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ben martin
11-13-2007, 04:55 AM
Hi Lightwavers,

I know that I'm back here to beat on a dead horse.
Maybe you are becoming bored with my talk about Lightwave CA but I can't shut-up!

I always rumbled around this forum mumbling how bad CA is in Lightwave.
I like Lightwave to do all the rest of the work which it does right (huh, some ugly exceptions aside though)

I still trying to understand IKB but I collided with some problems related with it and the LW doop-sheet (phantom useless key frames are being generated on the doop-sheet that confuses me and my team a lot)… well , like I was saying I still giving IKB a chance.
About that I must state that Larry Shultz is a great pal and decent person that deserves some credits about the passion and efforts he invested (and keep dong it) on IKB.

Thanks to him I now realize several things related with IKB.
My only sorrow is that the doop-sheet is not working nice with IKB but again, and thanks to a Larry tip, I decided to try Blender to RIG and animate my Lightwave characters and then export them back (already animated) to Lightwave using MDD files.
It is like the old XSi / Point-Oven to Lightwave workflow, the difference is that Blender it's free!

I'm completely surrendered about several things regarding Blender.
How an 8Mb free software can do all (and much more) than other software's with hundreds of Mb installed and hundred of dollars expensive do.
It is really amazing to work with Blender CA system.
Setting up a RIG and IK it's a brezz!
It is flawless and very intuitive to use, so intuitive that you can create our own kind of windows set-up to help you animating.
See attached images.

Shame on you NewTek that if you don't have the humble attitude to admit you guys have a severe problem to solve with Lightwave CA. :devil:
I still don't understand why you have done nothing about it.
If you can't do anything else, then just learn with others that can do it right… and for free!

Iain
11-13-2007, 05:00 AM
They have said they are going to work on it in the 9.x cycle.

Since that's where we are now, I'm not sure what else they can do.

t4d
11-13-2007, 05:12 AM
if you like Blender you should see what you get in messiah
OR better yet XSI or Maya !!!

I Have used blender alot due ot the Liquid sim But there's a whole new level to workflow and control in a commercal package.

just like Lightwave is ALOT better to render in then blender.
XSI or Maya is ALOT better to Rig and animate in.

ben martin
11-13-2007, 05:16 AM
They have said they are going to work on it in the 9.x cycle.

Since that's where we are now, I'm not sure what else they can do.
Hope you are right!
It's not funny to be forced to include and learn new tools in the workflow just because Lightwave is crippled.
For a paid software the standards are now higher since free software are doing it right!

ben martin
11-13-2007, 05:31 AM
if you like Blender you should see what you get in messiah
OR better yet XSI or Maya !!!

I Have used blender alot due ot the Liquid sim But there's a whole new level to workflow and control in a commercal package.

just like Lightwave is ALOT better to render in then blender.
XSI or Maya is ALOT better to Rig and animate in.
I realize that but when an artist chooses a certain software (like Lightwave) he expects differences between it and the others like (XSi, Maya or whatever) but the minimum standards must be present to any decent software and unfortunately Lightwave CA does not reach such standards. Those satandards are rising every day.

Xsi and Maya are above such standards but it's a completely new business and makes not much sense (to me anyway) to buy Lightwave just to render and buy Maya or XSi to animate.

I believe we all (Lightwave users) have the right to press Newtek to review the CA standards since free software already reach them and surpassed Lightwave in many other issues like UV-unwrap, Liquid simulations, good Fur and Hair, Dynamics calculation, Paiting tool, CA…

Anyway, your point is taken… commercial good engineered software usually delivers a much superior CA system (Lightwave is out of this) than Blender but and again blender beats Lightwave on this… so should Lightwave become a free product or should it keep-up and reach the required (rising every day) standards? :)

t4d
11-13-2007, 05:53 AM
Don't get me wrong i think Blender is Good software I know my way around it and have used it alot

But in the whole picture,. Avid and Autodesk charge for software and people buy it. because it's all worflow, how easy it is to do the job and how quick the final and completed job will take.

Blender has ALOT of good stuff BUT XSI and Maya ( and to a lesser level Messiah ) Has workflow and features presented in a much more workable and easier Faster more powerful way.

time equals money and if you can learn to tools and get the job done in a week OR spend 2 weeks Learning LW IKB and only get half of what you wanted,.. It pays to get a better tool...

Newtek have dropped the ball Most users were at Newtek's door with Animations requests at Version 8,.. yet here we are at the door of LW 9.5 ( 3 or more years later ) And render improvments are still on the table,. with still no sign of the long LONG LONG road ahead to get Lightwave up to the 2007 standard of Animation features ?....

I only searched these forum afew days ago to refresh my workflow on a Old LW logo animation i had to update and well the same threads,. Same complains, Same silence about the biggest issues all users want fixed ?

Glendalough
11-13-2007, 06:07 AM
if you like Blender you should see what you get in messiah
OR better yet XSI or Maya !!!

I Have used blender alot due ot the Liquid sim But there's a whole new level to workflow and control in a commercal package.

just like Lightwave is ALOT better to render in then blender.
XSI or Maya is ALOT better to Rig and animate in.

Hi t4d,

Have you actually done CA in Blender? How broadly is it (just the CA -ie rigging and bones etc.) inferior to Maya and XSI? Not the workflow as much as just the basic mechanics of deforming and moving the character.

Don't mean to be pushy, it's just so few people working professionally know Blender that it is hard to find any information.

From my limited knowledge and experience of CA in LW, there is something terribly wrong with the dope sheet. The "action editor" that is in Blender would do wonders in LW, it's just so much easier to manipulate the keys.

wavk
11-13-2007, 06:21 AM
the whole attitude from nt towards lw is saddening, i feel the programmers (employees) are giving it their best in the current situation only to be hindered by the lw owners. (former hastings, fergusson)


mlon

ben martin
11-13-2007, 07:09 AM
the whole attitude from nt towards lw is saddening, i feel the programmers (employees) are giving it their best in the current situation only to be hindered by the lw owners. (former hastings, fergusson)


mlon
Well, I'm not quite sure how should I interpret your reply but I want to clarify that this has nothing to about NT employees (programmers and developers) are or are not doing they're best.
The problem is indeed about what the best is!
If this CA /deformer system is all what they can do… well…huh... they should come out of the shell and observe the advances that had been done regarding CA systems around.

The problem is not if they are good programmers doing their best or not.
The problem is all about concepts (advanced ones that actually work).
NT is not allowing/perusing/changing a bit of code to achieve such CA concepts.

This is the main problem here and believe me this is not a NEW problem. It's being dragged and delayed for years now. I'm 41 y.o. and I started to use Lightwave long ago since the first Video toaster versions (V3 or so) and CA was always left behind. :thumbsdow

Nicolas Jordan
11-13-2007, 07:30 AM
I think that with only about 10 guys on the Lightwave dev team Newtek is limited in what can be done in a given time frame not to mention the further complications of implementing features that rely on other existing features that need to be rewritten themselves. I think we should see something soon though since we have waited more than long enough for these improvements. Like others have mentioned we have many other options available in the meantime that should satisfy our needs like Blender and Messiah.

StereoMike
11-13-2007, 07:43 AM
for non-commercial stuff: xsi modtool is free and there's almost everything of xsi essentials in it (minus hair, cloth and mental ray).
Even point oven, poly reduction, ambient occlusion mapping, crosswalk, gator, motor etc etc

mike

Matt
11-13-2007, 07:57 AM
Blender would be quite some competition if only they sorted the workflow and interface out, at the moment unless you're prepared to stick at it, this is the one area that turns people off.

Imagine in the next released they sorted all that out and it was the easiest package to pick up and use?

Hmmmmmm ...

colkai
11-13-2007, 08:03 AM
Blender would be quite some competition if only they sorted the workflow and interface out, at the moment unless you're prepared to stick at it, this is the one area that turns people off.

Have to say it's the area that stops me from pursuing it.
That said, I find the XSIModTool somewhat of a minefield as well, in the end, I gave up and went back to modelling in LW. I can do it in less time than it takes me to get to grips with XSIModTool and the different workflow / paradigm.

When you're hobby is "snatched" after 10 hour days and 3 hour jouneys, you don't want to bang your head on a brick wall. ...Well, not repeatedly anyhow. ;)

Sil3
11-13-2007, 08:36 AM
Hi Lightwavers,

How an 8Mb free software can do all (and much more) than other software's with hundreds of Mb installed and hundred of dollars expensive do.




Even though at first might really surprise us there are other factors that should be also looked... Blender is free because its made for free by people with lots of free time in their hands, some see it as a chance to code something cool, others use it to make studies.

I dont have any idea on how many people work on Blender, but there must a lot more than NT dev team for sure.

Second, Blender doesnt really have to please anyone since its free, you either like it or not, use it or not, they are not pressured to give out features, the major one I see people asking if for a more standart UI, and even them (Blender Devs) didnt wanted to change it until recently, it was either that or the vast majority of 3D Users wont even think about it, like me that only use it to make UVs :)

LW is expensive compared to Blender for sure, but would you use it exclusively on a Production with Tight deadlines like majority of Real World productions are? What if scenes/objects got corrupted some how... who would you ask for Help? No Pay no Customer Support remember that.

If we are making our own things without major deadlines and no one else to give satisfactions, hell yeah...Blender is a Bless for even existing, but for Real World paying bills kind of work people prefer to trust the Expensive tools that have years of proven records, like LW, Max, Maya, XSi, C4D etc and that have some sort of Customer Support to resort to when things go Wrong and the End user cant resolve it, for example Softimage Customer Support will fly techs over to you if the problem is really big ( though they must only do this for BIG Companies), and if you get a Bug that really is a Show Stopper Softimage will make a Custom patch to you that will adress your specific problem, later those fixes will be included on an update release. Thats one of the reasons why Customer Support seems to costs a lot money on some Companys...

Anyway, glad to see you are finally setling down on your quest for a C.A. tool ;)

ben martin
11-13-2007, 08:58 AM
Anyway, glad to see you are finally setling down on your quest for a C.A. tool ;)
Yup, I was tired of wait, and wait for NT to change something and was about time, huh! :)
Well, at least for now… cause I'm sure my head will start to spin again when NT finally decide to do something bout Lightwave CA.
I only hope that they really hit the bull's-eye instead of relase some kind of "CA tool patch" and make us all to invest time exploring something that is not worth…

About blender, I'm discovering a large community web based… and they have almost all blender tuition aspects covered by VTMs.

I, alone, found (and downloaded) 4.5Gb of Blender free tuition VTMs.
My team is descovering much more.
In fact there is a series of 30 VTMs from the same guy that start explaining Blender from the beginning till the most advanced and complex tools. Moreover… imagine the language it was recorded in?
Yup, Portuguese but there are lots more in English. :thumbsup:

The next Blender update is going to a real cloth simulation engine (they already have a soft body engine that simulates cloth and a lot of other things)… the next update can bring something like SyFlex to Blender?
One thing I know, all the Blender tools do the job very effective.
Maybe that's why you use it to UV-unwrap.
Even the new, Digital Sculpting engine is very responsive and precise compared with other DP app.

I can be wrong, but if Blender Ui changes… a lot of people from several commercial app will do too!

theo
11-13-2007, 09:32 AM
Hi Lightwavers,

I know that I'm back here to beat on a dead horse.
Maybe you are becoming bored with my talk about Lightwave CA but I can't shut-up!

I always rumbled around this forum mumbling how bad CA is in Lightwave.
I like Lightwave to do all the rest of the work which it does right (huh, some ugly exceptions aside though)

I still trying to understand IKB but I collided with some problems related with it and the LW doop-sheet (phantom useless key frames are being generated on the doop-sheet that confuses me and my team a lot) well , like I was saying I still giving IKB a chance.
About that I must state that Larry Shultz is a great pal and decent person that deserves some credits about the passion and efforts he invested (and keep dong it) on IKB.

Thanks to him I now realize several things related with IKB.
My only sorrow is that the doop-sheet is not working nice with IKB but again, and thanks to a Larry tip, I decided to try Blender to RIG and animate my Lightwave characters and then export them back (already animated) to Lightwave using MDD files.
It is like the old XSi / Point-Oven to Lightwave workflow, the difference is that Blender it's free!

I'm completely surrendered about several things regarding Blender.
How an 8Mb free software can do all (and much more) than other software's with hundreds of Mb installed and hundred of dollars expensive do.
It is really amazing to work with Blender CA system.
Setting up a RIG and IK it's a brezz!
It is flawless and very intuitive to use, so intuitive that you can create our own kind of windows set-up to help you animating.
See attached images.

Shame on you NewTek that if you don't have the humble attitude to admit you guys have a severe problem to solve with Lightwave CA. :devil:
I still don't understand why you have done nothing about it.
If you can't do anything else, then just learn with others that can do it right and for free!

To be fair:

IF, indeed, LW's CA is being redeveloped, even as we pen these posts, it is common sense that availability will be nonexistent for the time being.

The reality is they aren't going to throw out a half-*** implementation. It would be suicide.

It would be far more responsible for them to keep the lips zipped until the pie is pulled from the oven. Hopefully, unburnt...

ben martin
11-13-2007, 09:53 AM
It would be far more responsible for them to keep the lips zipped until the pie is pulled from the oven. Hopefully, unburnt...
Hummm...pie.... dhaaaaa

theo
11-13-2007, 10:19 AM
Hummm...pie.... dhaaaaa

OK then! CHERRY pie, unburnt... with a dollop of whipped cream on top (after cooling, of course). Geesh... complains about LW CA AND my pie... There's no hope for Martin, NT.

ben martin
11-13-2007, 10:33 AM
OK then! CHERRY pie, unburnt... with a dollop of whipped cream on top (after cooling, of course). Geesh... complains about LW CA AND my pie... There's no hope for Martin, NT.
No, you got it all wrong... it's completely the other way around!!!!
I'm crazy about pie! :heart:
You just mentioned it and I start drooling all over about it!
I'm much like Homer Simpson... crazy about all sweet things and the "dhaaaa" thing is me drooling over your pie. :lol:

Iain
11-13-2007, 10:36 AM
Why have I got a mental image of Rigsby flirting with Miss Jones?

**shudder**

adamredwoods
11-13-2007, 12:26 PM
Whatever the Lightwave development team decides to do, or when, people should know that I am creating a plugin that handles rigging and brings additional animation functionality to Lightwave, RigMaster.

-IKFK switch
-automated rigging
-improved dynamic parenting
-flexibility, as it uses Lightwave's own tools

And these are features that I have working now. I am adding more.

I took things into my own hands b/c I too, was tired of waiting around for better CA tools. We'll see who gets done first.

ben martin
11-13-2007, 12:43 PM
I took things into my own hands b/c I too, was tired of waiting around for better CA tools. We'll see who gets done first.
If it becomes fully integrated, if it brings a decent dope-sheet (layers included), if it is well built (coded), if it's not a simple Lscript thing and if the price is right... I can very well be available to consider it! Keep us posted!

Speedmonk42
11-13-2007, 05:21 PM
Blender isn't going to go away, and it isn't going to get worse.

Their concept of developing an annual movie that people can support by purchasing, which also supports the open source project is a brilliant one.

Blender is going to snowball. Newtek should find a way to play with them.

Speedmonk42
11-13-2007, 05:28 PM
I posted this in another thread.

What do you CA people think of this?

http://www.blender3d.org/e-shop/prod...products_id=99

t4d
11-13-2007, 05:38 PM
Whatever the Lightwave development team decides to do, or when, people should know that I am creating a plugin that handles rigging and brings additional animation functionality to Lightwave, RigMaster.

-IKFK switch
-automated rigging
-improved dynamic parenting
-flexibility, as it uses Lightwave's own tools

And these are features that I have working now. I am adding more.

I took things into my own hands b/c I too, was tired of waiting around for better CA tools. We'll see who gets done first.


Good on you Adam =)

But don;t take this the wrong way but why not just learn a new tool ?

I developed LW plugins myself 4 or 5 years ago now,. it's alot of work and Yeah You can do Ca in LW

BUT the advanages I found in other tools ( Mainly XSI and Messiah ) make working around the still waters of Lw animation development a huge waste of time... I'm still waitiing to see just alittle forward movement to Update my own plugins ... but maybe by that time I'll will likely have my T4D XSI Rigging plugins out and maybe fine time to tidy up my personal Rigging plugins i made for Messiah ??

learning LW the first time is a huge job being a 3D newbie,.. But learning a new tool when you know 3D already is Pretty easy =)

It's been years since LW had Animation progress ??? WHY ??? time is just letting the gap get bigger and BIGGER !! .. ???

yet with no anwsers and No progress shown,. Some users still say Newtek are great at dealing with it's user base ??? I get confused ???

Cageman
11-13-2007, 06:04 PM
yet with no anwsers and No progress shown,. Some users still say Newtek are great at dealing with it's user base ??? I get confused ???

I've yet to pay for any of the update I've recieved since I bought LW8.3... bad customer policy, yeah... right...

*Pete*
11-14-2007, 03:15 AM
I've yet to pay for any of the update I've recieved since I bought LW8.3... bad customer policy, yeah... right...


a paid update is an update, a free update is a bugfix ;)

gratitude...bah.

our "bugfixes" lately (9.2) gave us a lot more than a paid update for many of the other apps.

however, technically we were promised those things before we bought 9,0, so its like lw borrowed our money and is now repaying a loan...hmm.
doesnt matter, every update and every beta test session is like christmass all over again ;)

Sil3
11-14-2007, 03:16 AM
-flexibility, as it uses Lightwave's own tools



Somehow that part doesnt make much sense to me, since its the those same tools that make CA in LW not pleasing at all... :p

Good Luck with your plugin, but until NT really revamps the foundations structure no matter what Plugin is used the culprit its always there, unless it is something like the old Messiah plugin, but even Messiah was another aplication running inside LW not really a "plugin" as we are used to them. Only way PMG folks managed to completly bypass LWs weak CA tools.

Cageman:

Maybe you bought LW 8 with a free upgrade to LW 9 when it was available, but those that didnt got that promo and only bought LW 9 still havent got what they payed for...remember that ;)

t4d
11-14-2007, 03:18 AM
our "bugfixes" lately (9.2) gave us a lot more than a paid update for many of the other apps.



You should see what i got with the XSi 6.5 UPDATE lol :D

wavk
11-14-2007, 04:33 AM
i said i believe the coders are doing a good job with the current situation.... its the top/down where the troubles are.
uhm...not only CA is left behind..other thing were promised which still are not present or are borked.
im 32 and with lw for years, amiga time, this is why i feel *our* beloved program is being dragged allong by a car without a focussed driver and a wheel missing.

mlon


Well, I'm not quite sure how should I interpret your reply but I want to clarify that this has nothing to about NT employees (programmers and developers) are or are not doing they're best.
The problem is indeed about what the best is!
If this CA /deformer system is all what they can do… well…huh... they should come out of the shell and observe the advances that had been done regarding CA systems around.

The problem is not if they are good programmers doing their best or not.
The problem is all about concepts (advanced ones that actually work).
NT is not allowing/perusing/changing a bit of code to achieve such CA concepts.

This is the main problem here and believe me this is not a NEW problem. It's being dragged and delayed for years now. I'm 41 y.o. and I started to use Lightwave long ago since the first Video toaster versions (V3 or so) and CA was always left behind. :thumbsdow

adamredwoods
11-14-2007, 05:03 PM
Somehow that part doesnt make much sense to me, since its the those same tools that make CA in LW not pleasing at all... :p

Good Luck with your plugin, but until NT really revamps the foundations structure no matter what Plugin is used the culprit its always there, unless it is something like the old Messiah plugin, but even Messiah was another aplication running inside LW not really a "plugin" as we are used to them. Only way PMG folks managed to completly bypass LWs weak CA tools.


What I meant was:
IkBoost introduced a new tool that used a _new_ type of UI-- context menus, new dopetrack, but didn't display the xyz arrows when you wanted to move a bone tip. A little different than the current Lightwave scheme of panels, which is the reason it confused users.

RigMaster does not go that route, because I feel that a good UI is the key to an efficient animation system (my background is user interface design). I'm leveraging the existing dopetrack and graph editor, but adding an intermediate control system to control joints and bones.

Yes, there are foundation problems with LW that I had to overcome. But I'm not waiting for Newtek anymore.

It'll make more sense when I can show the next demo.

//Adam

loki74
11-14-2007, 11:42 PM
Whatever the Lightwave development team decides to do, or when, people should know that I am creating a plugin that handles rigging and brings additional animation functionality to Lightwave, RigMaster.

-IKFK switch
-automated rigging
-improved dynamic parenting
-flexibility, as it uses Lightwave's own tools

And these are features that I have working now. I am adding more.

I took things into my own hands b/c I too, was tired of waiting around for better CA tools. We'll see who gets done first.

no sh!t? Any word on a price you may have in mind...? ^____^

lgolden
11-15-2007, 10:02 AM
I *WAS* developing a blender script to export geometry, lightning and animation for rendering in LW...

Ive posted here probing the fellings of people for new pipelines but doesnt got too much positive feedback. But quen I saw Qdune micropolygon renderer project for blender I give up blendetTOlightwave script.

Qdune integration into blender source will be delayed BUT the mosaic blender script to exporting to renderman is SO NICE that Ive now got back to Pixie (which have a very nice system for creating a renderfarm) and 3DLight (faaast) and this is MUCH better than new LW engine.

I agree with T4D that XSI is the tool to really use (look, I have TWO LW licenses...), but blender is quite nice (its not XSI really!).

quite sad Newtek is so slow and does note communicate with its user base....


Luis
____________________________

lgolden
11-15-2007, 10:15 AM
forgot this interesting link from "Peach" open movie (Blender Foundation):

"The MeshDeform modifier can deform a mesh with another 'cage' mesh. It is similar to a lattice modifier, but instead of being restricted to the regular grid layout of a lattice, the cage mesh can be modeled to fit the mesh better."

http://peach.blender.org/index.php/mesh-deform-modifier/

and the release log:

http://www.blender.org/development/current-projects/changes-since-244/modifiers/

Luis

Sil3
11-15-2007, 10:56 AM
Similar to XSi Deform by Cage that can be any object you want, even a copy of your Mesh. This cage can also be influenced by another or by a Lattice or by Bones etc etc.

ben martin
11-15-2007, 12:23 PM
forgot this interesting link from "Peach" open movie (Blender Foundation):

"The MeshDeform modifier can deform a mesh with another 'cage' mesh. It is similar to a lattice modifier, but instead of being restricted to the regular grid layout of a lattice, the cage mesh can be modeled to fit the mesh better."

http://peach.blender.org/index.php/mesh-deform-modifier/

and the release log:

http://www.blender.org/development/current-projects/changes-since-244/modifiers/

Luis
It's like I said before... if Blender gets a new (more intuitive) IU, I bet that many people will change to Blender and then NT can happily continue to peruse the only road they know and turn Lightwave on a render engine. (I know this one was bad but it's exactly like I'm starting to feel about Lightwave development) :devil:

Today I just saw a 17MB video of Blender hair tutorial and man... It's light years head Lightwave Sasquach. See this link: http://download.blender.org/demo/movies/HairTutorial.avi

Yup, Lightwavers, we are completely screwed! :bangwall:

lgolden
11-15-2007, 01:40 PM
Sil3 wrote:

"Similar to XSi Deform by Cage that can be any object you want, even a copy of your Mesh."

Estimado amigo, i think XSIs "Deform by Cage" already existed in Softimage|3D / Creative Enviroment (Im getting old :D) . But blender implemantation is based in this paper:

http://graphics.pixar.com/HarmonicCoordinatesB/

Its more sophisticated than "Deform by Cage"; XSIs tool is more similar to MD_MetaPlug (I guess!).

ben martin wrote:

"It's like I said before... if Blender gets a new (more intuitive) IU, I bet that many people will change to Blender and then NT can happily continue to peruse the only road they know and turn Lightwave on a render engine."

blender will got an event refactor (full customized key bindings and some more bell and whistles). This is what Im really afraid that Lw will be: a render engine...

its a shame because LW is a very confortable environment (at least Layout interaction an feel is very "cinematographic", wich I love!). Layout is the best translation from a movie/tv set to CG, just pure fun! but character animation and data searching and connection is far behind its competition.

But Im changing from LW render to renderman friendly engines.

See the wonderfull pyhton script for blender:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ribmosaic

and see the gallery:

http://sourceforge.net/project/screenshots.php?group_id=206110

Well, someone will just call me a spammer but I dont get a nickel from this. I love CG and animation and just thing its important to put Newtek guys awake (just the fanboys will not sustain Newtek commercially). And i just regret for buying another Lw license to my job (wich, by the way, arrived WITHOUT the dongle!!): I would be more satisfied buying an 3Delight license...

:devil: very angry Luis

PS: ben martin, see the blender hair rendered in 3Delight or Aqsis or Pixie...

adamredwoods
11-15-2007, 04:47 PM
Estimado amigo, i think XSIs "Deform by Cage" already existed in Softimage|3D / Creative Enviroment (Im getting old ) . But blender implemantation is based in this paper:

http://graphics.pixar.com/HarmonicCoordinatesB/

Its more sophisticated than "Deform by Cage"; XSIs tool is more similar to MD_MetaPlug (I guess!).

Well, I just got done looking over that paper. You know, there is a way to do that with Lightwave and some good plugin coding, but only with 9.3 and above. Newtek released a very nice component to their SDK, which allows much more freedom with the UI.

coremi
11-16-2007, 12:29 AM
i do hope NT is developing another Lightwave completly new. I don't belive in patching the old one to become as good and versatile as XSI or MAYA, no way.

t4d
11-16-2007, 12:42 AM
i do hope NT is developing another Lightwave completly new. I don't belive in patching the old one to become as good and versatile as XSI or MAYA, no way.

That is What they did ???
Except They started they own Company to do it ?? ( for whatever reason ?? )

Check it out here (http://www.luxology.com/)

coremi
11-16-2007, 04:40 AM
we all know that, but it is done as it is. I hope that all this slow development is due to the fact that a new Lightwave is created by NT.

t4d
11-16-2007, 04:53 AM
we all know that, but it is done as it is. I hope that all this slow development is due to the fact that a new Lightwave is created by NT.

then why ask about Newtek giving and completely NEW lightwave when no talk of such a thing has happened ??

Jay is a render guru Not a animation guru ( he was the Guru behide Electric image render )
All that has been worked on so far is rendering ,..When the main issues lightwave has ( and always did have ) was Animation ??


Al and Stu knew this and knew Lightwave core better then Newtek and that's why they went for a complete and total rewrite ...

that's how i read it anyway ??

software take MILLIONS of man hours to write yet somehow Newtek will pull a new lightwave out of there ***** when it's taken Lux 5 years or more to get where they are and it's still only be half of what Lightwave currently is ??

hrgiger
11-16-2007, 05:33 AM
It was sort of echoed above, but I'm not sure I would say this is the best time to be writing a plug-in for character animation in Lightwave, although, I certainly understand being frustrated by the wait for something new. How do we know that whatever changes that Newtek makes to the character animation system won't completely negate any work that is going into writing a plug-in? I mean, how do we know that they won't come up with new bones or new constraint and/or deformation systems that will be completley incompatible with the old way? I guess I'm saying too that as a user of Lightwave who is interested in character animation, I am no longer investing in the old way of doing things until I see what Newtek has up their sleeves. Hence, no buying of plug-ins for CA unless somehow it is able to remeove the bottleneck in Lightwave as far as bone/deformation speeds go on a scene level and/or add some really nice constraints in the process. I'm giving it until at least LW 9.5 to see what changes might be made.

ben martin
11-16-2007, 06:44 AM
... I am no longer investing in the old way of doing things until I see what Newtek has up their sleeves. ...
It would help a lot if they (at least) talk a little about it!
Silence only serve two proposes:

1- Maintain the Lightwave community hopping (it's a psychological kind of hook) so they don't have to face a comunity disband to other platforms.

2- Try to surprise the public (at certain point) revealing the brand-new great Lightwave CA feature (if they ever solve the CA problem) like Armageddon heroes / saviors. Hurray!!!!

They :newtek: seems to forget that we are becoming very tired of waiting and if they ever release a solution, it can then be very late…
That's why some news about this would be nice, like a solid ground to our hopes.
Anyway I'm thinking exactly like you… after 9 cycle if this is not solved… I'll say by-by to Lightwave!
After all, Lightwave is not the only good render engine around!

t4d
11-16-2007, 06:57 AM
2- Try to surprise the public (at certain point) revealing the brand-new great Lightwave CA feature (if they ever solve the CA problem) like Armageddon heroes / saviors. Hurray!!!!

It can't happen this way,. Simple due to Maya, Max , XSI and Messiah Have evolved to where they are today. each version have fine tuned,. added and improved the whole system. ( Newtek hasn't touch the system to any real level since Version 6 with alittle plugin adding in Lw 8 )

and with that even if LW 10 had Magic new features all over the place, it would take Version 11 and 12 to get them to a working Productive level where Max , Maya, XSI and messiah are today..

when would Lw 11 come out to fix and fine tune the Huge IMprovements that "may" come in Lw 10 ?? the year 2010,. 2012 ??

and by that time what would Maya, Max, XSI, Messiah have by then ??

ben martin
11-16-2007, 08:29 AM
It can't happen this way,. when would Lw 11 come out to fix and fine tune the Huge IMprovements that "may" come in Lw 10 ?? the year 2010,. 2012 ?? and by that time what would Maya, Max, XSI, Messiah have by then ??
There's always the "hope" that they can start where others are now, meaning:
If they are humble enough to learn something from experienced developers and market evolution signs, that is!

You probably know, due to your experience, that the difficult part of develop something is not coding but imagine it and be able to design a workflow with such code.
Throwing tools / plug-ins inside a bucket does not make an integrated CA system in any manner.
Unfortunately this is exactly what is happening… plug-ins thrown at Lightwave to fill some gaps.

If they seat, look around and observe the CA tools market tendencies, then they will be able to understand what must be done / change and develop and then… only then, if they have creative animators in the team, they can try to level-up the developments to something new.
Nevertheless, developers can't forget that such tools must be simple, fast and practical to be used / understood by artists, not by mathematicians, physics or geeks experts only.
Unfortunately most of us had to learn such topics to be able to achieve the 3D results we need, not only at CA but other areas too.

evenflcw
11-16-2007, 10:55 AM
and with that even if LW 10 had Magic new features all over the place, it would take Version 11 and 12 to get them to a working Productive level where Max , Maya, XSI and messiah are today..

Personally I think if they design and reveal a solid animation core and sdk to go with that whatever 3rd parties are left will jump on it. NT won't really have to be in such a hurry to develop any animation tools themselves as long as there are sdk hooks. Sure, it's sad that we should have to spend more money for the tools, but that is a different discussion. The point is that if the hooks are there, NT will not be the only one who can develop for LW. It might even be the case that the LW 3rd party scene will see some healthy competition again. Hopefully NT realize what an immense benefit that would be to them and the community.

In (not so sharp) contrast to what hrgiger said, I don't the risk of a plugin becoming incompatible is something to fear. If it's coded right, one should be able to interface it with the new system aswell with abit of work and thus save the investment. The real fear is that NT provides something which works similar or better and the 3rd party plugin, which in turn will become obsolete and all work on it will be in vain and all money spent on it will be sunk cost with no way to salvage it. But I'd also claim that developing a CA tool that relies on the current system is a questionable decision because the current system is so restricted in itself and imposes those restrictions on any plugin. Limiting what you can do to a great degree. Really, the person responsible for designing the old system deserves some scorn from serious developers.

adamredwoods
11-18-2007, 08:38 PM
It was sort of echoed above, but I'm not sure I would say this is the best time to be writing a plug-in for character animation in Lightwave, although, I certainly understand being frustrated by the wait for something new. How do we know that whatever changes that Newtek makes to the character animation system won't completely negate any work that is going into writing a plug-in? I mean, how do we know that they won't come up with new bones or new constraint and/or deformation systems that will be completley incompatible with the old way? I guess I'm saying too that as a user of Lightwave who is interested in character animation, I am no longer investing in the old way of doing things until I see what Newtek has up their sleeves. Hence, no buying of plug-ins for CA unless somehow it is able to remeove the bottleneck in Lightwave as far as bone/deformation speeds go on a scene level and/or add some really nice constraints in the process. I'm giving it until at least LW 9.5 to see what changes might be made.

I don't see how much bones would change much unless Newtek breaks SDK access entirely. I suspect they'll add a more stable IK, improving linear interpolation, but that won't effect plugins.

Also Newtek would risk backward compatability for many plugins if they negate the old way. I don't think they'll gamble with that in the 9.x cycle.

BTW: Lightwave News has been quiet lately, I wonder if Newtek is selling it off...

mccabejc
11-19-2007, 10:31 AM
As someone who has used LW on and off since the Amiga days, I find it funny how things never change. The same issues that folks (including myself) were complaining about years ago are still being complained about today. Poor character animation tools. LW/Modeler integration. Hub problems. LW core functionality covered by plug-ins with little or no support or progress. And of course, the same old argument that "things will get better real soon now...", which they never do.

I recently started to get re-acquainted (again) with LW after a few years hiatus. And honestly I'm amazed at what little progress has been made. I too have been interested all along in being able to do human character animation, but the lack of functionality in that area is mind-boggling.

For example, considering that virtually every character on the planet wears some type of clothing, it's hard to believe that the whole cloth/softbody functionality in LW still hasn't improved much. It was slow in coming in the first place, and improvements have been, well, minor to say the least.

And considering that virtually every character on the planet has hair, the lack of an integrated and simple to use hair generator/styler/animator is hard to understand. Shave died (after I spent many, many, many hours as unpaid debugging support), and of course SASLite doesn't even come close. Generating poly chains from scratch? Are you kidding?? So it looks like it's back to the plugin route, and I'll have to give FF a try.

In terms of rigging and animating, I recall when folks were making fun of Poser, when in fact it was ahead of its time compared to LW in that area. Simple and easy to use. Let's face it, a biped is a biped, and for LW to not have a quick and simple way to rig and animate a biped is mind boggling. As usual with LW, we have to rely on plugins to cover some basic functionality, and Maestro is a great start in this area. But plugins are plugins, and IMO they are a poor substitute for integrated functionality.

In terms of non-CA functionality, I can't understand why there is still no fluid dynamics in LW. Instead we can use a different, free application. Hmmm....

And what about rendering ? Somehow FPrime can do fast/realtime rendering, but LW can't? So that's another plugin.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but the point is made. And yes, I know there are reasons and excuses, but those don't help any of us. The fact is that LW is way behind in character animation and other tools. WAY behind.

Oh, and before I forget, I still can't comprehend why the documentation is still so incredibly poor. They should include with every LW purchase a copy of Essential LightWave v9 by Warner, Phillips and Albee. For what it's worth, IMO the book is absolutely incredible.

Kind of like a document plugin, huh?

Cageman
11-19-2007, 12:44 PM
As someone who has used LW on and off since the Amiga days, I find it funny how things never change. The same issues that folks (including myself) were complaining about years ago are still being complained about today. Poor character animation tools. LW/Modeler integration. Hub problems. LW core functionality covered by plug-ins with little or no support or progress. And of course, the same old argument that "things will get better real soon now...", which they never do.

Yeah...right... LW CA needs updating, you are spot on in that regard, but saying things never gets better? Litte harsh I think; just look at what the renderer can do today compared to as "far" back as LW9.0. Lets hope NT can do with CA as what they did with the renderer/shader! :thumbsup:

t4d
11-19-2007, 03:10 PM
Yeah...right... LW CA needs updating, you are spot on in that regard, but saying things never gets better? Litte harsh I think; just look at what the renderer can do today compared to as "far" back as LW9.0. Lets hope NT can do with CA as what they did with the renderer/shader! :thumbsup:

well back up you claim ??

what can you do now that you could not do in LW 7 or 8 ???
( Don't say anything about Fprime )

Cageman
11-19-2007, 03:25 PM
First of all, we have the nodeshader that opens up tons of possibilities. The SDK for Nodal allowed Dennis to write a nodebased motionmodifier + tons of shaders/utility nodes that greatly enhances both nodeshading, displacements, surfacing and animation (yep, the Node Item Modifier combined with bones and 2-poly dynamic strings are really cool stuff). A friend of mine coded a bunch of tools to reduce the setup to a couple of mouseclicks. The result:
http://hangar18.campus.luth.se/~cageman/wip/AnimatedWater_MakingOf_small.mov

Then we have the renderer itself that provided 3D motionblur, we have the new cameras (especially the advanced camera for special FX stuff and Real Lens Cameras for easier CG-integration for VFX). I heard Zoic uses them alot on CSI. Not to talk about displacements and normalmaps (now works out of the box with alot more efficiency). Yeah, displacements are still limited to what LWs render can handle, but to even get displacements to render correctly in pre 9.x was a quite daunting task.

Ztreem
11-19-2007, 04:44 PM
Don't forget that you now can render multibounce radiosity very fast compared to before, before it took hours for a simple scene that nows only takes minutes or even seconds. (depending on the scene)

t4d
11-19-2007, 06:50 PM
First of all, we have the nodeshader that opens up tons of possibilities. The SDK for Nodal allowed Dennis to write a nodebased motionmodifier + tons of shaders/utility nodes that greatly enhances both nodeshading, displacements, surfacing and animation (yep, the Node Item Modifier combined with bones and 2-poly dynamic strings are really cool stuff). A friend of mine coded a bunch of tools to reduce the setup to a couple of mouseclicks. The result:
http://hangar18.campus.luth.se/~cageman/wip/AnimatedWater_MakingOf_small.mov.

result ,...Nothing but fancy methods with no real Advanage ?

you could do that in LW 6.5 ?? with displacement etc I've done afew oceans in all LW versions up to lw 9 ( Stopped using LW 9 as my main tool ) in LW you still can't put a boat in the surface and have it effect the Water surface to any real degree without Third party plugins ??

great what have we got from lw 6.5 to LW 9 ,...?? 3 more methods of doing oceans surfaces that can't be effected by a boat ?? ( useful ? )

Sorry Lame,.. You keep waving the flag and I'll keep saying what needs to be Said
" Newtek need to show some real progress and compete aganist other 3D package instead of just try to be better then the last version " :tongue:

alvin_cgi
11-19-2007, 07:45 PM
First of all, we have the nodeshader that opens up tons of possibilities. The SDK for Nodal allowed Dennis to write a nodebased motionmodifier + tons of shaders/utility nodes that greatly enhances both nodeshading, displacements, surfacing and animation (yep, the Node Item Modifier combined with bones and 2-poly dynamic strings are really cool stuff). A friend of mine coded a bunch of tools to reduce the setup to a couple of mouseclicks. The result:
http://hangar18.campus.luth.se/~cageman/wip/AnimatedWater_MakingOf_small.mov


Why Dennis can do it but NT can't... I thought this is NT job! Or may be NT is busy on new CA tool now:D

Mipmap
11-19-2007, 10:40 PM
Just out of curiosity why do people think it would take years to get CA at a decent level like other applications?

I'm not a coder or anything, but it seems like the application has the dope sheet, graph editing, bones and all that other crazy stuff that is required. The only huge issue that I have with character animation in Lightwave is movement of bones of a character is really not as intuitive as I want.

All I'm really asking for in CA with Lightwave is click and move joints and all that like Hash has. Letting us use the existing morphs as REAL smart skins would be great as well. Oh, and I think people have mentioned some tweaks to IK as well. I just want the control to get things where I want them to be fast and not have to fight the program to do so. Yes I know there are ways I can waste my life eventually getting a skeleton without weight maps morphs or anything else to get a model to deform how I want to, but I like smart skin because I have near total control to quickly get the model to deform exactly how I want it to.

Mipmap
11-19-2007, 10:51 PM
Too much time passed for me to edit.

Part of what I'm getting at though, is they should recognize how ridiculous it is that somebody like me who learned Lightwave on version 5 in high school is still waiting for this kind of program to have proper Character Animation all the way to version 9.

IMO they need to ignore architectural BS, all that other stuff and focus everything on character animation until they have something equal or better to other packages. Once they have done this it will set them very free because they'll have the Character Animation ghost off their back.

My thing is, I love Lightwave. If they can just finally nail this CA thing once and for all then it will make it so much easier for people to justify using it to themselves and in recommendations in studios as well. Personally I'm looking forward to tools to make game development easier as well, but I recognize that is a niche thing that only applies to myself, and CA is a far more broad and widely desired feature. I already know one guy who is at a big game company that also was a big LW user but eventually had to switch over to Max.

jin choung
11-19-2007, 10:55 PM
hahaha....

oh man, you're gonna catch he!! for the 'ignore architectural BS' !

i agree with it in that i don't do archvis but ya gotta admit, the fact that WE don't care doesn't mean that others don't or that their needs are less valid.

and i think "equal or better" is a dream. the competition is xsi and maya. and actually, as you mentioned, hash. in the first two examples, they've been at it a lot longer and have much deeper purses than we do.

all i want is robustly usable and competitive in a real world situation. all i want is to be in the ballpark of good.

jin

jin choung
11-19-2007, 11:02 PM
I don't see how much bones would change much unless Newtek breaks SDK access entirely. I suspect they'll add a more stable IK, improving linear interpolation, but that won't effect plugins.

Also Newtek would risk backward compatability for many plugins if they negate the old way. I don't think they'll gamble with that in the 9.x cycle.



right. this is why i've long advocated for leaving lw 9.999 as the PRISTINE, BUG FREE and MAXIMALLY COMPATIBLE - LEGACY EDITION !!! (cue fanfair).

it will be available to developers and users into perpetuity maintaining blissful compatibility with all legacy plugs. every new version of lw will come with a copy of LW ZERO. it will be forever viable.

(and i argue that they should release the source code into gnu or something and make development of LEGACY user based like blender).

and then break everything for LW ZERO.

at least with this strategy, they have the option to move ahead with much needed radical revision while not alienating all the plugin people - and so they can do it without be halfa$$ed about it as they almost certainly would have to if they're worried about compatibility.

jin

Cageman
11-20-2007, 01:39 AM
Sorry Lame,.. You keep waving the flag and I'll keep saying what needs to be Said
" Newtek need to show some real progress and compete aganist other 3D package instead of just try to be better then the last version " :tongue:

You are very ignorant to what can be done using that technique... the water was just a simple example of how easy it is to do 2-poly chains driving bones nowdays. Please do it in LW6 and then change the dynamics AFTER the rig has been setup and see how flexible it is. The usage for this technique are all things dangling (cabels, wires, chains etc, etc). The technique I used doesn't need any re-orginazing nor re-parenting yada, yada.. If you change the dynamics, the bones will follow. Simple. If you have ever worked in a games-environment you should know that some engines are limited to only work with bones. The technique is very usefull in such circumstances.

It is funny that you totaly ignore all the fact about what can be done with LW-rendering today, that couldn't even be done in LW9.0, even less so LW8.x.

You keep telling yourself that LW havn't progressed, yet there are tons of users (amatures and pros alike) that are using it on a daily basis. You are 100% correct about CA having to be improved, but you should really look around if you keep telling yourself the renderer hasn't progress in a good way. *sigh* It outperforms MR in some areas... so, its not just better than the previous version....

Cageman
11-20-2007, 01:40 AM
Why Dennis can do it but NT can't... I thought this is NT job! Or may be NT is busy on new CA tool now:D

Well, NT provided the SDK... they can't code everything. ;)

Seriously, if you ever start to use Maya, you will learn that there are ton of things "missing". You simply have to code them yourself, using MEL...

Cageman
11-20-2007, 03:26 AM
result ,...Nothing but fancy methods with no real Advanage ?

Another advantage of using this technique is that 2-point polychains deforming a higher-res cable (as an example) doesn't do it as good as a bonechain. Using a 2-point polychain for DEFORMATION is kind of "ON/OFF" mentality. Either it works, either it doesn't and you have limited things you can do to tweak the deformations. Driving a bonechain means that you can tweak weights or play with the joint compensation to further tweak the result. And as I said, 100% flexible toward the dynamic chain driving it.

Mipmap
11-20-2007, 03:30 AM
hahaha....

oh man, you're gonna catch he!! for the 'ignore architectural BS' !

i agree with it in that i don't do archvis but ya gotta admit, the fact that WE don't care doesn't mean that others don't or that their needs are less valid.

Yeah we all have needs. But I see tons of people that can already do that stuff perfectly fine while CA is still sort of a giant hole. So I'm just more saying CA is important enough that they should put all focus on that instead of anything else even something as big as archvis until it CA is in. Lightwave being what it is, it is just kind of ridiculous that CA even be a feature request.

So I guess I'm just saying to eliminate the biggest weakness once and for all and be done with it, at all costs. I'm not trying to say one area of work is more valid than another.

I guess some of it is just frustration from waiting for so long. Like when I saw initial info on IK Booster I thought that was what it would be for us, and it wasn't.

ben martin
11-20-2007, 05:17 AM
Like I posted in Jin "Character Animation: deal breakers " Thread... and because this type of double information never is too much.. I believe that Lightwaver's that try to do CA, would be very happy (and live made easy) if at least this DOPE-SHEET style and IMPORT/EXPORT features could be decently brought to action.
See attached image:

adamredwoods
11-20-2007, 01:02 PM
Ben Martin:
That's a very nice dopesheet mockup!

bobakabob
11-20-2007, 01:34 PM
Ben Martin:
That's a very nice dopesheet mockup!

Agreed, great work Ben. Have you forwarded it to NT or is it on Feature Requests?

ben martin
11-20-2007, 02:12 PM
Thanks!

No, I didn't send it to anywhere since it is a mix of other software features... the key editor was extracted from POSER (is one of the best intuitive KEY-EDITOR I’ve ever seen)
The Graph editor was extracted from BLENDER - Again great feature.
The rest is LW.

Anyway this is only to show how a good DOPE-SHEET could look like.
It's practical and the animator would be able to control easily all the animation key aspects.

bobakabob
11-20-2007, 02:15 PM
The simpler and more accessible the better. Despite its problems Lightwave should strive to maintain an artist friendly interface. As soon as CA becomes rocket science it kills creativity.