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brvids
07-10-2006, 01:32 PM
Ok I'm new here. I've been hearing good things about lightwave and was considering purchasing it. I was hoping to get some more info from the users themselves. Is this program easy to learn? Have an easy interface? How does it stack up against 3d studio max? Also I'd really like something that is easy to make great looking skyboxes with. Does the reflection on a cube method work well with lightwave? Thanks for any info.
:help:

jameswillmott
07-10-2006, 07:16 PM
Welcome to the community!

( Most users are a bit biased towards their software but that's only natural. ) I found Lightwave to be very easy to learn for a number of reasons. First, the interface is quite simple, but that doesn't mean it isn't powerful. It uses text buttons as opposed to icons, so it's fairly obvious what each button does without trying to decypher heiroglyphics. Lightwave has been described as having more 'directness' when modeling than some of the other 3d packages, it works at a fundamental level on points, polygons, edges and layers, and although it lacks some of the abstractions found in other packages I think it's 'directness' makes up for it. You feel like you're working directly with the model, rather than working through a secondary interface. Hard to explain really, but for me the workflow seldom gets in the way of creativity.

Skyboxes are easy enough to make. LW comes with a sky generator called SkyTracer which can be used to render volumetric clouds, and commercial plugins such as Ozone and Ogo_Taiki offer similar abilities.

Not sure about the 'reflection on a cube' method, but LW 9's baking camera can make a skybox out of any cube, sphere, cone, pyramid, Stanford Bunny or whatever object you need to bake the sky on to.

I can't compare LW to 3DS since I've never used it, sorry.

Hope this helps.

brvids
07-10-2006, 07:23 PM
Yeah thats great info. Thanks a lot. I like the idea of text buttons. I absolutely can't stand having to decipher what some symbol means. So that alone is almost enough to make up my mind. I guess they are going to send me a demo cd. So I guess I'll try it and go from there. Thanks again!

Snosrap
07-10-2006, 08:04 PM
Yeah, Text based buttons over icons. I have taught several new users to 3D in our studio over that last several years,and everyone picks it up real fast. I'm talking about nice models and renders in just a few days. LW rocks for ease of learning.

Cheers Snos

Silkrooster
07-10-2006, 10:03 PM
Yep, best thing to do is get a demo of each program you are interested in, down load pdf manuals if available and find as many free video tutorials to watch. Which ever really gets you excited.... Well odds are that will be the one that you will enjoy the most.
Oh and one more thing roam the forums and see which one seams to be the most supportive.
Silk

t4d
07-11-2006, 02:23 AM
Lightwave is a nice package to learn 3D with ( I started in Max 2 and moved to Lightwave later )

It's very artist friendly has some great logic in Modeling and rendering dept
Most animation tasks work well in LW and compaired to Max, XSI etc Lw has some great Pluses

but Honestly Character animation speed and features are alittle lacking at the moment, but by the time you get to that stage Newtek should be well on the way to Rewriting the whole system and opening it up, just as they have done to the render engine in LW 9


I say this being a Long time Lightwave users and plugin developer who also uses Messiah, Modo, XSI, Zbrush, Hexagon 2 poser/Daz etc etc etc.

brvids
07-11-2006, 07:05 PM
Cool thanks for the info everyone. So t4d when you say lacking in character animation speed and features. Is it just that it doesn't have as many features as some programs? Is it still perfectly capable of doing some really nice animations despite the lack of features and speed? Thanks

Silkrooster
07-11-2006, 07:18 PM
Lightwave is very capable as an animation package. For what it can or can not do is a personal preference and what other programs you are use to using. For anyone starting out it is very capable. Lightwave is used in Movies, tv shows, ect. take a look at this list http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/projects.php
Silk

t4d
07-11-2006, 07:43 PM
Cool thanks for the info everyone. So t4d when you say lacking in character animation speed and features. Is it just that it doesn't have as many features as some programs? Is it still perfectly capable of doing some really nice animations despite the lack of features and speed? Thanks


YES you can TOTALLY do Character animation in LW
here's a Tutorial i made showing it's basic workflow
http://www.thomas4d.com/T4D_CA_lesson.zip
( this is very basic stuff, Really high level Animation your working at 3- 5 Seconds a WEEK !! )

I learnt most of what i know in 3D from Using lightwave for 5 or 6 years

If your starting in 3D,.. this High level Character animation stuff is 2 or 3 years away for you
( this 3D stuff takes some time to learn...:hey: )

Lightwave right now is missing the High end rigging and workflow features
that other Apps have, but I imagen by LW 10 -11 Most of what is needed will be there and you'll be ready to uses it:thumbsup: .

Celshader
07-11-2006, 08:00 PM
Is it still perfectly capable of doing some really nice animations despite the lack of features and speed?

For what it's worth, I keyframed this in LW7.5:
http://www.celshader.com/gallery/md/TKD-kara.mov

SplineGod
07-12-2006, 12:01 AM
Cool thanks for the info everyone. So t4d when you say lacking in character animation speed and features. Is it just that it doesn't have as many features as some programs? Is it still perfectly capable of doing some really nice animations despite the lack of features and speed? Thanks

Lightwave is perfectly fine for character animation. Ive used it on large productions and have done just about literally anything and everything with it, which is also LWs strong point: being able to do a lot of things straight out of the box. :)

t4d
07-12-2006, 12:43 AM
if you have only used LW you have one Opinion on LW strengths,

if you have used other 3D apps,.. well you have another opinion of what LW strengths are.

taproot2
07-12-2006, 01:44 AM
Grab the demos from the companies websites. Considering the loot investment for 3d packages, take the time to test run the software. Spend the next couple of months working with them and using the extensive internet resources available.
Good luck!
taproot2

SplineGod
07-12-2006, 10:24 AM
Grabbing the demos is probably the most reasonable idea.
Ive known people who have used LW or aother apps for years and still dont know most of what the software does. Ones opinion as to the strengths and weaknesses of an app will very much depend on how well they know it. Diluting that even further with many other apps doesnt equate to being an expert in them as well. Many times it simply even boils down to personal preference, workflow etc. etc.

colkai
07-12-2006, 12:29 PM
Biased, terribly biased...but..
Buy it. :D

I've tried a few programs and LW is the only one I stood any chance of playing with without bothering to read any help or manual.
It's all I need and more and with the upcoming LW9 release, is at an exciting point in it's long and successful development. :thumbsup:


Ok I'm new here. I've been hearing good things about lightwave and was considering purchasing it. I was hoping to get some more info from the users themselves. Is this program easy to learn? Have an easy interface? How does it stack up against 3d studio max? Also I'd really like something that is easy to make great looking skyboxes with. Does the reflection on a cube method work well with lightwave? Thanks for any info.
:help:

As others have stated, depending on what apps you've used, depends on your opinion of LW, but for (I presume) a hobbyist, it gives a great deal of power along with a great community to back it up.

Studios have the luxury of buying what they want and offsetting the cost, if you are in that position, buy a few packages, if not, it'll take a fair while to push LW to the limit. I've yet to manage that, plus, it has an insane amount of FREE plugins that can be used alongside it.

Take a look at the rebellion challenge on SQ, you can see the sort of modelling work that it can perform. Check out the Newtek galleries and the finished work here and SQ. For something that costs me less to upgrade eac hyear than what I pay to get to work in a month, well, it takes some beating.

As I say, the LW9 cycle looks to be the most innovative in it's history, so if you're going to get on board, you've picked a grand time to do it! :D