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Chrizto
09-30-2008, 01:39 PM
I'm feeling kinda psychotic these days. I've got like 4 different trial editions of 3d software going.

Trying out LW now, as it has a pricing that doesn't blow my mortage payments to hell...

Would like an honest advice, as in why LW is a good place to start my 3d ventures. I'm currently trialing Modo, XSI 7, Cinema 4D, and Houdini (!)...

I've been interested in learning a 3D package for quite some time.
My primary goal is to be able to model, texture and maybe animate "life like" models, both humans, animals, furniture, etc.

I need the application that does this in a way I can relate to, as in terms of my brains logic.

Hmmm.... What to choose!? :bangwall:

virtualcomposer
09-30-2008, 01:52 PM
I use Lightwave because it is affordable and also it's comparable to Maya which is used in many feature films. Lightwave is used in many feature films as well as television. It's been an incredible program to me. Also, this forum is great if you have questions. It's usually answered within 5-20 minutes. I feel like I have tech support 24/7. Another great thing about Lightwave is the tech support is great along with the crew who really take an interest in the customer and have a passion in 3D as well. They do seem to care about an individual's needs and respond quickly. The render engine is incredible and you can make just about anything photoreal. Like any software, render and quality also depends on your computer speed. I recommend Lightwave hands down. :thumbsup:

hrgiger
09-30-2008, 01:59 PM
I currently use Lightwave and XSI. I have used Animation Master, Max, and Truespace (the latter two just long enough to decide I didn't like them). I've used the trial versions of Modo and Messiah, Modo currently only being primarily a modeler and renderer and Messiah an animation tool and renderer. Hands down, Lightwave was the easiest for me to pick up.
Even if you decide later to use other software in addition to or as a replacement for Lightwave, it has the price point and easy learning curve to be a great starting app. But it's powerful enough to stick with as well. It's got a great out of the box renderer and it's character tools have been improved with the latest version 9.5. There are some better modelers out there but Lightwave modeler still holds its own. If you add LWCAD, one of the best plug-ins for modeler available, it's hard to beat.

RollerJesus
09-30-2008, 02:06 PM
I'm a huge Lightwave fan but I don't think that it's the best program for character animation, although it may be the best for the money. As for other types of modeling, it's been top notch for me.

Your best bet is to stick with those trials and see which one you progress with most quickly. For Lightwave, I suggest you check out William Vaughnn's 24 hours of video tutorials in the support area of the forum to get the ball rolling.

If you do go with Lightwave, I found the plugin FPrime from Worley Labs helped me tremendously with learning to texture and with lighting techniques because you get nice renders more quickly than with the LW native render without some of the hassle.

However, it's important to note that FPrime doesn't work with Lightwave's nodes system, which can be a real drag especially since some of the new node materials are really awesome (dielectric, etc... hit F5 and check the box next to edit nodes to use the node editor). Lightwave 9.5's render is very fast but has a bit of a learning curve associated with it outside of the modeling/texturing learning curve to get good, quick results.

Best of luck!

EDIT: HR is right, LWCAD is a great addition too.

virtualcomposer
09-30-2008, 02:06 PM
I currently use Lightwave and XSI. I have used Animation Master, Max, and Truespace (the latter two just long enough to decide I didn't like them). I've used the trial versions of Modo and Messiah, Modo currently only being primarily a modeler and renderer and Messiah an animation tool and renderer. Hands down, Lightwave was the easiest for me to pick up.
Even if you decide later to use other software in addition to or as a replacement for Lightwave, it has the price point and easy learning curve to be a great starting app. But it's powerful enough to stick with as well. It's got a great out of the box renderer and it's character tools have been improved with the latest version 9.5. There are some better modelers out there but Lightwave modeler still holds its own. If you add LWCAD, one of the best plug-ins for modeler available, it's hard to beat.

Agreed! :agree:

DragonFist
09-30-2008, 02:07 PM
Can't tell you what to choose. Can tell you why I chose LW. Aside from being an old-time Amiga geek that followed it to the PC when the Amiga became no longer viable as a platform (still have pangs of loss on that one), I choose LW because it seems to me to be the most complete package for the money and while it might take a bit of work sometimes to do so, I'm fairly confident I can do pretty much anything I wish to with it.

That said, all the packages that you have mentioned have their good points and I've read many threads where most of them have been used by Lightwavers in conjunction with Lightwave to get the job done, especially Modo.

In the end though, only you can decide which works best for you, your way of thinking and your budget. I can tell you that I've been happy with my choice. But I haven't ruled out adding any of the others to my set of tools. Modo and XSI are both on my list of apps to eventually add to that toolset.

Chrizto
09-30-2008, 02:45 PM
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I agree that the best way to start is to actually start, and actually use a product for more than a week before getting the "hmmm... Maybe I should try that instead", feeling.

Guess I'll trial out LW, and see how things turn out. I've always been pretty impatient, so it doesn't help trying to figure out a plethora of apps at the same time...

As you say, if I encounter something thats probably better solved elsewhere, I could always take it elsewhere when the time comes... For now I just need to get my head straight, and actually progress a bit, instead of switching apps as soon as I begin to grasp the surface.

On top of that, if I try to get more than the usual 4 hours of sleep, I think this could lead somewhere ;-)

DiedonD
10-01-2008, 01:24 AM
And youll find it always like this too. Quick, helpful responses, this community just wants to interract you know.

My opinion is that Cinemae 4D doesnt stand in the same line with LW. It doesnt has Hypervoxels the last time I heard of it. And its advantage of painting on top of your model plugin, can easily be compensated with 3D Coat, thats LWs plugin that helps you to paint like that. So...

Modo doesnt animates, so you can use that together with LW.

So the list goes down to: LW, Houdini and XSI.

But let me tell you something that all the manufacturers of 3D apps dont want you to know. And that is:

ITS ALL POINTS AND POLY's bro

So whatever app you choose, youll be dealing with points and polys. In that case Id use other evaluations. anything other than what all apps do, which is deal with points and polys. Other evaluations may be: the community here, color and a the overal name.

I mean 'Houdini'! Dude, the guy died long ago, and only Softy pushovers (Softimage) can produce XSI :D Just kidding, the decision is of course yours :thumbsup:

Chrizto
10-01-2008, 02:15 PM
Forgot to mention Max and Maya... Tried those as well... What I like about LightWave is that it isn't required to have a whole slew of artists to create something that looks good.
It's components are manageable even for a single mind.
Compared to Maya and Max, this is a huge bonus, as I probably will work alone.

About C4D. It has actually got quite good in release 11. Problem is that if you want to use the new tools, you need separate licenses for each component.
So, if you want dynamics, hair and a decent renderer, it's suddenly almost $5.000! Same goes for Maya Unlimited.

Lightwave comes with "batteries included"! ;-)

art
10-01-2008, 03:05 PM
Lightwave comes with "batteries included"! ;-)

I like this line :)

hrgiger
10-01-2008, 06:26 PM
I like this line :)

That should be the slogan for Lightwave 10.

Lightwave 10. Batteries included.

DiedonD
10-02-2008, 02:56 AM
That should be the slogan for Lightwave 10.

Lightwave 10. Batteries included.

If it will be with "batteries included" in 10! What if they copy the other apps' bad sides off paying extra for extra stuff?

Chrizto
10-03-2008, 05:56 AM
If it will be with "batteries included" in 10! What if they copy the other apps' bad sides off paying extra for extra stuff?

:deal: You did not read all the paragraphs in your 40 page license agreement... :devil:

Iain
10-03-2008, 07:35 AM
I wouldn't discount C4D because of lack of Hypervoxels. It's well ahead of LW in a lot of other aspects. It's growing very steadily in popularity.
Where it does fall down is in the misleading pricing, as you point out.

Houdini is very expensive too and is more a 'high end' problem solving product but it's pretty amazing at what it does and it becomes more user friendly with every release.

Not sure what you mean about Max and Maya requiring a slew of artists. Most users of those apps I know can get everything done by themselves.

Chrizto
10-03-2008, 07:55 AM
Well... I haven't met anyone that is fluent in Maya, that did not study it at a campus for maybe two years... Just trying to point out that these other, often overpriced packages comes with a pretty steep learning curve.

When it comes to Houdini, the Apprentice HD, with no limitations in render size (well, full HD on animations, unlimited for stills) or watermarks it ships for 99$ for non-commercial use. Off course, you're bound to the Mantra renderer, with no native GI, but it is one hell of a renderer in other aspects. Come to think of it, it is also limited to one render node... But, if you are learning, it is a great deal...

DiedonD
10-03-2008, 10:44 AM
:deal: You did not read all the paragraphs in your 40 page license agreement... :devil:

And...You have? Amazing! Id spend more time in tuts If I were you.

You dont sound like a rookie at all.