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Thread: What is Happening with LW?

  1. #1036
    too many software packages in the 3D field as it is, outside of Max or Maya what is actually making money, C4D possibly, Foundry/Modo sold 3 times to new owners now possibly, Houdini most likely, then Blender which is but for a small donation free, and the point is each of these in most respects has a better and more modern tool set

  2. #1037

    i like [B] but at times it feels like...

    LW vidz   DPont donate   LW Facebook   IKBooster   My vidz

  3. #1038
    Quote Originally Posted by wingzeta View Post
    That is beyond a longshot, because if a company were doing that, they would announce something to that effect, as to get the user base excited, rather than bleed the users off.

    We have to hope they will sell it, and that someone wants to buy it. The problem is, if they have written off LW's value as a product, but somehow still overvalue it when someone tries to buy it at a realistic price. LW may not be popular these days, but when you include all versions, there are a lot of users. I think it's time Vizrt started thinking about the ill-will they will generate by killing the product, when others are probably willing to develop it. Many LW users work for video companies that may use other Vizrt products. Just sell it, or if you want to be "Complete Legends!" open source it.
    Yeah I realize the longshot that it is and it was meant mostly to be tongue in cheek. Yeah, they need to unload it ASAP before it becomes totally worthless.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMarchant View Post
    I would love to be as optimistic as you Tim, sadly I am not, NT/vizRT has had ample opportunity to turn it around. I think it's a bit harsh to say beta testers suck, they are only working on what they are given. Marketing, communication agreed did suck. LW for me has been on life support since the whole Core thing.
    Tongue in cheek again. I'm not optimistic at all about LW's future under Vizrt. And to set the record straight, I think the devs did a nice job with Layout. Modeler -not so much. When Ikeda left and they didn't/couldn't replace him, all was pretty much lost.
    Tim Parsons

  4. #1039
    Quote Originally Posted by gerry_g View Post
    too many software packages in the 3D field as it is, outside of Max or Maya what is actually making money, C4D possibly, Foundry/Modo sold 3 times to new owners now possibly, Houdini most likely, then Blender which is but for a small donation free, and the point is each of these in most respects has a better and more modern tool set
    Yeah the DCC is a super small market that is owned by Blender now in userbase size. Take Blender out of the picture and LW continues and does really well just by being the only truly perpetual DCC available.
    Tim Parsons

  5. #1040
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Parsons View Post
    Yeah the DCC is a super small market that is owned by Blender now in userbase size. Take Blender out of the picture and LW continues and does really well just by being the only truly perpetual DCC available.
    If that's what you need to believe, so be it.

    Unfortunately, LW was hemorrhaging double-digit percentage points of users long before there was any indication Blender was addressing their UI elephant. By the time Blender 2.8 released late in 2018, LW was already in its death spiral. LW was already circling the drain after the three-year fiasco between LW2015 and LW2018, and that what finally released as LW2018 was such a huge let-down (evidenced by how few actually upgraded from LW2015 to it) pretty much locked LW into that death spiral.

    That none of the LW2018-LW2020 releases were ever anywhere near "fully functional" accelerated the demise. They all had huge quality issues where existing systems were seriously broken (dynamics, relativity, FFX, instancing, flocking, even basic IO, varying release by release with what all were broken). Even the newly-replaced surfacing and rendering features were only partially functioning, at best. It's difficult to say whether it was providing minimal content migration capability to LW2018+, breaking most existing compiled plugins (and subsequent loss of and delay to regain capabilities), or releasing a fundamentally-broken surfacing/rendering engine which served as the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, but regardless, after LW2018 the camel's back was broken.

    The activity in both these forums and LW FB groups had dropped off catastrophically by the time LW2018 was released, and only a minuscule fraction of that activity returned during LW2018-LW2020 (and after LW2020's release, faded again quickly). LW2020 didn't break the camel's back, that was long broken. LW2020 was just the rock to the camel's head which put it out of its misery. They'd spent two years trying to get things back even close to where LW2015 had been, and in failing to do so, LW2020 just sealed that final window shut.

    Blaming LW's demise on Blender is like blaming SGI's fall on Nvidia -- while the latter might be happy beneficiaries, the former's fall really occurred long before the latter folks were ever significant on the field.
    Last edited by jwiede; 11-14-2020 at 07:44 PM.
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB/2019.1.5 on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.6),64GB RAM, NV 980ti

  6. #1041
    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    If that's what you need to believe, so be it.

    Unfortunately, LW was hemorrhaging double-digit percentage points of users long before there was any indication Blender was addressing their UI elephant. By the time Blender 2.8 released late in 2018, LW was already in its death spiral. LW was already circling the drain after the three-year fiasco between LW2015 and LW2018, and that what finally released as LW2018 was such a huge let-down (evidenced by how few actually upgraded from LW2015 to it) pretty much locked LW into that death spiral.

    That none of the LW2018-LW2020 releases were ever anywhere near "fully functional" accelerated the demise. They all had huge quality issues where existing systems were seriously broken (dynamics, relativity, FFX, instancing, flocking, even basic IO, varying release by release with what all were broken). Even the newly-replaced surfacing and rendering features were only partially functioning, at best. It's difficult to say whether it was providing minimal content migration capability to LW2018+, breaking most existing compiled plugins (and subsequent loss of and delay to regain capabilities), or releasing a fundamentally-broken surfacing/rendering engine which served as the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, but regardless, after LW2018 the camel's back was broken.

    The activity in both these forums and LW FB groups had dropped off catastrophically by the time LW2018 was released, and only a minuscule fraction of that activity returned during LW2018-LW2020 (and after LW2020's release, faded again quickly). LW2020 didn't break the camel's back, that was long broken. LW2020 was just the rock to the camel's head which put it out of its misery. They'd spent two years trying to get things back even close to where LW2015 had been, and in failing to do so, LW2020 just sealed that final window shut.

    Blaming LW's demise on Blender is like blaming SGI's fall on Nvidia -- while the latter might be happy beneficiaries, the former's fall really occurred long before the latter folks were ever significant on the field.
    Yeah that's pretty much dead on. What I'm saying is that if Blender didn't exist LW would have that customer base as potential customers. Looking at the numbers Blender has had 20 million downloads but realistically that probably equates to 100 to 300,000 actual users. If LW had 5% of that group it probably survives and does pretty well because of its licensing and fairly low price.

    It wouldn't surprise me if other DCC's eventually fail as well. Modo would be next in line, but I think they are being smart and finding their niche in the design world (shoes etc. ) That doesn't really set well with some of their diehard users that want to see more development into character stuff etc. etc., but I think it might be the ticket to survival. Plus they could probably raise their price by going after that segment.
    Last edited by Tim Parsons; 11-14-2020 at 08:08 PM.
    Tim Parsons

  7. #1042
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Parsons View Post
    Modo would be next in line, but I think they are being smart and finding their niche in the design world (shoes etc. ) That doesn't really set well with some of their diehard users that want to see more development into character stuff etc. etc., but I think it might be the ticket to survival. Plus they could probably raise their price by going after that segment.
    I'd argue Modo's already well-embedded into that product design segment, or at least a decent share of it, as evidenced by the existing use credits regularly appearing of late.

    As for animation, they already have a following among the "higher-end" animation folks, mostly thanks to Rich Hurrey, and between Kitestring/Ozone, PSOFT/CharacterBox, and the NLA work at Foundry for Modo, I suspect they'll do just fine there as well. Ozone actually demonstrates more than adequate deformer performance on Modo already and it isn't even released yet, as does CharacterBox. Also remember, just because you're not seeing lots of animations rendered using Modo, doesn't mean Modo isn't already being used plenty for animations.

    Their association with Pixar is more than trivial, and Modo's pretty darned good at fitting into multi-app (or even bespoke) professional pipelines (and their push for USD support only helps them more there). Hurrey's focusing on positioning Modo to work in the next generation of professional animation pipelines, and given his CV, that's a pretty strong recommendation as to Modo's viability. I'm more than willing to wait and see. In many ways, I think Modo's better positioned than C4D, possibly even Houdini, in that regard. Time will tell.

    More interestingly, that's also the kind of professional pipelines where Blender tends to fare the worst, due to those customers' needs for heavy hands-on developer support during integration, very tight requirements and validation expectations, need for reliable scheduling and accountability when it comes to deliverables, and so forth. Blender has a good chance of ultimately owning the "end-to-end small productions" markets. However, at the higher-end of productions, where pipeline frameworks are often bespoke module assemblies of commercial products and in-house tools, that's where FOSS-type projects often fare poorly -- they're just nowhere near capable of reliably providing companies the level of attention and accountability needed in those areas. But again, time will tell.
    Last edited by jwiede; 11-14-2020 at 10:51 PM.
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB/2019.1.5 on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.6),64GB RAM, NV 980ti

  8. #1043
    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    I'd argue Modo's already well-embedded into that product design segment, or at least a decent share of it, as evidenced by the existing use credits regularly appearing of late.

    As for animation, they already have a following among the "higher-end" animation folks, mostly thanks to Rich Hurrey, and between Kitestring/Ozone, PSOFT/CharacterBox, and the NLA work at Foundry for Modo, I suspect they'll do just fine there as well. Ozone actually demonstrates more than adequate deformer performance on Modo already and it isn't even released yet, as does CharacterBox. Also remember, just because you're not seeing lots of animations rendered using Modo, doesn't mean Modo isn't already being used plenty for animations.

    Their association with Pixar is more than trivial, and Modo's pretty darned good at fitting into multi-app (or even bespoke) professional pipelines (and their push for USD support only helps them more there). Hurrey's focusing on positioning Modo to work in the next generation of professional animation pipelines, and given his CV, that's a pretty strong recommendation as to Modo's viability. I'm more than willing to wait and see. In many ways, I think Modo's better positioned than C4D, possibly even Houdini, in that regard. Time will tell.

    More interestingly, that's also the kind of professional pipelines where Blender tends to fare the worst, due to those customers' needs for heavy hands-on developer support during integration, very tight requirements and validation expectations, need for reliable scheduling and accountability when it comes to deliverables, and so forth. Blender has a good chance of ultimately owning the "end-to-end small productions" markets. However, at the higher-end of productions, where pipeline frameworks are often bespoke module assemblies of commercial products and in-house tools, that's where FOSS-type projects often fare poorly -- they're just nowhere near capable of reliably providing companies the level of attention and accountability needed in those areas. But again, time will tell.
    Yeah Rich's stuff is pretty cool. There is no doubt Modo is capable in all areas and is a good choice for many artists, niche shops and of course the design field. It should be okay as it has a pretty solid following and good sized development team. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to my boss if LW ever quits working on our PCs and the similarities to LW would make it a good choice for a team who's personalities wouldn't be too keen on learning a new app. That being said the pace of Blender development is crazy and their long term support program is a very smart strategy and its FREE.
    Tim Parsons

  9. #1044
    As a Mac user anyone declaring support for Metal over OGL gets my vote, that's Blender, C4d and possibly Modo, as this is the most likely single thing that will eventually kill LW for me

  10. #1045
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Parsons View Post
    That being said the pace of Blender development is crazy and their long term support program is a very smart strategy and its FREE.
    Agreed 100%, and realistically, in your situation and fairly limited requirements (just still renders, etc), Blender very well might make more sense in the long run. I've been using Cycles4D on C4D for quite some time now, and find Cycles to be an excellent render engine (though I still tend to favor Vray for most things -- Cycles is good, but Vray's just difficult to beat).
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB/2019.1.5 on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.6),64GB RAM, NV 980ti

  11. #1046
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry_g View Post
    As a Mac user anyone declaring support for Metal over OGL gets my vote, that's Blender, C4d and possibly Modo, as this is the most likely single thing that will eventually kill LW for me
    Yeah, C4D's and Redshift's progress with Metal are both quite impressive, and I'm sure Modo will support Metal soon enough. Once Metal dev gets a bit further, I'll be able to break my CUDA dependency, and I can definitely see upgrading OS and moving to my AMD Vega64 or better in the not so distant future. CUDA's the only thing holding me back right now, and Metal's gaining ground every day there.

    Sadly, I definitely agree that LW's days on Mac are numbered. Now that Vrba's gone, doubtful anyone there even cares about Mac LW any longer. Oh well, sad but not catastrophic. There might be no future for hardcore LW users on Mac, but there's ever more great options for 3D users on Mac.
    Last edited by jwiede; 11-15-2020 at 06:34 PM.
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB/2019.1.5 on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.6),64GB RAM, NV 980ti

  12. #1047
    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    Agreed 100%, and realistically, in your situation and fairly limited requirements (just still renders, etc), Blender very well might make more sense in the long run. I've been using Cycles4D on C4D for quite some time now, and find Cycles to be an excellent render engine (though I still tend to favor Vray for most things -- Cycles is good, but Vray's just difficult to beat).
    Yeah Vray is definitely the standard for interior archvis and I would love to use it. Maybe one of these days when I come to grips with Blender I might personally give it a go because I don't see my boss approving such a purchase when he is fine with what we are doing now.
    Tim Parsons

  13. #1048
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    Quite interesting to hear mention of Vray. Is it possible to get a LW scene into Vray ? I was thinking of Polytrans to convert to a LW scene to a 4D scene, then render with Vray 4D...which could be achieved without a 4D license ? If so, does that mean Vray hair could be used with LW ? Also, is Vray CPU and GPU the same functionality ?

  14. #1049
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLexx View Post
    Quite interesting to hear mention of Vray. Is it possible to get a LW scene into Vray ? I was thinking of Polytrans to convert to a LW scene to a 4D scene, then render with Vray 4D...which could be achieved without a 4D license ? If so, does that mean Vray hair could be used with LW ? Also, is Vray CPU and GPU the same functionality ?
    Okay, I'll try to answer in sequence...

    1. Possible to get LW scene into Vray? Perhaps, haven't tried with Polytrans, but if it can covert LWO+LWS to Melange (C4D) or LXO (Modo), then should be good. Both situations have similar needs and restrictions so I'll deal with the C4D case, and if you want details about the Modo case ask further questions. In C4D you'll need both a demo or full C4D license plus a demo or full Vray-C4D license in order to either render out from C4D or generate a vray_scene (portable to any Vray incl. standalone), but yes, should work for described situation given those.


    2. Using Vray hair with LW FFX faces a few problems: While Vray has a hair prim, I'm not sure how you can export LW FFX fibers to get density needed for good results -- you could export guide curves, and use those in C4D to drive C4D hair (which in turn converts to Vray hair). I've never tried directly driving Vray hair prim off exported LW FFX guide curves, and I suspect they'll have too low fiber density for good results. C4D hair turns into Vray hair, as does Modo hair, so there's got to be a reasonable conversion approach, once you have adequately dense fiber geometry as an isolated model.

    If FFX had better ability to export fiber geometry as isolated entity, then it'd be pretty easy to use as driver for Vray Hair prim & Vray Hair material. Unfortunately, I've never had much luck getting FFX to export fiber geometry that way. Lacking that, I suspect you'd be better off migrating guide curves to C4D as part of scene, regenerating fibers in C4D Hair, then using those for Vray Hair prim & material. If I get a chance, I'll see if I can get any sort of good result migrating hair guides to drive Vray C4D's Hair prim, but kind of skeptical there.


    3. Vray RT/Hybrid (GPU) is fairly close to parity with Vray CPU, but there are still gaps. Until Vray C4D v5.x releases, Vray C4D is still 3.7.x internals, and Vray GPU there had some limitations (best to ask at the forum: https://forums.chaosgroup.com/forum/...nema-4d-forums for specifics). Modo has Vray Next (v4) so its Vray GPU support is significantly closer to Vray CPU, which might matter depending on which precise features you care about (again, at least until Vray C4D v5 releases, it's in dev now). I was able to find this link detailing Modo Vray Next (v4) GPU vs CPU differences, but couldn't find the equivalent for Vray C4D 3.7.x. Hope that helps a little, anyway.

    (edit) Thinking further about the FFX issue, I vaguely recall Octane requesting some LWSDK changes so they could render FFX hair properly. Theoretically, even if you can't easily save/export the FFX geometry out in a format Vray Hair can use directly, it might be possible to write a plugin which would use the same LWSDK APIs as Octane uses to produce a file which had the FFX geometry info convoluted into a format suitable for import by Vray as Vray Hair. No clue what that would involve offhand.
    Last edited by jwiede; 11-16-2020 at 01:03 AM.
    John W.
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  15. #1050
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    Many thanks jwiede for your extremely detailed and well considered response. Actually..
    Last edited by TheLexx; 11-16-2020 at 03:06 AM.

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