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Thread: What's the deal with the poor undo and reset capabilities?

  1. #1
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    What's the deal with the poor undo and reset capabilities?

    I think I may have set something wrong or maybe it's because I've only used Lightwave for only two weeks and I'm missing something, but what's the deal with the lack of undos and resets in lots of places? For example, the surface editor. Whatever parameter you change, if you press CTRL+Z, it says there are no actions to undo, unless you had moved an object or a light, in which case it undos that, but nothing in the surface editor. Even worse, if you apply a preset, which modifies several parameters and adds textures, there's also no undo to that, so if you don't like how the preset looks on the model, you would have to remove all the textures it applied, and whatever other changes it made, guessing what they were.

    There's also no reset button that I can see, which at least would make up a little bit for the lack of undo. But if I change any parameter and I don't like the result, there's no undo and no reset, not for individual parameters or for the whole surface.

    Did I miss something, or is this the way it is in Lightwave?

  2. #2
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    thats how it is... welcome to the near non existant undo system.
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  4. #4
    You'll get no argument that the undo system needs... a redo.

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    Wow. This makes me think Lightwave is probably not the right program for me after all. I mean, I even hate programs when they only have undos but no visual history, but not having undos for lots of things that you do is just absurd in 2013.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sebasvideo View Post
    Wow. This makes me think Lightwave is probably not the right program for me after all. I mean, I even hate programs when they only have undos but no visual history, but not having undos for lots of things that you do is just absurd in 2013.
    There's plenty of things that Lightwave does way better than other 3d programs... you will find that every program has their weaknesses/strengths. The undo system is one of Lightwave's weaknesses. The most important thing is that you have a program that feels right for you.

    In a cost vs benefit analysis... Lightwave is really, really hard to beat; IMO only topped by Blender (which is free). I use blender as well for supplementary functions such as compositing or fluid sims.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazriker View Post
    There's plenty of things that Lightwave does way better than other 3d programs... you will find that every program has their weaknesses/strengths. The undo system is one of Lightwave's weaknesses. The most important thing is that you have a program that feels right for you.
    Right, but see, I have ADD and really bad short term memory. If I change a parameter, sometimes I won't even remember what the number was before I changed it, in part because I'm used to every other software having normal undo. So to use Lightwave I would have to change the way I do things and remember the number before I change it, in case I want to return to it. But regardless of that, even if you remember all the numbers you changed, not only on the surface editor but also on the texture editor (which I would not for sure), there are many times when you just need to go back several steps and resume from a certain point, and Lightwave doesn't allow for such a simple thing, which I don't know about 3D programs, but at least in most other programs you have been able to do since 20 years ago.

    The surface editor is one of the most important parts of the program, because no matter how many points, edges and polygons an object has, if you don't dress it pretty nobody will care if it's the most sophisticated design in the world. And if you can't undo or even reset properly in the surface editor then this program is broken, even if it excels in other areas.

  8. #8
    Until an object is saved, either in Layout or Modeler, it can always be reloaded. Surfaces are saved with the object.

    I frequently save incremental objects when I significantly change surfaces. Another way is to save the surface in the surface editor before changing it.

    I quite like the traditional surface editor as it is easy to check or uncheck layers in each of the parameters without removing them and seeing the results in VPR (or in the old days, FPrime).
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    Man of many cells. shrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebasvideo View Post
    Right, but see, I have ADD and really bad short term memory. If I change a parameter, sometimes I won't even remember what the number was before I changed it, in part because I'm used to every other software having normal undo...
    Well, that's a problem. Try a different career.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shrox View Post
    Well, that's a problem. Try a different career.
    Really? So I can't do 3D design because my memory is not great? How about using 3D software that has at least a barely decent Undo system? Or are all the other programs this bad when it comes to undos?

  11. #11
    we all support you here in this regard...undo in LW is very poor...

    the question you need to answer for yourself is is this really gonna inhibit your workflow to the point where you have to start looking at other packages...

    an undo system will only help you so much with resseting values...because unless that was the last thing you did, you will undo a lot of other things in the process

    in lightwave incremental saving is the recommended workflow to help with these issues

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by digitaldoc View Post
    Until an object is saved, either in Layout or Modeler, it can always be reloaded. Surfaces are saved with the object.

    I frequently save incremental objects when I significantly change surfaces. Another way is to save the surface in the surface editor before changing it.

    I quite like the traditional surface editor as it is easy to check or uncheck layers in each of the parameters without removing them and seeing the results in VPR (or in the old days, FPrime).
    I've never found this issue too much of a drawback in Lightwave, which is known for its fast workflow. As long as you make incremental saves as you go, the limitations with LW undo shouldn't really be a problem. Undo does allow you to backtrack basic animation keys, which is very useful of course. Light settings you can continually tweak as you get instant feedback in VPR. And of course these can be saved. As digitaldoc states you can incrementally save scenes and/or objects + surfaces. 'Save All' does both at same time. The basic Replace function is also immensely useful for swapping out different versions of models in a scene.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by m.d. View Post
    the question you need to answer for yourself is is this really gonna inhibit your workflow to the point where you have to start looking at other packages...
    Well, I'm not a user of Lightwave yet, I was testing it since two weeks ago and since the trial is two months long I was going to take that time to decide whether or not to buy it. I'm sure it would be different if I had spent the $1,500, but so far I just lost $70 on a training curse at 3DGarage. All the times I use Lightwave I become really frustrated at trying different textures and changing parameters and if I don't like the result having to go back manually to the point I was before, and many times I don't really remember what number was a certain parameter I changed 5 minutes ago.

    So I'll probably try Modo 601 and if it has the same problem or I don't like it for whatever reason, I'll try something else, even if I have to save some extra cash to buy it.

  14. #14
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    proton trick

    Didn't William have something in the 1001 Tips and Tricks book about creating a hidden object that you would then copy and paste surface attributes to, kinda of like a complex painters palette? Then if you didn't like your experiment, you could just copy back from your hidden object without having to re-load the whole object. Does that ring a bell with anyone?

    I imagine you could (if I'm remembering right) have multiple hidden objects with different surfaces on them and use the Scene Editor to quickly switch between different looks for a client with VPR???

    Sorry if I wasted anyone's time with the post if this is old news, it's been quite awhile since I've used LW.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebasvideo View Post
    Well, I'm not a user of Lightwave yet, I was testing it since two weeks ago and since the trial is two months long I was going to take that time to decide whether or not to buy it. I'm sure it would be different if I had spent the $1,500, but so far I just lost $70 on a training curse at 3DGarage. All the times I use Lightwave I become really frustrated at trying different textures and changing parameters and if I don't like the result having to go back manually to the point I was before, and many times I don't really remember what number was a certain parameter I changed 5 minutes ago.

    So I'll probably try Modo 601 and if it has the same problem or I don't like it for whatever reason, I'll try something else, even if I have to save some extra cash to buy it.
    It's never a bad idea to test drive different software to find what suits you best. Having said that, if ADD interferes with your ability to work in LightWave, you're likely to find areas where it interferes with working in other 3d programs, as well. This is where you have to adapt your working habits to fit your memory problems (which I share), because you won't find a decent app that doesn't challenge your challenges in some way or another.

    What helps
    (reiterating a few things others have said):

    1. Save multiple iterations of your project, especially after completing something complex or before trying something experimental. You can also set up LightWave to save autosave iterations. If you screw up badly, and you've already saved the model, you can simply open the earlier version, do another save-as, and keep going.
    2. Remember you can revert/reload a model if you haven't saved changes yet.
    3. Create and store user presets of your textures, so you can simply reapply them without having to remember and rekey parameters.
    4. My high-tech contribution to this list: Keep a notebook and pen by your computer to jot things down as you work.

    LW has its shortcomings, no doubt, but I've never found memory problems (other than too little RAM) to be a barrier to learning and working in the software.
    Last edited by Marcia; 01-12-2013 at 01:36 PM.

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