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joeldberry
05-13-2005, 11:49 AM
I am toying with the idea of purchasing Hexagon or Silo for modeling simply because they seem to have put more thought and effort into minimizing the "interface getting in the way" problem with most 3D applications, Lightwave 3D among them.

Lightwave 3D, while extremely powerful, seems to suffer from an antiquated modeling interface. In some cases, I can see that this is good, while in others, it seems inexcusable. For example, why do we have a 3D widget in Layout (move, rotate and scale) but not in Modeler? Why are there no ways to select "edges" except by selecting points? Or have I somehow just overlooked these abilities in Lightwave 3D 8 Modeler (which I hope is the case!)?

My question is: should I just suck it up and continue to work with what Modeler has given us (after all, it has served the 3D industry well for many, many, many years, and is still the professional tool of choice), or is an additional modeling tool useful?

Don't get me wrong, I love Lightwave, and I intend on sticking with it, but it seems like in the wake of Silo, Modo and now Hexagon, Modeler is falling behind (not necessarily in capability, but perhaps in usability) quickly.

Any thoughts? Any recommendations?

hrgiger
05-13-2005, 12:07 PM
You cannot select edges in Lightwave because Lightwave does not work at the edge level meaning no edge operations. We have tools to add or delete edges but you cannnot modify them (bevel, extrude, etc..). We have a tool very deceptively called edge bevel which operates on points, not edges even though the result is the same.

As far as recommendations, I say just suck it up. I don't see it falling that far behind any of the tools that you mentioned and I'm sure you will see some good improvements during the 8.x cycle.

JohnMarchant
05-13-2005, 12:22 PM
I would love to see more CAD tools in LightWave, i brought LWCAD for LightWave, its great and i would love to see it incorporated into lightwave. I think with the ongoing development in the 8 series we would not see many new modeling tools in the near future which for me is fine. The underlying architecture, SDK and bugs seem to be the priority and im happy with that.

I know the modeling tools in Silo and Modo have some nice things in them thats why they have been introduced to some peoples pipeline. I for one dont need them but i would love to see what has and still remains a great modeling tool updated with new features sometime in the 9 series.

Regards, John

Lottmedia
05-13-2005, 12:26 PM
I gotta say I'm a little suprised to hear this post. Have you actually used any of these other programs yet? At least Silo and Modo feel like lower-end copies of LW, not competetors. Silo is (I believe) just a next generation of an old freware program. You have to understand, LOTS of studios but Lightwave JUST for it's modeling capabilities. Look at the number of studios that use LW to model and Maya to animate. It's staggering. Then look at all the people using LW o model and Messiah to animate. LW has one of the best modeling enviroments going. It just seems like you're getting LW and tossing out it's best features by using another modeler.

Hope this helps out, not trying to bash anyone's programs or anything, just a little startling to see.

J-Rod

JohnMarchant
05-13-2005, 12:41 PM
Hi Lottmedia. Ive used Modo quite a bit and to be honest it has some lovely features and also a great workflow. After all its only a modeler thats why its being used by several studios (ie Digital Domain). Its not ever going to challenge Lightwave in the foreseeable future, its just another tool. I dont really know much about Silo but ive heard its very capable to.

LightWave's modeler is still very capable and is used even by people who will later ender in Maya or XSI or something else. Its just in some areas (Ngons, Nurbs, etc) it is a little lacking.

Regards, John

Lottmedia
05-13-2005, 01:03 PM
Gotta admit I considered Modo for a little bit, used the demo for a bit. It was nice and the edge tools were nice but I have to admit it felt more like one of the old Metacreations progs or Carraria, very slick and widard-y, you know, more geared towards hobbiest than professionals. Maby I've been using LW for too long but it didn't feel professional in the same way. Not to knock it or anything, it's probably just a hang-up for me.

I've gotta say, though, Joel, if you've got LW, use it. Practice will help your modeling more than switching apps. I was in that camp around the time I was looking at Modo, thinking it would help me model better, but I realized it was me, no the app that was failing. I was blamine the tools. It's like the old Mac/PC argument. Software/Hardware shouldn't matter. We're artist, it shouldn't matter if we're using Lightwave, Modo, a pencil or an Etch-A-Sketch. Just concentrate on making the best art you can.

Not to say you're whining or can't model or something(I don't know) Just dropping some thoughts about my experience.

Cheers!
J-Rod

Nemoid
05-13-2005, 01:35 PM
had the occasion to try modo. it is good , but it isn't so mature yey as a product. modeler seems to be a lot more stable, and mature , also because of many little plugs that make great things (think to point fit for example...)

BTW things could change in time. eovia too seems to be very interesting and from certain pov more than modo (constrution history, realtime booleans and modelling deformation ..great!) but it is new and therefore there's some time to wait till it gets really a mature product.

surely those modelers and silo too, make me think lw modeler needs enhancements, but i think NT is working for us towards the right direction, and lw modeler gives to me a feeling that i didn't get in other apps yet.

joeldberry
05-13-2005, 01:44 PM
No, I am not whining. I am just making an observation based on the offerings in the area of 3D modeling...

Most of these comments are kind of in line with my thinking... I just wanted to hear what others thought... These modelers seem very powerful, quick and easy for "organic" modeling, but again, I have seen Proton and Ablan and Albee whip out artwork like it was molded from grade-school clay, so I know it's the artist, not the software.

However, just starting out modeling, I wanted to know whether these modelers are going to add anything to my workflow (i.e., learning them) or should I just learn the Lightwave way of modeling and be done with it.

Thanks for everyone's input.

jdb

P.S. How come we don't have a 3D widget in Modeler, but we do have one in Layout, though?

mouse_art
05-13-2005, 04:16 PM
gotta say I'm a little suprised to hear this post. Have you actually used any of these other programs yet? At least Silo and Modo feel like lower-end copies of LW, not competetors. Silo is (I believe) just a next generation of an old freware program.


In case of Silo simply not true.

It seems to me you didn't gave Silo a fair chance(maybe for good reason if you are completely happy with LW modeler), if thats the case so be more neutral in such comments. ;)

Sile have not as much tools as modeler it focuses on small toolset but well thought out(and powerfull).(and you be able to fit the interface to your existing toolset, thats very nice)

I use both, and Silo is what it is a very focused and easy to use modeler, not cluttered with many tool variations(you should know what i mean. ;) ).

And i mean as addition to a very good modeler(LW) is Silo great.

i don't want miss it.


In case of modo you are right(but the interface is cool :D )


( No offense to you, but thats my opinion, and i love both to work with )

Nemoid
05-13-2005, 10:40 PM
well, if u know how to use your modeler, nothing can get you down, even without some features that other modellers have compared to lw one.

for example. if u model organics , it is recommended to model using quads only, or at least using the less tri poligons u can in the organic mesh. so, in this case , what ngons matter? u can use them, but you will have to work in a way to obtain a quad only mesh.
it is better to learn modelling using quads only and lw forces you doing that way.

in other cases, like edge weighting : not all apps support this in the same way. and so, if u model in modo with edge weighting u will have to freeze your mesh to export it to maya.
so in this case, its probably better to use that feature as a preview, but work your weighting in maya, or also, use more geometry to get the same result , but into a reasoned way , wich is different than only freezing the mesh.

this being said. i'm not saying that features like edges and ngons, and edge weighting and more are'nt needed in lw. they are useful

edges and ngons are good for faster tweaking, and to fix problems on your mesh while working still in sub patches, and also ngons are good for inorganic rounded models with less poligons to use. in this case u can get a more efficient mesh. same could be valid for edge weighting too, but it all depends of how u have to deal with them when u go and render into another app.

so , while i hope that such features and more can be put into modeler, there's nothing that can stop you from modelling in lw if you know how to do it.

somnambulance
05-14-2005, 01:29 AM
well, if u know how to use your modeler, nothing can get you down, even without some features that other modellers have compared to lw one.

Before I respond here is my disclaimer: This thread will get deleted, as it should, and I think that all we (the people who want more out of LW) are all writing here is nothing more than a message NewTek.

If a racecar driver has a way slower car than everyone else on the racetrack, he probably isnít going to win. Next time you have a complicated model and you have to pause and think about how you are going to get your next segment of the model done and make it look good, you might think of a tool that would be handy. Modeler seems to be missing some of those handy tools. I have to agree that there is noting that cannot be done in modeler that one of the other programs can do. However, (jumping back to the car analogy now) some of the other modelers will be ripping across the finish line while Modeler is still trying to figure out how to cross it.

I may get banned for what I already said, I was already reprimanded because of this very discussion. Well, I brought it back up when I shouldnít have. But they kind of freaked out a bit, so I wondered why; a separate modeler is noting more than a combine set of plug-in?? Well, because they freaked out I decided to look deeper and I found out that the one I was talking about has a render engine (that is also far superior to LW) on the way, and on the tail end of that is an animation package as well. Ok, so I understood.

Just to check things over for yourself, go to that app with a dirt bike friendly name and make a UV map of a complex off axis model, watch the tutorial first. Then do the same UV in Modeler. Imagine what kind of speed improvement you could have across the board.

I have built 8 models since trying out one of those other modelers, 7 of them in Modeler. It is what I am comfortable with, I would like to keep using Modeler, but NewTek has some serious ground to make up. The edge tool is on of MANY tools that Modeler doesnít provide. With all the bugs in version 8 I don't see 9 coming around with everything I am looking for anytime soon. I preordered LW8, and would be willing to buy 9 now if it had the same tools as some of those other apps have.

I am comfortable in my car, I like the way it drives, but I need it to be faster so I can get across the finish line before everyone else. If I sit in another car long enough, I may get comfortable in it.

blabberlicious
05-14-2005, 03:27 AM
there's nothing that can stop you from modelling in lw if you know how to do it.


Well said.

It's amazing what people complain is 'missing', when, IMHO, it's pretty much all there in Modeler.

Fast, efficient and a hands on.

Could it be better?

**** yes

But, if the work they did on UV distortion is anything to go by, we are in for a treat in next few updates.

hrgiger
05-14-2005, 11:16 AM
If a racecar driver has a way slower car than everyone else on the racetrack, he probably isnít going to win.

I beg to differ:

http://abum.com/?show_media=2137&file_type=Movies&file_id=126356573.wmv

SplineGod
05-14-2005, 11:36 PM
I am toying with the idea of purchasing Hexagon or Silo for modeling simply because they seem to have put more thought and effort into minimizing the "interface getting in the way" problem with most 3D applications, Lightwave 3D among them.

Lightwave 3D, while extremely powerful, seems to suffer from an antiquated modeling interface. In some cases, I can see that this is good, while in others, it seems inexcusable. For example, why do we have a 3D widget in Layout (move, rotate and scale) but not in Modeler? Why are there no ways to select "edges" except by selecting points? Or have I somehow just overlooked these abilities in Lightwave 3D 8 Modeler (which I hope is the case!)?

My question is: should I just suck it up and continue to work with what Modeler has given us (after all, it has served the 3D industry well for many, many, many years, and is still the professional tool of choice), or is an additional modeling tool useful?

Don't get me wrong, I love Lightwave, and I intend on sticking with it, but it seems like in the wake of Silo, Modo and now Hexagon, Modeler is falling behind (not necessarily in capability, but perhaps in usability) quickly.

Any thoughts? Any recommendations?

I dont fing modelers interface to be antiquated. I find it very simple and pretty easy to get things modeled quickly without a lot of thinking about the process.
The edges thing I havent found to be that big of a deal personally. Modeler ends of delivering pretty close to the same result when the dust has finally settled. I find that modelers biggest strength is in its ability to let me be spontaneous. I can simply do something and do it quickly. Many other apps seems to force a more structured way or procedural way of doing things that just grates on my nerves sometimes. The advantage of Silo, Hexagon and so forth is that they can provide some tools you may need or may not have at a lower more reasonable price. I cant see paying a lot of money anymore for polygon based modelers when you CAN get some pretty powerful tools for very little or in some cases, no money.
ZBrush is the one modeling app that breaks away from the pack when it comes to bringing some innovation to modeling. :)

joeldberry
05-15-2005, 11:23 AM
Thanks, SplineGod (love the tutorials!) for responding. I didn't mean to insinuate that the Modeler interface WAS antiquated, but that it just kind of seems that way with all the "new" tools and ways of modeling that are coming out now (or have been in packages for years, such as 3D widgets for translation, rotation and scaling)...

I agree that all software is a tool, and that's why I asked, is it just as easy for me to buckle down and learn Lightwave's Modeler (which most people, including yourself, seem to agree with), or to buy another modeler?

It is kind of weird, though, that Lightwave offers a widget in Layout, but not in Modeler: no one has been able to explain this (seeming) discrepancy or the method (or madness) behind it's inclusion in one part of Lightwave, but not the other, though the keystrokes (t, y and SHIFT-H) are the same?! :confused:

I have decided to just dive into Lightwave instead of purchasing another modeling app. Mainly because none of them seem to output to .LWO format, and all their exports are triangulated for some reason (well, that's my experience with the demos!) and I want quads for subpatching, so it just makes sense to stay with Lightwave!

Thanks again, Larry! Your opinion is VERY valuable in these forums...

jdb

Lottmedia
05-15-2005, 12:17 PM
I agree with SplineGod on that one, if I was going to spend money on any modeling app it would be Zbrush, mainly because of it's completely divergant method of modeling. I think it's one that can be removed from most catagories and placed into one of it's own. Can't see spending money on any other app for modeling.

J-Rod

SplineGod
05-15-2005, 01:35 PM
Thanks Joel, appreciate the comments. :)
I agree about some of the descrepencies that exists between both parts of LW. Im sure that will be/is being addressed.
In modeler there is a widget for translating and rotating called the ROVE tool :)

joeldberry
05-15-2005, 02:24 PM
Alright, you got me there... I have now played with the ROVE tool... funky... definitely funky... It'd be neato if I had little red, green and blue axes on it! :D

I have a lot to learn...

somnambulance
05-15-2005, 08:10 PM
I beg to differ:
http://abum.com/?show_media=2137&file_type=Movies&file_id=126356573.wmv

That car is sick! But the fastest car did win. :eek:

SplineGod
05-16-2005, 11:53 AM
Alright, you got me there... I have now played with the ROVE tool... funky... definitely funky... It'd be neato if I had little red, green and blue axes on it! :D

I have a lot to learn...

Its not the greatest but its there ;)