas
02-08-2015, 10:34 AM
the most important thing is that you're inspired and find what you do to be interesting

didn't mean to scare you with the list...

It is important to know what is possible and available though, :ThumbsUp;

Who are we to tell him what he needs or doesn't need later on. :)

Sanchon
09-02-2015, 05:23 AM
I'm not familiar with Blender but... is grass generated in Blender with "Blender Grass Essentials" can be exported as one obj or fbx 3D object with texures ? Or maybe better - as different point clouds related to different grass type objects - to use with Lightwave instancer later ?

rednova
09-02-2015, 08:09 AM
Hi:
I only use lightwave for modeling and animation, Photoshop for texturing, and Premiere for editing.
I found this works fine for me :)

erikals
09-02-2015, 10:05 AM
Sanchon, just export the Grass as Fbx... (i assume)

though... (!) you will have to remake the node network inside LightWave nodal surfacing

unfortunately, a big problem in LightWave is that thin lines (like grass(!) flickers... a lot
and therefore takes a long time to render in order to make it flicker-free

i haven't found a solution to this... maybe a video noise reduction plugin could solve it
(e.g. Neat Video) but i'm not completely sure it would remove it in a nice way...

vonpietro
09-02-2015, 07:33 PM
Hi,
I highly recommend digital fusion the compositing software as its almost replaced photoshop for me.
If you need it photoshop - there is a cs2 version thats free - cs2 is pretty much all i need for filters and pen tool - i have elements too and the healing brush is nice.

Aside from specific filters - digital fusion has better functionality over a composite - thats only 1 frame =)
the nodes provide a much better history that can be turned on and off
and as a bonus you can animate in it =)

only 10 minutes to make in fusion
129582
domo saves a crewman at moon base alpha
-- picking the black as an alpha is basic in fusion which has many tools to create alpha mattes


learning how to create alpha maps (pun intended since its moon base alpha image) is very helpful in learning studio workflow.
its the same thing as selections but handled more non destructively and because your working with an image - its more useful for other areas of the comp - think image history for selections in photoshop terminology
photoshop does have masks - pretty much the same thing - just have to turn one on -other wise your work is permenant

finally - alpha control (hehe) is much more peppy in fusion as it give real time feed back on blurs - expand and contract and a multitude of functions

Once you learn how to mask in fusion - you'll see the POWER.


in any case- its free- its as powerful as aftereffects and basically - fusion rocks.

Dan Ritchie
09-03-2015, 04:45 PM
Howler, naturally.

erikals
09-03-2015, 05:03 PM
Howler, naturally

yep, it's actually on that list, just forgot to add it

jperk
07-03-2017, 06:44 PM
Substance Painter 2 is on sale via Steam for $98 as opposed to the regular $149. Is it worth it?

eon5
07-03-2017, 07:03 PM
3D-Coat (http://store.steampowered.com/app/100980/3DCoat_V47/) :)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JAP-JJZ4t4

jperk
07-03-2017, 07:06 PM
I can't afford professional version of 3D Coat. Educational version is $99 and I dont think it can be used for commercial.

Marander
07-03-2017, 07:37 PM
I can't afford professional version of 3D Coat. Educational version is $99 and I dont think it can be used for commercial.

I don't exactly know the license terms now but I think you can use 3D-Coat Edu with a limited income. You should find all info on Pilgrim / 3DC's site. Around Christmas, the price is mostly about $100 reduced.

I can highly recommend 3D-Coat and Substance Painter & Designer but you have to consider:

- 3D-Coat is great in UV mapping, texturing and retopo (and some other disciplines)... edit: also for voxel sculpting.
- Substance Painter is more advanced for texture painting and Substance is a standard in other applications that use a PBR workflow. It has great features and a nice UI (but has sometimes stability issues). However, Substance Painter is useless if your models are not properly UV mapped. And LW is not really king in UV mapping (but doable). Also consider that in Painter you can only use predefined materials and the ones from Substance Source / Substance Share. However the Generators, Smart Masks, Smart Materials, Filters and the fact that everything is procedural allow a huge variation. If you want to create your own procedural materials, you need Substance Designer
- Substance Designer is very powerful (but also complex) to create your own materials
- LW 2015 has no PBR or metallic / roughness workflow and therefore the use of Substance and 3D-Coat materials is somehow limited. You can achieve some things but it will not be the same as with more modern applications that have Substance support built-in.
- Substance tools are updated more regularly than 3D-Coat, there is also a much larger team behind and these tools are used heavily by many big game studios. The license policy of Allegorithmic is the best in the industry in my opinion and they listen to the users. As a customer you can participate in a feature voting system and have access to beta version. The community and forum moderators are very helpful. You can rent-to-own or buy perpetual license outright.
- Also consider that Substance requires up-to-date CUDA enabled GPU (it uses iRay as viewport renderer). It doesn't work well and stable on other GPUs and very limited with the CPU emulation.

I'm using all those 3 tools and they combine very well (3D-Coat for UV mapping, Designer for creating Substances (SBS / SBAR) and Painter to apply it to the models, bake maps etc.

jperk
07-03-2017, 08:14 PM
With Substance Painter 2, can't I paint on my UV mapped models without having to use PS? Is it like Mudbox painting tools (I'm familiar with Mudbox and have used it to paint my models after UV mapping in Maya). Also, can I generate a normal, height, specular, gloss, self-illumination, occlusion, or reflection map in Substance Painter 2?

Also, I checked the website. The $99 version of 3D-Coat is not commercial. It's for educational. Oh, and despite being on sale for $98, Substance Painter 2 will stop maintenance in September and users will be encouraged to convert to a subscription module. From my understanding, users you had purchased a Substance Painter 2 Indie license are still free to use it, but it will no longer be maintained.

Marander
07-03-2017, 08:20 PM
With Substance Painter 2, can't I paint on my UV mapped models without having to use PS? Is it like Mudbox painting tools (I'm familiar with Mudbox and have used it to paint my models after UV mapping in Maya). Also, can I generate a normal, height, specular, gloss, self-illumination, occlusion, or reflection map in Substance Painter 2?

Also, I checked the website. The $99 version of 3D-Coat is not commercial. It's for educational. Oh, and despite being on sale for $98, Substance Painter 2 will stop maintenance in September and users will be encouraged to convert to a subscription module. From my understanding, users you had purchased a Substance Painter 2 Indie license are still free to use it, but it will no longer be maintained.

Yes with SP you can paint on correctly uv mapped models. SP is like PS in 3D. You can create and bake ao, curvature, normal and reflection maps and many more.

I don't use Steam, but with my SP2 license I also got a SP2017.1 key. When you purchase from Allegorithmic you get one year of free updates. Afterwards you can buy a maintenance for $75 for another year.

jperk
07-03-2017, 08:23 PM
But I can still use Substance Painter 2 without having to buy maintenance? I'm pretty cheap, but I loved the idea of a 3D Photoshop. I loved painting in Mudbox with my wacom tablet/pen.

Marander
07-04-2017, 06:20 AM
But I can still use Substance Painter 2 without having to buy maintenance? I'm pretty cheap, but I loved the idea of a 3D Photoshop. I loved painting in Mudbox with my wacom tablet/pen.

Yes you can use it without restriction, you get a license file that doesn't expire. But you should make sure to get the 2017.1 version, it has many nice improvements.

https://support.allegorithmic.com/documentation/display/SPDOC/Version+2017.1

Norka
07-05-2017, 04:14 PM
Hey Marander, I haven't had any time (at all) to try and find a definitive answer, and maybe you can answer. I own Substance Painter 2 and just upgraded to 2017.1, which didn't cost anything... but after Sept 30 (or something like that, right?) will I NEED to pay monthly? Or will I be able to pay another $75 to upgrade it (until the next major version comes)? Do you know if we will have that option still, to upgrade for $75 (or however much)?

Marander
07-05-2017, 11:10 PM
Hey Marander, I haven't had any time (at all) to try and find a definitive answer, and maybe you can answer. I own Substance Painter 2 and just upgraded to 2017.1, which didn't cost anything... but after Sept 30 (or something like that, right?) will I NEED to pay monthly? Or will I be able to pay another $75 to upgrade it (until the next major version comes)? Do you know if we will have that option still, to upgrade for $75 (or however much)?

They don't do major versions again but continuous releases which you will get if you have an active maintenance.

You can upgrade your maintenance for one year for $75 (or you can use the rent-to-own system, 9.95 the first six months, then 19.95).

I'm also in the same situation as you, I guess I will extend maintenance for SP and SD for a year for $75 each.

This is the information from Allegorithmic:

"For Substance Painter Indie license holders, this means no more major numbered versions, but the ability to purchase a license with 12 months of free updates included.

Since you have purchased a Substance Painter 2 license, you will get free updates until September 30, 2017.
After this date, you can purchase 12 months of updates for the price of $75 at any time or subscribe to Substance.


For you, this change means an uninterrupted flow of new features and content. For us, this means a drive to push forward and deliver all year long."

Norka
07-06-2017, 05:44 AM
Thanks a bunch. Yeah, I like the sound of seventy-five clams a year much more than twenty, or hell, even ten a month. Even a dipsh!t like me can do that math. ;-)

graviel
07-06-2017, 06:54 AM
My 2 cents are:

Lightwave for animation and rendering; with RHriggit, syflex, 3rdpowers Layout plugins...
Zbrush for modeling (I prefer it over 3d coat and so far all upgrades has been free ever since, it is perfect as well for cleaning meshes).
Houdini Indie for effects (200/year)
Fusion for compositing

Thats a hell of a pipeline

If you want you can add substace designer for procedural textures (like generating leaves, feathers, and tillable textures) or/and substance painter.

erikals
07-06-2017, 08:11 AM
the Particle Brush in Substance Painter is very tempting...

Marander
07-06-2017, 02:51 PM
Thanks a bunch. Yeah, I like the sound of seventy-five clams a year much more than twenty, or hell, even ten a month. Even a dipsh!t like me can do that math. ;-)

Welcome!

One thing I forgot to mention tough is that only with the Substance Live subscription you'll get access to download 30 Substance Source materials per month. I initially got 180 points / Substances when I had the Indie package and Substance Source was introduced (60 points per package).

I just upgraded Substance Designer to 2017.1 but it seems it doesn't provide new points anymore. No problem for me because I have lots of Substances and Mood Packs but if for a starter it might be a problem because you cannot purchase the Substances otherwise.

137307

jperk
07-29-2017, 09:27 PM
Does substance painter 2 have a normal map generation utility like Mindtex2 that generates height, specular, gloss, self-illumination, occlusion, & reflection map?

gar26lw
07-30-2017, 07:29 AM
Consider Messiah for animating characters as well. Nice addition to LightWave.

Would you still use this?

OlaHaldor
07-31-2017, 01:39 PM
jperk, with Bitmap2Material you can input a (good) source image and it will output a set of what you need for PBR.

jperk
07-31-2017, 04:12 PM
ah okay so I cant do that in SubstancePainter2. Maybe Mindtex2 would be the cheaper route.

Marander
07-31-2017, 07:13 PM
ah okay so I cant do that in SubstancePainter2. Maybe Mindtex2 would be the cheaper route.

Of course you can create all those maps with SP.

137550

Hey by the way they just announced a 1 year price reduction for graduates.