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pnoland
12-11-2003, 06:29 PM
(I didn't mean to bash any other apps just trying to illustrate my point a bit! Sorry to the mods if this is considered an inapropriate post!!)

First of all, Hello! For the past few months I have been reading up on all different 3d applications and have purchased a few low end apps that just don't cut it for me. Sure, they are cheap but you get what you pay for... So after considering other packages like Maya and 3dsmax I've decided to save up for Lightwave. It just seems like a all around great program and I've used the demo and I like the simple interface and tools. My question is this though, what will I be getting with the purchase? I mean, does this come with a decent manual or any other 'goodies' to help you along the way? (Shaders, textures, tutorials, examples...) Also, will I be needing to purchase any third party plugins to accomplish the quality renders that a lot of you have posted and are in the gallery? I know other packages, namely Cinema4d, sell a lot of advanced features separately. But hopefully I will have the cash to make my purchase eventually on my crappy 8 dollars an hour job. :P Thanks for any replies!!

Oh! One more quick question. How is character rigging and animating with Lightwave? I have really no animation experience just basic modeling but it's something I'm itching to get into! I ask this because I know certain programs are suposed to rock for characters and I'm hoping this was one of them. :D

knuckles644
12-11-2003, 08:47 PM
It comes with a compositing app called DFX...it comes with a manual about 2000 pages long. It has about 100 MB worth of pre-made textures, objuects etc (maybe about 1000 objects). It has a few good shaders, but there are A LOT of free ones on the web. Lightwave has one of the best renderers out there, and it really can do a lot. YOu won't need any plug-ins to get quality reseults, but they can be purchased, although I never could really justify the cost because most of the time the differences are negligible. And, yes, this program ROCKS at characters...search for "black male texture update" (or something to that effect) on teh forums and you'll see what I mean. Lightwave is known as a animation app, so you'll have no problems.

SplineGod
12-11-2003, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by pnoland

My question is this though, what will I be getting with the purchase? I mean, does this come with a decent manual or any other 'goodies' to help you along the way? (Shaders, textures, tutorials, examples...) Also, will I be needing to purchase any third party plugins to accomplish the quality renders that a lot of you have posted and are in the gallery? I know other packages, namely Cinema4d, sell a lot of advanced features separately. But hopefully I will have the cash to make my purchase eventually on my crappy 8 dollars an hour job. :P Thanks for any replies!!

Oh! One more quick question. How is character rigging and animating with Lightwave? I have really no animation experience just basic modeling but it's something I'm itching to get into! I ask this because I know certain programs are suposed to rock for characters and I'm hoping this was one of them. :D

Lightwave is pretty complete out of the box:
I think the manuals are fine as manuals if you use it as reference.
Its big and theres not many tutorials but theres plenty of those out there anyways.
The renderer is considered to be one of the best out there without the help of external plugins or renderers. There are plenty of 3rd party plugins for other advanced features if you feel you need them when the time comes.
Character Rigging and Animating is fine in LW7.5 and are really pumped up in LW8. I do a great deal of character work in LW and have for quite awhile. HEREs (http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/anims/bullfrogshots.avi) an example of a character animation I did including the modeling, texturing and lighting and rigging.
I also have some free video tutorials on my site. :)

toby
12-12-2003, 01:04 AM
"Also, will I be needing to purchase any third party plugins to accomplish the quality renders that a lot of you have posted"

NO!

That's one of the great things about LW, it's THE most complete package under $7000.00. It's also easier to use than Maya, one person can learn the whole production, whereas Maya artists specialize because it's so complicated.

LW was used for all the Star Trek series, Babylon 5, and the new BattleStar Galactica series.

pnoland
12-12-2003, 01:39 PM
Wow! Those bull frog renders look amazing. It sounds like LightWave is exactly the type of program I am looking for. Thank you for the replies. They are extremely helpfull. Right after I send this post I'm heading to barns & noble to pick up some lightwave books so I can at least work with the Discovery Edition until my funds allow me to make my purchase. :) I can't wait to get started with this program!!

SplineGod
12-12-2003, 09:48 PM
Thanks!
LW is excellent and you certainly cant go wrong with it.
Also check out Amazon.com for some good books too. :)

beissert
12-13-2003, 06:42 AM
One great weak point of lw7.5 comes in focus if you like to produce realtime gamecontent. The modeler is exelent for modelling (the uv tools could be better) but there isn`t a working directX exporter for characters (with animations).

I came from LW 5.6 and it hurts to build a workflow to produce realtime game content. 2 jears ago I played around with a quake 2 exporter but this way I can`t use all the new ingame features. It seems like I`m damned to play around with 3DMax :( or SoftimageXSI.

LW is an exellent 3D App. Maybe LW 8 has the funktionality to create game content, we will see.

pnoland
12-13-2003, 03:47 PM
Yeah, Amazon is where I usually order my books but I wanted to get one as soon as possible so B&N helped. :) I picked up a good introduction book simply titled 'Lightwave 3d for windows & macintosh' It should be a good reference for working out tutorials online. As for the realtime aspect of LW... the .x file I've noticed isn't the file of choice for game engines. Most of them either use .3ds or a in house format. I know if you're using the RAD engines like Blitz3d or Darkbasic the .x file is handy. Isn't there some sort of plugin SDK for LW users to produce there own export plugins? It seems to me that good game content creation doesn't have to do with the file the application exports as but the variety and efficiency of the tools that it has to offer. So really if you have such a powerfull application such as Lightwave you shouldn't have a problem shelling out the 20 bucks to get milkshape3d to convert your files into a more desireable format. Just my two cents. :)

Have you requested a .x export feature in the feature request forums? Maybe other people have the same needs as you do.

The Producer
12-14-2003, 09:52 AM
Hello!

I'm also considering the LW purchase, mainly because of it's VERY fast animation workflow and Hypervoxels, which leads me to this question...

How powerful is Lightwave's Particle System compared to 3DSMAX's ParticleFlow?

Also, what kind of computer would you need to render a decent volumetric Hypervoxels scene at D1 resolution in resonable time?

SplineGod
12-14-2003, 02:13 PM
I dont have any direct experience with the particle system in Max but Ive used Lightwaves on several projects very successfully.
Typically rendering HVs at D1 rez is not too bad but its very hard to quantify it because rendertimes can vary wildly depending on what youre renderiing, number of particles and type of HV.
Usually I look for faster methods when possible that will give me the same final look.

glassefx
12-17-2003, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by The Producer
Hello!

I'm also considering the LW purchase, mainly because of it's VERY fast animation workflow and Hypervoxels, which leads me to this question...

How powerful is Lightwave's Particle System compared to 3DSMAX's ParticleFlow?

Also, what kind of computer would you need to render a decent volumetric Hypervoxels scene at D1 resolution in resonable time?

Lightwave is Kick-A in lots of its facets...But..the question you ask...

I personally think that Pflow will become what flame is to compositing. Pflow is probably the best particle controller ever made next to side efx's Houdini ($$$). Just make sure you export your results thru max to lw at render time. lol!