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Emmanuel
07-16-2006, 10:15 AM
Hi,

the LW9 docu is only slightly better than the former ones.
In my pdf, the chapter about GI doesn't show, the docu about Multishift is even LESS detailed than before, modelling tools in Layout are not covered, how to work with edges is not covered, CC-SDS are not covered.

tonybliss
07-17-2006, 01:43 AM
:( Que lastima
kawaii

Penforhire
07-17-2006, 10:37 AM
I get a chuckle over some of the screen shots in the help file that seem to alternate between 8.5 and 9.0 panels! Why is it that good software hardly ever comes with decent documentation?

starbase1
07-18-2006, 03:57 AM
It does seem rather patchy, to say the least. I really can't work out what Pixie Dust can do that HV sprites cant...

I guess they keep piling new stuff in until the last minute, so it's not an easy task, but I really am wondering about buying the printed manuals - I love to have them but at this stage they are very incomplete - if we are lucky they will change considerably in the near future. So printed copies will be out of date...

mkiii
07-18-2006, 06:51 AM
If they produced perfect manuals, what would happen to poor old Dan Ablan? Do you want the guy to starve?

Matt
07-19-2006, 04:26 AM
If I had the time and knew everything about LW (which I don't) I'd love to do what I did with my ScreamerNet tutorial with the rest of LightWave!

:)

mj418
12-30-2006, 08:52 PM
****, and here I thought I was the only one who was less than thrilled with the docs. ;)
Far as I'm concerned, they need not even include any manuals at all, because it's mostly through various forums and Dan's books that I've learned LW, since version 7.
Um, but, I could have used about another three thousand pages on the Node editor. ;)

Wonderpup
01-05-2007, 01:25 PM
I spent an hour last night trying to discover the procedure for applying bones in one layer of an object to geometry in another- the manual entry for this makes it clear that whoever wrote it had no idea what the ' use bones from object' function was intended to do. I refer you to my post modern, witty and ironic critique, composed at three am when I was really, really, pissed off;

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61398

I do sometimes wonder if Newtek take either themselves or their users seriously.

mj418
01-06-2007, 06:28 PM
*WARNING*
To anyone else who sees this, do not read the last paragraph in the link above in Wonderpup's post if you have a mouthful of coffee. ;)

Surrealist.
01-15-2007, 11:12 AM
This is actually tragic.

I am a manual hound and I have to say I must be persistant because I actually read though the entire 8 manual. Can't say I remeber it all but I found some of it to be absolutely invaluable information that I would have never gotten out of a 3rd Party book and yes I have also read Dan Ablin's book. Thing of it is, that his book barely even scrapes the surface.

Lightwave is just too large of a program to put into a comercial book. It would be several volumes and should be.

Ducumentation and training = a wide competent user base (not the few high IQs we have now ) = word of mouth, great work = more customers.

I looked at the 9 docks realized it was no better than the 8 docs and decided to save the 100 bucks. Torturing myself is one thing but paying for it is another. :)

Giacomo99
01-15-2007, 03:18 PM
"Lightwave is just too large of a program to put into a comercial book. It would be several volumes and should be."

Lightwave is a large program, but that's really no excuse. I have the last three Ablan books (and they're great) but I, as a full-time professional Lightwave user, need better documentation.

I say this after a grueling two days trying to solve a fairly straightforward problem with nodes--nothing in the manual, NewTek's video tutes, or anything posted anywhere online was the slightest help. Fortunately Dave Jerrard came to my rescue (in a thread elsewhere in this forum), but I just can't rely on an explaining online angel everytime I get stuck--the existing resources simply MUST be improved if NewTek expects its base of professional users to grow.

Surrealist.
01-15-2007, 08:15 PM
Lightwave is a large program, but that's really no excuse. I have the last three Ablan books (and they're great) but I, as a full-time professional Lightwave user, need better documentation.

Well I think we agree here. I think you misunderstood. I was talking about a comercial product such as Dans book - which is huge! No way he could cover everything and I could not see a publisher taking it on. That's what I was refering to.

I agree with you 100 percent. There is no exuse on NT end. It is an oversight in the extreme. And that is an understatement. There just needs to be a department of a couple of writers who do nothing but work with the comunity and rewrite the manual. From the credits it seems as if it is just a kind of everyone pitch in. I think even some stuff is left in there - some of the best stuff I might add - from Lee Stranahan. Willian Vaughn (Proton) is also credited who is very good. So it has its bright moments.

The basic probem arises when you have technitians and programers write manuals. This is someting that just can't happen. Often a 3rd party plugin is added and the docutmentation is used from the people who programed it. Take the poly reduction documentation for example. Perfect example of turning a tool completely unuseable.

There are a few other places that are just awful. But other places thatr are great.

It wont get corrected in my opion untill a handfull of professional technical writers who are also hands on and connected to the user base who can be left alone in a room to gleen the information from the programers and the comunity and turn that into an understandable tutorial based professional documentation product coupled with a complete reference manual. The first docs for Lightwave had this set up and it was pretty good.

Right now it just seems like LW is a hodgepodge of tools from everywhere and the manual reflects it.

StereoMike
02-04-2007, 10:11 AM
Things even weren't as bad, if we had a working index. But these few pages at the end are worth nothing. Try to find something, it's useless. From time to time I find something, but I wonder what's the logic behind. To look up qtvr export, I would have to look at render option ("r"), output tab, special animation type. And there's no mention of qtvr in the index.

When I was looking for it myself it drove me almost crazy, cause I couldn't find something regarding quicktime, qtvr, export, save, or any other word which made sense to me.

mike

starbase1
02-04-2007, 11:51 AM
Things even weren't as bad, if we had a working index. But these few pages at the end are worth nothing. Try to find something, it's useless. From time to time I find something, but I wonder what's the logic behind. To look up qtvr export, I would have to look at render option ("r"), output tab, special animation type. And there's no mention of qtvr in the index.

When I was looking for it myself it drove me almost crazy, cause I couldn't find something regarding quicktime, qtvr, export, save, or any other word which made sense to me.

mike

Well, of course in my day we had it tough! V5.6 not only was the index execrable, but you did not get a machine readable copy yyou could search through. Then there was the period when the index was in a diofferent volume to the manual it indexed... They are getting better!

SP00
03-02-2007, 06:11 PM
I think the manual is a mess because of the lack of understanding of what new features will popup in Lightwave. But that is no excuse, it should be address by either better planning or coming out with updates, which can easily be downloaded from the website. All they need to do is edit the PDF and post it for download. Why can't they do this?

Marvin Miller
03-06-2007, 03:59 PM
Spoo, we will be providing pdf updates to all future updates of the software, including version 9.2.

I'm working on a new PDF which includes changes made since v9.0 was released and fixes to errors/omissions in the current docs.

Stereomike-This includes a better index!

borkus
03-06-2007, 07:20 PM
how come they don't have proton write the whole book? his tuts are awesome (showing that he knows how to carry the viewer into what he is trying to show you) and he obviously knows lightwave inside and out...

borkus
03-06-2007, 07:24 PM
sorry marvin miller. didn't catch your post before posting mine. i know you guys are trying hard. and it's us, the users that ask so much of you. we do appreciate all the work you guys at newtek do for us.

StereoMike
03-07-2007, 01:39 AM
Good to know that the index will be updated.

Unfortunately I have these three red books with index 1.0... ;)

mike

JBT27
03-07-2007, 02:51 AM
*WARNING*
To anyone else who sees this, do not read the last paragraph in the link above in Wonderpup's post if you have a mouthful of coffee. ;)

Now that (last paragraph) is funny :D

Just about says it all on the subject of manuals for what we all do.

Julian.

SP00
03-07-2007, 08:14 AM
Hi Marvin,

Thanks for giving us a heads up, but I think the manual is very big and the software updates are very frequent. I would rather Newtek allocates additional technical writers and graphic artist to you. Then you can get a lot more than just textual updates done. On another note, I would also like to see the web html help files updated too. It is a great resource with its search feature and I use it all the time for reference. However, it is not ideally organized for easy viewing. If you can provide short flash video (no audio) to demonstrate how some features work, it would really make it easy to learn the software quickly. I love how LWCAD flash video on their website easy demonstrate how each tool works.

If you can I think you can make a great argument to your bosses at Newtek for more resources in the Manual and web manual department. The benefits of a good manual is immense.

1) Get all users to learn the software quickly
2) Shorten production time
3) Less technical and customer support is needed
4) Overall higher quality renders from the community
5) Increase User Base - Especially attractive to anyone wanting to learn Lightwave, but don't want to invest a lot of time to learn it.
6) Less Frustration - Some things don't work while it should work from what the manual describes.
7) Less Complaining :)

All you need to do is hire a few freelancers to get the manual up to date quickly. Just let them know they can save a lot more money from tech/customer support and even marketing by making a great reference manual.

talkfist
03-08-2007, 09:56 AM
I've expereinced NT manuals for nearly 20 years now. They are always a challenge, especially for someone just starting out. And, in essence, I'm justing starting over again after a several year hiatus. I'll do my best to provide some useful feedback. Right off the bat though I'd say the logical order of info for beginners is pretty bad. Some basic tuts on key items like setting up scenes, parenting and rendering should be covered first. Yes, we would all like to be great modelers but that does take time. Before you can see your models and use them you have to master layout tools - and since there are tons of objects available- focusing specifically on mastering layout should be a prioty IMO.

Gary Wales
03-29-2007, 07:23 AM
Does anyone have any problems regarding the 'online' (browser-based) help docs for LW9?

Lightwave 8 was fine, but I'm not able to link to certain sections, such as Object Properties and Distributed Rendering...can anyone help please?

starbase1
03-29-2007, 11:55 AM
I've expereinced NT manuals for nearly 20 years now. They are always a challenge, especially for someone just starting out. And, in essence, I'm justing starting over again after a several year hiatus. I'll do my best to provide some useful feedback. Right off the bat though I'd say the logical order of info for beginners is pretty bad. Some basic tuts on key items like setting up scenes, parenting and rendering should be covered first. Yes, we would all like to be great modelers but that does take time. Before you can see your models and use them you have to master layout tools - and since there are tons of objects available- focusing specifically on mastering layout should be a prioty IMO.

I think that a thin 'quick start' manual for newbies would be a huge help to them.Maybe cover 3 or 4 simple scenes over a variety of subjects using stock content, to make them hungry for in depth study!

Nick

StereoMike
03-30-2007, 07:04 AM
full ack. Simply analyse why Ablan & Co have such a success with their books and put some chapters with that flavor into the manual.

mike

Marvin Miller
04-04-2007, 11:28 AM
The idea of a "Quick Start" guide is something that has been thrown around alot internally at NewTek.

I think I mentioned in another thread somewhere that I'm going to be updating and creating new tutorials for the web site. Once we get LightWave v9.2 out the door maybe I can just integrate the work I'm going to be doing on the tutorials into something like that.

I think it's going to be a busy Summer for me! :eek:

StereoMike
04-04-2007, 02:34 PM
Bad for you, good for us :P