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Thread: What's next for Lightwave

  1. #1
    Super Member Snosrap's Avatar
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    What's next for Lightwave

    Lightwave 2018 has been released and for the most part it's pretty solid. But what's next? There has been virtually no interaction with anybody at LW3DGroup. Who's leading the team? I miss Rob and Lino - they were very active on the forums after the release of the 10, 11 and 2015 series. Matt makes an appearance on FB on occasion. LW needs an evangelist! When I saw this video
    I was stoked. Not because I have a need for it, but because I though NT finally had their crap together with this new underlying architecture and could now crank out new tools and workflows at a reasonable pace. But then I see it is 3rd party and my heart sunk. So again I ask - what's next? Who's in charge?

  2. #2
    pass:sword OFF's Avatar
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    I think that 3rd party plug-ins are not a problem - on the contrary, if the architecture has made a step forward (as Oliver Hotz said) - this means that the set of third-party tools can greatly increase. Thus, we can see in the near future connectors to cool renderers (Arnold (who knows?), RedShift, Vray, Luxrender, Cycles, etc), plug-ins for creating hair or liquids from famous or new manufacturers, etc. No company can provide all the necessary tools. But you can create a platform on which it is possible to create any modern tools.

  3. #3
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OFF View Post
    I think that 3rd party plug-ins are not a problem
    Perhaps, but the lack of communication from Newtek regarding LW is still a problem, and so Snosrap's post/questions are still valid concerns.
    John W.
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  4. #4
    IMHO the praising of the plugin developement side improvements is a bit exaggerated. At least the C SDK, I can't speak for the python API. A simple diff operation on the SDK header files between 2015 and 2018 gives you the raw truth of changes. The big bulk of changes are of course on nodes and rendering, since those systems got an overhaul, but otherwise changes are quite modest. Especially on the Modeler side.

    In fact surface related functionality even took a step backwards in some areas in 2018, breaking functionality to the point where I couldn't make one of my plugins work fully. I had to resort to undocumented code gymnastics to make it work somewhat.

    I found that quite disappointing. Here they introduced SDK changes (nodes/surfacing) that breaks 100% of existing plugins with node stuff. A huge opportunity to greatly improve that portion of the API, but instead it more or less ends up just like the old one with a few minor additions sprinkled in.


    TL ; DR: yes it's nice there are some improvements here and there, I guess more so in Layout, but it isn't the second coming of .. the SDK or anything. As the germans say, let's leave the church in the village

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    Dear snosrap, with due respect you are a very negative person against LW and majority of your posts are complain. LW 2018 is released recently and some of us still dont have it and you are asking for future and what we do not have. I can relate to your older posts also.

    Of course i have a lot of respect to any member of the forum and you are not an exception for sure but will you please, from time to time, talk a little positive and see the filled half of glass for god sake?

    It is a brotherly request and i am nobody telling you what to do.

  6. #6
    Medical Animator mummyman's Avatar
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    @Snosrap... I think it's a valid question, and not necessarily negative. It's nice to see random posts from Oliver and Lino about third party stuff. Maybe NT is taking it all in with bug reports and comments before releasing more info about "next steps" So far so good for me.

  7. #7
    I think one of the big issues was that everyone, lovers and haters, of lightwave were put into such a sensory vacuum for so long that when they finally announced/released 2018 (only 4 weeks ago)... everyone wanted to just barf up everything they'd been holding in for so long. Good, bad, and ugly. So the people who are typically cynical of the software have new ammo now that some of their concerns have been realized, others have praise to lavish as finally their beloved has moved forward (or at least alive), and the middle ground is having to learn new tricks to do things that we were used to doing a different way, and trying to find ways to evolve their work.

    I was speaking to Oliver yesterday, and had to congratulate him (again) on his effort and innovation recently, for whatever reason (new api, new sdk, whatever), he has unleashed a slew of new tools quickly and dramatically that weren't in our view a month ago. And seeing the animated sculpt etc and the possibilities breathes some new hope all in a very short space of time where there was absolute SILENCE for years. For whatever reason, politically, culturally, mechanically it took this long, it did, and we are here where we are. We can encourage the software/development to become what we *really* want it to be... but unless we're prepared to make tools to help it get there, we're just along for the ride.

    So I think so much has happened in the past 4 weeks, its just not necessarily where everyone would like it to be. I don't think anyone deserves excuses, but we've seen more activity around and concerning lightwave at the moment than in a very long time, and everyone just wants more because we were holding our breath for so long.

    I'm hoping LWG is watching, and honestly planning a better approach than previously as they've indicated with Chuck's new-found involvement and Scott's hand on the forums. And honestly without the 3rd party tools we're seeing showing up and coming up, we'd never get there. I hope we see more. In the mean time I think being religious about any tool is foolhardy, but we can always encourage it to become what we want, socially and financially.

    st3.

  8. #8
    Super Member Snosrap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farhad_azer View Post
    Dear snosrap, with due respect you are a very negative person against LW and majority of your posts are complain. LW 2018 is released recently and some of us still dont have it and you are asking for future and what we do not have. I can relate to your older posts also.

    Of course i have a lot of respect to any member of the forum and you are not an exception for sure but will you please, from time to time, talk a little positive and see the filled half of glass for god sake?

    It is a brotherly request and i am nobody telling you what to do.
    Not true at all. I really like LW, always have, but we can't be blind to its faults and annoyances. We all know its strengths and I think NT does as well, so my posts are generally written in hopes that someone from NT will notice and take heart of the editorial I bring up. Most likely when/if they get a new person in charge we'll see a blast of communication for a few weeks and then it'll go quiet - I'd like to see that change.

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    In regards to your post I do agree that it would be nice to have some direction or idea of who is in charge. I think it is a valid concern especially for a small software. If the software were huge and used by the majority then I doubt people would care who is in charge as long as new releases and tidbits keep coming.

    For me I just want to see that Newtek is taking the reins and running with it and I think with more interaction that would alleviate some of the issues people have experienced. From a marketing point of view the more they can do to make customers happy the more long term customers they will have.

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    A good plan can’t be conjured out of thin air. I believe that there must have been something fundamentally wrong with the plan under which lightwave development had been operating during the last several years. What SPECIFICALLY went wrong is probably the subject of considerable debate within Newtek/LW3DG, but the excessive delays, communication blackout and management shakeup are clear evidence of something not being entirely right at the strategic level. I get the sense that the current leadership is somewhat improvised -People moved from other departments and stuff, and they probably don’t really have a plan or even enough familiarity with the issues yet to make one, and they might be just interim management anyways. Who knows? Probably not even they themselves.

    I believe it would be prudent considering this for newtek to spend this year polishing the heck out of the current version, getting rid of bugs and issues, and interacting directly with customers to gain valuable feedback. My experience during this past month has been that they are doing an admirable job of doing just that. Aside from the increased forum and fb activity from dev team members, I have interacted more with LW3DG over the past month than over the past three years combined in the form of bug reports, and it has been a good back and forth experience. I really get the sense that they are actively working hard on fixing the specific issues that affect me as a user if I report them. That’s what I care about right now.

    With all due respect to newtek management, even if they had a plan right now I wouldn’t trust it.

  11. #11
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypersuperduper View Post
    Aside from the increased forum and fb activity from dev team members, I have interacted more with LW3DG over the past month than over the past three years combined in the form of bug reports, and it has been a good back and forth experience.
    While that was true at the beginning of the month, the level of communication has seriously dropped in the last couple weeks. I'm hoping it's just a momentary lull, but their history isn't exactly reassuring in that area.

    It'd certainly be nice to know if there's effort being put towards providing customers with useful render presets, for example, or further YouTube updates, additional example content, and so forth. That kind of thing is excellent fodder for more frequent communication as well -- f.e. there are some aspects of the render preset system which don't work well (splitting filter type and filter radius is a good example), and having a dialogue with customers on any difficulties they're recognizing internally while putting together preset content (as well as any workarounds they've found) would be quite useful.

    The "we're too busy and don't have time" excuse as status quo just isn't believable. Occasional periodic interruptions are fine, but only after a solid baseline has been established to show it's something they take seriously (and that requires more than just a few weeks of post-release discussion, IMO).
    John W.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    While that was true at the beginning of the month, the level of communication has seriously dropped in the last couple weeks. I'm hoping it's just a momentary lull, but their history isn't exactly reassuring in that area.

    It'd certainly be nice to know if there's effort being put towards providing customers with useful render presets, for example, or further YouTube updates, additional example content, and so forth. That kind of thing is excellent fodder for more frequent communication as well -- f.e. there are some aspects of the render preset system which don't work well (splitting filter type and filter radius is a good example), and having a dialogue with customers on any difficulties they're recognizing internally while putting together preset content (as well as any workarounds they've found) would be quite useful.

    The "we're too busy and don't have time" excuse as status quo just isn't believable. Occasional periodic interruptions are fine, but only after a solid baseline has been established to show it's something they take seriously (and that requires more than just a few weeks of post-release discussion, IMO).
    I'm sure feedback response is somewhat individual. My experience has been the opposite to yours. I have seen a marked uptick in the response in the last two weeks. So they are fixing my bugs instead of yours! haha!
    but seriously, yes, they have a lot to prove and it is only through continued engagement they will regain everyone's trust, but for me at least the signs are very encouraging.

  13. #13
    A.K.A "The Silver Fox" Gungho3D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snosrap View Post
    Not true at all. I really like LW, always have, but we can't be blind to its faults and annoyances. We all know its strengths and I think NT does as well, so my posts are generally written in hopes that someone from NT will notice and take heart of the editorial I bring up. Most likely when/if they get a new person in charge we'll see a blast of communication for a few weeks and then it'll go quiet - I'd like to see that change.
    I agree

  14. #14
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    I think the last couple of years has highlighted the demarcation line between community and company, a line which everyone likes to be invisible but it can't always be the case. My own impression (possibly false) is that the NT dev team toggles between video products and LW, because I think that is where Andrew Cross was plucked from when he intervened during the silence. I don't think Chuck and co can always be expected to be active here at the same level as after LW2018 release, and I'm not sure it right for the community to assume monitoring the company, otherwise elements could wander into the nth degree - "Oi, that dev took too long on his lunch break !" . Absolutely not referring to anyone in particular, but in the past sometimes people almost seemed to enjoy goading NT on occasions. NT seem to communicate with 3rd Party, but I'm confident - or should I say hopeful - they won't just say "Oliver, you sort it out for the next five years".

  15. #15
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypersuperduper View Post
    I'm sure feedback response is somewhat individual. My experience has been the opposite to yours. I have seen a marked uptick in the response in the last two weeks. So they are fixing my bugs instead of yours! haha!
    I think there's a significant difference between "general customer communication", and seeing updates on bug reports. While I'm glad bugs are being triaged and fixed, the latter is more about individual customer support, not communication for keeping the general customer base informed about LW efforts and status (the former). They need to be doing both.
    John W.
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