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sammael
05-01-2008, 09:18 PM
I recently had an offer from a friend of mine, an ex max user who converted to Maya about 12 months ago to teach me the basics. Since starting with Maya he scored a decent job within 6 months. I have been procrastinating for a few years now about learning some other 3D software and it seems to me that it makes sense to go where the jobs are - Maya.

Not getting into price, value for money etc I wonder if some people could share their own person opinions of Maya with me? pros - cons in a technical sense, that sort of thing. Particularly in relation to modeling/texturing, efficiency and ease of use.
How steep is the learning curve likely to be?

Don't get me wrong I am one of the biggest LW fans on these forums and will continue to follow and support LW as well but I have no interest in working freelance and there are not many LW jobs around.

Some educated unbiased opinions about the software would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Sam

jin choung
05-01-2008, 10:45 PM
no point in writing more than i've already written - search "jin" + "maya"

jin

sammael
05-01-2008, 11:07 PM
no point in writing more than i've already written - search "jin" + "maya"

jin

and I get - "Showing results 1 to 25 of 166" :)

threads that is! I think ill pass on wading through that quagmire ;)

Megalodon - I agree, I guess I was more wondering what to expect.

Ztreem
05-02-2008, 01:20 AM
If you have a friend that can help you out with the basics I think it will be quite easy to learn. I only had a 3 weeks course in Maya and I thought it was very similar to other 3D packages and I had no real issues with it. You can also do the tutorials that follows with it and it will help learning the basics. I don't use or can do anything great in Maya, I only say what I feel about Maya after using it for a couple of weeks in school.

geo_n
05-02-2008, 01:29 AM
I'm learning maya 2008 now for a project our company will do in sept. Its very hard to learn and the workflow is not intuitive... for me. I like the hotbox its a cool idea. Comparing it to lightwave and 3dsmax I find it has more options but that's what makes the learning curve steep. And you wont know what those options do unless you sit down and do some tests or have actual projects that will use them. Its hard to find time to learn them while doing your everdyday job.
I tried modelling in maya. Lw and 3dsmax selection is simpler and to the point than maya. More often I'm double clicking in maya just to make the selection I want to manipulate. The hotbox makes it easier.
The materials are just as simple, it gets complicated with nodes just like lw though. Again its something you will only learn thru testing .
I tried to render using mental ray. Man it was complicated. Too many options. Who has time?? Lw renderer is easy as well as 3dsmax scanline and vray. Mray for maya is for people who like those complicated options. I personal had issues with scripterror in mray with my model not being this and that. It wouldn't render my subd model and I was frustrated for hours trying to fix the issue.
Mray for 3dsmax is much simpler.

FWIW maya in japan is competitive. 3dsmax is numero uno, xsi is gaining ground. lw is keeping alive as a modeller but more and more lightwavers are switching. You can't find work if the companies that hire use something else. I wish this wasn't the case since lightwave is so much easier to use and learn for new employees.
I'd say go for maya or 3dsmax for future proofing since you yourself said that the jobs in your area are using maya.

toeknee
05-02-2008, 01:51 AM
well you say that you are mostly looking in to the Modeling and texturing end of it. Well there are a couple of good things that you might like. First I would say is the Instancing, followed by the Paint tool these to thing are pretty cool for modelers. I would say that one of the big differences that I see from my friends at work is that they use scripting a lot more that I would say the average Lightwave modeler does. This can be very powerful as well. Its not that you can't work that way in Lightwave its just that people generally don't. I think the other big difference is the history. The history in Maya is very powerful. It is like people that do CAD work like Rhino and other tools such as inventor.
It is also easier to do mass edits for there texture editor. For example you can have one node addressing all the textures in a scene easier that Lightwave. You might also like the marking menus and the hot box for working in a cleaner interface. This leads us to the thing that I really really Hate about there interface ( this Is for Jin please don't take offence I know that you are crazy in love with Maya but) and that is the Attribute editor. (small rant comming) I mean can you make it take up anymore space. I am sorry but I do a lot of work on my laptop and that part of the interface is freakin huge. I mean really huge Glacealy huge and it doesn't need to be. I think that if they looked in to the idea of ergonomics just a little it would be an easy fix. But back on a good note you might like having real NURBS that can be very powerful. You can than convert that NURBS object back in to a poly object and than you can convert the poly object to a SubD object for easier animation. I hope that helps. good luck and as Megalodon said XSI is a great tool to learn as well it seems to me its picking up market share. I personally feel that it is a much easier tool to learn than Maya. The interface is nicer too. But that just my opinion so please don't freak out Jin.

3DGFXStudios
05-02-2008, 03:58 AM
if maya was only not so extremely buggy................
I don't like the modeling tools in maya, so I model always in lightwave and export it to maya. Works great! Alway good to be familiar with other programs as well.

Surrealist.
05-02-2008, 04:57 AM
I can't offer any advice to Maya in particular, but my first thought simply was get a hold of the manual and the trial version if they still have it. That is what I would do. I would be working to learn that sucker inside and out. I am guessing that the friend's offer is more or less getting you motivated to actually finally do it. But if it were me I would think about what I do to get good a LW and do that for Maya. (and for me that is basically RTFM, forum, and tutorials) I would simply thank the friend and ask him to save his time for when I really need it to get out of a jam and then dive in on my own with a standing offer to have him bail me out - much like we do here on the forum. I think his time would be better served that way other than say an initial introduction to getting around on the interface. Just my thoughts - good luck on your adventure. :)

archijam
05-02-2008, 05:07 AM
if maya was only not so extremely buggy................
I don't like the modeling tools in maya, so I model always in lightwave and export it to maya. Works great! Alway good to be familiar with other programs as well.

I have to agree on this one. I spent many hours in maya this year, working on simple LW tasks, fighting with nurbs surfaces. For all it's power, I'd rather see half of maya thrown out, it seems extremely top heavy if you don't use the character animation aspects.

(Edit: My experience is limited to modeling and rendering, so can't comment on the rest)

cresshead
05-02-2008, 05:09 AM
to get a good foot up in maya purchase the fundamentals dvd's from 3dbuzz.com at only $99 for 85 HOURS of video training you'd be well set to add maya as your alternative 'day job' app.:thumbsup:

also i'd recomend maya complete as it will have all you need for 95% of any job/tools and also the subscription price recently went down too which is good and you'll gain the maya muscle systems if your on subscription.

alternativly..same with 3dsmax...go get the max fundamentals training dvd's which are just over 108hours long

both of these package i own and have found them to be fantastic in giving you a excellent insight to me a acomplished maya or max user ready to step into a fulltime job...they are NOT beginger easy peeesy stuff but a structured courseware leading to to be comfortable in either maya or max.

http://www.3dbuzz.com/xcart/home.php

sammael
05-02-2008, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the information guys, I just had my first lesson. Very impressive stuff imo. I think I could quite happily start modeling away in no time.

After first impressions i'm quite taken by it, it seems quite clear why it is so popular, easy dynamics etc... but where is spin quads?? please tell me there is a plugin?
Anyway its late and my brain has stopped responding so ill report back when I have a bit more spring in my stride.

3DGFXStudios
05-02-2008, 10:52 AM
.. but where is spin quads?? please tell me there is a plugin?
.

Hahaha if your missing spin quads you'r probably gonna miss a lot more of these cool lightwave features! :D Animation is maya's power, not modeling......thats my opinion!

sammael
05-02-2008, 11:05 AM
Yep I can see it has its pros & cons in the modeling department already. No spin quads is an real shame tho...

Surrealist.
05-02-2008, 11:32 AM
I don't use SP so much anymore, but is there a way to add edges?

sammael
05-02-2008, 11:46 AM
Thanks for the tip neverko here it is if anyone wants it http://www.knower.it/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=10 I was searching for spin quads instead of spin faces.
Hehehe yep, complex stuff made easy I like it.

jin choung
05-02-2008, 12:42 PM
fyi,

www.highend3d.com is to maya what flay.com is to lw.

jin

sammael
05-03-2008, 01:29 PM
Well I have been messing around a bit and I'm actually awe struck at some of the things you can do so easily in maya. I made a chain for example and applied some dynamics... apply some gravity and bam a chain with automatic animation! Same with the hair.
The modeling tools are a bit lacking but I generally like the way they work, particularly the way you can delete edges and whole edge loops. The selection is a bit wierd but it will just take a bit of getting used to I guess.
The history is great as well. Yep I like it so far.

cresshead
05-03-2008, 02:35 PM
the great thing about maya is maya ple...free to learn...no purchase nessesary..yeah you have ugly watermarks in opengl shaded views but having a new app to learn that doesn't require thousands of pounds/dollars outlay means that maya will be top dog for a long time to come in the employment of artists many of which may use other bought apps such as lw or max...also maya embedded into colleges/uni's just as much as photoshop is.

sammael
05-03-2008, 02:48 PM
Hmmm funny how people go on about how difficult maya is, it realy seems quite simple and logical to me so far. Granted I have not delved too deeply but so far so good.

cresshead
05-03-2008, 02:52 PM
same can be said about zbrush..so many stupid horror stories about the u.i. of zbrush being 'un-fathomable'.[it's quite easy...different yes,...but easy]

..maya looks pretty logical to me...i don't use it but have some training vids on it from 3dbuzz and ditial tutors and from what i see it looks quite doable...not as fast/easy as 3dsmax for the most part but where max starts to struggle maya romps off into the distance.

sammael
05-03-2008, 03:01 PM
Yeah I have used max previously & although I think it is powerful I just dont like the workflow, its all a bit cluttered and illogical to me. I do like biped/character studio though.
I'm yet to try out any rigging or anything in Maya but I can imagine along with the Dynamics, cloth, hair etc it could be extremly cool.

geo_n
05-04-2008, 09:27 AM
Hmmm funny how people go on about how difficult maya is, it realy seems quite simple and logical to me so far. Granted I have not delved too deeply but so far so good.

Thats good. I'm sure you will get used to it eventually like any app. But one program can't be the same as the other so you will notice that you might be faster with modelling and texturing with app A than app B. I'm almost as fast in modelling in 3dsmax as lw. The only thing slowing me down is clicking to an object then selecting sub object mode. Its the same in maya. Lightwave is more direct to the point and you can select any point, edge, poly, on screen even with multiple objects.
Assigning a material to polys directly on screen is fast. No more setting up multi material per object and assigning material ids per polys. Its a hassle.
Hotbox is cool. But I'd rather press spacebar in lw for selecting subobject mode or pressing 1,2,3,4 in max. I'm sure maya can be assigned those but I always see maya users use the hotbox.

Red_Oddity
05-04-2008, 02:04 PM
Hmmm funny how people go on about how difficult maya is, it realy seems quite simple and logical to me so far. Granted I have not delved too deeply but so far so good.

Just wait till you get to 'tight deadlines + multiple users + references + render layers'. After working with Maya since version 1 i'm basically ready to sacrifice my first born to get those guys at Autodesk to fix that vital pipeline combination (i'm starting to believe that smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day is less deadly than working with Maya on a daily basis.)

But as long as you can avoid the largest pitfalls and 5 year old (known) bugs, you've got a brilliant piece of software on your hands.

cresshead
05-04-2008, 02:54 PM
well no software is perfect!
maya seems to manage to knock out the best fx for feature films still so until an app take over it's mantle it'll be the app on the high ground...speaking of which i think studio's will stay with maya until there's an app that is waaaay ahead of maya...not just 'as good as' or a bit better.....no one will switch till someone creates an app that eclipses maya by a fair few miles...and pricepoint [undercutting maya] won't do the trick it has to be capabilities in the actual app.

Surrealist.
05-05-2008, 05:32 AM
Great to hear the reports about using this app. Keep it up. This could be a great thread and if you don't mind sharing some screen grabs and a few examples that would be a plus. :)

Mr Rid
08-18-2008, 07:49 PM
I dont know Maya to comment on how fair the comparison is for specific function but a friend made this cost observation.

----

Maya Unlimited= $4995

"Maya Unlimited contains everything offered in Maya Complete software, plus innovations such as Maya Fluid Effects, Maya nCloth, Maya Hair, Maya Fur, and Maya Live."

So, for a grand total of about $5000 plus nodes, you have a complete 3D package with perfected character tools, instancing, realistic fire, smoke, clouds, liquid, fur, advanced clothFX and 3D tracking, all in one package.

Here's the same features if you use Lightwave.

Lightwave 9.5 ($895) +
Sasquatch ($500)+
HD-Instance ($300)+
Syntheyes ($400) +
Dynamite ($278) +
Realflow ($2700... includes advanced hard and soft dynamics) =

$5,073.

Celshader
08-18-2008, 08:59 PM
So, for a grand total of about $5000 plus nodes, you have a complete 3D package...

How much would the extra mental ray licenses cost?

Dodgy
08-18-2008, 10:44 PM
A quick search seems to indicate a $1000 per node + $200 maintenance per node. Little bit on the heavy side....

Mr Rid
08-18-2008, 11:54 PM
How much would the extra mental ray licenses cost?

Thats what LW's for. ;D

akademus
08-19-2008, 02:16 AM
If you're going to work in a large studio and that is where maya is mostly utilized you don't give a damn how much it costs. If you are a one man show or a small studio than you can't get more from Maya than you can from other packages as true strength of Maya lies within MEL scripting. Therefore, you need a couple of coders to pull the heavy stuff.
As much as I noticed, Maya is widely used in Oz, so if you're aiming for a nice large studio work go ahead and get into it. If you want to start a small studio go for XSI and if you want to freelance go for LW.

This is just the way I see the market today.

Comparing prices between two is futile as they are used in different ways.

cresshead
08-19-2008, 06:12 AM
if you want to work in a film studio/games studio/arch tec/product design/freelance then go get 3dsmax!

it's simple/scriptable/powerful and quite usable from 1man band operations to large productions plus you get unlimited render nodes for mental ray via backburner and it's easy to use plus there's loads of training/books/college courses and jobs for it....

and it's the most widley used pro 3d software on planet earth.:D..opps! there goes my love for all things 3dsmax again!...

i'd also add zbrush is nearest thing to 'amazing software to create characters' i've ever come across.

cresshead
08-19-2008, 10:11 AM
regards maya> if maya complete was priced as low as what you guys in the usa pay i'd add it this year...but in the u.k we pay around double what you pay so it'll have to wait...maybe 2009...all depends on what arrives for lightwave 10 and my subs update with 3dsmax for 3dsmax 2010 which will be due for a new version in march next year [max 2010]

jay3d
08-19-2008, 10:36 AM
Here's my opinion:

3D Software is a tool, a tool like a pencil, and i found it silly how those studios ask you to be using one brand of a pencil, like : i'm using "Faber Castle" and the guys asked me that i must use "Stadler" or something??!, isn't that silly?

again it depends on you the artist not the pencil ;)

cresshead
08-19-2008, 10:46 AM
that works for your showreel and maybe getting an interview..your work should demonstrate your skills...but....[agggh! buts!]

in studio's you 'ususally' work as part of a team and work within an established production pipeline...

so for modeling and texture painting most any app should be fine as you'll be exporting geometry as a mesh...
so lightwave, silo, modo, zbrush, mudbox, 3dsmax,maya, xsi...blah blah blah...


but for animation, lighting, rigging, effects then you'll need to know their tools they use and that ususally means maya or max for games....or on tv shows lightwave
also myabe some scripting so mel, python and maxscript

and they expect you to know it rather than spend money/time to train you up unless you have an exceptional reel that sets you far apart from other job applicants.

Intuition
08-19-2008, 11:17 AM
I agree with Cress,

Studios do care about the pencils since they set up their networks to utilize said pencils properly.

Having used LW, Maya (actually Today I am in Maya), XSI, and 3ds Max.

I can say they all have their own strengths.

I went to max because it has the best 3rd party plug-ins I have ever seen (Vray, Final Render, Thinking Particles, FumeFX, pryocluster, afterburn, etc).

I like the 3ds max approach even though the interface can make your head hurt at times it is still a nice consistent workflow.

Maya has all these great built in features which are really powerful and is a great animation tool and is used by big studios because of its mel scripting approach which allows for tons of custom work to be plugged in easily.

LW is the workhorse of the bunch, its a great all rounder which gets you alot quickly. It may only get you 90% of the quality that the other apps can get but you'll get that 90% in a few days as opposed to weeks (except XSI in some cases and max in the case of 3rd party plug-ins) . And yes I use the other apps enough thats its not just a statement that didn't factor in "app knowledge".

XSI is my favorite of the bunch. It is the best animation and Character animation app of all of them. It was weak in the particle and FX area but ICE has remedied that alot. Great dynamics and the best way to learn Mental ray available due to its native integration.

I use modo for modeling so I can not say much about Maya's modeling suite but many people I know said that maya 2008 (which I just got like 2 days ago) has a great suite of modeling tools.

In all, you wont be doing anything wrong learning Maya. Its not going anywhere.

Mr Rid
08-20-2008, 12:45 AM
That LightWave "bundle" is nowhere near as powerful as Maya Complete. The Power of Maya is that everything in the package communicates together. I'd rather have that than face the frustrations and limitations that is sure to come with that LW bundle. That is if I needed all that simulation stuff, which I don't. And Dynamite? Not exactly Maya quality, the developer doesn't even support the software, which seems all but a dead end.

There's only so much you can do with a mishmash of plug-ins piled on an old framework.

Exactly. In the age old Maya vs LW discussion, to me this price comparison diffuses the typical fallback LW defense of how much cheaper it is than Maya for the bang, let alone how reliable or well supported or how big the job demand.

jin choung
08-20-2008, 12:55 AM
i'm doing some modeling again in lw after a long time of not having had the opportunity and i've forgotten how primitive it is and how that primitiveness actually makes most modeling work easier.

even a simple thing like splitting a single shell into separate pieces is a remarkable pain (don't get me wrong, it's a few steps, not a half hours work) in maya compared to how it is in lw. in lw's modeler, there is no such thing as an "object" but the workflow is actually faster for it.

and as i've always said, maya has several pull down menus worth of modeling tools, lw has an entire application devoted to it.

there are issues of course - the whole thing can use a spit polish and there are a few things clunky and broken that should be fixed and it would be nice if the primitiveness of the app allowed us to really push an ungodly amount of polys....

but in terms of non sculpting modeling work, lw is still competitive.

jin

akademus
08-20-2008, 01:27 AM
Here's my opinion:

3D Software is a tool, a tool like a pencil, and i found it silly how those studios ask you to be using one brand of a pencil, like : i'm using "Faber Castle" and the guys asked me that i must use "Stadler" or something??!, isn't that silly?

again it depends on you the artist not the pencil ;)

And than you see a big studio job ad saying: "We need Maya modeler to build base meshes to be used in Zbrush for detailing!"

WTF?

jin choung
08-20-2008, 01:48 AM
And than you see a big studio job ad saying: "We need Maya modeler to build base meshes to be used in Zbrush for detailing!"

WTF?

right. i wish we had an FAQ on this particular answer on every software discussion group on the internets.

the tool matters. it's not everything. but it's something. even to the point where people have preferences.

my favorite car analogy as it pertains to 3d:

this is much more F1 and much less nascar. the driver matters. it's not all about the technology. but the technology matters too. and the technology is not EQUAL.

jin

akademus
08-20-2008, 02:21 AM
I agree. However, base mesh is base mesh. Points and polygopns and (not necessarily) UV's.

I can bet it's built faster in Modeler than Maya as you don't have to go converting polygons to nurbs or subdivs and back (hit TAB instead), you don't have to go through and rename each segment into something that makes sense, clear histories and so on!

Tool matters. Time too...

jin choung
08-20-2008, 02:34 AM
no argument from me. the new iteration of maya has some pretty nice optimizations to go from poly to subd (basically, all polys can be considered subds at all times like lw) but as my post #41 says i'm still pretty squarely in the modeler camp.

but that still goes to say that the tool matters.

jin

Stunt Pixels
08-20-2008, 02:52 AM
but that still goes to say that the tool matters.
In some cases. If you look at the very high end Pixar don't care if the only computer experience an animator has is using an ATM... At the other end I have hired animators who have never used Lightwave. As long as they are competent with some 3D package, they can pick up another pretty quickly, and the reel matters more than anything else. If you are looking at contracting to studios to provide them assets, on the other hand, package is all important.

But this all comes down to the studio. If they need someone who can hit the ground running, then sure the tool matters. If they can wait for a bit while the animator gets up to speed with new tools (normally only a few weeks), then it's all good.

I'd surely take into consideration what software companies around you - that you wanted to work with - were using. But a kick arse reel generally means a lot more than anything package specific. I have no problem with multi tooling if you have the time (in fact, I think it's a great thing). But not if that time is going to get in the way of your reel...

AbnRanger
08-20-2008, 02:54 AM
I'm taking some classes at the Art Institute in San Bernardino, and they push Maya heavily. Even though they have a Games Arts program, where they teach Max as well, they do all Character Animation in Maya. That makes no sense to me. The numbers don't lie, and Autodesk says that Max outsells Maya 2 to 1. The top ten games last year was done in Max. You wouldn't think that by the way these Instructors talk.

One side note about affordability...people slam Max as being too expensive, but if you are a student, of course you can buy an academic license super cheap...just like you can LW, Maya, and XSI...BUT, Autodesk shows a bit of grace and offers an academic to commercial upgrade at Studica.com for about $1200. That's only a few hundred more than LW! So, really...no one who is going the college route, can complain about it being too costly.

While learning Maya as well can certainly help broaden one's skillset, and open doors to more job opportunities, it can also stunt your overall progress...instead of me learning to master Max even more. I have to pretty much stop what I'm doing there, and start from ground zero in Maya (sure knowing 3d concepts help to a small degree, but it still comes down to learning where everything is and how it works), and that's a very steep hill to climb.
It guess, when you work in a given program for years, you tend to develop an allegiance to it (largely due to the comfort level you've obtained)...and find myself fighting to latch onto Maya, even though it has alot of great tools and unique aspects.

I guess in Samuel's case, it only makes sense to learn it. Personally, I'd like to stay in Max, for the simple fact that there seems to be more job postings here for it, and a great many houses have a mixture of Maya, Max and XSI for the simple fact that they can draw from a larger talent pool.

jin choung
08-20-2008, 03:09 AM
In some cases. If you look at the very high end Pixar don't care if the only computer experience an animator has is using an ATM...

well we're not discussing this just in context of employment. just the notion that "it's the artist not the tool" is not true.

at pixar, they may not care what apps you know or give you liberty to model in what you want but you're still gonna be using menv/marionette to animate. and they didn't go to the trouble of developing THAT tool because "tools don't matter".

the general point here is simply that tools matter.

but as for employment, sure - it seems the higher up you go the more they care about metatalent "animation" vs. app knowledge.

but most of the ads that i see for employment list 3d app requirements very specifically. and let's face it, what production DOESN'T require you to hit the ground running?

further, it's not like there's a lack of talent that knows the app you're asking for (if we're talking about maya). there are plenty of fish in the sea and the seas are converging to boot.

so yeah, even in terms of employment - generally, tools matter.

jin

jin choung
08-20-2008, 03:26 AM
While learning Maya as well can certainly help broaden one's skillset, and open doors to more job opportunities, it can also stunt your overall progress...instead of me learning to master Max even more. I have to pretty much stop what I'm doing there, and start from ground zero in Maya (sure knowing 3d concepts help to a small degree, but it still comes down to learning where everything is and how it works), and that's a very steep hill to climb.
It guess, when you work in a given program for years, you tend to develop an allegiance to it (largely due to the comfort level you've obtained)...and find myself fighting to latch onto Maya, even though it has alot of great tools and unique aspects.

absolutely.

that's why the honest answer to most software apologetics discussion is usually:

"BECAUSE I KNOW IT AND I'M COMFORTABLE IN IT! DAMMIT!"

you can't learn everything to guru level so you gotta pick your battles and learn things when it makes sense to - i.e. expanded job opportunities, significant advantage on a task, etc.

for actual work, sometimes, it can come down to: do i take the time to learn an objectively BETTER TOOL to do a job or do i hack out a solution using a tool that i am already intimately familiar with?

the right answer may be the second.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

having said that though, i think there is a deeply ingrained xenophobia in most people... an aversion to learn something different. that it is somehow threatening or even "new knowledge will push out old knowledge"... and i'm speaking here about thoughts I'VE had!

but that's gotta be overcome. you can't stop learning - especially in such a change centric field involving computers and programs. keeping up on the tools is part of the job.

and generally, i've found that learning how to do something in another app, in learning their capabilities and limitations - instead of pushing out old knowledge informs it with a wider perspective and makes you think in ways that maybe didn't occur to you. inspires even using old tools in new ways.

jin

p.s. regarding affordability of max - they may comp on you on the first taste but cost of upkeep is still prohibitive - like heroin. more so with max than maya but maya is the same - not really affordable for the individual (or at least those i know). this is still an area that lw dominates by a wide margin amongst the commercial apps.

Stunt Pixels
08-20-2008, 03:38 AM
well we're not discussing this just in context of employment. just the notion that "it's the artist not the tool" is not true.
Are you? Sorry, I thought the question was about apps and the job market...


but most of the ads that i see for employment list 3d app requirements very specifically.
So did we. But when it came down to it, the users with the best reels had no Lightwave experience. A job ad isn't the final word for most studios. Just a preference. Oh hang on, one MAJOR caveat. It depends on who is doing the hiring and looking at applications first. If someone in personnel thinks that an applicant needs to know XYZ, and they don't pass the application on, then yeah, forget about it...

and let's face it, what production DOESN'T require you to hit the ground running?

Any production that isn't really badly planned? From my experience it only takes a few weeks (2-4) for a 3d animator to get up to speed with new software. They won't be a guru by then, but they will have the basics down and be able to get work out, and will have more experienced people around them for guidance. If a studio is advertising for jobs with less than a month's buffer, I'd say there's a problem with management's foresight...

further, it's not like there's a lack of talent that knows the app you're asking for (if we're talking about maya).

Totally agree on that point. We actually hired 3 maya and 2 Max animators. It was the Lightwave guys in short supply. The Max and Maya people had better reels...

It probably actually also totally depends on the market. I imagine that LA would be a very different job market to Sydney, so I can't comment on that.

jin choung
08-20-2008, 04:31 AM
Are you? Sorry, I thought the question was about apps and the job market...

that's fine. the "artist not tool" comment might've been aimed specifically at employment... i just took it - and was speaking about it - in the broader sense

Any production that isn't really badly planned? From my experience it only takes a few weeks (2-4) for a 3d animator to get up to speed with new software. They won't be a guru by then, but they will have the basics down and be able to get work out, and will have more experienced people around them for guidance. If a studio is advertising for jobs with less than a month's buffer, I'd say there's a problem with management's foresight...

Totally agree on that point. We actually hired 3 maya and 2 Max animators. It was the Lightwave guys in short supply. The Max and Maya people had better reels...

take the above two points together and a lot of places that i've worked at literally hire people on need. not because of poor management - just that there's simply no need or expectation to train. no dearth of qualified operators. pick em up and go.

too bad there's not a 3d software equivalent of homedepot... just grab a pick up truck and yell out, "we need 6!". : )

for fairly technical positions like riggers, it would be impossible for them to get up to speed on the peculiarities of a specific rigging paradigm at a particular job AS WELL as get familiar with the software. so it's position sensitve as well.

It probably actually also totally depends on the market. I imagine that LA would be a very different job market to Sydney, so I can't comment on that.

yah. every place does it their own way....

jin

Stunt Pixels
08-20-2008, 04:41 AM
take the above two points together and a lot of places that i've worked at literally hire people on need. not because of poor management - just that there's simply no need or expectation to train. no dearth of qualified operators. pick em up and go.
Man, I used to dream of that. I had a hard time finding good people. No surplus of good animators over here. I guess that's why the place (I left) now has 5 brazillians working for them.. (Nothing against Brazillians, just a comment that they couldn't find good people in Oz).

akademus
08-20-2008, 05:23 AM
... just a comment that they couldn't find good people in Oz).

I second that!

AmigaNewTek
08-20-2008, 07:08 AM
I'm interested in this thread. Sometime i've asked to myself: i should learn other 3D packages, keeping LW ahead of the others, of course. I saw many times that other users in this forums know at least 2, 3 or 4 3d packages. Now i am a little confused so... any suggestions are welcome.

Thank you LW community.

Nicolas Jordan
08-20-2008, 08:28 AM
In my opinion it's probably worth your time to become familiar with Maya but I probably wouldn't dive very deep into it since it seems like an aging software and is being outdone by newer technologies like XSI currently. If you learn Maya you really only have to know the basics for the most part since almost every studio will have it's own highly customized interface and tools for it. I find Maya to still be a decent program but it's definitely showing it's age now.

cresshead
08-20-2008, 10:45 AM
I'm interested in this thread. Sometime i've asked to myself: i should learn other 3D packages, keeping LW ahead of the others, of course. I saw many times that other users in this forums know at least 2, 3 or 4 3d packages. Now i am a little confused so... any suggestions are welcome.

Thank you LW community.

a great way to learn maya would be via the ple version [free] and then the huge training course from 3dbuzz that has 85hours of video training [yeah...85hours!] that takes you from zero to a confident, pro level artist
using maya. and it's just $99 for all that training too.

www.3dbuzz.com

erikals
11-26-2008, 06:41 PM
I dont know Maya to comment on how fair the comparison is for specific function but a friend made this cost observation.

----

Maya Unlimited= $4995
"Maya Unlimited contains everything offered in Maya Complete software, plus innovations such as Maya Fluid Effects, Maya nCloth, Maya Hair, Maya Fur, and Maya Live."
So, for a grand total of about $5000 plus nodes, you have a complete 3D package with perfected character tools, instancing, realistic fire, smoke, clouds, liquid, fur, advanced clothFX and 3D tracking, all in one package.

Here's the same features if you use Lightwave.

$5,073
Lightwave 9.5 ($895) +
Sasquatch ($500)+
HD-Instance ($300)+
Syntheyes ($400) +
Dynamite ($278) +
Realflow ($2700... includes advanced hard and soft dynamics)

Sorry for the bump, but I've been using Maya lately and all I can say, wow, as for Maya unlimited, what an extreemly overpriced app. Maya complete is better though, at $1999, but you still need additional nodes at extreeme prices. So where does this leave us, imo it leaves us here.

Maya unlimited= ~$5,000
great character tools
basic instancing
basic fire (not realistic)
smoke (pretty good)
basic clouds (not realistic)
basic liquid (actually bit dissapointed over the quality)
fur (few ppl use this or likes the interface/quality)
advanced clothFX (great feature)
3D tracking (this is superbasic tracking from what i know, not very good)
additional $1000 per node + $200 maintenance per node it gets to be an extreeme price imo.

if we look at Lightwave
Lightwave 9.5 ($895) +
Sasquatch ($500)+ (use FFX, but yes, they need to fix the bugs)
HD-Instance ($300)+ (awesome plugin, kicks Maya's butt)
Syntheyes ($400) + (Maya unlimited can't compare, so not fare to add this)
Dynamite ($278) + (not all that, unfortunatly it is tricky to compare to Maya smoke, sad loss)
Realflow ($2700)+ (way better than Maya fluids imo, so not quite fare to add)[/QUOTE]

+free nodes
+free Dpont plugins
+I belive LW can have muscle simulation using DPont's Boolean plugin.
(we tested this earlier, test is not finished, but if someone feel like giving it a go...)
+LWCad if you like, nothing compares in Maya
-it does not have fluids or good clothfx

I don't want to bash Maya, but Lightwave is starting to catch up.
what they need now are fixes and improved CA. They also need to look into making a better language, like MEL.

LW's biggest pitfall has been it's bad CA tools, but those will be coming along.
They should also concider fixing IKB, so it can become faster, become what it should have been.

There are more pitfalls I haven't mentioned in Lightwave
But there are also more pitfalls I haven't mentioned in Maya

So, there's my Maya rant for ya' :)
"She ain't all that"
We are forced to use it though, even me, as all others do.

Celshader
11-26-2008, 07:02 PM
erikals, thank you for sharing your perspective on this.


They also need to look into making a better language, like MEL.

Based on my scripting experiences since early 2006, I hope future editions of LightWave include common scripting languages like Python, instead of proprietary scripting languages like MEL. Even Maya now offers Python scripting alongside MEL.

jin choung
11-26-2008, 07:14 PM
i don't think that there's ever (even BEEN) a doubt that lightwave is a fantastic value. it IS. hands down.

but there are FUNDAMENTAL things that hold it back - stuff that's not even on your list. as in:

- slower opengl interaction and redraw performance in BOTH modeler and layout compared to maya (even though you'd figure either modeler or layout has less overhead).

- for technical animation tasks, you NEED modeling functionality to be LINKABLE to animation. this is primarily a rigging/character animation workflow but it is an issue at a fundamental level. not just a tool that can be bolted on.

- complexity management is not great in lw. it's not great in maya either but it's much better. as scenes get larger, as there becomes ever more stuff to keep track of while you're working, you need a good clean way to keep track of everything and lw's is basically a poor man's version of maya's OUTLINER/HYPERGRAPH/VISOR and all the tasks that can be done using just those views.

lw's interface is good for individual objects or small sets but when you have big complicated scenes with lots of rigged characters at once, not only does interactivity bog down MUCH FASTER than it does in maya, the ability to keep track of what's what gets complicated faster too.

- character animation is getting addressed but they're making all kinds of really dumb, nonsensical moves too... like how joints are being handled (like where weights get assigned or even where it manipulates from). unintuitive and DIFFERENT and not because it's better. we seem to be taking steps back as we progress forward.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
also, i disagree entirely about maya clouds. if you've tried the volumetric fluid based clouds, they are stunningly photorealistic and "flythroughable". and there are other aspects of the critique that may not be an issue or a valid point of critique when in the hands of another operator.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------


technologically speaking, lightwave is VASTLY INFERIOR in terms of software infrastructure.

individual black boxes like the renderer are very very competitive but the entirety of the package is primitive.

in things like the modeler, it can be an advantage because most artists don't like having to deal with histories and nodal relationships when they're creating simple chars/objects... those usually come into play later for technical tasks like rigging.

but whatever lightwave has in its favor (and it has many), there is a fundamental primitiveness to the app that simply can't be overlooked.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

as i've argued elsewhere, it may be beyond the capability (in terms of manpower, know how [all the people there are maintaining a house built by others - and i've said that the ability to maintain or even soup up a car is a far cry from building that car from scratch] and money) to up the technological capabilities.

but that might be ok.

in a shootout with maya, feature for feature, lw loses. i think it's delusional to think otherwise.

but that doesn't mean it can't be useful next to it. or that it's primitiveness can't be leveraged.

as i say: let's go soviet. we can't take the americans on in terms of technological prowess so let's just make our product more rough and tumble, less "precious", be able to throw more at them and be quick and dirty.

imo, it is VITAL that we gain SPEED from our primitiveness... our infrastructure is SIMPLER in many ways but ESPECIALLY in that we have a split app... each of those split apps MUST BE FASTER than maya.

and if we can just be able to handle FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR MORE POLYS than any other app, that can cement our future. if we can keep working (primitively) when other apps cry uncle, we can drag others kicking and screaming.

but we can't play the apples to apples card. that way lies failure.

jin

erikals
11-26-2008, 08:08 PM
well, yes and no,... in many areas LW kicks Maya's butt.
the problem is what I mentioned earlier.
sidenote,.. can you show some allright maya clouds?

i agree on the software infrastructure, even though that's not my field.
i did ask a guy who worked on Hellboy II though, why Maya, and that was the main reason.
from the "making of" previews he showed all could've been made easily in LW.
his examples did not include any advanced CA shots though.

they worked tons, and during the weekends.
nothing is free :) so tons of work would have to be done in LW too.
(the animation where the dammaged robot head reassembles took 5 days to animate, that's not 8 hours a day, more like 14 i guess)

that is another thing, LW does not have these artists simply because all work is done in Maya.

what I want to say is that there are quite alot of features in LW that kicks Maya, but it gets overlooked, as some of the LW features are way behind, so, we end up forgetting it. but this is why if NT gets things right this time around (LW10), then things might just change.

jin choung
11-26-2008, 08:43 PM
http://www.sharecg.com/v/5501/tutorial/Making-Realistic-looking-Clouds-In-Maya?division_id=3

http://s233.photobucket.com/albums/ee96/bravo2zero_/?action=view&current=cloudFlythrough.flv

i just did a google of "maya clouds".

: )

jin

jin choung
11-26-2008, 08:51 PM
what I want to say is that there are quite alot of features in LW that kicks Maya, but it gets overlooked, as some of the LW features are way behind, so, we end up forgetting it.

right but the important thing to note here is that the issues that i'm talking about are more FUNDAMENTAL... it is the infrastructure technological gap that holds lw back. the things where we lag behind are more CORE ISSUES.

it's not so much that the good things are forgotten but that you have to accept that those good things come in a package that is fundamentally primitive.

car analogy: super nice rims on a gmc gremlin.

no one's denying that the rims are nice. but it's a gremlin.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

again, there's no denying that lw is a great value. pound for pound, it can take any app and as i've always said, there is PRECIOUS LITTLE that CANNOT be done inside of lw (given enough blood sweat and tears... perhaps some semen)

but software is a funny business where money doesn't seem to matter all that much!

i've never worked at a place that turned away from maya and toward lw because of PRICE. and most of the places i've worked are small boutiques where you'd figure money would matter more.

i dunno how that works. i dunno why that works. but that's how it is.

any seats we gain from maya will be done literally kicking and screaming.

and as i say, the way to do that is by RAW PERFORMANCE. f technology. just beat them on performance and we can drag em in.

jin

Mike_RB
11-26-2008, 09:11 PM
i've never worked at a place that turned away from maya and toward lw because of PRICE. and most of the places i've worked are small boutiques where you'd figure money would matter more.

Think about the burn rate of the company you work at in labor alone. Say you have 10 artists making 50K a year. Thats 500k a year, or 42k a month. Say you need to buy (not upgrade, not maintain) 10 seats of a $5000 app. That's 50k.

Which is 10% of your total labor or the equivalent of 1 employee for that year.

For a $1000 app it's only 10k for that initial buyout.

To make it worth saving that money those 10.8 people using the $1000 app need to be able to do the work of the 10 people using the $5000 app.

Considering what is capable with maya, how little difference a 9.2% increase in manpower is worth you can see why how much these apps cost is relatively insignificant.

The difference drops as you pay your employees more, or if you are on year 2 and only need to maintain/upgrade.

The Farm nodes are a different story, that's one of Lw's stronger points. But again, it's not enough to make a huge difference. In fact, if Newtek wanted to kickstart LW's surge back into VFX they would work hard to extract the renderer and make it compatible with maya and XSI. Make each copy of LW come with *only* 10 lics of the renderer for free and start selling LW copies to houses initially as a renderer. Each extra rendernode would be $100 or once you've bought 10 you just get another copy of LW.

jin choung
11-26-2008, 09:47 PM
Think about the burn rate of the company you work at in labor alone. Say you have 10 artists making 50K a year. Thats 500k a year, or 42k a month. Say you need to buy (not upgrade, not maintain) 10 seats of a $5000 app. That's 50k.

Which is 10% of your total labor or the equivalent of 1 employee for that year.

For a $1000 app it's only 10k for that initial buyout.

To make it worth saving that money those 10.8 people using the $1000 app need to be able to do the work of the 10 people using the $5000 app.

Considering what is capable with maya, how little difference a 9.2% increase in manpower is worth you can see why how much these apps cost is relatively insignificant.

haha... right. as a PERCENTAGE OF BUDGET it's definitely not as significant. i keep thinking like an individual so the money thing catches my eye in a big way - but that's a great point.


In fact, if Newtek wanted to kickstart LW's surge back into VFX they would work hard to extract the renderer and make it compatible with maya and XSI. Make each copy of LW come with *only* 10 lics of the renderer for free and start selling LW copies to houses initially as a renderer. Each extra rendernode would be $100 or once you've bought 10 you just get another copy of LW.

yeah, lots of us have been saying this for a long time (as well as the converse, open up lw so that it's easier to plugin other renderers) and i think they may have taken a step towards this with RENDITION for photoshop.

of course, they'd have to get a maya/max/xsi engineer to get lw's renderer to talk to all the surface properties and shaders and etc. coming from those apps... i assume that's not a trivial task.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

i still think the way into more studio's heart is as the butt ugly thing that grinds away while everyone else sputters to a halt. we're primitive but just make it STUPID FAST and able to handle STUPID LARGE POLY COUNTS.

alas, xsi has the crown now with its gigapoly core. but considering that lw enjoys a significantly reduced overhead with a split app, that crown should be ours.

jin

erikals
11-27-2008, 12:25 AM
http://www.sharecg.com/v/5501/tutorial/Making-Realistic-looking-Clouds-In-Maya?division_id=3

http://s233.photobucket.com/albums/ee96/bravo2zero_/?action=view&current=cloudFlythrough.flv

i just did a google of "maya clouds".

: )

jin

ok, i disagree, i don't find those realistic :)
that's fine though.

jin choung
11-27-2008, 12:39 AM
those two weren't tremendously but to me, i look at that at can tell you can get pretty damn good with that feature.

anyway....

but is this the feature you were talking about when you were criticizing maya's cloud making ability? these fluids clouds?

jin

jin choung
11-27-2008, 12:43 AM
more

http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/blogs_duncan/blog_detail/volume_displacement_method_for_clouds_using_fluids/

jin choung
11-27-2008, 12:46 AM
http://video.google.com/videosearch?um=1&hl=en&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS253US254&q=maya%20fluid%20clouds&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=iv#

http://video.google.com/videosearch?um=1&hl=en&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS253US254&q=maya%20fluid%20clouds&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=iv#

jin choung
11-27-2008, 12:56 AM
oops, i erased the one i wanted to keep in that last one and made it a double post... here's the other:

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=maya%20fluid%20clouds&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS253US254&um=1&sa=N&tab=wv#

jin

Mr Rid
11-27-2008, 03:35 AM
I saw that this type of soft cloud also renders way faster in Maya than the equivalent look out of LW. It is difficult to get clouds that soft out of LW's crunchy puffball generator. I would have to do a separate sprite render to overlay on top of a render intensive volumetric pass that would need further post processing.

a recent cloud attempt (volume HV and skytracer, processed in Fusion)
66469

And people always think I'm nuts, but LW5.6 could do better clouds than 9.5 because of the different way it blended.
http://www.box.net/shared/static/ay0hjjj8kx.mov
http://www.box.net/shared/static/7h19v1j1d6.mov
http://www.box.net/shared/static/x4ymx09o7r.mov

erikals
11-27-2008, 04:52 AM
LW clouds are no good, but Maya is not all that good either.
for clouds in LW i'd use Ozone 3, whish has a easy setup or Ogo Taiki.

cool stuff Mr Rid :) you made that?

yep, I've read about older LW versions being better for some cloud types, and the test you posted looks very good, especially the "plane in storm" one...
..by coincidence I noticed it looked a bit like the Ogo Taiki render posted at his site,
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~pq1a-ogs/pttest3.mpg

to put it short, as of now, there are no programs that can make realistic clouds, at least not to my knowledge.
I'd concider using videoclips instead, or other post process tricks.
even attaching video to image planes (or other forms) is a good idea.

as for "plane clouds flythrough", things tend to get more tricky.
probably close to impossible.

Mr Rid
11-28-2008, 11:45 PM
LW clouds are no good, but Maya is not all that good either.
for clouds in LW i'd use Ozone 3, whish has a easy setup or Ogo Taiki.

cool stuff Mr Rid :) you made that?

I found Ozone too buggy and only 2 values were keyframeable. And yeah, I have not seen any off-the-shelf app that makes realistic clouds. They all need post processing to look decent.

I did the cloud still frame as a test to see what I could get out of LW 9.3 since I had not attempted clouds since 7.5.

In LW 5.6-
The airplane in the storm was done by Jim Perry,
The vortex and 'Torus' crumbling was done by Dennis Greenlaw,
I did the ice cream cone looking cloud chamber type effect.

Stooch
11-29-2008, 04:40 AM
Yes.

Larry_g1s
12-02-2008, 01:55 PM
Think about the burn rate of the company you work at in labor alone. Say you have 10 artists making 50K a year. Thats 500k a year, or 42k a month. Say you need to buy (not upgrade, not maintain) 10 seats of a $5000 app. That's 50k.

Which is 10% of your total labor or the equivalent of 1 employee for that year.

For a $1000 app it's only 10k for that initial buyout.

To make it worth saving that money those 10.8 people using the $1000 app need to be able to do the work of the 10 people using the $5000 app.

Considering what is capable with maya, how little difference a 9.2% increase in manpower is worth you can see why how much these apps cost is relatively insignificant.I gotta disagree with you on that Mike_RB, you try starting a studio where you're $50k or $10 right off the bat in capital ($40k swing), plus salaries for yourself and 9/10 others, plus overhead (facility/rent), plus computers to run those machines & small render farm, etc. etc. I think $40K cheaper on a initial start looks much better. It's easy to talk about that kind of stuff on paper, but when you're the one living it and trying to make it all happen...I think it's another story.

(P.s. I have 3 lic. of LW, and a single Maya unlimited lic.)

jin choung
12-02-2008, 02:26 PM
I think $40K cheaper on a initial start looks much better.

that's the way i looked at it - coming at it from an individual's standpoint. but if we're talking about an individual's BUSINESS does it really seem to be much?

as mike said it is the cost equivalent to a single extra employee (or .8 of an extra employee).

that's one way to look at it... that it's 10% of your cost of labor.

and an even SMALLER percentage (perhaps MUCH smaller) of your total cost of doing business.

considering all the money you are indeed putting up for the business, it might indeed end up being a negligible investment on the part of a company.

again, as a percentage of TOTAL BUDGET (and considering that you really are getting a lot for your money, including name recognition "oh maya, right" vs. "what's lightwave?" [seriously, i hear that A LOT]), it might not be worth trying to go cheap.

and as i've noticed, that's been my experience in working at smaller places. nobody goes cheap on the software just to go cheap.

jin

Larry_g1s
12-02-2008, 02:37 PM
that's the way i looked at it - coming at it from an individual's standpoint. but if we're talking about an individual's BUSINESS does it really seem to be much?

as mike said it is the cost equivalent to a single extra employee (or .8 of an extra employee).

that's one way to look at it... that it's 10% of your cost of labor.

and an even SMALLER percentage (perhaps MUCH smaller) of your total cost of doing business.

considering all the money you are indeed putting up for the business, it might indeed end up being a negligible investment on the part of a company.

again, as a percentage of TOTAL BUDGET (and considering that you really are getting a lot for your money, including name recognition "oh maya, right" vs. "what's lightwave?" [seriously, i hear that A LOT]), it might not be worth trying to go cheap.

and as i've noticed, that's been my experience in working at smaller places. nobody goes cheap on the software just to go cheap.

jinBut a business owner is still coming from an individual's standpoint. That's why I agree with Mike RB on paper it doesn't look like much. But go start a business where you have to have that capital to run and see if still seems small. It's a different story. Let's take those 10 employees at 50K a year for just 3 months...that means it's a $126,000 you have to have to make it through 3 months. Now add on top of that computers for each employee, overhead, etc. Now you have the choice of software where you're going to have to be bringing up that total of $126,000+ to either, $176,000+ or $136,000+. I'm sorry, but $40,000 is a lot of money.

Now I understand, we're not comparing apples with apples sense Maya unlimited does come with much more. The point is...LightWave is still very attractive at it's price point.

Paul Goodrich
12-03-2008, 02:29 PM
if maya was only not so extremely buggy................
I don't like the modeling tools in maya, so I model always in lightwave and export it to maya. Works great! Alway good to be familiar with other programs as well.

What do you use to get your models into Maya? What the process? Do you rig in Maya or Lightwave? Can you export morphs or do you need to do blendshapes inside of Maya? I'm thinking about trying this and wondered what would be the best way to do this, thanks.

Paul Goodrich

Andyjaggy
12-03-2008, 02:36 PM
Been starting to learn Maya at my new job. I'll hold my judegement for a while longer. All I can say is I absolutely love texturing surfacing lighting and rendering in Lightwave.

Then again I was simply banging my head against a wall today because I had to spend 5 hours setting up stupid morphs just so I could do something that would take like 2 minutes if we could animate modeling deformations. They have got to merge, it's as simple as that.

Cageman
12-03-2008, 02:50 PM
LW's biggest pitfall has been it's bad CA tools, but those will be coming along.

Hmm... I would say that the biggest pitfall in LW is lack of communication between the different parts, such as motionmodifers combined with dynamics (just ONE example).

Another big pitfall is lack of customization ala MEL. If Autodesk releases a flakey version, you bet there are people around that work their MEL-magic and fixes the problem. As an example, one of the Maya-releases (can't remember which) had the eulerfilter screwed up, so you couldn't bake constraints and then fix the rotations...pretty bad (HUGE showstopper) but someone used some MEL-magic and cured the problem by releasing a script.

Andyjaggy
12-03-2008, 02:53 PM
I would say one of the biggest weaknesses is workflow. How many times do you find yourself having to do the same series of button clicks 500 times. At least they finally made basic transforms multi-selected aware so you can type a number in the xyz box and it updates all the selected objects. However there are still hundreds of other spots within lightwave with ridiculous slow repetitive workflows.

Cageman
12-03-2008, 03:02 PM
In fact, if Newtek wanted to kickstart LW's surge back into VFX they would work hard to extract the renderer and make it compatible with maya and XSI. Make each copy of LW come with *only* 10 lics of the renderer for free and start selling LW copies to houses initially as a renderer. Each extra rendernode would be $100 or once you've bought 10 you just get another copy of LW.

Yes... There are MANY people who would like to use LWs renderengine instead of MR, but they still want to use Maya (or whatever app they use). Personaly, I hope this is something NewTek is considering. Some extra income to benefit from while developing the new LW.

Cageman
12-03-2008, 03:09 PM
again, as a percentage of TOTAL BUDGET (and considering that you really are getting a lot for your money, including name recognition "oh maya, right" vs. "what's lightwave?" [seriously, i hear that A LOT]), it might not be worth trying to go cheap.

That really boils down to what people you can get hold of. I mean, if you can choose 3 Maya artists or 3 LW artists that all provide very similar stuff on their reels in terms of CA, Modelling, Shading/Lighting etc, it's a nobrainer really.

The trick is to have that choice though, which seems to be hard these days.

:)

erikals
04-29-2010, 02:20 AM
I saw that this type of soft cloud also renders way faster in Maya than the equivalent look out of LW. It is difficult to get clouds that soft out of LW's crunchy puffball generator. I would have to do a separate sprite render to overlay on top of a render intensive volumetric pass that would need further post processing.

a recent cloud attempt (volume HV and skytracer, processed in Fusion)
66469

And people always think I'm nuts, but LW5.6 could do better clouds than 9.5 because of the different way it blended.
http://www.box.net/shared/static/ay0hjjj8kx.mov
http://www.box.net/shared/static/7h19v1j1d6.mov
http://www.box.net/shared/static/x4ymx09o7r.mov

sorry to bump, but you might want to take a look...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW0ImR2zZ9M
(there is also Bakudan / Turbulence, but they produce different looks, and are not so "editable")

Mr Rid
04-30-2010, 01:25 AM
sorry to bump, but you might want to take a look...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW0ImR2zZ9M
(there is also Bakudan / Turbulence, but they produce different looks, and are not so "editable")

A couple years ago, myself and another guy tried all the ways to make clouds in LW. I dont remember now, but there was something about the Ogo_taiki thing that we could not get to work. Maybe its been updated?

prometheus
04-30-2010, 02:02 AM
Mr Rid..
this post by me on the topics of clouds..
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=108662

or check the links to the videotutorials on image3d clouds in houdini, two parts.
image3d_01.avi
image3d_02.avi
http://odforce.net/downloads/videos/v6/effects/

I sure would like to have something similar with L-systems and metaball and vex shaders, smoother blending over the whole cloudshape and cloud density softness at edges.

Michael

erikals
04-30-2010, 06:38 AM
Mr Rid, did you test it with particles?
Ogo_taiki is quite tricky to use otherwise imo.

not sure what the problem could have been, i'll have to make some tests.
one thing i do miss though is it's current inability to fade out the smoke...
trying to figure out a way around that, the current idea is to use motion blur and rotating objects with object emitters.

prometheus,
Houdini is cool, but too much $ for me for commercial work.

from the other thread,

and there´s always been a problem with particle blending in voxels mode
or with ogo taiki when used on vertices or particles, the houdini vex shaders on metaballs gives a smooth blending transition and allows for
displacement on the whole metaball L-system structure and also a smooth
edge density feathering at cloud edges.
not sure what you mean by the particle blending problem.
for Houdini though you get the problem that the result is too smooth...
but yep, Houdini might be better if you provide some tricks here and there...

prometheus
04-30-2010, 07:07 AM
prometheus,
Houdini is cool, but too much $ for me for commercial work.

from the other thread,

not sure what you mean by the particle blending problem.
for Houdini though you get the problem that the result is too smooth...
but yep, Houdini might be better if you provide some tricks here and there...

yeah sure is expensive, Im just nagging about it,and perhaps Newtek gets bigger ears some day and eyes and takes a look at the principles behind
it all L-system and metaballs.

particles and hv and ogo taiki cannot blend in the same way as houdinis
metaball or more correct..vex shaders it is applied over the whole metaball volume in the L-system not in a single point/particle falloff as with hv`s

Michael

Intuition
04-30-2010, 09:16 AM
Now I understand, we're not comparing apples with apples sense Maya unlimited does come with much more. The point is...LightWave is still very attractive at it's price point.

I'll rave all day about Maya and how wicked powerful it is. Same goes with XSI but... at the end of the day Lightwave has a great market niche.

Lightwave is a great generalist app and it really allows you to do most things pretty well out of the box at a very low price for the quality you can get from it. For years (1995-2006) it was my primary bread and butter app. At the beginning of the 9 cycle I was moving out to other apps more often modo, XSI, and later MAX for using vray, then finally Maya. Yet during the LW 9 cycle so many great things were added.

What I have also found is that Lightwave people make for better generalists in the other apps. People that were once Lightwave generalists learn more about Max, Maya, XSI then people who started in those apps due to Lightwave's one man army approach. Lightwave is great boot camp for 3d skills in general.

Now even as a Maya evangelical I can still recommend Lightwave to new 3d users, especially those on a budget. Its a great way into the industry. I've trained some Dave school people at DD how to use maya and the fact that they already had overall LW experience helped me show them Maya's equivalent approach and they were up and running in no time.

SO "To Maya" sure if you can afford it. But don't let that stop you from using "Lightwave to get it done." In case you can't afford the mental ray or vray licenses OR heck, then MDD everything to Lightwave for rendering. ;D

erikals
04-30-2010, 09:30 AM
i don't know, i've found i can do most of it in LW, and many times LW is actually better and faster.
for Dynamics, CA and flexibility however there are big obstacles in LW.

i followed basically every tutorial out there about Maya, but didn't really find it all that impressive.

i was wondering if ppl could refer to some YouTube videos or something to explain more about the big advantages, cause honestly at times ppl say "Maya is great because of it's flexibility" without actually having used that flexibility even once on a project.

i'd like to hear more about the flexibility and in what specific case it was used.

walfridson
04-30-2010, 10:03 AM
"Maya is great because of it's flexibility" without actually having used that flexibility even once on a project.

i'd like to hear more about the flexibility and in what specific case it was used.

haha so true :)

Haven't done any instancing with animation in Maya but I imagine you have far more control other than speed and offset.

Intuition
04-30-2010, 01:11 PM
i'd like to hear more about the flexibility and in what specific case it was used.

Where could I start? There are only a few places that I have found that Lightwave exceeds Maya in flexibility.

1.openGL display of displacements. Less render tests since you can see the mesh displace in window.

2. Ease of particle shading/setup. In Lightwave there are simple pull downs in the particle attributes which refer to particle age, time, etc. These are easier to set up in Lightwave overall but your shading can control of such are far greater in Maya.

3. Moving objects, cameras, lights without gimble. Maya's gimble /marking menus are amazing and when you customize them to do your most performed tasks you get very fast. Only problem is that Lightwave has, hands down, the best in camera, in light, and general object manipulation then any other app. This is due to the movement in x and z with LMB and move and rmb and move for up and down on y. This is really handy. Still I don't miss it due to the huge amount of versatility I get through out maya overall in marking menus and options.

Maya's full flexibility isn't even well known to people that have been using it for years. I've shown 10 year + TD's ways of using the nodal view with the connection editor and hypershade to connect shader attributes to rig movements. I've made custom attributes on rigs that run everything from not only moving the rig itself but changing shaders attributes on the fly without having to open up the shader itself. I even add controls for enabling dynamics based on distance.

The ability to adjust/augment any numeric value or connect it to any other numeric value in the whole app is easy in maya.

The deformers just kill. Blend shapes are amazing. Using Clusters or wrap deformers in an endless list of ways. Usually in LW I'd have to make a morph if I wanted the geometry to deform only a few points at a time. IN Maya I can select the vertices I want. Assign a cluster and animate those points on the fly, no remodeling or morph/blend shape necessary.

Dynamics, nDynamics, most bases covered already 3 years deep. Very little it can't do rigid, soft, cloth, particles, fluids, etc.

CA Character rigging and animation in Maya is 2nd to none or at least tied with XSI. Using the nodal workflow I have setup lots of things so quickly. In Maya Keyframes are merely nodes that hold data so if I need to take some keyframes with me I put them in a container and save them out to a*.mb or *.ma and can import them into a scene and hook them up to anything I want.

Once you get into scripting it just explodes from there.

Need to extrude 500 extrusions all based on different splines? That would be a lot of individual extruding. In MEL I can grab the command to look for a name, tell the operation to move the extruded shape to the front of the named spline and extrude and then have it look for the next number and do it again (move source shape to start of spline02, extrude, taper etc, repeat) until there are no numbers left. A one button 500 operation script that just gets the job finished in seconds. Save script to button on custom tab. Done. Its there if I need it.

Maya is massive. Using it Like you would approach a job in LW is not really using it. I prefer the unified environment (model in same place you animate) even though I still like modeling in modo best the tools in maya are so similar that I can just bang things out in maya if I want.

The rigging, joint setup tools are great too. I create one side and when I duplicate the other side I tell maya to look for ***_LFT for "left" and replace it with ***_RHT and I get the other side duplicated and all properly labled in one click. There was the tools for bones in LW where you could set the influence distance (using the ovals) that is really neat and then they added that to Maya in 2011 in combination with weight mapping you get what you need every time quickly.


There are endless ways to point out Maya's flexibility. I could write a tome. I need to get back to making the tut vids again.

I should. ;)

erikals
05-01-2010, 07:20 AM
yes,
the LW answer is somewhat, "what flexibility?"

though when i wrote flexibility, i basically ment in form of MEL / Set Driven Key, etc
not so much features. (though those do indeed go under the flexibility catagory too)

Clusters / Wrap deformers / Lattice deformers
yep, this is something LW unfortunately is missing
(though not sure about Blend Shapes, what's the big advantage over endomorphs?)

for the 500 extrusions using MEL i'd instead use Metalink in LW
(just a different approach)

imo LW's biggest pitfall as far as features go is the inability to see what the @#$? your movement to the points in Modeler is doing in Layout. luckily we just got these, but still... :[
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSyCoEgB6oo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuHDOn35bVY

CA, yes, it's quite nice, not much missing. (like LW)

Maya dynamics are sweet, still miss the option to make a seperate wind effectors though,
instead of having them merged into the affected object. (maybe i have missed something)

though breaking an object some time back i had to make a "hold" object, that was annoying,
later on i was told that that was the old way of doing it. i found that strange,
as i followed several (dvd/net) tutorials on how to do it and searched the net up and down.

this happened a couple of times, i found myself following old tutorials, very annoying.
wonder why non of them never got updated... strange.

LW dynamics, agh!

---------------------------------------------

so Maya is way more flexible than LW
i don't get though why more people doesn't talk about Softimage, isn't that more flexible than Maya?

(thanks for the answer by the way, i found it very informative :]

Intuition
05-01-2010, 10:02 AM
Well there are a few more places LW has flexibility then I mentioned of course.

I like the single environment of Maya or XSI. Though having modeler and LW separate makes for some interesting focus tools like LW CAD. Which overall is more powerful then maya's modeling toolset even though you can replicate the same functions in maya LW cad has them setup really nice and snappy.

The modeler -> Layout weight mapping is what gets me. There was a link to a tool somewhere though that was showing weights being painted in layout. Pretty neat.

Maya's main weakness is that there are a myriad of ways to break render layers and overrides. On top of that certain mental ray features just seem to not work in maya without a MEL person around which is why I use Vray most of the time with the occasional mental ray pass.

In Lightwave you have a lot of great 3rd party stuff like Janus and exr trader to make that process painless.

In general I think Lightwave can do so many things that cover lots of generalist work that its why its a great freelancer app.

Maya just has these little edges here and there (we've already mentioned) that for me I feel at home in it now.

I'd say the main point of the thread topic "to maya or not to maya" can be taken out of context a little. Is it to say "Add maya to a lightwave arsenal" or is it "switch to maya".

In the last 3-4 years I have added modo, XSI, max, maya to my apps I use professionally. Not just have installed but completed paid work with competently and used lengthy enough to understand the intended workflow. That was so much fun (like playing a new video game) that I recommend anyone learn what they can time permitting. I even recommend Lightwave to maya people who might have to do a whole project alone at home and do not have vray or enough mental ray nodes setup. I say "Lightwave" with F-Prime might get you there faster.

There is huge flexibility with LW + f-prime even with fP's non LWF usage.

cresshead
05-01-2010, 03:40 PM
things missing in lw for me are:
FFD [free form deformation lattice] i use this all the time in3dsmax
modifiers
instances

i usually model in 3dsmax nowdays but still model i bit in lightwave but mostly find it slow/restrictive compared to 3dsmax, which is quite a turnaround as i used to model all the time in lightwave a couple of years back...things changed for me when i modeled 100+ assests for the FELIX project as i did most of the modeling in 3dsmax and rendered out the final in lightwave, after that 3dsmax just felt it had more options for modeling though it still totally sux for "working pivot" in 3dsmax compared to modeler's action centre....

for me lightwave's renderer, lighting and surface setup are the things that keep me using lightwave...if they ever did a lightwave renderer for 3dsmax i'd jump for it and probably dump mental ray

Rick Hall
05-01-2010, 04:59 PM
A couple years ago I bought Maya Unlimited. I did so, because customers told me Maya was the best in the market and they wanted me to use Maya to produce the best 3d product. I used it for about 6 months and found that I could go back to Lightwave 8.5 and get the job done in less time and the results were the same. I dropped Maya and went back to LW because I was much faster in LW than Maya. I have since dropped Maya and use LW to do all my 3d work. Actually Lee Stranaham called me to about a post I made to NewTek about my switch to Maya. I tried to use Maya but found myself going back to LW because I was faster in LW. I can do much more with LW because I started with LW and I think in terms of LW when I work with 3d. So, if you start with Maya, stay with it. If you start with LW then stay with LW.

Rick

Intuition
05-01-2010, 10:40 PM
A couple years ago I bought Maya Unlimited. I did so, because customers told me Maya was the best in the market and they wanted me to use Maya to produce the best 3d product. I used it for about 6 months and found that I could go back to Lightwave 8.5 and get the job done in less time and the results were the same. I dropped Maya and went back to LW because I was much faster in LW than Maya. I have since dropped Maya and use LW to do all my 3d work. Actually Lee Stranaham called me to about a post I made to NewTek about my switch to Maya. I tried to use Maya but found myself going back to LW because I was faster in LW. I can do much more with LW because I started with LW and I think in terms of LW when I work with 3d. So, if you start with Maya, stay with it. If you start with LW then stay with LW.

Rick

I can definitely agree that if you like LW better and it fits you better then stay in Lightwave. All people are different and each person will understand certain logic as it applies to app design and usage.

In my case I didn't stay with Lightwave (yet never stopped using it in case a job requires it) but rather learned other apps. Maya has since given me much more power in general then Lightwave could in many areas. It was a weird transition where I fought against it due to LW habits and slowly as I understood its intended workflow I really felt at home in Maya.

So I wouldn't say stay with what you know but I can agree that when on the job you should use what you know or in creative situations definitely use what you feel is the best too for you. :D Lightwave is that for alot of people. :)

Larry_g1s
05-01-2010, 11:38 PM
A couple years ago I bought Maya Unlimited. I did so, because customers told me Maya was the best in the market and they wanted me to use Maya to produce the best 3d product.

RickWhy in the world would you spend that kind of money on another app just because a client wanted you to? What client cares what app you use and not the results? :stumped:

MentalFish
05-02-2010, 12:00 AM
Why in the world would you spend that kind of money on another app just because a client wanted you to? What client cares what app you use and not the results? :stumped:

Agreed. I'd rather just download the PLE version (or whatever their demo is called), set up a cube, render it, go back to LightWave keep on doing work there and tell clients "Yes, I can use Maya" and supply them with pretty images done in LW :D If it is important for them to see some stuff inside Maya's interface, just take open the geometry in Maya PLE and take some snaps of it. Then again, that would perhaps violate the license of PLE...?

If your customers wants rigged scenes in Maya's own format, then i guess you would actually have to know and own Maya. If they only want final rendered images, then they will never know where the files come from.

I have been more exposed to the phrase "Do you use 3D Studio?" but never been told that they want me to use it. It's more of a "Oh, LightWave, never heard of it. Can it make pretty pictures?" :lwicon: :thumbsup:

Then again, if the phrase is "Do you use 3D Studio?" and you have a studio where you do your work, and your work is 3D, then I guess you can truthfully say, "I have a 3D studio where I do my work" :D

erikals
05-02-2010, 12:04 AM
had a phone call with a guy from FunCom, it went like... "what? you use Lightwave?"
no fun... ;P

haha, yeah right, "i'm familiar with 3D studio, yes" (i live in one)

Andyjaggy
05-03-2010, 08:22 AM
though it still totally sux for "working pivot" in 3dsmax compared to modeler's action centre....

LOL. Max's system for pivots and action centers/axis is pathetic at best. Same with their workplane system. Two of the main things that keep me from enjoying modeling in Max.

Shawn Farrell
05-06-2010, 10:26 AM
:thumbsup:

3D software is love at first site, whichever tool wether it be Maya, 3D Studio, Lightwave, Logo, Shackwave, turtle, Pilot, Basic, Blender, Flash, Director, Blitz Basic, Click Boom, Click Team, The Punter Protocol, Vector Raster, Silicon Valley, Fusion, Fire, Flame, Discreet, AREXX, applescript, ActionScript 10, silverlight, VXHTML, whatever.

You always love the first virtual kiss the most so cover your eyes when in the house of digital because your first love will probably be your last!

I personaly have a crush on Lightwave but I would sleep with MAYA for a night just to see what she's got!:sleeping:

shrox
05-06-2010, 11:14 AM
:thumbsup:

3D software is love at first site, whichever tool wether it be Maya, 3D Studio, Lightwave, Logo, Shackwave, turtle, Pilot, Basic, Blender, Flash, Director, Blitz Basic, Click Boom, Click Team, The Punter Protocol, Vector Raster, Silicon Valley, Fusion, Fire, Flame, Discreet, AREXX, applescript, ActionScript 10, silverlight, VXHTML, whatever.

You always love the first virtual kiss the most so cover your eyes when in the house of digital because your first love will probably be your last!

I personaly have a crush on Lightwave but I would sleep with MAYA for a night just to see what she's got!:sleeping:

Not really, Alias just about turned me off to 3D, good thing the original 3D Studio was given to me!

cresshead
05-06-2010, 02:04 PM
get Maya,

Titus
05-08-2010, 09:46 PM
Why in the world would you spend that kind of money on another app just because a client wanted you to? What client cares what app you use and not the results? :stumped:

This is very common, actually. To newcomers I have to hide the fact we're using LW, the first thing the ask is "Do you use Maya?" if I say "no, we use LW/VT", then they reply "Oh, then you have Amigas?". It's quite boring and difficult to attract new clients.

Larry_g1s
05-08-2010, 11:13 PM
This is very common, actually. To newcomers I have to hide the fact we're using LW, the first thing the ask is "Do you use Maya?" if I say "no, we use LW/VT", then they reply "Oh, then you have Amigas?". It's quite boring and difficult to attract new clients.That's crazy. You attract new clients by what you produce not what application you use.

erikals
05-09-2010, 05:15 AM
This is very common, actually. To newcomers I have to hide the fact we're using LW, the first thing the ask is "Do you use Maya?" if I say "no, we use LW/VT", then they reply "Oh, then you have Amigas?". It's quite boring and difficult to attract new clients.
that's why in the future it could be better to simply say "Maya is old, we use CORE"

That's crazy. You attract new clients by what you produce not what application you use.
even though that is true, the client often won't see it that way.
"oh, they use old Amiga technology, are these folks serious? nah, let's go with Maya..."

Hieron
05-09-2010, 07:35 AM
I have yet to encounter a client that asks about what software we use.. let alone draw conclusions based on my response. Most people wouldn't have the faintest idea about available packages anyway.

Then again, we do use Maya and Modo as well.

Titus
05-09-2010, 11:13 AM
That's crazy. You attract new clients by what you produce not what application you use.

It's crazy, but it's the reality in many industries. Demo is sometimes the least important of the factors to get new clients. An example, If the clients come from an advertising agency, many chances are we have to get them drunk first to break the ice.

aidenvfx
05-09-2010, 11:13 AM
well no software is perfect!
maya seems to manage to knock out the best fx for feature films still so until an app take over it's mantle it'll be the app on the high ground...speaking of which i think studio's will stay with maya until there's an app that is waaaay ahead of maya...not just 'as good as' or a bit better.....no one will switch till someone creates an app that eclipses maya by a fair few miles...and pricepoint [undercutting maya] won't do the trick it has to be capabilities in the actual app.

What are your thoughts on Houdini in the FX space. I have noticed a number of job postings wanting Houdini artists. I am not saying Houdini is going to take over Maya as king but it seems they are gaining ground since launching their free version and $99 watermark free apprentice version.

Philbert
05-10-2010, 01:38 AM
Actually I've frequently had this problem with clients where my use of LW is a problem for them because their other guys use max/maya and any collaboration may not work well. Also there's been the problem where they would be fine with me using LW, but what if they needed to go back and edit or use those files later after I'm long gone.

I actually interviewed at a place nearby a few weeks ago that mainly uses maya and C4D but they said LW was not a problem I would just work on my own separate scenes in order to keep the visuals consistent. They seemed very pleased with my work, even introducing me to the other artists on the way out. Unfortunately I haven't heard back from them but I have heard from a guy that works there that they just hired a bunch of people. I'm still keeping my hopes up, but not too high.