View Full Version : Worley Labs gone?

04-28-2017, 06:39 PM
Hi Folks.

Just curious... Is Worley Labs, creator of Sasquatch, gone? The website is still up:
But there are no Buy options for the software. I'm not looking to buy, I already own Sasquatch, I just stopped by to see if they were doing anything with Sasquatch, such as an update, and was surprised to see the site seems to be in limbo.

04-28-2017, 07:12 PM
I think Steve works for Nvidia now.

04-29-2017, 01:28 AM
fprime, my old love! :D

04-29-2017, 02:20 AM
The latest Sasquatch is stamped April 2013, updated for LightWave 11.5. You can still download it from the website. AFAIK, the plugin was never updated for LW 2105. I think the site is still up for historical/legacy reasons.

Sasquatch was groundbreaking in its time but, IMO, if you're using 2015.3, I don't think Sasquatch is worth revisiting. When I was still with The Box at R+H, we stopped using Sasquatch mainly because it wasn't fully compatible with the Perspective camera, and that caused problems for us in rendering and compositing. This was back in LW 9.6.x or 10 days. When our next 'hair and fiber' job came in, I took another look at FiberFX--this was around LW 11.0-11.5--and I found that it didn't have that camera problem. During this period, the NewTek devs were super helpful in hammering out several 'show stopper' bugs for us, and when FiberFX got motion vector support--a feature we never had with Sasquatch--we were sold.

There are a few things I do miss about Sasquatch, like the built-in dynamics and autocombing, but mostly I never looked back after I switched to using FiberFX. I'm really looking forward to the next version. I thought the LW 'Next' FiberFX demo Lino presented a while back was very impressive.

As for the other Worley plugins (FPrime, Taft, Polk, and G2,) they were essential tools that kept LightWave afloat for many years, but a lot of that stuff can be done natively now in 2015.3.

04-29-2017, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I'm a huge Sasquatch fan and always hoped it would get an update, or a Sasquatch 2. For me, lack of reflections was a feature really missing. I've never really used FiberFX but I think I'll definitely give it a look now.

04-29-2017, 12:28 PM
Reflections is something FiberFX is technically capable of but I've never felt that feature was practical for production because of how long it took to render. The few times I've needed to show hair in a mirror, I wound up rendereing the scene from a reverse camera and comping in the mirror surface. Not an ideal solution but it was much faster and looked convincing enough.

The upcoming Fiber FX does away with the pixel filter renderer and generates actual geometry during rendering, so it should show up in reflections like other geometry. I imagine this won't be fast but it should looks nicer and more realistic. Will have to wait and see, but I'm already excited about it.

04-29-2017, 02:10 PM
It would probably be better in the long run if Newtek would and had developed these tools in house. FiberFx started out as an old and discontinued third party plugin called Fiber Factory. When I suggested to Chuck at Newtek to look into it I was surprised they actually acquired it. At the time it was developed it was a worthwhile application. I suspect using third party code is more difficult to update than that which is written by in house programmers.

I've wondered how many programmers Newtek has that writes LW code in comparison to the other applications. That would make a big difference in the time it takes to release new versions. That's why I've given Newtek the benefit of the doubt.

04-29-2017, 04:09 PM
I'm hoping to have a usable bias combing tool for FiberFX 2015 soon... like monday soon. I have a couple of small bugs to work out, and she should be ready to go.
(Bug #1 - I need to pull the surface name from the right array... ctrllistedit returns indices to the list, so one had better use the list one has loaded into the control. Bug #2 is the combing itself - it gets wonky around combing vector dot vertex normal = 1. I think I know why, and I'll make a quick fix...)

So that should take care of one missing feature of FiberFX.

04-29-2017, 06:10 PM
That's awesome! :)

04-29-2017, 06:11 PM
I suspect using third party code is more difficult to update than that which is written by in house programmers. Except in this case they brought in the coder of Fiber Factory (Jon Tindall) and put him on the team. :)

04-30-2017, 01:02 AM
Except in this case they brought in the coder of Fiber Factory (Jon Tindall) and put him on the team. :)

Insider details are always interesting.

04-30-2017, 01:49 AM
ffx is awful, lets hope its better in LW next.

04-30-2017, 01:22 PM
ffx is awful, lets hope its better in LW next.
FFX is quite capable, but it is not easy to use. If Sasquatch is a hike through some rough terrain, then FFX is a run through a military obstacle course, under enemy fire. Nothing in FFX is simple, or direct. It requires knowing what many, if not all, of the fiddly little controls do, and many of them are counter intuitive (My opinion, yours will be different).

FFX's strength is that it is more closely integrated with Lightwave; there are things you could never do (surfacing wise) in Sasquatch that are easily done in FFX.

04-30-2017, 02:36 PM
I couldn't have said that better. I do think FiberFX is harder to use but, yeah, it is better integrated and actually has several technical advantages over Sasquatch (works with modern camera and lights, exports motion vectors to EXR, compatible with Bullet and ZBrush.) I think FiberFX is much easier to light consistently than Sasquatch was, and it's no small thing to have an editible guides system inside Layout (even if it can sometimes be...um...a bit 'crashy'.) :)

I have to admit, I am disappointed that we haven't seen any major FiberFX updates in years...I think getting vmaps embedded in the object file instead of the scene file was the last major one, and that was in 11.5.1. There was a lot of development momentum there for a while but, for 2015, it was mosly bug fixes and restoring some features that went missing in 11.6. I hope this time is being spent improving FiberFX for the next big LightWave release.