PDA

View Full Version : Mac Character Ani Software!!???



PeteS
03-30-2007, 11:27 PM
OK..first off, this is not a knock on LW. I love it!

But LW is light, right now, on character animation tools.
So what are we left with? It's hard to find steady compliments of Motionbuilder. (it works..but not reallly..and you need know the secret handshake to make it work nicely with LW)

Messaih sounds really good. But not MAC..Suuure..they said it would..but it never happened...did it.

I heard something about life form..but half the site has broken links..would you buy from them?

So whats left? Do I need to buy a whole new 3d app just to use it's CA tools?!!! Again..I know LW "can" do it. But not as smooth as the others. Not even close.

Would love to hear your feedback.:beerchug:

BazC
03-31-2007, 01:27 AM
I think you're pretty much left with Maya or Cinema4d. Maya is obviously an industry standard but C4d animation is supposed to be pretty good since r10.

cresshead
03-31-2007, 03:02 AM
with cineam you'll need to also buy the mocca module as well as the the cinema4d base, also note when cinema base is updated your mocca module will fail to work...you'll also need to buy that upgrade to keep it working....

as painful asit is if your on a intel mac...then maybe just add windows xp and xsi 6.0 for character rigging and animation then pass back to lw.

BazC
03-31-2007, 04:44 AM
as painful asit is if your on a intel mac...then maybe just add windows xp and xsi 6.0 for character rigging and animation then pass back to lw.

Yes I think that's what I would do too, or maybe just wait and see what LW9.? and Modo produce. I would think we'll see something from both apps this year, hope so anyway! :D

Glendalough
03-31-2007, 05:02 AM
Yes I think that's what I would do too, or maybe just wait and see what LW9.? and Modo produce. I would think we'll see something from both apps this year, hope so anyway! :D

Do you really think they might deliver on this?

Just wondering about this very thing myself...

Messaih is half the price of XSI and works in a sort of plugin way with Lightwave. Also it would be easier to learn, simpler to run and no distractions with the other parts of the program (say if like you were working in XSI just for animation).

Just wondering what is the downside?

Have heard XSI is more advanced or capable....Is Messaih still being developed? Or is it slowly becoming outmoded? The website showed it working with Lightwave 7.5 in the one video I looked at and the site looked generally a bit out of it or dated.

Is the new way for this type of character animation going to be to export and import in MDD format?

Does Blender export in MDD? Have heard from some that it is a bit superior/advanced, easier to use then Lightwave in this area?

BazC
03-31-2007, 05:20 AM
Do you really think they might deliver on this?

Absolutely! Of course there is no way to know how much improvement will be made or when it will appear. They are supposed to be working with professional animators to improve things so there's a good chance we'll see some decent tools and I don't see how LW9 can be allowed to take much longer than another year or so, that would make 2 years between LW9 and LW10, can they leave it much longer? That suggests to me we'll see the beginnings of updated animation tools in the next stage of open betas. Maybe 6 - 8 months?

NOTE! This is pure speculation, I don't have any inside knowledge!

Modo301 will also be released this year and Lux have dropped VERY heavy hints that it will include animation. Could be quite basic though.

Boo!
03-31-2007, 07:22 AM
...hi peeps!

Ive been in talks with a company i currently contract to about the same thing, plus what to do about a buy Macs for a renderfarm. Theres a big animation project thats meant to start soon but its up in the air if we should us LW or move over to another app with far better character animtion.

I myself am still on LW 7.5 runnin on 1.8 Dual G5 (panther).
Modeling characters and animating them is what i use LW for but just as u guys have pointed out, theres other apps that animate better. Maya etc.

I soooooo really dont want to go that route of moving away from LW but i have seen Maya character animation in action and WOW!.

Ive have checked out Motion Builder but the feed back was very mixed. Messaih had a more positive feed back but im on a Mac. nuff said.
...
...ahhhh i dont know!. just hope that LW9.2 has the functions...

www.worldrulex.com

PeteS
03-31-2007, 09:23 AM
Damn..hate to say it, but maybe MAYA is the way to go.
I'd love a strickly animation package like messiah..but it does seem a tad outdated. You really don't hear of them much. Though looks like a solid product.

However, MAYA is everywhere. This sucks.
How can a comapany like messiah not see this void and want to fill it?
MAC LWers really have no choice.

DAMN! So now..next question..what version of MAYA would i need? I know they have difernt layers of packages.
Do I need PRO? Or can I get by with a base?

PeteS
03-31-2007, 10:35 AM
ok..so after thinking..If i dropped my pants..bent over..and bought MAYA. How would I get animation back into LW? Not bone motion right? So that would mean mdd. Yes? So if I did that..would the endo morphs work? No right? AAARRRGGHH!!!!
The reason why I like MB was because of the transfer of bone data. However, that program is cursed I believe from what I read. However..after seeing some cool messiah tuts, I saw how you could adjust joint fall off to get better deformation. However, that wont work with bone motion transfer only. Man this gets complicated.

anyway I can get a good program that transfer bone data so I can still do my LW thing?

BTW..Yeah C4D DOES SOUND DECENT..BUT IF I GOTTA SPEND TIME AND MONEY TO LEARN A NEW PROGRAM. I'M NOT GOING TO PICK A NON IDUSTRY STANDARD AGAIN! (sorry..not shouting..hit my cap lock :-)

Boo!
03-31-2007, 01:38 PM
...dude!...
...
...i feel your pain!!!.
...Ive been yappin with another designer for the last hour about what to do regarding stickin with LW or jumpin ship.

design houses like: http://www.digi-guys.com/
use Lightwave for a lot of stuff which is kinda good to know but im not sure where exactly it fits in there work-pipline.

Im gonna stick it out with LW as long as pos.
i love LW but these projects that are loomin over my head require some HOT (flamin HOT!) animation.

let me know what u decide on dude.
Until then...LIGHTWAVE, LIGHTWAVE, LIGHTWAVE!!!!!!!!...come on!!!!!!!:lwicon: :thumbsup:

www.worldrulex.com

toby
03-31-2007, 04:31 PM
ok..so after thinking..If i dropped my pants..bent over..and bought MAYA. How would I get animation back into LW? Not bone motion right? So that would mean mdd. Yes? So if I did that..would the endo morphs work? No right?
http://www.thebeaverproject.com/
was created to transfer Maya animation to LW. $480.00
And it will work with all deformations. MDDs are point location data, so *wherever* the points are in Maya, no matter how they got there, dynamics, morphs, bones/IK, etc., that's what you get back into LW.

And you only need the base Maya ($2000.00?) for character anim and I think dynamics, I don't think you get hair or cloth -

PeteS
03-31-2007, 04:46 PM
toby...intersting stuff.
One question...I suppose endos will not work for LW facial animation with Mya body movement.

Or..can you export a unsubpathed LW model in MAYA, then nurb in MAYA. Animate. Un nurb and export back to LW then use the noral LW facial rig endos? Or would I lose it?

toby
03-31-2007, 05:25 PM
Beats me! I've never seen deformations added on top of MDDs.
But you can test it for yourself, translate your character a few meters from center (in Layout) and export MDDs. Put it back to 0,0,0 then import the MDDs. Then apply your morphs and see if it works -

MDD's can be very handy when you're animating in LW too. Since your MDD'd characters will be referencing a file, you can animate them in a separate, optimized scene from the rendering scene, export/overwrite the old mdds and animation will update automatically in the rendering scene. MDDs update faster than IK and bone deformations too, so your render scene will be snappier.

Boo!
05-10-2007, 01:13 AM
...hi Pete S

just wanted to know if you made a decision on on the animation? and what what route your gonna take?...


thanks

PeteS
05-10-2007, 03:43 AM
...hi Pete S

just wanted to know if you made a decision on on the animation? and what what route your gonna take?...


thanks


Well, as for now I I am waiting to get my new mac. I'm lookijng at the quad core packed to the gills with ram and power. Iam on vaction right now, so when I come home I htink I will get it. Then from there..I'm going to give messiah one more look. I've contacted ther company and it is still active. Also I've heard some greeat things about it. Plus I hear It is fairly easy to learn, plus if you want you could dive deeper into it if you want.
In the meantime, I have some really great LW riggers that I turn to for the projects that I have at hand. really, if a LW job is rigged correctly and you use a proxy model. It's not too bad.Once those jobs pass, I will make the final decision on what program to get for animation. Which will be fairy open since I will be able to run windos.

If I didn't have 8 years of LW behind me, I htink I'd go for xsi. But to satrt a vast program like that just for animation kills me to do.
..but..we'll see. :bangwall:

Boo!
05-10-2007, 04:07 AM
...
...thanks dude...
...enjoy the vacation!...
...:thumbsup:

Morbius
05-10-2007, 05:14 PM
I think a lot of us are in this boat.

As a hobbyist I can't really afford to own 2 programs. Not counting the training materials and then the regular upgrades.

I've been using Lightwave since it was only with the Toaster and I've bought every upgrade until 6. It just seems that the rest of the industry has developed much faster then Lightwave.

I've been using Modo (demo) and I'm just in awe of the difference. User interface, a lovely renderer, the whole package. I've fallen in love with the program.

Personally I'm trying to hold out for Modo character animation, but if it looks like that won't happen soon, then I think I'm stuck with Lightwave and just suffer through it. And like I said, I stopped with LW at 6. I'm here waiting to decide which way to go. Upgrade to LW 9 (when the UB is finally done) or go to Modo.

Thing is, it is coming... it's just a matter of can you wait. It could turn out to be an interesting year since many LW users are also Modo users. I'm curious to see how things pan out.

cresshead
05-10-2007, 06:45 PM
re xsi, try the demo...i bought xsi 4.2 and found it a struggle to get on with it..but once i bought some dvd training from digital tutors it made much more sense the 5 dvd set that shipped with 4.2 was all over the place and wasn't really structured to learn well, whereas the digital tutors training was much better...it was only a intro dvd so didn't cover using character rigs but took you around the u.i.....i still havn't used it in production as i have 3dsmax i bought xsi fund4.2 just to see what it was like..maybe one day i'll se it!

xsi fund i believe now has point oven built into it so trasfering animations from xsi to lw should be pretty smooth...ask TD4 he's a lw-xsi artist or pooby.

cresshead
05-10-2007, 06:53 PM
sample vid for animation training
http://www.digitaltutors.com/dtv_/xsi/animation/731/731.mov

http://www.digitaltutors.com/dtv_/xsi/animation/732/732.mov

http://www.digitaltutors.com/store/product.php?productid=1105&cat=32&page=1

Glendalough
05-11-2007, 02:19 PM
...

As a hobbyist I can't really afford to own 2 programs. Not counting the training materials and then the regular upgrades.

...

I must say Blender is pretty top quality in Character Animation...Also it runs on Macintosh both PPC and Intel.

The interface isn't really all that mad, in a strange way it's a bit similar to Modo and no floating palettes. It does have quirks -right click to select.

There is a lot more documentation out now and it's pretty easy to learn...

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/BSoD/Introduction_to_Character_Animation

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/BSoD/Introduction_to_Character_Animation/Upper_body_armature

TomT
05-11-2007, 04:02 PM
For CA, we mostly use Maya, the $7000/seat version (with the all fur and dynamics and cloth and stuff.) Same as what we use on our PC stations (XSI not withstanding.)

For motion graphics (we get a lot of this work) we use C4D on both Macs and PCs.

Our editing platform to string the animations together into finished reels is FCP Studio.

I won't mention our modeler of choice. ;)

Glendalough
05-11-2007, 04:53 PM
Well, speaking of money, I don't think Blender is going to come down in price any time soon.

Boo!
05-12-2007, 11:12 AM
...
...well after speakin to peeps here and over at Cgcsociety (lightwave section), doin my own research and downloadin trial versions of Motionbuilder. im going to add Maya to my 3D app list.
...
...like most peeps ive spoken to they use LW for modeling and Maya for animation. some are also usin Modo for modeling and something else for character animation.
...
...im kinda lookin forward to the Lightwave & Maya work flow.yeah its goin to cost me BIG time but im thinkin of it as an investment.
...
...main thing im lookin into now is the transfering of files between the 2 apps with as less stress as pos :D

pooby
05-12-2007, 02:48 PM
Well I would suggest you reconsider.
XSI foundation is a fraction of the cost of Maya and can do SO much more out of the box for both animation and rigging.
It's VERY easy to use and is the most powerful and user friendly software for animation out there.
I did a LOT of research before Choosing XSI.. and was heavily advised to go for Maya because the company we work with use it. (Aardman animations)
It seemed stupid to work with a different package, but I don't regret it for a second.. I visit rigging forums all the time, and lots of stuff that takes Max and Maya experts to pull off can be done in XSI without any custom scripting.
I have a system set up between XSI and LW, so that anything I do in XSI will automatically transfer to LW without any re-loading in LW. The two can be used as one package in a similar way to modeller and layout. In fact the project I;m working on has a character that is half rigged in XSI and half in LW.
I absolutely guarantee that you wont be disappointed if you choose XSI.

druitre
05-13-2007, 05:01 AM
Hi Pooby,

I'm in the same position as the other people on this thread. Have tried (amongst others) XSI and I like it a lot (the trial's too short though!). I'm leaning heavily towards going that way. The setup you mention sounds very interesting... is it something that you can explain more about or is it an in-house piece of development/software?

thanks,
Jasper

BazC
05-13-2007, 05:31 AM
I'm in the same position as the other people on this thread. Have tried (amongst others) XSI and I like it a lot (the trial's too short though!).

Didn't there used to be a learning edition that didn't time out, with a watermark etc? Or did I dream it, I can't find any mention of it on the Softimage site now.

pooby
05-13-2007, 06:24 AM
The setup you mention sounds very interesting... is it something that you can explain more about or is it an in-house piece of development/software?


No, it's very easy..
Point Oven (integrated in XSI) allows you to bake out not only Mdds, but Null and camera info too.
Jeremy hardin's (excellent) Reference motion plug-in in LW will reference any motion file without having to re-point it in LW.

So, say you have a head animation done in XSI and you also want to export not only the mdd (mesh animation) but also positional data such as where the head is in space for both translation and rotation etc. (because you might want to parent a sasquatch wig to the head) then you can do that with a NULL.
Also, you can export nulls that are driven by the rig in XSI to drive textures or displacements in LW. (for example, you can measure the distance between two vertices in XSI and have this drive a null. Why? because this null could represent the amount of stretch on the forehead of a character. This can then be used to drive a displacement map that brings wrinkles up and down. Once set up, you can forget about it. It's automatic and it's based on real skin stretching, not guess work

Once set up, everything is automatic when you bake the XSI scene (which takes less than a minute)
When you export the data from XSI, its already there in LW if you use the free mdd node plugin (which reads the mdd live) (the null data has to be re-loaded manually unless you re-load the LW scene, but again.. it's very easy)

Not only that- As the Lightwave scenes are just referencing, you can have multiple scenes in LW for shadow passes or Hair etc for compositing and you don't have to adjust them once set up. They will always have the latest version of the camera, the mdd, the null data etc once you bake from XSI.
With jeremy's plugin you can also have a master lighting setup in LW, that all the other scenes read from and update automatically.
It Literally makes using XSI and LW as close together as modeller is to layout.
I often have both XSI and LW open, and ping pong between the two.. In my head they are just two sides of the same coin.. Its extremely easy to set up and use. I get the best of both worlds with this system.

I was toying with the idea of making a rigging-focused LW to XSI learning thread with some videos, but I don't think it would go down well here as it might be seen as detrimental to LW. Maybe I'll do it in another forum.

kfinla
05-13-2007, 07:46 AM
I was toying with the idea of making a rigging-focused LW to XSI learning thread with some videos, but I don't think it would go down well here as it might be seen as detrimental to LW. Maybe I'll do it in another forum.

I'd love to see that... post a link if you ever get around to it.

Boo!
05-13-2007, 07:59 AM
...
...hi Pooby...
...
...just been on the XSi website. WHOA!. had to ask myself why i had forgoten about it. then i remembered im on a Mac platform and i havent saved enough pennies for my Mac Pro beast yet which would allow me to switch between Mac & PC platforms.
...
...couple of questions if ya dont mind.
...
1: could i model in LW on my Mac switch to (when i get my Mac Pro) XSi Foundation to rig, animate and then save and pass back to LW Mac and then render out the animation...?
(i feel more comfortable in Mac environment if your wondering why i just dont stay in PC mode.)

2. could i use the face robot and port that over in the same way as above?.

3. do you use a Mac platform any time in your pipeline and how do you find it?

thanks. gotta say im loving this thread. opening up my eyes to ways LW can work with other apps. you peeps are great!.
...

pooby
05-13-2007, 08:35 AM
I don't use a mac, but as long as XSI works in PC mode It should be fine. All LW and mdd files are compatible so I don't see why not- but I don't have direct experience so I'd ask elsewhere for that.
Not being stupidly rich, I haven't played with Face Robot.. but you could port animation over to LW if you had it.
You can make facial rigs in XSI that can produce results as good as Face robot. (If you have the time and patience)

Boo!
05-13-2007, 10:26 AM
...
...hi Pooby
...thanks
...
...i found a reseller in london. will do my home work and see if i can pop in and find more info.
...
...thanks again...
...:D :thumbsup:

druitre
05-14-2007, 02:48 AM
@ Pooby: thanks for the answer, appreciated!


I was toying with the idea of making a rigging-focused LW to XSI learning thread with some videos, but I don't think it would go down well here as it might be seen as detrimental to LW. Maybe I'll do it in another forum.

Excellent thread idea! Seems I'll have to scour the internet then in hopes of catching the elusive 'another forum'...

druitre
05-14-2007, 02:56 AM
BasC:

Didn't there used to be a learning edition that didn't time out, with a watermark etc? Or did I dream it, I can't find any mention of it on the Softimage site now.

Maybe you're mixed up with Motionbuilder? I'm doing that one (a watermarked PLE) and I like it a lot, but I've heard its price makes it a no-go area for a freelancer like me. I've tried finding out what it costs, but actually didn't succeed... it's mentioned nowhere. Which doesn't bode well probably.

Glendalough
05-14-2007, 05:10 AM
It doesn't look like Modo 301 has Character Animation according to the comments of those who have seen the Mysterious Video just released on Saturday. Only limited animation plus import of MDD.

Blender was spoken highly of for MDD export -plus LW & XSI.

Another plug for B. but just wondering has Anyone, Anywhere done CA in Blender who knows other programs well for comparison....

pooby Ho! Please, any comments?

pooby
05-14-2007, 05:39 AM
I don't know blender at all - sorry.

Glendalough
05-14-2007, 06:32 AM
Oh, thanks for the reply anyway!

Morbius
05-19-2007, 08:09 PM
I must say Blender is pretty top quality in Character Animation...Also it runs on Macintosh both PPC and Intel.

The interface isn't really all that mad, in a strange way it's a bit similar to Modo and no floating palettes. It does have quirks -right click to select.

There is a lot more documentation out now and it's pretty easy to learn...

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/BSoD/Introduction_to_Character_Animation

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/BSoD/Introduction_to_Character_Animation/Upper_body_armature

I've actually been playing around with Blender. It has some impressive features. Though, like others when you're use to one package it's really hard to change your whole way of thinking. The only other 3D apps I know to some extent is Modo because it is actually similar to LW in many ways, and Maya because I spent tons on books and DVDs. But I can't actually afford Maya itself. Hehe.

BazC
05-20-2007, 01:25 AM
BasC:


Maybe you're mixed up with Motionbuilder? I'm doing that one (a watermarked PLE) and I like it a lot, but I've heard its price makes it a no-go area for a freelancer like me. I've tried finding out what it costs, but actually didn't succeed... it's mentioned nowhere. Which doesn't bode well probably.

Motionbuilder? Dunno, maybe. It's a pity that they only have a typical 30day demo. They always time out before I get around to really digging into an app. I think every 3d app should have some kind of permanent demo like a save disabled version a la Cinema 4d or a learning version like Maya and LW

Back on topic, I agree you can forget Modo 301 for chracter animation. It has mdd imort for rendering imported animation and you can animate pretty much anything that is in 203 (textures, position size, rotation....) but no rigging, FK, IK I can't see a feature as big as character animation being added in a point release either so I susect Modo will not be a consideration for another year or more.

The animated GI and SSS look very good and FAST though!

Boo!
05-20-2007, 04:24 AM
...hi ALL
...had a meeting/demo showing of Maya and XSi actually being used the other day and of course there's a big difference as we all(i think) know...but " Hanabara cartoons!" they were impressive!...
...
...i was shown work by peeps who use:
...LW+XSi, blew my socks off!...(POOBY, you are soooooo right, XSi rocks!)
...LW+Maya blew my socks off!
...XSi+Maya blew my socks off!
...but these people were being very creative and it wasnt just about the software. it was about the talent AND the skills.

...Motion Builder i felt isnt really the way to go unless you are doin a lot of Mo-Cap (im not). i have used the trial version (again, very impressive) but i couldnt justify the price against Maya Complete or XSi.
...
...in short, im keepin my LW7.5 (yeah, yeah. im still waaaay back there but i LIKE it and works for me with no real probs):thumbsup: for modeling and introduce Maya Complete for animation etc.
...
...some stuff the dude did say to me was that you should think realistically about budget and what it is you actually want to achieve.
ie: if your a hobbiest the Maya pipeline will burn more than a whole in your pocket where as LW is straight outta the box with all the tools and can most def produce VERY HIGH QUALITY work for your clients if you freelance.
...
...this has been/is a great thread. i have learned a lot from readin and posting. LOVE it!.:thumbsup: :bowdown:

druitre
05-20-2007, 06:07 AM
Motionbuilder? Dunno, maybe. It's a pity that they only have a typical 30day demo.

That's what I'm saying: I've downloaded their PLE - no timelimit, just a watermark. XSI is the 30-day timelimited one.


Motion Builder i felt isnt really the way to go (...). i have used the trial version (again, very impressive) but i couldnt justify the price against Maya Complete or XSi.

Do you know how much MB costs? As I said, I can't find it on the net.

Boo!
05-20-2007, 06:53 AM
...hi Druitre

i was quoted: MotionBuilder is 2270 Plus 455 for annual support and upgrades + VAT.
that was from a reseller in the UK.
...
...i would go for XSi over MotionBuilder 7.5 personally. especially if you are using a Mac Pro where you can switch OSX to XP.
like i said, i saw XSi used in-front of my eyeballs and it has so much more to offer. interface is very much like LW. :thumbsup:
...
...I just want to remain in the OSX environment thats why im goin LW + Maya route.:D

druitre
05-20-2007, 07:08 AM
Thanks Boo!

Phew... not only a high price, but this 'annual support' thing puts me off completely. (makes me think of 'collateral damage' or 'friendly fire'; the nerve to call it 'support'. For stuff like that alone Newtek deserves eternal praise with their pricing scheme)

Pity, it has some very good features (one-button pinning/unpinning on the fly, simultaneous FK/IK without the user ever knowing about it, multiple pivotpoints for every controller) and that's what I could gather from using it just a couple of days.

What I'd like to try is see if I can do a LW setup using a combination of Maestro, IKBoost and PLG-IK. Each seems to have features to rival XSI or Motionbuilder. Has anybody ever tried something along this line?

MysteryMonkey
05-20-2007, 07:22 AM
I've been following this thread and I've read all the suggestions about the "best" software to do character animation including facial movement but now I have to ask a question.

Are there any exceptional examples of character animation and/or facial movement out there somewhere done using JUST LightWave?

pooby
05-20-2007, 07:36 AM
Lightwave can do morphs well, and with enough morphs combined with bones, you can get facial animation working ok, so there is no reason why you cant do facial animation in LW.

To do facial animation REALLY well, I believe you need to be able to animate with curves. I've just made a facial rig in XSI that is totally impossible to do in LW. Being able to do this kind of organic stuff is the main reason I moved over to XSI for animation.
this was an early test.

http://s4.quicksharing.com/v/4843652/test2.rar.html

The difference between using curves and bones/ morphs is that you can't really get skin to slide over the face with morphs and bones, so it always looks a bit stiff or has that linear morph look and a bit rubbery. With curves you can make geometry slide over a structure, making the skin look alive.

This will come to LW in time though.

Glendalough
05-20-2007, 10:33 AM
I've actually been playing around with Blender. It has some impressive features. Though, like others when you're use to one package it's really hard to change your whole way of thinking. The only other 3D apps I know to some extent is Modo because it is actually similar to LW in many ways, and Maya because I spent tons on books and DVDs. But I can't actually afford Maya itself. Hehe.

Wow, Someone using Blender!!!

Try not to bring this up again but, damnit, A new release of Blender is just out:

http://www.blender.org/development/release-logs/blender-244/


Maya's got an ugly UI but the sinister thing about it is that you can't sell it and that it dies with the owner, often wonder how people deal with this.

Do you buy a copy for the youngest member of the family like a life subscription of the National Geographic? What happens to all the deceased copies and how does Autodesk know if someone is alive or dead? (How many Maya Widows out there?) These are the (weird) questions we have to ask ourselves before we layout 6000 plus.

Suppose the trouble with Blender is that it is not used much in a production environment and thus no motive for people learning it. This is the downside of the Market Share thing.

Still maybe someday, some Lightwaver will break the Blender Barrier -"The Right Stuff", and manage to incorporate it into the Lightwave workflow.

pooby: That "animate with curves" stuff sure is interesting. Hope it does come to LW in time.

kief
05-27-2007, 12:36 AM
Love LW. But love Maya for character animation. My 2 cents.

cresshead
05-27-2007, 07:13 AM
Maya's got an ugly UI but the sinister thing about it is that you can't sell it and that it dies with the owner, often wonder how people deal with this.

Do you buy a copy for the youngest member of the family like a life subscription of the National Geographic? What happens to all the deceased copies and how does Autodesk know if someone is alive or dead? (How many Maya Widows out there?) These are the (weird) questions we have to ask ourselves before we layout 6000 plus.

.

you buy a liecense to 'use' maya, motion builder, 3dsmax...you can sell your liecense but ususally only if you also sell your company and it's name...i know that you can transfer liecense but it's cumbersome...i only know of one chap [a student of mine] who was able to buy a second hand 3dsmax 3.1 commercial.

btw i really like max for animation...but then i use quite abit of mocap.

Glendalough
05-28-2007, 06:23 AM
...you can sell your liecense but ususally only if you also sell your company and it's name...

Oh I see. This explains it all. Good to know.

PeteS
08-19-2007, 08:49 PM
hmmm...i must have deleted this post from my email updates..man has it grown!
Well, since then I'm still plugging away with using just LW CA tools. It's been working ok for now. Though I don't love it compared to what I see. I hope to be getting my new MAC PRO soon, which will open up some PC programs. Which I hate to have to learn. So now, thinking either the xsi thing..or maybe Messiah for some MOCAp work? or...wait till newtek gets their crap togheter:-)

thnaks for all the input guys!

cresshead
08-21-2007, 10:10 AM
i'd add that there's a xsi mod tool with crosstalk and a poly export capability of 64,000 polys...saves in a xsi format and has point oven...all for $0...yup free so have a look at the xsi mod tool for rigging and animating for export to lw and it could cost you zero.

you'll need to run windows btw....
http://www.softimage.com/downloads/XSI_Mod_Tool/default.aspx

Sarford
08-21-2007, 01:43 PM
PeteS, if you hurry you can still get the new XSI Essential for 2000. This includes fur and hair but also Syflex! Maya is still more of a standard then XSI but I've heard a lot of complaining on the forums about the new Maya (and Max also).

Also, new software propably isn't as tough to learn as you might think, most of the principles of 3D modeling and animation you already know. You won't begin from scratch.

cresshead
08-21-2007, 01:52 PM
yeah try the XSi mod tool first....then the xsi demo [based on foundation]...then if all is peachy...look at xsi essentials if you need ALL of those tools and not just a rigger/animation [xsi mod tool should fit that well...for free]

gatz
08-21-2007, 02:46 PM
Has anyone heard about Reflex? Looks cool, OsX only (as far as I can tell), fits into existing piplines (they say) and some folks of note seem to think it's the real thing (Cal Arts adopted it). The thing is the site is outdated and you can't buy it (unless your a studio or school). If they are going to "change the way animation is done" I wish they'd let us in on it.

http://www.digitalfish.com/

rg

Steamthrower
08-21-2007, 04:00 PM
OS X only - good news for me, bad news for all non Macs.

This stuff looks incredible - onion skin your own sketches???

I am definitely looking into this. Thanks a lot for the link.

cresshead
08-21-2007, 05:44 PM
no price, no demo , no resellers!...doh!

Steamthrower
08-22-2007, 05:50 AM
Actually, it's in beta testing right now. This is the email I got.



...Our beta program is currently a small number of animators and TDs, mostly at large studios. Our 1.0 will initially be a large studio release because supporting the pipeline needs of one or two big studios is easier than making Reflex work for individuals with a myriad of software integration issues. If you hang in there we'll have something you can try out down the line. In the meantime I'll put you down on our mailing list so you'll know when we expand our relatively limited beta program to more folks.

Thanks for the inquiry, and let me know if you have any questions or ideas...

It's a relatively new program. Still intrigues me though.

PeteS
08-23-2007, 10:03 PM
hm..reflex seems interesting..but hardly enough to sell me on. There is next to no actual hi-end charcter animations..just some basic stick figures..hell, they can be FK for all i know :-)

That xsi does seem kinda nice..the videos i've seen are great. I hope to be getting my MAC PRO quad next month, but damn..add to that price to the extra ram, graphics card, harddrive expansions..then throw in some form of windows..then xsi itself..whew!we are close to $10G's!
Then ya got the learning curve. Which even if it's easy, you still need to spend a few months before taking it into battle for real. And i'm gettin backed up with some character work already. Which means Ii need to spend my tiime doing thatr in LW. These are the times I wish I took some jobs at larger animation studios..to work along guys who already know the other programs.

I suppose I'll wait til I get the machine..then see the financial situation and make my next move from there.

Hey, did anyone hear any rumblings about modo getting CA?
Also, at sigraph last year LW guys mentioned a complete CA tool overhaul was in the works..wonder how long that will take?

cresshead
08-23-2007, 10:48 PM
if i were you i'd get windows up n running on your mac and take a look at the xsi mod tool....it's free and connects to lightwave so you can rig and animate in xsi and render and model over in lightwave.

BazC
08-24-2007, 02:48 AM
if i were you i'd get windows up n running on your mac and take a look at the xsi mod tool....it's free and connects to lightwave so you can rig and animate in xsi and render and model over in lightwave.

Exactly what I've just done, I only turned it on briefly last night so don't have a clue about using it. I presume you bring the animations into LW as mdd files? If I remeber rightly export from the mod tool is limited to 64000 tris? If your scene requires more is it easy enough to combine a number of smaller files?

colkai
08-24-2007, 03:27 AM
I know I ain't a MAC chap, but to address XSI ModTool, do Poobys example of exporting point oven to LW. It worked really well and was a breeze to do.

BazC
08-24-2007, 06:57 AM
It worked really well and was a breeze to do.

Yeah, hard to believe they're givng it away for nuthin'!

colkai
08-24-2007, 07:36 AM
ain't dat the truth?
be splitting my time on my break to play with this and get some more work done. Who knows, I may even be tempted to try modelling something in it to see how it compares. - Mind you, keeping under 64K may be a challenge unless I do it in sections.

pooby
08-24-2007, 07:44 AM
remember it's 64k before subdivision.. you can create quite a decent sized model with that.

colkai
08-24-2007, 08:39 AM
Alas, I'm working in pretty much "hard-body" mode but yup, I'll try and remember that if I'm doing patches, I can just export the cage. Always so much to learn, trying to shift coding IDE's at the same time here - must be mad.

At my age I'm *supposed* to be slowing down! :p ;)

toby
08-24-2007, 09:20 PM
At my age I'm *supposed* to be slowing down! :p ;)
I know what you mean, I just had my 39th birthday a couple years ago
As long as I act like a 12yr old it compensates -