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View Full Version : A warning for Lightwave newbies



Carm3D
03-13-2004, 05:45 PM
Today I was making some minor changes to a surface while in Layout. Then I went to do "Save all Objects" and the unthinkable happened. Lightwave crashed. I went to check the file size of the object I have been working on for the past few months. 0 kb. Obliterated.

FORTUNATELY, I have the habit of saving my object twice. I save the normal object to my hard drive. Then I save it again to my USB Flash drive with a sequential number in the filename. (Terra21.lwo, Terra22.lwo, Terra23.lwo, etc.) All I lost was 5 minutes of surface tweaking.

It doesn't matter if you don't have a USB Flash drive. I save it to there so it would even survive a hard drive failure. But the important part is you save it twice. Lightwave is quite stable (7.5 is anyway, can't say for 7.5b or 7.5c) and this is an extremely rare occurance, but it CAN HAPPEN and it will burn you.

Also save your scene files with sequential numbers (no need to save those twice, however).

You have been warned.

Titus
03-13-2004, 06:08 PM
Nothing to run in panic, hub also stores a copy of all your models hidden in your hard drive, I just can´t remember the location.

Carm3D
03-13-2004, 06:24 PM
Eh.. I don't run the Hub. It just slows me down.

A Mejias
03-13-2004, 06:32 PM
You have to make sure you set the Hub to auto save.

There are programs available to auto save to another drive. They will even keep track of versions for you. Iomega is one company I can think of off hand.

My setup is basically a manual mirroring:
I have a 15K SCSI drive to with a system/program partition a document partition and a temp/scratch partition. Actually I have two 15K SCSI drives the second one has all the temp, scratch and pagefile partitions. This gives the system even more speed.


I also have some big-*** IDE drives with backup partitions that I mirror my document partition to as I work. They are also used for other less important files and programs like mp3's, games, software and hardware update, and all the other crap I download from the internet. };)

I then save all objects and scenes sequentially at about 1/2 hour or if major changes are made.

I have sequential Ghost images of my system drive. Before I install a new program or hardware. I restore back to the last good image so I know it's a stable setup. I install the new stuff configure it to my liking and then make a new Ghost image.

That way if any new program or hardware driver causes problems or I have any big crashes I don't have to waist time reinstalling a bunch of stuff. I just go back to the previous image that only takes a few minutes to restore. I also keep a detailed list of every change I make to keep track and to reproduce setups that I know work. It also helps track down the offending program or hardware.

Carm3D
03-13-2004, 06:47 PM
Wow

Noclar7
03-13-2004, 06:52 PM
a simple little LW Hub plugin for grabbing the files from modeler can be downloaded here

http://www.halationstudios.com/rj/lscript/

Cheers,

riki
03-13-2004, 07:11 PM
This is an old problem, I remember mentioning it in the old forums. I now do incremental saves for all my files and backup my whole system to an extrenal FW Drive. It's a good practice to get into. I once ha a harddrive die on me an lost months of work.

Hervé
03-14-2004, 01:08 AM
I had that crash problem once.... or twice.... cant recall.... anyway from then on, I save objects just in modeler, I send them in modeler and save from there... never had that crash thing anymore.... at least that's what someone said a long time ago here.... never save from layout directly.... really true if you have a bunch of objects....:cool:

or I do a save object as and I increment the number...

Panikos
03-14-2004, 01:15 AM
This bug is horrible.
I lost $$$$ due to it.
I should claim LW8 upgrade for free :mad:

riki
03-14-2004, 01:28 AM
At the last agency I worked for, they had a simple policy. ie no sympathy for anyone that lost files.

It makes a lot of sense, we've all done it before, but we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Noclar7
03-14-2004, 01:30 AM
Originally posted by riki
At the last agency I worked for, they had a simple policy. ie no sympathy for anyone that lost files.

It makes a lot of sense, we've all done it before, but we have no one to blame but ourselves.

heh... harsh but true..

riki
03-14-2004, 01:47 AM
It's not really harsh. For example, imagine your paying someone professional rates and they've been working all day laying out a page in Illustrator, then suddely their machine freezes up, you hear them scream "%^&*!" and then you discover that they haven't saved once in the past four hours or made backups. They might laugh it of the first few times but you know what's going on in the back of the Art Directors mind. Especially if your working under pressure of tight deadlines.

riki
03-14-2004, 01:49 AM
BTW I just downloaded your plugin, thanks for that.

ingo
03-14-2004, 06:00 AM
The annoying thing in this case is that this happens when you want to save your files, so a backup wont help. All you can do is save every single object. Looks like one of the many bugs related to LW's weird memory management, hope Newtek can fix this.

oDDity
03-14-2004, 09:54 AM
How much does running the hub slow down the system?
I've been saved many times by the autosave function, I have it set for every 5 minutes. In fact I rely on it completely and never bother saving manually at all now except when I'm quitting.

hrgiger
03-14-2004, 10:13 AM
Having the hub open does slow down the interface. When I'm running both Modeler and Layout and updating via the hub, it's next to impossible to work with a high poly ojbect in Modeler. Then I have to start breaking it into smaller piece and reassemble when I'm finished. I sure hope 8 is faster.

jamesl
03-14-2004, 11:27 AM
This maybe more of a ram and/or graphics card issue than a LW issue. try loading the hi-poly model into Maya to see how responsive it is.

j

hrgiger
03-14-2004, 12:02 PM
I don't see how that can be because I have the same amount of RAM and the same video card whether or not I have the hub open. If it's not a LW issue, then why would I load it in Maya, even if I did own it?

jamesl
03-14-2004, 01:22 PM
Modeler manipulates everything in local space only, while modeler-hub-layout has to deal with worldspace, just like most other 3d apps out there (maya, etc). so the speed increase using modeler alone probably isn't a result of not using the hub, but it's a result of the computer not having to deal with the worldspace calculations. That's one of the advantages of having Lightwave broken into two applications. If you were to load your hi-poly model into maya, you'd see it perform similarly to using the hub in Lightwave... probably even slower, given Maya's poor poly handling for large datasets. The hub simply opens a port for data to flow between the apps, and it's hard to believe that would slow down most modern workstations a whole lot.

j

Adrian Lopez
03-14-2004, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by jamesl
Modeler manipulates everything in local space only, while modeler-hub-layout has to deal with worldspace, just like most other 3d apps out there (maya, etc). so the speed increase using modeler alone probably isn't a result of not using the hub, but it's a result of the computer not having to deal with the worldspace calculations. That's one of the advantages of having Lightwave broken into two applications.But modeler is already performing a view transform on each object being modeled, so the added cost of a world transform is pretty insignificant. For a single-layered object the cost is no higher than multiplying a translation and rotation into the modelview matrix. This happens once every time that the object is drawn, before transformation of the object's vertices.

For a single-layered object with a large enough number of vertices, the cost of computing the modelview matrix is pretty insignificant compared to the cost of multiplying the model's vertices by the modelview matrix (which remains constant regardless of the number of transformations performed on them).


The hub simply opens a port for data to flow between the apps, and it's hard to believe that would slow down most modern workstations a whole lot. Actually, it involves reading the data from memory, sending the data over TCP/IP, copying it to a new memory location, and finally reading it back in order to draw it. This is always slower than simply reading it from memory in the first place, which is what would happen in a unified app. In a separate app you're forced to duplicate the data before reading it, which takes additional processing power.

jamesl
03-14-2004, 06:00 PM
All good points. I'm just saying that you can't compare modeler on it's own with the modeler-hub-layout setup, because modeler is a lean point-crunching machine, without the overhead of stacks/histories, etc. that other apps require. Maybe the lag is the port-access style of data throughput, but that's not Newtek's fault. And if the solution is to integrate the apps, I guarantee you're going to see a performance drop in your modeling workflow. Maybe the plusses outweigh the minuses, but I kind of like the choice LW gives me.

j

lwaddict
03-15-2004, 10:47 AM
I save as I go in every graphics/multimedia/audio/NLE, you name it, program I use...

Note: They all crash sooner or later folks. No big if you just remember this.

meshmaster
03-15-2004, 02:15 PM
I came to Lightwave from trueSpace... the one thing that trueSpace taught me is to save a billion copies of you files in sequential numbers so that you are always ready for the inevitable because ts crashes consistantly about every 15-30 minutes... The one thing that I miss about ts that I wish was in Lightwave is something called Archive... that saves all files (scene file, object files, jpg textures, etc) associated with a project in to one folder as a one button backup type feature... I REALLY WISH that Lightwave could do that...

Maxx
03-15-2004, 03:29 PM
meshmaster - check out Content Manager. Plug-in that came shipped with LW since (I think) 7.0. It does exactly what you're requesting, unless I'm reading it incorrectly.

scott_krehbiel
03-15-2004, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by riki
At the last agency I worked for, they had a simple policy. ie no sympathy for anyone that lost files.

It makes a lot of sense, we've all done it before, but we have no one to blame but ourselves.


Uh, not exactly no one to blame but ourselves.

I worked on a project with a buggy machine on Win2K, and
you could save 10 copies of your object. When the machine
went down, all 10 would be lost. The reason is that some
OS's will not actually write to the drive.

They buffer your file in memory and wait until later to write
the file. I found after crashes that all I had were pointers to
where Win2K planned to later save the files, but no files
were there.

The only solution that we could come up with was to save all
files through the network onto remote machines. That way,
if your machine crashed it was no problem, the file was
already gone. But if the target machine crashed.....

Moral of the story - either use a floppy drive, or make sure
the OS you're working on isn't completely ASSININE. :eek:

scott_krehbiel
03-15-2004, 04:41 PM
I should add that I've only run into this issue with Win2K on
that one machine. The programmers tried to help me to
turn off the buffering feature, but it never worked.

On that particular machine, anything saved within about
15 minutes before a crash would be totally corrupted.

May have even been a bad driver for the SCSI card.

Eventually I had to totally reformat the machine and
re-install everything.

My point is that you can't blame an artist for losing
files if he/she has to double as a sys admin in order
to get the SAVE button to work.

Just a personal gripe - please ignore my ranting.
Scott