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Teig
02-11-2007, 06:18 PM
Anyone heard if Collada support in LW is going to happen? I am in the early stages of game developement using the Multiverse platform (multiverse.net) I would hate to switch to Max. From what I have seen, Newtek could sell more copies of LW if it could export to the collada format.

Devs?

Qslugs
05-15-2007, 03:33 PM
I also would love to see Collada support in Lightwave. I was reading this months Game Developer mag and there was a whole article about it. I think LW needs an importer and exporter for Collada. Not just for game stuff, but for stuff in general.

GandB
05-21-2007, 06:28 AM
Collada and FBX would be a good addition to put on NewTek's "to-do" list. I wish there was more emphasis on game-design as well; as well as some good discussions on pipelines using LW.

-Keith

Philbert
05-24-2007, 08:27 PM
FBX is owned by Autodesk to my knowledge, if you look at they're website you can find recently updated versions for Max and Maya, but not Lightwave. So unless NT can write their own I don't think it'll happen for a while.

mattc
05-26-2007, 09:35 AM
Chuck did mention that NT would be doing their own FBX plugin inhouse some ways back.

M

sami
08-08-2007, 05:29 PM
agreed, collada is being used as a game format.

its really needed to make lw useful for games and able to operate in a multi app env

Collada is also used as an import format for Papervision3D - an open source software renderer to do 3D in Flash - which has some really nice demos... :)

mkiii
08-17-2007, 06:42 AM
How many games companies are supporting Collada, & is the Collada format finalised yet?

I'm not being awkward, just that I have not kept up with developments in that area since the company I worked for last were going to use it, but just never got around to it.

One other format that would be useful is support for the Unreal3 engine. Especially if LW had both model & animation support.

Lightwolf
08-17-2007, 06:58 AM
How many games companies are supporting Collada, & is the Collada format finalised yet?

Not sure about the game engine support... but Collada is a V1.4.1 at the moment. This would be a bit like asking if OpenGL is finalised... ;)

Cheers,
Mike

RedBull
08-17-2007, 05:33 PM
I have Chuck on record :D (He'll love that) As saying import/export improvements were being improved and added and FBX and Collada respectively.

Also i believe Jay mentioned that integration with programs like AFX and others is important to LW...

I'm always hesitant about adding new file format support if there is not enough reason to do so, but it's been a while since LW has improved it's I/O...

And Collada is open and has gained industry suppport for games and all other types of 3D exchange. So i think it's mature enough to where LW really does need it.... With Newteks Rendition for Photoshop due soon, having .dae would of made things easier for that too..

I understand NT have bitten off a lot for the 9.x cycle, so i guess we must be patient....

v1u1ant
10-05-2007, 08:39 AM
With todays world lightwave needs to make sure its easy to integrate into the production pipeline. We all recognise that Lightwave isnt the best choice to do all 3D motion graphics jobs all the time. And most companies carry more than one 3D app inthere pipeline.


Newtek can either join in or fence themselves off. Id rather see them join in.

Philbert
10-05-2007, 09:07 AM
I was just reading an article in 3D World about how much prices have dropped since 2002 and how it allows for more studios to use multiple apps. So, it said, all of these companies, not just NewTek, need to start working on solutions like Collada and FBX to help apps play nicely together.

v1u1ant
10-08-2007, 05:26 AM
Ah but the big two software apps are now owned by the same company, so you can bet those two apps will be able to pass files between them using either Collada or FBX file versions sometime soon (if they dont already). As Maya and 3DSMax are both used heavily within the industry it makes sense to follow there lead doesnt it?

Ie FBX and Collada.


But yea alot of production houses carry more than one app now. They just have to devise a workflow with the easiest route.

Right now as .lws files dont get read by anything but Layout all LW will get used for (unless your staying within LW) is modeling. Maybe some surfacing. Then back in at render time.

So only i dunno 20%-30% of LW gets used. Rigging surfacing animating all being done in other apps.

Seems a shame to me.

Lets face it Autodesk are leading the way here, Newtek just have to conform.

Chuck said the Autodesk contacted Newtek (or the other way around) about the latest FBX version and that the SDK is in public domain. So they are talking to each other and hopefully seeing the bottlenecks for both sets of users.


By the by Lightwave is about the only app amongst the major players now not supported by Collada: From the wiki;
COLLADA was intended originally as an intermediate format for transporting data from one digital content creation (DCC) tool to another. Applications exist to support that usage for several DCCs, including Maya (using ColladaMaya), 3D Studio Max (using ColladaMax), Softimage XSI, Side Effect's Houdini and Blender. Game engines, such as Unreal engine, have also adopted this format.



look even Blender get support!!!!!!?!?

Philbert
10-08-2007, 06:54 AM
Ah but the big two software apps are now owned by the same company, so you can bet those two apps will be able to pass files between them using either Collada or FBX file versions sometime soon (if they dont already). As Maya and 3DSMax are both used heavily within the industry it makes sense to follow there lead doesnt it?

I don't know about collada, but Autodesk owns Filmbox, so yes Max and Maya have had updated FBX for some time now.



But yea alot of production houses carry more than one app now. They just have to devise a workflow with the easiest route.

Right now as .lws files dont get read by anything but Layout all LW will get used for (unless your staying within LW) is modeling. Maybe some surfacing. Then back in at render time.

.LWS files do get read by Polytrans, so that's something.


So only i dunno 20%-30% of LW gets used. Rigging surfacing animating all being done in other apps.

Seems a shame to me.

Lets face it Autodesk are leading the way here, Newtek just have to conform.

Chuck said the Autodesk contacted Newtek (or the other way around) about the latest FBX version and that the SDK is in public domain. So they are talking to each other and hopefully seeing the bottlenecks for both sets of users.

Maybe Chuck said that too, but you may be remembering something I said in this thread (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=603415#post603415), that I read on their site that the SDK is freely available.



By the by Lightwave is about the only app amongst the major players now not supported by Collada: From the wiki;
COLLADA was intended originally as an intermediate format for transporting data from one digital content creation (DCC) tool to another. Applications exist to support that usage for several DCCs, including Maya (using ColladaMaya), 3D Studio Max (using ColladaMax), Softimage XSI, Side Effect's Houdini and Blender. Game engines, such as Unreal engine, have also adopted this format.



look even Blender get support!!!!!!?!?

v1u1ant
10-08-2007, 09:17 AM
I don't know about collada, but Autodesk owns Filmbox, so yes Max and Maya have had updated FBX for some time now.




.LWS files do get read by Polytrans, so that's something.



Maybe Chuck said that too, but you may be remembering something I said in this thread (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=603415#post603415), that I read on their site that the SDK is freely available.

Oh yea maybe i am. Even so. Apparently Corrada code is also available.


Looks like the ball is in Newteks court then.

Clockmaster
10-09-2007, 02:21 PM
Collada support is crucial to gamedev industry.
Newtek must do something.

tillot
10-19-2007, 01:43 PM
I've been amazed about how quickly Collada is catching in the game development community. My biggest question at this point is 'Why isn't Lightwave joining the party?', or at least whey they aren't even making a comment about when they are going to support Collada, and/or why they prefer to isolate themselves from the main stream game development community.

Clockmaster
10-20-2007, 03:18 PM
You are absolutely right.
At least a little reply from the NT dev team would be really appreciated.

jasonwestmas
10-21-2007, 10:32 AM
I'm animating for the multiverse platform, it converts collada files beautifully. I would love to see this feature in Lightwave. The amazing thing about collada is how easy it is to bring in animations to other apps that support collada.

Philbert
10-26-2007, 10:21 PM
Looks like someone else maybe beat NewTek to it

http://www.nomuraz.com/lwcollada/

Tzan
10-28-2007, 10:19 PM
Accutrans will have Collada export in November!

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74328&page=2

adamredwoods
11-02-2007, 01:03 PM
Rumor is Lightwave will have collada support in the 9.x cycle.

See this thread:
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75688

Philbert
11-02-2007, 03:42 PM
I'm glad someone else quoted Chuck, It was driving me nuts reading this thread and not saying anything. I say that because I believe Chuck said that in the beta forum.

Sensei
11-08-2007, 11:05 PM
Anyone of you who want Collada have any TrueArt plug-in?

jasonwestmas
11-09-2007, 08:20 AM
I have the true hair spline tools. I use it with sasquatch. I have some of your free plugins too, they're great. Why, are you looking at Collada for lightwave? I remember one guy named Tunah, he very successfully made a MD5 exporter for the valve engine. It perfectly converted a decked out character rig without baking to Valve format. I'd love to see the same for Collada.

jasonwestmas
11-09-2007, 08:23 AM
Might I add that I would test the Collada export extensively for use with the Multiverse .mesh format converter.

clintonman
11-09-2007, 11:38 AM
I have the true hair spline tools. I use it with sasquatch. I have some of your free plugins too, they're great. Why, are you looking at Collada for lightwave? I remember one guy named Tunah, he very successfully made a MD5 exporter for the valve engine. It perfectly converted a decked out character rig without baking to Valve format. I'd love to see the same for Collada.

MD5 is for the Doom Engine. Valve is SMD.

jasonwestmas
11-09-2007, 02:18 PM
yep, got em mixed up :P

Sensei
11-11-2007, 11:59 AM
TrueArt's COLLADA Saver (for now) working in Modeler (so it's exporting mesh)..
Any takers?
http://www2.trueart.pl/Products/Plug-Ins/COLLADA/Graphics/COLLADA_Save_1.png

R2D2
11-12-2007, 08:46 AM
Where can I download the collada saver? Or is it just a Beta thing?

Thanks,
R2

Philbert
11-12-2007, 09:37 AM
I'd be up for that too when or if it's available.

jasonwestmas
11-12-2007, 03:14 PM
You'd have to get the animation to export too for people to be interested. I doubt the majority of people only use lightwave for mesh export. It's a piece of cake with other apps. I appreciate the effort though. :)

Mipmap
11-21-2007, 08:14 PM
It would be nice. This is the replacement to FBX right?

I currently make my models, and sometimes surface them in Lightwave. However actual setup and UV mapping are done in 3D Studio Max.

Some of this is because of good grid snap, and being able to make sure points are set to an exact measurement away from zero. This is useful for situations where my grid is set to match up the world grid in the level editor. This is useful for making models so they'll fit together with other geometry on the world grid. Then the UV Unwrapping tools in Lightwave are also a lot better.

Ultimately I have to use Max in the end because that is what our model exporter is written for. Thats fine with me, but it just blows that I end up choosing to do half the work there as well because I don't have any control in Lightwave of setting up exact grid settings, having grid snap, setting coordinates for selected points, decent UV tools, etc.

Clockmaster
11-22-2007, 04:25 PM
jasonwestmas wrote:

You'd have to get the animation to export too for people to be interested. [...]




+1 :i_agree:

lardbros
11-26-2007, 04:15 PM
Any takers? Are you kidding? This would be extremely helpful. There are tonnes of free ones for 3dsMAX, not that great, but they are free! Would be brill to add this to our arsenal!

DLIT
11-27-2007, 08:08 AM
It seems that the new FBX SDK enables external developers out of Autodesk to make plugin for any app including LW.
So why does not any developer make it as I think many users are ready to pay some bucks for such a time saver ?
Dom

jasonwestmas
11-27-2007, 09:33 AM
I rather go with supporting companies like feeling software. Rather help support others with their collada stuff rather than supporting Autodesk owned formats. Not that I hate Autodesk, I just know that big companies take unfair advantage of the suckers that put all their eggs in one basket.

RedBull
11-28-2007, 12:28 AM
So why does not any developer make it as I think many users are ready to pay some bucks for such a time saver ?
Dom

The fact is most other applications have it built in, as it serves as a selling point for the software, hence the reason why companies as large as Adobe have Collada support in Photoshop, it's not a plugin someone made for Photoshop...

LW's I/O needs to be expanded and Collada is needed from NT themselves in this instance. It simply means that i would end up using other applications over Lightwave because of the I/O limitations.
This is why NT once made .3ds and .obj import/export, the same thing needs to be done in the 21st century with better support for other applications, be it Photoshop/After FX or XSI, Blender or game engines.

I'm afraid that a 3rd party solution would not satisfy my needs on this one.
Although the speed that Sensei keeps putting things together, makes NT look a little slow sometimes... :)

DLIT
12-01-2007, 09:14 AM
I m afraid that if NT remains deaf to our needs, I ll have to consider forgetting them for good and switch to some other coherent package.

FBX SDK exists now, opening FBX world to other parties, enabling developers to write down plugins, and if Autodesk could build up plugins for 2 of their 3D package, I don t see why NT would not do it for one ? No excuse.

steamthunk
12-08-2007, 01:32 PM
I'm looking into using Papervision 3D in one of our upcoming projects which uses Collada. It'd be great if we could use Lightwave as a modeling tool. Just another vote thrown in the mix.

Sande
12-11-2007, 12:18 AM
I sure hope that the next open beta brings us the much needed Collada-support. Without Collada NewTek is rapidly losing the few game devs out there which are still using LightWave. :(

Sensei, any news on that TrueArt's exporter?

doimus
12-11-2007, 06:08 AM
Current LW rigging/IK system is probably undergoing modifications (as they said they'll do) and they just can't write exporter if they don't exactly know what to export.

Writing one plugin today and then another when animation system changes is not rational, we'll probably see them the day after we see the much needed animation improvements in LW.

GandB
12-14-2007, 06:41 AM
I know if they don't start paying a bit more attention to the Game Dev community, I'll have to look for (at least) an additional solution. Of course that would mean any future LW upgrade money I'd have would probably go to a competitor. There just isn't enough emphasis on game development with Lightwave.

-Keith

Sensei
12-18-2007, 06:56 PM
I don't understand most of you- when you're real in game making business you have free programmers in the company, who can do any type of plug-in for LightWave or any other software, or stand alone, helping you work more efficiently..

jasonwestmas
12-18-2007, 07:09 PM
Those kind of people are not available to me Sensei :(

Philbert
12-18-2007, 09:00 PM
Those kind of people are not available to me Sensei :(

Same here, I work from home. I do work for a studio, but they don't have programmers.

GandB
12-19-2007, 06:15 AM
I don't understand most of you- when you're real in game making business you have free programmers in the company, who can do any type of plug-in for LightWave or any other software, or stand alone, helping you work more efficiently..
I'm an independent game developer; the one programmer I have is too busy actually programming the game (and Lightwave is within an Indy Dev's budget). Even XSI is focusing on the game developer's needs now (Foundation costing only $500 with better character animation). GameSpace 2 is also nearing Beta (I am a tester), and will be focusing on many things...including export formats, such as Collada.

The point is, if Newtek cares about retaining/attracting the game development crowd...they need to pay more attention to some of the things we need. It's a large market that they are letting slip away.

-Keith

StereoMike
12-25-2007, 04:28 PM
I use game engines for product presentations. I don't have LW programmers at hand.

mike

Philbert
12-25-2007, 11:51 PM
Not to mention the uses for Collada outside of game making. My studio for example has a lot of Max animators. I did a character for them in Lightwave and it was a bit of a hassle getting it into Max for them.

GraphXs
12-26-2007, 10:06 PM
Well I do all my modeling in LW and bring it over to max as an OBJ. The only hassle is, I have to weld the verts in the UVW Map in Max and re-apply my maps, thats it. If the character or object is complicated I bring it in in parts. I've even used FBX to bring in mesh, which worked alright, still messing with it for more possiblities.

I hope Newtek continues to build better Exports/Imports, but it not impossible to get meshes over nice and clean and Quads from LW. Heck I even get to use endomorphs, thats such a time saver for my model creations.

warmiak
01-15-2008, 10:28 AM
I don't understand most of you- when you're real in game making business you have free programmers in the company, who can do any type of plug-in for LightWave or any other software, or stand alone, helping you work more efficiently..


That is true indeed .... but having written LW plugins for HalfLife 2 and Ogre formats .... Lightwave SDK is just NASTY :-)

I mean, that thing is so early 90s it is scary. I finally gave up trying to use their native GUI ( which operates like a Motif style application from early 90s) and use Qt.

jburford
01-19-2008, 12:33 PM
Right now as .lws files dont get read by anything but Layout all LW will get used for (unless your staying within LW) is modeling. Maybe some surfacing. Then back in at render time.





This is not True!!! .lwo und .lws are fully supported and understood by Modo for one.

In regards to FBX, I just recently got acquainted with it and it is awesome, very flexible and am passing on scenes between Cinema 4D, Modo and Lightwave like a charm. You can even load and run your scenes in Quicktime if you download the support program with plugins for QT from the Autodesk Site. It is also my understanding that the FBX Format was created by Kaydara (Canadian) and then (shame) passed on to Autodesk.

In the newest versions which they offer, unfortunately it seems that they only want to support Max & Maya which is a damn shame. They have all of the "older" versions which support version 6.x of FBX under the following page.

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=8230669


It looks like the last version provided is FBX 2005.08. The other apps supported go a bit further but you see them slowly dropping support for the other apps also like XSI and such (damn shame).

But, since FBX Version 6.x is supported by Lightwave as well as Cinema 4D as well as Modo as well as XSI and Max and Maya . . .. you have full support for getting your scenes and models to those programs and back and forth!!!

It is nice and it works pretty good.

Also, since Autodesk has a FBX Convertor Program for free,

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=7851697 ,

you can convert newer versions of FBX to FBX Versions 5 or 6, which again means you have Full support. There is even a plugin for Quicktime 6 and 7 which allows you to play your scenes ins Quicktime, way cool........

so, whats the problem??????

Cheers

jburford
01-19-2008, 12:35 PM
Well I do all my modeling in LW and bring it over to max as an OBJ. The only hassle is, I have to weld the verts in the UVW Map in Max and re-apply my maps, thats it. If the character or object is complicated I bring it in in parts. I've even used FBX to bring in mesh, which worked alright, still messing with it for more possiblities.

I hope Newtek continues to build better Exports/Imports, but it not impossible to get meshes over nice and clean and Quads from LW. Heck I even get to use endomorphs, thats such a time saver for my model creations.


The last version of FBX for Lightwave Supports endomorphs and UV Maps.....

Check it out!!!!

oops, open mouth stick in foot.... you are using fbx... (have u tried the endomorph support of it yet?)


As the old guy once said, "ask and you shall receive!"

jburford
01-19-2008, 12:41 PM
I m afraid that if NT remains deaf to our needs, I ll have to consider forgetting them for good and switch to some other coherent package.

FBX SDK exists now, opening FBX world to other parties, enabling developers to write down plugins, and if Autodesk could build up plugins for 2 of their 3D package, I don t see why NT would not do it for one ? No excuse.


Say what????

jburford
01-19-2008, 12:43 PM
TrueArt's COLLADA Saver (for now) working in Modeler (so it's exporting mesh)..
Any takers?
http://www2.trueart.pl/Products/Plug-Ins/COLLADA/Graphics/COLLADA_Save_1.png


Sensei, where is that available? Only the screenshot shows up on their site.

jburford
01-19-2008, 02:12 PM
Here guys is your Lightwave to Collada Support (at the moment until they code a direct plugin).

FBX out of Lightwave, then the FBX Convertor from Alias to Collada. . . . it is as simple as that. The Convertor supports going to Collada......:)

jburford
01-19-2008, 02:16 PM
Question, is anyone working with the MS XNA Gaming or coding?

jburford
01-19-2008, 02:32 PM
Just caught this......

http://www.bedagi.com/news/399

Inferno, Flame, Flint and so on from Discreet (Autodesk) has full FBX Import!!! REad about it above. . .. also, on a sight with information about eon's Fusion 5.2, they also have full FBX import so, you can even get your full Lightwave scenes into them as well. . .. damn, this is nice!!!

jasonwestmas
01-19-2008, 02:53 PM
So you were able to export a lightwave animation to collada with no probs?

Iaian7
01-19-2008, 05:44 PM
Funny you should ask... a few weeks ago I spent 3 days attempting to get Lightwave models into any format remotely readable by the gaming engines (and specifically for the XNA platform).

No. Luck. At. All.

I used the FBX plugin from Unity (http://unity3d.com/) in Lightwave 9.3 (mac os x 10.4, ppc), but image links were all broken, it doesn't support ASCII output, and I'm not entirely sure why, but our programmers were unable to use it. OBJ and DXF exports were far, far worse, with all information stripped, and sometimes even polygons missing. I ended up downloading the latest version of Blender, installing Python, importing my LWO files, and then trying to redo my texturing. Unfortunately, this proved unworkable as well, not to mention so involved I hope to never try again. The FBX export on Blender was rather buggered too, so I guess I shouldn't complain about Lightwave's inability to export... but then, I payed for Lightwave.

I haven't found any way of moving objects out of lightwave. Well, not without the help of PolyTrans, but I'm going to have a hard time convincing IT to purchase a program to "make things possible in Lightwave", which I'm already unpopular for BECAUSE it needs junk like this for basic functionality like file importing and exporting...

Last week I needed to import some FBX models so I could mock up some game shots. This was, incredibly, an even worse experience. Even using third party apps to convert the FBX files to ones supposedly readable by Lightwave, I couldn't get Modeler to work. The only objects I could get to import were .OBJ, and even then, Lightwave deleted all the polys - I was left with masses of single points!

Turns out, with a few free plugins, Quicktime has better FBX file format support than Lightwave... at which point I gave up. If I'm going to be working in 3D, I need something that works, and Lightwave isn't cutting it. I know people have used Lightwave in game development before, but how the heck do they do it? Newtek has always touted Lightwave as an out-of-the-box solution, and right now, I'm seeing nothing of the sort!

Let me know if anyone has tips... I'm getting more requests for game assets, and if Lightwave truly is as incompetent as it seems in the past few months, I'll have to switch to a different platform.

:(

jasonwestmas
01-19-2008, 05:48 PM
Yeah I would be really surprised if a FBX plugin developed for LW6 would work with a later version of LW when creating a skeletal hierarchy.

jburford
01-20-2008, 03:51 AM
Iaian7, have you not tried the FBX Plugins from Kaydara/Autodesk? I do not have a Mac and did want to test it for you, but without a Mac it will not work.

I do know, that I do go out of Lightwave with FBX and am not having any problems at all or with other FBX files. It does support ASCII Output and does embed the images if selected. The surfacing and images are coming across fine at the moment although I am just doing basic tests with some UV Maps (simple)

Cheers,
Jeff

jburford
01-20-2008, 07:50 AM
Last week I needed to import some FBX models so I could mock up some game shots. This was, incredibly, an even worse experience. Even using third party apps to convert the FBX files to ones supposedly readable by Lightwave, I couldn't get Modeler to work. The only objects I could get to import were .OBJ, and even then, Lightwave deleted all the polys - I was left with masses of single points!


:(


The FBX Plugin that I have is for Layout not Modeller. . .. Use it in Layout, it pulls in the Scene and Objects and then syncs up with Modeler (if Hub is set up correctly) putting the objects then in Modeler.

give that a try.

jburford
01-20-2008, 08:26 AM
So, I borrowed a Mac from a friend, and guess what???? It Works.....

Downloaded a Demo of Unity, installed on the MAC, exported FBX out of Lightwave, the Statue of Liberty, stored on a USB Stick. And, Imported into Unity....

It friggin works.....

do not want to bash anyone, but somehow bash, bash bash on Newtek and the Workflow works like a charm!!!!!! I will upload Screenshots of steps. (if I can just get a screenshot on the mac... bad mac, bad mac)

jburford
01-20-2008, 08:42 AM
FBX Success. . . . step by step.

Export out of Cinema or Modo, or XSI or who cares.... (Version 6.x)

Using the Kaydara/Autodesk Plugin for Lightwave Layout. Import said FBX into Layout. See Importing_C4D_FBX_into_LW.png.


Be amazed at the Scene and Objects and Textures and Anim Paths as well as Lights and such! See FBX_Scene_in_LW.png


When you are through with your work in Lightwave, Export Simply back out in the FBX Format, check all parts that you want to export out of LW.
See Exporting_FBX_outof_LW.png


Go to your Program of choice with the proper FBX Plugin support and Import your exported LW FBX Scene into it. See Importing_LW_FBX_into_Modo.png


Adore your LW FBX Scene in your other Program such as Modo or XSI!!! Amen. See LW_FBX_Scene_in_Modo.png



Ok, now for the fun part for those needing support in Unity. . . . Simply Transfer your files to the Mac and Import into Unity. .. Voila, it works just the same as in Modo or Cinema or whatever............



Now, enough bitching, crying and whining.....

Get to work....


Sorry, I could not figure out how to do a screenshot of the Scene in Unity on the Mac..... since I am at work on weekend duty without a digicamera.... can not make it otherwise....... But trust me.... It is simply wow....


Cheers,

Modelled Hard!!!

StereoMike
01-20-2008, 08:57 AM
Have you tried exporting animation data aswell?
btw. would anyone care to do a small tutorial on the lw to fbx workflow (including the settings on the fbx plugin part)?

mike

Iaian7
01-20-2008, 09:00 AM
FBX Success. . . . step by step.

Jburford, Thank you for your work on this... some days I totally need calling out. :D Unfortunately, my experience with Lightwave in the past few months has been anything but "success".

1: I will try the Kaydara plugin again, but last I checked, it didn't work on my (mac) machine.

2: The (mac) unity plugin I tried does NOT support ASCII, and the image paths were completely screwed up (I tried various folder setups, flat structures, everything).

(as a side note, I'm not even trying complex stuff - just dead simple models with UV maps!)

3: Modeler is still unable to import anything right now, and exports are messed up as well.

In defense of Newtek, I've had the strangest junk happen in the past few months. Seriously, I'm cursed. So some of this could simply be problems only I see, and no one else. If you don't believe me, check some of my posts from late last year regarding mysteriously corrupted files (and yes, I've double checked hardware, software, reformatted, the whole nine yards, and everything checks out fine).

Again, sometimes I totally need to be called out. I get frustrated, and start to vent. But please... I don't lie about this stuff. I haven't had any luck with any of the workflows I've tried in the past month. And that includes a lot of extra apps to try and get things done in a program I had hoped might have been up to the task. :(

jburford
01-20-2008, 09:15 AM
Have you tried exporting animation data aswell?
btw. would anyone care to do a small tutorial on the lw to fbx workflow (including the settings on the fbx plugin part)?

mike


Hi Mike, yes, but unfortunately I do not know Modo nor XSI nor Cinema good enough (will have a friend look at an export with animation data to his Cinema later the next couple of days).

The Animation data did however show up in the Quicktime Viewer from the Camera View....

I have never "loved" a file format before, but this is great..... I am impressed and amazed..

Hmmnn, maybe I should keep on experimenting and testing and try to do one.

Cheers.

jburford
01-20-2008, 09:19 AM
Iaian7, sorry to hear of all your problems and with Lightwave and strange happennings.... I think I caught a post or so in the past with someones post about strange happennings on a mac, maybe it was your post.

Must be a Mac thing with Lightwave or your specific setup/configuration, as I have been with LW since version 3.x on the Amiga and from 5.6 on the pc to the latest and have not had any of these odd things like that. Yes, there are some odd bugs once in a while that happen in some workflows but for the most part for my usage, I have been very lucky and a happy camper...

Yes, I do believe you, just wish I had the same Mac setup to test and try to see what is going on at your end.

Where are all the Mac users here in the forum, do they see similar problems.

Best of luck

jburford
01-20-2008, 09:44 AM
Iaian7, did you ever get your issues of empty file saving and such settled? (or try another Mac).

cheers,
Jeff

ItsPete
01-20-2008, 09:47 AM
mac fbx works fine here. i regularly use lightwave to unity via fbx on a couple different macs (ppc and intel). even in collaboration with guys using maya, cheetah, blender etc... i did hit a problem with 9.3 in mid-production. so i reverted to exporting from 8.5 and all was good. stuck with 8.5 since.

it sounds like you're doing this but just in case... you need to have an image assigned in the diffuse texture. you have to use uvs. planar or other mapping is not supported. embed textures (or materials? can't remember) should be checked in the fbx export dialog. this might be your engine needing the texture in a specific path too.

import/export from layout NOT modeler. the plug in doesn't even load in modeler. so no idea what you're hitting. importing in layout will force you to save an lwo. when you do this it will create a bunch of files. the root file should be the one you want and should open in modeler. for static files that is. i haven't done much importing of animations. only export which works fine with unity.

i've really never have had a problem with getting files into unity at all. the "showstopper" for me is it doesn't support multiple uvs. so no lightmapping/ao. also, i've never had the need but i think i read lights don't export or they come thru as nulls.

lastly, there is a guy working on native lw support in unity. check out the collab section of the unity forums. hopefully UT picked up the ball and we'll actually get it!

anyway hope it helps...

Philbert
01-20-2008, 02:43 PM
How to take screenshots on a mac
http://revision3.com/tzdaily/2007-12-17screenshot/

Iaian7
01-20-2008, 02:45 PM
Thanks guys for the input!

No, the empty file issue was never resolved. I was able to repeat it on every single mac I tried, both PPC and Intel, and then a week later, things went back to normal. I have no idea why, and it's certainly shaken my faith in Lightwave. The popular opinion seems to be a dongle failure, but I haven't had time yet to work through the transfer process to a new one, especially with plugins that are registered to it, but no longer supported by their authors. (I'm looking at you, Pawel Olas!)

Seeing as everyone else is having fun with FBX, I'm a little jealous now! Why me? ;D I thought everyone had to deal with this much pain and turmoil...

Anyway, the next chance I get at work, I'll try the FBX plugins again. I was under the impression that none of them (save for the Unity plugin, which is screwing up image links and won't save to ASCII) worked in 9.3. And since 9.3 seems to be unable to export or import the standard DXF/OBJ formats, I've been unable to use external converters as well.

It seems a LOT of people have to downgrade to 8.5 due to major workflow issues in the 9.x series, and while I'm loathe to do it myself (I couldn't do a lot of my work without nodal textures and displacements, save for the occasional game project), it could be that I have no choice. :(

Anyone out there using 9.x? Successfully? On a mac? In a game production environment? And if so, what magic are you using? :D I ask because I got tired years ago of having to install different versions of Lightwave for different tasks... that's no way to work, and complicates a process that shouldn't be that hard.

StereoMike
01-20-2008, 04:25 PM
btw. if someone (windows people) is interested in trying his fbx in an RT engine, take a look at www.dxstudio.com (http://www.dxstudio.com/default.aspx?affiliate=5f7bf137-a013-4c83-82b4-b43b1a760e6e). The freeware version lets you have 10 objects per layer (and unlimited 3D or 2D layers).
Actually, that's what I need fbx for.

mike

Skonk
01-22-2008, 10:59 AM
Funny you should ask... a few weeks ago I spent 3 days attempting to get Lightwave models into any format remotely readable by the gaming engines (and specifically for the XNA platform).

No. Luck. At. All.

I used the FBX plugin from Unity (http://unity3d.com/) in Lightwave 9.3 (mac os x 10.4, ppc), but image links were all broken, it doesn't support ASCII output, and I'm not entirely sure why, but our programmers were unable to use it. OBJ and DXF exports were far, far worse, with all information stripped, and sometimes even polygons missing. I ended up downloading the latest version of Blender, installing Python, importing my LWO files, and then trying to redo my texturing. Unfortunately, this proved unworkable as well, not to mention so involved I hope to never try again. The FBX export on Blender was rather buggered too, so I guess I shouldn't complain about Lightwave's inability to export... but then, I payed for Lightwave.

I haven't found any way of moving objects out of lightwave. Well, not without the help of PolyTrans, but I'm going to have a hard time convincing IT to purchase a program to "make things possible in Lightwave", which I'm already unpopular for BECAUSE it needs junk like this for basic functionality like file importing and exporting...

Last week I needed to import some FBX models so I could mock up some game shots. This was, incredibly, an even worse experience. Even using third party apps to convert the FBX files to ones supposedly readable by Lightwave, I couldn't get Modeler to work. The only objects I could get to import were .OBJ, and even then, Lightwave deleted all the polys - I was left with masses of single points!

Turns out, with a few free plugins, Quicktime has better FBX file format support than Lightwave... at which point I gave up. If I'm going to be working in 3D, I need something that works, and Lightwave isn't cutting it. I know people have used Lightwave in game development before, but how the heck do they do it? Newtek has always touted Lightwave as an out-of-the-box solution, and right now, I'm seeing nothing of the sort!

Let me know if anyone has tips... I'm getting more requests for game assets, and if Lightwave truly is as incompetent as it seems in the past few months, I'll have to switch to a different platform.

:(

Iv been using Lightwave to create content for use with XNA for a while now but after trying various things i had to resort to using .x files using D-Storms DirectX exporter. Once you work out what settings to tweak it actually works pretty well.

I would prefere to use FBX tho.

StereoMike
01-22-2008, 12:47 PM
err... Spankdaddy: any tips on D-Storms exporter? Which version is best, what booby traps awaits you?

mike

Skonk
01-29-2008, 11:26 AM
err... Spankdaddy: any tips on D-Storms exporter? Which version is best, what booby traps awaits you?

mike

Ok lemme check my settings....

It's dstorms directx exporter version 1.3.3 im using, which will export to the directx 8 compatible .x format (which iv had no issues with using in XNA with dx9).

I select Text as the format (as opposed to binary) and i have Export Materials ticked. On the Texture tab i select Copy to Texture Directory and Relative Path for the file name.

I then export the model to my XNA projects Content\Models folder and the texture to Content\Textures.

Its a good idea to have it open the exported files in the DirectX viewer that comes with the plugin because if it doesn't work right with that then you know something went wrong :)

A good thing about this is the scaling. 1 Meter in lightwave translates to exactly 1.0f of a vector when imported into XNA so if you create your models to scale in lightwave then physics and things will work perfectly in XNA.

Iv only exported static models so far, nothing animated so i dont know if there are any issues with it, but for static stuff atleast i can say it works without a problem.

Jim.

EDIT: Sorry for taking so long to reply, totally forgot id made the post here :)

StereoMike
01-29-2008, 12:03 PM
thank you very much, will try that (and also see if animations get outl).

mike

Skonk
02-08-2008, 04:09 AM
Just thought id mention i have tried exporting out from Layout (using the same DStorm exporter) with bones and animation. It works fine, played back the animation perfectly in the model viewer.

The main issue is playing back predefined animation within XNA isn't straightforward, its actually easier to animate the bones with code. There are some Lib's out there for dealing with the animation though if you don't want to code it yourself but i'm going to try to do it myself anyway :)

For mechanical stuff like the guns on a tank or ship its pretty easy to have these move based on user input, by animating the bone attached to the mesh.

StereoMike
02-08-2008, 06:46 AM
Thanks Jim, using your setting worked great, meanwhile I also got animations out of LW. For dxstudio it works great, I now have a functional pipeline to get my stuff into a realtime app. Thanks again!

just one thing: can you export only one animation at a time? What if I have idle, run, walk, sit down...?

mike

RedBull
02-08-2008, 08:03 PM
Does anyone know if FBX 6.02 is still a viable option at all?

I just tried it with Modo 301, and it was completely pointless, Lights, Cameras did not come in correctly, and i feel like i'm wasting time trying to get LW to work. Has anyone used FBX Export with 9.31.

Skonk
02-13-2008, 11:50 AM
StereoMike:
If you're exporting different animation states such as idle, walk, jump etc (as you said) then i think you would most likely just have a single animation where the model loops through all the different animation cycles one after the other. Then in code you can say for example frames 0 to 30 idle, 31 - 60 = walk. Thats kinda how old quake1/quake2 models were done.

The main issue is creating the system in XNA that allows the animation to be played back, since there is no premade functions to do this u have to do it all your self or download someone elses component/lib.

RedBull: I tried exporting to FBX from lightwave and it didn't work so well. First issue is the exporter i had only does binary fbx files, ascii is much better to work with since it lets you open it and mess with the file inside visual studio. You can quickly fix broken links to textures or remove unwanted information. But appart from that it just plain didn't load into XNA heh, perhaps i set some options wrong tho.

.X files are perfectly good for most stuff but if we had a good ascii FBX exporter for lightwave it would be better in the long run since FBX can store enough information to use as an actual game level (shapes, lights etc).

Either that or someone could write a content importer for XNA that lets us load .lwo and .lws scenes directly into XNA :)

jburford
02-13-2008, 06:46 PM
Does anyone know if FBX 6.02 is still a viable option at all?

I just tried it with Modo 301, and it was completely pointless, Lights, Cameras did not come in correctly, and i feel like i'm wasting time trying to get LW to work. Has anyone used FBX Export with 9.31.


The problem is that it takes two to tango!!! How do you know that it is not a Modo issue? Unfortunately, I have Modo 202 not 301. I did do basic scenes from LW 9.31 out to Modo 202 but do not know Modo enough to really do justice in testing.

Will try to look at again. I did see some real odd stuff from Cinema 4D FBX out (no options at all) coming into Modo and LW. The objects were under Root in the Surface area and not in the normal area one would expect.

RedBull
02-14-2008, 12:07 AM
The problem is that it takes two to tango!!! How do you know that it is not a Modo issue?

Umm, because LW does not have a current FBX importer/exporter?
Where as Houdini 9.1 just added a brand new spanking Importer/Exporter..
And Modo 301 also added one to 301... LW hasn't updated theres since LW6.

If i export from LW, i get incomplete everything, if i go from Modo to Blender,
or Blender to Houdini, or XSI and Max i have absolutely no problems...
So it's ONLY LW i have a problem with. I just figured there may be a version of FBX for LW that does work. (I tried 2 versions) But that may be just hoping for too much...

I guess i can Point Oven to XSI and FBX from there, but gee you wonder why i try and use LW at all in my pipeline some days.....It's the only 3D application that has this problem working with others these days.

Cheers!

jburford
02-14-2008, 02:05 AM
If you look at the Autodesk Site, Support for all other versions of FBX for promrams other than their own, ended with FBX 6.x. FBX like many formats is backwards compatible, so there should not be a problem! Also, there is a handy dandy FBX Conversion Program from Autodesk (on their site), which converts from many to or from FBX but also FBX to FBX in the different Variants or versions.

Ahh, sorry just re-read your post while finishing typing this one. -Strange- I did have massive problems with one of the FBX Versions for LW from their site til I found one that was working.

Try this version.

Cheers

jburford
02-14-2008, 02:55 AM
[QUOTE=RedBull] LW hasn't updated theres since LW6.

QUOTE]


That is not a Fact!!! The current FBX Importer and Exporter is for/from LW 8.0..... (as you see in the name of the plugin above) a far cry from LW6....

jburford
02-14-2008, 08:37 AM
So, once again, as in the beginning of this Thread, I took a scene out of the Lightwave 9.x Content of the Turning Page of a Book and tested. Added first another Camera for a total of two, added another Light and Animated it as well as created a Null to use as Point of Interest for the newly added Camera. Animated the Camera via the Point of Interest and animated the one Light as well as leaving the page flip alone.

FBX out of Layout and took over to a friend that has Cinema 4D. Imported into it (version 10) and voila All was well (well, almost all, it seems the Images were not included .... hmnn, did I check embed??)

All Objects, all Nulls, All Cameras, All Lights and all Properties of the Lights and Materials (Color, Defuse, Spec, etc.) Settings came through fine and were as they were in Lightwave!!!!!

The Animation was the same lenght, the page flipped and animated exactly as in LW and the Camera and Light Animated exactly as in LW......

IT WORKS, IT WORKS, IT WORKS.......

jburford
02-14-2008, 10:48 AM
Here, try importing this into Houdini, or Blender or XSI........ let us know.

Cheers



I think the images are not there, will check it out, but otherwise......

jburford
02-14-2008, 11:33 AM
Hmnn, did XSI fix their FBX Importer since 5.x? seems to be a few quirks with other apps and FBX....

http://forums.luxology.com/discussion/topic.aspx?id=8773


Here is also some good Information from Polytrans on FBX and their support of it and some of its limitations.

http://www.okino.com/conv/imp_fbx.htm


ok, enough already.....

jburford
02-14-2008, 05:43 PM
If i export from LW, i get incomplete everything, if i go from Modo to Blender,
or Blender to Houdini, or XSI and Max i have absolutely no problems...
So it's ONLY LW i have a problem with. I just figured there may be a version of FBX for LW that does work. (I tried 2 versions) But that may be just hoping for too much...

I guess i can Point Oven to XSI and FBX from there, but gee you wonder why i try and use LW at all in my pipeline some days.....It's the only 3D application that has this problem working with others these days.

Cheers!


You need Houdini, XSI, Max, Blender, Modo and Lightwave in your Pipeline????

6 Major Packages???? No way. Even if you were a major key player in Hollywood or the Gaming Industry, I would not believe that one! Please send a link to your home page, would like to check it out.

jburford
02-15-2008, 11:36 PM
. . . x . . .

jburford
02-16-2008, 12:30 AM
Come on Redbull, where'e you hiding???

Thought you were offline or busy with projects, but you are posting in other other Threads...

Please give feedback so that we can close this issue for good.

Iaian7
02-20-2008, 09:56 AM
This... this... :D

I think I may be in love. If only it were March right now.

jasonwestmas
02-20-2008, 10:02 AM
Here's your Collada :)

http://www.newtek.com/news/pressrelease.php?viewpr=36


Got that right LOL. . .:P

StereoMike
02-20-2008, 12:27 PM
great!

Skonk
02-20-2008, 12:42 PM
Yeh i cant wait also :)

Digital Hermit
02-25-2008, 06:27 AM
Question: Does COLLADA export animation data? Or is that a better job for FBX?

jasonwestmas
02-25-2008, 07:34 AM
Question: Does COLLADA export animation data? Or is that a better job for FBX?

Are you talking in a context for lightwave or the "feeling software" plugs? Collada works woderfully if you have all the right updates etc. Best part is that you don't have to use a Autodesk plugin to use collada.

issaid
02-27-2008, 07:07 AM
Does FBX store animation also? I'm also starting to mess with XNA, and would like to continue to use lightwave. I remember back in the day, trying to use LW with Torque Game Engine(3D). This PR was super exciting when I read about the new FBX stuff. I can't seem to sign up just yet. hopefully it will work better, or be better documented at least.

Philbert
02-27-2008, 09:21 AM
Does FBX store animation also?

Yes. I don't know the history too well, but FBX is originally from FilmBox (hence the FBX extension). FilmBox is now Motion Builder. When I was in school I think we used FBX for our motion capture data.

BitBuilder
04-25-2008, 09:58 PM
Hi just thought I'd add this since I too am waiting for Collada support. Yea! The following is from the Collada website:

COLLADA 1.4.x feature set includes:

* Mesh Geometry
* Transform hierarchy (rotation, translation, shear, scale, matrix)
* Effects
* Shaders (Cg, GLSL, GLES)
* Materials
* Textures
* Lights
* Cameras
* Skinning
* Animation
* Physics (rigid bodies, constraints, rag dolls, collision, volumes)
* Instancing
* Techniques
* Multirepresentations
* Assets
* User data

Additionally, the COMMON profile is the superset of all the common features that COLLADA supports across domains. At a minimum, all COLLADA-compatible tools need to be able to load and store such data, even if a given tool is not using the data.

Philbert
04-25-2008, 10:07 PM
If you haven't signed up for the 9.5 beta you may want to check it out. Collada is in there.

circleofsmoke
06-30-2008, 11:56 AM
Are you sure - where abouts is it? - cant see anything in the export options or the help file

Philbert
06-30-2008, 01:04 PM
If you signed up for the beta any further discussion of it should be done in the beta forum. You can probably find answers to most of your questions just by browsing / searching in there.

circleofsmoke
07-01-2008, 03:17 PM
whoops - breaking beta etiquette there