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Orkman
05-23-2003, 01:41 PM
Boy I have been amazed at AI plugins like Mayhem for 3D studio and Massive for Maya. Is there anything in the works (or existing) for Lightwave3D?

http://www.adamwatkins.com/mayhem.htm
http://www.massivesoftware.com/
I also may be interested in some links, or books on scripting plugins for Lightwave.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

Red_Oddity
05-23-2003, 03:18 PM
It's not going to be much use when Lightwave still doesn't support Instancing...

You don't want a thousand high poly models rendering in Lightwave...

Orkman
05-23-2003, 04:01 PM
Got it. Thanks for the info Red.

WizCraker
05-23-2003, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by Red_Oddity
It's not going to be much use when Lightwave still doesn't support Instancing...

You don't want a thousand high poly models rendering in Lightwave...

Apparently you've never seen HD Instance (http://www.happy-digital.com/instance.asp) It does just thatl


Taken from Happy Digitals Site
HD Instance is a plug-in for LightWave 7.5 and up that lets you render thousands of object instances (clones) without using up lots of memory! You can control the instances using null objects or existing geometry, with randomized scaling, rotation and colorization options! The instances follow the base object exactly including all animation, plus they have their own scaling and rotation applied on top!

Red_Oddity
05-25-2003, 07:09 AM
Yeah, yeah ,yeah...i know about HD Instance, but that does mean to buy another plugin, and it means more trouble when for some reason the Crowd plugin and the Instance plugin don't work together...

It's nice to have a plugin that add to Lightwave itself, it's a whole other ballgame when you have plugins that add to other plugins...
That's just asking for trouble and for plugins that break with updates (either from LW or from the other plugin it relies on)

SplineGod
05-25-2003, 03:13 PM
Originally posted by Orkman
Boy I have been amazed at AI plugins like Mayhem for 3D studio and Massive for Maya. Is there anything in the works (or existing) for Lightwave3D?

http://www.adamwatkins.com/mayhem.htm
http://www.massivesoftware.com/
I also may be interested in some links, or books on scripting plugins for Lightwave.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
If you read about massive being used on LOTR they spent 2 years building up a large data base of motions. It took a long time and a lot of work for them to make it useful. There are other tricks to getting useable crowds in Lightwave. Parenting things to particles and using LOD character replacements can work well. Using lower rez versions that have details applied via normal maps works well too for keeping polycounts under control.
Dont forget that you can also render in passes.

harhar
05-25-2003, 04:39 PM
you don't need a plugin to support a plugin, if there's a AI plugin in Lightwave, it should have instancing capabilityitself.

Red_Oddity
05-26-2003, 04:15 AM
My point exactly

cresshead
05-26-2003, 08:16 AM
it would be nice to have a crowd plugin for lightwave..either lw7.5 or lightwave 8..either built in or a solid plugin...seeing as xsi has such a feature plus character studio can do some along with the mahem and also maya'ai implant..lightwave could really do with joining the crowd here!

maybe the hd instance people could get in touch with that watkins chap..or even better newtek could sign him up!

later

steve g

head worm
05-27-2003, 05:22 AM
You can actually achieve quite complex crowd movements using the particleFX plugin and FXLinker. I agree totally with above posts about plugins about instancing, as it's a fairly basic requirement these days.

All the flocking and repelling motions associated with crowds can be achieved using a particle emitter, which is actually quite an efficient way of developing intelligent movement, as you only have to record points rather than entire models.

Basic walking, swaying and wobbling movements can be applied to individual human models, that should be pretty low polygon to be practical. You can then use FXLinker to exchange particles for people.

I've done this stuff practically and got very useable results in about two days, which certainly isn't particularly fast in the environment I've been used to working. But it is possible. You have to remember that crowds are quite complex things and so even specialist plugins are going to have bunches of parameters that will take time to master.

Apart from instancing, I'd say Lightwave is quite capable of doing this stuff plugin free.

Hope this is helpful

Head Worm
www.the-worms-of-art.com

Phil
05-27-2003, 08:28 AM
I remember the crowd scene from a little while back (was it a SIGGRAPH thing?), but never really understood how it was put together.

It's time for a little book work, methinks.

Matt
05-27-2003, 11:00 AM
Geez, just read how much Massive is!

$40,000 USD

Talk about over-priced!!!

HowardM
05-27-2003, 06:06 PM
Massive is sweet but expensive...and took a long time to get working!
Yes you can do $2000 quality crowd simulation like everyone has said using LW, PFX, FXlinker...even MD!
:)

Freak
05-27-2003, 10:09 PM
I don't see what Instancing really has to do with it...
There are several ways of making AI type programs without instancing... And most AI Plugins would provide options internally anyway.

LW can be tweaked to do it, just not as gracefully as some others.
(Like Larry mentioned) PFX, FX Linker, MD, LOD and Objectreplacement, can all work.

AI Implant was to be ported to LW, but programmers had quite a task to get LW's SDK to play nice. I believe it has now been outsourced and development has restarted with veteran LW programmers taking over.

Fingers crossed, you may see something by end of year.
This type of plugin, is expensive and aimed at high end studios,
like similar plugins and programs like massive.

Paying $40K for Massive can be cheaper than shooting 1000's of extra's at film resolution. Re-shoots, compositing, etc, etc..
Rather cheap by comparison really.

Mylenium
05-28-2003, 12:02 AM
Hi guys,

I really have no idea if I ever would be using a real crowd simulation (since I rarely do any character related stuff), so I would once more vote against it. Developing such a tool would take great efforts from the development team and there are more pressing issues with LW. Also for a serious usability you would have to have other things as well such as dynamics (for collision detection with the terrain etc.) and something like ACS integrated into LW for setting up many characters at a time. Now comes the real ugly part: Who of you guys has a MoCap studio or at least an extensive Motion/ Pose library? Without this everything else is pretty useless if you are after real movement. That's why I don't think Massive is too expensive - they are offering a lot of this stuff (some MoCap sets to get you started, collison detection, soft and hard body dynamics etc.). It's just a shame they have no more intentions of making a free "light" version.

Mylenium

Matt
05-28-2003, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by Freak
Paying $40K for Massive can be cheaper than shooting 1000's of extra's at film resolution. Re-shoots, compositing, etc, etc..
Rather cheap by comparison really.

Good point!

Imagine how popular LW would be if you could do something very close out of the box!!!! :)

(Not that I'd use it, never done any character animation in my life)