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View Full Version : Will 3ds max and/or maya help me ?



rednova
09-14-2015, 04:05 PM
Dear Friends:

A long time ago, I decided I would stick to lightwave, and never use maya or 3ds max.
My goal is to make a movie like the starship troopers animated, and I know I only
need lightwave to do it. I am very happy with lightwave, and it does all I really need.
But now I am thinking: if 3ds max has special tools for character animation, wouldn't
it be good to also learn 3ds max and use it along with lightwave (to take advantage
of special character animation tools) ?
And then add maya into it ?
Is possible in the near future i can afford to get both maya and 3ds max.
Can 3ds max and maya help me, for character modeling and animation ?
Keep in mind that I love lightwave, and it completely does all I need.
Thank you !!!

erikals
09-14-2015, 06:01 PM
i'd totally stick to LightWave's IKBooster and Rebel Hill's RHiggit! for this,

and then add TAFA for good lip-sync

if you can afford it add a MoCap solution

ernpchan
09-14-2015, 06:50 PM
Buying all those other programs is a serious investment in $ and time to learn them. Just acquiring them doesn't instantly make you awesome.

jeric_synergy
09-14-2015, 07:10 PM
if 3ds max has special tools for character animation, wouldn't
it be good to also learn 3ds max and use it along with lightwave (to take advantage
of special character animation tools) ?
And then add maya into it ?
Have you invested in RHigget and RRTools? They are a TINY fraction of what Maya/Max would set you back.

And here's the thing: it's not how much money you spend, but the HUNDREDS OF HOURS any of these tools will require of you, in practice, in production, and in learning.

Unless you've exhausted the possibilities of Lightwave, and a casual glance at what Ryan Royce pumps out tells me >>I<< haven't even approached its limits, you'll probably want to stick with what you know.

Farhad_azer
09-14-2015, 11:18 PM
I just checked RHiggit!, it seems to be so cool and the prices are affordable.

I just could not found any detailed discussion about it in this forum. does anyone know a thread that details everything about it please?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7Ml1x9Dzvs

ernpchan
09-14-2015, 11:29 PM
I just could not found any detailed discussion about it in this forum. does anyone know a thread that details everything about it please?


This would be the "official" one.
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?142536-RHiggit-2-discussion-thread

Greenlaw
09-14-2015, 11:31 PM
Just type Rhiggit in the search box above. This turned up when I did it:

Rhiggit Discussion Thread (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?142536-RHiggit-2-discussion-thread&highlight=Rhiggit)

RHigghit is pretty cool, btw, but IMO you should learn and understand the basics of rigging before relying on an auto-rigging system. (RH has a really good training course for that too.) RHiggit provides excellent shortcuts but having the knowledge and skill to do it yourself will take you much farther. :)

G.

bobakabob
09-15-2015, 11:46 AM
Have you invested in RHigget and RRTools? They are a TINY fraction of what Maya/Max would set you back.

And here's the thing: it's not how much money you spend, but the HUNDREDS OF HOURS any of these tools will require of you, in practice, in production, and in learning.

Unless you've exhausted the possibilities of Lightwave, and a casual glance at what Ryan Royce pumps out tells me >>I<< haven't even approached its limits, you'll probably want to stick with what you know.

Well said, Jeric. You can do professional character animation in LW with RHiggit, but check which versions of LW it runs on before you invest.

rednova
09-15-2015, 12:06 PM
Hi:
Thank you for all replies.
I am not afraid to spend hundreds of hours learning maya and 3ds max. And I have the time to learn.
But it makes more sense to me to stick with lightwave and excel to the max (plus I already invested many years learning it ).
My thinking is, better to be super at lightwave, and not worser off in other packages.
I only wanted to know if the other packages would help me, but I rather spend the hundreds of hours in lightwave.
And remember, lightwave does all I need.
Thank you !!!

realgray
09-15-2015, 05:23 PM
i'd totally stick to LightWave's IKBooster and Rebel Hill's RHiggit! for this,

and then add TAFA for good lip-sync

if you can afford it add a MoCap solution

I'm sorry but what is TAFA?

jeric_synergy
09-15-2015, 06:00 PM
rednova, I suggest you start posting some WIP so you can get some feedback on your progress. Don't go buying stuff willy-nilly.

Greenlaw
09-15-2015, 06:17 PM
TAFA is a standalone program for animating facial morphs and it's fully compatible with Lightwave. TAFA can help you animate lipsync and facial expressions a lot faster than using MorphMixer alone. Just to be clear, it's not an automated system--you still need to know how to animate to use it effectively.

The website is here: http://ta-animation.com/FA/

G.

jeric_synergy
09-15-2015, 06:25 PM
If we're talking lipsync right now, be sure to check out Dana's/dwburman's recent video on that thing from Adobe. He managed to make a node network that uses the output to drive LW morphs.

Pretty automagic. I think it even does expressions. (Facial expressions, not programming 'Expressions'.)

Surrealist.
09-15-2015, 10:17 PM
Hi:
Thank you for all replies.
I am not afraid to spend hundreds of hours learning maya and 3ds max. And I have the time to learn.


I don't think you need to have an either or point of view. It does not have to be exclusive.

If you have a burning desire to explore and learn and expand your tool set and you want to grow as and artist and gain a broader perspective on software and what it can do, then I say do it. Go for it. Find out what other tools can do.

But you have to do it, not talk about it. Or ask about it. It has to be an exportation and there is no fast track. It will take years.

I can only say that the more tools I have used and learned the broader my tool set has become and there are many instances where I can go to a tool that gives me something much faster than the options in other packages I use.

I absolutely agree with the other responses here as well. There are a lot of great plugins for LW.

Me personally, I have a hunger to learn and understand that goes beyond any one package. And I also think that is very healthy for an artist. It is not damaging and it is does not dilute you. Rather, it broadens your perspective and you grow and learn more. In my opinion there is nothing more debilitating to a digital artist than a myopic view of software. Any software. Be it Blender, LightWave, Modo, or all of the other offerings 2D or otherwise. There is absolutely no gain in painting yourself into a corner willingly.

There are a lot of artists here who use LightWave as well as other tools. So in my opinion you would be in great company. Most of them here are great people and talented artists.

jeric_synergy
09-15-2015, 11:06 PM
rednova, one can accomplish THIS in LW:
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?148082-New-LW-Cartoony-Ad

So, stick around.

MCHammond
09-16-2015, 06:29 AM
You are going to need a lot more software than just Lightwave if you want to produce a film/short film. Lightwave is awsome but its not a complete film package. You are going to need some form of compositor/sequance editor and something that can handle sound/music just for starters. Lightwave does have some compositing abilities but they are mainly workflow enhancments rather than a full solution, and as for sequance editor you are out of luck if you are looking at lightwave.

Taking your need for a compositor and sequence editor into consideration, if you are looking for another 3D app to add to your arsenal I would recomend Blender. Blender has both a compositor and sequance editor built in and they can be setup to use rendered frames straight from lightwave so will slot nicely into your pipeline. But there are a massive array of other solutions you could look at to fill this role.

Another thing you might want to look at if you are doing this on your own is the rendering of your animation. Lightwave has a proven renderer so you would do well if you choose to use it, but it does not support GPU rendering. GPU rendering can be much faster "depending on your system" than CPU rendering. I found it was about seven times faster to render on a single GTX 670 than on my i7 CPU, add to that you can have lots of GPU's "I have access to 10 x 780's at work" and your speed benefit is 70+ x faster!!! Of course you could build a render farm with lighwave and screamer net on 70 nodes but thats gona cost way more than 10 GPU's. The best way of GPU rendering with lightwave is to buy Octane for Lightwave. Alternativly you could export your scene to an array of extrnal renderers or again use Blender and render it in Cycles, the added benifit of using Blender would be that the renderer is intergrated with the compositor so you dont need to do any breakout of your shot passes.

Anyways that somthing for you to think about.

Danner
09-16-2015, 11:02 AM
Blender is good to learn for lightwave users, the navigation and interface are quite different but investing a little time can give you access to some tools that are very useful, like sculpting and painting in 3d, fluid simulations and many others. Cycles (Blenders GPU/CPU renderer) is, in terms of quality is quite good, it is however still slow compared to Octane, and the integration of Octane and lightwave is very good. Compositing in Blender is not bad, specially if you render and prepare your passes/buffers in Blender/Cycles, for an even more complete solution for compositing there is Digital Fusion. It does have a somewhat alien interface if you haven't used node based copositing. If you are nodephobic you could try Hitfilm.

These are all free solutions by the way.

lightscape
09-16-2015, 09:31 PM
Doing all that stuff alone? Small budget? Short learning curve? No time to model all your assets?
Forget expensive appz like 3dmax, maya, etc.

Use Iclone with lightwave. The results are acceptable imho for real time rendering.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH994GMX6K8

I've used it for animatics and its absolutely fast for production. Nothing can beat it.


The training material makes lightwaves learning material embarrasing
https://www.youtube.com/user/Reallusion/playlists

Its my "secret weapon" for some time now.

lwaddict
09-16-2015, 09:47 PM
Using Maya here alongside Lightwave...

Maya, is a beast...
But as it's been posted, it will take years to learn and utilize all that it can do or integrate it into your workflow.
And it's expensive, as are the learning paths (the good ones).

Now to be fair, it took me several years to bring Lightwave into my production pipeline as well...
and I don't believe I've ever stopped learning it.

So, and I'm sorry to return a question as an answer to your question... "What exactly are you trying to do?", "What walls have you run into that have your considering another software package?"

sadkkf
09-18-2015, 11:33 AM
Sorry for the noob question, but what is modular rigging? I've been looking at RHiggit for a while and maybe when my life isn't so frenzied, I'll have time to try it!

Greenlaw
09-18-2015, 11:47 AM
I've only skimmed this thread so this might be out of context but I'm guessing it refers to the construction kit approach like we have with Genoma?

G.

jeric_synergy
09-18-2015, 11:59 AM
Sorry for the noob question, but what is modular rigging? I've been looking at RHiggit for a while and maybe when my life isn't so frenzied, I'll have time to try it!

I couldn't find "modular rigging" in this thread: is this crosstalk between threads?

At a guess, I'm thinking "Genoma"? About which I know LESS than zero.

sadkkf
09-18-2015, 12:53 PM
I ask about modular rigging because it's an option with different versions of RHiggit:

http://rebelhill.net/html/rhiggit.html

The video very vaguely discusses it and if I had to guess it would be a method for building rigs from scratch rather than using a preset, but I don't know for sure.

Greenlaw
09-18-2015, 01:01 PM
Same idea. It means you're not locked into rigging only a standard biped. The advanced version allows you to add limbs, tails, special controls, etc., as you need them.

G.

jeric_synergy
09-18-2015, 01:02 PM
RH is here regularly, perhaps he can expand on this, or C&P the appropriate verbiage.

sadkkf
09-18-2015, 01:22 PM
Same idea. It means you're not locked into rigging only a standard biped. The advanced version allows you to add limbs, tails, special controls, etc., as you need them.

G.

Got it. Thank you!

Dan Ritchie
09-18-2015, 02:32 PM
I just wish we had decent particles and a working parent plugin when we were doing the animated Starship Troopers.

lightscape
09-18-2015, 09:31 PM
Making your own 3d movies. Got to create characters fast. Daz, Makehuman, Iclone

They've used Substance technology btw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1ifqEy8Akw

Greenlaw
09-19-2015, 03:42 PM
Coincidentally, a couple of weeks ago I upgraded my iClone 5 with 3DXchange Pipeline to version 6. I'm mainly interested in using the system's mocap editing tools to replace my creaky old version of Motion Builder. But I have to confess, I still haven't gotten around to really working with iClone yet.

Funny thing is that I originally got iClone years ago with version 4, thinking I could use it to quickly knock out 'quick and dirty' animated Brudders shorts with some sort of frequency. In fact, 'Happy Box' was originally going to be an iClone project but this approach was abandoned because at the time you couldn't get your own characters into iClone 4 unless you developed assets on Maya or Max. That situation changed when version 5 and 3DXchange were released sometime later.

Not many know this but at one point, 'B2' was considered for iClone or another capable 'machinima' engine. I wound up sticking with Lightwave because the musicians and voice talent did such a nice job that I felt obligated to try and make it look good. (Plus, I had just finished creating a dozen or so hair setups for the DmC (Devil May Cry) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRXVzKKGPO4) theatrical trailer using FiberFX and I wanted to try out the techniques on my own characters.)

Sigh! One of these days, I'll get to do my 'crappy' machinima-style project. (No offense towards iClone users. I think iClone is fully capable of looking pretty decent for a realtime 'game' engine, and I really do want to explore it after I get my current projects done.) :p

G.

Greenlaw
09-19-2015, 04:45 PM
Getting back on topic, I think LightWave is fully capable of doing almost anything. Do you also need to know Max or Maya? That really depends on what your goals are.

If you're looking to improve your marketability as a specialist in the high-end movie industry, learning Maya is almost a no-brainer. But this also depends on what it is you want to focus on and which studios you're interested in working at. For big budget vfx work involving water, fire, smoke, destruction, etc., Houdini is the go to at many studios.

If you're looking to work in the gaming industry, Max is still the favored program but many studios use Maya too.

In smaller productions (low-budget and indie films, gaming and tv), you're typically hired as a generalist artist so the more programs you know, the better, and almost anything goes: LightWave, Modo, Maya, Max or even Blender. Small studios often work with very a small crew but they may have a wider variety of tools available. The last indie movie studio I worked for had a license for almost every vfx program under the sun (yes, legally purchased.) In lower-budget productions, the preferred tool is whatever will get the results you need cheaply and in the shortest time possible, so it's good to know at least a little bit about almost everything.

If you just want to work on your own personal projects, use whatever tools work best for your personal skill level and budget. In my case, that generally means Lightwave. Keeping my two LightWave licenses up-to-date is very affordable and, IMO, LightWave has the broadest set of features for what its price. But of course, your needs may differ from mine.

Professionally, I've found it essential to know at least the basics of using Maya. This is so I can work in either Maya or LightWave and get assets from one program to the other, and back again. This has been consistently true at the five Los Angeles vfx and animation studios that I've worked at since 1998.

Even in my personal projects which are primarily created with LightWave, I occasionally need to jump into Motion Builder or Maya. I have very dated perpetual licenses of these programs. I simply can't justify the cost of current Autodesk products for my small 'indie' projects so I'm always looking for more affordable alternatives like the previously mentioned iClone with 3DXchange Pipeline.

G.