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TreyX
07-15-2017, 11:13 AM
i'm curious as to what plugins/extensions/companion apps professionals here in the LW community have to make their LW software a production powerhouse. my extensions are below, but always like to see what others use or recommend so that i can further beef up and add to my setup. altho i also have other high-end 3D apps in my arsenal, LW is (and has been for 22+ years) my fav, so i dedicate as many resources as possible to extend its capabilities and rival it to competitor software. any recommendations?


3D Coat
3rd Power Suite
Deep FX
Colorida
VDB Splicer
ChronoSculpt
PlaceIt
AdvancedPlacement
Up
TreesDesigner
Octane Render


thanks for your input, peeps.

gar26lw
07-15-2017, 11:45 PM
Apps:

3D coat
zbrush
Substance designer
Substance painter
Quixel suite 2
Lys
Knald
Xnormal
Adobe xd beta
Unity
Adobe Cs
Modo - modelling,rendering,baking, unity export.
Max/ Maya - anim/rigs depending on project.


Lw plugins:

OD copy/paste external
Taft
Polk
Lw cad 3.1 and 5.
Edge expand
Dpont shaders, instancer, nodes etc
Bevel ++
Trueweld - absolut nessesity for sanity modelling.
Pictrix tools. See below.
Shadermeister - awesome
Plg uv tools
Tricount
Set value plus
Merge trigons uv
Snap to unelected
Snap to background
Pb texture baker
Bg conform plus
Band saw ex
d uni slide
Edge open
kW spread
Normal move
Normal rotate
Taut
True fillet
Weight slider
Remove points
Quad skin
Select uv islands
Path cut
Object id
Realtime smooth scale
Spin tris
Split edge
Mirror weight
Point fit
Light set
D Edge bevel
Auto image replace
Alpha clip
Spline length
Input spy
Load objects
Dbw tools
Exr trader
Snap to nearest point
Copy morph
Copy uv
Copy weight
Select duplicate
Match perspective
Incremental object save
Dds image format
Surface baking lights
Align points
Delete unused surfaces
Truart nodes
Noisey channel 2
Stretch point
Tc modelling toolset
Scene to object
Smart ibl
Input node for x32
Mesh reknitter


Pictrix that I use all the time and could not be without. Esp. move, resize, sheer and cbend.


Px move
Px resize
Px cbend
Px 1st contact
Px C worm
Px Sp clone
px bezier
Px sheer
Px uv creper


Pictrix used for specific purposes:


px roll
Px move 3
Px measure
Px Po lift
Px curl
Px navel
Px sq array
Px r poly fan
Px align
Px arc tool
Px clone 2
Px primary layer
Px random select
Px snap line
Px unigon
Px puttygon


Wow, quite a few!

TreyX
07-16-2017, 12:49 AM
wow. dude, fn-A!! love it! can you share some links to the plugin developers or developer names? i recognize some, but there many plugins i've never heard of before in your arsenal. i'll check them out and see which ones i'd like to invest in. i assume all are compatible with v2015.3? my searches haven't come up with nearly this amount of plugins - most sites i've gotten in search returns are anywhere from 5-10 years old, and i hesitate to purchase/DL without seeing relevant content produced from them since (do PicTrix plugins work nicely w/ 2015.3? the plugins say LW v7.5...). it doesn't help that the plugin pages on NewTek's LightWave resources are pretty limited with fresh content; that's why i'm turning to the community to see what others have and what they'd recommend. u rock, buddy - ty for this post!:beerchug:

(note: i left out non-3D apps in my list and focused on only those associated with my LW content creation. Being a Designer by trade, current Adobe 2017 set is a must -- i use After Effects heavily, as i do a ton of video production...)

gar26lw
07-16-2017, 02:24 AM
Yeah, everything works great with lw 2015.3. One big reason lw is still going strong. Great that everything can work still.
Just let me know which ones you want more details on.
Otherwise I'll try and put a link and description to each one and what I use it for.
I'd actually hope a few of these tools and the functionality they provid become part of the next lw update, if possible.
Pictrix stuff works great with 2015.3 too and a huge reason why I continue to use modeller. It's a real shame he's awol.
A lot of these are free.

Spinland
07-16-2017, 04:57 AM
Got your PM. I'm out of town for a few days ATM (pleasure, not business, thank the FSM) but I left you my direct email. I'll post up some stuff here, too, when I get back.

TreyX
07-16-2017, 09:04 AM
Yeah, everything works great with lw 2015.3. One big reason lw is still going strong. Great that everything can work still.
Just let me know which ones you want more details on.
Otherwise I'll try and put a link and description to each one and what I use it for.
I'd actually hope a few of these tools and the functionality they provid become part of the next lw update, if possible.
Pictrix stuff works great with 2015.3 too and a huge reason why I continue to use modeller. It's a real shame he's awol.
A lot of these are free.

sweeeeeet -- thanks, brutha! i'll snag the Pictrix bundle and get those loaded. i know worley's out of the LW plugin biz (too bad - he is a real cool guy and helped LW users incredibly in the early days...). if you could just throw me a few developer names via PM, that would be awesome. i'm in the mood to show my LW some luvin'. ;)

TreyX
07-16-2017, 09:08 AM
Got your PM. I'm out of town for a few days ATM (pleasure, not business, thank the FSM) but I left you my direct email. I'll post up some stuff here, too, when I get back.

got it. u da man!:king: hope u have an awesome and well-deserved vacation! may the FSM pave your road with saucy goodness.

prometheus
07-16-2017, 01:31 PM
for the initial post listing, the main plugins I would consider missing is TurbulenceFD, and lwcad.

Kryslin
07-16-2017, 01:33 PM
Let's see...

Apps:
-Blender
-Modo
-3D Coat
-Daz Studio
-Vue xStream
-Rhino 3D
-Marvelous Designer
-2 Different UV Unwrappers, one by Headus, the other ??
-GIMP 2.8.22
-Photoshop CS6

LW Plugins:
-DP Pont's stuff - all of it.
-LWCAD
-3rd Powers stuff - all of it.
-Quadpanels
-TrueArt's Node Package
-TrueArt's TrueHair styling tools
-RHiggit 2
-PLG UV Tools
-TA Animation and Modeling Tools
-DB&W's free node package.
-Sasquatch
-The DrainBGMap plugins (32 bit only)
-RR Tools Pro
-A ton of lScripts, written by me.
--Hair Tools
--FiberFX Bias Map Generator/Displayer
--Build Null Objects 3.0
--Mirror Weight Assignments
--Link Morph to Channel
--Add SubD hold geometry
--Fuse Poly Pairs
--Quadify Poles
--Fractal Foil Generator
--Quad Strips to Splines
--Stitcher (Weld Average Pairs)
--Select -X Points
--And a lot of experimental/one off scripts.

TreyX
07-16-2017, 01:56 PM
for the initial post listing, the main plugins I would consider missing is TurbulenceFD, and lwcad.

actually, i was giving serious thought to both of these over the last couple of days now. excellent sugg! Just purchased both. u made my day, brutha.:beerchug:

TreyX
07-16-2017, 01:58 PM
Let's see...

Apps:
-Blender
-Modo
-3D Coat
-Daz Studio
-Vue xStream
-Rhino 3D
-Marvelous Designer
-2 Different UV Unwrappers, one by Headus, the other ??
-GIMP 2.8.22
-Photoshop CS6

LW Plugins:
-DP Pont's stuff - all of it.
-LWCAD
-3rd Powers stuff - all of it.
-Quadpanels
-TrueArt's Node Package
-TrueArt's TrueHair styling tools
-RHiggit 2
-PLG UV Tools
-TA Animation and Modeling Tools
-DB&W's free node package.
-Sasquatch
-The DrainBGMap plugins (32 bit only)
-RR Tools Pro
-A ton of lScripts, written by me.
--Hair Tools
--FiberFX Bias Map Generator/Displayer
--Build Null Objects 3.0
--Mirror Weight Assignments
--Link Morph to Channel
--Add SubD hold geometry
--Fuse Poly Pairs
--Quadify Poles
--Fractal Foil Generator
--Quad Strips to Splines
--Stitcher (Weld Average Pairs)
--Select -X Points
--And a lot of experimental/one off scripts.

sweeeet stuff there, kryslin! ty mucho for the leads. is sincerely appreciated.

prometheus
07-16-2017, 07:30 PM
actually, i was giving serious thought to both of these over the last couple of days now. excellent sugg! Just purchased both. u made my day, brutha.:beerchug:

ahh..ok, turbulence is quite cool and sweet, and I do not have it myself...thatīs sort of a problem even if I like it quite much, I was about to give some warnings..but it may not really matter to you though, I have been trying out turbulenceFD now for two days ..after a long long absence of trying the old demos, but since I got me the new machine now, I thought it was about time to try it out.
Whats impressive is the ease of use and the simuation speed, and to some degree open gl display, but there is also Issues I see with it such as not having full both fire and smoke display, both houdini and blende has that, and I am surely lacking weight fluid emission, I know how easy and great it is to just go in there and use the paint weight brush in blender then go to the fluid container in blender and use that newly created vertex group..and itīs so easy to just continue to paint in then run the sim again or erase paint and run the sim to see where your emission comes from.

I also have some issues from time to time, may be due to how large the sim is, but sometimes when tweaking map channels itīs almost unworkable, I have to try it out more to verify where that kicks in, sometimes I also loose the smoke color fluid channel, for instane the sample scenes is not providing it ..just a previous layer, these are long standing issues I have had with it since many versions ago.

I would also like it to improve the rendering when using illuminate smoke, preferably it should have itīs own dedicated previewer...then I do not understand why some default settings are as they are, itīs just making it harder to get started where you may not see anything at all, all channels in the emitters tab is off, instead of activated, and the density channel is off in the fluid container, as well as cache velocity which is needed to have on when setting velocity displacement noise.

Hopefully I will go through a little of turbulence and record something next weekend and with voice as well, I also find that the documentation is very thin/ and poor...so to me the tfd plugin has not developed so much that I feel it could have...or to meet my requests enough.

I actually have spent some more time with blenders fluids, with a more sense of I like it, there are some differences but it can be capable if I push that some more, and that is all for free, the main question may be wether or not blender by itself can handle large /huge polyscenes and simulate decently at the same time, the cuda rendering was pretty fast, and faster than turbulenceFD I would say..but it hitīs the roof on larger fluid containers and larger voxel set...then cuda returns errors and you have to swap to cpu..making it extremly slow to render.

TreyX
07-16-2017, 11:19 PM
ahh..ok, turbulence is quite cool and sweet, and I do not have it myself...thatīs sort of a problem even if I like it quite much, I was about to give some warnings..but it may not really matter to you though, I have been trying out turbulenceFD now for two days ..after a long long absence of trying the old demos, but since I got me the new machine now, I thought it was about time to try it out.
Whats impressive is the ease of use and the simuation speed, and to some degree open gl display, but there is also Issues I see with it such as not having full both fire and smoke display, both houdini and blende has that, and I am surely lacking weight fluid emission, I know how easy and great it is to just go in there and use the paint weight brush in blender then go to the fluid container in blender and use that newly created vertex group..and itīs so easy to just continue to paint in then run the sim again or erase paint and run the sim to see where your emission comes from.

I also have some issues from time to time, may be due to how large the sim is, but sometimes when tweaking map channels itīs almost unworkable, I have to try it out more to verify where that kicks in, sometimes I also loose the smoke color fluid channel, for instane the sample scenes is not providing it ..just a previous layer, these are long standing issues I have had with it since many versions ago.

I would also like it to improve the rendering when using illuminate smoke, preferably it should have itīs own dedicated previewer...then I do not understand why some default settings are as they are, itīs just making it harder to get started where you may not see anything at all, all channels in the emitters tab is off, instead of activated, and the density channel is off in the fluid container, as well as cache velocity which is needed to have on when setting velocity displacement noise.

Hopefully I will go through a little of turbulence and record something next weekend and with voice as well, I also find that the documentation is very thin/ and poor...so to me the tfd plugin has not developed so much that I feel it could have...or to meet my requests enough.

I actually have spent some more time with blenders fluids, with a more sense of I like it, there are some differences but it can be capable if I push that some more, and that is all for free, the main question may be wether or not blender by itself can handle large /huge polyscenes and simulate decently at the same time, the cuda rendering was pretty fast, and faster than turbulenceFD I would say..but it hitīs the roof on larger fluid containers and larger voxel set...then cuda returns errors and you have to swap to cpu..making it extremly slow to render.

what's ur system config/graphics card? i've got a quad core mobile workstation w/ 32GB of RAM and an NVidia Quadro M1000M GPU w/ 512 CUDA Cores

Greenlaw
07-17-2017, 01:56 AM
A lot of third party plugins and tools I use have already been mentioned. Here few more third party apps I like to use with LightWave:

Motion Capture
- iPi Mocap Studio. Motion capture and retargeting
- Webanimate Standalone. Mocap editing and retargeting
- iClone 7 with 3DXchange Pipeline. Mocap editing and retargeting
- BVH Viewer. Free and excellent player for previewing mocap libraries.

I've been using Mocap Studio for many years for personal animation and professional VFX work.

I had been using an ancient version of Motion Builder to edit and retarget my captured data for LightWave but now I'm evaluating Webanimate and iClone/3DX Pipeline as lower cost replacements. I'm still learning these programs but in a nutshell: Webanimate is pretty cheap and capable, and iClone costs more but is more robust (you'll need the 3DX Pipeline add-on if you want to import/export data for LightWave.) There are a few things I can do in MB that I haven't figured out how to do in these alternatives but, as I said, I'm still learning them.

Modeling
- Headus UV Layout. Hands down best UV mapper
- Atangeo Balancer Pro. Quick polygon reduction with a high degree of control. I use it mostly for optimizing terrain meshes.

Texturing
- ShaderMap 3. ShaderMap is an inexpensive program that generates normal, bump, AO, diffusion and spec maps from almost any color photograph. (Neutral or overcast lighting works best.) I like to feed seamless textures into it for terrain, plants, and weathered objects. Years ago, I worked on a TV commercial and was assigned to build a believable city model very quickly. I fed a bunch of building facade photos I shot in downtown L.A. and Chinatown, and was able to build a decent city model the textures that responded credibly to lighting. Since most of city detail was actually photo based, it rendered super fast too!

3D camera tracking
- SynthEyes. Affordable and excellent! Works with almost any 3D and compositing program. I use it mainly with LightWave, Fusion, and sometime AE when it's native 3D camera tracker fails.
- After Effects. I can usually get decent results with AE's 3D Camera Tracker, and it works directly with LightWave 2015 with a click of a button.

Particles
- Fusion Particles. LightWave can share 3D data with Fusion, and you can use Fusion Particles to interact with it.
- Trapcode Particular for AE. It's less interactive with LightWave (LightWave only exports the camera and nulls to AE), but I can still get fantastic results from it, especially for blood, fire and smoke effects.

Hair Guides for FiberFX
- ZBrush FiberMesh. I know ZB was already mentioned for modeling but I like to use its FiberMesh tool specifically for hair guides in LightWave. LightWave Modeler can import the data directly.

Natural Environment
- Vue Infinite. We used Vue XStream in the Box at Rhythm & Hues and it worked great with LightWave. Most notably, we used it for a Fable E3 trailer, some of which you can see towards the end of my reel. Infinite doesn't have the 'automated' LightWave plugin found in XStream but it still supports manual I/O between Vue and LightWave, which is really all you need. One nice thing about outputting renders from Vue is that the buffer data can include Coverage, which is what Fusion needs to automatically apply antialiasing to depth, Surface/Object ID selections, etc. It's a little convoluted to get that channel out of Vue but I really wish LightWave supported this channel.

Output
- exrTrader. I know this one has been mentioned already but exrTrader has been essential for my work for many years. This plugin makes advanced compositing techniques in Fusion so much easier for me, and it's much easier to use than LW's native exr solution.

Spinland
07-17-2017, 04:38 AM
This thread has already covered the topic quite thoroughly but, for completeness (and since the OP asked me nicely via PM *wink*) I'll go ahead and add my shopping list. In no particular order:

LWCAD (this is a must have)

3rd Powers et al (ditto; LWBrush alone is worth its weight in Quatloos)

3D Coat (sculpting and retopo and UV mapping as well as texture painting)

zBrush (heavy-duty sculpting)

stretchsnapkeys (free Layout plugin for shifting and adjusting keyframes. Simple and effective.)

RRTools (watch the videos to see why these are worth having)

RRCam (ditto)

RR Daz3d MOCAP Utility (huge time saver when leveraging DAZ assets)

SyFlex (simply the best soft body dynamics plugin I've ever used. Coupled with Cage Deformer from 3rd Powers it's insane what you can do with it)

Rhiggit (I'm experimenting with RR's rigging methods but for now this is my go-to rigging solution and it comes with very useful animation tools as well)

Ubercam (crazy useful cameras for a wide variety of jobs, lots more than just for VR)

TurbulenceFD (mostly for flame and smoke effects but it's a great general-purpose fluid sim)

TA Tools (Tim "Amadhi" Albee's suite of production-proven utilities; lots of useful stuff I don't know how I'd get along without)

TAFA (another TA utility. Windows-only but part of the reason I have a Win10 box in the studio. Long in the tooth but very useful for quickly setting up facial animation sequences.)

Dpont's nodal and lighting plugins. (Get them all, and be sure to send him a donation.)

DAZ Studio (Insanely large selection of character models easily customized and then exported for tweaking and retopo—the poly counts are stupid high—in 3D Coat. Crazy useful time saver on a deadline.)

SynthEyes (top shelf 3D tracking and motion solver, reasonably priced and indispensable for compositing work)

Mocha Pro (stand alone or as a plugin for apps such as After Effects. Extremely effective planar tracker for challenging object removal jobs)

Photoshop Extended, Premiere Pro, After Effects (These are bread-and-butter for compositing, texturing, film editing, and compositing)

Illustrator (the de facto standard for vector graphics, both creating my own and working with existing assets)

Everything Red Giant has ever published for After Effects/Premiere Pro (Seriously. If you're working in film and don't have pretty much everything they got then my hat's off to you because I can't survive without their stuff)

Audition and Logic Pro (I do a lot of my own voice acting and musical sound track work, which is a big plus for my clients, and these are essentials for my recording and producing workflow)

Brekel Pro 2 body and face (Quick and dirty MOCAP tasks)

Perception Neuron (the full 32 sensor set. For more involved MOCAP needs)

Motion Builder (for retargeting jobs I can't handle using just LW plugins, usually involving adapting externally-acquired data)

MOHO (formerly Anime Studio. For 2D animation stuff too complex to handle using the tools in After Effects).

Dreamlight Constellation and SNUB Launcher (my LWSN render control software of choice. Simple, reliable, effective, and very Mac friendly)


If I've forgotten anything I'll amend this post as they come to me, but methinks this is the hit list for the stuff I use on a regular basis. I have several other plugins and apps that get used rarely (if ever).

gar26lw
07-17-2017, 06:31 AM
Oh, that reminds me, Affinity designer. Is awesome for vector work and much easier to use than illustrator. Works great with photoshop too.

Spinland
07-17-2017, 06:43 AM
Oh, that reminds me, Affinity designer. Is awesome for vector work and much easier to use than illustrator. Works great with photoshop too.

Cool! I'm a huge fan of Xara Designer Pro, which is another Illustrator competitor. I left it out because most folks have never heard of it and it's another Windows-only app. I mainly use the actual Illy app to open my Xara work and re-save it in .ai format to insure it's compatible with clients' machines.

On learning TFD, I believe "Kat" Myers has some good info videos at Liberty3D. They're pay to play but if you want a quick dive into what it does I find his teaching style and production values to be quite good.

gar26lw
07-17-2017, 08:13 AM
Yeah the good thing with affinity is its cheap and for those that like Mac, on there too.

Also, check out affinity photo for Photoshop alternative that's also cheap and cross platform.

I'll have to check out tfd stuff, thanks.

Greenlaw
07-17-2017, 08:54 AM
Good list Spinland. Comments for a couple of items:

LWCAD. I don't use it all the time but sometimes it's indispensible. On my Rhythm reel, there are a couple of shots from a Pepperidge Farms Goldfish commercial test where I was in charge of designing and building the card palace set. LWCAD helped me knock the exterior and interior models out in a single work day, even the collapasable versions. (I think it took me longer to plan and design the sets on paper.)

Moho Pro 12. Now, this is a 2D animation program I've been using nearly everyday at work. I don't normally use it with LightWave but it does happen: in at least two productions this past year, I placed Moho rendered animations inside of LightWave scenes. What I love about Moho is that, even though it's a 2D animation program, the rigging system and some of its tools are very LightWave-like. And, TBH, there are a handful of Moho Pro features I wish LightWave had. :)

prometheus
07-17-2017, 09:33 AM
what's ur system config/graphics card? i've got a quad core mobile workstation w/ 32GB of RAM and an NVidia Quadro M1000M GPU w/ 512 CUDA Cores

Asus ROG G20CB-NR128T

Intel Core i7-6700
32GB RAM
512GB SSD + 2000GB HDD
NVIDIA GTX1080 - 8GB
Microsoft Windows 10

One thing I heard in the reviews, that the ssd isnīt one of the faster out there.

http://cdon.se/hemelektronik/asus-rog-g20cb-nr128t-p40362113?gclid=Cj0KEQjwwLHLBRDEq9DQxK2I_p8BEiQA3U DVDt7qROoDB7JGlOcI7J92MhXn925QYvYHu-qRB_2Ae4gaAqN08P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CLvursrRkNUCFd2EsgodNI0AVg#fo_c=1753&fo_k=cb644fee1516487497a2cc192de5b452&fo_s=gplase

TreyX
07-17-2017, 12:06 PM
thanks for the interaction on this thread, peeps! i think it will also be useful to many others who are looking to beef up their LW suite like i've been doing lately. there are definitely many outstanding leads that i'm researching as we speak, and plunked down some coin yesterday on TurbulenceFD & LWCAD, so those are new additions to my set. y'all are awesome to share your setups, and i am very appreciative for your time and participation. :bowdown:

Spinland
07-17-2017, 12:57 PM
:rock:

Ariandesign
08-06-2017, 07:16 AM
Thanks a lot for this lists, really helpful :)

Just a question....in the first big list at the beginning of the thread it is mentioned this: Trueweld - absolut nessesity for sanity modelling.

Where can I find/purchase it?

Thanks in advance