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Exception
11-02-2006, 07:30 AM
A good friend of mine bought LW with the printed manual due to my advice. He says the manual is printed on such bad paper (newspaper he says), with such poor quality, that even some of the images are hard to read without staring in black soup...
I know the manual is thick, but if you decide to pay for it, why can't it be printed using some form of quality? It's 70 euros!

As an example he specifically quoted the introduction + modeller book, page 281.

Phil
11-02-2006, 08:09 AM
It might actually well just be the documentation itself. I know that I have reported countless issues with figures having mangled aspect ratios; having been enlarged so that the individual pixels are observable, or having been reduced to the size of a stamp (thereby eliminating any value that the figure was supposed to have had). The same problem is seen in both 7.0 and 8.0 printed documentation - 9.0 has better docs, but this issue is still to be properly addressed. Rather than get irritated by the manuals for 9.0, this time I just decided not to bother paying for documentation.

I'm baffled why the documentation has become so inconsistent. Some of the captures dated from LW 7 in the 8.0 manuals (although the spreadsheet had 7.x like controls last time I used it even in 9.0, so some of this is the software at fault, not the documentation team). Some illustrations have different presentation styles as well, making it all rather confusing to folks digging for information :(

parazis
11-02-2006, 08:30 AM
The manual is printed in very bad quality, both paper and print quality. I was very disappointed. It is B/W as well. But if you take a look at electronic version it is colored. It is a lot of money for such bad quality...

GandB
11-02-2006, 10:30 AM
I wonder how much it would cost to just print it out yourself (with some document protectors), and put it in a binder or two?

Phil
11-02-2006, 10:45 AM
To be honest, even that seems a silly approach if you are planning to print the entire manual set.

One would hope the documentation is updated with each major update to LW so your printout will be dated in fairly short order. As the internals get beaten into shape, starting with 9.0 and continuing with 9.2, scope can also be given to advancing and consolidating the feature set. As a result, printed documentation starts losing its value (assuming NewTek can rapidly deliver new features).

Cherry-picking what you print out is likely to be more useful and efficient (Nodal and Relativity come to mind). It's unlikely you'll need all the documentation in dead tree format.

3DeeNut
11-02-2006, 10:54 AM
I bought 8.5 with a manual. I live by manuals and learn basically everything from them. Lightwaves manual is really not so good. I mean it was like someone photocoppied it and 3hole punched it. The binder is too smal (maybe splitting it up into several binders would be better) or better yet bind the book itself. It is an invaluable reference tool that I have simply not used due to its lack of ability to stand up to use (1st month like 30-40 pages have been torn and put back in place), difficulty in reading and poor paper quality. Its like my notebook in highschool. 3Ring binders suck lets face it. I recommend to anyone considering this purchase to conside any numbeer of great books available by 3rd party vendors. I just dont use the manual anymore because its just too unwieldly.

redlum
11-02-2006, 11:00 AM
I didn't get the manual for 8 and I won't get it for 9 either. I found that printing the pages that I needed saved money. also the books put out by Dan Ablan and Tim Albee are much better. the Ablan book (when it is released) is HUGE and covers so much more with real tutorials. The print is small however, which is why I also bought reading glasses. ;-)

Exception
11-02-2006, 11:42 AM
One word: pathetic.

There's someone at the Newtek offices that writes the manual right? That is his job, his daily bread and butter. You'd think that that person would at least order a print proof before something goes to the printers. That would care at least one little bit about what it looks like and a smidgeon of quality. And this was not a brink-of-release order either, this manual just got in! Truly unprofessional no heart for the job slacking off. Strong language for strong failure.

redlum
11-02-2006, 11:50 AM
One word: pathetic...Strong language for strong failure.

I know what you mean. When I was in grad school we used Maya. Their documentation went the other direction. Way too much. They had a separate book just for the index. But the books were easy to understand and had step by step instructions. I havenít used Maya since version 2.5 so who knows what it looks like now. And I much prefer Lightwave, but the one consistent disappointment is the manual. I was so glad they gave a choice NOT to buy it in paper form. Plus, like I said the Ablan and Albee books are so much better.

KSTAR
11-02-2006, 01:34 PM
I actually thought the manuals for LW8 were good and the manuals for LW9 even better in terms of content.

In terms of quality are you printing them from the .pdf or the print resolution .pdf? There are two version of the .pdf and the print resolution will obviously affect the print quality.

I have a friend in the print biz so I was able to print the LW 8 manuals in full color using the print resolution .pdf on glossy paper. They look amazing. Im just waiting to ask the favor again for the LW 9 manuals.

Exception
11-02-2006, 02:58 PM
In terms of quality are you printing them from the .pdf or the print resolution .pdf? There are two version of the .pdf and the print resolution will obviously affect the print quality.


We're talking about the ones you pay Newtek 70 euros for to get them with your software. I think they used a 72 dpi one and printed it on recycled newspaper using a copier that they found in the basement.

KSTAR
11-02-2006, 03:13 PM
We're talking about the ones you pay Newtek 70 euros for to get them with your software. I think they used a 72 dpi one and printed it on recycled newspaper using a copier that they found in the basement.

Oh, yeah I think you are correct about the 72dpi .pdf for the printed manual. Though I haven't seen the printed manual here in the states for LW9

I think everyone needs a friend in the print biz for those nice print rez color manuals ;)

meathead
11-02-2006, 10:39 PM
Manual is a waste of money anyways. It only confuses me. The browser documentation of 8 is better, and easily accessable thru Flash player.

Inside Lightwave series and 1001 Tips & Tricks are the way to go.

http://www.amazon.com/LightWave-3D-1001-Tips-Tricks/dp/1556220901/sr=8-1/qid=1162531996/ref=sr_1_1/104-2948377-2568706?ie=UTF8&s=books

Are the texturing, lighting books any good anyone? So many books to read still, I can't imagine dedicating all that time to one facet of 3d...prob why my texturing skills need work.



Hey! Look my first post! Hooray.

BigHache
11-03-2006, 05:54 PM
The manuals for 9 aren't printed on the best paper in the world, which will affect how the ink is absorbed and how the print quality looks, but it's not printed on newsprint either.

PDFs are great and Flash-based documentation is great too. I personally like having the ability to get away from the computer and read, plus I wanted some printed reference until Dan Ablan's new book is released.

I find manuals good for a blunt low-down of a program's features. Other books are great for tips and techniques and 'don't do these things or your stuff will suck.'

I have "LightWave 3D 7.5 Lighting" and it's a great resource. There are a lot things to master in each facet of 3D, which is why production houses break those off into departments and hire people who specialize in texturing, those who specialize in modeling, and those who specializes in lighting.

lardbros
11-04-2006, 03:40 AM
Blimey... some people complaining about the paper, some about the unwieldy size?!? There's no pleasing some people.

Have you ever used the 3dmax help files/manual? It's a complete nightmare... not everything is documented (and when i say this, everything has atleast one word said about it, but that's in the glossary... no use to anyone). Then when things are documented, there is a maximum of 2 pages on it. For instance the mental ray renderer has its very own manual... but it's more of a programmers dream than a users manual. Then you look up mental ray in the normal manual and you're treated to about half a page on things that should have chapters about them.

Anyway, the actual MAX printed manual is also in B&W and printed on cigarette rolling papers... LW's manual is superb in comparison when it comes to content!!

The reason parts of the LW manual are differing in layout styles is because different parts were written by different people. Maybe this isn't the actual reason but i know bits of it were written by others.

WhiteBoy
11-04-2006, 04:10 AM
Blimey... some people complaining about the paper, some about the unwieldy size?!? There's no pleasing some people.

It is to be expected.

I have the printed manual for 9 right in front of me, and there's really not much difference between it and any other black & white software book I have.

Some people's kids... :twak:

John the Geek
11-04-2006, 06:17 AM
I wonder how much it would cost to just print it out yourself (with some document protectors), and put it in a binder or two?

I printed out all 3 PDFs on a fairly good color laser printer and then put them in a good binder so they wouldn't get destroyed. Not great, but it works.


One word: pathetic.

There's someone at the Newtek offices that writes the manual right? That is his job, his daily bread and butter. You'd think that that person would at least order a print proof before something goes to the printers. That would care at least one little bit about what it looks like and a smidgeon of quality. And this was not a brink-of-release order either, this manual just got in! Truly unprofessional no heart for the job slacking off. Strong language for strong failure.

Ouch, that calls for an apology. There is NO connection between the guy who writes and designs the manual and the guy at the press who decided what paper to use. The manufacturer of the book may have failed in producing a quality book, and ultimately that is NetTek's responsibility, but to fault the guy who wrote it is stupid and ignorant. Grow up and learn a bit about the printing industry.

BigHache
11-04-2006, 06:31 AM
The guy at the press never decides what paper to print on. That's not how it works.

Phil
11-04-2006, 06:34 AM
Blimey... some people complaining about the paper, some about the unwieldy size?!? There's no pleasing some people.

I liked that they went back to the separate volumes with 9.0 - you will no longer break a toe if you drop the book you are reading and it is likely far easier to read properly.



Anyway, the actual MAX printed manual is also in B&W and printed on cigarette rolling papers... LW's manual is superb in comparison when it comes to content!!


Content is largely OK. I'd love to see many more tutorials for features and to see these prominently located rather than embedded in a surrounding discussion. LW 4.0 had tutorials at the back of the user manual, for example. These were great to ease you in and get you messing around.

With a larger feature set now, I guess it's more difficult. Whether NewTek are tackling this as part of the learning content for the demo version of 9.x (9.2 I guess), I'm not sure. One can only hope so :)



The reason parts of the LW manual are differing in layout styles is because different parts were written by different people. Maybe this isn't the actual reason but i know bits of it were written by others.

I know, but it's inconsistent and the point remains that the overall presentation could do with a little TLC. Getting figures presented correctly and so on is important. At the moment, it's still not as it should be.

prospector
11-04-2006, 06:39 AM
I wonder how much it would cost to just print it out yourself (with some document protectors), and put it in a binder or two?

Very expensive, I tried it here with 7 manual

as I only got about 40 pages printing with color on, and Epson ink costing your first born, it ran over 200 to print not including the 30 packs of protectors (10 to a pack) at 4.95 ea, 3 reams of paper, and 2 6" 'D' ring binders

John the Geek
11-04-2006, 06:42 AM
The guy at the press never decides what paper to print on. That's not how it works.

SOMEONE at the press decides what to use. The author doesn't bring his own paper in. I've worked prepress and you usually show your client a few paper types you have available and they point at one and away you go. My point was to emphasize the writer had no hand in what happened after his layout went to prepress. If anything, that blame falls on others in NewTek management who coordinated it's publication with the printer.

There are any number of reasons the images are too dark, etc., and the prepress person could have done more to fix that at the time of printing.

SplineGod
11-04-2006, 08:10 AM
Theres a difference between an author writing a book for a publisher and someone writing a manual that they want published. In the case of the LW manual I would have to agree that someone at Newtek probably made the decision about which paper stock to go with (since its Newteks manual and not a publishers manual). :)

csgoss
11-04-2006, 10:21 AM
Meathead.

I bought Lightwave 3d 8 Texturing by Leigh Van Der Byl, it has been a great book, well worth it!

As mentioned Lightwave 3d 8 Lighting is also good.

Yep, I also felt ripped off, regarding the toilet paper NT used for the 9 manuals.

lardbros
11-04-2006, 05:21 PM
I know, but it's inconsistent and the point remains that the overall presentation could do with a little TLC. Getting figures presented correctly and so on is important. At the moment, it's still not as it should be.

I seriously couldn't agree more!!! Newtek's major issue with LW itself and even this website is inconsistency! I wish they set out ground rules for each of their developers/programmers/artists/web designers to go by and ALWAYS stick to! This way the overall impression is polished and well presented and overall gives a much more professional look and feel! It may seem like something small to Newtek, but these small things need to be seen to in order to be taken as a serious contender. As far back as i can remember Newtek's website has been almost split into its software categories. You honestly don't see this anywhere else, most other companies go for the same look throughout. Gotta say, i like the different look, but why can't we have easier to navigate menus?

The LW9 site is kind of unwieldy already and it takes some searching just to find "my downloads" section or even the login area. (Infact i'm not even sure i can get to it from the main LW9 site).

Exception
11-04-2006, 06:22 PM
Ouch, that calls for an apology. There is NO connection between the guy who writes and designs the manual and the guy at the press who decided what paper to use. The manufacturer of the book may have failed in producing a quality book, and ultimately that is NetTek's responsibility, but to fault the guy who wrote it is stupid and ignorant. Grow up and learn a bit about the printing industry.

Yes I'm sure you know all about it.
Print proofs? Test runs?
Sorry, I've been in the printing business too long to buy any of that. I don't know what part of the planet you do printing jobs, but in all 4 countries I've worked, it's still the client's responsibility to check the quality of the printer's performance.

And it is our responsibility to check the quality of the merchandise we buy. Which is exactly what I am doing.

SP00
11-04-2006, 07:40 PM
I think the content for the most part is good, some parts are not explain well, but in general, the manual is helpful as a reference. However, with that said, the manual will be every better with simple tutorials explaining how to use a few tools of a particular section. It doesn't have to be detail like the inside LW books, but it should give a general idea of how to use the tools. 3D max have a complete tutorial section in their help file. That help me get up to speed quickly with the software.