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View Full Version : Lightwave demo reel - David Ridlen



Mr Rid
06-18-2017, 09:38 AM
Am I the only diehard left using Lightwave for theatrical feature visual effects? And I do not mean only for modeling, or for previz, or shorts, or direct-to-video/cable. I mean whole animation and visual effects shots for wide release, studio movies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOOixvRhcs4

tischbein3
06-18-2017, 10:20 AM
some cool stuff

thanks for sharing

UnCommonGrafx
06-18-2017, 10:47 AM
Excellent stuff.

I doubt you are. Seems that level of LW worker has rarely frequented the forums; when seen, more in teacher mode or show-off mode (not a bad thing).

Kinda like Rob: he was rarely on the forums. William was but he was paid to be for much of that time.

Having your work here is a testament to what can be done and hints to what the future might hold. And inspiration to us all.

vonpietro
06-18-2017, 11:27 AM
great job - nice to see all the fun stuff

2create
06-18-2017, 12:34 PM
Love it, great work!

allabulle
06-18-2017, 12:35 PM
Great work indeed.

shrox
06-18-2017, 12:39 PM
This is why I don't even try...great work.

jasonwestmas
06-18-2017, 01:33 PM
Thanks for sharing that!

When you get all the dynamics plugins and combine that with the talent like you, Lightwave is actually quite a decent video fx power house imo.

Felipe Soto
06-18-2017, 01:55 PM
Great stuff! thanks for posting.

Ma3rk
06-18-2017, 02:48 PM
Definitely a nice body of work.

Curious if your using LW as well for the fluids work.

TreyX
06-18-2017, 03:52 PM
absofnlutely beautiful. love.

SteveH
06-18-2017, 05:44 PM
Mr. Rid - I hope you are not the last dinosaur - but even if you are - you can be proud of the work you do.
A highly skilled tyrannosaurus!

Mr Rid
06-18-2017, 05:49 PM
When you get all the dynamics plugins and combine that with the... ...obsessive compulsion persisting over long nights of hair-pulling frustration.

I just despise the rigid complexity of all things computer related, that inherently oppose spontaneous creativity. The majority of my time is spent troubleshooting and cursing. I rarely get to enjoy the work since it is usually a process of such incremental achievement, I dont get to sit back and take in an overall result with surprise. Each iteration is usually a small step forward, 'Ok, that one glitch is fixed... but now that is screwed up. That doesn't look right.' Redo, render it again, and again, and again... until I cannot see it objectively anymore. I stare at the final animation looping, trying to see it objectively, but I can't tell the effect of what I did anymore. The process is so mired in technical convolution, I find computer animation to be too much of an endurance test to fully enjoy, as opposed to more organically immediate art forms. It requires a certain, high-functioning form of OCD ("perfectionist" is the more flattering term), that takes precedence over social life, proper sleep, and trying to not throw things. I think I have just been doing it too long.


Lightwave is actually quite a decent video fx power house imo.

It is. Unfortunately, development floundered for way too long in the past. It finally moved in the right direction once someone with production experience was in charge. Mainstream movie visual FX are the highest CG benchmark, where I seriously think I am the only person still using LW, but on lower budget shows.


Mr. Rid - I hope you are not the last dinosaur ...A highly skilled tyrannosaurus!

That is funny because that is what a certain producer predicted I would become back in 2003, "A talented dinosaur."

hrgiger
06-18-2017, 06:55 PM
Incredible work David as always.

DAMAKERS
06-18-2017, 07:02 PM
Good to see u around Riddle, like your demo reel!!!, as always said LW is very capable, thats why i keep using it; also was asking my self the same question you did, and you answer me! he he, have not seeing so much works from Lightwavers of those days around, i updated my demo too few days ago and some people still ask me... is that lightwave? and i have to say...YES! , always tell them that the software does not makes the artist, is the artist that choose the tools that fits his needs, and in my case LW does :). (forgive my english, long time i dont write it)

jasonwestmas
06-18-2017, 08:56 PM
...obsessive compulsion persisting over long nights of hair-pulling frustration.

I just despise the rigid complexity of all things computer related, that inherently oppose spontaneous creativity.

I'd love to see what you could do with real time FX in a game engine like unity or unreal. It has it's hair pulling but fortunately for me I'm usually making things that are optimized to work in real time. Though the tools are more interactive in a game engine (if the user knows what they are doing) they do have limitations in that you don't always have a programmer to stitch the artwork pieces together for you so you can see the actual game play. But all that means is a lot of pre-planning and an active imagination.

goakes
06-18-2017, 09:03 PM
Mr. Rid. The hard work dedication really shows. I hope you are on the LWNEXT beta team and the LW3D Group are taking your input.

adrian
06-19-2017, 04:01 AM
Truly exceptional work and very inspirational - I want to load up LightWave right now so I will!

A question: How did you go about animating the "building up" of the environment scenes at the beginning of the reel? Oh and I LOVE that tree coming through the ground.

prometheus
06-19-2017, 07:39 AM
Superb David!
You should really be selected in the the Lightwave Logo star hall of famers.

One thing though, The reel is great overall, but shouldn´t you consider also putting some of the best work at the end, to mee it looks you got must of that in the beginning, just some thoughts based on some article retreived from allan Mckays podcasts I thinkg it was, the best parts in the reel in the beginning and in the end.

Otherwise, glad to see the Excellent reel and I hope to see you excell even more in the years to come.

Oh..and if you got the time to answer, you haven´t looked in to deepFX or hurleyworks up for fluid stuff? or is it satisfactory with real flow?

Mr Rid
06-19-2017, 05:58 PM
...How did you go about animating the "building up"...

Thanks!

By deleting one thing at a time, then playing in reverse.


putting some of the best work at the end,

Thanks P!

Put best stuff first. As a recruiter, I rarely see reels that are interesting enough to sit all the way thru. I know in about the first 15 seconds if I am interested, then I scrub or stop watching.


deepFX or hurleyworks up for fluid stuff?

Last I checked, DeepFX was not practical since it is stuck in slow motion with no moblur. It is curious how most people do not notice the slowmo problem. I had to exaggerate gravity to -340(!?) to match correct falling rate, but then particles pass thru collision objects. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLSX4p_dQp0 So for me, it is not useful.

I dont know how the Squirt Gun beta is going lately, but it had other limitations. I do not prefer to spend time testing betas unless I can arrange a special deal. I need reliable tools that work in production, so I skip to RealFlow. I don't care what the tool does correctly as much as I need to know the limitations first, so I know if a tool is worth considering in a bid.

Mr Rid
06-19-2017, 11:51 PM
The night city shot was for The Devil's Hand, that took three weeks. I modeled the hospital and grounds. Stock models for the rest. And stock lightning.

The city shots had to be completed in a few days each for a TV pilot. I put the robot city shot together in just two days, thanks to free Daz "Dystopia" models, and I did first pass robot animation with proxy models. Juan Vargas modeled, rigged and animated the final robot(s). I re-textured the buildings, and all the fire/explosions are stock mapped on cards. The smoke plumes were pre-rendered in FumeFX by Rif Dagher, and also mapped on cards with vertical luminosity grads.

The Utopia shot is also mostly Daz models, and a few more detailed stock building models. The flying cars are Daz. The big cruiser was modeled by someone in Sketchup. And the ancient Lightwave blimp in background (from LW 3?).

The tree burst, and squirrels (Sasquatch) were created for A Thousand Words.

I want to make another breakdown of the snake shots (there are more of them), using Denis Pontonnier's Spline Transform.

I would like to make another breakdown of more of the plane shots that were done for LBJ (the Rob Reiner release in November 2017). Some plane shots were done in Maya before I came on the project. The Maya guy had to leave early, so I finished in LW.

The Red Cliff army shots were the most complex shots I ever did. Originally it was suppose to be only one shot of an army standing still. But the client kept asking for more and more, 'Can you have a lot more men? Can we add horses? Can they be galloping? Can you have the army charge?' It pushed HDinstance and LW to the limit.

The leaf vomit shots were PFX and FX LInker, since dynamics were not needed. Many leaf shots (and other FX) were done in Lightwave for A thousand Words.

The sheet used Syflex- http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?141603-How-Lightwave-was-used-in-The-Conjuring

The liquids are RealFlow.

The pigeon was a Daz model I rigged and animated.

The spear shot matchmoves were explained more in this thread- http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?94121-Matchmoving-in-Lightwave

The zeppelins were LW and the fire was stock, mapped on front projection mapped geometry, earning a VFX Society nomination for compositing. It could not have worked without front projection mapping. Snapping cable animation turned out well, but is lost in the camera shake.

The tree growing was created by Dave Lombardi, and the background was a still photo of a real location, front projection mapped onto geometry, with CG water and some props added.

The paratroopers were created in LW 5.6! Rendered with different lighting in LW11.

Penguins are Sasquatch, animated by Sean Scott. I did lighting and supervised. I also did the water wakes and bubbling using PFX, ClothFX, and HVs processed heavily in Fusion. http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?99610-Lightwave-penguins-in-Old-Dogs-teaser

The horses are Daz, and the hoof dirt was PFX and HVs.

The necklace used DP's Spline Transform.

The silver man is hurling all procedural fire, no fluids or plugins.

I will also assemble a breakdown of falling snow FX I did for several shots in Wind River that I think are impressive for LW pfx. A few of the shots appear at 29 seconds into the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN9PDOoLAfg

darkChief
06-20-2017, 04:44 AM
Bravo Mr. Rid, excellent reel. I didn't know you were involved in a lot of those films (I'm a fan of a few). I've been following LW just over 10yrs and your work is always inspiring.

kadri
06-20-2017, 06:25 AM
Great real.


...obsessive compulsion persisting over long nights of hair-pulling frustration.

I just despise the rigid complexity of all things computer related, that inherently oppose spontaneous creativity. The majority of my time is spent troubleshooting and cursing. I rarely get to enjoy the work since it is usually a process of such incremental achievement, I dont get to sit back and take in an overall result with surprise. Each iteration is usually a small step forward, 'Ok, that one glitch is fixed... but now that is screwed up. That doesn't look right.' Redo, render it again, and again, and again... until I cannot see it objectively anymore. I stare at the final animation looping, trying to see it objectively, but I can't tell the effect of what I did anymore. The process is so mired in technical convolution, I find computer animation to be too much of an endurance test to fully enjoy, as opposed to more organically immediate art forms. It requires a certain, high-functioning form of OCD ("perfectionist" is the more flattering term), that takes precedence over social life, proper sleep, and trying to not throw things. I think I have just been doing it too long.
...


My short animation isn't certainly in your league but after two and a half year working only for 8 minutes of video i had the same feelings. Sitting down and drawing looked much easier. But i love working in 3D. Took me time to begin ones again.

Stardust
06-20-2017, 10:19 AM
Nice work!

probiner
06-20-2017, 10:36 AM
If you're not the only one, you're definitely among only a few people.

Good stuff. Best luck for upcoming projects.

Scazzino
06-21-2017, 01:51 PM
Cool stuff!
I like seeing the wireframes, especially in the live action shots to tell what's what.

erikals
06-22-2017, 04:27 AM
The Red Cliff army shots were the most complex shots I ever did. Originally it was suppose to be only one shot of an army standing still. But the client kept asking for more and more, 'Can you have a lot more men? Can we add horses? Can they be galloping? Can you have the army charge?' It pushed HDinstance and LW to the limit.
i can totally see that, the result though is Applauding! :) :king:


The zeppelins were LW and the fire was stock, mapped on front projection mapped geometry, earning a VFX Society nomination for compositing. It could not have worked without front projection mapping. Snapping cable animation turned out well, but is lost in the camera shake.
it was Amazing for it's time in my opinion. (2002)

Ryan Roye
06-22-2017, 08:13 AM
DeepFX was not practical since it is stuck in slow motion with no moblur.

Correct with no moblur, but the slow motion is a result of incorrect timestep/substep settings being used. Regardless, DeepFX is best suited to simplistic projects that don't involve any moving fluid containers or anything overly complex; Realflow still holds the trophy and will probably hold it for a long time.

On a related note, simulation jobs are among the most frustrating considering most studios have creative directors who can't get it through their heads that changes with simulators equate to days, weeks, or even months of lost time.

erikals
06-22-2017, 08:27 AM
Realflow still holds the trophy and will probably hold it for a long time.
hope to test Houdini Indie further in regards to that, using this plugin (moblur plugin for LW).
http://forums.odforce.net/topic/7260-houdini-to-lightwave-pipeline
however, it probably won't work with LightWave Next... so...

as of now, RealFlow is the safe way.

Continuum
06-22-2017, 09:16 AM
Correct with no moblur, but the slow motion is a result of incorrect timestep/substep settings being used. Regardless, DeepFX is best suited to simplistic projects that don't involve any moving fluid containers or anything overly complex; Realflow still holds the trophy and will probably hold it for a long time.


This is just out of curiosity and future reference, not to start an argument. Besides the moving objects and motion blur, what feats does Deep Rising FX need to achieve to become a tool for bigger more complex scenes in your opinion? Is the engine incapable off pushing millions of particles?

Real Flow is in another league, it's got more tools and technology packed into. At the moment I would only compare Deep Rising to Dyverso.

You guys know more about what it takes to achieve those wonderful VFX, so it would be great to hear your thoughts :D

Ryan Roye
06-22-2017, 03:18 PM
This is just out of curiosity and future reference, not to start an argument. Besides the moving objects and motion blur, what feats does Deep Rising FX need to achieve to become a tool for bigger more complex scenes in your opinion? Is the engine incapable off pushing millions of particles?

Mainly:

1) Solid support for moving fluid containers. There are many scenarios in fluid simulations that require the object holding the fluid to also be moving, such as spilling a cup of coffee, having a character fill a bucket with fluid, pouring from vials/beakers, or just about anything that involves animating a character interacting with a fluid-containing object.

2) Stability with geometry-based fluid generation. Right now using a geometry object to generate fluids will frequently result in crashing.

3) Tighter integration with Lightwave's particle systems. Geometry fluid alone is often not enough to sell the look of fluids in a given production shot. You can currently use hypervoxels with DeepFX, but there isn't enough control over how they look at the moment. Eventually I'd like to see things like surface edges, splash and foam, but that takes lower priority than the 2 points above.

DeepFX has huge potential, and I do believe that with enough user support it could eventually become a very cost effective way to provide clients with fluid simulation content. For now, its best left to handle very simple scenes that don't involve a lot of moving objects.

Continuum
06-22-2017, 05:17 PM
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Let us hope Deep Rising FX becomes better.

gdkeast
02-02-2019, 05:02 AM
This is an amazing body of work! His statement that ""The majority of my time is spent troubleshooting and cursing" strikes me as incredibly true and reminds me of a quote by the cinematographer Michael Chapman who said:

" But what you really should be thinking about is how to do a scene as efficiently as possible, as quickly as possible, and as intelligently as possible. Much of what people think of as art is actually just the intelligent solution of technical problems."


FWIW, I think Mr. Ridlen is owed the honor of the most watched LightWave video on You Tube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4feTdAq8EpQ


It's also good to know I'm not the only one cursing. Not so much at LightWave but at myself.

jbrookes
02-03-2019, 09:57 PM
Am I the only diehard left using Lightwave for theatrical feature visual effects? And I do not mean only for modeling, or for previz, or shorts, or direct-to-video/cable. I mean whole animation and visual effects shots for wide release, studio movies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOOixvRhcs4

This is why I've been telling people for decades now that LightWave is Hollywood's best kept secret and that they've seen LightWave output in many of the movies and TV shows they watch, but they think it was done in some other 3D app.

And I'm with you on the total workflow in LightWave concept. There have been many projects that I've worked on in which I did the entire thing in LightWave and had no need to use outside tools. Just last night I watched a video posted by a user explaining how it would be 'difficult' to model something in LightWave and I thought to myself, no it isn't. Then I sat down and did the same thing in LWM in the same amount of time or less.

I have no problem with other tools. However, I think some users could do well to dig into LW a bit more first. I hate to say it, but with a few exceptions -- like the excellent demo reel highlighted here -- it seems that the inventiveness applied to 3D CGI in the 90s and early 2000s is becoming a lost art.

stevecullum
02-04-2019, 05:34 AM
This is why I've been telling people for decades now that LightWave is Hollywood's best kept secret and that they've seen LightWave output in many of the movies and TV shows they watch, but they think it was done in some other 3D app.

And I'm with you on the total workflow in LightWave concept. There have been many projects that I've worked on in which I did the entire thing in LightWave and had no need to use outside tools. Just last night I watched a video posted by a user explaining how it would be 'difficult' to model something in LightWave and I thought to myself, no it isn't. Then I sat down and did the same thing in LWM in the same amount of time or less.

I have no problem with other tools. However, I think some users could do well to dig into LW a bit more first. I hate to say it, but with a few exceptions -- like the excellent demo reel highlighted here -- it seems that the inventiveness applied to 3D CGI in the 90s and early 2000s is becoming a lost art.

I think people should use whatever tools they feel most comfortable with to create their artwork. The more time fighting technical considerations, the less artistry flows in IMO. David is so fluent with Lightwave, that he can think about the art direction rather than being caught up working out how to get the particles to behave nicely etc... Hope he has another demo reel coming soon - will be interested to see what he does with the new VDB stuff in LW 2019.

glw
02-04-2019, 07:17 AM
Awesome work. I particularly enjoyed seeing the wireframes.