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View Full Version : A question for Newtek regarding the future of LW



kfiram
08-04-2006, 09:00 AM
While reading (and writing) posts on these forums, it suddenly struck me that I might be completely mistaken in the way I perceive LW.
It seems some users are happy to be left out of the Maya/Max/XSI crowd. They think LW is and should be "different". They seem to be happy with the state of things as they are now. They are not in the opinion that LW should strive to compete with these "pro" applications. Rather than that, they emphasize that they want LW to remain within the reach of the masses. They consider LW's "value for money" to be its greatest asset.

Now my questions to Newtek are these:
1. Are you content with the way LW is currently positioned in the market?
2. Are you going for the big bucks - striving to be just as good as (or better than) Maya Unlimited, XSI Advanced and the likes, or are you happy to remain "the people's choice" - the low-cost does-it-all application that anyone can afford?
3. If you had to choose between these two sentences (and no, you can't choose both), what would best describe your vision of LW's future, say 5 years down the road:
a. "The professional solution that is used in most film, television and game productions today".
b. "The people's choice: a 3D application for the masses, to unleash the creative power within yourself".
Please don't try to dodge the question by somehow implying that it's both (unless you're planning on releasing two separate packages, that is).
4. Do you believe that it is possible for LW to compete - feature wise - with the pro versions of Maya and XSI - or should this be left to plugin vendors?

colkai
08-04-2006, 09:16 AM
KFiram,
Given you already have a thread going about "LW-Extreme", why feel the need to start anthoer thread where you want Newtek to answer your questions directly?

Seems with the wording of the !questions" you want them to answer in a way that suits you and not neccesarily their view and their business direction..
"no, you can't choose both" - perchance you forget you are addressing the company in change of LW development and marketing?

You may not like the answers you are getting in the other thread, but starting another is not gonig to help your case any.

For the record, you are making a grave assumption that disagreeing with your opinion means LW users "are happy to be left out of the Maya/Max/XSI crowd".

Check out where LW is used, it IS used in pro circles, because it may not be moving where you personally want it to move, does not negate the fact.

kfiram
08-04-2006, 09:52 AM
Look guys, I've been here since the Amiga days. I run my own studio and my own animation college. I know a thing or two about LW, the industry and our surroundings.
I don't need a "chill pill" and I don't want to put words in Newtek's mouth.
I do however want to know where LW is headed.

I like LW 9 (I'll like it a lot better with full FPrime support), I like the way Newtek is headed - with core changes and handling the basic features first. I believe we're on the right track and are headed to better times and places.

The only thing I don't fully understand is where Newtek wants to take us. What's their motto, what's their vision for the future? Are they planning to storm the industry and come out with a Maya killer, or are they happy with just being a low-cost-for-the-masses-does-it-all-out-of-the-box-unleash-your-creative-power application.
All I'm asking is for them to answer what they WANT to be - not what they are now or how they plan to achieve their goal. Are they going to go head to head with the big boys or not?

GandB
08-04-2006, 10:03 AM
Well, I'm using LightWave mainly for Game Development, and the occassional "Masterpiece" of mine.:)

I have said before that once I get a pipeline down between LW and our main engine (Torque), there won't be much need to go elsewhere; Serious Sam is about as heavy duty a game as we will ever aspire to make, and it's a AAA title. Right now we're focusing on the Torque Game Builder (2D engine), so I'll be building 3D models to be rendered out in 2D image maps. I see good things coming from NewTek, and I plan on sticking around to see them come to fruition.

Of course I do plan on purchasing applications to compliment LW, and improve my workflow (such as Modo) later on; but for now I have my hands full with current projects as well as actually learning LW. While I'm waiting for NewTek to improve LW, there are plenty of other things for me to do and to learn in the meantime. Ever since I was a kid, messing aorund with Desktop Animator Pro (a little while ago:)), I've wanted to get into CG Art. When I found out about the Video Toaster, and who was behind the effects in Star Trek: The Next Generation; I wanted to get one (Video Taoster). I don't have any need for the Toaster now, but LW is what I was always after it seems.

I haven't had the time, since I got LW 8.5 in the mail a while ago, to even really begin learning LW; do to work and other "life demands" (i.e. family:)). Now I have a book (LW 8 Revealed/Kelly Murdock), and I plan on getting Dan Ablan's 3D Garage Tutorials (when I can find the cash). I intend to get jumpstarted as soon as possible, and ween myself off of TrueSpace/GameSpace; as we are currently in development of our first commercial game...and the clock's ticking.:)

Whether LW evolves into something that is more like XSI/Maya?Max, is irrelevant; it will always be LightWave at it's core, and the community will still be here to help each other out.

I'm not going anywhere.

-Keith

kfiram
08-04-2006, 10:15 AM
One more thing:

I don't want it to become another lengthly thread. The questions were addressed to Newtek and are a genuine concern of mine. If Newtek wants to answer - great. If not than not. They're certainly not obliged to do so.
In any way - I don't need "the community"'s view on the subject. I want Newtek's.

So please - unless you're a Newtek official - don't reply to this thread.

tyrot
08-04-2006, 10:28 AM
dear colkai

thanks for filtering these threads...you are a natural-thread-filter. No further comments needed your honour.

BEST

GandB
08-04-2006, 10:29 AM
So please - unless you're a Newtek official - don't reply to this thread.

Sorry, I didn't realize this was intended to be an "official response only" thread. It might help to just send them a private messege or e-mail in that case, instead of posing this question in the public forums. I won't intrude upon your thread anymore, and good luck.:thumbsup:

-Keith

Verlon
08-04-2006, 10:30 AM
You present a loaded question. Its not fair.

OF COURSE, Newtek wants Lightwave used in more places, especialy the more visible ones. IF Lightwave was used for all the CGI work in 90 of 100 movies, they'd be looking to get the other 10.

Lightwave has clearly stated that they want the application to do it all (or as much as possible) out of the box (like the statement where they do not intend to give away the task of rendering to 3rd parties).

A higher price tag does not mean a better program. If you want a package that includes a list of plugins, call safe harbor and try to cut a deal.

Give how many people complain about Newtek integrating plugins as part of the upgrade cycle, I doubt your idea for Lightwave Extreme would make everyone happy.

I am happy that Newtek is taking the needed and painful steps to make the best Lightwave ever, rather than just gluing a bunch of plugins onto the app in a half-hearted hack and calling it a 'pro' version.

Improvements to the SDK, better integration of current features, and a more robust program---these are things the pros lok for. They don't care how many features you have if the program isn't stable (see many movies done in trueSpace?).

Besides....With a good SDK, every user potentially becomes a plugin wrte to add features available to the program. No matter how you slice it, there is no way Newtek could afford to hire as many programers as they have programing users no matter how many copies they sold.

The fact that syflex went through the trouble to make a new lightwave version indicates that it is considered a pro application by them (hobbyists rarely shell out that kind of money for a plugin). Ditto for volumedic.

Verlon
08-04-2006, 10:31 AM
One more thing:

I don't want it to become another lengthly thread. The questions were addressed to Newtek and are a genuine concern of mine. If Newtek wants to answer - great. If not than not. They're certainly not obliged to do so.
In any way - I don't need "the community"'s view on the subject. I want Newtek's.

So please - unless you're a Newtek official - don't reply to this thread.

if you wanted to address only Newtek, you should have sent a email. This is a public forum. Sorry. that's just the way it works.

kfiram
08-04-2006, 10:31 AM
Neverko - I'm not talking about copying every single feature Maya has.
I'm talking generalisations.

I'm asking where Newtek sees themselves in this market in the years to come.
Five years down the road, are they "the people's choice" or "the professional choice"? Would they like to be considered among "the big boys" or will they be satisfied being what they are now, which is kind of an underdog-ish position?

kfiram
08-04-2006, 10:33 AM
if you wanted to address only Newtek, you should have sent a email. This is a public forum. Sorry. that's just the way it works.

I believe this concerns the entire community and isn't a private matter.
I don't mind public comments and you are free to respond. I'm just stating this isn't what I'm after.

kfiram
08-04-2006, 10:38 AM
Verlon, this thread isn't in direct relation to the other thread I posted concerning LW Xtreme. It's indeed something that came to me from the things I read there - but there's no direct link between the two.
This thread isn't about plugins, versions or LW Pro - it's about where Newtek is headed with the development of its flagship product.

hrgiger
08-04-2006, 10:57 AM
I'd like to reply, probably and most likely because I was told not to...

Ah nevermind.

Truecoz
08-04-2006, 11:21 AM
Look guys, I've been here since the Amiga days. I run my own studio and my own animation college. I know a thing or two about LW, the industry and our surroundings.

So please - unless you're a Newtek official - don't reply to this thread.:thumbsdow

Uh, you do realize that you're posting your comments on a discussion forum?

Iíve been here since ďVectorScape3DĒ on the Amiga. First 3D App. I learned. I taught myself how to operate Maya. Right now Iím teaching myself Houdini, which by the way has a great apprentice program to learn their software, and talk about pro-features! However, I always enjoy coming back to Lightwave. Donít get me wrong I really like the challenge of learning all the amazing tools that other packages have, but they do seem to have a steep learning curve (at least Maya does; Iím not quite sure about Houdini yet, but think it probably does also; considering all the new muscle and skin rigging, which they claim to be in real time), Lightwave 9 has SOME complex features and yet still seems somewhat simple to use, and is just fun to play around with, and, sorry, but for the price $795 MSRP. No one can compete.

NewTek now has an opportunity to implement features that are more innovative that donít need all the complexity for the user on top, but still has all the power underneath. Anyway thatís what I want and wish for from NewTek.

Look if you know the 3D software market, then you should know how volatile this market is right now. Autodesk didnít develop a lot of their software, they acquired it or bought out companies that developed it, because itís so hard to make any capital in the 3D software market. Autodesk, is supposed to be developing software to replace Maya and Max. Well, this gives other 3D software companies an opportunity to steal some of their market by creating new, creative, and more innovative tools. NewTek might be in a very good position to do this. Will they? I hope so.

SP00
08-04-2006, 11:29 AM
The only place LightWave seems to be really lacking these days is in character animation which is very important for most studios. If the 9.x cycle gets character animation to a state where most animators will be happy, I really think that this alone will sell a lot more LightWave licenses to studios.

:agree: 100% I personally think that they should put the other features on hold until they can get this out to us.

TSpyrison
08-04-2006, 11:31 AM
Look guys, I've been here since the Amiga days.

Me too, so?


All I'm asking is for them to answer what they WANT to be - not what they are now or how they plan to achieve their goal. Are they going to go head to head with the big boys or not?

<insert sarcasm> Iím sure they all want Lightwave to tank as an app, turn it into freeware, loose their jobs, become homeless, and live in the gutters. <end sarcasm>

My guess, would be that their plan for Lightwave is for it to be the best it can be. But, if the time comes that Lightwave isnít the tool for you, then move on to whatever program meets your needs right?

SP00
08-04-2006, 11:38 AM
Look if you know the 3D software market, then you should know how volatile this market is right now. Autodesk didnít develop a lot of their software, they acquired it or bought out companies that developed it, because itís so hard to make any capital in the 3D software market. Autodesk, is supposed to be developing software to replace Maya and Max. Well, this gives other 3D software companies an opportunity to steal some of their market by creating new, creative, and more innovative tools. NewTek might be in a very good position to do this. Will they? I hope so.

I think AutoDesk buying Maya might be a mistake. It is hard to maintain 2 seperate Apps that does the same thing for the same industry. The cost and man power will be redundant. Either one will eventually be integrated into the other, or sold off. Then you have conflict of interest and an unsure userbase. Newtek should try and capitalize on this. Hit Pixar and ILM and findout who has time to figure out LW9 and get them to make Renderman for LW.

kfiram
08-04-2006, 01:04 PM
Truecoz, I know this is a public forum.
Hrgiger, you were not "told" not to reply - you were asked - there was a "please" at the beginning of that sentence.

I'm not claiming this thread as private. I'm just saying this was intended for Newtek to answer and it wasn't my notion to start a lengthly discussion. We all know what those threads turn to be like (see the LW Xtreme thread as a reference). I don't want another 5-page thread that amounts to nothing.
The LW Xtreme thread was meant to create a discussion between users (although I wasn't expecting exactly THIS kind of discussion). This thread simply isn't. It's meant for Newtek. It was posted here because it concerns the entire community.

kfiram
08-04-2006, 01:09 PM
then move on to whatever program meets your needs right?

:thumbsdow But I don't wanna move on. :bangwall: Believe me, just staring at Maya's interface kills me. I want LW to move on with me...

Kuzey
08-04-2006, 02:18 PM
Boy...talk about conflicting messages.

This is for newtek, but you can't answer here. No...you can answer here, I just need a response from newtek in public. No...you can't, yes you can, no you can't, yes you can........I think I need a chill pill or something more powerful!


:D

I'm surprised no one has sued Maya unlimited, because to me that's false advertising. I mean is it really unlimited, buy on seat use it one as many computers as you want, give it away to friends, does it have a one click button to create and rig the characters for you, can you tell it what to do and it does it??

I'm just having fun here so back to your normal..whatever this thing is :D

best of luck.

Kuzey

bryphi7
08-04-2006, 02:21 PM
I can't wait for the answer from NT? Should be intresting...

kfiram
08-04-2006, 02:29 PM
Boy...talk about conflicting messages.
Kuzey

Simple:
I would rather get an answer from Newtek than have this turn into a lengthy thread. You are welcomed to reply, but I'd prefer you didn't.
In any case, this is a public message on a public forum. You may or may not reply, Newtek may or may not respond, I'm just stating my preferences.

Kuzey
08-04-2006, 02:37 PM
Simple:
I would rather get an answer from Newtek than have this turn into a lengthy thread. You are welcomed to reply, but I'd prefer you didn't.
In any case, this is a public message on a public forum. You may or may not reply, Newtek may or may not respond, I'm just stating my preferences.

Cool...fine,

Even more simple:

Sorry, but things like that make me want to respond even more :)

So consider this a response.

:help:

Kuzey

Dodgy
08-04-2006, 03:35 PM
:thumbsdow But I don't wanna move on. :bangwall: Believe me, just staring at Maya's interface kills me.

I hear that brother!

Paul Lara
08-04-2006, 06:53 PM
While this has been an interesting discussion, to minimize the growing defensive tones rising on both sides here, this thread is closed. That is not to infer any unwillingness to respond. If you really wish answers to your questions, I suggest you e-mail the VP of 3D Marketing ([email protected]).

Thank you for your continued (and future) patronage of LightWave 3D.