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dschnare
12-11-2005, 11:14 PM
Hey guys (ahem, and girls),

I'm new to the LW community (and to LW as a matter of fact), so ... hello there!

I've just purchased a copy of LW 8, eagerly anticipating the release of LW 9 (yeah baby!). I'm currently a computer science student in my fourth year of studies, and only now am I finally getting back to my artistic roots, and diving into 3D. I've tried many other applications ([all-in-one] -- Maya, 3DSMax, Blender, [modelling] -- Zbrush, Nendo, Silo) but to me, LW seemed just way more intuitive and easy to learn.

So, my LW compadre, I want to ask you, why Lightwave? :lwicon:


P.S.

Don't worry guys, LW 9 will get here when it's ready. As a software engineer, I know these things usually take a lot longer than planned for. Give it time, and try to empathize with the developers working on this software -- definitely not an easy feat, trust me.


Thanks eh,

Darren S.

Captain Obvious
12-12-2005, 04:38 AM
I can't stand the user interface of most other applications. Lightwave's cheap, too, and surprisingly competent. :D

Emmanuel
12-12-2005, 07:44 AM
Cause it rocks, period.

Tiger
12-12-2005, 09:37 AM
Why Lightwave? Why not?
If the shoe fits-wear it! :thumbsup:

Emmanuel
12-12-2005, 09:43 AM
Especially if its a rocket shoe :)

dschnare
12-12-2005, 11:05 AM
Why Lightwave? Why not?
If the shoe fits-wear it! :thumbsup:

Nice analogy. So basically, LW is faster (and will be even faster with the release of LW 9 from what I understand) and is more intuitive to both learn and use, and more productive than other 3D apps. This is good, very good. Thanks guys, this was my first thoughts as well when I first tried LW. Thanks for the input! :thumbsup:

- DS

Signal to Noise
12-12-2005, 12:08 PM
- Easy & Intuitive
- Inexpensive
- Virtually a complete package in 1 box at 1 pricepoint.
- Plenty of resources, free or otherwise
- Friendly user community


:thumbsup:

adhesiveX
12-12-2005, 12:49 PM
Nice breakdown :thumbsup:

Exception
12-12-2005, 12:57 PM
I like that working in it is like working with clay. If one tool doesn;t do the job, another will, and eventually you can solve it by hand always...
I like the simple non hierarchical way of modeling. There are not 'entities', and data formats where this or that tool cannot do a certain operation because its the wrong kind of object, that sort of thing.

I think the interface is the best of all the 3d programs, for professionals and enthusiasts. Its highly ergonomic and they have thought about it. I love the 'expert' setting : )

and its fast, easy once you get to know it, light on its feet (one second startup!) so you get to run a couple of instances of each program easily... and so on.

JamesCurtis
12-12-2005, 02:17 PM
I started using LW when it was part of the old Amiga Video Toaster (1991), and continued to PC (1995) when Amiga versions were not produced anymore. Tried other apps and could never quite get use to them - too many steps to do something simple. LW is much more intuitive too.

dschnare
12-12-2005, 03:05 PM
- Easy & Intuitive
- Inexpensive
- Virtually a complete package in 1 box at 1 pricepoint.
- Plenty of resources, free or otherwise
- Friendly user community


:thumbsup:


Very nice, this is what I was looking for. Thank you. Short and sweet. I like to see what others are saying about LW not just Newtek.

You can bet I'll be on here again in the near future when I need some pointers from the community. Thanks again.

-DS ;)

cresshead
12-12-2005, 03:13 PM
accessable..

accessable-pricepoint
accessable-tools for modeling with confidence
accessable-surface tools
accessable-lighting tools
accessable-renderer
accessable-online community
accessable-free video/web tutorials from newtek and spinquad
accessable-training videos and dvd's from kurv
accessable-quality books on lightwave with version 8.0
accessable-learning curve for nr everyone

....


and fun!

Nathonix
12-12-2005, 04:04 PM
i got my start in AutoCAD 2003 a few years ago, in my freshman year of highschool, transfered to where i am at now, and lucked my way into what is called the "business technology lab" and got to be the first to use it. after a little bit of toying around i got the hang of it, and its extremely easy, and given the choice, i probably wont use anything else, save for maybe sketchup, but only to make low grade models to export to lightwave. its easy, intuitive, and all around user friendly.

i <3 my :lwicon:

Stooch
12-12-2005, 10:42 PM
I learned on it. Its not the most advanced, the most intuitive or feature packed. But after trying everything else, i came back to LW because there are workarounds for stuff that doesnt have a button. it forces you to be creative as to how you approach a problem instead of pressing a button and it happening for you. Buttons are nice and easy unless you get something you didnt expect or want...then as a lightwave user, you are in a better position to figure things out. I think lightwave has developed my understanding of 3D more rapidly and in more depth then any other program. In fact, it taught me things i took for granted and only realized how important these are when they were reinforced through schooling.

Nice looking render engine, slow as h3ll and limited, but again, workarounds...their slogan should be "think outside the box". or something like that.

btw. like any hardcore lightwave user, i supplement LW with lots of other tools. I doubt the current ALL-in-one champ can match my assortment of separate but cooperative programs - of which lightwave is a foundation.

archiea
12-13-2005, 12:47 AM
been using it on and off since version one, so I guess that could be understood as a reason.

I still say Newteks strongest asset is making allof their products accessable. Everything from readily available tutorials to their tool set just being intuitive. Some of this comes at the expense of depth, flexibility and even some polish, but you will be turning out usable if not brilliant results fast. The accessability of their software comes in the form of how intuitive and deliberate their interface is. They don't try to be too cleaver about anything.. just clear: Cameras are cameras and lights are lights, with clear distinction in their respective menus.. where as maya treats lights as cameras that are backwards.. with some common attributes. To some artist this can confusing, as many of these attributes can be related to a real world camera or light. This does benefit the savy maya user to tie in, say, functionality into lights that lights were never designed for, i.e. to be coordinate based grad generators. Meanwhile the savy LW user could use grad shaders and assign then to world coords.. which in some ways is more intuitive as you're assigning the grads to surfaces(shaders on the geometry) on the actual geometry. Just makes more intuitive sense.

Sorry for the long winded example. However, one more relevant is one that demonstrates why I got into LW in the first place. I had been using Imagine for a couple of years I think (previous to that, turbo silver) and I saw LW at an Amiga show. Allen had demonstrated how you can edit the tension of a motion path (then not even visible in the gui) with parameters at each key frame... so making smooth ease in and out moves were a snap.. and the preview system was right there!!! no hunting through menus or assigning and output write-out file. Meanwhile in Imagine you had to calculate acceleration and deacceleration curves and HOPE that you didn't have any sudden pops.... far more complicated. That literaly is what sold me on Lightwave. Soon after I produced with two colleges a fly through inside the MTV logo completed with animated textures on the wall. I recall the editing of the path.. which had to navigate around the inside of the "M", as very painless.

By contrast I had just prior attempted a simple dolly track of the camera in Imagine that just had to accelerate and deaccelerate in a straight line. It was tedious.. and that was a straight line!!!!!! I do recall Imagine at that time having a spread sheet editor which made global changes easy.. and a modeler which easily distinquihsed between world and local coordinates... and for a long time I modeled in Imagine and animated in LW... however, LW was very accessible.. even if a bit limited compared to Imagine... and I produced finished and usable results quickly in LW. I think this legacy still exist today in this and all NT products.. and is a big contributer to their success....

Riplakish
12-13-2005, 09:27 AM
Babylon 5 :rock:

Apparently, unlike most, I came in to LW back-assward. I had been playing in photography, video editing, Web work, etc. When I saw what they were doing with the show, my "gotta have it gene" kicked in, and I was off to look at raytracing to spruce up some of my work. Looked at the freebies (e.g. Povray and the like), and discarded them as too complicated. Looked at the professional packages, and one name kept popping up alongside some of the best looking CGI work out there. My wife works as a teacher at a tech school with a decent graphics program (she teaches Autocad), so she picked a student copy up to evaluate for the school and it ended up in my hands. Upgraded to a commercial license, and here I am.

Now, probably the real question... Why do I _keep_ using it? :stumped:

Ease of use. Quality. Price point. Features. API. Oh, and it comes in handy when I say "No, I mean something that looks like THIS..." and bang out a 1024x768 PNG of what I'm talking about :)

cgbloke2004
12-13-2005, 09:40 AM
amiga, babylon5 and a mate having a toaster.

i knew b5 was done on amiga's - back then i was up against pc's and macs and the amiga just seemed better suited.
i was on real3d by then though ['93]
my mate showed me lw on his a4k, i played around with it and had something boned and bouncing around within a very short while.
'cool learning curve' i thought - looked at what else there was and the workflow for them [3ds4, stratastudio, infinidi, imagine, real3d<-good start in splines/bools/refractions/etc] and lightwave consistently came out as faster, with all the bells and whistles [3.5 by this time had lens flares and stuff] and it just seemed to have everything going for it - the interface was good - not all icons and some kind of shorthand i'd have to learn - everyting did what it said it did.

mattclary
12-13-2005, 11:08 AM
Because I'm not Egyptian, so hieroglyphics seem like a real dumb idea to me. However, I have mad r3Ading skillz, so the text based interface was a natural fit.

toby
12-13-2005, 11:27 AM
Because I'm not Egyptian, so hieroglyphics seem like a real dumb idea to me.
Brilliant!

Icon-interfaces suck booty! Might as well be written in Kanji.

dschnare
12-13-2005, 11:48 AM
Thanks to all, and keep your responses coming! :thumbsup:

I enjoy finding out why artists/modellers etc. have made their choice with LW, because to me LW just seems to make sense, from a economical, approachable, efficiency, and intuitive point of view. You all have helped to confirm my assumptions, and in fact LW is in use for hundreds if not thousands of major projects, and in fact is the pivotal application. Even from a quality point of view, LW can hold it's own, and I expect this to only get better with version 9 and later.

Thanks again eh,

Katachi
12-13-2005, 12:45 PM
Brilliant!

Icon-interfaces suck booty! Might as well be written in Kanji.

Well, that depends. I just got Lightwave, but I come from Cinema 4D, and icons are very intuitive to me. Furthermore, they take less space. Sure, in the beginning youīll probably better work with text based representation of the commands, but sooner or later, replacing those with icons is prefered...well, at least to me.

So, is LW capable of showing icons? I hope so, as Iīll be getting my LW 8 in some days :D

Earl
12-13-2005, 01:22 PM
So, is LW capable of showing icons? I hope so, as Iīll be getting my LW 8 in some days :D
Currently, no. It's all text-based. Version 9 is right around the corner though, and it's impossible to say if it will be able to. They showed a quick example of a bitmap being used in the interface, but not necessarily as an icon.

Earl
12-13-2005, 01:38 PM
I started off my 3D obsession with Caligari trueSpace 2.0 (about 10 years ago?), and although I had fun with the program, I reached it's limits pretty quick. A friend of mine couldn't stop talking about how great LW was (she had a Video Toaster for the Amiga), so I checked out the website and fell instantly in love. After saving up some I was able to purchase LW 5.0 for the PC later that year (using the competative upgrade NewTek offered for trueSpace users), and I couldn't have been happier. The first time I opened up Modeler I was able to create objects with ease (I didn't read the manual until years later when I was bored). Everything just made sense, and with the text-based buttons nothing was a mystery. Exploring the application was FUN! I didn't consider it a chore like other applications can be. Although the renderer needs some updating, it's still gets me the results I want with little hassle.

Today, LW is like a second home. I know, it's just an application, but I feel completely at ease when working inside the program. The modeler is still the best on the market, and the animation/layout is straight-forward and easy to produce results. Version 8 really got me pumped about LW's future, and this up-and-coming release of v9 has got me even more thrilled.

mattclary
12-13-2005, 01:48 PM
Well, that depends. I just got Lightwave, but I come from Cinema 4D, and icons are very intuitive to me. Furthermore, they take less space. Sure, in the beginning youīll probably better work with text based representation of the commands, but sooner or later, replacing those with icons is prefered...well, at least to me.

So, is LW capable of showing icons? I hope so, as Iīll be getting my LW 8 in some days :D

It may be intuitive NOW, but what about the first time you used it? It took you time (maybe very short, but still time) to learn those icons. i bet while you were learning it you hovered over the icon until text appeared to tell you what that icon means, didn't you? ;) Sure, icons might take up less space, but LW's buttons are pretty compact unto themselves.

Capt Lightwave
12-13-2005, 02:40 PM
Well....my main reason for sticking with LightWave is that it's bloody fun to use! All the time...and when I'm not working on some project or other....I doodle....there's always a way to learn something in LightWave, and as I said....it's fun doing it.

Lamont
12-13-2005, 03:52 PM
Because it reminds me of Wings3D.

Captain Obvious
12-13-2005, 04:22 PM
Not to further the NewTek vs Luxology feud (hey, I like both companies and both apps), but I rather like Luxology's approach when it comes to icons vs text. By default, it uses both for most things, and displays the keyboard command without the need for a tool-tip display or anything. This is great for beginners, since you get both the text and the keyboard command, and once you know all the commands, you can disable the text and use just the icons to save space.

Still, I feel all-text is better than all-icon in a 3D application.

Katachi
12-13-2005, 04:30 PM
It may be intuitive NOW, but what about the first time you used it? It took you time (maybe very short, but still time) to learn those icons. i bet while you were learning it you hovered over the icon until text appeared to tell you what that icon means, didn't you? ;)

Hehe, no I didnīt. :D In Cinema 4D each button can also be displayed as text and as icon+text. Thatīs pretty comfortable. Cinema 4Ds layout is very customizably, probably the most customizable out there. Anyway, I guess itīs all a matter of familiarity, so I think itīs also very ok to work with text based layout, as a lot of commands I use with shortcuts. But it would be nice to have an option in LW too. :)

I find it also very interesting that LW seperates the animation process from the modeling process, as most 3D apps (or all?) only have one. And I heard a lot of people saying that itīs completely different workflow and that it can be very speedy. Some of the reasons why I bought it and I am very looking forward to get into it. :thumbsup:

Katachi
12-13-2005, 04:35 PM
Currently, no. It's all text-based. Version 9 is right around the corner though, and it's impossible to say if it will be able to. They showed a quick example of a bitmap being used in the interface, but not necessarily as an icon.

cool! I see no reason why it shouldnīt be implemented throughout the app and getting used as an icon, when they already showed an example of a bitmap in the iface. So letīs hope V9 has an improved layout option. :)

Samir

Exception
12-13-2005, 07:43 PM
cool! I see no reason why it shouldnīt be implemented throughout the app and getting used as an icon, when they already showed an example of a bitmap in the iface. So letīs hope V9 has an improved layout option. :)

Samir

It would be fine as an option, but there are many people out there who prefer text based user interfaces, and for good reasons. If you do studies, you will see that they are faster, save space, and provide far better searching and oversight properties. It's ergonomics.
That's from an expert.

mattclary
12-14-2005, 07:08 AM
I defy anyone to make icons that convey this much information in as little space: :devil:

Katachi
12-14-2005, 07:26 AM
I defy anyone to make icons that convey this much information in as little space: :devil:

Here you go. :) Doesnīt take much more space horizontally than yours vertically. But try yours horizontally ;)

mattclary
12-14-2005, 08:10 AM
Pretty close, but the icon for extrude is not clear at all for someone who has not already learned what it means.

Katachi
12-14-2005, 08:12 AM
Pretty close, but the icon for extrude is not clear at all.

I guess the lightwave guys could make it better. Anyway, I still think it would be cool to have an option. But letīs just wait what comes with V9 before we speculate too much. :)

habaņero
12-14-2005, 08:16 AM
Good, Now do this:

PICTRIX Resel_Weapon F5
Spin Quad ~K
Multibevel
Multimerge
multishift F8
Extender plus ~F10
Greeble and Nurnies

...

I studied this at the university, timing millisecond response times and average time to hit a button and so on. The Lightwave UI is IMO genious, I personally think it went backwards adding a 3d bevel in 8, it adds a slight "gridlock" to use Tufte's term. Icons are good for basic things but so are text. When you are up in a few hundred commands with lots of overlap and hard to describe concepts, they are not efficient and they will actually tend to get put upon each other in the brain. Hieroglyphics didn't have 40 icons showing almost the same bread, meaning different things...

I think that you could have animated gifs or an extended explanation shown at mouse over (or running a plugin). And there are certain other optimizations I could imagine like maybe let the buttons that are clicked often increase a few pixels vertically to make them easier to hit. Some small option I would like in terms of customization. But besides that, it is really really nice. How the buttons are set up, tool implementation(s) etc, there are room for improvement but with a program like Lightwave it is far more important that everything is possible to move around an change.

Captain Obvious
12-14-2005, 08:25 AM
Pretty close, but the icon for extrude is not clear at all for someone who has not already learned what it means.
The text is pretty cryptic if you're not sure what "extrude" really means, you know... ;)

DiscoBurgess
12-14-2005, 08:39 AM
Icons for "Bevel", "Extrude", "Multi-shift" and "Smooth-shift" would not be as easy to work with as just having the words.

Katachi
12-14-2005, 08:44 AM
Good, Now do this:

PICTRIX Resel_Weapon F5
Spin Quad ~K
Multibevel
Multimerge
multishift F8
Extender plus ~F10
Greeble and Nurnies

...

I donīt even know what these commands are good for. :) Seems some are plugin related and then itīs up to the developer to do this. Anyway, in Cinema 4D this is working without problems. I donīt see why LW users shouldnīt be capable of designing corresponding icons.


I studied this at the university, timing millisecond response times and average time to hit a button and so on.

I am studying industrial design with focus on ergonomics, so I know about this too. And there are standards for ergonomics. Anyway, pictogramms are successful all over the world and I see no reason why this shouldnīt be adaptable (to a certain degree) to an application interface (beside the fact, that I know it works for C4D and Maya).

habaņero
12-14-2005, 11:38 AM
I learnt HCI snatched from a computer engineering course, it was directed almost entirely toward efficiency and low error, so I suspect we maybe have two different angles to the same subject.

I aint opposed to Icons, but I don't think it would be ecellent improvement in LW. Gotta hand it to modo, they have some nice concepts with their UI, but it is like twice or triple as spacious as in LW, without being a lot more readable or each item being distiguishable. It is easier for new people, and faster in some cases while slower in other is my impression.

I would probably disagree that plugin developers are able to make very good icons, I think that needs skill that developers often don't excel in. Not something everyone can do well straight out of the forest. I could probably point to a few problems with the implementation in C4D, I mean cases where it affects efficiency. I aint saying that is the only thing to consider, but I see it as a strong point in LWs solution though I can point to problems there as well ...

They have to be distinctive from the other (1000) icons, and they should at the same time communicate at least something about what they do. Simple Icons can explain a simple set of ideas in context, but for complex concepts or a lot of them, the 24*24 even animated won't have enough information space, and three lines of them made by 100 different people will look "not harmonic".

Text buttons also are successful all over the world, and they make possible very tidy and information dense interfaces.

In my opinion even the 32*32 animation is to little space to illustrate plugin concepts properly, I think animated gifs that the plugin developer could make as large as they see fit would be a good way to explain plugins fast, and that text buttons is better both for keeping the different functions apart and give people a hint about their function. If you change one latter, big difference. 1 pexel, little dafference. Hieroglyphic languages were a lot more complicated than single glyph - single meaning, they would have combination glyphs, modifiers etc and work mostly on very well known concepts. Eg. it is a lot easier to illustrate "mixes flour, water, salt and yeast and heats it at 200 degrees for 1 hour" when everybody know the result is bread. And it gets a lot more complicated with 100 different types and sizes of bread, in ancient Egypt I think they mostly had one type that they baked in clay forms. There was a sligth bump on my self-bull****ometer when I wrote that last point, but I mean I read that somewhere ...

3D users are also a different type of user than MS word users, we know a lot of shortcuts and so it is good that the interface use little space since we need the less of it the more we use our prog. LW is good at learning people shortcuts, displaying them on the button. Possible with Icon layout as well, but it can be a bad compromise in terms of space or legibilty, the mouseover is the common solution and it is a lot slower than LW's.

nthused
12-14-2005, 12:01 PM
I find icons pretty frustrating as it's one more thing to learn to get through an interface before I can work - so instead of just learning what multi-shift is, I must learn it's associated icon (and that's for each tool).
I'm a person who "grew-up" with AutoCAD. Learned on R12 and am now with Civil 3D. I work MUCH faster with the command line entries than with icons...it's much like this with LW... I find AutoCAD's text mixed pull-downs work well - but to be honest I RARELY use the icons, opting instead for simple text commands.

Alonzo
12-14-2005, 12:20 PM
back to topic... :)

i'm new here, but not new in the scene... i've worked with 3ds max at school and cinema 4d demo at home...
but the prices of full versions were too high for me...
lightwave i get for a good price.. and i heared good things about it :thumbsup:
i had bought lightwave, because it is a alrounder product...
you get modeling, rendering and animation in one package...
later i'll post some pics from me...

sorry, if you find some mistakes... i'm not very good in english :(

greetz
Alonzo

mattclary
12-14-2005, 12:48 PM
I'm a person who "grew-up" with AutoCAD. Learned on R12 and am now with Civil 3D.

That's pretty much exactly my background too. Worked drawing surveys in ACAD 12 for a couple of years, I think it might be why I took to LW so well.

toby
12-14-2005, 01:02 PM
Hehe, no I didnīt. :D In Cinema 4D each button can also be displayed as text and as icon+text. Thatīs pretty comfortable. Cinema 4Ds layout is very customizably, probably the most customizable out there. Anyway, I guess itīs all a matter of familiarity

So the reason it worked for you is because they had text.

Very few programs have both, of the two, text is much simpler for the developer and the user. It only takes a sliver more space, can be easily hidden, and doesn't require learning a new language whenever you learn a new subject or use a different package. Space has never been an issue specific to LW, instead it's known for having the fastest workflow.



I donīt see why LW users shouldnīt be capable of designing corresponding icons.

Anyway, pictogramms are successful all over the world and I see no reason why this shouldnīt be adaptable (to a certain degree) to an application interface (beside the fact, that I know it works for C4D and Maya).
Icons don't ruin the program they're in, but that doesn't mean they're better than words.
Newtek is capable of making icons, but that would take more resources and they would be just as cryptic, like this:
http://www.3dmax-tutorials.com/graphics/but_swarp.gif
This doesn't even give a clue as to what category it's in. It's a question of whether it's worth it. You could also make icons 1/4 the size they are now and save even more space, but it would be even harder to navigate.

While I don't think it's a bad idea to include icons as an option, I think it's idiotic to offer software with controls that have actually been encrypted!

CAClark
12-14-2005, 01:39 PM
Text or icons makes no difference, you get used to either way of working.

I personally used lightwabe because Ron T used it to make Babylon 5, and it's very similar to Imagine which I had been using up till the switch to LW. It's as uninformed as that :D

I've got 9 pre-ordered, but in reality I'm likely to be switching to XSI or Maya in the next few months (not sure which yet though!)

Cheers!

lardbros
12-14-2005, 02:13 PM
I chose Lightwave because ages ago while using extreme 3d and Imagine, i was looking for a new package to concentrate on. I requested leaflets on every major player at the time (not Maya or Softimage, they were way too expensive at the time.) I began to use 3dStudio and forgot about LW for a while, and got good results with 3Dstudio too. Then when i got to uni, i got a demo copy of Lightwave (7.5) on the front of a magazine, and began messing around with it. I had longed for years to use it, mainly due to the leaflet for version 5.6 (which i requested yerars before) seemed so far ahead of anything else i had seen.

Anyway, at first i found that Lightwave was trickier to get decent results with over 3dStudio, but i kept going and playing with tools etc. Slowly i was weened off 3dstudio because each project i worked on i tried using both, but over and over again, i got quicker results with Lightwave.

LW may not be at the top of the pile now, but i still cannot get used to another modeller. I put it down to the simplest of things... the polygon/point selection is just far beyond the others, and makes my life so easy. I curse sometimes that LW doesn't have a gizmo or handles to move things with in modeller, but using the middle mouse button to constrain to which ever axis you move first is pure and simple.

tonybliss
12-16-2005, 05:29 AM
I used started 3d using 3ds studio max r3.1 up to r5
I used maya for some spots where program file transfer wasn't practical. Was also formally trained by a UK professional in Maya 5.
I started using LW a little more than 2 years ago and was hypnotised by it. I simply felt more artistic using it.

Now as I tell my students whether total newbies or media professionals that LW is not the Holy Grail of 3d. I enjoyed the flexible modifier stack of 3ds and its fast but most faux gizmo and 'volumetric' explosions/fire/, its vast motion options et al but reality stood it was sometimes a process to accomplish task that i later realised was easier and more intuitive to accomplish in LW.
Yes ... maya has much more tools for animation, but i hated setting up componets (weights) for bones. And creating morphs is definitely not as fun as setting up endomorphs in LW.
I have recently started using XSI ... different but excellent app but all in all LW is just my creative preference and the students here love it.
I will definitely stick around and see it grow and grow as a 3d artist with it :D

userBrian
12-18-2005, 10:17 PM
I can't stand icons. The ball icon could mean smooth surface, or it could
represent a rotation tool like a track ball, or it could mean spherical texture
mapping, or it could mean a starfield globe, or add a button, or some type of spline modeling, etc, on and on. What is the real difference between that move or the extrude icon? And is that move ONLY on the X and Z plane? That is what the icon shows. The move icon ( I meant the extrude icon....see?) definitely does NOT show extrusion, only blur behind a box, how confusing is that? This goes on and on and on and on etc etc
for every icon ALWAYS. :tsktsk:
I just spent a lot of time going thru a bunch of icons in my windows explorer window to find the refresh button, waiting for the text to pop up. It is a piece of paper with the corner folded and indecernible, tiny arrows in a circle. Why would I pick a printer icon, or a scan icon, or a write text icon or send reply icon to refresh? And why when I want to magnify something I pick a magnifying lens icon only to see it means SEARCH? Who in his right mind is gonna search on his computer with a magnifying lens? :cursin:
That is one reason I like Lightwave so much, no icons, great interface. :agree:

accom
12-19-2005, 12:35 AM
I began my 3D journey on SGI with alias wavefront package - don't remember the full name... I was 22yrs old, with no 3D knowledge. The job was perfect, I was able to spend a lot of time with two experienced animators, learning the job from scratch. As I recall, wavefront came with a "small library", books would fill a whole 1m long shelf, and studying them would take a few months...

Then came LW (ver. 3, I think)... within two weeks I was able to produce stuff for TV commercials. Fell in love with it. Work became play.

DoF
12-19-2005, 05:25 AM
I used Infini-D on the Mac for years until about version 4.5. It had a very Mac-like interface [which I loved at the time] and it did the job.Well, sort of. Then I saw what LW could do. I got a demo -version 5.6? I can't remember, and whilst still using Infini-D for commercial broadcast and print work, tried again and again to get into LW. It was frightening - all those tabs with no icons - so un-Mac like. But what kept me coming back and relaunching the app was the sheer beauty of the final renders I had seen were possible - that, and that alone made me persevere with what at the time seemed like banging my head against a brick wall.

The rest is history: Now, when I look at Maya, or other 'Mac-friendly' 3D apps, I cringe at all the pretty icons and cluttered interfaces. LW may have a plain, workmanlike UI, but I wouldn't trade it for a free copy of Maya or any other 3D application. Now, instead of being a Mac evangelist and loving icons, I have become an LW evangelist who could care less about platforms and HATES icons. At my company we use Macs and PCs and a LW pipeline. Realflow, endorphin, boujou et al all integrate seamlessly. We are also getting into modo for some modelling, and because of the separation of Modeler and Layout, there is even less clutter when it comes to animating, lighting and surfacing.

If you want to produce photorealistic renders out-of-the-box, persevere with LW:
'Lightwave's native built-in renderer is the only native renderer actually suitable for production film work' source: 'Choosing the Best 3D Rendering Application for Your Needs'
http://www.zaon.com/company/articles/3d_rendering.php
999 free render nodes! Dig out those old CPUs and get them back to work!

Ask yourself if you want the prettiest UI or the most beautiful renders. If it is the latter, then you have to go for LW.

There is no argument as to which app is better value out-of-the-box.
There is no argument as to which app has the better renderer - at the end of the day, this is the final product, and the only thing that matters.

:lightwave