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View Full Version : LW User Groups in Chicago?



Gooch
07-17-2003, 02:20 PM
Does anyone know of a group in the Chicagoland area?

Gooch

phyc249
07-22-2003, 08:46 PM
I looked for one but the closest I could find was Milwaukee, and I have not heard from them in a while. I found a couple of guys who were interrested in starting one but we never made any progress beyond that.

if you find anything or want to start one I would be interrested to know about it.

good luck.

ChrisS
07-23-2003, 07:49 AM
I could've sworn I heard about a Northern Illinois or Chicago area group somewhat recently, but can't for the life of me remember where. I also cannot remember for sure if it was LightWave specific, though I think it was.:confused:

I know we've got users in the area. I've seen one poster around from the St. Charles area. I'm South of Rockford myself.

Knight451
07-25-2003, 10:47 AM
Do you have any information on the users group in Milwaukee? I am located in Kenosha and would be interested in checking it out if possible. Thanks

rabid pitbull
07-26-2003, 11:12 AM
i am in Westchester( just outside the city), would be interested in some kind of monthly, or quarterly meeting. since I have never been to any kind of users group anyone want to explain what would actually go on? would it be more a social event?

kevman3d
07-27-2003, 08:52 PM
While I'm not in the USA, I can say that LWUG's are pretty much all different - Some do group seminar type things, so do the 'guest speaker' thing, some will watch videos and stuff, and some, like the NZLWUG, do a bit of socialising, tutoring, and demoing (and occasional DVD/Video as well).

If you don't have a local LWUG, its not hard to start one - Read the sticky posts at the top of this forum for more info if you're keen. It might sound like a lot of effort, and sometimes it can be - But its also a lot of fun, even more so if its something you are strongly passionate about.

dablan
08-01-2003, 05:19 PM
Hey Guys,
I'm in Schaumburg - our studios have been up here for 6 years. Before that, down town.

Me and a friend started the "Chicago LightWave Association" back in 1994. We had monthly meetings in Oakbrook. It was pretty good. Then, by 1996, it basically became a free class. People brought nothing. They showed nothing. They said nothing. We sent out monthly newsletters, at our own expense, brought treats for each meeting, set up computers, and so on. Rarely did anyone participate with this. So, we stopped doing them. Remember, in 1994, not many people had email accounts, so every notice was a phone call or mailing. That took time and money.

Another brave sole decided that he could do it better around 1998, 99. Needless to say, that lasted less than a year. Same problems.

So, there ain't no user groups in Chicago.

However, I'd love to hang with Local LightWaver's anytime.

Shoot me a note.

Dan

CoryC
08-01-2003, 05:29 PM
Hey Dan,

Let's hold the meetings in Lake Geneva!

Yous user group story sounds very much like a photography club I once belonged to. Unfortunately I bet that is a very common story.

dablan
08-01-2003, 05:31 PM
Lake Geneva LightWave Conference!!

Rockin' idea!


Dan

CoryC
08-01-2003, 05:40 PM
Sure, you guys are up here every weekend anyhow. We can hold it at Popeye's, ride the Wave Runners, and if there is time left over, talk about Lightwave.

dablan
08-01-2003, 05:43 PM
When I was a kid, we went up to "The Abbey"

Then it got really popular, and really expensive. So, now we don't go.
I haven't been up there in probably 20 years.

kevman3d
08-01-2003, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by dablan
...it basically became a free class. People brought nothing. They showed nothing. They said nothing. We sent out monthly newsletters, at our own expense, brought treats for each meeting, set up computers, and so on. Rarely did anyone participate with this. So, we stopped doing them.

You know - It sounds all too familiar - Same here in NZ - its pretty much 'come along and hear Kev tell you how to do LW stuff'.

At one point, if I didn't offer cool tutorials on stuff then people wouldn't come at all, so I ended up creating new material every month - Usually 3-4 tutorials per meeting and I'd stress out trying to squeeze them all in, but I'd usually do it... For me, its been great for personal learning, but I know the frustration that sometimes comes with it.

People still come along if there's something they're interested in, and a few times I've had people rudely complain at meetings that 'I want to go home, when are you going to do that tutorial cause I don't have all night to hang around!'

...But I'm still running them 5 years later! :) (I must be crazy!) And this year we've had a handful of participating users that have been great. But its rare... And meetings pretty much do turn out to be a free 'classroom'.

BTW, its funny - I don't usually ask for anything but the Australasian NewTek Distributor down here just gave me 3 'old catalogue' Video tapes for the LWUG! (its taken 5 years to get anything 'free' from anyone for the group!)

Funnily Dan, they were your 'Class on Demand' 201, 202 and 203 tapes! A little old (L[6]) but at least I now have some kind of 'prize' material for running competitions and trying to encourage more participation! (without costing me money!)

People just didn't seem encouraged when I offered gift vouchers, etc. :) In fact, a few years ago I was told by a professional animator that the LWUG wasn't worth his time unless I offered free stuff at meetings... Funny how some people think...

dablan
08-01-2003, 09:04 PM
Yeah,
when you start giving away stuff, then they just show up for that.

In the beginning, the User Group here in Chicago (VTU) through a local Toaster dealer was the absolute best. Everyone, I mean everyone was enthusiastic, brought work, talked, helped out. I mean, we could have been there for days.

Now, it's completely different.

CoryC
08-01-2003, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by dablan
Everyone, I mean everyone was enthusiastic, brought work, talked, helped out. I mean, we could have been there for days.

That doesn't happen much any more. On the bright side, my experience has shown that those same 'gimme' people put an equal amount of effort into everything they do so they aren't much in the way of competition in the marketplace.

kevman3d
08-03-2003, 02:41 AM
Everyone, I mean everyone was enthusiastic, brought work, talked, helped out. I mean, we could have been there for days.

I know that feeling as well - Meetings always drag on hours after they were planned to finish... But that's mostly only me and a couple others going over cool tools, or going back and looking at a tutes n more detail... Or watching 'RoughNeck' DVD's into the late night! ;)

However LWUG users seem mostly to be new students who have just heard of LW from the school they are studying at. Its hard to find people with a history and passion for LW like myself, so its also hard to start getting people enthusiastic about stuff when they feel like they have no idea what you're talking about... :D

I think in general this is how LWUG's everywhere seem to be - The feedback I've been getting has been pretty much the same from a lot of countries.

Why, I really don't know - In NZ I figured it was the fact most LWUG attendees were all so new to the program they really didn't have that whole 'passion' thing going... So while crazy Kev jumps up and down over how cool 7.5 is and how 'you couldn't do that in 6.5', everyone just sits and stares, and wonders why he's so excited! :D

But definitely I would say to anyone in Chicago wanting to rebuild a UG or start one, do it anyway. You might be surprised who turns up... And you never know, it might just work! :)

Gooch
08-05-2003, 02:24 PM
Can anyone suggest a space/location that might be good for meeting in Chicagoland? We don't necessarily have to start planning something big. Just start with a forum to show and get feedback on our stuff, meet a few other LW geeks, maybe have some beers, and go from there.

~Pat

ChrisS
08-05-2003, 03:32 PM
I'm kinda out in the boonies myself (South of Rockford), so I'm not the one to base a location on :) but I sure wouldn't mind heading in toward town to hook up with some folks. Grew up in the burbs and go back to visit now and then.

Chris

dablan
08-06-2003, 08:20 PM
Well, my office in Schaumburg, not too far from O'Hare.

I'm game if you guys are. Maybe I can get us some free books :)

CoryC
08-06-2003, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by dablan
Well, my office in Schaumburg, not too far from O'Hare.

I'm game if you guys are. Maybe I can get us some free books :)

Dan, are you thinking at your office? Are you around Golf Rd or further south?

Maybe you could get some beta LW8's to try:D

dablan
08-06-2003, 08:33 PM
Actually, the office is pretty much at Golf and Meacham.

8 Beta? Eeh, probably not... but we gots 7.5 cookin'!

CoryC
08-06-2003, 08:41 PM
Right by Ikea. I'm in if the time fits. I work in Milwaukee but live in Lake Geneva so it isn't a bad drive from home. I used to drive to Aurora every day so that is nothing.

Macaroni Grill or Portillo's? :p

dablan
08-06-2003, 08:45 PM
Actually, we're right down the street from Ikea, right off of Tower (the street Ikea is on).

Portillo's is too noisy, crowded. Macroni Grill - a little farther away - but doable.

CoryC
08-06-2003, 08:48 PM
OK. If you guys set up a date, I will do what I can to get there.

Gooch
08-07-2003, 06:30 AM
I'm for Dan's office. Does anyone have any preference for weeknights or weekends? I would prefer not to meet on Monday nights, unless necessary. I'm flexible beyond that.

~PK

dablan
08-07-2003, 09:40 AM
Hehe... my office. Then I'm hosting it again. I thought I got out of this racket?

:)

Gooch
08-07-2003, 09:57 AM
hopefully, if we start small and don't try to create some monster group that eventually collapses under the weight of it's members' indifference, we can finally get something worthwhile going.

I think if anyone should call out a date, it should be Dan, since he's nice enough to offer a space to use.

~PK

ChrisS
08-07-2003, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by dablan
Hehe... my office. Then I'm hosting it again. I thought I got out of this racket?

:)


hehe
Sucker! ;)

Seriously though, perhaps for the first get-together it should be at a more neutral place; sort of an informal meet and greet to get to know each other. When one opens their place to visitors, there comes with it a sense of obligation. Dan has voiced some concerns with being saddled with the brunt of the workload, but said he'd like to hang out with some LW'ers, so let's start that way. I'd hate for anybody to feel overly obligated right out of the gate. Perhaps a nice restaurant/lounge sort of place to kick back, maybe have a few beers, and chew the rag.

That way if/when Dan decides to invite us over to play with his toys, he's not opening his place up to a bunch of strangers. :)

dablan
08-07-2003, 10:09 AM
That sounds cool

Gooch
08-07-2003, 10:31 AM
That does sound better, but now we're back to the same question of where. Hey Dan, since you're were the one to offer up a locale first, call out some place and time that's convenient to you, and at least we'll have an initial suggestion. I'm in Evanston, but I'm willing to drive anywhere in Chicagoland.

~PK

dablan
08-07-2003, 10:38 AM
Well, there's a few places around here.
Perhaps we can find a restuarant with a banquet room or something. If we get a head count, and everyone agrees, we can all meet up to eat, geek and go from there.

CoryC
08-07-2003, 11:15 AM
That will work for me. Dan, are you thinking weeknight or weekend?

ChrisS
08-07-2003, 11:27 AM
Looking at Yahoo Yellow Pages, there's certainly no shortage of places to go. Does it matter what sort of food or atmosphere? I figure trendy/noisy places are out.

Looking at the thread I see six or seven people who are at least interested, with four posting more than their initial response. Would that require a banquet room?

Amongst the places w/ banquet rooms are:
Chevy's Mexican Restaurant
Joe's Crab Shack
Prarie Rock Brewing Co. <--hmmm...
there's more, these just stood out to me

Of course there's also a number of bar/grill type places, including a Bennigan's.

I guess Dan's the man to recommend a place.

CoryC
08-07-2003, 12:02 PM
There is one one the countries largest malls right across the street and I am pretty sure there is now one restaurant per person in the whole area. It shouldn't be too tough to find a good place to go. I'll go with whatever Dan suggests.

dablan
08-07-2003, 12:29 PM
Prarie Rock is right across the street. That might work.
Chevy's is great, but too busy and noisy.

At the mall, there's nothing.

Gooch
08-07-2003, 01:55 PM
when? I'd prefer a weekday night sometime after next week. I'm working overnight shoots 8/11 - 8/14.

~PK

dablan
08-07-2003, 03:29 PM
Weeknights are better, Mon - Wed.

Just pick a date.

CoryC
08-07-2003, 03:33 PM
How about August 18th?

Gooch
08-07-2003, 03:49 PM
August 18th at Prairie Rock is good. Is that in Schaumberg? I don't have any commitments on that day so someone who has to work during the day should call the time.

~PK

dablan
08-07-2003, 03:55 PM
That works

CoryC
08-07-2003, 04:21 PM
I would say some time in the evening. 6:30 or 7pm. Sound good?

dablan
08-07-2003, 04:25 PM
Or 5:30

CoryC
08-07-2003, 05:16 PM
I'm flexible. 5:30 will work. Anyone else?

ChrisS
08-08-2003, 08:16 AM
Hmm... 5:30... Schaumburg...
Can do!

CoryC
08-08-2003, 08:42 AM
Anyone needing a map - http://www.prairierockbrewingcompany.com/schaumburg/map.shtml

ChrisS
08-08-2003, 08:57 AM
Wow! Cool place! And that amber lager sounds good. :D

rkanyama
08-08-2003, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by dablan
Actually, the office is pretty much at Golf and Meacham.

8 Beta? Eeh, probably not... but we gots 7.5 cookin'!

I have been working on Meacham for 3 years and never knew I was so close. I live in Arlington Heights and would love to go and even help out in a new LW user's group!

Ron Kanyama

rkanyama
08-08-2003, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by CoryC
I'm flexible. 5:30 will work. Anyone else?

Sounds good to me.

Count me in!

Ron Kanyama

dablan
08-08-2003, 09:47 PM
So who's really organizing this thing?

CoryC
08-08-2003, 09:55 PM
Do we need organizing? It sounds like about 5 of us getting together. Fairly informal at the moment.

dablan
08-08-2003, 10:00 PM
Still, someone needs a formal head count to make a reservation.

CoryC
08-08-2003, 11:22 PM
Ok, here are the details for everyone interested.

WHO: Lightwave users

WHEN: Monday August 18th, 2003 from 5:30 PM until sometime after 5:30 PM.

WHERE: The Prairie Rock Brewery, 1385 N. Meacham Rd, Schaumburg, IL. For a map and to find out more about the restaurant, info can be found at http://www.prairierockbrewingcompany.com/schaumburg/map.shtml

WHAT WILL BE HAPPENING: This will be an informal gathering for food, drinks, and casual conversation. Each person is responsible for their own tab.

If you are going to be attending, please email me your full name and the number of people joining you to [email protected] by August 14th. Use 'Niteout' in the subject so I can pick your email out from the tons of spam coming in.

CoryC
08-11-2003, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by CoryC
Ok, here are the details for everyone interested.

WHO: Lightwave users

WHEN: Monday August 18th, 2003 from 5:30 PM until sometime after 5:30 PM.

WHERE: The Prairie Rock Brewery, 1385 N. Meacham Rd, Schaumburg, IL. For a map and to find out more about the restaurant, info can be found at http://www.prairierockbrewingcompany.com/schaumburg/map.shtml

WHAT WILL BE HAPPENING: This will be an informal gathering for food, drinks, and casual conversation. Each person is responsible for their own tab.

If you are going to be attending, please email me your full name and the number of people joining you to [email protected] by August 14th. Use 'Niteout' in the subject so I can pick your email out from the tons of spam coming in.

ChrisS and Gooch, are you still interested in attending? If so, drop me an email at the address above. Thanks.

ChrisS
08-11-2003, 12:17 PM
e-mail sent! :)

object
08-12-2003, 08:34 PM
I am in the area and would love to attend. I'll see if I can get
out of work early:)

dablan
08-12-2003, 08:39 PM
What's the count at?

This should be cool>

CoryC
08-12-2003, 09:03 PM
Dan, we are up to 8 people.

ChrisS
08-18-2003, 10:29 AM
Would I be a total geek if I show up in my NewTek World Domination t-shirt?:D

dablan
08-18-2003, 10:39 AM
Hehe. I dare you.

What time is this thingy tonight?

Are we on?

ChrisS
08-18-2003, 10:42 AM
A dare eh?:)
It's at 5:30, right?

CoryC
08-18-2003, 11:11 AM
Yes it is on. 5:30 PM. About 8 people said they were going to attend or try to attend.

dablan
08-18-2003, 11:13 AM
5:30 it is.
See you there!

ChrisS
08-19-2003, 09:05 AM
It was great to meet y'all.
A special thanks to Dan for the goodies and showing us around the studio!

dablan
08-19-2003, 09:16 AM
Great meeting everyone.... even with all of the flies at dinner!

CoryC
08-19-2003, 09:54 AM
Definitely. It would be nice to do this every now and then. We just need to remember to bring a fly swatter or bug zapper.

object
08-19-2003, 07:20 PM
I had great time talking!
Thanks Dan for the goodies and showing us some lighwave tips:D

dablan
08-19-2003, 08:00 PM
Anytime!
It was fun -

Cory - start planning the next one!

ChrisS
08-20-2003, 08:59 AM
Check yer PM

CoryC
08-21-2003, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by dablan
Cory - start planning the next one!

You want to do another one already? What are the thoughts for the next one? Same thing? Go some place for food and talk about Lightwave, public nudity, and anything else that comes to mind?

How does the middle of September sound?

dablan
08-21-2003, 09:34 AM
Just set something up!
We can go somewhere new.

kevman3d
08-22-2003, 04:54 AM
Hey guys!

Sounds like things went well! I love LWUG's and I'm always excited when I hear about people getting together like this! Good on everyone for doing it! :)

And you got your own LW celebrity, Dan Ablan, on hand too! Sorta like having a celebrity speaker at every meeting! So Lucky! People in NZ just get to suffer putting up with *me* every month! :) Hahahaha!

Keep it up! Sounds great!

dablan
08-22-2003, 05:57 AM
Well thanks Kevman,
come on over to Chicago for some training!
I'll even give you FREE LightWave books -

kevman3d
08-22-2003, 02:55 PM
That's a very cool offer Dan, and thank you! I'm sure my wife would insist it would be a good 'holiday' to pop over to that side of the planet, but alas no $ for travel! :(

What I am excited about is the UG thing - I'm starting to slowly see a few small localised LWUG's and people 'doing it' - Very slow, but a lot of small ones are starting to happen here and there globally. Its a very interesting time - 2003 seems to be a good year for LWUG's (including mine!)

Sure, Online contact is very cool, but I don't think anything can be more fun then meeting and talking LW in 'person' with people! :)

Keep up the cool work, and posting your meetings here... Love hearing about this stuff!

johnnyh66
09-28-2004, 10:57 AM
bump :o

Sorry about this... just trying to get something going.
I guess I should've searched before posting a new thread.

etobiason
12-11-2004, 01:38 PM
LW user group met in November and December, next meeting in January, Chicago city proper. West Loop area. Just posting here for those subscribed to this thread to get a notice. Here is a more informative thread:

http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=30699