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Jockomo
03-31-2006, 11:53 AM
Ok, so LW9 is about to be released, yet I am still waiting for information on LW8 features.

When 8 was released I was more than a little dissapointed in the lack of documentation regarding the dynamics features. Every time I try to use the dynamics I spend a bunch of time setting the scene up, and then find that whatever I am trying to do just won't work.

Sure there was the obligatory general description of the buttons that Proton did in the manual. But honestly thats about as helpful as someone pointing out where a few controls of a 747 are and then saying, ok hop in and fly it.

I was hoping at some point they would put together real, meaty information, on why things happen the way they do. How objects interact and the inner workings of the dynamics. I'm not talking about physics formulas, but just good info like this little clip I pulled from one of Jennifer's posts:

"...and the first thing that I noticed was that the points of the clothing are not evenly spaced apart in a grid pattern. ClothFX loves evenly spaced grid patterns, since polygonal edges represent Spring forces."

SO.. My question is, did ANYONE ever put this info out there somewhere? Even to buy it if I have to. (although I think it is NewTek's obligation to it's users to explain how their program works)

And to NewTek... Please Please Please (watches as this falls on deaf ears) get one of your coders, stick a camera in front of him and have him explain in detail how this stuff works behind the scenes. I'm not asking for proprietary information. But we need to know how to optimise the meshes for interaction. We need to know WHY things won't work as Jennifer is talking about above, and how to make them work.

Amurrell
04-01-2006, 07:39 PM
Here, here.

animotion
04-05-2006, 01:34 PM
Amen to that.

RedBull
04-05-2006, 04:14 PM
Ok, so LW9 is about to be released, yet I am still waiting for information on LW8 features.

Who told you to wait?


When 8 was released I was more than a little dissapointed in the lack of documentation regarding the dynamics features. Every time I try to use the dynamics I spend a bunch of time setting the scene up, and then find that whatever I am trying to do just won't work.

I find Dynamics, one of the easiest and most enjoyable areas
to setup and play with.... I find stuff usually works great...

Perhaps if you posted a more specific problem, instead of general complaining,
people could help you through your particular areas of trouble....


Sure there was the obligatory general description of the buttons that Proton did in the manual. But honestly thats about as helpful as someone pointing out where a few controls of a 747 are and then saying, ok hop in and fly it.

Honestly a 747 is not hard to fly, the trick is not becoming overwhelmed
buy all of the buttons and guages it has..... Just knowing how to read
a couple of the guages, will be enough for you to fly one.....

This is the way i like to approach stuff, a quick familar look at the tools,
and then throw me in the deep end so i can get to the good stuff....

To quote the Lightwave manuals ("You can't learn english by reading the dictionary") Manuals are there to help and for reference, it's not going to make you not suck as an animator..... That comes from practice and patience.... There is no magic "make not suck button"


I was hoping at some point they would put together real, meaty information, on why things happen the way they do. How objects interact and the inner workings of the dynamics. I'm not talking about physics formulas, but just good info like this little clip I pulled from one of Jennifer's posts:

"...and the first thing that I noticed was that the points of the clothing are not evenly spaced apart in a grid pattern. ClothFX loves evenly spaced grid patterns, since polygonal edges represent Spring forces."

You were hoping at some point?
Look a lot of us hope at some point, we then realise Santa Clause is a fraud, and is sleeping with the tooth fairy... And that hoping is for idiots.... :)


O.. My question is, did ANYONE ever put this info out there somewhere? Even to buy it if I have to. (although I think it is NewTek's obligation to it's users to explain how their program works)

No! Newtek has provided the means and information nessesary to use their tools, many of us use them day in, day out without issues....
Newtek is not obligated to hold your hand, or send Proton around for a days training.... It's the user who's reponsible for their own usage, learning and using of the tools he/she has bought....


And to NewTek... Please Please Please (watches as this falls on deaf ears) get one of your coders, stick a camera in front of him and have him explain in detail how this stuff works behind the scenes. I'm not asking for proprietary information. But we need to know how to optimise the meshes for interaction. We need to know WHY things won't work as Jennifer is talking about above, and how to make them work.

The coding of the FX was done formerly by Gregory and Mark (now at Lux)
and the new FX tools were done by INO from Dstorm Japan......
And lets face it, CodeJunkies speak a langauge artists never will....
without the japenese language barrier....

How did Jennifer learn Dynamics? (hint) not by reading the dictionary. :)

There will be literally tons of stuff, that never gets mentioned in books and manuals, this is what years of experience teach that books do not.....

You sound like you are out of your depth with FX....
I would suggest, Tutorials, Books, DVDs or training in LW is what your after.

There are dozens of commercial and free tutorials, plenty of forums...
and many people willing to help people in the LW arena....
A quick google search on "Lightwave Particle Training" gaves dozens of links.

I would suggest working from trial and error, and ask questions with specfic problems if the need arises....

Jockomo
04-05-2006, 09:41 PM
Wow, I am impressed that you took so much time to dissect my post.

Yes it was mostly a rant and sorry but I'm not going to try to respond to all of your points.

But I will say that I don't have time for "playing around" with and experimenting. Perhaps if I was some high school kid with a ton of time, you might have a point. And perhaps if I had not been making money with lightwave for 10 years now, I might be looking for a magic bullet to "become" an animator.

I will also say that nearly every time I use the dynamics features I am pushing the boundary of what can be done and have had to switch over to RealFlow to get the job done, so while I am not as competent as I would like to be, I am not as incompetent as you might suggest.

It's not basic stuff that is getting me. It's stuff like, can you throw 100,000 particles at a 100,000 poly collision object and expect it to work with 2 Meg of ram? What are the boundaries? How high can you crank up the settings before they don't do anything anymore. Does putting in negative values do anything? Explain what is happening behind the scenes when the little display says step=8276283728. What situations are better for legacy MD over ClothFX. Many of these I know the answer to, and I can tell you, it's not in the manual.

The bottom line is that the documentation has a lot to be desired. If you disagree and think that all of the info you should get is there, I think you'd be the first I have ever heard with that opinion, as NewTek has LONG been dogged about the lack of proper docs, and in a frustrated moment, I thought I'd vent a little by popping in and reminding them that what they gave us last time was not acceptable. At least not to me.

Your "suck it up and dig in and learn it" attitude is noble, but it's not always realistic. Not when you have a deadline and stuff is not working the way it is advertised to and you get non-answers from tech support like, "uh we never thought anyone would try to use it like that".

Fortunately we usually have people who step up, do the experimenting and write a book or do a video that explains the theory that Newtek was too busy to tell us. Unfortunately no one (that I know of) has done this yet for dynamics theory.

Jockomo
04-05-2006, 09:56 PM
Oh and btw, I finally- through trial and error no less, got what I needed done.
http://www.3danimationonline.com/ET/video/twistedWireline2.mpg

Thanks to Dodgy's help!
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27444&highlight=rope

Silkrooster
04-05-2006, 10:11 PM
Try these:
http://www.asilefx.com/products_tutorials.htm
http://www.kurvstudios.com/lightwave/dynamics.php
http://www.kurvstudios.com/lightwave/displacements.php
http://www.tutorfx.com/
Silk

Lamont
04-06-2006, 12:18 AM
I'm with RedBull on this. It's all there, NT can't possibly go over the many branching non-traditional uses of the tools. And you can't fault them when you call them up with something like that. The best they can do is guide you through a logical path.

Another thing is "tech support" for any company may not be a heavy user like you are. So the best place for information is HERE. People who use the software every day, all day.

Besides it's 3D: fake it.

Why go outside your limits/knowlege when money is on the line? And if you are planning on doing something "iffy", you better have a way out if it doesn't work.

You guys need to watch more A-Team.
http://www.legendarytv.com/the_a-team/wallpaper/the_a_team_group_1_thumb.jpg

RedBull
04-06-2006, 02:17 AM
I will also say that nearly every time I use the dynamics features I am pushing the boundary of what can be done and have had to switch over to RealFlow to get the job done, so while I am not as competent as I would like to be, I am not as incompetent as you might suggest.

Seems like overkill unless you are looking for CFD effects, which
of course LW is only acustomed to faking, as it's not a CFD sim.
LW9 included Waterpool which can do better deformations..

It's not basic stuff that is getting me. It's stuff like, can you throw 100,000 particles at a 100,000 poly collision object and expect it to work with 2 Meg of ram? What are the boundaries? How high can you crank up the settings before they don't do anything anymore. Does putting in negative values do anything? Explain what is happening behind the scenes when the little display says step=8276283728. What situations are better for legacy MD over ClothFX. Many of these I know the answer to, and I can tell you, it's not in the manual.

No, but it never will be, as i said there is a manual and then their is training
materials, and what you are asking for is the latter.... This usually comes in commercial form... XSI for example has excellent training.


The bottom line is that the documentation has a lot to be desired. If you disagree and think that all of the info you should get is there, I think you'd be the first I have ever heard with that opinion, as NewTek has LONG been dogged about the lack of proper docs, and in a frustrated moment, I thought I'd vent a little by popping in and reminding them that what they gave us last time was not acceptable. At least not to me..

Not at all, i prefer the 2x manuals from 5.x days...
And the level of documentation has always lacked on NT's side, so i agree..
These days i generally only use the manual, if i'm in desperate need of referencing a tool.. I know the limits generally from trying them, if it's a pain of a limit/problem i'll request a bugfix or feature request. But i also understand venting too!! :)

I do think the kind of stuff you are asking for though is not always going to be there, you must look for alternate methods to find the answers to questions.
forums are a great way for example.


Fortunately we usually have people who step up, do the experimenting and write a book or do a video that explains the theory that Newtek was too busy to tell us. Unfortunately no one (that I know of) has done this yet for dynamics theory.

I understand for many and new users that the docs are lacking, and
i think more should be done to improve it. But i also think it's the responsibilty
of the users to fill in the gaps, more often than not..

The amount of tips and tricks i've learnt in LW from over 10 years of usage
that is not included in the manual is mind boggling, it could fill quite a few books.... But that's what experience is about?

As Lamont says people are using the software, all day everyday here!...
You have live 24 hour tech support, by people who are doing mission critical stuff in LW..... Silly not to use it...

Also the animation looks good...!!
I would of almost certainly faked it, rather than use dynamics
just because of the setup time.... but it looks good none the less.

Silkrooster
04-06-2006, 02:42 AM
LOL, I haven't seen the A-Team in years.
I think Newtek is going in the right direction. Anybody that seen ver 7 manual can say the ver 8 manual is way better, both in organization and the number of tools that are covered. Ver 9 is not out yet, so I say it is too early to complain about the manual. If ver 9 was the same as 8 then you may have a reason to complain. But I have a strong feeling the new team of Newteks will keep getting better.
Now for a manual that teaches all. That will not happen. They can explain what the tools are and what features they possess. But they should not have to tell you how to use the tools, but they can show examples. They are not psychic, there is no way they can predict all the ways there are to use those tools. This is what tutorials do, they show you one way to produce an object. This may not be the best way, the fastest, nor the simplist, just a way they had learned and wish to pass on. Some of the techniques can be use for other objects, but not all. Somewheres along the line there will always be someone, who will find a faster, more acurate, or just a simpler way to do what everyone else has been doing for years. Was any of the other ways wrong, No, just a different way of thinking.
Thats the beauty of 3D modeling, it take your train of thought and produces a peice of art.
One more thing to think about. How many car owners manuals do you know that teach you how to drive? They tell you all about the tools in that car, give advice on making sure your car stays in top working order. Maybe some safty tips. But there is no way any car owners manual would know all the state, federal(US), foreign counties laws. What teaches you how to drive? Schools do.
Anyways, I said more than enough. I am bowing out of this conversation. As it really is heading no where. Everyone has their own opinion, and I just dumped mine all over you guys.
Take care,
Silk

SCS5
04-06-2006, 09:44 AM
The Lightwave manuals were NEVER a strong point for Newtek. I worked at a company who did video hardware ( TBC's, DVE's, Editing Hardware, Etc) & proprietary 3D animation systems 17 years ago & did all the training, demos, trade shows, tutorials & manuals for the software. We had a simple system for the manuals...We had someone from the company who new nothing about the manuals & software go through & try the tutorials and point out where they got stuck or were confused, & where documentation was missing for a tool & we made changes until they could go through with out a catch.....Newtek how about it? I can't count the number of tools & plugins that come with Lightwave that have NO documentation! And, NO, it's not my responsibility to go through through the tools & experiment, it's Newtek's responsibility to document them! The Manuals & tutorials for some other 3D manufactures consist of 2 or 3 Binders!! Not because it's so hard, but, because they want to give their users FULL documentation!!

Jockomo
04-06-2006, 10:26 AM
When I first made this post, I had not noticed that they put up a forum called 'documentaton discusson". And honestly I can't think of a better way to let the community help sort this stuff out. I realise that spending money on the manual is time they could be spending on the software so it's a good step in the right direction.

I don't expect them to teach me everything. What I would like to see is more of the stuff they have now in green that says NOTE:
I think if you check the manual you'll get what I mean.

Anyhow, I'll post some more of my questions in the appropriate forum when I get some more time.

Thanks for the links silkrooster, I didn't realise Mike had done a video. Unfortunately I think most of that stuff I can do already.