View Full Version : An Important Decision

07-19-2007, 09:32 PM
I've been using Blender for 2 months and I have quickly improved at 3d art.


I am now trying to decide wether or not to switch from Blender to Lightwave - using the student discount since I'm 16 - and am really trying to decide wether its worth it or not.
With the 30 day trail - its too hard to decide at this point - I'm not sure if I will ever get used to this products interface.

So I was wondering for all the people who have had a switch similar to mine or just anyones opinion. Lol, what I really need is someone to convince me that its worth it. so please :help: .

I believe its already :agree: upon that Lightwave is obviously better then Blender but is it worth the money? I've been reading up and watching video tutorials - those that work anyways - trying to figure out wether or not to get it but so far - nothing...

07-19-2007, 09:41 PM
For instance in Blender I can do a render in the same window that I'm modeling my object.

And in Lightwave I have to use 2 totally different windows to make the object and then render - and blender is easier to move yourself in 3d space which I like - you just press the middle button and move the mouse.

Its easy to see the advantages of a program you know well versus the disavantages of a program you do not know.

Can you customize shortcut buttons without programming? I found a feature in modeler that did something like this, edit commands, but I can't get that to work so maybe I'm wrong.

07-19-2007, 09:56 PM
many game, tv and film studios use lightwave, it has a very rich history of delivering top quality models and renders..the same can't be said of blender for TV, film and games...blender IS quite good but not used to any great degree in the industry...if that's important to you then a commercial app is where you need to look...if not then blender can be used for free!

it all depends on if you feel blender is not delivering 'for you' or not really...

there ARE differences and lightwave does stand out as abit 'odd ball' amongst most other 3d apps with it's 2 app aproach to workflow yet it does 'get the job done' for battlestar galactica, firefly, serenity and many tv shows, console games and feature film effect shots.

you should decide by if you feel you can 'get into' the workflow for yourself...try the demo...even after 30days it'll allow you to run it in discovery mode so plenty of time to either like it or hate it!

lightwave has many plus points..it's not a perfect app [what is?] and some things are being worked on for imporvment in the near future.

there's quite abit of video training available and also a growing stack of books too.

as well as the online tutorials be they video, html or pdf.

good luck!

07-19-2007, 10:00 PM
Thanks for your imput Cresshead! I just found out how to get around a little easier. Anyways I don't know how to get out of discovery mode because when I try to put the code from when I open the modeler it says that that code has been used to many times and I havn't used it even once...

lol - just made a semi cool object and it has over 400 verts so I can't save - lame. hahaha

07-19-2007, 10:03 PM
do you have lw9 trial or an older version?

re 400 point limit and no save...you can split your object up over several layers to get around the 400 point limit in discovery mode.

Mark The Great
07-19-2007, 10:04 PM
If it makes any difference, Stevie, I got Lightwave when I was 13 or 14. I actually find the two program workflow to be helpful, as it helps me remember whether I'm modifying an object or a scene. :)

I hadn't tried Blender before I got LW, so I'm unsure about how its interface is except that I did try it a bit a couple months ago, and I was lost.

07-19-2007, 10:07 PM
Blast it - I am using version 9 because I had to look all over the place just for that one since its not up on there site - do you know where I could get 9.2?

07-19-2007, 10:18 PM
By the way my real names Steven ;). You can just call me that instead - I think I have decided to get it regardless so if I'm gonna start being part of the community I'd rather be known by my real name :D. Hope I can help you guys out with something

07-19-2007, 10:25 PM
here's the location but currently it's being updated...


07-19-2007, 10:31 PM
Yeah I know man - the problem is that I emailed them and they said it won't be up till the middle of August because they are extremly busy at the moment... But its all good - I'll just get the program - lol. I just wish I could have seen my object rendered but since I can't save I can't import to the Layout

07-19-2007, 11:24 PM
If you are not having any problems navigating in Blender, then I would stick with Blender. It is becoming increasingly more powerful every year and its free!

If you want an industry, out of the box, proven renderer, than LW would be a good choice. I use both programs and modeling and rendering in LW is much easier to me and LW's work flow makes more sense to me.

There was a review of ALL of the 3D applications on the web somewhere that basically praised LW as the only 3D application that one could use to render a full length movie with out of the box. The other 3D apps, such as Maya, required the extra purchase of RenderMan from Pixar. Mental Ray for both Maya and 3D studio received very low marks.


07-19-2007, 11:44 PM
Yeah - as I've been using it (my second day) I'm already starting to get some of its bigger concepts more and I must say I'm liking it. Thank you for all of your quick and useful help everyone!!!

07-19-2007, 11:45 PM
By the way - visit cressheads forum - http://s12.invisionfree.com/razor1/index.php. Got some good tips and tricks for Lightwave that I will have to look up tommorow as well as a number of other useful resources.

07-19-2007, 11:54 PM
Hi Steven, as you've found out Blender has a lot going for it. It's fast, it's modern, it's got a pretty intense feature update cycle and it's free. You've got ultra fast LSCM UVs, much faster than LW's bug-ridden (aka dead on the Mac anyway) PLG Make UV plug in, you've a fairly decent skeletal system (although perhaps not as flexible as LW) and live painting of weights in Blender as well as capsule bone envelopes and a ton of other options, you've got a pretty good sculpt/multires thing which I've been using lately with LW, UV mode and a video editor and scripting etc )

vs LW Modeler

What Blender has done re making stuff, is reduce everything to a kind of rather shallow but fast edgeloopism as you will know. LW's Modeler is infinitely more expansive and wide to Blender's rather more narrow metaphor, it also gets in the way less, is far better at the very low level interaction of stuff, and that's what makes LW Modeler, even today in my view, even compared to Modo (which is basically a more modern LW Modeler with a different GUI), still probably the best environment for that.

As you would know though it's very very quick to make stuff in Blender, it's very fast. Within just a few hours of messing around one day of learning Blender I made most of a character. And it kind of nudges people into its fast workflow, albeit I took the character out of there to bring into LW Modeler at a certain point.

vs Layout

Layout on the other hand is another matter. To some extent, although it is very functional, Layout is a collection of plug ins on top of a pretty dated animation base with different layers to it, that can't talk to each other properly, that are all going in different directions.

90% of the time that doesn't matter, and is not an impediment, but I suspect Blender is a lot more modern than Layout is in this sense, and although neither have got all the fancy and very deep animation and deformation stuff of say XSI, at some time in the future Blender could possibly nudge towards something like that at some level.

As I recall in Blender you have morphs, bones and hooks (aka vertex groups attached to a Null, something akin to sock monkey in LW) and lattices and a few other things.

No one knows for sure when LW will get the very deep animation rewrite it deserves or if it will just get another Super IK Booster+ bolted on top of it, (I personally don't think you'll see big changes here at all in 9.x, I think that will come in 10 with some GUI changes) and LW's base animation and deformation, while still very much the powerful 'workhorse' as you may see it described here, and still capable of incredible stuff, is pretty dated now compared even to Blender.

That said despite the bugs, and clunkyness Layout has a very rich set of animation plug ins (including Relativity etc) and so on, that offers way way more than Blender.

Actually, going on your pic, if you want to do Space or special effects stuff LW is very good, if you want to do character animation, while personally I have got used to it, and LW while capable of amazing results and actually has many many good and wonderful things in this area which I hope NT will build on in the future, is not necessarily as strong as it could be currently for different reasons, and just a quick peruse here will show many many threads about this very subject.

It's an area of great controversy.

vs Render

LW has a fantastic render, probably the best out of the box in the world as RTSchramm says, that is very much liked by its users.

This is subjective, but Blender's built in, or POVray while good, probably doesn't compare at all, and is very very slow in my experience with it.

vs Extras:

I never liked Blender's surfacing, I never got that far with it. I think LW's old style surface editor or nodes are way better. Blender's nodes are currently pretty limited as I understand it, LW's are a lot deeper and more powerful.

vs Stability:

I'd say Blender and LW have comparable stability in my view, although LW is probably a bit worse at times.

Blender to LW export works well.

Importing geometry content into Blender from LW currently has real problems.

Hope that is some help.


07-20-2007, 01:06 AM
I should just clarify, because it may not be obvious:

Animation and deformation: LW and Blender are probably fairly comparable I would guess. If Relativity Morph worked properly in LW, LW may have a deformation advantage, although in Blender you have got weight painting and creating morphs in situ live on your character which is invaluable, and something you don't have just yet in LW, but is pretty certain to appear at some point.

LW's graph editor is way better and actually faster than Blender's 'IPO curves' editor.

Scene and content management is basically non-existant in Blender as I remember, but I may be wrong there. And LW provides many options for that, essential on complex scenes, and many tools to deal with Key frames, albeit some of them currently still buggy on the Mac.

For things like dynamics, they seem about the same to me.

The bottom line:

Despite a few moans I've weaved into this about LW, given the choice between LW and Blender today I would by far go with Lightwave, with Blender as a useful addition (and with some impressive stuff in its own right) which unfortunately doesn't integrate very well (at least in my experience) if you want to move LW content into Blender and then back again.


07-20-2007, 10:24 AM
0_0 wow man! Thats exactly the in depth anaylisis I needed. Thanks!!!
And yes I think I would like to be doing space ships and stuff like that rather then charecter animation so sweet! Thank you a lot!

07-20-2007, 12:56 PM
Thats exactly the in depth anaylisis I needed.

Well, all you really needed to hear was: :lightwave and Blender... not so much...

Seriously, if you can deal with Blender's interface, God bless you. If you can deal with Blender's interface, you will kick butt and take names while using LightWave.

07-21-2007, 12:36 AM
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH - RIGHT ON MAN! Lol - thats awesome - exactly what I needed to hear.

07-21-2007, 04:12 PM
Lightwave *does* rock. At the educational price (about $300) you'll be using the same program that some of the best studios in the industry use.

And the interface in LW is, believe me, one of the best designed ever. If you've mastered the Blender interface you'll master the LW interface in 15 minutes.