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NiPeR
07-22-2003, 04:41 PM
Hi everyone!

I'm going to buy a 3D software very soon, since I have used a lot of free versions and I'm kind of tired of them now. I found out that Lightwave Educational version was a good choice for me because I'm still a student (and therefor not very rich:().

Here's the question:
-I want to work as an character animator when I got older and want to know if Lightwave is a good character animation software?

I've looked around on this forum and on www.CGTalk.com but I almost never see any animations, only still images. Is it only a modelling tool, or can you create good character animations with it too?

//NiPeR

(Sorry for my bad english.)

gjjackson
07-23-2003, 06:21 AM
Your english is quite good. LW does have Character rigging and animation. There's an offer from Kaydara, in some magazines, for their MotionBuilder for use free for a year. During Aug - Dec you can upgrade it to permanent for $200. I'm probably going that route because it does character animation quite well and also does Lipsync.

NiPeR
07-23-2003, 09:32 AM
Okay.

But if I choose to only work with Lightwave. Can I create good character animations all the same, such as muscles, IK, lip sync and other character animation features?

I have found Animation:Master as an alternative, since I'm going to learn the art of animations. But Lightwave looks a lot better in modeling, but if the animator is worse than Animation:Master's animator, then I'm going to buy A:M.


I really appreciate if someone who have worked with both A:M and Lightwave can tell me if Lightwave's animator is better than A:M's.

//NiPeR

Dodgy
07-23-2003, 10:31 AM
Well it looks like you should wait a week or so, as LW is demoing at siggraph and should be showing some major character animation enhancements according to gossip/previews. I've never found LW terrible to animate in, I'm an animator and have used Maya, and I find them about even. Some things maya has are quite nice, and somethings in LW are quite nice. Much of a muchness to me, hopefully the new stuff in 8 will be nice.

There are a LOT of plugins for LW which are very useful for character animation too, most of which are free, and it gets a lot of support that way.


AM is supposed to be very funky but unreliable (only what I've heard), and uses 'hash patches' instead of polys, polys being more of a standard. On the other hand it's a lot cheaper.

NiPeR
07-23-2003, 11:02 AM
Thanks Dodgy.

LW sounds like a better choice and because i maybe gonna buy the Educational version, it's not a lot more expensive than A:M.

Thanks for the help.

dglenn
07-23-2003, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by NiPeR
Thanks Dodgy.

LW sounds like a better choice and because i maybe gonna buy the Educational version, it's not a lot more expensive than A:M.

Thanks for the help.

Just to toss in my two penny's worth. You might want to stick with Lightwave for now. I think that DIGIT Magazine has a copy of MotionBuilder - just to give it a try. Later on, I would migrate to the PE version of Maya (I use that along with LW) and some third option that might become cheep to you over time.

I'm not ashamed to say that I use any tool I can get my hands on to get the job done. The goal is to be creative with your craft as you can. Don't feel that you have to be tied to a tool or brand, but at the same time, learn your tools well!

I see all this software as the tools that we use. But don't limit your self with the software. Learn to draw, paint, doodle, act, etc. I see too many in this game that have never lifted a pin or pencil in anger, have never studied motion or how things (like the human body) move. I occasional do some sword fights, so I have a broom stick (that I affectionately call "Skuld's Hammer") and practice how I want a figure to wield his/her sword in a mirror. Yes, its not a bad idea to take an acting class or two. If I learned nothing else from Disney it was to act your character.

Note: I just got a upgrade of Animation Master 10.5 (I was using 8.5 before). It is powerful. 3D had problems when they tested it last, but they have fix it and I yet to have it crash. I can also make models that I can use with lightwave (porting it as a 3d studio max file). Its come out vary high in the polygon count but I can reduce that.