PDA

View Full Version : Is it worth upgrading to 8 or 9?



Chroma
10-17-2006, 11:02 AM
I have 7.5 which will be used as a renderer (maybe fPrime later). I'm using another app for modeling. I've read a lot of posts about bugs in 9 on the Mac side.

Is it worth the upgrade?

-Chroma

G5 Quad Power Mac
Evil nVidia 6600GT card
More RAM on the way...

Chilton
10-17-2006, 11:20 AM
Hi,

Yes, the upgrade is worth it. Of course, I work here. But I also saw how many bugs we had before 9 shipped.

One reason there is a lot of discussion about the bugs in 9 here right now is that I've been asking for people to post any and all bugs, complaints, gripes, and suggestions. They all go into a big checklist I'm working on for the Universal Binary release. Some will be addressed, some won't.

If it's an actual bug, it will likely be fixed. If it's a feature request, or something that would require a major change under the hood, it might not make it.

But right now I'm mainly interested in addressing stability, speed, and user experience for the UB version. So that's why I'm looking for trouble ;-)

-Chilton

Chroma
10-17-2006, 11:32 AM
Thanks Chilton,

So the upgrade with the added feature list will be more or less stable than 7.5?

I'm not using an Intel Mac, just ol' school PowerPC.

Chilton
10-17-2006, 11:35 AM
*I would say* Considerably more.

But I wasn't here during the 7.x cycle. So I defer this answer to our other users.

-Chilton

Chroma
10-23-2006, 02:05 PM
Well, after no more info from the group, I'll stick with 7.5 on the PowerMac.

colkai
10-24-2006, 04:04 AM
Well, can't speak for MAC users, however ,from a simple POV of LW7.5 vs LW9 I'd say the upgrade is a no-brainer.

There is so much that has been altered and enhanced from LW7.5, even ignoring the fact that new C.A. features etc are yet to appear, that I would recommend upgrading if you can afford it.

As I say though, I'm PC not MAC so can't vouch for the bugginess or non-buginess compared to LW7.5 on the MAC.

Darth Mole
10-24-2006, 04:54 AM
I'd argue that the upgrade to 8 or 8.5 isn't worth it. However the jump from 7.5 to 9.0 is much more useful. In fact, I think you've been quite clever by skipping a generation; apart from some bundled third-party plug-ins and some free software, the 8-series wasn't terribly impressive.

We all have great hopes for the 9-series LW... Over to you Chiltsy.

Now where the duck is that famn UB??

Chilton
10-24-2006, 05:55 AM
Hi Darth,

There is a saying, entirely accurate in this case (unfortunately).

"It isn't ready yet."

-Chilton

John the Geek
10-24-2006, 06:04 AM
Or as my mother used to say:

"It's still cooking... Now go play and I'll call you when it's ready."

=)

Darth Mole
10-24-2006, 08:09 AM
What about now?

Chroma
10-24-2006, 08:27 AM
Thank you for the info everyone. I wouldn't call myself clever really Darth, just too pre-occupied with another 3D app at work that is PC only. At home I'm on a Mac.

To be honest, I've been in the graphics field for almost 20 years and the difference between 3D applications vs. 2D applications upgrades are universes apart. An update to Photoshop for example might have a couple issues, but good gracious most of the companies that make 3D software (not just Newtek) appear to have never been bench tested. I just don't understand. I don't remember Photoshop crapping out on me in the middle of a painting, although Illustrator 10 on the Mac was dismal.

If I'm paying $100 for something at the store and it doesn't work as advertised, I'm taking it back man. What does it matter if the upgrade has all these cool features, but oops, this one and that one have bugs and will take down your PC? Nice. The 3D community digs in and pays $300-800 for upgrades (depending on the software) and only brings it up on forums. You all are very patient and I'm really impressed with most everyone on this forum for putting up with it. If I payed $300+ for 8 and I'm waiting to pay more for 9xx to fix the problems in 8, I'd be knocking on their door with a big stick.

BeeVee
10-24-2006, 08:38 AM
You would only pay one upgrade fee to 9.0 and all the 9.x releases would come free of charge, but 3D software is one heck of a lot more complex than Photoshop and folk come up with all manner of ways of using it not envisaged by the developers, so there will always be issues - it's in the nature of the beast.

B

ChrisPitts
10-24-2006, 08:54 AM
Thank you for the info everyone. I wouldn't call myself clever really Darth, just too pre-occupied with another 3D app at work that is PC only. At home I'm on a Mac.

To be honest, I've been in the graphics field for almost 20 years and the difference between 3D applications vs. 2D applications upgrades are universes apart. An update to Photoshop for example might have a couple issues, but good gracious most of the companies that make 3D software (not just Newtek) appear to have never been bench tested. I just don't understand. I don't remember Photoshop crapping out on me in the middle of a painting, although Illustrator 10 on the Mac was dismal.

If I'm paying $100 for something at the store and it doesn't work as advertised, I'm taking it back man. What does it matter if the upgrade has all these cool features, but oops, this one and that one have bugs and will take down your PC? Nice. The 3D community digs in and pays $300-800 for upgrades (depending on the software) and only brings it up on forums. You all are very patient and I'm really impressed with most everyone on this forum for putting up with it. If I payed $300+ for 8 and I'm waiting to pay more for 9xx to fix the problems in 8, I'd be knocking on their door with a big stick.

Heya Chroma. I thought I'd comment on this, from a little more of an outside position. I'm not a programmer for NewTek, but I have done a little programming in the past, and I think I can answer this one. Maybe Chilton will back me up on this ;)

Creating a 2D application is basically like engineering a really awesome paint brush. The things it's supposed to do are fairly linear. The math is fairly simple.

Creating a 3D application is more akin to creating a universe. Moreover, With 3D modeling and animating tools, It's creating a universe creator. Not only that, but the industry is so competitive, that everything has to be bleeding edge technology, or it's out of date within seconds of being created. I think that's why you'll typically see more bugs in any piece of 3D software, than you'll see in it's 2D counterpart. Any mortal can make a perfect paintbrush. Making a perfect universe is harder. :D

But the pursuit sure is fun, isn't it? :lwicon:

CrackWilding
10-24-2006, 09:09 AM
I was a 7.5 guy for many years, and I also use it only for rendering -- modo is my preferred modeling app. My employer recently got 9 for me, and my impressions of it are as follows:

Stability - 9 is a lot more stable than 7.5, but not perfect. It still crashes on me from time to time, and it is by no means impossible to start processes that make you think it has keeled over and gone to heaven. Still, I'm much happier with 9 in this regard.

Features - I haven't had much chance to play with modo's texturing capabilities, so Lightwave is still where I do most of my texturing. That said, I'm extremely pleased with the new node editor. I love the per-surface shaders. The occlusion shader and the sss shaders are fabulous additions. Beyond that, support for multi-core machines is a big plus. I can render stuff on my G5 quad a heck of a lot faster than in 7.5. (caveat -- I got the quad about a week before LW9, so maybe 7.5 supported multi-core. I dunno, but 9 seems faster on my single-core laptop too).

UI - One of the great disappointments about 9 to me is the interface, which doesn't seem to have changed in the least. I'm very fond of modo's UI capabilities, which allow me to set up a workflow on two monitors that I never have to to tinker with -- no opening and closing windows for me.

LW has a lot of annoying habits: windows acquire focus for no good reason, and cmd-~ doesn't cycle through them. This is particularly irritating when you go to type into the numeric boxes in Layout and discover that the scene editor is focused. Why clicking in a box doesn't give focus to that window is beyond me.

Also, as with 7.5, windows have an annoying tendency to randomly select new positions to appear. I find myself constantly dragging windows back where I want them, only to find the next time I open them that they are a monitor and a half away from where I put them. I realize that designing a 3D app is a lot more difficult than designing, say, a word processor, but Newtek is in serious danger of being left in the dust. The LW interface has 1998 written all over it, and to be frank, if the next version of modo has animation capabilities, I might have to leave Lightwave behind.

+++

I realize that this is hardly a comprehensive review, and I suppose too I'm focusing a bit much on the bad. 9 has a lot going for it, but it still has the feel of a conglomeration of plugins. I hope that changes in the future -- Lightwave is what I cut my teeth on, and I'd like to see it continue to grow and get better.

My recommendation is to look in your wallet. For me the upgrade was paid for by someone else, so it was a no-brainer. If had been out of my pocket, I probably would have waited for the next release. But, I'm not exactly flush with cash, either.

My two cents.

jeremyhardin
10-24-2006, 09:36 AM
I'd say owning Fprime would be the only reason not to upgrade. If you don't rely on it regularly, you have no reason not to IMHO.

I've used LW mac since 6.5. :thumbsup:

Darth Mole
10-24-2006, 10:43 AM
What about... now?

Chilton
10-24-2006, 11:14 AM
There it is. Done.

Wait, there's that other thing I should do first...

Chilton
10-24-2006, 11:15 AM
it's not actually *that* close to being where I want it to be. Keep in mind that there's a lot that people expect in the UB version. I plan on delivering.

___mats___
10-24-2006, 12:59 PM
Chroma -

I am afraid I cannot tell you its worth to upgrade to LW9 at this point, I find Layout responsiveness much slower than 8.0 or 7.5 regardles of OpenGL settings on both my mac and PC - the render is faster in some ocassions (radiosity is a tad faster and makes better use of multithreading) but in general, for non raytraced shadows and reflections, LW9's renderer is slower

Hopefully there are good news about the new version, awaiting a UB version, and a better radiosity/global illumination engine coding hopefully, since it is extremely slow compared to other offerings, (vray/Modo)

Matt -

Chroma
10-24-2006, 01:33 PM
I understand 3D programs are more complex and it's crazy hard to put together. Believe me, I couldn't do what you all do. But as a user, it is frustrating when you advertise your product working on a specific platform when in fact, the new version (v.8 for example) is buggier than the last.

Please inform your customers what specific software and hardware that they "really" need. You are working and developing cutting edge 3D tools and pushing the limits, then what are you using? What OS? What specific video card? RAM? You must be testing on the Mac platform at some point. So what are you using? Another software developer was using a G5 Quad with an ATI X800 to test with (it may be Intel now). I know to exactly what to purchase there. Even that developer is quiet about kernel panics with the nVidia cards.

Just let us know and we'll work around the rest. Cheers!

jeremyhardin
10-24-2006, 01:48 PM
Chroma -

I am afraid I cannot tell you its worth to upgrade to LW9 at this point, I find Layout responsiveness much slower than 8.0 or 7.5 regardles of OpenGL settings on both my mac and PC - the render is faster in some ocassions (radiosity is a tad faster and makes better use of multithreading) but in general, for non raytraced shadows and reflections, LW9's renderer is slower

Hopefully there are good news about the new version, awaiting a UB version, and a better radiosity/global illumination engine coding hopefully, since it is extremely slow compared to other offerings, (vray/Modo)

Matt -
Are you running under rosetta on an intel mac? or an old os9 version? because otherwise i find your statements to be a little misleading.

9 has made large stability, speed, and functionality improvements over 7.5. i'm wondering if maybe you're using some of the new features that have been implemented since 7.5 in Opengl and aren't taking those into account. things like Multitexturing, GLSL, and Catmull Clark SDS.
Rendering certainly hasn't gotten slower since 7.5, either. you'd have to try to get it slower. (i.e. use perspective camera on a super-simple scene geometry/raytracing-wise). And let's talk about AA. PLD-3 fills my needs rather well. Too bad you're limited to low, medium, high, extreme on 7.5.

I function in 8.5 from time to time due to Fprime needs, but I only open 7.5 when I'm testing my scripts. There's no reason to use a less stable inferior featureset. Particularly on Mac.

Chilton
10-24-2006, 01:51 PM
Hi,

I came on just before v9 shipped, and helped removed some of the older code that wasn't holding up so well before. Some of these bugs were not known in v8, or masked by other bugs.

LightWave here has been tested (as in, I personally used it on)...

Panther - Dual 800mhz G4 PowerMac (I'm not sure about those specs, I don't have enough monitors to go around, and this one has been offline for several months.)
Tiger - Dual 2.0 Ghz G5
Tiger - Dual 2.5 Ghz G5
PowerBook 1.6Ghz G4
Tiger MacBook Pro 1.8Ghz (or whatever that first gen thing was--the machine was defective and it was returned)
Tiger MacBook Pro 2.1Ghz
Tiger Intel based iMac 2.0Ghz (I think that's the speed, not at it right now)

Additionally, other LightWave engineers have a variety of Macs, from G4 PowerMacs to G5s, and quite a few Mac Minis.

Now, LightWave itself didn't really lend itself to the kinds of testing I'd like to put it through until recently. The Universal Binary changes a lot of that.

Also, I've been using stock video cards for all of those. So YMMV.

I can't speak for the v8 times. I wasn't here then, and things are different now.

-Chilton

Largemedium
10-24-2006, 04:45 PM
LightWave here has been tested (as in, I personally used it on)...

Panther - Dual 800mhz G4 PowerMac (I'm not sure about those specs, I don't have enough monitors to go around, and this one has been offline for several months.)
Tiger - Dual 2.0 Ghz G5
Tiger - Dual 2.5 Ghz G5
PowerBook 1.6Ghz G4
Tiger MacBook Pro 1.8Ghz (or whatever that first gen thing was--the machine was defective and it was returned)
Tiger MacBook Pro 2.1Ghz
Tiger Intel based iMac 2.0Ghz (I think that's the speed, not at it right now)

Additionally, other LightWave engineers have a variety of Macs, from G4 PowerMacs to G5s, and quite a few Mac Minis.




What, no MacPro? Why? It would seem that you guys at Newtek would be testing on Apple's current top-of-the-line machine since that's probably the machine most serious users and professionals would (or will) buy. Don't get me wrong, I have an appreciation for the iMac... but I don't consider it to be a professional level 3d workstation. Just because Lightwave runs great on the iMac doesn't mean it's going to run efficiently on the MacPro. I'd be really curious to know if you have tested the "soon to be released" UB on a MacPro with the X1900 video card. That would be a shame to release the UB and find problems running with that setup in regards to driver issues (similar to what happened with Modo at Luxology).

Chilton
10-24-2006, 05:55 PM
Hi LargeMedium,


What, no MacPro?

I have access to a number of Mac Pros, and plan on testing the heck out of the UB on them as soon as it's ready. But for now, the machines I have (and the problems I'm fixing) are easily recognizable on the existing, lowly machines I have on my desk.

Of course, the Universal Binary was first tested on a Mac Pro, the morning after WWDC's keynote this year. So I know it at least runs.

-Chilton

Largemedium
10-24-2006, 10:33 PM
Of course, the Universal Binary was first tested on a Mac Pro, the morning after WWDC's keynote this year. So I know it at least runs.


Howdy back Chilton!

That's a relief! I only brought it up because of a certain 3d app from a different company that ran into GL trouble with the x1900 and the MacPro. To be fair though, the trouble began after the 10.4.8 update.

Thanks for your attention to details!

Al

Chroma
10-26-2006, 08:15 AM
Hey Chilton,

Thanks for the info.

What video cards are working/not working on the Mac side? Apple uses different cards for each model, so I'm still not sure what is the best set-up to run LW on the Mac. Is it possible to test and document that for your customers?

BigHache
10-27-2006, 06:37 PM
9 is definitely worthwhile. I recently got it I'm still going through the manuals to learn what's changed since 7.5. Get the printed manuals, it's worth it. Otherwise you're thumbing through 1,500 pages of PDFs. Bleck!

greg.reyna
10-28-2006, 12:30 AM
9 is definitely worthwhile. I recently got it I'm still going through the manuals to learn what's changed since 7.5. Get the printed manuals, it's worth it. Otherwise you're thumbing through 1,500 pages of PDFs. Bleck!

I agree. BTW, I'd be willing to sell my Lightwave 8 manual, if anyone is interested...

I see from posts here that FPrime doesn't work with LW9, is that only the Mac version or both?

And what about G2?

Thanks,
Greg