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Thread: LW plugin that does advanced fur (from LW Price reduction thread)?

  1. #1

    LW plugin that does advanced fur (from LW Price reduction thread)?

    From the the LW Price reduction thread:

    Great.. LW is now $395 say,and we can get many more people to buy copies. Many of them will be students and entry level people. So you are catering to a amateur/beginning crowd. Meanwhile the high end professionals can't wait anymore for SSS, advanced fur, advanced character animation tools, multipass/layered output, advanced rendering and shading because NT can't turn around such features at that price point, so they have moved on. Actually, this isn't an assumption (except for the price), its fact up to now.
    (by archiea)

    My questions:

    Isn't thre any lightwave plugin that does SSS, advanced fur, advanced character animation tools, and etc.?

    Otherwise, does one have to have the $7000 version of maya to get this, or does the $2000 version have it?

    What is SSS?

    thanks,

    tracy


    PS what is so bad about plugins, anyway?

  2. #2
    There are quite a few LW plugins that accomplish these tasks and more. Hair is handled by the excellent Sasquatch from Worley. SSS can be handled by G2 from Worley, though there are plugins from other companies that can do this too. Occlusion is offered by a number of people, check on flay.com

    SSS is the abbreviation for sub surface scattering; it is the effect of wax candle, lit by the flame and nought else - look at the wax, how the light diffuses through the material.

    http://www.worley.com/G2/g2_scatter.html#startit for an example of SSS

    for ambient occlusion, there are some plugins and tutorials - here's one : http://www.kevman3d.com/lightwave.asp?section=tutorials
    please power off before disconnecting connecting connectors

  3. #3
    Red Mage Celshader's Avatar
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    Question

    Y'know, Maya once cost $30,000 and ran on $20,000 SGI Octane systems. When Maya dropped its entry-level price to about $400 below that of LightWave [6], did the Maya community actually worry about amateurs flooding the Maya community? I doubt it.

    Does the Maya community actually worry about all the colleges today that teach their students Maya, flooding the market with cheap Maya labor? I doubt it.

    If you're after mega-bucks and the thrill of knowing software priced beyond the reach of mere mortals, learn to program Renderman shaders. Everyone else, use whatever gets the job done.

    *used LightWave + Sasquatch to handle ankle-length wigs earlier this year*
    Jen's 3D -- LightWave stuff.
    Jen's 2D -- my comic book.

    Python is my smashing board. LightWave is my S.M.A.K.

  4. #4
    Thanks, guys. I put that in my list of plugins to get.

    What about Messiah: Studio for the advanced animation?

  5. #5
    Red Mage Celshader's Avatar
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    Master LightWave's built-in character animation tools before considering a third-party package. Spend money only on what you need. I bought Messiah and got a free upgrade to Messiah:Studio, but I never did learn it, because none of my work demanded it. I still don't know if it's good or bad software -- it's just not something I need right now.

    That said, some folks like Messiah. I also keep hearing good things about MotionBuilder.

    Others use Maya as a character animation plug-in for LightWave. They model in LightWave, animate in Maya, render in LightWave. Flay.com might have information on Maya<->LightWave tools.
    Jen's 3D -- LightWave stuff.
    Jen's 2D -- my comic book.

    Python is my smashing board. LightWave is my S.M.A.K.

  6. #6
    Celshader]Master LightWave's built-in character animation tools before considering a third-party package. Spend money only on what you need. I bought Messiah and got a free upgrade to Messiah:Studio, but I never did learn it, because none of my work demanded it. I still don't know if it's good or bad software -- it's just not something I need right now.
    Thanks, I just wanted to know about possiblilites for the future.

    That said, some folks like Messiah. I also keep hearing good things about MotionBuilder.
    Wow, it's about $4000. Er, maybe not.....

    Others use Maya as a character animation plug-in for LightWave. They model in LightWave, animate in Maya, render in LightWave. Flay.com might have information on Maya<->LightWave tools.
    Thanks, I checked it out. I guess I would go with messiah, when the time comes.

    tracy

  7. #7
    I agree with Celshader on using Lightwave's animation tools first. The last thing you should do is get into the mindset that buying a program that is focused on character animation will make you a better animator. Yes, messiah is a great animation program with lots of advanced features but it is really my opinion that generally, they are geared towards more advanced users who get to a point in Lightwave where they just need a little more focus in their toolset.

  8. #8
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celshader
    When Maya dropped its entry-level price to about $400 below that of LightWave [6], did the Maya community actually worry about amateurs flooding the Maya community? I doubt it.
    Actually, they did. The same goes for XSI and all of the high end discreet systems

    ...they should worry more about competition though (this goes for all apps), not about pricing.

    Surprisingly, the only software that didn't change the pricing the past few years is still number one in the market...

    And to get back on topic: Only worry about alternatives once you feel you've "outgrown" the native toolset, or need other, specific, capabilities.

    Using the native toolset has the advantage of teaching you all the tricks instead of pushing buttons (to an extent).

    Cheers,
    Mike
    Last edited by Lightwolf; 08-04-2005 at 02:59 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by kohlrabi_croce
    From the the LW Price reduction thread:


    (by archiea)

    My questions:

    Isn't thre any lightwave plugin that does SSS, advanced fur, advanced character animation tools, and etc.?

    Otherwise, does one have to have the $7000 version of maya to get this, or does the $2000 version have it?

    What is SSS?

    thanks,

    tracy


    PS what is so bad about plugins, anyway?


    yes, I have SAS. its great but it has its limitations, and some problems with interpenetrations. There are also some rendering limitations that can be fixed with some cleaver compositing. What I was looking for was better integration into LW... like what happens if youw ant a character to have sand or snow in their hair? I;m curious if LW's particles can be "assigned" to SAS' hair... but I beleive the manner that hair is rendered in LW may limit that...

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by beverins
    There are quite a few LW plugins that accomplish these tasks and more. Hair is handled by the excellent Sasquatch from Worley. SSS can be handled by G2 from Worley, though there are plugins from other companies that can do this too. Occlusion is offered by a number of people, check on flay.com

    SSS is the abbreviation for sub surface scattering; it is the effect of wax candle, lit by the flame and nought else - look at the wax, how the light diffuses through the material.

    http://www.worley.com/G2/g2_scatter.html#startit for an example of SSS

    for ambient occlusion, there are some plugins and tutorials - here's one : http://www.kevman3d.com/lightwave.asp?section=tutorials

    Again, I have G2, and its very useable, especially with the recent Fprime update. However these advanced shaders should have been part of LW considering its reputation for its renderer. This way you wouldn't have had to wait for Fprime 1.5 to use be able to view the G2 shaders. I'm not knocking Worley.. They have provided so many solutions especially during the slower times of LW development. But consider the costs: g2, sas and Fprime bring up even the current $800 price of LW to $2200. Considering that LW JUST got reduced to $800, its actually brought up the costs to $3000. Still half the price of Maya unlimited, but thats not really apples to apples.

  11. #11
    Red Mage Celshader's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by archiea
    Again, I have G2, and its very useable, especially with the recent Fprime update. However these advanced shaders should have been part of LW considering its reputation for its renderer. This way you wouldn't have had to wait for Fprime 1.5 to use be able to view the G2 shaders. I'm not knocking Worley.. They have provided so many solutions especially during the slower times of LW development. But consider the costs: g2, sas and Fprime bring up even the current $800 price of LW to $2200. Considering that LW JUST got reduced to $800, its actually brought up the costs to $3000. Still half the price of Maya unlimited, but thats not really apples to apples.
    Why do you use LightWave for your work, archiea? What kind of work do you do?
    Jen's 3D -- LightWave stuff.
    Jen's 2D -- my comic book.

    Python is my smashing board. LightWave is my S.M.A.K.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Celshader
    Y'know, Maya once cost $30,000 and ran on $20,000 SGI Octane systems. When Maya dropped its entry-level price to about $400 below that of LightWave [6], did the Maya community actually worry about amateurs flooding the Maya community? I doubt it.
    Actually, they did. I remember the day. But that wasn't the main point of my argument. It was that at that pricepoint, how quickly can NT turn around features and remain competative without having to rely on worley
    to keep us up to date.

    Maya at least has two targets with complete and unlimited. My concern was that Newtek was going for complete and put unlimited on the backburner....

    Quote Originally Posted by Celshader
    Does the Maya community actually worry about all the colleges today that teach their students Maya, flooding the market with cheap Maya labor? I doubt it.
    yes. Because now can hire students who at least know whee al the buttons are. For some producers, thats all it takes to be a maya guru.

    Quote Originally Posted by Celshader
    If you're after mega-bucks and the thrill of knowing software priced beyond the reach of mere mortals, learn to program Renderman shaders. Everyone else, use whatever gets the job done.

    *used LightWave + Sasquatch to handle ankle-length wigs earlier this year*
    Why is it that when I question NT price reduction people understand it as me wanting to pay $20,000 for LW? No. What i'm saying is that I'm concerned about LW's future development speed at that pricepoint. I mean.. it makes LW a tremendous vale even as it stand right now at 8.3. But value goes out the wayside when you are trying to deal with interpentration issues with feathers on a character.

    I do agree with your assessment on the animation tools, or for that matter any aspect of LW.. use whats there first.. try to master them. And try to be clever with solutions, i.e. tricks in the compositing stage can add tremendous production value to your shot without the render hit.

    What I'm saying is that I'd pay more for a version of LW that featured a more refined and cutting edge. Similar to what Maxon is doing with their app.. I'd hate to be stuck with just the feature set of the $695 version, when for $2200 more you can have a large suite. Now I'll argue that LW has about 5 of the 8 "advanced features" availble in the $3000 version of C4D, but if you really need the other 3, is $2200 really that much when you are working at that calibur? Now if NT can deliver the goods of a 3K package for $800.. along with the refinement (which C4D has quite well), well then... thats real value. For the record I think they can, because thats been their reputation for the most part. Its just been a bit slow as of late, but for good reasons..

    Hey i'm of the school that if a short done in HASH rocks.. then it rocks!!! But of that Rocking short is plagued with aliasing issues and other artifacts inherent sometimes with HASH, to some its worth it to pay more for better quality.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by hrgiger
    Yes, messiah is a great animation program with lots of advanced features but it is really my opinion that generally, they are geared towards more advanced users who get to a point in Lightwave where they just need a little more focus in their toolset.
    Yes, and thats EXACTLY what i;m talking about.. Imagine me and HRgiger agreeing!! Now if you did need a the refinement of messiah.. especially before 8 was available, would you pay more for it? isn't it better if it was integrated into LW so that us mac users aren't left out in the cold? Would you be against there being a version of LW called Pro or something that offered such a refinement at an extra cost?

  14. #14
    Red Mage Celshader's Avatar
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    Question

    So, archiea, why do you use LightWave?
    Jen's 3D -- LightWave stuff.
    Jen's 2D -- my comic book.

    Python is my smashing board. LightWave is my S.M.A.K.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Celshader
    Why do you use LightWave for your work, archiea? What kind of work do you do?
    I had used LW in broadcast since 1.0 alongside compositing. I switch to compositing fulltime because (a) I earned way more as a compositor than a LW artist and (b) no one took LW seriously at that time, despite what I rendered.

    because of my exposure to 3D from LW I;ve always handled the 3D heavy compositing project. As a result I was exposed to alot of high end features and workflows form the various 3D communities. Now that i'm returning to 3D both professionaly and personally (as in personal film projects), my evauluation of LW is in that regard. It hasn;t stopped me from using it, but I really have to consider where my time and energies go, considering that much of it professionaly has to go with maya/renderman. It wasn't my choice. On the flipside, last summer I used the newly arrived 8 particle dynamics on a film. Nothing too complex. I experiencd alot of stability issues. I was using it on a modern mac, so I'm not sure if that was the reason. But it really aggravated the situation.

    As an example, being the cel shading goddes that you are (MD too), what do you thing of C4d's sketch and toon module? it cost more, but at least its available. But thats my point, the option is there should you have a project that desires it... or even if you just want to add more functionality for your clientele...

    hey i've found your tuts especially in MD really helpful, and have found your inventive uses for LW inspiring. So don't take my criticism's of LW personaly, considering how much work you have done in it. I still go to the LA user group meetings when I can because I enjoy the community and the tips... I just want to see LW mature a bit more. Somne might say why don;t I just leave, and/or use C4d since I can't shut up aboutit (see, hrgiger, I saved you a post!!! ) I still have alot invested in LW, but I'm considering it...
    Last edited by archiea; 08-05-2005 at 12:11 AM.

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