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Thread: Searching for the Final Pipeline

  1. #1
    Newbie Member Padowan's Avatar
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    Searching for the Final Pipeline

    Greetings all.

    After having spent many months, and as much money as possible on the subject, I now humbly turn to the LW community for a final opinion. I am seriously trying to finalize my search for a working pipeline, that will enable me to accomplish a professional series of animations for the marketplace. I have noticed in the these forums the subject of LW integration with other packages, and the seeming difficulties inherent in the process...therein lies my quandry, and question -

    Since 1994, and my first Packard Bell P133 ($3000.00 from Sears) I have been enthralled with 3D graphics. My first purchase was TrueSpace 2. I marveled at the fact I could make a silvery floating ball above a rumpled bump-mapped plane, with a 3-color light set and actually create an .avi of it moving about. It was pure, sweet magic. then began my mad search for the "perfect" software, that would really fill all my needs - intuitive, powerful, yet not too sterile to be of no enjoyment.

    I bought Ray Dream 4.0, Hash Animation, Bryce 2.0, Poser 1.0, Simply 3D, World Constuction Kit, World builder, Sculptor 4D, Texture Creator, and the educational edition of 3D Studio. I bought plug-ins, 3rd party books and tapes, and training videos. All the while trying to find the one program that I could really...understand...really grasp with two hands.
    3D studio came the closest, as by being a Fire Supression Design Technician by trade, it seemed the most "familiar" somehow. But what I noticed was, especially in the 3rd party books (Inside Max 2,3,4,etc) that how many steps it took to create a convincing terrain or water plane, whereas in Bryce, it was a simple pre-set.

    So over the years, after having given up on 3D Max 4.0 - due to the large cost of upgrading to a commercial license, and the poor attitude of their greedy marketing practices - I still searched my own personal Holy Grail software. Throughout the process, I maintained the upgrades on some of the software, namely Bryce and Poser. Then I discovered Vue D'Esprit 2.0
    It was at that time that I thought about LightWave. As an ardent fan of Babylon 5, Star Trek TNG, Voyager, etc I came to realize the awesome power of this program, and the welcome, refreshing attitude of NewTek towards it's customers was unbelievable.

    I jumped on board with LW 8.0, and upgraded to 8.5. I have the "Get Inside LW" training DVDs, and I purchased the LW 8.0 manual. I have many, many printed out tutorials off the net, and many downloaded RP video tutorials as well. I have also downladed Blender (what an awesome free program!) and purchased books, etc for it as well. Even TrueSpace 7.6 is now safely on my server, with all the plug-ins and tutorials I could find. However, I finally settled on what I thought would be a workable pipeline, with the software I currently own -

    Vue Infinite 6.5
    Poser Pro 7
    Carrara Pro 7
    Daz Studio
    PD Pro 3.5
    LW 9.6 (soon to upgrade to)
    Sony Vegas Pro 8
    Acid Pro 7
    Tascam 2488 - many digital instruments

    I did complete a very rough 10 minute short, using Carrara Pro 6, Poser 7, LW 8.5, Sony Vegas and Vue Infinite but it was during this project that I wished I could import my modified Poser figures into LW. Poser Pro was not available at that time, but Carrara willingly accepted all the Poser crap I could throw at it. I ended up using LW simply for some F/X backgrounds, and did the hard particle work, etc in Carrara. now I am not knocking Carrara, but (obviously) compared to LW lacked some horsepower. However, guys like Mark Bremmer have done some pretty amazing things with it, and it is a more than competent piece of software. But I ran problems that I thought - at the time - that if I could just get my figures in LW, all my problems would be solved.

    The integration of Poser into Vue has always been pretty successful for me, and I have never had any real issues, at least with VI 6.5. I am not a modeler. I am not a texture artist. I am not a programmer. I am a would-be director, content to create my own worlds; my own grand tales of wonder... So, to make this extremely long post shorter, this is my question - for guys that can help -

    Should I upgrade to Vue Infinite Xtream 7.5, and LW 9.6 simply to be able to integrate these programs with Poser Pro? I have read about some issues with Dynamic Cloth and Hair.
    If I did upgrade to Xtreme, has anyone found it to be worthwhile?

    I am looking at $595.00 for my LW upgrade, and $895.00 for the Xtreme sidegrade. All so I can try to integrate the 3 programs.

    Any thoughts? And thanks to all...:thumbsup

  2. #2
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    IT'S THE FINAL PIPELINE
    da da dah dah...
    da da dat dat dah...
    da da dah dah...
    da da dat dat dah dat
    etc.

    okay ladeez and gentlemen you've been a loverly audience
    and if you're driving home tonight.. don't forget your car.

  3. #3
    Newbie Member Padowan's Avatar
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    ok ok...

    ...was kind of a cool tune, in a weird 80's way...

  4. #4
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    and now for a more serious response.

    What is it you actually want to achieve in vue?

    $895 is a lot of dough right? can you get by with 6.5 and just composite?

    Also do you not find that more than one or two vicky's in a scene brings your system to a standstill? Those models are so high poly it's nuts.

    Not entirely sure why you're keeping carrara in there? I'll be honest I've not used it but you're saying yourself that lightwave leave it behind right?

    There's a plugin the Splinegod has mentioned a few times that brings poser figures into lightwave boned up and ready to go so have a search for that. - can't remember it's name

    you say "I am not a modeler. I am not a texture artist. I am not a programmer."
    well neither am I really but a little knowledge of those things in lightwave has helped me no end.

    The things that can be done with nodes in lightwave both in texturing and with displacement are really pretty awesome if you can just get the hang of the workflow. It's overlooked by a lot of people.

    Anyway I hope that's more helpful than my first post.

  5. #5
    Newbie Member Padowan's Avatar
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    No worries. I can appreciate some humor, no matter how obtuse...

    As to your response, I really enjoy Vue Infinite, but after 5.0 the integration into LW was extremely poor. What I am contemplating is 3 possible pipelines -

    Carrara 7.2 / Daz Studio 3.0

    LightWave 9.6 / Vue Xtreme 7.5 / Poser Pro 7

    LightWave 8.5 / Vue Infinte 6.5 / Poser Pro 7 / Kurve's Plugin

    Although I do understand a bit about modeling/textures/programming, I prefer to buy 3rd party content, tweek as needed, and implement said content into what I am trying to develop.

    Ultimately, I want the LW rendering and F/X capabilities, with the Vue environments, and the Poser content. I would love to have the best these programs, working as one, all in the LW environment.

    I just bought a Dell Dual Quad Core, XP PRO 64 bit, 8 gigs RAM, 1.5 gig Video Card, Surround Sound, etc for this purpose. So I want this next investment to count.

  6. #6
    Registered User adamredwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padowan View Post
    I am not a modeler. I am not a texture artist. I am not a programmer. I am a would-be director, content to create my own worlds; my own grand tales of wonder... So, to make this extremely long post shorter, this is my question - for guys that can help -
    I'm going to be realistic. If you don't want to model, texture, or whatever and just direct.... then you should consider video or claymation rather than 3d. Something more instant would suit you best.

    Any 3D software can give great results, but you have to be disciplined in modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering and more just to get those great results.

    Unless you have a large team working for you...
    // To draw is to think and discover.

  7. #7
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    sounds to me ike ud just be best off with poser and vue alone... LW, or an other package, is gonna require a lot of work and practice to get good results from, its not as simple as just loading 3rd party content... u want it for the renderer, be ready to sped a long time with texturing, shading, and lighting...

    Things like poser, and especially vue give a far better skill/results ratio (the compromise being original content creation) than most any other packages out there.
    LSR Surface and Rendering Tuts.
    RHiggit Rigging and Animation Tools
    RHA Animation Tutorials
    RHR Rigging Tutorials
    RHN Nodal Tutorials
    YT Vids Tuts for all

  8. #8
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    I don't see any compositing package listed.

    I would strongly encourage you to purchase After Effects for titles and motion graphics. It is close to $1000. This isn't mandatory but I urge you to look into it.

    There was a series of articles in HDRI about multipass rendering and compositing. The author was using Combustion but the principles apply across the board. After reading that series, I opted to purchase a copy of SHAKE (a node based compositor) for $250 and setting up one of my PC's as a dual boot "Hackintosh". I'm not worried about OS updates as this unit is a dedicated machine and as long as it does that one thing I'm fine. My next purchase is going to be the JANUS multipass rendering manager. Do a forum search here and you will find some threads and one has some great videos to show you the power of multipass rendering and compositing.

    Now you CAN do multipass compositing in After Effects but it isn't going to be as fluid of a process.

    Anyway, best of luck.

  9. #9
    Newbie Member Padowan's Avatar
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    Awesome. Thanks for the opinions, I appreciate it. I do understand the precepts of a major app, as my old favorite was 3D Max. It is just that I usually work (as Clark Kent) a 50-60 hour week earning a living, thus my need for speed when I want to create.

    The 3rd party content offered by the artists at DAZ, Renderosity, RDNA, TSquid etc is of great quality, and allows me to simply reap the benefits of someone's talents and abilities - be they a programmer, texture artist, or modeler. Their products are everywhere, on Cable Programs, Advertising, Print,etc. My particular strengths are more in the directing, lighting,and scoring of what I create, not the actual rigging, etc of models.

    My dilemma is I want to use Vue Xtreme and Poser Pro as plugins to LW together, or on top of each other. That is why I was hoping for someone here, who has had experience with their integration, to either forewarn, or encourage the decision to use them in that fashion - ie "No way Dude! I tried it, and it is way too unstable", or "Sure! Go for it. I have integrated the 3 apps and they work perfectly."

    I agree that Vue and Poser Pro offer the best results, for the least amount of effort, but just because you own a paintbrush doesn't mean you are a rembrandt. I have seen amazing things from apps like Bryce, and a whole lot of crap, too. Same with Max, Maya, and yes - even Vue and Poser. Hopefully the difference with myself, is that my final results will speak for themselves.

    I am looking at After Effects, as Vegas Pro - although capable of some nifty stuff - is more for the final composition of the shorts. Particle Illusion is also something I am contemplating.

    After looking at the E-on, Smith Micro, Newtek, and Kurve Studio sites, it seems some were not as pleased as I hoped with the Vue Xtreme 7.5 integration with LW. The same could be said about the Poser Pro LW Fusion plugin. What I would (possibly) be attempting is both - a LW scene with full Vue Xtreme terrains and atmosphere, along with a imported Poser Pro figure(s) animation. I would, of course, also be using compositing, multi-pass, etc.

    That was the purpose of this thread. To seek help from those who have used these apps, together, in some fashion. But again, I really appreciate the replies. Thanks for putting up with a "part-timer" who wants to produce something that will not be lauded a testimony to any app - but rather will be seamless, professional, marketable product.

    Thanks again. And if anyone else has used Vue Xtreme 7.5, and or the Poser Pro Fusion plugin, or the Kurve Studio Kit, please let me know what you think.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padowan View Post
    Particle Illusion is also something I am contemplating.
    You probably already know this, but Particle Illusions isn't real 3D. You can't make a fog atmosphere that varies across the Z depth that a character can move through. I use PI from time to time, and it's very effective at fooling the eye when used sparingly.

    It's also great at making some nice psychedelics. I wish we had this stuff back when it was just colored water in clock lenses on an overhead projector. We did raves before they were called raves...

  11. #11
    Profesor Pixel Poo Mr Rid's Avatar
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    I have wished for a way to get Daz/poser figures & animations into LW but it seems that every conversion between any 3D apps using any off-the-shelf process has issues. But I find it easy to bring Daz/poser models into LW without any plugins. Maybe you could then use Maestro (I have not used) to apply rigs and keep animation in LW. I dont know what issues there currently are with Vue-to-LW.
    "O K, so what's the speed of dark?"

    Demo reel 2017
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOOixvRhcs4

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    Newbie Member Padowan's Avatar
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    Mr. Wood - Thanks. I am aware of what PI is used for, but a lot of what I am doing involves particles. I was just considering ways to decrease render times, etc. But I appreciate the reply - and the rave!

    As you know, you can do some pretty crazy things in LW - particularly with the animated volumetric lights and animated procedurals, or Particles and Hypervoxels. I actually paid for those things earlier in the Sony "Textures and Backdrops" collection. Imagine my surprise when I created some of them myself in LW, and Vue.

    Mr Rid - HA! Now that's what I'm talkin' about, baby!
    Awesome reel. Lot's of stuff I've seen on the ol' telly!
    Very, very cool...

    My self, I am just trying to find the fastest way to create what I have already put on storyboards. Purchasing 3rd party content from talented artists works for me. I just need to find the most efficient way to bring it all together.
    The most advanced program I own a commercial license for is LW, and Vue Infinite...
    Who knows...maybe I'll be the guinea pig, and try to use all 3 together - LW, Vue, Poser Pro...

    I have to upgrade LW anyway, so I won't miss out on CORE...and then at least then I can use the Poser Fusion plugin, and see what's up. Sidegrading Vue Infinite to Xtreme makes sense, even if Poser Pro doesn't work out. I mean that's better than having just Ozone.

    You know, Daz Studio 3 Advanced is looking pretty cool, and It's integration to Carrara Pro 7 is supposed to be excellent, particularly with Daz content.

    Hmmm...decisions, decisions - it's all good though.

    Thanks All

  13. #13
    Profesor Pixel Poo Mr Rid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padowan View Post
    You know, Daz Studio 3 Advanced is looking pretty cool, and It's integration to Carrara Pro 7 is supposed to be excellent, particularly with Daz content.
    Thanks All
    Am sure Daz works great with Carrara since its all in the family. I love it for the same reason you mention of being able to just jump in and start directing a story. I stumbled across Daz 1 a few years ago while searching for free characters to do a previz. For about $75, I could make a dozen detailed characters I needed, with costumes, props and sets that fit right into the narrative. Since I did not have to dick with any modeling and texturing, I could focus on detailed lighting, animation and even FX that the client was not expecting at all and they were blown away. The extra detail helped because the previz was also used as a selling tool.

    Its so easy to drop mocap on figures in Daz (I dont know Poser) for quick previz and background character animation, whereas LW is a hassle. They even got fancy with cloth now. I just wish there was a smooth conversion to LW.

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    If I need detailed figure models for an animation, why the hell would I want to sit and try to model and texture this from scratch, when I can buy it for $30?

    Michael 4, Cinema 4D render
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    Last edited by Mr Rid; 06-07-2009 at 11:51 PM.
    "O K, so what's the speed of dark?"

    Demo reel 2017
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOOixvRhcs4

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Rid View Post
    I just wish there was a smooth conversion to LW.
    there is an FBX plugin for DAZ http://www.daz3d.com/i.x/shop/itemdetails/-/?item=4137

    Although at $99 you'd want to know it would be pretty seamless

    probably a good sign that one of it's listed features is "Export in standard FBX format, or using a customized export for LightWave users".

    Kinda looks like they've at least thought about lightwave.

  15. #15
    Newbie Member Padowan's Avatar
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    Mr Rid -

    Indeed! Exactly my premise. Although I could eventually come up with some of this stuff, there are talented people out there already creating it, with full commercial licenses. I agree 100 percent, that for me, buying 3rd party content works best. Nice to know a professional such as yourself can see the logic. It's amazing the depth of arrogance I have come across (not in this thread) in some forums, from those who create their own content from scratch. Their disdain for Poser, Daz, etc is most vehement - even insulting. I am a longtime reader 3D World magazine, and even within it's pages, there are subscribers who openly scoff at the "hobbyists" who choose to use Poser - even though 3D World itself recognizes the wide, ever growing user base, and the professionals who incorporate it into their work, in whatever fashion.
    I presume their attitude must reflect some form of insecurity, based on the final render of a Daz Studio Preset (as you have shown) compared to something they worked umpteen hours upon, only to have it perhaps not come out as well...I don't know. but I have seen now (for years) the subtle undercurrent of - dare I say it - "Bigotry" against those who did not take their own photos, create a texture map, model and then rig the model, create the props, and render it. Well, I say, if you have the talent - and the time - then Kudos to you. Well done. But why be arrogant about it? Why look down on someone who chooses a perhaps "easier" path, but has substantial final results? Isn't that all that matters? I mean, who is going to care, other than another artist, how the final result was created?

    I saw SplineGod's work on the Animal Planet channel, and I immediately knew it was DAZ content. I even told my spouse, "Hey. That's DAZ." but did anyone else know, or care? Same with the SCI-FI channel. I mean it is everywhere. Why berate someone who is making a living either providing wonderful 3D content for users, or simply using it? It is against what all true artists stand for - creative expression. Who cares what tools they use. If it sucks, it sucks, whether it be Max, Maya, LW, Blender, Poser, or Bryce! If it's cool, if it works, it it SELLS, than who cares how it was made!

    I seems it would only matter to those who would say, "well, yes it looks good, but you didn't rig it. Or you didn't model it. Or that was a pre-set. Or you bought it..."

    It's unfortunate. At least there are talented professionals out there, who are generous in their advice, in their tutorials, in the freebies provided on their sites. They are not jealous. They are not afraid to share "their secrets." They willingly, openly, help the beginners, the hobbyists, and other professionals - all without judgment, without arrogance, and without prejudice.

    littlewaves -
    That's right! I forgot about the FBX!


    Hmmmm...

    Thanks All!

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