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ackees
06-21-2003, 08:21 AM
I have just discovered the amazing Motionbuilder, and the usability and functionality of this application is fantastic, this is the future of GUI. I seriously believe that if LW8 has not reached this level of usability then NT should go back to the drawing board, anything less than this will be seen as decline. Motionbuilder is not just a toy so it cannot be dismissed, NT now have the opportunity to stun the world don't rush, make LW the best.

cavalos
06-21-2003, 12:49 PM
Motionbuilder? Excuse me for the stupid question but what is that?
As far as i know there is a program called motionuilder by (Kyadra) but is not a LW plugin.

Best
Christian

Rei
06-21-2003, 01:20 PM
I think he means that the Motion Builder interface is really good, and that if NT havent got the LW interface up to the same usability, they should before releasing it.

of course i like the UI at the moment, i dont animate, so i just cant WAIT for siggsraph.

Lamont
06-21-2003, 10:22 PM
Motion Buider does have a great interface. I like how it's broken up into sections and the speed of interactivity in the viewports are very nice, even with heavy models.

Although Akees seems to overstate, it's good. 3DS Max's interface sucks, has it stopped the proliferation of the app? Nah... I have to use it everyday (c'ept weekends ^_^!!).

I think there should be a rigging mode in Lightwave. That is a combination of Layout and Modeler fuctions(Don't bring up that intergration shiznit ok?). Where it has the modification tools of Modeler, but the ability to test your rigs like Layout. Click the button and wham-o, the model is in Layout. Define character more easy, layers in Layout...

Ahh whatever, this has been covered a million times before...

Lamont
06-21-2003, 10:24 PM
Then again, I would like a more customizable quick-key system, as I hide my interface.

ackees
06-22-2003, 06:53 AM
LW is being disintegrated because it is difficult to use (or doesn?t function logically), most of the plugins available simple make various elements of LW easier to use (the capability is there but because it is so poorly implemented and badly documented additions are needed to aid BASIC functionality). Both the printed manual and the online help system are woefully lacking, there are gaping holes with things not fully explained (I think NT doesn't know how elements of the software work anymore hence the omissions ? there is no other excuse when you can have complete searchable PDF manuals). If the original programmers have left acrimoniously its likely they may never have a handle on all the quirks and will depend on users to tell them. LW disintegrates the more users have to use other more logically thought out solutions like Motionbuilder and messiah, I mean, think about it, what can motionbuilder do that LW cannot do? Not much, it just has a better way of achieving the same result (less painful), LW price/performance advantage is draining away (Motionbuilder for $100), LW has to recover the high ground by making it's very powerful features easily available and usable.

Lamont
06-22-2003, 07:42 AM
Originally posted by ackees
LW is being disintegrated because it is difficult to use (or doesn?t function logically).I would dissagree, it really depends on the mind that's using it. Being that I used 3 or 4 3D applications prior to Lightwave, I found Lightwave to let me get in and do what I wanted when I wanted and how I wanted.


Originally posted by ackees
most of the plugins available simple make various elements of LW easier to use.This is true for many 3D Apps. Meshtools anyone? If you cruz forums for other applications you will see "I did this script to mimic such-and-such in Lightwave.".


Originally posted by ackees
Both the printed manual and the online help system are woefully lacking, there are gaping holes with things not fully explained.I've read the manuals 3 times just for fun, I found everything I wanted... well recently they added the "Hold shift and click" to remove envelopes thing. I don't have Maya or XSI, but it's the same as 3DS Max manual. Minus the fact that Max has a ton of tutorials. I think LW should have a different style of manuals, although the online version is a step in the right direction.


Originally posted by ackees
If the original programmers have left acrimoniously its likely they may never have a handle on all the quirks and will depend on users to tell them.This is stupid. NO ONE in their right mind would hire a programmer and let him leave unless the program he provided was well documented. There were other programmers involved in Lightwave and Modeler. The "secrets" of Lightwave/Modeler did not just disapear. Do you think they took all the code and deleted it or something?


Originally posted by ackees
I mean, think about it, what can motionbuilder do that LW cannot do? Not much, it just has a better way of achieving the same result (less painful), LW price/performance advantage is draining away (Motionbuilder for $100), LW has to recover the high ground by making it's very powerful features easily available and usable.I don't think you KNOW what the restrictions of Motionbuilder are:

This product contains a ONE-YEAR license, meaning it will expire after one year starting from the date you activate your license. It is a full copy of the program, and none of the functions of the software are restricted in any way.

This offer is available only thru authorized Kaydara partners and cannot be ordered directly from Kaydara authorized Resellers. This MOTIONBUILDER Personal Edition is licensed for personal use and cannot be installed and used in productions by Corporations or/and Studios. Users, on an individual basis, can freely use the software without any limitations for personal projects/productions, or as freelancers (work for hire). You cannot acquire and use this Personal Learning Edition for any work performed as an employee of a Corporation, as this would result in an illegal use of the Personal Learning Edition.

Although it is $100, if you want to use it in a professional corporate/comapny environment, it will cost you $4,190.

I see someone actually read the EULA (End-User Licence Agreement).

You know what would be more benificial? Human IK Lightwave version.

I can't belive I wrote coad and not code...

Lamont
06-22-2003, 07:48 AM
No app has animation down like Kaydara does, so I'd rather see Human IK in Lightwave, XSI and Maya...

ackees
06-22-2003, 09:06 AM
There are aspects of LW that work well, I am not an expert but when I use Modeller it feels good, things seem to flow, but LW? There are big problems. In broadcast you animate more than model, there is not enough time on a project, so mostly models are bought off the shelf. I would say there is more animation and rendering going on than Modelling, and this is the area where LW has problems, it not a case of a lack of capability, it?s bad implementation. The more you use LW the more you realise it is in a mess (I don't know about the other 3D apps - well only what I have seen at demos).
The manuals are not complete, details on major features are terse and lack detail, there is no excuse for this, the online version should be fully searchable and have everything fully explained (it is understandable that the printed vers. be limited else you would need a suitcase to carry it).
Example: open the online manual and do a search for 'make bone weight map'

You get:
You searched for make bone weight map.
No pages matched your search.

It is there under the heading of ?using weight maps?
What you find when you get there is almost useless, this complex feature is skipped over in a couple terse paragraphs ? OK for the printed manuals but hopeless for an online manual, the thing is this is not an isolated example.

Only the original programmers can know all the quirks, there will be many things that just cannot be documented (dark corridors in the code). Writing programs is a bit like painting, you can leave the instructions (paint by numbers) but you cannot recreate the original mind.
Corporations should be able to afford Motionbuilder without the blink of an eye, most users are individuals and freelancers, so this is a great feature for ?the small guy?, anyway I hear that there will be a permanent upgrade for another $100, an unbeatable offer.
NT need to tighten up a lot of things, if they only made LW with its existing features work well and completely user friendly they would have a killer product. I really hope NT does not opt for bolting on more WOW! features that in the end do not fully integrate or prove hopeless when you come to use them seriously.

Lamont
06-22-2003, 11:53 AM
Eh? I found 1.5 pages on the weight-maps...

You will find it under V Maps.. as it is a type of vertex map. If you want to find it in the book, it's in section 28.7

Part of a programmers job is to document what's going on in his program, if they didn't, then they sucked. I am positived they documented what's going on in the program. This isn't some amature MSVC project. You're making Hastings/Furgeson(?) seem like programming gods or something.. a good programmer can find bugs/quirks with no problem.

I am glad that Newteks manuals are not shrinking (Maya, XSI). Both had manuals almost a meter high back in the day.

The only thing I do not like about Lightwave is the timeline and character set-up. I refuse to buy an automated character set-up tool, but I do save out rigs.

I need to be able to grab key-frames like Keytrack.

ackees
06-22-2003, 02:43 PM
The point about 'make bone weight map' is that that is the name of the function, that?s one the first thing you look for, that?s logical; if you want to find out about the 'box tool' type 'box tool' , search, and there it is all the pages on box tool, but for some reason some functions are not searchable ? crazy.
New programmers new style no doubt, at some point the new programmers will have to leave the old code behind, the new code should be better.
I am for complete and extensive online (CD) manuals with everything properly explained and documented down to the smallest detail, those that want the info can then find it.
Can LW be better than Motionbuilder, is NT ahead or behind on this?

Lamont
06-22-2003, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by ackees
Can LW be better than Motionbuilder, is NT ahead or behind on this? You should focus your question more because some people do not read through all the posts.

Interface wise, I think there is going to be a drastic change. I have no idea what it is. There is something drastic around the bend, a lot of people will not like it, some will go nuttier than a mental patient (CIM, Harhar..).

Animation and rigging wise? No, I don't think so. Kaydara has focused on this for years. I prefer Motion Builder over anything else.

But is the end result that is attainable in Motion Builder out of the reach of Lightwave? No, but the task of rigging is such a free-form one, so it's always been a daunting task for any animator. I am sure the next release will make this more user-friendly.

Lamont
06-22-2003, 02:54 PM
I think to fix that search, Newtek should use the Windows Help System/ Mac Help System. They are powerful and aren't as pickey as just a search through HTML.

ackees
06-22-2003, 03:29 PM
You are absolutely right on the search Lamont, NT are not using the full resources of the respective platforms. By sitting LW on top of the operating system rather than full integration LW is hampered and can never run at full speed, it makes updates easier but it slows the app if it isn?t making use of all available resources. LW is often trying to do its own operating functions duplicating the resources of the host system and slowing itself down. Perhapse historically it needed to do this but haven't got out of the habit.
Motionbuilder is the state of the arts in GUI at the moment and NT have to get there, the only other option is fade out.

Lamont
06-22-2003, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by ackees
Motionbuilder is the state of the arts in GUI at the moment and NT have to get there, the only other option is fade out. A little harsh don't you think?:D

ackees
06-22-2003, 03:47 PM
No, I really want LW to kick a*** with 8 but if it?s not ready to do battle at this level it should wait a bit, fix 7.5 and then move to the top of the 3D tree.

Lamont
06-22-2003, 03:50 PM
Everyone wants their app of choice to kick-***, but what is kick ***?

I think Newtek is going to implement some cool things and fix many issues with 8. The only problem is what is the extent of the features.

Last time LW 7 was going to be released, we found screen shots before the date. It's not the case with 8, so I think there is something cool going down.

ackees
06-23-2003, 03:06 AM
It's not the big features that are the problem, LW hasn't got a capability problem, it's the little things that break the application, there is a consistent lack of attention to detail and this is what hampers usage, when things are fully thought through then everything flows for the user, this is the fealing I get from Motionbuilder it's fully thought thought through. As to features, well, all the latest developments are available from the research establishments, almost any company can add them to an application, the big issue is implementation and usage, the GUI (work flow) is what impacts on users most. What I would hate to see in 8 is a lot of big features but then when you start to use them in a serious way you find they are broken.

prospector
06-23-2003, 12:20 PM
This is all well and good but the more important question is.

Lamont... you said
3DS Max's interface sucks, has it stopped the proliferation of the app? Nah... I have to use it everyday (c'ept weekends ^_^!!).

So on Friday afternoons do you go thru somekind of Excorsism
or voodoo ritual to get 3D Max out of your head so you can work with a 'REAL' program:D

Lamont
06-23-2003, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by prospector
So on Friday afternoons do you go thru somekind of Excorsism
or voodoo ritual to get 3D Max out of your head so you can work with a 'REAL' program:D Pretty much... I just revel in the fact that I bring my LW licence in to model when I get a chance.

"I try to get away, but they pull me back in..." In Robert De Niro voice...

colkai
06-24-2003, 03:46 AM
Got to address a couple of points here.

Whilst LW could have better character animation, something I wouldn't mind betting Newtek are working on, to say it is a mess is seriously overstating matters. Sure it has it's limitations, but all software does!
I have used several 3D packages, trust me, compared to many, LW is a breeze.
I also doubt very much that people buy in models all the time, you only have to look at some of the threads in these groups to see most advocate building their own unless under a very strict timeline.
With bought-in models, it may not have the correct geometry for what you want to do with it, it may be too simple, or overly complex. You can then spend enough time re-modelling as to make the initial saving pointless.

Motionbuilder is built for a very specific action, programs that are tightly focussed have that luxury. You want LW to be a super-duper flexible system. Don't forget as well, MB's true cost is $4,190 as Lamont stated, considerably more than LW!

As for the programmers leaving "dark corridors", firstly, you are assuming they have "left accrimoniously" - but Chuck has stated several times they are still under obligation to Newtek. Which also suggests they are probably still involved in the coding, just an assumption, but if they are still under contract, it would seem pointless not to utilize their obvious coding skills.

Secondly, most professional coders, (myself included), would take exception to the concept that they deliberately leave out details, or make things complex, just to provide some sort of "hah that'll teach you" attitude on the off-chance they leave / are fired whilst the project is in development.
Any coder worth his salt can / should be able to, pick up someone elses code and run with it, we do that regularly here, we have libraries we are more familiar with but we interchange without much hiccup.

Would you be happy to pay 4,000+ for LW if it had all these features, or do you expect it to be the cheapest and best, from a software house which only has a handful of programmers?
What about LW's renderer? hear tell, folks say that needs a major overhaul, the GUI needs a total re-write, the documentation needs overhauling, audio, dopesheets, mapping, 3D Painting -sheesh!!! :rolleyes:

I'm amazed you can come up with some of your observations, I guess you've never had to code anything complex. I've been coding for 20 years now, I can tell you straight up, following 4 releases of our product this last 18 months - NOTHING goes to plan, bugs exist, features break and don't even get me started on documentation.
How do you write the definitive document with a handful of changes over several months.
Example: Button 'X' does A.B. & C
<Boss: Can you just extend that, the client wants feature F is A is set but the premise is J>
So you do... then the client wants something else, "can you just make it do ..." - I have changed my current program 10 times over the last 2 months following client demands, sometimes it varies for a particular site, which means editing on-line.
I don't even have time to destructively test it, let alone document it.
Is it buggy? yeah, probably, but market forces say that is when they want it, so that's when it is released. Followed by patches to fix problems. They pay for it, they want it, regardless of the pressure on the coders. Don't foget, you can't write documentation without input from the programmers, which means they can't code at the same time.

No different to Newtek, or any small software house I guess, so sorry ackees, but I see no point in the continual bashing & complaining.
What happens if you pick up a really good tutorial? Will you demand Newtek put everything on hold to perfect their tutorials to allow better understanding of LW? What happens to the development of Lightwave whilst time and money and resources are spent on manuals and tutorials?
A new 3rd party renderer comes out..should Newtek postpone LW8 - Then what.. "where the H*ll is LW8 - Newtek should have finished it by now .. Newtek have dropped the ball ... Newtek are getting left behind" I can see all the above threads resurfacing

Lightwave will be released when it is, with what it has, how any times does this have to be stated?
Also, lest we forget, you are saying all this based on your *individual* requirements, which I can guarantee, are different from many other folks out there using LW.

My sympathies to all at Newtek, you really don't deserve all this, truly! :(

Lamont
06-24-2003, 06:29 AM
Holy mother shurkin fits, a good post...

ackees
06-24-2003, 06:34 AM
Well colkai you have some good points. Firstly there is no excuse for bad documentation, I can understand a limited printed manual but not an inadequate online manual (PDF or the like), a thorough manual saves money and time for NT, because users do not need to contact tec support with basic questions, the 3D software is more than the code, every element needs meticulous attention to detail. You can upgrade to MB for $100 and use it legally Ė if you belong to a big company then you should pay the full price, this is an outstanding offer for a package of this quality.
I see coding as an art form, how ever many instructions are left you cannot recreate the mind of the artist, new artist new style, that being said, there will be dark corners in the original code, and we have to wait for them to surface to fix them, at a guess I would say that if NT havenít recoded LW yet they are going to, hanging on to the old code would hamper development.
You are right you canít throw everything into LW it has to assert itís own identity, I would be more than happy if 8 turned out to be 7.5 with every existing feature beautifully implemented, all code properly integrated, extensive video tutorials and online manuals that didnít leave things out.
Again MB doesnít have anything much that LW doesnít, itís the attention to detail, that whatís missing in LW.

colkai
06-24-2003, 07:49 AM
Okay,
Mb upgrade, yeah, I grant, forgot about that!

Also, "no excuse for bad documentation" - perhaps you didn't read my post? It is *very* difficult to write up-to-date documentation, we have one person in the company who writes the doumentation, she also provides technical support and on-site visits, plus, unless she has the complete breakdown of the program is psuedo-code, she has to base her notes on how *she* uses the program, normally, such code notes are very thin on the ground.
Sure, in an idealistic world, I'd have time to code, debug, destructively test and document my program, which would then remains "as-is" until the next release. I should be so lucky! :p
Sorry to burst your bubble, but coding is NOT an art form, it is technical, and if you have "dark corners" in your code, frankly, you are doing it wrong.
Good code should *always* be able to be picked up by another coder without them having to spend every minute saying "what happens here". As for style, check out all the coding on the web for say, C++, you'll start to see some extremely similar coding from very diverse sources. There's a reason for that, same reason there are no "dark corners", when coding, most companies have a "house-style" - this is set in stone, all new employees are told to adhere to that style, why? - because the code needs to be able to be enhanced and debugged by others than the original coder. There is no room for artistic interpretation of how code should be written, that leads to delays, frustration and wasted money.

Structure, flow and such are critical, this is not art, trust me, I know what I'm on about. Code is technical, think CAD rather than painting.

Lightwave enables you to use your imagination to do what you will, that is art, code is determined by a flowchart based on a system analysis or by lengthy discussions with the client &/or boss. Just as CAD is normally based on the size, shape and form to be cast / milled etc. Start to re-interpret what they say and you'll be out of a job faster than you can say BOO! I've seen it happen here, usually with young "wannabe" coders, "old-timers" tend to know the rules, being one myself, I think that's fair to say.

You seem hung up on "the mind of the artist" - really, you have to let go of that, code must be transparent. A program has a procedure, that procedure, be it a function or a class, has a *finite* action, the code surrounding it dictates that. That code is determined by what the program is expected to do, there is no room for "art". Sure, you can write 'elegant' code, but that usually means code another programmer can look at and "get" right away. 'Mind of the artist' - no, function of the code, really, it IS that simple.

ackees
06-24-2003, 11:08 AM
I do have sympathy for the lady that designs and writes the manuals, I really do not want to make her job any more difficult than it is. Perhaps we can come up with ideas that might help. The way you explained this makes me understand why the manuals are so idiosyncratic. We are now looking at a flaw in the design structure which is being reflected in the inadequacies of the help systems.
Yes coding is based on an organised structure, we all know that, but there is code and there is elegant code, and efficient code and creative coding (lateral thinking when using those c++ calling functions), there is absolutely no doubt coding is an art form, it is artistic interpretation that gives small companies the edge over big companies, but once you get there (LW) you have to fix all the little things, creativity and reliability are unbeatable.

colkai
06-24-2003, 01:48 PM
:rolleyes:
I can see I ain't gonna get through here.
Fine, coding is an art form.
The client requiring enahncements is a design flaw.
Artistic interpretation is all.

I bow to the obvious skills and experience and perfect universe that others seem to inhabit.

I'm outta here! I'm going to play in my imperfect world.

anieves
06-24-2003, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by prospector
This is all well and good but the more important question is.

Lamont... you said

So on Friday afternoons do you go thru somekind of Excorsism
or voodoo ritual to get 3D Max out of your head so you can work with a 'REAL' program:D

puf, only on fridays? I do that everynight when I get home!:D

Aegis
06-24-2003, 03:15 PM
Not wanting to get too off topic here but that $100 for MotionBuilder isn't a commerical license - The Digit version is a fully functional 1 year license of 4.02 - You can use it for non-commercial work or commercial work if you are a freelancer. Studios must pay for a full $4000 license.

The $100 thang is the same deal but boxed with hardcopy manuals, a clip art CD and the program on CD.

"This offer is, however, ONLY available to individuals, not to studios or individuals affiliated with a studio for work on in-house projects. The license does allow for production work, but only to individuals working on personal or freelance projects."

Rei
06-24-2003, 03:37 PM
No one can be told what Kick ***** is, you have to kick ***** for yourself.

Sorry, just couldnt resist.


all you programmers out there, i feel for you.

ackees
06-24-2003, 04:06 PM
The MB offer is great, it really gives the small guy a chance, talent over corporate muscle.
Well, many of the programmers I have ever met agree that programming is an art form. The client is king ? he pays, else do what you want in a dark cave.
So, Rei, does that mean if you are not kicking A*** you're being kicked?