View Full Version : Can I handle this Software

09-17-2005, 05:04 PM
I wanting to know if this will be too much software for the tasks that I am charged with.

I've been using computers since the age of 10 (timex sinclair 2kb ram). Even though I am part of a company we are very small and very young. It is my mission at this point to choose and then learn to use a software package that will allow us to create realistic reinactments and demonstrations to be played in courtrooms for a jury. I have some experience doing simple video editing with Final Cut Pro on the Mac. I will most likely be the only person working to create what is needed by our customers.

I need to know how many hours a typical animation ,of much less detail than most that I have seen created with LightWave, might take to create for an experienced user. I wish I had something I could link to as an example but I do not. I'm just concerned that anything less than a team, could not create the necessary product in a timely manner before the court case has already been decided.

Thanks for reading all of this. Oh, as for my skills, I have high mechanical and mathematical aptitude.

09-17-2005, 07:50 PM
mmm. How long an animation takes, could be like asking how long the piece of string is!

It very much depends on what you have to show, how long the animation is (30 secs or 10 mins?) and what resolution your final render will be at - which will have a big impact on how long you have to do the actual modelling/texturing/animating. Also everyone works slightly differently, so how long it takes me to do one thing might be quicker or slower depending on the route I took to get there.

In the past I have vastly under estimated the time it would take to finish a project, so now I guestimate (based on current skill level) and double the time, which normally gives me a bit of allowance for disaster - computer fails, power failure etc...

I make allowances in my hourly rate for areas I know that I'm not skilled in, so to avoid over charging my clients.

BTW if need any help with any overspill work, then let me know!

09-17-2005, 09:20 PM
This probably isnt useful but i thought it might provide a real life example of what you are trying to produce.

Ages ago on Oprah (g/f made me watch it :thumbsdow ) i saw this reinactment that was produced for court case. You american guys mite remember it becuase i think it was big news a few years ago. Anyway this guy's wife caught him having an affair and confronted him at hotel, there was some sort of argument and to cut along story short the wife wound up running him over a few times with her car (and her step daugther was in the car also). The wife claimed she couldnt see because her view was blocked by another parked car. Anyway in court some animator recreated the scene to exact scale and then created an animation of the wife's perspective. It prove she couldnt see where her husband was... however she was sentenced for murder. Now this was before my LightWave days but i think it was recreated in LightWave!!! i could be completely wrong but i think it was. How does help??? well... if anyone can remeber the womans name im sure if searched the net you would find the animation and that would provide some more experianced LW users to give an estimate of the time needed to produce such a thing. However this was a rather complex problem as i remeber they used a Total Station to survey the site and then used that as the basis of the model.

Not meaning to steal this thread but, lets say you were trying to recreate something someone saw. How would you recreate the field of view of the human eye? simply 160-170 degrees perihpial and something else for up/down?

09-18-2005, 05:44 AM
If you have to do re-enactments for court cases...rest assured, it will be worth your while financially to undergo such a project, since their is NO WAY an attorney would even consider going through such lengths unless it were a high-value case.
If you hurry and get in on this Lightwave/Vue 5 Infinite bundle ($795)
...then you will certainly be able to cut down on the time it takes to create an environment dramatically. With Vue 5 infinite you can create scenes in minutes that would've taken multiple hours previously. With the Ecosystems feature, you can create animated crowds (with imported figures from LW or Poser), cityscapes, landscapes, etc. within a relatively short time frame.
You can use LW to model/texture/animate your figures, vehicles, buildings.etc....however, if you find yourself in a real pinch, you can use Poser for your characters or purchase models of all sorts online at places like Turbosquid.com...that's what they are there for.

Do what you can on your own with LW and Vue 5, but if you get behind the time curve, you do have some options. If you have a grasp on Final Cut Pro, then you can handle the learning curve for LW.

09-18-2005, 05:48 AM
Presumably, you would be trying to prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone could see something, you would recreate the animation camera FOV to resemble what at least a human could see. That way there would be no doubt to the audience that the witness/accused/victim saw at least that shown in the movie.

Maybe someone who does this kind of thing proffesionaly can chip in and put me right!

09-18-2005, 11:12 AM
One of the things my partner and I do is to create court room supporting presentations for both loecal attorneys and have done a few for the prosecution side. Most of our work is in civil litigation. We area staff of two, and depending on how much detail the attorney wants (how photorealistic), we have generally been able to prepare something that will support what they need in a week to 10 day period of time, well within most general discovery periods.

Due to the signing of non-disclosure agreements, I'm not able to show any of our work in this area. One of the downside of working with attorneys. I primiarly use LW in my part of the process and can't imagine working without it.

Feel free to shoot me an email if you want to discuss in more detail. I'll try to answer as quickly as possible, time and work permitting.


09-18-2005, 07:06 PM
Thanks for all the response, Looks like this will work. Ofcourse as my skill and experience grows I hope to add more apps so I can use each for the area which I feel it is strongest.

09-19-2005, 06:29 AM
I don't think anyone addressed this issue:

How long do you plan to give yourself to become proficient? Not to insult you, but I would hate to have my trial depend on someone who had been using LightWave for 3 months. It's the perfect SOFTWARE for the job, but it takes time to become good enough to do what you plan to do. A LARGE chunk of time.

09-20-2005, 04:54 PM
I'm gonna give myself as much time as I'm allowed to, basicly about 1/2 of the time I'm not working I'll be trying to learn LW.

09-20-2005, 08:13 PM
Fast to learn and use is Poser.
Poser is a stand alone app u could learn to use in a few days.

n there's sites that sell meshes.
it would take u years to learn to model a animateble character mesh.

If u our not worried about realistic n have a good 3D card u could skip render times.
just capture the animation.

Poser can also be used as a Lightwave plug-in for after u learn Lightwave.

Poser is 1st grade
Lightwave is a Masters Degree.

TS 6, LW 7, C4D 9, zBrush 2.

09-21-2005, 07:56 AM
I thought poser was mainly for character animation which I will use almost never. Mainly I have a need to show things such as automobiles and buildings.

09-21-2005, 12:08 PM
I thought poser was mainly for character animation which I will use almost never. Mainly I have a need to show things such as automobiles and buildings.

Yes Poser is mainly for characters.

Don't have a script for the video
Don't know if where going for 90% or 10% realistic,cartoon.
so where guessing alot here.

a newbie could

buy a cityblock n car at turbosquad.
would take a long time to learn to model n map this your self.

would take a about 40 to 80 hours to learn LW enough to load the meshes, lights n camera angles n the renders. animate the car threw the city block.
so u could crash the car in to a building.
at 10% realistic.

if u wanted 50% Realistic with smoke, glass breaking n explosions would take a while to learn.I'm guessing months.

get as good as Hollywood would take years.

TS 6, LW 7, C4D 9, zBrush 2.

09-23-2005, 10:40 AM
I'm most likely not going to be required to animate characters. As far as learning time I have no requests for any product as of yet. As far as learning time, I can dedicate 10-15 hours a week to learning whatever software package I get.

09-23-2005, 11:05 AM
If you cant animate (yet) the easiest way to learn is to record some video or you or someone else doing the motions. Load the avi file into Layout and use that as the basis for you poses and timing.
At the same time study as much classical animation as you can from books or DVDs. The nice thing about the DVDs is that you can capture video from that and use the same technique I first mentioned. :)

09-24-2005, 08:51 PM
What ever software you buy. Join the forums (like you have here). Buy third party books to teach you the basics. There are third party training dvd's and videos. The web has tons of tutorials on all of the major app's covering just about every subjects. IMHO, LW is probably the most intuitive(sp) 3D software to learn.

If you do get an assignment and don't feel up to speed I would consider hiring a freelancer to come on board for the short time.

A number of years ago that is what I did because I needed stuff done that I knew I could do but not as quickly as I needed. I got the job done on time. Anyway GOOD LUCK.


09-28-2005, 11:37 AM
I work in the exact field that you are looking at. The question you need to ask is what exactly will you be doing with this software for court rooms? If you plan on accident reconstruction work, no this is not the Only package you will need. This is the field I deal with primarily these days. In order for me to get something to an attorney I need to employ several software packages.

AutoCad LT
Eagle Point's Surface modeler
McHenry's Crash Simulation

Those are what I use. The reason is, is quite often I get scene inspections in x,y,z format. And currently Lightwave has no way of easily entering in that kind of information fast. You can do it, but not fast. I use Autocad to create my initial scene of lines. With the LT version of autocad, you can still work in 3d, just not as smoothly as with the full version. After the line drawing is created I take it into Eaglepoint and with a few clicks and setting, I can surface the model of the intersection and then export it as a DXF to lightwave where I add additional surfacing and objects. On average I can build a 500+ point scene in 4 hours (compete scene).

I then either hunt down the vehicles I need using various 3d forums, or I build it myself with photos in Lightwave (this works very well, if only Newtek would allow a picture to be place in the perscpetive view port it would be faster!!!)

Now I have a complete scene but no motion. This is where McHenry's software comes in. The Engineer here hands me an excel spread sheet of the vehicle motion. And I clean it up and import it into Lightwave as a motion file for the object. And let me tell you this, it is one of the easiest things to do since Lightwave documents there file standard quite will.

By the time it is all said and done I will have worked about 12 hours on the case, creating the animation and tweeks, fixing the scene in lightwave and surfacing. Next I render out in frames and assemble it in Aura 2.5. And toss it onto a DVD and off to the attorney it goes.

I do wish the process ends there, but you asked can you do it wil Lihtwave alone, and I don't think you can.

09-26-2006, 09:04 AM
I learnt Maya5 PLE+7PLE
I learnt Blender3-42
I got Poser5 + DAZ3D
I am liking DAZ3D because but this dont have walk designer, but it has mimic.
In Blender There is everything but no Props. Walk Cycle was Simple now it is complicated. What is in your software. Can I get a copy free to try but NOT water marked. You know when you run a good animation then price is not a problem. Just now I am in a struggle stage. which you can see with my home page www.patricia3d.com
Is there any FREE Discovery EDTION available for play.