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GATOR
10-04-2007, 12:41 PM
I was poking around my applications folder checking to see which programs I used are available in UB for the new mac on the way, and I came across an old favorite, Electric Image. For over a decade I used formZ and EI as my main 3D package, but switched to LW a few years back. I was a huge fan of EI back in the day, but the lack of a stable, integrated modeler had me looking around for another solution, which I found in LW.

The only thing I missed was the rendering speed and a few cool plug-ins. I did think setting up animations in EI was easier, but that could have just been because I was used the the program and when I switch to LW, most of my work was for print projects.

Looking at the EI website, I see the program is available in UB and the upgrade is only $99.

So, it begs the question, does anyone import LW modes into EI these days, and if so, is it painless? Do textures import well? Does the geometry import well, or are there issues?

If you've used LW/EI together lately, what do you think, is EI currently a good tool to have in the toolbox, or not worth the effort?

Matt
10-04-2007, 12:59 PM
You do realise that Jay Roth and Mark Granger, the legends behind Electric Image, are now the legends behind LightWave!

:)

Matt
10-04-2007, 01:06 PM
Read about it here:

Jay Roth
http://www.newtek.com/news/releases/03-09-05a.html

Mark Granger
http://www.newtek.com/news/releases/03-09-05b.html

And it's soooooo good to have them aboard, I have the greatest respect for their work on Electric Image, before we had LightWave in house, we used a contractor who used Electric Image for the train interior shots that I now do.

Even on an underpowered Mac Camera used to eat polygons for breakfast and spit them out at incredible speed!

We're not worthy, we're not worthy! :bowdown:

:D

archijam
10-04-2007, 01:12 PM
I know 3Dworks (http://www.newtek.com/forums/member.php?u=3537) uses (or has used) EI extensively for arch viz with LW, and recently, I'd pm him ... check out his website/cgtalk site :)

j.

GATOR
10-04-2007, 01:31 PM
Actually, I did know that. Jay's a great guy.

I can't imagine that anyone at LW spends any time worrying how models will import into EI! :D

The only reason I fire it up anymore is if I need a great ocean from Psunami.

But again, I wonder at $99 if there's a reason to include it in the toolbox or if it's time to retire it. Heck, I can remember when an EI seat cost $10,000.

paul summers
10-04-2007, 01:40 PM
Hi Gator

I use Electric Image 6.6.2 on OSX

1. You need OBJ2FACT this is a must have tool

2. Very Very stable more than LW

3. Is it a good tool to have in the toolbox "Yes"

4. Camera is a superb render blazing fast rendering (the best)

For 99$ go for it

v7 soon

21sec to render 1 cpu on my old G5 2ghz

3dworks
10-04-2007, 01:51 PM
hi gator,

i'm currently not using EI anymore. it's still sort of 'on hold' here, but at a certain point i really was missing a multiprocessor capable camera. maybe i'll check EI again when this will come true, but we hardly will see something like fprime for it, i guess...

as you probably know, until release 8, LW modeler could directly read FACT files, but i did not check anymore lately - so i may or may not work with 9.3... one other solution may be to use polytrans, which translates both LWO and FACT files.

btw, i see some movement at EI lately, and i really hope that they will further develop it in the future, because it's a package which deserves it.

cheers

markus

ingo
10-05-2007, 06:24 AM
I was poking around my applications folder checking to see which programs I used are available in UB for the new mac on the way, and I came across an old favorite, Electric Image. For over a decade I used formZ and EI as my main 3D package, but switched to LW a few years back. .....

Me too, i used to use FormZ and EIAS too years ago, but switched to LW 6.5 because of the easier texturing and the raytracer; since EIAS was "only" a phong renderer the reflection mapping made it slower than LWs raytracer for my kind of jobs.

Just looked at their webstore, the update for my version 2.9 will cost even more than a competitive upgrade. Maybe some day when they have a nice and fast Gi renderer i will upgrade....

3dworks
10-05-2007, 06:59 AM
Me too, i used to use FormZ and EIAS too years ago, but switched to LW 6.5 because of the easier texturing and the raytracer; since EIAS was "only" a phong renderer the reflection mapping made it slower than LWs raytracer for my kind of jobs.

Just looked at their webstore, the update for my version 2.9 will cost even more than a competitive upgrade. Maybe some day when they have a nice and fast Gi renderer i will upgrade....

ingo, actually, EI *has* nice and fast GI ;)

on the other side, their implementation is less flexible than the current LW 9.3 model. on their plus side: the most beautiful and fastest caustics i've ever seen. i only wish LW can get those at this level one day...

gatz
10-05-2007, 09:20 AM
I'm also an EI expatriot. I wish that LW would pickup a few of EI interface niceties. I miss EI's camera controls (pan, zoom, truck etc. by way of key modifiers). EIs overrendering (I'm not sure of the terminology) of objects so that they extend past the edge of the alpha, no need to defringe or choke mattes, was nice.

The only reason I considered upgrading to the newer EI was to get an up-to-date Transporter. I still use FormZ and there are times when the LWO export will scramble poly directions. "Force Normals" in Transporter is the best way correct the issue. Ultimately $399 for a new Transporter was too steep.

I've also sent out notes to some of the EI plugin developers to see if they would consider LW ports. At the time the folks I contacted where kind of down on Newtek. So it didn't look good. But there are some sweet plugins.

rg

ingo
10-05-2007, 10:19 AM
ingo, actually, EI *has* nice and fast GI ;)

on the other side, their implementation is less flexible than the current LW 9.3 model. on their plus side: the most beautiful and fastest caustics i've ever seen. i only wish LW can get those at this level one day...

Hmm, looked at the gallery pages but found nothing convincing in the Gi or archviz section. Is it less flexible than the FPrime renderer ?

3dworks
10-05-2007, 11:36 AM
Hmm, looked at the gallery pages but found nothing convincing in the Gi or archviz section. Is it less flexible than the FPrime renderer ?

well no, you can set up a lot of parameters of course, but nevertheless, fprime's results are more real looking because basically, it's more similiar to an unbiased engine. EI's engine works very well for exteriors, but less for convincing interiors. anyway, as an example, see this older 'shot' here:

http://threedeworks.cgsociety.org/gallery/547155/

cheers

markus