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ToiletDuck
07-10-2003, 01:12 AM
Hi I am new to CG. I work a lot and am trying to self teach myself on the side (University computer's on spare time). I'd like to get myself something to learn to model on. So I was wondering if, even though this is the lightwave forum, any of you could sudjest a CG program that is easy to start with. Do you consider Lightwave to be the easiest to pickup? Did any of you learn on something else? I will continue using it. However I find it tough. Which program do you think is best for an aboslute complete newb?
Duck

garg
07-10-2003, 02:01 AM
I started with Caligary TrueSpace but switched to LW about 3 years ago...

I think in general 3D is not so easy to understand and handle at the begining.

LW or other packages are not so easy to understant not because the package is not welldone, but simply because 3D is not easy manage.

If you take for example clay, and want to recreate a human body, you will see that it's not easy, and even if the media is easy to deal with, it will not make you a good artist. Well 3D is the same. IMO you need to learn how to deal with 3D and this is indipedent of the 3D package you choose.

LW is not so complex BTW and the modeler is very good. I think if you started with LW stick with it and continue to try. It will take some time, but afterward you will be able to represent what you want.

Alain Bertrand

mrunion
07-10-2003, 07:27 AM
FWIW:

I "started" with Imagine 2.0 for DOS because it came with a book I bought. I then moved to Blender (http://www.blender3d.com/) because it was free, powerful (for me and most things I would ever do) and let me do tings other free packages wouldn't -- like motion curves, scripting in python, a small, built-in non-linear editor, and it runs on almost every platform imaginable.

I am NOT a professional, just a hobbyist. I bought LW in Febuary and have been working with it since. I must admit that I did *most* of my 3D learning from reading ANYTHING I could and trying to apply it in Blender.

ChrisS
07-10-2003, 08:21 AM
I think one of the biggest hurdles people new to 3D have is simply thinking in three dimensions. We all live in a three-dimensional world, and interact with it on a daily basis, but the spatial concepts in recreating that world in what is really two dimensions is the stumbling block for some. My nephew has begun to get into 3D. He struggled with it for a while, but I think he's recently cleared a big hurdle in understading the concepts and has begun to create stuff that actually looks like what he wanted, and it's pretty neat.

Everybody learns things differently, but I can't think of a better way than just digging in. Think up a project for yourself and do it. Start with something simple like a table (or whatever you'd like) and go from there. Keep in mind that there is a learning curve. Read the manuals and familiarize yourself with the tools by using them. Learn not just what they do, but how they work. When you learn how they work, you can use them to create ever more elaborate objects. Add a chair for your table, and maybe a coffee cup to put on the table. Look at things around you and think about what it would take to reproduce them in 3D, then give it a try. Ask most of the people here; before long you won't be able to look at something without your mind clicking into "x, y, z mode". Just don't let it ruin your ability to simply enjoy things!;)

That being said, I think LightWave is an excellent program, no matter what level you're working at. It's inuitive enough so that the new user can pick it up relatively quickly while offering the professional a pretty good workflow. It's feature set is quite robust right out of the box, particularly for the price, and it's modeller is considered one of the (if not the) best polygonal modelers available. If you've started with LightWave, I too suggest sticking with it, but whatever tools you ultimately decide to go with, learn all you can about using them, and have fun.

Good Luck!

Matt
07-10-2003, 09:33 AM
all 3D programs kind of work the same way, e.g. extrude in LW is pretty much the same as any 3D package, so a lot of skills are transferable, it's just a case of knowing where the same option is in the interface of which ever package you're using.

LW isn't nessarily difficult, it's more to do with knowing what you CAN do in it and where the options are in the menus to do them!

meshmaster
07-10-2003, 10:11 AM
It's super easy, but is a LOT different than LW....

ts3 is available for free now at http://www.caligari.com - don't ask me where on the site, because I'm not sure... they have very funky advertising and rearrange the site often so what will be a live link one day will be dead next month. If you post in the forums there someone will be able to get you the link that's still active...

Rei
07-10-2003, 11:38 AM
dont foreget to try the demo/trial versions of all the apps. LW has a discovery eddition here www.newtek.com/lightwave/discovery

Maya has a ple, max has a ple and XSI has something similar.

Notepad + Pov-Ray, cant go wrong.

ToiletDuck
07-10-2003, 12:00 PM
what do you mean by it is A LOT different. Truespace that is. Are you saying that if I do work with it tht I probably won't carry of the knowlege over to lightwave?

garg
07-10-2003, 12:26 PM
You will need to learn again how to use some tools and how to solve some problems, but once you know how to make something with a package it will be not too difficult to learn a new one.

Alain Bertrand

meshmaster
07-11-2003, 10:27 AM
Lightwave and trueSpace are a lot alike as far as modelling goes... but when it comes to interface - TS is more oriented towards using icons, and tons of them that look a LOT alike...

http://forum.caligari.com/discus/messages/1589/12405.jpg

while LW is more "clean"

http://www.tajino.net/tutorials/mod_housewives/_Cup.viewlet/_Cup_viewlet_swf.html

neuromancer78
07-14-2003, 07:05 PM
Well I started when I was 16 (I am now 25) with Specular International's LogoMotion 1.0, on the first PowerMac series. For some reason I decided becoming a rock star was a bigger priority (HAHAHAHA), and within the past year came back to 3D animation with Lightwave. Why Lightwave? Because I have seen the animation done on several TV shows and some movies.
I got Lightwave 7.0 last winter, and it's taken 7 months for me to really produce some good quality renderings.
Read manuals, go online and do tutorials for LW. I like finding a lot of plugins and lscripts, but I really only use them for a certain purpose at the time.
Most important thing to remember when learning is to not get frustrated with your results. If they are not perfect, change it and do it over and over untill it looks right. Never give up! I did a few years back wanting to become a "rock star" and that got me nowhere - it was a waste of time and money. With the amount of maney I spent of this dream I could have bought a few SGI's and started my own studio...... now I have to go back to school and try to make it with my original dream - CG animation.

redlum
07-15-2003, 09:23 AM
I was introduced to 3D in grad school. We had 2 copies of Alias Wavefront Power Animator and 12 students so some of us bought Lightwave. I started on Version 5.6 on the mac. The original MAC verstion was very iffy but I learned a lot and got an A. The next semester the school switched to Maya 1.5. This time they got 12 copies but and the whole class ended up using Maya for the duration of their degree. However after I graduated I couldn't really afford Maya so I upgraded my copy of Lightwave and never looked back. I've played around with Maya each year at Siggraph but it's so nice to come home to Lightwave. Every program has it's strengths and weeknesses and the great thing about using Lightwave is the community around it. If there's a feature that is missing in Lightwave (like rigid body dynamics) you can always find a developer who's filled in the gap. And it runs on so many platforms now. I have it on PC at work and on my MAC at home.

packetcafe
07-30-2003, 12:15 PM
just my 2 cents--i've used amapi, carrara 2, pixels3d, strata & strata3d, and tried several others. lightwave is my favorite as far as ease of use. if lightwave didn't exist, i'd probably use carrara 3 though. just came out from eovia, and they've vastly improved their product(s) with the latest release.

but lightwave does exist. *hooray!* :) it is the most intuitive application i've used, to me anyway.