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Anti-Distinctly
11-04-2005, 03:21 PM
Hello peoples. First post ever :)

Since I've been trawling many a forum as of late, a general feeling has imposed itself upon me and it causes me to ask a quesion: Does Lightwave as a program stand in the CG community? Many people have been uttering about the deathof LW and this concerns me a great deal.

Personally, though I've not had experience in other 3D programs, I love LW. It seems to have the ability to do everything, perhaps not as swish as other programs in particular cases, but every program has its plus points & negative points.
I know there's a new development team & from what I gather they are doing quite well adn I hope that LW will reamain a staple prorgram in the industry. Is there any particular reason for all this doom and gloom I've read?

stevecullum
11-04-2005, 03:34 PM
Lightwave is very much still 'in the game'.

Here in the UK its presence isn't as high as say maya or 3ds studio, which is something I would like to see changed, but in the states it's widely used by many tv and movie studios. Have a look at Newtek's Lightwave site and check out how much it's in use!

Anti-Distinctly
11-04-2005, 06:59 PM
Yeah - you must be able to appriciate the confusion when I see how extensively used LW seems to be (Battlestar Galactica, CSI, Serenity, etc.), yet people still have been mumbling about the stuff I said above. I doubt I'll stop using it unless it dies, heaven forbid. Just recently ordered v9 anyway :)

UnCommonGrafx
11-04-2005, 08:09 PM
I guess, then, I must ponder why bring up the issue at all if you've just invested in its future...
:devil:'s advocate

I did, too, this week, because of the devvers I see that are gearing up for [9]. And man, (really squeaky high voice from a really bassy-voiced guy) Prem is involved!

The IP gathered around the table is more than was. Rather exciting.

AbnRanger
11-04-2005, 08:32 PM
Well, I was a comfortable Max user.... til Newtek came out with their recent LW/Vue 5 Infinite promotion. I'm sure their sales have spiked as a result. I don't see how they can be out of the game, if they are gaining in sales and making significant advancements in their core. If they get version 9 to the render speeds they referred to at Siggraph, that will be HUGE in and of itself!

I suggested in a thread a while back, that Newtek's Marketing should start a campaign of courting 2 and 4 yr colleges that DO NOT YET HAVE A 3D PROGRAM or courses in place, in order to further build their userbase. That's the key. More Training centers=More users.
Perhaps Newtek could offer some sort of incentive to current users to promote LW, using their recent demonstration DVD, at schools within their own communities. Perhaps an incentive like offering a user's choice of Training DVD's from Kurv Studios, 3D Garage, AsileFX (LW and Vue 5set), etc. or a plugin like F-Prime or Sasquatch (at least a significant price reduction anyway),etc....for every Institution they help to bring LW into their curriculum.
Just some ideas :D

Anti-Distinctly
11-05-2005, 04:59 AM
I guess, then, I must ponder why bring up the issue at all if you've just invested in its future...
:devil:'s advocate

I did, too, this week, because of the devvers I see that are gearing up for [9]. And man, (really squeaky high voice from a really bassy-voiced guy) Prem is involved!

The IP gathered around the table is more than was. Rather exciting.

Well, when I say that 'I' have bought [9], I mean that the company I work for bought it for me. And fPrime & G2 :)

This was very fortunate for me as I'm sure I wouldn't bought it off my own back& now I'm learning relatively rapidly by teaching myself (the company I work for has nothing to do with the CG industry whatsoever) - which relates to what AbnRanger said: The only way for me to be able to experience Lightwave was a total fluke. There are virturally no training institutions or courses in the UK that are accessable to people just willing to learn. I'm learning on my own, but I also have to do my regular job too.

Oh, UnCommonGrafx, I didn't really understand a word of your post :S (Mainly the 'prem' & 'IP' stuff)

stevecullum
11-05-2005, 05:49 AM
I mean that the company I work for bought it for me. And fPrime & G2

That's one generous company if they don't have anything to do with 3D! Where is it you work?

I learnt Lightwave by myself when the other students were using Maya. My renders were so far ahead in terms of quality, because it seems to take ages to get a grip of the Maya MR shaders etc.. and the native render engine is pretty pants..

I would suggest you get hold of the KURV studio videos. Great value and you'll be up and running in no time.

I have a couple of training vids from them that have been a great help. - Sasquatch light training and the Cloth FX one. Contact me if your interested in buying them.

UnCommonGrafx
11-05-2005, 07:03 AM
Ahh,I understand your lack of understanding now that you've shared your story. Lucky sod, that your company got you such fun tools.

There are some great guys in the LW community in the UK; you might post here for some of their contact info.

Prem = Prem Subrahmanyam, the creator of Relativity. He now is on of the developers for LW.
IP = Intellectual property. That is to say, a bunch of smart people with product already developed prior to their joining the LW dev team.

You may not have the historical memory of what all has transpired with LW over the past few years, but you definitely joined the community at a GREAT time. And as Steve has stated, Kurv Studio is a great resource for learning more.

But... I would start at Flay.com as that's one of the best resources for LW. You have a lot of learning ahead. Fun stuff so enjoy.

iaef
11-05-2005, 07:06 AM
AbnRanger> You are quite right about inducing into LW from a school front. I work at an important educative institution at my country and have tried to evangelize towards LW. We even brought 40 seats of LW[6]. Things were going well, but Alias came with a very VERY cheap price per seat which was about 25% of our educational discount prices on LW. So the graphic designers went over that way because it made more attractive to say "Hey! we have Maya" than selling LW to future students. :(
I guess NT could get in the future a better grab on this. 'Maya' buzzword and hype have a tremendous impact on clients minds nowadays. Even though most people animate around here on LW or Max, they sell their projects to their clients as Maya creations, because it sells better (in money and prestige). I guess this is really subjective. You know in the end that the artist makes more of a difference than the tool.

Anti> I would grab any of Ablan's books, they are excellent guides. And look also at all tutorials and WIP's threads at NT's site, they are great.

Hey! I have been investing since LW[6] (on the PC and earlier on Amiga platform) and have never been disappointed, and now I can say that I have UVEditPro, DFX+ and Vue5 with that same investment. To say further, I have made a lot of works, but never charged one them, because I make them just for the fun of doing them. I believe in LW and NT crew, not only because they sell a superb product in its price range, but because they have always been a friendly company and their support at Mexico has always been nice to me. Besides, I found that LW workflow integrates better for medium to small (1 person) which is the dominant market on my country, and have seen it been used on large workflows at US. Try to make a fast and easy workflow for a little workshop on Maya, and you will end up with exceeded timelines.

Bog
11-05-2005, 07:51 AM
I mis-read this thread title - it made me lose the game, darn it!

Anyway - yes, unqualifiedly and absolutely LightWave is still in the game. I've been using it professionally for about 12 years no, and all throughout that time, people have been saying "Oh, is that serious software?" "Oh, is that still in use?" "Oh, are people still using that?"

And all the while, it's been quietly and unpretentiously ubiquitous. Almost every TV show that has an effect that is special has had a sniff of LightWave Sauce to perk it up. In movies from Lord of the Rings through to garage homebrew wonders like Star Wreck, there's a little bit of LightWave (or a lot) making everything better.

I know I sound like a complete fanboy, but here in the UK, LightWave's been getting less credit than it deserves for *ages*, but we're still here, still doing good gigs - and NewTek serially fails to get eaten by Autodesk, Microsoft, Adobe or the like.

Anti-Distinctly
11-05-2005, 08:57 AM
That's one generous company if they don't have anything to do with 3D! Where is it you work?
[snip]...

Well, I can't really say exactly where I work, but it's kind of MoD. Kind of. I'm using it for presentations to show off how some of our technology works. Attempting to do some CSI style things I guess. It was bought for me as I put on my CV that I could use it & I'd not used it for years. In reality I had a dodgy copy of [5.6]. It was great, but with no manual, no internet support (back then) and very little time I didn't get very far. But I loved using it. I spent ages making an excelsior class starship get hit by a torpedo & have itsw hull crumble away. Ahhh, memories :)

Anyway...I'm glad to hear positive things about the LW situation - I'm very aware that some people can go about bad-mouthing other packages just because they use a particular one. All I know is LW, but I'm very fond of it. If I had the time & money I'd give other packages a go and in time I'm sure I will. But not yet. Maybe when I get a job doing this kind of thing...

stevecullum
11-05-2005, 11:31 AM
Sounds like you got some pretty cool work! I'm sure the MoD have got all kinds of secret millitary programs going on, new weapons and planes etc..

I can't think of a better tool for the job for visualising futuristic armed forces development! :thumbsup:

Qexit
11-05-2005, 12:57 PM
Lightwave is very much still 'in the game'.

Here in the UK its presence isn't as high as say maya or 3ds studio, Definitely still very much in the game here in the UK. See if you can catch the all-new Captain Scarlet series currently showing on Saturday mornings on ITV. It starts at around 10.55 a.m., so I tend to turn on just before then to avoid watching any more of the programme hosting it than absolutely necessary. Anyway, Scarlet is very much a Lightwave produced programme, though character animation in it relies a lot on mo-cap+Maya+the Beaver Project.

pooby
11-05-2005, 03:37 PM
It very much depends on what 'Game' you're referring to.

Lw is great because with it you can make stuff look really good very quickly.
For still renders and simple animation I would recommend it thoroughly.

But it's not in the game with regards to animation on complex productions. The rigging and animation tools need a whole lot of work to get LW near competing in this area.

The reason for this is simple. There are too many limitations exceptions and caveats in Layout with regards to linking channel values, constraints, IK, deformations etc together to make a coherent and comprehensive system.. and some core tools have bugs and/or break easily (such as Jointmorph plus)

I'm SURE this will change, simply because it HAS to if LW is to progress. I look forward to seeing those changes happen.

bluerider
11-07-2005, 03:23 PM
It very much depends on what 'Game' you're referring to.

Lw is great because with it you can make stuff look really good very quickly.
For still renders and simple animation I would recommend it thoroughly.

But it's not in the game with regards to animation on complex productions. The rigging and animation tools need a whole lot of work to get LW near competing in this area.

The reason for this is simple. There are too many limitations exceptions and caveats in Layout with regards to linking channel values, constraints, IK, deformations etc together to make a coherent and comprehensive system.. and some core tools have bugs and/or break easily (such as Jointmorph plus)

I'm SURE this will change, simply because it HAS to if LW is to progress. I look forward to seeing those changes happen.


Whats interesting though is that most 3D CGI software users are not using the product for character animation.

Users using Lightwave and other comparable software packages who are using it for specific character animation, are a very small percentage of the overall market.

A company who focuses all its resources just on one aspect of a package that caters to a small percentage of its overall users, would not be smart.

pooby
11-07-2005, 04:26 PM
And we all want different things..

that's why I said it depends which game you're referring to.

A solid and reliable constraints system is useful for many other aspects that Character animation though. It would be very unwise to not focus development in the weakest areas of your package - otherwise it becomes only good for certain tasks.

SplineGod
11-08-2005, 08:25 PM
Character animation can also be broken up into categories. LW is perfectly fine for most character animation tasks. When you start getting into 'high end' character work youre talking about situtations where studios have large teams where each team focuses on particular aspects such as rigging, facial animation, skin/muscle dynamics and so on. Its hard to compare in such situations because I havent seen anyone throw the same resources into LW for such things as they do for Maya. In those cases nobody uses the software as is but has programming teams that create custom code.

Once you get outside the 8% or so of the studios that have that kind of manpower and into the rest of the world you have studios that typically dont have those kinds of resources. Lightwave works perfectly fine for the majority of most types of character work. Ive used it for years and still continue to do so.

There are apps that strictly focus on character work such as motion builder.
Just doing character animation in MB is great. The downside is that its a separate app and my experience is that for every problem it solves it adds in its own set of problems. In the end it seems to balance out. Ive found in my experience that things are much more streamlined (especially for smaller studios) if they can be mostly done in one app.

Lightwave is quite capable of producing good stable rigs that are easy to animate with. Theres more to character animation then just animating. Lightwave has a lot more additional tools that come into play that have to be taken into account. I also agree that character animation is one of many aspects of 3D that Lightwave is good at.
The type of work I do is all over the place and LW has more then payed for itself many many times over.

As far as people saying LW is dead well those same ppl have said it for years and I havent seen signs of a funeral. Look at it this way...Lightwave has never been sold off 3 times in 2 years and has not been bought by its biggest competitor. I would say LWs future is at least as certain as any of the other 3D apps out there. :)

habaņero
11-08-2005, 11:08 PM
I also think it should be mentioned that the core rewrite means we get a modular, clean code base.

Which should be a fairly big point to a discussion about pipeline, extensability and the like. I'd say it could address exactly those pipeline questions.

I also have some ideas about the significance of what the combination of cheap DV equipment and the amount of creatives churned out of all kinds of schools these days will mean to the films industry. Several of the best flicks I watched in theatres this year wasn't exactly put out by Warner Bros. At the price/capability/performance point LW stands at today, I'd say it starts out ahead with this crowd, and alot more so with 9 which I have faith will also feature a way tighter visual profile then 8.

Qexit
11-09-2005, 02:37 AM
Lw is great because with it you can make stuff look really good very quickly.
For still renders and simple animation I would recommend it thoroughly.

But it's not in the game with regards to animation on complex productions. The rigging and animation tools need a whole lot of work to get LW near competing in this area.
I take it you're talking about character animation here as the available evidence suggests that it is more than adequate for every other area of animation. I watched Serenity the other night, the CG Captain Scarlet series at the weekend and the revised Battlestar Gallactica series earlier in the year. All three contain complex animations for 'major' productions and they all did/do this with LW. So exactly how is it 'not in the game with regards to animation on complex productions' ?

pooby
11-09-2005, 03:18 AM
I am MAINLY talking about Character work..
In Captain Scarlet, Maya was used for not only all the Characters, but also some of the more complex vehicles. Rigs were constructed in Maya and LW, and the complex motions of the parts (done in maya) were converted to Motion on nulls which, using the Beaver project, was then brought to the LW rigs.

I have no knowledge of Serenity.

But I have much experience of LW in production, so I'm not talking theoretically.
At Passion Pictures, where I was an animation director, although everything was rendered in LW, rigs were ALWAYS put together and animated outside LW. In fact, I used to think LW WAS quite capable of some of the animation work, but the TD swore by Messiah, and now they use XSI (for rendering too)
This is increasingly becoming the case with productions in the UK.

The kind of work Larry is referring to is not what I'm talking about so it's a different point.

These Studios don't just arbitrarily decide to boycott LW for animation just on a whim.. There really IS a practical reason..
I have every faith that this situation WILL change and LW will get there, but just now, it's got a way to go.

AbnRanger
11-09-2005, 03:32 AM
Say Pooby,
Have you tinkered with Maestro any, and if so, what are your thoughts on it? Coming over from Max with Character Studio, I've been thinking about rigging with it and then bringing it over into LW.

pooby
11-09-2005, 04:57 AM
I think Maestro is a great addition to LW. I haven't had a chance to use it that much, but from what i've seen it's solid, and the keyframe editor in version 2 is worth the asking price alone. (but I wish you could float and scale it)
I can't compare it to Character studio though, as I haven't looked at it for years..

erikals
11-09-2005, 05:32 AM
From what I've seen Character Studio is quite different. There are some videotutorials at www.3d-palace.com for people to download. I haven't tried it myself, but it looks quite powerful, though it probably has its downsides. (login required)

As for LW being in the game, yes. It's especially great for freelancers that makes 3D-stills. (We use/d it at work)

LW's problem now is the competition from three other 3D pacages (Maya and Max excluded). And I bet NT can feel the pressure...

Will be interesting to see what the new versions of LW will bring. Hard to give NT advice in a way, some want better rigging tools, some want better dynamics, some want more advanced Modeler tools.

I want it all :).. but as for Europe I hope NT don't forget about Modeler. Many companies here use Max, and sometimes LW is used, but only to "help out". If the Modeler tools and UV tools, and texturing tools are way behind Max, then there is no reason for the companies to get LW. Here there is a competitor called XXX that now has become a threat. But LW still has an advantage, as of its popularity, but it can't live on that.

Really hard to say, people have been speculating in LWs death since the dawn of age, they always failed though, hehe :)

Bog
11-09-2005, 05:52 AM
Hum. While I agree with the esteemed Larry and all the other folk saying that LW's character tools are fine, to a reasonable extent, I was watching a demo of Maya 7 and Fusion 5 last night in London, and golly it'd be nice if LW's dynamics were that easy to set up.

Stil, they just got et by AutoCrat, so there's a downside to everything ;)

Dodgy
11-09-2005, 06:22 AM
The biggest problem with character animation in LW at the moment is the channels and modifiers problem. It's very hard to chain plugins because a lot of them don't read each other's modifications. Each modifier should have a toggle to determine whether to use the un-modified value, or the modified value.

Aegis
11-09-2005, 07:22 AM
In Captain Scarlet, Maya was used for not only all the Characters, but also some of the more complex vehicles. Rigs were constructed in Maya and LW, and the complex motions of the parts (done in maya) were converted to Motion on nulls which, using the Beaver project, was then brought to the LW rigs.

Just to set the record straight, Pooby is correct in that some of the vehicle animation for New Captain Scarlet was indeed done in Maya - this wasn't because Maya was more suited but because A. many of the vehicles were already rigged in Maya prior to Ron (Thornton) introducing LightWave to the pipeline and B. a serious shortage of LightWave riggers/animators.

The hoops we had to jump through to get vehicular animation from Maya into LightWave were a major pain-in-the-*** and had we more time/LightWave people, I'd have rather handled all the vehicle animation in LightWave - it certainly wouldn't have any issues dealing with it.

Bog
11-09-2005, 07:35 AM
Must... get... driving... licence...! ;)

pooby
11-09-2005, 08:05 AM
The biggest problem with character animation in LW at the moment is the channels and modifiers problem. It's very hard to chain plugins because a lot of them don't read each other's modifications. Each modifier should have a toggle to determine whether to use the un-modified value, or the modified value.

Absolutely agree.. Plus the idea of having them either ON or OFF is really antiquated we need to be able to animate everything.
I wouldn't imagine it's such a hard thing to fix either. (comparitively)
This is why I have hope that things will get better soon.

As for the argument of Is it good or is it bad.. I'm sure everyone involved in rigging would agree that, were the above problems fixed, then LW would improve dramatically.

kfinla
11-09-2005, 06:46 PM
I agree with everything Pooby has said, and hope for the same things. In my world I do most of my personal artwork with LW but paid work is always in large Maya pipelines.

I would love for LW to be capaable of doing the creature work Maya and xsi can.

The big changes that need to happen are.. a Language that is as powerful as MEL, phyton, or Perl. So LW can be molded to do specific tasks.

The ability to model and manipulte geometery in Layout. Not sure how else there will ever be muscle sims in LW.

I think the biggest problem is the avg. LW user is a single person doing freelance, medical viz, architechural work, or perhaps a small studio where they cant afford to have a team of shader writters working with renderman. LW is a great all in one cost effective app for these purposes.

But, even the handful of LW studios that do film work that are still out there are usually mixed half and half with maya or xsi these days.

I wish it were different but thats my survey of the landscape.
LW can do 80% of what maya and xsi can 200% faster or in a superior fashion
generally. But its that 20% that LW cannot be used for that really hurt it. And why those other apps have the market share they do. And why LW is not used in creature productions and just a few VFX shops.

I dont think LW is dying, but i too have to answer query's from ppl asking if its still around and still being written and upgraded.

Lightwolf
11-10-2005, 02:20 AM
LW can do 80% of what maya and xsi can 200% faster or in a superior fashion generally. But its that 20% that LW cannot be used for that really hurt it.
Quoted for agreement... and it used to be 90% ;)
Cheers,
Mike

pooby
11-10-2005, 02:59 AM
LW can do 80% of what maya and xsi can 200% faster or in a superior fashion generally. But its that 20% that LW cannot be used for that really hurt it.

Good summing up.

I know I 'complain' a lot but I don't want people to get me wrong- There is still a huge playing field within LW and the 'average' artist need not ever experience the frustration of hitting the limits.

I speak from a studio standpoint not a single user.

bluerider
11-10-2005, 04:30 AM
Good summing up.

I know I 'complain' a lot but I don't want people to get me wrong- There is still a huge playing field within LW and the 'average' artist need not ever experience the frustration of hitting the limits.

I speak from a studio standpoint not a single user.

pooby,
Cool lets sum up a few other "minor" details...... what company started making Captain Scarlet and with What package?

I refer to this production because you were posting about it a little earlier :) :D ?

bluerider
11-10-2005, 04:33 AM
pooby,
What software do you use and what company do you work for? :)

bluerider
11-10-2005, 04:41 AM
pooby,
In the first 9 months of production, the company working on Captain Scarlet got how much production actually finished on Captain Scarlet.

Thats a TV episode thats was probably meant to be about 25 or so episodes completed by the end of two years, or there abouts, RIGHT?

How I'm being hypothetical here because, well gee, I didn't work on the production. Therefore maybe a company you know who worked on the project but wasn't able to finish can help the forum out with fleshing out the details :devil: ?

bluerider
11-10-2005, 04:50 AM
pooby,
So in that first 9 month I have a strange intuition that the amount of production actually finished was less than one episode.

Wow and guest what, thats almost half way through the production time of a TV series thats meant to be 25 episodes :D .

Guess what folks, the software used to animate up to that point was ............................MAYA, wow.

Now all that crap about superior character animation from Maya concerning Captain Scarlett was nearly all Motion Capture , how odd?

Er can't you use Motion Capture with a number of other different software packages.

Why bum and blow about the superiority of a packages character animation capabilities when you Mo cap nearly all the character motion with it.....I guess that was called propagada?

Qexit
11-10-2005, 04:56 AM
pooby,
Cool lets sum up a few other "minor" details...... what company started making Captain Scarlet and with What package?

I refer to this because you bought this particualr production up :D ?No he didn't...I did :D On a more serious note, this is probably not the best place to go into a detailed history of a particular production. I have some limited knowledge of Captain Scarlet as I did a bit of work for the Marketing Department earlier this year. All the work I did was with LW only.

Lightwolf
11-10-2005, 05:00 AM
Why bum and blow about the superiority of a packages character animation capabilities when you Mo cap nearly all the character motion with it.....I guess that was called propagada?
Show me one piece that comes close to LOTR Gollum and I'll agree with you ;)
Seriously though, this pretty much covers the 90%-10% discussion.
There is also the question why people prefer to work with mocap data in Maya, or why a LW->Maya->LW pipeline is quite common.
Cheers,
Mike

bluerider
11-10-2005, 05:10 AM
pooby,
OK....gosh, we are nearly half way through production using Maya and thngs must be getting a bit scary.

Remember now all that hype about Maya mentioned earlier in the thread.

Along come Ron Thornton a lightwave user, Star Ship Troopers etc ( 25 minute episode aweek using LightWave and not arsing about with Mo Cap).

And guess what boys and girls........A lightWave chap steps up to the hot plate and all the episodes where finished within the time frame?

So one episode not even completed and we are almost half way through the production time. LightWave guy arrives and with just over half of production time left completes over 24 episodes.

Now isn't that wierd, I see a pattern forming.

Maya, seen as the bees knees looks like a nightmare when trying to complete a TV production with a lot of episodes to do in a short time.

LightWave saves the day, but we get someone on the forum to try and piss all over it.

It sounds like as you are a Maya user you're pissed at a piece of software thats cheaper, more productive and uses its own renderer........ah, i didn't mention rendering did I?

Well I will boys and girls, but its a potty break now, back in a mo ( cap)?

bluerider
11-10-2005, 05:11 AM
Show me one piece that comes close to LOTR Gollum and I'll agree with you ;)
Seriously though, this pretty much covers the 90%-10% discussion.
There is also the question why people prefer to work with mocap data in Maya, or why a LW->Maya->LW pipeline is quite common.
Cheers,
Mike

Your right about Gollem, but there is a feature film with years and years to work.

Unfortunatly, captain Scarlett is a TV production and theres the catch for Maya?

bluerider
11-10-2005, 05:13 AM
No he didn't...I did :D On a more serious note, this is probably not the best place to go into a detailed history of a particular production.

Your right, its probably not, but then again I have a free morning and I thought I would pop in and entertain myself :boogiedow !

Lightwolf
11-10-2005, 05:19 AM
Your right about Gollem, but there is a feature film with years and years to work.

Unfortunatly, captain Scarlett is a TV production and theres the catch for Maya?
That might just be it... there is no one size fits all. On the other hand, looking at some people that claim to be Maya 'specialists', it doesn't surprise me that they had problems - on the other hand, I've seen some amazing stuff come out of Maya pipelines...or XSI or MAX.
Cheers,
Mike

bluerider
11-10-2005, 05:25 AM
Potty pit stop over........I continue, ha ha!!!!!!!

Ah the renderer, so lets remember for this type of production Maya probably "needed" mental ray, a seperate piece of render software.

Unfortunatly, this piece of software is around the same price as a Lightwave licence :thumbsdow .

Wow, i pay more money to eat up nearly all my production time on a TV production. Plus I buy extra rendering software licences on top of that adding to my over all cost....yep that means using another app.

Or I buy LightWave ( which has its own renderer) gets things done 20 times as fast its cheaper, its easier to train people.

The final output and you compare whats been done on Lightwave for captain Scarlet and compare it to whats been done on Maya and guess what......yeah its real hard to tell.

The arguement earlier in the thread was that the modelling and character rigging was on Maya, gee yeah, er because thats the software that the production was started with.

If you are offended by my post perhaps you should be in a Maya forum and not a Lightwave forum :neener:

bluerider
11-10-2005, 05:33 AM
That might just be it... there is no one size fits all. On the other hand, looking at some people that claim to be Maya 'specialists', it doesn't surprise me that they had problems -

You are spot on mate.

But what it comes down to is the talent of the artists and the experience of a production team as well.

I feel when we start pissing on other software, like i just did :D , its like saying my Windsor and Newtows are better than your Rowney ( watercolours/ oil paints) .

I felt I had to post this because new lightwave users reading this thread would be reading the hyperbole of a competing software package.

I feel I can say good stuff about Lightwave because its a great all round package.

It amazes me how much bull**** I hear about what a competing software did in a production and dump it on a NewTek Forum when its surreptitiously attacking its product, the product which gets the job completed.

So "Is LW still in the game?", it certainly makes other competing packages who try and make alot of TV episodes working on other packages look rather clumsy :compbeati

Well lunch time, bye all and to other forum users "have a niece day, missing you already :hey: "

pooby
11-10-2005, 06:58 AM
Early on when Passion pictures were involved, I was offered the Job of Cg director on Capt Scarlet, but I didn't take it. It's not my cup of tea.
If I had, I wouldn't have used LW for the animation either. Good LW animation demo reels are rare as hens teeth. I know because we get sent lots of reels.
I don't use Maya. I have no interest in using Maya (except for the fluids).
I am passing on info that has been experienced first hand on Capt Scarlet by one of our Artists.
Our studio is probably one of the the last using LW for commercial character animation, so I don't see why you pick on me!

I just want LW to be better. What on earth is wrong with that?

I have sent many feature requests to Newtek, and It's feedback from studios like us that go to improving the product you use.

There are certain Actual Factual shortcomings in LW.. It's not a matter of opinion.. I hear defence of LW mainly coming from people who don't deal with these problems day to day.

kfinla
11-10-2005, 08:12 AM
BTW just to set the record straight I love LW. I don't wanna sound all negative in my post. I have high hopes for LW9, just as I did for 8, and 7.

I just want LW to improve a lot in several areas. LW becoming Node based instead of stack based, which i'd imagine involves a complete re-write is a big one. I'm just not smart enough to articulate that in a glowing positive light.

I'm also not married to one particular package, you can't afford to be , things change to fast to bury your head in the sand with one app.

I'm not a maya fan, in fact lots of ppl I work with prefer other apps. Its just what I've had to use everywhere I've ever worked. And there are logical reasons for this, as much as LW is great for some things. Studios dont play spin the bottle when there choosing apps for there pipeline.

Chuck
11-10-2005, 09:57 AM
Please rest assured that we understand that all the folks participating in the thread have the betterment of LightWave in mind, and let's go a little easier on each other.

We've made major improvements to character animation tools in the LightWave [8] cycle, and please rest assured that our plans for future development do include making LightWave very much a competitor in this arena. Specific feature suggestions are very much appreciated.

Pooby, I would take issue with a bit of your phrasing, and I'm hoping your intended meaning was somewhat different than how I've interpreted it.

You state "But it's not in the game with regards to animation on complex productions." It seems to me LightWave is in very much in the game in "complex productions," and that a more accurate phrasing given your subsequent discussions would have been that you don't feel it is in the game for complex character animation in major productions. Complex productions tend to use a lot of different tools, each for their strengths, and LightWave has been performing well in complex productions for film and television for a good many years, as a look at our projects list will attest.

It is worth noting in regard to complex character animation that LightWave, with Relativity (which is being integrated into LightWave in version 9), was used in the Aliens of the Deep project for the animation of the alien creatures in the Europa sequence. In Rob Powers' interview (http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/profiles/RobPowers/index.php) he describes the rig, certainly one of the most complex I've ever read about. He also mentions that he ended up working on the opening sequence as well, which had originally been contracted to another company. Among the material not included in the interview is that after several fruitless months that company gave up on trying to have their in-house artists recreate his work on the Europan aliens in Maya, and simply contracted Rob to do complete the sequence. They had applied a lot more man-hours to the project than Rob had, and were unable to produce shots that were satisfactory to the client and that matched the animation in Rob's work, which the client had found satisfactory.

My intent in mentioning this is not at all to imply that Maya couldn't achieve something that LightWave and Relativity could - just to clarify that in fact this topic is not so cut-and-dried as many seem to think that it is. We've heard from any number of sources that LightWave is in fact getting much less credit in this arena than it deserves. Notwithstanding, we of course understand that there are a lot of areas that we need very critically to work on in order to make LightWave very clearly a competitive choice for character animation. We will be doing that work, and will value and appreciate feedback from the users who are experienced in this area.

erikals
11-10-2005, 10:40 AM
The thing about character animation is to make it go fast, I hope NT will look into making stuff like Endorphin/Character Studio in the future, as I belive this is the future of Character animation. (I might be wrong, i'm not into character anim yet) http://www.naturalmotion.com/

I realize it's way too much to ask for now, as it's a $10,000 program, but I hope these techniques/programming are concidered to be implemented in LW in the future.

Dodgy
11-10-2005, 10:44 AM
Okay, my take :)

Just about everything that used maya, used it for it's RIGGING/tweaking abilities. Pretty much everything which you see maya used on, actually used MoCap for most of the animation, Final fantasy, the hulk, whatever, most of the animation was gleaned from mocap. Maya makes it quite quick to connect attributes together, and those connections tend to play well together. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. This is where LW can fall down a little bit. It's not quite as easy to set up those connections, and sometimes they don't add up. So when you actually connect the mo cap to the character and how it deforms, maya makes it fairly painless, especially when you can edit the points at joints to make them deform perfectly. With the addition of creation and editing of morphs and other Vmaps to layout which LW 9 is going to bring, that sort of stuff will be a lot easier in LW too. At the moment, LW can do pretty much what everyone else can do, it's just a bit slower to get those type of things going. Also, it's a **** of a lot faster in other areas..

I'm saying this as a die hard lw fan, I have a huge long list of where maya falls down, but this area is where Maya is quite nice :)

Pooby is more of a XSI guy, but even so, he does make useful suggestions and try to work out ways of working within LW to get the things he wants.

That said, I really don't think there's a lot done in CS which couldn't have been done in LW. My char rigs are really quite simple and deform fairly well, and the best thing about LW is you don't have to weight bones to get good deformations. This makes it really quick to get an animation up and running, and probably explains why it's used so much in holywood for previsualizing shots and animatics, and so much in TV for just about everything. It's also very simple to edit a mesh which has been boned after the boning. In maya up until version 7, you could forget about editing your mesh after you'd set it up, as you'd have to re weight it from scratch... That isn't pleasant. Plus you can cut up your mesh in LW and edit it bit by bt, and then merge it back together and it works. In maya, you're rogered, which has made editing some mesh weights quite unpleasant...

Wonderpup
11-10-2005, 10:46 AM
I think it's wrong to interpret Pooby's posts as anti lightwave propaganda- that's not my feeling at all. What you have here is clearly someone with a lot of experience who is taking the trouble to flag issues that he feels are important.

Personaly I am really pleased that guys like Pooby contribute to these threads, and the fact that they do so is in itself proof that lightwave is 'still in the game' to the degree that it is taken seriously by serious professionals, who care enough to give their feedback.

pooby
11-10-2005, 11:11 AM
Pooby, I would take issue with a bit of your phrasing, and I'm hoping your intended meaning was somewhat different than how I've interpreted it.

You state "But it's not in the game with regards to animation on complex productions." It seems to me LightWave is in very much in the game in "complex productions," and that a more accurate phrasing given your subsequent discussions would have been that you don't feel it is in the game for complex character animation in major productions. Complex productions tend to use a lot of different tools, each for their strengths, and LightWave has been performing well in complex productions for film and television for a good many years, as a look at our projects list will attest.


Thanks for replying Chuck.
Sorry. I didn't mean to generalise so much.. Character animation was the target of my comment. When I said complex productions, I meant productions that require complex rigging requirements.

erikals
11-10-2005, 11:38 AM
Yes, SubDs in Maya are the slowest I've seen, unless you have 6.5. (yeah, if you have 6.0 you have to pay for the upgrade, and it's not cheap).

Dodgy, the thing with CS is that it makes it possible for "bad background anims" or ("I'm in a rush anims") to done fast as you can pretty much make it automatically. A very good timesaver (in certain occasions).

Another problem is that people ask about a film... "Hey, cool Dino in Jurassic Park, what program was that?" and the answer will be "Not sure, it wasn't Lightwave, but they used LW for the ground and the rocks". I'm not trying to bash, but this is where LW's problem is, unfortunatly nobody cares about the ground, all they see is the Dinosaur. Whenever I suggest e.g. "Muscle simulation" I get lacking support. The problem is people say "hey, here is another workaround" or "move to another package". Unfortunatly some do. I'm sure Maya people say "Oh, Lightwave hasn't Muscle simulation?" "Oh, Lightwave hasn't SSS?". LW people have lost contracts because of not being able to do good SSS. G2 can come close, but it's not the same. Ska comes close but it's not the same. Sometimes I wonder if i am the only person who sees the benefit of SSS and Muscle Simulation.

In film, backround work is good, but it's the main characters that count, that's what people talk about.

What is it that makes other people use Maya/XSI instead of LW, and when the answeres are found, then it can be copied.


my 2 cent

Dodgy
11-10-2005, 11:54 AM
By CS do you mean Character studio?

erikals
11-10-2005, 12:22 PM
Yes, I thought you ment Character studio by CS. :)
MotionMixer can do some of the same, but not that advanced/fast.

Cageman
11-10-2005, 02:04 PM
Show me one piece that comes close to LOTR Gollum and I'll agree with you ;)

Interresting point, BUT... They spent, like 2 years developing Gollum, and a custom tool to handle all the facial animation, right? So, lets say you take a team of experienced Lightwave users, give them two years and a couple of programmers to do a some custom plugins to aid the animation. Do you think the result will be alot worse than Gollum?

Who Said That
11-10-2005, 02:13 PM
Loads of graphics houses in the UK use LW, its still a great package and when you think it had no developement for years, its amazing it is still competative. Re people on captain scarlet.... blar blar blar. I`ve had loads of animators using Maya & LW coming to our company for jobs.... all with roughly the same showreel. Not one of them has been what i would consider great character animation skills. But seeing as most of it was motion captured, i suppose thats what you should expect. Certainly a great animator will create great work on LW - Maya - Softimage or 3D studio, talent is what counts. Indeed i would say most of the best animators are generally traditionally trained(not all). However with regards to LW we still use this package every day to produce everything from BBC news idents through to adverts for Nike... its still fast and fun to use with a great render engine. But the really cool thing is the new team at Newtek.... they are really talented, the stuff they will produce over the next few years will be amazing.
So is LW dead... i dont think so

Lightwolf
11-10-2005, 02:17 PM
Interresting point, BUT... They spent, like 2 years developing Gollum, and a custom tool to handle all the facial animation, right? So, lets say you take a team of experienced Lightwave users, give them two years and a couple of programmers to do a some custom plugins to aid the animation. Do you think the result will be alot worse than Gollum?
Of course they did... BUT ... nobody does it, and nobody would think of doing it, so why?
I think (to answer my own qustion to an extent) a large part of that is the fact that you can add a couple of programmers to create custom plugins that integrate easily into the application. Some of the stuff that I've coded for LW in months, would only take me weeks to do in another 3D app. (It would be faster now because I've spent a fair amount of time in 'wrapping' up LW within my own code).
I just had a look at GreasePencil for Maya... wow, very neat, very useful... and all it is is a _script_, not even a 'decent' plugin ;)
This surely isn't the only reason, but I think a very important one nonetheless, especially for larger studios.
You can easily swap the 'outer' parts of your pipeline (i.e. modelling, painting, to an extent even rendering), but your central 'hub' needs to be extremely flexible on that scale of a project.
Most of this doesn't influence the work of smaller studios or single artists though... (I see myself - 2 person studio - as very much an exception of the rule, and even in our day to day jobs I hardly need to code, nor would it be worthwhile).
Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
11-10-2005, 02:20 PM
...and just to add a bit more: I think the new team is very good for LW too, and I'm sure they know what they need to adress to make LW a better and more competitive app.
I also didn't see a need to switch to any other app for my own work (well, I use messiah for CA occasionally, and I do know certain kinds of jobs where I would use a different tool, but no need so far).
Cheers,
Mike

bluerider
11-10-2005, 02:26 PM
Lightwolf,
I've just got one thing to say to you........ your Avatar pic with the Moose is truly excellent, nice job :thumbsup:

Lightwolf
11-10-2005, 02:56 PM
Lightwolf,
I've just got one thing to say to you........ your Avatar pic with the Moose is truly excellent, nice job :thumbsup:
:beerchug: Lol... thanks. This is the mascot of one of the largest radio stations here in Germany (SWR3) that we redid in 3D a couple of years ago. So, not my design.
Unfortunately they moved back to 2D this year...
Cheers,
Mike

SplineGod
11-10-2005, 07:22 PM
Chuck,
I competely agree. I spent some time consulting with Rob getting that rig set up for those creatures. I also did some shots on that same production. James Camerons VFX supervisor was blown away by LW and sung its praises constantly. We apparently were brought into that production after several previous Maya based crews failed to get the job done and were fired. I was told this directly from the people there in charge. None had ever seen what LW was capable of and had no complaints.

I also have to agree with Graham and others that it does get tiresome to have people come in here constantly trying to justify their move to other apps by bashing LW here or rubbing their decision into our faces. I dont know about anyone else but I come to these forums to offer solutions and to find solutions, not hear the same tired complaints which are mostly subjective in nature.
Most people who use LW on a hardcore basis are intimately aware of its strengths and weaknesses. Most people generally dont know just what LW is capable of and are many times far too influenced by the naysayers. Im also concerned as Graham is that new users will be unduly influence in a negative way because of the whining. Newtek has specific places to send in bug reports and feature requests. Id like to see people be more solution oriented in these forums rather then simply posting blanket negative comments. :)

erikals
11-10-2005, 08:03 PM
Not sure, people are bashing LW less than ever I think. Threads like this always appear, and I dissagree that its always a bad thing. Some people, like myself are very eager to have LW become what they always wanted. And its hard sometimes when you know you have a "mission impossible".
But I agree LW has great features, and freelancers love it because of ease of use and it being cheap.
As far as my request for SSS I'm trying to make a solution using OGO Hikari, but it's just a very-very big workaround, as it has tons of settings and is extreemly slow. There are several solutions to an answer, but when one have to do major work-arounds it becomes clear that this time could have been spent on something else.

This is not about bashing, nor is it about praising LW. It's simply about wishes.

SplineGod
11-10-2005, 08:34 PM
Im all over the wishing thing believe me. :)
Ive seen people who can intelligently and politely post things. It gets tiresome when people ask about rigging in LW to see comments that essentially say "LW sucks for rigging, get XSI/Messiah/Maya/Motion Builder etc etc etc." Its always the same old tired complaints. Ive never had a situation where I could throw my hands up in disgust while working on a project and refuse to continue because Im having a problem. My wish is that some people would be a bit more solution oriented on here. If Im having a problem I want a way around it rather then complaints. I think most others are the same; they come here for solutions to a package they invested a lot of time and money into rather then hear someone encourage them to spend more money rather then learn the package.

An interesting read is the process they went thru on I Robot for example to get the translucent look to the robot skin. It was a long drawn out tedious process. They mentioned that getting SSS effects took a lot of time to get right as well as render. A lot of it was simply done in post. I think if certain things take long then were definately in good company :)

As far as those other apps go. A lot of people are to some degree familiar with them or at least know they exist. There are other forums for those apps that can be easily reached by the click of the mouse :)

stevecullum
11-10-2005, 08:54 PM
I have to agree with the above. I've used Maya, Max and Lightwave for rigging and still find Lightwaves solutions easier to implement and often quicker than other packages. The new IKBooster makes setting up IK a breeze and have found it really useful on a few projects.

As freelancer, I need a fast, intuative workflow and thats what LW give me for all types of animation and I'm sure alot of other freelancers would agree.

radams
11-10-2005, 11:17 PM
Hi all,

Hey Larry , nice comments.

Each app has its ups and downs...and in the real world it is about getting solutions to issues and problems..than just throw an app at it. When working with setting up pipelines and workflows you look for a suite of apps/tools that will help you get what you want. It is with the artists and people you hire that are the keys to getting the best out of it. One of our biggest needs in this biz is not which app is best but how do I solve problems.

How do you think much of what LW was created?

Yes voice needs and ideas of what might help you do things easier faster or with more control...but making blanket negative statements doesn't help direct the needs or how to think about them. And there is more than one way to solve or do things...just cause Maya does it that way doesn't mean LW needs to do the same...maybe there is even a better way or just different.

One of the biggest resources we have is right here...US!
I can put operators working with Maya, XSI, etc...and still NOT get the desired result...I could give some artist (who can think thru problems and solve them) basic tools and make things none of the others could even imagine.

As was stated, 3D does not normally stand alone. To get shots done it involves so many other talents and colaboration...or to work with various tools not just one.

LW is a GOOD all round toolset and one that you can even match up with other 3D apps if needed. Someone stated that it was only the main monster or character that gets the attention. Well LW is used from Previz, Mattes, environments, atmosphere, set extensions, etc...etc...

That background, etc... is SO important...and is used in more an more productions worldwide than any character animation. Even movies that don't have FX use LW so don't be blinded to the options and power that sits on your desktop or that which is in you mind !

And movies have been made with LW as the main character action.

Cheers,

inquisitive
11-11-2005, 02:13 AM
Just upgraded to LW9 I think LW is one more purchase/upgrade in the game ;)

Bog
11-11-2005, 05:09 AM
None had ever seen what LW was capable of and had no complaints.

I get that a lot, too. That, and the blank look of incomprehension when they ask "How did you shoot that footage?"

"It's not footage."

*gawp*

Heehee :)

Anti-Distinctly
11-11-2005, 06:14 AM
Crikey, thought I'd started a riot or something there for a moment :)

Haven't posted in a while as I was working on an animation for the people at work (which due to my inexperience didnt finish in time due to me trying to render like 2000 hypervoxels blending with one another - what was I thinking? ;))

having just read the entire thread, my thoughts seem to be confirmed. The reason I started this thread in the first place was due to the fact that in my (limited) experience, I'd never really come across anything that I've just though 'man, LW really can't do this quick enough'. To date, I've had no experience with character animation or rigging, so it doesn't supprise me that this is the only real aspect of LW that people are talking about with respect to it 'still being in the game'.

From my point of view - being the only person on a site of about 4000 people who uses this package - LW has everything I need & having ordered [9], I can only imagine things getting better.

NB: Just a though, but people saying about people making bad comments or rooting for other apps in this thread; I've been in alot of forums & seen far worse app bashing than this. I wouldn't have considered any comments on here overly negative. Ahhh, the soothing company of professionals :)

erikals
11-11-2005, 08:45 AM
...As was stated, 3D does not normally stand alone. To get shots done it involves so many other talents and colaboration...or to work with various tools not just one.

LW is a GOOD all round toolset and one that you can even match up with other 3D apps if needed. Someone stated that it was only the main monster or character that gets the attention. Well LW is used from Previz, Mattes, environments, atmosphere, set extensions, etc...etc...

That background, etc... is SO important...and is used in more an more productions worldwide than any character animation. Even movies that don't have FX use LW so don't be blinded to the options and power that sits on your desktop or that which is in you mind !

And movies have been made with LW as the main character action.

Cheers,

Yes, but the 3D industry seems to be much about a hype.
Like I said earlier, when the crowd goes "whoa! what program did that realistic Dino??" then the focus is set on that, no matter how excellent the background is. It's quite impossible to try to turn this trend, people are "rolling" on this hype, that is why my suggestion to NT would be to try to focus more on the things that are in the audience main-focus. Being either SFX or a realist Human/Dino*1) LW is a great add-on, but I fear that e.g. XXX has too big advantage, and is a big threat. It's for example not untill recently Modo and XSI Foundation came around. And it's these programs +Maya, that NT has to compete with.

*1) another problem is that here in Europe, LW is often an "add-on" to 3DMax. Often being used as a Modeler/Texture package. So that's another problem if the Modeler tools and UV tools fall behind.

Time will tell, in the meanwhile I will try to make great 3D.

radams
11-11-2005, 11:04 AM
*1) another problem is that here in Europe, LW is often an "add-on" to 3DMax. Often being used as a Modeler/Texture package. So that's another problem if the Modeler tools and UV tools fall behind.

Time will tell, in the meanwhile I will try to make great 3D.

Hallo erikals,

I've just gotten back from living in Switzerland and being in Europe. Max does have a large user base...and Maya is pushing things...but LW is still a seriously viable solution even in Europe. Maya, At least with the BIG shops, was just more open to do development with...due to access to the direct core. Something that LW did not offer at that time...Thou it is something that hopefully will improve with the next Gen of LW. I've seen LW and Maya pipelines more than I've seen 3DsMax and LW. But if you think about it...LW integrated into any pipeline is great just even for its Renderer. Max's and Maya's native Render's...SUCK, IMHO. Thou you have your choices of Renders with theo others, most requiring a per CPU charge. My old BOSS LOVES to use MAX with the Advanced Rendering Technology boards (ART). One of the things he likes with it is cause it gives him REAL images that work with a real world camera look and control...does that sound like something we already do with LW ;).

Please do not get me wrong...LW does need to move forward and Develope. There are many options that compete with LW. But great art can be done with any tool. It is more determined with the artist than the tool itself. Just pushing buttons never got a design or shot done that made you go wow with ;).

And thou you talk about the hero shots or creature shots as being the driving force for someone to purchase a 3D package...You need to know that NONE of the ones you mentioned..just used the off the shelf version to create those shots...NONE! They were all using custom or extended code to create those creatures and characters. Do you think that Gollum was created with off the shelf software? Even the Dino's as you stated, were NOT created just using off the shelf. So you need to get some perspective on this. Do you want a package that you will need to do more development for or one that gives you what you need without requiring to extend it or program it. That is Why both LW and MAX which give a much more general approach have the most seats...Maya for all of its highend work had less seats..and XSI even less.

Thou Jay, I look forward to seeing where you and the team take LW.
I know,you know where this biz is and the various specialties and market needs are.

Thou I do want to make one more comment...Someone made the comment on another thread that even thou LW needs to move forward with additional features, & workflows, etc... That you should not just think of the highend. That LW has helped to create many who are now in the FX biz...but the John Gross' of the world grew up with LW...LW also needs to bring the next beginning Generation along...So thinking in terms or UI and Workflows to help these beginners get once again into 3D, FX etc...

Also to think in terms of LW not just as a 3D app...but to what solutions NEED 3D for...which includes previz, matte, etc...even integration into the editing environment...most 3D artists need to comp or edit their materials...and editors need to create and work with elements more and more in 3D space. But we need better UI's and connections with LW's core and engines and an SDK allowing us to make those connections and UI tailored to those specific markets and needs.

Hey for those looking to get some integration now...check out LWconnect from BOB Tasa..this pluging allows you to use VT edit's timeline and auto map all layers into LW then renders directly to the timeline. This connection is like putting a SMOKE or Inferno System on your desktop guys. Check it out ;)

Just my thoughts ;)

Cheers, Good luck,

kfinla
11-11-2005, 12:11 PM
[QUOTE]..."And thou you talk about the hero shots or creature shots as being the driving force for someone to purchase a 3D package...You need to know that NONE of the ones you mentioned..just used the off the shelf version to create those shots...NONE! They were all using custom or extended code to create those creatures and characters. Do you think that Gollum was created with off the shelf software? Even the Dino's as you stated, were NOT created just using off the shelf. So you need to get some perspective on this. Do you want a package that you will need to do more development for or one that gives you what you need without requiring to extend it or program it. That is Why both LW and MAX which give a much more general approach have the most seats...Maya for all of its highend work had less seats..and XSI even less"...[QUOTE]

I'm sure techincally you could of made the LOTR's with Poser if you had enough time, money and programmers. The point is LW would not be considered for such an endeavor. Thats the issue. WHY? because true or false, the perception would be that it would be impossible to do in LW. That it would certainly be more painful and time consuming than working with more open apps that are built to be warped into whatever your mind and programmers are capable of.

Again, I love LW. But theres just plain lots of things i cant do with it currently that I want to be able to. The point is i want the "ability" to be able to do these things that a open, node based program offers.. there in lies the power.. Limits suck.

radams
11-11-2005, 01:26 PM
Again, I love LW. But theres just plain lots of things i cant do with it currently that I want to be able to. The point is i want the "ability" to be able to do these things that a open, node based program offers.. there in lies the power.. Limits suck.


I think you missed this
"Maya, At least with the BIG shops, was just more open to do development with...due to access to the direct core. Something that LW did not offer at that time...Thou it is something that hopefully will improve with the next Gen of LW."

Also my comments about opening up the core and SDK to better be implemented into a solutions based product.

Nodes by the way don't make things more open...it is the core and the SDK that does...Nodes are only (one way) to front end to that ;)

You can also get lost in nodes and processes than a couple of quick lines of code can do...so nodes are not always the answer.

Cheers,

erikals
11-11-2005, 03:31 PM
Hi radams,

What I'm saying is, this is all about marketing, and that some of the limits of LW doesn't help in that reguard. That XSI for example wasn't used alone doesn't count I'm afraid, cause in the 3Dworld most people only remember the main-package. So IMO LW needs to try to become that main-package.

Sculley
02-24-2006, 04:58 PM
I think its more an issue lately.. especialy here in the UK.. you open a magazine for 3D and Maya, Max and XSI are all over it... ever corner.. every spare space is somthered in advertising for them... I think LW has become less well known amongst newer generations due in part to overkill advertising methods by other companies.... I see Max and Maya going on about how it was used for x film every day... Maybe if LW shouted out more about how its been used.. people will sit up more.

Back in uni when people were asked what they used... most people looked strangely at me and did'nt even know what LW was... or what it was used in.. the nice thing was the prof soon enlightened them a little.

I hope when LW 9 is released NT is gonna really go out and shout about it.. from what ive seen it looks awesome.. Ill be upgrading very soon.

Bog
02-24-2006, 05:03 PM
Oh for God's sake, people! If it's good enough to Peter Jackson on Lord of the Rings, and it's good enough for Industrial Might and Logic on Star Wars: Raping Our Childhood Dreams, then it's good enough for anyone. Jeez. It's in *ALL GOOD PRODUCTIONS*, and a valued asset. If it's not good enough for you, then maybe you need some lessons or something - WETA Digital like it fine.

Sheesh.

Bog
02-24-2006, 05:09 PM
To heck with it, it's friday, I've had a few dwinkies.

WETA Digital use LW. Not seen any complaints from 'em here.

Industrial Light and Magic use LW. Not seen any complaints from 'em here.

dtkalcec
02-24-2006, 05:14 PM
I just couldn't help myself NOT to jump into this discussoin, because it SO MUCH reminds me of what has been happening to the Borland Delphi developer community (http://www.borland.com) in the past couple of years. And now that Borland has announced spining-off their IDEs to a new company, a number of developers have started to panic.

Well ... as far as I can tell, some NewTek developers have also moved over to another company (I guess, everyone knows which company I'm talking about) and it's only natural that NewTek needed some adjusting to keep on rolling those updates out, but ... it seems to me they are still "alive and kicking".

Even though a week ago I didn't even know NewTek or Lightwave existed, I have ordered my LW copy a few days ago and can't wait to start using it to model my next starship fleet (my package is on its way).

Now let me get to the point ...

There's one thing I have been repeating in the Delphi community and it looks like there's no difference here. The only thing that a product needs to survive is a Community willing to pay for future updates. IOW, as long as NewTek has customers paying for their updates, they will also have the bucks for paying developers for delivering the next update, so there's no need to think about Lightwave dissapearing.

Unless ... most of the people who have been using it are unhappy with how it is developing and want to switch to something else.

If you're not into "Borland Delphi" kind of things, but would like to learn something about what has been happening there in the past few weeks, check out my Blog for quick info:
http://news.realthinclient.org

Bog
02-24-2006, 05:19 PM
I think the ratio is:

1 Whinger : 43 Quietly Happy Earners

We're not in trouble. Engines burning clear and bright, clear skies ahead and plenty of alpha - VVI is strongly positive :)

Sculley
02-24-2006, 05:26 PM
I think its simple.. LW users should all buy LW t-shirts.. and go about shouting.. make sure people know why LW is gr8... or we should somehow silence the competion :).

Ive never had problems with LW.. and ive used it since version 5 back in a design company... for its price Ive nothing against :) only wish more people knew about it..and it was less of an underground product as tis become here in uk a little... oOoOo think I'll carry a sticker thing with "this product sucks.. buy LightWave" on it... and just ponder about my daily life stamping everything at random.. :) might work :)

Giacomo99
02-24-2006, 05:28 PM
Yes- I believe Lightwave was used in the "battle with the troll" scene from "Lord Of The Rings."

Would that we could only use Lightwave to silence trolls on these boards as easily.

GM

Bog
02-24-2006, 05:29 PM
I think its simple.. LW users should all buy LW t-shirts.. and go about shouting.. make sure people know why LW is gr8... or we should somehow silence the competion

What.... and ruin the mystique?

*grin*

I'd love it if our profile were higher. But as it is I get to trot out "Well, it was good enough for Lord of the Rings, and for Star Wars, and for Godzilla, and, oh s'welp me, every **** film you care to mention"

I like doing that. Then supplying the proof.

They look all funny when you do that.

dtkalcec
02-24-2006, 05:30 PM
I think the ratio is:

1 Whinger : 43 Quietly Happy Earners

We're not in trouble. Engines burning clear and bright, clear skies ahead and plenty of alpha - VVI is strongly positive :)

Sounds just like the Delphi community :)

The only "trouble" is that those who are in panic start screaming out loud, while the rest does their everyday work and doesn't bother (leave them, they will cool down on their own). And when those in panic start gathering and screaming arround in groups (even if they are only 1% of the whole community), while the others just continue doing what they did and ignore that crowd, those who are considering joining that community could get the wrong picture, turn away and look for some place else to spend their money.

So, basicaly, those who start to panic don't even realize that they are the ones who are just puting their "most precious thing" in jeopardy.

Well ... I haven't seen any other "is LW dying" threads here, so I guess this community is healthy enough to live through one such "experimental thread".

Bog
02-24-2006, 05:30 PM
Would that we could only use Lightwave to silence trolls on these boards as easily.

Starve them, and they die.

Bog
02-24-2006, 05:33 PM
Would that we could only use Lightwave to silence trolls on these boards as easily.

Peter Jackson and George Lucas think so. So do the films "Serenity", "Airframe" and... well, crap. Pick a movie. We. Are. Ubiquitous.


That's greek for "Everywhere"

Sculley
02-24-2006, 05:37 PM
Lol.. cant say any of us are in panic.. but its about time the name Newtek was back to what it was in the public where it belongs... look at there inventions.. engineering.. and technological achievments... in animation.. film, tv studios yet most the time ppl are jumping to the .. must of been Max or Maya thing.... GrrRRRrrrr think ill go model something.

oOoOo even if LightWave's profile did get raised... I still like the idea of stamping everything... ive a few new stamps I like.. like "pants" or "grade B" or "this product contains rabis" or "for 1 - 2 yearolds.. comes with free pampers" etc... :)

Bog
02-24-2006, 05:39 PM
Sculley, Sculley.

Wish you were in Berkshire, mate. I have a lovely idea for a Lightwave Viral.

In fact... I'll post about it.

dtkalcec
02-24-2006, 05:41 PM
"Well, it was good enough for Lord of the Rings, and for Star Wars, and for Godzilla, and, oh s'welp me, every **** film you care to mention"

I like doing that. Then supplying the proof.

They look all funny when you do that.

Belive it or now, the main reason I've decided to go for Lightwave was the fact that Star Trek series were done using it and I'm just one of those Trekies who can't get enough of that StarTrek stuff :D

Even though I doubt I will ever do anything really useful with Lightwave, I started using componters and became a software developer because I fell in love with computer graphics.

And now being able to use the same tools to play arround in 3D space as Paramount used for doing my favourite series ... just ... ROCKS! :thumbsup:

Well ... being a software developer I've also played with idea to write my own 3D modeler and "stuff", but it would take me ages to get anywhere near the perfection Lightwave has. It will probably take me a year just to learn about all the things one can do with Lightwave. So ... being "a sucker for the graphics" and owning one of the best 3D tools on the market, I'm ready to rule the World! :)

It will be my own 3D World, but ... it will be a World all for myself ;)

Sculley
02-24-2006, 05:44 PM
Im thinking we need to start a thread for ideas to increase LW's profile :) maybe some pretty baloons... etc :)... NT when you going to release some new cool t-shirts? posters? or hard rock candy... hmm I cant think anyone who can actually eat that stuff.. good for keeping brothers in line though.. there like trunctions.

Bog
02-24-2006, 05:47 PM
Gee I get passionate about things sometimes.

TheDude
02-27-2006, 11:38 AM
Intersting thread and just had to add my tuppence worth....

LW is still in the game if you ask me and punching mostly above it's weight.
But can it last the distance...?
Personally I believe 9 is a really important version. It's got to be user friendly, solid, reliable, predictable with excellent documentation and learning content (all a bit obvious).
LW [8] was a real dissapointment to me, so much so that I have resisted LW 9 so far.
Maybe NT should take a step back and decide what they want LW to be. I don't think they can compete with the very hi end, but maybe that's not where the future is anyway.
If NT concentrate on improving the core, day to day features of LW, rather than adding complexity (by purchasing plugins and then "adding" them to the core package...poorly) then customers will stay loyal. This will then allow further R+D to get new users down the road.

They also need to raise LW's profile in Europe big time where there is lots of expansion potential. As well as the big outfits, there are already loads of smaller shops using LW in the US, but hardly any at all in the UK / Europe by comparison. (Or if there are they're well hidden)
Captain Scarlet looked great (IMHO), a lot of us working on it thought it would help push LW into the UK TV production mainstream, but doesn't seem to have happened.
I think NT missed an opportunity there.

mattclary
02-27-2006, 12:06 PM
Is there any particular reason for all this doom and gloom I've read?

Yeah, because people pop on the board every now and then and start talking about how LW is dead. It makes others real nervous, so they post questions on the long term outlook of LightWave. This in turn contaminates someone elses mind making them wonder about all these guys who seem to know of the imminent demise of LightWave. They wonder if LightWave really is a good investment, since it obviously isn't long for this world.

Thanks for contributing to the cycle, Anti-Distinctly! :thumbsup:

Bog
02-27-2006, 12:30 PM
They also need to raise LW's profile in Europe big time where there is lots of expansion potential.

Absolutely! Bring on the NewTek Europe LightWave Party Animal Tour!

:D

smoothchat
02-28-2006, 05:48 PM
Well, I've just done a crossgrade to LW.

My reasons.....

Stability.
Userbase.
Availability of tutorials. (Masses of them)
High profile examples of output and professional use.

and more recently "Price".

The price drop was the key. In fact, I would like to see Newtek release a "Home Enthusiast" version restricted to non-commercial use somehow (but without watermarks).

Doesn't matter to me now tho. Roll on LW9 !

kml12
02-28-2006, 09:24 PM
:D Welcome aboard Smoothchat

TheDude
03-01-2006, 06:46 AM
Well, I've just done a crossgrade to LW.



Out of interest, what were you using before?

dtkalcec
03-01-2006, 02:22 PM
Just for the info ...
I got my "LW8.5 + Vue 5 + LW9 upgrade" package today.

And tomorrow is my birthday :)

kopperdrake
03-01-2006, 03:36 PM
Happy birthday - what a gift!!

Hmm...has idea when next time someone asks 'what would you like for your birthday?' :D

And welcome new people :D

smoothchat
03-02-2006, 01:08 AM
I did a competitive/companion crossgrade from Truespace.

Not going to make any comparisons tho.

They both share the same fine heritage . The Commodore Amiga.

ooops! I'm showing my age.

stevecullum
03-02-2006, 04:06 AM
ooops! I'm showing my age.

I shouldn't worry too much. I remember trying to code basic on the ZX80!

Bog
03-02-2006, 05:35 AM
What's an Amiga? ;)

nixx
03-02-2006, 06:43 AM
We. Are. Ubiquitous.


That's greek for "Everywhere"

Actually, it's latin - but what the heck ;)

nick

Bog
03-02-2006, 07:18 AM
Actually, it's latin - but what the heck

It was late on a Friday night when I wrote that. I'd been out for a curry and - surpriiiiise! Several large bottles of Cobra lager. I say "Several". I shan't be specific.

I'm comedy on friday nights.

Darrell
03-02-2006, 11:35 AM
there really is no need to ask...just look at LW's resume on the site...it has a list of all the movies, TV shows, games, music videos, print Lightwave has been used

http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/projects.php#tv


Now after reading this page ask yourself if they can stand in the CG community:D

kylekoch
03-02-2006, 12:53 PM
I did a competitive/companion crossgrade from Truespace.

Not going to make any comparisons tho.

They both share the same fine heritage . The Commodore Amiga.

ooops! I'm showing my age.
1988 had an Amiga 2000, 2 megs memory, no hard drive. Had a program called Turbo Silver, I even have a video cassette demo of it. It ran off the floppy, I did some shiny balls and blocks, and was totally amazed, seemed like magic. Simpler days.

kmaas
03-02-2006, 01:22 PM
I've written programs for the Apple IIe (which I still have) and the Atari 400 computer. How's that?

kfinla
03-02-2006, 01:35 PM
my family still has a working amiga 1000 i won't let them throw out, i think it was 1986 when we got that, i was 6. I was so sad when i couldn't run the origional falcon flight sim, cuz i needed 1 meg of ram, and we just had 512k. So we got a 1mb upgrade that had its own power supply, and was about 12 inches deep attached to the side of the cpu. Ahh Deluxe paint

kmaas
03-02-2006, 02:05 PM
I think I've got you beat there. The Apple IIe had a grand total of64kb of RAM, expandable to 128kb of ram.

Also, it ran at 1MHz (you read it right!), and had BASIC loaded in a ROM chip inside of it. If you wanted to make sounds with it, you had to write an assembly language subroutine (which, to enter, you had to translate to 6502 machine code) to tell the speaker to go in, wait, go out, wait, and repeat. Mine also had an enhanced graphics card that would let you fit 80 characters of text on the screen sideways. It had (if I remember right) a grand total of 16 displayable colors. Oh, and it ran off of 5 1/4" floppies. If you were really rich, you could get a 10Mb hard drive for it, but I don't have that.

I never did use an Amiga, but I would imagine it was probably about as bad for the time.

Kind of makes even a Pentium 1 look fast, doesn't it!

stevecullum
03-02-2006, 03:11 PM
You had sound - how lucky!

My ZX81 had 1k of memory, no sound, the B&W block graphics and crashed all the time. Trying to code 'Downhill Racer' for that thing is a nightmare best left in 1981:D

TheDude
03-02-2006, 03:22 PM
I still have my Amiga 1500: 68920 upgrade with 5 Megs of Ram. Ohhhhhh the throbbing power.....Never used LW on it tho because it had a very expensive hardware lock called a "Video Toaster".
Used Sculpt 4D, which was a great program and then Imagine 3D, which had some amazingly advanced stuff in it for it's day, even a kind of non linear edit!
When I'm bitching about a test render taking a couple of minutes, I try to remember that a single raytraced HAM image (around quater PAL) on the Amiga used to take around 5 hours...

robewil
03-02-2006, 04:51 PM
Anyone remember the first Amiga 3D animation? I believe it was the first true 3D animation done on a personal computer. It is the Juggler from 1986, before any commercial 3D software was even available.

From the readme file included with the Juggler animation

"The images were generated with a standard Amiga with 512K memory. A ray
tracing method was used, which simulates rays of light reflecting within
a mathematically defined scene. Each image requires the calculation of
64,000 light rays and takes approximately 1 hour to generate. An image
is compressed to about 10K bytes for storage. Images are expanded in
less than 30 milliseconds. The Amiga hold and modify mode is employed
so that up to 4096 colors can be displayed at one time."


http://mywebpages.comcast.net/erniew/juggler.html#avi

stevecullum
03-02-2006, 05:29 PM
I remember that juggler! I also remember the one on the Acorn Archamedes, their rival of the time.

james767
03-02-2006, 05:38 PM
Hi

those were the days. The extraordinary people and technology back then. We make small steps now back then it was a New world
:bowdown:

stevecullum
03-02-2006, 05:47 PM
...and within three years we had 'The Abyss'!

robewil
03-02-2006, 06:01 PM
Each image requires the calculation of
64,000 light rays and takes approximately 1 hour to generate.I just loaded the juggler scene file from the Characters folder. I set the resolution to 320X200 with no anti-aliasing. Just .3 seconds to render a frame! I guess we've come a long way.

Keep in mind, the original Amiga had a Motorola 68000 processor that did not include an FPU. Rendering shadows and reflections brought it to its knees.

ercaxus
03-02-2006, 09:52 PM
Now I know what HAM stands for in "HAM mode " :)

BeeVee
03-03-2006, 01:49 AM
Hold And Modify... ;)

B

smoothchat
03-03-2006, 02:54 AM
Aegis Animator (where I learned what a Tween was.) Boing! Kaleidoscope and my favourite.... AudioMaster (but then, I'm biased)

prospector
03-03-2006, 04:10 AM
Still use mine daily.

The Toaster/Flyer is now deligated to teleprompter, but I do use it for 1 specific program called 'Splatterpaint'

GAWD I wish some program on the PC could do that.. I would be sooooo happy

TheDude
03-03-2006, 05:28 AM
Actually the first 3D program I ever used was on the Atari ST not the Amiga. It was made by a couple fo German guys. (I had a beta version, all the docs were mostly in German). Can't remember the name of it but I do remember that there was no mirror function, you had to build both halves of the model! There was an animation option(well....more a wireframe flipbook), but you had to model each frame individually....no tweening. To top it off there was only a wireframe mode, made my eyes bleed as it only worked on the monochrome Atari monitor.

Yes, 3D was hardcore back then.....not like now with yer fancy keyframes, colour monitors, raytracing and such.

Matt
03-03-2006, 09:59 AM
LightWave is still making money on projects for us, so, yes, it's definately still in the game!

Chrysolithos
03-09-2006, 07:56 AM
Last year about this time, I did a :30 for Emerald City comic con that was broadcast localy in the Seattle area. Done on my Flyer system as I did not have my VT 4 yet.
Shot on DV, edited on the Flyer, delivered on Betacam SP.

Cageman
03-09-2006, 11:56 AM
Flyer you say? Is that refering to the Amiga Toaster/Flyer?

Stooch
03-09-2006, 08:08 PM
Personaly I am really pleased that guys like Pooby contribute to these threads, and the fact that they do so is in itself proof that lightwave is 'still in the game' to the degree that it is taken seriously by serious professionals, who care enough to give their feedback.

of course. not only all that but the guys name is "pooby". :thumbsup:

beverins
03-11-2006, 10:44 PM
my family still has a working amiga 1000 i won't let them throw out, i think it was 1986 when we got that, i was 6. I was so sad when i couldn't run the origional falcon flight sim, cuz i needed 1 meg of ram, and we just had 512k. So we got a 1mb upgrade that had its own power supply, and was about 12 inches deep attached to the side of the cpu. Ahh Deluxe paint

I still have my A1200 - 68040 with 32mb ram (propped up on wooden blocks to let the CPU fan work from the trapdoor slot, since I'm too cheap to front for a PC-style tower mod - hasn't overheated yet), 40GB harddrive (partitioned into lots of 4GB drives), Lightwave 5.1 (the last version that I know of for the Amiga) and the usual suspects like Dpaint 5. I don't really use LW on the 'Miggy anymore, but Dpaint still does have its uses.

Stooch
03-14-2006, 08:00 PM
:boogiedow :dance: :dance: :rock: :question: