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View Full Version : Astro : LW9 or another ?



Thierry-l
03-07-2006, 09:48 AM
Hi,

I am photographer and computist fan of rendering (I use Photoshop, sometimes with plugins from Flaming pear or Universe IC).
I can create planets, with or without ring with PS (and tricks), stars, black holes accretion disk, etc.
But I feel that PS is limited, raster, and i am looking for a 3D vector software because creating a moebius with PS is not easy, without to speak about the bitmap that cannot really be zoom in/out without losing details.

After some searches I found illustrator 10 ou cs2, lightwave 9, carrara 5 and rhino (I forget probably blender and celestia, all 4 or at least the 3 last being able to create similar objects in 3D).

Question : as I don't want to loose too much time testing a soft not suited to my needs or not ergonomic or not completed, which one 'd you select to create, among other things :
- black hole (only the mouth) in 3D with texture
- worm hole (two mouths + the tunnel)
- a sun with prominences, bright, with a open view on its core (exploded view)
- a wrapped space-time (distorted mesh by a heavy mass).
- concentric rings of a proto planetary system.
all looking 3D.

Of course the software should display these images in grid mode (not texture) but also in color, with a sharp or fuzzy grid, and rendered.
and if possible, able to export to photoshop (bitmap, tiff or layers).

Illustrator, Lightwave 9, carrara 5 or rhino ?, knowing that they prices are 750E, 395$, 400 or 600$ (pro), 895E.
Each developper tells me that his product is able to do all that, but I haven't find yet any images.

I am currently checling video from carrara and rhino but I don't find any for LW9. Some GUI look simpler, easier and intuitive than others.

At last there is the question of tutorials from within the application or available in video or text with screendumps from the publisher website (if possible for free, some do that).

I am unable to make a difference between these products, excepted tha illustrator looks more oriented to photo/graphics art. So, remains the 3 last...

Your opinion is welcome

thanks
A+
Thierry

Signal to Noise
03-07-2006, 10:21 AM
Of course you can do everything you've described with LightWave. And more!

Check out the LightWave Gallery (http://newtek.com/lightwave/gallery/index.php?cat=2).

You won't find a demo of LW 9 because it hasn't even been released yet. Version 9 is in beta mode and probably won't be released for a while. You can ask NewTek for a demo of 8 or 8.5 and they'll likely send you a CD. I think you'll have to go through NewTek Europe.

Alternately, you can download the 7.5 update which is the complete program, not simply an update. Without the dongle the software will function as a demo.

Have fun and good luck!

prospector
03-07-2006, 10:47 AM
the space stuff your talking about was done professionally by the Babylon 5 crew for that show in LW, so there is no problem there.
The distorted mesh was done in ST:TNG, so no problem there.
Consentric rings is easily done with HVs and was in the title shots of one of the ST series I think. Or was in the holodeck scene in the Next Generation where the are standing in a starfield on platform. Or was it in a ST: Voyager show?
Fergot

There are also tuts for doing it in LW.

kruemel_1
03-07-2006, 11:41 AM
Illustrator is a 2D program, CS2 has a few extrude functionality but no real 3D functions. Rhino is mainly a CAD program, to render images you need some additional renderer like flamingo from the same company. Carrara is something like lightwave, but I don't know much about the last version.
When you first start Lightwave it will look "different". But after doing a few basic tutorial it's easy to work with. If you need something special, or if you can't find a solution yourself you will get quick hint here in the forum. On www.flay.com you can find plugin's (a lot of them are free) to nearly every subject. Thera are some good book's out (i prefer Inside Lightwave) and a lot of homepages with tutorials (for example simplylightwave.com, kurvstudios.com,desktopimages.com).
As mechanical engineer i do with lightwave mainly montages and presentations of facilities i'm designing. But this modeling-texturing-lighting-rendering thing is the funniest from the whole process.

Thierry-l
03-08-2006, 09:52 AM
Of course you can do everything you've described with LightWave. And more!
>..
Alternately, you can download the 7.5 update which is the complete program, not simply an update. Without the dongle the software will function as a demo.

Have fun and good luck!

Thanks. I donwload and install LW 7.5. Good begin.
Most users confirm me that LW9 should the best but maybe hard to master quickly. They also suggest hexagon or carrara, more ergonomy and probably easier to master. Their limitations should not appear in my kind of 3D renderings (black hole, worm hole, saturn, wrapped space, etc).
So remain probably 3 soft in competition or 2 against LW9. It is already better than my first list of 8 products.:)

You or another reader : do you have any URL showing renderings related to astronomy subjects generated mostly with LW9 ? Any gallery welcome.:thumbsup:

Thierry

Thierry-l
03-08-2006, 09:56 AM
Illustrator is a 2D program, CS2 has a few extrude functionality but no real 3D functions. Rhino is mainly a CAD program, to render images you need some additional renderer like flamingo from the same company. Carrara is something like lightwave, but I don't know much about the last version.
When you first start Lightwave it will look "different". But after doing a few basic tutorial it's easy to work with. If you need something special, or if you can't find a solution yourself you will get quick hint here in the forum. On www.flay.com you can find plugin's (a lot of them are free) to nearly every subject. Thera are some good book's out (i prefer Inside Lightwave) and a lot of homepages with tutorials (for example simplylightwave.com, kurvstudios.com,desktopimages.com).
As mechanical engineer i do with lightwave mainly montages and presentations of facilities i'm designing. But this modeling-texturing-lighting-rendering thing is the funniest from the whole process.

Thanks for your ideas. They are useful.
That shortens my choice to 3 : lw, carrara and hexageon I thing.
I will get the last word...

SplineGod
03-09-2006, 09:34 AM
I would go with LW due to all around it encompasses what the others do and more. I have LW based courses and have produced much of the LW material available thru KURV. I have about 4 hours of free videos on my site that can give you a good idea of whats possible.
The things you described would not be overly difficult to do in LW. LW itself is relatively easy to master.

MooseDog
03-09-2006, 12:39 PM
do you have any URL showing renderings related to astronomy subjects generated mostly with LW9

Take a look at this forum, they're BIG sci-fi fans:

http://www.lwg3d.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=294

and their rendering sub-forum:

http://www.lwg3d.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=230

All done with LW 8.5 or earlier. At this point you will not find any images done with LW 9 as it has not gone gold as of yet (it's still in beta testing).

MHO would of course be LW from a simple bang for the buck perspective. Assuming a fairly close price range between your three choices, LW offers the most features for each dollar spent. Let us know if they are the right features for you.

For help, assistance and tutorials, the greater LW community/user base has no equal, which you cannot put a price on.

Good luck!