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Pavlov
09-01-2007, 12:20 PM
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=9078672

Paolo

dballesg
09-01-2007, 12:30 PM
Sadly:

Criteria for licensure includes:

* Autodesk must approve all licensees’ applications before SDK will be provided.
* Autodesk reserves the right not to license the RealDWG SDK for use in software applications that compete with existing Autodesk software applications or strategies.
* Licensee must agree to Autodesk trademark and logo terms.
* Use of the RealDWG toolkit is subject to the RealDWG license terms and conditions.

Out of luck me thinks! :(

Dodgy
09-01-2007, 04:41 PM
Yup, autodesk really likes to play well with the other kids...

robk
09-01-2007, 11:43 PM
The $5000.00 a year fee might also drive away devlopers. Considering most Lightwave hobbiest's want all plugins for free.

Pavlov
09-02-2007, 06:30 AM
So pros will go away, instead.
I'm a pro user so btw i really hope NT raises its pricing to a level which allows to buy things like this and many other.
As i already stated many times, it's time NT chooses which route to go.
Having a foot in pro and one in hobby is imho a major drawback for LW development.
Be the best hobby tool, or finally a full and competitive hi-end tool. Once it was possible to stay in both, now the gap has become too large.
In both cases LW will sell more than now, and whiners would nearly disappear.
Or stay as now, and dont be able to do a lot of things because ones or other's interests, making both half-happy.
NT is into an Occam razor, not the most pleasant place to stay. Even for users.

Paolo

dballesg
09-02-2007, 06:43 AM
Hi Paolo,

I do not think 5000$ at a year is something Newtek cannot afford.

The problem is that Autodesk reserves their right of NOT to sell the dev kit to the competence! :(

So maybe Newtek would try to buy it and Autodesk say "NO".

Simply and sadly as that ! :(

Pavlov
09-02-2007, 06:53 AM
Yes, that's sad.
Autodesk is smart: they know users hate them for monopoly attitude so they made this decision, but "their way".

Paolo

Captain Obvious
09-02-2007, 07:26 AM
Eh, it's not like Lightwave is really that much competition for Maya and 3dsmax anyway. I'd love to see DWG support in Lightwave. Even if Autodesk refuses, NewTek should at least bloody well try. We're currently using AutoCAD and crap like that just to get DWG files into LW. We probably spend more than $5k a year as it is just getting DWG compatibility in our workflow.

Pavlov
09-02-2007, 07:46 AM
Captain, Every app is in competition with Max on VIZ now. Engines are raging out, Vray is going universal... what do they keep if not file formats ? Why one should buy Max if he can buy LW or XSI for a fraction and then use all engines
That's why i guess they would refuse licenses to many.
Hopefully i'm wrong, so i too hope NT tries.

Paolo

3dworks
09-02-2007, 08:18 AM
workflow with other applications is the key word to success in this 3d world more than ever, that's why i'm too for integrating the DWG format. but please newtek, don't forget to fix the obsolete 3DS importer and bring the OBJ translator to a current standard, with working MTL and UV map support.

have a closer look at the competition: cinema 4d may not have the best render engine, nor the most intuitive GUI, but because of their workflow integration with the other main players they are expanding their market share year after year. not sure if many here know that cinema even reads complete LWS scenes perfectly (as long those are not in the newer LW9.2 format)...

maybe one idea would be to sell an optional LW archviz kit, which contains DWG translators and other specific goodies (for example a camera matching plugin, or direct IES light support) for professional users working in this area.

markus

Pavlov
09-02-2007, 08:59 AM
That's a good idea, so people who wants, pay for it.
Consider that this is geared to pros which dont care to spill some money more to get a full-blown I/O toolset with most common fileformat and project format.

Paolo

MicroMouse
09-02-2007, 01:57 PM
For the same money that AutoDesk charges for their SDK the OpenDWG toolkit can be licensed from the Open Design Alliance at
http://www.opendesign.com/

For those who want the same CAD file support as provided with Cinema4D, then just buy Deep Exploration and the appropriate CAD plugins. The support in Cinema4D is just the plugin version of Deep Exploration with appropriate CAD plugins.

Wayne

Pavlov
09-03-2007, 02:15 AM
Deep Exploration + cad plugins ? I seem to remember pricing is insane. Those guys are really on a price rage, i dont think it's a viable option.
200 € for an i/o plugin package for Lw would be a lot better.

Paolo

Ztreem
09-03-2007, 05:09 AM
It wouldn't mind if LW started to support NURBS as well, if NewTek wants to they can use the .3DM format which is free. Even Modo is starting to suport the .3dm format even though only polygons at the moment.
Here's a link: http://www.opennurbs.org/index.htm

jin choung
09-03-2007, 02:53 PM
yah, the rhino file format... that's pretty standard for non alias nurbs.

oh well, at least autodesk isn't being delusional. they're the only kids on the block that can afford not to play well with others.

jin

RedBull
09-03-2007, 03:50 PM
So pros will go away, instead.
I'm a pro user so btw i really hope NT raises its pricing to a level which allows to buy things like this and many other.

I don't think you will see this happen, it's been the trend for all 3D Software to decrease in price, if LW were to increase it's price, it simply wouldn't sell..
This market of 3D production is ultra competitive, and the market is small..

You can see recently that XSI changed the Essentials/Advanced pricing, aggressively launched the FND version and now have released the XSI-Mod-Tool for free...... Softimage would not be doing this if they were not bleeding at some level.



As i already stated many times, it's time NT chooses which route to go. Having a foot in pro and one in hobby is imho a major drawback for LW development. Be the best hobby tool, or finally a full and competitive hi-end tool. Once it was possible to stay in both, now the gap has become too large.

I think that most people will come to realize that Lightwave already has chosen a route, and it's the hobbyist route, i think this had been obvious since the price decrease around LW8. And since that last development team left. I don't think that this is a surprise, private pockets, small development and tiny budgets mean LW will never be in an Autodesk position.

Unfortunately Budget/Hobby class programs like Carrera, Hexagon2, Silo2 are cheaper and offer better toolsets for hobbyists these days too... :)


In both cases LW will sell more than now, and whiners would nearly disappear.Paolo

A 2nd Pro LW edition, would not sell at all IMHO.....
It would be a hugely costly and non-worthwhile experience, considering how half-assed our LW is currently, I certainly would be looking at other applications rather than LW Pro. And you will never get rid of whiners... :)
It's shown that the others had to make a cut down version just to survive in the market place.. XSI Foundation for example. When XSI/Houdini/Maya/C4D/Modo/Blender/Max already legit alternatives, launching another version of LW, because the current one is not up to scratch would be admission of how far behind it is.....

As for DWG, I thought LWCAD has been promising this feature.....

PS... Doesn't .FBX work for DWG?

Pavlov
09-03-2007, 04:23 PM
I think that most people will come to realize that Lightwave already has chosen a route, and it's the hobbyist route, i think this had been obvious since the price decrease around LW8. And since that last development team left. I don't think that this is a surprise, private pockets, small development and tiny budgets mean LW will never be in an Autodesk position.

By that time most software decreased pricing. Are Maya or XSI hobbyst's tools ? nope. LW has always been a cheap but pro package, use also by hobbyist's because of its pricing, but also from DD and many other major VFX houses. Crumbling down to a crappy hobby tool like Carrara or Caligari, or a bit better, would be a very bitter defeat and i'm pretty sure noone at NT wants this.


Unfortunately Budget/Hobby class programs like Carrera, Hexagon2, Silo2 are cheaper and offer better toolsets for hobbyists these days too... :)

Probably it's true locally, but none of there is a fullblown package like LW aor has such a vaste community and plugin library.


It would be a hugely costly and non-worthwhile experience, considering how half-assed our LW is currently, I certainly would be looking at other applications rather than LW Pro. And you will never get rid of whiners... :)


Lol..
anyway i'd stay here instead. Spending some more for a better package is better that spending less but miss fundamental things.
Speaking of "LW pro" is out of reach and probably makes no sense, the thread wasnt meant to spread to highest systems but was just a praise for better i/o tools for whoever can do it.


As for DWG, I thought LWCAD has been promising this feature.....


I didnt remember so i apologize. Viktor is very talented, i'm sure he will be able to do it anyway; writing DWG i/o with Autodesk's help could result in a better tool.

bye
Paolo

RedBull
09-03-2007, 06:23 PM
By that time most software decreased pricing. Are Maya or XSI hobbyst's tools ? nope. LW has always been a cheap but pro package, use also by hobbyist's because of its pricing, but also from DD and many other major VFX houses. Crumbling down to a crappy hobby tool like Carrara or Caligari, or a bit better, would be a very bitter defeat and i'm pretty sure noone at NT wants this.

XSI FND, was/is really just marketing (as is the Mod-Tool) a way to get people aware of XSI, and to stop using other applications. So it was aimed at hobbyists for sure.

I'm sure LW developers are doing what they can within the budget and development restraints that they have. But they do have those restraints.
It's hard to offer a pro version of LW, when if you look at LW's price with a few plugins like Syflex and Sasquatch, HD-Instance.... You surpass the Essentials price of XSI.

I'm sure we are all hoping that LW10 is really the rebirth and results of the parallel changeover. And the bits that we are seeing in LW9, are just examples of some of the features that will be included in the newer core.
But that would be just wishful thinking on my part. :)


Probably it's true locally, but none of there is a fullblown package like LW aor has such a vaste community and plugin library.

Totally agree... :)

Although one way you can tell how LW is lacking lately is how often new Lscripts and new plugins are NOT being developed, compared to previous times. I check Flay about once every 3 months, even then it mentions Maya's Point Oven or Vue 6.5.. :) I used to check Flay several times daily......


Lol..
anyway i'd stay here instead. Spending some more for a better package is better that spending less but miss fundamental things.
Speaking of "LW pro" is out of reach and probably makes no sense, the thread wasnt meant to spread to highest systems but was just a praise for better i/o tools for whoever can do it.

Indeed and i don't disagree with your sentiment at all, I used to often dream of LW Pro, and i also think overall all the other applications have improved there I/O options with Collada and Crosstalk, PointOven so LW should too....


I didnt remember so i apologize. Viktor is very talented, i'm sure he will be able to do it anyway; writing DWG i/o with Autodesk's help could result in a better tool.

bye
Paolo

Don't apologize, I remember that DXF/DWG support was on the cards for LWCAD 2.x but so far i believe only DXF is supported... So maybe it's too expensive, or a competitions application... Don't know I'm afraid.

Riza
09-03-2007, 07:36 PM
buy Autodesk....

sorry, can't help myself...

:lol:

MicroMouse
09-03-2007, 11:18 PM
If you want to spend money on a file convertor, buy a translator intended only for high end CAD software. A long time customer phoned me last week. He is testing a converter that transfers IGES files between CAD software. Software license is only 15 thousand dollars.

DWG is AutoDesk's proprietary binary file format created to store AutoCAD drawings. The DWG file format specification is not available.

DXF is AutoDesk's proprietary ASCII file format created to hold the same data that is in a DWG file format. The DXF file format specification is available and the DXF file is for exchanging data between AutoCAD and other programs.

Competitors to AutoDesk also wanted to use the DWG file so they formed an organization to reverse engineer the DWG file format. That organization is now known as the Open Design Alliance at
http://www.opendesign.com/

If you check the "members" list there, you will find probably all of AutoDesk's competitors listed. If you want to join the founding members group it will only cost you 25 thousand dollars for the first year and then only 10 thousand dollars per year.

People are employed to reverse engineer the DWG file format which is an on going job as AutoDesk keeps making revisions and additions to the file format. The people also write the code that creates the OpenDWG toolkit.

If you think toolkit or SDK, they are the same thing for this discussion.

The DWG toolkits from AutoDesk and the Open Design Alliance do the same thing. The toolkits read and write the various versions of DWG and DXF files and convert from one version to the other. The CAD drawing entities can be read from or written to the toolkit.

The cost of both toolkits is the same. 5 thousand for the first year
and then 2.5 thousand per year. The Open Design Alliance has a 1 thousand dollar per year license but only 100 copies of your software can be sold.

I haven't written to AutoDesk but I have seen information that says their toolkit can not be used in a file translator or in a product that competes with AutoDesk's product. There is a company that sells support to help the AutoDesk licensee write code to use the toolkit.

Once the toolkit license has been purchased, code has to be written to get data in and out of the toolkit.

The data coming from the toolkit is the same whether the original file was a DWG or a DXF file. The drawing entities are mostly parametric, solids and some polygon mesh types.

Parametric means there is an equation describing the entity. For a circle, for example, the center point of the circle is given and it's radius. The circle can be extruded in the Z direction. A polygon mesh must be created for entities that have thickness. A circle or arc must be approximated by line segments.

To position extruded entities into the drawing, this has to be done using an arbitrary axis algorithm

Instances are know as blocks. Blocks can be inserted in blocks, arrayed, etc.

The system of layers has to be supported. 255 different drawing pens can be used on any layer. A whole house could be built on one layer with different pens used to represent doors, windows, glass, walls, etc.

Polygon mesh data is easy to support.

Solids are a problem. It can take years to write a good solid modeling engine so the technology has to be licensed. AutoDesk uses the ACIS solid modeling engine from Spatial Technology. Years ago, I found a page at Spatial's web site. If I understood this complicated page right, the cost was 50 thousand per year for a license and the software using the engine had to sell for at least 450 dollars. Code has to be written so that the engine can actually be used. If the licensee needed more than minimal support this was at extra cost.

If a developer licenses other technology, these costs are being paid while the developer is still writing their software.

CAD programs do double sided rendering and LightWave does single sided rendering. Converted CAD files will have many flipped normals so the translator should provide support here.

Have you ever translated a CAD file and then had the lines streak off to infinity in LightWave?

Two types of binary floating point numbers are generally in use.

The 32 bit type called the float has only 6 significant digits and is used for vertex coordinates in LightWave.

The 64 bit type called the double has 15 significant digits and is used in CAD programs. The CAD floating point numbers can be further away from the origin and still maintain accuracy. CAD models can be far away from the origin. When these numbers are transferred into a float its capacity is exceeded. This causes the lines to streak off into infinity in LightWave.

This is a brief description of the work required to get DWG and DXF files into LightWave. It is not a quick and easy job. If the LWCAD developer adds DWG support, be sure to buy lots of copies to keep him in business.

As I said, nearly all or all of AutoDesk's competitors use the toolkit from the Open Design Alliance. Go to their "members" page. You can get a DWG to DXF converter for 100 dollars or less. How you convert the DXF file to an LWO file is up to you. There are lots of DXF convertors on the market, try them and pick the one that works the best for your needs.

Wayne

bjornkn
09-04-2007, 01:00 AM
I get several kinds of CAD files, both 2D and 3D. For most of the non-Autodesk files I use Okino NuGraf/PolyTrans or Deep Exploration (not the latest version), which usually works very well.
For DWG architectural 2D and terrain 3D models I always use SketchUp, which almost never have problems importing such files. In addition it's a great modeler which makes it very easy and fast to make 3D models from 2D DWGs, and terrain models from 3D contour lines.
I also use AcmeCadConverter to view DWG/DXF files, and eventually convert them if SketchUp can't read them directly (which hasn't happened the last few years).
I have never been able to import any of the 2D DXF files (converted from DWG) into LW. As they are mainly line drawings I don't really see how they should be imported anyway, as LW doesn't have free-standing lines. Would it end up like a huge mesh of 2-point poly chains?

Of course it would be nice if every program could read/write every file format, but that is never going to happen. As long as there are tools available that will do the job, which doesn't cost an arm and a leg, I prefer to use those instead. My impression is that the LW dev team has more than enough other tasks to handle, instead of spending time writing a DWG import/export module..

Nemoid
09-04-2007, 01:03 AM
This is a good advice , Micromouse.

Oh, and Autodesk suxx.
Boycott them !

*Pete*
09-04-2007, 01:15 AM
I do not believe that NT (or anyone else) has chosen the hobbyist route...it simply would not make any sence.


sooner or later, when a hobbyist enters the "pro" arena..then what?

all kinds of problems would arise...he would pretty much be forced to learn a new "pro" program instead...so he could just as well have started with one to begin with, and go from hobbyist to pro without too much difficulties

i cant imagine that any company is that shortsighted...i dont believe NT is either.


Jay once said that developing is not really about the money, but the brains.

i believe there is not real difference between pro and hobbyist markets when a program can "do it all" and that for an "affordable price".

basically Jay said that to create a "cheap, do it all program" you need brains more than money.

Intuition
09-04-2007, 01:55 AM
The thing that kills me is just how many of these apps I use in conjunction due to each one having a feature/aspect I need/want.

I model in Modo. I now render animations in modo due to its great render engine.

Yet I use Lightwave on most of my work but I need the occasional feature that isn't up to par in Lightwave.

For example

XSI for CA and hard body dynamics which end up either becoming motion files or MDD's for use in Lightwave or Modo for animation rendering.

3D max for fumeFX since dynamite, while good, can't get close to fumeFX without going into the days per simulation mode.

Maya using Blast code for nice destruction since napalm or C4 can't do what blast code can as well.

Then to top it all off is the mudbox/zbrush inport exporting.

While I can bring displacements into Lightwave they look much better in modo or any of the metal ray apps since both modo and mental ray have great displacement rendering that captures the details as well as manages the memory nice for doing so.

Yet when its render time for animations mental ray becomes expensive in the render node department whilst Lightwave gets the job done in Screamer net. Jeez, I hope Vray comes out for XSI soon.

Fprime also gets the work finished in LW pretty well, while XSI's render reqion is probably the best way to see mental ray work without the guesswork.

Its a mix between all these apps. I use them all. I can't imagine choosing one I could ONLY use. EVER.

Whilst the topic is about DWG and has opened up to the apps/company comparison debate I would say that I would hope that all the apps play nicer in the future since I can't tell you how tricky it is to get blast code elements from maya and fumefx elements from max into a displaced geometry scene in modo and a charcter MDD'd in Lightwave for the fprime render all to be comped together.

Try figuring out that camera matching nightmare and get back to me on apps playing nice with each other ok. ;) :tongue:

Kuzey
09-04-2007, 02:17 AM
I don't get it...why not make a LW exporter for autocad and forget about any external proprietary file formats. :D

Better yet, Newtek....should build a partnership with the makers of solidworks and other cad apps and make the file transfer between those easier.

Kuzey

Ztreem
09-04-2007, 02:24 AM
Better yet, Newtek....should build a partnership with the makers of solidworks and other cad apps and make the file transfer between those easier.

Kuzey

The problem would still be there, because CAD apps don't use polygons. They use solids and NURBS surfaces. What LW needs is NURBS support, then you just save the file as an .iges file and everything is solved.
Works great in Maya and XSI. :bowdown:

Kuzey
09-04-2007, 02:28 AM
That would be one of the side effects of having a partnership (nurbs coming to LW quicker)...one would think :hey:

Kuzey

Pavlov
09-04-2007, 02:49 AM
Micromouse you're true but i suggested to contact OpenDWG alliance several times in past years and guess what.
That's why i called this thread "no more excuses" ;)

bye
Paolo

MicroMouse
09-04-2007, 02:31 PM
bjornkn:

In case you don't know: There is only one type of DXF and DWG file with numerous revisions to the file format. Points (1D), 2D and 3D from surface modeling and solids from solid modeling are all stored in the same file.

There are all kind of file combinations used to get file conversion done. Use whatever combination works best for you. File conversion is still a black art (as I like to call it) and you will not find one software program that does it all.

Without checking the members list, I think all the software you mentioned, use the Open Design Alliance toolkit.

LightWave stores points and lines as 1 point and 2 point polys in their database. It does not matter how they store them in their database as long as they handle them like points and lines. There is no such thing as a 1 point or 2 point poly according to the definition used for polygons. To avoid confusion, the user should see them called points and lines.

Nemoid:

AutoDesk has business practices that I do not like. I don't like companies becoming monopolies or running rough shod over their smaller competitors.

Think of this though. A company wants to develop a new feature for their product. They don't have the experts on their staff. They have two choices. Either hire the talent or buy a company that has already developed the feature.

People get angry when AutoDesk buys a company to achieve this.

People on this forum are always saying that NewTek should buy this or that company or that small developer.

Treating this with a very broad brush. What is the difference? In both cases, it is just a company buying another company to get something they need.

Pete:

Jay is right. Brains and time are required to develop 3D software. We are still learning how to do everything.

Intuition:

It would be nice to get all the programs to play well together. It would be nice if file converters did not exist.

Kuzey:

The high end CAD software don't do a good job exchanging data with themselves. I was told last week that these companies are finally starting to say they should modernize their export capabilities. So don't age too quickly and you might get to see some progress.

Ztreem:

Yes, there are successes transferring data with IGES files. If you consider the entire file specification and all the generators of IGES files, your success mileage may vary.

Pavlov:

Software licenses should be sold on the basis of the features that have been developed and tested for release in the current version. I am not talking about bugs that might exist which should be fixed in a maintenance release.

It is kind of risky to sell a product with promises of new features to come later when you do not know if you can develop that feature or how long it will take to develop it.

Unless the customers have already paid for DWG support, why does NewTek have to add it to LightWave? In this case they do not need any excuse to not include any DWG support at this time.

Once upon a time we had single tasking computers and people complained about gigantic applications that tried to do it all.

Now we have multi tasking computers with lots more memory and it is not a problem to start up and shutdown multiple programs to accomplish a job. ... and now people want it all in one with the giant programs that do it all.

Other than convenience, why should DWG support be in LightWave? Do you think NewTek can have better support than what is currently available? I can not understand how someone can be running a business and go on for years about needing something to keep their business running, when the support they need is available.

A friend does architectural renderings. He builds in 3D in AutoCAD and first rendered in Imagine and now LightWave. There was not a decent DXF converter so I made one for him. I decided to put it on the market in 1993. Somehow or other he has managed without DWG support in Imagine and LightWave.

With everything that NewTek has to do to catch up to their competition, file conversion support should be a low priority.

... and if I never sell another license for AccuTrans that is fine with me. It helps to be retired.

Wayne

Pavlov
09-04-2007, 04:08 PM
Micromouse,
in my opinion a lot of the catchup Nt has to do is moving from the Island and play with others. This alone would be a big step ahead, and something to be considered as guideline for each development step.
In this case, the thread arose from Autodesk move regarding DWG, which was useful to point out. DWG i/o is fundamental for many, and one of those things which could help LW to build bridges.

Paolo

KevinL
09-04-2007, 04:23 PM
Hobbyist?
I use it for making money. So it's not a hobbyist app for me :)
Kevin

MicroMouse
09-04-2007, 07:45 PM
Pavlov, I understand why you want DWG support.

The AutoDesk DWG toolkit is not new. I forget when it came out and I think I was looking at its features and the technical support provided for it in early 2006.

So the clock on "no more excuses" for NewTek has been running for some time.

Wayne

Pavlov
09-05-2007, 02:01 AM
Micromouse,
sorry i didnt know this... maybe nobody pointed out that at proper time ;)
Anyway now all know it's feasible.

Paolo

colkai
09-05-2007, 03:47 AM
You can of course, get free DWG converters, including a free 'lite' cad program which allows you to export and alter layers. That's what I used when asked to provide assistance on a Arch Viz project, worked just dandy in bringing in to LW.

Whilst I would like a 'native' converter, the cad program allowed me to control what layers I wanted to output, thus reducing clutter in modeller.

http://www.a9tech.com/

Pavlov
09-05-2007, 04:07 AM
Thanks Colkai, i'll try this one.
until now i had little luck with free converter, they all work partially and mostly for simple things.. i'll let you know.

Paolo

colkai
09-05-2007, 05:06 AM
Thanks Colkai, i'll try this one.
until now i had little luck with free converter, they all work partially and mostly for simple things.. i'll let you know.

Paolo
Good luck with it, the free A9CAD took a bit of figuring, but it worked great and once I understood the layers 'freeze' meant hide/unhide then it allowed me to work pretty well. I've only scratched the surface on it myself so I can't say if it will handle all types of DWG, just know it worked for the examples I tested it with and the files I was given. :)

Handling the layers within A9Cad meant I wasn't overloading modeller with a lot of clutter and layers, which can be a pain in itself.