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Stingslang
07-02-2007, 05:03 PM
Can one import certain thing from maya into lightwave such as paint fx, particles, dynamics (hair, cloth and fluids)?

toby
07-02-2007, 06:15 PM
Yes, Lightwave uses .mdd files that can be exported from Maya. I think there's a few ways but the Beaver Project
http://www.thebeaverproject.com/
is the only one I'm familiar with - it was designed specifically for Maya to LW.
Jeremy Hardin was just here talking about one called Maya2LW, if he doesn't see this thread do a search for him on the forums

Stingslang
07-02-2007, 07:23 PM
out of curiosity why is it hat people say that lightwave is a tool that is not well suited for character animation?

SplineGod
07-02-2007, 07:26 PM
It is suited for character animation. LW, as with all apps, may not suit particular peoples needs.

Stingslang
07-02-2007, 07:30 PM
I don't disagree with you. As you can tell I am a lightwave users. However, I do lighting and rendering mostly. I have a lot of friends who say that Lightwave isn't well suited to their character animation work. I'm just curious why people would think that.

vadermanchild
07-02-2007, 08:41 PM
It is suited for character animation. LW, as with all apps, may not suit particular peoples needs.

it may not suit someone who wants modern tools or I assume your talking about how LW CA suits a very VERY easy to please person.

The CA in Lightwave is known for how it features and implementation are a shadow of packages where the CA has been kept up to date.

The CA in LW is laughable...I wish it wasnt...but it is.

Stingslang
07-02-2007, 08:51 PM
however neither of you have given me any backups for your assertions.

SplineGod
07-02-2007, 10:12 PM
Theres been lots of character animation done with LW. Ive worked on two large CGI based TV series that were all done with LW (Max Steel and Dan Dare).
Ive seen quite a bit of other examples as well. Off the top of my head heres some examples:
Heres an example of several shots I did for an IMax film
http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/anims/bullfrogshots.avi
Heres a piece from Dan Dare
http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/anims/ddare.mov
Heres a pitch project I worked on with another guy (Dave Simmons) for turner classic movies.
We had a small group who helped part time. We did all of this in about 5 weeks from start to finish. I did about half the animation as well as all the rigging.
http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/anims/al_roach.avi

Heres something Dustin Adair did:
http://video.scifi.com/player/?id=114256

Heres some examples Colin Larkin did:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=UHbPcG6zD94
and Dirk
http://youtube.com/watch?v=uV3k-STOt7w&mode=related&search=
http://youtube.com/watch?v=J4LQTHIa4eU&mode=related&search=

Theres also many other examples on this and other forums if you search a bit.

GoranBackman
07-03-2007, 08:03 AM
For me doing CA in LW is just too slow and fiddly.. nevermind an IK system that's limiting (there's also another 'slap on top' type of plug called IK_Booster which just isn't integrated very well). There's a lot of small things that could work better+faster and it all adds up.. imho of course. Used to not mind doing CA in LW, still would do it if I had to. :)

I love LW but wish they wouldn't try to add too much stuff in this department actually. Might get flamed for this, but it seems a major rethink is needed to make it compete with other software, and I'd rather see they continued to improve modelling, shading and rendering.

It is very possible to do good animation in LW, but I know I'd do better and faster using something else.

Stingslang
07-03-2007, 08:44 AM
are there any third party plugins that help improve CA?

GoranBackman
07-03-2007, 08:57 AM
Messiah (projectmessiah.com) can be used as a plugin in LW but really isn't improving LW's CA as you asked for, it replaces it. Check flay.com and do some searches in the plug-in section, you should be able to find some stuff there.

omeone
07-03-2007, 09:55 AM
out of curiosity why is it hat people say that lightwave is a tool that is not well suited for character animation?

eliteism ;)

No seriously, other applications give you more customisability.

Lightwave is a bit simple ;) :D
For me, that's a good thing!

Here it is in action, so you can judge for yourself:
http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=L7hXZiO3iww

SplineGod
07-03-2007, 09:59 AM
The PLG IKTools are very useful. Check on flay.com
Im going to disagree about IKBoost. It actually integrates quite nicely.
One of the nicest things about it is that you never have to leave its interface to do anything. Its all right there. Its a lot less slapped on then other options.
Colins got a nice informative site regarding IKBoost at www.ikboost.com
Between LWs standard fulltime IK, IKboost and PLG you have 3 options that can easily be used alone or mixed on a single rig.

SplineGod
07-03-2007, 10:01 AM
I don't disagree with you. As you can tell I am a lightwave users. However, I do lighting and rendering mostly. I have a lot of friends who say that Lightwave isn't well suited to their character animation work. I'm just curious why people would think that.

One thing to also remember is that I work with people from time to time who say the same thing about just about any aspect of LW you care to mention including lighting and rendering. The nice thing is I know better. :)

faulknermano
07-03-2007, 08:27 PM
http://thespread.ghostoutpost.com/Maya2LW2.html

i remember posting the 2.5 version up for Maya8. if you use maya8 i recommend using 2.5. if you're using an earlier version (which does not support maya cache nodes) use 2.4.

faulknermano
07-03-2007, 08:57 PM
however neither of you have given me any backups for your assertions.

features are really easy enough to enumerate. however, like everything, the package is only as good as the human being interfacing with it.

you can set up a poll but it's not going to tell you if it suits you personally.

the problem is the enumeration of features vs the application of it in real world, with extenuating factors. best try it out instead, meaning Maya or something. much discussion about app is marketing, rhetoric, cultism, or somewhere in between. little practical advise gets through.

the best kind of question to ask, however, is if certain features work as advertised, because that's something that needs to be looked out for. demo versions of apps are available anyway, so you can actually find out for yourself. of course, some things need time to be learned so it's sometimes better to ask more experienced users of that app what they think. better avoid which is better at what. when shopping for hardware, for example, i tend to look at a products bad reviews. if certain points keep on appearing, i note it down and see, at the end, if that will really bug me, or if i can deal with it. i then do the same with the good points and see if the good points are my major considerations.

that said, i like Maya for any kind of animation requirement, and this is expressed by my continual development of Maya2LW2.

faulknermano
07-03-2007, 09:03 PM
btw, Maya2LW2 only supports the following data transfer:

point animation data: PC2 to MDD, or (in older versions) direct xform queries from Maya and converted to MDD

particles: direct queries from Maya and then converted to PFX files.

transformation data: direct queries from Maya (planning to utilise cache file in Maya8 in the future) and converted to proprietary M2L files.

cloth in Maya is read as polygons / points, so this is translatable to MDD files. PaintFX is primiarly a rendering module of Maya and thus is not supported. same story for fluids.

in short, anything involving particles or polygon / points can be exported to PFX or MDD. anything other than that is not.

Stingslang
07-03-2007, 09:20 PM
Does anyone have an educated guess as to when they'll make a lightwave universal binary?

toby
07-04-2007, 03:29 AM
Does anyone have an educated guess as to when they'll make a lightwave universal binary?
It's in beta right now, if you're a registered [9.0] owner you can join the beta team and start using it. So the question is 'when will it finally be released'? It's been in beta for a while now -

Stingslang
07-31-2007, 10:00 AM
does Maya2LW2 import particles, hair and lights? or is it just a vertex baker?

faulknermano
07-31-2007, 09:13 PM
Maya2LW2 *exports* particles to LW, but does not export hair or light attributes. Maya2LW2 exports only transformation data and camera attributes data in addition to vertex info. most of the functionality is geared towards getting Maya data into LW, not the other way around. you can get a LW null into Maya but it's not been optimised for that.

Stingslang
08-29-2007, 03:18 PM
once a character has been exported from maya and imported into lightwave via point oven can one then add hair to the character using sasquatch or something similar?

SplineGod
08-29-2007, 04:16 PM
yes you can. The mdd file is just point data. The object is not changed. :)

jin choung
08-30-2007, 12:11 AM
well i'm gonna say that it is definitely possible to do good animation in lw. absolutely.

but i will also say that if you spend 3 months animating characters in lw and then spend 3 months animating in maya (assuming you know both packages equally well), the difference will be like night and day.

the speed of interaction (definitely not non-negligible), the flexibility of the animation tools: graph editor, dope sheet editor, trax editor (non linear animation that is miles and years ahead of lw's implementation), the ease of rigging and enveloping, the quickness at setting up relationships and constraints....

...oh, and the fact that maya has rigorous UNDOs !!!

best way to find out is just try it.

in fact:

the out-of-the-box experience of setting up an ik system in lw vs. the experience of setting it up in maya is an excellent microcosm of the situation.

jin

jin choung
08-30-2007, 12:18 AM
also, it would be interesting (if unfair) to see the BEST character animation ever done in lw vs. the best char anim done in other packages.

or to be more fair, the best high profile character animation done in lw vs. the high profile done in others....

it's unfair because the bigger budjet projects simply don't use lw for ca....

but it would be interesting to see the nominees....

jin

jin choung
08-30-2007, 02:49 AM
well i think polygonal modeling is better in lw too... but we're talking about character animation. i'll bet NO ONE in the maya forums wants their animation stuff to be more like lw!

anyhoo, someone else posted this before and i'm gonna post it again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxVuJ7Dryaw&mode=related&search=

but this is a pretty good demo of what lw is capable of. it IS capable.

it is not completely incompetent when it comes to CA.

but it's more painful. and not quite as nice in terms of flexibility and exposure of internal settings.

but it is capable.

jin

jin choung
08-30-2007, 03:07 AM
i agree with that...

but i don't think there's really a danger of people gonig from "not the best character anim package" to "lw is complete crap".

:)

lw does indeed have genuinely great features and they're pretty well known even in other communities as you point out.

jin

pooby
08-30-2007, 05:34 AM
The term 'Character animation' is so broad, I see a lot of confusion over what LW can and cant do well.
A great animator can animate anything well. even a bunch of matchsticks in front of a cine camera.
You can animate a skeleton of bones walking along in LW as well as in any other package. It doens't provide you with as many nice keyframe shifting and manipulationg tools as some, but the basics are there and for that particular task, it's fine.
When it comes to a character sitting down, rolling on the floor, pciking things up etc. in other words, reacting in a more complex way to the environment, then you are going to need a rig that can swap from different root points of contact, and there will be a lot of constraint blending going on.. This is NOT good in LW.
Neither is it good if you want a rig that is more than just a skeleton of bones. Ie. using curves for making organic stretchy rigs etc.
But the main problem is in LW's deformations. Without a way of re-sculpting in pose, for making morphs, LW makes things very difficult and also no stackable deformers that can be applied to localised areas of the model.
In LW it's a case of, bring in the object and put bones in and that's pretty much all you have.
In other packages such as XSI , you have access to all the modelling deformation tools that can be applied LIVE as the rig moves, all blending on and off depending on angles of rotation, or the distance between points on the geometry.
You have pretty much god like control over anything on the mesh and anything can drive anything else with no breakages, exceptions or convoluted workarounds.

omeone
08-30-2007, 05:49 AM
Have to vociferously agree Pooby, about great animators, but especially about deformations being the real problem.


When it comes to a character sitting down, rolling on the floor, pciking things up etc. in other words, reacting in a more complex way to the environment, then you are going to need a rig that can swap from different root points of contact, ... ... This is NOT good in LW.

disagree with that of course ;)

SplineGod
08-30-2007, 06:49 AM
I also disagree. Changing contact points on the fly is quite simple to do in IKBoost.

pooby
08-30-2007, 07:08 AM
Yes it is in IK boost.

But I don't consider Ik boost to be anywhere close to being a decent production tool for the kind of animation rigs that professional animators want to use. This is all in my own experience. I respect the fact that I'm not the authority on it all.

I am fully aware of the fact that both of you like Ik boost and disagree with me , but I've still never seen anything done with it that would convince me its a good tool for producing fluid organic body movement. My own tests convinced me that it's not, so I'm going along with my findings unless proved otherwise but I feel it's a matter of case closed for me. My days of discussing IK boost are over.

SplineGod
08-30-2007, 10:45 PM
So how do you define professional animators Paul? Ive always understood it to be anyone paid to perform a service. I know people doing many different levels of character animation in LW and they get paid to do it. I think youve got a pretty narrow view of what is or isnt professional.

Youve also made blanket statements about LW not having good keyframe shifting and manipulation tools or that LW cant change contact points on the fly. Lots of completely untrue or half true statements.

Testing something doesnt make you an expert with the software or tools. That typically takes months of using something on a daily basis to make an accurate determination. You make these blanket statements about IKBoost then in the same breath say that youre not an authority on it at all.

That being the case youre not doing anyone any favors with your comments because based on your own admission, you dont know it.

In the past youve posted videos demonstrating what you feel is good about XSI. Id like to see you post some little videos showing what precisely it is about IKboost that makes you feel that its unsuitable for "professional" character work. Show us what specfically is so bad about it that makes it unsuitable for producing fluid organic body movement. Im sure with all the testing youve done that it shouldnt be hard for you to do and would be very informative.

pooby
08-31-2007, 01:39 AM
I have neither the time nor the inclination.

'Id like to see you post some little videos showing what precisely it is about IKboost that makes you feel that its unsuitable for "professional" character work. Show us what specfically is so bad about it that makes it unsuitable for producing fluid organic body movement. Im sure with all the testing youve done that it shouldnt be hard for you to do and would be very informative.
'

you can't prove a negative.

omeone
08-31-2007, 02:18 AM
I respect the fact that I'm not the authority on it all.
fair 'nuff

My days of discussing IK boost are over.

me too believe it or not (well argueing about it's validity anyway). I posted on this thread to agree with with Pooby on two points I feel strongly about.

I always use this example, but I'll use it again: Look at Chorlton and the Wheelies (http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=h9muQ1CV4oY). The animation was kept very very non-technical, yet it was engaging, appealling, really entertaining and highly professional.

If I want to create something even near as good as that - the last thing I'm want to worry about is which software I use or how I use that software. I just want it to be as easy as possible and not to break, so I can focus on other more important things. IKB ticks both boxes for me and that's fine, I'm not playing the evangelist anymore.

The other point was about deformations.
If I get a pose that looks brilliant, and all the angles and curves are balanced and it really works for the scene, and the squash and stretch is building nicely and I just know it's right... but there's one joint on it where my mesh is collapsing in on itself...

...and I know if I was in modeler, a little bit of magnet would sort it out before I could even think about it.

But no, I have to go and adjust Bone properties, maybe weight maps, maybe even add morphs, maybe even add more Bones, maybe go nuts with displacements, hope against hope it will work...then settle for something that is almost right, hope it doesn't break any other poses, feck that!

Animated mesh adjustments from Modeler tools would have fixed it seconds and I'd be happily on my way onto the next Pose and probably the one after that.

SplineGod
08-31-2007, 08:48 AM
I have neither the time nor the inclination.

'Id like to see you post some little videos showing what precisely it is about IKboost that makes you feel that its unsuitable for "professional" character work. Show us what specfically is so bad about it that makes it unsuitable for producing fluid organic body movement. Im sure with all the testing youve done that it shouldnt be hard for you to do and would be very informative.
'

you can't prove a negative.

Colin and Dirk have both posted up videos showing that IKBoost is more then capable of creating nice organic body motions. Apparently you have the time and inclination to speak negatively about the tools when you admittedly dont know them. You also seem to have the time to constantly hawk XSI in a LW forum. If the tools are as bad as you say then it should be quite easy to demonstrate how they fall short though I suspect that it would do more to demonstrate your ignorance of them rather then any weakness in the tools.

pooby
08-31-2007, 09:04 AM
I'm not getting into an argument about Ik boost again.

I 'hawk' XSI because my findings on that are that it's an excellent addition to fill in for the current shortcomings in LW.
I am encouraged to see that many have looked at XSI recently and are showing the same enthusiasm I have for it.

SplineGod
08-31-2007, 09:28 AM
Thats wonderful Paul. Its just that this is a LW support forum and pretty much everyone interested in XSI knows where those support forums are. So far hawking XSI here hasnt helped me nor anyone else learn LW any better or get the most out of it. Also hawking it is one thing but trying to do so by claiming that LW cant do certain things when you admitted that you dont know those tools is deceptive.
First you pointed out that LW cant do certain things. When it was pointed out to you then you try and claim that the tools arent up to profressional work then finally you admit that you simply dont know them. How is that supposed to be a fair, professional assessment and how does that actually help anyone? Sounds more like the tactics of the used car salesman.
Someone I doubt that I would be well received going into XSI, Maya, Max support forums, pointing out deficiencies in parts of those apps (especially when I dont really know those aspects ) and then start constantly hawking LW like a broken record.

pooby
08-31-2007, 09:36 AM
I haven't admitted not knowing anything, but anyway, I respect your opinion in this matter. Thanks for listening.

SplineGod
08-31-2007, 09:47 AM
Sorry Paul,
I can see how your statements regarding IKBoost would convince anyone that
you were an authority...

I respect the fact that I'm not the authority on it all.

Regardless....Ive always found it to be bad form to push competing apps in other forums. I have enough sense not to do it. Again, last time I checked th is was a LW forum. Its too bad you didnt decide to not talk about IKB before you made your statements about it in the first place.

omeone
08-31-2007, 09:53 AM
Colin and Dirk have both posted up videos showing that IKBoost is more then capable of creating nice organic body motions.

thanks Larry, I have plenty more building here at the moment as part of a short (and I think much improved from that previous stuff). I'd love if you could give them a quick glance before I release them (about 6 weeks, hopefully)?

SplineGod
08-31-2007, 10:03 AM
Colin, I know a fair number of ppl out here in LA who are very iinterested and excited by IKB. We are using it on a project and its very easy to teach others how to use it. Those videos youve posted are really quite nice. As we get some things done that we can show Ill post those as well. Id definitely be interested in checking those videos out. Thanks!
BTW Ill be demonstrating IKBoost at the LA User group meeting. Do you mind if I show some things youve done with it?

omeone
08-31-2007, 10:08 AM
of course not Larry, so long as you keep the volume down, you would probably need a translator for my thick bogger accent!

they'd be a helluva lot nicer if I was to do them today, but hey - such is life.
If you need something high resolution, let me know and I'll have a look in the archives.

SplineGod
08-31-2007, 10:59 AM
Higher rez ones would be nice. Ill let you know.
I didnt have any problems understanding you. :)
I know what you mean about the workflow improving
as you get into it more. Theres a lot of great tools there.
BTW have you ever checked out Jeff Lews animation
videos. He uses animation master to teach from and
states that if your software has some basic tools you
can do nice animation. What was interesting to me
was that most of what he described is already within
IKBoost. Hes got a half hour clip on his site.
www.jefflew.com
Thanks again! :)

omeone
08-31-2007, 02:40 PM
I have, I bought the video!
Couple of questions you might know the answers to actually...

Did you ever get 'Apply' to work correctly for IKB objects? I can only get it working for standard SRT animations...

Have you had any trouble with Save Motion? I'm finding if the hieracrchy isn't named to the same conventions that MotionMixer need then it will only load the first frame. BUT, if there is anything like a camera in the hierarchy - instant crash to desktop. I have FogBugzed it, but the only reply I got was "can't reproduce the problem here"

Glendalough
08-31-2007, 03:03 PM
No need to start beating up on Pooby. Glad here he has told us all about XSI and it is good people speak out and give advice on how to cope with Lightwave.

With the new free gamer version of xsi or Blender we have a free solution. Basically, Lightwave CA is not worth learning at the moment especially as it is supposed to be updated, so you're just struggling with an obsolete whatever. It would be better learning something else in the meantime.

omeone gave me kind words in another thread when I had spent ages being abused by the LW CA system. He said it takes 5 years to learn CA. But I have actually been using the LW CA system on and off, in a small way for more than 5 years, only do soap opera type of action. Still it is hardest part of LW by a long stretch and think it is unrealistic that one can't learn something so basic (just simple movements) in a few months.

Fortunately the freedom of expression here is not like a lot of other odious forums with a nazi style of administration and this is surely a BIG PLUS and actually makes people stick with Newtek.

omeone
08-31-2007, 03:35 PM
:eek:
where did i say that!??

some people are born animators, and only need to learn the medium they use, which can take from a day to year depending on their ability and aptitude...

some people are not born animators and need to learn animation first... then the tools... some masters at Disney often said they spent 20 years before they felt competent...

it could take you a day or it could take you a lifetime, dont waste your time prognosticating and procrastinating about software development cos you'll never get anywhere...

Glendalough
08-31-2007, 04:11 PM
:eek:
where did i say that!??

some people are born animators, and only need to learn the medium they use, which can take from a day to year depending on their ability and aptitude...

some people are not born animators and need to learn animation first... then the tools... some masters at Disney often said they spent 20 years before they felt competent...

it could take you a day or it could take you a lifetime, dont waste your time prognosticating and procrastinating about software development cos you'll never get anywhere...

Must have been hallucinating (I'm stuck on the old sod), somehow got the impression that you said 5 years??? It just felt like so long to learn:

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65751&page=17

Been working flat out doing fluid simulations, Blender to Lightwave, maybe this is the reason. Of course, nothing compared to bones!

Maybe it's just the whole character animation thing in any App seems so backward! It seems no one has worked out a logical solution. I always felt much Disney (character) Animation was irritating and repetitive. The cliche plays such a big part in a lot of classic stuff. For very simple animation the guy who did the Monty Python stuff was exceptionally good.

omeone
08-31-2007, 04:30 PM
phew!

If you want to know times, it took me about 5 months to learn IKB for CA, that was starting from scratch, crap or even misleading documentation, a full-time job to juggle, that daily dublin commute, two demanding children, building a website and making tutorials, and building a 3D business which meant lots of nixers... I was probably getting 5-6 hours a week to look at IKB.

I reckon if I sat with someone, I could get them up to speed with what I know about IKB in a day! which is a bit sad since it took me so long :)

Hey, I felt the same backward thing about 3D CA, that's why IKB was a breath of fresh air, it's much more simple if you can get your brain into first gear again after training it to go in reverse for so long. But animation itself is very difficult for most people, no matter what the medium. The good news is that it is equally rewarding.

and it's very refreshing to hear you don't fawn all over disney animation, wonderfull as it is, there is so much more out there.

Terry Gilliam (Monthy Python) is another great example of doing things a bit different. Animation should be fun to make as well as watch. He's responsible (with the rest of the Pythons, I suppose) for my love of surrealism.

jin choung
08-31-2007, 11:02 PM
you guys are gonna have to follow me on splitting hairs but there's a point that needs to be made that requires some fine hair splitting.

- terry gilliam's monty python openings are not great animation.
- robot chicken is not great animation.

do you understand the sense in which i'm using the word animation here?

terry gilliam's monty python stuff is GREAT animation! robot chicken is GREAT animation!

but they are not great animation. follow?

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

the totality of what they are, their combination of movement and style and content is a unique brand of animation that is perfect for what it is trying to be.

but it is not the finest example of "classical" animation that conveys acting and verissimilitude of movement through 24 frames per second.

disney maybe trite and stale and boring but for the most part, it is GREAT ANIMATION.

pixar is GREAT ANIMATION.

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

now, the reason why i bring that up:

IKB may be PERFECT for creating monty python or robot chicken.

BUT IS ikb good for creating disney, for creating pixar. for flawless, glitchless (and this is big... is there motion that is unintentional in there? THAT IS BAD!) motion?

for best putting into effect all the elements of anticipation, weight, follow through, successively breaking joints, etc. ?

in other words, animation is not great SIMPLY BECAUSE IT MOVES.

http://www.animationmentor.com/index.cfm

this stuff is really good animation.

so again, for people who have an eye to judge good animation from bad, is ikb capable of producing good animation?

that... is the PROPER question i believe.

jin

jin choung
08-31-2007, 11:05 PM
oh, and for the most part, most of us in the industry only care about whether something can do DISNEY or PIXAR "ANIMATION".

cuz if you can do disney and pixar, you can easily do monty python, technically speaking of course.

if you can do monty python, there is no guarantee whatsoever that you are CAPABLE of doing pixar.

jin

SplineGod
09-01-2007, 12:19 AM
I agee with Colin here. If you piss and moan all the time about software youll never ever learn to animate. I also agree about how long it really took to get the hang of IKBoost because of the lack of docs etc. Now that I know how it works I can teach this system to someone very easily in a day or less as opposed to the older system. IKBoost is very elegant and is far better integrated into the rest of LW then anything else. A typical character can be rigged quickly with far less headaches then the old way and a person can be off and animating rather then focusing on putting a great deal of time and effort into some uber-rig.
We are using it on a long project where Ive been working at. Those Ive had to show it to have picked it up very quickly.

jin choung
09-01-2007, 12:34 AM
but does the animation look good?

jin

SplineGod
09-01-2007, 12:44 AM
Put it this way, the animation will look as good as the animator puts into it and the level of skill theyve attained. IKBoost will not be the limitation.
Most bad animation Ive seen produced by most packages out there is usually due to the lack of skill on the part of the animator rather then the toolset and believe me Ive seen alot. :)
Unfortunately most people who are figuring out IKB are for the most part just discovering it. It would have been nice to have had some meaningful documentation from the beginning on it.

omeone
09-01-2007, 04:26 AM
jin, you dont mean 'classical' animation - you mean disney animation.

While it is wonderful, I do not want to replicate it. Yes, every animator needs to understand the principles behind it and it is a great exercise to copy it, but a lot of us feel the need to find out own voices...

animation mentor teaches disney animation... and its a great place to get started (by the way - go to jasonryananimation.com for a better priced alternative) but it is gol darn sickly sweet, it becomes less and less fun to make. Animation has to be fun to make to, no?

for me there is no difference between GREAT and great animation, the purpose of animation is to make people laugh and cry, think and think some more... animation is only one small part of your overall story...

and it's easy to produce disney animation with IKB, why? because it lets you animate without getting in your way, you dont have to think about how it works, you only think about the ingredients animation needs: pose, weight, timing etc etc

jin choung
09-01-2007, 04:56 AM
that's fine that you don't want to replicate it. that's great. everyone should have their own voice.

but the thing is, "disney animation" is the hardest kind of animation to do technically speaking.

and i have yet to see any kind of lw animation (never mind ikb animation) that comes close to that.

now that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. just I HAVE NOT SEEN IT.

soooo... anyone got any links?

anyone got any links to ikb animation that can hold a candle to the animation mentor stuff? heck, any lw character animation at all? that to your eye, honestly, is as good or better?

to say that it's possible is one thing. to demonstrate it is another.

jin

omeone
09-01-2007, 05:11 AM
well... i can hardly claim to be much of an animator yet... and there is no way I claim to be as good as anyone at Pixar or Disney - but let me PM you a couple of seconds, I am trying to have my own style - it's supposed to a bit plastic-y with a taste of The Muppets, but I think the movement is still nice...

omeone
09-01-2007, 05:21 AM
but the thing is, "disney animation" is the hardest kind of animation to do technically speaking.

hmmm I would think Ryan Larkin's 'Walking' was much harder, some of the forced perspectives in there blew my mind...

jin choung
09-01-2007, 05:49 AM
perspective isn't animation. an extreme example of that would be to simply shoot a lw anim with a fisheye lens.

regardless of perspective, what about the motion... that's animation. and "disney animation" is the one that deeply cares about all the principles of animation.

so animation as distinct from composition or subject matter or etc etc etc.

so i stand by my statement: "disney animation" (pixar animation... heck, i'm gonna even stick by original statement "classical animation") is the hardest kind of animation to do because it cares about the motion.

jin

omeone
09-01-2007, 06:24 AM
perspective isn't animation. an extreme example of that would be to simply shoot a lw anim with a fisheye lens.

sorry jin, to come out with a statement like that?

you don't want animation - you want mo-cap

Glendalough
09-01-2007, 06:45 AM
...so i stand by my statement: "disney animation" (pixar animation... heck, i'm gonna even stick by original statement "classical animation") is the hardest kind of animation to do because it cares about the motion.

jin

Disney and Pixar animation may be the most complex, and thus hardest to perform, but not necessarily the best. There often is just too much movement, overkill which is visually irritating. And also, talking about style, this leads to a feeling that they think the viewer is a moron, like a foregone conclusion how to express things,

The Terry Gilliam animations are crude, but the timing and movement with the sound effects are parsed in an original voice which is speaking clearly. It's just the Disney preconceptions really bring down the potential power of their animations. The lack of any individuality and the strong presence the animation machine can really be stifling.

The software is the means of implementing the animators ideas, talented or not. What needs to be fixed is that there should be an expedient way of doing this with immediate results like most other areas of 3D. As soon as a render is done you can adjust the surface or light, or the parameter of particles over a series of frame. With the CA it is hard to see just what has happened (Is it what you set out or some tech. mess up?), get any idea across, and adjust it and move on.

But going back to Pixar, in this case 'Cars', the last film I've looked at closely, the animation of the autos being so controversial. Felt there were certain areas where it was more laid back and relaxed and thus superior to Mr Incredible.

In this film (Cars) just wonder how much if any of this was motion capture (BVH??) transposed? At one end of the spectrum you have a simple short hand type of CA (Terry Gilliam) which is definitely handmade, man made. But as the level of complexity goes up you are approaching the direct mimicking of human actions (often heavily exaggerated, like a stage comedian in the Disney mode IMHO).

The logical conclusion of this is that the very near future of commercial animation is going to be heavily edited Motion Capture/BVH like files. This means animators should be practicing mime movements if they hope to incorporate original ideas into their work or else editing other peoples motion capture files.

Glendalough
09-01-2007, 06:50 AM
sorry jin, to come out with a statement like that?

you don't want animation - you want mo-cap

This is it exactly!

Also, the idea that animation should be fun is really to the point.

omeone
09-01-2007, 07:14 AM
nicely written Gledalough,

although I try be careful not to bemoan Pixar's style. They need to do it, they are commercial, and if they have 100 animators working on 100 shots, that styles need to be well defined, so the feature holds together. Heck, if they offered me a job tomorrow, would I turn them down? No way - more likely to bite their hand off! :D

I guess when I watch an animation, I want to something new, to be surprised, to be delighted. Pixar are a bit tied up because of their circumstances. If they try something new and it doesn't work it will hurt them big, if I do it, it doesn't hurt anyone.

I would like to think that when Pixar hire - they don't just look for someone who replicates their style perfectly, they look for the ability to that and maybe add some originality too.

jin choung
09-01-2007, 02:02 PM
nope. i'm not AT ALL, talking about motion capture.

if you look at and implement all the principles of classical animation (and this is NOT just disney, everyone from the classic warner brothers cartoons, chuck jones and others, tex avery... these early pioneers came up with these principles... so again, i stand by "classical animation") (again, anticipation, follow through, momentum, successively breaking joint, overshoot, squash and stretch, etc) you do NOT get reality.

just like a single cartoon drawing, you get CARICATURE.

you get STYLIZATION.

just as an actor's movements and words (from the script) are INTENTIONAL and NON ARBITRARY, animation takes out everything from real life that is dull or ambiguous or doesn't contribute to the intended effect.

real life contains NOISE. this doesn't exist in classical animation.

that's why you will never mistake good animation with mocap.

heck, at the end of ratatouille, they have a little funny disclaimer that usually gets a round of applause from animation fans - "QUALITY GUARANTEE, absolutely no mo cap!"

so you misunderstand. i know the difference between "classical animation" and mocap and i am CERTAINLY not talking about mocap.

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

and there's LOTS of simpler styles of animation that is GREAT for what they intend to be. they don't care that much about the motion but they are clever and form fits function.

but to use an analogy, someone who is a GREAT PUNK ROCK GUITARIST who is fantastic on stage and makes awesome punk rock music cannot TECHNICALLY play CLASSICAL MUSIC (beethoven, mozart, etc).

technically, he knows how to use 3 chords really well for his songs.

but someone who can play classical music can (technically) easily do punk rock music.

this is what i mean when i say that pixar animation is technically the hardest kind of animation.

and that is why if they DO hire someone who is punk rock, his work must give some indication that he is CAPABLE of playing classical music.

jin

toby
09-01-2007, 02:03 PM
Disney and Pixar animation may be the most complex, and thus hardest to perform, but not necessarily the best. There often is just too much movement, overkill which is visually irritating. And also, talking about style, this leads to a feeling that they think the viewer is a moron, like a foregone conclusion how to express things,

The Terry Gilliam animations are crude, but the timing and movement with the sound effects are parsed in an original voice which is speaking clearly. It's just the Disney preconceptions really bring down the potential power of their animations. The lack of any individuality and the strong presence the animation machine can really be stifling.
Jin is correct in making the distinction between 'classical' animation and 'enjoyable' animation, in this context. To say that classical animation is tired or boring has nothing to do with whether it can be done in LW or not.
I adore the way South Park people walk without moving their legs, but to say that the animator is just as skilled at ca, or their tools are just as good as Disney, just because I enjoy it, is non sequitur. One has no idea of whether the animator is capable of doing good secondary movement, or follow-through, or sense of weight, for example. If people complain that they want to be able to do "photoreal" (the industry standard for 'good enough') animation, and that LW can't do it, showing them stylized animation that LW can do is not really an answer.

A distinction should also be made between 2D and 3D 'classical' animation, 2D requires drawing and perspective skill, 3D doesn't -

omeone
09-01-2007, 02:41 PM
ah your talking about animation for animators, about 0.1% of your audience.
Don't tell me the audience for Happy Feet knew or cared that it was loaded with mo-cap, cos they didn't. Only animators cared.

This discussion has really gone towards peoples taste and preference, and there's no accounting for that, good or bad.

BTW, Jimi Hendrix couldn't read music, but he could play Mozart after one listen with his eyes closed. That parallel is a question of talent.

As for my own personal taste: animation without noise is awful. There you go.

Hey if you wanna animate like Pixar, go to their school, no problem.

toby
09-01-2007, 03:13 PM
So Pixar is wasting their time by animating better than the general public consciously appreciates? You could say the same thing about lighting, texturing, editing, story, etc. Why do you think that every one of their movies is rated higher than Happy Feet? Because they DON'T say that. I'm sure glad they don't share your philosophy.

And again, let's try to stay focused; this has *nothing* to do with whether LW can do that level of animation. I'm still wondering about this.

Sekhar
09-01-2007, 03:17 PM
Well, I guess the question is CAN LW do Disney/Pixar kind of animation if one wants to do it. Till there's an example we can see, I suppose the answer is no.

We had a presentation recently in San Diego by Rob Cozzens, who did Sara and the Starfish (http://www.saraandthestarfish.com/). He said he modeled the characters in LW, but when it came to animation had to switch (I think to Maya). I felt really disappointed.

jin choung
09-01-2007, 03:36 PM
right.

i want lw to be able to say, i can do HARD, classical, disney, pixar animation really fast and really well.

i DO NOT need to hear that lw can do monty python, robot chicken or south park (all of which i really love) really fast and really well!

my goodness, the fact that that actually had to be said....

anyhoo, here's some nifty stuff:

http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?doit=done&tt=url&intl=1&fr=bf-home&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fnoboyama.sakura.ne.jp%2Flightwa ve_plugin%2Fautomaton%2Fdoc%2Findex.html&lp=ja_en&btnTrUrl=Translate

and

http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/maestro/

evidently, the japanese one came out first and is free and it seems like the second one got a lot of ideas from the first one and is commercial... but they seem to offer the kind of control you get in maya rigs.

jin

Glendalough
09-01-2007, 04:00 PM
Jin is correct in making the distinction between 'classical' animation and 'enjoyable' animation, in this context. To say that classical animation is tired or boring has nothing to do with whether it can be done in LW or not.
I adore the way South Park people walk without moving their legs, but to say that the animator is just as skilled at ca, or their tools are just as good as Disney, just because I enjoy it, is non sequitur. One has no idea of whether the animator is capable of doing good secondary movement, or follow-through, or sense of weight, for example. If people complain that they want to be able to do "photoreal" (the industry standard for 'good enough') animation, and that LW can't do it, showing them stylized animation that LW can do is not really an answer.

A distinction should also be made between 2D and 3D 'classical' animation, 2D requires drawing and perspective skill, 3D doesn't -

The analogies here are not quite fair. Animation being fun to do can have far reaching consequences, and like music, heavy and laborious stuff can impact the listener.

You could say a highly skilled and very correctly executed portrait with all the layers of paint and varnish by some 'academic' master would pale, look very inferior beside an oil sketch by a true master done in a few hours. I am not talking about something abstract or avant-garde, but something representational.

You need to compare Classical Music to Jazz. Both these are highly skilled in very different ways. Compare Beethoven to Louis Armstrong (Hendrix hasn't been dead long enough to judge maybe). There is no way one can be seen as superior. A punk rock musician can't be put in such an equation.

The point of doing highly technical CA for motion picture at it's highest commercial level with Lightwave seems irrelevant. Obviously, some application specific program is going to be used. If one was talking about special effects it would be different.

As far as Disney is concerned, the gloss and just the sheer high quality of the end result comes into play. By this I mean the GRAPHIC quality of the final renders, an hour or is it 6 on a very powerful machine for just one frame. Terry Gilliam is perhaps too stark a comparison to Disney, but there is a lot of other stuff that has passed a level of complexity that is on par with Disney which is a standard but to say it is THE STANDARD is not right.

There's a lot of European things to the same standard, but the graphic quality compared to Disney is pretty inferior. Also this stuff doesn't get exposure which puts it at a perceived disadvantage. But when something like the Wallace&G films, with enough financial backing, gets out it gets noticed. Also, in America there is a lot of fairly low budget (compared to Disney) TV stuff which in some cases is really just as good.

Disney's extra complexity doesn't always play to it's advantage. They have a bit of the General Motors syndrome, which we all know, but isn't this why and how Pixar outdid them. By what ever that law is (?), it should began happening faster and faster.

jin choung
09-01-2007, 04:17 PM
The point of doing highly technical CA for motion picture at it's highest commercial level with Lightwave seems irrelevant. Obviously, some application specific program is going to be used.


why? and would you consider maya a "application specific program"?

fine, i want lw to be able to do jazz and classical music. the analogy being drawn was to illustrate the idea that we don't want lw's selling point to be that it can do punk music really fast and really easy.

can we agree on that point?

that we want lw to be able to compete at the highest levels of accomplishment?

that when we say that south park is FANTASTIC but it is punk rock, can we not agree on that?

this should be a non controversial point.

WE WANT LW TO BE CAPABLE.

jin

jin choung
09-01-2007, 04:20 PM
put another way:

THERE IS INDEED A HIERARCHY OF COMPLEXITY when it comes to character animation.

regardless of merit of message or graphic quality or sheen or whatever. JUST IN THE ANIMATION.

i am saying that what is questionable is whether lw can be used to create stuff AT THE TOP of that hierarchy. and if so, I HAVE NOT SEEN IT. reveal the nature of your eye and show me.

jin

omeone
09-01-2007, 05:21 PM
i am saying that what is questionable is whether lw can be used to create stuff AT THE TOP of that hierarchy. and if so, I HAVE NOT SEEN IT.


Is that all you want to know?

Do you think if you took 100 of the worlds best animators, put them in a room with LightWave for 3 years and let them do 2 seconds of animation a week, that it would fall short of anything by Pixar?? Of course it wouldn't.

Why havent you seen it? Because the companies with these kind of resources have their custom solutions.

Do you want to compete with Pixar? Do you want match them? Either way you will need massive amounts of time, money and talent.

Small independant artists need to work smarter, and the work itself need to be fun to do!

omeone
09-01-2007, 05:30 PM
Why do you think that every one of their movies is rated higher than Happy Feet?

Maybe it's because your typical Pixar feature has better story, better writing, better characters and most of all better marketing strategy? Then again, maybe not, maybe it's because one is hand animated and the other used some mo-cap.

toby
09-01-2007, 05:35 PM
The analogies here are not quite fair. Animation being fun to do can have far reaching consequences, and like music, heavy and laborious stuff can impact the listener.
I don't know where 'fun to do' came from, that hasn't been the topic, so I don't see how I couyldv'e been unfair about it-


You could say a highly skilled and very correctly executed portrait with all the layers of paint and varnish by some 'academic' master would pale, look very inferior beside an oil sketch by a true master done in a few hours. I am not talking about something abstract or avant-garde, but something representational.
Obviously skill can trump better tools, what I said is that you can't show something like South Park and say "See? The tools they use can do great animation".


You need to compare Classical Music to Jazz. Both these are highly skilled in very different ways. Compare Beethoven to Louis Armstrong (Hendrix hasn't been dead long enough to judge maybe). There is no way one can be seen as superior. A punk rock musician can't be put in such an equation.

Ok, so what is the 'Jazz' that LW can do?? I hope you're not just trying to run this issue around in circles, that seems to be what we're doing -


The point of doing highly technical CA for motion picture at it's highest commercial level with Lightwave seems irrelevant. Obviously, some application specific program is going to be used. If one was talking about special effects it would be different.
? Why is it irrelevant? We're not comparing LW to proprietary tools. What it sounds like you're saying is "LW may not do high-end stuff, but it doesn't need to, so it's just as good as Maya".


As far as Disney is concerned, the gloss and just the sheer high quality of the end result comes into play. By this I mean the GRAPHIC quality of the final renders, an hour or is it 6 on a very powerful machine for just one frame. Terry Gilliam is perhaps too stark a comparison to Disney, but there is a lot of other stuff that has passed a level of complexity that is on par with Disney which is a standard but to say it is THE STANDARD is not right.

There's a lot of European things to the same standard, but the graphic quality compared to Disney is pretty inferior. Also this stuff doesn't get exposure which puts it at a perceived disadvantage. But when something like the Wallace&G films, with enough financial backing, gets out it gets noticed. Also, in America there is a lot of fairly low budget (compared to Disney) TV stuff which in some cases is really just as good.

Disney's extra complexity doesn't always play to it's advantage. They have a bit of the General Motors syndrome, which we all know, but isn't this why and how Pixar outdid them. By what ever that law is (?), it should began happening faster and faster.
Disney is just an example. Hopefully we don't split another hair and start arguing about what the 'standard' is, we'll be here all year

Glendalough
09-01-2007, 05:43 PM
why? and would you consider maya a "application specific program"?

fine, i want lw to be able to do jazz and classical music. the analogy being drawn was to illustrate the idea that we don't want lw's selling point to be that it can do punk music really fast and really easy.

can we agree on that point?

that we want lw to be able to compete at the highest levels of accomplishment?

that when we say that south park is FANTASTIC but it is punk rock, can we not agree on that?

this should be a non controversial point.

WE WANT LW TO BE CAPABLE.

jin

No, maya is not an application specific program. Modo is, for all practical purposes, in the present context, its just a modeler. So are Zbrush and Mudbox.

What do Pixar use? I thought they had their own proprietorial, written on the spot stuff? Also when Maya is backed by a whole team of engineers, it's hardly a brand product, anything anyone can buy.

The skill and ability of the animator was an earlier theme here and thus Disney is bound to get a thrashing.

I am one of the complainers here and am mystified why it's so hard to get something that works, but don't see the need to bring Lightwave's CA to a level of performance that would have to be beyond anything else.

Of course we all want Lightwave to be capable, but the future could hold more specialization, and maybe CA and modeling should be done in other programs. The strength of the core features, rendering and scene management (which are good when its not crashing) are what is really essential for its survival IMHO.

toby
09-01-2007, 06:05 PM
Maybe it's because your typical Pixar feature has better story, better writing, better characters and most of all better marketing strategy? Then again, maybe not, maybe it's because one is hand animated and the other used some mo-cap.
I see, so they might as well use LW to animate... since animation is the only thing that doesn't need to be really good...?

Pixar cares about all those things. That's why I wrote:

You could say the same thing about lighting, texturing, editing, story, etc. Why do you think that every one of their movies is rated higher than Happy Feet? Because they DON'T say that.
That's what makes them successful, the fact that they don't say "the general public can't tell the difference, so we'll do it the cheap-easy way".
You can't just pick and choose what makes Pixar successful, or make an assumption of what the general public responds to, just so you can say 'LW character tools are good enough'.

Glendalough
09-01-2007, 06:11 PM
I don't know where 'fun to do' came from, that hasn't been the topic, so I don't see how I couyldv'e been unfair about it-

Obviously skill can trump better tools, what I said is that you can't show something like South Park and say "See? The tools they use can do great animation".

Ok, so what is the 'Jazz' that LW can do?? I hope you're not just trying to run this issue around in circles, that seems to be what we're doing -

? Why is it irrelevant? We're not comparing LW to proprietary tools. What it sounds like you're saying is "LW may not do high-end stuff, but it doesn't need to, so it's just as good as Maya".

Disney is just an example. Hopefully we don't split another hair and start arguing about what the 'standard' is, we'll be here all year

Hi Toby,

'Fun to do' is in the context of rating Disney type animations which came up here as a separate issue. I didn't mean you were being unfair about it, but was referring to jin's comparisons which I thought you had read since you mentioned "tired or boring".

Really quite a few issues have been brought up and cross wired. I'm not backing South Park and claiming lightwave can do Jazz as opposed to any other kind of music, animation, I'm just saying to start using very unflattering comparisons suggests a preconception of the position of Disney, Lightwave or wacky animators.

Everyone knows that Maya is better at CA, but this is all irrelevant as I just said, and if people are speaking of Pixar they are comparing LW to proprietary tools. I think this is where a lot of the cross wiring or misunderstanding is happening.

omeone
09-01-2007, 06:20 PM
:lol: toby

let's go back to monty Python for a second...

I'm not here for an arguement, just for an arguements sake.

Don't try to reinterpret my words to mean something they don't. Your trying to attack something that you've imagined up all by yourself.

I'm not having a go at Pixar, they are the best at what they do.

I'm championing small independant and quirky animation. I'm also saying I enjoy it much more than Pixar.

I'm trying to prevent budding animators using LightWave from getting too scared by psuedo-elitests to even try.

I'm saying if their animation doesn't look exactly like Pixar - it might not be such a bad thing!

toby
09-01-2007, 07:17 PM
Hi Toby,

'Fun to do' is in the context of rating Disney type animations which came up here as a separate issue. I didn't mean you were being unfair about it, but was referring to jin's comparisons which I thought you had read since you mentioned "tired or boring".Ok. I was responding to the General Motors comment (which I agree with), and I was the only one you quoted!


Really quite a few issues have been brought up and cross wired. I'm not backing South Park and claiming lightwave can do Jazz as opposed to any other kind of music, animation, I'm just saying to start using very unflattering comparisons suggests a preconception of the position of Disney, Lightwave or wacky animators.
I see what you're saying, but I really don't think they're unflattering comparisons. They're both fabulous, South Park is a perfect example of great entertainment with limited animation.


Everyone knows that Maya is better at CA, but this is all irrelevant as I just said, and if people are speaking of Pixar they are comparing LW to proprietary tools. I think this is where a lot of the cross wiring or misunderstanding is happening.
I can see how that could be confusing. Pixar was brought up just for the type of animation they do, but, as you've said, it got cross-wired. I don't think anyone's complaining that LW needs to be just as good as Pixar's. Unless they're a bit naive.

But I don't think Maya's ca superiority is irrelevant - if it were, we wouldn't have so many studios using Maya-to-LW pipelines like the Beaver project.

If your point is that Newtek should concede the ca to other programs and focus on lighting and rendering, I can't disagree with you there, that would be one direction they could take. I'd just worry about backlash from all the ca people here for bringing it up...

jin choung
09-01-2007, 07:46 PM
glen,

forget pixar, forget marionette, forget all their proprietary tools.

have you taken a look at animationmentor? do me a favor and do so.

see that? that's all done in maya. 100%. no re-engineered software in the background.

can lw do that?

and if it can, can you do it without everyone being locked in a room with it for 100 years?

again, i'm NOT saying it can't. i'm saying i haven't seen it. and if i haven't seen it, it is the equivalent of a job applicant saying, "trust me! i can do it!" without anything to show for it.

you want to cut out pixar - fine.

is lw as competent as maya in terms of CA. you admit it is not.

i would agree.

there are those here who would claim otherwise.

i'm saying, SHOW ME. cuz i just don't believe it.

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

and yes, let's not confuse the issue. i'm not saying that disney is a standard or any such thing.

i am saying that disney style (wb, etc etc etc) is the most complicated, involved, nuanced and DEMANDING style of animation. that when you are comparing animation tools, it is NOT USEFUL to ask whether it can do south park or monty python (which you yourself admit is crude - and that admission takes NOTHING away from it! it's GREAT! and tg would say it's crude too).

IT IS USEFUL TO ASK - CAN IT DO DISNEY?

if you gimme an example of "jazz" animation that is AS INVOLVED AND TECHNICALLY COMPLICATED AS "classical"... FINE

CAN IT DO JAZZ?

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

and don't give me the "artist vs. tool" thing.

the TOOL informs how the artist works and there are tools that an artist would prefer for a task and tools that he would avoid.

if you want to make a photorealistic picture, would you prefer finger paint or an airbrush?

SURE... ABSO-FING-LUTELY... the guy with the fingerpaint can probably do it if he is talented enough and spends enough time etc etc etc.

THAT'S NOT THE POINT.

the tool makes a difference.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

and finally, i am NOT saying anyone should try to be more or less like disney.

ALL i am saying is that disney is the HARDEST. animation mentor is the hardest.

CAN LW DO THAT? is it lacking? is ikb not the most reliable and flexible tool to do superfluiddisneyclassical?

if we acknowledge that maya has better tools for this and lw can stand to improve, we really have no disagreement.

and if lw CAN do that. again - show me. shall we just take people's word for it?!

you think that lw would be better off improving OTHER areas? FINE! you are entitled to your opinion.

but that's not what this discussion is about.

jin

toby
09-01-2007, 07:52 PM
:lol: toby

let's go back to monty Python for a second...

I'm not here for an arguement, just for an arguements sake.

Don't try to reinterpret my words to mean something they don't. Your trying to attack something that you've imagined up all by yourself.Oh, ok, good, cuz what I was imagining wasn't making sense :foreheads


I'm not having a go at Pixar, they are the best at what they do.

I'm championing small independant and quirky animation. I'm also saying I enjoy it much more than Pixar. Understood, I didn't think you were attacking them, but that you were dismissing the need or peoples' desire to attempt classical animation in LW.


I'm trying to prevent budding animators using LightWave from getting too scared by psuedo-elitests to even try.

I'm saying if their animation doesn't look exactly like Pixar - it might not be such a bad thing!
Ok, it's good to know where you're coming from.

omeone
09-01-2007, 07:56 PM
jin, consider what is probably the world's most commercially successful 3 minute snippet of animation, is it as good as animation mentor... was it as good as Pixar... no - it was better

done in Lightwave 7.5 too.... (http://www.turboforce3d.com/annoying/index.htm) (i think)

jin choung
09-01-2007, 07:58 PM
I'm championing small independant and quirky animation. I'm also saying I enjoy it much more than Pixar.

I'm trying to prevent budding animators using LightWave from getting too scared by psuedo-elitests to even try.

I'm saying if their animation doesn't look exactly like Pixar - it might not be such a bad thing!

i daresary - NOBODY DISAGREES WITH THESE POINTS.

but the issue is - can lw DO THE MOST DEMANDING TYPE OF ANIMATION WELL?

is IKB as suited for such tasks as maya?

it seems very much that many say that IKB is that capable. that is what i am saying i've never seen and thus cannot believe.

can IKB do robot chicken? NOT USEFUL TO ASK.
------------------
HOW GOOD IS IT?
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that's the question.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

here's another thing - EVERYTHING THAT IS MADE IS NOT GOOD.

EVERYTHING THAT IS MADE IS NOT AWESOME BECAUSE IT IS UNIQUE.

everything i make is not awesome by virtue of the fact that i made it.

something can be better or worse than another thing.

south park is AWESOME. south park's animation SUCKS. i would bet TP and MS would agree.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE AN EYE.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANECDOTE:

years ago, i interviewed at CAFE FX. one of those things where they weren't lookin' and i just sent in a reel and thought, what the heck.

anyway, one thing that i will remember from the interview experience is that the guy asked me about a shot in my reel - "on a scale from 0 to 100, where would you say this is".

he did that to GAUGE MY EYE. my ability was plain from the demo reel itself. but he asked me that question to see if i could SEE CLEARLY.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

not everything is EQUALLY GOOD.

not everything can be chalked up to "style".

AND something can have atrocious animation (or set design or cinematography or production value) and still have merit as a work in and of itself.

but it is good and important to be precise and discerning in our terms.

jin

jin choung
09-01-2007, 08:06 PM
omeone,

cool. THAT'S USEFUL. it's useful to say, look, lw can do that. that was pretty accomplished. i wouldn't say better than pixar but very accomplished.

now if we can see finished ikb stuff at that level or better, i'd believe that ikb was that capable of a tool.

jin

omeone
09-01-2007, 08:19 PM
:lol:

why do you have to reference IKB now? I didnt realise we were debating the validity of IKB.

Jin, if you have Bones and you can rotate them, then you can make animation. How good you make it depends on the aniamtors talent. Remember IKB is JUST FK animation, with bits added to make it easier and faster... it's already unbreakable because it is FK.

I really have no mission to convince you that IKB is valid, I already know it is all that I need.

toby
09-01-2007, 09:09 PM
jin, consider what is probably the world's most commercially successful 3 minute snippet of animation, is it as good as animation mentor... was it as good as Pixar... no - it was better

done in Lightwave 7.5 too.... (http://www.turboforce3d.com/annoying/index.htm) (i think)
Ok, that's pretty good. Good example. But I think saying it's as good as pixar is generous -

toby
09-01-2007, 09:16 PM
This I really do not understand. Why would anyone NOT want Newtek to work on the CA tools and make them better? This simply does not make any sense. If Newtek can create better CA tools in LW, why should I want to go to another package? That's like saying "Well, XSI is really good at CA so we at Newtek should forget about implementing better CA tools. Since XSI does it better, why should we improve ours?" WHAT? If that's the case, then we can take it another step and say Silo is better at modeling, so we should concede making improvements to Modeler and model in Silo. And then VRay comes out cheaper, better and faster and Newtek should concede the rendering to Vray?

Do you see the point? Explain to me WHY Newtek should "concede" and not improve on their CA toolset. If you work ONLY in one or two areas (lighting and rendering) and every other software package goes even further in every other area.... what makes you think that Newtek/Lightwave would end up being viable at all?

Fortunately it IS viable and I am looking forward to better CA tools as well as better integration of Modeler and Layout AND better lighting and rendering. To focus solely on one or two areas to perfect them would end up being the death of Newtek and Lightwave.


I'd just worry about backlash from all the ca people here for bringing it up...
See what I mean?

faulknermano
09-01-2007, 10:08 PM
jin, consider what is probably the world's most commercially successful 3 minute snippet of animation, is it as good as animation mentor... was it as good as Pixar... no - it was better

done in Lightwave 7.5 too.... (http://www.turboforce3d.com/annoying/index.htm) (i think)

looks nice.

however, if one wishes to compare it to pixar, the linked clip fails to show complexity. after all, it's not just the performance of the actor in conveying emotion that is the issue, but everything that is required for the shot - even more so if the shot is more hinged on the technical aspects than the character performance.

do people judge an app by the end results? or do people judge the app by how well the user and app get along?

jin choung
09-01-2007, 11:09 PM
[QUOTE=omeone]Jin, if you have Bones and you can rotate them, then you can make animation. How good you make it depends on the aniamtors talent.QUOTE]

sigh....

again (read my last post), not a useful answer when you're trying to judge the merits of an app. (!!!)

do you have any idea how unuseful that statement is?

it's like saying you can make pixar level animation mspaint... sure a good artist could... (i need prospector's avatar... i'm beating my head against the desk)

but that's not the point. sigh...

if it's good enough for you fine.

but that means precious little to the thousands of computer graphics artist who are trying to evaluate just HOW GOOD the character animation tools in lw (including ikb) are.

and to go all the way back to the original point of the thread, it OBFUSCATES, not CLARIFIES, the reason people use other apps to animate characters... and not lw.

jin

jin choung
09-02-2007, 02:37 AM
meg,

i think you are misunderstanding toby's post.

that post was directed at omeone, not you.

he's not pushing for us to cry uncle on ca.

jin

omeone
09-02-2007, 03:02 AM
do people judge an app by the end results? or do people judge the app by how well the user and app get along?

Hi faulknermano,
Isn't it both?

Obviously I can't show (how well or not) Eric gets on with LightWave.

Have you see my time-lapse walk?
http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=L7hXZiO3iww
I've watched a few professional Maya animators work, and I have never seen anything close to this level of synergie with the app, if there are examples... I HAVE NOT SEEN THEM ;)

Now before anyone gets offended... I'm just using Maya as an example, I could just as easily have said XSI, C4D, Marionette...

Now if I can do that, with no animation experience in 20 minutes - what would a professional animator achieve, with professional animator's times?


Fortunately it IS viable and I am looking forward to better CA tools as well as better integration of Modeler and Layout AND better lighting and rendering. To focus solely on one or two areas to perfect them would end up being the death of Newtek and Lightwave.

didn't realise that was posted at me... I have said similar things earlier in this thread (but I don't blame you for not reading the whole thing). Hey, I could probably think of 100 improvements just for CA off the top of my head.

toby
09-02-2007, 03:07 AM
Gee.... that's a BIG help in explaining why Newtek should concede CA tools. Great way to prove your point of view. Thanks so much!:thumbsdow

Wow, relax man. My opinion is not going to single-handedly ruin Lightwave.

Maya's renderer, and Max's, are crap, Modo doesn't have character animation, and almost nobody uses Houdini for anything but effects; they're doing fine without trying to have the best of every aspect of 3D, and it probably allowed them more resources to focus on where they thought their market was. So I don't think it's suicide.

Besides, I'm not saying they *should* do it, just that I would understand if they did. Businesses do things like that all the time.

jin choung
09-02-2007, 03:24 AM
ack.

fingerpainting is easier than an airbrush too... kazoo is easier than piano.

this is a nuanced point but... some things are easier to use to produce lesser results.

easy to get to a certain level of result. impossible to get to a higher level.

note:

i am not conceding that maya is any harder to use. or that lw's ikb is a kazoo.

but i AM countering the point that easiness is the end all be all of tool consideration.

jin

omeone
09-02-2007, 03:36 AM
jin, you duck and dive so much, it's hard to figure out what your point is exactly? (in ONE line, if you can ;))

And I wouldn't ask something of you, if I wasnt prepeared to do the same:

LightWave is capable for character animation, quality depends on talent and resources, LightWavers should not be led who people shouting that they need to go an buy more software to make their stories come to life.

jin choung
09-02-2007, 03:56 AM
*i* duck and dive?

------------------------------------------------------------------------
lw's CA < xsi, maya. it can be better. it should be. hence - point oven.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

how's that?

and who in the world is saying that we should be buying more software? i'm saying lw should be good enough so that we shouldn't want to.

jin

pooby
09-02-2007, 04:10 AM
I can understand Jin's points very clearly indeed.

on a side note

Why on earth would Newtek decide to re-design the animation tools if they were ok?
They were built by the old team in the early to mid nineties. Why you think that limited toolset are acceptable in todays environment despite the fact that they have forced most of the proffessional animators to Leave LW for other packages, myself included, I don't know.

You DO realise that some other packages have poured tons of money into R and D and have had dedicated teams focussing on Character animation alone with constant feedback from some of the best respected animation studios in the world for the last decade.
I don't think that LW, with historically very little focus on animation and next to no RandD in this time can be considered comparible in that arena. How could they. It just makes no logical sense if you think about it.
And I think that Newtek would be the first to admit it. (if it were not such a bad marketing move)

omeone
09-02-2007, 04:28 AM
*i* duck and dive?
:D yeah! I've been doing my very best answers your points as best I can - it's hard work!



------------------------------------------------------------------------
lw's CA < xsi, maya. it can be better. it should be. hence - point oven.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Some people prefer to animate in one app and render in another? Some people find those tools easier to animate with and understand? Maybe they want to harness the apps cloth? People will always want to do this, no matter how good or bad LightWave is.


it can be better. it should be.
Can't argue with that, Everything can be better. The reason I posted on this thread in the first place was to agree 'vociferously' with Pooby about one point where Lightwave could be much better (deformations).

So we both agree on this?


and who in the world is saying that we should be buying more software? i'm saying lw should be good enough so that we shouldn't want to.

jin

This, then, is the crux of our discussion.

I have no problem with people using multiple apps if they have the resources. But what I feel strongly about, and I why I have bothered with this thread at all: I'm tired of hearing you can't use LightWave for Character Animation, or as you said: high quality animation is impossible. Because that is just plain wrong.

I'm tired of some people jumping on this bandwagon because they just enjoy knocking LightWave (no one in this thread thankfully) but what's more - I'm sick of seeing people believing it without even so much as trying it for themselves.

And the reason that annoys me is because it can be a very damaging discouragement to the dreams of aspiring independant animation film-makers. It's not your opinion I care about - it's theirs (no offence).

omeone
09-02-2007, 04:46 AM
Why on earth would Newtek decide to re-design the animation tools if they were ok?
The same reasons every other single 3D animation programme is always being developed: because there is always room for improvement, nobody likes to stand still, changing market demands and customer needs, to take advantage of new technologies?

omeone
09-02-2007, 05:17 AM
I'm gonna wrap my thoughts on this, hopefully it will help y'all see where I'm coming from.

a couple of years ago, on this forum and the others. you would see lots of thread called "My first Head". and these thread attracted aresholes like flypaper for comments like:

'you'll never be able to model heads'
'head modelling is a black art, only achievable by 3 people in the world'
'you should stick to modelling coffee cups'
'you should give up 3D'

and these comments would invariably come from bitter people projecting their own failures

thankfully that has stopped now, but at the time it disgusted me. It disgusted me so much I wrote and recorded a HUGE free tutorial on character modelling. I never claimed it was high quality character modelling - that wasn't the point. the point was to give encouragement to those beginners who were getting beaten up for trying. And it succedded in that goal.

I do feel the tone of these 'you can't do CA in LW' discussions can have a similarly negative effect on people learning character animation.

I also think putting Pixar on a pedestal has a similar effect, especially since I see more interesting stuff being made by other, smaller studios.

I'm not suggesting we dont discuss other apps ability and/or LightWave's shortfalls - becuase we should! Just that maybe we should think about these effects and post those thoughts in the approrpriate forum with a more positive tone.

pooby
09-02-2007, 05:44 AM
I just think the more knowledge and opinions on what is available to people at what level of ease, and what monetary cost, the better as it lets people try things and make up their own minds.

Every LW user has access to a fantastic set of animation tools that they can use to fulfil their independant film dreams, so, it can only be good that they have the choice of using Lw's own, or other available ones.

omeone
09-02-2007, 05:48 AM
yup :thumbsup:

jin choung
09-02-2007, 05:48 AM
@omeone

yah,

it seems like you were approaching this subject with a particular angle on it....

here's the thing-

at NO POINT do i discourage anyone's attempt at learning. to say someone should stick to their day job is not cool.

BUT

among hobbyists are those of us who do this professionally. in the professional world, no one's gonna give you a job because they're afraid you're gonna get discouraged.

encouraging people is one thing.

encouraging DELUSION is another.

if pixar level animation is discouraging, that is the problem of whoever lets it become a discouragement.

BUT STANDARDS EXIST.

YOU WILL BE JUDGED. sooner or later.

not everything everyone does is good.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

MY RECURRING REFRAIN IN THIS THREAD: YOU MUST HAVE "AN EYE".

if i think everything i do is great just because i did it, i am a nut.

if i call great what is actually mediocre or crap, i UNDERMINE MY CREDIBILITY.

TASTE MUST CONTINUALLY BE REFINED.

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

encourage people! absolutely! inspire them! cheer them on!

but let them SEE CLEARLY.

they should know WHERE THEY STAND (NOW) and be not discouraged because it is no indication of where they can get to if they try hard enough.

so without fear, with everything you do, after you've done it, ask yourself, on a scale of 0 to 100, where is this?

jin

prospector
09-02-2007, 01:11 PM
I am in the camp where I would like Layout and Modeler to remain separate.
As self imposed general of this camp (being against it since first whispers about it became known when LW6 was being worked on), I too have seen nothing to convince me that with a proper working HUB, LW can't do anything that a single app can.
But I still am open (very slightly) to see different.


if pixar level animation is discouraging, that is the problem of whoever lets it become a discouragement.

BUT STANDARDS EXIST.

Is Pixar the standard?
I watch their stuff all the time and enjoy most.

BUT

I also watch them at 1 frame at a time and can spot plenty of things, that if just that single frame were to be put up here to be critiqued,would have most of the same stuff others that post pics here receive.
In the animation, it would never be seen by people who don't look at pixels daily, spotted by a few who do if looking closely, and easily (as my wife points out too when we watch their stuff) when viewed intensly.

jin choung
09-02-2007, 01:24 PM
pixar, disney, warner brothers... what i said: "classical animation".

certainly not "robot chicken" standards.

if you go in for any job interview for an animator position, they will be looking at your reel and judging it from THAT standpoint. you think ilm will be interested in an animator who's got nothing but south park stuff?

because, as i keep saying, that's hardest to get right. and if you can get that right, everything else is easier to do. if you show you can run, they know you can walk.

sooner or later, you will be judged.

and sometimes, different is indeed just different. at other times, different is not only different, it is qualitatively worse. it's important to know the difference. "eye".

jin

toby
09-02-2007, 01:38 PM
Then my original question still stands. WHY.... in YOUR opinion, should Newtek concede CA tools? My whole point is that I do not understand why people make these statements. And let me clarify... I truly (and really) do not understand and would like to know why.

I am in the camp where I would like Layout and Modeler to remain separate. However, after listening to the many people on this forum I have come to believe that the merging may not be a bad thing. I'm still not completely convinced, but were it to happen I would not be crying and throwing a temper-tantrum. And that is because it was EXPLAINED here in the forum and not waved away with a "see what I mean" attitude.

Be that as it may, I can't see why Newtek should improve CA now. Stooch in his very inelegant way in a previous thread was dead-set against imrproving CA tools but never provided a satisfactory reason why. I would bet that he had his own workflow established using other tools for CA and felt Newtek would be better off improving other areas - which completely ignored the fact that others did not have the same workflow. I don't want to have to use other packages just because they are better at CA. I want LW to be better at CA. There are alot of hobbyists who cannot afford to get XSI or Maya (or...) even though some say "well it's ONLY $495." I easily remember the day when I had a VERY hard time saving up to get trueSpace1.

So... explain it to me. That is really all I'm asking.
To focus on other things that need improvement. Don't you think they're a bit behind in more than just ca tools? And as I said before,
I'm not saying they *should* do it, just that I would understand if they did.

jin choung
09-02-2007, 01:39 PM
meg,

evidently, you can use the free XSI modtool and it's included point oven to animate in xsi and import into lw....

but as for why-

i am STAUNCHLY against giving up on CA tools. but i see their point.

from a business standpoint, lw's biggest selling point right now is its modeler and it's render quality and infinite nodes.

especially, the latter point, houses that wouldn't otherwise even glance in lw's direction would be tempted by the infinite render nodes when they look at the bill from mental ray.

so from a volume perspective, it might make more sense for them to get a renderer that can kick renderman's a$$s than pursue CA.

also, CA involves a GREAT DEAL of how an app actually works. and it might require more work than is reasonable... especially since the goal of reaching and surpassing maya and/or xsi is a pretty lofty one, if not unreachable. and it will probably take a looooong time before anyone notices/and or believes it has happened.

finally, there may not be anyone at newtek who really gets the needs and desires of high quality animation production. to use the language of this thread, everyone there may be working at "robot chicken level" and not "pixar level".

so who's gonna captain that ship?

imo, a messiah acquisition or partnership might not be a bad move for either company. hahahaha, then lw will have 3 separate apps!!! hahahahaha

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

photogrammetry - photo based modeling. camera projection based modeling. this is one area that simply cannot be done in lw beyond dropping cubes in front of pictures of boxes because modeler and layout are separate. you have your modeling tools in one app, you have your camera in another.

jin

SplineGod
09-02-2007, 01:43 PM
Megalodon I agree. Lightwaves always been a great all around tool and Id like to see it continue that way. No reason whatsoever to not continue improving the CA tools. Newteks already stated that they intend to.

Also, If someones looking for an animation job what they interviewer is looking for is going to be based on their needs, wants, budget etc. I know people who were hired off of great animation done entirely in LW.

toby
09-02-2007, 02:08 PM
Hi faulknermano,
Isn't it both?

Obviously I can't show (how well or not) Eric gets on with LightWave.

Have you see my time-lapse walk?
http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=L7hXZiO3iww
Ok, that looks sweet! That's probably the slickest I've seen in LW.

But we still have the hurdles of more complex performances, interaction, deformation, graph editor tools (the beziers suck), lip sync, to deal with -

Glendalough
09-02-2007, 02:18 PM
Ok. I was responding to the General Motors comment (which I agree with), and I was the only one you quoted!...

...If your point is that Newtek should concede the ca to other programs and focus on lighting and rendering, I can't disagree with you there, that would be one direction they could take. I'd just worry about backlash from all the ca people here for bringing it up...

Yeah, sorry Toby, I should have kept my quotes more organized. And then you get knocked on the head for replying to my obviously unpopular idea about scrapping CA altogether and concentrating on other things.

My Apologies, don't want to fall out with you as you answered all my Macintosh-LW questions over the years!

dballesg
09-02-2007, 02:21 PM
Then my original question still stands. WHY.... in YOUR opinion, should Newtek concede CA tools? My whole point is that I do not understand why people make these statements. And let me clarify... I truly (and really) do not understand and would like to know why.

Be that as it may, I can't see why Newtek should improve CA now.

So... explain it to me. That is really all I'm asking.

Hi Megalodon,

In my case, if you try to use Maestro to do a FAST job (it really relieves you from rig a character, saving you TIME) and you try 5 characters, you will see the response from Layout going down dramatically (even in 9.0). Not to talk in 9.3. Even with ONE character it is unbearable.

And do not be wrong, Maestro uses only the available tools in LW. There is not magic under it, only a very clever LScript.

At this point we still do not have still DIRECT control of the velocity and acceleration curves. You can see them, but not edit them.

Has been the MOST forgotten and not improved area. Look what workarounds the people do to have bone skinning, soft bodies, etc...

Look the threads about IKBoost vs traditional rig, animation. Bone dynamics? Only on IKBoost.

Not to mention as Jin posted somewhere that Motion Mixer interface it is far away from be a NON Linear animation editor. Aside its problems with expressions, for example.

Relativity doesn't solve it. It is not accessible from LScript yet. It is not REPLACING the expressions system, that by the way STILL have two syntaxes.

I could continue that list and I will be writing a MONTH.

Improve the CA, will save time for people like me that need to use the CA tools. Saving me time, it is making me make more money. Money that I would glad to spend, not all of course :), on Newtek, instead on other apps from other companies, and saving me the learning time.

I know that it is a completely subjective issue. Some people need them other don't. But as you said not everyone can spend hundreds or thousand of bucks on more software.

What LW really needs, it is an improvement on the workflow in CA, IN GENERAL.

And sadly that depends on the possibility for example to modify Weight Maps on Layout. And at this point even Newtek do not know if they can do it for this cycle, as was said.

I hope that will clarify with SOME people is asking for CA improvements.

David

Glendalough
09-02-2007, 02:45 PM
glen,

forget pixar, forget marionette, forget all their proprietary tools.

have you taken a look at animationmentor? do me a favor and do so.

see that? that's all done in maya. 100%. no re-engineered software in the background.

can lw do that?

and if it can, can you do it without everyone being locked in a room with it for 100 years?

again, i'm NOT saying it can't. i'm saying i haven't seen it. and if i haven't seen it, it is the equivalent of a job applicant saying, "trust me! i can do it!" without anything to show for it.

you want to cut out pixar - fine.

is lw as competent as maya in terms of CA. you admit it is not.

i would agree.

there are those here who would claim otherwise.

i'm saying, SHOW ME. cuz i just don't believe it.

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

and yes, let's not confuse the issue. i'm not saying that disney is a standard or any such thing.

i am saying that disney style (wb, etc etc etc) is the most complicated, involved, nuanced and DEMANDING style of animation. that when you are comparing animation tools, it is NOT USEFUL to ask whether it can do south park or monty python (which you yourself admit is crude - and that admission takes NOTHING away from it! it's GREAT! and tg would say it's crude too).

IT IS USEFUL TO ASK - CAN IT DO DISNEY?

if you gimme an example of "jazz" animation that is AS INVOLVED AND TECHNICALLY COMPLICATED AS "classical"... FINE

CAN IT DO JAZZ?

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

and don't give me the "artist vs. tool" thing.

the TOOL informs how the artist works and there are tools that an artist would prefer for a task and tools that he would avoid.

if you want to make a photorealistic picture, would you prefer finger paint or an airbrush?

SURE... ABSO-FING-LUTELY... the guy with the fingerpaint can probably do it if he is talented enough and spends enough time etc etc etc.

THAT'S NOT THE POINT.

the tool makes a difference.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

and finally, i am NOT saying anyone should try to be more or less like disney.

ALL i am saying is that disney is the HARDEST. animation mentor is the hardest.

CAN LW DO THAT? is it lacking? is ikb not the most reliable and flexible tool to do superfluiddisneyclassical?

if we acknowledge that maya has better tools for this and lw can stand to improve, we really have no disagreement.

and if lw CAN do that. again - show me. shall we just take people's word for it?!

you think that lw would be better off improving OTHER areas? FINE! you are entitled to your opinion.

but that's not what this discussion is about.

jin

Hi jin,

Think we can agree on most things but others hit a nerve...Don't know about this "artist vs. tool" thing, better be careful not to put the machine before man.


The finger paint airbrush idea is quite interesting. But if you haven't noticed, one side in this argument has not been supplied with a tool! You would have to make the concession of a palette knife vs. airbrush. If this wasn't allowed, maybe they could use their fingernails p. knife style. (hope we're not going to be forced to paint with our toes!)

If the painting was allowed to be say 6 feet square, the palette knife could actually do a more photorealistic job (assuming we have equally skilled artists) as it has a greater gamut than the airbrush in that it can produce a wider tonal range being slightly sculptural, producing shadows and basically being more heavy duty.

My point here being that there is more than one standard,. more than one tool. It could be sort of think outside the box time.

Maybe CA should not be separated from soft body dynamics, this an example of an area where physics can be better, more graceful than artful attempts by humans to display motion in a relaxed and non visually irritating manner.

The original precepts of classical animation may just get altered in the light of new tech. developments, as they have with the general demise of the old cel style animation. Mocap shouldn't be entirely dismissed either. Some sort of innovative solution is bound to happen soon as this is one of the most backward areas.

A recent knockout animation in Lightwave when the CA at the moment is in such a state of disrepair is not likely to happen. An older generation tool is being matched with a newer but this doesn't mean it's useless .

But what you want is an empirical test with exact movements to be replicated and compared in the various packages, just say, 5 or 10 secs. would be the surest way to compare and judge. Like those high dives at the Olympics where the performance is judged by the intricacies and minutiae of a certain set of rules. To be fair, both software and animator should be anonymous.
(Pooby vs. Splinegod doing a retro thrust Appalachian hornpipe. Nothing short of this will do.)

omeone
09-02-2007, 02:51 PM
Ok, that looks sweet! That's probably the slickest I've seen in LW.

But we still have the hurdles of more complex performances, interaction, deformation, graph editor tools (the beziers suck), lip sync, to deal with -

thanks Toby :)
I'm working on some slightly more complex performances with interaction at the moment (watch this space!), but it doesn't include lip-synch. Although, I do have another face rig, set up with IKB proxy controls (not unlike sliders) which mixes morphs and bones seamlessly. One thing about this is you can set up in a way that you have a seperate undo stack for body and facial animation. You also get per character undo stacks in multi character scenes. IKB cant help with LW's deformations problems :(. Also, in my workflow avoid using the graph editor, except for the occasional rescue or mechanical motion. Dopetrak combined with IKBs keyframe modes (All, Parent, Parent + Child, child, current) saves having to ever open the Dope Sheet.

jin choung
09-02-2007, 03:00 PM
hey glen,

i'm not putting machine before man but the tool INFORMS the tool user.

to mix metaphors - "if all you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail."

that and all the old wrinkled guys coming out of the zbrush community. :)

the tool can and does impose limitations. (you can't do color with black charcoal).

what i'm saying should be non-controversial.

the artist can do almost everything given enough blood sweat and tears.... but trying to screw a screw with an icepick is not a good idea either.

jin

p.s. fine, if airbrush vs. fingerpaint is not fair, howabout photoshop vs. pastels. anyhoo, my point is that not all tools are suited for all tasks and sometimes different is not just different, it is worse.

toby
09-02-2007, 05:39 PM
Agreed, we must be allowed to compare tools, and it does not imply that the tools are the only thing that matters. Sport-bikers have the same saying, "it's the bike, not the rider". But none of them try to go fast on scooter just because it has 2 wheels and a motor - the saying is supposed to discourage people from relying entirely on the tools, not to encourage you to ignore the tools.

I have personal experience trying to learn or compete with sub-standard tools, it's definitely worth avoiding. The *only* problem that comes with better tools is the user that thinks he doesn't have to work as hard.

We've all seen the movies many times where the team with no budget beats the rich team, but unless you think you could have a Hollywood ending to your story, get the best tools you can. And of course whatever those are, do your best with them.

pooby
09-03-2007, 02:28 AM
First, I don't want to have to deal with another app (and PointOven) at this time when I would rather be able to do it ALL in LW. What's wrong in wanting that?

That's fair enough but just think to yourself. If it was not called the XSI Mod tool and instead it were made by Newtek as an External Character animation module that you could beta test and easily use with LW's main app before it were integrated into the core in a year or two. Would that make a difference to you or would you still not use it?

ericsmith
09-03-2007, 08:50 AM
Chances are, if it was made by Newtek, the interface design would be more consistant with Lightwave, and it would be easier to get up to speed with using it.

I think a lot of people would rather not have to learn a new app with a different interface if they don't have to. Whether this is to their own detriment or not I can't say, but at least I can understand the mindset.

Eric

colkai
09-03-2007, 09:57 AM
I think a lot of people would rather not have to learn a new app with a different interface if they don't have to. Whether this is to their own detriment or not I can't say, but at least I can understand the mindset.

Eric
Being one of those who puts off doing just that, I can say it is a dilemma for me.
I have spent a not considreable time reviewing the XSI ModTool and whilst I find some rather nice features, I've yet to be able to work at anything like the speed I can in LW and I'm only looking at modelling so far.

Thus the crux for these situations always remains, do you spend ages realyl getting to grips with a new package to save time down the road once you are familiar and feel comfortable. Or, do you invest the time to use the software you know and use "workarounds" or other soloutions to get the job done now in a quicker timespan?

In an ideal world, we would have unlimited time, (let alone budgets), to choose the former, but my gut always tell me, "Stop playing around, fire up LW and just get on with it".

Now maybe as a hobbyist, I'm not in a position to really benefit from using my limited spare time to "abandon" LW to learn other packages. I can appreciate I may get some things done faster, but, being so comfy with LW, I really can get most stuff done quickly. Of course, I am also not talking animation here, but like as not, similar train of thoughts apply there too.

A toughie and one I really think has no "global" answer, each person in the end, can only choose what suits them. Just because person 'A' doesn't like or agree with how person 'B' does something, does not detract from the fact that what they are doing works just fine for them.

omeone
09-03-2007, 10:52 AM
It's a good question, I've only done it twice. Once was foolish because I believed marketing hype, thank fully it was only web editing software so I wasn't too much out of pocket.

So I was very wary second time round, and being CAD software it was a really big decision. I only did it when the advantages became just too big to miss out on. And to save me wasting time, I uninstalled the first app completely and worked intensively with the new for 2 or 3 weeks. Luckily the new software was better than the old in every concievable way, so there was never any need to go back.