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View Full Version : Does LW2015 play nice w/ game engines?



jperk
06-04-2017, 09:48 AM
Wondering how well it plays w/ Source Engine/ HAMMER editor. Or is it more friendly w/ Unity and Unreal engines?

It would be nice to stray away from using 3rd party tools to try to get my models/ animations working in a game engine.

jasonwestmas
06-04-2017, 10:14 AM
Anything that accepts FBX usually works good with the native lightwave FBX plugin. Keep in mind that FBX is a moving target and it changes every year so hopefully the target game engine offers backwards compatibility. I mean it technically works but that doesn't mean lightwave will have all the tools that all artists need or want. But in my experience the process is pretty painless these days.

Danner
06-04-2017, 11:09 AM
We use it with Unity daily. My only recommendation is that you use only one UV name, two only when necessary. If you use many UV names you'll get into trouble sooner or later.

MichaelT
06-04-2017, 11:17 AM
Regarding Source... I am beginning to have doubts we will ever see a Source 2 engine. That I have seen they internally use Unity over at Valve, certainly didn't help in that regard either. I hope I am wrong though, but knowing Valve .... :)

jperk
06-04-2017, 01:30 PM
Unity used by Valve? For which of their games?

gar26lw
06-04-2017, 03:55 PM
it would be nice to have an updated fbx. this would be cool; if nt posted plugin updates as part of support, separate to point releases.

fablefox
06-04-2017, 09:51 PM
Unity used by Valve? For which of their games?

Its a two pronged attack I think. They used it internally for VR in order to support VR in Steam. But if there is VR game they planned, it may uses Unity.

http://fortune.com/2016/02/11/valves-partners-with-unity/

Danner
06-05-2017, 01:12 AM
They also use Unreal, (Aperture Robot Repair experience) I guess it depends on who is the one assigned to the project and what they are confortable with. They changed the way Unity renders for their VR minigames, making their own render pipeline and shaders.

GraphXs
06-07-2017, 06:25 AM
LW/Unity work pretty good together with FBX. I only hope and wish for smoothing groups in a future release. It would also be nice to have more tools for the game side, like better baking options, better UV options, etc. etc.

Ztreem
06-07-2017, 08:06 AM
LW/Unity work pretty good together with FBX. I only hope and wish for smoothing groups in a future release. It would also be nice to have more tools for the game side, like better baking options, better UV options, etc. etc.

Does even Unity support smoothing groups? I read somewhere that it didn't and that it only supported vertex normals...

gar26lw
06-07-2017, 11:48 AM
Something (exactly) like the autodesk game exporter in max/maya would be a welcome addition.

Danner
06-07-2017, 03:21 PM
Once imported to Unity you can select the smoothing the same way you do in Lightwave, select the FBX and adjust the normals via angle of smoothing and hit apply. It works on the whole model, (every layer) so if you want just an edge to be sharp you can either add a small chanfer to the edge in Lighwave or disconnect the geometry with a cut-paste. It hasn't really been an issue for us so far.

Now in Unreal smooth and sharp surfaces are recognized if you tell it to recalculate the normals on import. (sounds backwards but it works) it somehow reads the setting in Lightwave and recognizes if the surface has smoothing or not, but you must export from modeler as they come all sharp from layout. Sometimes it fails even when you export from modeler and you get sharp edges on some smooth surfaces, in that case just place that piece in a separate layer and try again. Pay attention to the errors you get on Import, you can ignore the smoothing groups warning as long as it looks right, but if you see an overlapping UV error you must fix your UVs, the best practice is to have an UV on EVERYTHING, even on things you don't plan on applying any texture, like chrome or plastic surfaces. So the workflow is like this. Apply every texture you wish to use using UVs (non-UV texture projections don't work) Then select everything and make a new UV using atlas projection making sure things don't overlap on this UV. You will end up with some surfaces with two UVs, and others with just one. Then on import have Unreal add the second, or third invisible UV that it needs for lightmapping.

GraphXs
06-07-2017, 05:32 PM
Yep..that is my process for lw/unity...cut paste polys to get a hard edge. Or depending if i can have it just be surface based...i just set the smooth in the surface editor until I get the look i want.

hrgiger
06-08-2017, 07:54 AM
Problem is, defining hard edges and smoothing is an essential part of texture baking and normal maps.

UV mapping is also essential and the tools are sorely lacking in LW and the ones that are there are outdated.

jasonwestmas
06-08-2017, 09:40 AM
http://polycount.com/discussion/107196/youre-making-me-hard-making-sense-of-hard-edges-uvs-normal-maps-and-vertex-counts

nice 2012 article on the vertex edge smoothing subject^ Not sure if any of that is outdated now but there you go.

gar26lw
06-08-2017, 01:44 PM
Problem is, defining hard edges and smoothing is an essential part of texture baking and normal maps.

UV mapping is also essential and the tools are sorely lacking in LW and the ones that are there are outdated.

and you have that really bad bug with discontinuous uvs, where you have to unweld things to edit uvs without destroying them, that's been there since version 6 and totally ruins workflow.

Surrealist.
06-08-2017, 04:25 PM
Wondering how well it plays w/ Source Engine/ HAMMER editor. Or is it more friendly w/ Unity and Unreal engines?

It would be nice to stray away from using 3rd party tools to try to get my models/ animations working in a game engine.

It is not so much if LW plays well with a game engine as it is a question of what you use LitghtWave to do.

Trying to go without 3rd party tools is not really a recommended approach in my opinion. If LightWave is your chosen main app, then that is fine. Model rig and animate in LightWave. Send those animations to whatever game engine you choose.

On the texturing side you will be setting up materials in the game engine and it is best to use tools such as substance, quixel or 3D coat that allow you a more modern texturing and map export workflow. You will then plug those maps into some kind of PBR workflow, if you are using Unity or Unreal for example.

Don't bother trying to do that in LW. UV mapping would best be done elsewhere in my opinion. Blender is free. There are other solutions as well. But since there is little point setting up textures in LW anyway, you may as well use something else for UVs.

jperk
06-08-2017, 05:58 PM
Are you saying Blender is better at UV mapping?

jwiede
06-08-2017, 07:38 PM
Are you saying Blender is better at UV mapping?

Among others (incl. 3DCoat, ZBrush, and most other GP 3D pkgs) , yes.

jperk
06-08-2017, 08:52 PM
jwiede, what is LW2015 doing better over Blender and the other GP 3d pkgs? In your opinion.

Surrealist.
06-08-2017, 08:56 PM
Are you saying Blender is better at UV mapping?

Yeah definitely, hands down.

An area where LightWave needs some love.