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xtremeskier_
07-12-2004, 12:24 AM
Hey, I am currently a sophmore in highschool, and i am interested in taking up 3D modeling as a personal hobby after being inspired by such sites as digitalblasphemy.com. After doing some research on software, I have come to the conclusion that there are two major programs; Lightwave and Maya. At first, I was thinkin Lightwave looks way cooler, but i have also heard that for begginers, maya is easier to learn. I realize that i am going to get some biased opinions as i am posting this in newteks forums, but I also hope to get some honest suggestions as to which program I should persue. Cost is not an issue. Also, If i learn one program, is it possible to switch to another program and quickly become proficient, or is it like starting as a complete begginer?

Thanks in advance for any help you may provide!!!

-Logan

retinajoy
07-12-2004, 01:10 AM
Whichever app you choose, stick to it and learn it well and priortise the art over technical side of it all. Your demo reel is what will get you noticed. I think LW8 is a better overall package than Maya, but I read/hear many people singing the praises of Maya for character animation.

If your main focus is Modelling then you can definitely forget Maya as most people will agree (inc Maya users) that LW is superior in that area. Then with LW you also have a good toolset for animation and rendering when you want to jump into those areas too.

Some more info worth checking:

http://www.newtek-europe.com/uk/community/lightwave/thornton/1.html
http://www.newtek-europe.com/uk/products/lightwave/projects.html

Librarian
07-12-2004, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by xtremeskier_
At first, I was thinkin Lightwave looks way cooler, but i have also heard that for begginers, maya is easier to learn.
LOL That`s a good one. In my mind MayaŽs much harder to learn, especially for a beginner.

My only advice is, try all packages. Learning editions exist for nearly every 3d package. Try em all, Lightwave, Maya, Max, Cinema, XSI etc. and youŽll see if a package fits your personal preference.
Take time and deeply explore every package before making any purchases.
It makes no sense to learn a package if it doesn`t feels right to you and just because of the suggestions of others. Don`t be fooled by people who say tool a is better than tool b.
It doesn`t matter if it doesnŽt feel right in your hands. The artist should master the tool, not the other way round ;)
As a hobby user you wanna have fun, right? ;)

Maybe this helps
http://www.zaon.com/company/articles/3d_rendering.php

Mylenium
07-12-2004, 04:04 AM
Well, Maya is a pain in the butt to learn even if you have experience in other 3D apps. It's difficult to get to grips with the entirely node based concept at first, but later you will find it extremely powerful. These days it's not that difficult like back than, because there is much more learning materials around. One thing that is a big "against" NT and hence LW is the shabby support and information policy (speaking from my European perspective). There are many companies that are actually smaller than NewTek and are more forthcoming and customer friendly. You won't get pampered extremely by Alias either, but at least they are there for you.

Mylenium

retinajoy
07-12-2004, 04:12 AM
Originally posted by Mylenium
... You won't get pampered extremely by Alias either, but at least they are there for you.

Mylenium

If you spend the expensive maintenance fees on top of their software price.

jevinstudios
07-12-2004, 09:19 AM
One thing that is a big "against" NT and hence LW is the shabby support and information policy (speaking from my European perspective). There are many companies that are actually smaller than NewTek and are more forthcoming and customer friendly. You won't get pampered extremely by Alias either, but at least they are there for you.

Absolutely untrue. You'll get pampered by Alias for an extra $1,299 per year for a maintenance contract (charged retroactively if you forget to renew for a year). But their follow-up is lacking, and I have found that NT's support is just as good, and is FREE.

The suggestion about trying out free learning editions is a good one -- every major app on the market has a 30-day or unlimited trial version. Get 'em and play around, then find the program that best suits your budget and goals (remember, price is a factor in your choice -- as a high school student, can you or your parents afford Softimage XSI, Maya (both require maintenance Contracts), or the full Cinema 4D Suite?) LightWave was my first choice, 'cause it's a powerful package, is affordable, and has free support. I've found it to have everything I need to produce professional products for all industries. And LW is the easiest to learn of them all -- very straight forward and intuitive. Maya is a VERY complicated package, and you have to pay for all learning materials (can run you hundreds of dollars in books and DVD purchases just to get started).

theo
07-12-2004, 09:33 AM
Aaaah... Don't even waste your time with trying Maya- just get Lightwave and get on with it! LW is cheap, easy to learn, super powerful and has a multitude of free tutorials that will get your feet more than wet.

I wouldn't waste valuable time trying out other stuff- life is too short to be killing yourself with software testing just take my word and get Lightwave and you'll never look back friend.

lunarcamel
07-12-2004, 09:37 AM
I think Mayas workflow leaves LW's in the dust and is overall a better package for studio use - especially for character work. But with LW's price and modeler - plus Fprime - you can't go wrong.

NanoGator
07-12-2004, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by xtremeskier_
Also, If i learn one program, is it possible to switch to another program and quickly become proficient, or is it like starting as a complete begginer?

Thanks in advance for any help you may provide!!!

-Loan

If you have a strong background in art, then yes, switching is easy. Why? Because these are tools to express your artistic side. If you know your goal, you can find the path. If you are choosing between traditional art and 3D, go with Traditional art. It is far more rewarding to your 3D career. (1 year of 3d art with a traditional background is more interesting than 3 years of 3d without an art background...)

Frankly, I can't give you anything but biased info about Lightwave. I love LW and I haven't used any other packages except MAX. Keep that in mind as I say this: Start with LW, and figure out where you want to go. LW is a good beginner app, plus it's well rounded enough to help you figure out where you'd want to specialize. If you really get into modelling, you'll probably want to stay with LW. If you really get into character animation, then you may find yourself wanting Maya or Motionbuilder. Etc.

Truth be told, I think you'd more or less by happy with any app you end up getting, but that's the direction I'd point you in. I didn't actually start with LW, it was thrust upon me at a job. I was surprised at how quickly I picked it up. I suspect you'd enjoy similar experience.

xtremeskier_
07-12-2004, 02:25 PM
Well, i went ahead and downloaded trials of both packages. Right off the bat lightwave felt a lot better to me. I messed around with both apps for a while, and the answer became even more clear. Looks like lightwave is definatly the way to go. I also like the Lightwave community. Ive been readin through the forums alot of it lately, and everybody seems REALLY helpful. Anyways thanks for help guys, im glad i tried both apps, but im also glad that it wasnt a tough decision. Lightwave clearly seems like a better app for me. I also went ahead and ordered "Inside Lightwave 8" after reading some reviews on the forums. Im hoping that will help me get started :) .


Thanks again!

jevinstudios
07-12-2004, 02:40 PM
Awesome, dude! I think you made the right decision! If you have any questions, feel free to post them here -- this is the best community in the biz, and lotsa people will be willing to answer them and give their input....

hazmat777
07-13-2004, 12:42 AM
You sure got it right about the community. That was what really sealed the deal for me. The sense of humor and willingness to help of the members is unmatched. :D

Original1
07-13-2004, 01:29 AM
if you really want to get up to speed try reading "1001 Lightwave Tips" or "Inside Lightwave 8"

SplineGod
07-13-2004, 01:50 AM
extremeskier,
Ive got about 4 hours worth of free video tutorials on my site. Those should give you a good idea of what LW is like. The link is in my Sig. :)

theo
07-13-2004, 07:07 AM
SplineGod does have some really nice stuff-

Matt
07-13-2004, 07:23 AM
Welcome to the community dude! I think you'll find LightWave will be capable of doing everything you need (without the cost).

The package promises to evolve into quite a powerful beast over the next few versions too!

Glad you bought 'Inside LightWave 8' I hear the ScreamerNet section is simply awesome!!! ;) :D

Alliante
07-13-2004, 08:15 AM
Also,

Dan Ablan's Signature Courseware at http://www.3dgarage.com is an awesome professional course at any level.

Welcome to the community!

Wickster
07-23-2004, 02:24 AM
I know i'm gonna be stepping on a lot of shoes here but what's with the attitudes of maya users? a character animator from a a huge film studio who, from what he said uses maya exclusively for their modeling and animation, was at school today to talk about how to get in the industry. i knew the question about "which program do you prefer?" would come up and i can understand him saying maya, and then going on to mention "softimage is used ILM", "3d studio is used at games" then all of a sudden someone just blurted out "So they're phasing out Lightwave?" i mean what the %$#&? and to add insult to injury the speaker said "i don't wanna talk about LW, i don't understand that program" what the &%#$?

ahhh! off my chest...that felt good. ok sorry to go off track, go with LW dude, its cheaper, its ready right off the box and plug-ins are cheaper. and being a student too i know money is a big consideration.

theo
07-23-2004, 06:56 AM
Ha ha... to hear most people affiliated with Maya you would think that they are the brains of the industry because "their" program is just soooo complicated to learn and use.

This guy may be one of the few who actually is being honest. Lightwave is easy to learn but it ain't easy in a Strata3D sense. And it certainly offers its fair share of complications as far as learning which isn't necessarily a bad thing as this is an indicator of complexity sometimes.

But I get your feeling about LW being brassknuckled like that. But I don't think for one minute that this is premeditated, it is mainly because Maya "just happens" to be more popular right now due to a variety of circumstances. And as all marketers know popularity is a fleeting blessing as this type of industry-held sentiment can change quite rapidly, again due to a variety of circumstances- some controllable most not.

retinajoy
07-23-2004, 07:21 AM
Didn't Electric Image and the original Softimage once be the 3d app of choice? Now it's Maya. In a few years time it could easily be some other package.

I think Lightwave could be up there amongst the top 3 if Newtek play their cards right. I think with more frequent point releases joined with high profile simultaneous marketing trumpeting would help Lightwaves image a lot.

Something like:

"Newtek has done it again. This is our 3rd free mainentance release for Lightwave 3D, the industry standard in 3D modelling and animation. This update only comes within months of our last update, but still our talented team have managed to bring to our users new tools for rendering and character animation with even further workflow improvements....."

:D :D :D

Phil
07-23-2004, 09:42 AM
One of the major issues to more widespread adoption of LW in facilities, from my POV, is that there *still* isn't a linux port or anyway to get a legit version running via Wine. I'm finding this increasingly frustrating as time goes by and am actively researching other packages as a result. There is even a commercially supported route for running Win32 programs on top of linux (codeweavers.com), so if NT could throw some money at them to get the dongle issue worked out, they'd be laughing.

It's annoying to find that a weak copy protection system (the dongle) is the only reason that there is no route to LW on linux. To have your product blocked from entering a new market (with no additional development costs!) just because of this is shortsighted. The dongle should not be a hard and fast item - if it is the sole reason for a problem, there should be a strategy meeting to consider its future. Pirated copies of LW are ten-a-penny so it's not even doing its job IMHO.

Get the SDK fixed, release 8.0 at long last & perhaps investigate an alternative server-based licensing system that somehow retains compatibility with the old dongle approach (for plugins, etc.) and you may well find that it becomes a more attractive solution.