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View Full Version : RANT: NewTek REALLY needs to get someone to show/demo new features...period!



Cageman
08-08-2007, 12:21 PM
Hi.

I got my Essential LightWave 9 book a bunch of weeks ago and looking on the DVD I found a set of tutorials (hmm...I would probably call them demos) regarding new stuff that came with LW9.2. Some of those videos show the material nodes and how to use them...

Wait a minute... should I really have to PAY to be able to learn about new things in LightWave? Shouldn't NT produce and show new features to attract new users or to simply educate existing users? The videos on the Essential DVD aren't long, but they explain and show so much... don't get me wrong here... the videos are good and I learned something I hadn't relaized before, at the same time, the videos really only show you the door, and THAT is something I would expect NT to do... show the door. Once you are inside, there can be hundreds of different approaches, and that is something I don't expect NT to cover, but all those that produce training material. And please, don't give me the RTFM comments. A video is easy to access, and you really don't need to know what you are looking for. You simply want to see a "live" example of the usage of a tool...and in the process, maybe even win a couple of customers... :)

There are a bunch of users that have produced free video/text tutorials showing/explaining some of the new features in LightWave (hats off to you guys!!!), but my point is... This is something NT should do... really!

NT, what's your take on this? Why havn't you guys produced any easy to understand videos showcasing Material nodes and other new functions in LightWave?

alifx
08-08-2007, 12:31 PM
yeah I think we have one of the poorest documentations and free tutorials.

I like the way that luxology shows new features and put free tutorials on their web site.

alifx
08-08-2007, 12:33 PM
I still don't know what does many nodes do, or how to use them!

Danic101
08-08-2007, 12:42 PM
Well probaly not exactly what you need there are videos on the LightWave site that do provide some assistance.

http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/videos/

http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/tutorials/videos/index.php

But I agree more training content would be most helpful, both paid and free.

Matt
08-08-2007, 01:09 PM
I wish I knew LightWave in more depth, I mean REALLY know LightWave, like Dave Jerrard does! I'd be posting them up every day!

vadermanchild
08-08-2007, 03:13 PM
The Manuals have sucked long before computers even existed.

I dont see that changing soon.

Darth Mole
08-08-2007, 04:26 PM
Glad I'm not the only one.

We have scant documentation for LW 9.2 (let alone 9.3).
Those nice videos Proton was producing stopped months ago.
The existing documentation has large chunks dating back five years (and possibly more). Much of it is poorly explained.
LW is as complex a beast as it's ever been - NewTek has added heaps of complicated functionality in the leap from 9.0 to 9.2 - and frankly I don't use much of it because it's a frigging mystery to me. Cameras, AA modes, Nodes (multiple SSS shaders a great example), APS, etc. This all needs explaining in depth, using docs, video and example files - and with advice and tips by the people who made it and/or understand it!

NewTek needs to seriously take a leaf out of Luxology's book, or Maxon's Cineversity, and kick-start some good docs and video tuts. Yes it will cost them, but relying on users to inform via the forum and LightWiki is a poor show, and short-term thinking.

After all, what's the point in building all this functionality if only a handful of people actually use it?

Come on NewTek. Sort it out.

Wonderpup
08-08-2007, 04:55 PM
The problem seems to be that the development is carried out by a disparate group of very smart people scattered throughout the world who, by and large are following their own interests rather than a single plan- so we have a proliferation of sss types because thats where the development trail kind of went. It's a kind of dilltante culture to some extent which seems to have been characteristic of lightwave development from way back.

The result is that I personaly find myself the recipient of a lot really nice stuff in terms of rendering, which is great, but not really what I upgraded for-which was above all a greater degree of Layout/Modeler integration.

I just don't think there is a real ability there to follow a single plan- so how likely is it that anyone involved is going to stop pursuing their special interests long enough to create the type of documentation needed?

So guys like Marvin seem to trail along behind the development wave like news reporters at the front line sending back soundbite reports of the latest developments- but no one involved has the overview needed to truly document the process.

beverins
08-08-2007, 05:17 PM
LOL I thought this was a rant from Siggraph this year.

I wonder how that's going. Are they still showing a subdivided credit card, a cartoony face displaced with some ugly procedural and a sphere rolling down the side of a face with sticky?

Probably Autodesk's down the hall showing realtime rendering of Transformers' Bumblebee using Gelato and an Nvidia Quadroplex.... And yes, I know that its a tech demo, not really used in real production. In a trade show its all about the HOLY FSCKING WOW factor.

Yeah, I'm not at Siggraph this year. Wish I was though. But probably I would feel the urge to throw my Journeyed.com convention bag at Newtek's presenter if I were to see their 3D Arsenal "are you SCARED of 3D?" presentation again.

Anybody at Siggy who would care to give a truthful review of their presentations?

calilifestyle
08-08-2007, 05:37 PM
I just bought that book im like omg this book is the best.

calilifestyle
08-08-2007, 05:43 PM
oh and i agree about the rant... lol

IMI
08-08-2007, 06:16 PM
It would be nice to have more free videos or more in-depth documentation, but I don't in any way see as how they're obligated to provide it.
They're also not obligated to provide this forum here for us, but they do, and the learning of LightWave is the primary focus, and, in many ways alot better than videos or manuals. I've seen some explanations here from regular users that were far more in-depth and informative than anything I've seen or read.

omeone
08-08-2007, 06:27 PM
Isn't Graham Toms working on something?

http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/profiles/GrahamToms/index.php

IMI
08-08-2007, 06:49 PM
http://www.luxology.com/training/

oops! luxology seems to be what newtek should have been

I think they were. :D

vadermanchild
08-08-2007, 07:52 PM
http://www.luxology.com/training/

oops! luxology seems to be what newtek should have been
:boogiedow

vadermanchild
08-08-2007, 07:53 PM
Ive no idea what that smillie means

Matt
08-08-2007, 08:09 PM
Geez! Write 'em off why don't ya! ;)

anieves
08-08-2007, 08:39 PM
I agree that the documentation needs to be better. Some nodes descriptions are either extremely vague or options are missing. This is one of the reasons I say that the Node Editor chapter in the LW9 Texturing book was the most challenging. I'm in the process of writing a better "Materials" section since I really didn't have the time to make it justice. It'll be free for book owners.

After that is done I can spend some time to make some free videos, this as you probably know takes quite a bit of time of production and time from my family so I will only do it if you guys would find it useful, what do you'll think?

-EsHrA-
08-09-2007, 01:24 AM
+1


mlon

tonybliss
08-09-2007, 04:33 AM
I will find it useful :D angel
thanks
PS make sure you still spend time with the family and of course ... REST yourself

Iain
08-09-2007, 05:41 AM
I understand the reason for this rant but the best way to learn new features is to try them.
I read some nodes tutorials when 9 came out and didn't have a clue what they were talking about. Then I just started plugging them in randomly and watched what happened. FPrime 3 makes that a breeze.

And there are people trying - Proton, Exception, Matt and Dave Jerrard among others.
Hats off to 'em I say.

Matt
08-09-2007, 06:04 AM
Some are self-explanatory, others not so, but a full description with examples for each one would be gold dust!

anieves
08-09-2007, 07:37 AM
Some are self-explanatory, others not so, but a full description with examples for each one would be gold dust!

For the most part that's what I did in the book with the exception of Materials which is in progress now and Math nodes which most are self explanatory; I mean everyone using a 3d package should know what add and subtract are... right? :D

Maybe those can be explored in the free videos... If I end up doing that I'll try to make them in wide screen like the M*d* videos.

Celshader
08-10-2007, 04:07 PM
LOL I thought this was a rant from Siggraph this year.

I wonder how that's going. Are they still showing a subdivided credit card, a cartoony face displaced with some ugly procedural and a sphere rolling down the side of a face with sticky?

I went to SIGGRAPH on Tuesday. The NewTek booth showed excellent storm VFX from Guardian (http://www.vfxtalk.com/forum/vfxtalk-meets-guardian-waves-t6983.html?t=6983), shots from 300 (http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/profiles/300/) and LightWave work from no less than the director of Akira: the Freedom (http://freedom-project.jp/) OAV series.

Mark Kochinski gave a one-hour presentation on the making of Guardian, and the head of Radical 3D gave a behind-the-scenes look at the History Channel's Dogfights (http://www.history.com/minisites/dogfights/).

So good stuff got shown at the NewTek booth on Tuesday, at least.

MiniFireDragon
08-10-2007, 05:00 PM
I really liked it when about once a week for a long while there popped up on Lightwave's Front page a new tutorial or demo of features. Then one day it all stopped. It actually kept me coming back to the site to check to see if there was anything new to see.

IMI
08-10-2007, 07:02 PM
That 300 video is pretty cool. I wish I had one of those monitors. :D
For that matter, I wish SIGGRAPH didn't have this habit of always being at the complete opposite end of the country from where I am at the time...

lardbros
08-16-2007, 05:18 AM
That 300 video is pretty cool. I wish I had one of those monitors. :D
For that matter, I wish SIGGRAPH didn't have this habit of always being at the complete opposite end of the country from where I am at the time...

Or being at the other end of the planet!! Although, work paid for me to go this year, it was bloody fantastic. If newtek filmed all the presentations at siggraph why don't they just put them up on the site? The head modelling by Bloch was simply amazing... very talentic guy! Modelled in about 15 minutes, under stressful conditions and showed some good workflow techniques!

Good show Newtek!!

GregMalick
08-17-2007, 12:15 PM
I went to SIGGRAPH on Tuesday. The NewTek booth showed excellent storm VFX from Guardian (http://www.vfxtalk.com/forum/vfxtalk-meets-guardian-waves-t6983.html?t=6983), shots from 300 (http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/profiles/300/) and LightWave work from no less than the director of Akira: the Freedom (http://freedom-project.jp/) OAV series.

Mark Kochinski gave a one-hour presentation on the making of Guardian, and the head of Radical 3D gave a behind-the-scenes look at the History Channel's Dogfights (http://www.history.com/minisites/dogfights/).

So good stuff got shown at the NewTek booth on Tuesday, at least.


Remember the days when they used to post the Siggraph videos?

;)

WilliamVaughan
08-17-2007, 07:16 PM
Remember the days when they used to post the Siggraph videos?

;)



That's the plan....give them a chance to work with the massive amount of data they captured at the show.

Matt
08-17-2007, 08:10 PM
That's the plan....give them a chance to work with the massive amount of data they captured at the show.

OMG! He's alive!!!!! :D

;)

WilliamVaughan
08-17-2007, 09:17 PM
OMG! He's alive!!!!! :D

;)


I prefer the term Undead :P

GraphXs
08-17-2007, 10:27 PM
Undead...and a vegan


Nice seeing ya at Siggraph Proton.

frantbk
08-18-2007, 09:59 AM
[QUOTE=anieves]I agree that the documentation needs to be better. Some nodes descriptions are either extremely vague or options are missing. This is one of the reasons I say that the Node Editor chapter in the LW9 Texturing book was the most challenging. I'm in the process of writing a better "Materials" section since I really didn't have the time to make it justice. It'll be free for book owners.
QUOTE]

Documentation? A picture and 1/2 a paragraph counts as documentation? Ok, enough of a rant.:devil: Because most of the documentation is changing over to PDF vers. paperback manuals maybe we should expect larger paragraphes of text explaining greater detail of the process.

Unless the whole point of the picture and 1/2 a paragraph of text is to force user into taking classes to cover the lack of information. If that is the case then we will probably not see any change because of the after-market training classes/book sales on lightwave. Do many of you feel that the after-market training/books really provide a good service for learning Lightwave?

My view is most of the books on Lightwave and other 3D apps. are a waste of money, but that's just my experience.

Cageman
08-18-2007, 12:07 PM
[QUOTE=anieves]My view is most of the books on Lightwave and other 3D apps. are a waste of money, but that's just my experience.

Well, there are things in books that really shouldn't need to be in there becasue they are fundamental and should be covered by NTs own documentation and/or training that should come with the package. As we all know, and that is why I started this thread, NT havn't done much in this area.

Having said that, the books also covers workflow and methods that you my or may not be familiar with. It's hard to say if a book will teach you anything new, but generally each book has at least a couple of things that you didn't know about. Also, it is easy to forget the fact that by bying a book (or a video) you will aslo get to learn, often in detail, how the author works, and that is also something that can make you rethink your own workflow or methods.

I havn't been letdown by any of the books I bought about LW9: LW9 Texturing, LW9 Lighting, Essential LW9, Inside LW9

IMI
08-18-2007, 12:31 PM
Unless the whole point of the picture and 1/2 a paragraph of text is to force user into taking classes to cover the lack of information. If that is the case then we will probably not see any change because of the after-market training classes/book sales on lightwave. Do many of you feel that the after-market training/books really provide a good service for learning Lightwave?

My view is most of the books on Lightwave and other 3D apps. are a waste of money, but that's just my experience.

I've never expected much from software manuals. Manuals in general are vague, and sometimes just useless. I don't think it's an overt attempt at forcing the after-market training industry, though, and a manual traditionally says, here you go, this is what this does. That's their purpose - to outline, not to be a step-by step guide on how to use everything.
personally, I think the LW PDF manuals are pretty good. I still have yet to read one all the way through, though, considering how much easier and often quicker it is to get an answer online or an insight into some tool or technique.

As far as books and videos go, I have alot on the subject of LW. I'll lay back on the couch and open up one of Dan Ablan's books to a random page just to relax, and learn something new.
Same with videos.
I have yet to buy a LW book I'm disappointed with - there's always something new to be learned, or some new insight into something.
The books and videos inspire all sorts of experimentation and incorporation of techniques I might otherwise not think to try. I don't see how anyone could have a problem with more information.
Hell, if the Newtek documentation was flawless and all-inclusive, making further information redundant and moot, we'd all think like newtek people. :D

zapper1998
08-18-2007, 01:23 PM
yeah I think we have one of the poorest documentations and free tutorials.

I like the way that luxology shows new features and put free tutorials on their web site.


..........Exactly...... right O....

IMI
08-18-2007, 01:45 PM
All the free stuff is cool and much appreciated, but... I dunno. Personally, my expectations lay in my own ability to seek out knowledge and incorporate it (even if that means buying some shiny course or book), or to figure it out on my own.
As I said earlier in this thread, I don't see why they should feel obligated to supply any more than they do. A selling point? Exposure? Marketing savvy?
Doesn't make it or break it for me - I bought - and use - modo, for example, but I made that decision based on its obvious merits after using the demo for just an hour or so. The fact that it has alot of free training associated with it wasn't even a concern.
I'd rather see Newtek people spending their time and efforts working on the program itself.

Cageman
08-18-2007, 02:50 PM
A selling point? Exposure? Marketing savvy?
Doesn't make it or break it for me - I bought - and use - modo, for example, but I made that decision based on its obvious merits after using the demo for just an hour or so. The fact that it has alot of free training associated with it wasn't even a concern.

Well, you came from LW and Modo is an enhanced LW-modeler, so anyone experienced with LWs modelling tools could easily get up to speed with Modo without any training. But there are not just LightWave or ex-LightWave users who use Modo, and for people who only knows Maya, Modo is quite different. Those people need to see two things: What does it do and how is it done? Do you honestly think that people would care about Modo if there were no videos whatsoever that show the new features and functionality? That is the only thing their demovideos does... showing new tools; where the door is, so to speak. The thing is, the creative juices starts to whirl around in my head when I see usages for a tool or feature.



I'd rather see Newtek people spending their time and efforts working on the program itself.

Yeah, that's why I think they should hire a person that can create these small videos and also help with the documentation and create example content.

IMI
08-18-2007, 03:37 PM
Cageman,
No, I wasn't talking about videos showcasing an app's abilities. I think it'd be stupid not to, especially in this time when processors and video cards and screen capture software are working so well together, enabling people, with a few clicks, to create some seriously good demonstration videos.
All I'm saying is that, as a user, I don't think they should be made to feel obligated to do so for me, just because others are doing so of their own will.
There's no denying it could help them with sales, but I thought the point of this discussion was whether they owed it to us.
I simply meant, Newtek develops Lightwave. People like Larry Schultz and Dan Ablan create training videos and books.

Now, if the biggies in the 3rd party training arena stop giving us our fixes, then I'll be bitching up a storm. :D



Yeah, that's why I think they should hire a person that can create these small videos and also help with the documentation and create example content.


Well, they're not a large company, and they do have a budget. Maybe it'd be a good idea for them to offer discounts to upgrades for those in the beta crowd who are willing to create and submit training videos.

Cageman
08-18-2007, 05:29 PM
Maybe it'd be a good idea for them to offer discounts to upgrades for those in the beta crowd who are willing to create and submit training videos.

I think that is a really good idea! :) But then again...what happened with the Chain and Sprocket videotutorial by Jeremy Snell?

It consists of 250MB videocontent showing the process of modeling these two parts of a motorcycle. Everything from preparation to final model is shown. A good deal of not so obvious features in Modeler is shown as well as a really sweet mathematical method on how to get things right. As far as I know, Proton was going to get it hosted on NT-servers, but I havn't seen it in their videotutorial gallery, so I guess it was a dead end. :/ As far as I know, Jeremy didn't ask for anything in return.

Conclusion: If NT doesn't care about good tutorials GIVEN to them for FREE, I find it hard to see them give discounts to users who contributes.

I want to be proven wrong about this though....

John the Geek
08-18-2007, 07:08 PM
As a general n00b to 3D animation, the videos run circles around any book. Most people learn visually, and watching Dan Ablan do it, perhaps more than once, is a Godsend. (I'm still not very far though... Haven't gotten to the nodes yet.) I have his book also... but I decided to try the videos first.

I also bought Dan's courseware for modo too, but I really applaud Luxology for their casual freebees they post so often, and even for the cheap project-based tutorials they sell. (Like the wrist watch.) That's how I want to learn. Don't tell me about it, show me!!

We need more LW tutorial videos for download somewhere... Some free too. People who haven't decided yet need to be shown why they should buy it. There are plenty of poorly documented goodies to cover.

Just my $0.02.
=)

9.what?
08-18-2007, 07:25 PM
the documentation is the least of thier worries. They are moving at a snails pace, while the rest of the industry is moving at the speed of light!

Titus
08-18-2007, 07:31 PM
the documentation is the least of thier worries. They are moving at a snails pace, while the rest of the industry is moving at the speed of light!

Yeah right! just watching the last Maya and Max upgrades I'm crying in terror.

9.what?
08-18-2007, 07:39 PM
R u comparing the 3? wasn't really referring to max or maya, just the speed at which 3d software/teck is progressing in general, compared to lightwave...
Bump maps in ogl, anyone...

John the Geek
08-18-2007, 07:45 PM
If you want to run a good race, you need good shoes.

NewTek has been putting a lot of work into their shoes lately. Shouldn't be too long before the eyes are back on them in the race again.

I hope.

=)

Titus
08-18-2007, 07:46 PM
I think LW at this moment is gaining momentum, contrary to other apps.

rwhunt99
08-18-2007, 08:53 PM
I'm a fair NOOB, and I bought Lightwave because I thought (or was informed) that it was simple to use. but when I got it up and running, I hadn't a clue, I've spent more than the $1200 that I payed for the program on books, and video's trying to get a handle on it. There are still scenes that came with 7.5 that I haven't got a clue to why they were given. I think that's my biggest gripe. There should be a series of videos that would get you up to speed integrating all the features (not neccessarily every tool) so you can be able to create and render something more than a simple box. Even if they offered a proven course for a reasonable fee would be great. They seem to act like everyone out there is a graphics engineer and should have a solid understanding on the terms and techniques to produce something with the software. On top of that, I still can't get the software to even do what they advertise it can do. I can't seem to get help from their tech support even though I fill out their forms and include all the serials and lock ID's and whatever, I still get no response.

I think it is a mistake to cut the price for the software (by half) because now, it takes twice the sales to generate the same amount of money for R&D, especially since they had so much catching up to do.

Oh well, I'm only a hobbyist and I can't afford to switch now, so when's the next upgrade coming out ?

alifx
08-18-2007, 08:58 PM
sorry maybe off topic.. but i have to say :)

lightwave is getting better, but I've never seen a slow progress like this before.

LW 10 maybe will come in 2009 if NT didn't move faster.

I know they are a small team of developers, but they can expand IMHO.


I hear Luxology are going to deal wiht Pixar for some "new animation technologies" !

sadly there is nothing in LW that we didn't complain about.

Titus
08-18-2007, 09:23 PM
sorry maybe off topic.. but i have to say :)
I hear Luxology are going to deal wiht Pixar for some "new animation technologies" !


Catmull-Clark subds in LW is at some point a Pixar technology (do a search for Ed Catmull).

alifx
08-18-2007, 09:54 PM
Blender had Catmull-Clark subds before LW does :)
but strange it can't deal with Ngon heh.

I'm talking about stuff like these
http://graphics.pixar.com/

Titus
08-18-2007, 09:59 PM
Blender had Catmull-Clark subds before LW does :)
but strange it can't deal with Ngon heh.

Yes I know. I'm a Pixar's RenderMan, Blender and LW user.



I'm talking about stuff like these
http://graphics.pixar.com/

Then you're looking for a RenderMan renderer, these papers are mostly features you find in every new version.

alifx
08-18-2007, 10:12 PM
scroll down a bit... there are some stuff on animation and CA

but anyway I don't know if it's true or not and what they are going to do.
also maybe those papers don't have to do anything with that deal

aah ..I'm only waiting for CA updates in Light...........wave



^_^

Titus
08-18-2007, 10:27 PM
I just wanted to point the fact that many programs use pixar technology, only we aren't aware.

riki
08-19-2007, 12:23 AM
A bit off topic but I got a months free membership with Lynda.com when I purchase CS3 Production Premium a few weeks ago. Which is an awesome site btw. Normally $25 per month for as many gigs of vids as you care to watch. They've got some stuff on Maya and Cinema 4D, would be great to see some Lightwave stuff here as well.

kevman3d
08-19-2007, 04:16 AM
I havn't been letdown by any of the books I bought about LW9: LW9 Texturing, LW9 Lighting, Essential LW9, Inside LW9

Phew! I was starting to worry when I read the first post on this thread that we'd failed with Essential LightWave 9! I'm glad to hear that wasn't the case! :D

Cageman
08-19-2007, 07:19 AM
Phew! I was starting to worry when I read the first post on this thread that we'd failed with Essential LightWave 9! I'm glad to hear that wasn't the case! :D

Ahh..well, I thought I was clear about that. :) My fist post was about fundamental things that should come with the package so you guys can focus on doing the really cool and intricate stuff and really take things to the next level. Right now, you guys have to take care about both the beginners and experienced people, and that says alot about the status quo of the training NT provides.

Your videos about the new material nodes in LW9.2 were the type of videos I would expect NT to produce. They are perfect vidoes to get the creative juices flowing.

rwhunt99
08-19-2007, 08:02 AM
I've been working my way through the essential Lightwave v9 book and I must say it's a great book,I've been pleasantly surprised by the wealth of information in it, and that's what I've been talkin about! This is something that needs to accompany every copy of the software. Kudos to the Authors, I love it !! :D

starbase1
08-22-2007, 09:47 AM
The docs for Hexagon are exemplary - most features have a little animation showing you the tool in action, right by the description. That makes it SO much clearer.

The PDF's are not just an excuse to send the software out without a printed manual, they really add to it.

While there will always be some need to experiment, it can be insanely long winded when you have parameters that affect each other - just consider the number of options in the radiosity type environmental lighting functions, and how they all interact with each other. Add in the time it takes to render a test frame, and the way that some aspects simply won't show in some scenes, and the next release will be out before you have tried half of them...

You could say the same with advanced use of HV's, advanced cameras, nodes, the works.

A lot of this could be made a LOT better by the simple expedient of including good presets for a lot more stuff. I had to muck about to find the correct camera settings for rendering a spherical environment map - the people who coded the advanced camera presumably knew about that and tried it out - why not add an approriately named preset, and save me some guesswork?

And I mean things like presets for all sorts of stuff, like lighting / radiosity that will serve as a good basis for an interior room, or three point lighting rigs for a head, a simple skin preset or two for the simple skin shader (doh!)...

The developers MUST try this stuff out, and presumably they know best what it is good at! Hit the button and give us something on the preset shelf when you test it guys!

Or just ask us to give them to you, and between us we will make a monster library of handy stuff...

colkai
08-22-2007, 11:26 AM
The developers MUST try this stuff out, and presumably they know best what it is good at! Hit the button and give us something on the preset shelf when you test it guys!

Ahh, alas, developers, not the best at docs or examples.
I speak from experience of being a developer and the reaction to my documentation. :p ;)

Techincal stuff, all over it, but 'user POV' ahem, yes,, well...err...
>>shuffles feet<<

lardbros
08-22-2007, 11:29 AM
I second this statement entirely!

I had a look at the Maxwell render manual and it's truly beautiful! A perfect design document which is clearly made for the purpose of the artist! Newtek seriously need to look to hiring a publisher/designer for this purpose exactly. 3dsMAX is pretty poor in its manual, but i think LWs is still just about worse.

bobakabob
08-22-2007, 12:57 PM
The docs for Hexagon are exemplary - most features have a little animation showing you the tool in action, right by the description. That makes it SO much clearer.

The PDF's are not just an excuse to send the software out without a printed manual, they really add to it.

While there will always be some need to experiment, it can be insanely long winded when you have parameters that affect each other - just consider the number of options in the radiosity type environmental lighting functions, and how they all interact with each other. Add in the time it takes to render a test frame, and the way that some aspects simply won't show in some scenes, and the next release will be out before you have tried half of them...

You could say the same with advanced use of HV's, advanced cameras, nodes, the works.

A lot of this could be made a LOT better by the simple expedient of including good presets for a lot more stuff. I had to muck about to find the correct camera settings for rendering a spherical environment map - the people who coded the advanced camera presumably knew about that and tried it out - why not add an approriately named preset, and save me some guesswork?

And I mean things like presets for all sorts of stuff, like lighting / radiosity that will serve as a good basis for an interior room, or three point lighting rigs for a head, a simple skin preset or two for the simple skin shader (doh!)...

The developers MUST try this stuff out, and presumably they know best what it is good at! Hit the button and give us something on the preset shelf when you test it guys!

Or just ask us to give them to you, and between us we will make a monster library of handy stuff...

Agreed. As 3D programs increase in complexity editable presets are a way of making them more accessible to a wider audience without dumbing down. Sure Lightwave is well supported by third party tuition and there there's some useful material on the content discs but how do newbies cope with controls that wouldn't be out of place in a UFO cockpit? Newtek could certainly host a texture node directory to complement the tutorials.

Titus
08-22-2007, 01:12 PM
And don't forget better documentation of the SDK and L-script.

starbase1
08-22-2007, 02:06 PM
I know I sometimes harp on about presets round here, but it is so easy to fix compared with a full documentation rewrite... They must have tried good glass with the new shader nodes etc etc...

Nick

Marvin Miller
08-22-2007, 03:58 PM
I haven't read the entire thread, but I thought I'd pop-in and make a couple comments.

I've had a new e-mail address created for LightWave documentation, which is for documentation specific issues: [email protected]

If you have any suggestions, problems, or anything else related to documentation (manuals, Help File), you are welcome to send them there.


I'll be the first to agree that we need more tutorials! Given the rapid pace of development lately, I personally have not had much time to make any. That should change soon. (Not that development is slowing down...)

If you have any suggestions for tutorials (or if you have your own you would like us to use), please send them to [email protected] I'd like to try making a video tutorial, since I've never made one myself.

colkai
08-23-2007, 02:09 AM
I'd like to try making a video tutorial, since I've never made one myself.
The worse part?
The "do I really sound like that?" moment :p and the realisation that you spent too long going, "umm, yep, no wait..err". ;)

I recommend CamStudio as the app for actually recording though, very good. :)

omeone
08-23-2007, 02:15 AM
The worse part?
The "do I really sound like that?" moment :p and the realisation that you spent too long going, "umm, yep, no wait..err". ;)

lol ehhhmmmm yeah! ehhhm that and ehhhhm ice-cream vans

colkai
08-23-2007, 03:06 AM
lol ehhhmmmm yeah! ehhhm that and ehhhhm ice-cream vans
Hehe, oh yes, I remember that one ;)

bobakabob
08-23-2007, 03:55 AM
I haven't read the entire thread, but I thought I'd pop-in and make a couple comments.

I've had a new e-mail address created for LightWave documentation, which is for documentation specific issues: [email protected]

If you have any suggestions, problems, or anything else related to documentation (manuals, Help File), you are welcome to send them there.


I'll be the first to agree that we need more tutorials! Given the rapid pace of development lately, I personally have not had much time to make any. That should change soon. (Not that development is slowing down...)

If you have any suggestions for tutorials (or if you have your own you would like us to use), please send them to [email protected] I'd like to try making a video tutorial, since I've never made one myself.

Marvin,

Browsing the forums there's a feeling that nodes are still a black art to many users. I've been learning them slowly by trial and error and the contributions of users but I still have no clear overview on how many nodes function. This is a great new development in Lightwave but I think Newtek could really demonstrate its full potential by hosting short and sweet structured video tuts on the fundamentals and not relying on third parties to do this.

More videos showing basic node setups for practical applications such as glass and realistic skin would be greatly appreciated.

bobakabob
08-23-2007, 04:02 AM
I know I sometimes harp on about presets round here, but it is so easy to fix compared with a full documentation rewrite... They must have tried good glass with the new shader nodes etc etc...

Nick

Again I agree 100% and wish Newtek could host a bank of nodal surface presets and other practically useful settings that would really show off what the software can do. It would be informative and promotional attracting more 3D newbies to the software.

starbase1
08-23-2007, 05:39 AM
:twak:

starbase1
08-23-2007, 05:43 AM
Again I agree 100% and wish Newtek could host a bank of nodal surface presets and other practically useful settings that would really show off what the software can do. It would be informative and promotional attracting more 3D newbies to the software.

Never mind hosting a bank of them, just ask people to submit, maybe in a library conference here... We are a very sharing bunch and with a bit of encouragement would give a lot. Then make a big zip to download, or include in the next content, and give the contributors thanks by name in the docs. With a conference here we could vote on those submitted, and leave out (say) anything with less than three stars, which should keep quality OK...

IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!
:twak:

byte_fx
08-23-2007, 08:28 AM
Thanks go out to Marvin Miller for creating a contact point regarding documentation.

Maybe that should be made a sticky?

And before I forget - it's good to hear that Proton is undead.

Anyway - a lot of code has been compiled since the days of v 3.5. Back then the docs were pretty sparse as well but frankly weren't needed that much as Lw was so well laid out. I used 3.5 quite well for over a month w/o more than a cursory glance in the manuals.

Not so these days. There's so much going on I have desktop links to the manuals on two computers sitting side by side so I can keep LW in the foregrond while reading the pdf's.

Personally I prefer pdf's over videos for tuts as it's easier to find a particular point of info.

The content that comes with LW is sometimes useful but what might be better is the stuff created by the developement teams as they near a final code set.

Being able to pick something like that apart can give a lot of insight into specific areas - nodes comes to mind. There is quite a bit of info on nodes in the manual but frankly wading thru it can be daunting at times. At least for me.

I am kind of surprised that NewTek doesn't have an area where users can upload presets they've found useful. Granted a preset is scene/object dependant but at least it's a starting point that can be disected and tweaked to better understand how it works.

byte_fx

Titus
08-23-2007, 09:46 AM
Maybe OT:

Today received a mail from a client, he discovered this video featuring SpeedEDIT and wrote: "so, this is the new 'editor' you are using?" Somehow I felt embarrassed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq0X0dWLu34