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View Full Version : Newtek - Better Documentation and video tutorials are needed



ben martin
08-08-2007, 07:38 AM
I was unable to find even basic tutorials on how to use ClothFX and even the LightWave 9 documentation did not provide a good description of using this specific dynamic. Although the documentation explains each individual control, it does not show how to setup a scene and get it working correctly. :twak:

Unfortunately this is not the only case of bad manual implementation regarding Lightwave. Beside the button description we need to know how the tools work and should be used.

Conclusion:
Better Documentation and video tutorials are needed to help the Lightwave newbie's. For instance in XSi you can "question" each button in real time to know what it specifically does and how to use it! :thumbsup:

IMO this is another area were Newtek should try to improve dramatically! :newtek:

walfridson
08-08-2007, 07:58 AM
Check the content CD for sample scenes.

ftp://ftp.newtek.com/products/LightWave/Videos/Archive/ClothFx_001.avi

Celshader
08-08-2007, 10:41 AM
Conclusion:
Better Documentation and video tutorials are needed to help the Lightwave newbie's.


For what it's worth, I have free dynamics content online here for folks to download and dissect:
http://www.celshader.com/gallery/md/

They're no substitute for comprehensive tutorials, but they might help get you started.

Also, check out the tutorials for the original HardFX -- FX Break:
http://www.dstorm.co.jp/FXBREAK/e/

wsantiago
08-08-2007, 11:12 AM
This has always been a flaw with newtek. Apparently nobody documents what they do. They manuals tend to explain the obvious in great detail while the poweful tools are barely explain(OFF BUTTON = turns tool off). This also applies to the the many plugins that are bundle with lightwave and have absolutely no documentation at all. LScript, MotionBuilder, Expressions among many others need more comprehensive, example driven documentation. The commercial books written for lightwave seem to be better.

Matt
08-08-2007, 11:14 AM
Those FX Break tutorials are handy actually!

Matt
08-08-2007, 11:15 AM
This has always been a flaw with newtek. Apparently nobody documents what they do. They manuals tend to explain the obvious in great detail while the poweful tools are barely explain(OFF BUTTON = turns tool off). This also applies to the the many plugins that are bundle with lightwave and have absolutely no documentation at all. LScript, MotionBuilder, Expressions among many others need more comprehensive, example driven documentation. The commercial books written for lightwave seem to be better.

I agree.

pixelinfected
08-08-2007, 11:27 AM
Check the content CD for sample scenes.

ftp://ftp.newtek.com/products/LightWave/Videos/Archive/ClothFx_001.avi

many content scenes are not able to learn....
most of PFX2 demo scenes are same where a simulation data are loaded, but if you delete simulation file and try to rebuild simulation you can't, be cause these are not the original generator scenes....

i just tried it in past...

celshade scenes are good starting point.
howard did a list of good simulation thread on spinquad.com, try a simple search with dynamic word

Surrealist.
08-08-2007, 12:14 PM
I was unable to find even basic tutorials on how to use ClothFX and even the LightWave 9 documentation did not provide a good description of using this specific dynamic. Although the documentation explains each individual control, it does not show how to setup a scene and get it working correctly. :twak:

Unfortunately this is not the only case of bad manual implementation regarding Lightwave. Beside the button description we need to know how the tools work and should be used.

Conclusion:
Better Documentation and video tutorials are needed to help the Lightwave newbie's. For instance in XSi you can "question" each button in real time to know what it specifically does and how to use it! :thumbsup:

IMO this is another area were Newtek should try to improve dramatically! :newtek:

This has been true for quite a while. And for this reason it has been a largely community-based and thrird-party-based activity to fill this void. This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is you have professionals teaching you with real-world practical examples. Also there is an art to much of this that can not be taught in a reference manual. The disadvantage is that there is no central place - one example here (http://members.shaw.ca/lightwavetutorials%20/Main_Menu.htm) - but no one central place where ALL of the documented tutorials (third party, community and newtek) can be found AND are kept updated. The above link is the closest to this.

Knowing this you can either :

a) continue to complain and wait

or

b) understand that this is the way it is, use the community and 3P resources that are available and get on with it.


or both.

Personally, I would like to see the lightwiki site get built up.

ben martin
08-08-2007, 01:10 PM
This has been true for quite a while. And for this reason it has been a largely community-based and thrird-party-based activity to fill this void. This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is you have professionals teaching you with real-world practical examples.

Which I much appreciate, but when someone looks at a software manual, more than the obvious is always expected.
The helping community won’t be obfuscated by a good manual anyway and yes! hope www.lightwiki.com can become a strong reference in the future!
Thanks for the example links though. All of you! :thumbsup:

Wonderpup
08-08-2007, 01:24 PM
I have some sympathy with the resources argument when it comes to detailed tutorials, but when even the basics are skimmed in the manuals it is a real problem. Example- where is it explained in the docs how use the 'use bones from object' function?' It gets mentioned as possibility but not how to use it

Or my all time favorite IKB- still barely documented years after it's introduction.

And the Node editor docs are skimpy at best. It's sad because all the work that goes into these tools can be undermined by poor docs that give the impression the tool are bad or hard to use.


The answer to the 'use bones from object' quiz is this rather counter intuitive procedure:

1) Select the mesh ( not a bone)

2) Switch to bone selection mode- this will have no visible effect but sets the scene for step three.

3) Now hit properties- Ta da the bones options for the object will now magicly appear, from which you can now select the object to use bones from.

Use this knowlege wisely, for it appears not in the Codecs of the Newtekians.

Surrealist.
08-08-2007, 07:16 PM
Which I much appreciate, but when someone looks at a software manual, more than the obvious is always expected.


I agree. Absolutely. :)