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3D Kiwi
09-22-2005, 09:39 PM
Ok, here I go, I don’t mean to offend anyone just want some honest opinions
I would consider myself an intermediate user of Lightwave and I love it. But I surf these threads and I would say 80% of them seam to be complaints.
What I want to know is how Lightwave compares to other apps like Maya etc.
I know they have there different uses but I want to hear from people that have had experience with Lightwave and the other apps out there, if you could start again knowing what you know would you chose Lightwave. I know Lightwave 9 sounds like it would be good but until it gets here it really doesn’t matter.
I have played with Max and Maya and found them hard to get to grips with but defiantly see some positives with them over Lightwave.

So with the work you do now weather it is for fun or money and you had to go and buy a 3d app today would you buy Lightwave?

Or another question, if some one wants to get into 3D is Lightwave the best to start with.

I hope you get the meaning of this tread and understand what I want to chat about.

Also for those that surf forums for Max, Maya etc is the ratio of complaints about the apps the same ?

StereoMike
09-22-2005, 11:58 PM
Hm...
don't want to complain and don't want to insult anyone, but how would you feel, if I visit your homepage and ask in your imaginary forum:

"What do you think about 3D Kiwi? Is he cool? I heard he's not, much people complain about him. Do you think I should contract him? You know there are others, that want to have the project, and I wanted to know, how 3D Kiwi compares to Peter, Paul and Mary. If you could start again knowing what you know now, would you chose 3D Kiwi? Or Peter, Paul or Mary? Does people complain about others the same as about 3D Kiwi?"

You can ask such questions whereever you like, but I think it's not very polite to ask these questions on the developers homepage.
You manage a business, as I can see by your profile. So I think you can understand, that one has to care for reputation and image, PR.
If you had enough time, and the tools, you would recommend another 3D-guy if a client approaches you? I bet you won't ;)
You would try to get the client safe into the boat.
A company wouldn't live long, if it behaves otherwise.

Sorry, didn't want to rant.

Mike

AbnRanger
09-23-2005, 12:19 AM
You have to remember that one of the main reasons users visit these forums is to find solutions to their problems, or answers to their questions...which may "sound" negative to you. If you discount those posts, you wouldn't see a perception of negativity.

I'm new to LW myself, having used 3ds Max previously. For the money... for the individual 3d artist (having to purchase a commercial seat themselves), and for a small studio, LW simply can't be beat. It gives them the power to solidly compete with the "Big Boys."

But if money is no obstacle, then Maya, Max, and XSI, each have their own distinct advantages...and may seem to offer more....just at a MUCH higher pricetag.
Personally, I REALLY like Max because of it's new integration of Character Studio, and when you combine it's Particle Flow system with the venerable Afterburn plugin, it's hard to match. I don't think Max has a learning curve that even approaches anything near Maya or XSI...plus Max uses alot of spinners for numeric input, which keeps you from regularly having to reach for the keypad. But in my own unique situation (a returning adult college student looking to start some small scale freelance Design/3D work part time), LW has the most to offer for what I can currently afford.

On another note, I have to say, as a matter of opinion, that LW's standard UI color scheme is real tough for me to look at...just plain nasty. I think in some small way, it may hurt LW's image (because it kept me away... then their current promotion caused me to take a second look). But after changing it to a custom color scheme (different shades of grey...MikeRB's settings in the following link) it's actually one of the nicest looking, and perhaps most intuitive.
http://www.auroragrafx.com/LWresources/LWClrCfg/LWColorCfgs.shtml

If LW were to incorporate Worley's F-Prime, and FULL Sasquatch into it's core product the way the others do with Mental Ray and their respective hair/fur capabilities, it would go a long way toward re-establishing a greater degree of market share. Lightwave's distinct advantage would be the superiority of it's native render over the others, while still having a marquee render option available, in F-Prime....right out of the box. I'm sure they would have to put their pricing back to where it was, or slightly higher...but it would STILL be the best value on the planet.

3D Kiwi
09-23-2005, 12:47 AM
Hm...
don't want to complain and don't want to insult anyone, but how would you feel, if I visit your homepage and ask in your imaginary forum:

"What do you think about 3D Kiwi? Is he cool? I heard he's not, much people complain about him. Do you think I should contract him? You know there are others, that want to have the project, and I wanted to know, how 3D Kiwi compares to Peter, Paul and Mary. If you could start again knowing what you know now, would you chose 3D Kiwi? Or Peter, Paul or Mary? Does people complain about others the same as about 3D Kiwi?"

You can ask such questions whereever you like, but I think it's not very polite to ask these questions on the developers homepage.
You manage a business, as I can see by your profile. So I think you can understand, that one has to care for reputation and image, PR.
If you had enough time, and the tools, you would recommend another 3D-guy if a client approaches you? I bet you won't ;)
You would try to get the client safe into the boat.
A company wouldn't live long, if it behaves otherwise.

Sorry, didn't want to rant.

Mike

First off where does it say i own a business, this is a hobbie to me, and to be honest i think this is the best place to have this post. i am sure newtek want to know what we think of there product and how it stacks up agains the compition.

Sande
09-23-2005, 12:54 AM
I guess most of the people here who complain a lot (me included) are those who really like Lightwave and 99,9% of the time enjoy using it - we just demand a lot from those we love... :)

If I'd have to buy a 3D-software now, it would still be Lightwave - it is the whole package that counts. I've seen a friend of mine start doing 3D with Lightwave and he could do modelling, texturing, rigging, lightning, animating and rendering very quickly - at the same time I know many people from the industry who use other software and can do only some of that. Judging by that I could say Lightwave is at least a very good starting point with 3D.

Lightwave makes it easily possible to a single artist to deliver a finished product - you can do all the necessary stages by yourself. This is something I rarely see from users of other software and this is one of the main reasons why I prefer Lightwave.

StereoMike
09-23-2005, 01:26 AM
Anyway, you can't count on getting unbiased anwers, this is obviously a pro-newtek board (almost).
I really don't think, that it makes sense to put such questions here, there have been plenty of them (alive plugins anyone?), and everyone says, he's just asking because he loves LW so much, and then starts ranting.
This IS the place for solutions, help and community, but it's not polite, to disuss topics as "What is better in Maya compared to LW - A guideline to jump packages".

I think, if you want to act in favor of LW's image, you won't discuss such questions on the board, that people look first, when they're interested in the package.

BTW, sorry, if I got "rollthedice.com" wrong, looked like a business at first, but on a second look, I was wrong.

I really don't want to insult someone. Just think, how you would feel.

Mike

[EDIT]

i am sure newtek want to know what we think of there product and how it stacks up agains the compition.

You can be soooo sure, they know these things already.

3D Kiwi
09-23-2005, 01:41 AM
You are right i quess they most probaly do know what improvment they need to make but at the end of the day if had a product i wanted to sell i would want to hear all the good things about it but i would also respect someone who kicks me up the butt and says you need to do this better.

I would have to say from what i have seen of the other apps is lightwave is the best one to learn on ,i had no worries getting a grip on it compared to when i tried some trial versions of the others. i really want to know what else the more experianced users think.

I stay loyal to things i know, wheather it is a car, brand of stereo or chewing gum and i have no intention of leaving lightwave. but in saying that as my skills increase and also my imagination if i get to the point that i think of someting and it cant be done in lightwave but can be in another app then yes i would think about jumping ship. it seams to me that lightwave will do most of what the others do but in some cases were (as an example) maya may let you do somthing with a couple of mouse clicks in lightwave you have to do a lot more work to get the same result, i am sure this goes both ways as well. Unfortantly i dont have experiance in other apps so am going off what i read.

(StereoMike)
I think, if you want to act in favor of LW's image, you won't discuss such questions on the board, that people look first, when they're interested in the package.

Doesnt every one look around when they are intrested in buying something?

3D Kiwi
09-23-2005, 01:49 AM
[QUOTE=AbnRanger]You have to remember that one of the main reasons users visit these forums is to find solutions to their problems, or answers to their questions...which may "sound" negative to you. If you discount those posts, you wouldn't see a perception of negativity.

I see your point, you almost always hear the bad stuff before the good stuff.

But also i was reading the screamer net section and there are a lot of unhappy people there.

I guess it would be a catch 22 about including a version of sas and fprime into lightwave, or similer features.
it would make it a much better app
but the down side is you would kill all the people out there that make all these cool extras for us.

AbnRanger
09-23-2005, 02:19 AM
I guess it would be a catch 22 about including a version of sas and fprime into lightwave, or similer features.
it would make it a much better app
but the down side is you would kill all the people out there that make all these cool extras for us.
I have heard that, but think about it for a second....If Worley Labs got...let's say $500+ per license of Lighwave for the rights to use Fprime and Sasquatch, then they would by sheer volume, bring in more resources...even if they received a reduced amount per license, compared to the standard cost of those plugins after the fact. Or, as some other companies have done, if Newtek bought Worley Labs... we'd get the best of both worlds. Worley would still crank out the goods...except as a subsidary of Newtek.
I'm sure that's not a foreign subject to the execs. at Newtek. It's a marketing/business decision they have to make.

Although, I can go and buy the plugins, it would be nice to see LW really take the fight to their competitors, by offering a more robust set of tools (in these areas) right out of the box...even though the added cost gets passed on to the consumer, via price increase...it would still make LW an exceptionally powerful value, and harder for other users/studios to ignore.

Dodgy
09-23-2005, 04:12 AM
Like a lot of the others said here, the reason most people come here looking for solutions and these can look like complaints, especially given how some people couch their problems. However, most of them are sorted by other members of this forum, and a lot of the time it's something the user didn't know how to do, not that LW was missing a feature.

I have thought about moving to another package and I've tried a fair few quite in depth, and I use Maya at work. While they are better in some areas they are definitely worse in others, so I think they all pretty much come out even. But then you come to the price. And Lightwave definitely comes out way ahead there....

lardbros
09-23-2005, 04:29 AM
I would choose LW if i had the choice again. And if i had the choice as a new buyer i would NO DOUBT buy LW with the Vue offer going on!! Incredible deal with the new price too.

Anyway, you say when you get to a point where you can imagine something that can't be done with LW? It would be tricky to find something i reckon. There are usually workarounds or other ways of doing things that don't seem obvious at first anyway.

starbase1
09-23-2005, 05:39 AM
A difficult question...

The release of V9 lightwave has me excited again, but this is the first time for a while.

Big strengths: layout is very easy to use - positioning and moving things is extremely intuitive, and was from the first time I got v5.6 out of its box.

These forums should count as a strength - its an effective way of getting expert help.

Weakness - the manuals are very bad, the index in the print one is horrendously incoomplte, but at least you can now search PDF's. Also with the last one there seemed to have been a major effort to get more relevant illustrations, so bad but getting better.

Strength: Point releases are not just bug fixes that should have been in the major release, you get a nice stream of new goodies.

Big strength - I love the video tutorials that Newtek have had here for a couple of years. Given the high cost of training materials these add great value, and also point out little known gems such as the colour picker vid.

I like the interface - with text labels on buttons you can see what does what, unlike the blobs on knobs approach of things like Vue, which I find about as user friendly as a cornered rat.

Weakness - some of the included extras are just too cut down, I'm thinking of things like the particle system, clunky and limited.

Then again with the more expensive packages, you frequently don't even get a cut down version of a hair system or whatever, so maybe thats not so bad.

The main thing for comparison though is when I try to use other software, such as Vue or Poser or whatever, they often seem to have the basics very badly wrong. If you only use LW you simply wont understand why I bothered to mention the camera positioning - but try to control it in the others and what should be trivial becomes a major exercise.

Or if you try and do an animation in Poser, you often get these awful flickering shadows, and have to muck about with bias on every light to fix it. And you can only do that with one light at a time.

Setting up keyframes and the movements between them seems unessesarily messy in other software.

I'm not really familiar with the more expensive packages, but compared with the less expensive ones you can really see what you are getting for your extra money.

If I was advising someone completely new to 3d graphics, I might advise them to try a cheapie package first before investing the large sum for LW. Just make sure its something they will want to use for a long time.

I am very encouraged as well by the way the Vue deal seems to imply a push tpowards better integration with cheap packages that fill gaps in the LW arsenal. The possibility of getting access to vuew skys and instancing while proving an upgrade route into LW for people used to cheap packages can only be good for everyone.

Nick

gjjackson
09-23-2005, 05:53 AM
I was ready to shell out the money for Maya, and after trying it for awhile I didn't really get a handle on it. Then I found about Lightwave. Then I heard of Blender and it didn't seem to be too bad. But I wanted something more advanced. From there I heard about Lightwave and have continued using it. But I don't use it exclusively. Along with it there's MotionBuilder, After Effects, etc. The price of LW finally sold me, though.

mattclary
09-23-2005, 06:13 AM
I would consider myself an intermediate user of Lightwave and I love it.



I have played with Max and Maya and found them hard to get to grips with but defiantly see some positives with them over Lightwave.

You've done the right thing, you tried both. Decide which one you like best and move on with life. Are you really going to use or avoid software because someone else likes or dislikes it? Use what you are comfortable with. You can achieve as good results with ANY of those software packages as with the other. Anyone who tells you different has an axe to grind.

fyrissian
09-23-2005, 09:45 AM
Hi 3D Kiwi,

Like you, I'm a hobbyist here. I came to 3D modelling from a CAD background, so had a tough learning curve no matter which way I turned.

I started out with Amapi Designer -- absolutely COULD NOT get a feel for the interface.

Then I got Cinema 4D. Much better! I have played with Cinema for about two years now, in my spare time, and am *almost* to the point where I have the capability to model and texture something in it. (Yeah... slow learner.)

Earlier this year, for unknown reasons (I suspect the phase of the moon and planetary alignments had something to do with it) I bought Lightwave 8. After a few months of on-again, off-again toying with it, the Lightwave interface still frustrates the **** out of me -- but I can see that the potential is there, once I master the tool. It's just a matter of sucking it up and learning the Lightwave Way. (Hello, Splinegod? I'd like a course, please...) And for the current pricing (I bought it BEFORE the dramatic price drop) I honestly don't think it can be beat.

Sometime in the next decade or so, after I get a handle on Lscript, I'd like to cobble together a more CAD-like interface (or set of tools) to let me use Lightwave the way I used DesignCAD back in the day. But that's another topic.

Dodgy
09-23-2005, 11:04 AM
Have you looked at this:

http://www.wtools3d.com/

lardbros
09-23-2005, 04:00 PM
the Lightwave interface still frustrates the **** out of me

Gotta say it's each for their own in this department too. Some people LOVE the "pretty picture based confusathontm"interfaces. But i never even think about what i'm doing in LW anymore. Everything is just a keyboard button press away. I realise other software have keyboard shortcuts too, but with the icons getting in the way of learning what does what (for me anyway) it takes time to get used to it all.

The only way to know which is best for you is to try them out and see which you work faster and get better results from. Or, as i did, have my heart set on getting LW, and despite working with 3dMAX for yrs i still just wanted to use lightwave. :D

Also, incredible work has been produced using every piece of software available... it's entirely down to who is using it. Such a clichéd statement, but oh so true!

stevecullum
09-23-2005, 05:06 PM
Like alot of people, I started by using Max and as I didn't have anything to compare it to, thought it was good - until I discovered Lightwave!

I was producing animation and renders in a month, quicker, that looked a whole lot better than anything I could do in Max at the time (version 3). I tried using Maya 5 at university for my final project and wish I hadn't bothered cos although it has all the bells and whistles, it was such a struggle to get the end result. I wish I would have stuck with Lightwave and worked out alternative solutions to the effects I was trying to achieve. And thats the beauty of LW. It doesn't matter what effect this and that software has got, you can always find a solution in LW, cheaper, quicker and in a more artistic friendly manner, even if you have to spend a bit on additional plugins and it looks just as good when rendered up.

:lightwave - faithfull to the end!

Axis3d
09-23-2005, 06:40 PM
I've been using Lightwave for about 15 years now and have generated tons of great imagery (and money) with it.

Early on, a friend of mine tried to get me to use 3d studio, so I tried out the program for a while. I decided to do a test by taking a scene that came with 3d studio and exporting the models, etc, to Lightwave and rendering two of the exact frames - one from each program. I instantly saw that the render in LW was much better, but decided to show my friend the two results and have him decide (not telling him which was which). He picked the Lightwave one also.

I did not need this test for me to decide. I had been using Lightwave for a few years already. Although, at the time, 3d studio seemed to have some more refined ways of doing things, I felt it was more important to have good looking images. I decided never to focus on what I "couldn't" do, but rather than on what I "could" do with Lightwave. The Lightwave interface and workflow always seemed easier for me and I've always had faith that Newtek would come through over the years, and they have. We had subdivision surfaces, lens flares, and global illumination as a standard part of the program before many of the other apps.

I don't believe my work would look any better if I were using another app. Also, seeing the incredible work being done by the big studios with Lighwave only further proves that it has what it takes.

richdj
09-23-2005, 07:12 PM
My 2pence worth...

This or a similar question has been asked alot both here and other sites. To answer the question bluntly I would happily buy :lightwave again if I was starting out... Infact, I knew very little of LW when I bought it (7.5). I was learning 3D with Max at college, when my tutor showed us LW and ranted about it, but he also explained some not so good points with it too... I found LW easier and more intuative than Max, but I didn't have a problem with Max itself, although, I am quite convinced that it is horses for courses, some will love a particular way of doing things, were others will hate it.. The obvious (hopefully) great bonus about LW is that it has such a great community, both here, spinquad and kurvstudios to name 3.... and for those starting out there has been an abundant amount of tutorials, either DVD/CD or book's (before anyone says anything, I know that other softwares have tutorials available).....


Anyway, you say when you get to a point where you can imagine something that can't be done with LW? It would be tricky to find something i reckon. There are usually workarounds or other ways of doing things that don't seem obvious at first anyway.
:agree: If anyone has ever seen a splinegod tutorial, you'll know that he encourages working out problems.... most of which are easily done... It's just a matter of knowing the software... If some jumps ship and goes to another package, they will have the same problems, it maybe they meet there requirements for there current problem/project with ease, but they will get unstuck at some point.. All software companies are improving there product, it just depends on what you want.....

Rich

Pavlov
09-24-2005, 08:28 AM
I have heard that, but think about it for a second....If Worley Labs got...let's say $500+ per license of Lighwave for the rights to use Fprime and Sasquatch, then they would by sheer volume, bring in more resources...even if they received a reduced amount per license, compared to the standard cost of those plugins after the fact. Or, as some other companies have done, if Newtek bought Worley Labs...

I won't bring again my POV on current LW's status, since this is a crucial and complex point for its development and a lapidary comment would simply be a partial, inaccurate one.
Anyway, regarding buying other companies, i have a precise feeling.
NT mayor problem, at least in the past years, was a too little dimension and too few resources; they had to do the best with what they had. Things could have changed a lot from then, btw.
My hope, since crisis-beginning periods (i'd say 6.0 release, which was far from what it had to be), was a *big* company like Adobe picking up Newtek, putting a much bigger strenght in its development.
Lot of mayor 3D software houses have made major strategic moves in the last years, merging with bigger companies.
This is a thing that matter, imho. Much more money-resources and much more safety for customers.

Paolo Zambrini

Gui Lo
09-24-2005, 10:04 AM
The reason I bought Lightwave was I saw B5 and SQ on TV. Here we could buy the software and do the same kinda stuff. I bought it and did the graphics for a computer game in the same year.
Now I see Sin City, Battlestar Galactica, Serenity, etc and I can dream to do the same.
Actually, when I bought LW other bigger apps were the untouchables of the movie sfx, and LW was used mainly for previs, now LW is up there but it is not untouchable at it's new price. This tells me that LW has caught up and is preferred for some movies.

starbase1
09-25-2005, 03:30 AM
Yes, B5 sure was an impressive demonstration of what LW can do in the right hands.

When I was deciding, (v 5.6) I could not find demo versions of any of the ones I was considering, and 3dMax was painfully priced anyway. The key thing for me was buyng graphics mags and looking at the gallery images I liked. More often than not they were done with LW...

Nick

h2oStudios
09-25-2005, 09:59 AM
Here's an unbiased opinion...

Lightwave smokes any and all other 3d applications, especially MAYA, into little dusty ashes. Lightwave cannot be defeated. It knows iron armor, and is proficient in eagle claw.

Bottom line is: Lightwave is better. Yes, "better". Its a word I found in the dictionary. Spelled sort of like butter but replacing the "utter" with an "etter".

Denouncing, insulting, or any general bad-mouthing of Lightwave to start a cliche debate will provoke God to peg you with electricity.(Trust me, I've beta tested)

h2o

AbnRanger
09-25-2005, 09:00 PM
Here's an unbiased opinion...

Lightwave smokes any and all other 3d applications, especially MAYA, into little dusty ashes. Lightwave cannot be defeated. It knows iron armor, and is proficient in eagle claw.

Bottom line is: Lightwave is better. Yes, "better". Its a word I found in the dictionary. Spelled sort of like butter but replacing the "utter" with an "etter".

Denouncing, insulting, or any general bad-mouthing of Lightwave to start a cliche debate will provoke God to peg you with electricity.(Trust me, I've beta tested)

h2o

Funny guy :sleeping:

Puguglybonehead
09-26-2005, 01:57 AM
Well, I just switched recently from Cinema4D to Lightwave. Although I've heard of the odd user switching in the other direction, I really don't get it. It's been a tricky transition. The two apps have very different interfaces, but I'm glad I've made the switch.

The number one thing that's great about Lightwave is the rendering quality. It really is nice! It's obviously nice enough to see a lot of use in television and movies. Seems to be the choice of quite a few anime artists as well.

You can actually make things look very photoreal without too much trouble in Lightwave. Metals, for example. `Took me hours of tweeking to get satisfactory metal surfaces in C4D, and I've still never been completely happy with them rendered. I still found a plastic look to everything from the C4D renderer (good for stuff like carbon fibre and carpeting, I guess). Takes no time at all to make convincing metals in Lightwave, and the renders always look better than I expect them to. Lightwave also has cel-shading that is still second to none. C4D had a pretty poor built-in toon renderer and even the after-market "SketchAndToon" module didn't seem capable of anything impressive, from what I'd seen of their samples.

Other little things, like starscapes from single-point-polygons. Try and do that in C4D. Subdivision surfaces. Lightwave lets you subD triangles if you need to. It's nice not to have to get anal about "keeping it all quads" when working in subD's.

All the stuff that already comes built into Lightwave is much better than what most of the other apps offer as expensive extras. I'm still a newbie, but I'm finding all kinds of toys built-in (or easily plugged-in) that keep making me go "Wow! That's included too? Cool!"

3D Kiwi
09-26-2005, 08:40 PM
Well from what i am reading here and in other posts, Lightwave has its place but it would be a good thing to learn another package. I would really like to focus on charactor animation and poss sfx.
So i am thinking Lightwave seams to have the best learning interface as far as a shorter learning curve, so i will use lightwave to learn the art of 3d with out the softwear getting in the way if you know what i mean and get Maya or somthing to complement it.
I downloaded Maya 6 Learning edition, and it definatly isnt the easiest to get your head around but i will stick with it and see how i go.

newsvixen8
09-27-2005, 05:09 AM
I gave up on that Maya PLE- the annoying watermark is too hard on the eyes! And I don't have the time to learn what all those esoteric little icons mean...Gimme the WORDS on the menu, for when I forget the keyboard shortcuts...

Captain Obvious
09-27-2005, 05:52 AM
I really like Lightwave, largely thanks to how great Modeler is, and the fantastic surfacing tools. Sure, Lightwave doesn't have true painting tools just yet, but the standard surface editor is lot more powerful than all others I've tried bar one (http://www.pixels3d.com/products/smp.html). Setting up complex procedurals in C4D or Maya is a pain by comparison. Add to that the fact that most of the competition's application cost more barebones than Lightwave does fully featured and it's not hard to see what a bargain it is.


Gotta say it's each for their own in this department too. Some people LOVE the "pretty picture based confusathontm"interfaces. But i never even think about what i'm doing in LW anymore.
I couldn't agree more! When I'm in Modeler, I hardly ever have to think "hmm, how do you do THAT thing again" and go look for the correct menu or button. I just model it. Lightwave's interface is not filled with pretty pictures, but it is very uncluttered, customizable enough, and once you get to know it, you never want to use another tool. ;)




Other little things, like starscapes from single-point-polygons. Try and do that in C4D. Subdivision surfaces. Lightwave lets you subD triangles if you need to. It's nice not to have to get anal about "keeping it all quads" when working in subD's.
On the other hand, you tend to get anal about "keeping it all tris or quads." Argh, >4 vertex polygons, DIE! ;)




I gave up on that Maya PLE- the annoying watermark is too hard on the eyes! And I don't have the time to learn what all those esoteric little icons mean...Gimme the WORDS on the menu, for when I forget the keyboard shortcuts...
Being a user interface design nerd and Mac user for 15 years, I must say that icons for buttons is generally a great idea. But only if you make sure the icons are really well-designed. A poorly designed icon will confuse the user almost as much as just having a number on the button.

"Okay, knife tool, that's the button with a 7 on it!"
instead of
"Okay, knife tool, that's the button with the little knife on it, right? No? Argh! It killed my polygons! Undo! Undo! Ahhh, so it's the little box with a twiddle on top that's the knife tool!"

A counter-intuitive user interface is worse than an unintuitive one, and many 3D applications are filled to the brim with counter-intuitive elements.

holeycow
09-27-2005, 02:01 PM
I made my decision to buy Lightwave back in the days of 5.6, 8 or 9 years ago. (I'd been designing 3D work since 1982 but had little hands on experience at that stage. Most of my hands on work at that stage was traditional character animation or computer controlled rostrum work.) A couple of years prior I had set up my own studio, originally designing the work in house but outsourcing for the animation to be produced as the cost of setting up was far more expensive then. It only took one job going badly off the rails to decide that it was time to do it all in house.

So I trotted off to the local SMPTE trade show that year and spent time having personal demonstrations of MAX, SOFTIMAGE & LIGHTWAVE. A few years before that I'd had some experience with 3d studio and felt sure that was the way I'd go.

The Softimage demonstration was impressive, but I found it hard to pay attention because I just kept wondering how I could justify the expense (About $20,000 Australian in those days). Max was actually a bit dissapointing after Softimage, and when I asked my standard question that I'd worked out, "How easy is it to make realistic looking water?" I got a long explanatio but no demonstration. Price at that time, $6,000 Aussie dollars.

Then came the Lightwave demo, which I hadn't expected to be overly exciting. The first thing that impressed me was how easily I could follow the demonstration. The UI seemed so much more user friendly than the others. Then I looked at the price, back then $3,500 Australian. But the thing that really sold me was when I asked about the water and the guy showed me then and there, in the space of 2 minutes, how to create a realistic looking body of water with a sky bg (courtesy of skytracer). I was sold! and have been ever since.

In the last 12 months I've spent time with the demo versions of C4D, MAX & MAYA.

With C4D I just didn't feel comfortable with the UI. No matter how much time I spent with it, it would feel like a backwards step.

MAYA has such great capabilities which I respect, along with price, but seems so un-necessarally complicated. With MAX I found it impossible to reproduce surfaces that are so easy to in Lightwave's surface editor (what I believe to be one of it's great strengths).

There's a lot that I see in the other packages that I'd love to see in Lightwave, but they're not worth extending my mortgage to get them. And even then, for specialised work you still need the right plug in. Last year I had to produce a tvc with water in a standard glass behaving like it were a washing machine, for which I purchased the Realflow plug in. The research I did at the start of the job told me that whatever package I owned, I would still need Realflow for such a complex fluid simulation to look absolutely real.

I'm a fan of Lightwave, and it would take a lot to shift me. I respect all the other packages, but this is the one that suits me. (I just wish Newtek wrote better manuals.)

MiniFireDragon
09-27-2005, 03:03 PM
Back when I bought the software, I was using 3d Studio r4 and had hit my limits in the software package. I tried out 3d Max and looked at Lightwave. I then found an article in 3d Design Magazine that compared Lightwave, 3d Max and Softimage together. I will tell you, both have there strong points and weak points (which is why production houses use combinations).

Why did I buy the software? I bought it because Netwek was the only company that would accept 3d Studio r4 as a competitive upgrade (3d Max said no).

Would I buy another package? No, I enjoy lightwave for several reasons:

Lscript - at the time 3d Max didn't really have this option

Plugins - Lightwave actualy gives you there SDK and docs, as well as there are some tuts on how to do it. At the time, 3d Max didn't have such a thing (don't know if they do now)

Character animation built in - 3d Max at the time, you needed to dump another $1500 to get reasonable character animation.

Easy of use - I spent a week looking at 3d max and I didn't anywhere with it. (I do miss the stack through). Most I could do was blow objects up and grow vines. In a day, I had built something. Most of it was due to the interface. Lightwave doesn't have funny looking symbols on button that you need to mouse over and wait for it to tell you what it does. It simply says - Box, Circle, Cone.

Not that I really looked, but does 3d Max have a site like FLAY.com? How about http://members.shaw.ca/LightWavetutorials/ ?

Support - goto autodesk's website and tell me if you can find the information wealth that Newtek has? Look at their support progams.

Newtek's Lightwave has remained Newtek's Lightwave. 3d Max went through Digimation's hands and I think one other developer before it went back under Autodesks umberella. Or perhaps it was a marketing ploy and Autodesk remained in control of it all the time.

Most bang for the buck. When I 1st purchased Lightwave from newtek, they Gave me Aura 2 and Vidget. Aura 2.5 has been a very good program for me and was sad to see it leave Newtek.
Version 8.0 I got DFX+ - Motion tracking is waaaaaaayyyy better then Aura's. Wish I had the cash to check out the other "packages" not included with the deal. And UV Edit Pro (I suck at UVs so never really got into it yet)

And now, the upcoming 9.0 - VUE! I have yet to order it (shakes wallet and watches dust fall out).

I didn't bring up the other apps because, at the time, they (and still are) way out of my reach as far as pricing.

Dodgy
09-27-2005, 03:46 PM
Why did I buy the software? I bought it because Netwek was the only company that would accept 3d Studio r4 as a competitive upgrade (3d Max said no).

???
Wouldn't accept it's own software? LOL

Tiger
09-27-2005, 04:01 PM
:lightwave :lightwave :boogiedow

3D Kiwi
09-27-2005, 04:45 PM
I gave up on that Maya PLE- the annoying watermark is too hard on the eyes! And I don't have the time to learn what all those esoteric little icons mean...Gimme the WORDS on the menu, for when I forget the keyboard shortcuts...

I agree the watermark is a right pain in the #$%#, i understand the reason for it but i kind of understand also why people download pirated softwear now as well ( I dont do that, just for the record)
But at least i will be able to play with the interface and decide if i want to take maya further.

Had a quick play with Lightwave 8 the other day ( i am using 7) and i liked it so think i will wait to see how 9 goes before getting another package.

Captain Obvious
09-27-2005, 04:50 PM
I don't think Maya PLE is close enough to standard Maya to allow you to properly evaluate if you like it or not. Can't they just offer a time-limited demo?

3D Kiwi
09-27-2005, 04:57 PM
I tried a limited time demo of max ages ago, think it lasted 30 days but i only got to spend a few hours on it as other things came up, so was a bit of a waste. i think Lightwave discovery edition is the way to go but maybe they could supply a few tuts with it that work into the limitations it has, eg a modeling tut on makeing a model with less than 400 points ( i think that is the limit) and then how to animate it.
and correct me if i am wrong the maya PLE saves models and scene files in a format that cant be used by other apps or even the full version of maya so that way you could still work thought the process of makeing a full animation etc saving the scene ( i dont think you can do that in LW discovery) so you can work on it later and add to it.

Captain Obvious
09-27-2005, 05:05 PM
Well, the reason Maya PLE works like that is because it's not inteded as a demo. It's inteded as a personal learning edition. By making it impossible (or hard, anyway) to load Maya PLE objects into regular Maya, you prevent people from using objects created in the non-commercial license for commercial projects.

3D Kiwi
09-27-2005, 05:10 PM
I think that is a great way of doing it but **** couldnt they loose the watermark, you cant really get a good look at what you render. but i guess that is for the maya forum not here.

Well like i said i am going to stick with Lightwave but in my spare time i will play with some others and see how i go.

Lets just hope 9 is all it is cracked up to be.

:lightwave

Dodgy
09-27-2005, 06:22 PM
Suck it and see :) If you find what you're looking for here, all the better :)

MiniFireDragon
09-28-2005, 10:59 AM
Dodgy: Ain't that something they wouldn't take it? I was like, but Newtek is offering me there software for XXX. Sorry, we can't Have a good day!.... And I am glad they turned me down, Lightwave is coming around soooo nicely.

400 point limit: That is the save limit PER LAYER. But you can also open the larger stuff, you just can't save if there are more thne 400 points to the layer (I just tested it too, I was able to save a 720 point model in Discovery Mode).

3d Kiwi: Quick tut on animate>


Open Layout
Add a Null Object
press t (for move)
Move frame slider up a few frames (lets say 30)
move object desired distance
press Enter twice

U just animated an object, that simple.

3D Kiwi
09-28-2005, 02:10 PM
Open Layout
Add a Null Object
press t (for move)
Move frame slider up a few frames (lets say 30)
move object desired distance
press Enter twice

U just animated an object, that simple.[/QUOTE]


Thats a cool tut, thanks for that, but to clear something up do i have to say "30" or just move the slider to 30, i think you might want to add a few screen dumps to your tut to make it a bit clearer.

MiniFireDragon
09-28-2005, 02:14 PM
Wise guy are we?

3D Kiwi
09-28-2005, 02:31 PM
ha ha sorry mate thought you were taking the mickey.

colkai
09-29-2005, 03:00 AM
Reads like it don't it? :p
But yeah, when I started in LW, I couldn't believe how easy it was, (though granted, I did come from using Imagine 3.0 ;) ).

MiniFireDragon
09-29-2005, 07:56 AM
I'll just blame it on the universal dragon translator script.