View Full Version : is lightwave very powerful?

05-08-2006, 11:28 PM
For the last few years I've been trying to make a comic series, but I keep running into a minor snag... speed. Blender, Carrara, Anim8or, etc, they all crash after just a few models.

Actually they all do wonderfully with primative models, but say I use multiple Poser or DAZ models, suddenly nothing works, or the programs run very slow. I bought Carrara because I thought it would be faster... but in reality, its speed is about the same as modern freeware Blender.

Has anyone ever combined Lightwave and Poser? I need a program that can handle lots of human .obj models at once (like ten, but the programs I have die after five), since the scenes in my comic series often require them.

05-09-2006, 12:05 AM
I would say Lightwave is powerful but maybe its not the software you should be considering. I think you should consider updating your hardware. You will be able to load hunderds and maybe thousands of human characters if you have the CPU, the memory and the graphics card to display and render them. So I think its not really the software you're having a problem with, cause the way you described your situation it sounds more like a hardware problem to me.

of course having Lightwave does help render those 2.5 million polygons. :D

05-09-2006, 12:38 AM
I would recommend the same thing. A hardware upgrade will do you wonders. I had the same problem for a while there... Heck, I couldn't even run some quicktime movies with out my computer crashing. Now, I can do all sorts of wonderous things with out it crashing.

And as far as Software is concerned, I think you're in the right alley. Just about any 3D package will get you the results you're looking for, it just depends on which one you're most fluent with.

Goodluck with your comic. :)

05-09-2006, 01:22 AM
If you aren't animating you could consider rendering objects separately then composting them together using a 2D illustration package.

05-09-2006, 01:30 AM
The drive I'm using is 62 gig, windows 2000. It's part of a Partitioned drive... if partitioning is the problem... that wouldn't suprise me.
I can't find my memory and Ram... where would I look those up?

What kind of a system would you guys recomend?

(Compositing... I could try it but results can get rather cheap.)

05-09-2006, 01:34 AM
if your just doing still images for a comic book Lightwave is pretty good one for that job.:thumbsup:

It's a nice easy render , simple but powerful modeler
( getting nice update in LW 9 i hear )

character rigging has it's limits in LW but your just doing Still images so can't see a problem with it at all.

OK :dance: Now here comes the sales pitch,... every one RUN !!! :help:

I sell a rigging plugin for lightwave designed around rigging Poser models
I love the odd poser model too when i can get away with it :beerchug:

It sells on the Daz3d site as well as my site (http://www.thomas4d.com) and comes with Daz's victora in the package ,
it's also was designed to handle mulipy characters in a scenes using a IK On/OFF system to speed up workflow.

most 3D apps ( except XSI ) do run into problems with more then 2 or 3 characters in a scene.
I speed things up in lw with my plugins by turning all the IK OFF on the characters I'm not working on
so in turn all that extra Cpu power gets used on the character i am working on :thumbsup:

Sale pitch Ended -;)

anyway LW is good for what your after,
it's cheap and you won't run into too many problems doing comic books with it.

05-09-2006, 01:46 AM
(Compositing... I could try it but results can get rather cheap.)

Composting is a standard technique in professional production and is preferred in professional workflows, but perhaps not for the reason I suggested it here. With skill there's no reason why anyone would know that composting was used. What's the difference in composting separate images together in a 2D illustration package and the techniques used in professional animation with separate backgrounds and independently rendered characters and assets? it works for Disney, etc..

All that said, LW would probably work very well for you (and at a pinch you can use it to do composting).


05-09-2006, 01:50 AM
Well that's a good endorsement T4D, have you ever actually tried to work with multiple complex models yourself and had success?

05-09-2006, 02:21 AM
Well that's a good endorsement T4D, have you ever actually tried to work with multiple complex models yourself and had success?

Yeah I just finished up a Dvd series using Lightwave we had up to 15 characters in some scenes all rigged up and animated,
Also done afew TVC's with around 8 characters in the scenes
both not using Poser characters but the methods were the same.

some other work I've had 4 daz models in a some scene with skeletons ( real bones ) for a sport injury educational stuff
as well as turning IK Off you can turn all the display options Off for the background characters as well to get the speed up.

if you were doing Character animation I would have a different opinion on LW
But seeing your Just doing Stills and just posing the characters
LW is a good way to go:thumbsup:

05-09-2006, 02:36 AM
I'd say you're probably choosing inappropriate models too, Daz/Poser models are generally high poly and fairly inefficient meshes (to make up for Poser's short comings) If you're using Victoria3 for instance I dread to think how many polys you have on screen especially with clothes etc added. Having said that LW should handle it for stills but...

Optimise your scenes, remove any unnecessary body parts (covered by clothes, out of shot etc. If you're using subpatch check the level isn't too high, especially the display level. Use the lower poly models, P4 models, Daz reduced resolution models etc.

Most of all learn to model yourself! That way you can create more efficient models or improve the DAZ ones. If you learn to rig them in LW you'll find posing etc a much more pleasant experience too!

Cheers - Baz

05-09-2006, 02:41 AM
but LW does work with poser...check out greembriar plugins for addd help here

05-09-2006, 04:08 AM
Not enough memory is the most dramatic way of slowing down LW, and also limiting the objects / texture maps you can have. 1 Gb should be an absolute minimum, 2 Gb is a lot better.

I use Daz3d characters in LW without problems, and often have 10 or 12 loaded - I like to use a sequence of morph targets to animate them.

Although as others have said, the models have their limitations, I just love access to the cheap content, and consider it a price worth paying.

But you will have to triple the polygons - it is very easy for poser to produce non planar quads in large numbers.

Is the number of polygons really that high though? I ask because if you look at what the mega nurnie monster spaceship builders get up to over at LWG3D, if it's less than a million that's unusually low for them!


05-09-2006, 10:55 AM
The drive I'm using is 62 gig, windows 2000. It's part of a Partitioned drive... if partitioning is the problem... that wouldn't suprise me.
I can't find my memory and Ram... where would I look those up?
Google up "AIDA32" unzip it and then run it to find out about your computer specs.
A good graphics card with lots of memory will help you display your models fast. You can get a pretty decent gaming card with 128MB to 256MB for less than $100 nowadays. And if you don't have LW now, you might want to get an NVIDIA GeForce 5500 and up (6000+ or 7000+ series the better) or ATI radeon 9200 (again the higher the number the better). These cards will take advantage of LW8.5 and LW9's new display features.

System memory will help you carry out heavy files and store heavy render information without accessing your hard drive for support. Memory is cheap (except if you chose the wrong motherboard like me, which only supports RDRAM Rimms, then memory is not cheap), so you should stock this up first.

a fast CPU would be great, though I've heard people here running LW 8.5 on a pentium 3 system without problems.

Also compositing isn't that bad. LW gives you the option to create alpha channels for you so you don't have crop or trace or create your own masks in photoshop. Actually for still work like a comic book compositing is a good way to go. you can render out main characters by themselves with alphas and no backgrounds or objects blocking the BG, just the characters. then render out the supporting characters like crowds, extras and other props with alpha and without background. so once you brin it in photoshop, you have total control of whatever background color/image you want, depth of field (say you want the background and/foreground blurred) to focus on the main characters. and you can reuse those still to put on different panels without rerendering.

05-09-2006, 02:21 PM
I agree that you've most likely got a hardware problem. More RAM and the best videocard you can afford should prevent the crashes.

I purchased Lightwave for the very purpose you're talking about. I plan to use it to create graphic novels. A lot of the successful Japanese artists have been using Lightwave for years. I'm still a bit worried, as publishers in the western world still have a bit of a thing against works created with 3D software.

I've got to agree with BazC. You shouldn't really be using Poser or Daz models if you're creating an original work. You can create your own character models that are much more efficient, polygon-wise (and original). In my opinion, using prefab models amounts to clip-art anyways, and should be the last resort of commercial artists on tight deadlines, rather than comic book artists. Just my opinion though.

There are some great courses and books on character modelling with Lightwave. I recently enrolled for the SplineGod (Larry Schultz) Character Animation course. I just started it, but I'm very impressed with it so far.