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jevinstudios
06-12-2004, 08:23 AM
Effective immediately, Jevin Studios (my small 3D animation studio in Santa Fe, NM) will be replacing Maya with LightWave 3D as our flagship 3D application.

Why?

My roots as an animator were with LightWave, back in the mid-1990's. Since that time, NewTek has continued to release a stable, continuously evolving product unmatched in price, modeling toolset, and overall quality. With LightWave 8, NewTek has really spent the extra time needed to create a truly extraordinary package, which rivals even the most stringent competition.

After comparing LW with Maya (which we've used as our flagship app for over 3 years now), I'v decided to put LW in the top spot, and will be producing the majority of our work with this application (modeling, animation & rendering).

The time for singing LightWave's praises are here. I'm glad to be back in the fold as a true LightWave fanatic.

PS: This is also the best forum on the web, and the LW Community is really the most wonderful group of professionals and users in the business. I love you guyz!

Castius
06-12-2004, 11:08 AM
Thats great, I wish you all the luck.

I have recently replaced max in our studio with Lightwave as well. It's a great feeling. LW 8 is a world of improvement for animation. So I'm very much looking forward to the next few update from newtek.

jevinstudios
06-12-2004, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by Castius
LW 8 is a world of improvement for animation.

I couldn't agree with you more. I was deeply disappointed with the Maya 6 "Downgrade", and have begun moving my work back into LightWave. For the past 3 years, I've used LightWave for modeling only; now that has changed. LightWave's toolset is just as good as Maya's, and in many aspects, more reliable, robust and stable!

Glad to hear more of us high-end users are turning to LightWave for our work -- NewTek: you did good on v.8. Thanks for taking the extra time to do such a great job in releasing the best software upgrade out of all the 3D apps this year!

PHilly[Dee]
06-12-2004, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by jevinstudios
PS: This is also the best forum on the web, and the LW Community is really the most wonderful group of professionals and users in the business.
Totally agree...

Nemoid
06-12-2004, 12:56 PM
Hey guys this is a great news. i always thought that Lightwave was a great piece of software, especially for the small company.:)

Great prices, unlimited render nodes, + possibility to use F prime hehe.
if things go as i think, next releases will be even better, with this new staff things are getting cool!

sanderdes
06-12-2004, 01:18 PM
Sounds like ***-kissing to me,
but I couldn't agree more :D
LOL

cresshead
06-12-2004, 04:40 PM
hi

just being nosey but what in your opinion has made you think that maya 6.0 is a backwards step from maya 5?...would like to get my head round that one!

cheers

steve g

Kvaalen
06-12-2004, 04:48 PM
It's good to hear that. I've heard nothing but LightWave users complaining about Maya being better than LightWave and. Now there is someone who says the oppisite. :)

jevinstudios
06-12-2004, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by cresshead
just being nosey but what in your opinion has made you think that maya 6.0 is a backwards step from maya 5?...would like to get my head round that one!

Maya 6 does not read it's own files properly from v.5 anymore, randomly changing polygon smoothing of normals on objects with no sense or reason, and making it difficult (and in some cases impossible) to correct without noticeable polygonal artifacts appearing. I've logged the bug with Alias, and they're working on a fix, but this hassle has thrown my whole production pipeline into a tailspin, as most of our files were imported into/created and animated in Maya 5. Additionally, there is no way to save scenes down to v.5 format in Maya; once you create a scene, it's 6-centric only, leaving you stuck with any problems you might encounter to be worked out in the 6 environment with no other options. This latest build (a rush-to-NAB release, I'm thinkin') has cost us numerous manpower hours in troubleshooting, logging bug reports, and having to go back and entirely re-model whole portions of our scenes for a key client in the aerospace industry.

Also, the renderer has been doing some horrible things that I've logged bug reports on (strange shadow distortion and ray-tracing reflection anomolies appearing when Bias is tweaked to smooth out self-shadowing artifacts on objects) -- only to find that this is NOT a bug, but indeed a limitation of Maya's rendering capabilities that will just have to be tolerated (as well as the limitation that some extremely poly-intensive scenes will not render to hi-res print resolution (or not at all in some cases), and Maya's inability to preview render complex scenes without aborting mid-way....). Switching to Mental Ray for these scenes has not worked, due to shading node conflicts, causing MR to abort all render attempts (even tho MR is supposed to be fully integrated with Maya software -- Alias still has a lot of work to do in this area, IMHO).

Overall, I've found LightWave to be superior in stability and performance, with a renderer that kicks Maya's ***** all across the playground. I'll still use Maya for it's 3D paint functions, and some beautiful organic sculpting that I can export into LightWave, but overall, I've come to the conclusion that LightWave is just one helluva great piece of software, and deserves to lead the pack in my production pipeline.

Throw in LightWave's new dynamics capabilities (with more refining and enhancements to come!), advanced character rigging improvements, Hypervoxels (something very cool that Maya does not have), over 10 years of solid 3D experience (hey, LW was the 1st major app to revolutionize visual effects in the broadcast TV market), and the best modeling toolset in the industry, I think it's fair to say that LightWave is just as good as any of the major players, if not superior in many areas.

Will definitely not be upgrading my Maya licenses next year; will be putting that $$ into beefing my LightWave set-up instead (just ordered a full version of Sasquatch today and installed the LightWave plugins for Next Limit Realflow 2.5 for a head start). With RealFlow Fluid Dynamics Engine & Sasquatch, will have all the power of Maya Unlimited or Softimage XSI at my fingertips, but with the reliability and ease of use that LightWave offers (not to mention free technical support -- a wonderful perk!)....

Emmanuel
06-14-2004, 08:29 AM
Yeah, but I thought maya 5 was already much more powerful than LW 8, so why did You do the upgrade to 6 anyway ?

aniboy2000
06-14-2004, 09:14 AM
Still, it would be nice to have easy, built-in access to 3d fur, hair, and liquid without having to plop down thousands for plug-ins (or Maya Unlimited).

jevinstudios
06-14-2004, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by Emmanuel
Yeah, but I thought maya 5 was already much more powerful than LW 8, so why did You do the upgrade to 6 anyway ?

Well, when you plunk down $1,300 per year, per license, for Maya Maintenance Support, the upgrades are included. Kinda defeats the purpose if you don't take advantage of them (otherwise, those are the most expensive calls to Canada in existence for occasional tech support!!). But, in this case, I'm sorry I did -- Maya 6 has fallen short of expectations big time, while LW 8 has exceeded them. Do not regret my decision to put LW in the top spot at all.....

jevinstudios
06-14-2004, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by aniboy2000
Still, it would be nice to have easy, built-in access to 3d fur, hair, and liquid without having to plop down thousands for plug-ins (or Maya Unlimited).

Agreed. But, I enjoy the flexibility of full Hair & Fur / Fluid Dynamics, and find that even with Maya, external options like NextLimit RealFlow and Shave & A Haircut are more robust and feature-rich than the native versions that come bundled with Maya Unlimited.

Purchasing Sasquatch was a $500 expense (very reasonable considering what you get), and my RealFlow was already bought 2 years ago -- just ported it into LW via free plug-ins.

Overall, with just a coupla' extra plug-ins, I find that LightWave is the best bang-for-the-buck, and beats the hell out of XSI & Maya. Some may disagree, but after using Maya extensively for over 3 years now on a daily basis, I find that I can't run back to LightWave fast enough!

Of course, some of my clients will still want work done in Maya, so I will comply. But for all the rest of my studio's professional offerings -- LW all the way.....

(And plus -- I just LOVE this software, and always have. I only added Maya due to client demand, and have never enjoyed it as much creatively as I have with LW. Just my 2 cents.....)

Nemoid
06-14-2004, 01:52 PM
Wow your description of Maya 6 was astonishing to read .
They really messed up with this one. c'mon rendering artifacts with raytracing.. the sort of things that usually makes Nt forums members jump with hundreds of complaints.

Lw is good because is direct to the point. :)

tokyo drifter
06-14-2004, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by jevinstudios
Overall, with just a coupla' extra plug-ins, I find that LightWave is the best bang-for-the-buck, and beats the hell out of XSI & Maya. In what ways does Lightwave "beat the hell out" of XSI and Maya? Can you be specific?

jevinstudios
06-14-2004, 03:59 PM
These are my opinions:

* Rendering (#1 point, and a big one!)
* Ease of use
* Out of box features
* Stability & reliability
* Cost effectiveness of support (can't get any more cost effective than "no charge")
* Overall price factor for what you get (XSI's low-end pricing, now closer to LW's, still doesn't offer all you get right out of the box from LW)
* Hypervoxels (really love this volumetric function -- makes doing complex and realistic smoke, explosions, fluids, etc. realistic and beautiful!)
* Modeling toolset -- the best in the industry, no question about it
* Intuitive yet incredibly versatile particle system that can render directly in the scene without having to render with hardware, then composite later (as in Maya)
* Intuitive shading & UV system (much more user-friendly, and with UV Edit Pro, extremely detailed)
* Cool dynamics
* Vastly improved character animation tools
* Skelegons (Love these!)
* Beautiful shader glow effects (in Maya, more than one shader with glow applied will adversely effect the others, causing anomolies or flickering when rendered, forcing each glowing object to be rendered separately and composited later)
* Integrated hair & fur (even tho it's SasLite, still offeres a great alternative to those who don't need or require a full package)
* Ability of LW to handle and render extremely large scenes with millions of polys
* Back to rendering: since that was my main beef with Maya, I find that LW's native renderer is still the best out of all the players. The most crisp, beautiful renders around!

There are many more features, but these are my personal fav's. I could go on and on and list everything that LW can do, but I'm preaching to the choir, right?

I can slap myself for ever thinking that because software was expensive or used in "The Lord of the Rings" or has a marketing machine resembling Godzilla on a bad day, that it was the best. Far from it. LightWave was the first major player to shake the industry, and still to this day, holds it's own and continues to make progress in a glutted market filled with increasing demands and skepticism.

My opinion is that LightWave is the best (for me, anyway). I love it, and love working with it. Although I'm a little rusty after 3 years, since I've been a Maya whore during that time, I already feel a sense of familiarity and comfort when I open this app that I could never get from Maya. My humble offerings, that's all.

Librarian
06-14-2004, 05:21 PM
Beats the hell out of XSI???? Cīmon, be realistic.

* Rendering (#1 point, and a big one!)
- LW better than XSI implementation and ****in flexible render tree? For small changes LW layer based surfacing is faster. Overall, render tree gives you more control.

*Ease of use
-XSI ist far more complex than LW and in my mind easier to learn than Maya. LW is the easiest because of its primitiveness.

*Out of the box features
-XSI offers more features even in Foundation. No hard or softbodys or hair, but standard cloth and particles.

*Stability & reliability
-XSI beats the **** out of LW and even in its worst days, it`s more stable than LW in it`s best. The 8 is a bugfest with features as selection sets with buggy save function!

* Cost effectiveness of support (can't get any more cost effective than "no charge")
- XSI support is second to none. Incredible and they implement the features you demand and within production schedule. It`s not cost free, but you get what you`ve paid for.

* Overall price factor for what you get (XSI's low-end pricing, now closer to LW's, still doesn't offer all you get right out of the box from LW)
-As I said before, XSI offers more features even in Foundation. Saslite is a joke, ėt doesn`t count, and new dynamics are not comparable to the realtime dynamics implemented in Essential or Advanced.
But XSI offers more in all other aspects. NLA system and character animation tools alone, it`s a joke to compare them with LW. They`re not even on the same planet.
The same goes for constraints, dopesheet, graph editor, animation mixer, IK, expressions, history, n-gons, rendering, subpixel displacement, scripting... I stop here.
Nearly every LW feature is a poor cousin of what XSI offers.

* Hypervoxels
- Well a cool thing. Don`t know about something like this in XSI. Still learning.

* Modeling toolset -- the best in the industry, no question about it
- XSI 4 offers a lot of equivalent tools LW modeler has. Plus more powerful subdivisions, construction history, animation of all modeling steps, objects that can be modified aftwerwards... Haven`t seen anything of these 'big features' in LW in the last few years.
Instead we get more and more thrown in third party plugins. LW loses its ground in its strongest parts or already has. LW cannot rest on its laurels anymore. The competition catches up or passed by.

I could go on.
No, Iīm not bashing LW. I like it a lot, because it`s effective for what I use it. But i`m also using XSI.
Even from a LW user POV, I can`t be that shortsighted to say its on par or even better than XSI.
It`s not fair to bash the competiotion when it`s the other way around.
Softimage implements the demanded features. And does it before you die. They`re not just listening to the customers, they DO it. Just listening doesn`t mean it`s in the next release.

You can`t compare Softimage with small Newtek. From this POV, it`s cool to see what NT achieved within the last years. That`s why a comparison isn`t appropriate.

LW can be the better solution in some cases, but is not a more powerful option.
XSI is just superior in features in nearly everything, but not the right tool for everybody and so isn`t LW.
Let`s be fair and realistic, not shortsighted.

jevinstudios
06-14-2004, 06:51 PM
Some valid ponts, Librarian.

But, there isn't a thread in the world that would make me put my money into XSI -- only because I'm just not interested. I fell into the high-priced, charge for maintenance system that is Maya (even promoted it with Alias...) once, already, and to be honest, now feel that I really didn't get my money's worth in the big picture.

Many will disagree, and that's O.K. As software companies compete with each other over who creates the most complex and feature-packed applications, and charge enormous fees for technical support and learning tools, I find I enjoy the incredibly powerful simplicity that LightWave offers instead. Partly because I just feel more comfortable with the interface, and partly because LW really IS incredibly good software, and has everything at your fingertips to create the best in visual effects for all media. I still have Maya for the jobs that demand it, but overall, I know that LightWave will get the job done, and get it done quickly and efficiently. Not to mention that it's affordability allows me to invest more into 3rd party plug-ins to beef up my suite, and to give me even more power and features. I'd rather do that than spend thousands per year on a Maintenance Support contract.

And yet, NewTek's support staff is just as good, courteous and professional as those at Alias.

And talk about a company that listens -- WOW. LightWave 8's direction and new features are directly inspired by the users themselves and their requests; NewTek is one company who really invests time and resources into their customers, and it shows. Sure some features have a few wrinkles to iron out, but I'm happy to stick with them as the program continues to evolve and grow.

I guess it's a matter of pride in the Underdog. I don't care what anyone else thinks -- I'm proud to use LightWave, and know that in the end, I've streamlined my workflow, created a beautiful product with all the tools I need, and saved a lot of money that I can re-invest in more LightWave plugs and licenses as the next year pans out.

The days of over-inflated maintenance charges and bloated applications are over for me. Sometimes the simplest of tools can create the most incredible artwork.

Enjoy your XSI, though -- I'm sure it's quite cool.:)

Librarian
06-14-2004, 09:05 PM
Originally posted by jevinstudios

But, there isn't a thread in the world that would make me put my money into XSI -- only because I'm just not interested.
That`s ok and wasn`t my intention ;)


Originally posted by jevinstudios

Partly because I just feel more comfortable with the interface, and partly because LW really IS incredibly good software...

Of course, LW is a good software.
Otherwise I wouldn`t use it :)



Originally posted by jevinstudios

Not to mention that it's affordability allows me to invest more into 3rd party plug-ins to beef up my suite, and to give me even more power and features.

That`s a point I like most in XSI. I hardly need any third party plugins. I don`t need Character Studio or messiah, the animation tools are top notch.
I don`t need G2 or FPrime. MR is so complex that I haven`t even scratched the surface. Render Region and Passes gives you cool instant feedback of your scene.
I don`t need HD Instance, instancing is implemented. I don`t need a compositing application. Compositor is integrated. Well you get it. Itīs more expensive(but not the educational version), but you don`t have to spend thousands and thousands extra money for plugins.
Something that`s overlooked by many. AND everything works well together(can`t say this for plugins) because it IS integrated.

What I miss is a fluid simulation. Real flow works, but Iīm sure SI implements fluids in one of the next releases.




Originally posted by jevinstudios

And yet, NewTek's support staff is just as good, courteous and professional as those at Alias.


My impression of customer treatment is lousy. Iīm really pissed off with what was going on the last few months.




Originally posted by jevinstudios

And talk about a company that listens -- WOW. LightWave 8's direction and new features are directly inspired by the users themselves and their requests;


Yes, many features of 8 were demanded ages ago and are finally there. But many of them are still half-assed. Why unlimited undos just for motions? What about surface changes?
Multi selections in Layout? Nope, just in scene editor.
What about bone dynamics? Why do we need to bake them?
Character animation progresses with IK boost?
Is this the kind of tool users have demanded?
I seriously doubt. On top of that it doesn`t work with dopesheet and needs its own boostertrack. Half-assed.

Ortho Tools are cool and Iīm happy they`re in. Thanks to Irrational Numbers, hope that`s right, and SplineGod. Wish they consulted him or an artist like him for IK enhancements and other stuff.
NT is listening.
Listening and doing are two different pair of shoes.
Inspired by demands isnīt sufficient. It has to be useable at least.
I imploringly hope this IS just the beginning.




Enjoy your XSI, though -- I'm sure it's quite cool.:)
Thanks, I enjoy both ;)

Vincent Brumbac
06-14-2004, 09:46 PM
Jevin said the magic word why a lot of animation houses use Maya. Because their clients want them to. They hear about Maya, told it is cool, so they think their animations have to be made with Maya to be great.

Cheers,

Vincent D. Brumback

blabberlicious
06-15-2004, 02:14 AM
XSI has a high priced maintenance system?

hmmmm...

What price would you put on the LW's 'maintenance system'?

Ģ500 a year for XSI's highly rated service & support seems a steal.

Putting that feature/performance aspect-aside, you certainly get what you pay for when it comes to support.

I'm not throwing rocks at NT for saying this, but I do feel that their support needs...

...support :-)

Librarian
06-15-2004, 02:52 AM
Financial support? :D


Originally posted by blabberlicious

Ģ500 a year for XSI's highly rated service & support seems a steal.

Well, it includes free updates. All updates coming out wihin this year are free if you have a maintenance contract. It`s not just for support.
And they`re developing as if there`s no tomorrow. You can be 100% sure there`s at least one update.

Iīm sure NT developers work hard and do their best.
Looking forward to seeing their next progresses and hopefully a more aggressive development cycle.

Karmacop
06-15-2004, 03:31 AM
Librarian, as far as I know the guy (sorry I forget his name :( ) that wrote the Ortho tools is the one that wrote IK booster.

Lightwolf
06-15-2004, 04:14 AM
Originally posted by Karmacop
Librarian, as far as I know the guy (sorry I forget his name :( ) that wrote the Ortho tools is the one that wrote IK booster.
Nope, IKBooster was Ino, the "dynamics guy", as is quite obvious since they both interact.

Cheers,
Mike

ghopper
06-15-2004, 05:40 AM
Originally posted by Vincent Brumbac
Jevin said the magic word why a lot of animation houses use Maya. Because their clients want them to. They hear about Maya, told it is cool, so they think their animations have to be made with Maya to be great.

Cheers,

Vincent D. Brumback

hmmm ... I doubt that is the main reason why more studios are using Maya or XSI.

These tools are just geared towards bigger teams and of course are more open than LW and thus easier to customize / extend for specific needs.

But the LW's SDK is being worked on, so let's hope for the best.

Emmanuel
06-15-2004, 05:47 AM
Well, for 8 I have the feeling that NT did the best to a)listen to the customers and b)implement whats possible given the circumstances like timeframe, new dev team etc

For 8.x and counting I hope they iron out stuff like having to bake keys with bone dynamics, spicing up the hardbody dynamics, improving modeler (tools, construction history, interactivity etc) and getting the surfacing (SSS) and rendering up to date (displacement mapping etc).

I doubt that they can do it within 8-8.x, so I guess it'll take 12-16 months for them to do these improvements, given that they really update faster now.

Back to the topic, I am one of those who think that LWs "primitiveness" is also its strength.
For example, I dabbled a bit with C4D, and so far I have been enthousiastic about integration of modeler and Layout.
No longer.In fact, its only now that understand how helpful the separation can be with complex scenes.
Modeler is for modeling, I use scratch objects to build parts and then paste them into my main object file, which is also present in Layout,
no clutter with boolean objects, rough placeholder geometry etc.
Its so cool we can switch on/off BG and FG layers in modeler.

Lightwolf
06-15-2004, 05:52 AM
Originally posted by Emmanuel
Back to the topic, I am one of those who think that LWs "primitiveness" is also its strength.
For example, I dabbled a bit with C4D, and so far I have been enthousiastic about integration of modeler and Layout.
No longer.In fact, its only now that understand how helpful the separation can be with complex scenes.
Well, only because C4D have a weak implementation of integration (weak in terms of workflow), doesn't mean that the whole idea is bad.
Just thinking of the current mess we have with bones (first we rigged in Layout, then we switched over to Modeler, now we're supposed to go back to Layout) makes me wish for integration (amongst tons of other reasons, like memory usage).
Mind you, it has to be done right, and the current advantages LW has because of the separation of two different parts of the workflow shouldn't be lost in the transition.

Cheers,
Mike

Emmanuel
06-15-2004, 06:37 AM
Yes, in an ideal situation, but 8 also proved me again that NT has problems getting features done right in the first run, and a perfect integration doesn't look very likely from NT, to be honest.
So far, as You mentioned, for example bones are more or less a hack.
The new ortho tools do things we should have been getting since LW 6, and 4 years is a LONG period.
In Maya, they did it right from the start, and more and more I think that something like NLA (XSI), Nodes/Integration (Maya) is something that either is a core of the app or it will never ever work correctly at all.
Since LW's core was economically based on the separation between modeler and Layout, I doubt we will ever see a true integration, so modelling in Layout will stay a dream, because it would probably requite the whole concept of LW to be changed, and so far, nothing proves me that NT has any plans to do so.
This will make a lot fo things impossible, like animated modelling, parametric animatable objects, animated booleans, etc.
Everything concerning that subject will remain hoops to jump through.Thus, I am far more modest: if they get at least the display options identical between both modules, i am already happy :D

jevinstudios
06-15-2004, 07:20 AM
Funny -- tried to verify the Maintenance Support cost posted (by Blabberlicious) via Softimage online -- no specific charges are listed; you have to get a quote on a charge, which is based on where you're located, what product you have, etc. The quotes / maintenance charges are done on a case-by-case basis -- what one person pays is not necessarily what my studio would pay -- a demographic-based charge system would most likely put higher fees on studios and persons located in major metropolitan areas (kinda like America's gasoline pricing; in my town, gas prices are 15-30 cents higher than just 10 miles out of town.....).

Also, when I tried to call the Sales Department phone number listed on their website for the United States, I get a "This number is not in service" message, leaving no other option but to request quotes via email.

Ya know, I do regret participating in a promotion with Alias for Maintenance Contracts last year -- I am truly coming to the belief that Maintenance Contracts are the biggest rip-off in the 3D industry. How can a company increase cash flow on already expensive product lines with minimal effort and virtually no physical-product overhead? Maintenance charges. When I participated with Alias, I at least thought I might get a discount or complimentary year's service for one license considering the promotion was an enormous success. No dice. Instead, I got charged retroactively (almost $1,000) when one of my license contracts expired, and I renewed it later in the year when I discovered the oversight.

I'm definitely not bitter -- I got some cool exposure (although no hard business revenue) out of it. My only point is that this is a major cash intake business, and a great way to quickly scrub in massive revenue at the expense of the customer. In all, Maintenance Contracts are for suckers -- and I was a sucker until this year, when I looked at the bottom line in my studio and realized that there were many more efficient and productive ways to spend that hard-earned cash!

3 years ago, when I was 3D app shopping (and picked Maya), I tried to use the quote link on Softimage's site; no one ever called me back, but I was quickly put on a SI SPAM marketing list, and received tons of SI junk mail until the DNS was blocked on my server.

Throw in the fluid effects on the box of XSI and all their promotional material (which appears to have been generated with 3rd party software, if XSI does not have a native fluid dynamics system integrated....) -- not too impressed.

An earlier post asked "Why do I say LW beats the hell out of XSI & Maya?" This post here is my main reason, and a damm good one.

Will say it again: am sticking with my LightWave.

(BTW -- my experiences with NewTek Tech Support /Customer Service have consistently been exceptional. Polite, friendly and efficient over the phone. Am surprised to hear such negativity from others, when my encounters have been quite the opposite)

Nemoid
06-15-2004, 08:36 AM
I think XSI is made with production in mind, and this is because he has alot of good tools, more productive than in Maya for sure. this being said, from the little i know of it's interface and workflow, i think the app it's less direct to the point in some areas, despite being powerfull.this is also because it has some maya's inheritage and because it's suited for large teams. XSI is a very interesting app, and it's also funny to see it has some Lw approach in it and that's what it make s it productive.

I think that what many Lw users like of it is that u get the work done fast. for example the feeling u have with modeling, despite not having n gons edges and history is second to none. Surfacing too is quite great. even if u have some problems with UVs

the animation part of Lw, it's another story. Layout suffers a bit from lack of development during the latest years, so that we see creating and editing bone tools as well as other issues like undos and an editor like the dopesheet after years of requests.

i seriously hope that in the next releases we will see a good evolution of Lw, mantaining the feeling it gives to the user to be direct to the point. this can be done. I particularly agree with Lightwolf.

incidentally, Lw structure is like this because at the very start they put together really 2 apps, wich now work through a third app, the hub. so in being old, and having this kinda strange structure resides the prob.
XSI was rewritten taking into account the existence of 3D studio Max, and Maya and their nodal structure(especially Maya's). that's why they are now lowering the gap created by the Maya's huge presence in the market also because of the delayed XSI 1.0 development.

so u see, different histories.

so what's going to be next? Newtek stated they will transport Lw release from release into another environment, more modern, and i think that piece by piece they will integrate Lw in time, to unleash it's power, mantainng it's philosophy.
a new SDk will be used and delivered to users to make new powerful plugs wich will integrate smoothly with the app,(trust me, sometime is better that the user make some plug. even in XSI some plugs or scripts are required) and to make Fprime work well with shaders and Lw itself. taking into account the presence of other apps just like XSI, Maya and MB a similar work with Lw could make it become the best out there. just because it has alot of good things into it's workflow to mantain.

Newtek also stated there will be more closer releases, after 8 official launch as well, so that if they will do this during the 8.x cycle we will see alot of cool things.

I'm not a blind Lw user, though. i see all the probs, and i too look into an XSI direction (not Maya, though :D) because f it's rapid evolution in time. i will surely try it, but i don't expect to have the same Lw feeling in it for now.

Fausto
06-15-2004, 08:51 AM
This will make a lot fo things impossible, like animated modelling, parametric animatable objects, animated booleans, etc.

Not necessarily. it may just need to be implemented in other ways. For instance, if Newtek develop a system of optionally storing deformation historical data in a linear fashion with the file as keypoints and give layout the tools to access those keypoints and assign them to either events or specific keys in the timeline, you'd have a slick system for animating model changes. I guess what I'm really saying is, rarely, no matter what the environment, is there a situation where what you imagine or require is impossible to implement.


I have to admit when I switched from C4D to LW, the one thing I had trepidation about was the division of modelor and layout, now after working with the application for well over a year, I see the logic and genius of having it this way. The only area that I'd improve on if my wishes meant anything, would be the ability to render textures in the perspective window, so all texture tweaking could also be complete or near complete in modelor. Obviously environment, lighting, ambiance may make additional texture changes necessary.

Lightwolf
06-15-2004, 08:58 AM
Hi Fausto,

I hope this doesn't end up as a pro or anti integration thread, and jevin, sorry for half hijacking :)

Besides the animateable modelling, the isses that interest me more are stuff like matching geometry to camera angles and backdrops, creating multi-layerd object with a complex hierarchy. all of that is possible right now, but cumbersome if you have to switch between both apps all the time to see if your geometry will fit in the final context.
And of course much can be bridged, but it will remain a bridge, which is a bit better than a hack ;)
I think that integration will pay off in the end, because it will also make development so much easier (currently, SDK wise, you sometimes feel you're developing for two different platforms, allthough this has gotten better in the past, and both tools have grown together more from that perspective).

Cheers,
Mike

Exper
06-15-2004, 09:32 AM
Well done! ;)

jevinstudios
06-15-2004, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
and jevin, sorry for half hijacking :)



No problem. The 2nd main reason why I think LW rocks over the competition is the exceptional LightWave Community that voices it's opinions on this forum! I have a deep respect and admiration for all of you, and humbly have pride that I'm included.

Kevin

(PS: As a side note, just wanted to say that the opinions I've expressed here in this thread are only my own, and are not intended to diminish the legitimacy of, or slander, Alias or Avid, their employees, or anyone who chooses to use their software. The opinions I've shared are just my honest feelings about why I have chosen LW to run the show in my studio, and are candid and heartfelt observations of Lightwave in relation to the offerings of Maya and XSI, as well as my own personal experiences and pitfalls I've encountered with competing software).

tokyo drifter
06-15-2004, 12:04 PM
Well this has been an interesting thread, but I don't agree that Lightwave beats the hell out of XSI and Maya, there just hasn't been any compelling reasons brought up in this thread yet. Price really isn't the biggest factor for me, it's power, flexibility, performance and innovation. I'm just starting to look around at other software out there and XSI so far has really impressed me, I've seen videos of things you can do in XSI that are most likely completely impossible to do in Lightwave. For instance, check out this frog rig video (http://www.rendernode.com/articles_p.php?articleId=113). I plan to keep using Lightwave but I'm also keeping my eyes open to what else is out there.

jevinstudios
06-15-2004, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by tokyo drifter
I'm just starting to look around at other software out there and XSI so far has really impressed me

Go for it, dude. Sincerely wish you the best of luck, and hope you can find the tools you need to enhance your production pipeline in the best ways possible to meet the needs of your business and it's clients.;)

All I know is, I was in this exact spot 3 years ago, and took a trip down a winding road that has led me right back to LightWave. Unfortunately, I've spent thousands in Maintenance Charges in the interim that I could have put into new killer workstations or plugs for LW in my studio. Wish $$ was not an object for my studio, but I run a small business and the bottom line is increasingly important in such a volatile economy. This year alone, I've spent nearly $3,500 in Maintenance Contracts, and got a buggy upgrade as a result.:(

Next year, if clients want Maya work done with the latest build, the cost of the upgrade will be included in the bill.

For me -- LW can get the job done just as well as Maya, and fits beautifully within my budget. Can't ask for more!:D

lwaddict
06-15-2004, 02:50 PM
The frog rig was nice...
but if you read the whole article, it wasn't easy and the guy's a serious researcher on the anatomy of the creatures he works on...he should be commended as an artist...Maya on the other hand is just the tool he uses.

I could build a similiar rig in lightwave and actually am working on the rig for our creatures, in my current feature, in the very same manner. It's not easy, regardless of the package you use.

Sad thing is that no matter what package you use, there will always be those who think it should be "oh so easy" and it's not. It's through trial and error that you'll master the varying areas of any of these packages.

I'd like to see anyone switch from one to the other and do this...hell, let's see one of the people who have yet to decide which package to use create a believable creature within their first year or so.

It takes practice, a keen sense of learning, a willingness to learn, and that good old "think outside of the box" tenacity to be truly good in this field.

Push button, "go" tools rarely make you stand out.

tokyo drifter
06-15-2004, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by lwaddict
The frog rig was nice...
but if you read the whole article, it wasn't easy and the guy's a serious researcher on the anatomy of the creatures he works on...he should be commended as an artist...Maya on the other hand is just the tool he uses. LOL Dude, that was XSI, not Maya!

And I don't think that "ohh, if I get this software, I'll be able to do cool stuff real easy", I'm not that naive. I didn't just fall off the 3d n00b truck. :rolleyes:

The guy that made the frog rig is an amazing talent! And he shows how flexible XSI can be. I probably won't ever create such a complex rig but it's nice to know that the software is deep enough to allow me to if and when I needed that kind of sophistication.
I could build a similiar rig in lightwave Really? How would you go about it? Could you get the same realtime feedback when moving the muscles underneath the skin?
Go for it, dude. Sincerely wish you the best of luck Thanks Jevin, but I don't really need a send off . I definitely won't give up Lightwave, that's just crazy talk. :)

jevinstudios
06-15-2004, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by tokyo drifter
Thanks Jevin, but I don't really need a send off . I definitely won't give up Lightwave, that's just crazy talk. :)

No send-off made -- was actually sincere. You're too kewl to lose! Really appreciate your perspective in this thread -- makes for lively and diverse discussion!

Kevin

jamesl
06-15-2004, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by tokyo drifter
Really? How would you go about it? Could you get the same realtime feedback when moving the muscles underneath the skin?

Yes you can do most of what they are doing in the frog video with Lightwave. You can set up most of the muscle-skin relationships with Puppetmaster and a few simple expressions (expressions that XSI doesn't write for you, either). In fact, the frog rig is fairly animator-unfreindly (the narrator actually says that he didn't want to 'overwhelm' the animators... PLEASE). If I'm an animator, I want to create POSES... I don't give a flying frog if what I'm doing isn't anatomically correct... I need to hit striking poses. I need to define my silouettes, control the form. That rig is wasteful overkill IMHO. But if you wanted to, you could do it in LW.

BTW, I use Maya every day at work, but when I get a freelance gig, I use LW. Why? Because Maya and XSI are designed for studios, where LW is designed for individuals. I can get more done and at a higher level of quality than if I was using Maya in the same amount of time. Now, if I had a dedicated modeler and TD and lighter working with me, maybe I would do things differently.

cheers,

j

sailor
06-16-2004, 12:29 AM
HI Jevin,

well at that time LW 8 wasnt yet released and you seemed pissed of about LW...it sounds like this time is the opposite...i just wanted to say that this is not personal and you sound like a nice person...nevertheless i have heard such incredible (and often false) arguments in this forum that from time to times it is needed to put things into context...sorry again but this isn't personal :)

a copy of what you said in this same forum some time ago:


"Unfortunately, I feel that Neil is right on the $$. I am surprised that NT would release, what I perceive to be, a half-hearted, substandard upgrade, when they could do much better if they'd just take a little time and address some key issues -- the renderer, much-needed Modeler enhancements, etc.

Part of the LW development issue I believe is related to NT expanding too much into so many areas -- when you have a small company producing multiple products (LW, VT, DFX, Aura, Inspire), something's bound to give. I think LW has suffered as a result.

It may be a good value for the $$, but it is not the BEST value anymore. Maya is a much better value for the cash -- for just $400 more, you get the best renderer in the biz (MR), integrated 3D Paint and top-notch organic sculpting abilities, exceptional CA and dynamics, etc. Newtek may offer free partial upgrades, but if they don't address key issues, who cares?

I must admit that I have been waiting in anticipation for a real significant, comprehensive upgrade that would boost Modeler into the spotlight. I feel very disappointed, and most likely will not shell out $495 for what I think will be an overhyped and underdeveloped "mid-point" upgrade labeled as a full point jump.

My studio, after adding Maya to the pipeline, has put LW into a position of exclusively modeling. Now even that seems to be in jeopardy; LW is falling far behind other high-end apps in functionality and progress; even Maya's modeling tools have advanced significantly, and offer serious reconsidering by my studio.

I'm afraid that LW has devolved into a mid-range application, competing more with C4D, Truespace and Carrara.

If NT would wait another 6 months or more, and sprinkle out small free upgrades in the meantime while producing a truly dynamic upgrade that would address important, key issues, I would see a responsible company dedicated to true software innovation. Instead, I see a company looking for a quick infusion of $$ at the expense of the software they put out.

Unless LW is the only 3D tool in your arsenal and you've got to have updated CA abilities, I'm afraid the new version is just not worth the money -- better spent on Maya plug-ins, or a new digital camera.....


__________________
"Snatch the pebble from my hand, Grasshopper."

omeone
06-16-2004, 02:02 AM
Heehee, I remember that post :D
but In Jevin's defence - I too became very disappointed with Newtek regarding [8] and some 'PR' on the forums... so I had a darn good look around at other packages, a couple of things happened lately which made actually have to evaluate honestly which was the best package for me... LW won hands down.
I still am disappointed with alot of things and I want so much more, but as a complete package LW offers the best all-round solution by miles - for me - even if I had to go around the bush a few times to realise it.

Nemoid
06-16-2004, 02:33 AM
I actually agree that Lw is designed for the individual artist/small company, and i think this is very good. of course every app have its advantages, and maybe apps like Maya are in the opposed view better suited for team work, but i always thought that the easier and fun is the workflow, the best is the app even for teams.
At least even with the current structure, Lw allows you to become a well rounded artist doing from modelling to animating by yourself. this could happen in Maya too, but it's orhganization is deeper than Lw and so, for easy task you find u loose time.
another thing to consider ia that expecially an app like Maya is well suited for large studios because it has the posibility to be customized. in other words it HAVE to be customized to work properly and have a better workflow. TDs are a precious resource for a Maya based studio.


This doesn't mean Lw has no problems. like we all know there are lacks here and there both in tools and in how plugins work with the core and communicate each other. but the Lw philosophy in some areas really rocks like modelling and the rendering engine, despite being simple and old gives great results.

this being said, i always been for a great integration of Lw into a modern one app structure, of course mantaining all the many positive things that the current structure has in workflow Lw could become way better than XSI too, with some clever ideas.
Always mantain the individual artist philosophy and go towards animation more and more is the key.

However, Jevin made his choice and i don't see where the prob is. he used Maya for 3 years, got personally disappointed and probably never liked the app and the different approach it requires. If Lw allows him to do his job better and faster why not keep using it?

hruffin3
06-16-2004, 10:36 AM
once i got this animators edition i started learning lw7.5 and i actually came out of the house after that first winter seriously broke because i did not work at all (sorry matt i'm still riding a bike)- once i got some notions in my mind that i could maybe work as an animator/ fx i started to look around at where the jobs were and although many are using maya and xsi there are many that use lw and it would be nice if the various people hiring were willing to realize that lw is as powerful as their preferred apps. so you see since lw now is part of vt[3] can anybody say that there is any other 3d app that has things like RTV files and live presentation apps or even a video editing app included and all in a base priced suite thousands less than complete versions of these other apps? newtek is not a small competitor, its a giant-killer.

jevinstudios
06-16-2004, 11:28 AM
Sailor --

Thanks for pointing out my thread from last year. When that post was made, there was only speculation on the direction of LightWave, and lots of consternation on what would be included in 8, when it was being released, etc (it did seem, at the time, that they were going to rush it to market without significant improvements in functionality)... And, only snippets of info regarding enhancements were leaking to the public a bit at a time. At that time, I was also very satisfied with Maya 5 (which, overall, was a very stable and reliable application, unlike Maya 6, where key file import stability and the renderer have taken a nose dive).

Also, there was a little bit of "Maya Superiority Complex" goin' on in my melon last year (a new, and insidious disease that has eaten away at the good judgement of many an animator in this industry). I was involved in a promotion with Alias and thought I was hot sh*t (which, as we all know, is NOT true).

But, as we all know, in this business, things change very quickly. The developers took an additonal 6 months to really do this upgrade good and address significant key issues and enhacements (which was definitely needed, as I pointed out in the post you quoted -- much to the incessant protests of MANY LightWave customers, clamoring daily in this forum about getting a release date, something for their pre-ordered expense, etc.). LightWave 8 has now shipped, and, IMHO, is really heading in an extremely positive direction, and has incorporated some long-awaited and well-needed enhancements to the overall toolset. This, bundled with the fact that Maya 6 also came out this year, has put me in a position to take a closer look at the two new versions, and choose what is right for me and my studio's pipeline. Hands down, LightWave won out. I'm man enough to say that my thoughts on NewTek last year were shortsighted.

My previous criticism was, at that time, valid in comparison to the additional tools I had available to me, and I do not regret my post. But, with the wonderful developments NewTek has made since then, I have made a 180 turn-around in my thinking. I have more faith in the future of LightWave than I've ever had, and I see that LightWave truly has made some astounding leaps in the right direction that put it on a par with any other top-of-the-line app in the industry (IMHO).

So, it was with great pleasure that I took another leap on this forum, announcing publicly my decision to bump Maya down and replace it's position in the pipeline with LightWave. I believe that if you complain about something, and the situation changes or improves, go back and acknowledge the change and bring to light the positive developments -- this thread was intended to do just that. NewTek has made some positive developments indeed, and deserves the recognition! (Also, maybe this thread will encourage more people to take a closer look at their applications and make the same choice with LightWave as top-dog as I did....)

I humbly admit that last year I didn't give enough credit to NewTek about the direction the company was taking with their products. I can now say with full confidence that I was dead wrong!

NewTek is one helluva great company, and LightWave is one helluva great package that has made a believer out of me again this year. I'm stickin' with it for good in the top spot, and will ride the "Wave" wherever it takes me.

It was foolish to trade loyalties a few years ago to begin with -- but it would have been even more foolish to continue down the same path without reversing that bad decision!

mav3rick
06-16-2004, 01:14 PM
I RULE :mad:

jevinstudios
06-16-2004, 01:22 PM
If you're a LW user, than yes, you do!

Randog
06-16-2004, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by Vincent Brumbac
Jevin said the magic word why a lot of animation houses use Maya. Because their clients want them to. They hear about Maya, told it is cool, so they think their animations have to be made with Maya to be great.

Cheers,

Vincent D. Brumback

The reason many animation houses use Maya is because it is powerful.

jevinstudios
06-16-2004, 03:47 PM
"Jevin said the magic word why a lot of animation houses use Maya. Because their clients want them to. They hear about Maya, told it is cool, so they think their animations have to be made with Maya to be great."


Actually, I wasn't making that point -- only that certain clients have Maya in their pipeline, and want work done in that app so it fits in with the production environment.

I agree with Randy that Maya is very powerful -- and I would like to add versatile and scriptable as well.

I think LW is well on it's way in that area, however. So far, in the last 3 years, there's nothing I've done in Maya (other than 3D Paint, Paint Effects, etc.) that LightWave 8 can't handle, with the new addition of rigid dynamics, etc.

So, when I'm faced with 2 applications that can both do the job, other factors such as affordability come into play, as well as stability and final rendered product.

Here, LightWave wins. With the direction 8 has taken, I have no doubt whatsoever that things will continue to look up for this app -- both in innovation, features, power and market positioning.

Yeah, I'll still need Maya for the jobs that require it, but if I have a choice, will produce in LightWave instead.

Librarian
06-16-2004, 03:52 PM
It`s funny. Some people say LW has the better workflow. In other situations, they demand workflow features for LW XSI already has.

1. Non modal windows for nearly everything. Less click click open. close.click. XSI has, LW not.
2. Drag `n`drop abilities. Standard today in nearly all applications.XSI is very drag`n`drop friendly.
Matt Gorner came up with the idea to drag`n`drop colors from one palette to another. In XSI, you can.
3. Holding pop uplist in order to multi select items. I don`t want select one item in the list, list closes, open list again , select second item, list closes, open again....
4. Flexibility of interface. While XSI lacks solution independence, its viewports docking abilities and general flexibility is a dream.
5. You can open multiple instances of windows. In LW, you can only have one property or motion window at a time. And why can`t we have property and motion window open at the same time? That is one of the long wanted features that is still not in there.
In XSI you can choose between showing new properties at the same position of the old window or keep the old open while open a new one.

This is no XSI promotion. It shows how much LW lacks in little workflow features. I can`t understand that some people are to shortsighted to see that general workflow abilities are more advanced in some other packages. Let`s learn from others and implement some of these features in LW.
If you are experienced enough in a package, youīll see its workflow speeds up your work. It`s just another approach. Iīm sure a lot of us thought, 'ugh, what a horrible interface LW has' the first time. Me too.
Coming from Max I missed some things, but after learning I realized it has a good workflow overall.
Don`t try to port a workflow from one package to another(I did) or it`ll become more difficult to discover the individual benefits.

tokyo drifter
06-16-2004, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by jamesl
BTW, I use Maya every day at work, but when I get a freelance gig, I use LW. Why? Because Maya and XSI are designed for studios, where LW is designed for individuals. I can get more done and at a higher level of quality than if I was using Maya in the same amount of time. Now, if I had a dedicated modeler and TD and lighter working with me, maybe I would do things differently.

cheers,

j What makes one program good for teams and another good for individuals? I ask because I have heard people that use Maya and XSI say that they are great for small or one-man outfits as well as large studios.

jamesl
06-16-2004, 10:10 PM
I find that there are a number of things in Maya that require the depth of knowledge of a specialist. If I have 2 days to get a project done start to finish, I find that Maya's complexity makes it difficult to hit the ground running. Now, if I'm developing an effect, and a have a week or more, that same complexity makes it more versitile. Just my own preferences.

j

Librarian
06-17-2004, 05:20 AM
Originally posted by tokyo drifter
What makes one program good for teams and another good for individuals? I ask because I have heard people that use Maya and XSI say that they are great for small or one-man outfits as well as large studios.
I don`t know Maya, but XSI is well for freelancer and teams. You are not forced to explore the deeper functions and abilities to make something work.
You can if you need. The tools are there and several possibilities to reach a certain goal.
It`s not harder to learn than some other packages. Just more complex in some fields and therefore the learnig curve is different.

jevinstudios
06-17-2004, 06:26 AM
Maya's learning curve is enormous (don't know about XSI). Turning to Maya from LW was one of the most difficult and mind-bending experiences in 3D I've had, and still to this day, I do not feel totally comfortable with the software's architecture compared to LW's intuitive and straight-forward interface. Learning tools (books, DVD's, etc.) are extremely expensive, and I find that up to recently, even after 3 years, I was still spending hundreds per year on learning materials from Alias to try and get a deeper understanding of some key features (and still find many areas of Maya frustratingly complex and non-user-friendly).

Another factor is most definitely the price element. This year, with so much economic fluctuations and uncertainty in the U.S. economy, I took a hard look at the cost-effectiveness of the software I employ. The biggest cash hog was Maya, running me thousands per year in Maintenance charges. And, on average, I would make only about 4 or 5 calls per year to tech support at the most. Talk about being taken to the cleaners! This year, I've had to put off a new workstation to make way for 2004's Maya charges -- ridiculous! (I'm a small business, and have a strict budget ....).

Once I realized that I can do everything I've been doing in Maya with LW (utilizing existing tools and some new features in 8), I had to make a decision based on efficiency and $$, as well as the finished rendered quality. LightWave will save me thousands, and I will be able to beef up my licenses in this area next year, instead of keeping an existing set-up and blowing my wad on Maintenance Contracts, getting nothing new but an upgrade.

In 3 years, I have paid over $8,000 in Maintenance charges to carry me to mid-2005 for 2 licenses. Think of all the great things I could have invested in my studio for that amount of $$!!! It's time to take a hard look at this industry, see where our money is going, and support companies that offer an honest deal, great product, and integrated support (NewTek).

How many freelancers can afford this type of yearly expense? Many can -- but many can't, either.

I've definitely had a change of heart and mind this year -- and without a doubt, for the better. Replaced arrogance with sensibility, and realized that swapping loyalties to my 3D tools and the companies that create them can carry a heavy price tag, one that will take me some time to recover from!

Jinxius
06-17-2004, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by jevinstudios
Maya's learning curve is enormous (don't know about XSI).

You're **** right !
For what does matter to XSI, it has a learning curve pretty similar to the LW one.
I like them both beacuse things works in similar manner they are both intuitive in somewhat different ways.
There is difference but not that much, XSI has his good spots and LW his own.

For me it's difficult to choose between them.
In the end I choose LW for doing most things cause LW costs less, for me has a better modeler and because I use it from too much time to throw it away or to replace it completely.

Maya was made for big studios with many animators, lightwave is completely usable from an individual, think about Timothy Albee, he was able to do a great quality movie in his own, how would you do that in Maya ?
It's almost impossible.

To Librarian : Lightwave it's not easy to use because of his primetiveness, but because it was created for fast and reliable production in mind, Maya was created for the people with many $$ in their pockets, it is powerful and complex but sometimes the better way to get complex stuff done it's thinking them in simpler ways, lightwave just helps making things in this way, Maya does not, this is not beacause Maya represent evolution, that's because it is cumbersome !
Maya it's not good because it was used in LOTR, but because many artists worked together using it to make the SFXs.
Maya is not the best it's a choice and it's a choice for big studios.
Using it in big studios possibly makes it the best.

What we are talking about it's why using that software against that one.
That is unfair, because all of us should make a distinction between using it as individuals, small studios and big studios.

All of you are thinking that this is one of the best forum out there and this is because it make talk individuals mostly.
Think it in this way, most of us are artist on their own, then some of us work in a studio but anyway we would be artists in any case even if not working in a big place.
Big studios can afford big manteinance costs and have direct contact with 3D Software Houses.
Most individuals instead cannot do this, but are free to express their opinions here as it has been stated.

When someone criticize a 3D SW, it should mention if he is talking from an individual POV or a studio POV and in the latter case it should even specify how fair would it be to use the same software if he had to use it as a single person.

My 2 c.

PS: Kevin, I suppose your studio take the name from your own name....I mean Joker & Kevin -> Jevin :D

tokyo drifter
06-17-2004, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by jamesl
I find that there are a number of things in Maya that require the depth of knowledge of a specialist. If I have 2 days to get a project done start to finish, I find that Maya's complexity makes it difficult to hit the ground running. Now, if I'm developing an effect, and a have a week or more, that same complexity makes it more versitile. Just my own preferences.

j So, you're saying that because Maya has a larger learning curve, that makes it more team-oriented? Now, what if there's a crazy guy with lots of time and caffeine and he works toward becoming a Maya generalist instead of a specialist in one area. Maya then should be a great app for this crazy guy's freelance projects right? Or is it the workflow in Maya that is slower then Lightwave? Can anyone give an example? XSI examples would be great, too.

Sorry for buggin, I just want to know why simple things would be harder to do in a complex program. Shouldn't a more complex program be able to handle basic things as well as things higher up in the chain of difficulty?

jamesl
06-17-2004, 08:54 PM
I'm just saying that Maya's power is not on the surface, it's in procedures that you build into mel scripts. Typically, I'll get a freelance gig that I have to turn around in a couple days, and the first order of business is modeling something. Easily, I'll choose LW, because I do everything SubD, and Maya's subD tools still seem weak to me. If I have to use dynamics, I'll probably do that in Maya, but spit out the data through Point Oven so I can render in LW using hypervoxels or Fprime. The new dynamics tools in LW8 might save me that step... I don't know yet, becasue I don't have time to futz around with it. I use LW for character stuff jsut because I'm comfortable with it. It comes down to what you feel is going to get you the results the quickest. YMMV.

j

theo
06-18-2004, 06:36 AM
Hey Jevin- I have a question for you.

Are you using any third party animation and rigging tools like Project Messiah or Kaydara or others with Lightwave?

Your overall decision-making process is very similar to mine and
I am curious to see what you are doing as far as the animation and rigging side.

Thanks!

jevinstudios
06-18-2004, 09:31 AM
Hey, Theo --

At the moment, I'm using LightWave right out of the box with full Sasquatch and RealFlow 2.5 (for fluid dynamics). Am considering Project Messiah or Motion Builder, but haven't checked them out fully yet.

My current focus is for the aerospace industry, where I am mostly creating urban environments (complex cities), laser systems, satellites, aircraft, vehicles, mechanisms, etc., with a heavy focus on particle effects for explosions, missile trails, dust, etc. So, my immediate toolset does not require a complex character rigging set-up.

BUT, I am in the planning stages for a short film to begin production 1st Quarter of 2005, which will incorporate lots of character animation. So, in the interim, I'll check out LW's enhanced bones and see if they do the trick (have not used LW's character rigging tools for a few years now -- I hear they've made some good advancements since then), then compare them to the other apps mentioned and make a decision after careful consideration.

theo
06-18-2004, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the feedback Jevin- Makes sense.

jevinstudios
06-18-2004, 10:08 AM
My pleasure. Any time.....

SplineGod
06-19-2004, 12:49 AM
I like the character tools in Lightwave. Ive always been able to set up stable rigs quickly and theyre even easier to repurpose. I didnt like IKBooster at first but now that I understand how its supposed to work its really awesome.

I agree with many of the comments about the turnaround time on projects. People seem to want more complex effects in a short period of time. Everyone knows that Maya and XSI are powerful., LW is too. Each application will always shine in particular situations. Lightwave makes more and more sense where fast turnaround times are important and thats the way this industry is going. Only 7% of studios worldwide have more then 20 employees and more then 50% have 5 or less. Maya shines when theres a big support staff. Lightwave users in general are used to wearing many hats and being their own TDs.

I agree with Jamie about that Frog rig. That has nothing to do with animation and everything to do with rigging. A good rig will allow the animator to do his job and once thats done the TDs can take over and add all the skin and muscle effects they want. Lightwave is quite capable of doing all that. Im quite sure that the improved cloth and softbodies can be used to create skin and muscle effects. As someone else suggested, setting up those things is a challenge in any application. Give me the time and budgets many of Maya projects get and see what can be done. The fact of the matter is that Im sure that just the time and money that went into creating Gollum is far more then most will ever see or get on most CGI projects.

Lightwave is quite powerful and Im willing to bet far more powerful then anyone of us knows what to do with right now. :)

Andrew Sweet
06-19-2004, 02:37 AM
That says it all really!!!, now lads!!! you seem to spend a stack of time on these issues, push that time into polishing your craft please, it was starting to make me think about using maya more but I'm very happy with what you can produce in LW. I started with Max v1, great software but started to really slow down on complex artwork I used this for 1-2 years and produced some great reasults check my work on (http://www.raph.com), I then came across a great chap called Graham Mckenna his images where stunning and that's what started me off in LW5 with his very helpfull training. First time I opened this software it was grim it say the least compared to Max it seemed very basic!!! UNTIL I started rendering a few shots!! and using the modeler!! max was dropped...I used maya 4.5 about a year ago for 6 months or so, and to be fair the marking menus and depth of this software is frightning, very nice stuff!!, BUT I tryed to create a few images and man it's real hard work and really can't compare to ease of image creation compared to LW!!! (and then theres the standard Maya render engine well....what can you say..), so back to LW is was, BUT I'll still learn Maya as i think the more tools you do know the better the understanding of 3D in general you'll have. Anyhow LW8 seems to work very very fast on my MAC, very pleased to be honest. If there's any Maya users out there (using the standard render) that think they can produce work as good and in the same time as LW I'd love to see your work, because I can't crack it myself!!, anyhow just my bit

Cheers

Andy Sweet -uk-

P.S. Try getting a job using LW in the UK.....grim!!

bobakabob
06-19-2004, 04:15 AM
Great thread... very informative and good to read folk talking up the advantages of Lightwave.

RuiFeliciano
06-19-2004, 08:53 AM
Lightwave users seem to be in a constant need of a pat in the back reassuring them that althought they're using "the vfx industry's secret weapon" that is neglected in a myriad of situations, they've made the best choice by adopting it themselves...it's like LW users suffer from some sort of inferiority complex...

I highly disagree on the myth (oddly enough created by users of self-proclaimed inferior software) that LW is made for the individuals and that XSi is made for large teams...that's nonsense. LW 4 was ssooo much more easier to "operate" then LW 8 but that's only because you had 1/10th of the options one has today...the same goes for other software. With every new version LW is getting more and more complicated to use due too the amount of features that get dropped in. I'm talking about the growth in complexity of the user interface...not the fact that today you can do a task that was impossible 2 years ago...

It may seem incredible for some but only with version 4 did XSI get a knive tool...that's right...the $8000 thousand 3D software that is suposed to be so much better than LW only got a knive tool a few weeks ago. But ya know what? It's so much better than LW's which has remain static since it was first introduced...and that's the focus with XSi...every tool implemented gets really thought out and its implementation is NOT half assed and non communicative with other parts of the program as is the case with other software...


There are demos of nearly every 3d application software and people that have to commit a choice to any one and depend exclusively on other peoples' reports are dumb! What I consider to be a superior modeling environment will not be the same for the next guy either because we're in different areas (organic modelling vs architecture, etc.) or because our mind assimilates some workflows better than others.

Lw has some great points in favor of it but so do other software. LW shines in some situations and it sucks in others. Learn several and use them based on situation. If you don't have a budget that enables you to use several is one thing, but just because you have to use one tool only for every kind of job that you face don't fool yourself saying that it's the best for every job, you're only limiting yourself.

jevinstudios
06-19-2004, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by RuiFeliciano
Learn several and use them based on situation. If you don't have a budget that enables you to use several is one thing, but just because you have to use one tool only for every kind of job that you face don't fool yourself saying that it's the best for every job, you're only limiting yourself.


Agree and disagree. I think the key word here is budget. Very few of us that are not a full-fledged MAJOR studio with a large bankroll (I'm a very small business of under 5 employees, sub-contracted on an as-needed basis) could afford to add Maya, XSI, LightWave, and maybe even Houdini into a pipeline, then swap apps as needed (Maintenance Contracts alone will run into the thousands per year, not to mention the steep cost of the apps...). Altho I'm a huge proponent of learning dual apps (no harm ever came from an increase in one's knowledge), my point with this thread was not to pat LightWave users on the back for reassurance, but to point out that, IMHO, LightWave has evolved into a true and powerful player in the market, that CAN get the job done quickly, efficiently, and more affordably than it's higher-priced counterparts.

I did take a hard look at my work for the aerospace industry over the past 3 years, and do know without a doubt, there's not anything that LightWave can't handle I previously created with Maya, with the addition of soft/rigid dynamics.

The point was well made that different artists have different needs. For me, I've got all I need with LightWave, and have full confidence that I can use it for everything that comes my way. If a client needs work done in Maya, no problem. Got it. Just see LW as a more viable and sensible investment into the pipeline overall. Fooling myself was actually thinking I HAD to have Maya to be a player in the industry -- bullsh*t.

You don't need 5 hammers to pound in a nail -- only one that's the right fit to your hand. (Damm! Wish I would've been thinkin' like this 3 years ago -- would be about $15,000 richer, and a more contented animator all this time!)

theo
06-19-2004, 09:57 AM
Feliciano- I hate to say this but your initial statement is a pure pile of crap man.

To assume that Jevin's comments are JUST a freaky-deaky under-handed attempt at reassurance- THINK AGAIN!

IT IS CALLED MARKETING!!!!!!!!! M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G MARKETING!!!!

Geesh......Promote Lightwave and look what comes out of the woodwork at you.

Bug spray anyone?

RuiFeliciano
06-19-2004, 11:06 AM
jevinstudios,

Agree with you on the budget thing...that's why I said:

"If you don't have a budget that enables you to use several is one thing, but just because you have to use one tool only for every kind of job that you face don't fool yourself saying that it's the best for every job, you're only limiting yourself."

Not having the budget is limiting but much more limiting is not having the most appropriate attitude (which I'm not saying you didn't, I'm just generalising), It's just tools after all and what counts is what you're capable of doing with it. Like I said no software performs the same with anyone. After 3 years your studio did not manage to adapt to Maya and yet in a bit more than 3 years Weta was able to pull superb effects with it in the LOTR trilogy...what does this mean? Maya did not fit your pipeline but did fit theirs period. It says sh** nothing about the applications!

3D software these days are very leveled in terms of what one can achieve in terms of final image. Where they diverge LOTS is on workflow...I can do Hypervoxels type effects on XSI..but I would not use it for such because these are way easier to achieve in LW. The opposite is true for other aspects.

My point is that no software is the world's greatest for everyone and everything and that people that make such a claim are, at best, naives. One software may fit best a certain studio/individuals wallet/workflow but that doesn't make it capable of kicking every other software's butt...those are simply ignorant claims IMO.

RuiFeliciano
06-19-2004, 11:19 AM
theo,

"pure pile of crap" uh? So maybe you can kindly donate some of your time and try to explain why Lightwave communities spread all over the web have SO much more tendency to generate the kind of "Lightwave is so much better than all the other 3d apps" threads than any other 3d app community?
If you take the trouble to wander a few weeks/months through other 3d apps communities you'll find that in general they are more worried about having their program "fixed" in a certain area, evolve towards a certain direction, have it implement other programs' functionality, etc. but they do not have these kind of "lightwave kicks everyone else's butt you can do everything with LW alone" kind of threads...I call this being short sighted...even Newtek's Proton mentioned in a certain thread in CGTalk that LW for modeling and rendering and Maya for animating make a killer combo...
This kind of attitude bugs me as hell and it's something that began surfacing some 3-4 years ago and it's been growing in intensity. From time to time certain Lightwave users have the need to make sure they're using the best 3d soft...thus the "pat in the back" comment.

jevinstudios
06-19-2004, 11:20 AM
I might have agreed completely as much as a year ago, but the lines between software capabilities are blurred nowadays. With each application's new releases, I see them as becoming equal players on a level field, removing the ABSOLUTE need for multi-apps to finish a job. I think shelling out thousands for Maintenance Contracts is extremely naive -- thank god I woke up to that one! I fell for it hook line and sinker, and not only that, even promoted the system!

Several years ago, one needed a great modeling app to model, and cool and powerful app for animating, then Houdini on top of it all for particle effects. Now, each app in the "Big 5" has all these features.

Where LW kicks the other's butts is in the overall offering for the price, including free technical support. This is not ignorant thinking, just a plain out fact. Will stand by that wholeheartedly.

Andrew Sweet
06-19-2004, 11:23 AM
RuiFeliciano Hmmm

Lightwave users seem to be in a constant need of a pat in the back reassuring them that althought they're using "the vfx industry's secret weapon" that is neglected in a myriad of situations, they've made the best choice by adopting it themselves...it's like LW users suffer from some sort of inferiority complex...

Nice comment there!!!!

Pat in the back? sounds nasty!!! Like my thread clearly stated, leave it....go waste some time on creative thought...instead. I really don't care much for which is the best app blar blar , it's all a bit USA for me, bottom line is this... I use Maya I use Max I use LW and about 15 other prepress/graphics/Video software's for 3D work LW is cheap and easy to use so at the moment I use this and I produce some nice work, end of

Andy -UK-

P.S. And I also stated that to land a JOB in the UK most studios use Maya, so really no CHOICE anyhow

jevinstudios
06-20-2004, 08:10 AM
Originally posted by SplineGod
Lightwave is quite powerful and Im willing to bet far more powerful then anyone of us knows what to do with right now. :)

Absolutely!

CAClark
06-20-2004, 09:03 AM
What an utterly pointless thread!

Andrew Sweet
06-20-2004, 01:57 PM
Well maybe we can turn this around!!! being a postive kind of chap!!. Right now I model/texture/light in 3D and consider myself skilled in these areas I also know basic animation, I am looking into learning character animation so have purchased SplineGods great learning tools which are very good and offer what I'm looking for. Can someone here please tell me what the main reasons are for Maya having better char animation tools? over the rest of the software out there as I would like to start learning this very complex subject and the more insight one can gain the better!!!. Hopefully from this we can turn this thread from a pointless one into something useful, my time like anyones else's is limited so I don't want to do things twice

Cheers


Andy Sweet

toby
06-20-2004, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by RuiFeliciano

If you take the trouble to wander a few weeks/months through other 3d apps communities you'll find that in general they are more worried about having their program "fixed" in a certain area, evolve towards a certain direction, have it implement other programs' functionality, etc. but they do not have these kind of "lightwave kicks everyone else's butt you can do everything with LW alone" kind of threads...I call this being short sighted...

I think what you're seeing is what I am seeing, genuine affection for LW, but are mistaking it for a "we're #1" arrogance, I go to other forums every once in a while and I never see that cocky attitude, which I can't stand either, like you'll see in Mac vs PC wars.

What I see is people who, like me, think LW is the most fun they've ever had, with their clothes on. It's the most user-friendly program I've ever used, the easiest to learn because it's designed the way I would design it (if I knew how). If LW became a compositing app, I'd become a compositor.

What I see in users of other apps is that they like what they can achieve, it doesn't occur to them to judge whether they love the work or not.


Originally posted by RuiFeliciano
even Newtek's Proton mentioned in a certain thread in CGTalk that LW for modeling and rendering and Maya for animating make a killer combo...

What's wrong with that? Digital Domain and I think it's CafeFX and Rythm and Hues do exactly that. LW has a better/easier modeler and unlimited free render nodes, but animation is much better in Maya - I call that being practical.

Ade
06-20-2004, 09:16 PM
Lightwave seems to be penetrating alot of the retail and viz scene too, thats why i always push newtek to update the renderer and modelling set in next release.

Librarian
06-21-2004, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Sweet
I also know basic animation, I am looking into learning character animation so have purchased SplineGods great learning tools which are very good and offer what I'm looking for. Can someone here please tell me what the main reasons are for Maya having better char animation tools? over the rest of the software out there as I would like to start learning this very complex subject and the more insight one can gain the better!!!



Character Animation is software independent.
It`s all about weight, timing, staging and so on. The principles are the same, regardless of the software.
I recommend studying the principles of animation. The net is full of resources.
Helpful books are Timing for Animation, Animator`s workbook, Illusion of life, Animator`s survival kit, acting for animators, Stop staring etc.

It`s maybe just easier to achieve a certain goal in another application.
Let`s say crowd animation. Although LW offers some basic tools for that, I won`t do it in LW. The same goes for complicated riggs with tons of expressions and constraints, and complex non linear animation.
And instant feedback of animation. Performance is not the best, we need serious speed boosts in LW for next releases.
I can`t tell you about Maya, but I would say the flexibility of Maya is an important factor for studios to work with it. It`s more open and you have access to nearly all core functions. That makes it easier for Inhouse development.
But that doesn`t make you a better animator.

toby
06-21-2004, 01:50 AM
I worked with a 'high-end' animator (Disney, PDI, WETA) in LW, I helped her understand LW's tools, boy did she have a lot of complaints. Mostly that it wasn't Maya, but some things that really made sense and I've already suggested them in Feature Requests -

1. In the Graph editor, you can put 2 radically different curves side-by-side and see both curves, wheras in LW, one of the curves flattens out because the view is scaled down for the other one.

2. You can set a defalut value for TCB keys

3. When you convert keys to Beziers, the curves retain their shape, and the bezier handles stay flat unless you break them yourself. LW's beziers don't retain the previous shape, and handles break the instant you move one, unless the handles are exactly the same length.

Needless to say, I was disappointed when [8] came out with character set-up improvements and not animation improvements.

C'mon NT! These are do-able! Put them in so we can kick some maya butt! :D

According to her, Maya was created with inputs from master animators, so it makes sense that it's the best tool to use. Not that LW is useless, if you want to learn animation and already have LW there's no reason to shell out for Maya. See my website for the animation that we did, in 7.5 - http://www.tobygaines.com

RuiFeliciano
06-21-2004, 05:11 AM
Toby,


What's wrong with that? Digital Domain and I think it's CafeFX and Rythm and Hues do exactly that. LW has a better/easier modeler and unlimited free render nodes, but animation is much better in Maya - I call that being practical.


Absolutely no wrong AT ALL! I think that's the logical thing to do...it's the "LW can do it all, screw the rest" attitude that I find short sighted.

Emmanuel
06-21-2004, 05:27 AM
Well, as far as "short sighted goes", I would say that NT shouldn't present LW/Maya as a "good combo" because that makes it look as if they don't have plans to make Maya in that "combo" obsolete.
While I understand that NT would have a hard time competing with Maya, I think that they should intend to make LW as good as Maya when it comes to animation.
Proton saying that maya is a good combo doesnt show me the right
"vibe".
Doesn't have to be like Brad Peebler back then, but this attitude is a bit too much "resignation" and happiness with what we got, instead of "the future is bright".

Nemoid
06-21-2004, 06:43 AM
I think that one was a Proton opinion. Using different tools to get the job done is surely a good thing, if u can afford them.

Lightwave has the tools to do animation, but Layout suffers from being not developed in years like modeler was.

Lw should evolve in time focusing more and more into animation tools, Getting inspired from other apps like Maya, XSI and MB, but also developing good ideas in itself for animation.

Like modeler appear to offer a good feeling for a lot of modelling tasks, so layout should offer the same good feeling when animating. the speed of animation responsiveness also should be greatly enhanced.

It's clear that , given the structure of apps like Maya and XSI , and given their well projected animation editors and NLA ones, animation is easier in those apps than in Lw for now. but developing tools like that is possible for sure. alot of things are possible.

when I post my opinions saying that Lw is good and direct to the point I never forget Lw problems in its structure, and lacks or half developed tools here and there. What i mean is surely that i see alot of potential in Lw philosophy in itself and in its workflow especially for basic tasks.

this being said, here some rough hints of what Nt should consider for Lw future development :


A good work for Nt wich i hope they will at least start to do after 8 launch is to start transporting Lw into a modern environment.
just project a good and light environment wich hosts tools and plugs wich can be loaded and manages them into an efficient solid way. this env. should be in C++. with a node structure.

this is the main and highly important work to do.

Then start to examine all the tools and free plugs too and how they could fit and work together in the best way, interacting smoothly with the core and with eah other (this is allowed from the nodal structure).
so put all together to form a one app structure. in this way all the tools will be common as well as the editors. i could show the timeline in the modeler UI, as well as use the selection tools i have in modeler to select items in layout and manipulate them with modeler's toolset.as u can imagine alot of power at my disposal. I could weight a char in layout as well as making endomorphs into it and much more...

Offer a good sdk and good doumentation for it, as well as the API. make the environment very opened also to 3rd party rendering solutions and plugs.
In particular, all Worley plugs, like G2 Fprime and Sasquatch wich should be able to work together into a common panel and into viewports too.
This will also allow third party authors to offer even better plugs to the community working very well with the app.

Then there are organization tasks of the UI. its untrue that u haven't the possibility to show the app into a way to organize its workflow in an efficient way and not so far from the current one(with obvious enhancements of course).

It's plain untrue that u have to show your app the way Maya or other apps are showed and organized. so u see there'0s no prob to fear users, because UI is only how you see the app.

Project the workflow with the artist in mind. :)

This implies many efforts to give to the user the easier and powerful tools to work with.

Get inspired from other apps like i said above , project cool tools and enhance the current ones if needed. this is valid for tools as well as panels and editors organization. it's not a matter of totally overhaul what the app seems like right now, but enhancing it into a very clever and logic way.

For the UI the best thing is to have different options. since the app is one, u could show it a s an unique UI, or use different UI setups to organize the work. I'd make this thing totally opened in ALL UI elements so that the user could create one by himself, but then I'd give to the users a well organized default UI, maybe also similar to the one we have with modelling and animating separated.

This would allow many, many, many good things unleashing the power that current structure imprisons in its linear old way to work.
The app would be modern and flexible at the same time, retaining all the good things it has right now but at the same time being the natural evolution of the current one.

With a similar work Lw could beat Maya and even XSI in many areas of 3d creation, and could also become very well suited for the solo artist/small studio as well as huge companies too.

theo
06-21-2004, 02:12 PM
I too am pretty positive about the future of LW but I am curious about something in reference to what Nemoid said in his post about Newtek's philosophy.

Does Newtek HAVE a philosophy? If so what is this "philosophy" exactly?

jevinstudios
06-21-2004, 02:21 PM
Dont' know what their actual philosophy is, but my take on what I've received so far is: "Great people, great product, great service". Just ordered an additional full license today for my studio, and I tell ya, Gary in Sales is top notch! An awesome company that rewards returning customers -- couldn't ask for more.....

Exper
06-22-2004, 03:57 AM
I don't had the time to read the whole Thread...
but my major complain about NT and LW is very simple...
they should open-up their minds!

Take a look to competitors and how much they're visible around the world...
even the most little/stupid thing is presented as the final CG revolution...
compare it with NT's marketing...
nothing more to say! :(

The most stupid example:
have you ever seen a big "Download LightWave Evaluation Version for FREE!" button on NT's home-page site (or menus)? No! Too much difficult! :mad:

P.s. Sometime "rude" is better than "polite"!

jamesl
06-22-2004, 04:59 AM
Originally posted by Exper
P.s. Sometime "rude" is better than "polite"!

Sometimes "silence" is better than "ignorance".

sometimes "English" is better than "Gibberish".

LW8 is not officially released. When it is, you may well find a learning edition available. Beyond that, your comments reflect the competition's ability to promote itself, not necessarily to get the job done. Use what helps YOU, and stop worrying about what doesn't.

cheers!

j

Nemoid
06-22-2004, 05:13 AM
The philosophy is for the app to be quite cheap , direct to the point, easy to learn and work with and also undertsandable on the UI. this makes your work easier and fun.

This is also because Lw has the final user in mind. only, in latest years Lw has developed into a way wich could have been more clever.and aware of what other apps introduced in recent times. This doesn't mean the new team can't do a great job.

an example of good philosophy : in modeler u have a good feeling that make things very easy to do and change and so one. especially for organics. try to model a la Taron, with box modelling sm shift , spinquad and a few other tools directly in subpatch, or with the DI power tools now in 8 with poly by poly by extending them (here too directly in subpatch and u can understand what i'm talking about. there are alot of other good things wich make your work easy like for example the drag tool, the magnet,bend,simmetry modelling (even if it needs some fix) and much other. the genereal feeling is :FUN.

U have good working tools out of the box especially for basic tasks.

In layout u have currently a virtual studio, with good representation of a camera, lights, u place objects quite like into a real environment of a production set, so that u have a good feeling as well, a very intuitive env, IMO. u also have better rigging and dynamic tools right now

In the ui also u have written icons, not drawn unsignificant and small icons so that u see clearly what u will get when u search an unused function. this is another good thing.organizing the UI and menus is easy, works good even if u don't have an extended complete control I'd like.
The surface editor is easy to understand and work with.

U have a good rendering engine, not fast but good, and unlimited rendering nodes, wich solve u alot of money probs when u have a small studio or if u are a solo user with more than one machine, to build even a little renderfarm. :)

Price is good and u have no maintenance price to pay as well. If u want to buy a licence from an user who wants to sell it you can with no prob and vice versa.

Now, certainly things could be waay better, Lw could be greatly enhanced as i described in my previous post, but the current philosophy seems a good thing to mantain and to build up from. :)

I also think these and many other things are surely what made Jevin return back to Lw from a big app like Maya, wich is good , but directed more towards huge studios pipelines with TDs, lighters, modelers, texturers, animators and other specialized artists in the team.

Exper
06-22-2004, 05:13 AM
Originally posted by jamesl
Sometimes "silence" is better than "ignorance".

sometimes "English" is better than "Gibberish".

......

Beyond that, your comments reflect the competition's ability to promote itself, not necessarily to get the job done. Use what helps YOU, and stop worrying about what doesn't.Ok... it's normal...
we flame eachother all the time! ;)

I was not strictly speaking about LW8 (I'm using pre-ordered LW8 as you're using it...)
I was speaking about an attitude:
NT has a quite self referencing one.

Note...
I wrote: "Download LightWave Evaluation Version for FREE!" and not: "Download LightWave [8] Evaluation Version for FREE!"

Nemoid
06-22-2004, 05:27 AM
Originally posted by Exper
I don't had the time to read the whole Thread...
but my major complain about NT and LW is very simple...
they should open-up their minds!

Take a look to competitors and how much they're visible around the world...
even the most little/stupid thing is presented as the final CG revolution...
compare it with NT's marketing...
nothing more to say! :(

The most stupid example:
have you ever seen a big "Download LightWave Evaluation Version for FREE!" button on NT's home-page site (or menus)? No! Too much difficult! :mad:

P.s. Sometime "rude" is better than "polite"!

I totally agree about that.
They should do a better and clever/more aggressive advertisement.
They have to boost the advertisement focusing on the right things, making the new users find answers, and also a great Lw demo version like Softimage do with XSI (not Maya, PLE sucks)to distribute in several ways, coupled to some game for example and in some magazine too :)

About the little thing presented like a CG revolution and being not, LOL attracting new users in such a way will not pay in the long term.
There are alot of these crap stuff all around the world and i'm very sorry for the people wich spend alot of money and waste their time falling in these kinda traps.:mad:

Exper
06-22-2004, 05:43 AM
James...
about ignorance (I know... I am)...
let me tell you a little thing about the world (maybe you're living in an happy island... lucky man):
more marketing/promotion -> more potential users -> more money for new versions -> more time/resources to listen users' requests -> more possibility to research and innovate -> more visibility -> more potential users ---> virtual loop actived!

This virtual loop will surerly help you in getting the job done!

Why they don't let you download the 7.5c Discovery (and the 7.5b, 7.5, 7.0, 6.5, 6.0, 5.6... I stop the count down here!) in an easy way?

Then speaking about features:
LW8 is a great app and it's a good step forward!

Librarian
06-22-2004, 05:58 AM
Originally posted by Nemoid

With a similar work Lw could beat Maya and even XSI in many areas of 3d creation, and could also become very well suited for the solo artist/small studio as well as huge companies too.
LOL Dream on...
It`s not like that you have to change some basic things to make LW on par with these apps, it has to evolve from the ground up to come even close.
And NT has not the budget Avid and Softimage has.
Avid is a giant with million $ for development and research.
It`s not a follower, it`s a trend-setter, a leader. Again.

Do you really think a small private company can compete with a million dollar concern?
In the end, money talks and NT do the best they can.
Give NT a comparable budget and then let`s see the result.
A good philosophy alone isn`t sufficient if the resources are limited.

caesar
06-22-2004, 07:05 AM
Originally posted by Exper

Take a look to competitors and how much they're visible around the world...

even the most little/stupid thing is presented as the final CG revolution...

compare it with NT's marketing...
nothing more to say! :(

The most stupid example:
have you ever seen a big "Download LightWave Evaluation Version for FREE!" button on NT's home-page site (or menus)?

I agree with Exper - in a more polite way ;)...
I know advertising takes money, but itīs a little difficult hear about LW - look at cgnetworks/cgtalk, I never saw a banner from NT! Theyīre full of *May-Xs-Ma-whatever*!
Why not a cool and inviting "beginnersīguide" page, with a 7.5c discovery downlod. NT has a wonderful and powerful product, I dont see any ad like - "See how X Studios used LW to reach Y quality, or N effect in Z film"

Or "See why LW has the prefered modeling in industry" Or "LW has the greatest volumetrics fx - known the Hypervoxels advantage!". What about "the only FREE unlimited high end render nodes" or "Free support" and on. Itīs not just *put an sensacionalist tittle*, but make people PAY ATENTION to LW the same way they do to other apps - sometimes media is a great player in our side!

Exper
06-22-2004, 07:09 AM
Originally posted by Librarian
And NT has not the budget Avid and Softimage has.
Avid is a giant with million $ for development and research.Did they found all that bucks under a cabbage?

Or they deserve it by their products, marketing/visibility, strategies and external alliances?

jevinstudios
06-22-2004, 07:22 AM
Originally posted by caesar
I know advertising takes money, but itīs a little difficult hear about LW - look at cgnetworks/cgtalk, I never saw a banner from NT! Theyīre full of *May-Xs-Ma-whatever*!
Why not a cool and inviting "beginnersīguide" page, with a 7.5c discovery downlod. NT has a wonderful and powerful product, I dont see any ad like - "See how X Studios used LW to reach Y quality, or N effect in Z film"

Or "See why LW has the prefered modeling in industry" Or "LW has the greatest volumetrics fx - known the Hypervoxels advantage!". What about "the only FREE unlimited high end render nodes" or "Free support" and on. Itīs not just *put an sensacionlist tittle*, but make people PAY ATENTION to LW the same way they do to other apps - sometimes media is a great player in our side!


Very good suggestion. Hey, NewTek -- great idea here!

caesar
06-22-2004, 07:40 AM
I not saying NT mkt/ad team is all wrong - I always take a peak at NT Europe profiles (such great work appear there!), but thereīs no easy link from NT.com to there!?
And I think spinquad.com has a more friendly approuch to begginers than nt.com - look it now, theres dialy updates with the new images in the forum, and a banner for free tut from 3dgarage.com - easy to find people, wipīs and education resource!

Nemoid
06-22-2004, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by Librarian
LOL Dream on...
It`s not like that you have to change some basic things to make LW on par with these apps, it has to evolve from the ground up to come even close.
And NT has not the budget Avid and Softimage has.
Avid is a giant with million $ for development and research.
It`s not a follower, it`s a trend-setter, a leader. Again.

Do you really think a small private company can compete with a million dollar concern?
In the end, money talks and NT do the best they can.
Give NT a comparable budget and then let`s see the result.
A good philosophy alone isn`t sufficient if the resources are limited.

Yes, i really think this is possible. Call me a dreamer if u want and i wont be offended.

Look for example to what a small company developed with Zbrush. Pixolator is a good artist and a great programmer. he knows what he projects and he use his program.
As u can see, Pixologic is not a huge company like Avid is.
Yet, Zbrush was used in LOTR and enhanced directly for the movies into a way wich is revolutionary and is going to change the whole approach to 3D content creation.
A good example of an app with the artist in mind, too.

Even the Cinema 4D developing team is small. yet they made an aggressive development of the app and a good advertisement

And also, think to an app like Solidthinking. this was developed by ONE programmer wich now works in PIXAR developing shaders and much more for them. He developed a 3D app all alone and it was a kick ***** 3d app oriented to industrial design.

So, do u really think that a small company CAN'T develop a great app?

The real question would be if NT will be able and will want to do so.
For it IS possible, and it's easier than you think too.

Better money resources can be gathered with a cool and good advertisement too, better learning resources and documentation.

I personally agree with the virtual loop Exper talked about

Exper
06-22-2004, 09:01 AM
ZBrush is a clear and good example of open-minded developing attitude!

NT can make innovative stuff if they want... but only if they want!

The past:
MetaNurbs, Steamer, Hypervoxels, the Renderer and many others!

The future?
We'll see...
hoping they'll hardly work also on the other side: marketing and visibility!

Exper
06-22-2004, 09:15 AM
Originally posted by Nemoid
About the little thing presented like a CG revolution and being not, LOL attracting new users in such a way will not pay in the long term.Agree.

An example:
take a look at all Maya6 reviews:
the "Soft Modification Tool and Deformer"...
makes me laugh (we're using a better one starting from the old 6 ages)...
but...
they don't lie completely: when you think you can easily animate it using the object history!

So you can't blame them... not completely at least!

Great marketing strategy: you know the tool isn't an innovation... but the tool innovates!

theo
06-22-2004, 11:06 AM
I'm trying to figure out why guys who are just sooo tickled pink with their 3D giant software, like Softimage, Maya and Avid, would even waste their time in the forum of such a "diminutive" and "unobtrusive" piece of software like Lightwave.

I know I don't waste my time frequenting forums of software companies that are not on my radar screen.

Do these guys have their own issues possibly?

Like, if you're so happy what the heck are you doing here in this thread? Appears a little suspect to me.

06-22-2004, 11:20 AM
Zbrush is a horrible example. Pixologic saw a chance to innovate and create a NEW market and took it at the right time (when nobody else did). The major difference between NewTek and Pixologic is that NewTek is swimming in the same pool with bigger sharks, whereas Pixologic created their own pool.

In a well established market for 3d apps, there's very little room to innovate without a lot of bank behind you. At this point, it's all about just being able to keep up. You can't blame NewTek for that... they work with what they have, which isn't much compared to the big boys.

All you have to do is use one of the other major apps yourself to see that there is a very good reason why LW is priced cheaper than the rest (though this advantage is almost gone now).

No offense to the UI people in here either, but XSI makes much more sense pound for pound and doesn't fall apart the more plugins you add to it (not that it needs many to begin with). It's quite consistent and logical across the board, and far more customizable. I found it much easier to jump in as a new user compared to my LW experience. Especially when you almost have to learn a new UI over again between modeler and layout. But I guess if you look at it from a 2 UI's for the price of one perspective that makes sense. :rolleyes:

EDIT: I am a LW user too as well as a few other apps so my interest in it's progress is just as vested as yours. I just happen to have more than one software package "on my radar screen" than you it would seem.

Librarian
06-22-2004, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by Nemoid
Yes, i really think this is possible. Call me a dreamer if u want and i wont be offended.

Look for example to what a small company developed with Zbrush. Pixolator is a good artist and a great programmer. he knows what he projects and he use his program.
As u can see, Pixologic is not a huge company like Avid is.
Yet, Zbrush was used in LOTR and enhanced directly for the movies into a way wich is revolutionary and is going to change the whole approach to 3D content creation.
A good example of an app with the artist in mind, too.

Even the Cinema 4D developing team is small. yet they made an aggressive development of the app and a good advertisement

And also, think to an app like Solidthinking. this was developed by ONE programmer wich now works in PIXAR developing shaders and much more for them. He developed a 3D app all alone and it was a kick ***** 3d app oriented to industrial design.

So, do u really think that a small company CAN'T develop a great app?

The real question would be if NT will be able and will want to do so.
For it IS possible, and it's easier than you think too.

Better money resources can be gathered with a cool and good advertisement too, better learning resources and documentation.

I personally agree with the virtual loop Exper talked about
At first I want to make clear that all Iīve said is in no way a personal insult against you or anyone. Sorry if it sounds a bit harsh.

No, I don`t think a small company can`t develop a great app.
You can, of course, but you CAN`T BE HIGHEST END IN ALL ASPECTS if you`re a small company. That`s what I think.
A company can concentrate on a certain aspect. Examples are PMG an Messiah, Kaydara and MB, L**Ol*GY and M*d*, Pixologic and ZBrush or Mental Images and Mental Ray.
Specialisation rulez the world and the industry, because every progress causes more and more complex systems and to control this complexity it is absolutely necessary to specialize.
Alias, Discreet and Alias include Mental Ray in their applications..
They outsourced a part of the development(not really, they have a partnership with MI) because they know it`s hard and resource intensive to develop a render technology that`s on par with industry proven MR, which required many man-years to evolve.

The same goes for the adoption of other technologies. Syflex cloth, Havok, Final Render core technology in Cinema etc.
A company needs money to maintain partnerships.
NT and Worley, that`s a combo :D

Now ask yourself again if it`s possible to compete with such combined resources. I don`t think so.
You can shine in a certain aspect, but not in all areas of the complex subject 3d. Development doesn`t stop.
3d has its own evolution. And it doesn`t stop.
More and more branches proliferate in the course of time. Try to get a grip on these branches all by yourself and youīll fail. It`s different to be a leader in a single aspect or to be a leader everywhere.

jevinstudios
06-22-2004, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by Librarian
No, I don`t think a small company can`t develop a great app.
You can, of course, but you CAN`T BE HIGHEST END IN ALL ASPECTS if you`re a small company. That`s what I think.


I disagree. NewTek was the first company to revolutionize visual effects for the broadcast television market, and their innovation with the VT is garnering top awards and is still unmatched in the industry, even by Avid. LightWave, as well, is a very creative and well-planned application, used in all aspects of the television and motion picture industry worldwide (as someone put it earlier, the industry's "Secret Weapon").

As a small private company just launched the world' first privitized space flight (for billions less than Nasa, Russia or China are shelling into their programs), so can a small and privately held company create a top-of-the line 3D application (LW is proof of this). If your insight is true, then Alias' days are numbered, as they are now a smaller privately held entity.

You don't have to be a public or massive company to employ creative developers to lead the pack.

Emmanuel
06-22-2004, 11:46 AM
Totally wrong.
See Maxon: C4D is a full app and penetrates a market that *was* dominated by other apps.Maxon also does BodyPaint 3D, which seems to be the leader when it comes to 3D painting (except for stuff like Viewpaint ;) ).
See Pixologic: You can already model, texture AND render, AND You can POSE the creations, so, how much time do You think will pass until they let You ANIMATE ?
See realsoft4D: small company, all-purpose app, bad marketing.
Oh, and Truespace is STILL around, as is Carrara.
Ever heard of Blender ?

Its not the size, its what You do with it.And a small developer CAN create revolutionizing products, when the right ideas and the right approach is there.
Tim Jenison had this in mind with NewTek, remember ?
Just, they seem to have lost it along the way.
Others now have better ideas, implement them faster and NT plays catch up.Not in every aspect, but in most.

Besides that, I see the marketing of Lw 8 now as a complete fiasco.
Officially, it doesn't exist yet, inofficially it lacks refinement, not the way to welcome new customers if You ask me :/
People wonder "Why can poeple already use it when its not offcially released ? What kind of marketing is that ?"

Exper
06-22-2004, 11:51 AM
Emmanuel... agree with you!

Hoping NT won't feel the same way as someone are doing here...
or LW will be dead in a couple of minutes! :(

Come on NT... let the ball roll! ;)

robewil
06-22-2004, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by Emmanuel
Its not the size, its what You do with it.And a small developer CAN create revolutionizing products, when the right ideas and the right approach is there.
Tim Jenison had this in mind with NewTek, remember ?
Just, they seem to have lost it along the way.
Others now have better ideas, implement them faster and NT plays catch up.Not in every aspect, but in most. To be fair to Tim and Newtek, it was a very different world in the late 1980's and early 1990's. There were no products that allowed artists to create professional calibre video and animation on a modest budget. Newtek arguably invented this market with the release of the Video Toaster and Lightwave 3D in 1990. Even after that, it took years for the big boys like SGI to take it seriously. Today, this is the industry. Newtek has to compete with the industry giants and they have remarkably, been able to do so and remain a small, private company. The reality is, however, that they are not going to be able to be quite the pioneering and innovative company they used to be, at least, not as much so.

Librarian
06-22-2004, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by jevinstudios
I disagree. NewTek was the first company to revolutionize visual effects for the broadcast television market, and their innovation with the VT is garnering top awards and is still unmatched in the industry, even by Avid. LightWave, as well, is a very creative and well-planned application, used in all aspects of the television and motion picture industry worldwide (as someone put it earlier, the industry's "Secret Weapon").

As a small private company just launched the world' first privitized space flight (for billions less than Nasa, Russia or China are shelling into their programs), so can a small and privately held company create a top-of-the line 3D application (LW is proof of this). If your insight is true, then Alias' days are numbered, as they are now a smaller privately held entity.

You don't have to be a public or massive company to employ creative developers to lead the pack.
I think you get me wrong.
3d evolves, we`re not in the beginnings of 3d anymore and NT isn`t a leader in 3d anymore.
That`s fact.
If it is possible, then I ask you, why isn`t NT a leader in 3d anymore? Why?
I think it`s not that they lack talented and creative people.

Some people think itīs easy to create a software like LW. Some people think the will and passion alone is enough to build an application like LW.
Software development is much more complex these days.
It`s not that you could do a hack job in a garage and come up with an application as Maya or XSI.

SI released 4.0 before LW8.0 and outstripped LW several times.
I seriously doubt NT can stand this pace. What do you think?
They have to go their own way at their own pace.

Librarian
06-22-2004, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by robewil
To be fair to Tim and Newtek, it was a very different world in the late 1980's and early 1990's. There were no products that allowed artists to create professional calibre video and animation on a modest budget. Newtek arguably invented this market with the release of the Video Toaster and Lightwave 3D in 1990. Even after that, it took years for the big boys like SGI to take it seriously. Today, this is the industry. Newtek has to compete with the industry giants and they have remarkably, been able to do so and remain a small, private company. The reality is, however, that they are not going to be able to be quite the pioneering and innovative company they used to be, at least, not as much so.
I agree

theo
06-22-2004, 01:19 PM
Call it what you will but I LIKE the 'geek factor' associated with Lightwave.

I LIKE the almost family-business atmosphere of Newtek.

I PREFER small companies over large corporations.

Newtek creates a sense that they are small but dedicated. Larger corporate rivals create the sense that they are so big they need to suck you dry financially like a spider on a fly.

I try as often as I can to shop at my locally-owned mom and pop grocery store and AVOID Walmart.

I like to buy music that never makes it on a Billboard chart.

I LIKE the sense of control that Newtek gives their customer base with free render nodes and free product support to name a few.

I just plain LIKE Newtek. They aren't snobs or boobs they are hard-working and involved people just like you and me.

That's just the touchy-feely side.

jevinstudios
06-22-2004, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by theo
Call it what you will but I LIKE the 'geek factor' associated with Lightwave.

I LIKE the almost family-business atmosphere of Newtek.

I PREFER small companies over large corporations.

Newtek creates a sense that they are small but dedicated. Larger corporate rivals create the sense that they are so big they need to suck you dry financially like a spider on a fly.

I try as often as I can to shop at my locally-owned mom and pop grocery store and AVOID Walmart.

I like to buy music that never makes it on a Billboard chart.

I LIKE the sense of control that Newtek gives their customer base with free render nodes and free product support to name a few.

I just plain LIKE Newtek. They aren't snobs or boobs they are hard-working and involved people just like you and me.

That's just the touchy-feely side.

Right on the $$!

Nemoid
06-22-2004, 02:19 PM
IMO is not how big is the company to make the software better. of course you have alot of resources and people dedicated to developing. but into programing the first thing to take into account are ideas.

I know that a big company have great resources at its disposal, money for a huge advertisement campaign, to build documentation aand so on, but, especially in the case of Maya, i don't see a proportional relationship between big = astonishing development of the app.

i see a better relationship in the XSI case.

I partially agree with Librarian when he says about small companies being specialized, it is a logical vision indeed but, these little apps very good into small areas, clearly demonstrate the lack of ideas and good programing even in big companies with lots of resources.

(incidentally no i didn't took your statements like a personal attack Librarian)

Now, if a free software like Blender is that good, or if a general app like Cinema4D is growing very aggressively and the same company has a product like Body Paint i clearly see that what i think is possible.

I don't agree about ZBrush being a bad example, especially from a developing POV.
Weta asked them enghancements in some areas because they saw the app potential , and Pixologic was capable to get the job done.
I also think this app can evolve into a great app maybe also for animation.

If the task would be to create an astonishing and revolutionary 3D app from scratch i would be a tad less positive, but here we have a good piece of software yet, standing between big giants and in some areas like modelling and rendering (and now rigging as well) being good the only problem being not developed cleverly as years passed.
The period of 6 release was really a key period and they someway missed a good occasion, that of a Lw complete rewrite as a one app structure using C++ language too.
They changed and implemented alot of things but didn't do this fundamental job.

But as i said the software is there, here are the tools, and therefore is possible to tranport them into a new clever environment with a one app structure making them all common tools.
This only thing would make Lw really powerful even with the current tools with no other effort.

All the rest is developing new features, the missing ones or also have new ideas for new tools never seen before if they want to and organizing the app.

Finally : i give usually a look at other softwares if i can tried Maya too. but didn't liked it at all
I am also interested into XSI for the features descriptions i read about it, but i don't expect from it the same feeling i have with Lw especially in modelling.
Maybe in other areas will be different, since no software is the best in all areas.

I usually try to look around myself the more i can, even too much in some cases but i still have the same opinion about Lw for now.
In the opposite case i wouldn't be here.

Emmanuel
06-22-2004, 03:11 PM
I am here because I love LW, plain and simple.
Between my moans and groans, I love the package, an I wouldn't voice my opinion if I didn't, because then I would just go away and use something like Maya or C4D.
I love LW because it sent shivers down my spine when I was looking at the old Amiga magazine ads with the Babylon 5 shots.
I love it like a misguided child that has a good heart but went through
rough times and seems to be on the wrong way.Or moving too slowly.
Its a very good tool for me to use, and I would love to continue using it exclusively, that's my point.
And for myself I claim the objectivity to say that with a few changes here and there, LW could remain the tool I use the next 5 years.
Its just that I don't consider things like cloth dynamics a vital part for my work, I would love to see the whole character animation system in LW revised and streamlined to just a few key points:

1)Ease of setup/Ease of change/Ease of managment
2)Everything You need to set poses quickly and save/load/apply them through a visual browser ( a la XSI)
3)Beeing able to animate complex things easily (muscles, mechanics etc)
4)Onion skin display

I dunno if IKB is the right approach, to me it is not as visionary as for example those guys like Jacobo, who actually develop rigs that aren't controlled by goals anymore (Thomas4D is doing R&D for that direction, too).
Thats something I would aim for: making animation much less technical and much more intuitive, freeform/artistic, just what zBrush is for modeling, LW should do for animation.
At the moment, animation is very abstract compared with taking a pencil and starting to draw the key poses :)
We should get away from the multitude of tools and just have a few which do a much better job.
I guess soon someone comes up with a new way of animating, maybe with virtual pose "strokes" You can do with the tablet or so, something so insanely awesome like modeling an orec in ZBrush vs old school vertex
pulling.And then people will say "Yeah, why has no one done this before !?".

SplineGod
06-22-2004, 03:18 PM
Good points Emmanuel. In the end a person has to sit down, figure out what they have in terms of resources, money, manpower, time, etc, etc and see what works for them.
Commercial artists are always looking out for ways to do things better, cheaper, faster.

IKB definately makes LWs native IK much more powerful. Like anything else its easy to use if you know how to use it. Those rigs that use the bones to animate are still using goals, theyre just hidden. Some people like it and some dont. I lean a bit more towards the dont like aspect simply because it just takes more time to hide everything rather then just use the null with the special shape rather then parented the null to a bone. Again, Im not sure if its better, worse or just different. Usually I do a bit of thought before figuring on the best way to approach a rig. :)

Librarian
06-22-2004, 03:36 PM
@Nemoid
Yes, I can comprehend your points.
OT: Sadly, it wasnīt a lucky day for Giovanni and his team :(
Tomorrow is probably our sad day :eek:

@Emmanuel
Yes, a revolution in computer animation would be a cool thing. Something that gives us a new approach.
By the way, what about Animanium? It was announced as a rrevolutionary animation system. But the feedback of the tester was extremly disappointing and it disappeared from the picture. Was it really that bad or just embryonic?

tokyo drifter
06-22-2004, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Librarian
By the way, what about Animanium? It was announced as a rrevolutionary animation system. But the feedback of the tester was extremly disappointing and it disappeared from the picture. Was it really that bad or just embryonic? You can download a demo from their site. It works a lot like IKbooster. They might both be based on the same technologies (maybe that is why Animatium shared a booth with Newtek at Siggraph).

Nemoid
06-23-2004, 01:45 AM
I completely agree with Emmanuel points

Animation should be easy to do in the technical side just because the artist should be allowed to focus on the animation itself, on poses, movements and timing not into problems wich are obstacles: in many cases their life made easier by TDs in pipelines wich use apps like Maya, but with good and well thought tools and good ideas thie would be less necessary indeed. :)

eon5
06-23-2004, 04:57 AM
what about Kaydara Motion Builder ?

Exper
06-23-2004, 09:38 AM
Another little thing could help a lot:
better and expanded Import/Export for 3D datas and Images.

This is a task that NT can accomplish...
it's not the classical "I want the moon" request and it could help a lot to integrate LW into every mixed-apps pipelines!

Facilitate the import from Archi apps, per example, as a well known contender app is doing at now (C4D)!

Just some simple but very useful things.

Piolla
06-24-2004, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by jamesl
If I'm an animator, I want to create POSES... I don't give a flying frog if what I'm doing isn't anatomically correct... I need to hit striking poses. I need to define my silouettes, control the form. That rig is wasteful overkill IMHO.

Hey, James, that's exactly what I was thinking. I don't know, maybe because I'm a 2D Animator above all, I still think Animation is cheating. Is making the audience beleave in the character and in what he's doing. That, you achieve with poses and facial expressions. I don't think they bother to do a rig like that at pixar and I still think they have the best animated characters. When I see those Shreck making off I allways think tha rig is only for marketing purposes.

tokyo drifter
06-24-2004, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Piolla
When I see those Shreck making off I allways think tha rig is only for marketing purposes. So PDI decided to make a complex rig just to market the film? I don't remember seeing that rig on movie posters, tv commercials, magazine ads, trailers, etc. It was only on the DVD, right? So after they bought the DVD and saw the rig, how is that marketing? Is seeing that rig going to persuade them to buy another DVD copy? :rolleyes:

And the purpose of a muscle simulation rig is just to create more realistic deformation (just another way to approach the issue) right? So shouldn't posing and animation controls be the same as a standard rig? So the animator has just the controls he needs. Maybe I'm totally wrong here but the complexity of a rig doesn't mean that the animator can't have simple controls to use it, right?

jamesl
06-24-2004, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by tokyo drifter
So PDI decided to make a complex rig just to market the film? I don't remember seeing that rig on movie posters, tv commercials, magazine ads, trailers, etc. It was only on the DVD, right? So after they bought the DVD and saw the rig, how is that marketing? Is seeing that rig going to persuade them to buy another DVD copy? :rolleyes:

And the purpose of a muscle simulation rig is just to create more realistic deformation (just another way to approach the issue) right? So shouldn't posing and animation controls be the same as a standard rig? So the animator has just the controls he needs. Maybe I'm totally wrong here but the complexity of a rig doesn't mean that the animator can't have simple controls to use it, right?

Actually, the PDI rigs are fairly artist freindly, as long as you have a few TDs to make alterations for you. And overly-complex rigs can definately get in the way of the animator. Say a muscle is set up to bulge when a joint moves a certain way (the frog's legs, for example). But visually, having the muscles bulge a few frames before or after that pose gives greater impact for the movement... it's a common cheat. Well, most cases, you're not going to want the rig to dictate those forms on the model. A good rigger will allow those controls to be disabled, and a good animator WILL disable them. So why is it important to build that into the rig anyways?? Anything that takes control away from the animator is a waster, IMHO.

j

harlan
06-24-2004, 04:12 PM
Better to have it than not, I suppose. ;)

Lightwolf
06-25-2004, 02:27 AM
Originally posted by jamesl
So why is it important to build that into the rig anyways?? Anything that takes control away from the animator is a waster, IMHO.

How about real world time vs. money constraints?
You might not get Pixar out of it, but then again, you might not have the budget and manpower Pixar have either...

Cheers,
Mike

jamesl
06-25-2004, 02:53 AM
But aren't you spending time and money building rigs? Really, I am the world's crappiest rigger, but I can build a simple rig to do exactly what I need it to do in almost any situation, in an hour. So why does it make sense to spend more time on a rig that any decent animator isn't going to want or use? It is very special that someone can rig a model to deform completely naturally, and yet... I have yet to see a real use for it.

j

bamburg dunes
06-25-2004, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by jevinstudios
Funny -- tried to verify the Maintenance Support cost posted (by Blabberlicious) via Softimage online -- no specific charges are listed; you have to get a quote on a charge, which is based on where you're located, what product you have, etc. The quotes / maintenance charges are done on a case-by-case basis -- what one person pays is not necessarily what my studio would pay -- a demographic-based charge system would most likely put higher fees on studios and persons located in major metropolitan areas (kinda like America's gasoline pricing; in my town, gas prices are 15-30 cents higher than just 10 miles out of town.....).


There's a set cost for maintenance, and one of the reasons for personal quotations, is to ensure that you get a good deal depending on how many seats you buy. It's like any business, if you bought 30 seats of XSI, you'd expect to get a good deal on the maintenance.

Also, you can see on Softimage's site the cost for maintenance for say, the Foundation version. It's on the screen when you view the price of it.



Throw in the fluid effects on the box of XSI and all their promotional material (which appears to have been generated with 3rd party software, if XSI does not have a native fluid dynamics system integrated....) -- not too impressed.


Nope. All box designs were done in XSI without any 3rd party plugins. The latest one for version 4 was produced by the Me design company, and all done in XSI.

In regards to LW, I gave up, I truly let go when, IMO, I saw them not advancing the software in a way that I expected. It's understandable given the nature of LW and so on. But that's no good for when I have to work, and invest.

To be frank here, there is no comparrison between XSI and LW, they are worlds apart IMO. The two companies are vastly different and how each release of XSI feels like a large leap forward.

jevinstudios
06-25-2004, 02:49 PM
Maintenance Contracts are still a rip-off, no matter how sugar-coated they may be. Also nice to see that XSI's pretty box designs were done with the software. But, a box design aint gonna sell me an application. As mentioned previously: for my studio, LW has all the power I need to get the job done and to do it well, within budget guidelines, and with the most efficiency. This, of course, will not be the case with some people or studios, but I'm very happy with my decision, and truly love this software! LightWave Rocks!:D

Signal to Noise
06-25-2004, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by bamburg dunes
...Nope. All box designs were done in XSI without any 3rd party plugins. The latest one for version 4 was produced by the Me design company, and all done in XSI....

It may have all been done in XSI but I'm pretty sure the image didn't go without a bit of tweaking in PhotoShop to get to final print standards.

I'm not knocking XSI. In fact, as soon as I grow my third testicle I will be giving it up for a copy of Softimage.;) I have the EXP bundle and it is a sweet application. But only if you go all the way and get the Full Meal Deal (i.e. Advanced). Until I win the lottery there is no substitute to LightWave. I'm with Jevin and other LW users- LightWave is the best bang for one's dollar!

Dodgy
06-25-2004, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by bamburg dunes

In regards to LW, I gave up, I truly let go when, IMO

So why are you still here if you don't mind me asking? To try to sell us XSI? Or have you really let go?

jamesl
06-25-2004, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by bamburg dunes

In regards to LW, I gave up, I truly let go when, IMO, I saw them not advancing the software in a way that I expected. It's understandable given the nature of LW and so on. But that's no good for when I have to work, and invest.

To be frank here, there is no comparrison between XSI and LW, they are worlds apart IMO. The two companies are vastly different and how each release of XSI feels like a large leap forward. [/B]

Yep. You guessed it. You can't compare the most expensive platform on the market with the cheapest. Thanks for the insight.

j

tokyo drifter
06-25-2004, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by Signal to Noise
It may have all been done in XSI but I'm pretty sure the image didn't go without a bit of tweaking in PhotoShop to get to final print standards. What does that have to do with anything? Almost all CG in movies, print, tv, etc. is tweaked in photoshop or a compositor.


Originally posted by jamesl Yep. You guessed it. You can't compare the most expensive platform on the market with the cheapest. Thanks for the insight. And it's not just because of the price difference. ;) Anyways, I think 3d platform comparisons have been unamimously banned on the internet as they weren't a very good idea to begin with.

SplineGod
06-25-2004, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by jamesl
A good rigger will allow those controls to be disabled, and a good animator WILL disable them. So why is it important to build that into the rig anyways?? Anything that takes control away from the animator is a waster, IMHO.

j
I totally agree with this. I do both rigging and character animation and I hate spending time to do more then create a simple rig that allows it to be quickly and easily animated. The muscle, skin and deformations have nothing to do with animating. Those can be added on later to enhance the good animation the animator created. :)

jamesl
06-25-2004, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by tokyo drifter


And it's not just because of the price difference. ;) Anyways, I think 3d platform comparisons have been unamimously banned on the internet as they weren't a very good idea to begin with.

Huh?

tokyo drifter
06-26-2004, 04:13 AM
Originally posted by jamesl
Huh? (conan o'brien's bush impression?) Have you ever read a 3d comparison thread (software A vs. software B) that didn't become a flame war almost instantly? I think a lot of mods delete those on site as they never lead to any good.

Just look at this forum, somebody can't mention XSI without getting jumped on. :rolleyes:

EDIT: Oh, and sorry for spelling "unanimously" wrong, in a bit of a rush and got sloppy. I am teh bestest spealler evar!!1

Lightwolf
06-26-2004, 06:59 AM
Originally posted by jevinstudios
Maintenance Contracts are still a rip-off, no matter how sugar-coated they may be.
Well, only because you had a bad experience with Maya in that respect, doesn't mean that the general idea is bad.
XSI users have (from what I've heard) made a vastly different experience with their support, going as far as timely bug fixes on demand in production. If you support doesn't offer that, then yes indeed, it is a waste of money.
On the other hand, spending days to work around a bug can be more expensive than having the option to report it and get it fixed.
Of course, there are companies that offer bug fixes even without a maintenance fee (Eyeon comes to mind here), but heck, I wouldn't mind paying $300/year for LW maintenance if I got bugs fixed and patches sent out. As I said, there were times were I spent more "money" (my rates) working around stuff in crunch.
However, charging maintenance and getting no more than we do now... bad idea :)
Cheers,
Mike

jevinstudios
06-30-2004, 04:37 AM
Gotta say -- today is a good day indeed for individuals and studios incorporating LightWave in the pipeline! Received the LightWave 8 launch announcement email yesterday, and man, is this company heading in the right direction! Very impressed with NewTek's marketing strategy, not to mention where LightWave is going in the industry. More and more, I feel that putting LW in the top spot was the best decision I made for my studio this year -- extremely pleased. Thanks, NewTek!

3DimensionalCat
09-05-2004, 06:19 AM
I've been reading this thread for some time now. Well, the most interesting that strikes me is that you can easily tell stereotypical thinking in CG industry, when the subject is which software to choose.

First of all, although I use Lightwave and am satisfyed by most of the pros it offers and therefore feel obliged to tolerate the cons, I am against all kinds of shortsightedness. What is this thing with the sentimental bond between Lightwave and its user (I have to say) crap? Computer screen, power supply noise and weary eyes; I don't prefer bonding with hammers, nails and CRTs. These are mere tools. I can only tolerate all this exhausting electronic experience if finally I am able to watch something I created and it is fun.

Some of the people in this thread, like James and Ruis, are displaying great patience in trying to remind people that this is an analytical and functional discussion about which tool to use. And some of the people are seeking answers to specific questions, yet are disappointed mostly. I mean you make a point and let people consider it themselves. Jevis has been -mind me Jevin- babbling the same rounded cliches over and over throughout the thread. I mean I congratulate you for doing the thing you think is right and getting more out of your hard-earned money for your own workflow. But your point is clear and the thread is throbbing with much more specific and useful subjects. Technical comparisons, ways to improve a certain software, criticism of CG industry, etc... a broader vision in general. I like Illustrator the best as a vector graphics tool but don't deny the obvious advantages of Freehand in multiple page projects. I have done a whole Japanese language instruction book complete with illustrations only on Illustrator out of insistance and it was hell. But I did not complain.

I totally agree that the important thing is the attitude towards creativity and production concerns. Personally I have been working and learning 3D through Lightwave because it is a fast, intuitive, reliable program and all. But the main point was that for learning 3D modelling, surfacing and animation, its primitive (some say straight to the point. what point?) workflow. It allows you to immerse yourself in the base, basic elements of a project where you need to learn and control all of the fundamentals properly to get things right. Sometimes you have to build a model, polygon by polygon and in time you get to create defect free, optimal models and with no construction history or parametric objects. The same goes for surfacing. But all this is because the volume of work I designated for myself matched with the tools LW had to offer. In my opinion Maya is a sturdier and larger scale platform which allows larger scale projects with more a customizable workflow. Its development team is massive compared to NewTek. I like NewTek, but that's not the point! I am planning to train myself in Maya or XSI for the next episode of my life because I want to create more complex or larger projects in a better developed, more organized platform. You have to admit LW has become like a slum where each year a new floor is added on top of the previous. NewTek's hacking-like practical method to create solutions and nice overall attitude is what makes us like them. But LW is beginning to suffer from lack of a holistic design solution and I think will keep coming apart in the future as new features are patched onto the cracks.

People still draw 12 frames of illustrations for a second of animation if they believe that is the effect they desire. Or pose a clay model for 25 times for a second. There are people working with 3DStudio (The DOS version) who submit projects to Siggraph. Man, there are still calligraphers, sculptors, painters and all. 3D is just an additon to available media and it is a thrilling additon. But software is just a productivity concern. Even software developers themselves are not so hot on which software is the best even if they created them.

Get out and play. Or sit in front of the computer to create something. Both are better than doing heavy marketing in the name of a company (nice company though) that is trying to stay alive like the rest. Or have you transferred to NewTek Jevin? Even a simple Google query reveals you were very fond of Alias's customer care although you say you didn't call them more than 5 times a year.

: )

Once a zealot always a zealot I say... I wonder what jevin would say after some tides; afterall none of us can see into the future. See what he used to say just some time ago:

http://www.alias.com/eng/community/customer_stories/file/casestudy_fam.pdf



Wow, I filled up enough crap.

I'd really appreciate if anyone shares with me the typical workflow procedure they prefer when working on a personal animation project involving character animation. And can you compare it to Maya and XSI?

theo
09-05-2004, 07:54 AM
3DimensionalCat-

If you would have left the less-than-astute comments on user sentimentality out of your reflections I would have determined that your comments were an excellent addition to this thread.

But, unfortunately you have hijacked your own opinion.

Stereo-typical views as you call them are often the result of an emergent value that develops over time from a complex pool of a large number of opinions. This emergent "value" is a great and immediate overall indicator for use in a variety of scenarios such as comparision models and viral marketing. And for you to knock this is plain ridiculous.

And the sentimentality issue is simply a human response called AFFIRMATION. Human sentimentaily is often viewed as a weakness by the "superior" analytics (in their own minds). This is nothing new and has been debated by psychologists and philosphers for years. The solution is for the analytic to be less megolomaniacal and value other response mechanisms outside of their own, often, confining sphere of consciousness.

A lot of guys in these threads are analytics which is cool and that mindset is an excellent balance but when the analytic starts down the path of emotion-control we have a problem. This entire business is built on the emotional currents of creativity.

3DimensionalCat
09-05-2004, 08:06 AM
You are right. I basically share your thoughts.

By the way, in other aspects of life I am too prone to my own sentimentality. But you see NewTek's community is one of its strongholds and could be used more efficiently. I don't want to discuss software at a matter of life and death level. Most of the hardcore users are complaining about NewTek's sluggish response to user feedback by means of actually producing better software.

To put it in short, I'm just saying let's use this nice trait and commute well instead of imposing subjective choices.

I didn't mean to sound like a mean prick. Actually I am fed up with too much personality reeking in technical forums.

: )

lunarcamel
09-05-2004, 08:10 AM
Theo, you didn't value my response on that other thread - you called me Looney Camel :rolleyes:

I personally enjoyed some of 3Dimensional's comments. And I too would love to see some good workflow comparisons - I'm just about to begin checking out XSI.

jevinstudios
09-05-2004, 08:40 AM
Well, now that this thread has been ressurrected from the dead, let me back up my decision with solid workflow facts that have been substantiated over the past 3 months.

I'm currently doing a job for a key player in the global aerospace industry that is a complex urban environment consisting of over 4 million polys, 1,500 surfaces, and several hundred high res images used as textures -- in addition to complex particle systems and character animation.

Maya couldn't handle the urban 3D set, crashing renders 100% of the time, and prohibiting any preview renders due to the scene's complexity. Had to eliminate all bump maps, wipe out 50% of the geometry and reflections, and render each frame in over 7 passes, then composit in AE -- filtering every pass. Each frame pass took about 1.5 hours to render, making a full render farm work for weeks just to crunch out a few seconds of final sequences.

Took the scene and imported it into LW via PolyTrans, ADDED 200% more geometry, brought back the bumps, reflections, and expanded the breadth of the set dramatically.

Have now rendered 90% of the entire project in less than 72 hours, each frame rendering beautifully and COMPLETE in about 3-7 minutes. No separate passes either. AND, all this on only 2 render machines.

Have more than tripled my productivity, and will be able to beat my deadline and hand over a finished project to the client weeks earlier than originally anticipated, had I stuck with their original choice, Maya.

So, all in all, I'm able to take on more work this month, increasing my income dramatically, now that I've nearly completed an extremely complex project in a fraction of the time it would have taken a few months ago.....

theo
09-05-2004, 08:46 AM
Theo, you didn't value my response on that other thread - you called me Looney Camel :rolleyes:

I personally enjoyed some of 3Dimensional's comments. And I too would love to see some good workflow comparisons - I'm just about to begin checking out XSI.

I was teasing with you LunarCamel :D, who could resist. Sorry for the fun at your avatar's expense- My response to 3DimensionalCat in no way is designed to detract from his comments other than what I touched on.

cresshead
09-05-2004, 12:47 PM
if you have permission, i'd love to see some renders or wires from this large scene where maya failed to deliver but lightwave took it in it's stride.

just to underpin your results would you say you know your way around maya quite well and that this poor result in maya was/is 100% down to the app and not the user's lack of understanding of how you would approach this large scene in maya...i'm not trying to knock your capabilities in maya , maya and other apps work differently against lightwave so had to ask :)

maya/max xsi etc have instancing and xreferencing for example whereas lightwave does not.

steve g

jevinstudios
09-05-2004, 01:24 PM
Check out the "Urban Sprawl" posting in the "Gallery -- Finished Work" Forum for examples of this scene.

And yes, I am an expert at Maya -- using both Maya's native renderer and mental ray for Maya. Have produced MANY videos for the aerospace industry, video games, and illustrations using Maya.

Neither Maya's native renderer or mental ray for Maya have the memory capacity to handle extremely poly-intensive files -- an external stand-alone renderer like mental ray or Renderman are required (which I just can't afford for each processor in my studio).

LW, on the other hand, renders extremely poly intensive scenes with ease and beauty, saving me many, MANY hours in render troubleshooting, compositing, matchmoving, etc.

I used Maya almost exclusively for 3 years in my studio (credits include work for the "Metroid Prime" & "Resident Evil" game projects). That, however, has changed, as I find LW to be a better fit to my working style and production timetable....

theo
09-05-2004, 01:33 PM
...maya/max xsi etc have instancing and xreferencing for example whereas lightwave does not.


Oh boy... instancing would be unbelievable in Lightwave. In my opinion instancing should be standard in all 3D apps most especially in my favorite, LW.

JVitale
09-05-2004, 01:53 PM
Oh boy... instancing would be unbelievable in Lightwave. In my opinion instancing should be standard in all 3D apps most especially in my favorite, LW.

I second that!...Newtek please, please, please please..... :D

HarverdGrad
09-05-2004, 02:01 PM
Wow...I'm witness to the longest running commercial.
Lucky me :D

cresshead
09-05-2004, 05:01 PM
yeah instancing and referencing woud be a great addition to lightwave 8.x

instancing is a 2 way link
referencing is a one way link...would be great to have them in modeler and layout.

ohh and your scene looks ace BTW

steve g

jevinstudios
09-07-2004, 01:57 PM
ohh and your scene looks ace BTW

Thanks, Steve!!!

Kevin

pnelson
09-09-2004, 02:58 PM
Effective immediately, Jevin Studios (my small 3D animation studio in Santa Fe, NM) will be replacing Maya with LightWave 3D as our flagship 3D application.


Great news! I've always loved your 3D work on the game guides! Keep us posted with info on your new stuff featuring LightWave goodness!

See Ya,

jevinstudios
09-09-2004, 04:50 PM
Hey, thanks Philip! Appreciate the compliment (comin' from one of the geniuses at NewTek, this is high praise indeed!).....

Will keep you posted on my upcomin' kewl stuff....

Kevin Soderlund
Jevin Studios

ibanezhead
06-23-2005, 06:34 PM
Kevin,

I don't know if you remember me, but we talked over the phone a few years back when I was trying to sell BodyPaint. We both were considering going over to Maya, and obviously both did. But I'm back too. After a few years with Maya 4.5, I've upgraded to LW8.3. I just couldn't stand never being able to render anything that looked good. Animation wise I will probabably stick with Maya or Character Studio, but I'm glad I upgraded. I can't wait to get into what's new with LW since 6.5! Good luck!

Vic

kml12
06-24-2005, 08:27 AM
Welcome back to the land of Lightwave, happy rendering :D

lardbros
06-27-2005, 04:52 AM
I used Maya almost exclusively for 3 years in my studio (credits include work for the "Metroid Prime" & "Resident Evil" game projects). That, however, has changed, as I find LW to be a better fit to my working style and production timetable....

Wow, nice credits... Metroid Prime is seriously one of the most impressive titles i've played. How lucky are you to have worked on Metroid illustrations and zelda stuff too!!!??

This thread is long dead, but just read through it all. Interesting thoughts from people. Mine is that it doesn't matter what tool is used so long as it:

a)is affordable
b)lets you be creative
c)doesn't hold you back

Welcome back to LW you guys who have reverted. :D