View Full Version : Lightwave3d or Modo indie for game dev?

09-30-2015, 02:10 PM

I am creating a game using UE4. I have an old Lightwave licence (9.6) and never updated to 2015, so exporting to fbx won't work, as Lightwave3d 9.6 only supports an old fbx version. I am looking for software to create my game models. Modo indie and Mari indie look very nice. As there is a promotion going on for Lightwave3d updates, I am not sure if I should update or maybe get modo indie and mari indie instead.
The artstyle I am after is not extremely high poly models or photorealistic graphics, but more something of a comic style. Something like "Tearaway Unfolded" (http://tearaway.mediamolecule.com) or maybe "A flame in the flood" (http://steamcommunity.com/app/318600).

I know there is also Maya LT, which I tried, but I don't like it's workflows. I do like however Modo's and lightwave's workflows.

Now I am asking for your advice and experiences regarding Lightwave, modo and mari indie.

Specifically I Need to know:

- Rigging/Animation: In which app is this easier to do...modo indie (or modo without kits/plugins/scripts) or Lightwave 2015? I saw for Lightwave 2015 there is genoma (there is preset to export to unity, which I think should also work for UE4). What are your experiences in rigging game characters with Lightwave3d(or modo witout plugins/kits/scripts)?

- autorigger: If you would not have one available, would this be a big issue for you?. Specifically to people that have no rigging experience at all?

- Texture Painting and baking: I know lightwave can bake normals, but what is your workflow here. Do you use 3dcoat? Do you have experience with modo (without kits/plugins/scripts) and/or mari in this regard?

- Exporting: does the fbx exporter work well in 2015? What about smoothing groups?

- Training materials: is there good training material to create game rigs? I know there is rebelhill training, but I think this teaches more how to create a rig for a movie-character?

- For game dev, is there any substantial new Feature in Lightwave 2015 vs 9.6 that is important?

- Does anybody know if 2016 will have any new Features that are interesting for game dev?

Every input is highly appreciated!

09-30-2015, 05:06 PM
I would sincerely look at Substance Designer and Substance Painter, you can bake normals for tangent/world space (directx/opengl) , cavity maps for edge wear, vertex colour maps from your material ID's for material masking parts, a/o maps plus more and texture your assets. It has export options for UE4. Steam or direct from Allegorithmic for purchase and you can probabaly make do with an indie license unless your going AAA game stuff. The main reason I mention these tools is for PBR, you want to be using PBR for sure. I know you mentioned it might be comic style but the PBR would help with consistently lighting your assets textures in differently lit environments.

Smoothing groups your right to ask, it needs someone to check this, I'm not sure for LW, Modo couldn't before but maybe that has been fixed now in 901 or later 801 service packs.

09-30-2015, 10:15 PM
I would go with your budget. But remember lightwave has no restrictions.
There's no autorigger for modo indie, too.

10-01-2015, 07:10 AM
FBX exporter in LW 2015.3 work good. No smoothing groups.
There is GoZ in LW for Zbrush.
I baking AO in LW but for normals better use Zbrush or XNormal.
Texture painting - for sure is worth check Quixel products http://quixel.se/

I and many other users waiting for really serious Modeler upgrade. We don't know what to expect soon for LW3DG.

I created all my low poly models in LW (for Unity): http://marekmajchrzak.blogspot.com/

10-01-2015, 07:17 AM
No smoothing groups, thats great to hear thanks Marcus!!

I saw some of your military assets a while back on here, some good work fella. :D
Yes quixel is another good solid choice.

Did you ever see the website done by some of the quixel people or it sponsored it, I'm not sure. It is something like artbypapercut.com I think?? They have two free .pdf books called Vertex 1, Vertex 2 for download a nice read but they tended to slant towards CryEngine and UE4.

10-01-2015, 01:56 PM
Thank you for link to interesting pdf books. I plan soon buy Quixel Suite ;]

On the occasion could you give me soome links to websites where i can find interesting job offers for 3d freelancers in UK? Not only game dev i mean. And not obvious like indeed.co.uk etc., but not easy to find. You know what i mean. I would be grateful.
I have free time after work and looking for long term stable cooperation on part time job.

10-02-2015, 08:19 AM
Sorry Marcus, no idea on jobs, I'm inbetween freelancing myself, waiting for payments.

I'd love to contribute to a game studio myself, I'd much prefer something small scale, I'd love to knock some great assets for something quirky like Euro Truck Simulator 2 or on that lines!! :D

Yes I own ETS 2 as well. ;)

10-05-2015, 05:10 PM
I have both MODO Indie 901 and LW 2015. They each have their respective strengths and weakness. MODO Indie 901 would be the more comprehensive of the two because in addition to modeling, texturing and animation, it also has sculpting, painting, a dedicated retopo and UV layouts which are very nice. So, if you could only choose one without supplementing it with additional software, then MODO would almost be the complete choice. But unfortunately it doesn't have an autorigger. So, you would have to invest in learning how to rig in MODO. The CA course by Sergio Mucino comes to mind. Sculpting and painting in MODO has alway been passable to adequate. It's more preferable to have a dedicated program like ZBrush and/or 3dcoat for sculpting and painting.

LW of course has Genoma, but I prefer Rhiggit 2 because I like staying in Layout and don't like bouncing between Modeler and Layout to make changes to the rig.

Concerning Rebelhill's Rigging training, it is second to none and very comprehensive. He does teach using the basics first and uses simple examples like a very simple humanoid rig which would be perfect for gaming. Later he goes into more complex deform rigs and such, which will probably not be necessary for your goals.

As you've probably noticed by now, investing in several software applications and training is not too uncommon.