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Mwai Kasamale
12-08-2003, 04:08 AM
I was interested in what LW users thought of node based systems and their potential implimentation in LW

Node based or not LW functions fine without it, though I believe it would greatly improve with it. Maya R&D stated once in a paper regarding their software design process, namely for Alias Studio and related products used in Car design, that the primary reason to go node based in various areas, is that certain tasks are handled easier visually, than numerically.

I personally think Amelie (the expression tool is nice but pure math, I think is best done on paper (numerically) though this may be proven wrong when LW8's Ecpression editor is run through its paces), It was stated in the paper that as children we learn basic math on chalkboards and introductory instruction this way- able to understand through visual illustration processes and functions, however as we age the brain (namely the male brain) operates in such a way to handle complex calculations best by thinking about it, writing it down, then testing it. similar to using calculators to do maths.

Where it gets interesiting is where visual representation is more efficient and better as opposed to numeric methodology. Where colour, texture(feeling, bump), look, and size are related Men tend to instinctually prefer visual representation. ;)

As a houdini user I must say that Alias and SideFX, have done their research. A friend of mine at Softimage(a closet LW user) told me once that he hated LW's texture editor because , being used to XSI's node based texture system he found himself finding it harder and harder to use LW's editor- in effect swimming upstream. This is the primary reason why people who light and texture in highend appz like XSI, Renderman etc can easily transfer those skills to Maya, Houdini etc. So technically speaking moving from say Maya to LW's visual system is defying what scientifically good GUI design. More and more tools are shifting to this means of representation because, simply ITS EASIER and thus faster. Remember when everything was coded, God forbid we return to that.

LW WILL greatly benefit from a node based system. but in only certain areas. This is why XSI does not use node trees for everything like Houdini. It should be noted that Houdini, unlike Maya or XSI or any app for that matter is procedural and any other system would be idiotic for Houdini.Sabre (http://kaniserver.homeip.net/%7Ekonoha/psycho/data/sabre_manual/indexE.html) is a great tool but because of LW's code Sabre is limited to the plug-in architecture of LW. I use Sabre for everything I can in LW because alot of the functions in Sabre just cannot be done in LW's editor. NEWTEK should look to this developer as reference for future improvements to LW.

Which areas I think LW should impliment Node based systems:

-Texturing
-Shader Development (which LW plugin free does not support you are llimited to Phongy Blinny lighting models)
-Modeling
-Maayyybe Motion Editing (Graph Editor)

Just my 2 cents

wgreenlee1
12-08-2003, 04:22 AM
nodes r good,
i used to think they were goofy but after you get whats going on anything else looks chumpified
selection is a breeze because you go right to that node and select it and not sitting there browing thru a buncha layers to see whats going on,with nodes you know which one you need to go to,imho

lw is going to nodes,arent they getting some in the animation aspects?i thought i seen some screenshots of some

Miyazaki
12-08-2003, 04:33 AM
Node based architecture. Definetely the way to go. And not limited to render trees or surfacing only.
Imagine what we could do with a nodebased system for all properties, link the output of one property node to the input of another. Complex circuits would be possible, easy to setup with a new level of interactivity. Yep, I would love it :beer: I think for a proper solution a whole rewrite from scratch would be necessary. But hey, we can`t stop the future.

Finkster
12-08-2003, 04:40 AM
I'd be very happy if there was a node based texturing system. It took me a while to become comfortable with the texture editor and its layering system. Even now there are times when I feel I could achieve desired results with much more ease if texturing was nodal. I think that's my only major workflow issue with LW. A node based system would just feel more comfortable to work with, perhaps more natural, as you say.
As for other aspects of the program being nodal, I wouldn't particularly wish it, but I can see how it could be advantageous.
How far would you take it though? If everything were nodal, would this greatly increase the complexity of the program and the ease with which it can be learned and mastered?
I can't help but feel it would introduce a great big learning curve, but then again I've never used a program like Houdini etc.

takkun
12-08-2003, 04:53 AM
Here's the original thread that the above was quoted from:

http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14668&perpage=15&pagenumber=1

LNT
12-08-2003, 08:05 AM
Phongy Blinny lighting models

this has more to do with lightwave lacking other shading models than with lightwaves lacking nodal structure

the most sensible implementation of nodes I've seen so far is that in XSI,but lets not forget that we're talking about the newest generation app,Softimage3D|3.x had pretty much the same shader stack system as the one in lightwave

personally,if I was to see nodes in LW I'd want them integrated in SceneEditor a la XSI rather than have them scattered over the Hypergraph,Outliner etc like in maya

polygonpusher
12-08-2003, 08:05 AM
I think that would be a great idea. Although the learning curve is a little higher because of the endless possibilities, once you get the hang of it, not having it feels like having one hand tied down. How about a node based approach to particles? I have always found it difficult to get complex motion with the pre-defined parameters.

Mwai Kasamale
12-08-2003, 08:15 AM
I can't help but feel it would introduce a great big learning curve, but then again I've never used a program like Houdini etc.

Maybe your right, but I'd argue that it actually makes it easier than harder. I've been faced with occasions when a problem shows I know exactly where to find them.

it astounding to me that in LW you can't Mix a finished Texture or Shader with 4 other without going insane. You'd have to use Darktree(another great program) or something else if there is anything else.

kinda what I see rushed it alittle
http://benkas.homestead.com/files/Node.jpg

Facial Deluxe
12-08-2003, 08:22 AM
Well I too agree that node is the way.

I'm always working with the schematic view, I think this one need enhancement. Could be cool to be able to "unwarp" each element and go down inside it's properties / Motion / Expression / shaders / Plugs / Dynamics / etc. And then connect the datas.

But at this point, LW will need to get stronger at the way "information" is shared. Mean, most of plugs don't work when parented (still using the world coords).
So...

dickma
12-08-2003, 08:23 AM
I would like to learn about Node-based programs as I feel the limitation of the surface editor.....

But may be I am stupid about the behind concepts of the Node-based programs.....It is a great obstacles about learning Maya, SoftImage XSI or video editing programs by myself. The most differcult part is to learn all the parameters and I will gonna crazy if I see a COMPLEX nested diagrams with all in and out arrows....I feel awful when I see that.

I wonder if I can survive or not in the animation world if not learning node-based programs.....
:shrug:

Facial Deluxe
12-08-2003, 08:32 AM
Originally posted by Dick Ma
I would like to learn about Node-based programs as I feel the limitation of the surface editor.....

But may be I am stupid about the behind concepts of the Node-based programs.....It is a great obstacles about learning Maya, SoftImage XSI or video editing programs by myself. The most differcult part is to learn all the parameters and I will gonna crazy if I see a COMPLEX nested diagrams with all in and out arrows....I feel awful when I see that.

I wonder if I can survive or not in the animation world if not learning node-based programs.....
:shrug:
I think it is a question of habit, no more. Once you get used to it, you can read complex diagrams like a sentence ;)

Mwai Kasamale
12-08-2003, 08:42 AM
Its also important to remember that most of those nodes in that complex tree are little things like "ADD' or "ALPHA" "LAYER" or otherwise. Don't be intimidated by it. Like FD says, once you ge used to it doesn't look so complex.

dickma
12-08-2003, 08:50 AM
I think it is related to logical thinking.....read or analyse a shading node by someone isn't difficult I think....but creating a shading node may be difficult....

KillMe
12-08-2003, 10:41 AM
i dont see a node based system for modeling - as if it made it liek houdini i would cry and have to quit lightwave and go work at some boring job

but for the surface editor/shaders it would be a cool addition but jsut keep the old system therefor teh cheap and dirty textures

also as you set up your nodes the layers etc in the normal surface editor should be updated etc - so you can work in both not one or the other

as for using it in the graph edito etc well not sure how exactly that would work other than for expressions and the like which are now node based but hellwhy not give it a try =)

leigh
12-08-2003, 11:27 AM
I love nodes. They are just so much nicer to work with - as some of you know, I've recently started using XSI at work, and I LOVE it's Render Tree. Setting up complex surfaces is much quicker, and more pleasant too.

I've recently been introduced to node-based compositing systems too, Shake being one. Compositing in nodes is absolutely brilliant - I don't know how I managed before!

I personally feel that sooner or later all programs should/will go the node-based route.

dickma
12-08-2003, 12:50 PM
I should prepare to die if I don't hurry up to learn node-based programs.... any good node-based programs tutorials I can briefly know the basics?:shrug:

kamil_w
12-08-2003, 01:01 PM
>>Imagine what we could do with a nodebased system for all >>properties, link the output of one property node to the input of >>another. Complex circuits would be possible...

This is exactly something you can do in Maya. (and Houdini, of course)

Maya`s node system may look scattered as someone here mentioned but this is because the flow of data can go in any direction. You can even make output of some node an input to the same node (after some additional operation(s))

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