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Thread: MODO 3D VS LightWave

  1. #1
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    MODO 3D VS LightWave

    Hello Everyone.

    I been hearing so many things about MODO 3D. Would you please explain the different between MODO and LightWave.
    Also, what Is it you can do In MODO that you can not do In LightWave.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Modo has Painting and Sculpting....LightWave does not

    Modo is basically a unified application with all of the tools under one roof and separated into modules. LightWave is separated into 2 apps and they do not work much at all together. Where as Modo the tools are more or less integrated.

    Modo has some interesting and new technology being implemented for character animation. LightWave still relies on its old system of rigging and animation. Even the new animation tools are basically built on the old system.

    Modo just got some very interesting particle effects. LightWave still uses its old particle system but did get Bullet for hard body and instancing.

    Modo is a newer application in terms of years and technology but is very much a work in progress. LightWave still relies on an old system that has been fully fleshed out for years and is tried and true. But is itself in a sort of WIP stage as they try and inject new technology into a relic.

    For modeling Modo has a more advanced system than LightWave which still holds onto tools that have been outdated for years forcing people into a certain workflow and some limitations. However although I have not used some of the new LightWave tools yet, they do look like an improvement. Modo is still kinda too much like LightWave for me in that regard which is part of why I passed. But the tools are based on more modern ways of doing things.

    Modo has a very different way of handling materials and surfaces. Something I have not used, but many people seem to think it is not such a great idea, very hard to use and limiting. Whereas LightWave does have a fairly advanced system for texturing if you are using nodes. Overall a very easy application to do surfacing in.

    Modo just got some kind of soft body dynamics. I am not sure how well it works with characters. But LightWave cloth is a very tried and true system that is not the greatest but it works and is designed fairly well for character work. It also has Bullet Softbody. But from what I have seen in posts here not very optimized for a character workflow.

    Rendering is pretty much on a par I think between the two with perhaps the exception of the Modo shader tree I eluded to earlier.

    There are a lot to things to cover. But that is the basics of how far I got with it when testing it over a year ago. Others will have more information.

  3. #3
    Super Member spherical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post
    Modo has a very different way of handling materials and surfaces. Something I have not used, but many people seem to think it is not such a great idea, very hard to use and limiting.
    Can you elaborate on this, please?

    One point to note is that the Modo developers used to be LightWave Devs and split off. Puts a little bit of perspective on it.
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    Dear Surrealist.

    Thank you very much for your Info.

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    Modo currently has better modelling tools. It is easier to get nice looking renders in Lightwave, but Modo has a nice renderer too. Modos surfacing is not very good compared to Lightwaves nodes. There is a Modo version for Linux but not for Lightwave. Lightwave is more fully featured but by next release of Modo that will likely not be the case. These are my intitial impressions so far. I was going to leave Lightwave for Cinema4d, but the great updates from 11.0 to 11.6 have kept me onboard. The new features in 11.5 and 11.6 alone have saved me days of extra work compared to previous versions. So I am looking forward to what the Lightwave Group bring to version 12 and I will keep evaluating Modos latest releases for consideraton to add to my tools.

  6. #6
    Carbon fibre dongleŪ 50one's Avatar
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    Personally I'm finding Modo shading and rendering to be much easier for beginners to get better results faster than in LW, true the shader tree is not perfect, but it works the same way as old LW system, where you would stack procedurals or images and blend them(or photoshop), render outputs(masks) are so easy to use too. From animation point of view I'm using the nodal tools in Modo and the rock, possibly you could get similar effect in lightwave, but there are only two or three people in this world that understands nodes and math enough to do this. Having said that, i think both app complement each other and there are really nice additions in 11.6 like raycast for instance.

    Depends what you do really, but if it's product type renders I would go with modo, hope that helps.

    Simon

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    Stuck in a very big cube Waves of light's Avatar
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    Richard, you're clearly a top modeler, so I would be interested to gain your perspective (speed, ease of use) on the workflow differences between LW and Modo when it comes to:

    a) hard surface modeling
    b) organic modeling


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  8. #8
    Surrealist's post is fairly accurate but I feel it paints Modo in a little better light then maybe it should. There are some disadvantages to Modo that I don't see.

    Large scene management is a pain in Modo.

    While it's true that Modo is a unified application, not all attributes are animatable. A lot are, but they didn't think to include modeling operations in that. Which is strange considering it started as a modeling operation with the intent to eventually become a full application.

    I find the shader tree to not be the most intuitive to work with. I'd like to see them go with a nodal shading system eventually.

    While a lot of Modo's modeling tools are great, I really dislike their implementation of spline patch modeling. I just single that one tool out because its something I use a lot.

    Luxology in the last year or so merged (acquired?) with the Foundry. While some may see this as a good thing, it makes me wonder just how independent the original creators still are in developing Modo. Just makes me wonder how it will affect the application long term.

    Nice that they added painting and sculpting. But when stacked up against Zbrush, there's just no comparison and so for me, they might as well not be in there. Never used them but people on the Lux forums used to complain all the time about how slow paint was.

    But not meant to paint Modo in a negative light. Just pointing out some things I discovered while I was using Modo. I have not used the latest version 701 so I can't say how it is now. The new particles look nice and the fact that they work with Bullet is great. I can't say exactly why, but I didn't find Modo to be as easy to work in as LigthWave. Probably just not as much time in using the application. In the terms of 3D applications, its relatively new and I guess in a way it just still feels a little immature yet. I always watch the new releases in the event I might want to pick it up again one day.

  9. #9
    Carbon fibre dongleŪ 50one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrgiger View Post
    Surrealist's post is fairly accurate but I feel it paints Modo in a little better light then maybe it should. There are some disadvantages to Modo that I don't see.

    Large scene management is a pain in Modo.

    While it's true that Modo is a unified application, not all attributes are animatable. A lot are, but they didn't think to include modeling operations in that. Which is strange considering it started as a modeling operation with the intent to eventually become a full application.

    I find the shader tree to not be the most intuitive to work with. I'd like to see them go with a nodal shading system eventually.

    While a lot of Modo's modeling tools are great, I really dislike their implementation of spline patch modeling. I just single that one tool out because its something I use a lot.

    Luxology in the last year or so merged (acquired?) with the Foundry. While some may see this as a good thing, it makes me wonder just how independent the original creators still are in developing Modo. Just makes me wonder how it will affect the application long term.

    Nice that they added painting and sculpting. But when stacked up against Zbrush, there's just no comparison and so for me, they might as well not be in there. Never used them but people on the Lux forums used to complain all the time about how slow paint was.

    But not meant to paint Modo in a negative light. Just pointing out some things I discovered while I was using Modo. I have not used the latest version 701 so I can't say how it is now. The new particles look nice and the fact that they work with Bullet is great. I can't say exactly why, but I didn't find Modo to be as easy to work in as LigthWave. Probably just not as much time in using the application. In the terms of 3D applications, its relatively new and I guess in a way it just still feels a little immature yet. I always watch the new releases in the event I might want to pick it up again one day.

    yup, shader tree is unforgiving if you won't pay attention to keep things tidy while working on massive scenes(half-*** solution to this was implementing the "Library" folder where you can keep your material tree), I don't see the Foundry as a new owner a bad thing, to be honest I could see that the Lux/Modo started to have the same problem as Lightwave(yes, modeling tools are great but there are bugs since 401 that were never fixed or "various improvements" that introduced new bugs or never really worked in 100% and Lux were not really bothered to fix those - Render Booleans is prime example) spline modeling is quite simple - thats true. Hopefully Foundry will give them more resources to fix bugs(well, this is already happening) and make sure that all the new shiny toys are working as expected.

    S

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by hrgiger View Post
    Surrealist's post is fairly accurate but I feel it paints Modo in a little better light then maybe it should.
    I agree. There are other negative sides to Modo as well. My general impression summed up, Modo is far more modern in general than LightWave which is more mature. The extent of my experience is taking both 501 and 601 for a spin on the trial versions - very methodically mind you and reading the manual both times. I gave up on it twice for the same reasons. Not quite there yet. But 601 and 701 are major leaps ahead. I have had no reason to check out 701 because I ended my 2 year research/trial period with other software and settled on other solutions before it was released.

    @waves of light

    I am not the guy to ask about that because I have about 0 hours in the chair with Modo production wise. But from a run through the tools I can only surmise that it is a similar advantage to other apps with more modern workflows than LightWave. Also I have not used any of the new tools in LightWave which would shed a different picture for sure.

    But from using LightWave for many years and then Blender about as long and then XSI and Maya for about a year or so, I can say this:

    What you need from any modeling application is a way to snap a manipulator to any location in the scene, point. object center bone etc, and use it as a center. Then be able to set up scaling rotating and translating from any plane, world, local or custom user defined. And have a universal fall off (soft select) system or at least one that works universally the same between tools, a way to mirror your mesh and work with all tools while mirrored and a host of other things like being able to work while constrained to a surface for things like retopo to another mesh. Then of course good UV unwrapping tools.

    Additionally you ideally want to be able to model, rig, paint weights and animate within the same interface.

    LightWave has made improvements on some of these issues in the last year.

    But that is more or less how I stack it up.

    @simonlion

    You are welcome and good luck in your quest.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by spherical View Post
    Can you elaborate on this, please?
    Not really, I was just kinda reporting what I have heard. Will leave details/comparisons up to other people who have used both.

  12. #12
    Registered User Kuzey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post

    Modo has a very different way of handling materials and surfaces. Something I have not used, but many people seem to think it is not such a great idea, very hard to use and limiting. Whereas LightWave does have a fairly advanced system for texturing if you are using nodes.
    I almost bought Modo when they had that end of Core special (upgrade price instead of full price) for LW users...the texturing system scared the hell out of me and I passed.

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    ?If? Modo has better modeling tools, how does LW+LWCAD compare to the current release of Modo?

    And if Modo still has non-nodal surfaces (tried them a few years ago), gag me with a spoon.

  14. #14
    Robert Ireland bobakabob's Avatar
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    Why not try out the Modo trial version? Looking at the Gallery it's capable of incredible work in the right hands as is Lightwave. You may love it or loathe it, it's all subjective
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    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Modo has some significant features that has been developed a little further on some areas...where Lightwave is behind, and vice versa...this will be a little biased towards what modo has as opposed to what lightwave has and modo not..but I start with that.

    • modo has sculpting, and painting.
    • Modo has implemented pixar subdivision, more advanced and better performance.
    • Modo has implemented a volumetric item, which means it can render objects in volumetric mode, where lightwave hypervoxels only can render points,particles,vertices.
      This is good for nature objects like stones,rocks..and clouds not looking like puffballs, this is similar to houdini cloudfx tools which also uses volumetric objects.

    • Modo recently implemented a particle system which is more advanced, you can sculpt particles in time(like chronosculpt type, but for particles) and those particles also affect
    • modoīs bullet engine (recoil) so a particle stream can push bullet dynamic objects to fall etc.
    • The particle engine is also node based so advance noise fields can be applied in ways lightwave currently can not, you can also spray particles.
    • The modo previewer allows for individual window preview that isnīt stuck to the workports like lightwave VPR.

      modo imports solidworks sldasm,sldprt files directly, useful if working in a construction company or product design with other engineers and exports
      the cad work to modo..not available in any form in lightwave


    I would rather work within Lightwave though, inspite of the stuff mentioned above, the UI of modo is graphicly pleasing, but in the end also confusing, the shader tree feels unatural to mee, when I would like to work on a scene, I want fast acess to lights,camera, objects..and itīs quite a difference how you acess that in modo vs lightwave(
    hate the shader tree in modo where you need to find your lights and cameras, should be an optional universal scenelist, but have it directly acessable as in lightwave).

    So when Lightwave getīs enhanced subdivs, improved hypervoxels with volumetric objects, improved particles working with bullet and nodes/noise fields etc, apply additional modul panel for the previewer...it will please me on those areas.

    As I said, there are loads of things you would rather do within lightwave I guess, to many to actually count here.
    And I can not really give that much fair comparable facts on it, since I havenīt tested it enought, the problem I have with modo trials...15 days, itīs to short to even bother.
    I have also felt that working in modo feels Clunky/slower for many parts compared to lightwave.
    I have heard from some that Lightwave bullet feels more solid than modoīs, or more stable.
    same goes for the general performance stability of lightwave vs modo.
    Lightwave is probably easier to use and set up stuff for, feels like modo needs wrestling with a deeper understanding and nodes etc.

    I really would like sculpting tools, both modeler and layout...there was development time invested in it with the old core, but were either abandoned or is still
    under the development cycle to come, even if thereīs GoZ for zbrush, not everyone has zbrush, and you always face interoperability and cpu performance strain
    working in two different apps for it, and besides it doesnīt give you a fluid feedback when changing a model in zbrush, and switch to lightwave to see the change within
    the scene.
    Modo has enhanced the sculpting performance, and cinema4d has done that too..I d onīt think it would be wise not to implement it, it is giving another
    dimension to editing scenes, or models within the scene without worrying about zbrush and also doing so more effective in terms of overview and direct feedback on
    the scene/model

    Donīt have to wait for zbrush to start up and initialize, no messing with switching and leaving the lightwave work/viewports etc...
    If you are working solely on a high res sculpture/character for high res polywork etc..zbrush is prefered, but there are lot of sculptin in mid sized poly level or
    scene editing of terrain etc..that could use a built in sculpt tool.
    Michael

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