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ben martin
10-04-2006, 07:42 AM
Hi all,

Iím scared about what is happening in the 3D artists world!
Every colleague I know are migrating to other software solutions like XSi or Maya.
Did I made a bad choice sticking with Lightwave since version 6?

I know that this is not a good question to lay here but itís not also a good question to post any place else because they surly reply: ďYhea! Lightwave is obsolete!Ē
The only point where some of them agree about Lightwave is that the render engine is the only advantage they use for serious pipe line project productions!

People, (clubism aside) Iím becoming really scared with this Lightwave talents disband!
Even, with the new (not so new if compared with other software solutions, they say) tools, the artists I know (with some sorrow because they grew with Lightwave) are really disbanding!
When I confront them they usually justify their decision with bad character animation tools/support; Obsolete modeler tools, knife, extrude etc, lack of good displacement paint tools, lack of flexible and useful poly/subD engineÖ really, I donít get it, are they right?

Iím not searching for answers to this delicate issue; maybe this is better to be just an alert to Newtek community!

Oh! Donít bother flaming me, Iím still using Lightwave and Iíll hate if one day Iíll be forced to change and ďyes!Ē my English is not perfect!

cathuria
10-04-2006, 07:53 AM
Okay, so your English isn't perfect.
Neither is Lightwave.
Neither is any other 3D package.

Sometimes the power of computers can make us all forget that the end result still has a lot more to do with the skill of the artist than the sophistication of the artist's tools.
The only real question is: "Are you satisfied with the results you're achieving with Lightwave?"
If you think you're making darn good pictures, then fine, stop worrying and get back to making pretty pictures.
If you don't like your results and really think you've explored the limits of Lightwave, then find another package that works better for you and stop worrying that your choice of software somehow affects your identity.

:) I hope that didn't sound too blunt, but honestly there are other things in life more worth worrying about.

digital verve
10-04-2006, 07:54 AM
Well. Newtek better get a move on as Maxon has released version 10 of cinema including new character tools and interactive render region. It costs more but it is delivering to its users. Who knows what Softimage ae going to release next. Lightwave is full of promise but not delivering as fast as I would like on the new workflows, tools etc

SP00
10-04-2006, 08:40 AM
I think you have nothing to worry about. If your skills are good, it doesn't matter what software you use. Most companies will give you time to get up to speed with their pipeline as long as you show them good work. Everything you learn in LW can be applied to other software.

I had to work with 3D Max for a bit of time, it took me 2 weeks to get comfortable and start working on projects with that software. In fact, I found myselt looking at lightwave tutorials in helping me figure out how to solve a problem in max.

The Dave School train students with LW and those students have no problem finding jobs that work with other 3D software.

If you happy with LW, don't worry about it, but if you complain about a lack of features in LW, then I suggest you switch. The questions is are you happy with LW for the work you are doing?

Castius
10-04-2006, 08:50 AM
cathuria summed it up relly well.

Yes your right there are many artist that have been forced to leave. But If Newtek can delieave what they promise. In time they will return.

If your happy with LW stick with it.

Dodgy
10-04-2006, 09:12 AM
Hi all,

When I confront them they usually justify their decision with bad character animation tools/support; Obsolete modeler tools, knife, extrude etc, lack of good displacement paint tools, lack of flexible and useful poly/subD engineÖ really, I donít get it, are they right?


From my experience of using maya 7, LW has very little to worry about on the modelling front. Maya crashes on me as much as modeler and is far less nice to model in. It's limited tools are filled with caveats and things they won't do, a lot more so than in modeler. For example, you want to select a ring of UV's and move them? First you have to go into edge selection mode. Then select your edge, then select 'make edge loop' then use 'Convert selection to UVs'. All tools MUST be used in the selection mode they were designed for, not like most of LW's tools which try to use whatever mode you're in. The poly loop selection is a joke, selecting two bands of polys, one from each direction. Just simple basic stuff which is easy to do in LW is a pain in the bum in Maya. Maybe it's different in XSI, but to get to the same number of product features I get in LW would cost a lot more. Similarly in C4d or Maya. Every time I look at another package I download the demo and find things that are harder to do than in LW, whilst doing stuff in them which is easier in LW. In the end I just haven't been won over by any of them yet. That's not to say I couldn't, but they're not convincing me yet.

ben martin
10-04-2006, 10:12 AM
Many thanks for your replies.

To some of you my answer is:
Yes, till now Lightwave never let me down; actually my small render-farm is rendering a 1200 frames cene at 1280x584 of our galaxy Ė Milk Way Ė to a live action short movie scene.

The sad issue about this is that in my country the 3D artistsí community is not so big and every day itís more difficult to find local artists to share experiences and projects (Lightwave format) :-) .

Anyway, some of you are right; there are more problematic things to worry about!

Thanks for share your experiences and time.

ben martin
10-04-2006, 11:54 AM
Hehe, sometimes I think I'm one of 5-10 people in Denmark who use LightWave

That's exactly the same here in Portugal!
Let's hope that Newtek can really bring Lightwave to a new evolution level real soon... because others are also into the evolution process and it's not funny stay always one step behind!

I'm remembering e-on's Vue family products.
I'm Nicholas Phelps close, and we sometimes talk about the 3D industry future.
I use to give him my point-of-view about what I think is missing and till today, based on others opinion, he is really committed to make things happen.

I can assure that Vue line products are more than Lanscape generators!
Note: I was in Vue 5 Infinite and xStream beta-testing to Lightwave integration.

For instance E-on is really new compared to Newtek but they already have broken several tech barriers and Vue 6 is promising much more; like Video tracking to real time 3D object render and composition in the same frame! Simply genial! You can check this in the news about Vue 6 E-on's site.

This is development, integration, vision and interest about what people needs and have to say. That's why ILM is now using Vue Infinite line and xStream in their studio tools. :)

hrgiger
10-04-2006, 12:21 PM
How do you make a business fail? By telling people that the business is going to fail.

Point: Lightwave is still a very viable piece of software that is capable of production quality work. Its developers are working on improving iits shortcomings just like every other piece of software out there. It's just unfortunate that some disgruntled users can start such a sh|tstorm of rumor to create the impression that Lightwave is on its way out. It is also unfortunate that people become not much more then 'sheep' when they just fall right in line. Perhaps people need to stop listening to the sourpusses and make up their own mind on whether or not Lightwave suits their productive needs. Quite a concept there, one I guess that's a little too much work for some.
Personally, I still think Lightwave is suffering from the image it acquired a few years back when the old developers left to create their own unfortunately named but well implemented application. Lightwave has had some catching up to do and still does. The question for me is, will Jay Roth be our Lee Iacocca or will he be our Ken Lay? I think we will see through the 9.x cycle and into LW10 which comparison is more apt.

CMT
10-04-2006, 12:39 PM
Personally, I think LW is underrated. It has it's drawbacks, none of which is it's modeling abilities. It has a very small learning curve and all the tools are within 1-2 clicks away. I've read of plenty of companies which use LW for modeling and other programs for animating and such. Needs some enhancements on the rendering front to iron out some sss issues, but for the most part I am very satisfied.

coremi
10-04-2006, 01:32 PM
right now i think the biggest problem with Lightwave is the lack of plugin developers. They are gone, most of them haven't update their plugins or their website for like 6 month even more than a year.

Lightwave have no full HAIR solution, one expensive solution with no reflexion, with so bad UI, few really understand it.
No other Particle solution, if u want a simple particle morph between 2 letter, big problem.
No fluid solution like Glue3D, no render solution like Vray etc.., no character solution like CAT or others.

Except Syflex there are no profesional tools availeble for Lightwave, that's why nobody see Lightwave as a profesional solution, no software does everything out of the box.

Worley updates once a year, evasion3D even rare, polas and Pazur are not developing tools anymore, and they had great plugins, Kray updates very rare, many others like Dinamic realities and many more are long time dead, some still advertising upgrading to LW6 :((.

Very few are doing tools for Lightwave, and very very few big developers are porting their software for Lightwave.

Lightwave is still very capable, but only in the hands of pro's like Splinegod, Zoic etc... For us simple users Lightwave is not to friendly in doing advanced stuff.

coremi
10-04-2006, 01:40 PM
even Flay updates once in a week maybe 2 weeks, and it was one of the biggest promoter of Lightwave. And it is true, most of people left or are leaving, i've been on forums for like 4 years now and many great Lightwave artist are not here anymore, many of them.

Books and DVD are starting to apear rare, cause there is nothing really new to write a book about, maybe nodal will sell the books or dvd.
I'm a big funboy but i think things were never so bad. Lightwave even updated faster can't live without 3'rd party developers, very important part of this industry.

toby
10-04-2006, 02:20 PM
Electric Image used to be *the* package to use, then Softimage... things change. Don't be afraid to learn more than 1 package! I'll probably always use LW at home, because 1 person can do every task in it, in half the time. But if your company changes packages you have to be able to roll with it.

ben martin
10-04-2006, 02:22 PM
How do you make a business fail? By telling people that the business is going to fail.

With all respect that you deserve, you surly know that's not about that in any way!
In fact it's all the other way around!

I also love Lightwave.
I've tried some other software demos (XSi, 3DMax, Maya, Cinema4D) and found very difficult to adapt to because my mind always leads me to work using Lightwave logic.
The most close to Lightwave logic is Xsi but its render and texture tree is a pure head ache (but powerful indeed)!

When testing those softwareís, some times I feel like start kicking my PC and call "stupid" to the other software developers because they really mess simple things so much that itís almost impossible to work with it unless you burn you eyes reading tons of books to learn new and exclusive language programming like MEL.

All this is true but it's also true that Lightwave is loosing something very important: "Decent Good Artists"; Worst- Some of the very first Lightwave enthusiasts are now in CGTalk foruns working with XSi.
This is a fact and bury the head in the sand wonít solve it!

Because I was preoccupied with that fact (maybe because one of my friends told me today that he is now learning Maya and XSi because Lightwave is part of the past) this made me to start this Thread.
Why are good and nice people leaving Lightwave?

Anyway, remembering your words; if a product is really good it wonít make any difference what one says... but when "sheep" starts to admit that something is not well with our beloved software... thatís a problem that shouldn't be ignored!
When I started this tread I was in doubt that maybe it was all my impression and maybe I was being pessimist leaded by the bad news I received once and again about friends (one by one) leaving Lightwave but after all... maybe it's time to do something to improve Lightwave to a new level!

Yes, V9 brought some cool things but did those changes really pushed the software to upper levels?
I give you one simple example. SILO 1.4 Ė Announcing V2.
Itís a (+/-) 4Mb software with tools much head of Lightwave modeler! WHY?
Sadly I remember when Lightwave 9 features were presented almost at the same time Softimage presented a boost in XSi core (billion poly engine).

Orrr... well, forget. I'm beating on a dead horse!

Anyway, I want you to know that talking about dead doesnít make someone an assassin! Peace man!

JamesCurtis
10-04-2006, 02:38 PM
I think LW is still a viable product. I still use it and several friends of mine do too. Yeah, It may not seem there are as many of us.

Doing things in LW is more straight forward than some other apps. I was talking to a friend of mine [in LA] who is going to teach a beginners intro class in Maya. He even admits there are too many steps to just create a simple box in it. In LW, you click 1 button and draw out in 2 windows and you're done.

Also, There is mention that Maya and Max will probably be merged in about 3 years as a single program. My friend says the Maya workflow is already showing signs of the merging, and not for the better.

I tried to learn Maya and Max and found it difficult to get a handle on them. LW is just sooo much easier to get my head around. Even the new nodes are beginning to sink in.

An artist is only as good as his abilities will let him be. The tools can help, but the artist still has to put in the work. There are ways to do almost anything, if you put your mind to it.

The new tools in LW are great and will become greater in time.

I for one would like to see another LW9 update as soon as posible, but I'm not jumping ship because it's taking some time to do. I don't have the money to just throw away a program either. So I will continue to use LW.

Have faith!!

ben martin
10-04-2006, 03:29 PM
Let's have that faith!

I also don't want to throw away all efforts, investments and time I spent with Lightwave and beside all that I’m 40 y.o. and I’m not in the mood (tiered) to jump to other software!
Hope someone up there (Newtek) understands this!

shrox
10-04-2006, 03:53 PM
...Also, There is mention that Maya and Max will probably be merged in about 3 years as a single program. My friend says the Maya workflow is already showing signs of the merging, and not for the better.

I tried to learn Maya and Max and found it difficult to get a handle on them. ...

I am currently experiencing the joy and wonder of 3D Max, so much so that we had to bring in an animator from our office in Chicago to our Corpus Christi location to show us how to do something that would be rather simple in Lightwave. I even video captured the monitor output so that we could review it.

We use Max because they have always used Max, and Gamebryo doesn't work with LW. All the modeling is already done and we are importing motion captures into Max. Lots of character animation. Sigh...

I have LW on my computer here at work, so I can do some things like menus, buttons, etc., stuff that most people might do in Photoshop. Of course, the LW render stuff looks much better than any Photoshopped. It is funny how resistant people can be about modeling and rendering something in LW that they might normally do in Photoshop.

wacom
10-04-2006, 04:02 PM
I use XSI and LW, and I'd say there are so many things this argument hinges on that you really can't do a sky is falling type of forcast for things.

Question 1:

What type of work do you do

Question 2:

What kind of OS does your work require

Queston 3:

What is the budget

Question 4:

Can the client tell?

Queston 5:

What is your average project turn around time?

Question 6:

How big is your studio? Do you own your renderfarm?

Until you answer these things for yourself I'd say your just wasting your time on making comparisions. Others could put a few more questions in there. The only political statment I'll make on this is that AutoDesk dwarfs almost all of the other companies combined- take that as you will because it's a loaded comment on too many fronts!

OK- and one last thing- there are several companies that have technology(ies) that are beyond what Maya and 3DS MAX have right now- but do they have the same market share? NO! If you have to ask why...

RedBull
10-04-2006, 04:07 PM
Hi all,

Iím scared about what is happening in the 3D artists world!
Every colleague I know are migrating to other software solutions like XSi or Maya.
Did I made a bad choice sticking with Lightwave since version 6?

Depends on why you made your choice, was it because your colleagues told you too? Is it a bad choice to stick with LW?
Depends on what your other choices are, and what you need to achieve on a daily basis. Do Lightwaves shortcomings make you think your using the wrong software?

The majority once told me that 3D Studio is the best, and indeed it dominates
along with Maya and XSI where i live. That doesn't make it true!


People, (clubism aside) Iím becoming really scared with this Lightwave talents disband!
Even, with the new (not so new if compared with other software solutions, they say) tools, the artists I know (with some sorrow because they grew with Lightwave) are really disbanding!

Publically listed Billion dollar Autodesk, Billion Dollar Avid, vs Privately owned Newtek.... XSI has been attacking with cheaper prices and the FND edition.
This means that XSI is the Studio tool of choice, and that FND will allow
people and upcoming artists to be trained in XSI.
XSI is technically pleasing, growing and it's hard to fault. As a new user to the 3D world, i would be choosing XSI....


When I confront them they usually justify their decision with bad character animation tools/support; Obsolete modeler tools, knife, extrude etc, lack of good displacement paint tools, lack of flexible and useful poly/subD engineÖ really, I donít get it, are they right?

It depends on what your doing, of course LW has some crappy areas....
LW is so inconsistant and is full of band-aids...There are also areas of LW, that are still better than much more modern implentations..
Even though LW's renderer is slow, FPrime is way better than anything else...
It's a complete package that's great for allrounders and freelancers.
It's not the most studio friendly tool, and Maya,XSI,Houdini are.
Character Animation is seemingly 80% of the 3D industry and the others do have better CA tools. (for myself not as important)

Lightwave Modeler has been giving me internal errors on Booleans and Stencils since LW6.0, i've requested better booleans.... Modo will take the exact same .lwo and work without any such error.... Knife tool as well....
countless workflow issues. I could list 2000 problems with LW. I could also name hundreds of things i like over the competition.

But i do conceed the others are moving in the right directions much more quickly. So like most people i use whatever tools get the job done the most efficently. If it were not for other peoples egde tools, free third party nodes,
or renderers like Kray, Fprime, or modelling tools like LWCAD2. LW would be far less attractive to myself. (Thats SDK is the gift that keeps on giving, but ifi it's ignored for too long the plugins become stale)

Fprime, LWCAD2 are things i'm using a lot, but the things that LW used to be good at are fastly becoming less of a draw card...

Nurbs are now in LW9, except they don't work in a lot of cases,
Edges are now in LW9, but many tools don't work with them, Nodes are now in LW9, but don't work with OGL or Fprime. Modeler tools are now in Layout, except only a few work and you need a Null object first, and you can't select stuff. LW feels like it gets the half-assed treatmeant a lot, it never quite gets there..... XSI and to a lesser extent Modo don't feel like that.....
(although you can bet within 10 years they too will do so)


Iím not searching for answers to this delicate issue; maybe this is better to be just an alert to Newtek community!

Oh! Donít bother flaming me, Iím still using Lightwave and Iíll hate if one day Iíll be forced to change and ďyes!Ē my English is not perfect!

All software has advantages and disadvantages, it's the nature of the beast.
I think NT jave kept more on the cutting edge of Video hardware with VT's than they have with the more competitive software arena...

I love LW and would hate to leave it too, but in some areas LW is a lifetime behind the competition, why wouldn't you use what works today?

But for myself, FPrime interactive previewer saves me countless hours in Lighting/Texturing/Camera setup. So time that XSI may save me in certain areas are lost compared to Fprime in those areas. So i tend to choose what works.... For example HV and Particles aren't visible to Fprime. And viper sucks. So i use XSI's MR region tool in XSI and comp them.....
The trend is FPrime can see less and less, and Mental Ray is getting better and better. So logically FX will be done more in XSI in the future for myself.

At the same time don't let the hype sway your own opinion of how useful your tools are to you. If i did i'd be using 3D Studio in the first place. :)

Your assumption that the trend is that LW people is leaving is partly true,
Maya, Modo and XSI have all taken former LWers to another place, just not always a better place.

Nemoid
10-04-2006, 05:33 PM
there are two main reasons for some users leaving Lw

1) Maya and secondly XSI are more diffused within the industry. Maya is so far leader on movie industry, and XSI follows up quite well.
since in these environments you get lots of TD coding Mel or scripts for you this kinda app both fits better to build up a large pipeline and can adapt better(through scripting) to the various operators needs.

example : a full hierarchical rig like it happened to be built for a movie character like Gollum is quite impossible to achieve in Lw. you should use maybe different rigs and several workarounds to achieve similar results. it was possible in Maya tho, allowing the TD to arrange diffferent kinda controls and give animators only controls useful for their tasks.

2nd reason is that Lw is yet showing its age.

BTW the new team is making great efforts to catch up with competition and bring Lw ahead: there are areas , like modelling , in which , due to its workflow, Lw is still one of the best modelling toolset within a general app, while other areas suffer, like CA.

what i really hope is that development speeds up and that the attitude of adding patches rather than fix problems at their roots changes totally.
SDK also is highly important, as there are great plugin developers that do wonders for Lw, and everyone would like em to have the possibility to do better and more. but often , their good intentions are blocked from the current SDK.

My point is : Lw is still a very productive piece of software, in good hands.
its nice and has a good learning curve.

but time is passing, and people would like to have the same ease of use coupled with more power and reliability, and tools interacting well with each other.
Development is going in the right direction, but should progress faster now and be very clever IMHO.

faulknermano
10-05-2006, 12:47 AM
as a follow up to nemoid's post, it's also not been mentioned (enough) about 3rd party renderers that plug in to existing 3d apps. this is what get maya out of the hotseat in regards to being a "giant" 3d app.

but i agree largely with wacom's post if i viewed it as a business-person / freelancer, and this thread is viewed with that pov. not everyone here can buy all of the products that we want, so we choose what's best for us. that's being "business-person" because we have to accomodate the reality that we dont have infinite resources.

for a digital artist, of course, it's more of the actual performance of the app - which app can piss higher, for example? :D i mean who cares how much it costs?

sometimes i wonder if we should talk like self-employed artists here... :D

starbase1
10-05-2006, 04:05 AM
Personally, I think LW is underrated. It has it's drawbacks, none of which is it's modeling abilities. It has a very small learning curve and all the tools are within 1-2 clicks away. I've read of plenty of companies which use LW for modeling and other programs for animating and such. Needs some enhancements on the rendering front to iron out some sss issues, but for the most part I am very satisfied.

Really? Now I'm very surprised to hear that about the learning curve... And I have heard others with multi platform experience say that ease of learning is a weak point. I'm probably a bit biased as I started by fighting v5.6, and at that point the docs were just plain attrocious. The worst for any program I had ever seen I'd say...

starbase1
10-05-2006, 04:12 AM
One of the things that make this stuff so interesting is that it is still a VERY immature market. By that I mean things such as the way that pretty much every major release of every major product adds genuinley new features.

It's not like word processing or spreadsheets, where you are hard pushed to find any differences in features of value...

And that's why we twitch with impatience for the upgrades, why it is interesting to look at the mags, why we look at features arriving in other packages.

It is surprising that there are so many products competing in what must be a relatively small marketplace though. And it would be very surprising if some big names are not absorbed by their competitors.

Nick

pumeco
10-05-2006, 05:12 AM
Just thought I'd comment on this.

I see not one, but four golden rules that Newtek are ignoring in their marketing of LightWave. With what they have, they have the potential to absolutely wipe the floor with the other 'more expensive' apps, and if they make me an offer, I'll show them how to do it.

That's all. :deal:

toby
10-05-2006, 05:19 AM
Character Animation is seemingly 80% of the 3D industry and the others do have better CA tools. (for myself not as important)
Wow, how do you figure that much? Of all the tv commercials that have 3D in them only a few have 3D characters, and almost none of those has more than one. TV shows, like Battlestar Galactica, only a 1 or 2 ca shots in an episode, sometimes none. CSI, Lost, none. Most feature films are shot with live actors, no ca, and most of those have 3D in them. Architecture Viz, none, Print, none. Medical animation, maybe, courtroom animation, maybe, but they can be done with the crudest of ca tools. I can believe 80% of a fully cg movie like Incredibles or Monster House, but not 80% of the industry. I'll bet it's less than 25%.

JamesCurtis
10-05-2006, 06:51 AM
The recent crop of 3D theatrical movies would lead one to believe that character work is at an all-time high. Let's see, we have:

Hoodwinked
Ice Age 2
Madagascar
Cars
The Wild
Barnyard: the Original Party Animals
Everyones Hero
Monster House
Open Season
Happy Feet (coming)

and probably a few that I can't recall right now.

Some of these are good, others only so-so or ho-hum.

LW may have been used in the pipelines of some of these - I don't know!

In a way, there is almost a glut on the market of 3D character movies. Have to say that there are plenty of opportunities out there for even more though.

But, taken as a whole, based on the number of ALL movies released in a year [average of 100 or so], it's not that high.

Just wanted to point this out.

safetyman
10-05-2006, 07:49 AM
We have Maya and Lightwave in our production pipeline, which is mostly static artwork -- not much animation; for quick turnarounds, LW smokes Maya. Say I need a still irom scatch in 30 minutes, Maya would take that long just to get the modeling done. LW does the modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering in nothing flat. And making changes to existing scenes is quick and painless.

Maya may be the best all around 3D prog out there, used in all the movies, everyone uses it, la dee da. But for what we do, I'll take LW any day of the week.

Wonderpup
10-05-2006, 10:54 AM
because 1 person can do every task in it, in half the time.

This is a Lightwave legend that NT could build a campaign around, and in my experience essentialy true. I came to lightwave from Max and I was amazed how my output improved, both in terms of speed and quality.

Hard to say why, really. Max is a real swiss army knife of an app- a tool for every need. Lightwave's more of a construction kit- maybe this fosters a more probem solving mindset, which in the end pays off?

Nemoid
10-05-2006, 12:09 PM
Apps like Maya and XSI were born as suitable apps for movie , sfx, and CA. they are projected around the concept of large pipelines that rrequire lots of operators everyone doing their task. this is especially valid for Maya.

so what?

the concept is valid, because the way in which these large studios work/worked is more a "refine" the job endlessly till satisfaction/perfection, rather than a do it now, do it fast and do it well you have on TV. in TV the level of fx and animation is good, in some case excellent, but in the most cases not comparable to what you need for movie production.

Lw has been originally projected around the TV concept (and there's nothing bad about this) and so it offers a fast workflow in most cases, but a low level of refinement of your work , especially in the animation firld.

that's why it finds its place in things like modelling and previsualization /animatics, and in some case rendering, and this is also because Lw doesn't fit in very large studios.

a thing to be considered though is that things are changeing also in move production. right now there's more space for small studios and shots are divided between them so that it doesn't matter what you use but what you deliver.
this kinda environment, Lw can find a better place for sure (studios like Zoic, or eden fx fit in this description)

but, great attention should be payed however from Newtek,. apps like C4D, or XSI foundation itself are there and ready to take this area as well and fit in this environmennt quite well too.

GraphXs
10-05-2006, 12:27 PM
This is a Lightwave legend that NT could build a campaign around, and in my experience essentialy true. I came to lightwave from Max and I was amazed how my output improved, both in terms of speed and quality.

Hard to say why, really. Max is a real swiss army knife of an app- a tool for every need. Lightwave's more of a construction kit- maybe this fosters a more probem solving mindset, which in the end pays off?

I too have a LW to MAX pipeline, and in most cases LW does seem to be better for the 1 person show. I can do entire boards/layout design in LW far faster then anyone could do in Max. (not speaking for all users of MAX) I just know we run into really strange issues in MAX that can't be solved. When I do use Max I spend too much time over thinking how to achieve something. I love the stack in Max, but man > modifier > modifier > collapse > modifier, Max could sure use some steam-lining.

Ya know alot of the Wavers that moved to XSI still show up in the LW fourms sometimes. I'm sure if Newtek delivers on what they want LW to become, you will see them come back with a multi-pipeline process. Having a multi-program pipeline is normal these day. Look at Z-Brush and normal mapping. I don't think XSI, Maya, Max or LW will ever be able to intergade that type of modeling. (unless they buy them out)

ben martin
10-05-2006, 12:33 PM
Maya may be the best all around 3D prog out there, used in all the movies, everyone uses it, la dee da. But for what we do, I'll take LW any day of the week.

That's exactly why I feel sad.
I prefer Lightwave with a broken leg to run the 100 meters barriers than any other high-performance package actually in the market. Till date I left nothing to be done because Lightwave was crippled or what!
Also that's why I feel that Newtek should think in a way to turn Lightwave more appreciated by the large studios.

I understand why other packages can be easier set and used by large studios since they have persons to do any and everything... one to make the drill; other points the screw and someone handles the electric screw driver to turn it!
This is good! Gives more job opportunity to people but I don't understand why Newtek does not ambition to put Lightwave in such studios/productions more often!

It all goes by, seat, take a deep breath and ask... what is missing in Lightwave to be more requested/appreciated by professionals?
This is the real start point to something new!

My feeling is that they (Newtek) do seat, take a brake and ask... can we do some more of what we have already done?
Can we update by 20% the tool that someone invented 5 years ago?

Man... this is not good!

bryphi7
10-05-2006, 12:58 PM
one of my biggest probs with LW is that while other companies are adding production ready features to their apps, NT has been adding pointless feature after pointless feature to LW. In my opinion the need to do some serious house cleaning, and stop adding features that no one will use.

I thought that things would get better with V9, but they only got worse. I think that all of us want to stick with LW, but NT is making that a really hard decisions to make. They need to show us some innovation...if they can?

Phil
10-05-2006, 01:37 PM
To my mind, workflow is still the killer in LW for more complex scenes.

- no instancing, either of geometry or of properties (i.e. parameter wiring).

- no external scene references. I cannot insert a dynamic reference to an external scene and have that brought in at render time - you have to use 'load from scene' and hope that no changes are needed (or that this step is not forgotten).

- incomplete ability to strap in external renderers. Well....you can, but they won't be able to render procedurals/shaders or volumetrics. I'm not just thinking about FPrime, but also Kray and mental ray. Being able to interoperate within an established rendering pipeline in a facility would be useful. I'm still not convinced that avoiding mental ray support entirely, and developing LW's renderer, is a road to wider adoption.

- no pixel shader support for advanced graphics cards.

- dreadfully slow bone implementation

- round-trip of skelegons. This should be possible without 3rd party addons, but isn't for some inexplicable reason. Until Modeler gives bone deformation previews using Skelegons, this is required. Utterly required.

- big frame sizes cause Layout to buckle on non-64 bit machines. I'm still not sure why a render-to-disk option isn't available to workaround this. Being able to render, even slowly, beats not being able to render at all.

- LScript breakage. Seriously. MEL is popular; XSI supports various scripting languages. This isn't an accident. NewTek, though, seem ****-bent on breaking various aspects of LScript in every LW release. I don't remember the last time that LW shipped with a fully working, extensively hooked-in LScript implementation. If you want to have your app used in production, scripting that works all the time is vital. You cannot ship with it broken and expect to have happy customers in this kind of environment. LScript is not dependable - it *needs* to be.

- VIPER. Needs a lot of love and attention. Or shooting in the head and replacing. It cannot preview half of what is needed. FPrime can't, either. Fix it or replace it.

- Support for render layers and passes. This is way overdue. I'm so tired of screwing around with matte objects and multiple scene versions. For heaven's sake, get this sorted.

- Glow. It hasn't been updated in 10 years. Either bin it and force us to do it in post, or extend it so that any surface attributes can flag regions of surfaces that should get glow. Support your own raytracing systems for the glow.

- Hub. Highly flaky - fix it or bin it. What happened to the public API that someone (James, perhaps?) pointed out was promised for 8.0?

- LWSN. The deployment is painful and having the render controller built into Layout is probably not a great idea. Needs serious ease of use improvements all round.

- Complete developer documentation. With search facilities. That doesn't give the impression it was quickly scribbled down on the back of an envelope. With examples that don't date back to the turn of this century. We're still reliant on a 3rd party tutorial to write nodes, at least as far as the SDK documentation is concerned. For a production facility, bending over backwards to help their development staff get to grips with your application would seem....sensible. As a layperson looking at the SDK documentation, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The same goes for LScript. PDFs are nice. HTML with search would be better.

It's my list, based on a fraction of the things I remember pushing to [email protected] over the years.

bryphi7
10-05-2006, 01:49 PM
- Support for render layers and passes. This is way overdue. I'm so tired of screwing around with matte objects and multiple scene versions. For heaven's sake, get this sorted.

That is my biggest one. Would make life so much easier!!!
They have so much to do, and at the rate of progression that I have seen, the gap is just going to get bigger.

Pavlov
10-05-2006, 02:28 PM
interesting thread. I'll add my probably useless 2cents since most things have been said: Lightwave is obsolete, and this parallel changeover has still to show up. LW has enormous limitations when it comes to rendering, it's NOT true LW has the best renderer around. Today GI is a day-thing and we have the worst implementation on the market. Generally, tools are confused, they overlap and there's no "structure" in LW, just a mass of tools that sometimes, if we are luky, can work together. There are huge holes to fill like Osnap, actual GI solutons, better CA tools, merged environment, modeling history, instancing, and too many to list here.

BUT

LW has a huge community and an enormous plugin database. So it happens that even after years of non-developing, or bad developing we have awesome tools like LW cad, Pictrix's tools and many other, so our old, unstructured, redundant, non-procedural Modeler is probably one of the most powerful ones.
It happens also that brilliant developers made things like Kray and Fprime, so we have some of the best engines around.
So, for an almost fortuite combination of minds and energies, Lw is still one of the best and most productive tool around, definitely a tool to have and use.
Newtek is doing its part now (finally) and it seems things are beginning to move again. Too slowly, if i'm allowed to say this... but let's wait entire 9 cycle before.
Combos are unstable anyway, so my pov is Newtek should really hurry to make a totally new structure into LW - which i have still to see and touch, undercover innovations should emerge to light to be effective - to allow a brighter (and faster) development for NT and 3rd parties.

Paolo

Phil
10-05-2006, 03:06 PM
Well NewTek have until the middle of next year, for me at least. I do believe that the new development are the best thing that has happened in a while to LW. It's not their fault that LW has deteriorated so substantially compared to what it used to be. We'll see what 9.x brings.

I'm not as happy as I'd like to be, but I'm not sure all hope is lost by any stretch. The development pace does need to be more speedy, though. Hopefully, NewTek has a number of these much-desired improvements already baking in the oven for a quicker post-9.1 release.

Layer and passes support should not require major trauma to implement, for example. GI replacement isn't going to break much either - few use it at the moment.

If backward compatibility is becoming a problem, I'd suggest dumping it if needed - I'll take a clean break over a drawn-out process any day, just as long as you only do it once, and correctly. This will certainly be necessary at some point in order to consolidate the two expression systems, if nothing else.

Pavlov
10-05-2006, 04:26 PM
not sure i agree on GI, it's one of the most important parts of a renderer and render engine is one of the most important parts of a 3D program. Again Viz market is the real world of 3D and where money and users are, so it should be a pivot point for future development; GI is crucial for Viz.
Again, look at polls and forum section posts, you'll notice that viz users are not a minority at all.
Anyway i agree on speed. I'm productive in Lw so i doubt i'll leave it, but a scenario NT should fear is just their "parallel changeover" but done by users.
People looks at other solutions, and slowly try them while they use mainly LW. If a day one discovers he's as productive as in LW on another, fresher tool, he will slowly abandon LW until he jumps on the other tool completely.

Paolo

Bog
10-05-2006, 05:54 PM
9.0 is the biggest upgrade we've had since the get-go, but it's always worth knowing - and using professionally - other tools. My levels of business and income tripled when I advertised that I grokked After Effects, Premiere, Media 100 and other such children's applications.

*shrugs*

In the final analasys, I love animating. The "top slots" in the LightWave market are fairly few and far between, and at this stage in my career, I know full well I need to be working with other folks to hit my peak creativity - I've been living in a hole in the ground for too long, and could really do with a year or so of the stimulation of being part of a team of pros. I hope LW will give me that - if it doesn't (just because the market for pro LW is smallish, and I live in the Uck) then I'll find what I need another way.

For the forseeable future, though, LW is my primary weapon, and I can't see it being swapped for anything else tbh.

sadkkf
10-11-2006, 11:38 AM
I worry about this a lot, too. Although I work primarily on the web and with Flash, I try to incorporate 3D as much as possible because I love it and it's cool. Nothing beats 3D for the "wow."

Unfortunately, because I don't spend so much time using it, I'm not as proficient and feel I really _must_ spend my time and money wisely on software and training.

Books are scant, online tutorials are hard to find for some specific tasks and there is poor or no documentation for some of the plugs I buy.

Intuition
10-11-2006, 01:47 PM
Lightwave still has alot going for it.

Alot of us contributed to the "Lightwave Problems" thread.

Yet, I've noticed how Lightwave/Modeler do have alot of features and capability.

Besides mentioning all of the things lik GI speed, CA, Dynamics, Hair/fur, etc, that need improvement we are all aware of I will bring up a few positive points since I have been critical of my beloved Lightwave for the last week.

I was using Peebler Elves software and was trying to get Modeler to function more like it.

To my surprise I was finding alot of the functions that I needed were available although in really different places. So I have been making a list of these functions and have been trying to figure out how to arrange them so that they are more intuitive (no pun) and workflow optimized to use.

It was also mentioned to me on Spinquad that there are script functions to get buttons to appear depending on the selection mode activated. This way I could get vertex bevel, Edge bevel, Polygon Bevel, buttons to exists on the same button and would change depending on selection mode. This would save us two slots. Also, the keyboard shortcut would be one button "b" and would call up the appropriate funtion depending on selection mode.

So there is plenty of room for improvement with what we have. The implementation is just bad and is very tradition/habit oriented from past releases but can be made better with simple ideas.

Now besides optimising workflow through interface design layout, which is needed badly, there are things that we can't change just by arranging configs.

First and formost is the GI and new shaders render speeds.

Lightwave has a really fast render engine if you are not using radiosity. And to be fair, if you use Background radiosity, or interpolated, it is still pretty fast. Monte Carlo on the other hand is blazingly slow. Also, if you use SSS or Anistropy you can really slow down things alot. Now combine the two.

If you can wait for the image you going to be amazed at the quality you can still get from Lightwave. Yes, if you use monte carlo 6x18 and 3 bounces you are going to have a sweet image. The only issue is that even on my quad core 64bit box that still eats up some hours. So Lightwave is capable but its slow. Now, throw the same scene in Maxwell Render and I can get a better Image quality in a little less time. Say 2 hours instead of 4. Then try the same scenario in Modos engine and I can get the same image quality in 12 minutes on my old p4 single proc box, something the 64bit machine does in 45 seconds.

But, even though we are all aware of this there is somethingof note.

I was reading the Lightwave future development paper by Jay Roth yesterday, kind of a refresher.

It just so happens to mention every one of the problems (Except hair/fur and dynamics I think) that we are talking about. So it looks like the Newtek management are aware of these issues. He even mentioned that the Radiosity needs optmization and updating.

I think before the LW9 cycle is over we may very well see alot of these things addressed.

I am more positive today then I have been over the last two weeks going over everything.

If the Lw9 core code has been setup better then its probably a matter of time for NT to go through the list and develop each one.

I remember seeing the pixel blur and DoF modes and felt that "optimizing" for the times may be happening behind the scenes.

Which brings up my final point. NT and public relations.

Do you notice that when NT tells us what is going on, even if its news of a delay, we tend to feel better about the situation?

After the 9 release it seems our Public Beta happy days just disappeared.

I want to see activity in the beta forums again. In the meantime I am taking alot of my personal time to list features in Modeler and Layout that are really workflow oriented and try to come up with interface layout ideas and workflow improvements. I'll be making a post soon with a poll on certain items "to do" in Lightwave for improvement and see what everyone thinks.

Kurtis
10-11-2006, 03:02 PM
Public Beta will return as soon as the new update is ready to go to that level. It's not something we will run continually because of the resources it consumes, but when there is something that needs testing, it will be there, kind of like the Lone Ranger. :hey:

Intuition
10-11-2006, 03:33 PM
Thanks for the note Kurtis. :thumbsup:

As always, any news, good or bad, from NT makes everyone feel like someone is at the wheel. Yes, we users can be primadonna about stuff.

Let us eat cake :D eh?

Well, back to my idea list.

borkus
10-11-2006, 04:52 PM
like that. Let us eat cake eh?