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jbarker
07-11-2006, 08:26 AM
Just my thoughts here. I'm curious to hear what you other Lightwavers think.

Since 3ds Max and Maya have been bought buy Autodesk I, for no logical reason whatsoever (maybe it's the "independent artistic nature" in me), feel they may loose their creative and competitive edge they had in the past with each other moving forward. All of the sudden it's not just pricing that sways me toward Newtek's corner to get more bang for my buck (shocking I know - but most of us aren't rich!) but now also knowing that I'm not part of the big Autodesk/3DS/Maya conglomerate. Hey, I told you it wasn't logical, just something I feel inside.

I realize that all of these packages, including XSI, have their strengths and weaknesses but knowing there's a good chance that Lightwave can claim a nice chunk of the big boys (and by big I mean EXPENSIVE) business if they don't rest on their technical laurels or get cocky gives me the warm fuzzies inside - petty of me yes but I'm just being honest. I also know that heavy competition between these companies ultimately makes us, the customer, the winner.

I like the angle Newtek is taking (but come on Jay, update the **** site with a speck of info or have someone - anyone drop us a scrap of an update - one sentence even! Beggars can't be choosers at this point.)

Has anyone else had that little "independent artist" inside squirm when they found out about 3ds and Maya being bought by Autodesk?

Just curious.

jasonwestmas
07-11-2006, 10:08 AM
I think a lot of the people here use at least one other animation package other than lightwave. So no, I don't think you'll find too many people say that they have that "independant artist squirm inside of them" on the count of which software they use. These are interchangable tools, it's not the same as choosing which level of imagination or creativity you are going to use when you buy your software. All the pro apps do very similar things. It's not like you are more independant if you use lightwave verses maya or max. In my case I don't want to be extremely independant at all, as a guy who has been doing 3D for 6 years I NEED to get 'more work' which means the opposite of being independant and be more interested in what others are doing.

I just find the lightwave software and its community to be a complete steal and so that is why I use it and offer my services to it. Also, for whatever the reason I find the lightwave interface to appeal to my senses better than the other apps.

jbarker
07-11-2006, 10:24 AM
Good points! I use just about everything I can get my hands on as well. I'm just glad NT lowered their price point.

sadkkf
07-12-2006, 10:36 AM
Since 3ds Max and Maya have been bought buy Autodesk

I'm waiting for Adobe to buy Autodesk. :devil:

jbarker
07-12-2006, 12:20 PM
I'm waiting for Adobe to buy Autodesk. :devil:

LMAO!!!

Thanks alot! I just opened this thread and read that and spit diet coke on my monitor.

sadkkf
07-12-2006, 12:58 PM
:D Careful, jkarker.

In a weird way, it would almost make sense. Adobe doesn't have any 3D apps under their umbrella.

klanderud
07-12-2006, 04:16 PM
It seems unlikely, unless if Autodesk was in very serious trouble.

Adobe Systems Incorporated(NASDAQ GS:ADBE)
Market Cap (mil): 16,541.35

Autodesk Inc(NASDAQ GS:ADSK)
Market Cap (mil): 7,321.72

jbarker
07-12-2006, 04:21 PM
It seems unlikely, unless if Autodesk was in very serious trouble.

Adobe Systems Incorporated(NASDAQ GS:ADBE)
Market Cap (mil): 16,541.35

Autodesk Inc(NASDAQ GS:ADSK)
Market Cap (mil): 7,321.72

But ya know, after thinking about it (and cleaning off my monitor) I bet Adobe would indeed have an interest if the price were right. Stranger things have happened.

klanderud
07-12-2006, 04:30 PM
I am sure they would be interested, but I think it would be better for them to focus on other targets. There is a lot of other good 3D programs out there, if I was Adobe I would focus my billions on either developing a new one or purchasing a cheaper one and making it better.

Look at AVID it is much cheaper and they have softimage.
Market Cap (mil): 1,410.00

Bog
07-12-2006, 05:45 PM
Has anyone else had that little "independent artist" inside squirm when they found out about 3ds and Maya being bought by Autodesk?

I do feel kinda warm and fuzzy that NewTek's not a publicly traded company, and that they've always seemed to care more about making cool stuff than they have about buying Porsches.

So yeah. An indy using indy software. And I had an Indy in the other room until I realised I hadn't used it for a few years so I gave it to a friend ;)

Tatooine always looked more interesting than Coruscant to me. I'll leave it at that ;)

mjcrawford
07-12-2006, 06:29 PM
I bought Lightwave because it was the only major player in the 3d world that had a price tag under $1500 (when I bought it was before the price drop L) and I wanted to learn 3d. After having it for a few months I realized that I would have a tough time becoming proficient without getting some real education, so now I am in my 7th term moving towards a Graphic Design and Animation Degree. I have learned much, and my skills are improving greatly, but when we got to the first class on 3d, much to my disappointment the only approved software we could use is Maya7 or 3DS Max8!

At first I was really upset, I talked with my professor many times about the software and he said that while he has Lightwave himself the school struck a deal with Adobe and AutoDesk so the only software provided are Maya, Max, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. after a while I stopped whining and focused on learning Maya (a good solid program to be sure) This term I had an assignment to create a character and the prof said we could use any 2D or 3d software we wanted (this is a character class, not a 3d or 2d class) so I dusted off my ‘Inside Lightwave 8’ book, and started working.. my first creation was 10 times better than anything I had made before. I was happy that for purposes of my Resume’ I can say that I am proficient with Maya, but Lightwave is MY software, not the schools choice.

I love the particle system as well as the dynamics in Lightwave, and I feel more like an artist in Lightwave than in Maya. But ultimately if I am to ever get a job in the 3d world, I will need to be able to use the software that my perspective employer uses, not what I want. (unless I go freelance, but that does not appeal to me) the Video production company that I am part owner of uses Lightwave, but that is because I was able to make that choice myself. We are a small independent company, and we use a independent breed of software.. if we ever make it big, Lightwave, as long as it is around, will be there with us!

Bog
07-12-2006, 06:33 PM
Speaking strictly from a commercial point of view, then it helps you get hired to be able to drive Maya or XSI - but when the wheels come off, and it all drops in the pot, if you're alone and no-one else can help - and if you can find them - them maybe you can hire... The A-Team.

Uh. No. What I meant was ... oh you know what I mean. LightWave gets things done. The other kids are all flashy and have huge marketting budgets - and a lot of studios basically living in their pockets for reasons which would be onerous to delve into - but when all the shouting's over, it's LW's rock-solid workaday competence that's dragged so many projects' bleeding carcases over the finish line, it's not even funny. It's my ten-thousand-blade Swiss Army Knife, and I rarely leave home without it :)

jasonwestmas
07-12-2006, 06:41 PM
Speaking strictly it's LW's rock-solid workaday competence that's dragged so many projects' bleeding carcases over the finish line, it's not even funny. It's my ten-thousand-blade Swiss Army Knife, and I rarely leave home without it :)

Wow, definately says a lot about Lightwave, thanks for sharing! Though I would have to agree lightwave has this kind of thing inside of it, rarely have I heard this much positive energy about it. But that's just my perspective.

Bog
07-12-2006, 06:47 PM
Well, LW and I go back a long way, and we've seen some really hard times through together. To be honest, most of my freelance work is getting called in to salvage projects that have gone horribly worng, often using higher profile software. Stuff that's been passed from animator to animator in a desperate attempt to salvage it, and I get it when there's naff-all time to deadline, the producers retreated to his office with a bottle of single malt and full magazine, and it's down to the wire on getting the blasted thing finished.

The flip side of the coin - when I've gotten in at the start of the gig, the budget's right and the timescales are sane - are like a run along the beach :)

sadkkf
07-13-2006, 07:09 AM
I bought into LightWave when it was $2000+ and at that still the least expensive on the market. Something about 3DS really turned me off, like the amount of plugins required to do things LW was capable of right out of the box.

I'm still such a feeble newbie to it because my customers simply can't afford 3D work. I live in Flash so I trembled and cried when it was announced Adobe was taking over.

Although I wasn't too serious about Adobe buying Autodesk, so many of Autodesk's products complement Adobe's lines. I wonder now how the PDF format will change with the acquisition of Flash and FlashPaper an although I use VT, I wonder if Premiere will now natively support SWF. What will happen with GoLive, knowing Dreamweaver is the industry standard? What would happen to Acrobat with CAD support? What about InDesign? How about combining Max/Maya with Flash?

Autodesk buying Max and Maya doesn't affect me much, but it's curious knowing they own two popular 3D apps. Will this squash the competition or make it fluorish?

jbarker
07-13-2006, 07:34 AM
I bought into LightWave when it was $2000+ and at that still the least expensive on the market. Something about 3DS really turned me off, like the amount of plugins required to do things LW was capable of right out of the box.

I'm still such a feeble newbie to it because my customers simply can't afford 3D work. I live in Flash so I trembled and cried when it was announced Adobe was taking over.

Although I wasn't too serious about Adobe buying Autodesk, so many of Autodesk's products complement Adobe's lines. I wonder now how the PDF format will change with the acquisition of Flash and FlashPaper an although I use VT, I wonder if Premiere will now natively support SWF. What will happen with GoLive, knowing Dreamweaver is the industry standard? What would happen to Acrobat with CAD support? What about InDesign? How about combining Max/Maya with Flash?

Autodesk buying Max and Maya doesn't affect me much, but it's curious knowing they own two popular 3D apps. Will this squash the competition or make it fluorish?

Yeah, the plugins thing with 3ds really turned me off as well. I guess I can see the logic of buying only the components you need but personally I would rather have a piece of software that has everything, or as much as they can properly cram in, out of the box. Kind of like buying a car fully loaded or stripped down if you don't want the bells and whistles. I want my bells and whistles more so with my 3d software than with my car!

Exception
07-13-2006, 08:22 AM
Without Lightwave I would have left the 3D graphics world a long time ago.
I am not battling the program with Lightwave, but my ideas.
Most of the time.
Its speed, price and ergonomics interface logic allow me to work more effectively and faster than with any other program (I know Maya, 3DS, Autocad, Solidworks, Catia, Microstation, Sketchup and some others).
Its logics allows me to find a workaround for every problem.
Its user base provides me with 99% of the stuff I need that Lw doesn't do out of the box.... for FREE!.
Without it I would no longer be interested in computer graphics.
I teach a class now every now and then, and plant Lightwave on every computer I run into. My dongle is my keychain.
And I am not even in the 3D graphics business anymore.
I no longer am willing to forgive the stupidity of interfaces of other programs (autocad, haya, yes, stoneage?).

Still, a lot could be improved. But, We can improve something that makes us happy in the first place, that will allow us to make money in the long run, or we can work on something that pays the bills foremost and fun is somewhere at the end of the line (maya for me). I know what I want, and that is to work with personal interest, exploration, enjoyment and pleasure. Money is not the primary reason. So, if my client wants me to use maya or 3ds, they go to someone else. My employer didn't want me to use Lightwave, I do it anyway. He's come around since then, there's no one in a 50 miles radius around the office that can do the stuff I can in Lightwave.

If Newtek was a big conglommerate with marketing as a no.1 expense account and a large instead of a good user base, I would have walked away a long time a go.

3 times yes to that indy feeling!

p.s. autodesk never bought max, they made it (discreet was a subsidiary of autodesk), and you never know how many stock adobe already has invested in autodesk and who's pulling the strings? You have to admit, cad and 3D is a lot more volatile a market than PS and indesign? They killed quark, their only real competitor... Autodesk would be wise to stay out of Adobe's giant wake, for instance by producing a premiere-killer. Thus newtek does it and I'm very happy! SpeedEdit Hurraah!

Pavlov
07-13-2006, 09:08 AM
so Adobe is *bigger* than autodesk ? I cannot believe this..
Anyway, my hope is that Adobe buys Newtek; this would be a major move for both.
With Adobe's resources LW could get a major boost and a brighter, more solid future.

Paolo

jbarker
07-13-2006, 09:27 AM
:agree:

And just to clarify, I don't want to say that my main reason for mainly using lightwave is because they're not part of some giant corp. or they're the "little developer that could" but because I like that the higher ups do indeed read AND respond in their forums. In addition, the pricing of Maya Unlimited or XSI Advanced hits me as arrogant - I can't explain why because I'm sure there's plenty of time and money poured into dev of these apps. I like the path that Jay Roth is apparently taking LW. My point with my original post was that I'm able to make a bit of money with my passion -art; nowadays 3D art and LW's current lineup works for me for the most part (but I'm doing character animation more and more and do agree with the masses that LW is severely lacking there).

Lightwave isn't near perfect.

I've only been doing 3D for a few short years and have tons to learn. I do, however, expect a lot out of my 3D software. How much you ask?

Everything. (unrealistic I know)

I completely understand the use of multiple apps to stay marketable AND get the job done. Model in one, rig and animate in another, render in a 3rd and so on - simply because certain apps excel in a particular area more than another.

Just rambing thoughts in the noggin.

sadkkf
07-13-2006, 11:32 AM
Lightwave isn't near perfect.

Nothing is. Personally, I try to adapt myself to the UI and funcationality of the software instead of asking the software to work with me. Still, it's fully reasonable to want software that fits with one's own workflow. I'm a one-person business and am very adaptable. :)

Still, using LW since 5.0, the biggest irritant is the changing UI. Decide where the buttons should go and keep them there. Learning new software is one thing, but having to learn it with a changing interface with each major release has significantly impacted my uptime.


the plugins thing with 3ds really turned me off as well.

Talk about hidden costs! Also, the mass of hidden menus and right-clicking seemed to flip a switch in me that made me think Max wasn't so user friendly.

And you're right, jbarker, the accessibility of the developers, marketers and pretty much everyone at NewTek makes me feel more like a part of a community than just being a worker drone.

What irks me most is the lack of recognition and respect LW gets. I mention its name to people and most often they've not heard of it. I say 3DS and people say, "oh, yeah." Barf. Chances are they've seen more made with LW than Max.

jasonwestmas
07-13-2006, 11:45 AM
These are very interesting and encouraging comments. I honestly haven't heared these kinds of reactions to lightwave before. I totally agree Lightwave doesn't get half the respect that it deserves.

mjcrawford
07-13-2006, 12:19 PM
:agree:

I just think it's funy that a product called Maya compleate is not.. well compleate!

LW gives you everything you need out of the box, the plug-in's enhance LW but the core system has more abilitys than anything else out there..

I would not mind seeing Adobe and NT merge if that would mean that premere would become more like toster, and there was more cross-compatability.. render your after effects in lw!

Bog
07-13-2006, 01:27 PM
I really don't understand people who say they'd like to see NewTek bought by Adobe. Why mess with something that isn't broken? I like the fact that I get my support from someone who I know by name - indeed, someone who's turned into a friend over the years. I like the fact that the development cycle is wide open to people on the Beta program - a program that anyone could qualify for by pre-ordering their upgrade. It gives everyone a voice in the development of the software, and means that the people who make their living from it have a vote in the direction it takes.

Adobe don't do that.

We get all our point-something updates absolutely free. NewTek only charge for the Point-Oh updates, which have always been substantial advances in the technology. New bugfixes - and indeed, big sets of new features - roll out every few months with version upgrades, and we don't even have to pay for media, NT just email a download link.

Adobe don't do that, either. Quite the opposite, they ask hundreds of dollars for a 0.1 version upgrade that, erm, doesn't address the very issues that made the .0 version pretty useless. Encore, I'm looking at you.

NewTek use a copy-protection system that's about as intrusive as needing to carry a car-key. Less so, 'cause if you really feel inclined, you can pull the dongle out again once you've started LW up and it keeps motoring along quite happily. They don't force you to install spyware that sends your personal information and details of your computer to Adobe on the off-chance that you could be a pirate. NewTek's copy protection doesn't mess about with the boot cylinders of your hard disk, and it doesn't leave vulerable gaps open in your operating system.

Adobe, however, do do that.

It's true that LightWave doesn't get a tenth the recognition that's due to it. It's true that we move in the shadows, righting wrongs and being the unsung heroes. Heck, quite often people out-and-out forget to pay us (picture me glaring at clients who will remain unnamed).

NewTek have always treated their users very well, and Adobe have always seemed to want to be Microsoft - a faceless corporation, shielded behind anonymous request forms and etailing systems that give nary a hoot.

Why anyone would want things to change is beyond me.

Exception
07-14-2006, 02:00 AM
so Adobe is *bigger* than autodesk ? I cannot believe this..
Anyway, my hope is that Adobe buys Newtek; this would be a major move for both.
With Adobe's resources LW could get a major boost and a brighter, more solid future.

Paolo


Adobe is the biggest software company on the planet after Microsoft.
They are known for a business practice that separates each function from the software and release it as a separate application. EG Adobe streamline is a function you would expect in Illustrator, and Illustrator and Indesign could easily be one program. Resources is one thing, but they would sell you hypervoxels, skytracer, metanurbs, volumetrics and post processing separately for $500 each if they owned Lightwave. By the way, they cannot take over newtek because it is not a publicly traded company, which, I think, os one of those really self sacrificial moves of Newtek to keep the future secure, but has some financial limits for them. If they wern't they would have been bought years ago and Lightwave would most probably be dead.
If Newtek would be taken over, it would be a bad day for Lightwave. You think more people makes software development go faster? Think again. How much has photoshop progressed over the last 5 years? none. There's not even proper HDR support in it yet. And illustrator? old hat. Indesign? Basically pagemaker with a different interface. Stolen from QuarkExpress. They keep messing with the interface and adding 1 or 2 features and fixing bugs. No innovation, nothing.

Pavlov
07-14-2006, 02:14 AM
I like NT's accessibility too; if a company buys NT, this does not mean NT will change totally. I was thinking at how development could get more power, anyway your observations are not unmotivated, they're are a medal's backface i didnt consider.

Paolo

Exception
07-14-2006, 02:16 AM
Paolo, we spend too much time on this forum. It hasn't even been 5 minutes since my last response!
Let's go out for a beer some time, because we can use the sunlight.

sadkkf
07-14-2006, 07:58 AM
No innovation, nothing.

:agree:

I can't remember the last must-have release of Photoshop. I'm using 7 now and will probably upgrade to CS2 or CS3 because after all the releases in between it makes it worthwhile.

Another reason I'm sad they bought Macromedia. Each release of Flash was something to revel in...a _true_ upgrade. Now I fear the first Adobe release will be bloatware with two new features, but the Adobe stamp all over it.

And LightWave..sheesh. Even a .1 release offers a couple new features in addition to bug fixes and performance enhancements. :)

jasonwestmas
07-14-2006, 08:49 AM
The only reason I use CS2 is because I can edit/ touchup 16 bit tiffs in PS.

sadkkf
07-14-2006, 09:52 AM
It also supports HDR, right?

Hey! I'm in Madison, too! :)

jasonwestmas
07-14-2006, 02:53 PM
It also supports HDR, right?

Hey! I'm in Madison, too! :)

Yep, Supports .hdr. That format looks really nice!

Glad to know other people in madison are using lightwave! I know Ravensoft uses it.

KevinL
07-14-2006, 03:34 PM
*just my opinion*

I own and use Premiere Pro 2.0, After Effects 7.0 pro, photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2 and Dream 8. I have been with Adobe since PS 3.0, Premiere 4.0. I like the current products and use them everyday to earn income.

That said, I absolutely would like to NOT see LW aquired by Adobe.

If you are trying to kill Lightwave, by all means, lobby an Adobe buyout. Otherwise I like what I see Newtek doing, I have been with Newtek since 4.0 and there have been times when I have been less than thrilled, but there is a useability I have always found inside the box (otherwise I would have migrated elsewhere) and the recent responsive nature and rewrite of 9 have put a grin on my face.

Bottom line: the old saying "don't put all your eggs in one basket" is what I am referencing.

*just my opinion*
Kevin

archiea
07-15-2006, 03:43 AM
I've been w/ LW since 1.0!!!! Alot has changed since then.... There was a chasm between desktop video (the definition of Newtek's products back then) and "highend"...basicaly the stuff on TV and in the movies...

NT basically aided in creating a large and lucrative gray area between desktop and highend. While NT may have been the first, other companies have joined them, if not carrying the ball further:

Look at the video toaster vs software based editing. While NT decided to stay in their market, Avid lured high end on line editors with their off line editing tools. pretty soon, avid became the online editing tools.

Look at lightwave: the priced increased with its feature growth (version 6), then shrunk when its feature growth slowed (v8). Maya, houdini & softimage segmented their product line to make available a "lowend" version at around the price of LW at the time. While by themselves, these packages may not have been able to compete with LW's value, it provided a bridge to increase market share, a brand name linked to the blockbuster films, and a ton of penetration into the education market.

Look at realflow... they decided to take their product to the next level.. R4 is like $2700.. the most expensive it has ever been.. however its demand has grown.. look at how many CG or VFX films have water in them just this summer! Superman, pirates, poseiden. Realflow didn't decide to stay "warm and fuzzy' soft.. they decided to continue as leaders in fluid dynamics.

I feel this is where LW was at 6.0: Poised to continue in its innovation, going head to head with maya. The team split. You can see a little of what could have been, in Modo. Instead NT rebuilt its team, and decided to stay in their safe zone... I mean the "interface wars" that happened in 8.0, when they were regressing to a v5.6 look, was indicative perhaps a philosophy within the company.


in contrast, After affects.. they offered a "pro' version of their app.. this allowed AE to compete with Shake, digital fusion and combustion, while offering a lower end for their entry level customers. Even more evident with its recent release of its support for float space compositing, AE has brought to the table of Film compositing its unique, artist friendly, layer based workflow along with its vast library of plugins and features.

Cinema 4D also took a "gray area" route: they segmented their product, but upwards.. you pay for the high end features you want. trading value for innovation.

Personally, i am of the school of innovation, rather than value. i would have rathered seen NT become more competative w/ LW at the price of, well, price, instead of going the value route.

On the topic of "respect".. i believe much of this has to do with marketing.... this, in turn, is in response to just the culture of elitism that has swamped the VFX industry. In the photochemical day, visual effects were about cheats; using tinfoil and paint to make the inside of the cave in the mine car chase sequence in the second indiana jones film.. Using salt shot at 90fps to make water falls, using forced perspective miniatures to make location look like a milllion dollar set.

Today, we have taken the opposite route of really doing simulations for vfx... some clever, many overengineered. These sort of tasks are in the domain of uncompromising folks who need, really, an open ended software app. So what you are seeing on the screen is really just apps like Maya or houdini enabling folks to build on them for some elaborate result. And the result can be truly stunning.. they should be .. because some of the effects budgets have been like $25 million.

i think LW is in the domain of doing "cheats" for fx. I think we have yet to see some really really really clever cheats, as some of what has contaminated the clever craft of vfx has been the instant gratification of some of our tools: everything from letting the computer do inbetweens to not exploring the advantages of shading models to animating without arcs to "settling" for what comes out of the renderer without really pushing things. CG linear gamma vs film gamma.. that alone is a discussion!

Also, in general, in the past 15 years, the career path into VFX has gone from self taught and/or an ensamble of other diciplines (photography/sculpture/engineering) to legit curriculums in schools. As a result, standard workflows are being defined, and for that you need to settle on some standards. i think Alias was smart in seeing that coming... During that time, NT was at its lowest with the whole luxology debacle... circa 2001/2002.

Truely, the level of sophistication of visual fx, specifically 3D, can be seen in how scripting has become so important. Grossly generalizing this, in the catagory of the automation of tasks and in "hooking" into apps. this amount of customization has allowed studios to tailor the apps to their needs and philosophies. This is the current "culture" of vfx.. in some ways in parellels the "culture' in traditional FX (building one's own oprical printer and motion control system) , but is executed in a vastly different way.

FX films have become HUGE.. HHUUGGEE!!! While I still marvel at the glass paintings in Cleopatra, as well as maveling liz taylor, today you have surveyers, 3D tracking folks, 3D model builders, 3D FX folks to do the smoke/fire/water, proprietary software to do the crowds in the distance (which, alone, has a team of engineers who wrote & support the app), a roto team to paste the FG action back in and/or remove stuff, and a compositor to put it all together. And that is just one shot!!:help:

THAT is what is getting the respect that folks here are asking about. Personallly, i'd tip my hat at the guy who can do that all with a hand full of off-the-shelf apps on his home computer.. :D But lets face it.. the above is now the yardstick of what is cool in vfx. Basically "money shots" and not real innovation or cleverness.. as being clever these days is seen as "Cheating" ...but wasn't "cheating reality" the point of VFX anyway!?!?!?

I remember one day when I was working at DD I saw a 3D matte painting someone was working one that was absolutley stunning.. I complimented them and said that it looked "painterly". They shot me a sour look, insisting that it was realistic.. It became apparent to me that the "P" word can't be uttered in a VFX house.. Just the "r" word; realistic.

As a footnote, I made some GROSS generalizations, meaning that there are exceptions to the rule.. but I think the generalalities are sound in the examples set.

Bog
07-15-2006, 04:28 AM
As a gross generalisation, Archiea, I'd be more'n happy to fork out a slew more money to ramp up LW's development. "Being inexpensive" is rarely a selling point in this industry, in my arrogant opinion ;) , especially not in the UK where "inexpensive" tends to mean "poor quality".

The Thing with NT and Luxology? I really wish it hadn't happenned. Modo's got some really nice things happenning with it, and if there was any way to have those nice things happenning in LW Modeler, I'd be delighted. Got no idea of the intricicacies of what occoured, but it was a bit of a blow to the hardcore LightWaver, if I may assume such a conceit.

Thing is, having had a play with Modo, it's main benefit seems to be (compared to 9) OpenGL speed. Yeah, it goes like a freight-train. That's nice and all, but it's not exactly a dealbreaker. If someone's specifically a modelling specialist, then maybe it's that important, but as a generalist it's the whole package that's important to me.

Invoice for 0.02 in the post ;)

Pavlov
07-15-2006, 04:41 AM
Agree too, and i said this several times: lowering LW price is bad for LW.
Maybe it's a nefcessary move by now, to regain some userbase, but in next releases i'd be happy to give NT more money for a more valuable product.
Cannot understand how they can make a competitive tool without the right amount of money.

Paolo

archiea
07-15-2006, 05:27 AM
Agree too, and i said this several times: lowering LW price is bad for LW.
Maybe it's a nefcessary move by now, to regain some userbase, but in next releases i'd be happy to give NT more money for a more valuable product.
Cannot understand how they can make a competitive tool without the right amount of money.

Paolo


I've brought that up in the forums here, mainly in the form of paid X.5 releases to at least speed them up. NT replied, in effect, that it wouldn't make that much of a difference, that this current pricing model suits them fine.

But I wonder, what would a $1500 LW have gotten us in 9.0 compared to a $795 LW? A proper SDK for an Fprime 3.0 release? An Xcode port on the mac for universal binaries? A discovery edition TODAY? An additional feature set on the scale of Nodal editing or a faster release of 9.0? Robustness?

According to NT, basically, no. So perhaps its just not a money problem.

Look at Apple.. they are dumping Shake.. but for something better. They had hit the ceiling with Shake.. which is basically a script-based compsotor on steroids.. there was no way to properly build on it any further. So they are starting over.

I have hopes for NT as far as their ingenuity, but not in their mindset... which appears to sometimes to be getting closer to the "value oriented" of Hash Animation Master than a tiered app like After affects/Pro or Final cut express/pro, or even aggresive innovation like HDR was in 6.0

They seem conviced to being able to deliver what they needed in 9.0 at $795. I wanted 9.0 to be released earlier, like when they said, with mac binaries and an SDK to make it possible for Worley to offer a seemless transition for Fprime. We didn't get that. Would and extra $500 or $700 have gotten us that? According to NT, no.


One does not need to be overly negative to state that. The 9 update shows NT at their best in years, but they have had to come from SO far. The 9.X product cycle will tell much about LW future.

BazC
07-15-2006, 05:34 AM
Agree too, and i said this several times: lowering LW price is bad for LW.
Maybe it's a nefcessary move by now, to regain some userbase, but in next releases i'd be happy to give NT more money for a more valuable product.
Cannot understand how they can make a competitive tool without the right amount of money.

Paolo

I'm just guessing here but I suspect that Newtek are expecting to make most of their money from upgrades and the upgrade price hasn't changed significantly has it? The 3d market is fairly small, they can't really expect to attract that many new customers, at least not until they have an XSI experience beater on their hands! ;D It's quite possible the price and the upgrade price in particular may creep up again as the product regains the repect it had?

Just a thought :D

Bog
07-15-2006, 05:42 AM
I think the 9.x cycle - if I've read the signs and portents right - is going to be as much about clearing out the legacy issues as it is about this huge bolus of new features we've got. There's a lot of Stuff that's been hanging around since Videosca- er, since way back when ;) which needs to be dealt with - bump map normal, the disparity between Modeler's OpenGL and Layout's and the list goes on - which I think will be the meat and veg of the Nine Cycle. That's not to say that all we're going to see is glitch-fixing over the course of our Niney Journey, I think anyone who's been on this ride for more than a year or two knows that we keep getting features with every release.

Is it necessarily a money thing? Maybe not! The only thing I can think of that more dosh would give NT is more programmers. Is that necessarily a good thing? Gh0d knows I've worked on projects where there've been too my animators, and the thing finally got wrestled under control when some of them got handed a 20 note and told to go to the pub so the rest of us could hear ourselves think ;)

I have high hopes for the future.

Pavlov
07-15-2006, 05:45 AM
But I wonder, what would a $1500 LW have gotten us in 9.0 compared to a $795 LW? A proper SDK for an Fprime 3.0 release? An Xcode port on the mac for universal binaries? A discovery edition TODAY? An additional feature set on the scale of Nodal editing or a faster release of 9.0? Robustness?

According to NT, basically, no. So perhaps its just not a money problem.

imho it's not true.
More money=more resources.
Are they 10 programmers ? well 20 would have done a better job, maybe Fprime could have been a real priority as it should have, a modern fur/grass engine built-in, and a brand new GI engine along with a new lighting toolset. These are major needs for LW and they're not there.
BTW LW9 is great - though i cannot use it because of Hub issues - but it could have been even better with more money.
More money means also they could have paid, i.e, worley to do extra job, or buy some 3rd party techs to implement them into core. So money *is* a major issue.


I have hopes for NT as far as their ingenuity, but not in their mindset... which appears to sometimes to be getting closer to the "value oriented" of Hash Animation Master than a tiered app like After affects/Pro or Final cut express/pro, or even aggresive innovation like HDR was in 6.0

this is true and i agree it's a bad thing.


They seem conviced to being able to deliver what they needed in 9.0 at $795. I wanted 9.0 to be released earlier, like when they said, with mac binaries and an SDK to make it possible for Worley to offer a seemless transition for Fprime. We didn't get that. Would and extra $500 or $700 have gotten us that? According to NT, no.

Where did you read this ? imho, yes. If the faithful people like us spent 100-200 $ more for beta, their job could have got a boost. Even now, if the cost is higher 9.x will be better and sooner. How it could *not* ?


One does not need to be overly negative to state that. The 9 update shows NT at their best in years, but they have had to come from SO far. The 9.X product cycle will tell much about LW future.

Agree BTW, they did a great job.

Paolo

jbarker
07-15-2006, 07:25 AM
As a gross generalisation, Archiea, I'd be more'n happy to fork out a slew more money to ramp up LW's development. "Being inexpensive" is rarely a selling point in this industry, in my arrogant opinion ;) , especially not in the UK where "inexpensive" tends to mean "poor quality".

The Thing with NT and Luxology? I really wish it hadn't happenned. Modo's got some really nice things happenning with it, and if there was any way to have those nice things happenning in LW Modeler, I'd be delighted. Got no idea of the intricicacies of what occoured, but it was a bit of a blow to the hardcore LightWaver, if I may assume such a conceit.

Thing is, having had a play with Modo, it's main benefit seems to be (compared to 9) OpenGL speed. Yeah, it goes like a freight-train. That's nice and all, but it's not exactly a dealbreaker. If someone's specifically a modelling specialist, then maybe it's that important, but as a generalist it's the whole package that's important to me.

Invoice for 0.02 in the post ;)

Rarely is being expensive a selling point either. I've never had the penny pinchers in accounting tell me to find the most expensive package to get the job done. I'll be the first to recommend or fork over any amount of cash needed to get what I need; but at the same time I'm very shrewed in making my decisions. Many times I find myself asking "Is paying 6 times more worth these 3 extra features?" I guess it all depends on what a person feels most comfortable with (features, price, workflow, etc). I agree with the general "more money=more resources" philosophy but a lot of what a company pours into development depends on numerous factors. Not only on how much any company feels they can get a return on investing additional funds into an established (I said established - not perfect) product but also how well said company allocates their funds/resources. I don't know about you but I've worked in and seen some places that had an abundance of resources and no clear direction or qualifying results based on all the resources they had. On the other hand I've been a part of very small teams with fewer resouces that achieved incredible results due to the way the company/team/resources were managed.

archiea
07-15-2006, 07:29 AM
As he said, it was a "gross speculation". Also, it is true.. in the FX biz, inespensive isn;t a selling point. Whats on the screen is the selling point.. if you got there on time and on budget, then they will come back.

Bog
07-15-2006, 07:45 AM
I did say "especially in the UK", jbarker - I hope the tenor of my post showed how blimmin' stupid I think this is as well. I can tell things are a lot saner in the US because of the preponderance of video toasters :)

jbarker
07-15-2006, 07:49 AM
I did say "especially in the UK", jbarker - I hope the tenor of my post showed how blimmin' stupid I think this is as well. I can tell things are a lot saner in the US because of the preponderance of video toasters :)

LOL, no worries - and trust me the "insanity" is alive and well here across the pond!!!

jbarker
07-15-2006, 07:53 AM
As he said, it was a "gross speculation". Also, it is true.. in the FX biz, inespensive isn;t a selling point. Whats on the screen is the selling point.. if you got there on time and on budget, then they will come back.

I'm sure you're right. I'm not in the FX biz but more so in the corporate sector so I'm guessing that I have to deal with more folks who are helping make decisions on what is purchased for a project(s) who will never actually see/use the product itself! Lucky me.

sadkkf
07-19-2006, 10:07 AM
the "insanity" is alive and well here across the pond

Give me a "hallelujah!" ;)


The Thing with NT and Luxology?

Things like this are going to happen. Inevitably, there will be a divergance of opinions between developers/management/whomever. Heck, it's precisely why I started my own business. That and the fact too many bad managers were making bad decisions and steering my career in a downward direction.

And do people really think Adobe could buy NewTek?

Bog
07-19-2006, 10:36 AM
And do people really think Adobe could buy NewTek?

Only the same way that Disney bought Pixar.

(Ooooh, snap!)

sadkkf
07-19-2006, 10:49 AM
Only the same way that Disney bought Pixar.

Scary. Only I think Disney _needed_ Pixar to survive.8~

Bog
07-19-2006, 10:51 AM
Dunno if you read, but the first thing that happenned after The Mouse "bought" Pixar was that most of the creative team from Disney got replaced with the Pixar guys.

'Sides. NewTek's not a publicly traded company. Long may this situation obtain.

Lightwolf
07-19-2006, 11:07 AM
Are they 10 programmers ? well 20 would have done a better job,
This is something I doubt. Maybe 30 would be better, but 20 would slow things down ;)
Think of animation, would you prefer 5 excellent animators, or 20 mediocre ones that don't even know what the project is about? Finding programmers that know the task is hard enough, to get them into the project to actually help development, and not slow it down, takes time.

I roughly know how many minutes of animation I can produce in what time, or how much code I can write. Adding a second person doesn't double it, there is communication to be done etc...
As a comparison, Maya should be 10-15x better than LW by now (and that is without the mental ray). Is it?

Cheers,
Mike

sadkkf
07-19-2006, 12:06 PM
most of the creative team from Disney got replaced with the Pixar guys

I didn't hear that. Interesting. Was this the bunch responsible for Chicken Little? Not a bad movie, but certainly no Pixar flick.

I can also imagine, over time, the Pixar crowd flocking to their own studio at some point or scattering. Seems like mergers have this affect.

Bog
07-19-2006, 12:31 PM
Yup. Ed Catmull (whose name you may recognise from the new subpatch system us LWers just got) is now president of Disney/Pixar Animation Studios, which sounds quite good. John Lasseter got to be Chief Creative Officer of the animation studios, as well as Principal Creative Advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering, so I guess he liked roller-coasters as well. Presumably that job comes with all the cotton candy you can eat, too.

Steve Jobs got appointed to Disney's Board of Directors. I'm sure he's quite happy with that.

Then again, Disney were in a certain amount of (let's say) Creative Trouble. While an argument can be made that Adobe's tools are a bit, erm, lacking in shine shall we say, it's hardly like they're facing the sort of crisis that would require them to buy a shiny new bunch of sparkly-fresh brain-talent to ensure their future survival.

I've got no idea what NewTek's corporate plans are, but I really really really hope they don't involve selling the company to anyone. Except me. You can sell it to me, if you like. ;)