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jamesl
04-16-2004, 01:23 AM
So, if anyone is still wondering why the core LW development team left Newtek, check out the prominent headline for Newtek on their Lightwave product page.

http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/index.php

Lightwave funded Newtek while the Amiga Toaster floundered. Now LW has to take a backseat because Tim Jenison's ego believes that LW is STILL mearly an add-on to the Toaster. As a VT3 owner, I can say, WAKE UP. For the sake of your company, and the dozens of loyal, hard working employees that depend upon sales of products, stop sucking LW revenue for VT development. It cripples development that would benefit loyal Lightwave users, and keeps new users from considering this platform. There are maybe 2 or 3 major things that need to be done to put LW on an even footing with Maya. None of them are addressed in LW8. If you continue to depend upon LW money to fund the VT, I can honestly say that you'll be finished in 24 months.

j

p.s. Good to see that Mirage is still available.

Psyhke
04-16-2004, 01:39 AM
I think that graphic is just pointing out that they will be broadcasting NAB on the internet using the VT3, in the vein of a 'Coca-cola Half Time Report' or something. Seems...rational to me. I wouldn't know if what you are saying is, in general, accurate or not. But I don't see that that one page would convince me of anything, as a way of proving your point.

tokyo drifter
04-16-2004, 02:09 AM
During NAB, Newtek seems to put emphasis on VT and during Siggraph, Newtek shows mostly Lightwave. Makes sense to me. But I understand your concern, the VT3 logo shouldn't be the main focus of the Lightwave page, that doesn't make sense. And about Newtek using Lightwave revenue for VT, I hope that's not the case. Newtek calls Lightwave their "flagship" product, hopefully they don't think of Lightwave still as a plug-in for the VT. Well, it's going to be interesting times, soon we'll see what the old development team has created and we'll see if Newtek is committed enough to Lightwave to keep up with this upcoming competition.

retinajoy
04-16-2004, 02:16 AM
jamesl. VT3 is prominent because NAB stands for "National Association of Broadcasters".

This event is more for showcasing broadcast televison and radio hardware technological advancements which will include editing systems such as the "VT3", Avid, Pinnacle and related software. This is not Sigraph or a 3D software trade show.

hazmat777
04-16-2004, 02:58 AM
I'm so tired of hearing about what who and who and such and such are doing to keep up with Maya that I don't even care any more who is doing what to keep up with anyone. It seems that incredible advances are being made almost every day by everyone involved in CG on every platform.

What can you do with ? amount of budget and kick a**. It will be Lightwave users.

jamesl
04-16-2004, 03:09 AM
Originally posted by retinajoy
jamesl. VT3 is prominent because NAB stands for "National Association of Broadcasters".

Thanks for explaining that in a way that even I could understand. Really. I appreciate it.

Still, this was the primary message in the front 'Lightwave' section of the Newtek website. If I'm a company looking to add a few dozen or hundred seats of an animation package to my studio, and I check out their CORPORATE website, and find them hawking their video hardware, what am I to think?

At best, this is a company that doesn't quite know where it's bread is buttered. At worst, well... I think you get the picture.


j

jamesl
04-16-2004, 03:12 AM
hazmat777

I've got a fever. And the only prescription is...

MORE COWBELL!

Jaffro
04-16-2004, 03:17 AM
I agree it is a bit of an odd splash page for selling LW with.

As far as the internal workings of NT goes. I think NT have a responsibility to both VT and LW and how they use the money between these two products is of NT's choosing. VT is a really amazing product and I doubt anyone in LW community would like to see it suffer just as we dont want LW to either.

hazmat777
04-16-2004, 03:19 AM
Exactly what are the two or three major features that LW8 is missing that will stop thousands of people around the world from using it and make them migrate to a program that costs thousands of dollars more (Maya + renderer) to produce similar results? I'm saving up, so if it's worth it I will wait.

-Thanks!

hazmat777
04-16-2004, 03:25 AM
jamesl

Fellas.. I'm tell'in ya... ya' just wasted two good tracks...and that last one.. was even better than the first!

Sorry...off topic..

retinajoy
04-16-2004, 03:25 AM
Thinking about it more carefully. When someone goes to the Lightwave product page, the large VT3 banner should be the LW8 feature list one, and the small LW8 feature banner on the bottom left should be the VT3 banner. Plus, maybe a "Lightwave 8 soon to be released" message somewhere. Mmmmmmm. :)

jamesl
04-16-2004, 03:34 AM
Originally posted by hazmat777
Exactly what are the two or three major features that LW8 is missing that will stop thousands of people around the world from using it and make them migrate to a program that costs thousands of dollars more (Maya + renderer) to produce similar results? I'm saving up, so if it's worth it I will wait.

-Thanks!

Adaptive subdivision in it's renderer, so that displacements worked properly. An open SDK for third party renderers. Open up the hub SDK (which has never been published) so that third party software can push or pull data from either Modeler or Layout (which would be revolutionary). Conform to industry standard UV schemes for subdivisions (in the absence of true nurbs patch surfacing techniques). Allow for unlimited attribute additions to any object, with full enveloping (we can't even get full enveloping with ALL the attributes that are hard coded in). There's so much more...

j

jamesl
04-16-2004, 03:50 AM
Just an aside... if Newtek opened up the Hub for third party development (or concentrated hard enough on it's own), I think you could connect Lightwave and Maya in realtime... edit objects in LW, see them update in Maya. Maya allows for data transmission through ports just like LW does. It just takes an interpreter that sits in the middle and translates back and forth forth for this to work (and a means of talking to the hub). Imagine... animate in Maya, render in LW.

We push and pull data to and from Maya all day long at Sony. Surely this is possible.

j

hazmat777
04-16-2004, 03:52 AM
You have made your point well. Thank you.

I have very limited choices when it comes to practice time and even more limited choices when it comes to budget/render time. I own Motionbuilder 5.1, Vue d'Esprit 4.0, and Poser 5. I'm planning on Lightwave 8.0 to combine all of them, hopefully with dfx+ if they continue the offer.

You'll be wearing gold plated daipers-
-Bruce Dickinson

hazmat777
04-16-2004, 03:59 AM
jamesl

Do you edit sound for performance within Maya or leave that to others? That would be a hard one to let go.

-Tom

jamesl
04-16-2004, 04:06 AM
Wow. Well there's a question that I won't even pretend to understand. But I'll say this... I enjoy taking sound from odd places and animating to it. Like the cowbell...

j

:D

Ade
04-16-2004, 04:24 AM
Jamesl is right, James may I also add the need for LW8 should have incorportated SSS as well (subsurface scattering)..

To get back to topic, advterising is also needed in the movie industry..Maya does a good job of this yet they have more debt which is why they were sold off cause SGI is in trouble.


In my books VT will never be bigger than it is caus eit doesnt have the mac creative community involved.

theo
04-16-2004, 06:07 AM
Hey James I think you're being a little overly-sensitive here. It makes complete sense to me that the marketing is a bit more hyped as the VT3 product is front and center right now at a major tradeshow. If I had the marketing reins that is exactly where I would have it.

I am getting a bit tired with the Maya/Lightwave comparisons. If guys can afford it they need to buy Maya- if not, stick with Lightwave. It does come down to money at least half the time and I am not ashamed to admit that the pricing issue is one of the main reasons why Lightwave is the centerpiece here at my shop. OK- so I give up a couple of Maya conveniences. That's life and I just make Lightwave work that much harder. I don't have access to deep corporate pockets.

I daresay that if Lightwave's pricing structure was increased to a level close to Maya's then there is a good possibility that Lightwave could easily compete with or excel over the feature set of Maya.

It seems that constant battle cry from a lot of Lightwave users is that they want more expanded features at very little extra cost. While this is achievable to a limited extent the real world doesn't operate like this. Research and development is expensive and something has to give if you are offering a powerful product at a very reasonable price given its position in the market place.

kcole
04-16-2004, 06:15 AM
SSS? G2!

Yog
04-16-2004, 06:21 AM
It was last year that Newtek anounced that VT sales had exceeded LW sales for the first time in years. The figures might be slightly skewed as I seem to rember that NT had an offer running for the VT at the time, but it does show that the VT isn't the poor cousin it once was.

That said, as an outside observer I can't help but feel that Newteks heart has really been with the VT, and LW has been allowed to rest on it's laurels.

Librarian
04-16-2004, 07:03 AM
Maybe it`s because LW users want more for less or nothing.
Highend features for less money, nonmajor updates for free.
It`s obvious. All amazing LW bundles corrupt us.
NT. I beg you, please stop these and make LW your No1 selling product again ;)

Noclar7
04-16-2004, 07:31 AM
I'm going to step in here for a second and throw in my 2 cents.

I think we all know that the design of Newteks site isn't really that hot compared to the "top 5" 3d animation packages sites. So I dont think we should get too worked up about what banners are going where and just be happy that LW8 is around the corner.


:p

sketchyjay
04-16-2004, 08:59 AM
LW has had sss since 7.5c.

Chuck
04-16-2004, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by jamesl
So, if anyone is still wondering why the core LW development team left Newtek, check out the prominent headline for Newtek on their Lightwave product page.

http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/index.php

Lightwave funded Newtek while the Amiga Toaster floundered. Now LW has to take a backseat because Tim Jenison's ego believes that LW is STILL mearly an add-on to the Toaster. As a VT3 owner, I can say, WAKE UP. For the sake of your company, and the dozens of loyal, hard working employees that depend upon sales of products, stop sucking LW revenue for VT development. It cripples development that would benefit loyal Lightwave users, and keeps new users from considering this platform. There are maybe 2 or 3 major things that need to be done to put LW on an even footing with Maya. None of them are addressed in LW8. If you continue to depend upon LW money to fund the VT, I can honestly say that you'll be finished in 24 months.

j

p.s. Good to see that Mirage is still available.

James, please rest assured that what you are saying is truly not the case. I've worked here more than ten years, my first love is LightWave, and I can tell you for a fact that this interpretation of things is just not true. In fact, to my observation the original Video Toaster and savvy marketing with a full understanding of the potential of LightWave 3D are what put LightWave 3D into position to become the industry standard. Without the effort that NewTek applied and has continued to apply throughout the years, we would never have reached the point where for several years in a row LightWave productions have dominated the Emmys and LightWave itself has now won an Emmy.

For the last several years I have worked in marketing, and I know precisely how the effort and the expenditures break down, and the fact is that LightWave most certainly gets its proper proportion in both development and in marketing. It has never been denied that proper proportional effort. That was never the case. While it could be regarded that there were a couple of years in the development of NewTek's current video product line that our video product development was not self-supporting, it is completely unfair for anyone to resent that since it is also the case that the original Video Toaster launched LightWave's career in Hollywood and the VT and the Flyer financed the development and the aggressive marketing campaign needed to launch standalone LightWave and carry it to the success it has achieved. And after that brief window, the video product line returned to self-supporting and profitable status for the company years ago. That point of view also ignores the fact that company revenue is company revenue and is always and necessarily to be used for the wide variety of company purposes, not simply earmarked back to whatever product generated a given proportion, and certainly not just earmarked back to the development staff alone as though management, marketing, operations, production, customer services and technical support are irrelevancies.

I know where the other interpretation comes from, and frankly the promotion of that interpretation is the root cause of the current pass, not NewTek's neglect or misuse of LightWave nor the character flaws ascribed to Tim Jenison, because those things are fiction.

As for the week-long change on the product pages - I did that. The LightWave product page and the VT[3] product page both feature a logo prominently in the middle of the page - a logo, and no text, nada. Yesterday in discussing with the web staff where we should locate promo buttons for NAB, at which we are showcasing the final shipping version of LightWave [8], as well as VT[3], I decided the logos could take a break for a week or so in favor of the promo button. If you feel that decision is in error, please do email me and we'll discuss it, and I can certainly consider some alternative.

Ade
04-16-2004, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by sketchyjay
LW has had sss since 7.5c.

Since when did lw have SSS in 7.5c?
How is its feature accessed?

And dont say G2...

Chuck
04-16-2004, 11:42 AM
We were working on several additional graphics based on the first concept, and we've completed those now, and placed them.

We wanted an animated graphic for the front page:

http://www.newtek.com

A static for the LightWave Product Page:

http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/index.php

A static for the VT[3] product page:

http://www.newtek.com/products/vt/index.php

ghopper
04-16-2004, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by Chuck
We were working on several additional graphics based on the first concept, and we've completed those now, and placed them.


That should make everyone happy now ;) Thanks for listening.

grundgedanke
04-16-2004, 01:07 PM
well spoken chuck...and i don´t think you have to react on every comment here. you can´t do it right for everyone....and a lot of statements in the last weeks was, in my opinion, made from people who have not much or even no idea how a (software)company works.

and you are DEFINITLY right if you say that the money thats comes in is newtek money and will be used for newtek products. no lw money for lw and vt moeny for vt. if a company would act like that they probably wouldn´t exist for a long time as newtek did.

continue with you great work newtek!!!!!!

kcole
04-16-2004, 01:08 PM
And dont say G2...
Too late I already did! And, why not?

anieves
04-16-2004, 02:23 PM
If you put it that way LW has had sss before 7.5c if you consider OGO Hikari.

I think he means "implemented" out-of-the-box sss which would be realy cool.

Chuck, if you try to please every single nitpick you'll go mad!
cann't please everyone.

hrgiger
04-16-2004, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by jamesl
hazmat777

I've got a fever. And the only prescription is...

MORE COWBELL!

One of the best Christopher Walken SNL skits ever.


I agree in a way. I think they should be seriously promotoing Lightwave since it is due to start shipping next week.

MediaSig
04-16-2004, 07:19 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by hrgiger
[B]One of the best Christopher Walken SNL skits ever.


TAT! - TAT! - TAT! - TAT!
TAT! - TAT! - TAT! - TAT!
TAT! - TAT! - TAT! - TAT!

He he...I couldn't resist. I love that skit too. Walken is a riot as well as Will Ferrell!!

Greg

StevenDS
04-16-2004, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by jamesl
hazmat777

I've got a fever. And the only prescription is...

MORE COWBELL!

http://www.geekspeakweekly.com/cowbell/

sorry couldn't resist

Ade
04-17-2004, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by anieves
If you put it that way LW has had sss before 7.5c if you consider OGO Hikari.

I think he means "implemented" out-of-the-box sss which would be realy cool.

Chuck, if you try to please every single nitpick you'll go mad!
cann't please everyone.

Anyone know the progress of a mac port for OGO?
I have money and want to buy it for mac..
SSS is very important to me.

Hervé
04-17-2004, 01:53 AM
....Ade, I am so sorry (really!), but I don't think it will ever be ported n the mac... unless... not really sure... it's been there for so long... soooo loooonnng.... I am still waiting for the docs in English... there is a page on his site saying he's working on it.... it's been 4 years....;) :rolleyes: :cool:

Ade
04-17-2004, 03:14 AM
Is he part of D storm?
Does he have an email ill pester him with.

DaveW
04-17-2004, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by anieves
If you put it that way LW has had sss before 7.5c if you consider OGO Hikari.

I think he means "implemented" out-of-the-box sss which would be realy cool.


I think he was talking about the surface thickness gradient that came with 7.5c. You can simulate sss with it, but there are limitations.

harlan
04-17-2004, 11:50 AM
"limitations" = understatement! ;)

archiea
04-17-2004, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by Chuck
We were working on several additional graphics based on the first concept, and we've completed those now, and placed them.

We wanted an animated graphic for the front page:

http://www.newtek.com


\

Chuck, you can clearly see that the VT logo is displayed aprox .000000000003 nanoseconds longer than the LW logo. Clearly telling me subliminally that there is a prefence for VT!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes:

Beamtracer
04-17-2004, 06:49 PM
Why do people think that Lightwave would be less relevant at NAB than the Video Toaster?

From my experience, I would have thought that more major broadcasters (ie internationally renowned networks, not backwater local stations) are using Lightwave than Toaster.

I see Lightwave being entirely relevant at NAB, even more so than Toaster.

anieves
04-17-2004, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by DaveW
I think he was talking about the surface thickness gradient that came with 7.5c. You can simulate sss with it, but there are limitations.

I have done countless tests with the surface thickness and I wouldn't even call the surface thickness parameter a close fake sss, it just can not achieve a close sss effect. I can post my best test... maybe we can compare results.

Noclar7
04-17-2004, 08:52 PM
Originally posted by archiea
\

Chuck, you can clearly see that the VT logo is displayed aprox .000000000003 nanoseconds longer than the LW logo. Clearly telling me subliminally that there is a prefence for VT!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes:

haha... exactly :D

jamesl
04-17-2004, 09:17 PM
[i]
I see Lightwave being entirely relevant at NAB, even more so than Toaster. [/B]

You see, and I see, but I don't think Newtek sees. I'll be there, and I'll bet my Aunt Nancy that LW is sold as the ugly second cousin to VT3. And Chuck, I'm still not convinced that Lightwave isn't financing VT development. I had the same complaint with Calibar... what happened to that?

j

p.s. Everyone who thinks that it's OK for Newtek to pull from Lightwave revenue to fund VT development, please, PLEASE, never ask for another feature to be implimented in LW that you need. Because, it takes $$$ to do that. And those dollars are being used to make VT the next Final Cut Pro...

Hervé
04-18-2004, 01:15 AM
In latest computer arts (UK Mag), ....

"...... LW8 upgrade is a major step for LW itself, but no big deal for the rest of the industry...... you'll have to wait LW9 for real improvments...."

:D :cool: :D :D

DaveW
04-18-2004, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by anieves
I have done countless tests with the surface thickness and I wouldn't even call the surface thickness parameter a close fake sss, it just can not achieve a close sss effect. I can post my best test... maybe we can compare results.

I've gotten reasonably good candle wax where I used to work, but surface thickness always crashes my current machine. I've managed to sort of get a decent skin look too, it quite subtle though. It's no good for production work though because the nostrils screw up the effect. Like I said, it has limitations. It's certainly no replacement for real sss, but that's what I figured sketchyjay was referring to since he specified the c patch for LW 7.5.

This thread has some interesting stuff: http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4864

Splinegod and Policarpo recently revived the thread with some cool renders.

videoguy
04-18-2004, 11:40 AM
myself, and other vt users have satback and watched all you lightwave guys ***** about them missing a release date. Get over it! Vt development has suffered because of it and you ligthwave guys get all this free extra software. so deal with it. and who cares what money goes where. its not like newtek is a pubilcy traded company its their own damn business where their money goes

Ade
04-18-2004, 11:46 AM
Thats why VT is in the state its in.

Beamtracer
04-18-2004, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by jamesl
And those dollars are being used to make VT the next Final Cut Pro... I think Toaster has a different market to Final Cut Pro. I don't think Newtek would even try to unseat FCP from the top of the editing food chain.

Original1
04-18-2004, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by Chuck

As for the week-long change on the product pages - I did that. The LightWave product page and the VT[3] product page both feature a logo prominently in the middle of the page - a logo, and no text, nada. Yesterday in discussing with the web staff where we should locate promo buttons for NAB, at which we are showcasing the final shipping version of LightWave [8], as well as VT[3], I decided the logos could take a break for a week or so in favor of the promo button. If you feel that decision is in error, please do email me and we'll discuss it, and I can certainly consider some alternative. [/B]

Chuck, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it within a couple of weeks all will be revealed and mst of us will be too busy playing with our new toys:D

Exception
04-19-2004, 05:48 AM
Ok, I have something to say after following this thread.

I do believe its Newtek's own responsibility to do whatever they want with money they receive. As chuck says, the bigger picture and the history of Newtek has shown that channeling money to where it is needed is at times necessary to help the company progress through the years. Newtek is still here, maybe not in the same markup we once knew, but its still here and we're getting a new version. As a small sidenote look at 3D Studio changing hands between Autodesk, Discreet, Kineti blah, what a mess.
Anyway, what I do wish to add to this is that people, like me, who have paid good money for their software product, whether you considder it a cheap product or not, its still a lot of money in my book, do deserve some attention. For instance I and many others have had the faith in Lightwave to preorder Lightwave 8. It is quite disconcerning that the information flow to people who paid hundreds of dollars to Newtek is practically nonexistant. This is a bad thing. Also the way Newtek has dealt with the bugs in [7] is quite bad. How many of us have Layout crashing on us day after day after day. If you dont take out the bugs, or it is too hard because of 3rd party plugins being partially to blame, then make some sort of net, exception handling or protection from crashing plugins. Autocad has it, damn even ACDSee can shut down its own plugins.

I have received my LW 7.5 upgrade and DFX+ a few weeks ago. Although I think this offer is amazing, and I would have bought it without the offering of DFX+, it does feel a bit harsh when you get a big box at home, and you take out one huge black shiny box of DFX+, with manuals, cd's and tutorials, and you wonder where the LW box is. There isnt. I got Lightwave on two CD-R's in a transparent standard cd case. There was this cheap flyer folded over it. Now that was a bit painfull. It truly does reflect Newteks disregard of after sales quality... no, after sales -something-! There is really no after-sales anything-at-all with Newtek. You buy what it is, and thats what it is. Bugs wont get fixed, you get software only, and not a damn thing more, not manuals, not a box, not anything at all. Shamefull. And that for all the hassle you have to go through to get Lightwave here in europe at all, let alone an upgrade. We even have to pay more than people in the US, which I find totally rediculous considdering the nature of the product.

I wouldnt mind paying 100 or 200 dollars more for lightwave, really, and I think many people will agree with me, if it only would have the features everyone's been asking about. It really comes down to those few features and stability that makes us users dissatisfied. Maybe its time for Lightwave to follow the same path as Eyeon has taken for their products, the modules, to make people pay for whatever they are interested in most. There is this general disconcern amoung most users, I find, about the incredible slowness as we percieve it, of some parts of Newtek. I truly don't understand. Why is the Newtek website so bad, and why hasn't it been subsequently improved? Making a website is a piece of cake. Newtek must have, and Chuck addresses it too, a few people called the 'web staff'. Why dont they do anything? Excuse me for saying that, maybe they are really hard working and competent people, but nothing changes, the website is as horrible as it was a few years ago. Why not make use of those wondrous tools you create yourself, LW + shockwave 3d, for example (just a thought, not that Id think that'd be necessarily good). The newtek website is small, and I just dont understand why it is so bad, still. It reflects the attitude of Newtek in many ways. Just like the lwtools3.dll and gcore.dll problems. Never really solved. I get the crashes every day, numerous times. WHY has this never been properly addressed? Why wont we get an answer about this? Isnt there a programmer who can explain it to us, and help us maybe circumvent the problem? Why?!! Please answer.
It just really doesnt feel like that when this community comes up with a possible solution for a problem someone at Newtek really reads it, swivels around his chair, walks to a programmer, checks whether it might be a viable option, writes it down for the next code-meeting, and states in response that it is being looked at as a possible solution. This sounds crazy for us long-lightwave users, but there are actually a lot of companies who do really take their user base comments seriously, and do realise that there are a hell of a lot more users than there are employees in Newtek. There is strength in numbers.

What I believe is currently the best feature of lightwave is Fprime, and its not even made by Newtek, although I'm sure Newtek assisted Worley in its development. I am sure they are working together now to exploit the power of Fprime and I'm also sure we can see it integrated in Lightwave pretty soon, probably solving the render-plugin-access problem for a lot of other 3rd party developers as well, maybe at once opening the door for stand alone renderers. I dont really understand why Newtek has never allowed 3rd party render engines to work with lightwave. It must have been a concious decision, but I really dont understand why.

In any case, although I bought LW[8], just as a support thing I guess, there's absolutely nothing in it that I even have the slightest use for, and with me probably my entire market area (architectural visualisers), which seems to me is quite substantial. But I have hopes for LW 8.5 to address some of these points. They have been made clear enough to Newtek, havn't they? I have never been the one thinking that everything should come cheap or for free, and that everything should be done at this instant. But there are some limits, and we're getting awfully close to them, and one of the symptoms of approaching one of these limits with the audience of a product is messages like this one.

Good luck at NAB, I'll be wondering how thin the package I'll receive for [8] is going to be.

private
04-19-2004, 07:09 AM
In the past, bugs stayed in releases, and some were fixed in .5 upgrades, some weren't. Here's hoping with the new team, those .1, .2, .3 bug fixes/updates come free and are useful.

I don't think the website is that bad, but the fact that someone can't find the demo version, a real demo version with a logo that says, "DEMO VERSION HERE" where people can see it rather than asking on the forum and people saying, "Download the 7.5c update and it runs in discovery mode if you've installed the sentenial drivers...................etc. That is plain ridiculous. This is coming from a PC user of Lightwave. The Mac users have another whole subset of complaints to add.

I too am hoping for a great release. I'm glad more testing went in and the proof should show itself soon. I just hope there was far more testing and retesting than went into the 7.5b update.

jr_sunshine
04-19-2004, 07:33 AM
I am not a VT user or have any vested interest in VT at all. I am a LW user and would be more inclined to defend LW. But.... I have to agree with Videoguy on this one. NewTek is not a public company and answers to only NewTek. They can do whatever they want to their own demise.

James brings up good points but they are all points we already know. I think James is being a bit hypocritical since he recently brow beat many of us for complaining about LW [8] not being here and about NewTek not being forthcoming, etc.

James... please dont get upset... Just keeping score.

:D

Hervé
04-19-2004, 10:19 AM
aï sink ssomethaimez, James ez bretty rudhe...

No Jaimes..?:D ;)

Chuck
04-19-2004, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by jamesl
You see, and I see, but I don't think Newtek sees. I'll be there, and I'll bet my Aunt Nancy that LW is sold as the ugly second cousin to VT3. And Chuck, I'm still not convinced that Lightwave isn't financing VT development. I had the same complaint with Calibar... what happened to that?

j

p.s. Everyone who thinks that it's OK for Newtek to pull from Lightwave revenue to fund VT development, please, PLEASE, never ask for another feature to be implimented in LW that you need. Because, it takes $$$ to do that. And those dollars are being used to make VT the next Final Cut Pro...

I'll tell you again that what you are saying is fiction, and most especially the characterization of Tim Jenison is fiction.

As for the revenue assertion, besides being fiction, it's also not good business sense - if the revenue generated by one product should never be applied to development of any other products, and this is some natural and moral law or some flawless logic of business, then by rights NewTek ought never have developed anything other than the Digi-View, and no company should ever develop more than one product. What does make sense is to keep R & D active on new products and new generations of flagship products, and NewTek very sensibly does that.

jcool
04-19-2004, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by retinajoy
jamesl. VT3 is prominent because NAB stands for "National Association of Broadcasters".

This event is more for showcasing broadcast televison and radio hardware technological advancements which will include editing systems such as the "VT3", Avid, Pinnacle and related software. This is not Sigraph or a 3D software trade show.

Wrong. I love it when people are both condescending AND wrong.

3D animation may not be the main focus of the show, but it is still a major trade show for 3D animation, almost as important as Siggraph.

The last time I was at NAB, Alias and Softimage had large presences, and this year, they have both announced new versions of 3D software at NAB.

http://www.softimage.com/home/press/pressreleases/040419_xsi_version4.htm

http://www.alias.com/eng/press/press_releases/20040418_alias_announces_maya_6.shtml


People say this every year when Newtek doesn't produce. (Of course, sometimes they do.) This year, I guess they'll get around to it sometime... ;)

cgolchert
04-19-2004, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by Hervé
....Ade, I am so sorry (really!), but I don't think it will ever be ported n the mac... unless... not really sure... it's been there for so long... soooo loooonnng.... I am still waiting for the docs in English... there is a page on his site saying he's working on it.... it's been 4 years....;) :rolleyes: :cool:


The company the author works for doesn't want him developing software outside of work. Everything is on hold.

cgolchert
04-19-2004, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by DaveW
This thread has some interesting stuff: http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4864

Splinegod and Policarpo recently revived the thread with some cool renders.

The images in that thread aren't SSS. That is attenuation.

cgolchert
04-19-2004, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by Exception We even have to pay more than people in the US, which I find totally rediculous considdering the nature of the product.

Because after all Europe was the first place in the universe to actually be 3d while even Epsilon Nine is still flat and 2D and still somewhat drawn poorly and goes outside the lines.

:)

retinajoy
04-19-2004, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by jcool
Wrong. I love it when people are both condescending AND wrong.


:eek:

Was I condescending - okay I am guilty. I guess I was reacting to the tone of jamesl words on Tim Jenison.

Thank you for bringing my faults to my attention. I will try and be more balanced in my posts in future starting from now.

:D

Chuck
04-19-2004, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by Exception
It is quite disconcerning that the information flow to people who paid hundreds of dollars to Newtek is practically nonexistant.

To my perception, communication has seemed regular and plentiful. We have provided more advance information about LightWave [8] than any release in LightWave's history. That includes creating over 60 videos showing the new features in action. We've provided information in the form of web pages, forum posts, images, videos, email blasts to all registered users, email blasts to the customers waiting for their pre-order of LW[8], and more.

The only thing we weren't willing to say was to pin down a specific date after we passed Q4 2003. Is that the heart of the matter - because management and development would not name a date, communication felt "practically nonexistant", despite the volume and detail of communication that we felt was taking place?



Also the way Newtek has dealt with the bugs in [7] is quite bad. How many of us have Layout crashing on us day after day after day. If you dont take out the bugs, or it is too hard because of 3rd party plugins being partially to blame, then make some sort of net, exception handling or protection from crashing plugins. Autocad has it, damn even ACDSee can shut down its own plugins.

The new team is committed to stability, and many of our beta testers have characterized LightWave [8] as the most stable ever. The team plans to make that statement apply to each new version we release from now on.





I have received my LW 7.5 upgrade and DFX+ a few weeks ago. Although I think this offer is amazing, and I would have bought it without the offering of DFX+, it does feel a bit harsh when you get a big box at home, and you take out one huge black shiny box of DFX+, with manuals, cd's and tutorials, and you wonder where the LW box is. There isnt. I got Lightwave on two CD-R's in a transparent standard cd case. There was this cheap flyer folded over it. Now that was a bit painfull. It truly does reflect Newteks disregard of after sales quality... no, after sales -something-! There is really no after-sales anything-at-all with Newtek. You buy what it is, and thats what it is. Bugs wont get fixed, you get software only, and not a damn thing more, not manuals, not a box, not anything at all. Shamefull. And that for all the hassle you have to go through to get Lightwave here in europe at all, let alone an upgrade. We even have to pay more than people in the US, which I find totally rediculous considdering the nature of the product.

The packaging decisions made with the DFX+ offer were an experiment, and our conclusion was that the appropriate packaging for a value-add offer for our LightWave customers is a LightWave package. That's why with the REALVIZ offer we ship a LightWave package with manuals with the REALVIZ software and documentation on CDs inlcuded in the package. That will be how we do these things from now on.

Whille there are certainly some issues in the software that have been around longer than we'd have preferred, it is a fact that every generation of LightWave gets a number of free updates and these updates have included a lot of fixes. To say that bugs never get fixed is to overlook a substantial amount of effort from NewTek's team over the years.


I wouldnt mind paying 100 or 200 dollars more for lightwave, really, and I think many people will agree with me, if it only would have the features everyone's been asking about. It really comes down to those few features and stability that makes us users dissatisfied.

I think you'll find LW[8] a step in the right direction.



There is this general disconcern amoung most users, I find, about the incredible slowness as we percieve it, of some parts of Newtek. I truly don't understand. Why is the Newtek website so bad, and why hasn't it been subsequently improved? Making a website is a piece of cake. Newtek must have, and Chuck addresses it too, a few people called the 'web staff'. Why dont they do anything? Excuse me for saying that, maybe they are really hard working and competent people, but nothing changes, the website is as horrible as it was a few years ago. Why not make use of those wondrous tools you create yourself, LW + shockwave 3d, for example (just a thought, not that Id think that'd be necessarily good). The newtek website is small, and I just dont understand why it is so bad, still. It reflects the attitude of Newtek in many ways.

The current web site was well-received when we brought the design online originally. We agree that it's time for a redesign, and that's in progress, and will be deployed when it's complete.


Just like the lwtools3.dll and gcore.dll problems. Never really solved. I get the crashes every day, numerous times. WHY has this never been properly addressed? Why wont we get an answer about this? Isnt there a programmer who can explain it to us, and help us maybe circumvent the problem? Why?!! Please answer.
It just really doesnt feel like that when this community comes up with a possible solution for a problem someone at Newtek really reads it, swivels around his chair, walks to a programmer, checks whether it might be a viable option, writes it down for the next code-meeting, and states in response that it is being looked at as a possible solution. This sounds crazy for us long-lightwave users, but there are actually a lot of companies who do really take their user base comments seriously, and do realise that there are a hell of a lot more users than there are employees in Newtek. There is strength in numbers.

NewTek programmers read and respond on the forums, so do technical support staff, and so do the marketing team, and in all cases these staff collect feedback and provide it to the developers and to management - and yes, exec staff keep tabs on the forum as well. There have been lots of conversations where a bug was reported, confirmed, and subsequently confirmed fixed for the next update. This happens for both LightWave and for VT[3].


What I believe is currently the best feature of lightwave is Fprime, and its not even made by Newtek, although I'm sure Newtek assisted Worley in its development. I am sure they are working together now to exploit the power of Fprime and I'm also sure we can see it integrated in Lightwave pretty soon, probably solving the render-plugin-access problem for a lot of other 3rd party developers as well, maybe at once opening the door for stand alone renderers. I dont really understand why Newtek has never allowed 3rd party render engines to work with lightwave. It must have been a concious decision, but I really dont understand why.

In any case, although I bought LW[8], just as a support thing I guess, there's absolutely nothing in it that I even have the slightest use for, and with me probably my entire market area (architectural visualisers), which seems to me is quite substantial. But I have hopes for LW 8.5 to address some of these points. They have been made clear enough to Newtek, havn't they? I have never been the one thinking that everything should come cheap or for free, and that everything should be done at this instant. But there are some limits, and we're getting awfully close to them, and one of the symptoms of approaching one of these limits with the audience of a product is messages like this one.

Please rest assured, the new team views making serious advances to the SDK to benefit third party developers as a priority, and has already announced that after the release of [8] they will be working closely with Steve Worley to make the changes needed to take FPrime and LightWave to a whole new level of synergy. Improvements to the native renderer will also be a priority.


Good luck at NAB, I'll be wondering how thin the package I'll receive for [8] is going to be.

We've already described that in our last few messages to all US registered users and to the US customers who have pre-ordered LW[8]. Those messages have been quoted here and on other forums, but to repeat, the electronic upgrade pack is four CDs in a DVD case, with complete documentation in the form of a inline help system. For LightWave [8] there will be two upgrade packages. To quote:


New Upgrade Options:

When we ship, not only are the specials over but we will also have new prices and new choices for upgrades and full packages. Here are the new offerings for upgrades:

LightWave 3D [8] Electronic Upgrade Pack for Registered [7.5] owners: $495US
DVD case with four CDs, complete reference on CD in electronic form.

LightWave 3D [8] Regular Upgrade Pack for registered [7.5] owners: $595US
Package with four CDs, Printed Reference Manual (also complete reference on CD in electronic form), Printed Tutorial Manual

jamesl
04-19-2004, 04:08 PM
Chuck, my comments re: Tim (however erroneous in your view) were not intended to open the gates on bashing the Newtek staff. I disagree whole-heartedly with comments that characterize the NT staff as unhelpful or unmotivated.

j

Chuck
04-19-2004, 04:44 PM
Hi, James!

Thanks for both your passionate honesty in your concerns for LightWave, and your kind words for the staff.

I'm glad to hear that you'll get up to NAB this week and hope you can take the opportunity to get to meet Tim, and also William Vaughan and Donetta Colboch, and talk with them about your concerns and hopes for LightWave. I think it would be very productive.

Exception
04-19-2004, 07:40 PM
Dear Chuck,
First, thank you for taking the time to answer my lengthy article. This is in fact the first time in a long while I heard something from you directly. Its very pleasant.
I wish to make clear that I do not expect people from Newtek to answer each message on the Forum. if someone really needs support, thats where the support lines and email are for. You have been, dare I say, unusually responsive recent times in the forum, and you always were the only one responding to the Newsgroup. For me, you are pretty much the face of Newtek, and I think for a lot of others too. Its good that you do this, very much appreciated. I do wish to steal some more of your time by answering some passages you wrote.


Originally posted by Chuck
[B]To my perception, communication has seemed regular and plentiful. We have provided more advance information about LightWave [8] than any release in LightWave's history. That includes creating over 60 videos showing the new features in action. We've provided information in the form of web pages, forum posts, images, videos, email blasts to all registered users, email blasts to the customers waiting for their pre-order of LW[8], and more.

The only thing we weren't willing to say was to pin down a specific date after we passed Q4 2003. Is that the heart of the matter - because management and development would not name a date, communication felt "practically nonexistant", despite the volume and detail of communication that we felt was taking place?

Well, that depends on what one perceives as relevant information. The feature list, although late, did come and was amended several times. It is very clear and all the video's were nice. However most big questions and requests, even at the time when probably things could still have been incorporated or at least discussed were largely ignored. I know of topics dealing with the radiosity problems and I even posted leghthy possible technical solutions on the problems without receiving any response. Threads going on for pages and pages without seeing as much as a word of confirmation that they had at least been read. Subsequently LW[8] doesnt incorporate any of the requests the Architectural community made, not even the small ones, and we are all disappointed.
Second to that, it is weird to hear via third party sources that Lw 8 was released. I still havnt received an official email about it, I had to read it from speculations of people here who saw ads in magazines or on some shady non-newtek website. Thats not pleasant.



The new team is committed to stability, and many of our beta testers have characterized LightWave [8] as the most stable ever. The team plans to make that statement apply to each new version we release from now on.

Now that sounds mightly pleasant. I hope Newtek can live up to it. But words remain words. Often a reaction of Newtek is 'Lw 7.5c is much more stable than 7.5b' when confronted with a stability issue, avoiding the actual problem itself.
Does Lw [8] featue exception handling or a saved-by-the-bell feature? The auto saving of the HUB is not always usefull since with me for instance it always turns itself off. It wont work very well then...


The packaging decisions made with the DFX+ offer were an experiment, and our conclusion was that the appropriate packaging for a value-add offer for our LightWave customers is a LightWave package.

I dont really understand this sentence. But I think I catch what you are trying to say.


That's why with the REALVIZ offer we ship a LightWave package with manuals with the REALVIZ software and documentation on CDs inlcuded in the package. That will be how we do these things from now on.

Well, I was not able to get a PC version of the Lightwave+RealViz offer, or maybe I could but it was completely unclear if there was a pc version, etc, so I went for DFX, to be on the safe side. But what you state below to be the new options, a DVD case with 4 cd's, well its still damn cheap chuck. I'm sorry but if you buy a car you like the fresh scent, you leaf through the booklet eventhough you dont really want to look up anything in it. You appreciate the free but hideous keychain they put on your key... its an affirmation that you bought something from your hardearned money... a box is a very important thing for after sales perception, and its only a piece of carton, it cannot be that expensive with the numbers Newtek sells them. I studied this matter extensively at university, and it does really matter a lot. 4 cd's in a dvd box dont sound much too different from me than 2 cd's in a cd box.
You know, I miss the inventiveness of Newtek outside of the software. If a box is too expensive because of reprints with each change and what not you need to think of something else, but not discard the box entirely. I can think of a hundred good options for you, if you want to hear them. Let me name one in an example. theres a company here in the Netherlands that fabricates remote controlled fuel driven small scale cars. You know the ones. They are called Serpent, and they are considdered to be the best. In any case, the price is about the same as that of a lightwave upgrade package. They had a problem with the cost of the box, they have alot of different models and the models change each year as well. The box was getting too expensive, as it must have been for Newtek. So the solution found (together with my design group at the time) was in designing one box for all products. It didnt say what was inside, or what version or pictures or anything. It was a gorgeous satin-matte black box with embossed the name of the company, the embossing being gloss black. It was very subtle. Nothing else on it. What happened was that the sales actually went up! Everyone wanted to know what was in that mysterious box, touch it, adn subsequently became more enthusiastic with the contents... And they only had to print one box for their entire production, saving thousands of dollars each month in design and printing costs.
Just a hint.


Whille there are certainly some issues in the software that have been around longer than we'd have preferred, it is a fact that every generation of LightWave gets a number of free updates and these updates have included a lot of fixes. To say that bugs never get fixed is to overlook a substantial amount of effort from NewTek's team over the years.

Yes that is true. Newtek's support is not nonexistant, and it was unfair of me to say that. It looks to us users however to be very introverted, and not to care for whats happening out 'there'. I am very frustrated with the lwtools3.dll and gcore.dll problems, as you notice. today I was showing off Lightwave to a colleague and it crashed three times with a simple scene. I felt quite ashamed after barraging him with happy stories about lightwave.


I think you'll find LW[8] a step in the right direction.

Oh I really hope so. No more 7.5b affairs, and its good to see newtek going back to the proper way of doing things instead of the total-microsoft way.


The current web site was well-received when we brought the design online originally. We agree that it's time for a redesign, and that's in progress, and will be deployed when it's complete.

thats also good to hear. However there have been some threads where people stated that they offered Newtek to do a free design for you guys. Now, you know probably, that making a website and designing one are two different things entirely. It would be much more like Newtek to make a website that in totally out of this world. It doesnt have to cost much money or be complicated or anything, just very well thought out and original, basically in the style of Newteks products. Why dont you have a design competition and have people win free t-shirts or something small? Im sure you will get fantastic responses. That sort of thing also binds the users to you, and shows that you at least care.


NewTek programmers read and respond on the forums, so do technical support staff, and so do the marketing team, and in all cases these staff collect feedback and provide it to the developers and to management - and yes, exec staff keep tabs on the forum as well. There have been lots of conversations where a bug was reported, confirmed, and subsequently confirmed fixed for the next update. This happens for both LightWave and for VT[3].

Well its good to hear, but I've never really seen such responses, except from you. And you are not a technician, and can not be expected to know everything.


(continued in next message)

Exception
04-19-2004, 07:43 PM
Please rest assured, the new team views making serious advances to the SDK to benefit third party developers as a priority, and has already announced that after the release of [8] they will be working closely with Steve Worley to make the changes needed to take FPrime and LightWave to a whole new level of synergy. Improvements to the native renderer will also be a priority.

So, I can expect some changes to the render engine that address some points in the large thread about Architectural Visualisation for the medium to near future? I won't hold you to it, and I dont want you to promise anything, but its all so... vague...




New Upgrade Options:

When we ship, not only are the specials over but we will also have new prices and new choices for upgrades and full packages. Here are the new offerings for upgrades:

LightWave 3D [8] Electronic Upgrade Pack for Registered [7.5] owners: $495US
DVD case with four CDs, complete reference on CD in electronic form.

LightWave 3D [8] Regular Upgrade Pack for registered [7.5] owners: $595US
Package with four CDs, Printed Reference Manual (also complete reference on CD in electronic form), Printed Tutorial Manual [/B]

How about asking 100$ for printed documentation? People can then buy it afterwards if they feel the need. Like, I already bought [8], and there was no such offer, but I do want the printed docs. And the box.
Please bring back the box. (Ok I said enough about the box now, didnt I?)
Anyway, this doesnt really look too different from what was there before.

Heres a good idea, remember those little fluffy balls with flat big feet and those big eyes that you could stick on your monitor? they usually had a banner or so from a company sticking out from them. Why dont you have something like that made, a little fluffy Lightwave mascotte that people can stick on their monitors or so... I'm just searching for options for you.

Hervé
04-19-2004, 11:13 PM
Chuck, I really appreciate your answer.....

quote Chuck " Please rest assured, the new team views making serious advances to the SDK to benefit third party developers as a priority, and has already announced that after the release of [8] they will be working closely with Steve Worley to make the changes needed to take FPrime and LightWave to a whole new level of synergy. Improvements to the native renderer will also be a priority.
"

That's what I want to hear from you Chuck !!

Horray for Chuck !:D ;)

Chuck
04-20-2004, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by Exception

Well, that depends on what one perceives as relevant information. The feature list, although late, did come and was amended several times. It is very clear and all the video's were nice. However most big questions and requests, even at the time when probably things could still have been incorporated or at least discussed were largely ignored. I know of topics dealing with the radiosity problems and I even posted leghthy possible technical solutions on the problems without receiving any response. Threads going on for pages and pages without seeing as much as a word of confirmation that they had at least been read.

Subsequently LW[8] doesnt incorporate any of the requests the Architectural community made, not even the small ones, and we are all disappointed.

I can confirm for you that everything posted here is read and considered. It is the case that the development team is rarely going to make any public comment on such discussions.

If I'm not mistaken, faster rendering was among the requests of interest for the Architectural community, and we have been able to provide some improvements in first release of [8]. We should certainly be able to address additional needs as we continue with our subsequent releases in this cycle.



Second to that, it is weird to hear via third party sources that Lw 8 was released. I still havnt received an official email about it, I had to read it from speculations of people here who saw ads in magazines or on some shady non-newtek website. Thats not pleasant.

LightWave [8] has not officially been released. We are shipping upgrades to those eligible for free upgrades or who pre-ordered LW[8], and announced that via direct email to our entire registered user list last week. Not all registered users have supplied us with email addresses, and some of our info may be out of date - but then we emailed the eligible customers several weeks back to try to get updated shipping address info for just this reason. For folks who have changed email addresses, we've also announced publicly that they need to contact us to get us the new email and updated any other info we may need to make sure they receive their upgrade.

Our international partners are also now in the process of communicating with their users.

If we missed you, apologies, and please contact our CS staff to update your information so we don't miss you with future communications.

We're also interested in any specific suggestions you may have to improve communications.



Often a reaction of Newtek is 'Lw 7.5c is much more stable than 7.5b' when confronted with a stability issue, avoiding the actual problem itself.
Does Lw [8] featue exception handling or a saved-by-the-bell feature? The auto saving of the HUB is not always usefull since with me for instance it always turns itself off. It wont work very well then...

Really, we do our best never to avoid a problem. I've made the observation about stability in responses before, and that's always been in the context of responding to negative comments about the overall condition of the product, normally from someone very frustrated with a particular issue they've encountered, and always as part of getting the problem confirmed and addressed, never as a means to avoid the problem.





The packaging decisions made with the DFX+ offer were an experiment, and our conclusion was that the appropriate packaging for a value-add offer for our LightWave customers is a LightWave package.

I dont really understand this sentence. But I think I catch what you are trying to say.

To rephrase: We tried out the idea of shipping a value add offer in our partner's packaging instead of our own - both our reseller partners and our customers really preferred that we had shipped using our own packaging instead, just as you expressed, and that's what we'll do from now on.




But what you state below to be the new options, a DVD case with 4 cd's, well its still damn cheap chuck. I'm sorry but if you buy a car you like the fresh scent... If a box is too expensive because of reprints with each change and what not you need to think of something else, but not discard the box entirely.
...


How about asking 100$ for printed documentation? People can then buy it afterwards if they feel the need. Like, I already bought [8], and there was no such offer, but I do want the printed docs. And the box.
Please bring back the box. (Ok I said enough about the box now, didnt I?)
Anyway, this doesnt really look too different from what was there before.




The new electronic upgrade SKU is the only one that does not come in a box with printed manual or manuals. The regular upgrade option still exists, but is now priced at $595. Yes, the manuals can be purchased separately later as well, just as you suggest, and pricing for all of that will be available when we officially launch LW[8]


Yes that is true. Newtek's support is not nonexistant, and it was unfair of me to say that. It looks to us users however to be very introverted, and not to care for whats happening out 'there'. I am very frustrated with the lwtools3.dll and gcore.dll problems, as you notice. today I was showing off Lightwave to a colleague and it crashed three times with a simple scene. I felt quite ashamed after barraging him with happy stories about lightwave.

Besides discussing issues here, I certainly hope you directly contact technical support for follow up - if you haven't, I will have them get in touch with you. We certainly do want to identify and correct any issues in the software, and if you have repeatable steps to recreate a problem, then we want to get that information to the programmers.






Why dont you have a design competition and have people win free t-shirts or something small? Im sure you will get fantastic responses. That sort of thing also binds the users to you, and shows that you at least care.

Your suggestions for involvoing users in the web site redesign are certainly interesting - I will pass the proposal along to management.





NewTek programmers read and respond on the forums, so do technical support staff, and so do the marketing team...

Well its good to hear, but I've never really seen such responses, except from you. And you are not a technician, and can not be expected to know everything.


(continued in next message)

From the LightWave development team Deuce Bennett and Scott Thompson frequently participate and follow up on problems, and Andrew Cross has as well, though he more frequently participates on the video discussions. From Tech Support, John Fletcher, Gil Triana, and Kurtis Harris (Kurtis just transferred to marketing) have done so. From the marketing staff William Vaughan and I participate in LW discussions, and Paul Lara participates in video discussions; in all cases everyone has helped in confirming problems and bringing them to the attention of the development team. From our vantage point we feel pretty busy with this kind of thing. From another vantage point, it's a big ocean out there, and it may be easy to miss our few little rafts paddling around in the high seas. ;)

I'm in marketing now, but started here in tech support.

Exper
04-20-2004, 10:36 AM
Chuck...
you're always on time
then
we can you can sleep peacefully... now! ;)

Bye.

Ade
04-20-2004, 09:39 PM
Guys we need to rememebr LW8 is the first real update from the Newtek of new.

They are lsitening and chances are, have something extra special for the next LW release..
BUT-



I find I cannot live without instancing and real edges in architectural work.

Us Australians wont receive our LW8 for a month still which is frustrating.

Exper
04-21-2004, 02:29 AM
Originally posted by Chuck
has already announced that after the release of [8] they will be working closely with Steve Worley to make the changes needed to take FPrime and LightWave to a whole new level of synergy.Hoping they'll open the whole thing in a general way and not only for FPrime!

I'm confident! ;)

DaveW
04-21-2004, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by cgolchert
The images in that thread aren't SSS. That is attenuation.

I know it isn't SSS, that's why I said you can fake it, with limitations. It doesn't matter what it techinically is, if you can make it look right (or close to it) thats all that matters.

Exception
04-21-2004, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by Chuck
[B]I can confirm for you that everything posted here is read and considered. It is the case that the development team is rarely going to make any public comment on such discussions.

If I'm not mistaken, faster rendering was among the requests of interest for the Architectural community, and we have been able to provide some improvements in first release of [8]. We should certainly be able to address additional needs as we continue with our subsequent releases in this cycle.

Indeed, faster rendering was one of the thing we requested, but that is something everyone requested, and it also showed in the poll held. It wasnt architectural specific. However you're right in that is was and still is a priority for architectural work, but what I believe the architectural community meant by it was specific drastic increase in radiosity speed.
But we'll see and I wont be talking ahead of the actual program that I have not even received yet.



[b]
Our international partners are also now in the process of communicating with their users.

If we missed you, apologies, and please contact our CS staff to update your information so we don't miss you with future communications.

We're also interested in any specific suggestions you may have to improve communications.

Well, I did receive the UVEdit Pro email, and I read somewhere, i think it was here on the forum, that once I received that there would be no reason to worry about the release. I didnt get any subsequent announcements about shipping or pre releases, alhough I did buy the pre release.
Maybe in a couple of days, but although you say LW isnt oficially been released yet I still feel thats a formality and the news that the pre releases were shipping is well, old news by now : )

Suggestions for improving communications, sure I have a few:

Here we go:
-When a new release is comming up (like LW 8 in this case), make a new page on the website somewhere that states all information regarding its release. If you want make users register with a username and password when they buy Lightwave, and only give them access to it. If then people really want to know the latest news, they can go there. It should however be complete and up to date. I find it rather hard to find something on this user forum since there are a few overlapping sections and the search functionality is a bit silly because it doesnt let you search for small words like "LW 8". searching a forum shouldnt be a way to access important info either.
Not really an innovative solution but im sure it works. I had quite a hard time trying to find the feature list the other day, I finally found it by searching the forums. those things should be clear. It might have something to do with the 'untransparency' of the current website.

Mmm.. if I have other, better, ideas i'll let you know.




Really, we do our best never to avoid a problem.

Yes I understand. Let me make myself clear in that I do not wish to talk negative about Newtek, because I'm nice and cosy with you guys, but I'm just talking from experience from things that could definatively improve. These are all things that won't make you go bankrupt if you do them wrong, but will definately imrpove spirits and animo with the buying public (and sales will go up). I think that should be one of your prime concerns actually. When someone buys a product, and although it functions like it should the buyers is made to feel unpleasant for whatever reason, you have effectively not given the buyer what he wanted.




To rephrase: We tried out the idea of shipping a value add offer in our partner's packaging instead of our own - both our reseller partners and our customers really preferred that we had shipped using our own packaging instead, just as you expressed, and that's what we'll do from now on.

Hmm, well its want in the DFX+ box at all with me, it was just swerving around it... anyway I'm glad you decided that was not a suitable option.




The new electronic upgrade SKU is the only one that does not come in a box with printed manual or manuals.

Yes that is now, but that wasnt the case a few weeks ago. You have to live with decisions in the past too.



Yes, the manuals can be purchased separately later as well, just as you suggest, and pricing for all of that will be available when we officially launch LW[8]

That sounds really good. I'm sure to order one. Thank you.



Besides discussing issues here, I certainly hope you directly contact technical support for follow up - if you haven't, I will have them get in touch with you. We certainly do want to identify and correct any issues in the software, and if you have repeatable steps to recreate a problem, then we want to get that information to the programmers.

Well, I didnt contact technical support for this since well, its a so well known bug, thats been around for so long... I dont want to turn this into a technical-problem message, but I think most Lightwave users have encountered this problem many times. I find it increases exponentially with large scenes. The problem, in its essence, is not repeatable, thats why its such a big problem. If it were, one could most probably avoid doing it too.
But if you want me to discuss it with the technical support staff, I will try to see if I can make it repeatable.




I'm in marketing now, but started here in tech support.

Couldnt you launch the fluffy-lightwave gizmo ideas into being? I thought that was quite a happy idea. Make users happy by having a big fuzzy happy thing smile at them continuously. you're in marketing now, you can make it all happen.

Thanks for your attention chuck. Much appreciated. I still feel bad occasionaly that we failed in infesting my university with Lightwave a couple of years ago. I think it'd be good if there was an info-package about Lightwave, several ones for different market areas, that would really knock their socks off. They are doing architectural work with Maya here for heavens sake, now I have nothing against Maya but its not suited for architectural work. Would that be a possibility, to make these packages that can only go out to big prospective multi-buyers like universities and large offices etc?

cgolchert
04-21-2004, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by DaveW
I know it isn't SSS, that's why I said you can fake it, with limitations. It doesn't matter what it techinically is, if you can make it look right (or close to it) thats all that matters.

OK, that isn't even fake SSS. That is something else. There is a difference.

sketchyjay
04-21-2004, 11:44 AM
would of replied sooner but have not got the email notification of replies to this thread... odd

Yes I ment the depth gradient. OGO's plugin is also free and usuable for sss. Maybe not the best but I have not done enough work with the various sss versions to say which is the best free sss out there. There was a discussion of the gradiant on cgtalk a few years ago with sample scenes and images of what people were doing with it.

anieves
04-21-2004, 11:55 AM
OGO Hikari is not free... is it?
It fully works for 2 weeks or something like that right?

at a price of $30 bucks it can be considered as "almost free":)

DaveW
04-21-2004, 10:25 PM
Originally posted by cgolchert
OK, that isn't even fake SSS. That is something else. There is a difference.

Did you only look at the first page? I'm not talking about the water examples. Policarpo posted a few plasticy/waxy renders.

sketchyjay
04-22-2004, 01:41 PM
I have to agree with Exception on getting information easily accessable to those that don't use the forums. I have LWers here at work that know the forum exists but don't want to read all this chatter here... don't know why :)

They just want to know when it will be out and what it can do. Even when I go to show them the information on lightwave 8 i had to come to the forum to find the link to take me back to the main site to get to the demo movies.

Another thing that would be nice would be a list of bugs that where fixed when a point release comes out or what to use instead. for example;
LW 8.01
Bug x is caused by tool x so use tool y instead.
bug y fixed, pressing button no longer causes crash.
bug z has been replaced by plugin z

I hate to presume, but every computer user is aware of bugs and not mentioning them makes people assume they have not been fixed. A list allows us all to know what is fixed and what to look at that we've avoided since we knew it was buggy. I find that different people work with different mental limitations on what to use in lightwave since they may have been burned by a bug and now that it is fixed still work within what they think is safe. A bug fixed list helps people to re-examine tools and features they had avoided in the past.

I think despite all the confusion that Newtek is moving in a positive direction. Newtek is also one of the most communicative companies I've ever run across, which I really appreciate.

Alex Attwater
04-22-2004, 07:52 PM
sorry guys but gotta get some input anyone seen this problem or can explain this upgrad to 8 issue to me?
its wordy so if your not patient skip this post now

-----Original Message-----
From: employee[mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2004 2:30 PM
To: incognito
The serial number you provide is a Video Toaster serial number. Do you own a stand alone copy of LightWave? If so, I need the serial number for that in order to complete your order process. The LightWave upgrade special are for customers who own a stand alone copy of LW. If you do not own a stand alone version of LW, you can upgrade from the video toaster for $995. What you would get would be a full version of LW software, a USB dongle, DFX software, and a free version of LW8 when it is available.
THIS DIRECTLY FROM VT(3)PAGES TO PROVE POINT
LightWave 3D is NewTek’s industry-standard 3D modeling, surfacing and animation software. NewTek wants to remove all limites to creativity, and so is now including the full version of LightWave 3D 7.5 with every VT[3]. All over the world, professionals have come to rely on the power, speed and flexibility of LightWave 3D for numerous applications:

Sarah,(please read all of this)

All right, as you can judge from the copied piece directly from the Newtek website, I am quite disheveled. So what you’re telling me is that a “stand alone version” of lightwave is different than a “full version” of lightwave 3d 7.5? And subsequently this limits by ability to purchase an upgrade or promotional buy in package? So now after spending , not to mention just weeks ago, several thousands of dollars through a Newtek Authorized reseller that now I am NOT entitled to a discount on something advertised for something I already have? I do believe I am a registered lightwave owner am I not? According to the statements above and below, both from Newtek.com I am. I am a man trying to get back into his art out of his basement I can’t afford to have $500 bills double on me overnight Sarah. I am NOT attempting to be rude or complain and I sincerely apologize, for being so lengthy, I just don’t understand?!? I truly hope you can point out the fine writing here. I cannot afford $1000! Since January 1st , I have spent $7000 on a $20000 a year salary and this $500 was the last of it! So can you please explain to me exactly how my transactions relating to Lightwave, VT3, and Newtek will be affected in the future considering I have bought an integrated production suite instead of “stand alone” versions? Lightwave 3D is a large part of my production future and I am actually heartbroken ,yes heartbroken, knowing now that I can’t get lightwave 8 with all its beautiful soft and hardbodyfx . And now that the price for me, a registered integrated production suite owner, is as high as any unregistered software upgrade I am beside myself with despair………PLEASE SARAH if I have to cancel this transaction Order # (you get the idea)because the price is now $1000 instead of the $500….PLEASE explain to me why or copy the page of legal mumbo jumbo that I have to read in order to under stand what is going on here…… speaking of legal mumbo? Maybe you could tell me or ask someone to tell me why I was not informed of these complications. I don’t believe after further review that ANY of my literature and or hardware says that my version is ANY different then a “stand alone” version of Lightwave 3D 7.5! Is it? Because then ensue advertising it, in a package which costs thousands of dollars, as a “full version” is a bit more than a typo is it not?????? Again I apologize if my context seems abrasive I DO NOT wish to seem confrontational; I just wish to understand FULLY what this is all about. So Please for the sake of Alex Attwater Articulations and me, incognito for post, a devoted and loving newtek customer, evaluate my points. Before buying I researched all of this: the full version, the upgrade, the dfx+, the loan, the credit card to order the upgrade, the equipment to run such strenuous applications, and the devotion and hard work it would take to make everything come together. Never in all that research did I foresee the problem we now discuss, and I do see that as some major oversights on the websites layout. Included, below all this babbling, is more emails from newtek in hopes that this may all be cleared up. Honestly I foresee this as possibly one of the first times this issue has been brought up that a “full version” is really not such a “full version” considering the facts. I really hope that we together can set a precedent by having this issue changed, either in that I (as well as future customers with my issue) can be rewarded this wonderful upgrade opportunity, or the facts displayed on the website are dramatically changed in hopes to avoid future incidents leading to the crushing of hopes and the derailing of dreams. By the way which are now in 3D. hahaha

Thank you for your time,
incognito

To the forum i ask if Newtek is trying so hard to push vt why the hell would i have this problem

videoguy
04-22-2004, 11:01 PM
this is becuase lightwave that ships with vt is dongled to the toaster card. for the dfx deal it requires a lightwave dongle. so you can buy one for 99 buck call customer service once and while why dont you

Alex Attwater
04-22-2004, 11:15 PM
all i have gotten when i have posted is derogitory comments so yes i realise that callin customer service would be a viable option so that's why i did mister but den dey dun told that der info which i already done knews but dat doesn't really go along with my point now does it


full version is not a full version maybe they should tell this little tid bit to you before you buy the afore mentioned products (long before you need customer service)

oh and in the last post i mention, oh yeah there it is $995 is a far cry from 99 bucks

but thank you for your input i shall save such a colorfull nugget and fax it to the land of never never as i frollick with the gypsies of nonsense

i do digest, my upheivel sir god

i shall avert my eyes as you critisise
peace

Exception
04-24-2004, 08:09 AM
I do agree with you Alex, thats silly. I would be as upset as you. In this case, I find it is their mistake and they should be the ones giving you the dongle if they are unable to couple the new LW 8 to a Video toaster dongle. If they can couple 7.5 to it, they must be able to couple 8 and dfx to it too. Its just a serial number for heavens sake.

Also sketchjay brings up a good point: Version Changelogs!!
Doesnt every respectable company use that? How could I forget, yes we need version change info, on bug detail level. Chuck, is that a good idea?

Exception
04-24-2004, 08:25 AM
This is one in reply to chuck about the website.

I wish to further enhance my claims to as why the newtek website is so bad.

Let me explain some points, not in order of importance:

- I want to find technical support on LW 7.5.
So I go to: Technical support in the top menu. then I choose 'PC-Current', and then I see a blank FAQ page. What does that bring me? Nothing and it looks unprofessional.

- I want to find the LW 8 Features list.
I assume its in the lightwave section. I click on Products -> lightwave. Then theres a menu to my left, with 3D animation... etc... theres a host of banners and stuff... and nothing else really.. euhm. where do I go next?
Lightwave news... should be in there! Nope. No its not, its apparantly not important enough... ok... oh wait theres this tiny sub meny bar in grey on top of this page. How incrredible invisible and stupid design. That menu should be on the left, not that 'solutions' menu, that can even bring me to video toaster in 1 click. I dont even want to be there.
Oke, so I go to Prodcut info, you'd gess it would be there since it is, euhm, product info...
but no. Only 7.5 there. And even 7.5 was hard to find... ok so what next?
Nothing. theres nowhere to go. So one gives up. Too bad.

Ok so now I want to:
Find some info on the system requirements of Lightwave.
I assue its in the lightwave section, so I click products-lightwave. Good. So what do I see as a humble visitor? I see a menu on my left that I now think is about lightwave since I am in the lightwave section. However its not (see above). Its just some general stuff about how fantastic netwek producs are in general. Fine, but lets say i already know, I just want to fins something. Ok below that is 'buy now', no dont want to buy now cos, well, I dont know if i want to buy yet... hmm maybe one of those screaming unreadbale banners tell me what I need... Hmm, lightwave + dfx... (expired!)... no.... no, not that.... euhm... lightwave + realviz (expired!!), nope not that either... euh, Lightwave wins an award? Hmm, good for them... but no...
Ok maybe Lightwave 3d [Its everywhere].... oh thats not a button... apparently its everywhere but here... funny.
Oh look! I finally found the LW 8 features list in a button on the bottom left. I wonder if anyone at all noticed that.. hmm.. still have to find the system requirements...

Hey Im not exaggerating, that menu is invisible. It looks like a line unless you look directly at it. That 'solutions' menu is really a throw off. You hope to fins something about lightwave in there at least, since youre in the lightwave section... but you cant.

the products->lightwave button should point here:
http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/product/index.html
And the other 'main' thing should be renamed Lightwave News and all non-lightwave stuff should be removed. The news list needs to be longer, and that middle banner should leave.

Chuck
04-24-2004, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by Exception
This is one in reply to chuck about the website.

I wish to further enhance my claims to as why the newtek website is so bad.

Let me explain some points, not in order of importance:

- I want to find technical support on LW 7.5.
So I go to: Technical support in the top menu. then I choose 'PC-Current', and then I see a blank FAQ page. What does that bring me? Nothing and it looks unprofessional.

Since it is under reconstruction it should indeed say so on the page.


- I want to find the LW 8 Features list.
I assume its in the lightwave section. I click on Products -> lightwave. Then theres a menu to my left, with 3D animation... etc... theres a host of banners and stuff... and nothing else really.. euhm. where do I go next?
Lightwave news... should be in there! Nope. No its not, its apparantly not important enough... ok... oh wait theres this tiny sub meny bar in grey on top of this page. How incrredible invisible and stupid design. That menu should be on the left, not that 'solutions' menu, that can even bring me to video toaster in 1 click. I dont even want to be there.
Oke, so I go to Prodcut info, you'd gess it would be there since it is, euhm, product info...
but no. Only 7.5 there. And even 7.5 was hard to find... ok so what next?
Nothing. theres nowhere to go. So one gives up. Too bad.

There is a button on the right clearly labeled "LightWave 3D [8] Feature List" on the home page of www.newtek.com. As you note later in your message, the same button appears lower left when you go to the LightWave product page from the Products page.




Ok so now I want to:
Find some info on the system requirements of Lightwave.
I assue its in the lightwave section, so I click products-lightwave. Good. So what do I see as a humble visitor?

"Humble visitors" might not spend their visits referring to the host or the host's efforts and decor as "stupid". Humble visitors might provide their feedback with more tactful language than that. IMHO. ;)


I see a menu on my left that I now think is about lightwave since I am in the lightwave section. owever its not (see above). Its just some general stuff about how fantastic netwek producs are in general.

Yes, the Solutions Menu remains the same on every page. We've encountered very few people who don't immediately notice this, but if we keep the concept in our redesign, we probably do need to look at a way to present that more clearly. Perhaps having a "site guide" would be useful in helping folks understand this and other aspects of the site design and navigation.



Fine, but lets say i already know, I just want to fins something. Ok below that is 'buy now', no dont want to buy now cos, well, I dont know if i want to buy yet... hmm maybe one of those screaming unreadbale banners tell me what I need... Hmm, lightwave + dfx... (expired!)... no.... no, not that.... euhm... lightwave + realviz (expired!!), nope not that either... euh, Lightwave wins an award? Hmm, good for them... but no...
Ok maybe Lightwave 3d [Its everywhere].... oh thats not a button... apparently its everywhere but here... funny.
Oh look! I finally found the LW 8 features list in a button on the bottom left. I wonder if anyone at all noticed that.. hmm..

I can appreciate that you want to emphasize your points in order to have them taken seriously, but in fact having a graphic rather than an entry in a text list actually brings more attention to specific items, as I understand things. We did not have to make any announcement when we posted the feature list - the instant the buttons went live, users saw them and within minutes they had posted notices on all the sites frequented by LightWave users. They simply are not as difficult to find or notice for large numbers of people as you portray.

Of course placement of the graphic is important, and I think on the home page we should shift the LW[8] Features button to the top position on the right, instead of having it in the middle. Since NAB is over and we'll be retiring the NAB promo now in center position on the product page, then putting the LW[8] Features button in center instead of lower left might make sense. It isn't on the Product information page at all and should be, although in fact the current page set for LW[7] will be going away very shortly, in favor of a new feature list with [8] as the current.


still have to find the system requirements...

Hey Im not exaggerating, that menu is invisible. It looks like a line unless you look directly at it. That 'solutions' menu is really a throw off. You hope to fins something about lightwave in there at least, since youre in the lightwave section... but you cant.

the products->lightwave button should point here:
http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/product/index.html
And the other 'main' thing should be renamed Lightwave News and all non-lightwave stuff should be removed. The news list needs to be longer, and that middle banner should leave.

Those are certainly some good specific constructive suggestions to take into consideration. Horizontal menu bars are common, and once you know it is there, you're fine, but in our current design it can take a while to notice and make use of the horizontal bars at the top, and if you've scrolled the page they are out of sight, out of mind, rather than holding place while the main text on a given page scrolls in a window, which I think would be better - but maybe others wouldn't.


I would agree, and so does our new webmaster, that we need to re-do navigation and labeling, and you are quite correct there is a lot we can and should do to produce a fresh, new, exciting and easily navigable site. We want to do that. We don't need to be smacked upside the head with a 2x4 to get our attention on the idea, we already want to do that, and we don't need to have past efforts referred to in terms like "stupid," "really bad" and "awful" to want to do that - we already want to do that.

Chuck
04-24-2004, 11:41 AM
Alex,

Yes, LightWave 7.5 as part of the VT[3] suite is full in the sense that has all features of the standalone version. It is however, keyed to the VT[3], and does not have a USB dongle as a standalone copy would. Like a standalone copy, you can purchase an upgrade to LightWave [8] for $495 (or $595 with printed manuals), but unlike the standalone copy, the VT[3] keyed version is not compatible with some of the value-add upgrade options. In particular, the special offer DFX+ keys to a LightWave dongle and cannot key to VT[3]. However, let me check on a possibility for you, and if it turns out to be feasible, I'll have sales email you about it.

Maxx
04-24-2004, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by Exception
This is one in reply to chuck about the website.

I wish to further enhance my claims to as why the newtek website is so bad.

Let me explain some points, not in order of importance:

- I want to find technical support on LW 7.5.
So I go to: Technical support in the top menu. then I choose 'PC-Current', and then I see a blank FAQ page. What does that bring me? Nothing and it looks unprofessional.

I would certainly agree. Except for one minor thing - 8 is shipping. And judging from the posts here online, not many people actually have theirs yet. In other words, there really isn't a "current version" right now. This brings up a dilemma for the website designer. The new version is shipping, but is too new for a FAQ. What to do? Update as you can. For a day or two, it's gonna be blank. I personally don't think this is unreasonable or unexplainable. Although a "Coming Soon" would probably solve everybody's issue with this....

- I want to find the LW 8 Features list.
I assume its in the lightwave section. I click on Products -> lightwave. Then theres a menu to my left, with 3D animation... etc... theres a host of banners and stuff... and nothing else really.. euhm. where do I go next?
Lightwave news... should be in there! Nope. No its not, its apparantly not important enough... ok... oh wait theres this tiny sub meny bar in grey on top of this page. How incrredible invisible and stupid design. That menu should be on the left, not that 'solutions' menu, that can even bring me to video toaster in 1 click. I dont even want to be there.
Oke, so I go to Prodcut info, you'd gess it would be there since it is, euhm, product info...
but no. Only 7.5 there. And even 7.5 was hard to find... ok so what next?
Nothing. theres nowhere to go. So one gives up. Too bad.

Why would you not just click the large "Lightwave 3D 8 Features List" image link on the right? Looking too hard for something oftentimes makes it more difficult to find...

Ok so now I want to:
Find some info on the system requirements of Lightwave.
I assue its in the lightwave section, so I click products-lightwave. Good. So what do I see as a humble visitor? I see a menu on my left that I now think is about lightwave since I am in the lightwave section. However its not (see above). Its just some general stuff about how fantastic netwek producs are in general. Fine, but lets say i already know, I just want to fins something. Ok below that is 'buy now', no dont want to buy now cos, well, I dont know if i want to buy yet... hmm maybe one of those screaming unreadbale banners tell me what I need... Hmm, lightwave + dfx... (expired!)... no.... no, not that.... euhm... lightwave + realviz (expired!!), nope not that either... euh, Lightwave wins an award? Hmm, good for them... but no...
Ok maybe Lightwave 3d [Its everywhere].... oh thats not a button... apparently its everywhere but here... funny.

Ok. This I can't even pretend to argue. System requirements are difficult to find - I think it has something to do with the fact that on the index page, there's no second level menu (below the header image). When you hit the LW page, there is a second level menu. This is a bit confusing, probably not the best idea, but difficult to avoid in certain situations. However, I personally don't think any of the banners are "screaming" or "unreadable", and if you know just how cool Newtek products are, and you're here, what would actually stop you hitting "Buy Now"? However, I agree, let's get the system req's out in the open. The idea of tailoring each page for the specific product is a good one, and would open up the left screen menu to include things such as the system requirements, thereby alleviating the problems listed and agreed to above.

Oh look! I finally found the LW 8 features list in a button on the bottom left. I wonder if anyone at all noticed that.. hmm.. still have to find the system requirements...
True, but you weren't looking very hard earlier.

Hey Im not exaggerating, that menu is invisible. It looks like a line unless you look directly at it. That 'solutions' menu is really a throw off. You hope to fins something about lightwave in there at least, since youre in the lightwave section... but you cant.

the products->lightwave button should point here:
http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/product/index.html
And the other 'main' thing should be renamed Lightwave News and all non-lightwave stuff should be removed. The news list needs to be longer, and that middle banner should leave.
Ok. I followed Products->Lightwave and got to the exact address you say it should point to. Maybe my brower likes me better? As I said above, I agree, the page should be specific to LW. However, do not make the news section longer. And don't drop the middle banner. Personally, I like it. If the news gets bigger and the banner isn't dropped, you've gotta scroll. If you make the news section longer and remove the banner, it's too many words. I think it hits a nice medium right now. Just swap out the banner with some current and pertinent LW graphic and it's all good to go.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound harsh with all this, but as a professional web designer, I don't think NT's site is bad. It could use a bit of razzamatazz, but the design is obviously built to be the same in most every browser, at most every resolution. And, for the most part, it reminds me of LW interface. No icons, no bull****, just here's text links to what you need. And we're gonna tone down the color as much as possible to avoid as much strain on the eyes as possible. As for the site design in general (as it stands now...), you have to account and, to a degree, design for, people that do not use Lightwave. Design for the bosses of the people that do use Lightwave (bosses who oftentimes run machines at crap resolution and color depth, and are not the most ... shall we say, technologically inclined ... people). The people that hit the site and are NT fans - using LW, Toaster, or Genesis (sorry, this product still cracks me up..), go to the section they're looking for (the forums), but they refer the main page to their bosses in an attempt to get seats in the studio. And no offense to any bosses or studio heads reading this, but let's face facts - often the people in charge are the ones that have no idea how what their studios do gets done.

Exception
04-24-2004, 12:26 PM
dont need to be smacked upside the head with a 2x4 to get our attention on the idea, we already want to do that, and we don't need to have past efforts referred to in terms like "stupid," "really bad" and "awful" to want to do that - we already want to do that.

You're right chuck, but I didnt mean it that way at all... I guess its hard to convey one's tone in text. Id didn't mean it insulting at all and Im sorry if you've taken offence. I should have been more tactical.
I guess I'm used to explicitly using that sort of language since with the user-testing we do with interfaces we always encourage to say what is on the mind at first sight.
I studied interface design and graphic ergonomics, and if you want I can help you on some information that clearly and constructively will help you in the redesign. It is not information anyone knows by heart or can just recite, or go on by gut feeling. It is very helpfull for many things, also to judge cultural differences, evaluate readability, as you say the difference between graphic and a button. I can tell you why I didnt see the button, its because colorfull square things on websites are 99% of the time advertisements. Also on the same page Lightwave with some bundles is advertised with the same type of graphic. If you make something with a specific information-character a colorfull button, people will miss it when looking for it, not even looking at it because from the corner of their eye they have subjectively already decided its an ad, and thats not what they are looking for. Ive heard it from other users as well here on the forum that they missed that button and had to go here to the forum to find the link again.

About the Solutions menu, it is on the most prominent spot on the website. The entire website is created in a way the the top left of the active area (the white area) is the most important. this is fine in itself, however it should contain topic-specific information, and not a menu that is site-wide the same. A site-wide-the-same-menu should be incorporated in the master-design, as to reflect its static nature. Everything in the active area should always be topic specific.

Well anyway, sorry if I made it seem negative, I was just trying to help. And I will no longer call you or newtek silly words.
I understand that you guys have better things to do than build the worlds best website, and I'm glad that you prioritize. Thats why I'm typing all this in, maybe to bring some extra thoughts in. I really didnt mean to sound negative.

Exception
04-24-2004, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by Maxx
I would certainly agree. Except for one minor thing - 8 is shipping. And judging from the posts here online, not many people actually have theirs yet. In other words, there really isn't a "current version" right now. This brings up a dilemma for the website designer. The new version is shipping, but is too new for a FAQ. What to do? Update as you can. For a day or two, it's gonna be blank. I personally don't think this is unreasonable or unexplainable. Although a "Coming Soon" would probably solve everybody's issue with this....

No, thats not True. 8 is not officially released yet according to Chuck, and therefore 7.5c is the current version. And still, if 8 has been released, 7.5c is still a current version because many people are still elligable for support with 7.5c that didnt upgrade to 8.



Why would you not just click the large "Lightwave 3D 8 Features List" image link on the right? Looking too hard for something oftentimes makes it more difficult to find...


No, I know where it is, I explained in my other reply to chuck why many people will (and do) look over it. Discrepancy in information-labeling.




However, I personally don't think any of the banners are "screaming" or "unreadable", and if you know just how cool Newtek products are, and you're here, what would actually stop you hitting "Buy Now"?

Hehe, well I pressed 'buy now' at least once : )
And no they're not unreadble and not screaming, but in a text based interface you dont expect critical information in a graphic.



True, but you weren't looking very hard earlier.

Well I did find it in the end, didnt I? I actually honestly completely missed it the first time when I wrote that bit up there. And I really did look hard. Cognition is weird and our eyesight is even weirder. Did you know that 80% of what we see is actually not detected by our eyes but just 'filled in' by our brain? That causes things like that, and things like missing the obvious typo in your job application letter even after the tenth read.


Ok. I followed Products->Lightwave and got to the exact address you say it should point to. Maybe my brower likes me better? As I said above, I agree, the page should be specific to LW.


No, the top menu drop down box with products -> lightwave goes to this page:
http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/index.php
when I feel it should go to this:
http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/product/index.html



Sorry, I don't mean to sound harsh with all this, but as a professional web designer, I don't think NT's site is bad. It could use a bit of razzamatazz, but the design is obviously built to be the same in most every browser, at most every resolution.


I feel that is not really part of design, its part of the technical execution. I'm sure that is just fine.


And, for the most part, it reminds me of LW interface. No icons, no bull****, just here's text links to what you need.


Yes but with disappearing and reapparing low contrast but still navigation-critical text-menu's, static content in active areas, important information under graphics buttons, missing information, ambiguous navigation, etc.
I dont really care for how it looks now, but thats esthetics, you cant really argue about that, that is Newtek's own decision, but these functional aspects are as firm as math equations. 1+ 1 = not three. Ok, its very simply put but in the end it comes down to that.


The people that hit the site and are NT fans - using LW, Toaster, or Genesis (sorry, this product still cracks me up..), go to the section they're looking for (the forums), but they refer the main page to their bosses in an attempt to get seats in the studio. And no offense to any bosses or studio heads reading this, but let's face facts - often the people in charge are the ones that have no idea how what their studios do gets done.

Yes I agree with you. But human perception, although a statistical function, is still equal among humans. It therefore doesnt really matter if you're a businessman or an animator, in the western countries green stands for 'good' and red stands for 'bad', just like white text on black is easier to read on a monitor than black text on white, that left is no and right is yes (microsoft should stop confusing our natural senses with their OK button on the left and cancel on the right), horizontality doesnt 'list' but categorises, and people have the incessant habit of ordering all information they receive their own way.
Like, here in the forum (I know thats hard to help, and I understand why, thats why I didnt list it before) I have pressed the search button in the top-right all too often instead of the one in the grey sub-menu thingy. You'll do that whether you're a disinterested boss of a company or someone who visited the site hundreds of times before.

Ahwell, I think it has been made clear by now. Good luck with the redesign. I'll be waiting in extreme exhaltation : )

Maxx
04-24-2004, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Exception
No, thats not True. 8 is not officially released yet according to Chuck, and therefore 7.5c is the current version. And still, if 8 has been released, 7.5c is still a current version because many people are still elligable for support with 7.5c that didnt upgrade to 8.
True. It's not released, but it is shipping. They're changing the web site before the new version gets out so as to be on top of things when it all hits the fan. There's bound to be some down time. And, as 8 has left the loading dock of NewTek, 7.5c is no longer the current version, it's a recently available version. However, now I'm in to semantics, and that need go no further... Sorry 'bout that :D

No, I know where it is, I explained in my other reply to chuck why many people will (and do) look over it. Discrepancy in information-labeling.
Agreed. Your second post to Chuck came up after my reply, so I missed it...

Hehe, well I pressed 'buy now' at least once : )
And no they're not unreadble and not screaming, but in a text based interface you dont expect critical information in a graphic.
Also true. I think this is partly the designer's give to the fact that "graphics make everything more exciting" - when used sparingly. It's kinda like Flash - on the web, it can be an effective tool when used correctly and sparingly. Unfortunately, it's usually not.

Well I did find it in the end, didnt I? I actually honestly completely missed it the first time when I wrote that bit up there. And I really did look hard. Cognition is weird and our eyesight is even weirder. Did you know that 80% of what we see is actually not detected by our eyes but just 'filled in' by our brain? That causes things like that, and things like missing the obvious typo in your job application letter even after the tenth read.
There was just recently a study about this - wish I could find it again. I missed the specs link the first several times myself. As I said, I think that's due to the introduction of the second level menu bar - not a good design particularly, but necessary in what they did. Now, if they would make each product page product specific, it wouldn't be that big a deal, because they'd have the room for the links on the left... hint hint to the new designer...

No, the top menu drop down box with products -> lightwave goes to this page:
http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/index.php
when I feel it should go to this:
http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/product/index.html

See, that's wierd. Mine goes to the first page you list. Odd... Not argumentative, just odd.

I feel that is not really part of design, its part of the technical execution. I'm sure that is just fine.
Unfortunately, technical specifications often dictate (or at least play a large part in) design, and the other way 'round...

Yes but with disappearing and reapparing low contrast but still navigation-critical text-menu's, static content in active areas, important information under graphics buttons, missing information, ambiguous navigation, etc.
I dont really care for how it looks now, but thats esthetics, you cant really argue about that, that is Newtek's own decision, but these functional aspects are as firm as math equations. 1+ 1 = not three. Ok, its very simply put but in the end it comes down to that.
Totally agree. Aesthetics change from person to person, and no-one can dictate what is aesthetically correct. But, along the same lines, the functional 1+1 of the site - in my case - does equal 2. Or 2.5, but that's close enough - I was never very good at math.. :D

Yes I agree with you. But human perception, although a statistical function, is still equal among humans. It therefore doesnt really matter if you're a businessman or an animator, in the western countries green stands for 'good' and red stands for 'bad', just like white text on black is easier to read on a monitor than black text on white, that left is no and right is yes (microsoft should stop confusing our natural senses with their OK button on the left and cancel on the right), horizontality doesnt 'list' but categorises, and people have the incessant habit of ordering all information they receive their own way.
Like, here in the forum (I know thats hard to help, and I understand why, thats why I didnt list it before) I have pressed the search button in the top-right all too often instead of the one in the grey sub-menu thingy. You'll do that whether you're a disinterested boss of a company or someone who visited the site hundreds of times before.
Actually, human perception is apparantly comparative among peoples living in specific geographic areas. As you say, in western countries, green means 'good' while red means 'bad'. However, people living in the UK and Australia spell words differently than those living in America, and people living in America - according to some reading I've done in the past - interpret colors to mean different things than people in other areas of the world. It's a fine line to tread, especially in a world-wide marketplace.

Ahwell, I think it has been made clear by now. Good luck with the redesign. I'll be waiting in extreme exhaltation : )
Agree whole heartedly and can't wait to see what they come up with next...

Exception
04-24-2004, 02:06 PM
Totally agree. Aesthetics change from person to person, and no-one can dictate what is aesthetically correct. But, along the same lines, the functional 1+1 of the site - in my case - does equal 2. Or 2.5, but that's close enough - I was never very good at math.. :D


Well, lets make that the square root of 2 and we'll both be a little happy : )


Actually, human perception is apparantly comparative among peoples living in specific geographic areas. As you say, in western countries, green means 'good' while red means 'bad'. However, people living in the UK and Australia spell words differently than those living in America, and people living in America - according to some reading I've done in the past - interpret colors to mean different things than people in other areas of the world. It's a fine line to tread, especially in a world-wide marketplace.


Indeed, I have a book here that states a lot of errors made with cultural specific things. Like the reebok logo actually being an insult in some scripts, lots of cars name ddifferent across the globe but ford slipped through a car in portugal that translated as something in the order of 'little s.hit'.
Hmm, there I go again with my bad words. But they wernt mine! I promise!