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Thread: Looking for General Support Tutorials (LW 2019)

  1. #1

    Looking for General Support Tutorials (LW 2019)

    Longtime LightWave user, newbie to the forums here, first ever forum post. (I apologize in advance for what will likely be a lengthy set of questions) (Double apology if I'm posting this in the wrong place or something)

    I've been a Lightwave user (freelance video/animation specialist) for over a decade. I started back in LW 9.0 and upgraded to 11.6.1 which is what I've been using up until now. I'm completely self-taught, but I consider myself a working professional in the software; my modeling skills in particular. Once I bring those models into layout... my abilities have thus far been sufficient for me to get by and please my clients, but most experienced LW users here would likely scoff at my methods.
    However, now I've been hired full-time with a great company and they've purchased LW 2019 for me (which is awesome), but I'm feeling overwhelmed by all the changes that have happened since the hella old versions I've been working with for so long. It doesn't help that there are TONS of Lightwave abilities I've barely even touched like hypervoxels, most simulation dynamics (bullet, cloth, fiberfx, gravity, collision), and plenty of other animation techniques (again, my strength in the program is primarily the modeling aspect). I used to consider myself skilled at achieving good, quality surfacing, but the surfacing system has been revamped so heavily that I am feeling overwhelmed here as well.

    So I have several questions

    1. Where can I find quality support materials and tutorials that fit my situation?
    I want tutorials that are current for my 2019 software, but most of what I've been able to find is specifically walking through the new features (and assumes I know everything prior to LW2019). On the other hand, when I look up beginner tutorials on features I haven't worked with before, they're all very dated and they simply don't work that way anymore in the current version of the software. One thing in particular that I'd love an in-depth tutorial on is the node editor. It seems that now nearly every aspect of... well, everything! can be controlled through the node system. I have used the node editor only to add procedural bump maps or unique color effects on surfaces. With the new surface editor/materials in 2019, it seems like a deep understanding of the node editor is critical to achieving success in surfacing. It also clearly can control motion, displacement, and practically everything else in layout. But I can't find any resources that go in-depth on the logic of the node system and process of setting up a proper node structure: especially since I need it to relate to the new, more robust node system in 2019 (for instance: relating to the new materials in the surface editor)

    2. Navigating the forums
    I'm having a really hard time finding what I need here on the forums. I'm not sure if it's a lack of content on here (seems unlikely) or if I'm just not navigating it correctly. But every time I search for anything, it seems like all I see is hundreds of threads of people asking REALLY specific questions on achieving certain looks or effects. Isn't there a place in the forums that has a library of tutorials you can search by topic? I realize something like the node editor or hypervoxels are broad, massive topics to cover all at once; but if I search 'node editor' in the search bar and I only see a bunch of threads like 'Limiting a Fog's Height on the Y axis' or 'rgb node outputs', that is absurdly specific and unhelpful for me. Also when I go to 'Lightwave 3D Support' > 'General Support', before I click on it there are stats next to it saying there are 20,000 threads or something, but once I click 'General Support' to actually open it up, only 18 threads appear total. What am I missing?

    3. If you were to assume I'm a complete beginner on a given topic, what resources (YouTube channels, tutorials, pdf guides) would you direct me to in order to learn an animation technique that starts with the absolute basics but is still specifically made for LW 2019?

    I'll leave it at that for now. Any help or direction from the community would be hugely appreciated. Being self-taught has probably led to some 'technically incorrect' workflow issues for me, and jumping from 11.6 to 2019 is clearly a bigger shift than I was prepared for (at least in Layout, I'm still very comfortable in Modeler). Basically, I'm just a guy who's been figuring things out on my own for way too long and now I'm reaching out to the community for some help and guidance. Any responses are appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Welcome,

    First, for your question regarding general forum and 18 threads only showing, go down to the bottom of the page, (thread display options) there you will find that it is by default set to only show the last months threads, you can change that to a variety of periods, last days, last 10 days, 45 days, or year, or from the beginning which meas all threads ever posted.

    I agree, I think the forum needs clean up, and especially now with focus on 2019 if they want to focus the usability and at the same time serve as marketing tool, that means a section for the latest lw release containing workshops, for VDB tools, nodes, rendering, lighting, Interchange that is where most of the changes has been done.

    They used to have a nodal workshop section, think it may still be there in a subforum, such sections should be structured in a better way...nodals are more important than ever with lw 2019, and things are exclusively accesable through nodal in a way it wasnīt before.

    What you can do is search the forums for the topics you need, itīs not optimal ..but it may yield some good results back.

    For nodal training, check free and commercial ones from Rebel hill, thatīs what you want.
    Nodal playlist..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gcpv...4072533A16B807

    All vids..
    https://www.youtube.com/user/RHLW/videos


    Bryphi77 also had some nice ones for nodal trickery, though I think he removed a lot from public showcase, you can probably contact him on youtube.

    And of course, the official Lightwave 3D page for some of the newer stuff..
    https://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialLightWave3D/videos

  3. #3
    All things considered the changes from 11 to 2019 really fall into the surfacing and rendering department. Rebel Hill has some great videos in that area that are a must to pick up. After that look for "what's new" videos for LW2015, 2018 and 2019 and I think you'll be caught up. For the most part in the modeling and animation side things, if you knew how to do it in 11.6 you'll how how to do it in 2019. May I asked what kind of business recently hired you and what kind of work will they be needing from you, that would help in sending you in the proper direction for more detailed explanations.
    Tim Parsons
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  4. #4
    Registered User gdkeast's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!

    I personally like this forum a lot and find it very helpful.


    You probably want to take a look at Rebel Hill's LSR series. A master class of info. He also has one on rigging too.

    http://www.rebelhill.net/html/rhlsr.html

    You might also look at OD Root if you are trying to find specific tutorials. I am constantly amazed at the legacy of 3D knowledge that has been developed because of LW.
    https://odroot.com/#slide01



    Also, you might look at this site too:

    http://lightwave.server808.net/

  5. #5
    Firstly, thanks for the replies. I'm happy to see that this is an active community that responds quickly (and helpfully).
    Sounds like Rebel Hill is the guy to check out first. I started his nodal tutorials and I think that will be a great start for me in that area. I did stumble across http://lightwave.server808.net the other day shortly before posting and made sure I bookmarked it.

    My new employer hired me because of my previous work, which is primarily 'how-to' or promotional videos that usually include a blend of actual video footage, motion graphics (After Effects), and 3D models/animation depending on need. Most of what I'll be doing as far as 3D work goes is modeling/animating mechanical equipment, showing how various large machines work in ways that would be impossible to capture using a video camera (transparency to show inner workings, pulling pieces apart to show how things fit together, close-up angles of areas that you couldn't see in real life). Here's some examples of the kind of models I've done and will be expected to create in the future.

    A Pin Elevator at the back of a pinsetter in a bowling alley
    https://imgur.com/5bUuGG0

    A Projector Node that hangs from the ceiling
    https://imgur.com/t1OCYLd
    https://imgur.com/6CBymmm

    A quick demo of a banner stand
    https://imgur.com/g0wu0OS

    A Dye-Sublimation printer for large-format fabric prints
    https://imgur.com/ecQDsNK
    https://imgur.com/sgOapbP

    Again, I'm fine with the modeling aspect of things (Modeler really hasn't changed at much at all, has it?)
    Where things get dicey for me is everything that happens once I pull my models into Layout. I'm mostly fine with basic animation (setting up lights, moving the camera, setting keyframes, etc...) but honestly, I've basically scraped by and come up with makeshift solutions for anything even remotely advanced. And I definitely would like to feel more confident in the new surfacing. I can usually eventually achieve the look I want, but I'm painfully aware that I should be surfacing because I know the math/method behind it rather than wasting time with my usual 'trial and error until something works'. Especially since 2019 seems to have significantly changed the surfacing process.

    So far in my new job I haven't encountered any specific problem that I couldn't overcome, but I obviously don't want to risk a great new career by running into an animation technique I can't pull off successfully. Like I said before, being self-taught and figuring things out on my own has probably led to some really bad methodology in setting things up, and in Layout I often feel like I'm 'faking it' rather than doing things the correct way. I probably would benefit from even basic tutorials on creating scenes and proper workflow processes within Layout. I just want to make sure that any resources I'm using are still 100% relevant to the current version of Lightwave.

    Pretty soon, I will undoubtedly be one of those people asking very specific questions as I encounter new challenges, but in the meantime I really just want to bolster my knowledge-base of the tools available to me in Layout so that I'm (hopefully) prepared for those tasks before I encounter them. Keeping in mind the mechanical-style models (rather than organic) that I work with, what would be some good 'beginner-ish' tutorials on proper workflow and setting up scenes correctly in Layout? Particularly if they include current techniques in 2019 that weren't available before or are tailored specifically to my mechanical animation needs. Most of it will probably be redundant for me, but my hope is that I can correct years of what are probably bad habits of 'forcing' solutions instead of doing things correctly from the get-go.

    I guess I also wouldn't mind critiques on the model examples I gave if you pros notice anything that I clearly did wrong or something.

    Anyway, thanks again for your comments and help. I appreciate any support, and I hope to become a regular around here :)

  6. #6
    I'm not sure if I technically should start a new thread for this question, but since it ties directly into my initial question(s) on this post I decided to just continue the conversation here.

    Firstly, I'd still love any further thoughts on my questions/concerns in my most recent post just above if anyone has any ideas for me.
    Also thanks for those who've replied so far, and directing me towards Rebel Hill. His tutorials are very well-constructed and thoughtful: although, now that I'm 7 or 8 videos into his nodal series (dealing with all the math, vectors, sin/cosine, freakin trigonometry!) I'm still feeling very intimidated and overwhelmed by the node editor, which is especially frustrating since knowing it well seems to be important to SO many aspects of the program.
    - A quick aside on nodes: I thought I saw some people saying there are 'presets' you can activate within the node editor where a basic nodal path is already constructed. For basic functions and helping familiarize myself with building good node structures, that'd be useful. Is this correct? Or were they likely just referring to the surface presets I'm already aware of and the nodal paths associated with those?

    I've been floating around in the forums here for a couple weeks now. I still always struggle to find things I'm looking for. The search function almost never brings up anything useful to me, just lots of specific situational questions that I have to dig through in hopes that someone responded to a specific thread with useful info or links that might loosely apply to what I'm looking for. Is there really nowhere on the forums that's broken into categories (beyond the all-encompassing LW Support)? Even really broad categories like "Modeling, Animating, Surfacing, Rendering" with some sticky threads with general info and tutorials regarding those subjects would help break it down at least a little bit (subcategories covering more specific topics within those categories would be even better). Is there a better way to search for general support threads that I'm missing? Or are these forums simply not built for that? Should I continue scouring for online resources and videos elsewhere and only pop into the forums when I have a specific question about a project I'm currently working on?

  7. #7
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Hey SilverFalcon,

    Ya, my eyes sort of rolled up with RH's Nodal series as well. His last series though , RH LSR might be of more use frankly as it specifically covers the new surfacing/rendering system introduced with 2018. In particular is how he goes about actually using the nodal system & making use of the Buffer views, etc. He surfaces a BB-8 model & creates a simple scene as well so you get to see what & why & for me just made more sense as to how to really work with nodes. Not doing anything as complex but at least now I can comfortably experiment.

    Yes, you can save node presets withing the Node editor, or within the Surface Editor which I prefer, you can save individual or an entire objects Library of surfs to a Preset Shelf.

    This forum will probably be your best, quickest source. As far as futility searching Forums, it's not just here. All of them are similarly hideous when it comes to actually finding anything useful with their search engines. Instead, try the advanced Google search and enter a site in the slot for a url, in this case https://forums.newtek.com.

    The Wiki https://docs.lightwave3d.com/lw2019 is getting better and is a good starting point.
    "Never be a cat in a cartoon. Never." Chief Wiggum

  8. #8
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    Hi SilverFalcon,

    I feel your pain. I can completely understand where you are coming from because I too was in the same spot as you when I got into LW many years ago.

    I too am self taught but I learned how to master a lot of LW by buying these books:

    Surfacing

    Title: LightWave V9 Texturing
    Author: Angel Nieves
    ISBN-10: 1598220292
    ISBN-13: 978-1598220292

    It's an old book that doesn't cover the new PBR based system but learning the fundamentals of the node system makes it a priceless purchase as it introduces and breaks down the node system in a very easy to understand way. Highly recommended.



    For overall usage of LightWave (This will be your bible)

    Title: Essential Lightwave V9: The Fastest and Easiest Way to Master LightWave
    Authors: Steve Warner, Kevin Philips and others
    ISBN-10: 1598220241
    ISBN-13: 978-1598220247

    Again, this is not a book with up to date information on the latest version of LightWave, however, if you consider that the core of LightWave hasn't really changed but a lot of the new features have simply been additions to that core, then understanding the core of LightWave is much more important than focusing on the additions, and this book WILL give you a firm grounding in how to REALLY use LightWave. I cannot express enough how important this book is. There really should be a note in the LightWave user guide's introduction, strongly recommending all users source and buy it before continuing with the program.

    In my opinion, it's THAT important.

    Once you know how to use the core LightWave system, you'll then be able to refer to the LightWave 2019 user manual to get caught up on all the new and latest additional features quite easily and see that these features are great, but in a large way simply offer you a way to do certain things more quickly and easily than LightWave's original way. For example, Bullet makes dynamics easier to use than LightWave's original dynamics system. You can still use the old dynamic system, but as an additional feature, Bullet just makes it easier. Instances and Flocking are a couple more additional tools that just make life easier as opposed to being essential parts of LightWave's core system. These tools you can live without but are useful to have.

    I have often found that learning how to do something from video tutorials without a firm grasp of the fundamentals is an exercise in frustration and futility, but these books will prep you for more advanced stuff.

    Get em. Get em now.

    Once you've got the fundamentals, I recommend watching all of William "Proton" Vaughan's YouTube videos on LightWave. The man is a god.

    With regards to your models, to me they look great but if you really want a critique of you skills, then I would recommend sharing screen shots the geometry's wireframe/Hidden/Texture wireframe views and their associated statistics. For surfacing, we'd need to see the surfacing panel. That's what we look at to assess how good it is.

    I hope this helps point you in the right direction. Let us know how you get on.

  9. #9
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    BTW, you can still use the old surfacing method in the Surface Editor. You just need to locate the Materials tab and change the material type to Standard from the drop down list. It's all near the top of the panel on the right hand side.

  10. #10
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    I'd join in recommending RH's LSR tutorials. Will get you up to speed on what's changed the most recently and as mentioned above gets into nodes a bit for starters. YouTube or the LW site for bullet, flocking, FiberFX. And you already have the node tutorials for when you need to know about why and how to connect the quantum bits with the dark matter bits, which is less often than it might appear after you get the basics.
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  11. #11
    Super Member Qexit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shabazzy View Post
    Hi SilverFalcon,

    I feel your pain. I can completely understand where you are coming from because I too was in the same spot as you when I got into LW many years ago.

    I too am self taught but I learned how to master a lot of LW by buying these books:

    Surfacing

    Title: LightWave V9 Texturing
    Author: Angel Nieves
    ISBN-10: 1598220292
    ISBN-13: 978-1598220292

    It's an old book that doesn't cover the new PBR based system but learning the fundamentals of the node system makes it a priceless purchase as it introduces and breaks down the node system in a very easy to understand way. Highly recommended.



    For overall usage of LightWave (This will be your bible)

    Title: Essential Lightwave V9: The Fastest and Easiest Way to Master LightWave
    Authors: Steve Warner, Kevin Philips and others
    ISBN-10: 1598220241
    ISBN-13: 978-1598220247

    Again, this is not a book with up to date information on the latest version of LightWave, however, if you consider that the core of LightWave hasn't really changed but a lot of the new features have simply been additions to that core, then understanding the core of LightWave is much more important than focusing on the additions, and this book WILL give you a firm grounding in how to REALLY use LightWave. I cannot express enough how important this book is. There really should be a note in the LightWave user guide's introduction, strongly recommending all users source and buy it before continuing with the program.

    In my opinion, it's THAT important.

    .......

    I have often found that learning how to do something from video tutorials without a firm grasp of the fundamentals is an exercise in frustration and futility, but these books will prep you for more advanced stuff.

    Get em. Get em now.
    Just a quick word of thanks to Shabazzy. These two books were not in my collection/library but after reading his recommendation I tracked down secondhand copies of both off dear old Amazon for really good prices, around Ģ15 including shipping for the pair. They arrived today and are in pristine condition and even included the CD/DVD with both books, which is quite unusual with this sort of used book. I have always found I have learned things more thoroughly by working through book/written tutorials than videos, so I'm looking forward to relearning some things I have either forgotten or never quite managed to grasp by working through these two weighty volumes. Getting my poor, tired old head around making full use of nodes is something I have been promising to do for a long time. Hopefully, working through these will finally kick something into place in there
    Kevin F Stubbs

    Remember...one size does NOT fit all

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qexit View Post
    Just a quick word of thanks to Shabazzy. These two books were not in my collection/library but after reading his recommendation I tracked down secondhand copies of both off dear old Amazon for really good prices, around Ģ15 including shipping for the pair. They arrived today and are in pristine condition and even included the CD/DVD with both books, which is quite unusual with this sort of used book. I have always found I have learned things more thoroughly by working through book/written tutorials than videos, so I'm looking forward to relearning some things I have either forgotten or never quite managed to grasp by working through these two weighty volumes. Getting my poor, tired old head around making full use of nodes is something I have been promising to do for a long time. Hopefully, working through these will finally kick something into place in there
    Thanks Qexit, you are very welcome. I'm glad I could help.

    Like you, I got my copies cheap from Amazon, only I didn't receive the CD/DVD with the surfacing book but it was still worth it regardless.

    I would really be interested in hearing about your experiences with them as you work through them to see if you find them as useful as I have. So I'd really appreciate it if you either posted here or PM'd me to let me know.

    One thing you most likely will come across is that the Essential LightWave v9 DVD has some missing video files that you'll need to download from the Wordware website (which I'm not sure exists anymore), but if you can't find them online just drop me a PM and I'll send you a copy.

    Shabazzy
    Last edited by Shabazzy; 09-19-2019 at 09:43 AM.

  13. #13
    Super Member Qexit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shabazzy View Post
    Thanks Qexit, you are very welcome. I'm glad I could help.

    Like you, I got my copies cheap from Amazon, only I didn't receive the CD/DVD with the surfacing book but it was still worth it regardless.

    I would really be interested in hearing about your experiences with them as you work through them to see if you find them as useful as I have. So I'd really appreciate it if you either posted here or PM'd me to let me know.

    One thing you most likely will come across is that the Essential LightWave v9 DVD has some missing video files that you'll need to download from the Wordware website (which I'm not sure exists anymore), but if you can't find them online just drop me a PM and I'll send you a copy.

    Shabazzy
    I'll let you know how I get along. Meanwhile, things have got off to a good start. Look what I found lurking on a shelf in my back bedroom

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	LW9 Stuff 01.jpg 
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    Kevin F Stubbs

    Remember...one size does NOT fit all

  14. #14
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    Qexit/Shabazzy, can I butt in and ask something ? I always assumed the LightWave V9 Texturing book by Angel Nieves was a 99% reincarnation of the LightWave 3D 8 Texturing book by Leigh Van Der Byl. I don't know why the author names are different but the chapter lists seem too similar. Are they totally separate unconnected items ?
    Last edited by TheLexx; 09-19-2019 at 10:14 AM.

  15. #15
    Super Member Qexit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLexx View Post
    Qexit/Shabazzy, can I butt in and ask something ? I always assumed the LightWave V9 Texturing book by Angel Nieves was a 99% reincarnation of the LightWave 3D 8 Texturing book by Leigh Van Der Byl. I don't know why the author names are different but the chapter lists seem too similar. Are they totally separate unconnected items ?
    Hm, I now have both. Just glancing at the number of pages, the LW8 version goes up to page 479 while the LW9 edition stops at page 625. So there are well over a hundred pages more material in the LW9 version. But you are right about the similar set of Chapter titles and associated content. Possibly a lot of it was rewritten using the LW9 layout but with essentially the same text. For me, as the LW9 edition was nice and cheap, I just view it as nice to have access to both
    Kevin F Stubbs

    Remember...one size does NOT fit all

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