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vitovonantwon
05-26-2003, 12:22 PM
I hope Newtek has looked at the new softimage xsi Package,

There were tons of new stuff there that I can only hope make

it into lightwave. (New xsi comes with fusion style compositing,
(lightwave won't bundle fusion.)

You can paint on objects in program.

Bridge tool, in modler.

Fillet tool, in modler.

Mapping High poly normals onto a low poly obj, That was stuff
used in the Halflife2 game. Sick. Currently there is something like that for lightwave, but its a third party.

I will predict that gaming industry is going to lean to xsi, unless newtek does something spectacular this time.

VitoVonAntwon

Stranahan
05-26-2003, 12:44 PM
Just curious - what's the price?

Doug Nicola
05-26-2003, 01:01 PM
I think it's now around $10,000 for the full XSI, or you can lease it for $320/month for 2 years.

Softimage 3D 4.0 I think is around $1500

Stranahan
05-26-2003, 01:03 PM
Well, $10,000 would buy you LightWave, all the plug-ins to do the stuff mentioned, and you'd have $7000 or so left to do whatever with.

XSI is a great package. Maya's great. LightWave is great, too - and when you add in some plug-ins you're still a lot more affordable and the capability gap isn't that big.

Doug Nicola
05-26-2003, 01:10 PM
I'm with you, Stranahan! I'd buy a new Dell dual Xeon 3.06, all those amazing plugs, and still have money left over! Lightwave all the way for me.

Actually, this is exactly what I'm going to do in not too long...

fortress
05-26-2003, 02:29 PM
qeustion where did you get the information that hl2 was using normal mapping

as far as i knew doom 3 was the only engine to support normal maps so far

Chris S. (Fez)
05-26-2003, 08:22 PM
Setting price aside...the edge XSI holds over Lightwave has nothing to do with long fancy feature lists. It is about the implementation and inclusion of tools fundamental to 3D and the unified interface that allows artists to access and apply these tools.

The dope sheet, the texture editor, the explorer, the schematic view, the spread sheet, the animation mixer, the node-based render tree and even basic viewport navigation...all work and feel like organs belonging to a single living being, to a single streamlined interface. Conversely, Lightwave lurches along like Frankenstein, cannibalizing clunky 3rd party interfaces for inclusion into the main app. The stitches are starting to show.

It is criminal what we pay for Lightwave considering what an incredibly cool piece of code it is. But you know how comfortable and fast you feel moving and making in modeler? You are so familiar with the tools and the tools are so accessible that you can create almost as fast as you can imagine it. To me that feeling is limited to Lightwave's modeler. In XSI I feel it when I am modeling, texturing, animating and rendering.

I have high hopes for Lightwave 8 but I also have high expectations. The subd display and modeling workflow in XSI was undoubtedly inspired by Lightwave...but it feels like an XSI implementation. I am asking Lightwave developers to do the same thing...take what is great about XSI and make it their own.

Stranahan
05-26-2003, 08:24 PM
I agree and the issues you mentioned are high on my list, too..

I'm just saying - for $10,000...ya know....it should be good...

LightWave is just a great value...

cavalos
05-26-2003, 08:26 PM
I´m pretty shure NT can catch up XSI without change the price.
That´s why LW is so good and preatty.

takkun
05-26-2003, 09:10 PM
Last thing I heard was it was $11,750. Hey, you get what you pay for.

hrgiger
05-26-2003, 09:25 PM
Is XSI better implemented then Lightwave. Maybe. Is it worth the $9,000 they gank you for? Definately not.

For $11,000 it better be driving my ***** around town.

vitovonantwon
05-26-2003, 10:33 PM
I went to a demo for xsi at the sheraton on the 22nd.

The person demonstrating xsi had a 10,000 poly object of a cave wall, (like a subdivided plane that was jittered) and was moving the light around, OF course the open gl, was casuing the nooks and crannies of the cave to be affected with the light. (each one growing darker and lighter)

THen he does this baking thing, and loads up the thing on a 10 poly object, Ya ya no big deal, but he moves the light around and
all the nooks and cranies of the 10,000 poly object seemed to be backed onto this 10 poly object. He then loaded up halflife2, demo, and showed us the wall,

Very impressive.

Vito

DIdn't know xsi was that expensive. I suppose lightwave and fusion is still half that price. So one might say, for double the price of lightwave and fusion, you get a really different 3d experience.

fortress
05-26-2003, 10:42 PM
nice

sailor
05-27-2003, 01:02 AM
hey have good news for ya...when u are workin the company is payin the license of the soft....so real price tag XSI=free
the same goes for other software as well...:)...in the meantime u can learn these softs at university or with those learning editions they usually have
these softs has simply much more advanced 3d technology and that is why it costs more...the real question is do you really need these technology? i agree that LW can do amazing pictures and it only get stuck in particular situations...in the other hand Studios can't get stuck with a product in any situation...to give ya a real world example the props in Spiderman and Minority report were modeled in Rhinoceros why? because they needed to make a 1/1 practical model for the live action and the precision of Nurbs modeling was needed to send this to the milling machines...maybe it was just a matter of comfort but more likely it was because Maya or XSI or whatever was used for the rest wasnt accurate enough for this task. (u see nobody is perfect)..personally i hate to model with Nurbs but there still is a market for that if u wanna be part of prestigious productions like those mentioned...understanding why and how this is needed is both critical for the man behind the comp and the people that chooses (or not) to develop (or not) certain features versus price (i'm talking about NT here

as an example ...will NT rise his prices if he had to implement a Nurbs core into the modeler? i think yes...

Hervé
05-27-2003, 02:01 AM
A friend of mine works at a Porsche dealer.... I have tried a month ago (just for fun) one of those baby's.... you'll never look at your old car the same way....

I have a Renault, and for sure that Porsche is a Real Car, but watch the price.... you get what you pay for....

evasion3D will set you up for $399 with their new projective system called MicroWave

watch that....

Stranahan
05-27-2003, 07:51 AM
Well, with Microwave for $399 plus LightWave for $1595 = you're well on your way to a Porsche! :)

Really though, it's all good - there's never been a better time to be a computer graphics artist...

Computers are cheap, and software is cheaper than ever. It's all cool stuff, too. As for LightWave, I've said for a while Add a few plugs to LightWave - Worley's G2, IFW2 Textures, all the evasion stuff, Ortho from Irrational Numbers, ACS / Setup Machine, Dynamic Realities's Impact3 / Nature FX...you'll still a lot cheaper than Maya / XSI / Max..and it's amazingly cool. Problem is most people haven't SEEN those plug-ins, except on the internet.

And don't forget LightWave doesn't charge for support or the like.

Matt
05-27-2003, 11:06 AM
the more I think about it, the more I can't wait to see what they do in v8!

Doug Nicola
05-27-2003, 12:19 PM
...only two months to siggraph...

(my bet is an integration surprise! :) )

harhar
05-27-2003, 04:56 PM
Mapping High poly normals onto a low poly obj

where did you hear that softimage supports normal mapping? If this is true, somebody at XSI forum wouldn't have made a normal map maker and shader a week ago. So, XSI's normal maping is also third party.

Joe
05-27-2003, 06:32 PM
Normal Mapping options will be include in V3.5 as a netview Tool

harhar
05-27-2003, 07:34 PM
so it's not part of XSI right now.

Beamtracer
05-27-2003, 11:25 PM
Softimage is owned by Avid. Avid's biggest shareholders are:

1. Microsoft
2. Intel

Last time I heard, Softimage was making a loss for Avid. So, no matter how much XSI costs, it aint making them a profit.

Hervé
05-27-2003, 11:34 PM
[QUOTE]Really though, it's all good - there's never been a better time to be a computer graphics artist...


.... well to buy stuff, .... sure, but it is becoming very crowded (which in a way is good) here, and every kid of the block is now doing 3D....

No seriously, I was thinking to go from Hobby to some jobs, but by the time I turned my head, in my city, there is now 4 more Companies that are doing 3D....(and you bet, they all have maya or XSI. If you say you're looking for a job, and you say you're on LW, they'll say (I know , I know... no bashing here !) no, we just work with high-end software, in other words, they know LW is good, but they wont work with it for pro stuff or clients ! Advertising Co. also tend to get in this business after being left off on the sidewalk with their 2D photoshop and illustrator "money makers"...


Note. this is just me.... as I am old now and dont want to fight to much anymore.... and I have my garden now so.....

policarpo
05-28-2003, 12:01 AM
you know what LightWave needs?

A freaking overhaul of its UI and interaction model.

When I show people the cool stuff I make in LightWave their first reaction is always the same, "Why are there so many windows and why are you clicking all over the place to do stuff?"

You see, I work for a company which specializes in creating User Interfaces for software which ranges from $100 to $100,000.00 USD, so these coworkers are hard nose usability experts with an eye on easing the suffering of users. But I like to suffer. It builds character and creates new Neural Pathways.

I use LightWave because it is what I can afford and I like the results it produces, but not a day goes by that I don't see how it could be better. REALLY MUCH BETTER! It pains me to no end because it's always small things that can make the experience better, and these small things effect large usability issues that only serve to improve and speedup the workflow.

NewTek just needs to have a come to Jesus meeting and really analyze everything they have going for LightWave under the hood and clean that beast up. Right now things are duct taped and rigged in such a fashion that if it were a car it wouldn't be street legal (not in the US at least).

Softimage "XSIgh" is a great application, and if their price comes down to compete with Maya (basic and advanced versions) I'm afraid we'd see a lot of dissenters from the LightWave clan. And this is something NewTek has to keep in mind.

While our software is good for what we do...we will continue to evolve our craft as our purse grows and one day we will find ourselves at the cross roads as we either slip that new key into our Hooptie, or slide it into that new Porsche Boxter 911 Turbo.

Just think about it.

Ok.:)

Hervé
05-28-2003, 12:25 AM
Well said Policarpo....

Beamtracer
05-28-2003, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by policarpo
NewTek just needs to have a come to Jesus meeting
I think they did that and came up with their new Genesis religious software for churches.

Originally posted by policarpo
one day we will find ourselves at the cross roads as we either slip that new key into our Hooptie, or slide it into that new Porsche Boxter 911 Turbo.
I don't think the Porche car analogy applies very well to 3D software. With Porche, the name is a sign of prestige for those who own it. That's the number one reason they buy one, followed by performance and features. Come on, you'd probably prefer to own a Porche than a Japanese car with the same features and power. It's the Porche name.

Maya and XSI are like BMW and Porche... their names have prestige. A lot of the hype around them is prestige, which appeals to people who are new to 3D and are deciding which software to learn.

Unlike a car, there's no massive performance gain in using those other 3D applications. Sure, you might like this or that feature, but their renderers aren't faster or that much better (in the case of Maya it is worse than Lightwave's).

What I'm trying to say is that Maya and XSI are attracting people with their names. When you ask those people (beginners deciding what 3D software to learn) to say exactly what it is they like, a lot of them have trouble coming up with a good answer. They often choose it because of the name.

Hervé
05-28-2003, 12:51 AM
[QUOTE]" to say exactly what it is they like, a lot of them have trouble coming up with a good answer. They often choose it because of the name."


Well This is true in part.... I know some of them (although just one is trying to learn 3D), they are friends of my son....! They'll start to use Mostly Maya, because of some articles in magazines and fanzines for young crowds (the kind of mag you and I dont read... and there they talk about special FX and stuff...; and almost all of the time, the "writer" say, hey ! they used that cool soft called Maya.... and then from there, they download a copy of it (unlike LW, maya ple is fully fonctionnal) or they buy a mag with a CD in a news stand, and Opla, let's go....

.... and at the end they are saying :" California überalles !!" (they dont even know it's coming from Canada....))

lord
05-28-2003, 12:51 AM
Beamtracer have you ever driven a porsche?

Hervé
05-28-2003, 01:01 AM
I guess you did Lord....

policarpo
05-28-2003, 01:02 AM
oh my god...is it late or is it early for you beam???

screw it...Softimage is an S2000...maya is a Jetta. it doesn't matter...get off the car analogy argument. forget i said it. jeez.

focus on the goal guys....improve the UI and interaction and usability workflow and you'll have a better product.

throw out the duct tape and stuff binding it all together and make the windows and working environment a holistic experience...so it feels like everything belongs in its place.

That's all i'm saying.

screw the car analogy.
just fix the software.

:D

lord
05-28-2003, 01:26 AM
Herve:

Not yet...:)

Chris S. (Fez)
05-28-2003, 01:27 AM
I was kind of partial to the car analogy Policarpo. I agree with everything you said...except the bit about the Jetta. :)

You got me Beamtracer, I am but another beginner easily swayed by brand names and all too anxious to blame my artistic inadequacies on my tools. :) My praise and appreciation of XSI has nothing to do with "prestige" or "this or that feature". I am just gonna quote my previous post: "the edge XSI holds over Lightwave has nothing to do with long fancy feature lists. It is about the implementation and inclusion of tools fundamental to 3D and the unified interface that allows artists to access and apply these tools. blah blah blah"

harhar,

3.5 has normal mapping built in though there is a free script available now for 3.0 and some interesting discussions on the subject over at XSI base and Spiraloid. There is a great free normal mapper available for Lightwave too, in addition to Microwave. The coolest idea I have seen in a while is using normal maps with subpixel displacement in Mental Ray and Renderman. Model the cage as you usually would. Then subdivide the cage a couple times and sculpt in all the crazy details you want (some folks are sculpting with Z-brush). Capture the details in a normal map and apply it to the base cage. Deformations are smooth and easy to set up because you are animating the cage yet the displaced surface looks EXACTLY like the sculpted, subdivided surface. Absolutely amazing.

Anyway,

I have said many times that if I am loyal to any software it is Lightwave. The last thing I want to do is spend ten grand on some stupid software. But, after taking XSI for a spin and seeing it as a clearly superior alternative solution (for me anyway), I realized I love modeling and rendering in Lightwave but not a whole hell of a lot in between.


Geez. I am actually mildly emotional. I think I'm gonna start growing my own garden, Herve...the college-days kind. :)

And for the record I would probably pick a Porsche over XSI but only because a Porsche could get me road-head from hotties. Hmmm...maybe XSI would have the same affect if I loaded it on a lap-top and went cruising. I bet if I flashed that sexy XSI interface at street corners, the babes would be brawling to get into my station wagon.

Hervé
05-28-2003, 01:54 AM
I recently talked to a guy using XSI here in Luxembourg.... he said he bought this app after testing around for 3 months Max, Maya, XSI, LW, mainly because he does not want to lose his hair... well what's left.... so I dunno... coz so far everything he has done could have been easy made in LW.....

if you want to see XSI.....

http://www.archigraphie.lu/start.html

Hervé
05-28-2003, 01:56 AM
.... oh and for my garden... well I am ready to harvest a ton of delicious cherries.... hummm... one more sunny week....

takkun
05-28-2003, 03:14 AM
Policarpo, you should have that company you work for design a new UI for LW, have them base it on Macromedia's MX design :) (kind of like matt's vX concept) . But whatever you do, don't make it like those horrible scrolling panels like in 3ds Max, yuck!

This is one way to setup LW, the properties and surface editor is on the right, they overlap a bit at 1280x1024 but that's not a problem. The graph editor, scene editor, motionmixer, and spreadsheet open in the bottom left and if I need to enlarge the viewport you just press tab to hide all the windows and maximize.

pixelmonk
05-28-2003, 04:58 AM
Originally posted by policarpo

NewTek just needs to have a come to Jesus meeting and really analyze everything they have going for LightWave under the hood and clean that beast up. Right now things are duct taped and rigged in such a fashion that if it were a car it wouldn't be street legal (not in the US at least).
Ok.:)


..and you can't fathom that they've already had this meeting? Just wait.

As for street legal cars... there's plenty in the U.S. which are far from legal and cops sit at the light right with them. Granted, LW isn't always stable and some peices seem to be just that.. peices, but no software is 100% stable nor implemented the way each person thinks it should be. Hell.. Maya 5 just came out and I get MR lock-ups just by screwing around with simple scenes.

mattclary
05-28-2003, 06:11 AM
The UI needs an overhaul?! The UI is LightWave's STRENGTH!!! Hard to imaging you "click around more" in LightWave than in the jumbled messes of other apps.

Matt
05-28-2003, 06:44 AM
policarpo

I'm with you on this one buddy! This is why I did this:

LightWave vX (http://www.creactive-design.co.uk/lightwave_vx/)

I too have an image in my mind of how even more fantastic LightWave could be than it is now, and most of these are UI / workflow issues.

mattclary

Changing the UI doesn't mean changing totally how LW works, some stuff works really well, I can imagine a solution that builds on what makes LW easy to use and familiar to exisiting users, but also makes it cleaner and simpler for new and old alike.

I agree about the whole icon vs text buttons debate too, this is why didn't do an icon-fest version like 3DsMax!

NT are aware of UI / workflow issues, this is why v8 is addressing them, can't wait to see what they've done!

Matt

mattclary
05-28-2003, 08:57 AM
Your stuff looks pretty good, Matt. As long as I can hide or move the stuff to maximize my editing real estate, i would be happy to use your UI.

policarpo
05-28-2003, 09:04 AM
I really liked your comps Matt...but stop with the free work already. Don't give away the hens cause you'll lose all your eggs.

:D

I think a 3 month UI examination think tank would do some amazing stuff to overhaul and streamline and improve LightWave.

Stranahan
05-28-2003, 09:14 AM
It doesn't even have to be 3 months - a weekend would work. I've been saying this for a long time.

However - before everyone gets revved up about new interface design, I think it's important to remember a vital principle..

Namely - it still needs to work like LightWave.

Based on talking to and training thousands of users in the past couple of years, I do not want to see a massive overhaul in LW8. That would lose users just as quick as no change at all.

I like a lot of Matt's design, because as a LightWave user I knew what I was looking at. That's really important - change for the sake of change, would be bad. Even if it's better.

Chew on THAT one with your morning bagel!

Stranahan
05-28-2003, 09:17 AM
the Fez said...
-------------------------
And for the record I would probably pick a Porsche over XSI but only because a Porsche could get me road-head from hotties. Hmmm...maybe XSI would have the same affect if I loaded it on a lap-top and went cruising. I bet if I flashed that sexy XSI interface at street corners, the babes would be brawling to get into my station wagon.
------------------------------

Reality check - girls don't care about software, and the boy/girl ratio is about 9:1, the wrong way. 3D isn't going to let you meet any girls...

Photography, on the other hand.....

mattclary
05-28-2003, 09:29 AM
I don't know, getting a chick to pose nude while you model her in LightWave gives you some serious time to chat her up (not to mention serious ogle time)! :)

policarpo
05-28-2003, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by Stranahan
It doesn't even have to be 3 months - a weekend would work. I've been saying this for a long time.

However - before everyone gets revved up about new interface design, I think it's important to remember a vital principle..

Namely - it still needs to work like LightWave.

Based on talking to and training thousands of users in the past couple of years, I do not want to see a massive overhaul in LW8. That would lose users just as quick as no change at all.

I like a lot of Matt's design, because as a LightWave user I knew what I was looking at. That's really important - change for the sake of change, would be bad. Even if it's better.

Chew on THAT one with your morning bagel!

well...decisions made over a weekend about how things should be used to improve usability is usually what gets software applications into trouble in the first place.

its harder for a seasoned user to think clearly about how something should function because they are so use to it...but they do offer a great deal of perspective and knowledge. and this is invaluable.

just because things change doesn't mean it will reak havok with existing users, especially when their needs are what are kept in mind when making the changes and evolving the software. streamlining workflow is the first step. if something works, tweak it to optimize it...and if something is just wrong, change it because its just plain stupid to leave it.

Software needs to be designed from the inside out and usability must be at its very foundation in order for it to be sound.

...just felt like adding some locks and cream cheese to my bagel...:D

Stranahan
05-28-2003, 09:39 AM
I don't think we're disagreeing too much...

My point on the weekend was only that you can't have a 3 Month Come To Buddha meeting. (Just rotating deities - next up, Zeus!) The process obviously needs to go on longer than that...

I think it's very easy to underplay just how much moving stuff around wreaks havoc on the users, too..

The problem is that nobody's doing usability testing on the software. The beta testers - for the reason Poli stated - are the worst people to do it, since they are SO familiar with the software. So, there's no testing of people not familar and interface issues get railroaded.

LW8 is an important release, and NewTek really screwed people up on LW6. We can't risk a repeat of that. That's really my main point - keep it like LightWave, but much better.

policarpo
05-28-2003, 09:49 AM
yeah...i agree with that.

the 3 month design analysis was just that...try out a couple of workflow and UI models and get those before a broad spectrum of users to insure that its moving in the right direction.

we do this all the time and the companies we work for love us for it. They are happy and most of all their customers are happy.

things cannot be designed in a vacuum anymore.

you need to do research.
you need to create prototypes.
you need to do user testing.
you need to anaylyze the feedback.
you need to implement and deliver.
you need to create the best experience for the user.
period.
remember what Nietzsche said?
GOD is dead! (http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/philosophy/nietzsche_God_dead.html)

Matt
05-28-2003, 09:57 AM
mattclary

As long as I can hide or move the stuff to maximize my editing real estate

everything would be configurable . . .

lightwave_vx_functionailty.jpg (http://www.creactive-design.co.uk/lightwave_vx/gfx/lightwave_vx_functionailty.jpg)

policarpo

I think a 3 month UI examination think tank would do some amazing stuff to overhaul and streamline and improve LightWave

I'd love to sit down with different users (riggers, animators, texture artists, modelers, people who do everything etc.) and really distill the essence of the perfect workflow for each, merge the common ground (won't not be possible for all tools) and create an ultra-slick, clean, configurable interface.

Stranahan

I like a lot of Matt's design, because as a LightWave user I knew what I was looking at

:) I tried to keep the parts / workflow that I believe users like about the current LW interface.

Matt

Stranahan
05-28-2003, 11:33 AM
Well, here's an idea..

Let's do something about this, informally but organize-dly...

Like forming a LightWave UI Civilian Task Force...

Get a forum together, knock around some ideas, and submit a generalized proposal to NewTek. If there's work to be done, and NewTek agrees - then some people involved like Poli or Matt might even be able to get some of that work, if they want it.

The LightWave community is it's strength, and here's a way to put some of that muscle and brainpower back into the program in an organized way.

I can certainly get the forum together, either on FXAcademy.com or maybe the NewTekPro section, right here. I have broad ideas about UI, but nowhere near the experience or obvious artistic skill of Poli or Matt. (I did make a nice modeler menu, though!)

Who's in?

Matt
05-28-2003, 11:52 AM
Sounds like a great idea Lee!

Aren't we too late though? If v8 is to have UI / workflow improvements then NT may have already started to implement some core changes, if they haven't and it's improvements to the existing core then let's do it!

Count me in!

:)

Stranahan
05-28-2003, 12:04 PM
Let me answer your question about whether it's too late to make changes in a political sort of way...

Here's history, going back 5 years or more.

LightWave 5 came out. It was good. Then LightWave 5.5 and 5.6 followed. Free upgrades to 5 users, and they were better.

LightWave 6 came out. Not good. But 6.5 came out, and it was free to 6 users. Much better.

LightWave 7 came out. Good. 7.5 - better. Free to 7 users. (Let's not talk about 7.5b, shall we?)

So - here's a bet. It's not based on any product plan I lnow about - just pure history. LightWave 8 will come out. It will be good. Then, at some point LightWave 8.5 will come out and be better.

Really, my main point is that the whole thing is an ongoing process. If ideas don't get into 8, there's more releases down the road.

Doug Nicola
05-28-2003, 01:48 PM
Well, here's the one big speed-bump question... Will layout and modeler be integrated??? This could be the ("major new release") workflow/UI change that's in store for 8, and it could have been in the works for quite a while already.

This integration (or not) is the center of the whole UI debate, so how could meaningful proposals be put forward without knowing what's going to happen with this?

...I think this is what Matt's refering to (maybe) in his comment about core changes....

Matt
05-28-2003, 01:54 PM
you have a point doug, if they have gone for integration in v8, let's hope they done it similar to XSI's 'modes' which changes the UI to reflect which mode your're in.

that way it doesn't matter what they do, we can still create ideas that work.

besides, any idea if it's modular enough should work either way.

---

Lee I hear ya, let's do this!!!

:)

policarpo
05-28-2003, 01:59 PM
let's give it a go...i have some free time coming up next month possibly. :)

Doug Nicola
05-28-2003, 02:16 PM
The "modes" idea is exactly what I'd like to see!! I'd like to have layout/modeler be ONE executable, with a button to switch between modes. That way all my shortcuts will still work the same, and the "change shock" from how we have it now will be minimal. Plus all the benefits of having one executable managing memory.

But NT only knows just what this means for the core code. I hope a modes-based solution is possible.

But if it's not possible, and they are still going with integration, then all bets are off...

marc
05-28-2003, 04:47 PM
Hey, after the car analogies had been left behind this turned into a really interesting thread.

After a long pause I started Lightwave the other day and immediately noticed all those little things about the UI again that kept getting on my nerves, mostly that so many things do not conform to the standard set by the operating system or other apps (pop-up menus, dialogue boxes, docking windows). Why does Modeler ask me, whether I want to save changes when closing the app, but Layout doesn't? Why can't I cancel changes I made in the texture editor? The list goes on...

I'd happily join the efforts to make LW8 more usable. Will there be usability-beta-testers? Can I be one?

Cheers,
Marc

______________
www.kickerfilm.de

Stranahan
05-28-2003, 06:38 PM
At the very start of this thread, someone mentioned something about 'NewTek not wanting to include Digital Fusion with LightWave'...

I had to hold my tongue, but the cat's about to be let out of the bag...

Wait....you'll hear about it soon...

Earl
05-28-2003, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by Stranahan
LightWave 5 came out. It was good. Then LightWave 5.5 and 5.6 followed. Free upgrades to 5 users, and they were better.

Unfortunately, 5.5 was NOT a free upgrade for 5.0 users. But 6.5, and 7.5 were. :D

(and if I'm wrong about this, then I went a long time not using 5.5 and 5.6 when I could have been!)

I used to spend hours creating fake UI's for all my favorite apps (LW, painting programs, etc)... I think it would be great if NewTek formed some sort of 'task force' to help gather ideas. A task force that signed an NDA so they couldn't leak info or pics, but one that could see what they're working on, and give feedback to the UI changes. Though, I have a feeling that they already have this 'task force' - even if it's not really deemed such. And I'm kinda doubting that any of us would be included on such a force... not to mention that they probably already have the UI changes on their way... but it'd still be cool if a method for active user feedback while they develop could be initiated. :cool:

Stranahan
05-28-2003, 06:44 PM
There's currently no group doing 'UI Beta Testing' - there is a Beta program, and I'm sure they talk about UI - but as I mentioned before, the Beta people aren't a complete solution for UI issues in my opinion...

Doug Nicola
05-28-2003, 06:49 PM
Oh jeez, Stranahan, that teaser gave me chills!! Maaaajor coolness is afoot, methinks....:D

Stranahan
05-28-2003, 06:55 PM
I'm not teasing for long....

I expect there will be an annoucment very soon...

Hervé
05-28-2003, 11:49 PM
Maybe a stupid question.... but what is digital fusion ?

policarpo
05-28-2003, 11:57 PM
a high end video compositing and effects package from eyeon...

like shake...combustion, after effects.

www.eyeonline.com

:)

Chris S. (Fez)
05-29-2003, 12:08 AM
Digital Fusion? Damn dude. Last job I had to learn and use Shake. The experience really turned me on on to node views...after two days of training it just clicked (it REALLY helped that Shake had the same viewport navigation hot keys as Lightwave...I felt right at home). Suddenly I appreciated the power and flexibility of XSI's Render Tree. Create a mask node or create a color correction node and apply them to any number of nodes. Easily export and import branches of texturing or compositing trees for use in other scenes or with other objects.

I have since tried Fusion and been really impressed. It would be GREAT if Lightwave adopted Fusion's nodes for texturing and maybe even modeling and animation construction history. Man, that would be amazing. My only issue with the Fusion node view is (was?) not being able to see masks in the tree. Anyway, awesome news. Hmmmm...assuming this is not another symptom of Sasquatch Lite syndrome.

Nodes dude...it's all about the nodes...

mattc
05-29-2003, 03:19 AM
Originally posted by Doug Nicola
Well, here's the one big speed-bump question... Will layout and modeler be integrated??? This could be the ("major new release") workflow/UI change that's in store for 8, and it could have been in the works for quite a while already.

This integration (or not) is the center of the whole UI debate, so how could meaningful proposals be put forward without knowing what's going to happen with this?

...I think this is what Matt's refering to (maybe) in his comment about core changes....

Doug,

I'm not so sure the integration question is a purely UI issue. Integration is such a dirty word. ;)

Consistancy of the underlying application structure is really what's affecting Lightwave at the moment. It's what CIM bitches about mostly in his own obtuse way and what I'd like Newtek to actually fix properly, so we avoid this kind of nonsense in future.

Now, if (and this is a big if), Newtek has decided to imerge the underlying application structure then the question whether or not the modeler/layout binaries are are one in the same becomes irrelevant. You could do it the XSI way, giving you a modelling UI or modeler coudl still be a separate binary, it really doesn't matter as long as what's underneath functions the same way.

Anyway, Lee is right when he mentions that LW should operate like Lightwave. Change for chnage sake is a waste of time and will just alienate customers.

Food for thought anyway. :)

Kind Regards
Matt

Matt
05-29-2003, 04:48 AM
Lee said: There's currently no group doing 'UI Beta Testing'

NewTek don't even have UI designers do they? They just do it themselves, sometimes they get it right, most of the time they don't! ;)

I'd never seen or used Digital Fusion until LightWolf suggested I did after seeing the vX stuff, so I downloaded the demo to look at the interface, have to say it's very nice, and had a lot of similarities to how I imagined the vX stuff working.

I think NT can learn a LOT from that interface.

So, what's the plan for this little user group then? Lee are you going to head this?

Matt

Stranahan
05-29-2003, 07:22 AM
Well, I'm not qualified to 'head' it, given the esteemed company - but I can help organize it.

I don't think I want to go the secret / NDA route at first. This would be an informal thing, in the sense that we're not doing this under the auspices of NewTek. (Hey, I just used the word 'auspices' in a sentence!!!)

I'll talk to the internet powers that be about setting up a forum.

Stranahan
05-29-2003, 09:20 AM
Okay...about that DF tease before...


You ready?

policarpo
05-29-2003, 09:27 AM
Oh damn!!!

Spill it brother!!!!:D

Doug Nicola
05-29-2003, 09:29 AM
Hi mattc,

Yeah, I hear you, but here's the thing (don't worry, I really don't want to turn this "UI group" discussion into another "integration" debate!!!!). This all does relate to how the UI will work in the future.

The underlying code and functionality consistency issue and integration issue are directly related, if not even the same thing. Having separate binaries is a major headache, because then you have to turn over lots of the memory management issues to the OS, and/or do lots or really low-level code tricks to keep the binaries talking to each other, things that you'd rather be able to handle yourself in one binary.

This relates to what I've seen people talking about with handling really large object/texturing files, and having layout and modeler trying to manage these simultaneously. It gets really slow and bogged down. And there's so many other communication issues that are all tied to the same thing.

I'm not advocating change for change sake, but I think NT has been struggling with the integration stuff for a while, and the HUB is a valiant effort to fix this. But it's only too obvious that the underlying separate binaries are turning LW into molasses with the heavier demands of today's production. Eventually, this has to change.

The mode-based idea is one great way to do this, I think, with minimal difference from what we have now.

Modes and Nodes!
:)

Stranahan
05-29-2003, 09:43 AM
It's a gonna spill soon enough...

As for the interface stuff...

I don't want needless debate, either...I have some ideas on the organizational end that would help. As soon as the forum is set up, I want to start two threads -

One about what works in LightWave; in other words, what makes LightWave LightWave from a UI standpoint.

The other about what doesn't work...the stuff that's a pain.


These are laundry lists - not open for debate, because it's just information gathering. Any 'controversial' can be put into a poll, maybe.

Among my 15 or so jobs, I consult for NewTek and I know what's up with LightWave development, broadly. I know that this information will be very helpful. That said, just to be clear - this is an indepedent, community based project - not anything NewTek is officially behind or anything. So, no promises. THAT be said - this will be good stuff, for everyone.

Doug Nicola
05-29-2003, 09:55 AM
Fantastic, Stranahan! There are so many things I think are great about LW, and that I really want to see LW stay LW! Incorporating this already great stuff on a broader scale in the program will be terrific.

Let's go all out with the idea of a UI forum (that's not just another debate forum! :) )

policarpo
05-29-2003, 10:08 AM
I vote that the UI needs an overhaul and it should be colored PINK!

:D

mattc
05-29-2003, 10:22 AM
Doug,

Getting the applications to talk to each other is not really that much of an issue. The framework using TCP/IP in the Hub is already there and you could, tehoretically extend it's functionality out a bit to include things like collaborative modelling/rendering/etc if you really wanted to. There are alot of possibilities.

The memory management issues aren't that bad either. Separate binaries actually ease alot of that up since you can let the OS worry about alot of it rather than your application.

Anyway, it's all good. :)

Regards
Matt

Stranahan
05-29-2003, 10:41 AM
Okay - Chuck posted it....in Event Announcements...


How does Upgrade To LightWave[8] and get Digital Fusion DFX+ free sound to everyone?

Go check out the announcement....

policarpo
05-29-2003, 10:43 AM
what huh who whu where?

Stranahan
05-29-2003, 10:45 AM
Look under the Seattle / Vancouver event annoucement..

policarpo
05-29-2003, 10:56 AM
cool!

can't wait for this to be offered to everyone...:D

Doug Nicola
05-29-2003, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by mattc
Getting the applications to talk to each other is not really that much of an issue. The framework using TCP/IP in the Hub is already there and you could, tehoretically extend it's functionality out a bit to include things like collaborative modelling/rendering/etc if you really wanted to. There are alot of possibilities.

Hi Matt,

OK, a little bit more on this because I was kinda rushed before and didn't make my point clearly enough. And then I'll leave it, I promise! :)

TCP/IP is exactly what you don't want to handle fast, high-memory demanding, complex 3D-calculation-oriented, communication stuff. TCP/IP is a communication protocol meant for programs over networks, and means extra layers of functions talking back and forth, and all kinds of headaches when mutual-interest memory is involved. This means slow slow slow. There is no other way to dice it, even if the programs are on the same machine. To get really connected, LW using TCP/IP will add millions of cycles of extra functions calls all over the place, and that means super slow slow slow.

Like this:
1. Modeler to Hub: "I'm changing these points, tell Layout to look at this memory, (copy it, move it around, or whatever) and sync these points!"
2. Hub to Layout: "Get in sync, go look at this memory, tell me when you're done!"
3. Layout to Hub: "OK, done!"
4. Hub to Modeler: "OK, Layout's done! You can play with memory again!"

This kind of exchange involves lots and lots of function calls that the OS must coordinate with every step (not just your memory-address linked modules talking directly to each other, with absolutely no intervention from the OS, as it is in a single binary) and these extra calls might be multiplied millions of times over, adding up time really fast!

Single binary goes like this:
1. We're all together looking at this one place, or one object, in memory. If you change anything, whatever I do will automatically be right because I'm already working with that object, and all of our syncing is handled with only one or two function calls directly to each other.

No OS time, no extra function layers, fast fast fast.

I agree, it's all good! And it can get better! And very nice about DFX+!!!!

mattc
05-29-2003, 12:36 PM
Doug,

Good point. Though the overhead is not that bad (my final year thesis in engineering was distributed applications. Virtual surgery stuff to be exact. BUt it was a long time ago now... :) Now designing undersea fiber otpic systems to pay the bills, not that it's a lucratove business at the moment ).

Anyway, LW does indeed use TCP/IP to communicate between its modules and the hub. It's a facility that could be of some use in a collaborative environment.

Still, makes for a good discussion. ;)

Regards
Matt

Doug Nicola
05-29-2003, 01:04 PM
Hey, that sounds really cool! Maybe we can set up a Virtual Surgery program where we can all operate together on LightWave's UI!! :D

Yeah, it's all a very interesting discussion, and it's going to be fun to see where NT takes all this.

BTW, the last commercial software I programmed on (barely any contribution at all, like two pages of code...) was for fiber optic network design! (I'd rather not say for what company... ;) )

Then I realized I hated programming, had a life crisis or two, and was saved by LightWave! Man, do I love this software!:D

Joe
05-31-2003, 02:07 PM
harhar
so it's not part of XSI right now.



No, it will be part of v3.5

Chuck
06-01-2003, 07:58 AM
Originally posted by Stranahan
I don't think I want to go the secret / NDA route at first. This would be an informal thing, in the sense that we're not doing this under the auspices of NewTek. (Hey, I just used the word 'auspices' in a sentence!!!)

I'll talk to the internet powers that be about setting up a forum.

Forum is open...

Stranahan
06-01-2003, 09:42 AM
Thanks, Chuck...

And I posted the first threads....jump in, y'all...

Aegis
06-01-2003, 10:46 AM
Any DFX+ action for Non-US LightWave 3D users?

Matt
06-02-2003, 02:38 AM
Excellent, thanks Chuck, right, let's get to work . . . !

:)

vitovonantwon
06-07-2003, 10:51 PM
Wow,

I dared them, and they listened.

Back in the first post I didn't think they could "bundle Fusion", and...

Wow, Newtek really stepped up to the plate. How's that for customer support.


Amazing.

Great Stuff guys.

VitoVonAntwon
www.nyclightwave.com

Stranahan
06-08-2003, 01:51 AM
Just so your head doesn't swell TOO much...

This deal was working before you mentioned anything about Fusion - but still, we did listen.

vitovonantwon
06-08-2003, 10:38 PM
Posted in the requests thread.

http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4778

Mind you those are crappy colors, but the idea is sound. Anything, that makes finding your goal objects in a list of hundreds of items..... Color codeing helps.

I think the idea of color coding areas
in the item selector is probably not so hard to do, since they already have color coded boxs in front of items.

Just an thought? Matt...
I love your idea of check mark
filters. WHat did you make that animation in? Is that quicktime?
encapsulated in flash? Vxproject page.
I hope you keep the model windows, or the ability to drag that big thing on the bottom to a second monitor.

ANyway, to be able to add notes into the item selector to sorta group your goals, bones, non ikable parts etc without adding all those nulls, would be great.

This is assuming that they don't get hierchy's into the item selector.
THen at least the idea of color coding, and adding comments, now that would be awesome.

Lee, If I ask for the above, do you think they will do it? :)

VitoVonAntwon.

wacom
06-20-2003, 06:42 PM
Here are your normal maps- and for free...I think there are more options than this too...

http://amber.rc.arizona.edu/lw/normalmaps.html

bamburg dunes
06-27-2003, 08:03 AM
Originally posted by mattclary
The UI needs an overhaul?! The UI is LightWave's STRENGTH!!! Hard to imaging you "click around more" in LightWave than in the jumbled messes of other apps.

That's one of the reasons I left LW, it's interface, after using from version 1 to 6, I had enough of it, XSI was welcome relief. Not just in the interface, but workflow, functionality, speed, feature set, implementation, etc.
I haven't used LW since version 6 but since I'm using a mac at home now, I thought about giving it a go again, had a demo of 7.5 and was not impressed, sorry. Was really hoping that the UI had moved on, throwing in a bunch of features doesn't really cut it anymore.


Oh well.

mattclary
06-27-2003, 08:39 AM
To each his own, I guess.

bamburg dunes
06-27-2003, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by mattclary
To each his own, I guess.

i know, like craftsmen's tools, you find over time what fits you right. Hope LW 8 is something to amaze us.

mattclary
06-27-2003, 08:48 AM
Interface will be the same.

policarpo
06-27-2003, 09:55 AM
if you don't use LightWave and it is so bad why are you posting on a forum that is about lightwave?

just curious?

LightWave works for most of us who are single designers doing work for clients on their own terms...as well as studios and larger facilities.

I can't see owning XSI outside of a studio environment....

bamburg dunes
06-27-2003, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by policarpo
if you don't use LightWave and it is so bad why are you posting on a forum that is about lightwave?

just curious?

I posted elsewhere about why I came here. I used LW from version 1 to 6 on the PC and then when our studio moved to XSI, I gave up using it at home and work (I owned a presonal copy too). But now I've got more time on my hands and use a Mac at home, I'm looking to buying a 3D app for it, but the range has always been a bit limited compared to windows. So, knowing LW and used it for years, was just wondering if anyone knew if the new version will be a major upgrade. I've toyed with 7.5 and got a fair idea of where it's at and didn't do much for me, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't buy it, I can still make good use out of it, but would be nice to see that buying into it again would rsult in an app in good development, from my point of view.
Just really wanted to catch up on the LW side of the universe, where it's at, what's in the pipeline.

My reply here was really in response to XSI and LW and based on using them since there initial releases, just felt I had to respond.

LightWave works for most of us who are single designers doing work for clients on their own terms...as well as studios and larger facilities.



I can't see owning XSI outside of a studio environment....

True, but then again a lot of us are in the buying position within studios. I've been there, like you, and for uses liek that it's fien, depending on the person. But even buying for a small studio, it's nice to know if the app is going to be developed at areasonable rate, and not just stagnant. The educational discount for XSI is sweet too.

I'm not putting down LW, I'll end up using it again, but IMO, it's not a match on XSi form my experience.

policarpo
06-27-2003, 10:59 AM
Wouldn't it just be wiser for you to buy a new PC and shuttle your XSI license to and from home since you are already invested in it? No sense in shifting wheels each time you want to do personal work...and you just keep learning to exploit XSI more and more. I'm just saying since you seem so disappointed with your LW experiences.

The price of an upgrade to LW 7.5 and a new PC is about the same. I just spec'd out a new PC for around $900 (and that's on the high end of cheap).

If I were in your position, I'd just buy a new PC and keeping evolving with XSI since they are developing it at break neck speeds. Plus you just become more proficient @ using it.

The only part of the equation that sucks in this regard is that you'd have to drop a cool 10 grand when and if you went it alone. But hey, you're using XSI, so you're already charging out the wazoo for work you do. You should be able to cover the expense of the license with a single project. :D

Earl
06-27-2003, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by Chuck
Forum is open...

Am I missing something? Where's this at?

bamburg dunes
06-27-2003, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by policarpo
Wouldn't it just be wiser for you to buy a new PC and shuttle your XSI license to and from home since you are already invested in it? No sense in shifting wheels each time you want to do personal work...and you just keep learning to exploit XSI more and more. I'm just saying since you seem so disappointed with your LW experiences.

The price of an upgrade to LW 7.5 and a new PC is about the same. I just spec'd out a new PC for around $900 (and that's on the high end of cheap).

If I were in your position, I'd just buy a new PC and keeping evolving with XSI since they are developing it at break neck speeds. Plus you just become more proficient @ using it.

The only part of the equation that sucks in this regard is that you'd have to drop a cool 10 grand when and if you went it alone. But hey, you're using XSI, so you're already charging out the wazoo for work you do. You should be able to cover the expense of the license with a single project. :D


I know, I'm now thinking about that since, over the last few days, and especially today, I've had a hard look at LW and where it seesm to be going. I was hoping that there was some good news, maybe at Siggraph something might come out of the hat.

i don't find it hard jumping from program to program, have to do it each day with xsi, maya, and propreitory software, and pretty much know my way round LW, would like to have just got hold of it knowing that it had had moved on since version 6, or that it will be a much improved app in the near future.
It's quite sad seeing that Newtek and LW is still in that same place it was all those years, IMO, and my problems with it then are stil there.

In the studio we have dozens of xsi licenses, I bought a license myself when verison 1 came out for use at home (had a pc then), but since I used it at work, kinda just never bothered with it at home.

The only problem with getting a PC is the space, I'm running out and adding another box in the house would be a nightmare. I've got my Mac, mac laptop and 2 SGI's and not wanting to get xsi for the sgi's.

bamburg dunes
06-27-2003, 11:33 AM
One thing I have totally forgotten to mention though, is that I had/have a fondness for LW, hence my leaning towards it again. Got me where I am now and some part of me loves it, but then i get so annoyed with it too. Was just hoping it had changed so I could use the bits I liked about it, with all the new stuff I wanted.

policarpo
06-27-2003, 11:35 AM
well i think the future is fine.

i have my upgrade to 8 already sealed.

so have fun using whatever it is you are using i always say.

LightWave works for me without too many issues.

I'm primarily a print designer when it comes to 3D, and LW fits me like a glove for modeling and rendering. :)