View Full Version : Ease of use, sliders, drag and drop, more presets.

05-22-2003, 12:14 PM
At first it seemed that wanting to make LW more user friendly was a dirty word, a kind of ‘if you want that why don’t you get poser then’, but I am not that mad after all, I have just got back from the new Softimage demo (I don’t know anyone with the kind of cash to buy it so I had never seen it in action), well ease of use was their catch phrase almost every action brought up a slider with options that seemed easy to apply. Now these guys seem to be going head to head with Maya and Max, they are definitely looking at the lower end of the market now, it’s getting fierce out there.
Funnily enough SXI looks very similar to LW,(no icons), but they seem to have made a big push for ease of use in this release.
They did have one Jaw dropping feature:
They took a character, added a walk cycle, this thing walks across a flat plain.
Then this guys says “notice the feet, they are not sticking to the ground” one button click later the feet stick to the ground. Then he says but what if? And he pops up a slider and puts hills and gulley on the ground plane. The character dutifully walks up and down in real time always in contact with the ground.
But then he clicks another button, yes just one button and the whole ground plane bubbles like porridge and this character still walks on it, no problem, all done with sliders and a few button clicks. Then imagine the graph editor for this walk directly in the camera view, well that’s what they did, one click and there it was. So this thing was walking on the porridge and then you could pull the graph around all in the camera view, all with a few button clicks and sliders. Now I know LW can do all this too, but how? Lightwave’s power has got to be brought up to the surface.

05-23-2003, 03:50 AM
Sounds impressive.
My only caveat would be, being a trade demo, some things are ususally pre-rigged. If the scene is loaded with background motion etc already baked, I'm sure you could more or less show the same thing in LW. Of course, it may be that it was "on-the-fly" which would be awesome, I guess it's one of those things you only know for sure by playing with it yourself.

I've seen some stuff at shows which I know for sure requried some advance work, but you can bet they rarely mention that. After all, it is a business of getting you to buy their product.

For me, something similar I'd like in Lw it proper vehicle motion control. I know you can get 3rd party apps, but I would love this sort of thing. Heck, we all have our 'killer' addition, but for me, not being able to afford all the 3rd party plugins means I just don't get the flexibilty.
Of course, you could argue I just keyframe it all by hand, but then you lose some flexibility.
Oops, I'm rambling again.. :p

05-23-2003, 05:36 AM
I don’t think it was rigged, their whole push was that you didn’t need to, also some of the demo didn’t work, he had to boot up an older version at one point. This was at the production show at Olympia. XSI was there, Maya was there, Max was there – no LW though. The funny thing was that the XSI and Maya were on the same stand side by side (head to head), Maya on Mac XSI on PC the two demonstrators were shoulder to shoulder, that takes guts. I say to the XSI guy why should I spend so much on yours when Maya also looks good, he says ‘No one beats us on character animation.’ An the Maya guy says ‘yup. he’s right, if it’s a large production. But if you are a small outfit then Maya is what you use’. Now that’s mature.
You see I think LW is handicapped because features are buried deep, I mean I am modelling some bubbles at the moment, using Hvoxals, I have had to access between 10 and 20 windows and sub windows for this simple task.

05-24-2003, 03:31 AM
Oooh, a make cool walk cycle button...:rolleyes:

05-24-2003, 04:31 AM
Originally posted by ackees
You see I think LW is handicapped because features are buried deep, I mean I am modelling some bubbles at the moment, using Hvoxals, I have had to access between 10 and 20 windows and sub windows for this simple task.

Hmmm, '10-20 windows' you say? Don't you think you're slightly exaggerating that perhaps just a little? :D

Click Hypervoxels, bring up the VIPER window, activate your Particle source and off you go! Simple as that with HV's - The rest is just tweaking values... What other windows are you working in? ;)

Honestly my friend, If you are stuck trying to do something, I really would invite you to please post a question to this forum and ask someone who can probably show you a faster way to approach it - Its called Community support and that's what we're all here for - To help you learn just how easy LW is.

This community is all about support - You might be surprised how great some people really are if you need help...

05-24-2003, 01:15 PM
There is an plugin built into modeler that makes bubbles for you. All you would have to do is plop them down someplace, give them a surface name save open layout and animate. can't get any easer than that.

Did anybody notice Soft xsi is giving away a full feature free education version [granted still has limited render and small watermark in corner but too cool.

05-24-2003, 04:38 PM
Yea I am sure I am doing it the dumb way as always, but think about it, I need the Volumetrics window with 4 sub menus, the Fx browser, the partical effects emitter with 5 sub windows, plus the hypervoxals settings with 7 sub windows, and numerious options for the lot. Now, that’s too much for what is in effect just a bit of salt & pepper over some other image. OK if you are working on the Matrix then all this is a must, but what if you are not doing the latest blockbuster? The issue is not once you know all this stuff, once you know it the task takes less than a minute, it’s when you first encounter it. I see it like this: when a kid first learns to swim you put them in the shallow end get them used to the water (play), then when they are happy in the water you teach them to swim properly, what LW is constantly doing is putting the new swimmer in the rapids.
I think LW 7.5 cold be much more powerful than any of the competition I have seen so far if the features were more accessable and more thought out.
Now, when I first raised this someone cynically said something like ‘just like star trek – computer make me a cool whatever’.
Well there is something in that, the software has to be smart in a new way it means dumping the existing architecture a bit like Apple bravely did when it realised that it’s existing architecture could no longer cope and bolting things on at every new release was hampering the system.
I would like to know what the software engneers think of this:
You model a box, duplicate it.
Now instead of applying various shaders etc. you apply a smart function to the box.
So you attach glass to one and rubber to the other,
From there on the objects behave like their smart profiles, so when you light the glass it already has the right properties, when you drop the glass on something hard it can break, when you drop the rubber object it bounces.
This appears to be the kind of development that is going on in software engineering, so instead of having to constantly adjust your walk cycle to a change in the landscape, the model only has to know about the plain below, it’s smart enough to know that if the plane goes up then adjust and continue up even when there is an unexpected change

05-24-2003, 07:25 PM
Originally posted by ackees

I would like to know what the software engneers think of this:
You model a box, duplicate it.
Now instead of applying various shaders etc. you apply a smart function to the box.
So you attach glass to one and rubber to the other,

Except it's too limiting to say that glass has certain features when there are hundreds of different kinds of glass. Same with rubber. If you're happy in your work having generic presets, then that's great but personally I'd like a little originality.

Ackees, I'm not trying to be rude but it sounds like you just don't want to learn everything about a software package and you'd rather have the software do everything for you. Lightwave is not that hard, and everything is not hidden. You can customize your Lightwave interface to have whatever tools you need right out there in the open and all you have to do to learn those tools is to read the manual and spend a fair amout of time experimenting. And that's true for whatever software you're using.

05-25-2003, 02:13 AM
lol! Dude, really - First you're using 10-20 windows and now its some kind of smart system that makes it so you don't have to learn proper texturing, lighting or create rigid body simulation? :D

I don't mean to be rude either, but I really feel that I need to concur with hrgiger.

3D animation is an artform - To be good at it requires dedication, passion and a bit of Love - Part of that involves learning a package and working with it to get into a smooth workflow - LightWave you will find is probably the EASIEST to learn out of all those applications (even if it doesn't have a 'turn ground plane into pulsing porridge' button :) ), and as a lot of people will attest, it has a great workflow, better then most as well.

Most other 3D app's have demos (including XSI) - Get them - Try them - then compare LW with them AFTER you really find out yourself what they're like to work with, rather then what you've seen someone present to you... You might be surprised...

I'm not saying you're wrong by any means - Sometimes people just don't like the way LW works... Most do however once they get into it a little more.

Use what you find gets you the results you're after. Its your only road to true happiness! :)

05-25-2003, 02:46 AM
The thing is H & K, I am the sort of person that will dig away to get this right, that’s not it.
The guy on the Maya demo was between 18 and 23, I asked him if he had used LW he said yea but he couldn’t be bothered with it, too messy. I would really like to know what the LW engineers think about the ‘smart properties’ in my last post. Of course there would be major pro options in a system like that, it’s the structure of it that interests me.
PS here are the bubbles, I’ll leave the file somewhere when I am finished.

05-25-2003, 02:54 AM
The bubbles, didn't upload last post.

Chris S. (Fez)
05-25-2003, 06:40 PM
"Other than modeling in Modeler, LW does have a somewhat poor workflow."

I agree. If Newtek could make workflow for texturing, rendering and animating as fluid and flexible as Modeler we would be good to go.