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ruud
01-07-2007, 07:17 AM
All of the other packages are running ahead with their new fluid simulations, hair solutions and soft- /hard-body techniques.

I've been a fan of LW for a long time, but one thing that always disapointed me was the development in these new 'toys'. Particles are nice in combination with hypervoxels. But they can't satisfy me if I'm trying something cool. Our customers are more frequently asking for heavier effects, but although I want to do it, I just cant get the things out of Lightwave. The question pushes me more and more towards Maya / Softimage or 3DS Max. And that's a shame.

With the development (and promises) of LW 9 I really saw things changing. Promises that the core of the program is completely rewritten to create future possibilities made me a happy VFX wannabe.

I bought it as soon as it came out to check the revolutionary changes. What I discovered was very disapointing. Undo in Layout is still very (VERY) limited. This little thing showed me that the core hasn't been changed at all... I see this as a false promise!

LW X couldn't deliver the needed next generation tools that other programs are already applying several versions long.

With the future of film I project myself using LW only for modelling purposes (while ZBrush, Mudbox and Modo are developing very quickly)

Why isn't there a new (standard) tool in LW providing Hair effects, I used the full version of Sasquatch but it cannot provide me the reality of real fur / hair. There are too many bumps on the road when you compare these simple things with the other packages.

Why isn't there more development on fluids. Every time I have to create something like water or gasses (using realflow) I'm presented with (at most) a very fake and out of the simulation look (rendering with hypervoxels)

Water is too heavy to render, Realflow is very nice, and it provides to a lot of packages. But LW can't seem to render water nicely (or give me some examples). It doesn't matter how hard I push my network, I always end up with hypervoxels not stretched as the simulation would like it to do. The volume-hypervoxels are quite ugly. I can't seem to get rid of all the individual the round balls (or stretched) even when pushing my Hypertexture to 500%

I thought there was promised the ability to create 'flat' hypervoxels (picked that up in one of the early pressreleases before 9.0). It seemed I could do some tricks using that.

I want to do effects, and lightwave has always been in the industry providing effects for film, but I fear that time is over due to the question of more realistic and heavier effects instead of the good old particle sparcles.

Please, what is real in my story, and if I'm wrong about anything please prove it with moving examples.

Thanks, hope LW turns out to be one of the best in the far future again (you have our support)

Regards,

Ruud Zeelenberg

Exception
01-07-2007, 07:22 AM
Are you in the open beta program? I suppose you are...

I'm not saying anything about fluids, but are you claiming nothing's going on there? C'mon... I must be one of the most critical people on the board, and even I am impressed.

ruud
01-07-2007, 07:26 AM
no I am not on the open beta (tried one time to enter but took too long)

And yes, there is a lot going on, but compared to LW itself there are a lot of important changes, but compared to the market (all the other packages) LW is running with a limp leg.

I would like to pull more out of future LW's than there is on the shell right now.

StereoMike
01-07-2007, 10:43 AM
My guess is, the big bundles from XSI, Maya etc are still more expensive than LW+ Fprime, Syflex, Realflow and Sasquatch (or any other hairsolution, there are some in development). And you can buy what ever you clients want at he time you need it (no money useless laying in the shelf).

Mike

ruud
01-08-2007, 04:03 AM
What I am saying is that when I buy lightwave and all the plugins that can provide the effects we need, LW still isn't capable of rendering those. Nice it has an integrated render engine, but all other programs are also delivered with a render enginge (no package you buy excludes that).

Lightwave always has been the 1:1 competitor of 3DS Max. Also in their pricings. Max has become more expensive (or LW has become cheaper) But I don't see that as a benefit towards the users. If you want to offer a cheap program then bring it in various versions (like other programs do as well) This way a user can choose what version will fit his projects. (Why would this option be a problem?)

Sasquatch is nice, but not more than that! It is merly a pixel filter, what creates some problems when rendering sertain scenes, (think about reflections).

Develop something cool, something we can use in animation. something we can sell, we have to follow the market and their demands are increasing :beerchug:

StereoMike
01-08-2007, 04:38 AM
I'm not saying NT shouldn't add cool features. I just wanted to say, that if you need a LW based solution right now, there are severall tools you could add, that will widen LW's capabilities. And this way isn't that expensive compared to other packages. And why isn't LW capable of rendering those? In "The guardian" they rendered the state-of-the-art realflow-ocean with LW.
Valid point about Sas being a pixelfilter, but as I said, there are some other tools in development.
And you should think about joining the beta, there are some nice things cooking right now...

Mike

starbase1
01-08-2007, 04:42 AM
And you can buy what ever you clients want at he time you need it (no money useless laying in the shelf).

Mike

Ouch!

Are you seriously suggesting going out and buying the package, sitting down to use it for the first time after you have accepted the work?

Matt
01-08-2007, 04:43 AM
To be honest, NewTek need to sort the basics out before adding new 'toys', which is what they are doing right now!

ruud
01-08-2007, 04:54 AM
I agree with Matt. Although I'm saying things aren't really changing (that's what I think)

I can see that the undo function isn't exactly what it supposed to be. You can undo a few times, but it's very limited. This shows (to my opinion) that the core is still the good old core like it used to be. Only with some adaptions so we could have some undo levels.

If the foundation / the core of LW has changed some major changes would be visible in the workflow and reactions to my actions of the program.

Hopefully LWX will be completely windows based (this LW still acts like that nice 4.0 version I could transfer on a single 1.4 MB diskette) This still feels like the limited DOS times.

StereoMike
01-08-2007, 05:24 AM
@ Starbase:
1. I try to get the job, no matter if I can do it or not. If I'm not able to do it myself, I hand the parts I can't do over to people who can.
2. I have only few but safe clients and get jobs from them very regulary (or frequently?). I can talk to them before a project starts and we can discuss the topics and techniques used. So I know what projects will come and I can buy some tools to adapt.
You're right, if you get a job from a client the first time and have to do it in 2 weeks, then it makes no sense trying to get into realflow etc. (but fprime or kray should work in less time).
Then I would hand it over to other people and see if I can make enough money to get the tool by myself.

I guess ppl buy additional plugins if they have a use for it, Starbase. Do you buy realflow, cause "you never know when you need it"? Of course not, you buy it if your company has to deal with scenes that involve water.
It makes no sense to buy it and wait for a miracle to happen ;)

Mike

Celshader
01-08-2007, 06:06 AM
Ouch!

Are you seriously suggesting going out and buying the package, sitting down to use it for the first time after you have accepted the work?

Hey, I did that with Sasquatch for a freelance project in 2005. I had some experience with Sasquatch on a previous project, and I understood Saslite, but I did not truly learn Sasquatch until a client hired me to model/rig ankle-length wigs for some characters.

Saslite proved inadequate for ankle-length wigs, so I bought Sasquatch for this one job. I ordered the plug-in online and was able to download and install it within one business day. The printed manual got shipped to me shortly thereafter. I learned what I needed to know within a few days (the Sasquatch manual is EXCELLENT), and the project paid for the cost of Sasquatch many times over.

-+-

I also learned DFX+ on-the-job in 2004. I got DFX+ for free with my LightWave 8 upgrade in 2003, but I didn't actually need it for anything, so I left it on the shelf. Then I got hired for pre-viz work in 2004, and my first task involved compositing. Since I was using my own equipment, I cracked open my DFX+ manual. I was up to speed within two days (the DFX+ manual is also EXCELLENT), and learned more and more about DFX+ as the project went on.

-+-

Come to think of it, I also learned Python and RealFlow4 scripting on-the-job in 2006. Heck, I learned REALFLOW on-the-job in 2005. RealFlow's a lot more of a pain to learn than a Worley plug-in, but I picked up the basics within a week.

-+-

I think StereoMike gives good advice for freelancers -- buy only what you need, as you need it.

Many plug-ins and programs come with demos for folks who want to learn in advance, but folks don't have to buy this stuff in advance. From my experience, the one program that folks might want to take time to study whether or not they need it is the RealFlow demo -- that program has a STEEP learning curve. However, I suspect most other add-ons for LightWave can probably be learned on-the-job.

kopperdrake
01-08-2007, 06:46 AM
I agree with Matt. Although I'm saying things aren't really changing (that's what I think)

I can see that the undo function isn't exactly what it supposed to be. You can undo a few times, but it's very limited. This shows (to my opinion) that the core is still the good old core like it used to be. Only with some adaptions so we could have some undo levels.

If the foundation / the core of LW has changed some major changes would be visible in the workflow and reactions to my actions of the program.

Hopefully LWX will be completely windows based (this LW still acts like that nice 4.0 version I could transfer on a single 1.4 MB diskette) This still feels like the limited DOS times.

You should really try and get into the beta forums - there's some amazing stuff happening which will please me no end when it finally hits!

To say things aren't changing but only knowing what the initial release of LW9 has by way of features is not really fair, especially as NT has constantly said over and over again that features will be rolled out over the 9.x development cycle.

ruud
01-08-2007, 08:06 AM
I know, I use 9.0 (but I'm sorry that I don't have time to play around with beta's as much as I would like to)

I've spoken to NT Europe people on the IBC in Amsterdam about 9.2. But they didn't convince me that Lightwave is going to be on the same level 'again' as the other programs.

I have always seen the quality in LW, but the last few years it's getting behind.

Everybody can see that tricks like good clothing, good animation tools, nice fluids and nice hair-effects. Create something that will blast Lightwave into the 21st Century! Because I really think LW is loosing ground here..

I appreciate the conversation though ;)

ruud
01-08-2007, 12:22 PM
How do I enter the Beta forum? I'd like to see these revolutionary changes

ruud
01-08-2007, 12:48 PM
I tried to enter but...

ruud, you do not have permission to access this page. This could be due to one of several reasons:

bla
bla
bla
bla

cagey5
01-08-2007, 01:44 PM
Have you applied to be part of the beta team? You need to do that before you can enter the forums.

ruud
01-08-2007, 01:47 PM
jup, I have it, registered and all... I don't see a lot of differences at first sight.. but I'm patient..

erikals
01-09-2007, 05:07 PM
I agree, visual effects in LW isn't exactly anything to brag about, Dynamics /Fluids /Smoke /Cloth. All these features are things where Lightwave is way behind, + character animation.


LW's price is allright, if you use it for simple things, but for more advanced stuff you will need 3'rd party plug-ins. Here is an example of some of the things you might look into buying if you are looking into animating professionally using Lightwave.

------------------------------------------------
-Lightwave $700
-FPrime $400 (For faster renderes)
-Sasquatch $500 (For fur, or alternatively the $300-FiberFactory)
-UVnetter $60 (UV tools in LW could be better)
-Dynamite $100 (For smoke, not the best "resolution" but it works ok)

-Syflex $2200 (LW's cloth is not good enough, it is pretty bad)
-Realflow $2700 (For fluids in LW, there is $500-Glue, but it is only for 3Dmax /Maya)
------------------------------------------------

IMO, LW's problem is that there are no cheap alternatives to Dynamics, you are forced to get the only two expensive alternatives out there, the LW dynamics are simply way too bad for anything else but simple stuff, and often not even that(!)

I was a bit disapointed when I saw NT promissed in the LW9.0 feature list, "More Dynamic Dynamics!", but it never came. The LW 8.5/9.0/9.2 feature list is big, but it is way too focused on small things the majority of Lightwaver's have't craved for (after reading forum post that was my conclusion).

The features are ok, but I wish NT would prioritize differently. I thought most wavers would have liked to see better Dynamics, Animation Tools, Fur, and such instead of getting all the many small plugins that many really don't find vital, that could have been added at a later point. I'm not saying those aren't allright plugins, I'm just asking myself why couldn't these have been added at a later time.

So in conclusion, one has to sum up what visual effect that will be used by the company and see if LW is the pageage to use. Or alternatively wait untill the features are improved/added to Lightwave XX.X

Sorry, rant over.

--------------

As for hair/fur,
Sas renderes look flat, +the contrast it gives isn't very good, unfortunatly it often ends up looking dull. However, there are two tricks to get better looking hair, one is to import the rendered hair into a compositing package (like PhotoShop) and increase the contrast of the hair, the other one is using several lights, you can either do that by setting up several spotlights or do something like this (see video in orange link below)

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=4118907&postcount=13

Sas can't receive reflection, but using the last method described above you can usually still get a pretty good result.

i haven't gotten around to making really thin hair in Sas, but I think that's just a Sas setting I've missed along the way, need to look into that.

--------------

erikals
01-09-2007, 05:51 PM
Another thing that nagged me a bit, a potential plugin that never saw the light
http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showpost.php?p=134168&postcount=66

NT never replied, maybe they weren't interested, anyways, bad policy :/

ruud
01-10-2007, 01:18 AM
Exactly what I mean! SAS doesn't live up to the requests, but the main problem is rendering these plugin effects in LW.

They mostly turn out 'nice' but NEVER more than that, you just couln't pull the quality for film production out of Lightwave.

AND I BEG HERE!!! PLEASE, FOCUS ON MAIN CHANGES!!!!

I also agree that there have been added a lot of nice small changes that could make life easier, but, and I speak for myself, I never used those little changes. I always stuck with the modeling power it already had in 5.0

Please focus on BIG changes, and present yourself in the market, modeling powers are slowely transferred to programs like Modo amd it seams NT can't win this run.

Iaian7
01-10-2007, 08:45 AM
Another thing that nagged me a bit, a potential plugin that never saw the light
http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showpost.php?p=134168&postcount=66

NT never replied, maybe they weren't interested, anyways, bad policy :/

Man, that's despicable. :(

It'd be forgivable if a better solution was then presented... so far, I'm not seeing anything.

wavk
01-10-2007, 11:15 AM
lets all mail nt and tell them to contact these guys right now.
i just did.
how can nt ignore help that gets offered?!!..

mlon

ruud
01-10-2007, 11:21 AM
We offer help in our certain way of thinking and giving critics. I'd like to see someone of NT involved on this conversation...

And yes, these things happened more than once (as I can remember). Help is offered and nothing is done with those people.

Bad...

Cageman
01-10-2007, 11:23 AM
Water is too heavy to render, Realflow is very nice, and it provides to a lot of packages. But LW can't seem to render water nicely (or give me some examples).

Check out The Guardian. They used a RealFlow/LW pipeline and everything was rendered in LightWave. I think they used NatureFX for some of the shots (a shader-plugin). But with the power of Nodes, I'm not sure you need any surfaceshader-plugins. :)

ruud
01-10-2007, 11:29 AM
water surfaces are fairly ok, but that's just up to your own quality to render water nice. I'm talking about water effects, splashes, waves, fills, poors, explosions...

But I didn't see the Guardian.. so can't really tell, upload me an example (screenshot of the film)

Gr

Cageman
01-10-2007, 12:31 PM
http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/theguardian.html

I recommend the QuickTime Trailer. Large...

Celshader
01-10-2007, 12:31 PM
water surfaces are fairly ok, but that's just up to your own quality to render water nice. I'm talking about water effects, splashes, waves, fills, poors, explosions...

But I didn't see the Guardian.. so can't really tell, upload me an example (screenshot of the film)

Gr

Here's a webpage with some VFX screenshots of Guardian:
http://www.vfxtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6983

Some of the senior-level Flash folks discussed their LightWave/Maya experiences while working on Guardian, and why they used LightWave instead of Maya here:
http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/case_flashfilmworks.php

Celshader
01-10-2007, 12:44 PM
http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/theguardian.html

I recommend the QuickTime Trailer. Large...

That trailer features unfinished VFX work, though, since it was assembled months before the film came out.

Cageman
01-10-2007, 12:46 PM
Here's a webpage with some VFX screenshots of Guardian:
http://www.vfxtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6983

LOL! :)

I just discovered that some of the shots in the trailer are far from finished compared to the screens over att VFXTalk. :)


EDIT: Celshader beat me to it.. :)

Cageman
01-10-2007, 12:49 PM
That trailer features unfinished VFX work, though, since it was assembled months before the film came out.

Yeah.. I noticed that, but still... you get a good idea of the really nice movement and things like that. So, if the viewers only bare in mind that the shots in the trailer are unfinished shots, then I think it could be a good idea!

Chuck
01-10-2007, 02:39 PM
Another thing that nagged me a bit, a potential plugin that never saw the light
http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showpost.php?p=134168&postcount=66

NT never replied, maybe they weren't interested, anyways, bad policy :/

I'll drop PAL a note, but what the message says they needed was SDK information about v9, and that's publicly available on our developer's page, and has been so beginning with the v9 Open Beta first release, up through the final release version. If you look at the page, you'll see that we are now keeping current the beta v9.2 SDK, with a new version posted each time we release a new build to Open Beta. No one has to wait for an answer to an email from NewTek to get SDK information. We keep it public and current even with our Open Beta releases.

Link to LightWave 3D Developers Page (http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/developers.php)

When third parties have questions, we'll do our best to answer those in timely fashion. These days, I'm the proper contact for such questions, and I can usually get answers pretty quickly from the development team. If we missed doing so in this case, our apologies.

We also go things one better in this regard: we have also regularly invited commercial third party developers to participate in Open Beta, and wherever feasible in our regular beta program, where they can provide feedback on our SDK development early in our process.

As for the main topic of the thread, I think anyone participating in the current Open Beta would agree we're showing strong progress. We're in a rebuilding phase, and others have had to do that before us and their efforts are now acknowledged. We are doing the process by a different route, parallel changeover and keeping the product live with updates at a reasonable schedule. This process should understandably take at least as long as the folks who chose to "go dark" for their rebuilding of the application. We haven't been in this for nearly that much time and so of course there are major elements that are still old core, just as there major elements that are now new core and both new and old are in a much more modularized arrangement.

To sum up, we're progressing very fast for the kind of task we've set ourself, and we're perfectly confident of the goal of keeping LightWave 3D in the top tier of applications in the 3D arena, and in fact advancing its status relative to our competitors. We're making LightWave an even more valid addition to any professional pipeline, one that can stand well on its own and work perfectly in conjunction with other applications to make it easy for the user to get the best of each. Our plans do include improved and extended dynamics native to the application, and by no means would we do anything to discourage additional third party efforts in that regard, either. Choices are a good thing for our users.

erikals
01-10-2007, 03:38 PM
@ Cageman, Cellshader

I know, Mechanical things, vehicles, etc. Modeling and rendering a copter in LW is no big deal, it is time consuming. The Guardian render could be made in other packages also. As long as Realflow is supported in that package all you really need is a good artist. LW is great for simple things, like the Guardian.


Very many visual effect in Lightwave however, won't work,
Things you can't do in Lightwave,

-Cloth (clothfx is way too bad)
-HardFX (the accuracy for making something decant is way too low, results end up bad)
-Muscles (Lightwave currently has no way for making muscles for e.g. animals /dinosaurs. The methods that are available today gives very poor quality, nowhere near good enough for decant Hollywood FX)
-Smoke (you can buy the Dynamite plugin, but in some cases you will have problems with poor quality, hoping for an upgrade)
-Hair/Fur (can't say, but in many cases the renderes turn out bad, editing in comp. is needed. It could work though, need to test)

IMO, other than CA, the most vital upgrade for Lightwave is to at least fix ClothFX & HardFX so we get something decant, what Lightwave has now is very poor.

To state the point,
-No film has had great Cloth were LW was used for it
-No film has had great HardFX were LW was used for it
-No film has had great SmokeFX were LW was used for it
-No film has had great Hair/FurFX were LW was used for it
-No film has had great Muscle Sim. were LW was used for it

------------------

@ Chuck, thanks

Sorry to rant here but I feel like many others that I wait and wait for LW to become the package I wanted it to be.
Don't mind using plug-ins, but when things become impossible to make/fake and I wait years for the features, I loose faith.
Many say, "just switch package". But why, if only LW gets a good overhall and vital features are prioritized it will be the coolest program around.

yep, I agree it is wise to skip "the dark age" and not do what e.g. XSI did, where they lost many customers, but I feel LW has been falling more behind than it should, not sure why.

That said, there are great additions, Sub-D's was great for making Cartoon characters, it smoothes the geometry way better than Sub-P. Nodes and APS is great as well.

9.2, I've been watching, and many of the new additions are moving in the right direction.

------------------

Thanks for contacting PAL, crossing fingers the project works out for us :)

Iaian7
01-10-2007, 03:38 PM
@ Chuck
Forgive me for jumping the gun there, I shouldn't have.

Keep up the work, and no matter how much I may complain, I am pulling for you guys. Hopefully I can curb my whining, and offer better constructive criticism.

Celshader
01-10-2007, 04:07 PM
I know, Mechanical things, vehicles, etc. Modeling and rendering a copter in LW is no big deal, it is time consuming. The Guardian render could be made in other packages also. As long as Realflow is supported in that package all you really need is a good artist. LW is great for simple things, like the Guardian.

Flash still chose LightWave after struggling for two months (http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/case_flashfilmworks.php) to find a Maya solution.

When I worked on The Guardian, it did not feel simple at all. I'm interested in seeing how well other packages handle CG storms, though. Please post links to other feature films that had hundreds of CG-enhanced stormy-sea shots of Guardian quality or better.

erikals
01-10-2007, 05:35 PM
Maybe not the Realflow part, but the LW part looks simple as far as "technique", but you worked on it, and I belive you are a Pro, I'll leave it at that. However, note that I'm talking about the Lightwave part of it.
I'm not bashing Guardian, the render/modeling/animation is great, from that trailer I just saw it looks better than many of the "The Perfect Storm" effects imo.

I feel you are nit-picking a bit though, my goal with the post was mainly to say LW dynamics needs to be improved. Soon.

ruud
01-11-2007, 04:33 AM
Not to lose the main focus here, Thank you Chuck for an explanation and some reactions. But its not about words and promises here ;-))

The main thing always irritated me is:

- those round hypervoxels, even when my texture amplitude is at 1000% They still act like little balls. Even when stretched they keep ugly

- The fur.. still lines, and no way to shade them right. There is a lot of control in SAS but not the right control. (sculpting hair, colouring hair, using gradients (and that they work!) dynamic hair, etc) they can be achieved... with the most impossible workarounds!

- The blend between particle HV's, Particles should be designed to be shaped as a whole, instead of the independend fire sparcles.

The guardian looks real nice, but the credits are mainly for Realflow, LW should concider how it can render these nice addon's / plugins the way people like us would like to apply it.

Ruud.

Chuck
01-11-2007, 10:28 AM
Not to lose the main focus here, Thank you Chuck for an explanation and some reactions. But its not about words and promises here ;-))

Pardon me, but until software is made by waving a magic wand and having it appear fully realized and ready to run on the hard drive, then that's exactly what feature request discussions are about. ;)


The main thing always irritated me is:

- those round hypervoxels, even when my texture amplitude is at 1000% They still act like little balls. Even when stretched they keep ugly

- The fur.. still lines, and no way to shade them right. There is a lot of control in SAS but not the right control. (sculpting hair, colouring hair, using gradients (and that they work!) dynamic hair, etc) they can be achieved... with the most impossible workarounds!

- The blend between particle HV's, Particles should be designed to be shaped as a whole, instead of the independend fire sparcles.

The guardian looks real nice, but the credits are mainly for Realflow, LW should concider how it can render these nice addon's / plugins the way people like us would like to apply it.

Ruud.

Again, we will be making improvements in dynamics and extending the feature set for effects in our future developments. I can't provide details at this time, but we appreciate your feedback and requests and those of others here, and will certainly add those to our considerations.

Cageman
01-11-2007, 11:37 AM
Maybe not the Realflow part, but the LW part looks simple as far as "technique", but you worked on it, and I belive you are a Pro, I'll leave it at that. However, note that I'm talking about the Lightwave part of it.

Yeah... it may look simple, but as far as I understand it, they used LightWave to do the underlaying motion of the sea, while realflow was used to create the foams, sprays and splashes. To create the waves there were multiple techniques involved, everything from morphtargets to bone driven deformation.

I have often learned the hard lesson that the simpliest (least technical) way to accomplish something is often the best way. Even if it involves alot more, in this case, pure keyframe animation. The upside is that you have 100% control of the results, the donwside is that you have to do alot more "hands on" work (but, as an Animatior, I wouldn't want some random code to take away the fun process of giving life to something). :)

Of course, everything done in The Guardian could probably be done in every other 3D-package, but I have to say that I am very impressed with the shear ammount of data that LightWave can throw through its renderer.

Maya/MR can't render the stuff we do right now without doing some redicilous breakdowns of the scenes. I'm pretty interrested to see how far I could push LW9.x with the same scenes and ammounts of polygons before it goes KABOOM. :)

I do agree that there are some "basic" things that could be better. Everything related to dynamics in LightWave can't be pushed to the same level as in Maya, however, for simplier things it can actually save time instead of going the Maya route.

Shave & Haircut (used on King Kong among others) still has its own renderer. So, in a sense, it is a "pixel filter plugin" for Maya. Not that different from what Sasquatch does. But it can do things that Sasquatch can not, because of limitations in the LW SDK. I'm pretty sure this will change though.

Example on GOOD LOOKING fur in Movie-production:
http://www.studiodaily.com/main/technique/casestudies/6719.html

"To make it all happen, Rainmaker used some proprietary software in addition to Newtek LightWave 3D 8.5, Eyeon Fusion 4, Worley Laboratories Sasquatch and Fprime, Iridas Framecycler and 2d3 Boujou 3."

SmokeFX... http://www.studiodaily.com/main/video/7304.html
Make sure you look at the videos. Some really good SmokeFX and Dynamics.
Also, check out Serenity. Some great VFX-shots there as well.

Once again, the argument that this could be done in another package still holds, however, the difference is cost. Building a renderfarm based on MR or Renderman isn't cheap. We are in the process of adding more dedicated machines to our four proc renderfarm. MR costs $1200 / proc (Renderman cost alot more). With budget constraints and what not, our farm will grow very slow.... :/

erikals
01-11-2007, 04:49 PM
Yep, the simplest way is often the best, I'm looking into making grass & plants+leafs sway in the wind by using a displacement map. It's currently at a experimental level, but it is turning out to work very good. The time I can save here compared to using dynamics is extreeme, I'm getting realtime updates.

I'm a bit stubborn I guess, you guys are looking at what can be done in LW, while I look at things that I simply cannot be done due to the limits of Lightwave.

As for Sasquatch I'm a bit unsure, maybe it is good enough.

In Battlestar Galactica i belive the smoke effects are a mix between footage and Hypervoxels. The effects in Galactica is pretty good. However I don't feel the CG smoke matches the smoke done in other packages, but for a TV show it absolutely holds a high standard.

The dynamics part in Lightwave however, I'm not very satisfied with. Combined with a lack of better CA tools I think this holds more professional studios back from using Lightwave. (Though there are other reasons too).


For example, trying to make the muscle simulation alla the "T-rex" from King Kong is impossible, with Lightwave's dynamics you are bound to hit the wall.

You can make knock-out VFX in Lightwave, but when it comes down to dynamics, Lightwave has a big drawback.


Ok, I'm going a bit in circles.

http://erikalstad.com/smiley/BetterDynamics.gif

Iaian7
01-11-2007, 08:37 PM
Displacements work surprisingly well for trees! It seems that a couple of layers work well (animated at different speeds of course), and with weight maps to control the amount (hooray for Tree Designer) you can get pretty decent falloff. Though I'm sure you're doing much better than my attempts. :D I'd love to see how it's looking!

As for Galactica, I agree. They've done pretty darn good work using Lightwave. Unfortunately, it's still very... hypervoxelly. I've tried, and just can't seem to find a way to get around it. Same with the film Serenity, it's to the point of being distracting.

Lightwave's lack of muscle systems is really quite sad, though I've had pretty good luck using the cloth dynamics for things... other than cloth. Like anemones. Lightwave's cloth system makes for KILLER sea anemones. :P

Celshader
01-11-2007, 10:01 PM
Lightwave's cloth system makes for KILLER sea anemones. :P

ClothFX was also used for the opening shot of Guardian and for the rigging on the 3D fishing boat at the end (where loose ropes connect a swinging crane to the edges of the boat). However, if you are not satisfied with LightWave's cloth, no one's stopping you from purchasing Syflex for LightWave.

Cageman
01-12-2007, 12:04 AM
In Battlestar Galactica i belive the smoke effects are a mix between footage and Hypervoxels. The effects in Galactica is pretty good. However I don't feel the CG smoke matches the smoke done in other packages, but for a TV show it absolutely holds a high standard.http://erikalstad.com/smiley/BetterDynamics.gif

Yepp, it does. :) And I wonder what would happen if those guys had alot more time to play with? Most of the time I use sprites instead of volume when doing some cheap smoke. This is because the rendertime, so I havn't explored the volume stuff that much. It looks alot better than sprites though. Maybe I should have a play with it at work... (faster machines than my homecomputer). ;)

So, I'll step back and agree, untill we find some real proof of LW-smoke in film, not television. I have to watch Serenity again and see what they did.

Red_Oddity
01-12-2007, 03:07 AM
I do agree on some level with some things said in here (like better dynamics, advanced toys) on things still missing in LW, but i also think that this thread is pretty much beating a dead friggin' horse...
These comments and threads pop up every other week or so.

The solution? Use other software TOGHETHER with LW, it's stupid to stay focused on one piece of software trying to brute force something that simply can't ben done and then come whining over here that LW sucks (i'm sure i have been quilty of this myself in the past, but got over it, i moved on.)

And Ruud, when you use Realflow for fluid sims and then try to render in LW, don't use hypervoxels, use the excelent Mesh exporter that is in Realflow.
Hypervoxel will alsways stay blobby as they don't 'know' the particle cloud is a fluid with viscosity settings, velocities, internal and external presure forces and what not, Realflow does use that data to calculate the final Mesh and with the relaxation and smoothing tools you can get excelent results.
As for the water look, when you can't shade water in LW, you won't be able to shade water in MR or RMan, simple as that.

ruud
01-12-2007, 03:24 AM
Thanks for the info Red, I use multiple programs at the time, and have little problem creating things that pop up in my head. I can shade pretty much everything I want, I've created many ocean surfaces using deformation textures, I wouldn't create an ocean surface in a simulation program (you have full control of the animation using deformations instead of simulations).

My problem is creating particle emitions from the surface or besides a boat, a splash that looks like it's reacting to the watersurface. You do want to have a full-dynamic-look to your effects scenes.

When animating characters there is a lack of control in LW, these things are pretty vital to an animation package. In the early days LW was all about modelling and rendering, but they chose a new path, the way of animation (back with 6.0) but it doesn't develop as it should be.

I'm sure that these 'whine' threads pop up every now and then, but that would be something of a signal. I'd like to see LW develop more the way other programs do (fast forward).

Thnx

Sarford
01-12-2007, 05:36 AM
My problem is creating particle emitions from the surface or besides a boat, a splash that looks like it's reacting to the watersurface. You do want to have a full-dynamic-look to your effects scenes.

I've recently read some articles on this subject. These articles were on 'Hunting season' and 'Flushed Away', and the 3D teams of both movies had a very very hard time to create just that; surface spray. And they have every tool out there available to them. This is a very dificult thing to do, seems a little bit unfair to blaim NewTek.

Red_Oddity
01-12-2007, 10:44 AM
Interaction spray and whatnot can be done with Realflow aswell.
The Realwave tools in Realflow also allow for some excellent wave/rigidbody interaction, bind those together with a RealWave Splash emitter (write that out as a different .BIN file) and use those particles to renderout a foam spray particle sequence.

And even more can be done with Python scripting in Realflow (as far as i know this is only off the shelf 'pro-sumer' software that allows such tight integration in any workflow or 3rd party animation package like Maya or LW), ,but that is a pretty specialised field that needs a decent knoweledge of mathmatics and programming.