View Full Version : LW interface versus Cinema interface

03-14-2003, 10:01 AM
I was talking to a 3D illustrator last week who said that Lightwave was great, but that the interface was counter-intuitive...that Cinema's interface was much easier to understand.

My experience of a few years ago has been the opposite; Cinema's interface seemed to be the most confusing, bass-ackward, and dumb setup of all software interfaces I've ever seen. It seemed to take many awkward moves to do the simplest of things, like move an object, for example..as I recal, you had to change modes AND tools, or something like that...

Has something changed with Cinema's interface in the intervening time?

Also, to the person enquiring about which package to get: I made this choice last June, and my deciding factor was render quality. while I've seen some interesting things made with Cinema, everything looks PLASTIC! Even those things which are supposed to look like other materials...all has a plasticky look to it. People tout Cinema's speed, but when an image is rendered, NOBODY cares how fast it went, least of all, clients! People care about how good the image looks...one of the points of toiling in 3D is to get that breathtaking image quality.

Cinema may be the fastest gun in the west, but IMO, it completely misses the target.


03-14-2003, 09:11 PM
I used Cinema4D 6, I found the interface very clean, straight forward and customisable, making for a very fast workflow. Having joined the Lightwave crusade I still think Cinema's interface was easier to navigate, more intuitive etc. The only reason I went the Lightway've is that Cinema was still lacking many advanced animation and rendering capabilities/features that I needed.

I agree that the end product is what is ultimately the important thing. Clients couldn't care less about how you get there just as long as you do it within time and that it looks as good if not better than you promised.
Which I believe Lightwave helps achieve, especially in the looks department. :cool:

Although having said that I am in the process of trying to convince a potential client that our only real local competition's SoftimageXSI is really not that much of an advantage. :(

I might be running the risk of inciting hatred toward myself from the rest of the Lightwave community, but I think that Lightwaves interface has a bit of catching up to do itself.

But at the end of the day you have to weigh up those pro's and them con's.

Just my opinon for what it's worth.

03-14-2003, 09:34 PM
" I might be running the risk of inciting hatred toward myself from the rest of the Lightwave community, but I think that Lightwaves interface has a bit of catching up to do itself."

do you have any examples of this? I'd be interested, and not hateful!


03-14-2003, 10:27 PM
Well i am one of those people who find Cinema's Interface confusing too...

I know 3DS Max pretty well and people often argue Cinema's interface is similar to Max and actually esier, but at first i couldn't find it logical in any way.
But every once in a while i play around in the Demo version, just to see how some things work, and it slowly gets better...
Also in C4D 8 they supposedly speeded up the worklow by making many of annoying clicks unnecessary. What shocked me is that every little poop is a tag in the object list and adding something like 20 vertex maps gets REALLY messy, i can't really imagine complex scenes in Cinema, but i've never done it.

But LW's interface could be improved too IMHO.
It's basically very keyboard shortcut intensive if you want to work quickly. Also some more sub-object functions like spline patches you can directly edit etc would be nice...wouldn't force me to do everything with SupPatches.

03-14-2003, 11:28 PM
To start with one of the most obvious IMO is the floating window syndrome. Shuffling windows around is a real pain. How's this solved? Dockable panels and windows - Matt's concept Lightwave VX tab panel would be a good start in solving that i think.

Scene manager thread (http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1503)s

Being able to access all of an objects properties and modifiers from within the scene manager, maybe listed in the same way an objects transform channels are, but actually being able to adjust their parameters.

Again I believe Matt's concept for the Scene Manager is a great attempt at solving this.

The number of available shortcut keys- really need to be able to access all possible key combo's. (Can I have fries with that too?)

I know that bringing up the icon thingy is likely to incite a lynch mob from a large section of the Lightwave community, but even if there was an option for using icons or text, icons take up much less space less clutter and in some cases are easier for some people to "read".

Tool palettes that can be modified on the fly, that would be fantastic.

But this is turning into a Feature Request list and perhaps this thread is the wrong place for that.

Anyway that's some of the things I think are lacking in Lightwave.
They're just my thoughts and probibly not everybodies cup of tea.

Cheers, :)

03-15-2003, 01:49 PM
I think it's totally subjective. While I think Cinema has one of the nicer icon-based interfaces....I personally gravitate more towards the Lightwave/XSI labeled button look. I don't like having to guess what the icons do, or glance down to the message area as I hover over a button. But that's just me.

03-18-2003, 04:26 AM
I've used about five 3D packages, all of which I used for at least ten months. I used Cinema 4D for about a year and three months before I found Lightwave.
Cinema 4D 7XL's interface really wasn't very efficient. Lynx3d is right that things became very cluttered because of the annoying iconic interface and especially all the little tags you had to put on an object you wanted to edit. Damn, I remember getting so frustrated with them sometimes.
People have been debating whether Lightwave should have icon buttons, and to that there is a definite no from me. I hate icon interfaces, they p**s me off to no end simply because while I'm trying to do something fast, I don't want to be holding my pointer over a button for a few seconds to see the tooltip.
The renderers-
Cinema 4D had a rather nasty renderer compared to Lightwave's.
When looking at them in comparison I was kinda stunned by how odd Cinema 4D's looked. I had thought they were fine when I was using that software but Lightwave's renderer is definetely (hands down) a much better renderer.
I don't think there's much VS. when it comes to these two packages.
Anyway, just my 2c.