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Thomas M.
03-11-2009, 05:14 PM
The feather and fur disaster/pain of the last weeks was enough to loosen my tight bond to LW. There need to be more simple ways to achieve this stuff.

I just wonder which package will suit my needs. I also own zBrush.

Maya or XSI. Don't know about Max. Don't want know about C4D.

I do still images(high res, sometimes above 8000x6000px), often animals (feathers and fur). I do love nodal, hat layer texturing. I own a small render farm (7x Quads and 4x Duos) and need to use it to meet my deadlines, would be happy to have an instancing solution and subpixel displacement. Sometimes I do particle and volumetric effects (smoke, clouds, fog).

Which meadow offers the greenest grass and what are the mudholes I need to know of before purchasing a package?

Cheers
Thomas

realgray
03-11-2009, 05:24 PM
I too have wondered which package has the best instancing solution. My belief is that you would get up to speed the fastest with Max. A lot of incredible things are being done in XSI but who knows where the package is going after the acquisition. I think the future looks bright for Max since it has a massive user base and Autodesk seems to be using XSI/Mudbox tech to enhance the product. There have been some really interesting threads on these very topics. But of course I always keep lightwave in my pipeline:)

P.S. What type of work do you do? Commercials, Arch-Viz etc.

UnCommonGrafx
03-11-2009, 05:47 PM
I, for one, am awaiting an 9.6a to fix FFX. It's a pretty serious thing to not have working based on all the tutes out there. The feather one, in particular, as it showed off the tool.

hrgiger
03-11-2009, 06:06 PM
You're talking about some expensive alternatives. If money is no object, download the demos and try them out.
I would keep Lightwave and get Modo. 401 has some nice new hair capabilities but if you still need to animate, I'd keep Lightwave.

wacom
03-11-2009, 06:07 PM
Don't write off C4D unless you have experienced it within the last three years.

I think you've been posting in a few XSI forums too right? Well if you're in need of a "real" solution with animated feathers, and have to decide between XSI and Maya- I'm going ot say go with XSI.

No walks in the park- but I'm sure you've seen the videos- it can be done.

realgray
03-11-2009, 06:09 PM
Has anyone got any thought on the instancing? Which package is leading in that regard?

realgray
03-11-2009, 06:11 PM
hrgiger, thats the best avatar I've seen in some time. Hilarious

hrgiger
03-11-2009, 06:16 PM
hrgiger, thats the best avatar I've seen in some time. Hilarious

But is it Evil enough?

Seriously, I think Modo might be a good solution here. Learning a whole other package can sometimes be counter productive, at least for the short term. At least while you're learning Modo, you can fall back on what you're familar with in Lightwave.

Thomas M.
03-11-2009, 06:35 PM
I'm more afraid of not getting enough time to learn the package, than not having the money to pay for it. Modo came up to my mind too, but so far it's just another LW. Deforming my objects in the past has been real horrible in LW, so that's something I'm looking forward, too. C4D might be working, but after working with LW, I need to get into some software which is more a standard solution. I saw something in a XSI thread called anisotrphic map. If it determines the direction of the strokes, than man, I'd go bonkers. Ultra short hair without fur. But I'm not sure whether I understood this correctly.

Right now I just want to make the decision between Maya and XSI, Max is this kind of second option, but I'd feel like buying just another piece of software which doesn't "do-it-all".

realgray
03-11-2009, 07:16 PM
if you like sub-d modeling then I'd go XSI. Plus the text interface feels more like lightwave

Snosrap
03-11-2009, 08:49 PM
I need to get into some software which is more a standard solution.

Be carefull what you wish for. WINDOZE :devil: comes to mind along with Power Point and Excel :thumbsdow

wacom
03-11-2009, 08:54 PM
Instancing is strong in XSI for sure, but don't expect either package to give you HD instance type of stuff right off the bat.

Have you watched any XSI rigging demos with feathers? Pre-ice it was doable, post ICE it's VERY doable. There's probably a few free, open to the public nodal trees floating around too that would get you started quickly.


http://www.vimeo.com/1671597

http://www.vimeo.com/3499358

http://community.softimage.com/showthread.php?t=2087

XSI is a very deep package. You'll almost never run into a "can't do it" type of situation esp. when it comes to rigging, doing crazy things with constraints etc. There are gaps- but where there are gaps LW fills in nicely. That said- it isn't going to provide all of the solutions for you- more the tools to create them.

Like I said though- don't give up on C4D either, I've seen some crazy stuff done with motion and a bit of scripting.

http://www.vimeo.com/1092298

Yes, it's not quite as deep as some of the other software, but it covers quite a bit and it's a very capable application. I think most people think of C4D and think back a while- the application is not what you think anymore- and has many features that LW users have been BEGGING for for quite some time.

LW CORE will be able to do quite a few things in the future- but I understand if you don't want/can't wait. Learning a whole new program is going to be daunting though.

Modo? Well, I still doubt that it's going to have the animation capabilities of Maya, Max, C4D, or XSI no mater what trick they pull out of their hat. If you're just doing stills though then it would make some sense IMHO.

In the end I hate AD, and they're not helping by the way they've been treating XSI as of late (the mr issues are horrible right now). That's why I wouldn't, if I could help it, ever buy one of their products.

lwanmtr
03-11-2009, 09:00 PM
No package os going to 'do it all'..you're going to find weaknesses and strengths in any of them. Like it was said before..download the demos and see which you are most comfortable with. XSI or Maya are probably good choices. C4d does some good work as well.

wacom
03-11-2009, 09:16 PM
Yes- test them first and esp. where you NEED a solution. lwanmtr has it right for sure!

Just cause it says on the box it has XYZ doesn't mean it's user friendly or works as advertised.

A lot of people don't know it, but LW's nodal shader system is REALLY good and more advanced than XSI's. Granted, there are some fairly advanced shaders for mr, but as far as tree functions go, LW really shines.

Oh- and bump mapping is so slow to render in XSI that it's often "cheaper" to use displacement! I still often think- "WTF- bump mapping is supposed to be cheap not expensive!"

On the flip side, and maybe I was doing something wrong, but I found C4D's micro poly displacement terribly slow when I last tested it esp. compared to mr and lw. The sucker was comparatively CRAWLING along when I went to render even the smallest amounts of displacement. Could have been user error...but there weren't that many settings...

Then again C4D's lights were worlds ahead of those that come packaged with XSI or LW in terms of control.

So yeah- grass is always greener. Keep LW around no mater what!

lwanmtr
03-11-2009, 10:14 PM
C4d, when I tried it was really slow at some things..and the renderer was very slow compared to lw.

monovich
03-12-2009, 12:36 AM
the renderers are what get to me in the other packages. I can't believe how slow they can be. I'd love to give C4D a whirl. Its hair module looks fantastic.

Limbus
03-12-2009, 02:09 AM
When going with XSI you need to calc in the cost for mentalray licenses for all your computers. If you love nodal texturing I would definatly go with XSI. It is very similar to the LW one. The Max material editor is one of the worst out there.

For subd modeling, feathers, hair, instances, displacement and

I saw something in a XSI thread called anisotrphic map. If it determines the direction of the strokes, than man, I'd go bonkers.
Modo 401 might be the way to go for you as well. But its not released yet and they didn't announce a date yet. It also does not (yet?) have a nodal material editor. The current one is quite powerful if you understand it but it is layer based and can get crowded in large scenes.

Cheers, Florian

Thomas M.
03-12-2009, 02:13 AM
Any idea when 401 arrives?

Thomas M.
03-12-2009, 02:21 AM
Man, I just saw this feather demo and am so pi**ed. Now I need a shrink ...

Limbus
03-12-2009, 02:31 AM
Any idea when 401 arrives?

Only educated guesses. When they keep releasing features at the current rate it will be at least 2 more weeks to fill all the dots on this page:
http://www.luxology.com/modo/401.introduction/

But there could me more dots comming. I guess it will be released between in 2 weeks and siggraph.


Man, I just saw this feather demo and am so pi**ed. Now I need a shrink ...

What demo?

Cheers, Florian

archijam
03-12-2009, 03:46 AM
401 is touring germany in april it seems (http://www.maconcept.de/content/view/263/29/), so check it out first hand and tell us what you think!

I am also hoping LW and modo play well together for a long time to come, both in compatibility and workflow. Perhaps even specialize in different market sectors to become more complimentary .. and powerful.

Thomas M.
03-12-2009, 05:09 AM
The movie link on vimeo.

beverins
03-12-2009, 08:23 AM
Keep in mind though that there isn't a "feather system" in XSI so much as a "learn the nodes to make it yourself" programming session. The results, however, are indeed marvelous.

By the looks of the videos they not only programmed the particle system to make the feathers, but also the controls and UI as well. That's what makes ICE so terrific... and hopefully LWCore will have that functionality at the very least.

GandB
03-12-2009, 08:46 AM
I love that "Drag-Weld" tool they have...really handy for low-poly model cleanup. :)

Andyjaggy
03-12-2009, 09:05 AM
Yeah from the sound of it Modo sounds like the best fit for you. Give it a try. It doesn't do smoke and stuff though.......... but you could always still use LW for that.

kfinla
03-12-2009, 01:06 PM
Yeah from the sound of it Modo sounds like the best fit for you. Give it a try. It doesn't do smoke and stuff though.......... but you could always still use LW for that.

Modo is certainly a good option for doing stills. Lux are still announcing features for 401..tomorrow will be part 2 of the new modeling features. There is still more to come, and most likely the best for last if you heard Brad Peebler's pole dancer analogy. Lots of people are hoping particles or character tools will show up in 401 still. Though those feature dots are running out.

cresshead
03-12-2009, 01:38 PM
I love that "Drag-Weld" tool they have...really handy for low-poly model cleanup. :)

yeah looks as though the modo developers took notes when using the demo of 3dsmax and it's target weld tool which has been around for the last 8 releases of 3dsmax.:)

JBT27
03-12-2009, 02:08 PM
401 does look very nice.....but I've vowed I won't buy into the upgrade until I've seen well into what CORE will offer. That said, some current LW issues are also beginning to nag at me a bit and I'm starting to wonder just how long we do have to wait to see fixes to major toolsets.

Julian.

gerardstrada
03-12-2009, 02:28 PM
The feather and fur disaster/pain of the last weeks was enough to loosen my tight bond to LW. There need to be more simple ways to achieve this stuff.

Don't know what type of animal you are trying to achieve but I guess within LW, the most realistic results in feathers' case is with real geometry (besides the control over the shading). Just in case you have not tried this and if you are willing still to make a last try with LW, you might want to take a look at this tutorial by Radek Nowakowski:

http://www.rendernode.com/articles.php?articleId=120
(need to buy the mag)

His results are really realistic:

http://www.polas.net/plugins/cloner/kurczak.jpg

Check the final result (http://www.platige.com/index.php?tu=23&lng=en&c=44)

He did it 4 or 5 years ago with Powel Olas' Random Cloner (USD 80) - though don't know if it's still supported. A more powerful and interactive tool that works with v9.5.1 - haven't tried with 9.6 yet - is MeshPaint from Evasion3D (http://www.evasion3d.com/mp_lw_intro.html) (USD200). Don't be fooled by the shading btw, the feathers model can be as realistic as you are able to make them - or I'd have to say, paint them :)



Gerardo

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 03:00 AM
I've come across the chicken before, but for some reason I guessed this magazine is pretty dead. I think they last updated the site years ago. Anyway, right now it's too late.

For the still it'll work, but even then the solutions possible in LW aren't sufficient.

I just wonder, if I need to go back and forth between LW and other package, how about the exchange of data. Will I be able to open XSI, Maya, Modo objects in LW with all the UVs, color, weight, vertex maps and point selections and vice versa???

IMI
03-14-2009, 03:16 AM
He did it 4 or 5 years ago with Powel Olas' Random Cloner (USD 80) - though don't know if it's still supported. A more powerful and interactive tool that works with v9.5.1 - haven't tried with 9.6 yet - is MeshPaint from Evasion3D (http://www.evasion3d.com/mp_lw_intro.html) (USD200). Don't be fooled by the shading btw, the feathers model can be as realistic as you are able to make them - or I'd have to say, paint them :)




That's pretty cool. :thumbsup:

On the Mesh Paint page it says,


The fully polygonal output offers limitless possibilities. One can utilize all native and custom modeling tools, and apply all kinds of rendering features. Moreover, all sorts of shaders, and baking solutions can render such geometry. The MeshPaint's unmatched render quality is obvious at a first glance; however, the inner versatility, and the number of various applications is almost too hard to imagine.


But it says LW 7.5 - 9.x. Latest version, June 2004. You say it works in 9.5.1 at least, but I would assume it's a 32 bit plugin, no 64 bit. I can't find anything on the site saying otherwise.
So if it's creating actual geometry, as opposed to some kind of proprietary fiber system, can models that have used Mesh Paint be saved out and loaded into 64 bit LW?

Mike_RB
03-14-2009, 07:45 AM
modo would be great for print work. If you need your instances to move, for now XSI is our package of choice for that. The Citroen Picasso ad usedt thousands of instances, its all worked great.

Here is some modo 401 replicator fun:
http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/lots_of_barnacles.jpg

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 08:00 AM
So, how about moving objects from XSI to LW and from LW to XSI?

Mike_RB
03-14-2009, 08:03 AM
So, how about moving objects from XSI to LW and from LW to XSI?

XSI comes with pointoven built it, it reads LW geometry and vmaps pretty well (or modo geometry and vmaps...).

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 08:14 AM
P.S.: If you're working for the embassy, what do they use XSI and Maya for? Or what is the biggest disadvantage of each package?

Mike_RB
03-14-2009, 08:19 AM
P.S.: If you're working for the embassy, what do they use XSI and Maya for? Or what is the biggest disadvantage of each package?

We dont use maya really. Just modo, and XSI. And a little bit of LW. XSI kicks butt in a lot of the places where LW has problems. Huge complex scenes with referenced rigs... good stuff.

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 08:30 AM
And what about XSI hair? Is it "better" than LW?

Mike_RB
03-14-2009, 08:33 AM
And what about XSI hair? Is it "better" than LW?

Yes. It's a licensed version of Shave, fully integrated, production proven for years now.

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 08:48 AM
I guess I order it, probably Modo too.

One thing, there's advanced with 5 render nodes. If I do test renders, will all computers work on these too or is just like F10 renders in LW, when the whole network will be used? As I do print I really need to split the single frames up and distribute them via the render farm.

Mike_RB
03-14-2009, 08:53 AM
I guess I order it, probably Modo too.

One thing, there's advanced with 5 render nodes. If I do test renders, will all computers work on these too or is just like F10 renders in LW, when the whole network will be used? As I do print I really need to split the single frames up and distribute them via the render farm.

I'm not completely clear on the licensing, but I think essentials give you satellite nodes. You only need advanced if you want more batch licenses.

GandB
03-14-2009, 09:05 AM
Hey Mike; how has the customer service been with XSI since the transfer to AD? I've heard nothing but bad things. I almost bought a copy of Foundation awhile back, as it has everything I need for game dev. Probably should have at the time. I'll check out their price scheme. I was looking for a possible supplement to LW, instead of just moving to Max, for a game dev pipeline.

-Keith

Mike_RB
03-14-2009, 09:16 AM
not sure, we're in the middle of a film using it, and they've seemed fine. There is a killer mailing list full of professionals and that has been maintained with the switch. Direct access to most of the developers.

GandB
03-14-2009, 09:22 AM
Might have to look at XSI again then.

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 09:25 AM
Tried to find out something about the batch license stuff, but Didn't find anything that showed me what it is good for. Any hint?

Mike_RB
03-14-2009, 09:32 AM
Tried to find out something about the batch license stuff, but Didn't find anything that showed me what it is good for. Any hint?


3 render modes:
satellite (means other machines help your box with the current frame)
batch (consider it the same as LW screamer net)
stand alone (can load and render any .MI files from any app)

if you are an 'xsi' house, you want batch nodes. And use the deal with advanced to get them to populate the farm.

If you are using maya, and houdini and other stuff, and mental ray is the renderer where all this stuff ends up you want stand alone copies to use with any app.

essentials comes with 1 batch render lic, which is available to the farm if the interactive copy is not in use. So, 0 for the farm during the day, and 1 at night when XSI isnt open.

advanced comes with 5. So 4 during the day, and 5 at night.

See? :)

IF you have 4 artists and a 20 node farm... you buy 4 copies of advanced. IF you have 4 artists and a 10 node farm, you buy 2 copies of advanced and 2 copies of essentials... You can also upgrade essentials into advanced for the difference.

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 09:48 AM
Whished Autodesk would have written it like this on their web page. Thanks very much! I guess there's no way around the subscription thing ...

Mike_RB
03-14-2009, 10:32 AM
Install the 30 day eval and see if it suits you.

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 11:02 AM
Are you happy with it?

Mike_RB
03-14-2009, 11:04 AM
happy? I dunno. It's a tool. It's powerful. Iron Man was animated with it, and the film were working on now is using xsi for animation and rendering. The rendering is different, some things slower, some faster. But way more flexible.

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 11:05 AM
On its own and compared to LW?

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 11:14 AM
BTW, do you ever move a XSI scene to LW to render it? Would that be a pain?

Mike_RB
03-14-2009, 11:18 AM
BTW, do you ever move a XSI scene to LW to render it? Would that be a pain?

We did that with Iron Man. if you stick to .mdd you're ok. The mark1 suit was too heavy to use point caches on so we had to come up with a way to get item transforms out. It worked, but wasent pretty, might be better with LW's new fbx stuff, we were using 9.3?.

Thomas M.
03-14-2009, 11:22 AM
O.k. Is there anything else I need to buy when working with XSI (and LW). Plug ins or transformation software to exchange data?

gerardstrada
03-14-2009, 05:54 PM
I've come across the chicken before, but for some reason I guessed this magazine is pretty dead. I think they last updated the site years ago. Anyway, right now it's too late.

For the still it'll work, but even then the solutions possible in LW aren't sufficient.

I just wonder, if I need to go back and forth between LW and other package, how about the exchange of data. Will I be able to open XSI, Maya, Modo objects in LW with all the UVs, color, weight, vertex maps and point selections and vice versa???

From Maya, FBX has worked well here for objects with weightmaps and Pointoven has made a good job for importing objects with morphmaps for XSI, though never have tried to import selection sets.

Even when you are planing to extend your tools with Modo or XSI, you may want to consider MeshPaint yet, it's pretty easy to use and you wouldn't need that tut, I guess.



But it says LW 7.5 - 9.x. Latest version, June 2004. You say it works in 9.5.1 at least, but I would assume it's a 32 bit plugin, no 64 bit. I can't find anything on the site saying otherwise.
So if it's creating actual geometry, as opposed to some kind of proprietary fiber system, can models that have used Mesh Paint be saved out and loaded into 64 bit LW?

Yes, it's 32-bits only but as you have pointed out, actual geometry created with MeshPaint can be loaded and modified in 64-bit version. If let's say, model has a lot of feathers, we can separate their parts by layers in 32-bits and load that in 64-bits. It seems not many people use it, that should be the reason why they have not upgraded a so useful plugin.



Gerardo

IMI
03-14-2009, 07:34 PM
Yes, it's 32-bits only but as you have pointed out, actual geometry created with MeshPaint can be loaded and modified in 64-bit version. If let's say, model has a lot of feathers, we can separate their parts by layers in 32-bits and load that in 64-bits. It seems not many people use it, that should be the reason why they have not upgraded a so useful plugin.



Thank you much for the info, that's what I was hoping for. :)

IMI
03-14-2009, 07:42 PM
Since this thread is so much about XSI, I thought I'd point this out.
I just installed the trial version of Autodesk Softimage 7.5 and when you get greeted by the welcome screen in the Netview thingie one of the choices is "New Features and Changes in This Version".
Click on that and then on Interface and Tools and the very top line is:
"SOFTIMAGE®|XSI® is dead! Long live Autodesk® Softimage®!

I just thought that seemed kind of tacky, like as if they're rubbing it in people's faces or something. Seems kinda unprofessional at best, but just really immature to create a greeting like that for a new user.

gerardstrada
03-14-2009, 10:02 PM
Had no idea. Have to check that new version. Thank you for this info, Megalodon :thumbsup:



Gerardo

hrgiger
03-14-2009, 11:13 PM
I just installed the trial version of Autodesk Softimage 7.5 and when you get greeted by the welcome screen in the Netview thingie one of the choices is "New Features and Changes in This Version".
Click on that and then on Interface and Tools and the very top line is:
"SOFTIMAGE®|XSI® is dead! Long live Autodesk® Softimage®!

I just thought that seemed kind of tacky, like as if they're rubbing it in people's faces or something. Seems kinda unprofessional at best, but just really immature to create a greeting like that for a new user.

Wow, really? Now I know I'm making the right decision to migrate slowly away.

IMI
03-15-2009, 01:14 AM
There is a 64bit version of Meshpaint by Evasion. Don't know why they can't find the time to update the site. They must be independently wealthy. I've got it (32bit & 64bit versions), but haven't had the time to actually use it.

Thanks much for the information.
So what do you have to do to get more info, email them?
I suppose it would be pointless to ask you how well it works, huh? ;)

IMI
03-15-2009, 01:30 AM
Wow, really? Now I know I'm making the right decision to migrate slowly away.

Kid you not....

Maybe it's just me, I dunno, but as a guy demo-ing the software I found that an immediate and huge turnoff. Especially as a first impression, because it was, literally, the first thing I read about it after opening it up. It's like Autodesk bragging that they hunted down and bagged the biggest game on the safari, or like the playground bully who managed to steal *everyone's* lunch money one day.

Or, if you would prefer, they beat the fastest car at the track and brought it home as a trophy. ;)

But in any event, I know the XSI history, more or less. I know how respected it was and, well, anything that spits out Half Life is OK in my book, and to see Autodesk so blatantly gloating over the demise of XSI is just kind of pathetic and in some strange way caused me to lose some respect for them.

Thomas M.
03-15-2009, 03:44 AM
I think there's nobody that likes AD as a company or what they represent. Greed has never been a positive character attribute. But so far nobody complained about Avid selling it in the first place. I'd say as far as LW is no alternative, XS ... ah .. Softimage looks like the best thing.

AbnRanger
03-15-2009, 05:14 AM
I too have wondered which package has the best instancing solution. My belief is that you would get up to speed the fastest with Max. A lot of incredible things are being done in XSI but who knows where the package is going after the acquisition. I think the future looks bright for Max since it has a massive user base and Autodesk seems to be using XSI/Mudbox tech to enhance the product. There have been some really interesting threads on these very topics. But of course I always keep lightwave in my pipeline:)

P.S. What type of work do you do? Commercials, Arch-Viz etc.As far as raw capability from top to bottom, I would have to say XSI probably edges Max out slightly with the advent of ICE...but given what's coming down the pike with Max 2010, I'd wait. I'm a Max user who's impressed with XSI, but not enough to switch. Max's largest asset is it's massive plugin/3rd party community. That and it's broad footprint in the industry. It's a tough call (almost a flip of the coin), but Max is cheaper to maintain after the purchase (subscription is cheaper than XSI maintenance and Max has unlimited Mental Ray nodes), so that is something to also consider.

LW CORE looks like it could be a low-priced Houdini within a couple of years. Question is, can you wait that long?

Mike_RB
03-15-2009, 05:14 AM
Softimage is a much better name. IF you're saving a part of the name thats the part with the heritage. Good change.

Thomas M.
03-15-2009, 05:41 AM
Did you guys go for floating or node locked licenses with Modo and XSI?

AbnRanger
03-15-2009, 06:27 AM
The Max material editor is one of the worst out there. If you need more than the Material Editor, you have some free nodal options:
Mental Mill that ships with Max 2010 (this is BIG....a nodal editor for creating Mental Images' new MetaSL shaders...compatible with all other shader languages and will allow portable shaders to other programs) and which provides realtime, pixel accuracy shader representation in the viewport of 3ds Max 2010:
http://www.mentalimages.com/products/mental-mill/artist-edition.html
http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/blogs_ken/blog_detail/3ds_max_design_2010_more_with_metasl/

Checkout the the last 2 videos on the page:
http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/blogs_ken/blog_detail/announcement_3ds_max_design_2010/

viewport on the right, and rendered frame on the left (example with the robot at the bottom of the page):
http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/blogs_ken/blog_detail/mystery_images_and_video_posted/

More realtime viewport goodness (shaders in viewport display extremely close to final render in Mental Ray):
http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/blogs_ken/blog_detail/mystery_images_and_video_posted/


Then you have a free Nodal Material Editor for Max:
http://www.ylilammi.com/sme.shtml

And an inexpensive, more full-featured Nodal-Editor plugin:
http://www.nodejoe.com/tutorials_en.php


No plausible reason for material/shader editing to stop anyone from seriously considering Max

AbnRanger
03-15-2009, 09:11 AM
One nice bonus of XSI, though, is that it comes with a decent nodal compositor (and you can use it's paint tools to texture your models even).

On his Autodesk blog, the product manager over 3ds Max had mentioned that those of us who hoped Autodesk would bundle Combustion with 3ds Max instead of killing it altogether (for all intents and purposes, Toxic is currently it's unofficial replacement), should "stay tuned" and that they were "working on something." Max 2010 should be released anytime now before the end of the month (they changed the cycle last year to coincide with AutoCad releases).

For what it's worth, I'm a big fan of Combustion and hate to see it get scrapped, so I made the suggestion that if they (AD) leveraged it the way Adobe does their Creative Suite, they could keep Combustion alive and kicking (continue development, unlike Shake)....perhaps by offering a one time free addition of Combustion with a seat of Max (that would be a way of getting Combustion in the hands of over 300,000+ registered Max users, and subsequent upgrades would be paid upgrades). Over at CGtalk, Ken mentioned something (clue) about "XBR"...like the LW CORE puzzle prior to the reveal, everyone there is trying to figure out what that entails. I'm thinking that it may be a special addition/bundle or something of the sort.
...that's why I said you may want to wait and see. If this were another disappointing release, like 2008 and 2009, I would perhaps be looking at XSI myself...But AD doubled Max's development staff almost 2yrs ago, and we are starting to see the fruits of that with 2010. Looks like they swung for the fence and connected this time.

Thomas M.
03-15-2009, 04:17 PM
As soon as I thought XSI is the one I buy on Monday, people start to talk about MAX. Great!

Marshun
03-15-2009, 05:39 PM
As soon as I thought XSI is the one I buy on Monday, people start to talk about MAX. Great!
But you're still expanding your experience of 3D softwareS!

Thomas M.
03-15-2009, 07:59 PM
It'll be horrible to start learning Modo alone, but yet another package. Arrgh. But I'm so p*ssed with LW at the moment, anything looks better than going on like this.

AbnRanger
03-15-2009, 11:32 PM
As soon as I thought XSI is the one I buy on Monday, people start to talk about MAX. Great!Since 3ds Max 2010 looks like it's going to be a HUGE feature release, I was just suggesting that you wait (until the end of this month perhaps) and see.
New UI and Polyboost toolset integrated:
http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/blogs_shane/blog_detail/100_new_modeling_features/

Again, C.A.T. (previously owned by Softimage) is really worth a look-see.
Rigging with CAT:
http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/tutorials/tutorial_index/cat_overview_part_1_rigging_with_cat

Animating with CAT:
http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/tutorials/tutorial_index/cat_overview_part_2_animating_with_cat/

Yog
03-16-2009, 08:20 AM
Thomas.

Just thought I would throw in my own opinions/preferences. I have a lot of experience with LW, Modo, MAX and XSI, and just a passing knowledge of Maya. I worked exclusively for many years with just LW, and began migrating to a Modo/XSI setup around Modo 101/XSI 3.5. I have been using MAX since around version 4.0, not so much in the first couple of years, but more after than.

My main work is basically visualisation stills (with a fair amount of arch-viz), and some simple object based animation.

Modo gets used on EVERY job, even if it is just for modelling, but there are a fair few jobs where it does everything. IMHO nothing beats Modo for organic modelling, and it is a real bonus to start a project only modelling in Modo, then have the freedom to change your mind and then take the whole project to completion in Modo. Shaders take a bit of getting used to, but once you do it is very fast and flexible.

Max gets used for all arch-viz projects. In truth nothing beats it for this type of work, even LWCAD is a very pale imitation. MAX also gets used for some object based animation, and some particle effects, although XSI is begining to take over on the particle side. For the purists, Mental Ray in MAX may not be as deep or powerful as it is in XSI, but conversely it is fast and easy to set up and produces very aceptable results.

XSI gets used for modelling where I want more precision than Modo, it handles all my deformation style animation, and all rendering where I know I'm going to need a lot of control over render passes.

I think a measure of a software's worth comes when you decide you have to drop one of the packages, so which one do you drop ?
Modo is cerainly very safe, it does a lot very well, and works to overcome the shortcomings in other programs when used in combination with other software.

I chose not to upgrade Lightwave to ver-9.0, partly because I had become disapointed with Newtek over the LW-8 release (some hints, followed by silence, followed by missed release dates - ring any bells ?), also if you were fortunate to use more than one package, the combination often did a significantly better than LW by itself (i.e. Modo + XSI leaves no room for LW). I have since upgraded Lightwave, but it is currently used the least.

Max, I let my subscription lapse last year when the arch-viz work began to dry up, but have renewed it again when the work came back. I have a very love/hate relationship with MAX. For me it is the least intutive software of the bunch, and often seems to fight me at every step of the way, but there is nothing it can't do, and some things it does significantly better than the rest. I would love to drop it completely, but at times it is just too useful.

I absolutely love XSI. It has very few weak areas, the workflow is logical, simple in nature, yet powerful in results. If I had to be restricted to just one piece of 3D software, this would be the one, no question, I wouldn't hesitate for a second. All forms of animation are top notch and easy to achieve, hard surface modelling is probably better than the rest, and only comes second to Modo for organic modelling. The node based shading may take some getting used to, but the final level of controll is truely amazing.
However, it is unfortunate that if I had to drop one of my main packages (after LW), then XSI would be the one to go. Firstly because animation is only a small part of what I do, and all the rest have specific stregnths which none of the rest equal, whereas XSI is the best in general terms.

I'm looky enough to be a freelancer, so can choose to use what I want. However if I needed to join another company here in the UK, I would give SERIOUS consideration to Maya, as it is by far the widest used software used in the most fields here in the UK.

Hope this helps.

Mike_RB
03-16-2009, 09:01 AM
Thomas, send me an email michael at elementvfx dot com. I read your thread regarding the FFX issues and can maybe answer some of your questions with modo in this department.

Or maybe this helps:

This is a scene I was testing to vary the fur effects over a mesh using a weightmap (you could paint an image too, or use a procedural, any layer type can be used to mask effects). I've done bears before and I was specifically trying to test the ability of making the clumping stronger and less often in areas, and to shorten the fur and crank up the density so it still fills in the 'bare' areas. Not bad for fur 1.0 for Lux.

http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/teapot_fur_demo.jpg

AbnRanger
03-16-2009, 10:11 AM
By the way, in order to get an idea of the breadth of tools and "coolness" factor Polyboost will add in 3ds Max 2010, check out some of the video demos (of current and past releases):

http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/PolyBoost4_video.avi
http://hem.bredband.net/polyboost/PolyBoost3_video.avi
http://hem.bredband.net/polyboost2/PolyBoost2_5_video.avi
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/PolyBoost2_video.avi
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/PolyBoost1_5_upgrade.avi
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/Teaser1.avi
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/Teaser2.avi
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/Teaser3.avi

Make sure to at least check out the Polyboost 3 version...I giggled like a little kid when I first saw that. Especially the UV tools. It saves hours of P.I.T.A. work


Realtime (WYSIWYG) viewport shaders vs Mental Ray render (ala Mudbox, with AO, MBlur, DOF, soft shadows, etc.).

IMI
03-16-2009, 10:34 AM
Not bad for fur 1.0 for Lux.



Well that's an understatement. ;)
3.84 million vertices and 2.87 million polygons, 128 samples AA, 8.5 minutes. Nice. :D

How does that fur do with the preview renderer?

Thomas M.
03-16-2009, 10:42 AM
Hello Yog,

Thanks for the time you took to go this deep in answering my question. The stuff you wrote about Max really pushed me towards XSI. Intuitive is probably one of the most important aspects I need to keep my mental health. I don't want another piece of crappy software which makes you feel that the software takes over like the "one ring" who binds them all. After spending the last three month on two LW projects mainly at home without any spare time and little, very little sleep, I need something which is "kind of fun". Also I know that it never gets better, only different, I hope to get back on a more healthier trip with more advanced/up to date software.

The salesperson told me on the phone that Max would need scripting, while XSI and ICE would be easier to use. As I don't want to become a script nerd who solely lives for his computer, the nodal approach of XSI looks superior to me.

I guess I order it.

Mike, cool! Just a question regarding the teapot. If I would like to change the style of the hair (direction, curling, clumping, etc.), how much of the work already done would be lost? Can you comb these quides easily without loosing their length or position? Looks like you are beta testing, aren't you?

Mike_RB
03-16-2009, 10:43 AM
Not bad, but its looks pretty crunchy unless you give it time to smooth out. Still very useful to tweak values, but I tend to drop the render density of fur before going preview crazy. It does work pretty well to tweak lighting on it though, as even though its noisy you get a nice sense of the play of light across the fur. And you can move around your scene and tumble things quickly. I just don't want to create false expectations that you hit f8 and 'blam' you're staring at an interactive version of that render. :)

Mike_RB
03-16-2009, 10:47 AM
Mike, cool! Just a question regarding the teapot. If I would like to change the style of the hair (direction, curling, clumping, etc.), how much of the work already done would be lost? Can you comb these quides easily without loosing their length or position? Looks like you are beta testing, aren't you?

Yes I'm testing it. While you can use guides in modo this render is not using them. What you see in GL is just the GL representation of the render fur. It's all done through tweaking fur parameters and driving them with the weightmap. I just dialed in values, you can easily dial in other values. You can also add guides to control the direction more, or paint a vector map to do combing/length. Basically you use a smudge tool to 'brush' the fur. That would be just applied on top of what you see here.

Thomas M.
03-16-2009, 10:56 AM
I p*ss my pants. That sounds at least very intuitive. The modeler hair guides in LW make you cry compared to what it sounds like in Modo. Hope it delivers. So basically you would model the stuff in Modo, animate it in XSI and if you don't render in XSI directly, bring it back to Modo?! Just need to check if they already sent me the license key. Do you think they'll release modo in Q2?

Mike_RB
03-16-2009, 10:59 AM
I p*ss my pants. That sounds at least very intuitive. The modeler hair guides in LW make you cry compared to what it sounds like in Modo. Hope it delivers. So basically you would model the stuff in Modo, animate it in XSI and if you don't render in XSI directly, bring it back to Modo?! Just need to check if they already sent me the license key. Do you think they'll release modo in Q2?

It is pretty cool, but its still pretty brand new. I haven't seen anyone use the fur for animals in a production context yet, lots of rugs and towels. :) But if you have XSI you cna really just stay there and use it's hair. It's very easy to control as well.

Mike_RB
03-16-2009, 11:26 AM
So, I took off all my random effects and clumping and weightmap stuff, and just put a blank EXR on 'fur direction', grabbed the comb tool (same as the sculpting smudge) and whipped this out. Yay. Vector images are fun!

http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/teapot_modo.jpg

Thomas M.
03-16-2009, 11:55 AM
Nice!!!

Yog
03-16-2009, 01:07 PM
The salesperson told me on the phone that Max would need scripting, while XSI and ICE would be easier to use. As I don't want to become a script nerd who solely lives for his computer, the nodal approach of XSI looks superior to me.

I tend to hear this a lot, and usually take it with a pinch of salt. You especially hear this about Maya, that you have to be a script guru or have a TD onboard to do anything in Maya. In my experience this is simply not true, and usually the case of uninformed people confusing "can script everything" with "need to script everything".

Both XSI and Modo have a nice feature though, of listing all the commands you make, then allowing you to select parts of the commands and budelling them into a script that can be bound to a key or made into a menu button. In XSI I have a button that creates my own render test object, in under a second it draws out a pre-defined spline curve and lathes it into a solid. I know it would be just as quick to import the object, but I find it a "cooler" way of doing it ;)

BTW - I wish Mike would stop teasing us with the Modo 401 sneak peaks, as the waiting is already hard enough :twak::D

Thomas M.
03-16-2009, 01:13 PM
Just followed one of the links from Ranger to the Max demo. I guess the Windows95 look of Max rather turns me down instead of making me hot. Modo is somehow sexy and I guess XSI, too. Actually this shouldn't be such a big deal, but if you need to look 10-18h a day on a layout scheme which isn't your cup of coffee, I guess your motivation to keep on working won't be any better.

AbnRanger
03-16-2009, 02:11 PM
Just followed one of the links from Ranger to the Max demo. I guess the Windows95 look of Max rather turns me down instead of making me hot. Modo is somehow sexy and I guess XSI, too. Actually this shouldn't be such a big deal, but if you need to look 10-18h a day on a layout scheme which isn't your cup of coffee, I guess your motivation to keep on working won't be any better.Actually, I think AD is emulating some of Houdini's interface...which I happen to love. Maybe you are talking about the new "Ribbon's." They are extremely customizable (you can set them to fit vertically or horizontally wherever you want them, or tear them off and place them on a second monitor). Same thing with the Command Panels. You can toggle "Expert Mode" with a hotkey, to where you have no panels or buttons at all....just hotkeys and right-click quad menus.

One thing to keep in mind...on the render side of things...not only do you have this industry first viewport-render fidelity, but you also have both finalRender and VRay about to ship their new versions that include Interactive Preview Renders (ala FPrime).
http://www.cebas.com/news/read.php?UD=10-7888-33-788&NID=305

video of the finalRender IPR (early beta stage, mind you):
http://rapidshare.com/files/140933092/R3_Interactive.wmv

I dig XSI's ICE, but it's not a deal-breaker, IMHO.

-EsHrA-
03-16-2009, 03:52 PM
..just a nice blender fur pic i found :) http://www.mixolydian.biz/MyImages/TigerFurTest.jpg

mlon

AbnRanger
03-17-2009, 01:40 AM
Sorry to bring up all those features...I'm just reallly pumped about this release, after having endured 2 pretty uneventful ones.

Seriously, you're not tempted to wait a bit longer and see how CORE shakes out?

Thomas M.
03-17-2009, 03:28 AM
I think there's no reason at all to wait for core. If it's there, let's have a look, but I can't risk to wait for something which lies in the stars and nobody knows what it going to be like. One can come back to LW always, but I can't wait for thinks to happen in the future. I guess I'll just play a bit with Modo and the download both trial versions and then make a decision.

IMI
03-18-2009, 02:22 PM
As I mentioned earlier in this thread I downloaded the demo version of Autodesk Softimage 7.5 (64 bit Windows) from the Autocash site...

Oh man.... it's sweet. I think I'm in love. :heart:

Thomas M.
03-18-2009, 03:16 PM
Would you also check the test version of MAX?

IMI
03-18-2009, 03:24 PM
Would you also check the test version of MAX?

I did, a while ago but my demo ran out and I uninstalled it shortly after, so I can't do anything about that.
I just can't get into max though - it's just too.... alien for me.
Biped is cool, modeling is a very un-fun chore. Material Editor is weird.

Of course, it's easy enough to get the demo for max (and all their products) from Autorape's website, just gotta go to the trial version and fill out the form. They don't use an activation for their demos or anything sent to your email, so you can just proceed straight to the download link without waiting.

Thomas M.
03-18-2009, 04:11 PM
So you prefer XSI?

sammael
03-18-2009, 04:16 PM
I was introduced to 3D using Max, admittedly I have not used it since version 4 but even back then the interface was becoming much to cluttered imo and yes the material editor is pretty wierd a lot less user friendly than lightwave. It handles massive ammounts of polys in the viewport, has some features that are lightyears ahead of lightwave (such as Biped, which must be getting pretty good by now) but its a pretty cluttered and dated interface with a lot of functions in wierd places and legacy features galore to confuse the issue more.
I have been messing around with the Maya demo lately, but thats the same thing, despite its power it feels fairly dated. From the limited insight I have into that program so far when compared with lightwave it has some features which are better and some that are worse, I think the Lightwave Nodal surfacing has a nicer and less confusing workflow for exmple and some modeling functions are so much easier to acomplish.

Now I have not used Softimage yet but ill get the demo after I have sussed out Maya a bit more, from the sounds of it though with its recent re-write, impressive feature list and the fact that a few of our more talented artists here swear by it it might be the pick of the bunch. The only worry to me is the fact that it was recently purchased by Autodesk, that really makes you wonder whats going to happen with the software although people had the same concearns with Maya but so far development seems to have continued as normal if thats any indication. For me the problem with all of the aformentioned is the money... as a hobyist learning the fundamentals of 3D I cant afford any of them without a real struggle and with the recent Core announcement it seems like it may just be worth sticking with LW to see how it plays out.
If I had to buy/learn something for production based on what I know it would not be Max, Maya would be tempting and I would do some serious research into Softimage.

realgray
03-18-2009, 05:10 PM
I hear a Lightwave/XSI learning path is very productive. With both using text layouts you are more likely to feel at home. Hopefully Autodesk will not remove the text and introduce cute little icons everywhere and make it twice as hard to learn.

IMI
03-18-2009, 05:30 PM
So you prefer XSI?

Well, yeah, of course. And I don't even know Softimage. (Can't call it XSI anymore).
It took me several years and many demos, not to mention people I know very well who use it, but I finally realized max blows. ;)

Well, I do know Softimage a bit from messing around with the free XSI Mod Tool version they used to have, but this is different.

But by all means, don't take *my* word for it. I'm just a hobbyist with aspirations to move up one day. I know LW fairly well in many areas aside from CA and rigging, which I'm just learning. I'm having loads of problems, too, and already I can see the Softimage way is far more powerful and less problematic.
But you need to talk to people who are actually using these programs in production, not some n00b trying a demo. :)

IMI
03-18-2009, 05:33 PM
I hear a Lightwave/XSI learning path is very productive. With both using text layouts you are more likely to feel at home. Hopefully Autodesk will not remove the text and introduce cute little icons everywhere and make it twice as hard to learn.

It does feel allot like LW in many respects. It's sure as hell allot easier to quickly get a handle on than Maya.
Well, they haven't done the cute little icon thing *yet*, so that's a good sign. :thumbsup:

cresshead
03-18-2009, 08:29 PM
try the demo's...

your time in the app should be the way to determine what to get not other people's thoughts...they may play a part but if you really like/don't like YOUR experience in it then go with your gut feelings...your going to have to spend alot of time in your app you buy ...

max has unlimited render nodes for mentalray via backburner unlike xsi and maya btw which only give a handful of 'free' nodes.

i have xsi but don't like it much [xsi fund 4.2] compared to 3dsmax compared to max/lw...xsi is quite 'quirky' in some regards.

i'm learning maya via the ple but not liking that much either compared to max/lw...

maybe i'm too old to learn new tricks!...max just seems really straight forward and logical..similar to the logic of how lightwave works in some regards and how i'm hoping lightwave core will use too.

geo_n
03-19-2009, 02:13 AM
Go with max and hairtrix. The max guys here(two guys, ex lwvers) are doing a crowd battle that looks amazing. Still finalizing the audio but I'll try to post it if our company allows.

From lw to max I'm having an easier transition learning the tools. For example rigging in lightwave was hard to learn and deal with bone rigging. In max it was much easier. Mentalray is becoming simpler while still powerful for those that know it.

I learned maya. Workflow is too different. I have a hard time adjusting. But can't argue with how popular it is in studios.

Btw for modo users, how does it handle cad data? I tried to import 700k raw triangle poly car model from manufacturer in lw but it was slow in modeller viewport and I coudn't render in layout unless I edited and reduced the poly a lot. I did it max but now the car manufacturer is asking for quick camera angle draft which I wanted to do in fprime and coudn't. How is the modo previewer compared to its final output and can it do highpoly?

AbnRanger
03-19-2009, 07:22 AM
A lot of complaints against Max really are just familiarity and comfort level issues from folks used to another program. I'm the same way they are about Maya. But if Maya is what I first learned and happened to become very proficient with, I would naturally have a bias toward it.
I first learned on Max and I'm more comfortable with it than anything else. I got along with it quite nicely and happen to really like it. There's nothing that you can't do with it.

Nevertheless, side by side, until Max 2010 ships (any day now), XSI seems to have gained somewhat of an edge when they introduced ICE. But, again, the features coming in Max 2010 changes things dramatically. There is no other major 3D application with that kind of realtime WYSISWYG (what you see is what you get....at rendertime) viewports it will have (very similar to Mudbox 2009). It's ability to handle even more massive polycounts is about to get ridiculous:
http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/blogs_ken/blog_detail/research_pushing_the_possibilities_of_viewport_per formance/

The addition of C.A.T really would be worth the upgrade by itself. So, now you have 3 integrated CA systems available to a Max user...not to mention that Puppetshop is now free as well.

Max has always been known for its rendering, with Mental Ray, finalRender, VRay and Brazil. It's about to be King of the Hill in Modeling as well (FWIW, you have some decent organic shaping/sculpting tools built in, but with a $99 plugin from Joe Alter, who wrote the Shave and a Haircut plugins, you can do some nice Modo-esque fine level scultping/detailing/texture painting inside the Max viewport...and comes with powerful facial animation/lipsync tools as well:
http://www.lbrush.com/test/features.htm )
Bottom line....just as with Maya and XSI, Max has very high-end tools across the board. And this upcoming release is going to up the stakes. That's why I suggested waiting a few days or weeks to see what else is in store.

geo_n
03-20-2009, 11:36 PM
I think there's no reason at all to wait for core. If it's there, let's have a look, but I can't risk to wait for something which lies in the stars and nobody knows what it going to be like. One can come back to LW always, but I can't wait for thinks to happen in the future. I guess I'll just play a bit with Modo and the download both trial versions and then make a decision.

Have you tried it yet? I downloaded the trial and studied it yesterday. Its a powerful modeller. So much like lw but in steroids. I think it fits print and design people more though.
Had issues with render crashes and I can't seem to render a high poly mesh in highres without running out of memory.
http://forums.luxology.com/discussion/topic.aspx?id=33136
I think core needs to offer atleast what modo is offering now because modo is cheaper with built in fprime..Sweet!! But I'm not giving up all functionality of lw9.6 for modo. I think they just had animated mesh deform so its a long way to get lw9.6 functionality. Same goes for core I assume.

Mike_RB
03-20-2009, 11:49 PM
Have you tried it yet? I downloaded the trial and studied it yesterday. Its a powerful modeller. So much like lw but in steroids. I think it fits print and design people more though.
Had issues with render crashes and I can't seem to render a high poly mesh in highres without running out of memory.
http://forums.luxology.com/discussion/topic.aspx?id=33136
I think core needs to offer atleast what modo is offering now because modo is cheaper with built in fprime..Sweet!! But I'm not giving up all functionality of lw9.6 for modo. I think they just had animated mesh deform so its a long way to get lw9.6 functionality. Same goes for core I assume.

If that crash is repeatable, please get in touch with me via email so I can get the assets to track it down. michael at elementvfx dot com.

Thomas M.
03-21-2009, 03:04 AM
I think that might be because it's still a 32bit version. Hope 401 will be 64bit finally. In LW it's the same. 3 million polygons in 32bit, 12 million + in 64bit.

geo_n
03-21-2009, 10:14 AM
If that crash is repeatable, please get in touch with me via email so I can get the assets to track it down. michael at elementvfx dot com.

Unfortunately the cad file is not our property and I can't send it. I'll try to make other scenes.

geo_n
03-21-2009, 10:17 AM
I think that might be because it's still a 32bit version. Hope 401 will be 64bit finally. In LW it's the same. 3 million polygons in 32bit, 12 million + in 64bit.

Hmm..but I rendered in 32bit max and vray with no prob. Just save irr, lightcache and render to vrayframe buffer on hd. Haven't tried in lw 64bit. It won't load in lw 32bit.

Mike_RB
03-22-2009, 09:27 AM
Unfortunately the cad file is not our property and I can't send it. I'll try to make other scenes.

Lux respects NDA's. If you send it to them it will be used only to find the bugs.

Thomas M.
03-24-2009, 01:36 AM
Lux just released the next teaser. Very nice preset management! And I'm still struggling between Max and XSi.

BTW, the realtime preview in Max seems to work only with mentalmill shaders, is this correct?

geo_n
03-24-2009, 02:09 AM
Mike_RB - I will ask if that's possible. Thanks for the tip in lux forum.

Thomas M. - Have you tried modo? I'm giving it a testdrive and liking it. I'm rendering out millions of poly in 5000pix one pass only. Amazing. I really think this is perfect for print and design people.

Thomas M.
03-24-2009, 02:46 AM
Already bought it, but I'm still struggling with my latest project and the sh'tty LW hair. Also got Syntheyes and hope to be able to test it pretty soon.

AbnRanger
03-24-2009, 03:33 AM
Lux just released the next teaser. Very nice preset management! And I'm still struggling between Max and XSi.

BTW, the realtime preview in Max seems to work only with mentalmill shaders, is this correct?It will render in Mental Ray no problem...and since NVidia (who recently acquired Mental Images) is driving it, it's going to be a common standard for transporting shaders back and forth between Max, Maya and XSI. It's also supposed to be compatible with other shading languages, but I'll defer to others for more info in that regard (Gary Yost...one of the original developers of Max and has been working for Mental Images lately):

...The folks at Autodesk were extremely intrigued by this new technology that promised so much, but was in its infancy. We bit off a small project to implement the mental ray mia_material and the architectural sun&sky material as MetaSL shaders and provided 3ds Max 2009 with a just-in-time compiler to provide interactivity in the viewports with a very high level of fidelity between the real-time version and the off-line version rendered with mental ray. Nothing like this had ever been done before – WYSIWYG 3D content creation – and it worked beautifully! The next logical step was to make it possible for Max users to create their own shaders, either with the GUI-based mental mill graph editor or by writing them by hand, the conventional way. And this is where we are today. Just like with Max in 1996, mental mill 1.0 is like a finger pointing at the moon. Don’t confuse the finger for the moon or you’ll miss a huge opportunity. In the years to come we’re certain that MetaSL will evolve and grow to be an industry standard. Why so certain? Well, a lot of that has to do with our vision, plus we’re inspired by some of the largest visual effects studios in the world who are using MetaSL already (mostly coding by hand, btw). The open architecture of the system, allowing for customizable backends to support any renderer or game engine, and the ongoing evolution of the language, toolset and plugins will naturally evolve it into an industry standard. Of course I didn’t even mention the imperative to use it simply to save money.

Now, artists and shader writers of the world can create new looks that can be used across all rendering platforms without having to be rewritten when future technology inevitably provides new techniques. The freedom and potential rewards are huge, and I’m grateful that we’ve had a chance to address another difficult challenge in ways that will benefit everyone. Thank you. Onwards...

-Gary Yost

BTW...sounds like 3ds Max 2010 will be officially announced either before or during GDC...so stay tuned.

MacDoggie
03-24-2009, 10:02 AM
If that crash is repeatable, please get in touch with me via email so I can get the assets to track it down. michael at elementvfx dot com.

Hey Mike I am having the same issues. your earlier help enabled me to do some rendering but the next level of modelling has once again put me in the red again so I am waiting once again for a maybe 401 but I am back in LW to do my renderings. I am also going to do some instancing in Modo to see if I can overcome some of these issues and in some instances baking normal maps and re applying to a lower poly version of some of the objects (in this case modelled treads). But at this point in time my hopes of using modo for rendering high poly stills is not possible at this time in Modo. As you know, some of that is most likely due to my lack of total familiarity. i have however, been applying myself towards getting a better understanding of the nuances of "finessing" Modo to render complex scenes.

As a LW user I have found the comment of Modo being a LW modeler on steroids is totally true. They (Lux) have taken a similar approach and have modernized and have produced some amazing modeling tools as well as top notch UV tools. The renderer shows a lot of promise but still IMO lacks the maturity that the LW renderer does. Although I feel it is a matter of time before Mod does catch up as far as being able render complex scenes in a manner comparable to LW.

Once again it is most likely that I have yet to fully explore the tweak-able settings in Modo that it is simpler at this point to jet back over to render with a minimum of fighting with the software especially since I don't by any chance consider myself fully versed with Modo's rendering capabilities. However, at this point in time as a brute force render LW wins hands down you can argue that you can tweak the Modo renderer to match to some degree LW's prowess at rendering something that requires no tweaking in LW. i cite the situation in LW when F-Prime arrived. Critics of F-Prime stated, "Well, I can do the same thing in LW once I do some tweaking voodoo with LW renderer but when I can use F-Prime to set tweak and render with a minimum of having to resort to tweaking vooodo it it pretty much a no brainer...

At this point I am finished UV mapping and am Painting in Modo and test rendering in LW. I am happy to say one thing though, I feel Modo's painting capabilities are really nice compared to Body Paint. I am using an older build R2. BodyPaint R2 lacks the efficiency to manage painting on objects too complex across multiple texture maps. Perhaps the later versions of BodyPaint are better at this but the upgrade cost from Maxon is ridiculous and I REFUSE to pay that much for an upgrade of an existing package that merely functions as a paint package. Which is why I am certain that 3D coat is looking really good these days...

Mike, I'll drop you a line and we'll go from there.

For what it is worth I would take Mike up on his offer, he has been extremely helpful in getting me through some of the snags in Modo. In essence he is a very helpful bloke... and seems to to be a nice guy to boot....

Cheers

Mike_RB
03-24-2009, 10:07 AM
Hey Mike I am having the same issues.

It's not just me. Lux would LOVE to have repeatable cases for errors or crashes. If you find something repeatable, or even if it happens 3 out of 10 times or whatever, doing particular steps that you can document, get that content to lux with steps to kill modo. They will sort it out.

If you think it's a user error or education problem, by all means fire me an email and I'll see if I can help you out. Crashes are not an education problem. Those need to go to lux to get fixed.

MacDoggie
03-24-2009, 12:22 PM
By the way, in order to get an idea of the breadth of tools and "coolness" factor Polyboost will add in 3ds Max 2010, check out some of the video demos (of current and past releases):

http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/PolyBoost4_video.avi
http://hem.bredband.net/polyboost/PolyBoost3_video.avi
http://hem.bredband.net/polyboost2/PolyBoost2_5_video.avi
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/PolyBoost2_video.avi
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/PolyBoost1_5_upgrade.avi
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/Teaser1.avi
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/Teaser2.avi
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/Teaser3.avi

Make sure to at least check out the Polyboost 3 version...I giggled like a little kid when I first saw that. Especially the UV tools. It saves hours of P.I.T.A. work

Realtime (WYSIWYG) viewport shaders vs Mental Ray render (ala Mudbox, with AO, MBlur, DOF, soft shadows, etc.).


coming in Modo 401 .... personally I prefer Modo's (native) version to this. Modo's viewport enhancements are (if it performs as promised) are also a force to be reckoned with with full support for sss shading etc... Something severely lacking in F-Prime at the moment.

The more time I spend in Modo despite whatever deficiencies it may possess the more I become impressed...:thumbsup::thumbsup:

cresshead
03-24-2009, 12:53 PM
max2010 is looking to have neat viewport rendering>>

http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/pimentelk/090305_1134/adsk_Mtl_Hardwood_demoreel_005.jpg

:thumbsup:

Thomas M.
03-24-2009, 02:00 PM
Just checked the polyboost teaser. It looks very powerful, although I wonder if some of these features will ever be used. But it looks like the worst user interface that I've ever seen. Actually I consider this interface a joke and wouldn't be surprised if people working with Max do get eye cancer at one point. Honestly, this is disgusting.

And I guess this will make me rather get into XSI, even if it is less powerful in many ways. But this is an abuse of the eyes. You are supposed to create top notch graphic images, while working with a software which has a user interface which looks like poo.

Honestly ... What the f is this???

cresshead
03-24-2009, 02:08 PM
Just checked the polyboost teaser. It looks very powerful, although I wonder if some of these features will ever be used. But it looks like the worst user interface that I've ever seen. Actually I consider this interface a joke and wouldn't be surprised if people working with Max do get eye cancer at one point. Honestly, this is disgusting.

And I guess this will make me rather get into XSI, even if it is less powerful in many ways. But this is an abuse of the eyes. You are supposed to create top notch graphic images, while working with a software which has a user interface which looks like poo.

Honestly ... What the f is this???

are you talking about the ribbon u.i orthe floating tools you can use instaed of the ribbon...or are you refering to the old polyboost plugin for max 2009 and before???

..you KNOW 3dsmax u.i.is customisable right?

below are the new modeling tools taken from the old polyboost 3rd party plugin and now re written to be part of 3dsmax 2010

http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/qball/090210_1159/ribbon_min2panels.jpg

http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/qball/090208_1222/ribbon_maximized.jpg

http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/qball/090208_1725/dock_panel_on_panel.jpg

vids>

http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/blogs_shane/blog_detail/100_new_modeling_features/

Thomas M.
03-24-2009, 02:30 PM
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/Teaser3.avi

That's what I talked about. The stuff you posted, is this the regular look of the interface?

cresshead
03-24-2009, 02:37 PM
http://www.cmlcreative.com/Videos/Teaser3.avi

That's what I talked about. The stuff you posted, is this the regular look of the interface?

that's the old polyboost plugin..which the creator now works for autodesk and so his polyboost tools have been turned into the graphite tools as seen in those screen grabs i posted above...

quite a change in the u.i. looks on those tools for max 2010 now that they are part of 3dsmx and not a 3rd party plugin.

Thomas M.
03-24-2009, 02:47 PM
O.k., because the old look definitely is a no go.

cresshead
03-24-2009, 02:54 PM
O.k., because the old look definitely is a no go.

well unless your going to stick with max 8,9,2008 or 2009 then it's a non issue..and also remember the chap who made it is a coder not an 'artist' so he went for 'function'..his plugin was incredibly popular/powerful btw...that's why autodesk snagged him!..they just polished the look and use up to be 'shiney':)

max 2010 looks to be really strong update

hoping to get some of those modeling tools in lightwave core as well...and maybe imnprove on them too.:thumbsup:

cresshead
03-24-2009, 03:10 PM
youtube vid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYK3MP1G910&feature=PlayList&p=E8A25220E87A13A9&index=0

realgray
03-24-2009, 03:48 PM
I'm also looking at expanding my toolkit with either XSI or Max. One thing that seems to really jump out at me is the abundance of online tutorials for Max. I'm self taught so everything I learn has to come from the manual as well as online. I think XSI is really sweet but I'm disappointed in the amount of learning material out there. Most of the XSI books are several cycles old while there are always new Max books/online videos coming out. Just thought I'd share my two cents.

realgray
03-24-2009, 03:55 PM
hey Cresshead, are all of these tools both new and old in Max able to be keyboard mapped? My favorite thing about lightwave is using hotkeys for everything.

cresshead
03-24-2009, 04:01 PM
hey Cresshead, are all of these tools both new and old in Max able to be keyboard mapped? My favorite thing about lightwave is using hotkeys for everything.

yeah anything can be re mapped and you can save keymaps out to save/load and move to other installed 3dsmax's on other pc's
so you could remap max to operate more or less like lighwave if you wanted to.

also looks like core will have remapping too btw!

realgray
03-24-2009, 04:08 PM
Sweet, Thanks Cresshead. I'm happy to see they are trying to pull up Max after all the love Maya has had over the last couple of years.

AbnRanger
03-24-2009, 06:39 PM
This is the real treat:
http://download.autodesk.com/us/3dsmaxdesign/2010demos/review_enhance/3ds_max_design_review_enhancement_820x500.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Bajid_n4oY&feature=PlayList&p=E8A25220E87A13A9&index=1

This just kicks a$$ets :thumbsup:

BTW, it's funny you would knock the old text button panels of PolyBoost, Thomas...seeing how so many folks here hate icons. It was a dockable panel that allowed you to dock other sub panels...I actually liked it to an extent. It docked very tidily to one side or the other, and you could hide/unhide sections of the toolset.
To me...what looks like Poo is XSI's Toys'R'Us rounded button UI. That always turned me off in a big way, and I honestly gave XSI a good look a time or two before.

Everyone has different tastes naturally, but I expected a bit more of a professional look in something with XSI's pedigree. Houdini is my favorite, and I think the Max dev. team is trying to take some cues from it with the new UI look. I wouldn't be surprised if Maya too got a bit of a facelift next year as well.

Thomas M.
03-26-2009, 04:18 PM
Seems like 2010 is out, is it? There seemed to be an anouncement during GDC. I'm still struggling between max and xsi. Do you know anything about the possibilities to exchange stuff between Modo and Max and LW and Max, Abn? Can I render a Max scene in LW?

cresshead
03-26-2009, 04:26 PM
Seems like 2010 is out, is it? There seemed to be an anouncement during GDC. I'm still struggling between max and xsi. Do you know anything about the possibilities to exchange stuff between Modo and Max and LW and Max, Abn? Can I render a Max scene in LW?


as a max/lw user, yes you can..there are some hoops/workarounds and stops...same for any app dealing with lightwave...i ususally use fbx or obj
moving rigged/animated characters from max to lw is not click click done...but it is doable

kfinla
03-26-2009, 04:41 PM
I dont know anything that recognizes .max files but Max itself, 3ds triangulates meshs and im not sure takes any scene data. Something like Polytrans is what your after as far as exchanging data back an forth.

Thomas M.
03-26-2009, 04:46 PM
So with XSI it would work smoother?

Thomas M.
03-26-2009, 04:49 PM
I just guess I could enhance my nodal powers in XSI far better than in Max. I use nodal in LW for texturing and procedural modeling and it's one of my strength. In Max I guess it would be utterly useless unless I go for Nodal Joe. But I doubt that it is for anything else than texturing...

cresshead
03-26-2009, 05:16 PM
I just guess I could enhance my nodal powers in XSI far better than in Max. I use nodal in LW for texturing and procedural modeling and it's one of my strength. In Max I guess it would be utterly useless unless I go for Nodal Joe. But I doubt that it is for anything else than texturing...
max has mental mill remember in max 2010....like err WOW!

http://www.mentalimages.com/uploads/RTEmagicC_mmbanner.jpg.jpg

http://www.3d-test.com/interviews/images/mental/mil1.jpg

shaders in the 3d viewport>>
http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/pimentelk/090206_1800/t_promaterial_ceramic_sl_demo.jpg

cresshead
03-26-2009, 05:17 PM
I dont know anything that recognizes .max files but Max itself, 3ds triangulates meshs and im not sure takes any scene data. Something like Polytrans is what your after as far as exchanging data back an forth.

use fbx old chap...
like err .3ds is from dos days!..."3d studio dos"

AbnRanger
03-26-2009, 06:03 PM
I just guess I could enhance my nodal powers in XSI far better than in Max. I use nodal in LW for texturing and procedural modeling and it's one of my strength. In Max I guess it would be utterly useless unless I go for Nodal Joe. But I doubt that it is for anything else than texturing...NodeJoe is more robust than nodal in LW. FBX is Autodesk's big interchange format, and LW supports it.
Now, with this new shading paradigm from Mental Images, it's going to very quickly catch on in the industry because it's so portable and compatible with other shading languages...you can create a custom car paint shader in Max and open it up in Maya, XSI, and likely LW.
I'm waiting to hear just how compatible/interchangeable it is TODAY with other shading languages.

Bundled with NVIDIA's FX Composer 2.5, an integrated development
environment for fast creation of real-time visual effects, mental mill
Artist Edition is an integral part of the shader development pipeline.
Together mental mill and FX Composer 2.5 can be used to create shaders
for HLSL, COLLADA(TM) FX Cg, and CgFX in DirectX and OpenGL.


Notice, it mentioned COLLADA...which will be CORE's new format

As far as interchange formats between Max and LW today, OBJ is tried and true...your geometry will transport cleanly, as well as UV's and most materials...special shaders is a different matter, but that's what Mental Images (makers of Mental Ray) and NVidia is pushing for...seamless shader portability between different programs. But FBX is the best format for transporting entire scenes

AbnRanger
03-26-2009, 06:27 PM
I just checked out some of the GDC (demo's live stream), and I am blown away by this release. It seems they are making up for the past two uneventful versions (2008 and 2009). Live GDC stream here:
http://area.autodesk.com/gdc2009
If you plan on doing any Character Animation, I would make sure to check out the C.A.T tutorials over at the Area...it is just stupid easy and fast, and still manages to be extremely powerful (one of the knocks of Character Studio was that is was limited pretty much to bipeds/quadripeds...no such limitations with CAT).
XSI is certainly known for it's CA tools, but I haven't seen anything this advanced be so easy to use. LW users would be stoked if they had it.

geo_n
03-26-2009, 10:35 PM
as a max/lw user, yes you can..there are some hoops/workarounds and stops...same for any app dealing with lightwave...i ususally use fbx or obj
moving rigged/animated characters from max to lw is not click click done...but it is doable

I've never successfully imported an fbx file from max to lw with animation. Even if I bake the animation in max using pointcache and export to fbx lw doesn't import the animation. How did you do it with fbx? Can you post a simple fbx file with deformation,etc.
max fbx to maya is ok though well since its autodesk product.
So if its max project its only done in max. I hope core plays nice with other programs next time

Thomas M.
03-27-2009, 04:29 PM
Spoke to another salesperson today who told me to go for max 2010 design and not max 2010. Can anybody confirm this?

AbnRanger
03-27-2009, 07:58 PM
Spoke to another salesperson today who told me to go for max 2010 design and not max 2010. Can anybody confirm this?There is very a miniscule difference...2010 has a light analysis tool not in Max, but the Product Manager (who communicates with the Max community almost on a daily basis, over on his blog at AD's "The Area":
http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/blogs_ken/blog_list/
and over at CGTalk) said something about the Max (Media and Entertainment version) "XBR"...some kind of a surprise we're all waiting for...just for 3ds Max 2010 (not the Design version)

"Ken, can you tell if the mystery about XBR gonna be revealed during GDC, or is it going to stay a NDA-exclusive?"


Posted by Ken Pimentel on 24 Mar, 2009 at 10:42 PM

XBR=NDA
XBR P1=2010
XBR=surprises

Thomas M.
03-28-2009, 02:48 AM
I think that's pretty crappy to split it up, as you'll always wonder whether you need to switch in between those versions depending on what your current job will be based on. They could just have one Max version without a problem. Don't get it ...

I'll just try to fiddle around with the two demo versions during the weekend and then make a decision, hopefully.

Mike_RB
03-28-2009, 08:14 AM
Thomas, regarding your modo401 questions.... Lux has lightened up on the NDA for beta testers about whats already been revealed. So I posted a few things here:

http://forums.luxology.com/discussion/topic.aspx?id=33283

You already picked up modo yes? I think you'll find it complements Lw well (XSI too).

Mike_RB
03-28-2009, 02:58 PM
And the furry teapot

Turntable of the teapot (http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/401stuff/teapot_text_effects_005.mov)

http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/401stuff/teapot_text_effects_005.jpg

cresshead
03-28-2009, 03:10 PM
Spoke to another salesperson today who told me to go for max 2010 design and not max 2010. Can anybody confirm this?

there's 2 versions of max to appeal to 2 different segments of the 3d market

if your work is in the media and entertainment area>
films, tv, web animations, print, games, mobile devices
then get 3dsmax 2010

or

if your work is in the architectual design area and product design are where you need to import/export CAD models mainly for visualsation and lighting analysis then 3dsmax 2010 design

they made 2 versions to help people find the version for their market segment and not feel that 3dsmax is 'games' when a version of it can be adapted to be more specific for arch and design.

most people go for 3dsmax 2010 btw...the lighting anlysis tools are VERY specific to that industry as they are real world simulation tools for the building industry not for pretty pictures that games/film are looking for.

cresshead
03-28-2009, 03:19 PM
There is very a miniscule difference...2010 has a light analysis tool not in Max, but the Product Manager (who communicates with the Max community almost on a daily basis, over on his blog at AD's "The Area":
http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/blogs_ken/blog_list/
and over at CGTalk) said something about the Max (Media and Entertainment version) "XBR"...some kind of a surprise we're all waiting for...just for 3ds Max 2010 (not the Design version)

"Ken, can you tell if the mystery about XBR gonna be revealed during GDC, or is it going to stay a NDA-exclusive?"


Posted by Ken Pimentel on 24 Mar, 2009 at 10:42 PM

XBR=NDA
XBR P1=2010
XBR=surprises

link?

Intuition
03-28-2009, 05:47 PM
I've been using XSI, Maya, and Max for the last 2-3 years alot. Before that I mainly used them as geometry converters or for quick tricks. I am now often opening up two or all three of them daily at Digital Domain.

I could write up a whole thread page on each one.

3DS MAX

Currently, the main reason I like 3dsmax is because it has a wide range of plug-ins that are really really good and do a really great job at thier own respective tasks like FUME FX, Thinking particles, the Vray render engine, after burn or pyro. Yet thats the thing with max. It really starts to shine with plug-ins. Its a great app and even though the interface hasn't changed over the years (not much) there are some things I really like about max, like the selection windows and its filters which all the other apps could copy. The modifier stack is pretty easy to understand.

Summary - Max is great but I mainly like it for its wide variety of plug-ins and available render engines more so then the core app even though the core app is more capable the LW in all aspects save for the LW F-Prime combo.

MAYA

Maya has this reputation for being ridiculously hard to learn. Well, to sum up Maya I would say that the interface does have its quirks. I roll across the buttons, all of which I know really well now, and yet I still watch the bottom of the screen to see the text change as I roll over the buttons just to make sure I am selecting the right one. This aspect hasn't changed much since even the power animator days. Yet what I have found in Maya is that the learning curve is really at the GUI level. Learning how to move about maya and its interface is really the main arc of your learning curve since the tools themselves are really really great.

People say all the time that you need script writers and what not to really fully use Maya. This is 99% patently false. Having rigged characters in both Maya and XSI from scratch I would say that they are both equally capable and that its a matter of gui preference since essentially you can do the same functions in both apps in a similar amount of time in regards to rigging and animating characters. I do like the weight map painting in XSI more but Maya's is simple and responsive. I like XSI's color based weights better but neither is more/less capable. Maya has great dynamics in both rigid and soft body types. In Maya Ultimate the nCLoth practically does the work for you as long as you make sure your cloth and collision objects are modeled with proper quads and tris. The maya particles are easy to use on the dynamics side of things but I really prefer the way XSI allows you to shade and light the particles in ICE much better even though both are mental ray. Maya's hypershade is not as nice as XSi's nodal shader tree as far as workflow is concerned but they both have great selection and apply to modes which allow you to pick a material and have that selected material select the objects or polygons that it is applied to, simple little filters like that are really helpful and save tons of time. Maya and modo both have really cool pie menus. Like I stated above about the GUI learning curve, you will first learn maya's general interface which is similar to XSI in a few regard...one, it has menu modes like "dynamics, animation, polygons, ncloth, etc" where the general tools are available in the top menus but the extended menu changes based on your current menu set. What happens over time is that you learn where every thing is located then slowly you start using the pie menus instead since they are faster and since you can get to everything with them. I am always pressing space bar OR alt+space ctrl+space etc now instead of using the top menus. Maya and max and XSI all have different layer approached, XSI's are called passes but Max and Maya have "Layers" which can be used to set up different passes per say. All in all the main reason maya is a longer learning curve is in its scope of tools included. I spent a month in 2007 just getting paint FX plants to be animated and and be converted to polygons for rendering in mental ray. Yet since you know LW, you "get it" about particles and dynamics and animating, you just have to relearn the maya GUI because the tools are much easier to use then LW's general set. Maya relies less on plug-ins then max and has alot of native solutions but... many things are also available for maya like Vray or final render.

Mental Ray, This brings me to one of the main comparisons between Maya and XSI. Mental Ray was this big foggy landscape to me when I first jumped in. Messing with it in max or maya was always like feeling around in the dark, I hated not having a realtime previewer like F-Prime or Modo. When I started learning XSI is when Mental Ray became less of a mystery. The reason for this was because there are so many panels in Maya that relate to non-mental ray parameters and when I learned XSI and jumped into mental ray through XSI it was really easy to understand. I was able to later come back to max or maya and easily see how max and maya approached mental ray in their own respective GUIs and was able to produce great images in any app with mental ray all due to XSI's perfect integration with mental ray as a learning approach.

XSI

Well, what can I say about XSI. I tried it in 4.0 but when 5.11 came out with the physx engine built in I was sold. Its interface feels the most modern and up to date, which is the same way I feel about modo's interface save for modos shader tree...grrr.... anyways...

I remember Pooby (You know, the NT forums Pooby) and I were posting in the 3rd party forum here about moving stuff back and forth from XSI to LW since XSI became my dynamics, cloth, plug-in for LW at first. Slowly I started moving models into XSI to play with, because at this point I was a year into modeling in modo so modo was my modeling app. I began playing with the pre-built bi-ped rigs and was rigging and animating characters in only a day of playing around with the pre-built rigs attached to my models. The weight map painting was self explanatory to me. Pick the color of the bone from the list.... paint its influence or pick the verts and use numerical values. So quick and easy. Later I learned about XSI's render passes. I could essentially take a scene and break it up into separate passes using the passes editor while keeping the main scene untouched. I put rocks in one pass, creatures in another, etc etc and had control of how each pass rendered all in one single scene file. I finally got around to learning how to model in XSI and it is comparable to modo although I still use modo as my main app I was really surprised how easy some of the tools were. Also, the render region / render pass workflow is really the best way to work in my opinion. Having the render region set up to preview your scene quickly while keeping the final render preview/pass with high settings makes it just like a LW/F-prime combo. XSI is also less reliant on plug-ins for most things but has a nice set of plug-ins as well. You'll love ICE for rendering particles better then maya in my opinion only since teh ICE GUI is easier. Maya has some neat fluid box fx though that are nice but can be reproduced in XSI with ICE now.

One last subject - Vray.

Vray, its awesome. It was the main reason I treaded into 3dsmax. Now its coming for Maya and XSI. So no matter if you go with maya or XSI you can be sure that you will be able to get Vray setup for them as well. Maya Vray is finally coming out within 2-3 months. XSi Vray looks to be coming late summer, would be my guess. Anyways, Vray has a great linear workflow and really tunes you in on how to work in a proper linear/sRGB 2.2 gamma workflow so your lighting will appear more natural and less CG.

XSI vray tests

http://community.softimage.com/showthread.php?t=1002&page=3

AbnRanger
03-29-2009, 12:03 AM
...One last subject - Vray.

Vray, its awesome. It was the main reason I treaded into 3dsmax. Now its coming for Maya and XSI. So no matter if you go with maya or XSI you can be sure that you will be able to get Vray setup for them as well. Maya Vray is finally coming out within 2-3 months. XSi Vray looks to be coming late summer, would be my guess. Anyways, Vray has a great linear workflow and really tunes you in on how to work in a proper linear/sRGB 2.2 gamma workflow so your lighting will appear more natural and less CG.

The problem with those renderers available for Maya and XSI, is that...well, I know finalRender operates for Maya like Mental Ray operates in Max (hence the difference between Stage 1 and Stage 2). It operates as a stand alone, instead of a fully integrated renderer. But for Max, both finalRender and VRay are better renderers than Mental Ray as they are FULLY integrated plugin renders (Max's SDK is wide open so they work as solid as if they were the native renderer). Stand-alones rely on a "translator" and therefore...like Mental Ray for Max...there are a few plugins that it's not yet compatible with. FumeFX is supposedly now working with MR, for what it's worth.

Again, finalRender (what I use exclusively) and VRay are bulletproof renderers for Max, but they may not be so much for Maya, C4D or XSI. The flip side to that is Mental Ray is slightly better integrated in those two than Max. while you're at it...you may want to check out VRay Scatter...millions of instances...not just polygons.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cET7jx1t5vU&feature=related
http://www.vray.com/vrayscatter/
http://www.vray.info/assets/video/VRS-Create.wmv
http://www.vray.info/assets/video/VRS-Masks.wmv
http://www.vray.info/assets/video/VRS-Texture.wmv
http://www.vray.info/news/article.asp?ID=271
http://rendering.ru/

MadCar plugin (free):
http://www.mentalscatter.com/tutblog/
http://www.karba.eol3d.com/Plugins/MadCar/hill.mov
http://www.karba.eol3d.com/Plugins/MadCar/wheel_moving.mov
Link to download:
http://www.evermotion.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=63733

CityTraffic:
http://rendering.ru/index.php/plugins-gallery/xcv/

FumeFX for Max:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JljSUt-ufZI&feature=related

Mental Mill Intro Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQUn0Zeh-0Q

Intuition
03-29-2009, 12:34 AM
Hey Ranger,

I am well aware of the integration of both Vray of XSI and Maya and how it compares to max.

I am also a huge advocate of vray scatter, fumeFX and the list of stuff you posted. I actually wish I had fume FX inside XSI or Maya. Its really nice. I also like the thinking particles inside max and did a gig with it last summer exploding ice.

The two problems with Vray in Maya and XSI are only that you can't use the vray frame buffer and the vray fur... yet. I do like checking the render in sRGB space in Max without baking the curve into the 32float image.

Currently in both XSI and maya varients you have to remember to switch on/off your affect colors check box for preview vs render of final linear color / gamma space.

Vray is integrated into XSI the same way mental ray is in that you can have different settings for your render region and render pass/preview settings. Vray in max wasn't quite set up for a nodal shader tree as well as it is set up in maya and XSI and specifically in XSI there were many node/shaders that have been made compatible with Vray.

You can set up the renderer to use the standalone on the farm but Vray in XSI and Maya renders inside the app the same way it does in max with the exception of the vray frame buffer. Vray in Maya is actually being ran in Linux flavor.

I will say that I am excited for max 2010. DD was moving away from max and more to Maya/Houdini/XSI workflows but it looks like we may update the max's now with the new 2010 features.

Mental Mill shaders will be nice but we also have our own proprietary shader coders/scripters for Mental Ray that were developed for Cur.Case of B. Buttons and Speed Racer and now even more custom shaders are being coded up for Tr2n.

Can't comment on City Traffic, Mad car, or growfx.

I use onyx for trees and plants and had worked with natFX in max for plants and trees as well. Actually the natFX in max was really very cool. There was a cool plug-in by the onyx guys that let you animate the onyx trees inside max but I can't remember what it was.

AbnRanger
03-29-2009, 12:42 AM
Hey Ranger,

I am well aware of the integration of both Vray of XSI and Maya and how it compares to max.

Sorry...I was just going along with what you were saying by adding to it, for the O.P's consumption. Should've clarified who I was talking to.

Intuition
03-29-2009, 01:33 AM
Oh, Hey Ranger, I wasn't offended or anything. :D I need to put the smilies on my statements mroe often. :lol:

Just saying I know about and agree about the capabilities of many of the things you stated. :thumbsup:

AbnRanger
03-29-2009, 06:47 PM
Just saw this Rooster rigged and animated in CAT, thought Thomas might like to see this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c92hGarJ3dA

geo_n
03-30-2009, 01:17 AM
Im not sure how much deep you're into modo now but after 2 days studying it I really love it. Shader tree is the hardest part but its powerful.
If I was freelance and earning only on that I would definitely look into modo for print work. 5k pixel 300dpi render in one pass with AO, etc as many channels saved with render preview going on. Not even vray frame buffer can do that for me so easily.

Car material needs a lot of work but for 2 days studying I'm really impressed what it can do. 3m poly per car. One is instanced
http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/8885/5k0000.th.jpg (http://img26.imageshack.us/my.php?image=5k0000.jpg)
http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/1066/5k0000ao.th.jpg (http://img24.imageshack.us/my.php?image=5k0000ao.jpg)
http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/1604/5k0000shadow.th.jpg (http://img13.imageshack.us/my.php?image=5k0000shadow.jpg)


But if you're a salary man like me there's no beating max and all the plugins it has. :thumbsup:

Mike_RB
03-30-2009, 08:43 PM
Nice render, you want some help with carpaint settings in modo?

Thomas M.
03-31-2009, 10:19 AM
Just played around with XSI a bit. I like the general feeling more than the one of max, but while fiddeling around with the hair stuff, XSI crashed twice on me in a few minutes. I don't whether this is a installation problem or a general thing with XSI.

MacDoggie
03-31-2009, 10:49 AM
As far as interchange formats between Max and LW today, OBJ is tried and true...your geometry will transport cleanly, as well as UV's and most materials...special shaders is a different matter, but that's what Mental Images (makers of Mental Ray) and NVidia is pushing for...seamless shader portability between different programs. But FBX is the best format for transporting entire scenes

This is interesting... I have just committed to building a year's worth of Models for a company for use in their 3D program which is Max. I was really wondering about this very thing.. I will most likely be modeling and UVing in Modo I will run tests to se how that works (of course but it is nice to know that LW can handle this should I need to import and export out... FBX does look good as opposed to the .OBJ export. which is really all I need. I am just modeling and UVing they will be lighting animating and rendering. So there will be no need for shader info. How about basic bump and spec channels??? Will the UV maps need to be reapplied once the object opens in Max?? I will of course test them first before deliver them :D

MacDoggie
03-31-2009, 10:54 AM
Im not sure how much deep you're into modo now but after 2 days studying it I really love it. Shader tree is the hardest part but its powerful.
If I was freelance and earning only on that I would definitely look into modo for print work. 5k pixel 300dpi render in one pass with AO, etc as many channels saved with render preview going on. Not even vray frame buffer can do that for me so easily.

But if you're a salary man like me there's no beating max and all the plugins it has. :thumbsup:

No doubt Modo rocks it is a total bad *** I would use it over Max any day. As a matter of fact I have just been contrated to do all of the modeling for a Max shop which is fine with me. Nice car :thumbsup:

Thomas M.
03-31-2009, 01:03 PM
Intuition, I heared so much about that Max fur is more or less the same as XSI hair, but that it is a bit advanced and newer. Can you confirm this? What's the difference? XSI hair crashed on my simple test every time, so I don't know whether this is just an installation problem or a general flaw of the software.

cresshead
03-31-2009, 01:27 PM
re xsi fur...follow a tutorial or load up a fur demo scene rather than make your own up as there maybe steps your missing that's crashing xsi

Intuition
03-31-2009, 03:51 PM
Intuition, I heared so much about that Max fur is more or less the same as XSI hair, but that it is a bit advanced and newer. Can you confirm this? What's the difference? XSI hair crashed on my simple test every time, so I don't know whether this is just an installation problem or a general flaw of the software.

Hmm, thats weird your crashing XSI fur alot..... Is it XSI 7.01 or 7.5? I've noticed some instability in 7.5 where 7.01 was fine. Mainly in rendering mental ray though and not generally any hair or fur and dynamics stuff, haven't seen any fur/hair problems that would crash constantly. Is it during render that it crashes? It could be related to the BSP changes that were made to Mental Ray.

How complex is your hair test?

I prefer working in fur in XSI, this is a mental ray render, but max isn't really different or maya for that matter. They are like slight variations of each other. Shave was the old base software I think.

Here is a quick furry sphere I made in XSI, zebra texture heh, to test it today in 7.5 since you said it was crashing. Seemed fine to me. Has dynamics on it.

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4047/furxsi.jpg

Thomas M.
03-31-2009, 04:23 PM
As far as I remember it said something about MR. The whole app didn't crash, but the render area thing didn't work anymore.

I just had the feeling that the styling possibilities in Max looked advanced. Like in a barber shop. What I need is combing, cutting, lengthen, etc. with surface penetration detection. LW sucks in this area when you try to still the hair. Some guides in Modeler will stick into the object for sure, while Layout even doesn't care about this issue at all (Hello?! Newtek?!). So the rendering capabilities so far have been o.k., but I need easy and complex clumping, frizz, etc setting which will work with weightmaps. Clumping needs to work on a model basis and not like in HairFX on a per poly basis.

Is Max just looking better in the styling/brushing department or didn't I simply find the stuff in XSI? For sure I just scratched the surface a bit...

Intuition
03-31-2009, 04:34 PM
Well, XSI has the hair panel.... ctrl+2 which has the brush and combing. I will say this though, where max seems to have one extra feature on XSI is in the self collision department. Often the hair will penetrate the source geometry even in cases where you've set the collision. Now this has been solved by the ICE community at Softimage net so if you're willing to look up some ICE nodes you'll be covered. I prefer working in XSI or Maya for Character work as the one thing I haven't really done much of is rigging in max. So I'll go for XSI over max BUT... that being said... the fur I have played with in max seems to have better self collision setups. I also know that max 2010 has addressed many issues and that is about to come out where as XSI 7.5 is out and there will probably be a point release before the end of 09 to address the mental ray issues.

My personal preference is XSI but I can't knock max. Used it (w / Vray) for a car commercial from Jan09-March-09.

If your doing more character work XSI will make you happy but max is pretty powerful too. Plus in max you can get fumeFX and a host of other plugs, albeit at a $$$ hole. Still, nice stuff in max.

Intuition
03-31-2009, 04:40 PM
Yeah there was some BSP / BSP 2 issues. People are complaining about the BSP problems alot in the XSI community. Some have gone as far as replace the BSP in 7.x from the one in 6.5 mray. Evidently, this solves many issues on certain processor types.... I am guessing alot though since I haven't had any trouble save for the render that takes 30 seconds longer in 7.5 then it does in 7.01 in some cases.

Edit--- forgot to mention. I use this hair shader called "muhHair" for XSI, its an optimized shader for fur/hair in XSI. Seems to get a nice look at less render time in mental ray then the default hair shader.

The one for XSI 4.0 still works fine in 7.0 -7.5 with some memory leaks at certain times but... someone has compiled a new one for 7 which I haven't tried yet that did fix the memory leaks.

Intuition
03-31-2009, 06:26 PM
One more... just cause... longer fur, final gather.

http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/1170/furxsi2.jpg

Oh BTW the self collision has been fixed in XSI 7.5. I just set the sphere as an obstacle and its working as expected. Used to break in 6.5.

geo_n
04-01-2009, 08:36 PM
Nice render, you want some help with carpaint settings in modo?

Thanks! I would like to khow how to make a shader similar to carpaint node with speckle. I'm sure I could search luxo forum but I would appreciate the tips.

geo_n
04-01-2009, 08:42 PM
Intuition, I heared so much about that Max fur is more or less the same as XSI hair, but that it is a bit advanced and newer. Can you confirm this? What's the difference? XSI hair crashed on my simple test every time, so I don't know whether this is just an installation problem or a general flaw of the software.

Hairtrix. I've used max hair and it is versatile however the max guys here asked for hairtrix. There must be a reason. :D

http://www.ddag.org/ - products> hairtrix

MacDoggie
04-02-2009, 09:47 PM
Nice render, you want some help with carpaint settings in modo?

Me too! I am just now getting into the shading aspect of Modo now. I now have a grasp of the shader tree and can definitely see the power there. Thanks for the files with the nested levels. I have to admit I love the carpaint node in LW. I have been studying Modo's approach to this and it actually looks very straight forward...

Thomas M.
04-23-2009, 06:03 AM
I did have some further talks with Autodesk and resellers. The guy at Autodesk was no help at all and just stole my time.

The resllers on the other hand seem to no little about XSI and try to sell Max as much as possible. Most of all them tell you that XSI will most likely not being continued in the future due to the extra work for all the programmers at Autodesk. Who knows.

Still haven't made up my mind.

Saw a architectural image on the cgtalk front page which uses PolyPaint for the vegetation. Wonder whether there are work arounds in XSI or MAX.

Cheers
Thomas

Limbus
04-23-2009, 06:22 AM
The resllers on the other hand seem to no little about XSI and try to sell Max as much as possible. Most of all them tell you that XSI will most likely not being continued in the future due to the extra work for all the programmers at Autodesk. Who knows.


The resellers don't know for sure. They probably want to sellt he product with the biggest margin for them. When AD killed and reintroduced and killed again Max Viz, the resellers I talked to didn't know about it before anyone else.


Saw a architectural image on the cgtalk front page which uses PolyPaint for the vegetation. Wonder whether there are work arounds in XSI or MAX.
Modo has a similar feature. I don't know about XSI or Max.

Cheers, Florian

Thomas M.
04-23-2009, 11:37 PM
I just wonder how fast XSI will be integrated into Max or Maya and disappears from the market or if this won't happen. Actually the thought of running three different pieces of animation software under one roof sounds actually not like the thing that'll happen for a long time.

Limbus
04-23-2009, 11:57 PM
I just wonder how fast XSI will be integrated into Max or Maya and disappears from the market or if this won't happen. Actually the thought of running three different pieces of animation software under one roof sounds actually not like the thing that'll happen for a long time.

Only AD will know if and how they will integrate the products. But I guess they won't tell anyone beforehand.

I was at a roadshow back in november and some poor sales droid from AD picked the shortest straw and had to do a presentation on the future roadmap. Plus he got all those nasty questions from XSI users ;-).

According to him, no app will die but integration between them will be improved.

Cheers, Florian

dnch
04-24-2009, 08:21 AM
about that xsi feather rig...
i could imagine its all capable in LW 9.6 with node item motion / dponts nodes..
i see some point cloning / positioning, rotation to normal, distance to null morphs / deformations / rotations
only thing is that you need point (vertex) in basemesh for every feather, but i see that in that XSI rig too..

yes, it would be very complicated node tree, but in XSI / ICE too.. and you would need to build them from the ground with both XSI / LW


...
on the other hand, theres no way around to make pixel based displacement in LW,
and i dont know how would such nodal tree behave with network rendering..

...
i personaly would go with MODO .. as you dont need animation so much..
- close to LW... and i have seen some UI modifications to modo so it looked allmost like lw modeler
- no Autodesk (do i need to say more?
- no stupid flashy picture icons everywhere as in Cinema

Thomas M.
04-24-2009, 08:46 AM
Already bought Modo, though I couldn't use it in production yet. But I'll need one of the Autodesk programs, as rigging in LW is a pain.

Another salesperson today told me to go with XSI. It's just a matter of whom you'll ask, and you'll get the answer you want.

The only thing I'd like to know is whether XSI and MAX do have collision detection that prevents the hairguides to penetrate the body during combing. That's a big NO GO if that's no available. LW sucks in Layout if you try to brush your guides. And how it looks NT doesn't mind too much about the insolid state of FFX currently.

kfinla
04-24-2009, 09:59 AM
I don't think XSI is going away. When Maya was acquired the idea of a super app, or maya disappearing was in peoples heads too.

You might wanna look at messiah, version 4 just came out and it will recognizes .lxo files (modo) and you can exchange hair guides between modo, and messiah (dynamics and collisions) then bring it back.. the only issue they are a looking at is layers. Modo wants the hair on a different layer, and i think messiah wants the model and hair together. It is being looked into. There is even a modo gui skin and hotkey set in messiah 4 now.

cresshead
04-24-2009, 02:36 PM
bottom line> try the demo's of them all then buy the one you liked to work in the most.

IMI
04-24-2009, 04:47 PM
bottom line> try the demo's of them all then buy the one you liked to work in the most.

Speaking of demos, is it just me or is the new max 2010 interface just weird?
I opened it up the first time and was almost blinded. That nice soft, unobtrusive grid it used to have was replaced by an upper value gray which made it almost impossible to distinguish where one viewport ended and another began. Totally In-Yer-Face and thoroughly annoying, like "Check out our new grid! - isn't it totally KEWL?"
I searched for an alternate ui, in the usual way, but found no love there...

But not just the grid, everything else was just...wrong. And you know, as someone demo-ing a product, I shouldn't have to spend my first several hours in the program trying to make it usable.

Not that I have any intention of buying it, but that's beside the point. ;)



I guess that's gonna happen whenever I get around to getting CORE, though, too. It definitely doesn't look like LightWave.




EDIT:
Oh and why is it max 2010 anyway? Last I checked, it's still 2009, and will be for a while. How come there's no Maya 2010 yet?

Wait...AUTOdesk... autos, automobiles.... Hmm, car manufacturers release next year's model well before the next year is actually here... Maybe Autodesk is buying GM? That's the last thing I need - a subscription plan for my Bonneville. ;)

cresshead
04-24-2009, 05:06 PM
yeah only demo stuff you can afford to buy...so most people won't be demoing houdini master at $8000 plus a the suppport contract at near $3000 per year...EEK!

and always give a look at blender...which btw has just release a new update release candidate 2.49..not far away from 2.5 are we!

IMI
04-24-2009, 05:19 PM
yeah only demo stuff you can afford to buy...

Well I try to keep up with max, and I do have three computers I can install it on, not to mention, two of them will be needing new motherboards soon. ;)

But I try to keep up with max, because for one, I do know how to use it, and even though I've said it sucks, it really doesn't. But I try to stay familiar with it because one day I might find myself in the position to need to use it. At least that's the plan...

AbnRanger
04-24-2009, 10:31 PM
Already bought Modo, though I couldn't use it in production yet. But I'll need one of the Autodesk programs, as rigging in LW is a pain.

Another salesperson today told me to go with XSI. It's just a matter of whom you'll ask, and you'll get the answer you want.

The only thing I'd like to know is whether XSI and MAX do have collision detection that prevents the hairguides to penetrate the body during combing. That's a big NO GO if that's no available. LW sucks in Layout if you try to brush your guides. And how it looks NT doesn't mind too much about the insolid state of FFX currently.Hair and Fur definitely has collision detection in 3ds Max. You can download a demonstration of the Hair and Fur Modifier (Shave and a Haircut) video from my ftp server (couldn't find it on AD's site...think they took all the demonstration videos of the earlier versions down):
ftp://02b0c3a.netsolhost.com/

username: client_folder
password: Tango127

I don't think XSI is going anywhere for years to come, but who knows how much of the develpment team was retained? As far as Max dynamics, you have several choices...cloth has it's own engine, Reactor has a dozen or so collections (cloth, hard body, soft body, fluid, spring, vehicle, Rag Doll...which is somewhat like Endorphin, etc)...then you have Mad Car plugin (free) with its own vehicle dynamics, Rayfire plugin with it's own dynamics engine for shattering/ fragmentation/explosions. Even the Flex modifier has it's own dynamics engine. The Dreamscape plugin has sea wave/wake/foam generation and dynamics. Last but not least, you also have the free PhysX plugin for Max.
This illustrates the real power behind 3ds Max. So many tools to choose from...many from the program itself. Many from free plugins and scripts to relatively inexpensive plugins.

AbnRanger
04-24-2009, 10:59 PM
Speaking of demos, is it just me or is the new max 2010 interface just weird?
I opened it up the first time and was almost blinded. That nice soft, unobtrusive grid it used to have was replaced by an upper value gray which made it almost impossible to distinguish where one viewport ended and another began. Totally In-Yer-Face and thoroughly annoying, like "Check out our new grid! - isn't it totally KEWL?"
I searched for an alternate ui, in the usual way, but found no love there...

But not just the grid, everything else was just...wrong. And you know, as someone demo-ing a product, I shouldn't have to spend my first several hours in the program trying to make it usable.

Not that I have any intention of buying it, but that's beside the point. ;)



I guess that's gonna happen whenever I get around to getting CORE, though, too. It definitely doesn't look like LightWave.




EDIT:
Oh and why is it max 2010 anyway? Last I checked, it's still 2009, and will be for a while. How come there's no Maya 2010 yet?

Wait...AUTOdesk... autos, automobiles.... Hmm, car manufacturers release next year's model well before the next year is actually here... Maybe Autodesk is buying GM? That's the last thing I need - a subscription plan for my Bonneville. ;)I don't understand why some people have to have a negative disposition toward other software than what their using. I recommend Max for the same reasons I bought it....but I don't have to slam other programs to make my point.
It doesn't matter what program you're in....if you don't like its appearance, at least check out the HELP menu, first, under "customize UI" to see how, and to what extent, you can change it.
Instead you throw a b!tchfest about it's appearance. Some Max users did the same thing over at CGSociety...threw a fit about the new ribbon feature. This just in....BREAKING NEWS....YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE IT. Why fuss about something you can easily disable? Same thing regarding the Viewcube, Transform Gizmos, etc.
Time after time, LW users complain about how they can't stand the gizmos.
They waste more time typing that they hate it, when they only have to hit the X key to turn it off!

AD got a lot user input and feedback during development and got rave reviews from a very large percentage of users in a survey. You can't please everyone all the time. I'm sure Jay Roth and Chuck can testify the very same statement is true for the LW community.

IMI
04-25-2009, 12:47 AM
I don't understand why some people have to have a negative disposition toward other software than what their using. I recommend Max for the same reasons I bought it....but I don't have to slam other programs to make my point.
It doesn't matter what program you're in....if you don't like its appearance, at least check out the HELP menu, first, under "customize UI" to see how, and to what extent, you can change it.
Instead you throw a b!tchfest about it's appearance. Some Max users did the same thing over at CGSociety...threw a fit about the new ribbon feature. This just in....BREAKING NEWS....YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE IT. Why fuss about something you can easily disable? Same thing regarding the Viewcube, Transform Gizmos, etc.
Time after time, LW users complain about how they can't stand the gizmos.
They waste more time typing that they hate it, when they only have to hit the X key to turn it off!

AD got a lot user input and feedback during development and got rave reviews from a very large percentage of users in a survey. You can't please everyone all the time. I'm sure Jay Roth and Chuck can testify the very same statement is true for the LW community.

Jeez dude, chill.

For one, I didn't "slam" max, or anything else. For another, in my next post I clearly stated I've been using max, and I don't think it sucks.
For a third, whatever I said about the ui, I think was pretty calm and rational. Do you mind if I have an opinion on the subject? OK, then.

I saw the threads at CGT, and at the moment it seems to me you have alot of unaired opinions on that, which you're now taking out on me and my post. Go tell it to the whiners there, because I don't need to hear it. :)

Check out the help menu, customize ui? Yeah, I know how to do that. For years I've known how to do that. And I did. Perhaps you didn't notice I wasn't on some kind of rant about it, like you seem to have read into it somehow or other.


I was stating my first impressions. First impressions. That should have been obvious.
Like I said, chill.

geo_n
04-25-2009, 05:32 AM
I like 3dmax and use it to earn a living at work. Lw is my hobby and freelance. But I have to say the new interface for max 2010 is too busy. I can be objective with software. Its just a tool.
Since max 2009 the orbit gets in the way so I remove it. The other ui stuff mentioned here definitely edited. I customize the interface for max and lw. Its routine.
Regarding modo, I've found out after testing a few weeks that the shadertree is not for me. The workflow is fast/powerful but the simple things can be too complicated for its own good. Editing sometimes can be more complicated than needed. Keep it simple lw surface and max/vray materials is quicker. I think modo should have gone nodal instead of trying to be different in that area.
This is my opinion. There's no perfect product out there. Just use the tool.

AbnRanger
04-25-2009, 07:35 AM
IMI...everything you said in that one post was negative and a rant of some sort. You don't have to like it....nobody is implying that. Nevertheless, it just gets old and annoying hearing people complaining about something they can quickly change..."I can't stand the dark grey UI..I liked the old light grey...blah, blah, blah." The gizmo rant is very common in these parts...but why? I'm quite sure you can disable them in any application.

It's like a kid :cursin: for his milk when the bottle is right there in his lap. It's worse when folks who obviously have been using one or more of these 3D applications for years fly off on a tangent about silly little things. It sounds like the application is to blame when it's in fact the operator

Same goes for those cats over at CGSociety. They are getting the same response there. If you are familiar with Max, then why the need to :cursin: here, knowing you can make those changes very easily? For what it's worth, you said you can't see the boundary of the viewports any more...There is now a yellow (used to be white) highlight of the active viewport. You can't see the color yellow?

I actually like the changes and knowing that I can customize it to my liking or easily add new custom toolsets within the ribbon.

IMI
04-25-2009, 07:48 AM
IMI...everything you said in that one post was negative and a rant of some sort.

Whatever, man. I gave an opinion in a thread filled with opinions on various software. I didn't just start a new thread about it or something.

The way I see it, you're the one who's ranting, and it's now even more obvious than before that your reply is an extension of things said by other people in other threads at other sites. Which is just weird, but have at it if you want.

I'll try not to insult your max anymore. Seems like you're stressed about it, and I don't want to cause any more problems for you. :D

AbnRanger
04-25-2009, 08:08 AM
Whatever, man. I gave an opinion in a thread filled with opinions on various software. I didn't just start a new thread about it or something.

The way I see it, you're the one who's ranting, and it's now even more obvious than before that your reply is an extension of things said by other people in other threads at other sites. Which is just weird, but have at it if you want.

I'll try not to insult your max anymore. Seems like you're stressed about it, and I don't want to cause any more problems for you. :D

How many times have you seen a noob told to RTFM? Not that I think it's polite, seeing that it's someone new. But there is just no excuse for experienced folks to come on these forums and throw a fit cause they don't like the color of an application's UI or they hate this application's gizmos. RTFM is very applicable in such cases and it would've prevented the need to come to a forum and castigate the program.

IMI
04-25-2009, 08:59 AM
But there is just no excuse for experienced folks to come on these forums and throw a fit cause they don't like the color of an application's UI or they hate this application's gizmos. RTFM is very applicable in such cases and it would've prevented the need to come to a forum and castigate the program.

You're still saying I threw a fit? That's strange. I think you might want to re-read what I wrote, as it was very tongue-in-cheek, but even on the worst of days I don't think most people would see what I wrote as any kind of fit-throwing. I don't think it even qualified as a *complaint*, just a first impression observation.
Au contraire, I think what you've written since is alot closer to the proverbial throwing of a fit. *shrug*

I'll admit I said I don't think I should have to spend hours making it usable, but that would fall under the category of RTFM. Unless you also feel n00bs should be able to RTFM and learn it all within mere minutes.

AbnRanger
04-25-2009, 10:23 AM
You're still saying I threw a fit? Yep...pretty much. Your post was one negative comment after another...most of which was very ambiguous and non-specific.


Speaking of demos, is it just me or is the new max 2010 interface just weird?
I opened it up the first time and was almost blinded. That nice soft, unobtrusive grid it used to have was replaced by an upper value gray which made it almost impossible to distinguish where one viewport ended and another began. Totally In-Yer-Face and thoroughly annoying, like "Check out our new grid! - isn't it totally KEWL?"
I searched for an alternate ui, in the usual way, but found no love there...

But not just the grid, everything else was just...wrong. And you know, as someone demo-ing a product, I shouldn't have to spend my first several hours in the program trying to make it usable.

Not that I have any intention of buying it, but that's beside the point...

EDIT:
Oh and why is it max 2010 anyway? Last I checked, it's still 2009, and will be for a while. How come there's no Maya 2010 yet?

Wait...AUTOdesk... autos, automobiles.... Hmm, car manufacturers release next year's model well before the next year is actually here... Maybe Autodesk is buying GM? That's the last thing I need - a subscription plan for my Bonneville.

That's strange. I think you might want to re-read what I wrote, as it was very tongue-in-cheek, but even on the worst of days I don't think most people would see what I wrote as any kind of fit-throwing. I don't think it even qualified as a *complaint*, just a first impression observation.
Au contraire, I think what you've written since is alot closer to the proverbial throwing of a fit. *shrug*

I'll admit I said I don't think I should have to spend hours making it usable, but that would fall under the category of RTFM. Unless you also feel n00bs should be able to RTFM and learn it all within mere minutes.You're experienced enough to know that if you were to try a demo of an application that you can quickly find out how to customize the UI....yet you're saying it would take you hours?...to do what, type in the HELP search box "Customize UI?" Why would it take you hours to find out to disable or change one aspect you didn't particularly like? Take Gizmos for example. All you'd have to do is, in the upper right hand section, in the Info Center search box, type in "Gizmos" and within a minute or two, you'd know how to toggle them on and off.

If I don't like the new ribbons in Max 2010, it wouldn't take hours to find out how to turn it off. Did you try the HELP menu before you launched into a fit about how you couldn't do this or that? No...you didn't. If you did, you would've never made those comments in the first place.

AbnRanger
04-25-2009, 10:32 AM
Maybe because they just don't like Autodesk in general? :)So they are justified trashing a program just because they don't like AD's business decisions? Why not just be direct and say that they simply don't like the company, instead?

cresshead
04-25-2009, 10:55 AM
i like 3dsmax
i like lightwave
i like zbrush
i like toonboom studio
i like xara webdesigner
i like painter x
i like art rage
i like tv paint

i think i may get to like lightwave core
i think i may get to like blender

i'm not sure about maya yet
i'm not sure about modo yet
i'm not sure about houdini yet
i'm not sure about mudbox yet
i'm not sure about 3dcoat yet

i don't like xsi much
i don't like flash much
i don't like carrara much

i hate dreamweaver

:)

IMI
04-25-2009, 10:59 AM
If I don't like the new ribbons in Max 2010, it wouldn't take hours to find out how to turn it off. Did you try the HELP menu before you launched into a fit about how you couldn't do this or that? No...you didn't. If you did, you would've never made those comments in the first place.

You're still on the "fit" thing, aren't you? Really strange, man.

No, I said, "as a person demo-ing the product...". That doesn't necessarily mean me. A total noob probably WOULD have to spend hours. Of course, since I try to look at all sides of things, one may make the argument a total noob shouldn't be expecting anything less than to have to spend hours anyway, and probably should start out with simpler 3D software in the first place.
And in any event, I mentioned I DID figure it out. And I DID get it how I like it.

I see you "ranted" in the Vista thread, much like you're accusing me of doing here. I was tempted to point that out there, but didn't. Don't like it? Why not? Like max, it works, just gotta RTFM here and there...

Aside from all this, it just blows my mind you're willing to take the time to argue about this with me. Most people would just blow it off, not care, see no reason to get all upset about it. Even cresshead, probably the biggest Max defender around here, didn't get irritated. Probably because he recognized it for what it was, and didn't see some strange need to take it as an insult.

And with that, I'm through with this conversation. This has wasted entirely too much of my time already, and you should probably see it the same way.

cresshead
04-25-2009, 11:05 AM
Even cresshead, probably the biggest Max defender around here, didn't get irritated. Probably because he recognized it for what it was, and didn't see some strange need to take it as an insult.



well i havn't spun up 2010 yet...i have the install discs..just not got around to installing/aurthorising it..

so feel i can't say much about max 2010 just yet as i havn't run it myself...

max 2008 is okay max 2009 abit buggy so i stick with 2008 currently but will be installing and using max 2010 next week to see how good the new tools from polyboost are and the rendered viewports are too...as well as c.a.t of course.:cat:

IMI
04-25-2009, 11:10 AM
well i havn't spun up 2010 yet...i have the install discs..just not got around to installing/aurthorising it..

so feel i can't say much about max 2010 just yet as i havn't run it myself...

max 2008 is okay max 2009 abit buggy so i stick with 2008 currently but will be installing and using max 2010 next week to see how good the new tools from polyboost are and the rendered viewports are too...as well as c.a.t of course.:cat:


It's pretty cool, from what little I saw of it. I only had it installed for two days last week, but then I put a new motherboard in my main box and reformatted and have been reinstalling everything and benchmarking for the past three days. I probably won't get around to max 2010 for another few days, maybe Monday.
The viewport graphics - the real time shading and shadows and all that, is really nice stuff. :)

AbnRanger
04-25-2009, 02:38 PM
You're still on the "fit" thing, aren't you? Really strange, man.

No, I said, "as a person demo-ing the product...". That doesn't necessarily mean me. A total noob probably WOULD have to spend hours. Of course, since I try to look at all sides of things, one may make the argument a total noob shouldn't be expecting anything less than to have to spend hours anyway, and probably should start out with simpler 3D software in the first place.
And in any event, I mentioned I DID figure it out. And I DID get it how I like it.

I see you "ranted" in the Vista thread, much like you're accusing me of doing here. I was tempted to point that out there, but didn't. Don't like it? Why not? Like max, it works, just gotta RTFM here and there...

Aside from all this, it just blows my mind you're willing to take the time to argue about this with me. Most people would just blow it off, not care, see no reason to get all upset about it. Even cresshead, probably the biggest Max defender around here, didn't get irritated. Probably because he recognized it for what it was, and didn't see some strange need to take it as an insult.

And with that, I'm through with this conversation. This has wasted entirely too much of my time already, and you should probably see it the same way.Vista doesn't doesn't have a clear cut way for someone new to it to search WHY Vista is telling them they aren't the Administrator when they are clearly logged on as such. You're comparing apples to oranges. Max has introductory videos the minute you open it up the first time. If you don't like the color...it's easy to search in the Help menu. Don't know how to get rid of the ribbon...same thing.
Trying to get help in windows to find out WHY some of your programs are functioning properly isn't the same type of issue. Trying to find out why Windows update keeps trying to download the very same update over and over and .....is a whole different animal. Where in Windows HELP does it tell you that UAC is the source of a lot of your troubles and to turn it off?

Matt
04-25-2009, 08:30 PM
Now THAT is how you show off instancing! Gotta say, Modo 401 is looking VERY nice indeed. I'm more tempted every day.

http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/401stuff/24233B.jpg

Mike_RB
04-25-2009, 08:40 PM
Matt, did you just come across my 24 trillion poly image?

Matt
04-25-2009, 08:54 PM
Matt, did you just come across my 24 trillion poly image?

Yes Mike, it appears so! :D

Nice test though!

Mike_RB
04-25-2009, 08:56 PM
Yes Mike, it appears so! :D

Nice test though!

I think each teapot is about 4M SDS polys, and there are about 6M of them instanced in there all casting raytraced shadows onto eachother.

Matt
04-25-2009, 09:14 PM
Impressive!

IMI
04-25-2009, 09:27 PM
I think each teapot is about 4M SDS polys, and there are about 6M of them instanced in there all casting raytraced shadows onto eachother.

Those are teapots? That's just too cool. :thumbsup:

If you're taking requests, I'd like to see that done with the Core dragon. :D

sammael
04-26-2009, 02:31 AM
Now THAT is how you show off instancing! Gotta say, Modo 401 is looking VERY nice indeed. I'm more tempted every day.

http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/401stuff/24233B.jpg

holy sh*t... ;D

cresshead
04-26-2009, 04:50 PM
Now THAT is how you show off instancing! Gotta say, Modo 401 is looking VERY nice indeed. I'm more tempted every day.

http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/401stuff/24233B.jpg

wow!...now i simply must put the kettle on!
..that's a lot of tea there ole chap!
hope you have plenty of biscuits!!:)

IMI
04-26-2009, 08:44 PM
C'mon guys, when you quote someone, please remove any image tags. Especially if it's an enormous picture. We don't need to see it three times on the same page. :)

Limbus
04-27-2009, 01:01 AM
Yep, some renderers are getting really capable these days... kray's instancing seems to be fun, too.
Limbus' teapothell - well, not 24 trillion:
http://www.kraytracing.com/forum/download/file.php?id=2220&mode=view
thread (http://www.kraytracing.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1497&p=8600&hilit=teapothell#p8600)
[/COLOR]

I did render with 10 bounce uncached GI there.

Cheers, Florian

Thomas M.
12-04-2009, 03:32 AM
O.k., some times has past, no new software bought so far. Max, Maya and XSI 2010 are out and I still need to make a choice. Still not able to bend my head around this.

Are there any new insights of what might be another great swiss army tool knife besides LW?

Cheers
Thomas

Limbus
12-04-2009, 03:43 AM
Are there any new insights of what might be another great swiss army tool knife besides LW?


I think nothing has changes much so far. Have you tried Modo yet? The demo of Modo 401 is out now.

Cheers, Florian

Cageman
12-04-2009, 03:45 AM
O.k., some times has past, no new software bought so far. Max, Maya and XSI 2010 are out and I still need to make a choice. Still not able to bend my head around this.

Are there any new insights of what might be another great swiss army tool knife besides LW?

Cheers
Thomas

Blender looks like it's becomming a swiss army tool. And it is free.

cresshead
12-04-2009, 03:53 AM
Blender looks like it's becomming a swiss army tool. And it is free.

Blender still has to get over that u.i. hurdle...it's on its way...2.5 alpha is out though it's very early...maybe summer 2010 will see it as a full app and out of beta by then with selectable u.i. shortcuts for maya/max etc

still, by that time we should also have lightwave core as well...

and maybe a new version of modo...which is looking good but still has no deformers/bones/stack/particles etc currently.

no doubt max,maya and softimage 2011 as well as houdini and cinema will also be out by then...everything moves forward:D

Thomas M.
12-04-2009, 04:16 AM
I think nothing has changes much so far. Have you tried Modo yet? The demo of Modo 401 is out now.

Cheers, Florian

Not really. Although I bought it.

Thomas M.
12-04-2009, 04:20 AM
As long as Modo isn't a standard it out of question as the main app. The same for Modo. Lightwave core for sure is far from being an app with the animation capabilities of either Max, Maya or XSI. Although I'm tired on relying on NT. To many disappointments in the past like FFX. If this is what they understand by quality they are out of question for now.

Thomas M.
12-04-2009, 04:27 AM
P.S.: Can I export an obj or 3ds from a Max, Maya or XSI demo version?

IMI
12-04-2009, 04:32 AM
P.S.: Can I export an obj or 3ds from a Max, Maya or XSI demo version?

The demos for Max, Maya and XSI are all complete packages. They're not stripped down or otherwise limited, aside from the 30 day limit. In other words, yes, the demo versions work exactly as the licensed versions in all ways, no limits at all, no watermarks on renders, either.

cresshead
12-04-2009, 05:21 AM
welcome to the darkside!

http://www.newtek.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=79929&d=1259929254

Soth
12-04-2009, 05:55 AM
welcome to the darkside!

http://www.newtek.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=79929&d=1259929254

I do not think this nice old man would like to have anything to do with Evil Autodesk Corporation.

geo_n
12-04-2009, 08:54 AM
O.k., some times has past, no new software bought so far. Max, Maya and XSI 2010 are out and I still need to make a choice. Still not able to bend my head around this.

Are there any new insights of what might be another great swiss army tool knife besides LW?

Cheers
Thomas

Hairfarm for max can export splines thats useable in lightwave. So if making hair guides in ffx is suicidal it could be an option if you have max. I saw a thread somewhere at cgtalk.

Intuition
12-04-2009, 11:23 AM
Man, I thought for sure you would have picked one by now.

Its still a tough decision.

Though, I will say this. Maya has my love with a little slight edge over XSi due to a couple of things and yet there are still a couple things I like about XSi better.

Maya is easier for me to use for rigging in the slightest ways over XSi. I like how versatiile Maya's connection editor is for general purpose tasks. I can add any attribute to an object that I want. It adds it to the list in the channel box view (an extra custom named slot below the translate, rotate scale, etc.). Then I can open the connection editor with the items I want to influence each other currently selected. Then in the nodal view I can connect the custom attribute numeric value that I just created to the numeric value of the object I want it to effect.

--edit-- I'll make a video showing this over the weekend---

XSi tutorials have shown methods of doing this by creating custom control panels from geometry where the rotation of a knob or moving a slider can drive the numeric values of a hand opening and closing or a simulation turning on or off. In Maya I can add it directly to the channel box which reduces scene clutter.

For character animation I prefer Maya just slightly over XSi with one exception. XSi's weight mapping is a little more stable and efficient. Not to say that Maya's isn't, just that Maya uses a weight method that is balancing the weights between the different bones in a rig and can get buggy if you don't know the gotcha's. Once you get it its easy to avoid. That being said XSI does not have this problem at all. I do prefer the way Maya uses control objects over XSi's method especially due to the fact that I can add attributes to the control objects (like the foot controller having the toe roll, ball roll, toes curl, etc) as I mentioned above which really makes the animation process faster as well.

XSi has easier fur setup then Maya in my opinion. XSi fur seems to render faster and better in XSi mental ray then it does in Maya mental ray even with the same settings.

XSi has a more advanced volumetric tracer. Actually XSi's ICE volume shaders are the newest in the industry and can be made to look so good its sick.

Maya has great fluid box effects which I can't live without and help make up for the lack of fumeFX in maya. XSi can do this in ICE and there are a couple of plug-ins for it but I prefer Maya's fluids in general.

Dynamics in both packages are similar as far as rigid bodies go but for cloth and softbodies maya's nSystem is uniform so you will not have much trouble getting particles, cloth, hard and soft bodies all to interact. It works like a charm. In XSi the syflex, rigid and softbodies are all different systems and can be tricky to set up though I have made them all work together. ICE in XSi is the better method for getting th dynamics to all work together then the older XSi tools.

Mental Ray is easier to learn in XSi bar none. I realy love using it in maya but that wasn't until I learned it, which was in XSi.

Vray is available for Maya and XSi. I can't live without it,. Sorry had to mention. ;)

All in all its a tough choice. I have both XSI and Maya because I am a software whore and am very fortunate. Though I use Maya daily now and have been for just over a year due to DD. I miss XSi sometimes but have even been using Maya at home now because I am more comfortable with it for Character work then XSi by like 1 degree due to the custom attribute/nodal connection editor workflow I mentioned above.

Also, Maya is now $3500 for everything... muscle, cloth, fluids, etc, so you get the whole shebang for a good price.

robertoortiz
12-04-2009, 11:35 AM
I would like to add that in the next 2 years,
there will be significant changes in the cg industry.

Keep that in mind

Thomas M.
12-04-2009, 04:22 PM
What do you mean?

P.S.: Thanks Int.!!!

Cageman
12-04-2009, 05:29 PM
I certanly hate Maya for many things. After using it for over 4 years I've come to the conclusion that it is a great application if you learn MEL, but if you don't, you will, sooner rather than later, run into issues that are very hard to solve.

I've spent two weeks looking into Maya/MR and Renderbuffers, just to discover that it is very, very cumbersome and doesn't work properly, not even with MiaX_Passes shaders. The funny thing is; the renderbuffer system was built to support Mental ray specificly (it doesn't exist if you use Maya software for rendering), so I can't figure out why it is so incompatible with itself?

In comparsion, if you add Janus+exrTrader to LW, you have a really good multilayer/multipass-system that is understandable, that works and doesn't require any additional coding/scripting to get working.

If you go Maya, make sure you get some friends who are MEL-freaks.. you will need them sooner or later...

OR...

You go for a multiapp-pipeline and take advantage of the good, understandable (as in no-need-for-code) tools/workflows and make sure you design a pipeline between the apps that is easy and fast. You will end up feeling alot more happy by doing so, if you can afford it of course.

:)

cresshead
12-04-2009, 05:40 PM
if i were to change my 3d app of choice wholesale..i'd probably go with blender and stick my head up it's learning curve until i 'got it'...

it def. can achieve what i want..but it would be painful to rely only on hand animation when i've lent so much on motion capture/procedual animation for characters in the past with 3dsmax...it's a hard drug to drop once you've been hooked on it...CS and C.a.t

JohnMarchant
12-04-2009, 06:10 PM
If money was no object id go for Maya or Houdini, depends on the amount of no object money

Intuition
12-05-2009, 11:19 AM
I certanly hate Maya for many things. After using it for over 4 years I've come to the conclusion that it is a great application if you learn MEL, but if you don't, you will, sooner rather than later, run into issues that are very hard to solve.

I've spent two weeks looking into Maya/MR and Renderbuffers, just to discover that it is very, very cumbersome and doesn't work properly, not even with MiaX_Passes shaders. The funny thing is; the renderbuffer system was built to support Mental ray specificly (it doesn't exist if you use Maya software for rendering), so I can't figure out why it is so incompatible with itself?

In comparsion, if you add Janus+exrTrader to LW, you have a really good multilayer/multipass-system that is understandable, that works and doesn't require any additional coding/scripting to get working.

If you go Maya, make sure you get some friends who are MEL-freaks.. you will need them sooner or later...

OR.......

:)

So you are using maya's render layers? I never have any problems with them at all. Also, you don't really need a "mel freak" around to run maya unless you run rampant using it improperly building up data improperly which will then require scene cleanup.

I can't tell you how many times I have received maya scenes with multiple namespaced references many layers deep that had been unreferenced by being imported but then the name spaces were not properly cleaned up and are just a huge mess which just shows you how often people use maya but do so without really understanding how it works.

At DD we often receive assets from houses that for some reason or another have to pass their assets along to us for finishing work. When I open these scenes they are rarely clean and setup with a real understanding of how maya works. I have mentioned before, maya's learning curve is much greater then the other apps but once you get it you will be working much more efficiently then the other apps "out of box". That is not to say that Lightwave with render layers isn't faster then maya. It probably could be in the right hands.

Cageman is part right about Maya. If you don't understand it, it will become cumbersome. MEL is not required but can be really helpful and is not hard to learn either. I don't do any mel stuff for my own work --edit--- except for the smallest multitask like multiple extrudes from multiselections ---- and I get plenty of mental ray work done with it with render layers. I will say also that I use Vray for Maya and it has all the render buffers for free. I never even think about it. I output exr and it always has every render buffer available every time with no hassle. Combine that with render layers using material or render overrides and I can get anything I need with no mel scripting at all.

Where the mel stuff comes in handy is for the clean up of messy namespace problems which can break certain render setups in maya and/or the transfer of keyframe data from one rig to another.

This is where mel knowledge can help because if you have two different rigs that where not named properly down the hierarchy or certain shaders setup in certain render layers incorrectly you could end up with a data mess. We have a standardized structure for these things at DD so they don't become issues. If you don't know where the problems can occur then yes you can get into trouble and having the MEL guy around to write up a script to correct the mistakes helps else you may have to start from scratch with the risk of setting up up wrong again.

I never run into the problems with my own work at home. Usually it is someone's custom MEL tool that cause the problem in the first place because it didn't account for some data connection. I will agree with Cageman in the fact that Mental Ray should setup its render buffers more like Vray for less hassle but as far as maya render layers go I think its genius and really like how non destructive the workflow is when using material and layer overrides. I can't comment on Maya's software renderer because I think its horrible by today's standards and would never consider using it.

Cageman
12-05-2009, 12:14 PM
So you are using maya's render layers? I never have any problems with them at all. Also, you don't really need a "mel freak" around to run maya unless you run rampant using it improperly building up data improperly which will then require scene cleanup.

Yeah...renderlayers in combination with renderbuffers. I don't do any stupid things though, and in the testcases there were no references or namespaces involved.

If I would go for just using renderlayers, I know it will work much better, but that would on the other hand move the workload over to Hypershade (and also force oneself to use alot more renderlayers). If one can use MiaX_Passes and output renderbuffers without issues, then I wouldn't complain, but the renderbuffer system within Mental ray is not fully supported in Maya, and there are many things that still doesn't work at all. I managed to almost nail it though, but there are still incompatibilities in the Diffuse/Shadow buffer.

Renderlayers are also shaky, there have been times when you suddenly can't make a layer override (assign another shader in a renderlayer). Here is an example of the error-message:

// Warning: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2009/scripts/startup/layerEditor.mel line 2933: Node 'holeShape.instObjGroups[0]': cannot make assignment to 'surfaceShader1SG' shader. //
// Error: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2009/scripts/startup/layerEditor.mel line 2933: Connection not made: 'holeShape.instObjGroups[0]' -> 'surfaceShader1SG.dagSetMembers[-1]'. Source node will not allow the connection. //

When this happens, you are best off by start over from scratch, meaning that you should remove all renderlayers and...yeah... do it all over again...

Since Janus for LW works with parsing scenefiles upon breakout and testrenders (it creates these scenefiles btw, so it doesn't overwrite anything), you actually can't end up in a similar situation.

Intuition
12-05-2009, 12:27 PM
Yeah...renderlayers in combination with renderbuffers. I don't do any stupid things though, and in the testcases there were no references or namespaces involved.

Thats good. At least the scene is clean. Thats usually the worst case scenario. Ok good start.


If I would go for just using renderlayers, I know it will work much better, but that would on the other hand move the workload over to Hypershade (and also force oneself to use alot more renderlayers). If one can use MiaX_Passes and output renderbuffers without issues, then I wouldn't complain, but the renderbuffer system within Mental ray is not fully supported in Maya, and there are many things that still doesn't work at all. I managed to almost nail it though, but there are still incompatibilities in the Diffuse/Shadow buffer.

Yeah, I think the mia passes would benefit from being as straight forward as the Vray passes/buffers. We do all our stuff through hypershade. Yes, there are incompatibilities with later Mray vs Maya 2009 connections to them. I have hand connected them myself because I know what to look for but you are correct. It should be more straightforward. We use Vray so much now I forget these little issues with Mray crop up. We also use Mray alot but not as much as Vray now.


Renderlayers are also shaky, there have been times when you suddenly can't make a layer override (assign another shader in a renderlayer). Here is an example of the error-message:

// Warning: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2009/scripts/startup/layerEditor.mel line 2933: Node 'holeShape.instObjGroups[0]': cannot make assignment to 'surfaceShader1SG' shader. //
// Error: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2009/scripts/startup/layerEditor.mel line 2933: Connection not made: 'holeShape.instObjGroups[0]' -> 'surfaceShader1SG.dagSetMembers[-1]'. Source node will not allow the connection. //

Ah, this is what I was referring to, the connections aren't made. Sometimes its because the place where it would connect is not letting it due to being locked because its a reference. Sometimes it isn't locked but can't connect because it is not seeing the target name. Is it being referenced at all?


When this happens, you are best off by start over from scratch, meaning that you should remove all renderlayers and...yeah... do it all over again...

Since Janus for LW works with parsing scenefiles upon breakout and testrenders (it creates these scenefiles btw, so it doesn't overwrite anything), you actually can't end up in a similar situation.

We are beta testing the next maya ---EDIT--- I mean Maya 2010 beta testing it in our pipeline NOT Maya 2011 ;) .. but we are submitting bugs for the passes system for use in the next maya iteration ---right now and the passes system is getting a lot of love. We keep pointing AD to the vray setup so they can correlate with Mental Images. They are aware of these connection problems with hypershade and render layers. Its totally possible to do it now, it just involves some hand stitching. Which I've avoided because the last 4 projects were output from Vray. Some of the Mray guys are still getting these broken connections. They either hook them up manually or have the um mel guy parse the argument with a script. Depending on scene size.

Cageman
12-05-2009, 01:03 PM
Ah, this is what I was referring to, the connections aren't made. Sometimes its because the place where it would connect is not letting it due to being locked because its a reference. Sometimes it isn't locked but can't connect because it is not seeing the target name. Is it being referenced at all?

No references... :)

Mike_RB
12-06-2009, 08:07 AM
the xsi pass and partition system is stellar. It's a shame maya is so far behind.

Intuition
12-06-2009, 10:32 AM
No references... :)

Hmm, your right, I'll submit a bug if I can reproduce it in Maya 2010.

I just tested a scene in Maya 2009. It is 3 spheres with lambert, phong, and blinn with different colors and reflection levels and a gray lambert ground plane and an area light using mental ray visibility. This is the master layer.

I then made 3 render layers, one for each sphere (red sphere, green sphere, blue sphere and had different combinations in each layer like the green sphere layer has the ground plane but it has a invisible to camera override but I can still see the ground plane in the sphere reflection.

These all worked fine and as planned. I then went into the render settings to the passes tab and added all the passes to the scene. Then associated all the passes (diffuse, reflection, shadows etc.) with the green sphere layer. When I rendered the green sphere layer I could then, in the render view window under file use the "load render pass", see all the render passes that were rendered out for the green sphere render layer.

All of them worked great. No problems.

Now I then made a new render layer called "overrides" which I then intended to test the mia shaders "Car paint, mia_material, and fast SSS".

In this layer the overrides work for the beauty pass but I couldn't get the render passes to show up for the mia specific shaders. I could see the ground plane in the diffuse pass but the mia shaders were not showing up at all. I mean, if it doesn't have diffuse it would show up black but it is just not showing up at all and does not contribute to the shadow passes as well.

I'll look into this tomorrow since we are testing 2010 for pipeline setup. I need to test it in 2010 here at home as well.

The Vray shaders all worked as expected so this is purely a mental ray/ Maya integration issue. Some connections are not being made automatically which they should be.

I opened up XSi and setup the same scene, using the passes defaults, and it is not having any trouble with basic or mental ray specific shaders so the connections to mental ray 3.7 are solid in XSi.


---edit --- here is the maya binary for the scene I setup. Remember to switch from the display layers to the render layers in channelbox view. I didn't set up any display layers in this scene since its so basic.

Cageman
12-06-2009, 02:43 PM
Hmm, your right, I'll submit a bug if I can reproduce it in Maya 2010.

I just tested a scene in Maya 2009. It is 3 spheres with lambert, phong, and blinn with different colors and reflection levels and a gray lambert ground plane and an area light using mental ray visibility. This is the master layer.

I then made 3 render layers, one for each sphere (red sphere, green sphere, blue sphere and had different combinations in each layer like the green sphere layer has the ground plane but it has a invisible to camera override but I can still see the ground plane in the sphere reflection.

These all worked fine and as planned. I then went into the render settings to the passes tab and added all the passes to the scene. Then associated all the passes (diffuse, reflection, shadows etc.) with the green sphere layer. When I rendered the green sphere layer I could then, in the render view window under file use the "load render pass", see all the render passes that were rendered out for the green sphere render layer.

All of them worked great. No problems.

The passes works quite nicely with standard Maya materials.




Now I then made a new render layer called "overrides" which I then intended to test the mia shaders "Car paint, mia_material, and fast SSS".

In this layer the overrides work for the beauty pass but I couldn't get the render passes to show up for the mia specific shaders. I could see the ground plane in the diffuse pass but the mia shaders were not showing up at all. I mean, if it doesn't have diffuse it would show up black but it is just not showing up at all and does not contribute to the shadow passes as well.

You will need to use the ones called _passes. You have one for mia material, car paint and sss. The shaders that doesn't have the _passes extension will be even more limited. Also, bare in mind that you will get issues if you have a mix of Maya and MR materials when using passes.

Regarding the shadowbuffer (and some other buffers as well), there is a workaround. You can take the Mia x passes shader and hook it into a Lambert (take the Miax_passes.result and hook it into colour on the lambert), set the ambient color on the lambert to white and turn down the diffuse to 0. Attach the lambert to the object. Now you'll trick the passes into believing they are rendered with a standard Maya material, but in fact you get the Miax passes result.

So, hopefully you understand that looking from my perspective with LW+Janus+exrTrader, I think there are simply too much of a hassle with MR in Maya.

:)




I'll look into this tomorrow since we are testing 2010 for pipeline setup. I need to test it in 2010 here at home as well.

The Vray shaders all worked as expected so this is purely a mental ray/ Maya integration issue. Some connections are not being made automatically which they should be.

I opened up XSi and setup the same scene, using the passes defaults, and it is not having any trouble with basic or mental ray specific shaders so the connections to mental ray 3.7 are solid in XSi.


---edit --- here is the maya binary for the scene I setup. Remember to switch from the display layers to the render layers in channelbox view. I didn't set up any display layers in this scene since its so basic.

Hehe... well, you certanly don't have to take your time trying to help out here, since we already have our asses covered (well, hopefully). But from a practical standpoint, I really can't recommend anyone to move from LW+Janus+exrTrader to Maya/MR for rendering. If MR is what they want to use, either go XSI or 3DS Max.

:)

Intuition
12-06-2009, 07:50 PM
The passes works quite nicely with standard Maya materials.

You will need to use the ones called _passes. You have one for mia material, car paint and sss. The shaders that doesn't have the _passes extension will be even more limited. Also, bare in mind that you will get issues if you have a mix of Maya and MR materials when using passes.



Doh, yes I setup the scene without the passes shaders. Hah, see, this is what I get when I use Vray all the time.




Regarding the shadowbuffer (and some other buffers as well), there is a workaround. You can take the Mia x passes shader and hook it into a Lambert (take the Miax_passes.result and hook it into colour on the lambert), set the ambient color on the lambert to white and turn down the diffuse to 0. Attach the lambert to the object. Now you'll trick the passes into believing they are rendered with a standard Maya material, but in fact you get the Miax passes result.



Yeah thats what I meant by saying earlier that I know how to hook them up for the correct result, but as I also stated, they should be automatic, hence a soonish bug submit.




So, hopefully you understand that looking from my perspective with LW+Janus+exrTrader, I think there are simply too much of a hassle with MR in Maya.

:)



I don't know, I guess its based on what you do in Lightwave. The hassle with Lightwave for me is often times the very reason a thread like this gets started. Rigging, dynamics, fluids, cloth, physical shaders that don't take hours to render as well as GI thats tough to tune without going into 2 hour plus renders on an 8 core machine.

I love Lightwave for so many things that it does well but this thread was my mindset like 3 years ago when I bought modo. If I have to hook up a couple mia shaders with tricks I'll take it any day because there are far too many other things that Maya and or XSi does so exceedingly well that Janus+Exrtrader is still not attractive enough. Even if I was stuck with Mray.

I do think that its very useful for Lightwave centric users to definitely go forward and use that Janus+Exrtrader combo though. Its great and is nice for a LW workflow. We used it on BSG a bit.

I think that Iron Sky project with the space ships would be a prime target for a Lightwave centric workflow. I'd also throw in Infinimap too since Lightwave can only load in so many images before it gets ram heavy and with Infinimap you can load images to your hearts content, like in Mray ;).

Anyways, I've gone off on a tangent.




Hehe... well, you certanly don't have to take your time trying to help out here, since we already have our asses covered (well, hopefully). But from a practical standpoint, I really can't recommend anyone to move from LW+Janus+exrTrader to Maya/MR for rendering. If MR is what they want to use, either go XSI or 3DS Max.

:)

Well I was worried about the Mray setup at work but when you pointed out I wasn't using the passes it all made sense.

I hope that all this info about Maya, XSi, max, etc... gets filtered down to Core so Jay, Chuck, and CO can avoid these problems with Core. Thats where these threads become very valuable.

Thomas M.
06-22-2010, 08:18 AM
Finally, a decision. It's Autodesk Softimage 2011 I just installed on my computer. I hope it's been the right decision for now and the next few years. May Softimage prosper and Modo catch up and Newtek finally deliver the 9.6.1 update. Amen.

biliousfrog
06-22-2010, 08:42 AM
Finally, a decision. It's Autodesk Softimage 2011 I just installed on my computer. I hope it's been the right decision for now and the next few years. May Softimage prosper and Modo catch up and Newtek finally deliver the 9.6.1 update. Amen.

Cool, it sounds like a fairly solid setup and one which seems pretty tried and tested.

I've just been given approval on some funding for a Maya course which also entitles me to the Autodesk Creative Suite (educational) so I get Maya, Max, Motionbuilder, Mudbox, and Softimage for £125. My work has all but dried up so, after browsing the various CG jobs and noticing that 99% of 3D work is Maya/C4D, it's a non-brainer. For personal work Lightwave is generally more than enough but it just isn't going to cut it when working as part of a team. The AD bundle will give me a chance to test out Max and Softimage too...although I tried the Max demo recently and it was painful to work with.

JohnMarchant
06-22-2010, 09:07 AM
Finally, a decision. It's Autodesk Softimage 2011 I just installed on my computer. I hope it's been the right decision for now and the next few years. May Softimage prosper and Modo catch up and Newtek finally deliver the 9.6.1 update. Amen.

Please can you come back to us periodically with your thoughts and opinions on Softimage 2011, im sure there will be many who would be interested in an unbiased opinion on it.

MacDoggie
06-22-2010, 09:21 AM
Finally, a decision. It's Autodesk Softimage 2011 I just installed on my computer. I hope it's been the right decision for now and the next few years. May Softimage prosper and Modo catch up and Newtek finally deliver the 9.6.1 update. Amen.


Spot on!!:thumbsup::thumbsup:

geo_n
06-22-2010, 10:00 AM
I would've gone with max or maya which I did 2 years ago. :D
xsi is great but with fewer jobs than max, maya but lets see in a few years how it goes with AD if they drop it or not.
Lightwave is still great for more than half the of tv and web projects though.

biliousfrog
06-22-2010, 10:11 AM
I would've gone with max or maya which I did 2 years ago. :D
xsi is great but with fewer jobs than max, maya but lets see in a few years how it goes with AD if they drop it or not.
Lightwave is still great for more than half the of tv and web projects though.

It depends what you need software for.

If you're working from scratch and the client just needs the finished illustration or animation then you need the software that fits your budget, produces the results you need and fits your workflow.

If you're mostly freelancing and need to fit into an existing pipeline then you need to consider the jobs that are available in the area that you want to work. I've noticed that most jobs in the TV (commercials) and Motion Graphics area are either Maya or C4D. Arch-Viz has been mostly Max for years but C4D is gaining popularity because of VRay. Games seem to have a fairly even spread of Maya, Softimage and Max but Max doesn't have the monopoly that it once did.

It seems that Lightwave and Softimage have always sat quite nicely together, although I'm not sure how AD have affected the market.

Intuition
06-22-2010, 06:31 PM
Finally, a decision. It's Autodesk Softimage 2011 I just installed on my computer. I hope it's been the right decision for now and the next few years. May Softimage prosper and Modo catch up and Newtek finally deliver the 9.6.1 update. Amen.

Nice, even though I am all Maya these days you wont be disappointed in Softimage. It is a great 3D app. My 2006-2007 era was filled with Softimage and I had so much fun.

If you have any questions let Pooby know. ;) Heh, or myself. Also, XSI base is a great resource. May I also suggest i3d tutorials. They have some great Softimage tuts there.

I also have a free "linear Workflow in mental ray for Softimage" vid for download when you get up to the rendering parts. :)

Lamont
06-23-2010, 07:08 PM
Finally, a decision. It's Autodesk Softimage 2011 I just installed on my computer. I hope it's been the right decision for now and the next few years. May Softimage prosper and Modo catch up and Newtek finally deliver the 9.6.1 update. Amen.If I had the option, I'd be on XSI as well. But my job was all Maya, so I fell into that group of miscreants years ago.

You will not be disappointed.