View Full Version : Not possible or time prohibitive in Lightwave?

05-29-2003, 07:23 PM
So...what´s going on here???


When we started out on Sierra's "Arcanum" opening cinematic, it became quickly apparent that we had quite a lot of work to do in a very short time. One of the big problems we had was there were several shots that required complex particle and volumetric animation that was either not possible or time prohibitive in Lightwave. We determined that these shots that included Lightwave and MAX elements required some kind of scene level integration.

We hired Next Limit to write a suite of tools that would allow our Lightwave animations to be brought into MAX quick and easily. We couldn't just translate the camera information as we needed characters that were animated and rendered in Messiah and Lightwave respectively to interact with MAX particle and volumetrics in real 3d space - not just 2d layers. For example, one shot called for a character to fight off several attackers, raising a wall of rock to defend himself. The character was animated in Messiah/Lightwave and using Lw2Max the animator was able to export the character geometry/motion and camera data selectively. This included full bone and expression deformation. At that point I was able to bring in the data to MAX and use it to build my effects.

Lw2Max cut my production time in half. I didn't have to guess about anything, just import the data and go to work. As the animation was refined and updated, I reimported the data and made adjustments. For the final output I set the imported geometry as a matte object allowing the character to realistically interact with the volumetric effects. The result was very sucessful and helped us get the job done on time and on budget.
Brandon Davis
Computer Cafe

05-30-2003, 04:26 AM
By rendering in 3D Max he may have reduced the amount of time it took to render... I don't know. However it would have also reduced the image quality.

Lightwave's renderer is far superior to what Max has. There's no competition.

Elmar Moelzer
05-30-2003, 12:17 PM
As I understand it they only used Max for the particle/volumetrics- stuff and only loaded the LW- parts in for reference (and to cover off those parts of the volumetrics that were behind those objects).
Now, I want to admit that MAX has really, really great particle- plugins available. "Thinking Particles" and "Matterwaves" by Cebas comes to my mind. LW still has nothing comaparable to those. I am not sure about the volumetrics though, because last time I have checked, Pyrocluster and co were far inferior to HVs in terms of renderquality and rendered even slower, but this may have changed meanwhile, or they used something else (its been a while).
Anyway if NT would fix a few lacks in the SDK, that they are very aware of, 3rd- parties could make things like these possible in LW too...

05-31-2003, 10:42 AM
to be honest i have matterwaves and and pyroclust for max and have never used them in production as yet...pyrocluster is quite slow to render and for most projects i'd actully use combustion2's realtime particles as they can cover most things i need...
in realtion to moving scenes..the fbx format fills most gaps..and it's free too.

lightwave's particles may be more limiting but the sprite mode as brill....

steve g

06-01-2003, 12:48 AM
Afterburn is the best particle plugin(volumetric) ever...Used in Matrix, and a lot

For inter-sw exchangeing, I would suggest deep exploration or filmbox plugins. They are converting almost everything just fine!

06-01-2003, 08:56 PM
Yes but afterburn is a MAX plugin :(

Paul Goodrich
06-03-2003, 09:50 PM
I haven't been able to use the FBX exporter from LW to QT on the Mac. Everyhing seems to work but there's nothing but a still in the QT file. Has anybody been able to make this work?
Paul Goodrich