View Full Version : documentation/unficiation

05-15-2003, 05:28 AM

okay, I am learning Maya right now, and compared to it LW sucks big time in the documentation department, period.
I guess every other software in the price range between 1500-2000
bucks has a far better docu than LightWave3D.
Nothing beats a "Help" function and tooltips.
Also, Maya is unified environment, and after a few hours with it, I have more a feeling of beeing able to do anything than with LightWave in the past 5 years, sorry.
Animating with curves and lattices is easy and fast in Maya, in LW, this basic task is annoying at best.I never figured out how to create the spline and place it in Layout, and forgive me if I am not willing to spend 30-60 minutes in LW for something that can be done in 5 minutes in Maya and works the way it is exspected to work.
The HUB is not a solution, just a patch.
Animating an object moving a long a spline curve works so cool in Maya, reversing the spline direction etc is so easy and everything flows.
Don't even get me started with "model spline, send to layout, find error, switch to modeler, change, send back, hope it updates correctly...".
Thats not a workFLOW, thats a workAROUND.

I love our morph mixer, and our graph editor and surface editor is better, too, but considering the small price difference, I guess Maya is by far a better deal.

I will continue to explore Maya, and if NT thinks their way of doing things is fine, then they can keep L8 :))), unless they fix spreadsheet,
unify the two apps and add better UV-mapping (the way it was back in 6.5 !) and standard dynamics (rigid and soft).


05-15-2003, 05:55 AM

excited about Maya or what? ;) Sure it is much easier to use than LW in many areas, but there will come a time when even Maya will give you the creeps. In contrast to you I don't think the workflow is really better (unless you do heavy costumization with MEL) from the start - like so many things it's a matter of what you are used to.

Also LW's surface editor is not better - it's just a different approach. I'd agree that for normal materials LW is more user friendly but once you are at the point where you can do a shading network with 60 interdependent nodes and still keep smiling you will have to admit that you couldn't have done this with LW.

As for the docs: NT surely should do something about it. The docs have big gaps (some tools aren't even mentioned) and are not very well thought out. Even a simple thing such as moving the tutorials into an extra book would improve the situation.


In love with LW and long time friend of Maya...

05-15-2003, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by Emmanuel
add better UV-mapping (the way it was back in 6.5 !)

What UV mapping features changed from 6.5 to 7.5? Seems to work the same to me.

05-15-2003, 01:26 PM

IIRC, in 6.5, when I unwelt the points, applied the UV-coordinates
just for a section of the surface, and then hit "m" to merge points, everything was fine.
Now, if I unweld, then apply UV-coords to a section of the surface
and hit "m" I get those nasty seam polies that reach over the UV-screen.
Just the same as if You apply normal UVs and try to move the UVs in the window without unwelding.

05-18-2003, 11:01 PM
I'm learning maya and XSI too. I'm try to change into another 3d package.
And I did can see that LW is not so fastly than old-time compared with other programs now.
Maya and XSI is very very fastly in workflow and render.

Newtek did leave LW of side and don't make many improvements that other 3d package makes. Newtek just did have eyes to Toaster 3 in the last year.

Actually Maya 5 and XSI 3.01 is more sophisticated than LW and almost all features.
I compare lw like a race car produced in the garage and others packages like Ferrari and McLaren (XSI and Maya).

I Love LW and I really hope lw8 change this image.

If all lw user take a look on maya 5 and xsi and learn his basics. they doesn't be so lw fanatic.

Sorry Newtek but seem that you don't make a good job with LW in last year. Lightwave need survivor and not bury. If newtek can't do it, then sell to anyone can do it. Seem that newtek have fear of growing. I don't know.

Anyway let's wait preview of lw8 in siggraph :(. until there maybe we have maya 5.5 or xsi 3.7 or 4.0 with new feature list. who's knows?

well excuse my words, but I love lw and I want better to him. And is not only lw documentation that need improvement. Great now we have a lw help. But is not a complete help :(

excuse my english. if I would have to know speak english fully I would write much more.


05-19-2003, 02:18 AM

You really don't want UV mapping the way it was in 6.5. IIRC it didn't allow discontinuous UV maps amongst other things. There were other issues also.

As far as the unification thing goes, what you really want is for the underlying codebase to be merged so that operations in Layout and Modeler can be consistant. i.e. You're not restricted by the division...as you are now...to some extent. The side effect of this being that you could merge the UI's if you felt like it. Unlike you, I'm much happier with the application split into two. Though I'd like to see the end of such nonsense as skelegons and so forth.

Lattices would be nice, not that I personally have had need of them.

Standing around accusing Newtek of not caring or not doing anything about this sort of stuff is highly unproductive.

As far as documentation goes, yes, the manual is a bit disorganized, though the new online help manual is actually pretty good. I wrote a small lscript for Layout and Modeler to launch a web browser for me and display the online manual. Works well. :)

Anyway, more food for thought.