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ianr
02-04-2018, 07:21 AM
A simple question from me results in a many faceted ,insightful reply about the health of our
cherished program LightWave now & maybe onwards, as answered on the LightWiki Channel..
After a corrosive drought of non-Information on LightWave comes an extensively thoughtful
& lovingly crafted essay by one of LightWave’s top flag- bearers & Emmy award winner,Mr Kelly.Kat Myers Esq.
That which follows is with Kat’s permission with a small edit here & there,
making for an invigorating and inspiring read I hope for all of you, Devs & Users alike:


The Full Enchilada (part I)

ianR: Kel, in your consideration can the NEW (LW 2018) SDK do advection?

Kat: Kelly Myers I'm not really the one to ask about this. A new particle system for LightWave was sacrificed in this release in order to deal with the flop that was "Hydra" (the geo engine from Chronosculpt which couldn't be wedged into Layout or Modeler as initially thought it would be - you can blame that one on the management of the time, but what is done is done).

[This assertion is incorrect. The implementation of the new Hydra geometry engine in Layout was done successfully for LightWave 2018; yes, this is exactly the engine that was discussed on the blog; yes it is responsible for a number of performance and capability improvements in LightWave 2018 and offers loads of opportunity for future enhancements. We confirmed that on the day of the December announcement of the LightWave 2018 release and we've repeated it a number of times since then.]

An update to the particle system would be required before this would be possible of course, however, with Hurley Works LWUP I am wondering if particles from that system could be made to be aware of TurbulenceFD somehow?

You never know. There is so much that has changed "under the hood" that we (the average LW users) don't really understand to its extent just yet. Now that this release is out and initial patches quickly following suit, it may be that attention to a new particle system will come. But come from inside the LWG or from 3rd party developers? Well, I feel that a particle system should come from inside the LWG but more importantly, the work to the SDK should be extended so that a particle system in LW can be aware of the "world" outside of itself.
.
No more black box development. Keep in mind that the reason why PFX, HardFX, SoftFX, ClothFX all work together is that they all essentially came from the same developer to form a complete physics solution. But that solution cannot "talk" much, if anything, beyond that which it has been applied to and in rather limited ways. I say limited because it hasn't really advanced much, if at all in almost 20 years. But at the time LW's physics system was considered to be incredibly powerful and rather robust for a package of its kind. But ultimately, it's a plug-in, based on the SDK. But that is what LightWave is. A platform for running plug-ins. And you know what? At the end of the day, it's actually really good at this! In some peoples opinion, the SDK for LightWave as far as a developer is much concerned, is much more friendly than say another 'plug-in' platform that came up around the same - 3DS Max.

Clear proof of this comes from the work that Steve Worley and Denis P. have done. Steve gave us tools that allowed for us to pretty much destroy any other package out there for what we could do with them in LightWave giving it capabilities that even still to this day you can clearly see in terms of their influence on the development of other products, LightWave included. Frpime & Sasquatch most notably but also the Polk and Taft collections.

Kelly Myers Later when the LWG introduced their spline deformer I was excited... but... well, it's nice and all, it doesn't give me what we can get out of DSpline or Hoser. The point here that I am trying make is that all 3 of these solutions are essentially plug-ins for LightWave made possible by the SDK and in the case of Taft/Hoser - based on the LightWave 5.6 SDK! From 20 years ago! Right around the time I first used Taft in 1999 or so (if memory serves me right) and pretty much the height of LW's popularity in the industry in large part because of the massive assortment of 3rd Party solutions available to users that were not present in the package. No coincidence there. During the cycles of development from 5.6 to 8.0 we saw huge changes to the SDK before largely tapering off in 9.6. That's where things went off the rails really for LightWave combined with a number of other factors both internally and externally of NewTek.

It is for this reason that while certain things should be done by the LWG in terms of feature development, it is more important that the SDK be made as robust as possible to start with when making these fundamental improvements to the architecture itself.If you only have the resources to do certain things, you that stuff and work with your 3rd party developers on it. You make it better for you and you make it better for them and everyone along the way generally stays happy. Besides, you dont' get any of this stuff anyway until someone needs to make it possible and that almost never comes a developer exclusively. All features found in a product like LightWave are the result of the need for them by users. All 3rd party developers are users. So, fight for the users! WIN!

Priorties of course.... that's the challenge. All the time, because of limited resources. What gets priority comes down to a lot of factors but with this release I think we are seeing the future of what is to come for 3rd party developers. I'm ok with it, so long as is done right. I believe the perceived delay for LW 2018 release was in part to ensure it got stuff right.

If you dont' you f**k your future plans or potential plans for product features and you set your third party developers up for a cluster screw as well and you need them as much as they need you, because ultimately at the end of the day, LightWave3D is a platform for running plugins. Making them talk to each other is all well and good, but if its through a two tin cans tied together with a piece of string it's not a great thing to have. Some stuff needs to be done first regardless or there is no point to even that.

The proof comes from the particle system example It being sidelined in favour of work on the new geometry engine, which HAS to be done by the development team internally makes absolute sense. A new geometry engine is kind of needed anyway because any new particle system built is going to come up against the performance limits of that geometry system. Want further proof? Consider bullet prior to LW 2018 and the performance of it now and I'm not even sure if Bullet has been optimized specifically for the advancements in 2018. One "level" affects the next is what it comes down to. Improve this and you get benefits to that which it is built on top of. Hell, it may be with some optimization work that even the "old' physics system, PFX included could see some major gains due to the advancement in the geometry engine performance? It is after all a plug-in. And believe it or not, sometimes it's performance has nothing to do with the architecture or the SDK, but by some developer long gone who cut off the tool at the knees because at the time failure to do so would have allowed for its use in ways that would have made it unstable due to ram consumption or simply impossible for the product as a whole to deal with.

The particle system is a perfect example of this again, it had a hard coded limit for a certain amount of particles and I hit that on Iron Sky when I had never hit it before. Even on BSG...Why? Well, we had never the ability to bake the motions of all the emitters in a scene down to single motion and then apply it back to a simple null before. That and much of the particle work I had done on BSG was still in a 32bit environment (and thus maximum memory space for 32bit apps being somewhere around 3GB leaving the rest to the OS). The plug-in was produced at a time when 128MB of ram was, considered....f***ing huge Kelly Myers James Willmott thankfully came to the rescue on that one. ( ianR: After a forum discussion here quickly noted by J.W.) Did it require architecture change? No. Because its a plug-in. He removed the limit and we got a new build. Done! Thank you James. its stuff like that which many users hit and then say 'LW sucks' & come to this conclusion that is has to get a re-write in order to be better. Well, which part? The plug-in you are dealing with or the system it runs on top of or a portion of that system the plug-in deals with? Or all of it?

I certainly wanted a new particle system and hopefully one that was GPU enabled so I could get the benefits of the promises GPUs offer in terms of speed. A faster geometry core was needed to. Everyone needed that, but some- times you can't do both and what happened with the particle system and why is very important for people to understand. Advancements to the base level architecture and the SDK, have to take priority over some things even when you are being pushed to provide new features or fixes to features.

Think about it. If the internal resources available to the development team are limited in anyway, you are setting yourself up to be in a better position down the road by choosing the smoothest road that is the quickest to take to get you to where you want to be, faster. Sometimes you need to pave road to do it, even if to be a passenger on the drive down it. The goal is to get to the destination and share the cost of gas. An improved and robust SDK that is made available to 3rd Party developers while the main product developers continue work on pillar areas of the product including its main architecture, and feature set for which the SDK is based; ensures that new features resulting from the effort are the best that they can be. When you don't do this, it usually results in half tools which are historically produced internally due to a lack of resources compounded by the desire to sell copies of the product in order to maintain or grow the resources you have from which to draw upon and thus make a better product and make a profit. The NT developers hit the same stuff 3rd party developers hit when making features at the end of the day. Some stuff requires changes to the architecture and thus the SDK and some stuff doesn't.The only difference is that the LWG development team can directly do something about it, where as 3rd party developers can only request certain things. And it must pain them at the LWG for the exact same reasons 3rd party developers have, yet even more so when priorities don't align with what they want to do or are being asked to do when they have it sitting right in front of them. We always assume its easy because it is sitting right in front of them. And you know, sometimes some stuff is such as in the example I gave with the particle FX hard limit

(ianR See PART ll)

ianr
02-04-2018, 07:29 AM
The Full Enchilada (part Il)

Kelly Myers(con't) But they don't know unless there is a need to and that need comes from feature requests from the product users and from 3rd party developers looking to make products in the form of plugins for third party users. I'm positive that Jasha has made this request as a third party user when it comes to LW particles being able to respond to TurbulenceFD via advection channels.( ianR: Matt Gorner did contact Jasha on this last year I believe)

A new particle system would certainly have addressed that. It may be possible for PFX to do it, but I could only see that with changes to how LW works with plugins and allowing them to share data between each other. That data is probably available and supplied by TFD itself, possibly with PFX being made to understand it without too much trouble, but the transport of that data doesn't exist right now. PFX certainly supplies data that PFX can read.. but that's just one tool talking tool to another for a specific purpose and doesn't really do much for any other developer unless it's documented in the SDK. I think the LWG has learned from its past on this issue finally.

But over all, the best thing to do is make the changes to the architecture needed to make such things possible and during that time produce a tool that makes use of it in the plug-in environment in ways that are optimized from the get go to transport and handle that information. The developers internally know how to do that best, but sometimes its 3rd party developers who really know "what to do with it".

(ianR; cite Thinking-Particles plug in other apps, does what it says on the can!)

And that is the approach I think that's culminated in this release and I hope it continues if that is the case. It's only been out for 4 weeks and "delay" I think was warranted because its given many developers the time to adjust.

It's pretty clear, do that and include fully, the changes made in the SDK so 3rd party has the same access to what internal developers have and you solve a lot of things than just one problem with a 'feature' that typically comes out half baked.. thus the half-tool. This is a much better approach. Not only that but you get a solution that rocks if done right, and a 3rd party developer can do so as well if you miss the mark on a new feature. But really if the internal developers spent less time on features on some stuff, 3rd party developers will step in and that's the way to go. If not to simply pick up the slack leaving you to focus on other things that need to get dealt with next to make a better product everyone can enjoy regardless of their need for a certain feature natively available or not It's really simple. Doing it right means staying out of feature creep land.

A new particle system would have likely particle advection data provided this, but if we are not going to get a full replacement for it and the new geometry system at least improves performance on some level when working with particles as we often do, then perhaps a bridge can be done now. It certainly doesn't require a change to the architecture and with the new geometry engine out the door I could see it at least being seriously looked at again. I certainly wouldn't consider it to be a full-fledged feature, but simply a modification of a native tool to provide and understand another data channel so as to keep the product competitive with other products on the market, while working with a third party solution to a feature for which it does not have natively (computational fluid dynamics) including one of its primary competitors (C4D). Why? Because Jascha is working on a Modo port and you want to keep Modo at bay in some way and this is an easy one to do. Easier than losing users to another product for some-thing like this, that's for sure. (IanR: bookmark this thought LW3DG please) And it will have immediate benefits to Turbulence users and spill over I'm sure to other 3rd party plug-ins like LWUP and DeepRisingFX. Why? because of the new rendering and volumetrics system. That's why. So now is the time even if it doesn't come in the form of a completely new particle system.

Make no mistake we got a lot of features in this new version but almost all of them are fundamental "pillars" of the product advancements and that's important. This round of improvements meant many architectural changes along the way and its been done while maintaining the SDK every step. It's important to understand how big of a deal that is. In the past, the product has advanced in big ways, but the SDK wasn't well maintained. And yes still 3rd party developers were able to do so much amazing stuff with it for what was documented. This latest round of changes I think is going to do some well needed good for everyone. Based on some of the developments coming out now however along with some that have been in progress for the last year (at least) - it is my belief and I do fully believe this; that LightWave3D and its users about to encounter a massive explosion in tools development coming internally as well as externally. Oliver Hotz (OD)tools are a clear indication of this. Mambo Banda II (Deep Rising FX) has been making solid strides in advancing his tools.

On the subject of physics, I'm in direct contact with another developer as well (who is not as well known to the LW community) who has been working on a Flex based solution for some time now. So far, to my knowledge, only myself and Mike Green have been provided early versions of this toolset and it seemed to have stalled for a while, but I was contacted immediately after the release announcement date came in mid-December by that developer asking if I could help reconnect them to the LWG.Who would also benefit from having access to new particle data channels and being able to read and write them and it accessible to Turbulence via the same method potentially implemented for PFX to get it all rolling.

Consider now that so much is heading towards the GPU. Well that has it's own set of problems and I think the LWG can avoid those pitfalls here by using the GPU where it should be used and the CPU for what it should be, leveraging both at what they are good at, at the same time. ( ianR. The GPUs ability to enable the use of System Ram when VRam [on your GFX card] is maxed out & not choke, as in RedShift, is essential to the LW ethos).The changes to the architecture needed to make that possible are probably similar to those needed in order make it so that plug-ins to talk to each other 'better' than they do currently. Maybe since this release is out, in the course of doing some research and development while also benefiting TFD users working in LightWave and the TurbulenceFD developer (Jascha @ Jawset) - now would be a good time to investigate it using this as a "test". Everyone wins on that one I think.

As a side note, the boost in 3rd party activity and renewed interest in the product is very interesting as well as the timing. You can read into that part whichever way you want, but the point is, that within the last 16 months, let's say... there has been a flurry of development activity that much of the community has not been aware of beyond those of Oliver, Mambo, Hurley, and the efforts of Ryan Roye and Chilton Webb over at www.liberty3d.com and there are others including Craig Moins (Rebel Hill) and 3rd Powers Japan (ianR:soon to be Lino Grandi) so more will come and more will return and many are hard at work.

Support the release by buying your copy now and then support your 3rd party developers.

We are all in this together and we can't do it right by standing apart.

This is a massive opportunity for LightWave3D and its users.

( IanR: Drop a comment & get this thread rolling, or just flag it post you have read it! ).

Schwyhart
02-04-2018, 07:51 AM
....

prometheus
02-04-2018, 08:32 AM
Huh..I have copied this and will make a paragraph break for every four lines.
May get back after reading it.

hypersuperduper
02-04-2018, 08:39 AM
Pretty interesting. I hope that he is right about what the sdk changes will bring in the next few months. The last few weeks have seen lots of activity, I hope it holds out. We haven’t heard anything new from 3rd powers for example. I for one would be curious if they have been cooking up something with the new sdk.

erikals
02-04-2018, 08:42 AM
way too much to read (?) probably

re-written >

...the boost in 3rd party activity and renewed interest in the product is very interesting

shrox
02-04-2018, 09:07 AM
I'm scared.

MichaelT
02-04-2018, 10:49 AM
Hmm.. paragraphs.. but I read through it all.

I've said before that I would look into developing for LW.. and I will. I have a physics solution that like UP is flex. I posted a few videos about it earlier.
But I dropped dev.. when I kept hearing a deafening sound of silence from LWG. Now it's different. But I will probably begin from scratch again.. as I forgot most of it by now.
I hope that there are sufficient access to the internals via C/C++ now because if I have to write a python layer to reach everything.. I'll probably go frantic :)

Signal to Noise
02-04-2018, 11:40 AM
Holy wall of text, Batman!

Like the others will copy it all out and reformat it to easier readable chunks.

Thanks for sharing nonetheless.

UnCommonGrafx
02-04-2018, 11:54 AM
Hmm.. paragraphs.. but I read through it all.

I've said before that I would look into developing for LW.. and I will. I have a physics solution that like UP is flex. I posted a few videos about it earlier.
But I dropped dev.. when I kept hearing a deafening sound of silence from LWG. Now it's different. But I will probably begin from scratch again.. as I forgot most of it by now.
I hope that there are sufficient access to the internals via C/C++ now because if I have to write a python layer to reach everything.. I'll probably go frantic :)

Please do.

All of this sounds the same as it has. The issue is as it always has been: tools made by artists for artists. If the artists are gone ya gotta find artists that do it like that. That being programming, artistry and the need of them.


Devvers make the app. Companies make ecosystem opportunities. Starbucks saw that clearly. I digress.

Long live the 3rd party devvers. Wallet in hand...
Robert

KurtF
02-04-2018, 12:35 PM
Interesting read. And yes, customers do like hearing about the challenges and possibilities while developing the product. Why developers remain silent for years - like the ElectricImage and Lightwave teams, instead of keeping users posted on progress, I have no idea. I do know I can post stuff about ElectricImage here and it stays. When I post over there, it gets deleted or edited.

Ryan Roye
02-04-2018, 02:33 PM
One of the biggest impacts to Python scripting in Lightwave regards the load/saveserver commands implemented in LW 2018.

These commands allow the script writer to access almost any bit of information from Lightwave's various tools and plugins, meaning that the plugins that people write are no longer inaccessible via scripting. In other words, I can now collect data from ANY plugin in Lightwave that has a persistent presence and have my script make changes and decisions based off of that. This includes 3rd powers, Syflex, motion mixer, and yes, even IKBooster. Even plugins made decades ago can benefit from this function; it works the same across the board.

So... it'll take some time for people to realize the potential this brings to the table, but it really opens some doors for plugin developers.

TheLexx
02-04-2018, 02:49 PM
Ryan, I am reminded of that fine still (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZyYwjXYG14&t=0m44s) used on your Python course intro, "You're here 2 learn !? LOL !!", but beyond your course was it a very deep curve to cross the bridge and write your own LW plugins ? :)

MonroePoteet
02-04-2018, 04:08 PM
I read the whole thing. That's great that LWG spent the time to modify the underlying LW architecture aimed at connectivity and "the pipeline" being exposed to plug-in developers as much as possible. One of the things Microsoft (among others) figured out early: make the development tools readily available and the users start building stuff in their basements.

So next: Bought my 2018 license, downloaded kit & content, and hopefully will install it soon and start playing when I find / make time. Downloaded the new SDK documentation, will look into porting some of my old (even pre-V9) plugins that might be useful, see if some of the limitations I ran into are removed, and hopefully write some new ones and look into GPU-based development. Try to save my pennies to support Denis (DPKit), LWCAD, Advanced Placement, and other 3rd party plug-ins I've bought over the years, if possible.

And, as someone who *likes* LW since 1996, crossing my fingers!

mTp

P.S. everyone probably knows this, but a trick for reading the "Wall o' Text" is to reduce the width of the browser to minimum, causing it to wrap the text into a much narrower format. Easier to read if it's more like a newspaper column, or at least not the full screen width.

rustythe1
02-05-2018, 02:51 AM
the thing I'm a bit confused about is his very first comment? so is the new geo engine not the one that was talked about in Robs original blog, i.e. it is a more advanced variation of the hydra engine, or did something happen and that was the point it was scrapped, or is it referring to Core being the Hydra flop, or do we now have a totally new engine altogether to what the original blog said?

Ztreem
02-05-2018, 04:23 AM
Ok ,so what we can look forward to is that we can pay for a third party undo system, unification and UI plugin, great.!?:confused:

Ryan Roye
02-05-2018, 06:30 AM
Ryan, I am reminded of that fine still (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZyYwjXYG14&t=0m44s) used on your Python course intro, "You're here 2 learn !? LOL !!", but beyond your course was it a very deep curve to cross the bridge and write your own LW plugins ? :)

Yes. Not because Python is complex, but the Lightwave python documentation is incomplete in some ways and requires you to cross reference the lscript and C++ docs to get the full picture. That said, Oliver Hotz was very generous in showing me the basics, my Python tools and content would not exist if it were not for his help.

samurai_x
02-05-2018, 06:44 AM
the thing I'm a bit confused about is his very first comment? so is the new geo engine not the one that was talked about in Robs original blog, i.e. it is a more advanced variation of the hydra engine, or did something happen and that was the point it was scrapped, or is it referring to Core being the Hydra flop, or do we now have a totally new engine altogether to what the original blog said?

We probably have an updated mesh engine because of the new rendering and surfacing system. Is it vertex, edge, poly aware in layout, seems unlikely.

Ztreem
02-05-2018, 07:13 AM
We probably have an updated mesh engine because of the new rendering and surfacing system. Is it vertex, edge, poly aware in layout, seems unlikely.

I just wonder, did they fail again? How hard can it be? And how many more attempts do they need? Or do they not want to add vertex, face & edge support in layout at all? Seems unlikely that they canít update layout to be aware of polys it feels more like they donít want to. Unification in LW seems more and more like a fantasy.

vncnt
02-05-2018, 07:20 AM
If Python would make it possible to replace the native timeline and add some free space below that native timeline (to be used by my own script) I would be happy to switch from LScript to Python.

Also I'd like to see a LW shop to streamline the selling/distribution of plugins. Especially for part-time developers.
It's not very rewarding to develop ideas and give them away for free.

Marander
02-05-2018, 09:06 AM
I just wonder, did they fail again? How hard can it be? And how many more attempts do they need? Or do they not want to add vertex, face & edge support in layout at all? Seems unlikely that they canít update layout to be aware of polys it feels more like they donít want to. Unification in LW seems more and more like a fantasy.

Yes very disappointing. I purchased the 2018 update purely for the (limited use) volumetrics, I like the look (however the UI representation is horrible). But the rest, oh my...

I gave up hope that the UI, Undo, Unification etc. will ever be fixed. I don't get it how some things (like the Object Properties panel scaling or the messed up More menus) and the user experience were not improved / fixed within 3 years. In many parts of the UI / UX it's apparent to me that there is no passion for the application from the dev side. And LW3DG please don't come with excuses about dependencies and that it is more difficult than it looks from a user perspective, I have 25 years experience in software architectures.

In some areas the UI and workflow got even worse. It seems to me that they have only one capable developer who is doing the render part. I also got the OD Tools + OD Pie, many things that Oliver developed are great and put the LW developers to shame (pie menu, save lwo with both 2015/2018 surfaces, preset panels etc.), but 300+ small tools (most of them should be native) is a complete mess.

LW is what it is and will always be, unification will never happen in my opinion. The same for Undo, Geometry engine etc. The code seems not to be maintainable and/or the developers lack of skills.

THIBAULT
02-05-2018, 09:41 AM
Yes very disappointing. I purchased the 2018 update purely for the (limited use) volumetrics, I like the look (however the UI representation is horrible). But the rest, oh my...

I gave up hope that the UI, Undo, Unification etc. will ever be fixed. I don't get it how some things (like the Object Properties panel scaling or the messed up More menus) and the user experience were not improved / fixed within 3 years. In many parts of the UI / UX it's apparent to me that there is no passion for the application from the dev side. And LW3DG please don't come with excuses about dependencies and that it is more difficult than it looks from a user perspective, I have 25 years experience in software architectures.

In some areas the UI and workflow got even worse. It seems to me that they have only one capable developer who is doing the render part. I also got the OD Tools + OD Pie, many things that Oliver developed are great and put the LW developers to shame (pie menu, save lwo with both 2015/2018 surfaces, preset panels etc.), but 300+ small tools (most of them should be native) is a complete mess.

LW is what it is and will always be, unification will never happen in my opinion. The same for Undo, Geometry engine etc. The code seems not to be maintainable and/or the developers lack of skills.

Yes, very disappointing here too ! Render engine is too too slow ! We need something like Corona and you give us something like Arnold, but much less good ! No, it's really a shame ! No future !

Chris S. (Fez)
02-05-2018, 10:57 AM
The renderer is quite promising for a 1.0 Arnold. It is vastly more affordable than paying for Corona outright or paying for a Corona subscription forever.

Many are content with the cost/capabilities of LW 2018 and, while constructive criticism is welcome, the melodramatic pessimism is weird and unwarranted.

The developers are listening. I agree the UI needs work and hope much can be accomplished as they port for 4k/8k compatibility. Oliver has organized and consolidated render settings into one panel and believe this absolutely needs to be native. If anyone has ideas on how to organize and consolidate the UI or reduce clicks for common tasks, please submit a feature request.

OjN
02-05-2018, 11:58 AM
OK good insights...


Good news:

layout geometry engine improvements, great for animation...

new pbr render similar to Arnold, good for character animation and vfx...

improvements in a friendly LightWave SDK for 'plug-in' platform:
implemented load/saves commands in LW 2018.
access via scripting of others plugins, you can collect data from ANY plugin with persistent presence. you can collect data from IKBooster! and others old plugins

potential massive explosion in tools development. Oliver OD Tools, consolidated render settings into one panel. + OD Pie are great. Mambo Banda II (Deep Rising FX). MichaelT maybe working in near future in a physics solution

potential UI port for 4k/8k compatibility?

bad news:
after "Hydra" flop, we continue to need a new geometry engine because his performance limits everything and we need it for unification

the GI of the new render is super slow...
no bidirectional path-tracing!!!, why they don’t listen Arnold users problems??? Fajardo recognized it publicly in an interview....

a new particle system is in stand by... and we need a particle advection data.

Lightwave python documentation is incomplete in some ways and requires you to cross reference the lscript and C++ docs to get the full picture.

hope for a SDK access to the internals via C/C++ ???

only a few has been aware of the real improvements...

hypersuperduper
02-05-2018, 01:34 PM
Out of curiosity, remind me again what point poly edge awareness actually means for us users. I mean clearly layout is “aware” of these elements, and always has been to some degree. Does this just mean geometry creation essentially? Cause that’s what I’ve been interpreting it to mean.

02-05-2018, 01:48 PM
Many are content with the cost/capabilities of LW 2018 and, while constructive criticism is welcome, the melodramatic pessimism is weird and unwarranted.

The developers are listening. .

That captures my thoughts exactly. It's like the shills have been released to fight "that damned LW. Why won't it just die!?"

Reams of panicky text don't seem to be needed. Even better would be first party conversation instead of he-said-she-said, look what someone said to me!


Unhealthy.
Robert

Ztreem
02-05-2018, 01:58 PM
Out of curiosity, remind me again what point poly edge awareness actually means for us users. I mean clearly layout is “aware” of these elements, and always has been to some degree. Does this just mean geometry creation essentially? Cause that’s what I’ve been interpreting it to mean.

Yes, geometry creation.
Some examples:
Create geometry on the fly by nodes for complex motion graphics/ vfx/ animation that is impossible or very hard to create today.
Modelling in layout so we can skip the two app workflow.
Extrude geometry along spline or path with dynamic subdivision.
Read and use fluidsims with dynamic meshes.
Text creation
Select polys to assign materials etc

hypersuperduper
02-05-2018, 02:22 PM
Ok. That’s what I thought. I wonder if lightwave 2018 is measurably closer to being able to generate geometry aside from subdivisions with the new mesh engine that they did wind up implementing. Or, is it merely a performance increase, with all progress toward geometry creation ability having been tossed in order to get it to work reliably.

Snosrap
02-05-2018, 02:24 PM
So let me get this straight - the whole unified mesh system as highlight here :https://blog.lightwave3d.com/2015/12/unified-mesh-system-part-2/ did not take place?

gar26lw
02-05-2018, 02:44 PM
So let me get this straight - the whole unified mesh system as highlight here :https://blog.lightwave3d.com/2015/12/unified-mesh-system-part-2/ did not take place?

yeah iíd say it looks that way. no undo is a real pita now too. i think the team needs some new blood to bring some life to the dev.

if there is some way for plugins and parts of the app to talk to each other, how come no undo?

gar26lw
02-05-2018, 02:46 PM
Yes very disappointing. I purchased the 2018 update purely for the (limited use) volumetrics, I like the look (however the UI representation is horrible). But the rest, oh my...

I gave up hope that the UI, Undo, Unification etc. will ever be fixed. I don't get it how some things (like the Object Properties panel scaling or the messed up More menus) and the user experience were not improved / fixed within 3 years. In many parts of the UI / UX it's apparent to me that there is no passion for the application from the dev side. And LW3DG please don't come with excuses about dependencies and that it is more difficult than it looks from a user perspective, I have 25 years experience in software architectures.

In some areas the UI and workflow got even worse. It seems to me that they have only one capable developer who is doing the render part. I also got the OD Tools + OD Pie, many things that Oliver developed are great and put the LW developers to shame (pie menu, save lwo with both 2015/2018 surfaces, preset panels etc.), but 300+ small tools (most of them should be native) is a complete mess.

LW is what it is and will always be, unification will never happen in my opinion. The same for Undo, Geometry engine etc. The code seems not to be maintainable and/or the developers lack of skills.

isn’t matt supposed to be doing ui and ux? i get the impression he is not. could be wrong but feels that way.

samurai_x
02-05-2018, 07:33 PM
So let me get this straight - the whole unified mesh system as highlight here :https://blog.lightwave3d.com/2015/12/unified-mesh-system-part-2/ did not take place?

If we're to believe Kelly, that blog post was not implemented successfully. Then Rob got fired for trying and failing.

creacon
02-06-2018, 03:08 AM
What exactly do you mean by that?
When I write a plugin and store persistent data in a format that I designed, how would you be able to access that?
And if you were able to access it, how would you know it is safe to do so?

Could you point me to the docs/info of this feature?

thanks.

creacon


One of the biggest impacts to Python scripting in Lightwave regards the load/saveserver commands implemented in LW 2018.

These commands allow the script writer to access almost any bit of information from Lightwave's various tools and plugins, meaning that the plugins that people write are no longer inaccessible via scripting. In other words, I can now collect data from ANY plugin in Lightwave that has a persistent presence and have my script make changes and decisions based off of that. This includes 3rd powers, Syflex, motion mixer, and yes, even IKBooster. Even plugins made decades ago can benefit from this function; it works the same across the board.

So... it'll take some time for people to realize the potential this brings to the table, but it really opens some doors for plugin developers.

SBowie
02-06-2018, 06:58 AM
Then Rob got fired for trying and failing.I would be reluctant to form any opinions about the circumstances involved in someone's departure based on someone else's comments - particularly where that person was not directly involved ... and no-one who was will reveal private matters, so that's pretty much that I'd say.

Marander
02-06-2018, 07:07 AM
I would be reluctant to form any opinions about the circumstances involved in someone's departure based on someone else's comments - particularly where that person was not directly involved ... and no-one who was will reveal private matters, so that's pretty much that I'd say.

Steve, I agree - why Rob left / was let go is none of our business.

However don't you think it would have been important and fair to the user base to let them know that the implementation of one of the major promised features has failed? To me and other LW users the new Geometry Engine was a major reason for upgrading. The new Geometry / Unified Mesh Engine is THE feature that would have brought LW forward big time.

Marander
02-06-2018, 07:24 AM
isnít matt supposed to be doing ui and ux? i get the impression he is not. could be wrong but feels that way.

Yes that's exactly my opinion too.

SBowie
02-06-2018, 07:28 AM
Steve, I agree - why Rob left / was let go is none of our business.

However don't you think it would have been important and fair to the user base to let them know that the implementation of one of the major promised features has failed?Point #1, I have no idea whether this is true, false, or partly both of those. Point #2, stuff 'fails' in development all the time ... and if the goal is considered worth pursuing, we just find another way.

So even in a worst case scenario, it likely doesn't mean the sky is falling. Certainly, if there was a setback, it could be major or minor. Regardless, I'm not sure it's either common or in business or ethically required to discuss such matters - assuming there's actually a matter to discuss - publicly. Sometimes companies just quietly clean up a mess and move on.

These are my personal thoughts, since you asked, and I'll just add that I think it's a human tendency (and one often manifest here) to try very hard to read tea leaves that are little more than tiny remnants of dregs, and to extrapolate these into fantastic edifices. Perhaps it's because this is a creative group, I don't know. Someone will now contend that the best way to prevent this is to be more communicative, and transparent. I would argue that this does not, however, imply that every question posed will be answered. That there is room for continued improvement, I'm sure everyone on all sides will agree.

rustythe1
02-06-2018, 08:01 AM
well, i think it was the kind of comment that needed some proper clarification, as the new geo engine could be considered a big selling point to some people, mentioned quite a lot on the blog, and also there was this posted by chuck around launch time,

"Well that's unfortunate. We were led to believe something else was in for this version. And of course Rob told us before that he wouldn't talk about a feature before it was in the software and working. I mean, its all well and good to say what the team may accomplish in future versions, but you'll understand after this last 3 years and long periods of silence and uncertainty if that doesn't sit well."

"You were asking if we got the new geometry engine in, the answer is yes, and that it has had significant effect on performance and capability for this edition and will have even more effect on both performance and capability as we develop it. I would hope that would be considered good news. However, you seem to me to be responding as though I had told you "No, we didn't get the new engine in." That suggests that maybe there was more to what you were thinking of than just "Did you guys do the new geometry engine?" That in turn suggests that expectations were set incorrectly on our side, and we apologize for that. I hope that you'll reconsider though that some really great work by the developers to put LightWave on a new foundation that has a solid start and lots of future potential is really not unfortunate or disappointing. "

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?155080-news-about-lightwave-3d-next&p=1526957&highlight=#post1526957

i think the issue is more to do with the comments being misunderstood and may be relating to a past event, but at the same time i think it needs proper clarification, did we get the hydra engine, not or something else altogether because some of this could be considered a miss-selling of features?

samurai_x
02-06-2018, 08:12 AM
I would be reluctant to form any opinions about the circumstances involved in someone's departure based on someone else's comments - particularly where that person was not directly involved ... and no-one who was will reveal private matters, so that's pretty much that I'd say.

It doesn't take a genius to figure it out though if we're to believe Kelly.....That's a big IF :D
Besides, its public knowledge he wanted Rob out from his fb posts. Maybe he did it again like he did with previous LWCore management.

raymondtrace
02-06-2018, 08:20 AM
...However don't you think it would have been important and fair to the user base to let them know that the implementation of one of the major promised features has failed? To me and other LW users the new Geometry Engine was a major reason for upgrading. The new Geometry / Unified Mesh Engine is THE feature that would have brought LW forward big time.

To be fair, this is the reason why developers rarely announce/promise anything until it is stable and delivered. Cue all the discussion threads that blame NewTek for being silent over the years...

I'm not sure what "has failed". There is clearly something new there, if not fully implemented to the imaginations of all.


This means that you should not expect a fully replicated modeler or all of the power of ChronoSculpt to instantly appear in the next release. ( https://blog.lightwave3d.com/2015/12/unified-mesh-system-part-2/ )

While some may not see "big time" changes, there are signs LW is indeed moving forward and I'm willing to ride along ...and kick in some gas money.

Marander
02-06-2018, 10:10 AM
It doesn't take a genius to figure it out though if we're to believe Kelly.....That's a big IF :D
Besides, its public knowledge he wanted Rob out from his fb posts. Maybe he did it again like he did with previous LWCore management.

Yes one of them did not tell the truth. According to Kat the implementation has failed, according to Rob it was done already. Don't know who to believe because both of them have talked alot of BS in the past.

"...Another relevant thing to point out is that the unified mesh system which we have implemented in LightWave Layout is an improved version of the modern mesh system which we developed for*ChronoSculpt."

Chuck
02-06-2018, 11:46 AM
So let me get this straight - the whole unified mesh system as highlight here :https://blog.lightwave3d.com/2015/12/unified-mesh-system-part-2/ did not take place?

Yes, the implementation of the new geometry engine in Layout did happen; yes, it is exactly the engine that was discussed on the blog; yes it is responsible for a number of performance and capability improvements in LightWave 2018 and offers loads of opportunity for future enhancements. We confirmed that on the day of the announcement and we've repeated that a number of times, and will clearly have to keep repeating it until some folks are willing to quit writing fiction about the topic.

Note for Ian: I made an attempt at breaking up the posts into paragraphs for readability. I could sort a couple of things that seemed to be your comments and color-coded those in cyan (your dialog with Kelly) or red (directive to the readers) as seemed appropriate, but I was not confident on some others. Could you edit and color code your comments/questions to Kelly in cyan? If the editing window timeframe has expired, if you can just PM me and let me know what to color code, I can do that.

CaptainMarlowe
02-06-2018, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the clarification, Chuck.

Marander
02-06-2018, 12:22 PM
Thanks Chuck, that's good to know!

Snosrap
02-06-2018, 08:46 PM
Yes, the implementation of the new geometry engine in Layout did happen; yes, it is exactly the engine that was discussed on the blog; yes it is responsible for a number of performance and capability improvements in LightWave 2018 and offers loads of opportunity for future enhancements. We confirmed that on the day of the announcement and we've repeated that a number of times, and will clearly have to keep repeating it until some folks are willing to quit writing fiction about the topic.

Good to know. Thanks!

OFF
02-06-2018, 10:34 PM
Yes, the implementation of the new geometry engine in Layout did happen; yes, it is exactly the engine that was discussed on the blog; yes it is responsible for a number of performance and capability improvements in LightWave 2018 and offers loads of opportunity for future enhancements. We confirmed that on the day of the announcement and we've repeated that a number of times, and will clearly have to keep repeating it until some folks are willing to quit writing fiction about the topic.

Note for Ian: I made an attempt at breaking up the posts into paragraphs for readability. I could sort a couple of things that seemed to be your comments and color-coded those in cyan (your dialog with Kelly) or red (directive to the readers) as seemed appropriate, but I was not confident on some others. Could you edit and color code your comments/questions to Kelly in cyan? If the editing window timeframe has expired, if you can just PM me and let me know what to color code, I can do that.

We are users. We literally live in programs every day. We feel them with our nerves, with our tactile feelings. And we feel with our own hands - there is something similar to what we experienced in the Chronosculpt, for example, or not. In my subjective view - there is not that lightness and productivity when working with geometry, which I feel in work in the Chronosculpt environment. And I, like any other, have every right to draw my conclusions from this. Moreover, the development process itself causes a lot of questions, which is not a secret for anyone.

I would like to just simply clear - whether the improvements in this area and what about when?

ianr
02-07-2018, 06:18 AM
Yes, the implementation of the new geometry engine in Layout did happen; yes, it is exactly the engine that was discussed on the blog; yes it is responsible for a number of performance and capability improvements in LightWave 2018 and offers loads of opportunity for future enhancements. We confirmed that on the day of the announcement and we've repeated that a number of times, and will clearly have to keep repeating it until some folks are willing to quit writing fiction about the topic.

Note for Ian: I made an attempt at breaking up the posts into paragraphs for readability. I could sort a couple of things that seemed to be your comments and color-coded those in cyan (your dialog with Kelly) or red (directive to the readers) as seemed appropriate, but I was not confident on some others. Could you edit and color code your comments/questions to Kelly in cyan? If the editing window timeframe has expired, if you can just PM me and let me know what to color code, I can do that.


Thanks Chuck,

For an Good Official clarification, which was needed in the light Kelly's Opening remarks in the 'Wall O' text'.

I only posed one question about Advection (in Red) at the begining.

Everything else is Kelly's word for word ,except where I bracketed a apposite comment as thus (ianr:........ )


After that opening salvo, which I am very glad you have responded to, you have my blessing to open it and


interleave your offical reply under that paragraph.( I think that is only fair I my book.). But afterwards Kelly


makes some very interesting & creative points about the future & a new particle system, Turbulence FD & apps etc.


His solid love for the program is in the 'Braveheart' catelgory and is attested, it's just the way he goes about it sometimes.


A possible heads-up announcement to further updates in LW 2019 when you can by you or Dr.Cross would not go amiss


and would be helpful to ALL users to gain a foothold on the future, if Unity & Houdini can do it, then it is worth keeping the blog?


Like for example : we are working this section next,etc. We may bring out a point bugfix in a next few weeks, etc.


Alway a pleasure to hear from you.

ianr
02-07-2018, 06:25 AM
Lightwiki original see screengrab
139987

Qexit
02-07-2018, 06:40 AM
To save others a little effort and searching, this link takes you directly to the original thread in Lightwiki on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/lightwiki/permalink/1321020144670648/

Chuck
02-07-2018, 09:53 AM
We are users. We literally live in programs every day. We feel them with our nerves, with our tactile feelings. And we feel with our own hands - there is something similar to what we experienced in the Chronosculpt, for example, or not. In my subjective view - there is not that lightness and productivity when working with geometry, which I feel in work in the Chronosculpt environment. And I, like any other, have every right to draw my conclusions from this. Moreover, the development process itself causes a lot of questions, which is not a secret for anyone.

I would like to just simply clear - whether the improvements in this area and what about when?

That the experience of the Hydra geometry engine in Chronosculpt with a limited amount of additional code and tasks dependent on it has a somewhat different feel from the same engine integrated into Layout with the entirety of the application and all of its tasks dependent on it should be no surprise to anyone. The new engine achieves performance improvements and adds new capabilities in the much heavier context, and there are plenty of users who have noted and acknowledged that improvement. There is also a lot we'll be able to build on in the future with the new engine, and we'll talk about those in the context of the releases in which they are achieved.

You have every right to your subjective opinions. They are not facts, however, and they do not outweigh facts.

hrgiger
02-07-2018, 10:54 AM
But we were told that layout now recognizes points, edges, and polygons. Now i already understand that no modeling work was done for layout but even third parites say that those components are not available even through the SDK. So it does seem like what we were told about the geometry engine for 2018 was not entirely accurate.

Chris S. (Fez)
02-07-2018, 12:04 PM
But we were told that layout now recognizes points, edges, and polygons. Now i already understand that no modeling work was done for layout but even third parites say that those components are not available even through the SDK. So it does seem like what we were told about the geometry engine for 2018 was not entirely accurate.

Or just not quite ready, which would explain why they did not explicitly tout advancements in the 2018 marketing material.

Chuck
02-07-2018, 12:23 PM
But we were told that layout now recognizes points, edges, and polygons. Now i already understand that no modeling work was done for layout but even third parites say that those components are not available even through the SDK. So it does seem like what we were told about the geometry engine for 2018 was not entirely accurate.

I took some time to go and re-read the blog articles, and I would agree that it can be a bit tough to work out exactly what was going to show up in the forthcoming release in terms of the geometry engine. Most of the info to parse about that is in Unified Mesh System Part 2 (https://blog.lightwave3d.com/2015/12/unified-mesh-system-part-2/). Here's what seems to me to be what people are concentrating on:

The unified mesh system is exactly what it sounds like; it is a single unified modern mesh system which includes all of the benefits and functionality of the previous two separate systems and more. This is a nice step forward architecturally for LightWave Layout because it gives Layout the ability to create geometry and it provides full awareness of vertices, polygons, and edges. Layout now having the ability to actually create geometry is a very significant change because of the major limitations that it removes for LightWave Layout development.

Here's what I think is not being given sufficient weight in how to consider the above:

While this obviously is a great step forward under the hood and is going to form the foundation of what we do moving forwards, you are going to see the tip of the iceberg even in the next version of LightWave, allowing us to have a true deformation stack that can be reordered, improvements to morph and deformation speed, and much more.

and:

The unified mesh system does make our development job easier and will allow us to implement workflows involving the mesh system much more easily than we were able to do in the past. However, I have always valued a realistic phased approach on projects and that is how we are developing LightWave. This means that you should not expect a fully replicated modeler or all of the power of ChronoSculpt to instantly appear in the next release. Those are clearly not realistic expectations but instead I am hoping to communicate the extreme importance of giving LightWave modern architectural updates and how that opens up so many more possibilities as we move forward.


The first item states things that are achieved in LW3D 2018 directly as a result of the new geometry engine. These things aren't in the product without the new engine, and users can go and put their hands on them and confirm, they are present, so the new engine is present. Fine so far.

The other paragraph was intended to convey that people need to understand this is a phased implementation, not all the potential capability is going to show up in the first release on the new engine. That bit is also good, so far as it goes. I think, however, that Rob may have hoped for more than was subsequently achievable in the first round of engineering. So, in the next bit, saying that not all of Modeler or of Chronosculpt can be done leaves open the thought that some of each might have been present. Leaving open that possibility in a public forward looking statement isn't unreasonable exactly, but caution might recommend scaling expectations back more at that point than is done by the phrasing that was used - leave it at the items mentioned in the "deformation stack" paragraph and leave Modeler and Chronosculpt off the table.

A lot of that article is about potentials, some of it cites specifics that were going to be in the first release on the new engine, and there are places where it is difficult to sort what the intent is with regard to specifics vs potentials. NewTek's apologies for that, and we'll work to be clearer in future communications. That said, it still boils down to the new mesh engine is in, bringing with it the new modifier stack and a bunch of improvements now, and a lot more improvements and capabilities to come in the future, both for users and for developers.

Lewis
02-07-2018, 01:15 PM
A lot of that article is about potentials, some of it cites specifics that were going to be in the first release on the new engine, and there are places where it is difficult to sort what the intent is with regard to specifics vs potentials. NewTek's apologies for that, and we'll work to be clearer in future communications. That said, it still boils down to the new mesh engine is in, bringing with it the new modifier stack and a bunch of improvements now, and a lot more improvements and capabilities to come in the future, both for users and for developers.

Great, thanks for more clarification.
So now to be perfectly clear in communication can you tell us WHEN is this new mesh engine going to be IN modeler so we can move 1 million polys object without 10 seconds wait, or select some points without delay or be able to knife CCs without destroying Weight maps, or UVs or just be able to hit CCs on 100k polys and not wait 20 seconds. Basically work/edit fast on modern computer with good live feedback and moderate 30+ FPS in Modeler? When is finally Modeler TIME going to come? Please ask upper Management if you don't know clear answer Chuck. Thanks in advance.

gar26lw
02-07-2018, 04:13 PM
could we get a simple answer to " layout now recognizes points, edges, and polygons."

does it? - yes/no

if no..

will it? - yes/no

if no

why not?

TheLexx
02-07-2018, 04:25 PM
Bit loaded - simple answers to progressively complex questions (the last one would take paragraphs to answer surely ?).

UnCommonGrafx
02-07-2018, 05:00 PM
Neverending...
And why? Chuckle...cuz it can be done.

samurai_x
02-07-2018, 10:48 PM
Lewis seems to be the only beta tester who is brutally objective. The others just kiss NT's behind. :D



The simplest question already posted
layout now recognizes points, edges, and polygons
does it? - yes/no

Not stupid clothfx way.

jwiede
02-07-2018, 11:18 PM
The simplest question already posted
layout now recognizes points, edges, and polygons
does it? - yes/no

The answer appears to be "yes", but the SDK currently exposes only read-only access to edge data within Layout (access to edges was a main bone of contention, as well as creation&deletion of geo entities). Look into LWMutableMeshAcess and you'll see where the read-write access would be exposed (but isn't, yet anyway). However, look in SDK's lwmeshes.h header, and you'll see the functions to extract read-only edge info -- via LWMeshFuncs: have_edges(), num_edges(), edge_start_vertex(), edge_end_vertex(), foreach_e(), foreach_pe(), and foreach_ve().

I haven't tried writing a test to confirm that objects with edge data (from Modeler) actually respond to have_edges(), num_edges(), etc. properly in Layout, will try to do that tomorrow if I have enough time. However, those functions' exposure suggests read-only access is available.

What's missing are the definitions for LWMeshMutableAccess structure (plus contained functors and related mesh functions), which appear to be the planned means for read-write access to edge, poly, and point data. Note that LWDeformableMeshPntFunc() only exposes API to work with points, thus isn't a general solution to read-write access to geo entities.

See lwmeshes.h, lwmeshmodifier.h, and lwmeshtypes.h for details of the exposed SDK APIs etc. for C/C++.

Hope that helps. Perhaps a third-party dev who's already tested the read-only funds can confirm their functionality? And obviously, if I've made errors in the above, hopefully a dev more familiar with the new mesh functions can provide correction/clarification.

OFF
02-08-2018, 12:46 AM
That the experience of the Hydra geometry engine in Chronosculpt with a limited amount of additional code and tasks dependent on it has a somewhat different feel from the same engine integrated into Layout with the entirety of the application and all of its tasks dependent on it should be no surprise to anyone. The new engine achieves performance improvements and adds new capabilities in the much heavier context, and there are plenty of users who have noted and acknowledged that improvement. There is also a lot we'll be able to build on in the future with the new engine, and we'll talk about those in the context of the releases in which they are achieved.

You have every right to your subjective opinions. They are not facts, however, and they do not outweigh facts.

We all judge subjectively - this is a given. But opinions differ from each other in that some are more, while others are less reflective of an objective picture of a particular case.
The basic scientific principle of the search for truth - practice is the criterion of truth.
In this regard, I rely on my own experience, my own feelings when expressing my opinion on the performance of the geo-engine LW 2018 in comparison with the Chronosculpt (although of course I understand that it's impossible to directly compare a small module with a very complex and "heavy" program).
A week or so earlier, I suggested that the new platform will evolve and those functions that we have not found or found in due form will appear later. Those I expressed the assumption that the development of the program will occur in stages. Which you confirmed in your recent comment. For me this is not a tragedy - just like many people wanted clarity on this matter and at least a small version of the road map.

willin
02-08-2018, 02:18 AM
could we get a simple answer to " layout now recognizes points, edges, and polygons."

does it? - yes/no

if no..

will it? - yes/no

if no

why not?

You'll never get a yes or no answer from Chuck if the answer is the one he doesn't want to divulge. That usually applies to Steve too. I think they both took a class in college which taught them to write a lot while saying nothing.

mav3rick
02-08-2018, 03:26 AM
Lewis seems to be the only beta tester who is brutally objective. The others just kiss NT's behind. :D



The simplest question already posted
layout now recognizes points, edges, and polygons
does it? - yes/no

Not stupid clothfx way.

exactly .... and he is one of most effective beta tester ... that really spent a lott of his OWN time to improve LW.. sadly lots of his efforts are pointless

djwaterman
02-08-2018, 04:23 AM
The geometry engine in layout is as promised. I specifically asked way back when it was first announced about the selection and recognition of points, polygons and edges in layout (based on that piece of Photoshopped promo art on the blog) and Lino answered on the forum saying that it would not be available in the first release. Too many people here listen to whispers and gossip and make off the cuff assumptions, which are then taken on board by others as fact. All the relevant info was given out and you got what was promised. The only thing that I have a gripe with is that the stay current and always get upgrades at the lower price deal has not been guaranteed beyond the March special offer, perhaps they will, perhaps they won't, but they are still going to keep that to themselves. And that kills it for me and Lightwave, I won't upgrade within a deadline, the only reason I bought into 2015 was to get the special price if current deal, and it looks like they may no longer offer that. Yes, that would be a broken promise, but nothing about the product itself has been dishonest.

SBowie
02-08-2018, 05:42 AM
I think they both took a class in college which taught them to write a lot while saying nothing.No, we both frequently explain that answers to some questions will not be forthcoming, or at least not now, and then when a handful of individuals persist anyway, we try to be tactful about it, rather than blowing them off. This requires a certain amount of 'writing' that we'd both rather not have to bother with, but which goes with the territory. :)

vncnt
02-08-2018, 05:52 AM
We all judge subjectively - this is a ......
....
I rely on my own experience, my own feelings when expressing my opinion on the performance of the geo-engine LW 2018 in comparison with the Chronosculpt (although of course I understand that it's impossible to directly compare a small module with a very complex and "heavy" program).
....
I would not be surprised if a next generation Modeler would be available both as a high speed standalone version and as a slower but integrated version.
I tell my clients sometimes: yes I'm aware of this (Unity) script behaviour but if I had a quick solution it would have been implemented already. Keep this in mind with long standing bug and problems.

The statements on the blog were perfectly clear to me. No butt kissing here.
I could even remember them.
Maybe some additional text formatting (paragraph titles) for fast readers?

Btw what is wrong with butt kissing now and then?

Try to keep a good relation with a company you need.
A bad relation will benefit nobody.

Express frustrations but try to keep an open mind and try to prevent to generate even more frustrations.
They consume too much energy and you ruin what's good.

SBowie
02-08-2018, 05:55 AM
exactly .... and he is one of most effective beta tester ... that really spent a lott of his OWN time to improve LW.. sadly lots of his efforts are pointlessBy everything I've seen here, Lewis is indeed a fine fellow, richly talented, and one whose contributions are much appreciated. However, the suggestion made by several here that all the rest are obsequious fanboys is not only insulting to them, it is amazingly presumptuous and couldn't be farther from the truth.

robertoortiz
02-08-2018, 06:58 AM
Guys thanks for great thread. This is one of the most honest, mature and clear communications we had in this forum in recent memory.

gar26lw
02-08-2018, 07:32 AM
By everything I've seen here, Lewis is indeed a fine fellow, richly talented, and one whose contributions are much appreciated. However, the suggestion made by several here that all the rest are obsequious fanboys is not only insulting to them, it is amazingly presumptuous and couldn't be farther from the truth.

shame itís not open beta so none of that sort of thing would occur.


https://youtu.be/s_Yayz5o-l0

Marander
02-08-2018, 07:59 AM
Oh gar26lw, thanks for the video, you just brought back 25 years old memories! Saw Floyd live once, oh man that was an experience!

hrgiger
02-08-2018, 08:38 AM
The geometry engine in layout is as promised. I specifically asked way back when it was first announced about the selection and recognition of points, polygons and edges in layout (based on that piece of Photoshopped promo art on the blog) and Lino answered on the forum saying that it would not be available in the first release. Too many people here listen to whispers and gossip and make off the cuff assumptions, which are then taken on board by others as fact. All the relevant info was given out and you got what was promised. The only thing that I have a gripe with is that the stay current and always get upgrades at the lower price deal has not been guaranteed beyond the March special offer, perhaps they will, perhaps they won't, but they are still going to keep that to themselves. And that kills it for me and Lightwave, I won't upgrade within a deadline, the only reason I bought into 2015 was to get the special price if current deal, and it looks like they may no longer offer that. Yes, that would be a broken promise, but nothing about the product itself has been dishonest.

I wrote to them recently and asked about the march deadline for this promo pricing which is a clear backtrack of their previous position of the price being $295 for current license holders. They said they dont know yet what the pricing will be after March but that it would likelybe similar to the pricing we are used to at 395 or 495 depending on charter status and all that. Are you kidding me, they dont know what the price will be yet? So not only no marketing material or videos for the new features prepared for release but they dont know what the pricing was going to be? Unprepared much?

Marander
02-08-2018, 08:44 AM
I wrote to them recently and asked about the march deadline for this promo pricing which is a clear backtrack of their previous position of the price being $295 for current license holders. They said they dont know yet what the pricing will be after March but that it would likelybe similar to the pricing we are used to at 395 or 495 depending on charter status and all that. Are you kidding me, they dont know what the price will be yet? So not only no marketing material or videos for the new features prepared for release but they dont know what the pricing was going to be? Unprepared much?

I completely agree, but note that Steve offered kindly to write him an email about that after March 31st.

However when the .0.1 fix was released I upgraded, just to have piece in mind (and to be current again LOL).

raymondtrace
02-08-2018, 09:41 AM
I wrote to them recently and asked about the march deadline for this promo pricing which is a clear backtrack of their previous position of the price being $295 for current license holders. They said they dont know yet what the pricing will be after March but that it would likelybe similar to the pricing we are used to at 395 or 495 depending on charter status and all that. Are you kidding me, they dont know what the price will be yet? So not only no marketing material or videos for the new features prepared for release but they dont know what the pricing was going to be? Unprepared much?

The $295 promo price is now being offered to all previous versions. This is better for users than the "previous position" you recall. The $295 price that was discussed before the release was only intended for 2015 users. Criticizing NewTek for extending this $295 price to all users seems unusual.

It is possible that after March, the price will remain at $295 for 2015 licensees, and go up for those that do not maintain modern licenses...which is exactly what was suggested in the "previous position".

You may be focusing too much on a price for a forward-looking statement that did not fully explain an upgrade schedule. It is possible that a software developer could promise you a $295 price but ask you to pay it for each minor upgrade (2018.1, 2018.2...). Be careful what you wish for. :D

SBowie
02-08-2018, 09:56 AM
shame it’s not open beta so none of that sort of thing would occur.Even if there were an open beta, there would always be an 'inner' beta group, so all you do is push the griping back one notch.

hrgiger
02-08-2018, 11:17 AM
The $295 promo price is now being offered to all previous versions. This is better for users than the "previous position" you recall. The $295 price that was discussed before the release was only intended for 2015 users. Criticizing NewTek for extending this $295 price to all users seems unusual.

It is possible that after March, the price will remain at $295 for 2015 licensees, and go up for those that do not maintain modern licenses...which is exactly what was suggested in the "previous position".

You may be focusing too much on a price for a forward-looking statement that did not fully explain an upgrade schedule. It is possible that a software developer could promise you a $295 price but ask you to pay it for each minor upgrade (2018.1, 2018.2...). Be careful what you wish for. :D

My position is pretty much the same as djwaterman above. We were told that the $295 would be the price for not only 2015 owners, but also the price for those that remain current as a incentive to upgrade each time. But now theyve turned it into a promo price with an apparent deadline of the end of March. I havent decided if i will upgrade or not and i doubt i will make that decision by the end of March so if theyre going to raise the price for 2015 owners, that is something we should know about by now to make a decision. The fact that they dont even know and that theyve turned their formerly announced pricing into a promo is what is annoying.

raymondtrace
02-08-2018, 11:30 AM
...But now theyve turned it into a promo price with an apparent deadline of the end of March...

For all anyone knows, the "prior-to-March 31 promo price" is a temporary promotional incentive for older versions. The current deal is better than what was explained before the release. What indication do you have that the price will raise for 2015 users?

I've wasted well over $295 of my time following all the threads in this forum that complained about NewTek's silence in development. An upgrade to 2018 was an easy decision.

hrgiger
02-08-2018, 01:20 PM
For all anyone knows, the "prior-to-March 31 promo price" is a temporary promotional incentive for older versions. The current deal is better than what was explained before the release. What indication do you have that the price will raise for 2015 users?



Because of the email I received from them: "We have not yet made a decision as to what the price will be of a LightWave 2018 upgrade, post March 31st. As you can imagine we have a number of things to consider. As you mention there is Charter/Non-Charter pricing, as well as the promise of an upgrade price of $295 for those who purchased LightWave 2015 during a specific promotional period. While the pricing will change, and probably be more in line with pricing from the past, (in the range of $495 for those upgrading from the latest version), we will do our best to accommodate those who fall into one of the special circumstances you have noted."

Which says the $295 price is only applicable for 2015 owners who purchased during a specific promotional period. I did not purchase 2015 under a promotional period so doesn't sound like my price will stay $295.

jwiede
02-08-2018, 02:13 PM
The answer appears to be "yes", but the SDK currently exposes only read-only access to edge data within Layout (access to edges was a main bone of contention, as well as creation&deletion of geo entities). Look into LWMutableMeshAcess and you'll see where the read-write access would be exposed (but isn't, yet anyway). However, look in SDK's lwmeshes.h header, and you'll see the functions to extract read-only edge info -- via LWMeshFuncs: have_edges(), num_edges(), edge_start_vertex(), edge_end_vertex(), foreach_e(), foreach_pe(), and foreach_ve().

I haven't tried writing a test to confirm that objects with edge data (from Modeler) actually respond to have_edges(), num_edges(), etc. properly in Layout, will try to do that tomorrow if I have enough time. However, those functions' exposure suggests read-only access is available.

I had enough time over lunch to write a quick Layout plugin that returned the number of edges present in a given object (using the new global Mesh Functions), and it worked. The Layout-hosted plugin returned the expected number of edges (four) for the simple quad object I'd loaded into Layout.

Layout now offers (read-only, anyway) access to object meshes' points, polygons, and edges.

P.S. For anyone interested, I've attached the plugin, LW2018.0.1 Mac-only. Just add it, create a button for command "AGB_LMeshInfo", load an object with edges, select the object, and press the button. It's a C plugin, but I open and output the info to the PCore (Python) console window.

140025

TheLexx
02-08-2018, 02:29 PM
@ jwiede, I don't use Mac...but you wrote a LW plugin over lunch ? Wowzers, by any standard ! :)

jwiede
02-08-2018, 02:58 PM
@ jwiede, I don't use Mac...but you wrote a LW plugin over lunch ? Wowzers, by any standard ! :)

Writing such basic plugins requires a lot less coding than you might think -- that plugin consists of three functions (one a callback). Still, thanks!

Having (ugh) almost 30 yrs of experience with C/C++ writing system software helps too. ;D

raymondtrace
02-09-2018, 07:13 AM
...I did not purchase 2015 under a promotional period so doesn't sound like my price will stay $295.
I understand what you're saying. However, there is a promotion going on right now that is better than anything that was previously offered.

A wise soul once defended the pricing of LW: "LightWave is one of, if not the cheapest pro app out there (that isn't limited in some way like Houdini Apprentice or something). Even if you're looking at the new upgrade price of $795 for the next version (if you have skipped an upgrade or more), it is still cheaper then anyone else because how often do you pay that?"

( http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?148219-New-pricing-model&p=1463382&viewfull=1#post1463382 )

Hesitation to upgrade is understandable. There's only so much evaluation anyone can do before they decide to invest in an upgrade. I'm still kicking the tires on 2015 even though I've had a license for years.

hrgiger
02-09-2018, 08:03 AM
I understand what you're saying. However, there is a promotion going on right now that is better than anything that was previously offered.

A wise soul once defended the pricing of LW: "LightWave is one of, if not the cheapest pro app out there (that isn't limited in some way like Houdini Apprentice or something). Even if you're looking at the new upgrade price of $795 for the next version (if you have skipped an upgrade or more), it is still cheaper then anyone else because how often do you pay that?"

( http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?148219-New-pricing-model&p=1463382&viewfull=1#post1463382 )

Hesitation to upgrade is understandable. There's only so much evaluation anyone can do before they decide to invest in an upgrade. I'm still kicking the tires on 2015 even though I've had a license for years.

That was also before I knew what LW Next would deliver. It also was assuming that you were sure you wanted to continue using LW which right now, I don't see a lot in the new LW that offers me much I don't have elsewhere. I have no problem with the current pricing of LW, I just have a problem with them once again, changing everything up with yet another removal of management and rewriting history. Currently I have little need for LW but in 6 months, who knows? So I don't like them taking the offer that was previously on the table, off.

Chuck
02-09-2018, 10:44 AM
I wrote to them recently and asked about the march deadline for this promo pricing which is a clear backtrack of their previous position of the price being $295 for current license holders. They said they dont know yet what the pricing will be after March but that it would likely be similar to the pricing we are used to at 395 or 495 depending on charter status and all that. Are you kidding me, they dont know what the price will be yet? So not only no marketing material or videos for the new features prepared for release but they dont know what the pricing was going to be? Unprepared much?

Steve has made clear, and I certainly confirm, NewTek is keeping to any commitments that apply to any given user under previous purchase terms. If the registration purchase system doesn't seem to have the correct pricing when you go to purchase, you can contact customer support for assistance.

We've also already confirmed that there were internal changes at NewTek that affected this release process in a number of ways. We do apologize for that and will certainly work to ensure such things don't repeat in future efforts. We did not see any major upside to current users in delaying release of what was already the most thoroughly tested and stable ordinal release of LightWave, ever. Marketing and training materials can be developed and published as they are completed.

willin
02-10-2018, 01:46 AM
No, we both frequently explain that answers to some questions will not be forthcoming, or at least not now, and then when a handful of individuals persist anyway, we try to be tactful about it, rather than blowing them off. This requires a certain amount of 'writing' that we'd both rather not have to bother with, but which goes with the territory. :)

Like I said.:D

paulhart
02-10-2018, 01:45 PM
... Layout plugin that returned the number of edges present in a given object (using the new global Mesh Functions), and it worked. The Layout-hosted plugin returned the expected number of edges (four) for the simple quad object I'd loaded into Layout. Layout now offers (read-only, anyway) access to object meshes' points, polygons, and edges.

So, the question I would return to, is, does this allow the possibility of "including" or "excluding" a 'Lineset' to which Line Rendering style could be applied. What's the point of being able to query the system to find edges, if I can't then do something, like render a given line segment in some preferred style?? This assumes that an addition is made to the Edge Rendering Menu for 'selected' Edges, and that a Selection Set of Edges can be saved, without the excess baggage of a Falloff, that currently comes with Weight Maps of a given Edge.

jwiede
02-11-2018, 12:12 AM
So, the question I would return to, is, does this allow the possibility of "including" or "excluding" a 'Lineset' to which Line Rendering style could be applied. What's the point of being able to query the system to find edges, if I can't then do something, like render a given line segment in some preferred style?? This assumes that an addition is made to the Edge Rendering Menu for 'selected' Edges, and that a Selection Set of Edges can be saved, without the excess baggage of a Falloff, that currently comes with Weight Maps of a given Edge.

Immediately? No. It is possible, though. There's some infrastructure needed first, as you note there needs to be a tool to construct edge selection sets visible within Layout, and each shader where applicable would need modification to accept those edge sets, associate render properties with them, and so forth. If it's important to you, then I recommend filing feature requests asking for selection-by-edge-set and associating render edges properties by edge set as well.

Also, some enterprising third-party developer might be willing to provide most of the pieces needed (for cost, likely), along with nodes to access edge sets, and custom shader nodes that understand and can associate properties with those edge sets.

paulhart
02-11-2018, 11:01 AM
jwiede, Hello... and thank you for your response, I thought I was a little crazy asking, what seemed to be an obvious outgrowth of your explorations. I have moved a copy of your response over to my thread on NPR Line Creation [http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?155766-NPR-Line-creation-test!!!-Challenge&p=1536883#post1536883] so that it would be included in further discussion. I will explore how to make a request for feature, later today.