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View Full Version : Lwcad versus Sketchup



TylerZambori
02-11-2007, 10:09 AM
Does anybody have any experience with both? What are your thoughts
about both these programs?

Dirk
02-11-2007, 11:05 AM
I think You can't compare those two. Lwcad is a plugin for modeler, and as far as I know, the people who create archvis like it pretty much. If You are looking for a serious tool for archvis, go LW +Lwcad.

hrgiger
02-11-2007, 01:02 PM
LWCAD rules, that's all I know. It has modeler tools that work like modeler tools should work.

borkus
02-11-2007, 04:20 PM
watch their tuts on their site. http://www.wtools3d.com/index.php?p=4&content=tutorials you'll be pulling your hair out trying to figure out a way to scrape up the $300. trust me

cresshead
02-11-2007, 04:52 PM
sketchup is also pretty amazing...best option is to try both of the demos and see which fit your personal workflow/needs.

jlyon
02-12-2007, 01:27 AM
Okay...
I'm probably coming from the other side of the fence here, but if you want to make some quick, massing studies of architecture intended as design aids, early client presentations, etc., sketchup is hands down the better choice. Why? It takes you two hours to learn and is a snap to model architectural shapes with. On the other hand, if you want photo-real rendering or any sort of complex animation, LW+LWCAD is hard to beat. It just is a heck of a lot more intensive.
I use sketchup professionally almost every day for very complex things, but almost always I print the results out and render by hand with the cad as an underlay, or I export the wireframe geometry into AutoCad for construction drawings or other similar stuff. It can handle a wide range of project scales (i.e. detailed widgets to enormous master plans).
Conversely, I've been dabbling in LW for years and barely scratched the surface. Nothing against it, the native power of LW is incredible, add on the available plugins and it pretty much blows my mind. Which maybe explains why I'm not so good at it yet...
Anyway, It depends on your end use. I would say the learning curve for Sketchup is so short, use it. But I wouldn't (and I haven't!) give up on LW though, especially with the addition of LWCAD.
I guess it is like comparing apples to oranges a little bit though. LW is intended as a full range, professional modeling and animation software package. Where Sketchup is a "3d sketching" tool that happens to be excellent and fun to use.
Keep in mind too, that they do play nice with each other. I have exported and imported both ways with success, even textures (sometimes they do have to be simplified though).
Sorry for a long winded response, but I hope it helps. If you want any more first hand experience feel free to pm me.

colkai
02-12-2007, 02:57 AM
Yeah, you cannot realistically compare the two.
My "unbiased" opinion, in as much as I'm in no way affiliated with the guy who produces LWCAD, is that it totally rocks my world.

I cannot for the life of me imagine using LW without LWCAD now. :D
Oh, and don't think it's just limited to CAD, several of the tools are must-haves for a lot of other work too.

BigHache
02-12-2007, 07:47 PM
I've used the demo for LWCAD and the full version of Sketchup. They fulfill different tasks so it's hard to say one over the other. I think the answer comes down to your personal workflow and how you need to get to your goal.

If you're only working in LW then probably LWCAD.

If you're starting from AutoCAD, you can import DWGs into Sketchup and create your model there, then export a 3DS file and import into LW for texturing and rendering. I work 1:1 scale so bringing a 3DS into LW using a scale factor of .0254 will do this. This approach is good if you're working with architects whom are providing you with construction documents.

Sketchup also has a tool called Follow Me which is a favorite of mine. Creating wallbases and crown moldings has never been easier.

hrgiger
02-12-2007, 08:44 PM
Sketchup also has a tool called Follow Me which is a favorite of mine. Creating wallbases and crown moldings has never been easier.

Have you used Engraver and profiler in LWCAD? Interactive previews of wall mouldings, bases, and many other shapes from a library of expandable templates. They're nice.

Mr. Limpet
02-13-2007, 04:20 PM
I have a question for you all that kind of falls into the topic of this thread.

I need to do some set design for some television programs I am working on. Thus I need to model the set in accurate dimensions, go out to a good quality 3D animation for client review, and then print out the plans for the construction people to use. I have been researching what professional set designers/art directors use but can't find a consistent answer. Many still go old school and hand-draw illustrations for client review.

I have LW and an older version of LWCAD that was offered by Newtek as a freebie but had been considering Sketchup.

Do either LWCad of Sketchup help with feeding the pipeline of getting 3D renderings AND printed out construction plans?

theo
02-14-2007, 06:20 PM
On the other hand, if you want photo-real rendering or any sort of complex animation, LW+LWCAD is hard to beat. It just is a heck of a lot more intensive.

Intensive in what way, pray tell?

The ONLY way LWCad in LW is intensive is if one is not intimate with LW and curves.

LWCad can be learned in all of 12 minutes by an experienced LW user who is intimate with curves. And if you ARE an experienced user who rarely uses curves then your learning curve will max out at maybe 18 minutes.

LWCad has nothing to do with animation or photoreal rendering. Everything LWCad can do can be done with native LW tools.

The main benefit of LWCad is productivity and efficiency within the LW environment. Due to this remarkable symbiosis and the intelligence of its toolset LWCad has no equal.


Do either LWCad of Sketchup help with feeding the pipeline of getting 3D renderings AND printed out construction plans?

Limpet- you aren't going to get construction plans printed out of LWCad or LW (thank the greek gods and godesses). No prosumer cad stuff in these grey walls.

colkai
02-15-2007, 02:41 AM
Intensive in what way, pray tell?

The ONLY way LWCad in LW is intensive is if one is not intimate with LW and curves.

LWCad can be learned in all of 12 minutes by an experienced LW user who is intimate with curves. And if you ARE an experienced user who rarely uses curves then your learning curve will max out at maybe 18 minutes.

Got to say, this is spot on.
I spend 30 minutes playing with LWCAD to "learn" some of it's features, at the end of that, I was totally and utterly hooked.

It speeds up your workflow like you would not believe and I really enjoy using it. It even has built in problem solving tools for when things don't turn out as you expect, that is pretty cool.

If anything, LWCAD changed hard-work into what is almost too much fun to call work. :)

BigHache
02-19-2007, 06:37 PM
Have you used Engraver and profiler in LWCAD? Interactive previews of wall mouldings, bases, and many other shapes from a library of expandable templates. They're nice.

No, I have not. I'd like to take a look but I'm doing video editing and motion graphics now.


Do either LWCad of Sketchup help with feeding the pipeline of getting 3D renderings AND printed out construction plans?

Sketchup will export a DWG file for AutoCAD, but you still need AutoCAD or equivelant to print from. As a designer I take it that you are not figuring out how stuff will be constructed, just what it will look like. If that's the case the construction people or someone else will have to do that and can use a DWG from Sketchup as a base.

Mr. Limpet
02-19-2007, 07:05 PM
Sketchup will export a DWG file for AutoCAD, but you still need AutoCAD or equivelant to print from. As a designer I take it that you are not figuring out how stuff will be constructed, just what it will look like. If that's the case the construction people or someone else will have to do that and can use a DWG from Sketchup as a base.

It looks like there is no easy way to go back and forth between Lightwave and any program that will print construction plans. From a designer's point of view it seems best to do the creative work in Lightwave and then manually rebuild the same set in a different program. Since I am on a Mac, TurboCAD Mac Pro seems to be the type of program to do this at a reasonable cost.

Nigel Baker
02-20-2007, 01:03 AM
Hi all,

Two very different products and you have to remember LWCAD is a plugin for a full application and SketchUp is in itself a full application.
They do different jobs and they both do them fantastically. If you have LightWave, I think LWCAD is a must no matter what you model.
If you want true interactive Boolean operations and dozens of more brilliant enhancement tools for LightWave then this is a must.

If on the other hand you like the way SketchUp creates models use it for it is very intuitive for modeling and fun to use.

But again they are very different products…


Regards.

EagleWing
02-20-2007, 11:29 AM
if you've just upgraded to Lightwave 9, newtek are giving away LWCAD free on thier site, jsut log in you should see it.

Giacomo99
02-21-2007, 07:05 AM
"it looks like there is no easy way to go back and forth between Lightwave and any program that will print construction plans. From a designer's point of view it seems best to do the creative work in Lightwave and then manually rebuild the same set in a different program. Since I am on a Mac, TurboCAD Mac Pro seems to be the type of program to do this at a reasonable cost."

I've been using Form Z with Lightwave for years--the two apps communicate very well. You might want to look into it.

nthused
02-21-2007, 07:20 AM
Have you used Engraver and profiler in LWCAD? Interactive previews of wall mouldings, bases, and many other shapes from a library of expandable templates. They're nice.

This is the thing that has enabled me to get the artists here at Paradigm using LWCAD...Crown moldings and baseboards along with trim of all sorts is SO EASY - it almost feels like you're cheating.

nthused
02-21-2007, 07:22 AM
From what I understand, Sketch-Up works great here as a creative way to quickly output accurate plans - and then export when ready to a CAD program for dimensioning, etc and export as an OBJ to open in LW for details and rendering.