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Exclaim
08-27-2016, 01:28 AM
There has been a lot of comparisons of Lightwave3D to other software on the forums lately. I come from an Autodesk background, and I had to "discover" Lightwave3D. I was aware of the software years ago, but I never got into it because, school was pushing Maya or 3DS Max. I experimented with open source 3D software, but the software was always missing something, and I could never "hit my stride". In addition, their communities were not very encouraging. They either had no support, or poor quality support. While Autodesk support was truly amazing, the way they handled business left a bad taste in my mouth. I hated how they monopolized, and then forced users into SaaS. In addition, while their products are solid and capable, they seem to make things unnecessarily complicated. After the last bit of naughty commerce, I decided to look elsewhere. I picked up Lightwave3D, and couldn't be happier. It is affordable, production proven, capable, and has everything needed to produce 3D work. I'm still getting used to the interface, but already I feel faster and I find it easier to get what I want. I'm looking at some really nice plugins, and Chronosculpt looks like it will make simulations easier.

I hope I am not coming across as a fan boy, but I made this post to explain why I work in this program over others, and I am asking more experienced users: is there anything I might be missing that they enjoy about Lightwave3D?

erikals
08-27-2016, 02:40 AM
i like the straight forward approach LightWave gives, it quite quickly reveals what is possible, not possible.

and while other applications are great, it seems i can just smack up things much faster in LightWave.
especially in Modeler, even with it's limits.

Smack!

http://www.erikalstad.com/emoti/MinionSmack.gif

prometheus
08-27-2016, 05:51 AM
some things..
like layout feeling like a movie studio stage setup, Not many others have that built in the main UI the way lighwave has...someone once said ..when asked upon why lightwave was their choice for some vfx tools," it got lights, camera etc" duhh...almost every full app has that.

The point is ..You constantly have camera, object, light acess buttons, static..always at the same place, if you were to go with blener or modo list or most any other (if not any other package) you will find yourself in need search for the cam in a list, which can be full with othere stuff, and it will not look the same everytime depending on what you work on...so for me lightwave feels like a proper stage that has the stuff it should have when setting it up in layout, that doesnīt mean they could implement a better scene editor or item list with all items, but I think they should keep that UI philosophy.

I also like the viewport windows, and the huge amount of procedurals there is for lightwave, I also like the surfacing system to some degree (not the applyance) but tweaking and adding layers.
the displacements is easy to get going with too, and that I like as well, though there is room for improvements.
the voxel system also my favourite, though it has fallen behind, it was and is easy to work with and get acess to without too much fiddle, it now just need to get more modern and that seems to happen.

fprime and VPR ofcourse, a huge difference, between tweakable friendly options between lightwave 9.6 and the versions that has vpr, it seems lightwave was pretty unique with it all..but that was really catched up by other 3d systems, and many of the others now seem to support better OpenGL support for true realtime renders.

magiclight
08-27-2016, 05:57 AM
I like the price ;)

50one
08-27-2016, 06:52 AM
I like layout and speed of dynamics.

prometheus
08-27-2016, 07:04 AM
I guess this thread the lw group should prescribe on and take notes for a customer resume, though it may not hold up as direct showcase if you were to compare with what a studio say etc, but they could use it for their own formulating when marketing.
The old, state of the art, out of the box, unprecidented blah blah ..mostly shines through as marketing without any real substance nowadays, especially when it isnīt presented in relation to a specific part, and also considering that most other software uses the same marketing conventions.

yes..pricing is good too, if we exclude comparison to open source software as blender for instance, compared to other commercial tools it is value for money.

Oh yeah, lighwave letīs you create with the speed of light:)

THIBAULT
08-27-2016, 07:52 AM
Octane !

Exclaim
08-27-2016, 12:35 PM
Octane !

How is Octane? I've seen some really great post in gallery, could you share some general points? How fast is it for a GPU render?

tyrot
08-27-2016, 01:18 PM
dude download demo see for yourself.. it is fast.. if you have decent cude gpu .. you are good to go. i did not render anything with native renderer since octane beta..

but lately because of this silence from LW3DG .. i am looking for other options. I am bored really

erikals
08-27-2016, 01:54 PM
I am bored really

impossible!  too many cool things to make! :)

learn TAFA
learn Houdini
learn PhotoScan
learn Modeling techniques
learn AHK to optimize workflow
......

so many cool things to do, LightWave can wait, no rush  :)

tyrot
08-27-2016, 02:04 PM
come on erikals... i JUST WANT TO LEARN what is going on!

erikals
08-27-2016, 02:15 PM
2 months ago, but after all this time, i don't care that much :)
if this is the marketing we get, this is the marketing we get.

nothing we can do but wait...

movin' along...

http://www.erikalstad.com/emoti/obiwan.jpg


i'm Absolutely not saying i agree to the wait-marketing-technique,
but it is what it is...

nothing more we can do. we tried.

erikals
08-27-2016, 02:27 PM
quite off topic, but thought about posting a thread on this 3D printer from Clas Ohlson,
available in Sweden of course... :)

http://www.clasohlson.com/se/FlashForge-Finder-3D-skriver/38-7720

http://images.clasohlson.com/medias/sys_master/9453143949342.jpg

supposedly very good (8 out of 10)
http://www.tek.no/artikler/test-flashforge-finder-3d-skriver/350240/2

Exclaim
08-27-2016, 03:29 PM
come on erikals... i JUST WANT TO LEARN what is going on!

What do you think is going on? If you expect Autodesk style community responses, forget it. That takes way too much corporate manpower than NewTek can muster. Besides the current offerings are competitive enough. Right?

prometheus
08-27-2016, 03:37 PM
quite off topic, but thought about posting a thread on this 3D printer from Clas Ohlson,
available in Sweden of course... :)

http://www.clasohlson.com/se/FlashForge-Finder-3D-skriver/38-7720

http://images.clasohlson.com/medias/sys_master/9453143949342.jpg

supposedly very good (8 out of 10)
http://www.tek.no/artikler/test-flashforge-finder-3d-skriver/350240/2

Oh..I donīt have the clas ohlson story in my community, I have to travel 30 minutes to another commune to look at it physicly and get it if I would want to :)
Guess I should wait a year maybe, there is plans on a clas ohlson story in my commune :)

Thanks for the heads up on it.

tyrot
08-27-2016, 03:49 PM
dude they were communicating. great articles ... blog entries etc..
then

stopped..
like they hit the rock... something happened..
i wish easy recovery for rob but.. there are others right..rob is not coding himself...
so is there a clear restriction such as .. never release anything until rob gets better..

sometimes i wish Proton was there..seriously... anyways..

erikals
08-27-2016, 03:52 PM
Oh..I donīt have the clas ohlson story in my community, I have to travel 30 minutes to another commune to look at it physicly and get it if I would want to
Guess I should wait a year maybe, there is plans on a clas ohlson story in my commune   :)

Thanks for the heads up on it.
mine is 30 seconds away (if i run)  :D

but check out that tek.no link on previous page, darn nice quality if you ask me... :)

prometheus
08-28-2016, 07:38 AM
mine is 30 seconds away (if i run)  :D

but check out that tek.no link on previous page, darn nice quality if you ask me... :)

Yes..I recall now, some time before you even posted this, I noticed that printer in creativetools homepage,
https://www.creativetools.se/hardware/3d-printers-and-accessories/3d-printers/flashforge-finder-special-edition

I think they were one of the first to introduce makerbot and other printers in sweden, they got a butique as well in sthlm city with a lot of samples so I may go there to check this printer and results of it, could visit clas ohlson as well, the price seem to be the same, but I think they can show more at that dedicated butique.
That site also has been a retailer of a lot of 3d software, mostly autodesk...not lightwave, they actually have talked to newtek about if they were interested..but it seems newtek wasnīt interest to have them as retailer..maybe it wasnīt worth it because of internet today.
creative tools also have a forum board where you can ask and read up on printing stuff..you may be able to follow it briefly as norwegian anyway :)
http://www.animate.se/viewforum.php?f=199&sid=59e46b54d5b819f9e16dc5c338a6e475

Thereīs also a job ad thread, so there may be some companies looking for artists close to the boarder of sweden, that may be something to keep an eye on, though there isnīt that many ads and most likely not many nearby the norway/sweden boarder either, skills required in the ads are mostly max-vray, maya-vray, and cinema4d.

http://www.animate.se/viewforum.php?f=74&sid=59e46b54d5b819f9e16dc5c338a6e475

Oh...I forgot, I really would like to have a 3d printer being able to print a full skull/head/face...though I may be able to produce parts and join together I rather prefer being able to have the full dimension, so flash forge is a bit too small with that in mind.

Dan Ritchie
08-28-2016, 11:30 AM
They were there in the beginning of all this stuff. I like the common sense approaches. LW isn't weighed down in "clever" programming. Well, a bit here and there, but not as bad as most. You know what I mean, software engineering feat vrs. what an artist actually wants to use. It gets most (well, many) of the basics right. Their implementation of instances works really well. They've been in the industry a long time, and it shows.
Biggest gripe is hypervoxels and the chunkiness of certain features and the lack of polish in some areas. They don't have 10,000 employees to go over every last detail. Too many plugins to do really specific things.
The biggest thing I'm looking forward to is the new renderer.
Would like to see fluid tools, more robust flocking, and bendy bones in future versions.

Exclaim
08-28-2016, 09:55 PM
Yeah hypervoxels could be improved for sure, but you are right about the instances. I have not seen another program really match what LW does in that regard.

erikals
08-29-2016, 01:16 AM
Yeah hypervoxels could be improved for sure

?
but it is, in the next version of LightWave :)

https://blog.lightwave3d.com/2015/10/volumetrics-in-lightwave

bazsa73
08-29-2016, 04:19 AM
I couldn't live nowadays without instancing. I populate everything with instances, and it works like "Hey presto!"

prometheus
08-29-2016, 07:46 AM
Yeah hypervoxels could be improved for sure, but you are right about the instances. I have not seen another program really match what LW does in that regard.

hypervoxels will not be improved, it will be replaced with a new volumetric engine.

Dan Ritchie
08-29-2016, 10:41 AM
hypervoxels will not be improved, it will be replaced with a new volumetric engine.

More power to 'em!

prometheus
08-29-2016, 11:41 AM
More power to 'em!

Hopefully so, and from the vids we saw it seems that way in description and speed and how they can be manipulated in groups, thereīs however a slight worry that the UI module for how to work with it may be completly different and not as easy to work with as the hypervoxel panel, that we still have to see how it looks since nothing was showcased on the new volumetric panel itself, I believe that you should be able to acess all the procedurals as before though.

The vast amount of various procedurals is One of the things I like about lightwave..even though not much new has been worked out, a case like working with sculpting brush in blender, very powerful and we donīt have that in lightwave..and you can sculpt with images or procedurals..but the procedurals available for blender native(could be more out there as addons) isnīt so large, I wish I had all lightwave procedurals at my disposal when sculpting in blender, or the other way around..a sculpting tool in lightwave...unfortunatly there is always something missing when you switch app, either procedural options as with blender, or a sculpting option as with lightwave.
I use to render out dp rocks and use that as image brush when sculpting in blender, not necessary though since zbrush has some nice brush rock image maps, but I like to create my own to specify exactly what I want.

The newer drag texture tool options in lw modeler 2015 I sort of have discarded, since it poses more issues than solves the task, mainly it doesnīt do normal deformation, you have to exactly pick a point for dragnet or move with point radial falloff, and that means you need to divide a mesh a lot, thereīs also an issue with automatic sizing, where the texture scale needs to be retweaked for it to work after autosizing, and if not careful and unchecking it all..it may interfere with other modeling tasks., so with that..I found it better to simply sculpt with anchored or drag dot stroke option in blender.

Michael

erikals
08-29-2016, 01:43 PM
thereīs however a slight worry that the UI module for how to work with it may be completly different and not as easy to work with as the hypervoxel panel,
could be. but i doubt it. putting my bet on "not changed"


More power to 'em!
i think they look damn nice!  :)

pming
08-29-2016, 09:12 PM
Hiya!

Lil' ol' me? This may sound a bit flippant, but...I like the fact that they aren't owned by Autodesk or Adobe. Two companies that started off great, then got popular, then got greedy and too..."aloof" for their own good. I *LOVE* Photoshop (who doesn't?), but no way in hell can I afford, or am I going to pay, $250 per year and be locked in to web activation and 'requirement' (I use Serif PhotoPlus and DrawPlus, as well as ArtRage 4). And Autodesk? Let's just say I was/am a Softimage user. ... ... 'nuff said.

As for LW "specific" things. I really like the look of it...it all seems "clean", as far as viewport's go. Text buttons is good too...I just wish the Text could be better organized or explained (and BIGGER); e.g., just what the heck does "Segment Scale" mean other than the obvious? What is a "segment" in LW terms? New users look at this and scratch their heads. Hit the books to find out. Or how about "Set Face" under Detail --> Polygons. Having a polygon selected and hitting it appears to do nothing. Bringing up the Numeric window reveals just as much. Sigh. Hit the books again I guess. Construct --> Convert --> "Set CC". Uh, what's a "CC" and why do I want to set it? ...oh, right...hit the books again. Then you get the six-tools-that-should-be-one type of problem (Chamfer, Bevel, Extrude, Extend...could all be one tool; activate then Left click to Chamfer...Right click to Bevel...Ctrl-Left to Extrude...Shift-Left to Extend...etc). But, despite all that...Lightwave is a comfortable, clean and responsive package. It feels "technically accurate" without being Rhino or Houdini...and still feels "artistic and organic" without being Bryce or Kai's Power Tools (remember those?). It's a nice, comfortable middle-ground.

Still...I'm amazed at how versatile LW is as an overall package. It may not have all the shiny-bling-bling of the newer programs, but it's got everything and the kitchen sink (it's just that they are all in foreign languages or made-up sounding names sometimes... ;) ). I wish EVERY package out there had "Rounder", "MultiShift", and the "3D Gizmo" capability to set the pivot to what I want/need (just wish there was a way to set up a "default" for it that it would remember until I changed it; e.g., "Selection Center", or "Edge", or whatever).

Oh. And it's viewport naviagation is the BEST I've used. Period. Alt, Alt+Ctrl, Alt+Shift are simple and easy. Lightwave just needs to add two more to this navigation layout: Alt+Shift+RightClick = Focus to Selection , and if you Alt+Ctrl+RightClick = Focus All.

PS: I almost forgot! The Lightwave Community. :) One of the best...up there with Zbrush and trueSpace (yes, trueSpace...was a pretty tight-nit group we had back in the Caligari days...*sigh*...meeeemmm-orr-ieeeesssssss..... ;)

^_^

Paul L. Ming

erikals
08-30-2016, 01:30 AM
Lightwave just needs to add two more to this navigation layout: Alt+Shift+RightClick = Focus to Selection , and if you Alt+Ctrl+RightClick = Focus All.
you can do this using autohotkey.com

the code is:


!+LButton::+a
!^+LButton::a

:hey:

Wickedpup
08-30-2016, 09:18 AM
?...... but you are right about the instances. I have not seen another program really match what LW does in that regard.
Could you elaborate? What is it with LW's implementation of instances that sets it apart from the competition? :confused:

Whelkn
08-30-2016, 08:33 PM
I like that using their tools over the years they made me more money then I ever gave them

Danner
08-31-2016, 02:17 AM
Hiya!

... Oh. And it's viewport naviagation is the BEST I've used. Period. Alt, Alt+Ctrl, Alt+Shift are simple and easy. Lightwave just needs to add two more to this navigation layout: Alt+Shift+RightClick = Focus to Selection , and if you Alt+Ctrl+RightClick = Focus All....

^_^

Paul L. Ming

Navigation is all right, I do miss the WASD game style navigation you can have in unity by pressing right mouse button. (there is a plugin for layout that does something like this, but I want it in modeler)

prometheus
08-31-2016, 06:28 AM
Lightwave just needs to add two more to this navigation layout: Alt+Shift+RightClick = Focus to Selection , and if you Alt+Ctrl+RightClick = Focus All.



Paul L. Ming

Hi Paul..
why? ...you got "a" which focus all, and you got shift-a to focus on selection, you could simply re-assign your shorcuts to be what you want though.
Segment scale scales individual segments like selected edges in their construction direction, if you pick two edges and scale with size..you will deform it outwards, with scale segment only the edges are scaled without changing the actual shape.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj7eHqvYAQ4

Exclaim
08-31-2016, 08:23 AM
Hiya!

Lil' ol' me? This may sound a bit flippant, but...I like the fact that they aren't owned by Autodesk or Adobe. Two companies that started off great, then got popular, then got greedy and too..."aloof" for their own good. I *LOVE* Photoshop (who doesn't?), but no way in hell can I afford, or am I going to pay, $250 per year and be locked in to web activation and 'requirement' (I use Serif PhotoPlus and DrawPlus, as well as ArtRage 4). And Autodesk? Let's just say I was/am a Softimage user. ... ... 'nuff said.

As for LW "specific" things. I really like the look of it...it all seems "clean", as far as viewport's go. Text buttons is good too...I just wish the Text could be better organized or explained (and BIGGER); e.g., just what the heck does "Segment Scale" mean other than the obvious? What is a "segment" in LW terms? New users look at this and scratch their heads. Hit the books to find out. Or how about "Set Face" under Detail --> Polygons. Having a polygon selected and hitting it appears to do nothing. Bringing up the Numeric window reveals just as much. Sigh. Hit the books again I guess. Construct --> Convert --> "Set CC". Uh, what's a "CC" and why do I want to set it? ...oh, right...hit the books again. Then you get the six-tools-that-should-be-one type of problem (Chamfer, Bevel, Extrude, Extend...could all be one tool; activate then Left click to Chamfer...Right click to Bevel...Ctrl-Left to Extrude...Shift-Left to Extend...etc). But, despite all that...Lightwave is a comfortable, clean and responsive package. It feels "technically accurate" without being Rhino or Houdini...and still feels "artistic and organic" without being Bryce or Kai's Power Tools (remember those?). It's a nice, comfortable middle-ground.

Still...I'm amazed at how versatile LW is as an overall package. It may not have all the shiny-bling-bling of the newer programs, but it's got everything and the kitchen sink (it's just that they are all in foreign languages or made-up sounding names sometimes... ;) ). I wish EVERY package out there had "Rounder", "MultiShift", and the "3D Gizmo" capability to set the pivot to what I want/need (just wish there was a way to set up a "default" for it that it would remember until I changed it; e.g., "Selection Center", or "Edge", or whatever).

Oh. And it's viewport naviagation is the BEST I've used. Period. Alt, Alt+Ctrl, Alt+Shift are simple and easy. Lightwave just needs to add two more to this navigation layout: Alt+Shift+RightClick = Focus to Selection , and if you Alt+Ctrl+RightClick = Focus All.

PS: I almost forgot! The Lightwave Community. :) One of the best...up there with Zbrush and trueSpace (yes, trueSpace...was a pretty tight-nit group we had back in the Caligari days...*sigh*...meeeemmm-orr-ieeeesssssss..... ;)

^_^

Paul L. Ming

I agree with so many things here.

- - - Updated - - -


Could you elaborate? What is it with LW's implementation of instances that sets it apart from the competition? :confused:

Mostly ease of use. Very easy to apply randomness. Instancing in 3DS Max is a nightmare comparatively.

jwiede
08-31-2016, 01:19 PM
Instancing in 3DS Max is a nightmare comparatively.

So you consider 3DSMax's instancing "Object Paint" functionality a "nightmare comparitively"? What, specifically, about using Object Paint makes it so much less efficient than LW instancing?

When a use case as common as covering a surface randomly with multiple different types of vegetation involves many, many more steps using LW instancing than it does in most other popular 3D pkgs (and it does), arguments about how those other packages are "nightmarish" to use compared to LW are difficult to take seriously.

Farhad_azer
08-31-2016, 04:52 PM
Of course object painter is at least 10 times less capable than lw's instancer engine. you are really unfair again jwiede.

samurai_x
08-31-2016, 11:58 PM
I like that using their tools over the years they made me more money then I ever gave them

True. Its hard to argue with this statement.

Wickedpup
09-01-2016, 04:09 AM
Of course object painter is at least 10 times less capable than lw's instancer engine. you are really unfair again jwiede.
How is it less capable?

Farhad_azer
09-01-2016, 05:46 AM
Do u have full nodal control over the each instance in OP as u have in lw?
Can you assign texture to control the orientation and randomness of copies and animate them accordingly?
Is it possible to make instances point to moving target?
What about radial and rectangular arrays ready to be animated in a lot of ways.
Etc etc....

Wickedpup
09-01-2016, 07:55 AM
Just out of curiosity.....what is OP capable of that LW instances is not?

Edit: The reason I am asking is that from what I can see OP is capable of some stuff that LW instances isnīt. As an example, I can use it for modelling. I could place rivets on a model with it..... and I guess you could set that up with LW instances, but it wouldnīt be as straight forward.

Radial/rectangular arrays....see Array.

samurai_x
09-01-2016, 08:00 AM
Many things are possible with particle flow.

But still 3dmax is not wallet friendly unlike lightwave, with 999 render nodes.
I'll let the company pay for 3dmax. I'll personally keep upgrading lightwave.

I just talked to an artist in Netherland who switched from maya to modo.
260EUR a month for maya is not wallet friendly. Haven't confirmed myself how much the price is now.
I will try to convince her to switch to lightwave. :D

jwiede
09-01-2016, 10:18 AM
Just out of curiosity.....what is OP capable of that LW instances is not?

Painting of arbitrary instances (recursion-viable) onto other object(s) from sequential/randomized set, similar to Veggiepaint, but with fine control over how brushstrokes align/orient/jitter onto objects (f.e. allowing fills/edge-following behavior, such as making rivets follow an edge of plate steel), while allowing randomization of rotations, and so forth. See reference (https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/3ds-max/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2016/ENU/3DSMax/files/GUID-C87493C2-6E85-4DCB-A0AC-F355A9AA174F-htm.html).

Wickedpup
09-01-2016, 10:40 AM
Thanks, Jwiede. Was typing while you made your post so I did not see it. :)

jeric_synergy
09-01-2016, 11:07 AM
"Edge Following" sounds pretty sweet: any way we could emulate such a feature in LW Instancing? (I'm guessing 'nodally', if at all.)

Certainly painting ANYTHING in LW is a consistent sticking point: off the top of my head I can't think of any feature in LW/LWM that does 'painting' well. Vertex Paint? No. Weight painting? NTMK.

rustythe1
09-01-2016, 11:56 AM
edge node, grit node, and I am guessing as LW 2017 will be edge and point aware that could open a huge window of nodes

jeric_synergy
09-01-2016, 12:14 PM
edge node, grit node, and I am guessing as LW 2017 will be edge and point aware that could open a huge window of nodes

Sorry rt1, can you be more explicit? Does the edge node play nice with Instancing?? (I thought it was more a shader thing than a geometry thing.)

prometheus
09-01-2016, 12:34 PM
"Edge Following" sounds pretty sweet: any way we could emulate such a feature in LW Instancing? (I'm guessing 'nodally', if at all.)

Certainly painting ANYTHING in LW is a consistent sticking point: off the top of my head I can't think of any feature in LW/LWM that does 'painting' well. Vertex Paint? No. Weight painting? NTMK.

Sort of, but you need particles to emit by object line and use fixed for uniform spacing, it also requires you to be aware of how many and what edges you wanīt to use, which could mean that you may need to copy edges only where you wanīt the instances on a text for instance, then paste back as separate instance layer for the instances to work on, and with that layer you add particles with nozzle set to object line, object normal may also work, the amount of instances and spacing is then set by the particle amount, then direct your instances to use the particles, so that way you can dress text letters with instances of virus or something else :9, and instances will l only be on the edges of the text.

prometheus
09-01-2016, 12:38 PM
Just out of curiosity.....what is OP capable of that LW instances is not?

Edit: The reason I am asking is that from what I can see OP is capable of some stuff that LW instances isnīt. As an example, I can use it for modelling. I could place rivets on a model with it..... and I guess you could set that up with LW instances, but it wouldnīt be as straight forward.

Radial/rectangular arrays....see Array.

perhaps not as straight forward for modeling purpose, since you need to add instances with the lack of point creation or polycreation in layout, you can however make sure you copy points, edges or polys separatly in modeler, then assign instances in layout, and you can bake out the instances to modeler if you need to reshape that, I think you can also group select the result of the instance baked meshes to one single object, but then again you may just as well simply clone in modeler...depends on task.

jwiede
09-01-2016, 02:18 PM
perhaps not as straight forward for modeling purpose, since you need to add instances with the lack of point creation or polycreation in layout, you can however make sure you copy points, edges or polys separatly in modeler, then assign instances in layout, and you can bake out the instances to modeler if you need to reshape that, I think you can also group select the result of the instance baked meshes to one single object, but then again you may just as well simply clone in modeler...depends on task.

A lot of what are quite common modeling-type uses of instancing in other packages wind up inhibited in LW, not only due to Layout's limited notion of geometry, but also due to the LW native instancer's inability to deal with recursive instancing. It forces a different mindset, because if you intend to instance an object down the road, then using instances as part of the object's "details" will create issues/complications. As a result, geometry cloning and/or normal/displacement-mapped texture detailing seems more commonly used as the means for creating large quantities of fine details with LW, versus instancing.

Hurley's AdvancedPlacement (http://hurleyworks.com/wordpress/portfolio/advanced-placement-for-lightwave/) (commercial) plugin is an alternative instancer-based solution that offers "painting"-like placement approaches that could be useful for instancing fine details in some cases. It offers a bunch of other advanced instancing- and dynamics-related functionality as well, easier to go to the site or read the threads about it here, than for me to try and summarize everything it can do. IMO, anyone who likes using instancing for modeling in other pkgs will find this plugin makes their LW experience much more efficient and enjoyable overall.

prometheus
09-01-2016, 03:52 PM
A lot of what are quite common modeling-type uses of instancing in other packages wind up inhibited in LW, not only due to Layout's limited notion of geometry, but also due to the LW native instancer's inability to deal with recursive instancing. It forces a different mindset, because if you intend to instance an object down the road, then using instances as part of the object's "details" will create issues/complications. As a result, geometry cloning and/or normal/displacement-mapped texture detailing seems more commonly used as the means for creating large quantities of fine details with LW, versus instancing.

Hurley's AdvancedPlacement (http://hurleyworks.com/wordpress/portfolio/advanced-placement-for-lightwave/) (commercial) plugin is an alternative instancer-based solution that offers "painting"-like placement approaches that could be useful for instancing fine details in some cases. It offers a bunch of other advanced instancing- and dynamics-related functionality as well, easier to go to the site or read the threads about it here, than for me to try and summarize everything it can do. IMO, anyone who likes using instancing for modeling in other pkgs will find this plugin makes their LW experience much more efficient and enjoyable overall.


Donīt know much about the advanced placement, it is fun to watch and may speed up natural placement, but at the same time, expensive for a result I may reach with normal instancing or bullet dynamics, where you can use bullet and dummy objects to fall in same natural way and then replace with instances, or actual rocks etc of course with advanced placement all this will be much easier, thoug I donīt think I would necessarely need it, I wonder...can you scale resize with a paint brush after you placed instances with advanced placement, canīt recall if that was the case, with houdini for instance you could scale paint lsystem or with vue scale paint the ecosystem.

Though I am more interested in lwCads model Instances, so if it works as I think..model placement of instances in modeler is boosting archviz up, I just wish the modifier non destructive workflow could be implemented someday with lw cad, where I could go back and change window types at any time from any library I want.(not possible today) and perhaps even correctional guide placement and scale size to be changed as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHvac9f7oaw

jwiede
09-04-2016, 02:59 PM
I just wish the modifier non destructive workflow could be implemented someday with lw cad, where I could go back and change window types at any time from any library I want.(not possible today) and perhaps even correctional guide placement and scale size to be changed as well.

Lacking any tangible evidence that LW3DG even considers adding non-destructive workflows in animation, modeling, etc. to Lightwave important, waiting and relying on them to address your needs seems... unwise.

If such workflows are really that important to you, might as well switch to 3DSMax or C4D (or even MODO) and start climbing the learning curve now rather than waiting. Esp. for arch-viz scenarios, the ability to retain parametric properties on walls, doors, windows, etc. is enormously powerful, and makes wide-scale revisions so much easier and more efficient. Once you've spent some time working that way, you'll likely find the notion of going back to destructive workflows, and the accompanying efficiency hit from doing so, highly undesirable -- as most do.

Historically, once available, non-destructive workflows rapidly displace/marginalize destructive workflows, culminating in a situation where most customers won't even consider packages that lack non-destructive workflow support. There's no reason to think what's occurring in modeling will work out any different than what happened with non-destructive animation, or any of the many other scenarios where non-destructive workflow support quickly became a de-facto market requirement.

jeric_synergy
09-04-2016, 03:13 PM
Historically, once available, non-destructive workflows rapidly displace/marginalize destructive workflows, culminating in a situation where most customers won't even consider packages that lack non-destructive workflow support. There's no reason to think what's occurring in modeling will work out any different than what happened with non-destructive animation, or any of the many other scenarios where non-destructive workflow support quickly became a de-facto market requirement.
Once I got AE, it was really hard to stomach AURA, even though you'd think they didn't have much in common. But being able to re-jigger things SLIGHTLY w/o cost makes all the difference.

And I agree with the "climbing the learning curve" -- might as well get started.

prometheus
09-04-2016, 04:02 PM
Lacking any tangible evidence that LW3DG even considers adding non-destructive workflows in animation, modeling, etc. to Lightwave important, waiting and relying on them to address your needs seems... unwise.

If such workflows are really that important to you, might as well switch to 3DSMax or C4D (or even MODO) and start climbing the learning curve now rather than waiting. Esp. for arch-viz scenarios, the ability to retain parametric properties on walls, doors, windows, etc. is enormously powerful, and makes wide-scale revisions so much easier and more efficient. Once you've spent some time working that way, you'll likely find the notion of going back to destructive workflows, and the accompanying efficiency hit from doing so, highly undesirable -- as most do.

Historically, once available, non-destructive workflows rapidly displace/marginalize destructive workflows, culminating in a situation where most customers won't even consider packages that lack non-destructive workflow support. There's no reason to think what's occurring in modeling will work out any different than what happened with non-destructive animation, or any of the many other scenarios where non-destructive workflow support quickly became a de-facto market requirement.

Some things to consider..
I am not in the archviz no special plans for it either..

3d max..Just canīt stand it
cinema4..probably to expensive
Modo.maybe, just feel it is to bloated and sluggish.
meanwhile I am learning blender more and more..and will probably focus on that for a while until I see what the next lightwave version will bring

Still prefer lightwave layout as one of the best stage layout setup with how it deals with navigation, cam, obj and light control.
I could consider using special devoted archviz softare if I wanted to, archviz, revit, or other more suited specialized software in such case for archviz.
Theresīs more to procedural workflow modeling than just archviz, but that is where I would probably find most use of it, so the above mentioned stuff with specialized tools could also work.



I can probably wait for the next lw release and see what may open up.

Surrealist.
09-04-2016, 09:40 PM
I know this is going to sound lame, especially coming from me, but isn't LightWave Layout and Modeler design combination already non destructive in nature when it comes to laying out scenes? Think about it.

And really think about that before quoting me and shooting from the hip and starting to lecture me about what ND workflow is. Of course I know what it is. But really, think about that for a moment and consider the myriad of non-destructive tools you have - when you consider these two apps in tandem rather than the usual thought of the tedium of going back and forth.

And on topic it is something worth vamping on.


But that said, non-destructive workflows are by nature tool-oriented. And if in nodes, they are scene oriented. So unless you have modeling tools/nodes in Layout you won't have a non-destructive modeling workflow in the purest sense.

And getting the next version of LightWave done is the first big step towards making that happen. But a truly non-destructive is a ways off, true. That is just a simple fact. Nothing to debate about really in my opinion.

rustythe1
09-05-2016, 01:13 AM
Sorry rt1, can you be more explicit? Does the edge node play nice with Instancing?? (I thought it was more a shader thing than a geometry thing.)

I have not done it myself but one would assume that as you can use them to create an alpha to apply textures you can use them in the same way to create an alpha to place the instances, it might not work it was just an idea that popped in my head.

prometheus
09-05-2016, 08:52 AM
I know this is going to sound lame, especially coming from me, but isn't LightWave Layout and Modeler design combination already non destructive in nature when it comes to laying out scenes? Think about it.

And really think about that before quoting me and shooting from the hip and starting to lecture me about what ND workflow is. Of course I know what it is. But really, think about that for a moment and consider the myriad of non-destructive tools you have - when you consider these two apps in tandem rather than the usual thought of the tedium of going back and forth.

And on topic it is something worth vamping on.


But that said, non-destructive workflows are by nature tool-oriented. And if in nodes, they are scene oriented. So unless you have modeling tools/nodes in Layout you won't have a non-destructive modeling workflow in the purest sense.

And getting the next version of LightWave done is the first big step towards making that happen. But a truly non-destructive is a ways off, true. That is just a simple fact. Nothing to debate about really in my opinion.


I donīt think layout and modeler design together is the general conception, but procedural modeling workflow is, so going in and change a shape upon which a curve rail is built or change window amount or window type ...isnīt possible even with modeler layout combined...was I shooting from the hip :)

jeric_synergy
09-05-2016, 10:16 AM
I know this is going to sound lame, especially coming from me, but isn't LightWave Layout and Modeler design combination already non destructive in nature when it comes to laying out scenes? Think about it.
I know that you, Richard, know all this far (far) better than me. So I'm trying to take your point.

Users' recent forays into 'modeling' using Instancing I think support your point. And the thing about Instancing is it is reversible with no cost: the elements are not destroyed in use.

#aflw but IIRC there are several operations in Modeler that destroy elements used in the creation of other elements. Unless the user takes specific steps (duplicating Curves and Layers and preserving them) the information used in creation are lost. This, to me, is the definition of "destructive operations".

By its nature, Layout doesn't do this. I'm trying to think if there's any operation in Layout that, in its correct use, obliterates data. Obviously the user can destroy data, but that's always true.

A fully lossless, totally parametric modeler would be very difficult to achieve, I think.

Usually when I think of "destructive" I think of AURA, which destroyed work in the blink of eye. You could really screw yourself in that program.

prometheus
09-05-2016, 10:31 AM
fiddling with blender curves, going in and changing almost everything ..itīs profile, filling etc, simply not possible today in neither in modeler or layout, closest might be lwcad and profiler, though once dropped you would have to re-create or edit both the curve and profile with custom tools, but you canīt change the actual curves properties non destructivly.

I think the new lightwave layout stacked modifier will probably get similar to for instance blenders deform modifiers, the skin modfier in blender is some sort of meshing ala metablobs on steroids and fully tweakable in parametric sense, which metaedges are not.

working with blenders curves is pretty sweet, where you can simply change the initial profile curve to be a quad or round corner or even completly round, make it only curves or switched to filled curves as mesh and control resulotion, rounding segments at anytime, and while still in modifier controll that at any time without recreating a new shape wich otherwise would be needed in lightwave for instance.

Blenders svga import also letīs you maintain bezier controls for imported illustrator files, and the curves has options to make it filled as tubes,pipes at an instance in the curves properties, for lightwave you need to rail extrude or use some 3rd party plugins to create the tubes but once dropped you would need to destroy it and remake both curve and profile and thickness by remakes.
however..I am going off to much off topic leaning to what I like most about blender here...sorry for that.

jwiede
09-05-2016, 01:15 PM
By its nature, Layout doesn't do this. I'm trying to think if there's any operation in Layout that, in its correct use, obliterates data. Obviously the user can destroy data, but that's always true.

Animation in Layout is generally "destructive", in that the act of augmenting or modifying the animation currently present requires modifying the sole "track" of overall animation data present -- there are exceptions, like MorphMixer, but it only allows layering of very specific subtypes of animations, there's no way to layer and manipulate animation "tracks" generally in Lightwave. Layout's very limited undo further makes modifications of animation track data more so destructive/non-reversible.

Compare that to a "full NLA" environment (Maya, C4D, etc.) where at any time you can add a new track that augments or modifies the existing animations (regardless of subtype), without actually modifying the other track's data. Instead of being forced to work directly with existing data, you can freely duplicate and augment/replace the existing animation data with new (layered) instances of animation data, thereby allowing you to modify the copies rather than having to modify the original (as occurs in Layout for most animation) -- hence, "non-destructive".

Surrealist.
09-05-2016, 01:20 PM
Mainly I just was trying to avoid the "well you are just being a LightWave fanboy and making points you can't make" argument. And have us go off on that tangent. I love Blender's non destructive stack. It is tool based, whereas, ICE and Houdini are scene based, because they are nodes. Which means you can call on anything within the scene.

And actually you know, not many people realize this (or use it) but so is Maya. Maya scenes are actually node networks. When you Duplicate Special for instance, no pun indented, you can instance an object. In the node editor you will see it set up a little node network. By default it connects those node network in a certain way. And there was a guy who did a great tutorial on this but I can not seem to find it. The bottom line is. If you go in and reconnect the nodes, you can daisy chain the nodes and create a non destructive modeling pipe. It is actually very cool and Houdini-esque. But not many people go in and use it that way. Most people consider the history button on/off in Maya as Maya's nondestructive stack. Not so. That is just keeping a running record of node connections and it gets out of hand and is completely unusable. And eventually slows your scene down to a crawl. But if you turn history off and use nodes consciously, you can actually set up some cool non-destructive modeling pipes by making custom connections between shape nodes.

Blender scenes are set up in what they call Data Blocks. Completely aside from the Modifier Stack which works only on the Object level.

And even though it is not node-based, Blender can also call on items within the scene at the mesh level. (and this is all heading to LightWave so stick with me here).

So in Blender you have a data block for Objects. Think of objects as containers. Boxes that hold things. And mesh data blocks are the things you put in them.

So let us say you have 3 boxes. Labeled, Box, Box.001 and Box.002. (that is what you'd get if you duplicated them)

By default, Blender will name the Mesh Data block the same on creation. And you can rename both the mesh and the object data separately right there in the interface in the Object and Mesh tabs respectively. But what most new users don't realize is that you can swap these around. There is a drop down list for the mesh data that is within the object container.

So as an experiment try this:

Make a Cube a Sphere and a Cone. And go into the mesh tab of the box and using the drop down list change it to the sphere and then the cone.

So lets say you have the Cube set as the cone. Its shape will be the cone also. So you have 2 cones in the scene. And when you hit Tab to go into edit mode, you will see you can edit the Cone and it updates in the Cube container. They are both using the same mesh data. And it is the same thing you get when you use Alt D to duplicate one of them. This is Blender's "instancing". There are more steps if you want a memory-saving instance, but that is not worth going into here. Other then the fact that this data can also be shared between scenes. You can actually dip into another scene and get mesh or object data and link it. This is Blender's referencing.

So now this is not a non-destructive pipe in the sense that the stack is. Or in the sense that a node network is. It is quite limiting in that respect. But it is none the less a non-destructive method. And it requires thinking out of the box - ha ha - to start using it.

And by now hopefully you can start to see the power it can give you with duplicating objects and in a architectural scenario where you wanted to have windows and doors swapped out, and you are calling this non-destructive, then well, this is what you have here.

And this is a powerful feature in Blender. And I have set up a scenario like this for modeling aircraft cabin where you have many many duplicate parts, say the windows and overhead bins. And since you can echange this data between scenes even it gets real powerful. And so you can set up your scene one time. And no matter what process you are going though on each piece, you can maintain its position within the scene by moving and manipulating the Object containers and not just "destructively" model it all within the container.

And most modelers don't think this way. They think very much... well in the box. And will set up all of this within one container.

So that when you then have to go in and make changes to one piece you have to copy it over again and replace all of the others. Or do it in a very linear destructive way and force yourself to finish one piece before you copy it. And then there is UV mapping. So you might find yourself waiting till you got all UVs done before duplicating it.

And this is a perfect scenario for architectural applications and many other applications where you have a duplication of a lot of objects.

And there are two methods here. One is destructive and one is non-destructive.

So now in LightWave, most of us when modeling think of Modeler as the scene for the object. And this kind of thinking is within the box so to speak. But technically this is not so. What fools us into thinking this way are two things. First, it is convenient and in I'd say most cases necessary. And second is we have Layers that become objects in Layout. So we will model in layers and use Pivot positions in Layers to force Layout to put the pivot where we want it. Anyways you get my point there.

So in reality Layout has the object which is the object container. And a Modeler Layer contains the mesh which is like the mesh data block in Blender.

Now there are a lot of ideas that can spring from this. But I have to get back to work. Took me an hour to get this far...lol

Glad to expand on it later.

And no this is not saying there is a procedural modeling possible here or anything like that. But thinking of LighWave as two apps in tandem (think Hub and two screens...hint hint) rather than two separate apps can open up more doors.

Something worth vamping on and considering in a positive way and get your mind thinking our of the box.

No need to knock it down for all of the things it isn't. We know that already is what I am saying. The new things you can explore with this is a more interesting discussion in my opinion.

prometheus
09-05-2016, 01:35 PM
Emylyators stuff is interesting, though the access to all this seem to much cluttered with all kinds of module windows, object replacement and deformations, though booleans, cuts and extrusions would enhance it much more too...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfOFLv8WBIc

prometheus
09-05-2016, 01:48 PM
and this, not sure if he can change profile shape here in layout from a circle to star shaped etc? I can spot a slight change in the initial profile shape segments,(0:01) so who knows?...
Edit..yep, that is wire divisisions I think, at least gives the option to change initial shapes divisions and shape that is altered by that, though changing/replace to a completly different shape would be awesome.

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

jwiede
09-05-2016, 02:01 PM
And second is we have Layers that become objects in Layout. So we will model in layers and use Pivot positions in Layers to force Layout to put the pivot where we want it. Anyways you get my point there.

Just a quick note: As part of the UME-driven reconciliation between how Modeler and Layout view LWO contents, it is basically a certainty that the differentiation you're making here will disappear in either LW.Next or the subsequent release (likely concurrent with the rollout of the bumped LWO version Jarno (IIRC) already mentioned).

The reason that differentiation in how Modeler and Layout view LWO layers worked before was because Layout had no reason to understand Modeler's view of layers -- because it didn't have to understand underlying geometry, it could interpret LWO layers differently, delineating object boundaries after a fashion. Problem is, UME's integration into Layout forces it to now interpret LWO contents in precisely the same manner as Modeler w.r.t. geometry (including how layers subdivide LWO object geometry).

LWO2 version of LWO format definition wasn't really designed efficiently for use as a container of objects. Among other issues, the absence of any object "directory", etc. made efficient access to individual objects within the container unworkable, as did scoping definition ambiguities* regarding surfaces, Uvs, etc. Presumably the new version of the LWO format definition tries to address or mitigate some of these issues, but we'll have to wait and see until LW3DG publish the finalized new LWO format definition to know precisely what was done.

*: If you want to understand better, just ask, but it's a bit detailed and dry, so didn't want to get into it if nobody cared.

Surrealist.
09-05-2016, 02:40 PM
Taking another quick moment here after that long diatribe.

The main point is to start thinking in terms of Layout and Modeler as two halves of a joint non-destructive workflow. No you are not going to get a procedural interactive workflow, creating tubes and interchangeable profiles. But think about the deforming and transforming possibilities in Layout. "Use morph positions" on bone chains. Hard and soft link, twist and bend and all of these other deformers which by the way can be animated. So you have things like Shear, Bend,Taper etc. All animatable and all non-destructive and interactive.

But when modeling we never use these? Why? They are in Layout. And layout is for scenes and animation. And it is not convenient to move things there as a modeling tool.

But if we want a cloth draped over a table in a realistic way as a static object we all know the old trick to save trans object and we have our object to use as static or as a starting place for another dynamic sim.

Also if you consider it. Modeling is really two separate actions. There is the modeling, creating shapes and editing them. And there is a layout process. Taking the individual parts and placing them within the model's "scene". And when doing this we will often set up pivot points and layers, so that in Layout we have a scene which contains our mesh data in an organized form.

For some objects this is probably the most practical approach. But if you start thinking in terms of using Layout to act as a construction platform and a deforming platform rather than doing it all in Modeler, then it opens up a lot more non-destructive possibilities.

Just take the Bend or Taper deformers. In Modeler those are destructive. In layout, they are non-destructive and work on the mesh as a whole. So you could then swap out other meshes in that layer and they would update in Layout.

Lots and lots of examples of this if you start thinking outside the box.

prometheus
09-05-2016, 03:35 PM
Taking another quick moment here after that long diatribe.

The main point is to start thinking in terms of Layout and Modeler as two halves of a joint non-destructive workflow. No you are not going to get a procedural interactive workflow, creating tubes and interchangeable profiles. But think about the deforming and transforming possibilities in Layout. "Use morph positions" on bone chains. Hard and soft link, twist and bend and all of these other deformers which by the way can be animated. So you have things like Shear, Bend,Taper etc. All animatable and all non-destructive and interactive.

But when modeling we never use these? Why? They are in Layout. And layout is for scenes and animation. And it is not convenient to move things there as a modeling tool.

But if we want a cloth draped over a table in a realistic way as a static object we all know the old trick to save trans object and we have our object to use as static or as a starting place for another dynamic sim.

Also if you consider it. Modeling is really two separate actions. There is the modeling, creating shapes and editing them. And there is a layout process. Taking the individual parts and placing them within the model's "scene". And when doing this we will often set up pivot points and layers, so that in Layout we have a scene which contains our mesh data in an organized form.

For some objects this is probably the most practical approach. But if you start thinking in terms of using Layout to act as a construction platform and a deforming platform rather than doing it all in Modeler, then it opens up a lot more non-destructive possibilities.

Just take the Bend or Taper deformers. In Modeler those are destructive. In layout, they are non-destructive and work on the mesh as a whole. So you could then swap out other meshes in that layer and they would update in Layout.

Lots and lots of examples of this if you start thinking outside the box.

Of course there are a lot you can do with deformers and animation, seemingly non destructive, but it is still limited to certain object types, for instance..the object needs the profile curve to match, so if you want a deforming twirling tube, you create it in modeler straight, then deform it in layout..or have to use a special curve that was initially made to create a twirling tube in modeler initially, then it wouldnīt be so easy to swap out.

it is still just deformers, and not actual model interactive so the window cut thru options would probably be kind of impossible in layout..I think.
as for modeler vs layout deformers, it is just that..we got no bevel modifier to change amount of bevels.
As for model creation, like using blenders skin modifier, I can go in at anytime and anywhere to scale individual edge, or scale individual skin segments as I please, extrude the edges or vertice and have the skin update in realtime or turn it on off, on top of that ..add subdiv modifier on the edges and smooth them or change amount of divisions at any time that will change the skinned tubes to be smooth or sharp (actual tube angles..not the mesh skin..though I can do that too) depending on divisions of the edges.

I am having so much fun with the blender skin modifier, and that so many tools can work in various stacked layers, adding a spin on one edge for example with skin on, and you get it all skinned in tube form directly.

prometheus
09-05-2016, 03:52 PM
modo has indeed pushed itīs spline and curve tools for sure, not sure if blenderīs spline and curve tools are equally good..it is however much easier than fiddling with deformers and going back and forth changing geo in modeler, end results may not be impossible in lightwave modeler, but sure is way more tedious to setup to achieve all this in my opinion, even though we got wonderful free plugins as pictrix bezier..arthspheres extrude plus for generation, and spline controls in layout it really is quite a difference foremost in speed to acheive this kind of results and with such final control.

Re-editing of mesh is done on the fly here in the sample of modo curves, same with blender..while in lightwave you can not get away from the fact that you need to make new profiles, or go back and delete mesh make a new one with different segments etc, extrusions from scratch every time for any re-edit change, and save object, replace object, then not satisfied..it is not a matter of tweak dials for exact curve mesh creation, you have to swap geometry and make them first..it is extremly tedious in a workflow point of view..unless you are absolutly certain for sure what kind of profile you need..wich means you need to be aware of the scenecontext and other elements at the same time..making it almost possible to have such sense of it all.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-urFDEi4nU0

Surrealist.
09-05-2016, 04:24 PM
Of course there are a lot you can do with deformers and animation, seemingly non destructive, but it is still limited to certain object types, for instance..the object needs the profile curve to match, so if you want a deforming twirling tube, you create it in modeler straight, then deform it in layout..or have to use a special curve that was initially made to create a twirling tube in modeler initially, then it wouldnīt be so easy to swap out.

it is still just deformers, and not actual model interactive so the window cut thru options would probably be kind of impossible in layout..I think.
as for modeler vs layout deformers, it is just that..we got no bevel modifier to change amount of bevels.
As for model creation, like using blenders skin modifier, I can go in at anytime and anywhere to scale individual edge, or scale individual skin segments as I please, extrude the edges or vertice and have the skin update in realtime or turn it on off, on top of that ..add subdiv modifier on the edges and smooth them or change amount of divisions at any time that will change the skinned tubes to be smooth or sharp (actual tube angles..not the mesh skin..though I can do that too) depending on divisions of the edges.

I am having so much fun with the blender skin modifier, and that so many tools can work in various stacked layers, adding a spin on one edge for example with skin on, and you get it all skinned in tube form directly.

Of course. I am not saying it is a replacement for those other things. You are shooting from the hip rather than taking it as an exploratory exercise within LightWave which is the topic of discussion.

Even I who use other apps every day for modeling, animation and many other things outside of LightWave, find these discussions tiring, to keep coming back to, yes but, then followed by some other app.

Have we not (and myself included here) done this enough on this forum?

My point is to look constructively at what you can do here. Rather than glance off of it and just jump to another app. There are a lot of things for which we could and frankly should be using this kind of workflow in LightWave.

But people rarely do.

So all I am trying to do is point to some positive workflow improvements within LightWave.

Is that such a bad thing?

I don't think so. And it is not a limiting thing. It is a liberating concept to expand your concept of modeling over to Layout. If I get a chance here I will make a video tutorial.

In the mean time would it not be a more constructive use of this thread to bring it back to LightWave?

We are all pretty much already aware of what other apps can do. So we don't need to beat that drum. There are at least a good dozen solid applications of this that I know people never do when they actually should.

How about starting there.

Start listing a dozen ways you could and should be using Layout and Modeler together to accomplish rather than thinking of them separately.

With each of those dozen things are are easily scores of applications.

hypersuperduper
09-05-2016, 04:29 PM
"Swapping out the mesh" is one of those simple things that lightwave users take for granted. It can be done so effortlessly that it opens up lots of workflow possibilities. It is always such a pain to swap out the mesh in a transform in Maya. It can be done of course, but it is clearly not something you are expected to do constantly like I do in lightwave.

I agree with the idea that modeler and layout should be seen as two halves of a somewhat non-destructive workflow. Layout is, lack of animation layers and wonky undo notwithstanding, pretty non-destructive in its approach. You literally CAN NOT change geometry it is a one way street. And you can do a lot of very interesting deformations in layout, Whereas modeler is unapologetically destructive in its approach, which, while it can be limiting, can also be liberating. It has a kind of directness that few other modeling tools have. It lends itself to a sort of sketchbook approach where you just try stuff and throw different ideas and model iterations into different layers, scratch layers, junk layers, whatever. It really doesn't matter Because you get to pick EXACTLY what goes into your scene. Then you can swap them out with abandon like you can swap out footage in after effects. So you get nice clean layout scenes with nothing you don't need but you can still be a total hoarder and have massive unorganized piles of garbage meshes in modeler, that no one ever has to know about.

Surrealist.
09-05-2016, 05:50 PM
The things I actually think make Modeler (and Modo) more unique is that you have more modeling-centric tools like for instance Multishift, simple things like rest on ground, absolute size and dozens of other little gems and plugins that are - destructive - but do help the modeling process. I also like the surfacing workflow. It definitely feels more immediate.

prometheus
09-05-2016, 07:20 PM
My point is to look constructively at what you can do here. Rather than glance off of it and just jump to another app. There are a lot of things for which we could and frankly should be using this kind of workflow in LightWave.

But people rarely do.

So all I am trying to do is point to some positive workflow improvements within LightWave.

Is that such a bad thing?

I don't think so. And it is not a limiting thing. It is a liberating concept to expand your concept of modeling over to Layout. If I get a chance here I will make a video tutorial.

In the mean time would it not be a more constructive use of this thread to bring it back to LightWave?

We are all pretty much already aware of what other apps can do. So we don't need to beat that drum. There are at least a good dozen solid applications of this that I know people never do when they actually should.

How about starting there.

Start listing a dozen ways you could and should be using Layout and Modeler together to accomplish rather than thinking of them separately.

With each of those dozen things are are easily scores of applications.

well ..the topic is really not about trying to see the positive in the way modeler layout may work non destructivly, itīs plain and simply a general question about what people like the most of newtek and lighwave products..if it fitīs in there is entirely up to the user.
And sure..good with constructive thoughts, I was just opposing the comparison of non destructive workflow, which really In my opinion canīt be compared..but then we would argue for ever and nuff said about that perhaps...though talking of it in positive ways doesnīt change the code a bit.
But we should really just wait and see whatīs in store with with next release.

Start listing ways of how to use layout and modeler together makes no sense to me..unless there is full youtube cover of each individual modifier or motion modifier to go thruogh it all, they are entangled and should be and thereīs so much so it would require a huge list ..which I donīt see the point of listing really, in case of their is some supertrick..then it would be easier to pin and list, but not all.
We also got the hel files:)

prometheus
09-05-2016, 08:12 PM
I must say though, though lightwave has shortcomings in the actual mesh generation and not being editable, if you keep your tounge right in the mouth while modeling and updating the model, and know exactly how to save out iterations with specific names..then the replace object in layout is quite nice keeping bones as they were animated etc.

And if you can write a script..a plugin ala emylyator can be done where you adress acess to various profiles.

Surrealist.
09-05-2016, 09:19 PM
Well it is not comparing it to a non-destructive workflow. It is a non-destructive workflow. You can't just point to other non-destructive tools and call that definitively non destructive. It is not really the case. There are many aspects to a non-destructive workflow. Within that, there are nodes, modifier stacks, mesh replacement. LOD, referencing, instancing, and probably a few other things I am forgetting. Additionally there is no such thing as a purely non-destructive workflow. Because even though you could access each point with a node, it would get so bloated and tedious that you'd defeat the purpose. And for that reason we, artistically, give limits to control. So within each non-destructive process there is always some kind of destructive process at its base. That is what non-destructive is, currently with tools we use everyday.

So my points are within this context.

And I am making loose comparisons to other tools and workflows. But it is by definition, non-destructive if you examine it.

And there are very few if any tutorials or anything I have ever seen or any of the docs that cover this at all. So, yeah it would be a good exercise to list and consider these things within a new context.

I just can't think with this negative, knock every positive idea down. Goes nowhere, does not change code, does not change developers minds does not motivate them. Does nothing really. Useless chatter frankly.

prometheus
09-05-2016, 11:33 PM
Well it is not comparing it to a non-destructive workflow. It is a non-destructive workflow. You can't just point to other non-destructive tools and call that definitively non destructive. It is not really the case. There are many aspects to a non-destructive workflow. Within that, there are nodes, modifier stacks, mesh replacement. LOD, referencing, instancing, and probably a few other things I am forgetting. Additionally there is no such thing as a purely non-destructive workflow. Because even though you could access each point with a node, it would get so bloated and tedious that you'd defeat the purpose. And for that reason we, artistically, give limits to control. So within each non-destructive process there is always some kind of destructive process at its base. That is what non-destructive is, currently with tools we use everyday.

So my points are within this context.

And I am making loose comparisons to other tools and workflows. But it is by definition, non-destructive if you examine it.

And there are very few if any tutorials or anything I have ever seen or any of the docs that cover this at all. So, yeah it would be a good exercise to list and consider these things within a new context.

I just can't think with this negative, knock every positive idea down. Goes nowhere, does not change code, does not change developers minds does not motivate them. Does nothing really. Useless chatter frankly.

itīs not about being negative, itīs not about not motivating the team, it is about facts, such as you can not have a type of procedural modeling such as creating mesh ..changing mesh density, boleans adding bevel modifiers, I am just saying what it canīt do in those terms..this whole debate arised probably from discussing lw cad...which is awesome it seems, and I then went on the route to say..how sweet it would be if we could adjust windows parametricly..then it went on to become a discussion partly you bringing up what we can do and look at it from another perspective..which is all fine, but each of this can be discussed separately without asserting the views to be negative or being debated to death.

what it can do for other non destructive things is a completly different topic in my opinion, and that is welcome..but please consider not embarking on this and that is negative etc..
Where do Ipropagate for knock down positive ideas...that is completly irrelevant and I do not think I have done that..uhmm or did I? by mentioning a list of ways to use modeler layout as non desctructive workflow was too much? then You may be correct to some point, I probably refered to there is so much you can do that a full list was too much, but by all means, good stuff and special uses of it is indeed welcome...so sorry if that was perceived as clunking down at something you may have had in mind.

bobakabob
09-06-2016, 12:56 AM
"Swapping out the mesh" is one of those simple things that lightwave users take for granted. It can be done so effortlessly that it opens up lots of workflow possibilities. It is always such a pain to swap out the mesh in a transform in Maya. It can be done of course, but it is clearly not something you are expected to do constantly like I do in lightwave.

I agree with the idea that modeler and layout should be seen as two halves of a somewhat non-destructive workflow. Layout is, lack of animation layers and wonky undo notwithstanding, pretty non-destructive in its approach. You literally CAN NOT change geometry it is a one way street. And you can do a lot of very interesting deformations in layout, Whereas modeler is unapologetically destructive in its approach, which, while it can be limiting, can also be liberating. It has a kind of directness that few other modeling tools have. It lends itself to a sort of sketchbook approach where you just try stuff and throw different ideas and model iterations into different layers, scratch layers, junk layers, whatever. It really doesn't matter Because you get to pick EXACTLY what goes into your scene. Then you can swap them out with abandon like you can swap out footage in after effects. So you get nice clean layout scenes with nothing you don't need but you can still be a total hoarder and have massive unorganized piles of garbage meshes in modeler, that no one ever has to know about.

Great summary. Much as I enjoy animating, swapping edited referenced character meshes off bones in Maya is not always so simple as many times I've had to revisit binding and weights. And having the extra "zone" in Modeler is strength as you can focus completely on modelling, edit the layered clutter whenever, and quickly set up, as you say, very tidy scenes in Layout. In Maya you can open another instance, reference objects and use layers for visibility but workflow doesn't feel superior. In fact it can sometimes feel cluttered. As for Modeler, I've never found its 'destructive' nature a problem - it has layers for copying and pasting alternatives for editing and an Undo button. Guess it depends on the kind of work you do. Zbrush is also destructive but it's become an industry standard.

prometheus
09-06-2016, 01:08 AM
Great summary. Much as I enjoy animating, swapping edited referenced character meshes off bones in Maya is not always so simple as many times I've had to revisit binding and weights. And having the extra "zone" in Modeler is strength as you can focus completely on modelling, edit the layered clutter whenever, and quickly set up, as you say, very tidy scenes in Layout. In Maya you can open another instance, reference objects and use layers for visibility but workflow doesn't feel superior. In fact it can sometimes feel cluttered. As for Modeler, I've never found its 'destructive' nature a problem - it has layers for copying and pasting alternatives for editing and an Undo button. Guess it depends on the kind of work you do. Zbrush is also destructive but it's become an industry standard.

Agreed, just fiddled a bit with some object swapping for a type of worm or insect tail, using both ik booster bone dynamics, as well as rigging with bullet bone dynamics and it works nicely to swap a simple dummy geometry to a more advanced shape.

Same with bullet dynamics and hinge and motors active when it is setup on basic cubes, then go back to modeler and model rotor types and replace a basic box with a more advanced rotor type..taking the place of the box in the bullet dynamics scene nicely.
So that part of object referencing and replacement is nice, and it goes all the way down to instances or displacements as well.

prometheus
09-06-2016, 01:22 AM
some more of the stuff I like most about lightwave, when in layout particulary, I have mentioned it before though..it is the overall feel and the best workspace for it to serve as a movie stage, the camera and animation timeline is the best I have come across, it is always there, with navigation controls always at the same place and directly acessible, and keyframing is in my opinion easier to work with than houdini or blender at least.
so comparing the timeline animation workflow as well as design of the menu, it is simply the best for me anyway, I hope they donīt change that too much ..with the exception for some minor UI enhancement where it can be made expandable and working with curves ala after effects scale windows.

So even if I currently Is pretty impressed with some of the new modern techs in blender like ambient occlusion open gl, and sculpting at a decent level, and skin modifier and curves in blender, I really donīt like working with cameras or tweaking rotation or locations of lights and jumping between various viewports or animating in general with blender, that may change if I use it more probably, but it is not as initiuve as Lightwaves "stage"

Michael

erikals
09-06-2016, 01:24 AM
"Swapping out the mesh" is one of those simple things that LightWave users take for granted. It can be done so effortlessly that it opens up lots of workflow possibilities. It is always such a pain to swap out the mesh in a transform in Maya. It can be done of course, but it is clearly not something you are expected to do constantly like I do in LightWave.

I agree with the idea that modeler and layout should be seen as two halves of a somewhat non-destructive workflow. Layout is, lack of animation layers and wonky undo notwithstanding, pretty non-destructive in its approach. You literally CAN NOT change geometry it is a one way street. And you can do a lot of very interesting deformations in layout, Whereas modeler is unapologetically destructive in its approach, which, while it can be limiting, can also be liberating. It has a kind of directness that few other modeling tools have. It lends itself to a sort of sketchbook approach where you just try stuff and throw different ideas and model iterations into different layers, scratch layers, junk layers, whatever. It really doesn't matter Because you get to pick EXACTLY what goes into your scene. Then you can swap them out with abandon like you can swap out footage in after effects. So you get nice clean layout scenes with nothing you don't need but you can still be a total hoarder and have massive unorganized piles of garbage meshes in modeler, that no one ever has to know about.

Quote of the Day

prometheus
09-06-2016, 01:35 AM
, Whereas modeler is unapologetically destructive in its approach, which, while it can be limiting, can also be liberating. It has a kind of directness that few other modeling tools have. It lends itself to a sort of sketchbook approach where you just try stuff and throw different ideas and model iterations into different layers, scratch layers, junk layers, whatever. It really doesn't matter Because you get to pick EXACTLY what goes into your scene. Then you can swap them out with abandon like you can swap out footage in after effects. So you get nice clean layout scenes with nothing you don't need but you can still be a total hoarder and have massive unorganized piles of garbage meshes in modeler, that no one ever has to know about.

I Agree also with this in particular..there are times I curse a bit when modeling in blender as well when you are working with container (object mode) or edit mode, while in modeler you are always in edit mode and has easier acess to edit tools in my opinion, on the other hand..blenders shines when it comes to things like skin modifier and some tools working better on several elements, like dividing edges with subdiv modifier or just subdivide..and all that with skin modifier active ..but for lightwave you would need the latest updated artsphere divide edge plugins to pull that off.
Then again some direct point manipulation and edge manipulation is in my opinion easier to work with in lightwave modeler..and especially dragnet, magnet and drag tool on, points, or edit edges on subpatches directly..where in blender I donīt see that to be possible, you edit the cage, so for some organic stuff ..lightwave is great when editing subpatches, though it may have been outrun by modo nowadays..unless it isnīt to clunky slow?

But there are lots of tools I would wish in blender, and there are quite some tools or behaviours I miss in lightwave, I would be very happy if I could have it all in one, but that is unrealistic.

erikals
09-06-2016, 01:39 AM
But there are lots of tools I would wish in blender, and there are quite some tools or behaviours I miss in lightwave, I would be very happy if I could have it all in one, but that is unrealistic.

and vice versa :)

it's a never ending story. multiple apps is the answer.

gamedesign1
09-06-2016, 05:10 AM
and vice versa :)

it's a never ending story. multiple apps is the answer.

Yep, can't get away from the fact that no ONE app is going to be good at it all. I think the day that ONE app does it all the best, the universe won't be able to take the perfection of it and it will implode.

MichaelT
09-06-2016, 05:14 AM
and vice versa :)

it's a never ending story. multiple apps is the answer.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ <- This!

The only app I don't have yet is C4D. The only reason that I am hesitant, is their weird MSA license addition. Which makes the whole thing a bit of a crap-shoot, because if a new major isn't released in that year, you would have to extend for a new period. Doubling the upgrade cost. Clever way to make money of course, but very customer unfriendly.

gamedesign1
09-06-2016, 05:16 AM
This is me seeing the ultimate app for the first time

134349

erikals
09-06-2016, 05:22 AM
i try to stay away from subscription, out of principle & logic.

only Houdini Indie was/is tempting.

but for big companies i can see subscription route being a bitter-sweet option.

MichaelT
09-06-2016, 05:22 AM
The problem with Blender is that it tries to be everything. I think it is a great tool, but I also think that its ever increasing scope will only lead to it being behind the rest. Always, as that growing scope will only lead to ever decreasing development speed.

MichaelT
09-06-2016, 05:27 AM
i try to stay away from subscription, out of principle & logic.

only Houdini Indie was/is tempting.

but for big companies i can see subscription route being a bitter-sweet option.

I got the indie, mainly because I wanted to add Pixar render to it, but never got it to work. But it is still a great offer & tool. I would recommend anyone interested in VFX to pick it up.

erikals
09-06-2016, 05:29 AM
This is me seeing the ultimate app for the first time

134349

...and then...

https://dncache-mauganscorp.netdna-ssl.com/thumbseg/146/146809-bigthumbnail.jpg



I got the indie, mainly because I wanted to add Pixar render to it, but never got it to work. But it is still a great offer & tool. I would recommend anyone interested in VFX to pick it up.

i just haven't had the time lately..  http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/oye.gif
hope to relaunch the attempt soon.

gamedesign1
09-06-2016, 05:38 AM
...and then...

https://dncache-mauganscorp.netdna-ssl.com/thumbseg/146/146809-bigthumbnail.jpg

.

Haha

jwiede
09-06-2016, 10:32 AM
Of course. I am not saying it is a replacement for those other things. You are shooting from the hip rather than taking it as an exploratory exercise within LightWave which is the topic of discussion.

Even I who use other apps every day for modeling, animation and many other things outside of LightWave, find these discussions tiring, to keep coming back to, yes but, then followed by some other app.

Have we not (and myself included here) done this enough on this forum?

My point is to look constructively at what you can do here. Rather than glance off of it and just jump to another app. There are a lot of things for which we could and frankly should be using this kind of workflow in LightWave.

But people rarely do.

You do understand that in many cases, there are good _reasons_ users do not want to work the way you suggest, though, right?

When it comes to working with any sort of precision, the deformers in Layout aren't anywhere near as capable as the ones in Modeler. In the future, UME will change that, but you're talking about it as if people can do so today -- and they can, but not at all precisely. By and large, there's no equivalent to most of the snapping and alignment capabilities of Modeler in Layout, and so not only are you forced to eyeball everything in Layout, you cannot even easily control aspects like preventing overlap/intersection with others' or your own geometry. Sure, there are still some cases where working that way is viable, but not for the most common cases in modeling. In that regard, it's a misstatement to suggest that Layout's deformers are "equivalent" to the deforming tools in Modeler.

It's also why just dropping a bunch of modeling tools in Layout won't offer much benefit, without providing (at least) equivalent snapping/alignment/precision and undo functionality as well.

jwiede
09-06-2016, 10:52 AM
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ <- This!

The only app I don't have yet is C4D. The only reason that I am hesitant, is their weird MSA license addition. Which makes the whole thing a bit of a crap-shoot, because if a new major isn't released in that year, you would have to extend for a new period. Doubling the upgrade cost. Clever way to make money of course, but very customer unfriendly.

The scenario you're worried about has never happened yet, nor is there any reasonable historical basis for thinking it will in the future given MAXON's release processes (which are extremely predictable, down to the week, and have been for many years now). MAXON has also repeatedly addressed that scenario when asked, pointing out per the MSA that the term would simply be extended until the next version release occurred -- if you don't believe MAXON, go ask a lawyer, contract compensation doesn't actually work the way you're suggesting it could.

MichaelT
09-06-2016, 11:51 AM
The scenario you're worried about has never happened yet, nor is there any reasonable historical basis for thinking it will in the future given MAXON's release processes (which are extremely predictable, down to the week, and have been for many years now). MAXON has also repeatedly addressed that scenario when asked, pointing out per the MSA that the term would simply be extended until the next version release occurred -- if you don't believe MAXON, go ask a lawyer, contract compensation doesn't actually work the way you're suggesting it could.

A quick google informed me that it have indeed happened to other people. How much they ended up paying it didn't say, but that they missed the upgrade period have happened. Regardless, I have no sure way of determine how it really works.. since I obviously don't have it. I am merely saying I am hesitant because of it.

jwiede
09-06-2016, 12:25 PM
A quick google informed me that it have indeed happened to other people.

Please cite? MSA's are a year in length, and MAXON's been consistently announcing in late-July/early-Aug, and then annually releasing in Sept. for many years now. When did customers have their MSAs expire without any version release having occurred within the year's term of their MSA? The releases have been consistently annual at least as far back as R12-R13 (R18 just released 1 Sept 2016).

There's a difference between people who have to renew significantly in advance and therefore cannot see what's coming in next version before their renewal comes up, and the case you've mentioned (I only mention it because I believe you may be mistaking the former case for your scenario). For starters, folks in the former case can simply wait to renew their MSA until after MAXON announces, without risk, and thereby shift their MSA term to be more convenient (I did precisely that a few years back, after discussing with MAXON). MSAs can be purchased/renewed anytime so long as you own the then-current version of C4D.

bobakabob
09-06-2016, 03:31 PM
some more of the stuff I like most about lightwave, when in layout particulary, I have mentioned it before though..it is the overall feel and the best workspace for it to serve as a movie stage, the camera and animation timeline is the best I have come across, it is always there, with navigation controls always at the same place and directly acessible, and keyframing is in my opinion easier to work with than houdini or blender at least.
so comparing the timeline animation workflow as well as design of the menu, it is simply the best for me anyway, I hope they donīt change that too much ..with the exception for some minor UI enhancement where it can be made expandable and working with curves ala after effects scale windows.

Michael

Agree, your work has a great sense of composition and LW navigation combined with Layout's cinematic studio feel and VPR instant feedback really facilitate this approach. I'm presently working on a project animating in Maya and and LW modelling rendering / texturing in LW and Zbrush and it's a very reliable pipeline. Setting up cameras in Layout once the cached files are set up is particularly fun as it's so immediate. Using the perspective view to establish angles and lighting is so fast it reveals lots of creative avenues. I'm animating wherever possible in LW to save time using RHiggit which is very close to pro Maya rigs in its approach. And LW's renderer gives us a lot to be thankful for.

prometheus
09-06-2016, 03:45 PM
Agree, your work has a great sense of composition and LW navigation combined with Layout's cinematic studio feel and VPR instant feedback really facilitate this approach. I'm presently working on a project animating in Maya and and LW modelling rendering / texturing in LW and Zbrush and it's a very reliable pipeline. Setting up cameras in Layout once the cached files are set up is particularly fun as it's so immediate. Using the perspective view to establish angles and lighting is so fast it reveals lots of creative avenues. I'm animating wherever possible in LW to save time using RHiggit which is very close to pro Maya rigs in its approach. And LW's renderer gives us a lot to be thankful for.


Exactly, the cinematic feel and navigation is crucial for the "Movie look" and being able to have such clean workspace and non distractive workspace in full mode and also with vpr, that is something lightwave does so good.
I know people going, yeah but you can hide panels and make workspace larger in modo or blender as well, yes..I have tried that...but it is s somhow not the same, the workframe around it all with camera acess, even camera and light icons in opengl, is really small things that makes it soft on the eye and also easy to navigate and get a feel for the cinematic render, I am not fond of how blender has this setup, not modo that much either..so a big plus for lightwave in that area, and as for topic, one of the reasons I like itīs approach on that area.

js33
09-06-2016, 11:06 PM
Yes the layout of Lightwave is direct and has a solid feel compared to other programs. Its silly how easy it is to crash Maya for all it's advanced capabilities it feels more like Blender than Lightwave.

MichaelT
09-07-2016, 05:14 AM
Please cite? MSA's are a year in length, and MAXON's been consistently announcing in late-July/early-Aug, and then annually releasing in Sept. for many years now. When did customers have their MSAs expire without any version release having occurred within the year's term of their MSA? The releases have been consistently annual at least as far back as R12-R13 (R18 just released 1 Sept 2016).

There's a difference between people who have to renew significantly in advance and therefore cannot see what's coming in next version before their renewal comes up, and the case you've mentioned (I only mention it because I believe you may be mistaking the former case for your scenario). For starters, folks in the former case can simply wait to renew their MSA until after MAXON announces, without risk, and thereby shift their MSA term to be more convenient (I did precisely that a few years back, after discussing with MAXON). MSAs can be purchased/renewed anytime so long as you own the then-current version of C4D.

Ah.. i understand. Because the only comment i see at the store is (paraphrased) You need MSA to recieve updates, and be qualifying for next version upgrade. The upgrade part is of less concern though, it was the (perhaps mistakenly believed) part of not receiving updates that really irked me.

jwiede
09-07-2016, 01:43 PM
Ah.. i understand. Because the only comment i see at the store is (paraphrased) You need MSA to recieve updates, and be qualifying for next version upgrade. The upgrade part is of less concern though, it was the (perhaps mistakenly believed) part of not receiving updates that really irked me.

Yeah, MSA in no way impacts customers receiving updates AFAICT: Any licensed owner of a version receives all updates released for that version (except possibly for the new non-MSA subscription stuff, I haven't looked at how those work, but they're not intended for long-term users anyway). That part sounds like you might be looking at the new short-term subscription info and mistaking it for MSA details, they're not the same -- make sure you're looking at MSA terms and not the subscription terms (which are primarily for customers with short-term need to boost number of C4D license seats).

If you have more questions about MSA I'm happy to point you to MAXON answers, but please ask via PM, as MSA discussion isn't really topic-appropriate for this thread.