View Full Version : Maya vs. lightwave.

03-10-2004, 03:22 PM

I use maya but I started in 3d with lightwave but that was with version 6 and years ago. Is there anyone out there that can give a real comparison for me about functionality. I hate the policies that alias has put in place not to mention the upgrade pricing is crazy and the node locked deal is a pain.

Does lightwave have a "use background" shader and what about dynamics? Rigid and soft bodies?

I have Maya complete and I like the fact that lightwave comes with fluid and hair unlike maya which only has these in the unlimited version that is not available for the mac. Not to mention the renderer in lightwave is sweet.

So, anyone game to sell me on lightwave?
thanks in advance if you respond.

03-10-2004, 04:03 PM
There's lots of good reasons to go with LightWave but today this is my favourite: http://www.worley.com/fprime.html :)

03-10-2004, 07:11 PM
here is a good unbiased review of the big 5 apps...

03-10-2004, 08:38 PM
The Modeling workflow and the renderer are the big points of Lightwave. Easier and more intuitive to model, higher quality pictures on output (than Maya).

I see Maya's biggest advantage is that the application allows studio engineers to tweak with it. That's why a lot of studios buy it. Also character animation tools have been a strong point in Maya. Lightwave's CA tools will improve with LW8.

Lightwave provides unlimited render node licenses, though the network renderer called Screamernet is not intuitive. Some third party apps can make it easier.

Lightwave's surfaces are layer based. You stack them up in layers on top of each other. Maya's is nodal. Many say that layers are easier, though they can get a bit unwieldily if you have huge numbers of layers.

Lightwavers are lucky in that the amazing Worley Labs write plug-ins only for Lightwave. This is a big bonus!!!

03-10-2004, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by brandonpeterson
Does lightwave have a "use background" shader and what about dynamics? Rigid and soft bodies?

If you mean 'use background' for reflections or radiosity, yes, LW has it.

Hard and Soft bodies are a pain in LW 7.5, but they're all-new in LW 8, coming out in about 2 weeks - and they look awesome.

7.5 looks just like 6, but works 100 times better, especially in OSX, and dozens more great features -

You can download some videos of the new dynamics here:

But you will need a codec to view them, found here:

03-10-2004, 11:53 PM
Text its a pain in both (pc and mac for maya, mac for lw), I prefer modeling in maya, I prefer lw for rendering, cg is easier in maya if you havent used a very powerfull lw plugin which I dont remember its name right now (pc only I think) which makes ik and morph targets so easy (it kills maya and lw on their own). Lw is more straight forward and you can get results faster, but you can tweak more in maya... the only thing I think maya is superior is when texturing an object, I find my self more confortable with nodes than with layers. The feeling of knowing whats happening is better when I use lw, but thats its because I have being using lw for longer I think.

03-11-2004, 12:03 AM
Everyone I've heard from, friends who work in Maya and people on this board say that modeling in Maya is a royal pain! The history that causes problems even after being deleted, lack of tools, individual points and polygons almost innaccessible...

What do you like about it mr. intransition? Are you a nurbs modeler?

03-11-2004, 07:27 PM
Lightwave has an exporter for the Torque Engine.. Maya does not, tho there were rumours sometime ago that someone was working on it..
(nothing has come of it)

tada! (http://www.gnometech.com/lwdtsusing.shtml).. we are using the exporter .. :D

Look here (http://www.gnometech.com/) at garage games to find out about the community and here (http://www.garagegames.com/index.php?sec=mg&mod=home&page=news)if you want to know more about the engine.

03-11-2004, 09:48 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by toby
[B]If you mean 'use background' for reflections or radiosity, yes, LW has it.

A "use background" shader in Maya is a shader that uses the background or "black" of an alpha and I use it all the time to cut holes in things for compositing.

Lets say you have an object that passes in front of and behind an another object several times thoughout an animation. Instead of rotoscoping you can give the object that is being blocked and blocking a "use background" shader so a matte is built into the layer.

It's great for rendering a fog pass and also creating Zdepth info.

I know this sounds like crap but i've been drinking away the stress.

03-11-2004, 10:23 PM
Yes, in LW you can turn any object into a 'matte object' and tell it to affect or not affect alpha and set the color - or you can set any surface to affect the alpha in 3 ways: a constant value, shadow density, or opacity.

03-11-2004, 11:26 PM
My favorite thing about Lightwave is how the tools are out of the way. I remember using Maya on a 23'' cinema display and feeling like I needed more room.

Also, If you are buying an educational version of Maya you are buying it for that computer and that computer alone. If you logic board needs to be repaced (new mac address) you can never legaly use the software you bought. I now only use Lightwave and I am never looking back.