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ackees
04-15-2003, 03:27 PM
With all these other developments I wonder if Newtec spreading itself a too thin to offer cutting edge 3D development in lightwave, I remember something like this happening to Electric Image, now they are dead in the water. Is Newtec going to wake up to find they have neglected Lightwave and it's fallen too far behind to be saved?

Chuck
04-15-2003, 05:12 PM
We are not spread too thin, nor is LightWave on a back burner, and we have successfully done cutting-edge development on multiple products for virtually the entire history of the company.

aloysius1001
04-15-2003, 05:18 PM
I'd like to think that we're not hearing much about LW right now because they're busy trying to fix the Mac version of 7.5b, but I doubt that is thw case.

hrgiger
04-15-2003, 10:09 PM
Um, it's been a little over a year and a half since 7 debuted. Not a long time, especially considering there have been a few free upgrades since then, especially the impressive 7.5 update. I'd hardly call Lightwave on the back burner. Besides, there are announcements to come within the next 3 or 4 months for Lightwave users.

Danner
04-15-2003, 11:32 PM
Being NAB time it's logical to see more news on the video production side of things.
After the fantastic jump from LW6.5 to LW7 and the features added in 7.5 not long after that, I for one have faith.

ackees
04-16-2003, 01:13 AM
Well I have finally had time to see what some of the other wolves in the 3D pack are doing and you know those other boys are not joking around, I mean Softimage has some hot A*** kinking features. OK we have it on price, but look at Maya, things can change over night, you can’t depend on price alone, (dropping the price has been the only feature lately) you’ve got to lead with quality and usability. Six months is a lifetime, no, a whole generation in the world of computers and software. Once upon a time you used Lightwave and others looked over their shoulder at what you were able to do, but as Lightwave has faded over the last few months (yes six months can kill a good product) I find myself saying “Yea you’re right, I would have difficulty doing that in Lightwave.”

colkai
04-16-2003, 06:23 AM
Seems lately we have many threads pertaining to the same thing.
Newtek *should* release LW8, Newtek are lagging behind, XYZ can now do it better than LW.
Maya this, XSI that, MAX yada-yada.

I know a couple of the guys here have said OVER AND OVER, pick a tool for the job, use it. These guys don't normally use one piece of software exclusively, just as an artist will use more than one pencil/brush.

For hobbyists like myself, I don't get the moaning, it's a tool, you're not making a living from it, enjoy what you got. I don't go out and buy a new guitar amp, just because it's got new buttons, I like the one I use.

I was only reading in "Inside LW7" this morning, Dan 'Da Man' said, (paraphrased) "Most people only use 20% of Lightwaves capability 80% of the time". So go check out the other 80% you're not using to their potential, I'm sure you'd be amazed.

Chuck, I feel for ya guy, seems you can't do no right. :(

Folks, enough with the thousand thread thing. LW8 will be ready when it's ready. It will do what it does and have the features it will have.
No amount of hair-tearing and "the sky is falling" statements will make one iota of difference. After all, pound to a pinch, it's in full development mode already. As for the business side of things, it's Newteks business and their product, don't hear no-one complaining about how Renault are losing it 'cause ther latest cars looked like a slapped ar*e! :D

If you are unhappy, move to what you consider the better product. Get the 3rd party plugins such as Relativity or Sasquatch, don't expect LW to provide everything, that's just unrealistic, especially for the price!. If Maya has such super facilities, use it, if LW's renderer is better, export the model and then use LW, (many do). If you can't afford the other packages, why compare them? My bike only does 135mph, the Hyabusa does close to 180, but then, I don't have a Hyabusa - ya get my point?

What is, IS.

So chill, the holidays are upon us, get out more, (some of ya look like you need to <gd&r> :p )

Matt
04-16-2003, 06:39 AM
I was thinking the same thing, Chuck (and NT) must be bored of the speculation.

Having said that, I like knowing what's coming up in future.

At the moment we're doing a big software / hardware update, if I new LW8 was coming out soon I could make sure they budget for the upgrade.

ackees
04-16-2003, 09:35 AM
Well colkai that’s like saying buy a car for rainy weather and another for when its sunny and so on, no what you want is one good package that you can trust and rely on whatever the weather. Actually the newtec problem is deep and seems to be spreading to users, there isn’t a feeling of ‘we’re the best or we’ll show em soon’, it’s kind of ‘be thankful for what we’ve got’. I posted a query about CMYK support and the feeling wasn’t “Yea maybe that’s an idea.” There wasn’t even a good response from newtec (as though they didn’t care). There is definitely something static going on.
I think a number of us have begun to accept bug fixes as cutting edge development. Look at the poor Mac users they are really looking forward to the bug fix of a bug fix, now that’s sad.
And if you are not using 80% of the software there is a usability problem with the interface, the easier a package is to use the more you use it, you use features that you wouldn’t imagine using because the software interface helps to release imagination.

hrgiger
04-16-2003, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by ackees
I posted a query about CMYK support and the feeling wasn’t “Yea maybe that’s an idea.” There wasn’t even a good response from newtec (as though they didn’t care). There is definitely something static going on.


Well ackees, these are user discussion forums. Newtek provides us the forums for users to discuss ideas and share. You shouldn't expect Newtek to chime in on any discussion normally. But having used other software, and their corresponding discussion forums, I can say that Chuck and a few other members of newtek participate far more then I've seen any other company do. There's nothing static going on. Lightwave development continues as always.
Can anyone actually argue that the Lightwave interface is not easy? Icons suck.
The software interface releases imagination? That sounds like an easy way to blame the software for not being imaginative.

ackees
04-16-2003, 10:17 AM
This is it hrigiger, you focused on the negative in both comments. Software interface can help to release imigination (after all the software designers are imaginative too). Who mentioned Icons, I didn’t. And we do not want to focus on others who are doing this or that badly, the fastest runners are concerned with those at the front not the lapped ones at the back.

colkai
04-23-2003, 01:35 PM
Ackees,
Saying the fact that a user only uses 20% of the tool 80% of the time is the fault of the software is hardly true.
If your projects / your clients requirements mean you produce logos most of the time, you are hardly going to use every feature of the package just because it's there. That was the point of the statement. Heck, I don't have time to get into every nook and cranny of the software, no matter how well labelled the tools are and I ain't even on a deadline! ;)
I don't think anyone here can truly say they know LW7.5 inside and out, and I *do* include the heavy-use professionals in that.

As for having a car for rain and one for sun, many is the time folks here have stated that they use more than one tool for the job. It just isn't possible to have a super-duper all-singing all-dancing product that out-competes everything on the market in every way. Even if it was, I seriously doubt it would be within the reach of hobbyists like myself anymore.
Actually, I would say bang-for-buck, Lightwave is still one hell of a product. My beef is, folks keep complaining at every chance, yet strangely, many high profile projects are still done with Lightwave by others, if it is so damn bad, how is that possible?

When LW7.5 came out, it seemed like only days before questions about the next release were being mentioned. If the users got to grips with the new tools that quick, I guess there must be something right about the interface :p

ackees
04-23-2003, 04:58 PM
Hmmm! Colkai I see what you mean. Well, the 20% - 80% thing is important, you don’t have to ‘actually’ use 80% to be using 80%. Think of what you do not use as potential, a bit like your car, you don’t really drive top speed all the time but the cars with that extra performance sure run sweeter even if you don’t go to the full. Potential is everything, just think if all you could make was a cube and you bought a 3D app that only made a cube, then your imagination (its relationship with that app – I am not saying the app is your imagination, it’s the relationship) would end with the cube. And yes LW could never do everything, you must use the right tool, but if one of your tools gets dull you sharpen it. Has LW been left to get dull at the bottom of the NT box? Don’t get me wrong I am a fan of LW, but if you do not take care of your loved possessions they get ruined (sometimes inadvertently).

Lamont
04-23-2003, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by ackees
Has LW been left to get dull at the bottom of the NT box?Ahh, these post are just so redundant. There should be a forum that has all this rehased stuff.. or a downloadable PDF so they can read it then post something new.

Next?

ackees
04-24-2003, 02:35 AM
If you have a leak in your roof in the same place yet again simply ignoring it and saying “not that old leak again” won’t fix it.
But just moaning is no good either.
Here’s my view.
I think LW should be updating and fixing on a monthly basis (little things not great big rewrites), a type of regular maintenance (LW should definitely get out of the habit of making bug fixes seem like major updates).
Then release the big upgrade, the one that makes you run for your wallet and sleep outside the shop to be the first one to get it, this upgrade makes you feel just like a kid again the night before Christmas.

colkai
04-24-2003, 03:38 AM
Ackees,
If a gun was held to my head, I'd have to admit that LW has some shortcomings. ;) Of course, what these are can be somewhat subjective. For myself, I really miss some decent / understandable hardbody dynamics as well as a few other things that I currently only get thanks to some wonderful folks out there providing cheap / free plugins. :D

I appreciate that Newtek are trying to keep 3rd party developers sweet, but then you don't stop buliding a better engine just because a tune-up kit is available elsewhere.

I guess we will see what we see. For me, whether I upgrade at the next major release will be down to if I think the added tools will be worth it to me. Which, really, is what it is about. Who knows what the next release may hold? well, some do, but they ain't sayin' :p

Chuck
04-24-2003, 10:02 AM
Hi, Ackees!

It is certainly not the case that my responses to your feature request regarding CMYK should be construed to indicate a lack of interest in the idea. To the contrary, I have been following the thread with some interest, and so have the development staff. As I said, however, the team does not directly respond to feature requests unless they have specific questions to better understand what you are asking for and why. In the case of your feature request, so far the discussion amongst a number of print-oriented users has been drawing out that kind of detail and the pros and cons of the suggested feature quite thoroughly. In the context of the discussion, I have addressed those items that you brought up that were within my areas of responsibility.

As far as the development cycle goes, one thing I've mentioned a few times recently is that the development process that we've prototyped in the video team will indeed be the pattern that we go to in all our teams. For VT[2] over the fourteen months that followed the initial release we issued seven maintenance updates. Dr. Andrew Cross will be overseeing all software development teams as we move them to the new process and procedures.

Chuck
04-24-2003, 10:15 AM
Hi, Colin!

Seems like it's been a while since we've chatted, and since I've seen you on the net. Hope you're doing ok!

It really is not the case that we restrict our development for the sake of third parties, as I'm sure some third party folks would be willing to attest. We do our best to make sure we regularly enhance the plugin interface so that they have plenty of power on which to build their add-ons, we're very happy when they are able to provide capabilities we have not yet had opportunity to get to in our our development priorities, but it's also the case that because a third party has created a toolset does not mean that we will avoid that area of development. We may be obligated to create a given toolset, as we have to gear our development to effectively meeting the challenges of our competitors, and we also have to keep our eyes on the cutting edge of research. We've managed a number of firsts among the professional 3D packages, and plan to very much continue in that tradition as we move forward with LightWave development.

Nicodemus
04-24-2003, 10:31 AM
I have to say I can see the frustration since we all just want lightwave to be the best. But at the same time look at the track record and realise that newtek is still on a good cycle with regards to releasing updates.

They have kept up and continue to add things. Also, people keep referencing the competition but fogetting the fact that when Lightwave 7 was released the users of some of the other software packages were saying the same kinds of things. Yes, laterly it might seem that Lightwave has been on the back burner. Newtek has been concentrating alot of press on Video Toaster and with good reason. They are trying to promote it in a market with some major competition and thankfully making some head way. Just like the competion does with their different products........I am sure that the VT users have been wondering if VT was the red head step child of the Newtek prodcuts since for the longest Lightwave was all you heard about.

Keep up the good work Chuck et al......(just don't make us wait to long for that new wonderful upgrade).

~L~

Lamont
04-24-2003, 10:41 AM
Also, people keep referencing the competition... Yeah, it kinda bugs me when users do that. Kind of reminds me of kids wanting the new toy that so-and-so got down the street.

I've seen some really valid feature request since LW 7 was released. It will be interesting to see which ones made it into the next version. I know for a fact that many have been addressed and all will be happy... well all will be happy for 2 weeks. Then someone will say "Ohh!! I saw such and such!! I want that too!!".

When I go to Max-Script/Maya script web pages, you'll be surprised how many are like "I saw this tool in Lightwave and wanted to make something similar.."

It's only been a year and a half... geeze...http://www.digitalweapon.net/2.gif

colkai
04-24-2003, 11:14 AM
Hi Chuck,
I didn't mean to imply you deliberately held back really. It's just I know you walk a fine line when it comes to 3rd party developers. There have been cases in the past as Lightwave moved towards features other people were selling 3rd party products to provide. As you say, there are those who can confirm this ;)

I have alwasy maintained LW to be a great toolset and the only things that would stop me upgrading is if I couldn't justify it for the new tools, or the wife won't let me :D

I know it horses for courses, but my sympathies are with you and your development team at the moment - seems you're getting flack all over the place.
If that makes me a kiss a** - so be it :p

-Colin

Nicodemus
04-24-2003, 01:06 PM
Gotta go with you their Lamont.......within days (somtimes hours) of a release someone is always asking for the next version or complaining.

I am all for keeping up with the competition but lets be realistic. Also, I agree....I have surfed some other sites and forums and you would be stunned how much you hear the same kinds of comments/critics of the other software out there.

~L~

ackees
04-24-2003, 03:03 PM
An organic development strategy is essential, at the moment LW is in static development (it is probably being developed but the process has become static or inflexible and unable to respond), and we are not talking about toys we are talking about basic bug fixes. I have seen good packages die like this, look at Electric Image once a great package, they thought they could ‘develop other things’ and keep up but they got caught out, once their development process became static they were left behind. By static I mean not able to respond organically. What’s wrong with toys anyway play is one of the best creative tools

Lamont
04-24-2003, 03:05 PM
It sounds like you have hardcore facts Ackees...:rolleyes:

private
04-24-2003, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by Chuck
It really is not the case that we restrict our development for the sake of third parties, as I'm sure some third party folks would be willing to attest. We do our best to make sure we regularly enhance the plugin interface so that they have plenty of power on which to build their add-ons, we're very happy when they are able to provide capabilities we have not yet had opportunity to get to in our our development priorities, but it's also the case that because a third party has created a toolset does not mean that we will avoid that area of development. We may be obligated to create a given toolset, as we have to gear our development to effectively meeting the challenges of our competitors, and we also have to keep our eyes on the cutting edge of research. We've managed a number of firsts among the professional 3D packages, and plan to very much continue in that tradition as we move forward with LightWave development.

Chuck, good to hear your input. Based on what you just said above and holding you to your word ;) I guess Lightwavers can finally be happy with a "real dope sheet" or a Keytrak like plugin included to the core of the next version of Lightwave? If not, I would like you to give reasons why, based on your quote above.

Lamont
04-24-2003, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by private
Chuck, good to hear your input. Based on what you just said above and holding you to your word ;) I guess Lightwavers can finally be happy with a "real dope sheet" or a Keytrak like plugin included to the core of the next version of Lightwave? If not, I would like you to give reasons why, based on your quote above. I know... how about "wait and see..."?

private
04-24-2003, 10:00 PM
I'm more than happy to wait. Maybe this question fits better after the release of LW8. I hope I don't have any complaints about a dope sheet missing from the core. Keytrak is great, but it's also 25% of the upgrade price.

I really like this quote. This is a good way to approach development for Newtek. Actions are stronger than words, so I'll wait and see! :) :) :)


Originally posted by Chuck
It really is not the case that we restrict our development for the sake of third parties, as I'm sure some third party folks would be willing to attest. We do our best to make sure we regularly enhance the plugin interface so that they have plenty of power on which to build their add-ons, we're very happy when they are able to provide capabilities we have not yet had opportunity to get to in our our development priorities, but it's also the case that because a third party has created a toolset does not mean that we will avoid that area of development. We may be obligated to create a given toolset, as we have to gear our development to effectively meeting the challenges of our competitors, and we also have to keep our eyes on the cutting edge of research. We've managed a number of firsts among the professional 3D packages, and plan to very much continue in that tradition as we move forward with LightWave development.

Chuck
04-25-2003, 09:37 AM
Ackees, thank you for your speculation on the metaphysical state of NewTek's LightWave development. Thankfully, it is not the case that any of our development processes are static or inflexible. They are quite organic, in fact, with the wetware always in charge, and currently making a number of changes... ;)

amorano
04-28-2003, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by Chuck
Hi, Colin!

Seems like it's been a while since we've chatted, and since I've seen you on the net. Hope you're doing ok!

It really is not the case that we restrict our development for the sake of third parties, as I'm sure some third party folks would be willing to attest. We do our best to make sure we regularly enhance the plugin interface so that they have plenty of power on which to build their add-ons,

Um, ok, I usually listen to these things and don't really respond, but that is just out and out BS.

I, and many others, have been waiting for an SDK update since the most excellent Ernie Wright departed. This part has been completely ignored for almost 2 years now (to be exact 1 year 10 months).

I ask for no response other than you investigate, learn, and realize this is one of the reasons of a complete rewrite and/or reevaluation of the design patterns your programmers are employing within the LW core.

Matter of fact, looking at the docs, the actual SDK hooks to the core haven't been updated (minor, very minor things) since 6.0!

How is this getting in touch with devers and listening to them?

Sorry Chuck, I know you are the PR whipping boy, but please, do a little looking into areas which you may have some grey.

starbase1
04-29-2003, 07:36 AM
I think it is worth remembering that the entire 3d graphics market is still very immature. By which I mean that there is still nothing like a consensus on what are genuinely essential features, workflow, or anything like that.

Compare this with the word processor or spreadsheet market - in those cases whatever package you are using you are likely to have a very clear and unambiguous idea of features, and it's just a case of finding them in your current application.

The graphics area is further complicated by in insatiable need for processing power, and trying to get that out of a high street computer. Want 'realistic' hair? How realistic? Must it show in reflections? How about one hair reflecting in another? How many seconds / hours / days a frame are acceptable?

This forces all kinds of compromises, before you even get near compatibility with other features.

There is more innovation in the free upgrades to Lightwave than you will ever see in a mature product market. And in my experience, the full upgrades tend to offer many things I did not even think were possible - albeit sometimes with compromises. Lightwave can do hair, bendy motion, reflections, hypervoxels, but if you want flowing hair that moves realistically and reflects on hypervoxels, be prepared for some geological render times!

This message is not really about Lightwave - the same applies to ever package, from the free stuff like PovRay right up to the custom written movie packages used at the ultimate top end.

And this is partly what makes it an exciting area to be involved in, as a customer as well as a developer.

I really think strongly that most people need more work on their skills, not a better package to do it for them. Talent is not included with any program! Consider the famous Pixar short 'Luxo Junior', the one where the angle poise lamp plays with the football. We are many releases past the point where our (Lightwave) software can do this with ease. But how many of us could produce something of this quality, even with the current release?

I'm not knocking the astonishing talent on display here in the discussion areas, which frequently blows me away.

But do bear in mind that whenever you get a new feature that really is child's play to use, it's future as an instant cliché is assured, simply because it will be done to death, (Anyone else thinking lens flares, depth of field, or Terragen skies here?).

All too often people look for a button on the interface, with what they want written on it, (Hey, where's the original character button? Where's the unshaven jaw preset? Where's the 'wrap these clothes around my figure and apply a breeze to their motion' button?)

When I picked Lightwave, some years ago now, what I did was get many magazines, and browse the web. looking for images like the ones I wanted to create. More often than not, those were done with Lightwave, and that's why I chose it. I'm an amateur, and the initial cost was very painful, but upgrades are reasonably priced, or free, and I am glad I went the way I did.

I really don't understand the fuss about 3rd party stuff - it's clearly a very difficult area to get the balance right. As users we benefit from widespread support, but we want stuff bundled too. Do we want Newtek to re-invent the wheel if there is a reasonably priced plug in available?

It's a ferociously rapidly developing field, and that's a big part of what makes it exciting.

Nick

ackees
04-30-2003, 04:01 AM
Chuck, will 7.5 be complete before the release of 8? I mean I don’t want to upgrade because I am running from ‘problems’ in 7, I want to upgrade because 8 is brilliant.

Starbase1. Your comment on features is interesting, I met a 3D animator who codes his animation raw (some machine code, some c++, whatever it takes), he doesn’t use ‘packages’ because they are too limiting and slow. He buys old mainframes (some he gets off the dump when big companies upgrade), his software spend is a lot less than mine. So if you are paying for someone else to do the ‘raw stuff’ aka LW then you want it to work and you want it to have all the features, else you may as well get those maths books out.

Jimzip
04-30-2003, 05:42 AM
Starbase1, well put, I completely agree.
Like I've said before, people, read these threads, and please don't post them again.. ;)

Jimzip :D

mattclary
04-30-2003, 05:49 AM
Ackees, any time a software company releases a version, it is considered "complete" or they would not release it. If you feel 7 or 7.5 has too many bugs to be complete, then I am sure you will feel 8 is incomplete also, as no piece of software is bug free. Perhaps you should take the approach you mention of hand coding your animations, that way you can ensure lack of bugs. Good luck with that.

ackees
04-30-2003, 07:11 AM
Mattclary I think your statement is very important, when is a piece of software complete? It certainly isn’t on release, everyone knows that because it is impossible for the programmes to completely know about all situations in the field, but as the problems surface then the app can be made more or less complete with regular tweaks, it is this regular maintenance that is the key and it goes on in parallel to major developments. I think lightwave has been neglected by NT, the idea that the next version update solves current problems is an error, I think NT has fallen into this trap.

hrgiger
04-30-2003, 07:54 AM
Ackees,

I would say go ahead and buy the bug free Maya version. We'll give you a call when LW is bug free again. :rolleyes:

mattclary
04-30-2003, 08:47 AM
Key phrase being "regular maintenance", in other words it never reaches perfection, i.e. you will never be satisfied. I agree with hrgiger, move to Maya.

Chuck
04-30-2003, 08:48 AM
Originally posted by amorano
Um, ok, I usually listen to these things and don't really respond, but that is just out and out BS.

Actually, it isn't. It is an exact statement of what our intent has been and of what it continues to be. We are certainly open to critique and comment on how well we may have managed on the matter over time, but that does not mean that it wasn't our intent or that my statement of the intent is BS. That intent needed to be stated very clearly in regard to the particular assertions under discussion.

LScript documentation has been kept up to date, but it is true that the SDK information needs considerable updating, and we are in fact working on getting that addressed. We do apologize for the delay, and ask for more patience, as we expect this to take some time to get properly addressed.

ackees
04-30-2003, 09:13 AM
Well H. Currently I only use LW, I don’t use Maya, and I don’t know what microbes inhabit it’s gut, but you’re right I am sure it has it’s own problems. I believe all the various 3D apps are equally as capable because they all have access to the same technology (more or less), what sorts the men from the boys is the implementation of these technologies and the ability to respond to the needs of users. Responding to the need of users increases the development of an app exponentially, if you are not responding you are not developing (the quick and the dead).
Mattclary, think of maintenance as a kind of communication, as you communicate you develop both sides benefit, as to perfection, every time I use LW I like to think it’s moving towards perfection, where else would it be going – backwards?
I am sure the developers always strive towards improvement (even if they get lost sometimes).

Chuck
04-30-2003, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by ackees
Mattclary I think your statement is very important, when is a piece of software complete? It certainly isn’t on release, everyone knows that because it is impossible for the programmes to completely know about all situations in the field, but as the problems surface then the app can be made more or less complete with regular tweaks, it is this regular maintenance that is the key and it goes on in parallel to major developments. I think lightwave has been neglected by NT, the idea that the next version update solves current problems is an error, I think NT has fallen into this trap.

Please listen to me very carefully. It is not the case that NewTek has in any way, shape, or form neglected LightWave 3D nor assigned Lightwave 3D to a back burner, nor are we trapped in a development procedure that we cannot break out of because we have been turned into some sort of zombies incapable of seeing problems and addressing them. That is simply not the case. Your assumptions about processes inside NewTek are absolutely and completely figments of your imagination.

While there have been issues in LightWave development that have meant we have not made quite as much progress as we and you would have preferred recently, to infer those are due to neglect or lack of attention or even to any lack of devotion to the product on the part of any of those involved is in complete error. Those issues are also now resolved, and NewTek's LightWave development is being moved to a process that we have refined in the Video Team, wherein after the release of VT[2] the next fourteen months saw seven maintenance updates, each of which not only resolved bugs but offered new and enhanced features. It is also worth noting that there are users who report never having crashed, even in heavy live-production situations, from the very first release of VT[2].

We do expect that it will take time to hit stride in the changeover in processes, but we expect as well to release a good 7.5c very shortly, and later this year a stable 8.0 that purchasers will find very much worth upgrade price and more.

ackees
04-30-2003, 10:08 AM
Thanks Chuck. Forgive me for asking but what were the problems in LW development? (naturally you wouldn’t give away any sensitive info, and that’s not what I want). You see these problems were sensed by users somehow.
And it's good to know that things will be back on track soon.

Chuck
04-30-2003, 01:11 PM
I'm limited to simply saying that the issues are resolved. What they were has of course been the subject of so many huge volumes of speculation, and gets to stay that way, beyond the comment that issues are resolved to the satisfaction of the parties involved.

mattclary
04-30-2003, 01:51 PM
HAHAHAHA!!! LMAO!!! :) That's funny!

Chuck
04-30-2003, 04:38 PM
:)

DarkLight
05-02-2003, 08:19 AM
I'm a full time software developer, and I know first hand how frustrating and slow development can be :(

I'm quite happy to just sit back and wait and see what we get in Lightwave 8. I'm sure Nwtek are not going to disappoint us with this release.

Dirk
05-02-2003, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by Chuck
We do expect that it will take time to hit stride in the changeover in processes, but we expect as well to release a good 7.5c very shortly, and later this year a stable 8.0 that purchasers will find very much worth upgrade price and more.

This is good news. I really love Lightwave, but it should be moooore stable. It crashes sometimes when opening the motion-panel, sometimes when selecting things in the spreadsheet, and Motion Designer is a mess, sometimes crashing, unable to scan objects & loosing its settings.

I really do not need or demand new features - but I hope 7.5c or 8 will be more stable than 7.5.

By the way, what will be the cost for an upgrade from 7.5 to 8? (I bought LW in february 2003)

Flat
05-04-2003, 04:37 AM
Chuck, about the SDK and as someone who's been around since the (good 'ole) 5.5 days I'd like to say that whoever removed Ernie Wright from the SDK development had a BAD idea.

Being the extremely good guy Ernie is he's still hanging around on the developers mailing list, almost single-handedly helping people code for LW, even though he's not officially working on it anymore.
I'm not worried about someone as talented as he is. What bugs me (no pun intended) is that it seems nobody at NT has taken the charge of explaining the SDK to developers on the list.

I know this can be a frustrating job, teaching the use of the SDK to all the coders out there, but it seems to me that this is a very important feature of the SDK.
To give you an example : back in 95 when I was looking for a 3D program to visualize astrophysical simulation data it was Ernie who told me I could do what I wanted using LW, and showed me the way. I bought LW because of this.

Not all plugin developers are like Prem or Steve Worley. Most of us are little guys working on their own little plugins for their own little needs. And right now I feel kinda disturbed by the fact the only guy helping us isn't official.

Phil, who never had issues with the SDK per se.

Lightwolf
05-04-2003, 09:34 AM
Phil,
I'm with you 100%. Ernie did an amazing job, his work, (as well as the LScript documentation), and patient explanations really pushed LW and the availability of 3rd party plugins.
Cheers,
Mike

Doran
05-05-2003, 12:40 PM
I'm sorry for this... but I have to doubt the sincerity of someone who casts dispersion at a company with whom he supposedly has a license agreement... yet cannot even spell the company name correctly; "Newtec"?

Couple this with the blatant fawning over other companies and 3d packages and I have to say this smells a lot like a plant... or "troll" as forum dwellers often call them.

There is nothing Lightwave cannot do... there have been recent updates... there will be more updates soon... and nothing is any different than it has ever been with regard to Newtek and its direction.

Go, and instead sow seeds of discontent on the Maya or Max forums.

ackees
05-05-2003, 02:24 PM
Hi Doran, no I am not a troll or a plant etc. and I currently only use LW actually it’s the only 3D pack I am fully familiar with. I have seen some interesting changes in the field recently and some of these changes directly impact on LW, the biggest threat was Maya when it dropped it’s price. Also there is pressure at the education end (colleges) this is even more important we want our young 3D guns using LW. NT just seemed to have fallen asleep at the wheel, they’ve woken up now though, hopefully just in time.

hrgiger
05-05-2003, 05:29 PM
NT never was asleep at the wheel on the development of Lightwave, even if it seemed so to you. I don't know how many times Chuck has to tell you that.
Maya was no bigger a threat to Newtek when it dropped it's price. It's still the same crappy renderer. Sure, now it's included Mental ray for free. They included a renderer that wasn't selling anyway. Well, that's great if you're a single user but it doesn't mean anything if you're a studio with a need for unlimited licenses as Mental Ray still requires you to buy them if you need more then the four (I'm pretty sure it's 4) they allow you.

amorano
05-05-2003, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger
NT never was asleep at the wheel on the development of Lightwave, even if it seemed so to you. I don't know how many times Chuck has to tell you that.
Maya was no bigger a threat to Newtek when it dropped it's price. It's still the same crappy renderer. Sure, now it's included Mental ray for free. They included a renderer that wasn't selling anyway. Well, that's great if you're a single user but it doesn't mean anything if you're a studio with a need for unlimited licenses as Mental Ray still requires you to buy them if you need more then the four (I'm pretty sure it's 4) they allow you.

While I agree that Maya is not really a threat price wise, it still packs a punch since you really have to buy plugins to augment the LW code base.

And, just for future reference, LW has been asleep in the past, Chuck has only been there a year or so, I don't take his word as gospel quite yet.

Chuck
05-05-2003, 08:38 PM
Originally posted by amorano
And, just for future reference, LW has been asleep in the past, Chuck has only been there a year or so, I don't take his word as gospel quite yet.

March 1994 was a just a year ago? Geez, years seem really long at NewTek...like nine or something anywhere else! ;)

amorano
05-05-2003, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by Chuck
March 1994 was a just a year ago? Geez, years seem really long at NewTek...like nine or something anywhere else! ;)

Sorry I meant to emphasize community liason for the past year.

ackees
05-06-2003, 02:42 AM
Thanks Hrigiger, I did not really want to revisit this, I take Chucks word NT is onto it. It’s the perception out on the streets that matter, if NT is working hard at it but it seems otherwise then there is a communication problem. You see if I am out there and I am asked “Which 3d package do you recommend?” and I say LW but then they say “There doesn’t seem to much going on with LW lately.” Then you have lost the client, it’s as fickle as that (also at the college end, college kids definitely like to have a buzz about a product this is where LW has to watch because competitors are offering free educational packs). Maya is a threat, not for people like you and me, but in the pro environment Maya commands respect (and I am not saying that because I am a fan of Maya I have never used it). I did go to the launch of Maya 5 and it did have some great features but also some omissions I think they may have some problems on the modelling side of things also people were asking about features that have been in LW for ages. One thing that did look awesome was the hardware rendering, they’ve figured out a way to use the video card to do some of the rendering work thus freeing up the CPU and speeding up renders.

mattclary
05-06-2003, 06:30 AM
Well, I've been on these boards for at least two years and Chuck has been present for all that time. His title may change every so often, but he has always been a large part of the comunity. I feel Chuck has always spoken for Newtek.

Chuck
05-06-2003, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by amorano
Sorry I meant to emphasize community liason for the past year.

That role started in June of 1994, when I was assigned to set up and run our BBS, and participate in newsgroups and mailing lists, later expanding to Compuserve, etc. As MattClary mentions, my title and other duties have changed from time to time but that particular assignment has remained with me through all the changes.

:)

Flat
05-06-2003, 01:42 PM
I was about to ask about the SDK again but the deafening silence, here or on the LW-Plugin list is answer enough.

:(

Phil, not coding for LW anymore anyway.

Chuck
05-06-2003, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by Flat
I was about to ask about the SDK again but the deafening silence, here or on the LW-Plugin list is answer enough.

:(

Phil, not coding for LW anymore anyway.

No, it isn't answer enough, but there isn't anything to do other than to let you know that we do give due consideration to everything said here. Some things we do not have an immediate answer for. This is one, although I can tell you that NewTek agrees that Ernie did a terrific job with the SDK documentation and examples.

Flat
05-06-2003, 04:01 PM
Point taken Chuck, I do know Ernie will be awfully hard to replace.

And if my post somehow helped you guys taking note how much someone like him is invaluable to the plugin community, well, it'll have reached its goal.
That's all I meant in the first place.

Take care,
Phil

Chuck
05-06-2003, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by Flat
Point taken Chuck, I do know Ernie will be awfully hard to replace.

And if my post somehow helped you guys taking note how much someone like him is invaluable to the plugin community, well, it'll have reached its goal.
That's all I meant in the first place.

Take care,
Phil

And it was a very good point, well taken. Apologies that I didn't respond sooner, though as I said I really can't offer anything beyond acknowledging the point at the moment.

Thanks for letting us know your thoughts and how important the issue is to you.

Chuck

Cyborgguineapig
05-09-2003, 07:56 AM
Hm, I don't know where to stand at the moment. With the release of Cinema 4D 8 I'm seriously doubding LW's true potential. Don't get me wrong, I like lightwave too but find Cinema's interface much easier and simplier to navigate and the tools are simplier to use. Its also only $300 for full licenced edition which beats LW cost by a significant amount.

I have love for both programs but for some reason, Cinema just satisfies me more. Lightwave has no "real" inner extrude function, nor does it have weights. I don't even think LW has sound support as Cinema 4D does (hense the fourth dimension).
I can paint directly on models with Bodypaint in Cinema and again I just find the interface more user friendly.

I think in the coming years people will begin to realize that some of these smaller programs, popularity wise, are much more worth the $ than some of the big guys simply because of the cost.

LW V8 will really have to bring something new to the table in order to stay in the top ranks
;)

mattclary
05-09-2003, 08:30 AM
$395? Have you been partaking in illicit substances again? With all the bundles, Cinema 4D costs $2495, with SOME bundles it costs $1695. Bundles such as "Advanced Render" which allows radiosity. Give me a freakin' break.



http://www.maxonshop.com/cgi-bin/us/gp?pg=products/cinema4d.studio&sid=&uid=mxmKvDLCQketAgs&aid=&cid=100&rn=745

ackees
05-09-2003, 08:46 AM
LW’s policy of packing features (value for money) is a good one. I worked in a studio where there was no 3D policy, people could order in what they liked (within reason) it settled down to LW and C4D. LW eventually won through (survival of the fittest) because C4D had missing features or you had to persuade your boss to buy another add on. But that was a while ago the whole landscape has changed (C4D has being beefed up since). I am seeing a lot of movement, in a pressured pro environment one major problem will see the app consigned to the bin.

Dangerman
05-09-2003, 04:43 PM
Some people say this thread is a rehash of old stuff ... perhaps, but look how much discussion it has created.

Some people are being critical of Lightwave ... there's much to criticize.

Some people are being very defensive about LW ... there's much worthy of defense.

I find this thread to be very healthy. I appreciate the arguments from all sides.

But best of all, I like Chuck's contributions as a glimpse inside NT. It encourages me to know that LW is not a stagnant afterthought, but a dynamic process growing healthier by the hour. I'll be taking the 8.0 upgrade much more seriously as a consequence of this discussion.

Acoolades to Ackee, it's not easy to stand up to those that are trying to knock you down, but you've given us all food for thought.

ackees
05-10-2003, 02:20 AM
Thanks Dangerman, some people do seem to be afraid to discuss difficult issues. Fear is an enemy.

Dangerman
05-10-2003, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by ackees
Thanks Dangerman, some people do seem to be afraid to discuss difficult issues. Fear is an enemy.

Fear, maybe, but love can also make you ignore the obvious.

I notice a lot of experienced users have grown accustomed to certain 'quirks', but new users are inclined to say, "it shouldn't be this way". People with years of experience recently had a big argument about how to model liquid in a glass. In the end the "correct" solution was so complex that it took many of them a few days to arrive at it. But for a newbie like me, it seems like this should be a 2 hour task, not 3 days of planning by 24 combined years of experience.

Some people like the idea that a 2 hour job should take years of mastery ... someday they'll lose that job to a kid that can get this 2 hour job done in twenty minutes. Now the question is, whose software will this kid prefer.

ackees
05-10-2003, 11:09 AM
There is an issue of creativity through process or a creative result. If the result is the objective you don’t care much for a long process.

Chuck
05-10-2003, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by Dangerman

I notice a lot of experienced users have grown accustomed to certain 'quirks', but new users are inclined to say, "it shouldn't be this way". People with years of experience recently had a big argument about how to model liquid in a glass. In the end the "correct" solution was so complex that it took many of them a few days to arrive at it. But for a newbie like me, it seems like this should be a 2 hour task, not 3 days of planning by 24 combined years of experience.


Over the years, I've seen a lot of tutorials on a variety of approaches to liquid in a glass, and not one of them would have taken anyone days to figure out nor two hours to model, unless you happen to be making a room and furniture to go with it.

Lamont
05-10-2003, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by Chuck
Over the years, I've seen a lot of tutorials on a variety of approaches to liquid in a glass, and not one of them would have taken anyone days to figure out nor two hours to model, unless you happen to be making a room and furniture to go with it. Word to yo' mutha'.
http://www-vlsi.stanford.edu/~jsolomon/clan9/personnel_images/nilla_real.gif

Dangerman,

I understand what you're saying. But you are definatly blowing it out of scope with the 3 days of planning deal. Geez... The thing is that there are people who strive for that photorealism, and people who go for "Hyper-Photorealism" then the "It looks real enough.." people:).


Some people like the idea that a 2 hour job should take years of mastery ... someday they'll lose that job to a kid that can get this 2 hour job done in twenty minutes. Now the question is, whose software will this kid prefer.Yeah, at this rate a flick like Finding Nemo would be done in 7 days.

Looking for a point and click solution to something like making a glass of water is kinda worthless. Why buy some application that's going to take all the learning away by giving you purty results in "20 minutes"? I can see you thinking "Well, I know how to make a glass of water, but I need a plug-in.. because I have to do it again later.", it sounds like to me "I don't know how to make a glass of water and I just want a plug-in or easy solution.".

Tell me, how simple should making a photo-real glass of water be? Maybe there should be a "Glass of water" primative?

Where's this thought process people speak of? Don't give me that "I want to concetrate on creating, not solving problems..." or "Time is money.."... when these one click solutions break, or arent available at your next job, what are you going to do?

With any 3D app there are "quirks". I know this is something that no one likes to admit, but damn, being users we have to take our tools and do what we can with them. Even if it's missing something (edges). And being users we can just e-mail whoever made the app and say "Damn, I would like to see edges, and photometric lights.." **Hint**.

When I started out with Lightwave I was like "WTF!? I can't do UV mapping and I have no edges!!". When I was stuck with 3DS Max I screamed "I can't rotate from where my damn mouse is and the spline controls are horrible!!".

Damn, this. I was on to something but I got side-tracked with videogames... sorry.

amorano
05-11-2003, 01:23 AM
Originally posted by Lamont


Where's this thought process people speak of? Don't give me that "I want to concetrate on creating, not solving problems..." or "Time is money.."... when these one click solutions break, or arent available at your next job, what are you going to do?

When I started out with Lightwave I was like "WTF!? I can't do UV mapping and I have no edges!!". When I was stuck with 3DS Max I screamed "I can't rotate from where my damn mouse is and the spline controls are horrible!!".

Damn, this. I was on to something but I got side-tracked with videogames... sorry.

His point is valid. Dangerman that is. In a day and age of ubiquitous particle systems and physics systems to constrain them, why should I spend the time to think of a solution, when they are, or should be, apparent in the software i choose to visualize them?

Your thinking is analgous to doing long divison on a sheet of paper and not a calculator. If the tool is not up to the desired task, and in this biz that means descent results in least time, get a new tool.

Should old methods fall by the way side? No. Can they be adapted to fit new systems and new problems without the need to reinvent the wheel for something the industry has driven itself to solve already? I think so.

Something as easy as water in a glass should take longer to model the glass then apply a particle/collsion solution. Making it look right is another matter. But the functionality shouldn't be left out because there is a long solution fifty people have been using for years based on old methods in aging software.

Lamont
05-11-2003, 01:26 AM
Yes, using a calculator to do long division is cool. But do you know where the results came from? You're just punching numbers and assuming that since it's a calculator, it's right.

All I'm saying is this: It's cool to add all these snazzy functions, but is it cheapening the users exspirience level?

I say "Make a glass of water."
He says "Where the button?"

amorano
05-11-2003, 01:41 AM
Originally posted by Lamont
Yes, using a calculator to do long division is cool. But do you know where the results came from? You're just punching numbers and assuming that since it's a calculator, it's right.

All I'm saying is this: It's cool to add all these snazzy functions, but is it cheapening the users exspirience level?

I say "Make a glass of water."
He says "Where the button?"

I agree. Knowing and being able to do something are two different things. In College, Calc III they finally let us use a programmable calculator on tests. However, they still required you to show proofs of your answers. Thus, knowing, and being able to accomplish in a reasonable amount of time.

Now, if he, or anyone else pressing a magic button expect to get hired in the industry because they know where all the buttons are at, they got another thing comming. The industry still requires a working knowledge of HOW to do task. Just goes along the lines of any industry where most usually look at your problem solving skills and not just the fact you can accomplish tasks.

Even in sales, if you can sell the hell out of a product, that is great, but if you aren't knowledgable, and end up-selling the customer on things the product can/can't do incorrectly, you are open to some messy situations.

I think for the time, LW needs to define what future it wants to have within and without the industry. If it wants to be all things to all people, it needs a lot more of the basic things other brand Y and product X have already.

Specifically those being a stronger particle/effects system, stronger character animation tools and intergration with other rendering pipelines (i.e. PRM, Vray, MR, etc), to keep consistancy throughout certain projects. In the modelling department, it is still rock solid, although everyday I am liking Houdini more and more. Yes, that is crazy.

Lamont
05-11-2003, 01:48 AM
Originally posted by amorano
His point is valid. Dangerman that is.Never said it wasn't ^_^!

Originally posted by amorano
In a day and age of ubiquitous particle systems and physics systems to constrain them, why should I spend the time to think of a solution, when they are, or should be, apparent in the software i choose to visualize them?No, no, no... you're getting it wrong. Who cares if there's a button, a script or an app that get's your result. My thing is that there's many ways to tackle a problem. Users seem to forget this now a days. I am not one of those "Been using for 10 years" people...

Originally posted by amorano
Your thinking is analgous to doing long divison on a sheet of paper and not a calculator. If the tool is not up to the desired task, and in this biz that means descent results in least time, get a new tool.Duh, but what if you can't find such a tool? What? Are you going to throw your hands in the air and cry? Be addaptive.

Maybe I came off wrong. But it's this: My attitude for any application I use is learn it. All the user has to do is think. Auto-Rigs? They're cool, they're fast. Put that in the hands of a "no0b" and they can work it. GI? Oh, instant cheap lighting. A lot of new users don't understand what's going on under the hood of the app they chose, and when it's time to fix it, where is that TD when youy need him?

I think it's important for users to "Do it the long way." when they are learning something. It breaks them in, makes them think a bit.

Lamont
05-11-2003, 01:49 AM
Originally posted by amorano
In the modelling department, it is still rock solid, although everyday I am liking Houdini more and more. Yes, that is crazy. I like Wings. I don't have the $$ for Houdini.

amorano
05-11-2003, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by Lamont
I like Wings. I don't have the $$ for Houdini.

Yeah Wings is still in the arsenal. Still love its ease of use factor. Houdini is like wings on crack. Having complete control over the entire history of an object is just damn crazy. And then being able to animate that histroy is even crazier.

Still I yearn for Marai. Here is crossing the fingers that 1.5 comes out sometime before 2010.

OOOOO, and go grab a copy of Houdini Apprentice. You still get everything that is in the Master version, but renders are at 640x480 with a tiny letter watermark in the lower right. Big deal. Its free.!!!

And to get up to speed the VTM's on 3dbuzz are very good from what I hear. Not to mention the 2nd CD of tutorials SESI puts out for free.

Lamont
05-11-2003, 01:53 AM
Originally posted by amorano
Now, if he, or anyone else pressing a magic button expect to get hired in the industry because they know where all the buttons are at, they got another thing comming. The industry still requires a working knowledge of HOW to do task. Just goes along the lines of any industry where most usually look at your problem solving skills and not just the fact you can accomplish tasks.Yeah, that's what I was getting at. Magic buttons are great, but I'd really like for the users to understand what's going on.

One thing that bugs me is "I can't animate, I want something like Character Studio for Lightwave..".

Maybe I am just too militant about learning? :):)

colkai
05-11-2003, 03:32 AM
Lamont,
No, you're not!

I am a 'muck-a-bout' type Lightwave user, I thrive on knowing HOW something works, sure, plugins are useful, but just because there isn't a 'make me a set of stairs' plugin, doesn't mean you give up.
Well, in my case, I used it as an Lscript test, but that's another story ;)

If you read the intro to Dan Ablans INSIDE book, one of the authors has years of "that looks right" skills. That is what matters, the physics and light refraction don't have to be 100% real-world correct. There's a simple maxim I've seen bandied around by the gurus here a few times, "If it looks right..It IS right". Look at it another way, plugin "super-duper-glass" perfectly mimics air/glass/liquid as per the real-world, takes 4 hours to render a single frame with caustics etc... "Looks cool" cheat, done by hand, faking it, takes 10 minutes to render, which do you think is more correct for the job?

You only have to look to hypervoxels vs the old 'fractal noise transparency' thing to see what I mean. I'd bet many effects houses still use the latter because, whilst pretty, the former is a render-time b*tch! :D

Dangerman
05-11-2003, 09:06 PM
In all fairness, the 3 days deciding on the correct way to model a glass of water occured on comp.graphics.apps.lightwave newsgroup. It's probably still up if you're interested. You'll see some heavyweights in the industry disagree on how to do it correctly. But in realtime it only took a few hours, and probably could have been handled quicker by demonstration.

It seems to me you should be able to model a glass, set it's reflection/refraction. Model the liquid, set it's refl/refraction. And expect the renderer to handle the interfaces between.

The current way expects you to model all the refraction interfaces... essentially reminding the renderer about something it already knows.

But that's really just something that trips up newbies (and the apparently experienced). Everybodies probably got "the one thing" they would like to see changed. What's yours?

colkai
05-12-2003, 07:36 AM
Originally posted by Dangerman
Everybodies probably got "the one thing" they would like to see changed. What's yours?

I'd like the traffic lights to change to green as I approach, boy would that speed up my journey home ;) ;)

Dangerman
05-12-2003, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by ackees
There is an issue of creativity through process or a creative result. If the result is the objective you don’t care much for a long process.

Well said!

Dangerman
05-13-2003, 12:15 AM
Originally posted by Lamont

I think it's important for users to "Do it the long way." when they are learning something. It breaks them in, makes them think a bit.

I agree that you have to understand something before yiou "know" it. But once you've taken the time to understand something, what is the point in being taught the same things repeatedly? Must we all be consigned to paying the cost of newbiness forever (Student loans that are always due)?

Dangerman
05-13-2003, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by Chuck
Over the years, I've seen a lot of tutorials on a variety of approaches to liquid in a glass, and not one of them would have taken anyone days to figure out nor two hours to model, unless you happen to be making a room and furniture to go with it.

It might help to have a link referenced in the manual. Anything so fundimental, and yet so complicated, should have some documentation.

WizCraker
05-13-2003, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by Chuck
We do expect that it will take time to hit stride in the changeover in processes, but we expect as well to release a good 7.5c very shortly, and later this year a stable 8.0 that purchasers will find very much worth upgrade price and more.

oh look a future c version. I remember in the days ages ago when I had a 5.0z.

WizCraker
05-13-2003, 12:59 AM
Originally posted by hrgiger
Maya was no bigger a threat to Newtek when it dropped it's price. It's still the same crappy renderer. Sure, now it's included Mental ray for free.

You must be on crack or something because these Images (http://www.mentalimages.com/4_1_motion_pictures/index.html) at Mental Images [developers of Mental Ray] look pretty good. I saw a couple of these movies on the big screen and could not tell if it was PRman, Mental Ray, Lightwave Render, Max, or even Maya's Software Render. I could care less if it came from Maya Render or something else, if it looks good then it should not matter. I've seen some great looking images come from all these different renders. The resulting quality of the render is controlled by the user. An unskilled user will produce bad renders regardless of render.

colkai
05-13-2003, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by WizCraker
The resulting quality of the render is controlled by the user. An unskilled user will produce bad renders regardless of render.

Ba Da Bing! - Give that man a Ceegar. I think, in all the talk of what should and shouldn't be in LW8 and the whole LW / MAYA thing, this little gem of note has been lost.

I know a guy, buys the best keyboards and amps he can afford, all the top software for sequencing. Does it make him a better keyboard player - nope! Look at the stuff done with cheap / free software, the artist is the one tool that no amount of upgrades can replace :D

hrgiger
05-13-2003, 03:11 AM
Whizcracker,

I was referring to Mayas built in renderer. It's never gotten high marks for quality. This is why they have mental ray.
And another bad thing about Mental Ray. The free license is only good up to 4 seats. After that you have to buy them. Great if you're a hobbyist, not so great if you're a large studio.

ackees
05-13-2003, 05:21 AM
There are only two options for LW, become more user friendly or die (and it’s the same for the others too). Early 3D artists were maths graduates and computer scientists, now no one is going to suggest that you be a maths graduate and computer scientist to use LW 3D). I work across a number of areas and this is what has happened, it’s now happening to 3D (the process is accelerating). And yes this will mean a button for this and a button for that – drag and drop your character and modify, drag and drop the clothing and modify, drag and drop the walk cycle and modify. The issue isn’t weather this is going to happen but who will do it best. It means that the scripting and plug-in architecture will have to also increase in friendliness to accommodate those users who really want to get that light on the glass absolutely right. User friendliness doesn’t ‘dumb down’ the application or the art it simply makes it more inclusive. So a 10 year old should be able to get some pro results for homework and a computer scientist should be able to get at the inner workings of the application to model the coming hurricane and its effects.

hrgiger
05-13-2003, 06:48 AM
I don't think Lightwave could be more user friendly. Everything is spelled out for you, how much user-friendly do you need it? I think you can argue that certain features need to be brought into the core of the program or certain things need to be updated or replaced but I don't think Lightwave could be more user-friendly. If you're talking about making Lightwave user-friendly by replacing Modeler and Layout's whole interface with 5 buttons:

"Model cool character" button.
"Texture cool character"button
"Animate cool character" button
"Composite cool character" button
"Render cool character" button

Well, then perhaps you should check out Poser.

Lightwolf
05-13-2003, 07:04 AM
hrgiger: User friendly and user friendly are two different things imho.
For me it means to get access to the power of the application in the most direct way, and LW has some catching up to do in that area.
Examples: MD has an extremely cluchty interface (and loading and saving data within scenes is a bad hack). The Expressions interface is bad (no large editor, no multi-line expressions...).
There are generally plenty of workflow issues which make the UI less user friendly. This has nothing to do with a 5 button solution, but with a x button solution that makes sense.

Cheers
Mike

Flat
05-13-2003, 07:17 AM
Agreed Michael.
The issue is not to have the "make money fast" button, but to be given a transparent tool, something that gets the less in the way possible between your brain, your vision, and the finished work.
LW is indeed pretty good in this area most of the times, but it's not perfect.

What I want is something that translates directly my imagination into an animation. Should I post this in the feature request forum ? :D

Phil

ackees
05-13-2003, 07:22 AM
Lightwolf thanks for clarifying, ‘user friendliness’ releases the full power of the app.

Lightwolf
05-13-2003, 08:41 AM
While we're at it :D
I often read the misconception: "Yeah, if you're a real artist, the tool doesn't matter."
If that was true, we'd all still work with Videoscape 1.0, and not LW 7.5. Also, in the real world (...if you do 3D for money) there is always a time vs. money constraint. A tool that makes me work faster allows me to either make more money, or get home from work in time for dinner (which is rare :p ).
I wish I had 2 months to model a head in my spare time, but I don't. I tend to have 2 weeks to produce 4 minutes of industrial 3D, and the faster I work, the more time I have left, and the better I can compete on the market.

Cheers,
Mike

hrgiger
05-13-2003, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
While we're at it :D
I often read the misconception: "Yeah, if you're a real artist, the tool doesn't matter."
If that was true, we'd all still work with Videoscape 1.0, and not LW 7.5.
Cheers,
Mike

I wouldn't say that's a misconception at all. It is True that if you're a real artist, the tool does not matter. To an extent. You're talking about Videoscape which isn't really a fair comparison to the current 3D apps on the market. More appropriate would be to say that if you're a real artist, it doesn't matter whether you use Lightwave 7.5 or Maya 5. Both have their strengths and weaknesses but ultimately their goal is the same.

Lightwolf
05-13-2003, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by hrgiger
I wouldn't say that's a misconception at all. It is True that if you're a real artist, the tool does not matter. To an extent. You're talking about Videoscape which isn't really a fair comparison to the current 3D apps on the market.
O.k., Blender, Real4D, Cinema 4D, Truespace :p then...

Some would say, comparing LW to Maya isn't fair either.

Actually, even on old-school tools people did some amazing stuff, some of it still holds up to more current animations as well, as far as skill is concerned (I always get an itch when people call me artist :p ).
Anyhow, "real" artists don't need tools, they're artists ;) Pen and Paper will do.
Seriously though, there is a difference between art and production.

On the production side, we have to live with tighter time constraints, and our customers tend to expect more in less time. Pick your tools and fight ;)
Cheers,
Mike

ackees
05-13-2003, 09:16 AM
Art and technology has always been closely linked – technology changes art. New ideas in 3D technology will stimulate new ideas in 3D art.

Lightwolf
05-13-2003, 09:28 AM
Originally posted by ackees
Art and technology has always been closely linked – technology changes art. New ideas in 3D technology will stimulate new ideas in 3D art.
ackees, I agree with you, seeing your definition of art.
I just guess I have a different view on what art is, and what it isn't. 99.99% of the stuff that is done in the graphics "arts", including 3D, are imho not art but "decoration".

... but we're seriously drifting OT here... ;)

Cheers,
Mike

WizCraker
05-13-2003, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger
Whizcracker,

I was referring to Mayas built in renderer. It's never gotten high marks for quality. This is why they have mental ray.
And another bad thing about Mental Ray. The free license is only good up to 4 seats. After that you have to buy them. Great if you're a hobbyist, not so great if you're a large studio.

hmm, just noticed the quote button. It seems to work better than typing it all out.

I agree with that. check out this animation from an instructor that I know it was rendered with Maya. It looks kind of funny looking.

oops forgot to link the animation.
http://www.zachkadish.com/galleryPortfolio/animation.htm

Oh and for the people on dial up it is about a 28+ MB file I think.

colkai
05-14-2003, 02:40 AM
Originally posted by ackees
So a 10 year old should be able to get some pro results for homework and a computer scientist should be able to get at the inner workings of the application to model the coming hurricane and its effects.

I agree with hrgiger, I find the LW interface VERY friendly, I've tried to use other packages, just takes too damn long, even reading the manuals doesn't help the process on iota.

As for making it easy for a 10 year old to get PRO results, fer gawds sake! We are back to the "make me a cool animator.p" plugin again. Unless they were a certified child prodigy that just *ain't* gonna happen.

Of course, if you mean, make it easy to use even without the manuals or any attempt to learn it. Then I guess we are talking about a certain *type* of user, you know, those that don't need a dongle.

Drag and drop characters and walk-cycles? Drag and drop everything - so this makes you more talented how exactly? I can see why the Davelist got started :rolleyes:
You want instant results, download other peoples scenes and tweak 'em - hey - instant skill! - oh wait a minute, some folks are already doing that! :p

ackees
05-14-2003, 03:29 AM
Colkai, its not a case of want, it’s where things are going you have no choice. All industries have faced this and in the end skills increase not decrease. As I mentioned you are not sacrificing complexity, what you are doing is making LW more accessible to more people.
An example from another industry:
A friend of mines wife has decided to go back to work after years of being a housewife (kids grown up), I ask her what she is going to do and she says ‘web page design’. Now years ago she wouldn’t be able to do this if she couldn’t programme HTML, there were hot debates in this field when it started to move into ‘button culture’ you know ‘drag and drop’, the arguments raged but in the end the forward march of technology has enabled this woman to do web page design with no knowledge of HTML. HTML programmers are not out of work, the same application that she is using also allows a programmer to code raw HTML.
To continue with meaningful development NT has to make LW3D more accessible to more people WITHOUT SACRIFICING COMPLEXITY (this is not about weather LW is easier to use than something else, everyone is facing this challenge).
Interestingly at the demo of Maya 5 (hopefully we can avoid the ‘why don’t you buy Maya then’ jibe) that I saw the main features pushed were ‘buttons’ and the ease at which you could start up complex features and then dig into them first with sliders, then with scripts, then raw code if you needed to. The fluid effects demo was awesome, Make a plane, select wave, make the waves higher, add an object in the water, move it, select wake, select froth, all real time, all buttons, on a laptop. LW advantage is its ‘price performance ratio’, this is a golden window for NT but to take advantage they will have to accelerate two years development into one year

TyVole
05-14-2003, 06:04 AM
Why don’t you buy Maya then?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

hrgiger
05-14-2003, 07:06 AM
Yes, why don't you buy Maya?

colkai
05-14-2003, 07:19 AM
Originally posted by ackees
The fluid effects demo was awesome, Make a plane, select wave, make the waves higher, add an object in the water, move it, select wake, select froth, all real time, all buttons, on a laptop. LW advantage is its ‘price performance ratio’, this is a golden window for NT but to take advantage they will have to accelerate two years development into one year

Now in this case, sliders make perfect sense, just in the way Eki uses them in his plugpak, he's the "SliderGod". However, that to me is a world away from 'create an instant character / scene'.

Now I don't wish to shock you, but I agree that in certain areas, LW could certainly use this sort of enhancement. (You can pick yourself back up off the floor now).
Fluids, particles, softbodies etc. all good places for sliders, but then, too many things like this and instant cluttered interface.

I guess it boils down to faith, Newtek has produced some cool stuff in the past for LW, so my money is on some exciting features in the next release. Though I am sure, many seasoned wavers out there will take a cut down list of features against a rock-solid app. Every reboot is time & work lost, no amount of super-cool-model plugins can every make up for that.

I can think of one for me, no more crashes if you skip image loading in a scene / model input within layout.

That notwithstanding, picture me waving! :p

ackees
05-15-2003, 02:21 AM
Interface design is the cutting edge when it comes to users being able to access powerful features, I bet a high proportion of the Tec support requests are because a user has got confused. 3D is now attracting a new bread of user who do not want to spend a lot of time ‘getting to know the software’, ideally you should be able to get the thing up and running and have some pro result by the end of the morning, sounds nuts but this is what happens now, the pressure on new users is increadible.

The Maya people said that LW's dynamic effects (collision etc) wern't 'real' and that LW faked it while their system reflected real world dynamics, is this true (it's a bit over my head, but interesting). They then made a box filled it with smoke and dropped an object in it to prove it (smoke swirls round object as it fell), I must admit I didn't understand what he meant at all.

colkai
05-15-2003, 06:59 AM
Originally posted by ackees
The Maya people said that LW's dynamic effects (collision etc) weren't 'real' and that LW faked it while their system reflected real world dynamics, is this true (it's a bit over my head, but interesting).

Yeah, which is why I do think that it's easy to get hung up on realism. Personally, if the fake looks cool, does it really matter if it isn't correct 100% according to real-world physics?

That's not to say that we'd settle for a half-a**ed version :p

There are so many thing to think of, it does your brain no good at all to think about it! :D

ackees
05-15-2003, 07:34 AM
Is it easier to fake something like this or easier to have a real setup? How do you fake the smoke swirling around an object as it the object falls through the smoke?

Is it possible to have a character (human) in LW detect other objects? So when I wrap the fingers around the glass the fingers stop at the glass and don’t go through it, maybe LW can do this, if so how?

hrgiger
05-15-2003, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by ackees
3D is now attracting a new bread of user who do not want to spend a lot of time ‘getting to know the software’, ideally you should be able to get the thing up and running and have some pro result by the end of the morning, sounds nuts but this is what happens now, the pressure on new users is increadible.



I don't know where you get this. It sounds to me like you don't want to spend the time to learn Lightwave, you just want to be able to jump into it and be just as good as someone else who's been using it for years. That's ridiculous. Try reading the manual and spend some time with the software because despite what you've heard, you always have to 'get to know your software'.

Can you make an object in LW fall through smoke and have it affect the smoke. Yes, it's called particles and a wind object. No, fake.

And can you have a character automatically detect an object and not have the fingers pass through it? No, and you can't do it in Maya either.

pixelmonk
05-15-2003, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by hrgiger
NT never was asleep at the wheel on the development of Lightwave, even if it seemed so to you. I don't know how many times Chuck has to tell you that.
Maya was no bigger a threat to Newtek when it dropped it's price. It's still the same crappy renderer. Sure, now it's included Mental ray for free. They included a renderer that wasn't selling anyway. Well, that's great if you're a single user but it doesn't mean anything if you're a studio with a need for unlimited licenses as Mental Ray still requires you to buy them if you need more then the four (I'm pretty sure it's 4) they allow you.

The reason why Mental Ray wasn't "selling" is because it is integrated into XSI and a partial integration into Maya. Extra units sold are in fact as render nodes which most of us never hear about as the big studios deal with that. Most users would never buy a render package if it didn't have hooks into their program or they created their own translator. Mental Ray is far from dead and in fact it's had more clout now than ever thanks to the "partnership" between Mental Images and A|W.

I've been a loyal LW user since 5.0 and have had a copy of Maya sitting on my desk since the days of Power Animator 7.5 on a big ugly Indigo2. I've always stuck with LW as it was easier for me to wrap my brain around polygons versus NURBS, and the LW interface was always clean-looking. Also, I was the lone animator at my job so I could pick and chose what I wanted to use. Now, since I feel like this is a dead end job, I'm looking around and slowly finding out that jobs in the D.C. area are requiring some knowledge of Maya, or use Maya as their base package. I'm torn right now between my love of LW and the reality of finding a new job and what I have to do to get it. Also, my main contacts on the outside come from the MUG in this area which is still around despite A|W closing the regional office down the street from me.

I'll still get the L[8] upgrade for my home copy of LW as I don't think I'll ever lose the lust for Lightwave. ;)

pixelmonk
05-15-2003, 09:26 AM
Originally posted by amorano
Sorry I meant to emphasize community liason for the past year.

Chuck has participated in the community for years. I remember him on the old mailgroup which was hosted on the Arizona Edu server? I remember Dave Warner helped monitor that one.
:D

ackees
05-15-2003, 10:56 AM
Hrigiger you are right I do not want to spend time learning any package, I want to spend my time ‘doing’. That’s because I work across several fields and I use many different packages, the best ones are the easy to use, it means you can become proficient quicker.
Packages that promote multi-skilling are very attractive, I think that within 6 or 7 years all NT’s apps will be merged into one.
Now, tuck yourself in sir and I will tell you a story:
I know After Effects fairly well, I have been using it from before Adobe acquired it, it’s a good pack, however there is a new kid on the block ‘Final Cut Pro’ it doesn’t yet have anywhere near the features of AF but when I tried it I found myself using it more and more to do things that I could do easily in AF, why?, the interface is pleasant, somehow apple have made using the thing a pleasurable experience. The future is ease of use. NT should take a look at FCP, and no it’s not a 3D app, but there is something in the organisational thinking that may be useful.
I have a little toy 3D app here called carrara (only cost a few $’s) and yet this thing has collision detection to help positioning. I would love to see the object falling through smoke on the tutoral site.

hrgiger
05-15-2003, 11:51 AM
You can't just expect to open up an major 3D package and start creating pro images. That's just dreaming.
I think you'll find that a lot of people feel that Lightwave is easier to learn then a lot of the other 3D animation packages. And I don't think you can really compare FCP with a 3D app, even as an example. Completely different level of programming.

As far as the object through smoke thing. Here. This took me about 3 minutes to setup. I left everything at it's default pretty much and used sprite mode instead of volume so it would render quickly. Obviously, you can improve the effect dramatically if you change the wind direction, you could make it mushroom, explode, swirl, pretty much whatever you wanted but I was just trying to show that it's possible. I've never tried the effect before, but because LW is so simple to understand, I know it's possible.

Phil
05-15-2003, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by colkai
I can think of one for me, no more crashes if you skip image loading in a scene / model input within layout.

That notwithstanding, picture me waving! :p

I think the crash on skipping image loading is fixed in 7.5b, but then you've got all those nasty LScript breakages to contend with. Quite why it took so long to fix this particularly obvious bug (I found it within 5 minutes of getting 7.5 installed - what happened to QA?) is more my gripe. I took to having a post-it note on the machine to remind me never to skip images when loading.

colkai
05-15-2003, 12:25 PM
I think the crash on skipping image loading is fixed in 7.5b,

You're not only right, you're not wrong ;)

Spot the fact that I still stick to LW7.50 :D

ackees
05-15-2003, 01:53 PM
I am not complaining about LW usability compared to others, it’s about the future of LW, where it should be heading. Every application has had to solve some complex interface problems, it is worth seeing how others have cracked their problems even if it is not in your field. The ball animation looks interesting. The thing I saw was more like cigarette smoke that swirled round as it was disturbed, and the effect continued and then abated after the object came to rest.
The thing about picking up an application you haven’t used before and producing something pro by the end of the morning is real and practical, I have had to do it. The golden ruler for any package (and interface designers please take note), if a school kid can open the pack, install it, play around without using the manual and produce something stunning by the end of the school day, you then know you are doing something right. You need experienced testers but you also need people who have got no clue, if they can use it you are onto a winner. NT do not become trapped by your existing interface, do not be afraid to make radical improvements.

Dangerman
05-15-2003, 02:03 PM
It's a common thing for experienced users to dismiss the concerns of newbies. Newtek is so tight lipped about future development that it's easy for a new user to imagine that this dismissal runs all the way to the top. Not because it does (or doesn't) just that past performance implies that LW is for the experienced user. There's a common misconception that new users haven't read the manual, this is rarely true.

I think everyone who has plopped down cash for a LW license is hoping that they can help LW become a dominant force in the 3D world. Becoming dominant requires hanging on to the experienced users *and* hanging on to the new users. It would serve everyone well if Newtek were to have a department devoted entirely to making each release more user friendly than the last, in hopes of turning new users into old users/old maya shops into new LW shops/old xsi classrooms into new LW classrooms. LW is a huge investment, leveraging that investment means growing the userbase, but that's NT's job, there's little a LW user can do but recommend it to a friend.

Before you get too carried away dismissing the newbies, consider the story of Henry Ford. When he went to his most experienced engineers and asked them to come up with a way to make sheet metal with smooth compound curves, they didn't think long before they told him it was impossible. Henry immediately hired the least experienced engineers he could find, engineers that didn't know (yet) what was impossible. Together they revolutionized the automotive industry .... again.

DarkLight
05-15-2003, 02:32 PM
Hi all,

I've been following this thread for a while.

Speaking as a hobby user and someone who is still struggling to learn how to model and animate, i've found some of the point made to be interesting. I would like to have some buttons that would make me a better modeller :D

Both on this forum and others, people have been comparing LW to other packages, saying that LW has to compete with these to have a future. I think Newtek is doing a fantastic job, but they probably don't have the resources to throw at the development of new features like A/W have for maya for example. Fluid dynamics is a very impressive feature in Maya, but they had a dedicated team working on that feature alone. Same can be said for MentalImages, they only work on the renderer, they don't have to work on the development of an entire 3d package.

I do agree with ackees on some points, some features in lightwave could really be made a little simpler to use, but at the end of the day, you need to put the work in to develop your skills. This applies to any form of art. Anyone can grasp the concept of drawing with pen and paper, but you can't expect to become a great artist overnight.

ackees
05-15-2003, 03:08 PM
Dangerman, your point about the car is perfect, the best designers know nothing about the product (they have a fresh perspective) so they make no allowances and the flaws become glaringly manifest, this is exactly the point about the 10 year old kid and the pro result in after a few hours use, this is the acid test. A pro in any field has to see with a child’s eyes again or their work becomes stale (they are unable to escape the rigidity of familiarity).
Well I’ve got an invite to preview softimage, see what they can do. The interesting thing about their promotion is that they do not see LW as a threat, they are offering cross grades from Maya and Max but not LW, this is a gift for LW.

Chuck
05-15-2003, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by ackees
I am not complaining about LW usability compared to others, it’s about the future of LW, where it should be heading. Every application has had to solve some complex interface problems, it is worth seeing how others have cracked their problems even if it is not in your field. The ball animation looks interesting. The thing I saw was more like cigarette smoke that swirled round as it was disturbed, and the effect continued and then abated after the object came to rest.
The thing about picking up an application you haven’t used before and producing something pro by the end of the morning is real and practical, I have had to do it. The golden ruler for any package (and interface designers please take note), if a school kid can open the pack, install it, play around without using the manual and produce something stunning by the end of the school day, you then know you are doing something right. You need experienced testers but you also need people who have got no clue, if they can use it you are onto a winner.

Actually the point to NewTek products all along has been just that - make it possible for new users to become productive in record time. LightWave still shows well in this area, as well as being known for speed and flexibility in tight production schedules, as evidenced when Firefly's pipeline had to be switched from Maya to LightWave in order to insure achieving the pristine visuals they needed within their deadlines. LightWave has gotten pretty complex of late, and while we do want to continue expanding the power and flexibility of the application, we are most certainly in agreement that for future versions we need to devote effort to making the application more readily productive for the new user.


NT do not become trapped by your existing interface, do not be afraid to make radical improvements.

Of course we have no intention of being "trapped" by the existing interface - we have, after all, already announced that workflow and user interface are in fact the main emphasis of our developments for [8].

Dangerman
05-15-2003, 04:40 PM
Ackees wrote:

... they make no allowances and the flaws become glaringly manifest, this is exactly the point about the 10 year old kid and the pro result in after a few hours use, this is the acid test.

It's funny how a fresh perspective can "see" the problems in a design. What scares me is how old perspectives seem to deny any problems, as if they really don't want to look.

The notion of a 10 yr old getting a pro result in a days use is not farfetched. It's true that they probably won't be winning any awards with their first day's efforts, but I think in this case it's sort of like a new camera. It's not unreasonable to expect that you'd get a viable photo by just pointing and clicking. Best efforts are still years away, but that first picture will be pretty impressive to a 10 year old and their peers.

I hope NT is not missing the value of your perspectives. You strike me as more of a Henry Ford. You're welcome on my team anyday.

hrgiger
05-15-2003, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by Dangerman
Ackees wrote:

The notion of a 10 yr old getting a pro result in a days use is not farfetched. It's true that they probably won't be winning any awards with their first day's efforts, but I think in this case it's sort of like a new camera. It's not unreasonable to expect that you'd get a viable photo by just pointing and clicking. Best efforts are still years away, but that first picture will be pretty impressive to a 10 year old and their peers.


You're comparing pointing a camera at an object and pushing a button with modeling a complex character, tweaking to no end, UV mapping a character, blending texture maps, painting texture maps for bump, color, diffuse, specular..., rigging a character complete with deformation corrections, weighting, placing them inn a surrounding (repeat all of the above steps for the setting), animating that character with an understanding of timing, weight, and emotion, compositing and rendering? :rolleyes:

Dangerman
05-15-2003, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger
You're comparing pointing a camera at an object and pushing a button with modeling a complex character, tweaking to no end, UV mapping a character, blending texture maps, painting texture maps for bump, color, diffuse, specular..., rigging a character complete with deformation corrections, weighting, placing them inn a surrounding (repeat all of the above steps for the setting), animating that character with an understanding of timing, weight, and emotion, compositing and rendering? :rolleyes:

Who's comparing that ... I didn't?

Don't get me wrong, your points are not lost on me, but I'm trying to be constructive. Maybe your comments are constructive also, but I'm having a tough time making that connection.

If you're just trying to be dismissive, color me dismissed.

hrgiger
05-15-2003, 10:38 PM
I assumed you were by saying that because of the 10 year old getting pro results comment.

I feel like my intention is to be constructive. But I'm also trying to be a realist. Ackees seems to be saying that he wants to take the learning curve completely out of Lightwave and I just don't think that's possible.

Lightwave is not poser after all....:)

Dangerman
05-15-2003, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger
I assumed you were by saying that because of the 10 year old getting pro results comment.

I feel like my intention is to be constructive. But I'm also trying to be a realist. Ackees seems to be saying that he wants to take the learning curve completely out of Lightwave and I just don't think that's possible.

Lightwave is not poser after all....:)

I'm glad to see that you're being constructive. I thought you were, but it's easy to be wrong.

Dangerman
05-15-2003, 11:53 PM
The trick is.....
to recognize that Ackees posts *are* constructive.
If they raise the temperature under the butts of those who make LW, then they are well placed.
After all, if you have no complaints ... that's good.
Some people have real complaints, and that's even better.

BeeVee
05-16-2003, 02:23 AM
Talking of 10-year olds and getting pro results, I have been working on a story where a school in England has been running a course for 3D beginners (not just LW beginners) aged between 9-13. I think you underestimate the complexity of a product like LightWave ackees and although HRGiger was being slightly flippant in his reply, he has a point. There's so much to understand when it comes to making 3D in a 2D workspace that it is going to be complex. If you put buttons on the interface to make it easy you also make it boring with cookie-cutter objects in cookie-cutter scenes.

The teacher I am interviewing talked to the class for a two-hour lesson about surfacing something. He had to explain the difference between translucency and transparency and so on and even with numerous practical examples, the end of the lesson achieved only moderate results (in his opinion).

He's not discouraged. Out of a class of 12 people initially he got two students that were destined for greatness :) and he's going to start another course in July, but just assuming interface changes will make it easier to "do 3D" is a false hypothesis. Improving the interface will help, but there's a lot of complexity inherent in a 3D process on a 2D computer - it'll be nice if haptic systems ever got to the point where they were affordable enough to replace mice! :)

B

ackees
05-16-2003, 03:31 AM
Well, when I initially use a piece of software I never use the manual until the project gets more complex, I jump in the deep end and trash about and usually I swim, somehow. With LW I found myself running for the manual earlier than usual, because I have used so many different pieces of software I could tell something was wrong with it. Now I have used the thing on a few projects I could say, no it’s really easy to use, but that would be a lie.
The problem with LW is that much of it’s power is hidden, people are always asking where do I find this or that, how do I do this or that.
All NT has to do is make the available features more manifest - what’s the point of having 5th gear if the driver can’t find it?
Hrigiger’s point about UV mapping, blending etc being too complex for a 10 year old is just it, IT SHOULDN’T BE DIFFICULT, that’s the challenge, that’s the future. I remember the early days of the PC and desktop publishing and professionals talking about leading and layout being too complex for the untrained, today go into any school and you will see mags and newspapers produced by, yes 10 year olds.

BeeVee
05-16-2003, 03:38 AM
How would you suggest they went about making them more manifest?! 3D is not an easy subject! I fully agree with you that some things could be made clearer and with William's excellent online help file, it will be easier for beginners to find out what they want, but honestly? Please forgive me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be trolling, much like in the thread where you persisted in asking for LightWave to offer native CMYK, even after much explanation of why this wouldn't be possible.

B
PS. The complexities of trying to recreate reality (which is what a 3D program is trying to do) are orders of magnitude above putting words on a page or arranging clips of video, in my opinion.

colkai
05-16-2003, 03:48 AM
Whoa Ackees,
Being brand new to a peice of software, you thrash around without the manual and expect to learn it?

I always read the manual first, if you don't, you aren't really in a position to say it's difficult to learn. Expecting the interface to show you everything and make it easy is unrealistic.

So when you got to doing your first scene, did you read the manual? Or did you post a 'how do I save my surfaces' question and complain when people said RTFM or 'pirate'?
When LW7 came out, I sat down with a large mug of coffee and started reading. Several nights later, I was aware just how complex and powerful it was, plus I learnt some nifty things without even going near my PC!

I'm afraid statements like you've made will mean folks take you less seriously next time you complain, it's the nature of the beast.

WizCraker
05-16-2003, 04:29 AM
NT do not become trapped by your existing interface, do not be afraid to make radical improvements.

I like the interfaces that Newtek uses. Easy to find things, easy on the eyes, and it looks better than the standard windows UI api that discreet and a/w use. I also like houdini's interface as well as shake.

Also why would Newtek want to take ideas from FCP? As I can see it they have far more experience with the VT than apple does with FCP. With all the great features that you get with VT right out of the box for less than $2500, why would you want to use FCP [plus you would pay twice as much once you bought your self a mac, FCP, and cinma tools]?

Lightwolf
05-16-2003, 04:44 AM
colkai,

Originally posted by colkai
Whoa Ackees,
Being brand new to a peice of software, you thrash around without the manual and expect to learn it?

I always read the manual first, if you don't, you aren't really in a position to say it's difficult to learn. Expecting the interface to show you everything and make it easy is unrealistic.
Well said.
When we get interns in my company, first thing I do is hand out around 2 kilos worth of manuals and books, tell them to read them and then I send them to work.
They don't DARE ask me a question that is easily available in the manual :) It makes them much better interns or employees though, and they're always grateful afterwards, no exception in the past 6 years (well, except for the ones that weren't dedicated in the first place).
For 3D you have to be dedicated imho. It has absolutely nothing to do with photoshopping, print or web layouts, or even video editing.
The amount of information to learn and master is on a totally different scale, don't expect to master 3D in a couple of days.
Also, as far as reading manuals is concerned: If you're a pro, there is no reason not too. If you don't know and learn your tools, don't call yourself pro. <- full stop ;) And don't go around wasting your clients money :D

Sorry for being a bit harsh here, but I'm sick of people who don't touch manuals (this is not directly adressed at you ackees btw, no offense please!), and then start to complain.

Cheers,
Mike

ackees
05-16-2003, 07:29 AM
You could say learning software is more like riding a bicycle or swimming, no amount of reading is going to make you a good swimmer, it’s the doing that counts. I work with people who sit and read manuals cover to cover and they are usually far behind, I don’t know what it is, but how do you get across a non-linear way of working? Of course you are going to need the manual, that’s not the point. All this talk about the complexities of 3D is pure ego, I have heard it so many times in so many industries. I have seen Pro 3D animators trashed by young kids who come in pick up some 3rd rate bit of 3D software and produce something amazing and unexpected.
The issue here is about 3D as craft or creative art, I think many people are working in a craft way, however as the creative fields merge there will be more requirements for lateral thinking in the 3D image, the software will have to change to accommodate this.

hrgiger
05-16-2003, 07:59 AM
Beevee says I was being slightly flippant in my answers before but I have to disagree. But I'm about to be;) .

You keep making comparisons Ackees from 3D apps to things like photography, FCP, and now swimming and biking. Not really relevant. When you jump in a pool, you don't have to understand UV tools before you drown.
I'm not sure what you've seen in other 3D apps or heard from other people but 3D is not easy. Animation is not easy. The idea that a 10 year old is going to sit down with the software without reading a manual or without some kind of training and produce something pro quality in a day or two is rubbish. Unless that kid is some sort of cosmic anomoly like Mozart was in music.

My question for you is what are you proposing? How are you going to make a program so easy that a 10 year old could use it? The only way I see you can do that is to have everything pre-built and pre-fabricated. Push this "cool model" button, then push another button that says "get walkin' model". This is a very limiting way to work. You can't just expect the software to take all the work out of 3D because by doing so you limit the choices of ways that you have to work. Part of the beauty of Lightwave is that there are so many ways to do one thing.
There is no argument that improvements could not be made in the user interface. In fact, that's going to be a big change in LW8 from what I understand. Just don't expect to your kids to start working on the next final fantasy because of it.

There's a theory that if you let a bunch of monkeys bang away at typewriters for a few hundred years, that eventually one of them will type out a Shakesperian play. This conversation reminded me of that...

Lightwolf
05-16-2003, 08:06 AM
ackees,
If you've never sat on a bicycle before, and you have nobody to guide you, it helps to know what the pedals are for. And how to pump up the tires if they run out of air.
I read every manual for every package we get cover to cover, and I tend to be way ahead because of that. This is just my experience however. It just helps when I'm in crunch, to think "oops, I read something about that, let's double check". I don't expect anybody to be proficient with an app just by reading the manual. There's plenty of experience neccessary (knowing how to use a pencil doesn't make you an illustrator). But, it helps you understand your tool, and what is possible and what isn't.
I've seen people in ad agencies that use Photoshop on a daily basis, that have the latest release, and don't use any of the techniques available due to the new features. They might just as well run 3.0, and not 7.0 (Photoshop that is...).
And yes, I expect an artist to know his materials as well. Especially if you work commercially.
As for 3D software being complex. It is, this has nothing to do with pure ego. Sure, there kids out there who do amazing stuff, but how many of them could run a full production pipeline, knowing every aspect? Even seasoned pro's hardly know every aspect when it comes to 3D.
I did some teaching recently, "Rendering 101", 8 hours. It was amazing how much the students picked up just by me telling them how a renderer works. It makes them better artists to know the tool (just think about proper refraction techniques).

...just me ranting on.
Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
05-16-2003, 08:10 AM
Originally posted by hrgiger
There's a theory that if you let a bunch of monkeys bang away at typewriters for a few hundred years, that eventually one of them will type out a Shakesperian play. This conversation reminded me of that...
I sometimes wonder if I'm one of them ;)

Dangerman
05-16-2003, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
colkai,

When we get interns in my company, first thing I do is hand out around 2 kilos worth of manuals and books, tell them to read them and then I send them to work.
They don't DARE ask me a question that is easily available in the manual :)
Cheers,
Mike

My last job, they flew me across the country for training. The training took 10 minutes. They showed me where the bathrooms were, where the breakroom was, where I was to sit. They handed me a product specification and told me, "don't take too long on this, it's already paid for and it's two weeks late".

Seemed like a bad plan to me, but it was how they did it. Sink or swim, seperates the doer's from the anchors.

My first C Compiler was from Microsoft. I glanced at the manual while swapping the floppies, and when it was installed, it wouldn't start? Now I looked closely at the manual, and when I was clear on all the hoops they wanted me to jump through to just get the program to run ... I uninstalled it and returned it for a competitors package. I became a lifelong customer of someone's that day, and but for a little kindness to the customer, it would have been MS.

Modeling a glass of water is something that a 10 year old could do in a day with just the manual and a little desire. Making it refract correctly is another story. The manual doesn't know much about that. The only clue LW gives you are the two surface presets, "Glass Inside", and "Glass Outside". What are they there for? The user unfriendly answer is found at the end of your own personal search.

I always read the manual. With LW, that's a daily requirement, but not always very helpful.

ackees
05-16-2003, 08:50 AM
The statement about a 10 year old is not absolute it’s relative, surely you understand that, if a 10 year old is producing something pro then you would be producing something even more accomplished, you do see that don’t you? Think back to the early days of 3D ( I remember the early experiments with water and then hair that could only run on mainframes), now almost anyone can simulate a fairly pro looking water scene in most 3D apps on a basic PC, but the masters of the art will take your breath away with a storm scene rendered in 3D for a movie. Ease of use has enabled both possibilities, you do not loose anything because the software is more understandable, you gain in both directions.
Now there is something that NT has done that I find exciting, it’s the text- icon link (I am not calling for icons, so lets not go there). You know, you press the button for a box and you see an icon of a box on the curser, I wonder if it’s possible to take that to another level?

BeeVee
05-16-2003, 09:00 AM
I can see where you're coming from with the relative ten year old, but unlike cycling where there's a direct causative response to your actions (not pedalling, bike doesn't move, user falls over), the causative links between things are a lot less apparent in any 3D software. Here's one. Make an object that's going to be a glass, make the surface transparent, make it refractive. If LightWave was directly causative, they would be all the steps you should need. However, if the glass is going to contain liquid, does it need to be a collision object? If it's a still then certainly not, but if it's in an animation where something gets poured into the glass, maybe yes. Do you need to model the glass accurately (does it have to be refractive or can you get away with it not being refractive because then the render times will be shorter)? Does there need to be some kind of fresnel effect to back up the transparency? Do you need to model the thickness of the glass and if so do you need an air surface so that the refraction works correctly? And so on...

B

Dangerman
05-16-2003, 09:06 AM
I'm probably coming off Like I don't like LW, this isn't quite true. I'm always impressed with the things I can crank out in just a few hours. There are a lot of powerful features that are documented well enough that you can expect to master them with practice and just the manual.

I doubt I'll be buying the next release though. The things I want to get good at are so poorly documented and so difficult to use, that it will be awhile before I outgrow this version. It's possible that these features will be improved next time around, time will tell.

Lightwolf
05-16-2003, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by Dangerman
I always read the manual. With LW, that's a daily requirement, but not always very helpful.
I agree with that. It should go into more depth (it can't replace a "What is 3D Animation and what do I need it for" book though, this is something I wouldn't expect).
In many ways, the old 5.6 manuals were the best. One general manual and one reference guide covering every available feature.

Lightwolf
05-16-2003, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by Dangerman
I doubt I'll be buying the next release though. The things I want to get good at are so poorly documented and so difficult to use, that it will be awhile before I outgrow this version. It's possible that these features will be improved next time around, time will tell.
I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on 8, I have to admit.
Yes, I run into brick walls with _every_ release every now and then. Sh*t happens. Still, I get payd indirectly to solve those problems :)
I guess I know LW pretty well too, I've been running it since 3.51 and develop as well.
I still read every new manual from front to back, and I still find something useful in every one of them :)
Cheers,
Mike - he who needs to do some work now.

ackees
05-16-2003, 09:55 AM
Yes BeeVee, this is the sort of problem that needs solving.
I see it like this:
You model your glass and you have straightforward options for how the glass behaves with the rendering and cpu load given automatically by the software (and it’s not about the software thinking for you or ‘a cool glass button’ the whole thing will be professional and intelligent). So you have a group of drag and drop options with the cost indicated according to the rest of the scene, the software is intelligent enough to know what else is going on in the scene and those who want to be direct can bypass all this and even go into raw code if they want to.

BeeVee
05-16-2003, 10:08 AM
Wow! Tough to do! Why not just tell the computer what you want to achieve (voice naturally, not typing), and let it get on with it? :)

B

mattclary
05-16-2003, 10:53 AM
YEAH!! Just like in Star Trek! Maybe we can get LightWave to run on the holodeck too!

colkai
05-16-2003, 11:55 AM
Turns on PC, loads LW...
"Computer <pause> Make me a cool scene with lights and spaceships and stuff, I want explosions and accurate debris scattering", "Make it really good, throw in a couple of people and have 'em do 'stuff' that looks right"

..Oh, a keyboard, you have to do some work yourself? Oh, how quaint. ;)

Lynx3d
05-16-2003, 12:20 PM
*rofl*

anyone remember that star trek film where they are in the "past" and scotty want to tell the computer how to build transparent aluminium? :D
I like the part when he tries to speak into the mouse...


If i have on wish, don't make Lightwave a dumbass-conform program that makes assumptions on how a "cool" scene has to look like...that's what bryce and poser is for... ;)

colkai
05-16-2003, 01:36 PM
Heh,
What do you think gave me the idea? :p :D

Even then, people will complain that it doesn't work right when they've got a cold and lost their voice ;)

Dangerman
05-16-2003, 02:25 PM
It's funny how intelligent conversation get's reduced down to ... "make me a cool whatever" button. And it's never by new users, but instead by the experienced trying to, "Make the new user bleed".

How about a better, "Make me a usable UV map" button.

Speaking of UV maps ... anybody ever use Dream3d? It was a "stills" only version of Ray dream studio that came with Corel 7.
When those folks designed their UV support, they thought about the end user first.
Q) Why would somebody need UV maps?
A) To paint on their models.

With that notion in mind, they provided a paintbrush.
You could paint any texture directly onto any model in 3d space. The manual didn't even mention UV space, didn't need to ...

Not as flexible as what you can (if you can figure it out) do with LW, but hey, that technology is a decade old by now.

Lynx3d
05-16-2003, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on 8, I have to admit.
Yes, I run into brick walls with _every_ release every now and then. Sh*t happens. Still, I get payd indirectly to solve those problems :)
I guess I know LW pretty well too, I've been running it since 3.51 and develop as well.


hehe, just read that again, and to me (just started developing plugins too) it sounds like "all i expect is a better SDK, bacause it gives me even more chances to get paid" :D

If i'd have another wish, get me some serious improvements for shader handlers, i keep shooting myself into the foot all the time...
(but that seems to lie in the nature of C: have a look (http://noncorporeal.com/people/pathfinder/shoot_yourself_in_the_foot.html) )

Lightwolf
05-16-2003, 03:57 PM
Hi Lynx,

Originally posted by Lynx3d
hehe, just read that again, and to me (just started developing plugins too) it sounds like "all i expect is a better SDK, bacause it gives me even more chances to get paid" :D
a) :) that's not exactly how I meant it... Actually, for example, getting some connecting lines to extrude properly around a spinning globe can be quite challengeing by itself. You know, the old: "the world is a network" animation ...
I usually don't have the time during projects for custom development, we tend to have suicidal deadlines, so I better find a workaround quick with the existing toolset to get my jobs done.
b) We need a spell checker on the forum ;)



... i keep shooting myself into the foot all the time...
(but that seems to lie in the nature of C: have a look (http://noncorporeal.com/people/pathfinder/shoot_yourself_in_the_foot.html) )
lol :p You just made my day!

cheers,
Mike - running in crunch mode now!

Dangerman
05-16-2003, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by Lynx3d
... I keep shooting myself into the foot all the time...
(but that seems to lie in the nature of C: have a look (http://noncorporeal.com/people/pathfinder/shoot_yourself_in_the_foot.html) )

That's funny ... Is that your's? That's funny!

Lynx3d
05-16-2003, 04:37 PM
No that's a collection that no one seems to know where it really comes from (at least i couldn't find out and there are many variations out there)...somehow that statement about C inspired someone to compare how you'd do that in other languages...

colkai
05-18-2003, 02:50 AM
Originally posted by Dangerman
It's funny how intelligent conversation get's reduced down to ... "make me a cool whatever" button. And it's never by new users, but instead by the experienced trying to, "Make the new user bleed".

How about a better, "Make me a usable UV map" button.


It isn't about make new users suffer, it's about people expecting the software to do everything for them. Just like they expect cars to think for them, brake better, turn on the wipers when it's raining - This does not free up the brain, it causes it to stagnate.

As for better UV map creation, I agree, the atlas seems, well, just plain funky, I admit I'm a total idiot when it comes to UV's, but I don't see the benefit of the likes of Atlas. To my simple brain, it seems the best way to set up UV's is like in the old days, by choosing poly groups by surface and then applying planar. But as I say, still a grey area to me, plenty of other folks doing wonderful things with 'em. :confused:

Dangerman
05-18-2003, 05:59 AM
Originally posted by colkai
It isn't about make new users suffer, it's about people expecting the software to do everything for them. Just like they expect cars to think for them, brake better, turn on the wipers when it's raining - This does not free up the brain, it causes it to stagnate.
There it is again. The notion that somebody asked the software to do everything for them. Who are the people that keep saying these things? The last thing I want is a car that thinks it's smarter than I am. The second to the last thing I want is a car that requires me to "learn" the difficulties of torsional->linear motion /every time/ there's water on the windshield. Getting the water off the windshield is a valid common problem; Leaving it to the customer to figure this problem out /every time/ is just lazy design.


As for better UV map creation, I agree, the atlas seems, well, just plain funky, I admit I'm a total idiot when it comes to UV's, but I don't see the benefit of the likes of Atlas. To my simple brain, it seems the best way to set up UV's is like in the old days, by choosing poly groups by surface and then applying planar. But as I say, still a grey area to me, plenty of other folks doing wonderful things with 'em. :confused:
Painting a model is something a 10 yr old can grasp when they're six. Painting a model in LW is so difficult, the "how" of it becomes much more significant than the "why".

colkai
05-18-2003, 06:45 AM
Originally posted by Dangerman
There it is again. The notion that somebody asked the software to do everything for them. Who are the people that keep saying these things?

Well, the whole "I don't want to model a character, build a walk cycle, etc.. constantly being re-hashed suggests these people do exist. If people want instant characters, that's what Poser is there for, I understand the lastest version even does walk cycles. Of course, then the argument is that the models are not perfect enough!



Painting a model is something a 10 yr old can grasp when they're six. Painting a model in LW is so difficult

Err sorry? First off, if the 10-year old grasps it when they are six, then , they are like... 6. :p

Plus, do not mistake throwing paint in a random fashion onto anything within brush distance as being anywhere near painting maps for texturing. I really, really would love to see these 10 year olds that keeps being referred to, must be a damn geniuses!

My nephew is 8, if his colouring in gets even close to a non-headache inducing result, we call it progess, if it roughly resembles something from this planet, its a work of art. Then of course, I wouldn't mind being the kid who's parents will shell out for a PC and LW for me when I am 10 years old, I'd be on course for a Ferrari at 18 then :D

Alas, I'm so far past even that age that it's too depressing to think about :eek:

Chuck
05-18-2003, 09:05 AM
Something I see as a fallacy in the whole "couple of easy steps to make a photoreal glass of liquid" is that there are actually a lot of decisions to go into this deceptively simple-sounding example, for any practical use to occur. Anyone who has seen idiot.p's output knows that it is in fact possible for us to make a one-button solution to a complex model, in this case an eagle-in-a-barrel. Certainly we can make a one-button "photoreal glass-with-liquid" and that could work either one of two ways - a button on the interface that loads a precreated scene with all parameters properly set, or that creates the geometry and enters the appropriate scene parameters and surface settings.

How useful is that? Is everybody in the world going to use just one type of glass and liquid for every project? Not likely. So we might need to give this flexibility. Back to a panel of options then. Shape of glass? Size of glass? Thickness of bottom? Shape of bottom internal? Shape of bottom external? Thickness of walls? Thickness variance of walls, top to bottom? Stemmed glass? Shape of stem? Shape of stem base top? Shape of stem base bottom? Refraction characteristics of the material of the glass? Or shall we have it be crystal? Handle, if it's a mug? (Why am I suddenly thinking of a big frosty root beer? Aha, condensation on the outside? Icy or watery, or both?) Dimensions of handle? Shape of handle? Shape of attachment of handle to body of glass? Level of liquid? Color of liquid? Refraction characteristics of liquid? Transparency? Bubbles? Ice cubes? Size of ice cubes? Shape of ice cubes? Suspended solids? Granularity of suspended solids? Uniformity of suspended solids? Multiple liquids with different characteristics resting in layers relative to density? Is the liquid going to have to behave, or is this a still rather than an animation? If animation, what viscosity dynamics? Bubbles rising?

By this time it sounds quicker and easier to draw and lathe a few surfaces for a glass and liquid, model and merge a handle if you've got a glass mug, model the liquid volume if you have bubbles, etc, and set your surface options. I suspect the same principle would, after thorough analysis, apply to any seemingly simple task used an an example. Yes, some surface presets in the software for various liquids and glass types would be useful, make things a little quicker, as well as some docs. Tutorial material is definitely something we want to improve in the package. And for the future, since the purpose of the application is to simulate real-world effects, we certainly need to look at bringing physical dynamics simulation to the core of the application.

In a sense, computers can in fact automate a lot of things and can make some tasks easier. And software can be hard to use or easy to use. We certainly put effort into being easy to use, but also having flexibility and power, and that is needed because this is not a toy for a day for ten-year-old, it is a tool for working production artists and craftspersons. As such, it can certainly be used by an artist at any age, but the results will depend on the individual talents and discipline of that artist, regardless of age.

Art takes work and study and creativity. Paint-by-numbers can be entertaining and satisfying, but it isn't the same thing as creating original art, and using stock materials and settings will only have so much value - perhaps not much more than simply giving the new user a sense of success to encourage further growth, or to allow someone with limited need for 3D to accomplish occasional projects for clients whose requirements are pretty basic.

What tool seems simpler to use than a pencil, but can anyone pick up a pencil and draw accurately and realistically what they see in front of them without investing study and practice to the point of skill and understanding in the art and science of perception and portrayal?

Lynx3d
05-18-2003, 09:56 AM
I totally agree...

but, what is "idiot.p"??
Was that a joke i didn't get?

colkai
05-18-2003, 10:05 AM
Go Chuck, Go Chuck !!
Of course, ya just know, given the interminable list of options for just ONE item, someone, somewhere, will say "So - why not?"
:p :p :p

Idiot.p doesn't seem to be in LW75C, but it basically created the old 'eagle-in-a-barrel' - a loyw poly eagle in ..yup. a barrel. I think the teapot plugin supercedes it :D

Of course, idiot.p didn't have sliders to control the barrel size, or the structure of the eagle, so it was another Newtek failure to advance the software <GD&RVVF>

Joke Chuck, don't shoot me - please ;)

Dangerman
05-18-2003, 02:05 PM
What follows is my misunderstanding of Chuck's message, I'll leave it unedited so you can read it. Chuck was making a contribution, and I took it personally (always a bad move).


Originally posted by Chuck
Something I see as a fallacy in the whole "couple of easy steps to make a photoreal glass of liquid" is that there are actually a lot of decisions to go into this deceptively simple-sounding example, for any practical use to occur.
You disappoint me Chuck. I never asked for a one button solution, so let me get very clear about this:
1) I'll model and surface my own glass (thanks).
2) I'll model and surface my own liquid (thanks).
The tools to do this are very easy to use, and the artist in me (and the manual) say I'm done. *But No*, the unnecessary and undocumented steps lie ahead.
3) Copy the glass to another layer.
4) Select the polys that will touch the air.
5) Apply a surface that will represent the air
6) Invert selection.
7) Apply a surface that will represent the liquid.
8) Deselect and flip polys.
9) Cut and paste over the original.
10) Merge vertices.
Repeat steps 3->10 for the liquid.
Now I'm done ... unless I expect to tilt or drain the glass ... good luck with that.

The programmer in me says that the unnecessary steps could be hidden in a simple checkbox. When setting the transparency and refraction options for a surface, you just check the "Raytrace refraction interfaces" box. Hmmmm, half the geometry, one third the surfaces, no more animation complexities, Hmmmm.

Is that a request for a "Do it all for me" button? I see it as a request for a "Don't force me to do it all for you" button.


Originally posted by Chuck
What tool seems simpler to use than a pencil, but can anyone pick up a pencil and draw accurately and realistically what they see in front of them without investing study and practice to the point of skill and understanding in the art and science of perception and portrayal?
More disappointment ... I guess if you're going to talk down to your customers, it helps to assume that they are 10 year olds.

Dangerman
05-18-2003, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by colkai
Err sorry? First off, if the 10-year old grasps it when they are six, then , they are like... 6. :p
Very good!


Originally posted by colkai
I really, really would love to see these 10 year olds that keeps being referred to, must be a damn geniuses!

I won a competition for painting models when I was 10. One entrant's dad liked my 1/24th scale '68 corvette so much, he offered to trade me a genuine '58 T-Bird (didn't run). I still don't understand why my dad said *no*.

Lynx3d
05-18-2003, 03:08 PM
Hm i never had a problem with that air-surface thing, actually i kinda like it when i started using Lightwave.
Because other Software packages often handle the transition from one refractive surface to another even worse, i.e. for glass->water you have to divide the two IoR and mustn't confuse the polygon normals blabla...makes an extra material too, actually an extra material for all possible combinations of meeting surfaces!

But yes you could probably do it without the need of an air-surface and still not annoy with other anomalies.

And i just noticed LW 7.x finally accepts IoR smaller than 1.0...i need to finally order the update!

hrgiger
05-18-2003, 03:31 PM
I see, so you nead a "Copy the glass to another layer, Select the polys that will touch the air, Apply a surface that will represent the air , Invert selection, Apply a surface that will represent the liquid, Deselect and flip polys, Cut and paste over the original, and Merge vertices" button.

Oh, that sounds much more reasonable then.:rolleyes:


That sounds more like the job of a user Lscript/plug-in then a reasonable or much needed Lightwave feature.

And it didn't appear to me that Chuck was talking down to anyone.

Wow, you won a car model painting contest when you were 10. Geez, I bet they just pushed you right from elementary school to Harvard. Maybe you think winning a contest when you were 10 excuses you from having to learn the tools (very capable tools I might add) of a 3D animation package?

Chuck
05-18-2003, 04:05 PM
Dangerman, I don't see how you could possibly have read anything between those two sentences and think I was talking down - and frankly, nothing about those two sentences is talking down either. That was certainly not my intent in any case. I was taking part in the discussion, as I understood the various aspects of it, addressing concepts that have been mentioned by a number of different participants in various ways rather than any particular person, and sharing a perspective that had occurred to me and did not seem to have been expressed by anyone else. I fully expected other folks to disagree with that perspective, and even to be able to persuade me that other perspectives were more accurate or compelling, and do that without any particular need to disparage my character for having and sharing a somewhat different take on the topic. Open discussion is necessary for advancement and understanding.

ackees
05-18-2003, 04:30 PM
There was an international competition a while ago to design a typewriter for a person with one hand, a large number of reputable design companies entered this, there were many experts with well thought out solutions gained from years of professional practice , the competition was won by a group of kids in school (I am not completely sure but some may have been younger than 10), the kids were able to think in new ways while the experts were trapped in their expertise. Having LW so user friendly that schools pick it up will be good for NT and 3D as a whole.
Chuck I am surprised at your response, it’s trying to solve impossibilities that push things forward (I love it when a client comes to me with a proposal that seems totally impossible and cracked, I live for those jobs). I could just hear some people scoffing and complaining when someone said ‘wouldn’t it be great if you could build a machine that flies’.
I must say I thought there would be a discussion as to how to achieve some of these usability improvements, you know, one idea and then another, and then out of that something useful would immerge, OK the solution wont ‘beam you up to the stars’ but with so many people some ideas should flow.

Dangerman
05-18-2003, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by Chuck
Dangerman, I don't see how you could possibly have read anything between those two sentences and think I was talking down - and frankly, nothing about those two sentences is talking down either.
Since I brought up the whole refraction interface thing, it seemed this message was aimed at me. It appeared you were siding with the "Make me a button that factors out my imagination" crowd. They're the ones that keep suggesting one button solutions for the simple purpose of belittling others. The last sentence also echoes assumptions often made by these people.


Originally posted by Chuck
.....That was certainly not my intent in any case. I was taking part in the discussion..... Open discussion is necessary for advancement and understanding.
Yes, you're right. The misunderstanding was all mine. I hope you'll accept my sincere apology.

Chuck
05-18-2003, 06:30 PM
My apologies as well, Dangerman. And I noted in reading your response that we are in fact in agreement that further documentation, additional tools and more presets are all things that we need to work on, as I'd said in my response. I hope you've noted that as well. And as we've announced, workflow and user interface are indeed a priority for the [8] release, and I'm sure will stay a priority forward from there. Rightfully so.

Chuck
05-18-2003, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by ackees
I must say I thought there would be a discussion as to how to achieve some of these usability improvements, you know, one idea and then another, and then out of that something useful would immerge, OK the solution wont ‘beam you up to the stars’ but with so many people some ideas should flow.

There is such a discussion in progress. Such a discussion has to include doubts. Answering doubts constructively and creatively can then carry the discussion forward and possibly result in solutions or at the very least the reduction of doubts. Or may raise new doubts. That's the nature of discussion.

The whole thing possibly will work better if people (and this means on both sides of the discussion) concentrate on raising and countering issues and suggestions as opposed to trying to shame others out of holding variant viewpoints. But then again, I could be wrong about that... ;)

Chuck
05-18-2003, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger
Wow, you won a car model painting contest when you were 10. Geez, I bet they just pushed you right from elementary school to Harvard. Maybe you think winning a contest when you were 10 excuses you from having to learn the tools (very capable tools I might add) of a 3D animation package?

I didn't get any such thing from any of Dangerman's posts, and I think this was not a constructive way to respond to the points that have been raised. Just asking you to think about it, HR.

Dangerman
05-18-2003, 07:55 PM
It's a precarious balancing act to present opposing views without also seeming (or becoming) insensitive. Some of my best online friends have been detractors. Time, patience, and remaining positive usually serve us well .... I try not to take the personal stuff too personal.

I really stepped over the line with Chuck, and it wasn't a very bright thing to do. I'll keep you informed on how much that adds to the cost of my next upgrade.:) (I'm only kidding). Chuck does a great job of bringing the conversation back down to earth.

hrgiger
05-18-2003, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by Chuck
I didn't get any such thing from any of Dangerman's posts, and I think this was not a constructive way to respond to the points that have been raised. Just asking you to think about it, HR.

Probably true Chuck. Point taken.

Dangerman, it wasn't really my intention to insult you personally. It rarely is with anyone here on the forums. I'm afraid it's the natural born smarta$$ in me and my delicate way of making a point.;) I think we just disagree on this point. I just feel that making the steps you mentioned (3-10) automated, it takes some of the creative process out of the creation.

Dangerman
05-18-2003, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger
Probably true Chuck. Point taken.

Dangerman, it wasn't really my intention to insult you personally. It rarely is with anyone here on the forums. I'm afraid it's the natural born smarta$$ in me and my delicate way of making a point.;) I think we just disagree on this point. I just feel that making the steps you mentioned (3-10) automated, it takes some of the creative process out of the creation.
No worries, disagreement is the spice of progress. Just because I have ideas for improvement doesn't make my ideas any good.

I appreciate that you disagree, and I hope it won't bother you that I also disagree.

The first 2 steps define everything involved in the other steps, so rather than having the other steps automated, I'd like to see them obviated.

Of course when I factor in your objections, I do see that the "inverse" surfaces in the current technique are allowed to depart from the implied values. I assume this is what you mean by "creative process".

Anyway, no offense taken (That goes for you to Chuck). I look forward to your thoughts on improving LW.

Phil
05-19-2003, 06:46 AM
Chuck,

Just out of interest, has NewTek ever considered the potential benefits (weighed against disadvantages) of having an additional rolling upgrade plan? It would allow people to more closely follow the development of LW and perhaps feel less frustrated when making contact with NewTek.

Impulse had (has?) a similar program back in the days I was using Imagine on the Amiga; I got the impression that it worked quite well. It could mean that NewTek had less revenue issues between releases so development of new features / refinements could be funded without concern (unlike the 5.6 to 6.0 gap that lead to a fair amount of weight loss at NewTek as time went on).

The immediately obvious advantages would be that features and the like could be more influenced by the potential user base to make them more useful/usable; there may also be fewer bugs and workflow issues as the feedback process would be available from the early stages of implementation and so on. (The presence of the image cancel crash from 7.0 right through until 7.5b was reported many times and yet it has only just been fixed! I, and likely many others, found this within 5 minutes of installing 7.x - QA is falling short.)

Some of the disadvantages are also clear. Not everyone has time / energy to handle beta releases especially in the middle of a project. As such, a lot of the feedback will end up coming from the more hobby-oriented users. This means that some of the more powerful features will likely get roughly the same amount of feedback as your closed beta test. However, workflow issues and so on will get a significant amount of feedback from those who are less familiar with the package.

LScript similarly should perhaps have a more open development approach so when you break things in future, such as for 7.5b/c, the developers already have fixes in place so frustration for users is minimal.

That said, I take heart from your recent posts about the move to a VT-styled development approach for LW in future. I hope we begin to see the results of this soon :) (and why wouldn't I?)

mattclary
05-19-2003, 12:31 PM
Give a man a "Make cool animation" button and he will create for a day, give a man a full featured toolset like LightWave, and he will create for the rest of his life.

Chuck
05-19-2003, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by Dangerman
...rather than having the other steps automated, I'd like to see them obviated.

Nice new word! :)

That actually describes our ambitions for LightWave pretty well - there's a lot we are planning to make more obvious, by making the workflow make more sense, and with documentation and training materials.

mattc
05-19-2003, 02:52 PM
Phil,

I'd point out that the bug fixes done on 2.6.1 were almost all done with the input of those on the lscript mailing list. Development of 2.6.1 was extremely open and fast IMHO because of this. Mind you, I don't think Bob slept the first weekend after the release of 2.6 :)

Regards
Matt

Dangerman
05-19-2003, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by Chuck
...I'd like to see them obviated.... Nice new word! :)

That actually describes our ambitions for LightWave pretty well - there's a lot we are planning to make more obvious, by making the workflow make more sense, and with documentation and training materials.
When I look in my old dictionary, I find "obviate v. t. to meet or anticipate, and dispose of; make unnecesary"

Not having the code right here, I can't say how practical my checkbox idea might be, though it does leave the door open for hrgiger's creative freedom. If you want to do it the long way, you just don't check the box.

Chuck
05-19-2003, 08:11 PM
Ooops! I thought you coined something there...my bad!

Dangerman
05-19-2003, 09:10 PM
It's my mother's fault ... whenever I asked her, "What does that mean?", she would say, "Look it up". I don't know much, but I know way too many words.

Doran
05-19-2003, 10:10 PM
I'll admit it; I don't get this thread. First off, I think the whole fallacious premise, "that Newtek is 'asleep at the wheel' and that somehow Lightwave is lagging behind some fictitious holy grail of a 3d package" bothers me. The thought that maybe they have too much on their plate is laughable to me also considering what Newtek has accomplished in the past with less than they have to work with right now.

We keep rehashing the same topic here and no one is changing their mind. It's reminding me of a hard won concept from my collage psychology days... The concept was hard won because I didn't believe it then, but I've seen it proven too many time now to deny it anymore. That concept is: No one ever forms opinions based on facts. They start with a premise that feels good to them and then collect facts specifically molded to support their stance. If they ever do change their minds sometime in the future, it won’t be because of a logical review of the facts either; it will be because another opinion feels good.

Finding fault with Newtek and Lightwave doesn’t feel good to me. Lightwave is my tool of choice. Probably always will be unless Newtek retracts my license. Regardless of whether you think Lightwave is falling behind, or that development is “inorganic” (smirk), or that third party development should all be first party, or that the world is flat and warming globally, it doesn’t change the fact that LW7.5c is the best Lightwave we’ve ever had. I would say that there seem to be quite number of folk asleep at the Lightwave interface these days. I never have time to sit around wishing I had some feature of a package I either can’t afford or don’t want to afford because I’m busy mastering the tools I already have in Lightwave. I've been at this for about 15 years.. I learn something new almost every day.

The world of 3d software is crowed just now. There is bound to be development in other camps at times. …and that is good. It will make the industry grow as a whole. What this means to me is that say if Maya comes with a wiz bang feature, eventually I can look forward to a Lightwave rendition of wiz bang or at least a good alternative that fits with the tools I have grown used to. I’m not looking for Lightwave with an interface or workflow that is like any other package. I’ve pitched my tent in the Newtek camp; and I’m here to stay.


(it's not my intent to flame anyone here.. I just feel under assault whenever I read this thread. perhaps I should stay away..)

Dangerman
05-19-2003, 11:27 PM
I think Chuck has pointed out that NewTek is not asleep at the wheel. But there is an unatainable perfect world that any 3D package can approach.

Finding fault is a cruel thing to do to something that cannot change it's spots. Newtek and Lightwave, however, are young and in constant change. It might be a good perspective shift to think of ideas for growth, not as finding fault, but finding potential.