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Thread: What is Happening with LW?

  1. #931
    www.Digitawn.co.uk rustythe1's Avatar
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    3. Work out some kind of umbrella framework that the various modules of code can be plugged into. Obviously with a ton of work. Basically unification, without starting from scratch.

    actually, if you read the history page of lightwave this is exactly how lightwave worked from version 8, in the history it explains how just about everyone involved up to 7 left (much like now) and they had to pick apart the code from scratch, all the tools in 8 forward were built/purchased/backward engineered as plugins and lightwave was just built as an interface for those plugins, (meaning the developers may not have even coded some of those tools to start with), so its not something that is beyond impossible to quickly do now, especially given how big the vizrt software team is compared to newteks,
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  2. #932
    Not so newbie member lardbros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post
    Anyway I see chances towards zero that there will be any further development.

    The gap to other 3D applications widen by the day and there would be huge development team required to even remotely be able to catch up.
    I'm still sort of hopeful... not hugely, but I feel something good may come of all this.
    Ever the optimist as I am
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  3. #933
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    Quote Originally Posted by lardbros View Post
    I'm still sort of hopeful... not hugely, but I feel something good may come of all this.
    Ever the optimist as I am
    That's not wrong and nobody knows for certain. Good to be positive!

    The signs are just not great. I looked trough the VizRT and NewTek pages, I can't see how LightWave would fit (UI wise) into their portfolio and on both pages there is a LW link at the very bottom of the product list. Also I went through the career options and none of the description meets the criteria for a LW developer.

    Also, someone mentioned that the code is still of value. The problem is that development paradigms, frameworks, libraries and compilers change and most likely the LW code is rather archaic in that regard. It might require a complete redesign to fit into the VizRT product line and development practices.

    My verdict with LW is - I use it where I think it makes sense and as long as I have fun with it. If a new version comes, I will most likely update since I didn't leave out any version since 11.5. I just would like some of the known major 2020 bugs to be fixed.
    Last edited by Marander; 10-22-2020 at 06:53 AM.

  4. #934
    Super Member vncnt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    Suggested solution to find out what is possible and not.

    Locate Rob Powers, where ever he is? and perhaps one of the main coders for the geo engine.
    Buy them a lot of beers for old times sake and do so with admiration and a big big smile, lace the drinks with Pentothal, and then ask how difficult it was
    with that hydra engine to get ready for layout modeling tasks.

    The truth is out there.
    Mr. Powers can be found on LinkedIn:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/rob-powers-770110/

    His website https://www.robpowers.com/ still uses SWF.
    Looking at the page source it is using https://www.robpowers.com/Rob_Powers_Site.swf
    which I still can open in Internet Explorer 11 locally.

    Nice!
    Press Contact and you're able to send a message to him.
    Last edited by vncnt; 10-22-2020 at 07:32 AM.

  5. #935
    Not so newbie member lardbros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post
    That's not wrong and nobody knows for certain. Good to be positive!

    The signs are just not great. I looked trough the VizRT and NewTek pages, I can't see how LightWave would fit (UI wise) into their portfolio and on both pages there is a LW link at the very bottom of the product list. Also I went through the career options and none of the description meets the criteria for a LW developer.

    Also, someone mentioned that the code is still of value. The problem is that development paradigms, frameworks, libraries and compilers change and most likely the LW code is rather archaic in that regard. It might require a complete redesign to fit into the VizRT product line and development practices.

    My verdict with LW is - I use it where I think it makes sense and as long as I have fun with it. If a new version comes, I will most likely update since I didn't leave out any version since 11.5. I just would like some of the known major 2020 bugs to be fixed.
    Sounds sensible to me.

    No doubt the Vizrt side of things looks bad, but I'm hoping they sell it and get rid of it before they balls it up even more.
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  6. #936
    Plays with fire sadkkf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayek View Post
    Newtek attempted that before, of course. It would be a vast undertaking, and a dedicated development team would probably need at least 5 years of development for that to happen. And at that point the software would still be behind the competitors.

    No revenue from Lightwave sales for at least a few years during development, because no-one at the company will be updating the old Lightwave. And only a few very loyal users would be inclined to support an app that is no longer supported or developed while waiting 4-5 years for a new version to appear. This is the conundrum Newtek faced so many years ago: put 100% of dev efforts into a new modernized consolidated Lightwave and updated tools, without any financial support outside of other revenue streams, or continue to support the old version with updates, and fragment development resources, slowing down development of the modernized version.

    Meanwhile users have access to a powerful free alternative that is steadily progressing and improved at a high rate, and other commercial 3d apps offering their wares at low rental prices. Which also progress in that time.

    Ask yourself: who, in a clear state of mind for business, would invest in such an endeavour? It is a really hard sell. No wonder that Vizrt decided to pull the plug.

    Not saying it can't be done. But realistically I think no software development company in their right mind (unless they have money to burn and have a long-term commitment and roadmap with intent behind it) would accept this challenge. There is absolutely no guarantee an updated consolidated Lightwave would even generate enough interest when it hits the market in five or six years time. In a few years time only the most dedicated LW users would still be using Lightwave. Who would be persuaded to switch to a resurrected Lightwave that still lags behind the competition?

    Only a small group of users.

    Perhaps the current dedicated loyal LW users could try to convince Vizrt to sell Lightwave to them in the state it is, and then open source it. Remove all the licensed components. It worked for Blender. It worked for OpenToonz (well, it wasn't purchased, but open sourced). Indy developers have a tendency to want to work on these type of projects on the side, or even full time. OpenToonz attracted one developer to build a Linux version quite early after. Others chimed in, and the app is now, after a few years, a solid professional 2d animation app.

    Heck, although I no longer use Lightwave for work anymore, I would gladly support this and sponsor it. Perhaps even consider combining parts of Blender's code components and integrate into a new updated Lightwave version.


    I'm not suggesting this has great viability or profitability in the short term, but it would make sense to me as a developer to cannibalize pieces of Modeler and Layout and piece them into a new app rather than adding Modeler tools to Layout while also upgrading. I can be wrong, of course, not having seen the code, but building a new app from existing pieces seems to make better sense to me.

    In the process, it can be built exactly how VizRT wants, to work in concert with their other products in mind.

    BTW...has anyone else noticed the install size of 2020 is vastly *smaller* than the installed size of 2019?
    So much water, so few sharks.

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  7. #937
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vncnt View Post
    Mr. Powers can be found on LinkedIn:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/rob-powers-770110/

    His website https://www.robpowers.com/ still uses SWF.
    Looking at the page source it is using https://www.robpowers.com/Rob_Powers_Site.swf
    which I still can open in Internet Explorer 11 locally.

    Nice!
    Press Contact and you're able to send a message to him.
    Thanks for the links,
    Though no..I wouldnīt really actually bother him with questions, he has left the building and is probably a bit bound to not disclose things as well.
    I wouldnīt really go to the length of travel to the U.S and pay for the beer, or break the laws by inducing pentothal in the drinks either ..but you all knew that of course.

    Just curious to where he went, what new job he got, on linkedin..itīs either just not updated, or he is actually without a job, or at least under a company, maybe doing his own stuff.
    Curious since he also was an artist using Lightwave and wether or not he dropped the 3D work and tools, or switched to something else, or if he is working on some new movie somewhere, but Iīm not even gonna bother him with such..(unimportant questions either)
    Perhaps Lino Grandi knows?

  8. #938
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayek View Post
    Newtek attempted that before, of course. It would be a vast undertaking, and a dedicated development team would probably need at least 5 years of development for that to happen. And at that point the software would still be behind the competitors.

    No revenue from Lightwave sales for at least a few years during development, because no-one at the company will be updating the old Lightwave. And only a few very loyal users would be inclined to support an app that is no longer supported or developed while waiting 4-5 years for a new version to appear. This is the conundrum Newtek faced so many years ago: put 100% of dev efforts into a new modernized consolidated Lightwave and updated tools, without any financial support outside of other revenue streams, or continue to support the old version with updates, and fragment development resources, slowing down development of the modernized version.

    Meanwhile users have access to a powerful free alternative that is steadily progressing and improved at a high rate, and other commercial 3d apps offering their wares at low rental prices. Which also progress in that time.

    Ask yourself: who, in a clear state of mind for business, would invest in such an endeavour? It is a really hard sell. No wonder that Vizrt decided to pull the plug.

    Not saying it can't be done. But realistically I think no software development company in their right mind (unless they have money to burn and have a long-term commitment and roadmap with intent behind it) would accept this challenge. There is absolutely no guarantee an updated consolidated Lightwave would even generate enough interest when it hits the market in five or six years time. In a few years time only the most dedicated LW users would still be using Lightwave. Who would be persuaded to switch to a resurrected Lightwave that still lags behind the competition?

    Only a small group of users.

    Perhaps the current dedicated loyal LW users could try to convince Vizrt to sell Lightwave to them in the state it is, and then open source it. Remove all the licensed components. It worked for Blender. It worked for OpenToonz (well, it wasn't purchased, but open sourced). Indy developers have a tendency to want to work on these type of projects on the side, or even full time. OpenToonz attracted one developer to build a Linux version quite early after. Others chimed in, and the app is now, after a few years, a solid professional 2d animation app.

    Heck, although I no longer use Lightwave for work anymore, I would gladly support this and sponsor it. Perhaps even consider combining parts of Blender's code components and integrate into a new updated Lightwave version.


    If continuing as before had been enough to develop lightwave profitably, they would do it.
    I also don't think that lightwave can handle a new core version with five years of development.
    What should the result be, a Blender 2.7 clone? Other software is then five years ahead.

    Open source, with a code that even Newtek could no longer understand, is also difficult.

    Lightwave lives as long as it has enthusiastic users. But if you want to go further, you need a few completely new ideas. New, crazy ideas.

    Maybe they need to give away lightwave, maybe sell it for ten dollars, maybe a content shop, maybe,maybe, maybe....

  9. #939
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    Quote Originally Posted by kievi View Post
    maybe a content shop, maybe,maybe, maybe....
    Not the worst idea. With Big companies already setting precedent with 30% commission rates on sales, a shop of virtual sets, transitions, objects for people who want to make their own transitions but don't want to learn modelling... Who knows? Maybe even a "Fiver" type marketplace for connecting end users with content makers.

    And VZRT takes their cut of it all.

  10. #940
    And I've just been reading that Pixelsquid who make a plugin for Adobe Photoshop offer access to 43,000 3D models for an annual subscription of 199 dollars, and is currently on offer for 99 dollars. The whole world seem awash with 3D content these days, this is a race to the bottom,

  11. #941
    Quote Originally Posted by gerry_g View Post
    The whole world seem awash with 3D content these days, this is a race to the bottom,
    You got that right. Even the 3D jobs are low to no paying. 3D jobs require doctorate degrees and then only pay 40-45k. Anybody spending money on a four year degree for animation, multimedia or visual effects is a dope. Spend the money on design or engineering and then do 3D in that field. Way better return on your investment. This is where the government guaranteed loan program is a complete failure. Kids and parents make emotional decisions about college and not practical financial decisions. If college funds were harder to come by people would make better choices as well as college costs would not have skyrocketed.
    Last edited by Tim Parsons; 10-23-2020 at 09:29 PM.
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  12. #942
    Deedle Eedle Eet c.1's Avatar
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    I have been away for a while, but Stevie Wonder could have seen this coming....this is like Truespace, which kinda fits the scenario.
    Oh well adios mu chachos.
    Don't be a dink get some ink

  13. #943
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    Quote Originally Posted by c.1 View Post
    I have been away for a while, but Stevie Wonder could have seen this coming....this is like Truespace, which kinda fits the scenario.
    Oh well adios mu chachos.
    We all saw it coming, but a bunch of us who really like LW, were hoping someone at Newtek and now Vizrt would stop refusing to see it coming long enough to listen to customers and change course. Now it would be nice if they sold it to a good home, but who can say if anyone even wants to buy it now.

  14. #944
    Quote Originally Posted by vncnt View Post
    Mr. Powers can be found on LinkedIn:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/rob-powers-770110/

    His website https://www.robpowers.com/ still uses SWF.
    Looking at the page source it is using https://www.robpowers.com/Rob_Powers_Site.swf
    which I still can open in Internet Explorer 11 locally.

    Nice!
    Press Contact and you're able to send a message to him.
    Rob must not be allowed with in 1000ft of LightWave3D. how do you guys think we got into this position in the first place? BAD MIDDLE MANAGEMENT. Rob. Jay. Brad.
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  15. #945
    Super Member vncnt's Avatar
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    I cannot judge them because I don't know exactly what problems they faced, but I can think of a few. Declining budget due to declining interest, and fierce competition where hardly anything grows in the shadow of the winner.

    It looks like (the person who hired) Rob tried to get his VAD or Virtual Art Department functions in LightWave, bundled in the Virtual Studio.
    I wonder if someone is using the Virtual Studio features at all.
    NevronMotion was introduced as a separate plugin, but it should have been an integral part of LightWave so we could have reused animations.

    The next manager should ask himself how the average user applies LightWave and what innovative techniques are needed to do so.
    1. Fix data transfer to the main other packages, including to the B software that we never dare to mention here. Read the reports in this forum. Guess what? It - Does - Not - Work - ! Where is that manager who informs us about these kinds of big problems and about the progress of the solutions? Collaboration with other software increases the chance of survival.
      I completely understand ($$$) that we will not see real-time ray tracing on the GPU for the time being, but at least make sure that you have a fast and correct live data connection to a package that can do this for those who absolutely need it to survive in their business, and thus prevent so many users run away that the remaining group is too small to get out of bed for.
      I still use VirtualDub. Why? Because it is the glue between all those fancy but egocentric applications.
    2. Fully implement innovations. Not just a little bit and then give it a little bit in the next update. Do users have problems with IKBooster because their model suddenly turns into a spastic squid? Add an Undo function to fix a mistake; provide presets that actually function on the most requested Objects such as bipeds and quadrupeds; auto-generate feedback if the user needs help during certain processes. Keep improving that ground breaking new feature until the user gets it. Finish what you started. As far as I can see, no one has touched IKBooster for improvement or further integration. It has so much potential but it seems that nobody cares to continue development.
    3. Do some things require changes that are too big? Offer alternatives. Lately this has worked quite well with the timeline data in Modeler, and the search function in long lists. Continue!
    4. Google Vizrt: "Vizrt is the home of IP-based, software-defined visual storytelling, helping to build a better-informed world. Our mission is to give storytellers the power to master ...". About this mission, I still don't understand why LightWave could not be a part in that storytelling infrastructure. Why are those tools still not connected to LightWave and vice versa? Why am I not editing my animations in some NLE related to TriCaster? SpeedEDIT? Aura Video Paint? A suite with this software could cover the whole storytelling landscape. All you need is: vision and persistence.
      Is a product not sold well? Don't shelve it! Bundle it, integrate it, improve it, and make 1 + 1 = 3.

    Make LightWave great glue again!

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