View Full Version : Should I really buy LightWave?

05-25-2003, 03:20 PM
I have been saving up for a gamecube, but I think I can do with out it. My PS2 is enough for now. But should I really buy Lightwave? I am a beginner when it comes to 3D modeling. Don't know much. If I get lightwave, I am going to start off by doing low-poly stuff. I hear that lightwave is the easiest and cheapest compared to Maya and 3Ds max. But then I hear it is really hard to use and has a steep learning curve. Is Maya and 3Ds max easier to use than lightwave?

05-25-2003, 03:33 PM
Interesting... where did you hear LightWave is difficult to learn?

Personally I think LightWave is the easiest to learn of all the currently available high-end 3D packages - here's why:

1. No icons - all tools are text buttons telling you what everything does.

2. Separate Modelling and Animation programs - keeps the two distinct areas apart and only presents you with the tools necessary for the job in hand.

3. Excellent toolset - pretty much everything you need is straight out of the box and many useful plugins are available free from www.flay.com (a great normal mapping plugin has just been added recently).

4. Great learning materials - OK, the manual is lousy but Dan Ablan's "Inside LightWave 7" is an excellent resource that every LightWave user should (and probably does) own. There's plenty of online tutorials, DVDs and videos available too.

5. This forum - I've yet to have a LightWave question that someone on this forum hasn't been able to answer.

6. You really need a 6? OK - buy a new LightWave 7.5 now and you'll get 8 for free when it's released!

'nuff said :)

05-25-2003, 05:35 PM
may I add:

7. The most friendliest and funniest bunch of users you can imagine!! I have yet to meet an a.. of Lightwave User... but I know I wont...

8. The friendliest Sales/Tradeshow Staff around!! I have been to the european release of VT2 and they had also (of course!) Lightwave at their booth... they were all very friendly and fun!
I think the supportstaff is the same way... although I did not need them because -> 5.

BUY IT! NOW!! :p

or at least get the demo! or how do they call it now? "Discovery Edition"??

05-25-2003, 05:59 PM
Try the Discovery version of Lightwave and see what you think.

05-25-2003, 10:25 PM
Originally posted by Aegis
4. Great learning materials - OK, the manual is lousy but Dan Ablan's "Inside LightWave 7" is an excellent resource that every LightWave user should (and probably does) own. There's plenty of online tutorials, DVDs and videos available too.

This is true, but the new downloadable help files that became available when 7.5c came out, make up for the manual!
It is in a sense, a new manual, but with examples, better pictures, search options, etc...

I hope this same kind of work goes into the new Lightwave 8 manual.

Also, if you buy now, you will get a free upgrade to LW8!

05-26-2003, 03:00 PM
I may not be able to buy lightwave 7 academic. I may be able to, but just in case is there any cheaper 3D modeling program I can use that will get me started in 3D and ready for lightwave? I am looking for a good, non-clumsy, easy 3D program that cost somewhere around $200 or less.

05-26-2003, 03:57 PM
There's new, sealed copies of LightWave 5.6 (including Aura 1.0) for sale on eBay for under $200

05-26-2003, 04:01 PM

Wings3D (I think it's free)


Corel Bryce 5: $80
Caligari TrueSpace 5: $395
Eovia Amapi 3D v6: $280
Curious Labs Poser 5: $200 (more of a character app)

Go to http://www.3dlinks.com/ for a large list of 3d software -> Commercial and Shareware (from menu on left). There are very few modeling, rendering, animating apps for $200 or less, but they do exist.

Why are you asking about Maya, 3DSMax, and LightWave if you can't afford more than $200?

(approx. prices)
Houdini Master = $17000
Houdini Select = $1300
SoftImage XSI = $10000
Maya Unlimited = $6000
Maya Complete = $2000
3DSMax 5 = $3500
LightWave 3D 7.5 = $1500
Cinema 4D R8 XL = $1500

Of course, these are full price, not educational. If you can swing an educational price, more power to ya! :)


05-26-2003, 04:01 PM
is LightWave 5.6 any good? Does it work with OSX?

Also any other non lightwave programs?

05-26-2003, 04:20 PM
I think only 6.5 - 7.5 is certified to work on OS X (and the eBay auctions at the moment are for PC versions). Softimage and 3D Studio Max are not available for the Mac at all.

05-26-2003, 04:21 PM
Whats the difference between LightWave 7.5 Additional Seat and Lightwave 7.5 academic? Do they both expire?

05-26-2003, 04:26 PM
Additional seats are only available to existing LW users, the academic version is a full, unrestricted copy of LightWave you're just not allowed to use it for commercial work (and I think it costs more to upgrade 'cause you have to upgrade it to a full commercial license) no expiry though - you can use it for as long as you want.

05-26-2003, 06:20 PM
And if it says Lab pack aditional seat only schools can buy those.

05-26-2003, 06:28 PM
snickrep: You might want to check out Metasequoia shareware/free, it's similar to earlier versions of LightWaves modeler, quite a capable little program if you're on a tight budget.


The above link is the English page, but if you want to browse the more complete Japanese pages plug the Japanese home page URL into this;
Excite Japanese/English translation (http://www.excite.co.jp/world/url/)
check the second radio button under the URL box (and to see the original Japanese with English underneath select the second menu option).


05-26-2003, 06:52 PM
Another free tool:


...and if you do the Blender thing...