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Matts
03-09-2003, 11:22 PM
Hey everyone!
The name's Matt, I'm 15 and I'm from Texas, and I'm very interested in 3d animation.

Now for the question:
Is the student version of Lightwave($395 from the Newtek store) the full version of Lightwave, just cheaper for students?

CiaranM
03-09-2003, 11:42 PM
It's the full version, 7.5. Just cheaper.

Matts
03-10-2003, 12:08 AM
Ok, thanks!

Capt'n Hector
03-10-2003, 12:16 AM
before you spend a lot of money ask yourself this; are you planning to do 3D animation for a living, or just a hobby? If for a living, go for it, buy lightwave. If not... it's questionable. It takes a long time to learn, and it's not that fun like bryce is (though it is rewarding.) I was 15 when I bought lightwave for hobby use back when it was 1000 dollars for the edu discount. I'm pretty happy with it, but not as much as I expected. I haven't gotten as good as I should have considering that was over a year ago. this (http://homepage.mac.com/oids/FileSharing2.html) is pretty much where I've gotten over the past year. *shrug* it's a lot of money and a lot of time to invest, think hard before buying.

Matts
03-10-2003, 12:26 AM
I want to make it a career :)

jin choung
03-10-2003, 03:55 AM
hiya matt,

one caveat though - although the student version is indeed the full version of lw without any features missing, it has a special software license so that you're not allowed to use it to make commercial projects.

if that's not a concern for you, then you're good to go.

there's a lot to learn but it goes fast if you're interested in it (and it's not a teacher forcing you to learn it or something). and really, it's not that hard. heck it's not even that technical anymore... it's not like you need to know math or anything (even though they are the underlying basis for what's going on).

once you get the basics of 3d down, you can go back and forth between different apps without too much trouble too.

and if you're interested in 3d gaming too, you can apply your skills right away in creating "mods" and such. and creating your own little movies are pretty fun too.

i work at a small computer game company myself, doing 3d and it's a pretty fun way to make a living. and if gaming's not your thing, they'll always need people to do special fx for movies and visualizations for science stuff.

all in all, a good investment of your time i'd say.

good luck and if you got any questions, ya know where we are.

jin

p.s. learning 3d, you're basically just learning to use a complex TOOL. like a super expensive pencil. get as much education on basic ART as you can in addition - cuz you may know how to use a pencil and still not know how to draw.

illustration and sculpture (just play around with clay) will really be helpful. as well as studying the basics of traditional (disney, warner brothers) 2d animation.

jin choung
03-10-2003, 04:05 AM
hey capt'n,

that's not bad stuff there! definitely no reason to be discouraged.

if anything, i'd say that you could go farther faster if you create an interesting project for yourself - like a very short sci fi story that you could really get excited about.

and it's almost better if you make a story in which you don't know how to pull it off. that's where i find i learn the most - trying to figure it out.

and you get a bunch of little stories together and all of a sudden, you're building a demo reel.

i'm thinking of doing something like this myself - just for fun. maybe get a video camera and shoot something and do some special fx in lw.

i'm thinking really short stories or episodes that will continue from one to another. have you seen the ANIMATRIX anime shorts on the web? there are two out now that are basically cartoon shorts that take place in the world of the matrix.

heck, maybe i should do my short in the world of the matrix too.

i can't wait for reloaded.

anyhoo good luck, have fun and don't beat yourself up....

jin

Matts
03-10-2003, 08:08 AM
What does the license do?
Pardon my n00bishness :P
Is there a watermark or something?

Matts
03-10-2003, 08:09 AM
And yeah, I've seen the Animatrix :)

Matts
03-10-2003, 08:12 AM
lol, I feel like I'm spamming :P
But I've fooled around with the Discovery edition, and Maya's PLE a bit :)
It doesn't seem TOO hard, but a challenge :)

jin choung
03-10-2003, 12:25 PM
the license doesn't do anything at all.

it's just an agreement (errrr, a legally binding one however) that you won't use it for commercial purposes.... it's pretty common for all educational versions to have this clause (except for rhino).

jin

Matts
03-10-2003, 12:36 PM
Ok, thanks!

Heimhenge
03-10-2003, 03:17 PM
Pardon me for cutting into this thread, but it's in the spirit of the question I want to ask (and maybe Matts would want to know too).

Jin, you sound like you're at where I'd like to be, in terms of being able to really USE Lightwave. So let me ask a question that almost begs for sarcasm, but I'd like an answer to anyway ...

How many hours did you put in on serious study/use of LW before you got to the point where you could pretty much do what you wanted to do with it?

I mean, it took me about 10 hours with PhotoPaint, 20 hours with Adobe Premiere, and 30 some with Adobe AfterEffects. I've put about 20 hours into LW now and still feel like a bumbling fool sometimes ... just getting into parenting and multiple motions etc.

Maybe this would be more "scientific" as a poll, but I'd like to know what I've gotten myself into here. I'm determined to learn LW, but getting a bit frustrated at this point.

Any responders welcome please.

SplineGod
03-10-2003, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by Heimhenge
Pardon me for cutting into this thread, but it's in the spirit of the question I want to ask (and maybe Matts would want to know too).

Jin, you sound like you're at where I'd like to be, in terms of being able to really USE Lightwave. So let me ask a question that almost begs for sarcasm, but I'd like an answer to anyway ...

How many hours did you put in on serious study/use of LW before you got to the point where you could pretty much do what you wanted to do with it?

I mean, it took me about 10 hours with PhotoPaint, 20 hours with Adobe Premiere, and 30 some with Adobe AfterEffects. I've put about 20 hours into LW now and still feel like a bumbling fool sometimes ... just getting into parenting and multiple motions etc.

Maybe this would be more "scientific" as a poll, but I'd like to know what I've gotten myself into here. I'm determined to learn LW, but getting a bit frustrated at this point.

Any responders welcome please.
20 hrs is nowhere near enough time to become proficient with 3D software. Its about the right amount of time to "bumble" around with it. You can find lots of free tutorials ,books, videos etc out there that will help shorten the learning curve. I have some online courses like a 3 month Intro to Lightwave course. Its over 30 hrs of lecture as quicktime movies and support via an online forum. You can ask questions at any time and have your work critiqued as you learn.
http://www.splinegod.com/introtolightwave.html

Heimhenge
03-10-2003, 06:20 PM
Yeah Larry, I realize 20 hours is nowhere near enough. That was my point. I looked at your site and it looks like an awesome set of tutorials (with great reviews). Your ability as a teacher comes through very strong. And the current deal on pricing is tempting.

But I don't expect to ever need to do the organic stuff. Mainly non-organics in motion ... science training stuff. Not biology. Not characters. Not gaming environments and creatures. So I think maybe your course is way more than I need for what I want to do at present. What I read about your course seems to focus on character building.

I mean, I'm sure if I was good at organics I'd be friggin' amazing with non-organics, since a lot of the techniques probably carry over. I'm operating with the perhaps naive assumption that it's possible to be self-taught in LW, like I've done with every other app I've learned. Some LW users are self-taught, no? Granted, I'd likely learn faster with your course, but I have the time and I have fun learning on my own.

So I'll probably continue bumbling for another 20 hours and see how far I get. And if I still feel lost on March 30th I may just end up ordering your course anyway before the deadline.

Hey, thanks for your comments.

SplineGod
03-10-2003, 06:35 PM
The Intro Course doesnt deal with organics. It introduces both the modeler and layout interfaces, where the tools are, how to locate them. It shows the coordinate system that Lightwave uses. It starts out with simple but important concepts like how to select and deselect points and polygons. From there is shows you to load references images into the background in modeler and use that as a basis to do mechanical modeling. The course is project based so once you get the parts modeled, you learn how to texture them, do lighting and then animating it and adding particle fx. I keep the whole thing project based. As I said its over 30 hrs of quicktime movies on CD with a minimum of 3 months online support. This course is $395.00 which is a bargain for the amount of time you get and online support.
The other course I have is the Professional Character Series which does deal with organic modeling.
You can learn Lightwave on your own, I did. :)
Its mostly a matter of deciding how much time you want to spend experimenting to learn as opposed to actually getting things done. If you have the time to learn it on your own thats not a bad way to go. This course gives someone good basic skills with Lightave and a good idea where to go from there on other projects. :)

Heimhenge
03-10-2003, 10:08 PM
Larry: thanks for clarifying on the content. When I looked at the student projects they were virtually all on organics. Maybe you should include some student sample projects on non-organics as well. Maybe you did, but I didn't see any.

You are absolutely right about T vs. $. In my case, I have a couple of months free time right now and had decided to dedicate it to learning LW. But, as I said, if I still feel like I'm bumbling on March 30th I may just snag your special offer before it lapses.

Can you point me to some of your students' projects on non-organics? Architectural, mechanical, astronomical, or the like?

Thanks again for the dialog ... you gotta be one busy guy.

Matts
03-10-2003, 10:22 PM
Heh, I can barely afford Lightwave by itself!
The classes look great, but I can't afford em :(

SplineGod
03-10-2003, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by Matts
Heh, I can barely afford Lightwave by itself!
The classes look great, but I can't afford em :(
Ah but how do you know you cant afford them? :)

jin choung
03-10-2003, 10:52 PM
hey guys,

it took me about two months of solid studying to get comfortable with lw but i was indeed self taught.

that was also when i really internalized the fundamentals of 3d. there's a lot of KEY CONCEPTS that you have to digest before things start making sense in a big way.

i highly reccommend George Maestri's "[digital] Character Animation 2 volume 1" for a good solid overview of what you're getting into.

also, dan ablan's tome's are a good, friendly way to get your head around lw concepts.

also, try to identify WHAT you're having trouble with. early on, you can get stuck on 3 elements:

1) LW THE TOOL ITSELF - the menu's, features hiding from you, understanding the views and the graphs, etc.

2) UNDERLYING ART DISCIPLINES - modeling/sculpture/form/design, animation, texture painting

3) UNDERLYING 3D CONCEPTS - this is the kinda technical stuff that sometimes get confusing. there's also stuff that you may not NEED to know, but if you understand it, it'll help a lot. but if you get stuck, all you gotta do is ask.
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again, the best way to get going is to plan a SMALL project for yourself.

in doing that project, you'll get comfortable with the app and learn a lot about the fundamentals. also, it will bring up a lot of questions that you'll need answers to and as soon as you get them answered, you'll have come a long way.

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and for me, i'm a big MANUAL person. i like reading manuals! so during that two months, i'd just go to bed with manual and wake with a bit more info.

but that's me. most people don't go this route.

also, for me, 3d and cg was a hobby before it was a job. i really do like it.... coming from this position makes learning and devoting lots of reading and stuff much faster and easier.

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after the above, after you internalize 3d concepts and get familiar with lw, it will be about 2 weeks to be able to work in any other 3d app.

jin

p.s. i also recommend reading 3d art magazines - CG, digit, 3D MAGAZINE, Keyframe, and CINEFEX.

after college, i've discovered that it takes about 2 months of devoted magazine reading to become aware of the RELEVANT ISSUES of and pick up a new discipline/hobby.

Matts
03-10-2003, 11:28 PM
Because I'm 15, I don't have a job, my parents are already bending over backwards to help me get LW by itself, and because I just know :P

cbreton49
06-02-2004, 04:42 PM
I am trying to re-find the offer for students of Lightwave 7.5 with upgrade to 8 for $395.00 no that I have the money and I can't find it. Can anyone help me?
Also, with that version does the license (dongle key) come with it?
thanks so much
carol

Andyjaggy
06-02-2004, 06:26 PM
I have been using the educational version for about a year now. You can purhcase the educational version directly through NewTek, or my favorite site is www.academicssuperstore.com I have ordered several things from them and have been very pleased. I beleive they are still offering the free upgrade to 8 if you purchase right now. Yes the dongle does come with it, it is just like a normal version of LW except you can't use it commercialy,

cbreton49
06-02-2004, 06:52 PM
Thank you so much, and that is the site where I did see but forgot how to get back there!! Great!!
Thanks again,
Carol

SplineGod
06-02-2004, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by Matts
Because I'm 15, I don't have a job, my parents are already bending over backwards to help me get LW by itself, and because I just know :P

If I was in that boat I would find something cheaper to learn on. Even cheap 3D software these days is pretty powerful.
Silo is an awsome modeling package for $100.00 and can actually do few things LWs modeler doesnt. Theres also Animation Master. Theres free packages like Blender or Wings3D. You can also find older versions of LW for sale on ebay. :)

nerdyguy227
06-02-2004, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by Matts
Because I'm 15, I don't have a job, my parents are already bending over backwards to help me get LW by itself, and because I just know :P


I am in the same pickle, but I am 12. I already have LW 8 though-finaly!


That was weird because the last three posts were at the same time (about)! For some odd reason the link does not work for me.:confused:

GruvSyco
06-02-2004, 08:28 PM
I want to add a little here to the self taught vs. formal education part of the discussion. I'm speaking not from experience in CG but from experience elsewhere but... If you plan to get a job at studio of any decent size, I think you should definitely pursue some formal education.

While Information Technology is different from CG there are some parallels that may be drawn from it. When I started in IT over a decade ago, there was a shortage of people that did what I did. Experience counted for everything. Now the IT market is saturated with people that do what I do and while 3 years ago I probably could have beaten out any guy that had "just" education with my experience, nowadays employers can be very selective and choose from a pool of people that have education AND experience. So, I have found myself being unemployed for over a year now (being in the northern California bay area doesn't help much).

So, how does this relate to CG? Take a look at something like the number of members at a place like CGTalk, I believe it's over 80,000. That is just the number of people that take the time to register there. I'm sure the number of people that just "do" CG is significantly higher. And now there is more exposre to CG than ever before. If you are certain you want to "secure" your future in art or CG you should definitely look into some type of 4 year program with some definite exposure to fundamentals like drawing.

I was reading a thread somewhere a couple of days ago that talked about cartooning (I think it was manga specifically) and character animation. A few of the people that had posted on the thread, worked at studios said that cartoons are all nice but even at studios that do cartoons, when you apply you better have some character/life study sketches in your portfolio.

...Hey, I may be a loon and not have any idea what I'm talking about or be completely wrong but that is my advice based on my experience (oh and I saw it happen to drafting too (but to a lesser extent), which is what I did prior IT).


~Gruv
hopefully starting art school in the fall *crosses fingers*