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tasmanian
05-15-2004, 10:42 AM
I have been teaching computer animation for some 15 years now.
The program of choice has always been Lightwave.

I'm used to having students that wonder why we use Lightwave and not Max or Maya etc... These are the ethernal discussions of 3D.

Lately though I'm confronted more and more with (potential) students that have never even heard of Lightwave.

I wonder what's going on. Can anyone shed some light on this ?

PS: Lightwave will stay the program of choice as long as it fits our needs :)

Chris Partridge
05-15-2004, 11:27 AM
Perhaps your new students are just ignorant. If they haven't heard of Lightwave then surely they need to get a grip on the industry basics.

meshmaster
05-15-2004, 01:59 PM
you are the teacher.. so show them the reason you use lightwave... show them a comparison list of why lightwave gives more bang for the buck when compared to xsi, maya, 3ds max, etc.

prospector
05-15-2004, 05:49 PM
Perhaps they're not HIP and just reading HYPE?

Maby show them a list of what comes 'In the box' as compared to a list of what comes 'With more cost' for the others.

Maby they need to get online and see who has the BEST and MOST FRIENDLY help forum, the WORLD OVER:D

tudor
05-15-2004, 06:24 PM
Prospector: WORD!!!

Do not let the propaganda machine of alias fool you!!

/edit

I think I just converted a guy from maya/max to start modeling in LW.. He is already impressed by the ease of rendering in LW without having to check n^10 number of check boxes..

edit/

tasmanian
05-16-2004, 05:02 AM
Thanx for the replies.

I usually do manage to convince students of the qualities of Lightwave, I can say that just about every final project made in our school in the last 10 years was made with Lightwave, only one dissident insisted on using Max instead, (his project was not better or worse than the others).

What struck me was that in the past students at least heard of Lightwave, this seems to be less the case now.

Probably Newtek will have to do an extra effort promoting Lightwave in Europe.

wacom
05-16-2004, 06:47 AM
Maybe it has to do with disks of other programs being distributed with games so people can do mods? A lot of kids want to make games more than movies or videos these days...

I'm too old to know for sure though as I remember hearing about LW and Newtek back in the amiga days...

norinradd
05-16-2004, 02:43 PM
Hi, I would like to share my own experience as a mature student from the UK , I remember lightwave from the amiga days(I had a atari st myself) and you are quite correct that the interest, at least here in the UK is either Maya or Max based, Lightwave is like the outcast son no one talks about, the Uni I study at in London has Max on a couple of rooms of PCs and Maya on one sgi octane, I myself have a G5 at home and have a educational copy of both Lightwave and Maya.

This is not intended as a flame just my observations.

The first thing I would like to point out is that you can currently pick Maya 6 complete with learning materials and a permanet lic for £200inc VAT, Lightwave 8 costs £311.38 inc VAT with no learning materials thats a big difference when your on a student income.

The second thing is that I am using Maya 6 and Lightwave 7.5(still waiting for 8 upgrade to arrive)
and Maya experience is at the moment just a 'smoother one' for me on my machine.

Although Alias 'propoganda/hype' as you term it might not be to everyones taste the trouble is it is working, saying to the kids "look this program is used in Lotr" and they think wow maybe I can do that and then carry on from there in the bedrooms.So the furture 3d gurus are already hooked on this software and as we all know switching apps is a pain so whats the answer?

When your that age does bang for buck mean as much as, when you can just DL off the net?

I do find the Community forum here and many other places very friendly and helpful but that isn't gonna shift LW like Newtek needs to especially here in the UK or Europe as a whole.

Chris Partridge
05-16-2004, 03:15 PM
I find it extremely worrying that students applying for courses in computer graphics have not even heard of Lightwave. Am I being unreasonable here? Surely they should be able to answer a question on their application form like "name the four biggest programs in the industry". If Lightwave does not feature in their answers, then perhaps they shouldn't be on the course. Frankly, it doesn't take Einstein to realise what's out there: and I would hope that people on these courses would have even the vaguest interest of the subject at large. Knowing Lightwave surely falls into that category.

CoryC
05-16-2004, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by Chris Partridge
Am I being unreasonable here?

Perhaps, unless they were taking history of animation. Today's students can go without ever touching Lightwave and it wouldn't effect their career. You don't need to know about a hand saw to be proficient with a table saw.

chrisdz
05-17-2004, 11:15 AM
I get a lot of crosseyed looks from clients and associates when I talk about using LightWave. They wonder why I'm not using Maya or Softimage.

Bizarrely, one of the local universities here (Michigan) just dropped lightwave out of their introductory 3D curriculum in favor of *Hash* animation master.

Now THAT made me cross MY eyes.

Chris Partridge
05-17-2004, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by CoryC
You don't need to know about a hand saw to be proficient with a table saw.

I'd bet you'd have heard of one though ;)

CoryC
05-17-2004, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by Chris Partridge
I'd bet you'd have heard of one though ;)

Sure but that goes back to historical knowledge rather than practical knowledge. If someone did not know that hand saws existed they could still become a carpenter.

chrisdz
05-17-2004, 12:11 PM
From a practical standpoint, who cares if someone has "heard of" a program? If they have no idea how to use it, they might just as well not be aware that it exists.

I'm quite good with Illustrator - but knowing that Freehand exists (or indeed, not knowing, if the reverse were true) has no impact on my ability...

The unfortunate part of the whole discussion (aside from the well-stretched metaphors) is the idea that Lightwave has slipped that far from prominence for whatever reason. It's an amazing tool that deserves a continued and growing audience/exposure.

wacom
05-17-2004, 12:15 PM
I think it's good to wonder how many students know of programs like Houdini and such as well. There are some programs that are used a lot by diffrent people and studios, but aren't going to get main stream air play. It doesn't mean that it is slipping.

reverie
05-18-2004, 02:59 PM
Word of mouth plays a big role in what beginners at 3D try -- and adopt. A 3d'er that I respected very much recommended C4D, so I started out with C4D. Then, another artist that I became friends with loved LW, so I tried LW -- and was totally hooked.

Maybe Lightwave just needs more recommendation and promotion. If the experts used it to simulate the Mars landing experience, it's gotta be pretty darn sophisticated -- not a program to sneeze at...or to be dropped from a curriculum. :)

Brett H.
05-18-2004, 05:40 PM
A lot of interest in 3D for the younger set comes from gaming mods. Newtek really hasn't fostered that notion like Alias and Discreet have. This may be why you are seeing LW not as well known to the youth, while Alias packages their DE with games, and Discreet touts GMax. Heck, even Softimage has game shaders built in, and the EXP is popular with modders.

Once a potential student has heard of and possibly used those three, LW becomes a red-headed stepchild. "If no one's modding with it, it must not be cool". It's a campus mentality that's hard to overcome.

Trust me, I come into contact with these people, and the games modding scene is huge with the "kids" today.

Brett

reverie
05-18-2004, 06:35 PM
You probably hit the nail on the head right there, Brett. :)

Which creates a sticky situation. When Painter 8 emerged, so much like Photoshop, some of the Painter mystique disappeared. Would Lightwave's sleek classiness be compromised by catering to the game world? I know very little about the game world, other than it calls for low-polygon models and flamboyant, kick-*** textures. :)

Yikes! I got edited. :o :D

neone
05-19-2004, 03:57 AM
tasmanian, u are absolutely right.
I wanted to learn lightwave too and was looking for a course (also in belgium btw ;) )
results: nada
I even talked to a boss that was responsible for creating courses in a job agency to have lightwave included in the program...he didn't even heared about it :confused: ...he is responsible for every graphic course available btw...so go figure :(

I started to wander if maybe lightwave isn't that good.

also business like it's a bummer with lightwave. Finding a company that works with lightwave is very hard to find :/


I think newtec is focussing on the us market right now and animation/3d modeling isn't that well known and used in europe yet :(

Joker II
05-19-2004, 04:28 AM
Hey, that makes two of us neone, like you said, I live in Antwerpen " Belgium" and I asked around and searched on the internet for any course in Antwerpen.

I found nothing, zilch, niks, nichts, rien,... :(

It seems that Lightwave has forgotten about Europe completly, please NewTek, proove to me that I'm wrong ;)

See ya,
Joker ;)

tudor
05-19-2004, 04:50 AM
Spread the discovery editon everywhere. Put it on the PC format cover disc. Send it to every school out there. Actually, give it to schools everywhere.
Expand the discovery edition so that you can try it more. Like the XSI halflife version.
Release a killer demoreel for everyone to see.

dblanky
05-19-2004, 04:16 PM
I wish there were some lightwave teachers round my area im only 16 and in the UK and would love to have a lightwave teacher! Lightwave was the first program I ever tried and i've stuck with it since, all maya and 3ds max i dont seem to mix very well with :)

I think the main problem is ,like someone pointed out, is that alot of people interested in 3D want to make games, and the first thing you get too for game modelling is max and as its expensive and suddenly think its the best thing in the world!

reverie
05-19-2004, 04:27 PM
If you can get a book called "Essential Lightwave" by Timothy Albee, you'll have a good foundation course right there. Then there's Inside Lightwave for the more advanced stuff. :)

Brett H.
05-19-2004, 05:36 PM
Originally posted by tudor
Spread the discovery editon everywhere. Put it on the PC format cover disc. Send it to every school out there. Actually, give it to schools everywhere.
Expand the discovery edition so that you can try it more. Like the XSI halflife version.
Release a killer demoreel for everyone to see.
Exactly. You should work in promotions (if you don't already). This is the kind of thinking that makes a successful market share. Get the damn thing out there! Let the kids see that, hey, it IS cool. You can do game mods with it. You can build great characters with it. You can texture....wait, I got ahead of myself. The game modding world despises LW's version of UV mapping, so the texture thing, maybe no.

But I like the way you think, tudor.

Brett

Joker II
05-20-2004, 04:43 AM
Originally posted by Brett H.
You can texture....wait, I got ahead of myself. The game modding world despises LW's version of UV mapping, so the texture thing, maybe no.
Brett [/B]

Can you explain abit why they wouldn't want to use UV mapping from LW?
Sorry to ask but euh, I'm a noob :D

Thanks,
Joker ;)

Rich
05-20-2004, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by Joker II
Can you explain abit why they wouldn't want to use UV mapping from LW?
Sorry to ask but euh, I'm a noob :D

Thanks,
Joker ;)

Actually, I went to a 2-year school learning Maya. I learned to UV map in Maya. I had tried to do it in LW but to be honest I didn't have a clear understanding of how to use the UV tools. After I became very good at UV mapping in Maya I gave it a shot again in LW. Now I love UV mapping in LW. If I ever animate in Maya I always model and UV map in LW first. Then export in OBJ format with UVs. You have to UV map a little differently in LW but it's still basically the same.

Anyway, when I first started learning 3d I first got a subscription to Computer Graphics World Magazine (CGW). It had articles and reviews on all the major 3d apps. I think that most kids today aren’t interested in learning about alternative programs. They just stick with the ones they are fed first. They learn that 3d max and Maya are the elitist programs so in their minds there is nothing else. Plus I agree with the above posters that it's all about game modding. I bought Unreal Tournament 2004 and it comes with Maya Personal Learning Edition right on the disk. If I hadn't started learning 3d before I ever touched the internet then I probably wouldn't have ever ordered any magazines and read so many reviews about the different 3d programs out there. I started out learning 3d Studio R4 and then tried LW and liked the workflow much better. Anyone remember Ray Dream Studio? Gawd, I hated that program :P

Joker II
05-20-2004, 10:47 AM
But it doesn't explain why the game modding world wouldn't use Lightwaves UV mapping :confused:

See ya,
Joker ;)

Riplakish
05-20-2004, 02:51 PM
Just to play the uneducated (haven't read the license), is it a reasonable thing to clone off the Newtek CD and send it to people whom can then use
it as the discovery edition?

Heck, I'd wind up $20 or $30 in postage, and send it
to a couple dozen people :)

-R


Originally posted by tudor
Spread the discovery editon everywhere. Put it on the PC format cover disc. Send it to every school out there. Actually, give it to schools everywhere.
Expand the discovery edition so that you can try it more. Like the XSI halflife version.
Release a killer demoreel for everyone to see.

Brett H.
05-20-2004, 05:47 PM
To tell you the honest truth, I really don't know what it is about LW UV mapping that the game mod crowd doesn't like. I don't really have that much problem UV'ing in LW, although there are a few things missing that I would like to see implemented. I'm supposing that it's the way UV's translate into the game engine. (I can find out more about this if anyone's interested. I don't do game mods myself, but I know people who do). I have heard about translating LW animation to game engines being more difficult than Maya, and with the PLE available with games, Newtek is already behind the fold.

Riplakish,
No one's suggesting that you just burn copies of your LW to send to friends and family. The suggestion was aimed at Newtek, a "Get the damn thing out there!" type of sentiment. Although, it would function as DE and since Newtek is lax to get the DE into potential users hands, it just might work. I would seek permission from them before trying such a thing, though (good luck on that one :rolleyes: ).

Brett

Joker II
05-21-2004, 04:08 PM
Well, thanks for the reply anyway

See ya,
Joker ;)

strongarm27
05-21-2004, 05:57 PM
lightwave uv's translate great into unreal 2004.
you can directly import them or you can go the
.obj route. I have had no problems at all. The
uv mapping is more on rails in max from what I
have seen. If you wish you can tweak uv's in lightwave
to your hearts content provided you unweld polys
first.
the big names have used max for games and now
maya learning addition comes with unreal. There
is a direct importer for .lwo files but you don't get
the tools. So its great for pros but no help for those
starting out. So they learn maya. Smart marketing
on their part.

strongarm27

Griff
05-21-2004, 10:19 PM
Despite its current lack of brand power, Lightwave has a thriving community that is second to none. That's why I just plunked down a whole lot of money to buy it.

--Scot

neone
05-23-2004, 09:04 AM
Originally posted by Joker II
Hey, that makes two of us neone, like you said, I live in Antwerpen " Belgium" and I asked around and searched on the internet for any course in Antwerpen.

I found nothing, zilch, niks, nichts, rien,... :(

It seems that Lightwave has forgotten about Europe completly, please NewTek, proove to me that I'm wrong ;)

See ya,
Joker ;)

at least it's nice to know that i'm not alone. I started to think i was a crazy loner when i was looking for a lightwave course :D

wacom
05-23-2004, 09:35 AM
People don't use LW as much for two additional reasons that I can see:

When the features fall behind the SDK isn't open enough to intergrate it easily into things that have those features.

Second, NewTek, unlike many of the publicly traded 3D companies, doesn't dump half of the money you spend on buying it into advertisment, and instead uses a lot of word of mouth.

I'm not happy about the first one, but I hope the last one stays close to the bone.

neone
05-23-2004, 05:11 PM
yeah wacom, u're right

you can also see that lightwave is build up in a cost effective way. Everyone got to be honest and admit that it hasent got the best interface.... nevermind the 'everyone got to admit' part...it's just my opinion ;)

but it still got the same feel of programs that are made some time back and i got a gut feeling that this concept hasent changed much over the years.
But the result is far from basic tho...and that's where it all comes down to.
it's one of the cheapest programs on the market for these sort of things and at the same time it can compete with the best outthere. I havent seen alot of programs that can say the same.
And that advertising is a great aspect too.
Advertisement costs alot of money for a customer. If someone things that advertisement only costs money to the company then they are wrong. That cost is always included in the final price for a product that you buy.
So in that way i follow you wacom :)

But it has some downsides too.
unknown programs are bound to disappear. For instance apple is a better computer system compared to windows...but windows has 90% of the market. So it isn't all about quality.
There is another aspect that is bothering me: the plugins. For instance sasquash is elimentary when you do character modeling. But only a light version is included in the package. It would raise the price for lightwave about 300-500$ so i kinda understand why it isn't included. But at the same time it's very frustration that u don't get everything what that program can do.

just some thoughts that popped up ;) don't mind the spelling errors btw :D)

Cageman
05-23-2004, 08:40 PM
Originally posted by tudor
Release a killer demoreel for everyone to see.

Good suggestions!!! :)

There are some really talanted people around, so that shouldn´t be a problem. Maybe pay some ppl to work out a demo, or get clips from movies where Lightwave was used (i.e those shots with R2D2 in EP2).

tudor
05-24-2004, 01:05 AM
Making a good demoreel is not as easy as you might think.
Getting clips from movies is hard. copyrights, nda's, alias payed to make it seem it was only their program used etc..

Holding a demoreel competition would be nice though. 10 winners + clips from films etc = official LW demoreel.

Joker II
05-24-2004, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by neone
at least it's nice to know that i'm not alone. I started to think i was a crazy loner when i was looking for a lightwave course :D

Well, I found one, it's in Hasselt if you're interested, only problem is it's an advanced course :rolleyes:

I send them an e-mail to ask if they have one for noobs like me :D Have to wait and see what response I get now ;)

If interested, it's at SYNTRA in Hasselt ;)

See ya,
Joker ;)

jin choung
05-24-2004, 05:05 AM
it's funny how this bit gets to have it both ways:

- if you're criticizing lw and comparing it with other apps: "it's not the tool... it's the artist."

- but in terms of app demo reels, we need a good one cuz: "wow, look how cool our app is!"

not a slam against anybody or anything - i'm not paying attention really to who is saying what where so it's probably not a case of outright contradiction in a single person's position - but as a gestalt of opinions, it just struck me as amusing.

jin

colkai
05-24-2004, 06:45 AM
Originally posted by jin choung
- if you're criticizing lw and comparing it with other apps: "it's not the tool... it's the artist."

- but in terms of app demo reels, we need a good one cuz: "wow, look how cool our app is!"


I think that would apply to any person/package combination really, wierd things these humans! ;)

Cageman
05-24-2004, 08:20 AM
I think that the result is always dependent on the person rather than the software. But it seems that many ppl dont know or dont believe that you can do wonderful things with Lightwave. And because of that, they go for Maya, 3DS or XSI....

Cageman
05-24-2004, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by tudor
Holding a demoreel competition would be nice though. 10 winners + clips from films etc = official LW demoreel.

I understand that it would probably cost alot to get those clips from movies and reuse them in a demoreel. :/ But, as you say, a competition would be really cool and all involved would win on this.

wacom
05-24-2004, 08:48 AM
Originally posted by Cageman
I think that the result is always dependent on the person rather than the software. But it seems that many ppl dont know or dont believe that you can do wonderful things with Lightwave. And because of that, they go for Maya, 3DS or XSI....

I know that 3D people aren't real "artists" too many, but I feel many act that way(and are).

Being around a lot of artists I've noticed that while they're very open and broad to new ideas in general, they are not so with thier tool set. Artists get attached for better or worse to their tools and how they use them. They become ignorant as to how the tools could be used diffrently, or what other diffrent tools may offer. Many stick with thier first tool for sometime, like it was thier first love, defending it to the end no mater how badly the relationship was.

Don't believe me? Put a landscape painter in a room with a cartoonist and an abstract sculptur.

The exceptions to this are the artists that can get beyond this fog and see things for what they are. Look at many great artists work over thier life time and you'll see how they evolved to use diffrent tools, or thier old ones in radicly diffrent ways (which coudl be seen as a work around :) )

You have to face the facts in the end: there are programs that do certain things better FOR YOU than Lightwave right now. The flip side is that Lightwave does a lot of things better FOR YOU than others.

You'll be the one in the end to decide what the ratio is.

Cageman
05-24-2004, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by wacom
You have to face the facts in the end: there are programs that do certain things better FOR YOU than Lightwave right now. The flip side is that Lightwave does a lot of things better FOR YOU than others.

You'll be the one in the end to decide what the ratio is.

True! :)

I just read a wonderful article about Digital Domain and their work on an Adidas commercial. Article (http://www.luxology.net/article/092302_DigitalDomain/page1.aspx)

A good example of how they used several programs for their respective strenghts.

But still, I got the feeling that people new to 3D doesn´t look at Lightwave as a viable option.

Eddie Da Pirate
05-24-2004, 10:28 AM
I think it is a marketing issue and a technical issue. One one hand this package has always been powerful but it has also been slow on making tools for character animation and setting up render passes. There is no hook into mental ray so most post houses won't use it. This means no publicity and no excited kids screaming I want to use Lightwave. Also I can't push a button and have the renderer just render highlight or shadows. Other packages can (XSI). Setting up scenes for compositing is all manual. This is a problem. Also muscle systems and weighting meshes is an issue in LW. This should be done in layout where you can select bones and the display shows you the current effect of the bone.

I am coming back to Lightwave after 5 years and I really like the package but I own an animation studio and I know its weak spots. Time is money and if me or my crew have to spend extra time in the rigging process it costs the client more. Version 8 Seems to address this problem some what but it still need work. As far as the teaching side of this discussion, Students will believe what ever you tell them. So just tell them you opinions on the subject. Thats what I did when I taught.:D

Griff
05-24-2004, 08:28 PM
There are a lot of Raydream/Carrera afficionados out there who will swear that you can do anything in Raydream/Carrera that you can in the comparatively expensive LW, the comparatively amazingly expensive 3DS Max, and the comparatively unattainable Maya.

And they're right.

The only problem is that Raydream/Carrera is so quirky, so under-supported by comparison to these other packages that you'll pretty much have to figure out how to do it all on your own.

The real differences between all of these packages are workflow and community. You can find a way in Lightwave to do everything you can do in 3DS Max or Maya (absent support by a particular plug-in like Mental Ray, which is not really a fair complaint; I'm sure there are lots of cool plugins for LW that you can't get for any other platform), the question is how difficult it is to do it by comparison.

The problem that the original post identifies is not really caused by a lack of capability. Rather, it is a result of Maya being increasingly viewed as the de facto standard in the 3D CG industry: the professionals are starting to feel like they have to put Maya on their resume to have a legitimate shot at that next job. It's like asking a secretary whether she knows Word, and getting the response, "No, but I know Wordstar!"

Newtek would be well-advised to get a VP of Marketing and start finding a way to re-build its brand. Otherwise, LW's user base will start eroding more quickly than it already is (and I'm a new user!). They should also get a Mental Ray plugin.

FYI -- I just purchased LW (have to pick it up at UPS tomorrow; you'd think Newtek would spring for overnight shipping given the cost of the package). I chose to spend 10x of the cost of upgrading to Carrera 3.0 because I knew that Carrera hasn't changed enough to make it acceptable to me. I considered the complete Cinema 4D 8.5, which would have cost me just a tad more due to Maxon's competitive upgrade deal for Carrera (or Bryce), but the community is too small. The closest contender for me was the complete 3DS Max package at $2k more, but I ultimately decided that, although I find the interface a little more intuitive, things can get so buried in the drop-down menus that I am more likely to get lost, plus I was concerned about the creeping cost of plugins.

But I'm a hobbiest. If I were a professional or had designs on becoming one, I can't imagine buying anything but Maya or 3DS Max, depending on my career focus.

--Scot

pauland
05-25-2004, 01:28 AM
Originally posted by Griff
Newtek would be well-advised to get a VP of Marketing and start finding a way to re-build its brand. Otherwise, LW's user base will start eroding more quickly than it already is (and I'm a new user!).

I agree with you completely. Newtek does a lot of good things with their marketing, but clearly it's not good enough to make Newtek grow as it should. I think there's probably a cultural problem - I think they try and keep things in house and I don't think anyone has the marketing experience to push Newtek forward.

I work in the software industry. I used to support and develop a product which was technically at the forefront - ahead of it's nearest rival and easier to maintain. The company joke was 'On which platform does "rival product" run best?' Answer: 35mm slide projector. Basically, it was true. The rival company was great at marketing and helped built a secondary application suite around it's core product to fit what their customers were doing/likely to do. This approach has now made that company dominant in the market, leaving the technically superior product behind (so much so the company has transferred hands twice). Naturally, the technically superior product is still very capable, but no longer a leader technically.


FYI -- I just purchased LW (have to pick it up at UPS tomorrow; you'd think Newtek would spring for overnight shipping given the cost of the package).

LOL, I think some people are still waiting for LW8 upgrades, a month on from the start of shipping!


If I were a professional or had designs on becoming one, I can't imagine buying anything but Maya or 3DS Max, depending on my career focus.

--Scot

That should be a scary comment for Newtek.

Paul

reverie
05-25-2004, 11:26 AM
Newtek would be well-advised to get a VP of Marketing and start finding a way to re-build its brand.

I think that a good advertising campaign would do the trick, too. Lightwave is so awesome -- and once you're hooked, you're hooked. Or I am. I tried out a few other programs via demos (and bought C4D cheap from a friend who no longer used it), but now even tinkering around in another 3D program is no fun at all. Can't imagine using anything BUT LW.

All it'd take would be one good hunk of bait to entice potential users, let 'em nibble enough to get a good taste of the program, and wham! You could reel the customers in by the dozens. :D

Someone should design a killer game on Lightwave and publicize the fact. ;) Easier said than done, I guess.

Or think of a catchy slogan...

Lightwave yourself into the 21st century! :D

I gotta go to a meeting. :rolleyes:

Griff
05-25-2004, 11:32 AM
Paul,

Newtek should be scared. The 3D graphics niche market has become a real industry, and it is starting to standardize around 3DS Max for gaming and Maya for everything else. It's still early enough in this process that LW has a chance to define itself as a real alternative (I think Softimage is making some inroads doing this).

One thing that Newtek really needs to consider is providing a light version for less money (which is what everyone else is doing). Given that you can get the light versions of 3DS Max and Maya for the same or less cost than LW, why wouldn't you buy those packages if your designs are to be a professional? You can learn the interface and upgrade the modules if and when you need them.

On the other hand, the price/performance argument works great for me because I will never do this professionally.

--Scot

flashcraft
05-25-2004, 06:46 PM
Newtek did have a light version of LW called Inspire. It was a pretty good thing at 1/4 to the price and had a great set of tutorials, intro to 3D cd's I still refer new folks to. I started in Truespace and the other cheapies and lusted after Lightwave and bought what I could afford (Inspire). They were a good start, as much as any start is a good start. The allure of having the special FX and CG workhorse that is used in TV / Film was great. That tingle doesn't seem to be there, as it is now washed out by the other tools in the limelight. Noone to blame for this but Newtek. Maya is a bigger pain in the arse than it needs to be, but still kicks butt - especially once you catch on to the quirky ambiguous tasks. Once useability gets better and workflows improve, Maya will be the 100 ton gorilla (instead of the 10 ton gorilla). And Lightwave will be the living head in a jar on a shelf in a museum full of other living heads in a jar (Futurama fans out there?)

I wonder what is happening in the company when the LW 8 CD's have been shipping to those who pre-ordered, yet there's no fanfare. None of the industry news sites, not even Newtek's site have come out to say "Lightwave 8 NOW SHIPPING to existing users, become one SOON!"

There seems to be no magic left in the company and the lack of communication and chatter is symptomatic of the breakdown of the corporate machine.

We just bought two licenses of LW for it's advantages. One of which is that it is keyed to that cool purple key. So I can install it on 4 or 5 machines and whoever needs it on their desktop grabs the key. Try that with Maya or Max... Heck, try ever try reselling an old seat of Max or Maya??? We bought it a couple of months ago, and haven't received any word (perhaps our purchasing department fails here) on the upgrade. Yet I come here and folks have their mitts on it already.

The file format is fairly open. Not so in the proprietary formats of MayaMax.

SoftImage is a sleeper, I think they will make it into the forefront over the next couple of years. Max will stay on top for the things it does well (particularly if they adjust their pricing and license agreement funkiness). Maya will continue to develop into an easy to use tool as long as the money machine continues to fund R&D and development.

We still use Maya, it has definite strengths (Joe Alter rocks!!! I pity LW for not having continued support of Shave and a Haircut). We still use Max and GMAX, definite strengths there too.

For UVW mapping we have selected a specialized $40 tool that also does good file translation. Ultimate Unwrap 3D, kicks butt over the, still great, tools in Max.

I use LW in my game Modding workflow at home. It's surprisingly good at low poly modeling. I prefer it over Max / GMAX, but still use those tools for some things (I prefer stacked lofting over rail sweeps).

I don't see Lightwave around in 5 years if this keeps up. I ask where's the Magic??? Where's the energy??? Why so quiet about the stuff that deserves fanfare??? Lightwave needs a lifering to save itself from the self imposed swirling vortex of forgotten software...

reverie
05-25-2004, 07:14 PM
And Lightwave will be the living head in a jar on a shelf in a museum full of other living heads in a jar

I do hope you're wrong about that. I'd hate to discover such a cool program then have the company dissolve and the software become obsolete.

Everyone's been concentrating on the gaming thing here...what about movies and tv? I've seen Lightwave credits in lots of movie listings. And the free-lancers -- they choose their own software. Like the guy who made the Kennedy re-enactment. Didn't he use Lightwave? And, of course, the Mars rover simulation was made in Lightwave, according to a story I read.

As long as Lightwave maintains its hypnotic hold on its users -- who will then introduce it to other users through word of mouth, if nothing else -- maybe the software will survive.

About the no-fanfare...maybe us pre-orderers are being used as beta testers. Maybe there'll be a grand launch later. Maybe this new team I've seen mentioned is planning a marketing campaign that's going to knock the socks off the 3D world.

Another thing -- what about all the new books that are coming out? Don't publishing companies have access to all the inside buzz? Would a dozen LW 8 books be tettering on the verge of publication...one of them 1000 pages long/that's gotta cost the publisher a pretty penny and guarantee a risk...if Lightwave was skidding toward a plop into a pickling jar?

flashcraft
05-25-2004, 07:34 PM
I too would be sorry to see Lightwave vanish. It's a great package, don't take my words any other way. My point is that if Newtek doesn't synch up with the industry and start playing real game marketing wise, they cannot compete.

Steve

reverie
05-25-2004, 07:44 PM
Maybe the Newtek powers-that-be are reading all this and taking it to heart. :)

I think we should all contribute slogans for them to use in a jam-up advertising campaign.

Ride the Wave of the Future -- Lightwave!

:D :D

flashcraft
05-25-2004, 08:40 PM
Maybe a Project GreenLight - Wave like competition. Where Indy's are encouraged to rock the house and offered a shot to develop their creation in a co-sponsored (TV / Film / Game)?

Something to wind people up and take notice. In the face of plain old marketing steamroll and arse whoopin, some out of the ordinary alliances, partnerships and gimmicks galore can do no damage.

Create a Wow'em experience surrounding the software. The Website is good, and useable but it's not holy crap wrap me in a warm blanket of goodness.

Study your enemies and go after the weaknesses of your competitors with a fervor. Make it known why Lightwave deserves a shot in the upper eschelon of the production environment. Partner with studios (again), partner with the future Pixar and make a rocking feature film with Lightwave and a small staff, small budget and short timeline. Have evaluation figures ready to compare features and ROI with the current rulers of the roost.

Take advantage of the community energy, feed it and feed from it. Reward innovation, sponsor creativity. Take cues from successful patterns of subtlety as well as successful patterns of outrageous marketing behavior (Apple >>> Quizno's) There's some message out there that fits Newtek Lightwave to a T (It likely involves more than price -- think community, power, beauty)

Partnerships will be found in other industry leaders (not 3D tools, but other visual tools, planning tools, niche tools apply) as well as industry folks in similar positions. Some of this is going on, but it needs to be going on in spades with reciprocal behavior running wild.

Keep the community in the loop, leave no ambiguity. But, keep future releases close to the breast until they are ready for prime time (Macromedia pattern). Seems contradictory, but it works for well for those that do it.

New burgening markets hold good opportunity. You may want to tune focused tools on these markets. eLearning is going to big bang starting last year. Not sure how a 3D tool can be tuned for this market, but if it can it should be done. This could also be done through careful partnering.

Be known for support, be known for efficiency, be known for history, be known for capability, be known for flexibility, be known for interoperability, be known for open standards and ease of setup of complex tasks, be known for loyalty, be known for energy, creativity and magic, and dang sure be known for everything your competitors are infamous for. Make things not only work, but work dang good!

What is one thing that Maya rocks for: Paint directly to the model, but it's not as good as Deep Paint. Maybe a point of connection between Deep Paint and Lightwave, a pricing partnership and the explication of the superior link. Ocean and water sim is something else that Maya Unlimited does well. Look for functional superiority in partnership if it cannot be done natively.

More, more, more the sky is the limit. And it doesn't need to be hard...

Griff
05-25-2004, 09:46 PM
Woot! My copy of LW 7.5 arrived today. Oh, yeah!

Now that we have that out of the way . . .

Lightwave is not going to disappear within 5 years, probably not even 10 years. Why? Think Raydream/Carrera.

The issue is whether the community is going to stagnate and diminish over time, and unless Newtek can interest the professional user (and those studying to become professional users) in learning LW, the community will have a hard time growing. I think it will always be big enough for my needs, but if it isn't, I'll just buy another suite.

As I said before, 3D graphics is now a real industry that is big enough to standardize on a standard toolset. Newtek needs to respond to its new reality and figure out how it is going to continue growing.

As to painting programs/plugins, my plan is to use ZBrush. ZBrush is fantastic and complementary program to LW (although you have to tweak things to make ZBrush displacement maps work properly in LW). Newtek should think about working with Pixologic to develop a ZBrush-technology plugin.

--Scot

jin choung
05-25-2004, 09:48 PM
oh come on guys... it's not primarily or properly an issue of p.r....

lw's not the sharpest tool in the shed. and that's no shame considering it's a big shed with lots o' rich tool makers. (but being the senile, addled ol' uncle in naming it's tabs don't help)

* it is hands down the best value. *

* price/performance it wins hands down. *

but there's a lot of areas that do indeed need work. there's a lot of things that feel somewhat primitive and there's a lot of ways in which it doesn't conform to whatever standards have come to be established in the industry.

but as i said, it's still a great 3d app.

but you can only generate so much excitement for a merely serviceable girlfriend or a hyundai -

it may get the job done no question... but.... and trust me, i drive a hyundai.

and as i've said before, there was a very telling article i read somewhere that said that piracy really ends up hurting the 'not the best in class but excellent value' products even more than the cutting edge stuff.

why BUY a hyundai when you can get a copy of a lamborghini for free?

so that's another big issue that ends up helping alias and adobe but can hurt lw. because market dominance can be and is achieved even through piracy.

jin

jin choung
05-25-2004, 10:08 PM
oh, and wacom is quite right about artists getting attached to their tools.

but this is a hindrance and not a virtue.

as i keep telling the newtek staff, IGNORANCE should not be the thing that makes lw what it is.

and IGNORANCE should not be the reason anybody prefers lightwave over something else.

both the lw developers and lw users would stand to gain a lot by knowing other apps.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
secret tip:

if you know the basics of 3d completely and you are completely proficient with ANY one app, learning any other is trivial.... a matter of days and weeks.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

don't be intimidated and let not your tastes be determined in part or whole by ignorance.

jin

Designer
05-25-2004, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by Griff
Newtek would be well-advised to get a VP of Marketing and start finding a way to re-build its brand. Otherwise, LW's user base will start eroding more quickly than it already is (and I'm a new user!). They should also get a Mental Ray plugin.

--Scot


Agree completely. I hope Newtek is paying attention, otherwise, Maya's marketing tactics is enough to kill off other 3D apps like LW. I don't understand what the [email protected]$ is Newtek thinking??

Brett H.
05-27-2004, 05:09 PM
Really interesting thread, alot of good points made here, and some of you are flat-out geniuses of marketing...
That said...

I really think the answer is simple: get LW out there, into the hands of those who will potentially use it. There's just not enough buzz around LW to make it "cool". I'm telling you, the younger generation has a lot of money to spend, and they spend it on the things that are cool, in their perception. Take the Apple iPod for example: not a cheap toy ($299 and up), and yet they sell like hotcakes, and it's not the 40-somethings buying them, it's the kids! LW needs to be cool! And it is, but the kids don't know that, or those that do are in such a minority to the Maya boyz that they are lost in the din.

Get the damn thing out there, through magazine CDs, game packaging of a limited demo, downloads of the DE, contests, killer websites, advertising in hip magazines (think SPIN), etc.
Hell, you can't even download the DE off the Newtek site! What is this, a "if you have to ask for a demo, you can't afford it" mentality? These kids are your future customers!

The reason I brought up the game modding crowd earlier is that is what's cool now with the kids. If LW can't do it, how do you expect it to be cool? (of course it can, but they don't know that). You have to keep up with these trends, or die a slow death. And that's not "chicken little" mentality, it's the truth, the sky is falling.

LW isn't cool anymore.
Make it cool again.

Brett

tudor
05-28-2004, 01:09 AM
LW should team up with one or more of the 3d engines. Imagine getting a free (limited) version of a 3d engine shipped with LW.

If none of the major ones want to do it, then get Virtools for example. Virtools is damned cool. If you know a bit about simple scripting and are not too unorganized you can make a game from scratch yourself. And the engine is good.

Also, the mapeditors that are out there for games like BF1942 etc. I don't see anything hindering LW's layout being used as a map editor. In fact, LW's layout is the perfect map editor for games.

philip kelly
05-28-2004, 04:00 AM
persoanlly
I don't think they are marketing it strongly enough.
maya is everywere and so is softmage, on all the cg sites.
Lightwave is not, it's a advertisng world out there, and the more people hear about something the more they will buy it.

Go to cg channel or cg networks and what's all over it maya 6 or 3ds max....no lightwave 8.?
makes you think why.
also the website needs a new look I think it is dated a bit and drab to look at.
start plastering that lovely logo all over it.
phil

gregsduncan
05-28-2004, 10:38 AM
Philip I think you've forgotten the Newtek slogan:

"Lightwave 3D... It's Everywhere"

I get concerned with the status of Lightwave in the 3D world. My sister works in a very large multi-national advertising agency and they are changing over to XSI, though will still do a little modelling in LW. She says it's because the market wants either Maya or XSI.

Makes me wonder whether I should start to learn a new package...

I like LW and know the price is very good but wouldn't mind paying a little more for more up to date features and demand from the market place.

Come on Newtek!

gregsduncan
05-28-2004, 10:40 AM
Before any one says it, I know LW is easier to use and it's all down to the user whether you get good results or not but you can't persuade every customer people have that LW is just as good. If it's Maya they want, it's Maya they get - they're paying!!!