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RhinoDude
01-31-2006, 10:14 PM
I am seriously considering the companion upgrade from EIAS 5.5 to Lightwave. The cost to upgrade to the latest flavor of EIAS isn't much less.

While there are some solid professional reasons to switch to Lightwave and I'm not intimidated by learning a different app, I was wondering what sorts of experiences former EIAS users have had that have already made the transition.

My gripes with EIAS are with the user interface and it's quirks. I dunno, maybe all midgrade 3D apps are finicky. It just seems to me that EIAS is largely a former Mac application that's being forced into being a great PC app. It's not a bad tool - I like it, pretty much. I'd just like something that had more of the user friendly nature of Rhino3D. Best interface for 3D I've ever used. (JMHO)

Anyway, I'm lookin' before I'm leapin. The ladies and gentlemen of this forum are my best resource. Any help would be appreciated!

Steve

Puguglybonehead
01-31-2006, 11:25 PM
I started out using ElectricImage when it was available as the dongle-less '3D Toolkit' package. I think you'll find it pretty easy to adjust to Lightwave. Both use a layer system when modelling (course EI doesn't have it's modeler anymore, pity). You will find Lightwave a helluva lot more stable than EI. There's a lot more that's built-in to lightwave too, that seemed to require the purchase of separate plugins with EI.

I don't know much about Rhino, but I've found Lightwave to be pretty user friendly. Very straightforward, it-does-what-it-says interface. Get Dan Ablan's 'Inside Lightwave' book, if you decide to switch. It helps a lot with the learning curve.

I'm glad I switched. I had moved from EI's 3D Toolkit to Cinema 4D, but was disappointed with the quality of the renderer and the limited toolset (and their pricing structure. Newtek's is much better!).

About the only thing you'll miss is Camera. Lightwave's renderer is much much prettier and way more versatile, but not nearly as fast with high poly-counts. Of course, with the renderer and everything else in Lightwave, in the process of being rewritten, all this will change too.

StereoMike
02-01-2006, 04:23 AM
And you might wanna know, that Jay Roth and Mark Granger are in the development team of LW as well since March 2005. They've been co-founders of Electric Image.

http://www.newtek.com/news/releases/03-09-05a.html
http://www.newtek.com/news/releases/03-09-05b.html


Mike

pdrake
02-01-2006, 07:51 AM
you'll be disappointed by the rendering speed. the results are just as good if not better, but camera had it going on.

hopefully roth can bring that to lw's engine.

plus, screamernet is a little more difficult to set up than ei's network.

3dworks
02-01-2006, 08:43 AM
hi steve,

i'm using both EIAS and LW and i'm very happy with both apps. which app i use depends on the project. while EI camera is still a top quality, fast and very stable renderer, LW has a lot of extras (hypervoxels, particles, dynamics, etc) to offer, which are not incorporated in EIAS, but which sometimes are indispensable to use. the quality of rendering of both engines is very good (and i agree on the comments about the quality of the C4D renderer), they even produce a very similiar output, but LW's renderer is way slower, at the moment. probably version 9 will do the same work faster. as for the interface i wouldn't see any big advantage of LW over EI, both have a very professional layout and are a pleasure to use. but i confess that i didn't never use rhino...

two more things: maybe consider buying fprime as an additional previewer/ renderer (especially for fast radiosity), it's really worth it's money and gives you a unique workflow advantage! on the other side, consider that EI's 6.5 GI solution is very fast, simple to use, and capable of producing great images too...

cheers

markus

Puguglybonehead
02-01-2006, 09:11 AM
And you might wanna know, that Jay Roth and Mark Granger are in the development team of LW as well since March 2005. They've been co-founders of Electric Image.

http://www.newtek.com/news/releases/03-09-05a.html
http://www.newtek.com/news/releases/03-09-05b.html


Mike

What?!? No way. That's really good news! I didn't know that. Lightwave will definitely keep getting better then.

RhinoDude
02-01-2006, 10:28 PM
Thanks. Since I tend to be a bit inefficient with my polys, it sounds like I need Camera for at least one more whole version. I'll keep my eyes on LW9, though, since I really would rather make the change. Might open some doors. All depends on how good I get with EIAS, I guess. At least I won't have to convert my projects.....yet! Cheers!

Snosrap
02-01-2006, 10:48 PM
I'd just like something that had more of the user friendly nature of Rhino3D. Best interface for 3D I've ever used. (JMHO)



Wow! That's pretty funny. Rhino, thousands upon thousands of nondescript icons. Lightwave, maybe a dozen- but at least they mean something! When I got my multimedia position, the 3D specialist was using Rhino (and was a beta tester for McNeel) for modeling and 3D Studio Max for rendering etc. I was given the book for Rhino and was told to learn it. Gasp! Our boss was not convinced that 3D Max was the best solution for our animation and rendering needs, (not sure why) so he was doing research for a new 3D application at the time. I spent a solid week going through the Rhino book and tutorials, and generally liked it, but it was taking way too long to come up to speed. After that first week or so, my first project came along. Needless to say, I wasn't ready. Lo and behold what came to my rescue, my personal copy of Inspire 3D. (The same piece of software that made my demo reel to get me the job in the first place.) My boss was impressed with the speed in which I was able to model and loved the output. (Didn't use 3D Max either.) To make a long story short, while our boss still wanted us to model with Rhino, he was sold on the Lightwave (Inspire) rendering engine and bought us two copies of LW 5.6 and a personal copy of Inspire for himself. Not even sure if he knew we quit using Rhino, seeing how upgrades for it showed up on our desks 8 months later. Oh well! Now we're a 12 seat LW shop and happy to be one. I still have that Rhino book somewhere.

Cheers Snos

gatz
02-02-2006, 02:28 AM
As an EI expatriot. The shift to LW was a mixed bag. LW modeler is a lot more fun to work in that EIs (now defunct) modeler. Originally EI could handle poly counts that would crush other apps, remaining interactive and blazing through renders. As features were added EI started losing its snappy interface but could it could still slam through the renders. EI still holds an edge for being able to handle large poly counts, speed and a few rendering features (EI renders past the edge of the alpha so composites look a lot cleaner)

EI renderrama was almost as much as a sorepoint as screamernet but the ability to create camera temps allowed the user to create drag and drop queues. Being able to create a folder with all of the textures, models and plugins was a breeze compared the noodling required to set up a LWSN render.

Back in the day I even did some character animation in EI. This was where EI started to show its age. IK was a genuine pain. I jumped ship when LW offered a competive upgrade. I've kept Universe 5 around for cityscapes and the like but I've use it less and less.

That said, I wish some of EI plugin developers would port to LW.