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View Full Version : DEV ROADMAP FOR LW: Should it be a Tool for Teams or a Tool for Individuals?



robertoortiz
09-19-2016, 02:12 PM
For me one of the core (pun intended) design problems that Lightwave has is a scattershot design philosophy.
Some tools like the bullet implementation are supper easy to implement, but the character animation toolsets, font tools and NLE capabilities are not exactly intuitive.


Lets be frank as of now , the industry standard in the CG industry is geared towards Maya, and it is designed for the ground up to be the perfect tool for a studio environment.
But on the other hand, for individual use, it poses some interesting challenges.
Houdini is definitely also a tool for a studio environment, but both Modo and Houdini have cut their teeth as tool that can be used by a small team.
Frankly the only perfect 3d app I can thing of is dead and buried and that would be XSI.

So what road future development of LW should follow?
Should it be a tool that complements other tools in a studio setting?
Or should it focuses on the ability to produce professional looking results with speed.
What is your definition of a tool that is easy to use for an individual?
I am looking forward to your comments.
-R

js33
09-19-2016, 02:21 PM
Making tools intuitive is the key. One should not have to read a tomb to figure out how to use a tool. Also tools should have interactive help that can be turned on or off when needed. I don't know why some 3D tools have the worst layout or use model of any kind of software. I know 3D tools can be really complex but that is exactly why they should be more intuitive.

Morgan Nilsson
09-19-2016, 02:31 PM
I think the place for Lightwave is individuals and small teams... So catering to TV shows and games (probably Indie at first) who need fast turnaround is where they can gain some share of the market. And after that maybe move on to bigger productions starting as a complementary app to the big dogs such as Maya.

Indie studios eventually hopefully grow to become large studios, and if they already are in a Lightwave based pipeline they are not inclined to move to other apps unless they have a real reason to.

And that is only possible if the pricing is right, as it will be directly competing with Blender and Modo who are the closest when it comes to pricing and capabilities.

erikals
09-19-2016, 02:48 PM
the ability to produce professional looking results with speed.
it depends on who you ask, but i'm all for the great results > fast philosophy.

gamedesign1
09-19-2016, 04:24 PM
For me one of the core (pun intended) design problems that Lightwave has is a scattershot design philosophy.
Some tools like the bullet implementation are supper easy to implement, but the character animation toolsets, font tools and NLE capabilities are not exactly intuitive.


Lets be frank as of now , the industry standard in the CG industry is geared towards Maya, and it is designed for the ground up to be the perfect tool for a studio environment.
But on the other hand, for individual use, it poses some interesting challenges.
Houdini is definitely also a tool for a studio environment, but both Modo and Houdini have cut their teeth as tool that can be used by a small team.
Frankly the only perfect 3d app I can thing of is dead and buried and that would be XSI.

So what road future development of LW should follow?
Should it be a tool that complements other tools in a studio setting?
Or should it focuses on the ability to produce professional looking results with speed.
What is your definition of a tool that is easy to use for an individual?
I am looking forward to your comments.
-R

I personally love LW. For me it just needs:

To be able to handle geometry faster
Have better UV tools
Better modifiers for procedural modelling

This would keep me happy :)

There's probably other things i'd like but I can't think of them right now.

Reco
09-19-2016, 05:09 PM
The most stupid thing to do is to try to be Maya light. I can’t’ see any reason to be Houdini light either.

Lightwaves strength has been fast and easy to use. It will be wise to follow that path.
In addition it should have one single feature, so attractive that all Autodesk pipelines incorporate Lightwave. Such a feature could be the world fastest and easy to use render.
At last, they need to team up with somebody. (like Modo and Maxon did). Who is somebody? Would Black Magic Design be a bad scenario?



Reco

paulhart
09-19-2016, 05:40 PM
Sit down with working artists and gain an understanding of where they "butt heads" with the 'Lightwave" methods. I love Lightwave for a variety of reasons, however, I often use Modo for modeling as it has gotten a lot more "love" than my dear old Modeler. I also use it for UV work, and direct texture/painting work on the model, along with 3DCoat. Try doing UV work in Modo or Blender and then come back to Lightwave, UGH! I have ZBrush, but don't use it enough to keep the work flow and keys fluid, but direct surfacing modeling is it's strength, so either create a faultless bridge to ZBrush, 3DCoat, Modo, or implement something adequate. I sincerely value many aspects of Blender, particularly the Modifier stack concept, which is similiar to Maya and 3DMax. But when it comes to rendering and Layout, back to Lightwave. In the area of animation work, I wish Newtek would adopt many of the suggestions and criticisms from RebelHill aka Craig, as I find his tools to be excellent and he clearly knows his way around Lightwave and animation. He has some 'long standing' comments and suggestions, that should just be adopted!

Handling larger sets of geometry is crucial going forward, but I think that the team is working on this as we speak. Lastly, but certainly important in my book is greater attention to NPR tools. They should be fluid, intuitive, as in make a change in a node or parameter and see the line quality change or the surface evolve, in realtime (VPR works mostly) but then bring in presets for lines and NPR surfaces, toon and shading strategies. I can do some of this now, but it is clumsy and slow. Anime (Japan/Asia), animation, illustration, arch-viz, non-photo real graphics for ads and VFX. These are areas the Modo and Blender do not adequately address, are important markets, and require dedicated people in the Maya pipeline. I know that Japan has a strong head start in this area with Lightwave, and they are using it actively, but it doesn't cross the Pacific and get integrated. UnReal Extreme is an example, no recent updates and a less than clear documentation, and it doesn't update in real-time on the screen, so noodling around is a SLOW process that gets to be weary. Integration of Substance workflows in conjunction with UnReal or Unity, is crucial. I have a Node setup in Blender already, that accepts Substance files, automatically creates appropriate Output plugins, named correctly, and just plug them in to the Material Node. Amazing.

I have high hopes for Lightwave's future, but it will only survive if it provides viable solutions for these and other crucial areas.

Morgan Nilsson
09-19-2016, 05:57 PM
Though threads like this are often fruitless, some love when it comes to animation such as proper animation layers to be able to fix issues with mocap data and such would be golden, something few other apps have with the same ease Motionbuilder, Max and Maya have.

I am hopeful for the next version of Lightwave and if I like what I see I am no doubt going to invest. But for now I am just keeping a distant watchful eye and being interested in what direction it takes :)

robertoortiz
09-19-2016, 06:40 PM
Sit down with working artists and gain an understanding of where they "butt heads" with the 'Lightwave" methods. .

This is why I hope that the new trek series can be used as way for the LW dev team to get real time feedback from a production team, hopefuly a repeat of what happened in Babylon V in the 90s.


...they need to team up with somebody. (like Modo and Maxon did).Who is somebody? Would Black Magic Design be a bad scenario?




Not a bad idea. Also I would like the makers of the Liberty 3d tools to be brought closer into the fold.

hrgiger
09-19-2016, 07:58 PM
XSI not being developed or supported any longer doesn't mean dead and buried. It will still be used for a long time. I have a few friends that continue to develop new tools with it which only part of the beauty of XSI.

I think its kind of pointless to discuss a roadmap for LightWave development since LW3DG seems so reluctant to engage in any type of conversation with its users. Maybe they're listening to small studios or specific people, but I certainly don't feel I have any voice in influencing LightWave development. Having said that...

IMO, LightWave needs to cut with the idea that the best thing about it is that it gets things done quickly. People have left LightWave over the years not because they couldn't work quickly enough in Lightwave, but because other apps were offering more power and flexibility out of the box. It has been tied down far too long by its legacy roots and I certainly hope they have an actual plan on creating a modern codebase that isn't merely isolated islands of features.

Reco
09-20-2016, 04:21 AM
IMO, LightWave needs to cut with the idea that the best thing about it is that it gets things done quickly. People have left LightWave over the years not because they couldn't work quickly enough in Lightwave, but because other apps were offering more power and flexibility out of the box. It has been tied down far too long by its legacy roots and I certainly hope they have an actual plan on creating a modern codebase that isn't merely isolated islands of features.

What else should they promote Lightwave as? The best software? Seems like Maya has taken that position. The most common? Well seems to be Max. Optimized for Motion graphics is Cinema 4D, A dead ringer for FX is Houdini, Affordable is Blender. So what is Lightwave?

People have left Lightwave for a number of reasons. It was a big blow when Dave school added Modo as one of their training software, and kicked Lightwave out the door. Must have hurt a lot. Adding Maya didn’t surprise me, but Modo did.

My 3DS Max is collecting dust at the moment. I have a license just because I have to. It’s a bigger toolbox, powerful, but is that all? I have a Houdini Indy license as well, but I prefer working in Lightwave/LW Cad as much as I can.

A roadmap is more about vision and strategy rather than requesting a lot of features. Features are implemented after vision and strategy are set.
I am convinced that it is set. The roadmap is clear, we just dont know what it is. They know everything about lack of features. I just don’t think they have the capacity and recourses to do what they want. It’s a catch 22. They have to sell more licenses in order to expand, but have to add a lot of feature before they can expect higher sale numbers. Teaming up can be a solution.

As many have mention before, I just can’t understand the lack of marketing. That’s the best and most important way off selling more seats. Rob is very very good at it. Understand he has some medical issues, and hope he recover quickly. As for marketing, they should never sell Lightwave as cheap. People will think is it cheap and cheap, or just cheap? It is not wise to use affordable either. It can give an impression of low end. A customer friendly license system has a much better and positive sound to it, especially in these subscription days.

Reco

Asticles
09-20-2016, 06:03 AM
I think an option is to mix with any of the remaining big cad companies, like cinema with nemetschek, e-on with bentley or max with autodesk.

hrgiger
09-20-2016, 06:59 AM
What else should they promote Lightwave as? The best software? Seems like Maya has taken that position. The most common? Well seems to be Max. Optimized for Motion graphics is Cinema 4D, A dead ringer for FX is Houdini, Affordable is Blender. So what is Lightwave?


Reco

Im just saying working quickly cant be the only thing lightwave is known for. And I would argue its a false argument anyway. Everyone thinks their app is the fastest to work in because its the one they know the best.
My point was that most people who have left Lightwave have done so because on the surface, LightWave hasnt appeared to move forward significantly and the seperate appworkflow hasnt helped. Lww3dg may be laying the groundwork to make the needed changes, but theyre certainly not talking about it.

fablefox
09-20-2016, 08:09 AM
Regarding getting work done quickly, the app with most plug-in support will win. Obviously. LW can't cover all the bases. If most plug-in dev (which cover these bases) support certain app only, that particular app win.

MichaelT
09-20-2016, 11:03 AM
Lightwave was used in Avatar, Adventures of Tintin, Elysium etc.. far larger scopes than just indies or tv shows. Most companies will use whatever gets the job done. Be it some homegrown stuff, Blender, Lightwave or the usual run of the mill Autodesk stuff.

THIBAULT
09-20-2016, 11:23 AM
Elysium ? You know what sequence ?

MichaelT
09-20-2016, 11:37 AM
Elysium ? You know what sequence ?

I wasn't in the production. They usually show the space station when its mentioned, so probably there at the very least. But LW was also used in Enders game too (or so I've heard. Correct me if I'm wrong) but probably for the same reason I suspect.. that LW is really easy to do space things very well in. But who knows.. unless they specifically say.. it is hard to tell. Which is kind of the point. More often than not, more than one package was used to create various elements in a complete shot.

THIBAULT
09-20-2016, 11:50 AM
Yes, i've seen in UnderGame. Bees sequence !

paulhart
09-20-2016, 12:06 PM
Roberto Ortiz, Hello...
I have followed your threads here and elsewhere on the web, thank you for the contributions, however, would you be so kind as to contribute to some of your threads, particularly this one, as you raised the issue, you must have some ideas, go ahead, share a little of your perspective. Thank you.

50one
09-20-2016, 01:22 PM
Robert Ortiz, Hello...
I have followed your threads here and elsewhere on the web, thank you for the contributions, however, would you be so kind as to contribute to some of your threads, particularly this one, as you raised the issue, you must have some ideas, go ahead, share a little of your perspective. Thank you.


It always bothered me about Roberto that he creates those threads from time to time, ask some serious question(s) and then leaves...

Reco
09-20-2016, 02:37 PM
because on the surface, LightWave hasnt appeared to move forward significantly and the seperate appworkflow hasnt helped. Lww3dg may be laying the groundwork to make the needed changes, but theyre certainly not talking about it.

Agree. I have the same opinion. My impression is that Lightwave is loosing ground. I hope I am wrong.
Well this is a tread regarding roadmap, but lets have a brainstorming. What will be the smartest way of making LW indispensable in an Autodesk pipeline.
Take a look at Maxon. I am now the owner of a Cinema 4D light license. Not because I want it. It's a part of Adobe CC After effects.
Will they get more users? Absolutely. Maybe I will sit down one day and learn it myself.

(LW light as a part of Fusion and Resolve? Anyone?)

Reco

MichaelT
09-21-2016, 12:49 AM
To get onto the topic of the OP though.. I think (and maybe they are) using a tool like Trello, could be a good thing. Better still would be if it was open (like with Unreal Engine 4) and have the community help LWG to focus in areas the community have the greatest interest in. I think that could help push LW in the right direction greatly. Of course that also means that they would have to release small, and often. But that is actually a good thing. It makes them react quicker, solve trouble spots, and not dig themselves down with features that are perhaps not that necessary.

gamedesign1
09-21-2016, 07:49 AM
To get onto the topic of the OP though.. I think (and maybe they are) using a tool like Trello, could be a good thing. Better still would be if it was open (like with Unreal Engine 4) and have the community help LWG to focus in areas the community have the greatest interest in. I think that could help push LW in the right direction greatly. Of course that also means that they would have to release small, and often. But that is actually a good thing. It makes them react quicker, solve trouble spots, and not dig themselves down with features that are perhaps not that necessary.

I agree, I think Trello is a great idea. Quuixel uses it, 3D Coat uses is, to name a few. If I was developing software for the public, I would use it too. It a great way to find out what the public wants most.