View Full Version : Help me make my mind up

04-18-2003, 06:03 AM
Hi every one!
I am a TrueSpace user and I have been using it for
about 5 years by the way a very nice program.
Any ways I would like to learn at least one more 3d
program the ones I have in mind where Of course LightWave
Cinema 4D and 3ds Max. Can not afford Maya or Soft Image at the present time so they are out. I have been reading through the forums here and I see most people do not like 3ds Max LOL is it really that bad. Any ways I would like to hear some reasons to choose LightWave say over Cinema 4D. I for one think the opinions from the users of there software and from people who have used more then one program will make my mind up for me. I know some people will say download the demos. But before I waste away hours on some demo I would like to hear peoples opinions I believe I can learn any program given enough time I would just like to get the most bang for my buck .That is why I bought TrueSpace to begin with Now I would like to move up to a new level and I want to get the most for my money at that level. So any info from you guys will be very help full


04-18-2003, 10:18 AM
Well for one, as a former truespace user myself, I can't see how anyone can like the interface. It was horrible and one of the main reasons I didn't stick with it.


I've only used Max2 so take this for what it's worth.

Lightwave has a great built-in render engine. Max, to get the same quality in the renders, you would almost have to buy an external one. Opinions differ on this and of course a Max user will tell you differently so this is just MHO.

I think the learning curve for Lightwave is lessened. You don't have to learn any icons like you did in Truespace and like you'll have to do in Max. In Lightwave, everything is pretty much spelled out for you and laid out in a pretty sensible fashion. You'll be up and running faster.

You're wasting your money with Max. $3500 is a rip. Plus $800 everytime you upgrade. I don't know if they ever provide free upgrades or not but Lightwave is $1500 retail (not counting special promotions), $400 for upgrades, and usually a few free upgrades between the paid ones. The price difference bewteen Max and Lightwave means a lot of money saved that you could be spending on some nice plug-ins or hell, let's face it, a damn nice computer.

The price should pretty much make the decision for you. Because when you get right down to it, all 3D packages are pretty much the same thing, they all have their strengths and weaknesses, but in the end, it's the artist who makes good art and not the software.

Lightwave is your best value but a word of caution. You might want to hold off until Siggraph this year. Newtek has stated they plan to make an announcement concerning Lightwave. Most everyone assumes this means Lightwave 8 or mecca or whatever it's going to be called so if you buy now, you would probably be forced to pay an upgrade fee to get the newest version. I think they usually give you a month or two that if you buy it, and then an upgrade comes out they'll give it to you free if you just bought it within the last month or two. It's not definate that it is LW 8 but I'm guessing that it is.

I expect great things from LW this year....

04-18-2003, 10:19 AM
Oh, I should add that I don't really know enough about Cinema 4D to comment on it. It's about the same price as Lightwave and I'm sure it's good but I'd be biased anyway since I'm a lightwave user. :)

04-18-2003, 11:09 AM
I would go with either LW or Maya complete. I find it odd that you say that you can't afford Maya. Complete is only 2 grand. thats "almost" two grand cheaper than MAX. With that two extra grand you could get any number of plugins for LW or Shave and a haircut + one of the couple soft body options for Maya. Aside from that, you're asking about if you should by LW in a LW forum. I don't think you're going to get much of an answer aside from "buy LW and buy it now". LW will give you the most bang for the buck though. Even with Mental Ray for Maya now included, you still need to purchase extra licenses for network rendering.

04-18-2003, 06:58 PM
Well, you could go with Maya complete for $500 more then LW, not to mention missing fluids, paint effects, and some other good capabilities of Maya unlimited. I don't understand why you'd pay $500 more for a stripped down edition of Maya but that's just me.

04-18-2003, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the replies so far
Hi hrgiger as far as TrueSpace Interface goes you either love it or you hate it The interface just happened to be the reason I bought it I love the interface. Any ways back to the topic thanks for your insight on Light wave.
I see you are pretty active in the forums you must be one of the big LightWave fans
Qslugs as far as Maya complete goes I am not really interested in Maya complete
it may be good but I just do not want to put 2000 dollars
on software that is not even the company's best product
Just principle I guess like I said it may be good but I am not interested:)

04-18-2003, 11:42 PM
Well you could say it's a stripped down version of the 7 grand package, however thoes features you mentioned a.) Don't even come with LW at all, and b.) Paint effects does come with complete. The 2 grand Maya. And... you could get real wave/flow for either LW or Maya if you want fluid dynamics anyway. So that point is quite moot. I use Maya every day at work and I use it for character work. I have also been using LW since version 4. I don't use it for fulltime work anymore, however I use it for my own projects and freelance on the side. I know full well what each package does and excells at. Either package is fully capiable to do a full range of tasks be it one, or many people working on a single project. Like I said before, you're asking about other packages in a LW forum. Good luck. Although LW wouldn't be a bad choice imho, considering where you're coming from.

Originally posted by hrgiger
Well, you could go with Maya complete for $500 more then LW, not to mention missing fluids, paint effects, and some other good capabilities of Maya unlimited. I don't understand why you'd pay $500 more for a stripped down edition of Maya but that's just me.

04-19-2003, 12:12 AM
You're right, it does have paint effects. What it doesn't have is fur, cloth, liquids, and match moving.

04-19-2003, 02:08 AM

I think asking this question about 'what 3D app should I choose?' in a LightWave dedicated forum is a bit crazy in the first place... (cause in most cases people are in love with LW here). :)

However, I'm with CIM in that you should source out all the available demos, try them and work out what you find you like more.

Its easy for someone to say 'Maya is great, get that one' if they've used it, gotten past the learning curve and know all the ins and outs of it. I know people who prefer Max to LightWave and say its 'easier' or 'better' for the same reasons...

To be honest, nearly all tools nowadays can create outstanding artwork, most have nurbs, and all that funky cool technologies as well, so it's more down to what You like.

Here's my 0.2c worth...

LightWave obviously would be my pick. Not cause of price, or features but because I love using it - Its intuitive, I feel comfortable with the workflow that I take, and it has tools that give you the flexibility to approach an effect or project from many angles, I'm constantly being challenged to try new things, and I am STILL learning from it, several years later... Its always a fresh experience everytime I start something new! :)

Maya is pretty cool - Though I would say from trying it, its learning curve feels a little steeper then most. I've seen one guy at work who's been getting into it heavily show me some very nice rigging and character stuff he's done, but I can do similiar with LightWave already (though maybe not as easily).

XSI - If I was personally forced to choose to use something OTHER then LightWave, I'd probably look very closely at this as the XSI 2.0 demo cd was pretty cool - The training videos (which really were nothing more then 'demos' of features then anything else) just impressed me as well, the interface looked very clean and easy to follow (I could work out just from watching how things worked... That's nice and intuitive). Sadly I didn't have the PC specs required to run it! :)

Max - The other PC favorite - Well, I had to create some character animation in Max 5 about 3 months ago - It wasn't hard, and I found it pretty easy to pick up - I just felt 'awkward' working in it compared to LightWave's workflow that I was used too... Though I would definitely give it a go if you can get a demo.

Cinema4d - Get the demo of this - From what I've seen and read, the latest version really is pretty impressive! Its renderer is fast, the new GUI looks quite nice, and the renders I've seen look great! Of course, be careful of what you want from it - Like Maya, they've taken a 'split out features and package them in different 'product' versions' - So you can get a cheap version with all the basics, but all the funky effects, etc are in the more expensive version. I have the demo, but I haven't installed it to try it...

Though the latest versions of Truespace aren't looking that shabby neither. You could just stick with it - I've seen some pretty nice stuff coming out of the Calgari user camp... :)

Again, get demos and try them yourself (like trying on new clothes) to see how they fit with your personal workflow - People can advise you on what they would prefer, but be aware some people use some apps a lot and have become comfortable with them...

Good luck!


04-19-2003, 10:45 AM
Another thing you won't get with any of the other packages (non LW I mean) would be the community. So as much as I appear to be touting Maya, I still do have a place in my heart for LW.

As for the features : fur, cloth, liquids, and match moving. Lw out of the box has miserable fur, it has no match moving, nor does it have liquid dynamics. So you'd be buying thoes features as plugins if you EVEN needed thoes anyway. I have only had to match move stuff once, and personally I have never had to use fluid dynamics. But fluids are available for both LW and Maya as 3rd party options anyway. Fur is the only useful one out of thoes mentioned. Maya complete has Shave and a Haircut and LW has Shave + Sasquatch. Shave's development's kind of on hold right now though for LW, however I am sure we'll be seeing a update soon.

As for Maya's learning curve, Maya like ANY other package takes some time to pick up. When I was learning LW back at 4, there was hardly the amount of training material around that there is now. I think I finally figured everything out when LW got to version 5.6, mainly due to the fact I didn't know anyone using LW back then, and I was too poor to afford training tapes on top of the software. Also the LW comunity wasn't as great as it is now. Where I currently work, there was another guy learning LW at the same time I was learning Maya. He was learning the modeling end in LW while I was learning the animation end of Maya. He came from a Maya background in Modeling and animation, wheras I came from the LW background for modeling and animaiton. It took us about the same amount of time to figure out thoes particular parts we needed to learn and become handy with them (about 2 weeks). Learning curves aside, there are plenty of training video's/dvd's available to help pick up features very quickly. I believe that Maya has thoes Gonomon ones and Lw's got a ton of training materials. Stuff from Desktop Images, Dan Ablan and a few others. And after all, training tapes are the best way to pull down the learning curves of any software. When I finally did figure out 5.6 I had picked up 8 training tapes. which brought me from knowing about 50 percent of the program to about 90 percent of the program.

Another option would be go with wings3d (free modeler) and messiah:studio. Be sure to check thoes two out. messiah has a demo, and Wings3D like I mentioned is free.

With all that said I still would recommend LW.

04-20-2003, 06:51 PM
Thanks guys for all the info i think i will try 2 demos out
Here is a nice place for 3d things reference images models textures among other things if you haven't all ready been there take a look

Kevin Klaver;)

04-21-2003, 12:48 PM
I started out with ts too.. I started with 3, upgraded to 4 within 2 months, then up to 5 when it came out, and then grabbed the 5.1 sp2 patch. Right now, I have 4 and 5 both installed since they both have different plugin architectures. I upgraded to Lightwave on a special where I got LW for about one thousand dollars (999.00 + tax) on a special thing where they sent me a Video Toaster demo video to watch to give me the special discount as the closest reseller is a 2 hour driving distance from me....

Lightwave is a LOT better than TS. I tried gmax, and hated it. I also tried the Maya PLE, and it's interface was too much like ts for me. I like LW since it's a cleaner interface, and you don't have 50 million icons...

04-21-2003, 01:35 PM
Good GOD how does anyone use that!! I tried TS a couple years ago and never got used to the interface. It's all about the interface, what works for some won't work for others.

04-26-2003, 01:12 PM
Just a quick update
I have tried the LightWave and Cinema4D demo out
What I wanted to do was just play around with some cubes and spheres and a lot of the basic stuff in both programs
with out looking at any help files just explore
This is what I came up with in one week
LightWave was a lot easier finding things it took me forever
to figure out Cinema4D shader and texture set up
As far as power I think it is pretty close what I can tell
I would have to give LightWave a small edge
One thing I did not care for was the 2 like separate programs
in one program.I just read a little while ago that version 8 will
come out before the year Is out That will give me a few months to save since I have made my mind up to go with LightWave
When I get it I hope you guys do not mind a lot of questions

Render Something :)

04-30-2003, 11:14 AM
it's 3 programs - you forgot the hub.

04-30-2003, 11:18 AM
I learned 3D on Max3 but after switching to Lightwave a few months back I much prefer it. Theres things I like about both and was unsure about the 2 seperate modeller/lightwave programmes but actually found it improved my work by concentrating on each task seperately. Miss a few of the deformations from Max - like Melting objects and exploding objects easy using its actual geometry as fragments but overall I find ligtwave faster, easier and lots more fun to use. Things just seem to come naturally when working. Hypervoxels are fab aswell!
Well thats my view...