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Thread: Any reason to upgrade yet?

  1. #1
    Super Member sublimationman's Avatar
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    Any reason to upgrade yet?

    OK, So I am no longer a typical user, I use 11.6.2 on Mac and 90% of what I do now is create 3D objects to 3D print or 3D carve. The other 10% being creating high res still images for advertising.

    So, is there anything new and exiting for a non animator in Lightwave for me? Specifically has Modeler changed or improved? The boolean functions in 11.6 are the bane of my existence, with creating non watertight models and crashing on simple cuts. If these have been fixed then it would help me a lot.

    But I don't want to spend the money if there are no fixes or really cool updates that will affect my personal workflow.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sublimationman View Post
    OK, So I am no longer a typical user, I use 11.6.2 on Mac and 90% of what I do now is create 3D objects to 3D print or 3D carve. The other 10% being creating high res still images for advertising.

    So, is there anything new and exiting for a non animator in Lightwave for me? Specifically has Modeler changed or improved? The boolean functions in 11.6 are the bane of my existence, with creating non watertight models and crashing on simple cuts. If these have been fixed then it would help me a lot.

    But I don't want to spend the money if there are no fixes or really cool updates that will affect my personal workflow.

    Thanks!
    Modeler hasnīt been updated much , some stuff to create in camera view for the purpose of rendering and animation...but that is of little relevance for stuff if you create 3d prints.
    some live array tools, but thatīs it.
    Depends on though, if you anyway use it 10& for advertising, the new lights and pbr materials including the new GI tracer should make surfacing and realistic renders much more believable.
    So if the advertising you do..require an extra level of realism, you may want to upgrade..otherwise I would wait til they improve modeler a bit.

    But for 3d prints, you should dive in to some free software out there.

  3. #3
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    Are you asking about upgrading the LW program or its plugins? Even if you don't upgrade to LW2018, there are many plugins you can obtain to upgrade LW's capabilities.
    LW7.5D, LW2015.3, LW2018.0.x running portably on a USB drive on an Amiga 2500 running Wine.

  4. #4
    If you're still using the native booleans, you have to take a look at the 3rd Powers plugins. They have real time booleans and mesh stitchers for Modeler.
    http://www.3rdpowers.com/

  5. #5
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    For modelling not so much, but if you're doing final images for advertising, the new renderer is great.
    RHiggit Rigging and Animation Tools
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  6. #6
    i'm using LW2018 on mac and found opengl and large data handling much faster compared to LW2018. i can't comment for 3d printing, but in the archviz area it's a welcome improvement. for me the biggest advantage is using oliver's fantastic OD toolset under LW2018, whci improves most workflows because of totally new programming hooks in 2018. i'm mostly using octane for rendering, so the new renderer dosn't make a big differenece in my workflow here.

    on the dark side, if you ever used denis pont's nodes and plugins (and who didn't), old versions are not working with it, but they have been recently updated to 2018. the problem is that thy have not been compiled for mac and maybe never will be. developer and programmers willing to compile could not find any agreement or time to do so. NT is apparently not going to help as well - but i'm not sure if it is because denis doesn't want to expose the code.

    cheers markus
    Last edited by 3dworks; 12-10-2018 at 03:21 AM.
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  7. #7
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest View Post
    If you're still using the native booleans, you have to take a look at the 3rd Powers plugins. They have real time booleans and mesh stitchers for Modeler.
    http://www.3rdpowers.com/
    Cool plugins for lightwave, though there are free software that does realtime booleans, and that in the form of modifiers, which mean you can change drill size or shapes in a non destructive way.
    The metamesh however, is really interesting..Guess it mostly is for organic shapes though and not so much for other desing types...just guessing.

  8. #8

    i'd guess no

    however, look into LWcad and 3rdPowers for enhanced modeling tools

    crossing fingers for Modeler love in 2019 or 2020  

    there are free software that does realtime booleans, and that in the form of modifiers, which mean you can change drill size or shapes in a non destructive way.
    at some point, probably, LightWave will get a Modeler that can compete in some ways.
    Last edited by erikals; 12-10-2018 at 08:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    i'd guess no

    however, look into LWcad and 3rdPowers for enhanced modeling tools

    crossing fingers for Modeler love in 2019 or 2020  


    at some point, probably, LightWave will get a Modeler that can compete in some ways.
    I don't mean to offend anybody but I don't agree.

    In my opinion, NewTek should forget about Modeler. Any development efforts in that direction are lost time they could use for other (basic or special effects) stuff in Layout. Except they want to just please the old-time LW users.

    Its not realistic that Modeler can be brought to a level of other 3d applications because these are about 15 years (of much more intensive and innovative development) ahead. The 'new' 2018 modeler tools like 'Live' array are a joke for today's standards.

    LightWave would need a complete overhaul of its core architecture (which was supposed to happen for 2018), offering a non-destructive workflow and unification, but I don't think that's ever going to happen. If they manage to implement that, they would need to re-develop all the tools based on that new foundation.

    Additionally to that, other 3d development teams have many years of experience in refining and optimizing features. LW tools once developed mostly stay the same over decades, specially in case of Modeler. Instead of refining these for each new release, NewTek just adds other (poorly designed) tools that overlap with their functionality.

    3rdPowers tools are not enhanced modeling tools. They do a poor job compared to other 3d applications base functionality (all of them). 3rdPowers tools should not be required as addon for any general purpose 3d application. I would consider Metamesh an exception when it was first released, but modern 3d applications have better tools built-in for these kind of tasks now. LWCAD is not well integrated in LW and has a destructive workflow.

    I would prefer if NewTek would focus on Layout and eventually start building basic modeling tools there. They will still be behind others but might find niche tools / features that others don't have.

    I was expecting a great geometry engine or good volumetrics for LW2018 (the reason I upgraded) but I find its current implementation very limited and disappointing.

    But before they start developing any new feature they should first fix the UI and implement a working Undo, redesign core feature like the GraphEditor or SceneEditor in my opinion.

  10. #10
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    I appreciate your honesty Marander, but I don't understand what are these magic tools which "everyone else" is using. For example, over on Modo forum is a thread with over 4000 posts and over 700,000 views in which quite a few people are like "I'm defecting from Modo to Blender 2.8". I only mention this because Modo is supposed to be that high end modelling package which specifically sprang from LW Modeler in many ways. I may be wrong but it looks like a grass-is-greener thing to me. It seems almost fickle to jump from Modo to Blender, given that Modo itself is supposed to have those magic tools...

    I know peoples needs are different, but I take the view that for one guy, if it is too much beyond LW Modeler, then it is too complicated (for me anyway) in terms of knocking work out fast. That is why I persist with trying to harness LW Modeler and considering plugins to enhance that. I may be wrong but it may be an advantage to limit options compared to too many new interfaces of software, because it takes knowing all the nuances to become a power user. In my own personal case, I feel I am lacking a proper understanding of 2D perspective and compositing to leverage and shortcut a workflow, and might be a rabbit warren prowling into other modelling (too much).

    I hope I'm not being too much of a Luddite there.

    Last edited by TheLexx; 12-11-2018 at 04:05 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLexx View Post
    I appreciate your honesty Marander, but I don't understand what are these magic tools which "everyone else" is using. For example, over on Modo forum is a thread with over 4000 posts and over 700,000 views in which quite a few people are like "I'm defecting from Modo to Blender 2.8". I only mention this because Modo is supposed to be that high end modelling package which specifically sprang from LW Modeler in many ways. I may be wrong but it looks like a grass-is-greener thing to me. It seems almost fickle to jump from Modo to Blender, given that Modo itself is supposed to have those magic tools...

    I know peoples needs are different, but I take the view that for one guy, if it is too much beyond LW Modeler, then it is too complicated (for me anyway) in terms of knocking work out fast. That is why I persist with trying to harness LW Modeler and considering plugins to enhance that. I may be wrong but it may be an advantage to limit options compared to too many new interfaces of software, because it takes knowing all the nuances to become a power user. In my own personal case, I feel I am lacking a proper understanding of 2D perspective and compositing to leverage and shortcut a workflow, and might be a rabbit warren prowling into other modelling (too much).

    I hope I'm not being too much of a Luddite there.

    Hey TheLexx I understand your arguments.

    You're right, there's no magic tools in any of these applications, 3D modeling is always work. However they offer refined and efficient workflows. There will always be a feature that is better done in one application compared to others.

    The 'grass is greener' syndrom, yes true but this is on a whole different level with these apps. I don't think any of these users would consider LW and specially Modeler as an alternative.

    For example, I consider the bevel or knife tools in C4D the best as well as splines, text, procedural modifiers and openVDB modeling. MODO has MeshFusion which is unparalleled, it's great for mechanical modeling. However it just introduced a procedural workflow a few releases ago and has a horrible licensing system. The Blender hard surface tools are very good (but so are others). Blender is great and has a huge feature set but some of them seem not to go as deep as others. The AD applications are also great modeling applications but rental only, Houdini started to implement easier to use hard surface tools and is of course the procedural king. LW Modeler is good to just drag out an object, lets say a box - instead of creating a box object first and then modify its parameters. LW has an easy-to-use layering system.

    LW lacks of basic things like Undo, Snapping, Selection Sets, proper Edge and Spline tools, Highlighting, Workplanes or Sculpting. It doesn't have an Object Mode (which allows fully integrated custom objects with individual parameters, e.g. Hair, Par Cloth, Particles, Text, Primitives, objects for plugins like LWCAD). Then the various issues of the application split for Weight Painting, Fracturing, using Splines in Layout, Skeletons, Hair Guides etc. And a procedural / non-destructive workflow of course.

    Let's say you create a text with custom bevels, extrusions, kerning, maybe fractures, want to modify individual spline points of the text, change the spline type, add subdivisions for good deformation, booleans or symmetry, bent along a path, shrink-wrapped to another object, using the text object as base for an emitter or collision object - then you want to change the font, text itself or other settings - you're doomed with LW while with the others you can just adjust any parameter, even having those set automatically based on a driver/script/node. Then maybe you want to animate the text and its parameters, use dynamics, apply effectors or falloffs - based on single words, chunks, lines or characters...

    If you want to achieve the exact look, art direct your scene - you need to experiment with different parameters or seeds until you find the right look. It's not just about having a new text tool in LW, it's the whole architecture that does not allow an efficient workflow.

    I understand the argument about being proficient in an application, it takes time to get good in another application. Also I think it doesn't make sense to work with 2-3 different modeling applications. That's why I said, if NewTek wants to please old-time LW users, that's fine. But competing with the others is not realistic in my opinion.
    Last edited by Marander; 12-11-2018 at 07:23 AM.

  12. #12
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    Consider a Nurbs modeller - http://moi3d.com/

  13. #13
    Super Member JohnMarchant's Avatar
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    The only modeling tool that is far superior is ZBrush or 3DCoat, most other software has its problems on the modeling front. Try modeling in Houdini or indeed Maya, not exactly a joy to work with. LightWave is not to bad, it really just needs tightening up. To many tools poorly implemented or not really taken advantage of. Many tools doing similar things that could be integrated. Actually as far as look goes LWCad is very good indeed. I like seeing the information on distance, angle and such exactly where my cursor is where i am working and not have to look down to the right or call up the numeric tool UI. I think many 3d packages have let their modeling tools languish for to long.

    I think the biggest problem for many of the paid for software is Blender. Its really coming on a treat and whilst not perfect does sometimes make you wonder why you are paying for other software.
    Last edited by JohnMarchant; 12-11-2018 at 08:35 AM.
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    Yes, besides component and selection preview / highlighting, visual feedback for distance / angles or visualizing problematic parts of the mesh* are also missing in Modeler as well as snapping*, steps / quantizing and other modeling helpers like guides or measures*. Rectangle selection? Structure view? Modifiers? Generators? Voxel based modeling*? All things I wouldn't want to miss anymore and should be part of any modern modeling software.

    Yes I know some of this is part of LWCAD but it replaces large parts of the Modeler features and uses its own geometry type for splines and NURBS.

    * these would be very helpful for 3D printing as mentioned in the original post. ZBrush could be a good and affordable solution for that as well.
    Last edited by Marander; 12-11-2018 at 10:46 AM.

  15. #15
    Registered User jbrookes's Avatar
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    I understand that you're trying to help make LightWave better. And that's good.

    However, I don't view Modeler's current state as any sort of crisis. Nor would I support the idea of simply abandoning it. Typically, I see heated posts (much like yours) coming from people who are strong proponents of a unified interface. I have to admit, I like the split between Layout and Modeler. But then again, it just happens to suit my preferred work-flow.

    If the issue with Modeler is that you find that you can't model something in it, then maybe it's worth trying some different techniques. A proficient LightWave user should be able to model just about anything in Modeler (out of the box).

    Now if it's simply more of a concern with efficiency of work-flow -- then perhaps you have a case. If that's the root of your argument, then that suggests that the issue at hand is a 'nice-to-have' and not a 'must-have'.
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