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The Producer
05-05-2004, 10:19 PM
My school has a copy of Lightwave 5.6 that it appears that they're not using, and i'm planning on trying to buy it from them.

If I get this version, what will I be missing from version 7.5?

Thanks


The Producer

colkai
05-06-2004, 05:36 AM
A not inconsiderable amount.
There was significant changes between 5.6 and 7.0/7.5

Having said this, if you can get the 5.6C *WITH THE DONGLE* then you can get on the upgrade path.

Note: Unless they have a second dongle, there is no point in asking about buying the 5.6 version.

Having said this, and assuming you do get a dongle, I still have 5.6 on my PC as a lot of my older scenes would need to much re-jigging to use 7.5 so yeah, it's worth having.
Certainly if you don't yet have LW and can't afford a new version, for sure, I'd say get it, especially if the price is right. :D

mattclary
05-06-2004, 05:56 AM
You can usually pick up a used copy of Lightwave for around $600-$700 on these forums. Go look at the advertising section. I would forget 5.6, it doesn't hold a candle to... hell, even 6.5.

colkai
05-06-2004, 06:48 AM
Originally posted by mattclary
I would forget 5.6, it doesn't hold a candle to... hell, even 6.5.

Aww, I love my 5.6 (there there now..don't listen to the nasty man..) ;)

Wish they has the rust shader and steamer though, regardless of what anyone has said, there are things these two could do that are still difficult / impossible to do with current technology.
Rust had a nice 'access' feature that gradients just can't do.

The Producer
05-06-2004, 07:39 AM
OK, thanks!

This would be the very first 3D program that I will purchase, and I don't know what this Dongle thing is all about. I's appreiciate it if some one would explain it...

Also, i've been playing around alot with the 7.5DE version (that's why i'm really interested in LW). Exactly what would be missing in 5.6 that's in 7.5? (etc, Graph Editor, Motion Mixer...)

I'm looking to make a small animation in 5.6, and if I like LW's workflow as opposed to 3DSMAX and C4D, i'll plan to upgrade to 7.5 or 8!

Thanks

Signal to Noise
05-06-2004, 08:16 AM
A "dongle" is a device that attaches to your computer either via the Parallel Port (old) or USB Port (new & better). It serves as a licensing device which allows the software associated to the dongle to run normally. Without the dongle (or Hardware Lock -HWL-as it is also called) the software will either run in Demo Mode (LightWave does this) or not at all.

NewTek requires the Dongle ID number to give you a permanent license key that will 'unlock' the software.

colkai
05-06-2004, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by The Producer
OK, thanks!
This would be the very first 3D program that I will purchase, and I don't know what this Dongle thing is all about. I's appreiciate it if some one would explain it...

A dongle is a little hardware device that either plugs into your USB port or your parallel port depending on the type.
Mine is the white parallel variety and it looks, (assuming your familiar with PC bits and bobs), like a gender changer.

Here are some examples..
http://www.geo-slope.com/downloads/images/rainbow.jpg
http://www.guardant.com/pics/scheme.gif
http://www.aladdin.de/images/i_prod_hasp/hasp4_parallel_schwarz_gr.jpg
http://sies.tjsys.co.jp/support/ghs/guide/license/dongle-usb.jpg
http://www.oi-us.com/oidirect/images/usb_dongle.gif

If the Lightwave does not come with one of these, (older versions are probably all of the parallel variety), then DO NOT buy it.
Regardless of what anyone says - if it isn't using a dongle, it is illegal, there is NO version of Lightwave on a PC that doesn't need one of these.
If someone sells you LW and says otherwise, you are getting royally ripped off.

Tim Parsons
05-06-2004, 03:36 PM
In your post you say "My school has a copy of Lightwave 5.6". Are you a student or faculty member? If so you can purchase an academic version of 7.5 for $170.76 at Provantage.com. The only caveat is that this is sold as an additional seat of Lightwave Academic and therefore comes only with the "dongle" and academic license. You do not receive a CD, manual or tech support, and as in all academic license's you are not allowed to profit from the use of Lightwave. You do have to submit proof of eligibility. So if you qualify as a student or faculty member and have access to LW7.5 CD's, get yourself Dan Ablan's Inside Lightwave 7 book and your all set.

See ya!

The Producer
05-06-2004, 06:25 PM
Yeah, i'm a student at a high school...and I think i'm the only one who's interested in 3D animation here. They have one copy of Lightwave 5.6...my teacher actually showed the box.

OK, so now I understand about the dongle. So is there anyplace where I can get the LW 5.6 DE so that I can compare it with LW 7.5?

JCG
05-07-2004, 01:32 AM
As far as I know, there wasn't a discovery edition of 5.6

I can give you a few screenshots if you want:
screenshots (http://moravia1.netfirms.com/lw56.htm)
I didn't resize them so they're a bit bulky...

It did have a Graph editor :)

The most important differences between 5.6 and 7 for me are that:

a) You couldn't render subpatches in 5.6. You had to freeze the object first and then render the frozen object.

b) There was a limit of 65,535 points per object. You might be thinking that you can make very complex objects in 7.5 with 65k points but remember a)! The 65K points had to be the total left after freezing! Yes, you could make B5 and Titanic with it, but I always ran out of points when trying to make a creature before I was half done.

c) No endomorphs (or weight maps). You had to save a copy of each morph as a separate object. And they kept getting a little point order change that would make the entire creature explode in a spikey rain of points.
The only way to control bone influence was through the limited range (you had to model very extreme poses).

d) The only way to shape subpatches was by finding the corresponding points :(

e) Most of the modeling tools that are interactive now, weren't.

f) No expert mode. You had to click OK after all sorts of operations (welds!).

g) The viewports! My F2 and F3 keys were mapped to pan and Magnify because I had to use them so often. The orthographic views were wireframe only and the perspective view was a living nightmare. I explain it a bit in the modeler screenshot.

h) No expressions, sliders, viper, gradients, custom null shapes...

i) F9 gave you a preview but you had to kill it to continue working.

j) Just by seeing the number of tabs and buttons you can see that A LOT of tools have been added.

k) No radiosity, caustics or high dynamic range renders.

l) 5.6's Interface couldn't be customized.

m) 5.6 had steamer and rendergl :)

That's what comes off the top of my head...
Still, I loved that little proggy!!!
...but LW3D[8] academic pricing is about $350, new with printed manuals and everything, so they'd better sell it really cheap!

tasmanian
05-07-2004, 04:40 AM
Don't know if this helps...

I have been teaching LW for years now. Till last schoolyear I had to use 5.6. It was okay, even final projects were made with this version. Over the years we did add a few plugins though.

Since this schoolyear I can use LW 7.5. What I have noticed with the first year students is that they learn a lot quicker.

Conclusion would be that a lot of things got a lot easier.
Working with endomorphs and doing a bones setup being the most notable.

Of course, a lot depends on what you intend to use it for, not much use for bones in architectural modeling...:)

Exper
05-07-2004, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by colkai
Wish they has the rust shader and steamer though, regardless of what anyone has said, there are things these two could do that are still difficult / impossible to do with current technology.
Rust had a nice 'access' feature that gradients just can't do. Ah...
the beloved Steamer and Rust shader!

How many times we asked them back?
Maybe a billion!
No response!

The Producer
05-07-2004, 07:58 AM
OK, then 5.6 wouldn't be for me. I'd be using radiosity for some still images, and working ALOT in learning character rigging and animation...a bit of that I learned in LW7.5DE.

They want about $100 for the program. I'll just wait a few more weeks and get 7.5 Educational version!