View Full Version : Expanding my Toolset

08-01-2007, 08:35 AM
Hello all!

I was reading the latest issue of HDRI 3d and got a bit curious over Lightwave. I looked at a couple demo-videos and I must say that Lightwave seems to be a pretty descent application. I'm currently working as a Motion Graphic Designer/3d artist and XSI is my main tool but as I saw that you could get the Compainon Deal at Newteks online shop for only 599$, I thought that I could ad another tool to my toolbox (Besides I really like to learn new programs. Don't ask me why).

I'm really enjoying XSI so I'm not planning to switch, just to use both programs to complement each other. Now I'm wondering if there is a point to do this really? Is there anyone on the forum that has some insights on the subject? Tips on workflow is also appreciated.

Please no bashing. Try to keep the discussion positive.

08-01-2007, 11:28 AM
as chunderberger demonstrated, it's the community behind lightwave that can be very attractive. hundreds, no thousands! of free plug-ins and top-shelf commercial ones combine to give you a program that easily expands waayyy beyond its out-of-the-box capabilities. not to mention a bunch of forums that are very helpful, and with the search function most questions have already been tackled and answered if you're ever stuck. what's the point? knowledge is money, no?:D

08-02-2007, 04:16 AM
Thanks for your answers!

Do you have any thoughts on when the two applications complement each other? For example, in some cases it looks like I could set up certain particle behaviours quicker in Lightwave. And I'm also wondering over the rendering engine. Mental Ray is a great engine but is there occasions where you can benifit from using Lightwaves internal?

08-02-2007, 06:47 AM
XSI is great on advanced stuff, and LW works well simply....

LW's renderer is often easier to setup and get good results quickly, Mental Ray usually takes some tweaking and some management to get the best out of it. Surfacing as well. And if you add FPrime well it's in a different league.

XSI's particles PhysX implentation is likely better than LW's standard PFX engine, (faster at higher point counts)however Hypervoxels tend to be again faster and easier to get certain looks more quickly than MR and XSI.

I think LW and XSI are more alike than most of the other applications out there, in XSI it will take you longer to do things than LW, but when you do you usually have more power and control. So they both have there uses.
Try the demo....

LW imports/exports .OBJ and there is a DOTXSI exporter somewhere.
And animation exchange is done via .MDD.

08-03-2007, 04:44 AM
Thanks for the input! I'l check out the demo when I have some time to spare.

08-03-2007, 11:26 PM
If you can afford it (or get your company to afford it) I recommend checking out modo. I use it for modeling and LW for animation. It's a nice app -- modeling style is similar to LW but much more elegant. Nicer UI. And it works fairly well with LW.

My $0.02.

08-05-2007, 03:50 AM
And animation exchange is done via .MDD.

do you mean that XSI can also read MDDs?

08-05-2007, 05:16 AM
do you mean that XSI can also read MDDs?

I think you don't need to do MDDs if there is PointOven

XSI has point oven and it can transfer your animation and objects to LW.

maybe I'm missing something.

08-05-2007, 05:23 AM
do you mean that XSI can also read MDDs?

Yeah as of XSI5 or 6 was it, Point Oven is built in to XSI, so it can natively read and write .mdd data..


08-05-2007, 05:40 AM
mixepix, if you start using LW dont miss Fprime, it's the best thing you can have put your hands on in a long time ;)


08-05-2007, 10:38 AM
there's a fprime style preview renderer coming out soon for maya, xsi and 3dsmax so no worries there....no price point as yet mind ya!

08-05-2007, 02:06 PM
CrackWilding: I admit, Modo seems nice but I'm actually more tempted to buy Zbrush 3 at the moment.

Pavlov: Fprimes seems like a good companion to LW. I'll read up some more on the subject.

08-07-2007, 10:37 AM
i use xsi with lw.
they go well together. I model & uv in LW and use pointoven [part of xsi] to import.

if you get it, get LWCAD too and the free PLG uv tools and all the PICTRIX tools . Also bevel ++ and vertibevel.

You still need all that stuff to model? Even with 9.2? man.....

in layout you want Fprime and Denis P's free and great nodes. Pomm nodes, splitter node by james willmot ? nitsara plugins, sg ambocc node.. hmm im sure im forgetting a few.

so where do you get this stuff? flay?

08-07-2007, 11:03 AM
For Denis' stuff go here http://perso.orange.fr/dpont/main_en.htm