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View Full Version : Max user 'bout to get onboard the LW train



AbnRanger
08-11-2005, 11:47 PM
I'm a returning adult college student who has taken some classes in Digital Animation using 3ds Max. Last year I bought an educational version of Max w/bundle of plugins, and have alot to like about it...especially version 7 (that included Character Studio, and new paint deformation modeling tools...that I use alot since I have a graphics tablet). However, I've been considering doing some small scale freelance work, which means I'd have to fork over an additional $2400 just to go commercial. That's when I got wind of Lightwave's new promotion with Vue 5.
That blew me away, and I admit, it's just too **** tempting to pass up. Hat's off to Newtek. I'm hoping this new campaign plants a swift boot in the crotch of their competitors.

Having said that, I know very little about the features of LW as a whole, and hope someone will be kind enough to fill me in. The info I found on Newtek's website is very concise and mainly covers NEW additions.

1) Does it have Hair/Fur/Cloth tools like most other packages now have?

2) Also, does it have a feature like Maya's Artisan or Max's Paint deformation tools...which allow you to intuitively sculpt your models?

3) How does LW's :lwicon: Particle System stack up compared to the other major programs?

I really like Max's recent addition of Character Studio (drastic improvement over standard bones), and wonder how LW compares in that category.

Thanks in advance :thumbsup:

Verlon
08-12-2005, 12:54 AM
Hair and fur: Lightwave's hair and fur is Sasquatch but Worley labs (www.worley.com). Its a solid plugin, and well integrated. Lightwave comes with "saslite," a stripped down version that will give you a good starting point. For 'small scale freelance work,' it might well get the job done.

I do not use Max or Maya, so I cannot speak to that paint deformation. Lightwave is generally regarded as the best modeler of the three, though, so I would think that you could sculpt you models however you like.

Lightwave's particle system out of the box is again, decent. For upgrades there are programs like Napalm (www.dynamic-realities.com) to step up your game.

To my knowledge, there is nothing in LW that equates to Character Studio. I have seen a brief demonstration of CS, and was more than a little impressed. I do not know how easy it is to use with an "I just made this model," but once rigged, that is a pretty nifty tool.

Lightwave does have good bones and character tools. There are a few auto-riggers out there to help once you get your models made.

Out of the box, Lightwave is, I feel, the most complete package. It has the best looking renderer, a really nice modeller, and a great assortment of tools to get you started.

Contact a dealer near you and they will let you play with it. I remember Phil Nelson coming up from San Antonio and demonstrating LW6 for me when I was torn between 3DS Max and Lightwave.

Also, you might read some of the tutorials on the lightwave site. It will give you an idea of what is going on. Plus, if you get LW8 now, you get LW9 upgrade free in Q4.

prospector
08-12-2005, 01:53 AM
Verlon :twak: ..you forgot the most important thing...
The users on this bulletin board who will bend backwards to help someone out. :help:


Sometimes the best things aren't 'in the box' at all :)

Oh yea Newtek also gives you FREE.....renderfarm nodes..999 of them
so you can take that back bedroom and fill it with 100 or more computers and build yourself a nice renderfarm...NO CHARGE

And there are SOOO many FREE plugins on Flays site that when I scan the plugin folder I have over 1000 to play with :)

And somewhere on the Newtek site was a partial list of all the movies,TV shows,and such that used LW to get an idea of what you saw that was created in LW. Remember it goes back to Star Trek TNG, Babylon5, and earlier.

Verlon
08-12-2005, 02:03 AM
Prospector:

Yeah, I could've mentioned that we are the nicest bunch of 3D guys you could ever hope to meet, but I was afraid it would sound a little conceited. :D

Seriously, a lot of real pros (which does not include the author of this post mind you) are around and more than willing to help if asked (occasionally willing to point out your shortcomings with varying degrees of niceness based on the....climate...of your recent posts).

Captain Obvious
08-12-2005, 02:10 AM
Oh yea Newtek also gives you FREE.....renderfarm nodes..999 of them
so you can take that back bedroom and fill it with 100 or more computers and build yourself a nice renderfarm...NO CHARGE
Well, you still need to buy the computers, unfortunately. NewTek needs to find a way of solving that. ;)



Welcome to the LightWave train, AbnRanger! I hope you enjoy the ride, and if you ever have issues, feel free to ask here. The people here are usually really helpful. Verlon is right on the money, basically. ;)

Dodgy
08-12-2005, 04:30 AM
Well, you still need to buy the computers, unfortunately. NewTek needs to find a way of solving that.

Didn't they do that by speeding up the rendered from 4-7 times for LW 9? LOL
Now you only need 1/4 of the machines :)

UnCommonGrafx
08-12-2005, 05:23 AM
1) Does it have Hair/Fur/Cloth tools like most other packages now have?

Yup. But the fur doesn't work over the network; need to update to the full package of SAS.


2) Also, does it have a feature like Maya's Artisan or Max's Paint deformation tools...which allow you to intuitively sculpt your models?

Kinda. You can paint in deformation with the weight map and endo system.


3) How does LW's :lwicon: Particle System stack up compared to the other major programs?

Not bad. As is always the case, depending upon whose working the controls as to how well it might compare. Maya's system looks tops, though. For the moment, at least.


Welcome on the train. It stops often to help and board so sit up and 'Wave...

ravantra
08-12-2005, 08:46 AM
I taught a 3D Max class a few years ago and ALL the students that still use a 3D package switched to LW. 3D Max was very easy to teach and learn but my students did get lost in all the many sub-sub-level menus and buttons. I used a cheat sheet "road map" to find all the commands. For them switching to LW was fairly painless they told me. Once you get use to LW :lwicon: it is hard to back to Max. Just my opinion. :D

starbase1
08-12-2005, 09:47 AM
Maybe the video tutorials would be a better bet? The ones you read tend (reasonabley enough) to assume you are working along with them.

But if you watch some of the videos you will get a better idea of everything that goes on in the workflow.

Nick

badllarma
08-12-2005, 10:15 AM
Didn't they do that by speeding up the rendered from 4-7 times for LW 9? LOL
Now you only need 1/4 of the machines :)

Or better still keeps my old P4 2.53 ticking along for another 6 months before upgrading so the upgrade will actually save me money this year :D

lardbros
08-12-2005, 10:46 AM
Your old P4 2.53??? Haven't recently thought how much my PC needs upgrading?! :thumbsdow My athlon 1600+ needs some money spent on it! Maybe i should invest in some new stuff? or set up a "poor old me, my PC is pants" charity? :D Any donations?

Brian Arndt
08-12-2005, 11:25 AM
And somewhere on the Newtek site was a partial list of all the movies,TV shows,and such that used LW to get an idea of what you saw that was created in LW. Remember it goes back to Star Trek TNG, Babylon5, and earlier.

The updated Projects List:
http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/projects.php

and on another note, Burnout 3 for Playstation 2 just won Best Racing Game at the G4TV's Gphoria Awards and that game was all done in LightWave :D

cresshead
08-12-2005, 11:42 AM
as a 3dsmax and lightwave user...here's my thoughts...

no character studio in lightwave...or in maya, mo builder, xsi or cinema...character studio is max's ace in the hole....though it does have a few painful things itself!

things you'll like i lightwave over 3ds max.....

the creation on models!..modeler is very nice!
bone deformation/setup in lightwave is really simple conpared to the editing/tweeking you have in 3dsmax..sorta makes up for the lack of character stiudio somewhat!
morphs in lightwave are REAL nice compared to 3dsmax.

lighting and renders tend to be simpler to set up in lightwave
assigning surfaces/material is easier than max same with uv editing.

no ram player in lightwave....still you can use your student max for that!


particle system is okay...not as deep as particle flow but in lightwave you have hypervoxels which are AMAZING!....really nice stuff there!

there's no local co ordinate system in modeler which can be annoying but nothing that's a show stopper...

text in lightwave is painful though as there's no history like in 3ds max.

overall lightwave is a good match up against 3dsmax..it's modeling workflow and render quality are very nice and make up for the lack of character studio in most cases but you'll miss the motion cature fille/data thinnig of character studio somewhat if you are a heavy user of motion capture...

if your into keyframe animation you like lightwave's culmative rotations that 3dsmax donesn't do except for biped...
also keyframing in lightwave is much more 'pro' though you'll struggle with the new mini trackbar in lightwave compared to 3dsmax...

all in all both 3dsmax and lightwave are super programs..

i have 2 seats of lightwave and ne seat of commercial 3dsmax...both are used everyday...

welcome aboard!

IgnusFast
08-12-2005, 01:08 PM
The updated Projects List:
http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/projects.php

and on another note, Burnout 3 for Playstation 2 just won Best Racing Game at the G4TV's Gphoria Awards and that game was all done in LightWave :D

And I say in all honesty that Burnout 3 is one of the best games ever made. :)

AbnRanger
08-13-2005, 09:36 PM
Thanks to all for the helpful info. By the way, I heard and read a little about LW v9 enabling a good degree of customization...but I didn't hear any details.

The thing I want to know is if they will allow users to change the color scheme of the UI?....more specifically, the menu tabs. Personally, that's been a real turnoff for me, in the past. I mean gray, green, purple, and brown is a throwback to disco :dance: & the tacky colors people wore in the 70's...just real hard to look at while you are trying to get some work done. Anybody else share this sentiment, or am I alone on this?

In Max, you can change the overall color of the UI from light gray to dark gray. So, I'm hoping LW's UI customizations will allow more than just the repositioning of things.

UnCommonGrafx
08-13-2005, 09:54 PM
http://www.auroragrafx.com/LWresources/LWClrCfg/LWColorCfgs.shtml

AbnRanger
08-14-2005, 12:34 AM
Thanks...most of those were much easier on the eyes than the default scheme