View Full Version : General Lightwave Questions

01-25-2004, 09:29 AM
I'm having a very frustrating experience with Lightwave, and I don't even own it yet! I am unable to get a demo version of Lightwave 7, either from the site or sales office, which I find baffling. Anyway, my questions at this point are; 1. How reliable is tech support for this products once purchased. 2. Does anyone have any idea when Lightwave 8 is due out, and should I just consider buying 7 and stop waiting for 8? 3. What can Lightwave do that 3D Studio Max cannot. At this point, I'm ready to look elsewhere for the software to produce the project my company is undertaking. Thanks in advance for any assistance.

01-25-2004, 09:56 AM
Hi Jeannie,

0.) The LightWave "Discovery Edition" is available for download here (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/misc/LWDE.zip).

1.) Tech support is generally very good although it's best to phone NewTek rather than email them. The best source of help and support is these forums - ask nicely and if we can help we will ;)

2.a) Current pre-release offers are due to expire soon (according to Chuck Baker, NewTek PR) which would indicate that 8 is imminent (I can't be more specific though 'cause only NewTek knows for sure).

2.b) If you buy 7.5 now you'll get a free (software only) upgrade to 8 and a free copy of Eyeon's DFX+ compositing package (PC only) - if you wait until 8 is released you'll just get LightWave (albeit in a box with a hardcopy manual).

3.) Out-of-the-box LightWave can do more than any 3D package available at this time - with enough plugins (and an unlimited budget) all 3D packages are similarly capable - Lightwave's greatest strength (IMHO) is that it allows you do more with less.

Perhaps if you can discuss your project we can give you more specific advice on the suitability of LightWave for the job...

01-25-2004, 10:35 AM
Thanks Aegis, for responding. The link that you included for the Lightwave Discovery, I have tried to install twice before. I can download and unzip, but there is no actual program in the folders for the Mac, or for Max OSX. When I contacted the Eastern Region Sales office, I was notified that the reason it's not working, is that there is no demo version at this time for download, anywhere. It seems I keep going in circles, so if you can offer up any other reason why the download would not work, I'm all ears.

01-25-2004, 10:48 AM
If I am working on a Mac G4, I will not be able to use the Eyeon's DFX+, so would it be better, in your opinion, for me to just wait until 8 arrives? What exactly is Eyeon's DFX+?
Thanks, Jeanne

01-25-2004, 10:59 AM
Hi Jeannie,

Don't buy software before try it extensively.

LightWave is really stable and strong and hardly you'll find problems if you decide to use it. I tried to contact tech support via e-mail a couple of times (I live in Mexico and a phone call is a little expensive) and never received a response, thanks to a couple of guys in the forums and many hours later I solved the problem. Also don't expect to receive the LW discovery edition CD by mail any time soon.

What can Lightwave do that 3D Studio Max cannot?

I'm not sure because I don't use Max since version 2. But Lightwave is capable of almost anything the other programs in the market can do. LW has a lot of functionality, you don't need to buy a plug-in to have radiosity, bones, scripting language, dynamics, massive rendering, etc.

Of course it has some weaknesses, I found texturing and character rigging being the most critical.

01-25-2004, 11:08 AM
Have you tried contacting a NewTek reseller/dealer? The reason I bring it up is they would be able to demo the product as well as arange for training and tech support after the purchase. You don't list your location, so I can give you the one closest. Click the resellers option at the top of the screen. This is a pretty stressful time for the marketing and sales teams with a major release on the horizon. I use the local Atlanta one Amitrace.com for help with my VideoToaster, and they are very helpful. I have also recieved help from dealers whom I never purchased from simply by posting in one of these forums or calling. Another option might be to e-mail either Chuck Baker or William V. aka Proton directly. The lightwave community is full of great people willing to help.

Hope that helps,

01-25-2004, 01:30 PM
Since you're after the Mac version I'd suggest that you wait until after 8 is released - you'll then get the latest version boxed and with the manual - the DFX+ offer is really only a good deal for PC users.

Speaking of DFX+, it's a compositing app similar (in principal) to After Effects - well worth having if you're a PC user but not much use to a Mac person.

Try downloading the 7.5c update for Mac OS and installing that (you'll need the Sentinel drivers from www.rainbow.com too) - it should run in demo mode allowing you to test out the software.

The LWDE.zip file contains a fully working "Discovery Edition" for the PC but for some reason the Mac version is busted - if you have access to a PC you could install it on that just for testing purposes (Mac and PC LightWave are pretty much identical).

01-25-2004, 02:51 PM
Try downloading the 7.5c update, once installed it should act like a demo version.


For the pc version, you need to install the sentinel drivers first, available here:


But I'm not sure how the mac version works. Try looking on the website above for a mac version if the update doesn't work.

01-26-2004, 05:33 AM
I tried installing the 7.5c update with no luck. It still doesn't work on the Mac. I have also already tried contacting the reseller/dealer in my area that Lightwave has listed on the site. They were very nice and helpful, but end result is that Lightwave does not do demonstrations at this location any longer. I am located on Long Island and the only other reseller/dealer is located hours away.
It was suggested to me to contact Chuck Baker. Does anyone know how I might get in touch with him via email? I have already contact the Eastern Region Sales office, with no luck.
Thanks for the help.

01-27-2004, 09:33 PM
Jeannie, if you have Mac specific questions, you may find you get a better response from the Lightwave Mac forum:


This General area of the forum is mainly inhabited by Windows users.

jin choung
01-28-2004, 02:36 AM
well if you're on a mac, one considerable feat that lw can do over 3dsmax is that it will actually run on your machine. max is pc only.

so really, your options on mac is maya, cinema 4d and lw among the 'serious contenders' for the category of all around 3d app.

dfx+ is a compositing app like after effects and yep, it's pc only too. no biscuit for you!

lw probably has a much shallower and shorter learning curve than maya while being very nearly as capable. while maya is great in its openness, it can leave some drowning in a sea of options where they can't even figure out where to begin - depends on how you attempt learning it though - in particular, the MEL scripting language is much more integral to maya than Lscript is to lw and maya depends on it heavily and sometimes exclusively for certain operations. in that regard, it can be daunting for those with no inclinations towards typing. in any case, the visual quickstart guide series of books for both maya and lw is a good starting point.

another immediate and not insignificant advantage is price. lw is cheaper than maya by a good sum and a deal cheaper than max - max's price at this point is just pure hubris.

and this price difference is amplified when considering the price of upkeep (upgrades). 500 beans for lw isn't chump change but the upgrade costs for either maya or max is incredulous, hair whitening stuff. people have literally shriveled to dust in merely hearing it.

multiply the high cost with a pretty FREQUENT UPGRADE SCHEDULE and the cost of ownership is probably considerably more than even my sweet sweet chick magnet of a ride - hyundai accent. boom.


01-28-2004, 03:19 AM
Maybe they're waiting on 8 to be read before sorting out a new demo. There's no real point faffing with a demo for 7.5 now 8 is nearly here, though the demo should have been sorted ages ago :P