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Jean Eric
01-28-2002, 12:31 PM
What are your favorite tools for 3D Game design? Maya? 3ds max? Softimage?

Tell us why!

suck
01-28-2002, 01:38 PM
Well lemme just step in here and try to avert a hopeless fanboy battle and ask this...

Who has used Maya and Max IN PRODUCTION of a game? If you have used both, please do share your experiences and any possible comparisons you could draw. We are a Max only shop (Filmbox for animation), and many people I work with think Maya is the solution to any/all problems Max presents.

My personal opinion is that the grass is always greener on the other side. :)

As I see it:

Upside to Max:
- Fantastic modeling. Poly tools in Max4 are stellar, and extensible enough to spawn some truly amazing script work (meshtools, cspolytools among others).

- Adequate UV tools. Granted, having to navigate the stack during mapping of an object might be a tad bit tedious, but people that know what they're doing with Max's mapping tools don't need anything else. UVW Unwrap can handle many tasks by itself without even needing to get crazy with the stack. And face based UV's make creating discontinuous areas of mapping very straightforward.

- Character Studio. For many shops, Biped is all they need for character rigging. For hand animation it is a great tool. For Mocap we choose not to use it, but in my experience Biped is sweet. Physique used to be get on my nerves but has since redeemed itself as I've finally become accustomed to its many, many quirks. If there are any other Physique users out that that think it is just a pile of poo, drop me a line and I'll see if I can shed some light on your issues with it. I felt the same way a few months ago but now it is behaving.

Downside to Max:

- SDK. I have heard nothing but bad things about the way the Max SDK has deteriorated over the years. I'm not a coder but as I understand it there are too many chefs in the kitchen and it is really difficult to follow.

- No Maxscript debugger.

- Error Handling and general stability. How many Max users can honestly say that Max never flakes out on them? Granted, no software is totally bug free, but Discreet has opted in many cases to add new features before fixing old nagging issues. How many people use the Block controller? Flex? Point Cache? Wiring? Booleans (not that you should anyway :)?

- Animation. Okay everyone else has NLE in some form or another, but Max does not. It does have some kickass new IK controllers, though. Animating in Max is an acquired taste and doesn't offer nearly the flexibility of other tools.


As far as non-game stuff goes (rendering, shaders), it doesn't matter much to me. Max should OWN the game market at this point though, yet I feel as though A/W is making significant inroads capitalizing on disgruntled Max users. Have other people found this to be the case?

David Lightbown
01-28-2002, 07:44 PM
We're using Max in production here, simply because our sister studio used it before we started up this studio and to seamlessly integrate everything it was the obvious choice. If we didn't have to worry about the learning curve and the cost of the software, we'd probably be using Maya, mostly because of the stability and MELscript.

I personally use Lightwave to model characters and objects and UV map them (I find Lightwave's UV mapping superior to Max's BTW) and we use Max for level design and all other odds and ends. Max 4's modeling tools are good, but no edge extrude in Editable Poly ? Attach List instead of Attach ? How come the software isn't written well enough so that we can use Laslo's Meshtools in Mesh as well as Poly mode ? If he was able to do it, I know he would. And what the HELL is up with the hotkeys ? Who wants to right click to MOVE and ROTATE something ? Granted, there are other hotkey setups, but if you choose another one, usually you lose other hotkeys you liked, and I'm the kind of guy who likes to know a software out of the box without making too many customizations. I could go on about Material editing, instability, file corruption (why are there so many ways to backup your file automatically ? Did discreet know it was going to crash and corrupt every 5 minutes ? :P ), snap tool inprecision, turning off all textures in viewport randomly, booleans, etc...

On the upside, Max has some really good points. Character Studio is great, but more customization in the biped is something people have been asking for for years... (i.e. four legs, adding arms, total customization without attaching bones)... and even if its not for real-time game production, no one can ignore the incredible jump in quality between the max 3 and max 4 renderer.

On the whole, Max seems like a jumbled together product. I understand that discreet probably got the code from kinetix and were struggling with putting together something good in a short amount of time. I've used Maya, Max and Lightwave for a while now and I think that Max, with improved modeling, stability and streamlining, has the ability to be the best 3D software for games development out there.

And yes, I believe A|W is capitalizing on disgruntled Max users. A lot of the behind the scenes movies I see show developers using more and more Maya these days.

I think the next version of Max will decide it's continuing fate in the games industry. Lord knows we want to switch over if they don't get their act together.

DaliLlama
01-29-2002, 12:57 AM
I've been working at ION Storm for, jeez, over 4 years now. We started out as a Lightwave Studio, but recently switched to Max after Deus Ex shipped.

I, too, continue to use Lightwave to model and UV objects and characters. I've used character studio and biped, but not enough to get past the hurdles, so I still find it incredibly frustrating. Anyone whose used LW's weightmaps and bones understands how easy it is to go back and forth between rigging and modeling characters (even tho LW's animations tools are sorely lacking), but trying to add a bone to a character thats already been physiqued is a nightmare. (If anyone has some good tips on setting up envelopes and weighted vertices, or modifying a skeleton or geometry after being rigged, lemme know!)

Our programmers really like how easy Max is to write plugins for. And all our in house dev tools for exporting assets from Max are pretty damn slick.

I just tell my producer i'm using a new plugin for Max called Lightwave :)

Delucubus
01-29-2002, 01:30 AM
I am fairly new to modeling/gaming etc. I dont' work at any studio but I have worked on several mods and am still working on my portfolio. I just want to say that I have found Lightwave to be great. It was a easy to learn and once I did I found it's modeling and uv tools became almost like second nature. Before Lightwave I was using Max 3 and found it very cumbersome. When I switched to Lightwave I deleted Max and decided that I wouldn't need it because I became so accustomed to Lightwave.

But then it's always a person's or studio's personal preference that will make the final decision. What is best suited for the job? Learning curves? Prices? Those things all are factors. Also, what are you familiar with? I'm very familiar with Lightwave which is what I use. I know people who are familiar with Max and prefer it but can get the same job done as me.

Tripdragon
01-29-2002, 02:22 AM
I use Blender cause it's free! ^v^

And it realy works.

bsafarik
01-29-2002, 02:26 AM
I recently began SDK coding plug-ins for MAX and, once you get your noodle around the disarray that is the SDK, you can do some VERY powerful things. By it's nature, IMHO Max's SDK is more flexible and powerful than Maya's, now having programmed for both. As was mentioned, however, it _IS_ messy. There's tons of legacy code floating around, and a half-dozen ways - sometimes more - of doing the same thing, depending on if you want to use 'old' SDK methods or 'new' SDK methods. It can be quite confusing for a newbie Max coder, especially when talking about modifier code. After a couple solid months now, there's still a myriad of things which confuse the heck out of me. ...I'm learning, but slowly... :)

I also have been using Max as a production tool for braodcast animation for...oh, about four years now. Like other apps, there's things Max does that are a blessing, and others that - at 3am the morning of a deadline - make you want to strangle the first discreet/autodesk/kinetix person you come across. ;) For game cinematics and broadcast, Max's rendering quality and speed are excellent, as well as highly customizable. The polygon tools are nice...inferior to LW, but nicer than Maya, IMHO. NURBS in Max are a joke, and should be exorcised! :) UVW tools are adequate, although like Maya, feel a bit like they were bolted-on. As was mentioned, the various scripts extending Max's poly tools are priceless and really should be made a standard part of Max's toolset!!

All in all, Max is a professional and comprehensive game tool. It's fate, however, does rest in the next iteration, IMHO. The core of Max is old and, though very well designed by the Yost group way back when, it's showing it's age. Certain things need to be brought "internal" to the codebase, rather than _everything_ being a plug-in, and the chaf needs to be culled. Maya has a tighter API for sure, though it's "encapsulation" limits its capabilities just a bit, I think.

Now, if discreet picked up Mirai's (Winged Edge Technology, formerly Nichimen) poly tools and NLE functionality, it would be a whole new ballgame! :D

Regards.....

David Lightbown
01-29-2002, 04:11 AM
Even if we are a Max house, I'm luck enough, like Rob, to be allowed to use Lightwave. Lucky for me, my Art Director knows its the most powerful and hand-on brute force modeler out there, with Mirai/Nendo coming in a close second in my experience. I wouldn't be able to finish character models in hours with any other software in my opinion, and as I've said before, the UV mapping tools are superior. The only thing I wish Lightwave had was Align to Poly and even that is easily circumventable with a morph target and a little ingenuity. Lightwave's weight maps system is totally superior to Max's system anyday... not only is Skin and Physique slow, it's also got tons of fine print if you want to resize your biped, animation, add bones, etc... the only thing that Lightwave needs is a Biped-style system, and Motion Mixer ain't it :)

In the end, however, what's important is what format you can export in. Unless you're making static objects and converting them into the appropriate format, most of the time you have to animate in the software you're exporting in. I'll use 3D Exploration to move stuff from Lightwave to Max then just drop my texture on and then (ugh!) create a biped and apply physique. That's when I leave my clean streamlined Lightwave happyland and I'm plunged into Max hell :) Maybe I'll leave rigging to someone else !

OK OK so it's not THAT bad... I'm just tired of opening myfile_recover.max :P

DaliLlama
01-29-2002, 09:07 AM
hey David, did you know that with 3dExploration, you can export a MAX file containing many objects, dump out a LW 6.x file, and get a layer LWO with every object as a layer, with the layer name the objects name from MAX? it's pretty cool.

You can do the reverse too. Put all the objects you want to dump into MAX into one layered LWO file. Name each layer the name of the object, and convert it to an OBJ. Use an OBJ importer for MAX and each layer will import as a separate object into MAX. they will even retain their UVs and you don't have to Unweld before exporting!

I take about 100 objects from MAX, dump em into LW, optimize the geometry and re-UV them, dump them back into MAX...only 2 steps.

I
'm still using the old 3Dexploration, before it was bought by RIght Hemisphere...it crashes tho on LWOs that have alot of layers (like 150+), what version are you using?

spakman
01-29-2002, 10:30 AM
Factor 5 = 100% Maya house -- and I dig it! d=^)

peace

David Lightbown
01-29-2002, 11:24 AM
Rob,

we used to chat on ICQ, my username was IkarisFallen, do you remember ? Working in such close proximity to Warren Spector must be pretty cool... I mean, its the whole team that counts, but hey :)

I'm using the latest 3DExploration, I got a license code pretty much right away before the rights went from Russia to New Zealand :)

I didn't know you could do that with the layers, thats pretty cool. However, I have a problem when I bring a model from LW into Max through 3DExploration, where I have to weld my points where I split the model in the UVs when I get into Max, and if the model is small, because Max is lame and won't go to a certain decimal of precision, I end up welding more than I want and have to change the units. Any clue as to why its doing this ?

As for Factor 5 being 100% Maya, I saw a behind the scenes movie that showed one of the modelers working in Maya... I tell ya, people are making the change and loving it... Max 5 had better rock, or we're changing soooo fast... :P

subagio
01-29-2002, 02:23 PM
Well we're a Max houses here, and we're doing quite alright with it actually. I'm personally a bit platform tool usually, i.e. I'm quite happy to work in any app on any platform, but I don't feel compelled to switch yet at all.

I understand that there was Soft 3.8 in the company's history long before I was here, and while I have fond memories of it myself, they say it was a nightmare for gaming. I've used Houdini and Maya as well professionally, and I know Houdini is a bit pointless for game modelling, and I'm just not hot at all on Maya poly modelling.

As far as I'm concerned, Max is the one for me at this moment in time. We're a little pressed for time at work, and I'm the fastest character modeller we've got here and I wouldn't want to try this in anything else. The polyobject makes modelling just plain enjoyable to me, the scripted tools add to that, and maxscript in general simply let's me fly ahead on so many things. Heck, I can even help the programmers debug the data coming from Max because I can get familiar enough with it via maxscript.

I think a lot of it for me is the fact that gaming art at this point is still relatively simple data wise, and Max handles the requirements for me to a T. For instance, we don't have fancy deformers and higher order surfaces. It's just poly pushing and normal weighted skinning (heck, even that is on selected platforms :), for which we've found skin to be ideal.

Hopefully it continues to evolve. More mapping tools (as for every program imho) are a 3D app next gen must. Let's see some more innovation in the modelling front. Some form of topology independent weighting as well is a bit crucial. I wouldn't mind a commandline mode to the program, and an ascii naive format either.

--C

PS Oh, and I'm going to have to give LW a good go at some point when I have a mo' to myself though, just on the back of recommendations. I've already ripped of the 'p' make poly from selected verts key I think it is :)

DaliLlama
01-29-2002, 08:42 PM
David, I thought your name was really familiar, but I couldn't place it...congratz on making it into the industry.

If your LWO has multiple surfaces, it will come into MAX as 2 objects...No way around that, that I know of. If you set the Weld Threshold in MAX to 0.0001, it will basically just merge points that are right on top of each other.

I've found if you convert LWO to MAX using 3DS format, you have to Unweld your LWO before export, but if you use the OBJ file format, you don't have to bother unwelding. 3DS doesn't like multiple UVs per vertex, but OBJ will handle it fine.

Also, in 3dexploration, if you set your Pre Save Transformations to 90=x, 180=z, your LWOs will automatically be aligned to MAX's coordinate system.

David Lightbown
01-29-2002, 09:07 PM
Rob,

hehe thanks... well I'm a dual citizen so I have a US and Canadian passport, so one day when I've got more than 2 games under my belt, I'll see if I can work with the illustrious Ion Storm crew... maybe they'll be making Deus Ex 3 by that point :)

yeah the problem with bringing it down to 0.00001 is that sometimes Max doesn't let you, you have to change your units setting... ergh.

I didn't know about the OBJ thing... I'll keep that in mind.

Finally, I figured out the pre-save rotating thing through trial and error, its a good thing to use... since Max based on AutoCAD, Max still has that legacy "top down view is X and Y" thing that just makes no sense. What about when you create a scene, having the option to choose the world axis ? That would be nice... they don't call depth the "Y buffer" do they ? No it's a Z buffer... as in Z is depth... not Y... get with the program, Max :P

subagio
01-29-2002, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by David Lightbown
Rob,

still has that legacy "top down view is X and Y" thing that just makes no sense. What about when you create a scene, having the option to choose the world axis ? That would be nice... they don't call depth the "Y buffer" do they ? No it's a Z buffer... as in Z is depth... not Y... get with the program, Max :P

:) You'd be surprised how many people now code in z up. I do think it should be an option, but my option is definitely z up. You draw a plan in x/y, and you lift it in z. z is the view direction agnostic axis, which to me can only mean up. To me, y up is the legacy, from the ancient days when people were transitioning between 2D and 3D, and just tacked on another axis for 'into' the screen.

And besides, get with the program David, it's W buffers now for preference :)

--C

David Lightbown
01-29-2002, 10:11 PM
Well I guess I got schooled, or something !

Maybe I should just 'moderate' messages that knock me :)

spakman
01-29-2002, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by subagio
Well we're a Max houses here...

...and I'm just not hot at all on Maya poly modelling.



Rilly depends on how you look at it. I've only spent mebbe 14 hours total in Max my whole life, so I rilly can't say anything one way or another.

What I can say is that the first thing I did with Maya when I got here was to make it more like Nendo. Got pretty much everything layed out in marking menus (got em backed up too, cos it would be a nightmare for me to find those commands again).

So I'm totally digging Maya (tho nobody can use my machine here, cos all my stuff is remapped, heh), and am actually kinda surprised, but I can model faster in Maya than in other apps (didn't see that coming, but welcome). Just picked up Clay_dough. perdy wicked.

Chewey
01-30-2002, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by DaliLlama
hey David, did you know that with 3dExploration, you can export a MAX file containing many objects, dump out a LW 6.x file, and get a layer LWO with every object as a layer, with the layer name the objects name from MAX? it's pretty cool.

You can do the reverse too. Put all the objects you want to dump into MAX into one layered LWO file. Name each layer the name of the object, and convert it to an OBJ. Use an OBJ importer for MAX and each layer will import as a separate object into MAX. they will even retain their UVs and you don't have to Unweld before exporting!

I take about 100 objects from MAX, dump em into LW, optimize the geometry and re-UV them, dump them back into MAX...only 2 steps.

I
'm still using the old 3Dexploration, before it was bought by RIght Hemisphere...it crashes tho on LWOs that have alot of layers (like 150+), what version are you using?

Sorry for the slight o.t. but I'm wrestling with getting my lightwave objects imported over to Max with uv's intact. If I can convert a lightwave object file over to the .obj format using 3dExploration as you recommend, then which .obj importer for Max do you use to make sure the uv's port over correctly? I've used Polytrans but it converts my quads into tris.

Any help or tips would be much appreciated.

David Lightbown
01-30-2002, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by subagio


And besides, get with the program David, it's W buffers now for preference :)

--C

Subagio,

I guess I was more refering to the fact that Maya/Poweranimator, Lightwave, Mirai, Softimage, etc... all have the Z for depth and Y for height. I guess they call them W buffers now so eliviate calling them Z or Y ? :)

All of the engines that we've used over here have Z for depth and Y for height. Is it different where you're working ?

Emmanuel
01-30-2002, 06:27 PM
Lightwave all the way, so far, also looking into MAX for stuff but defintly planning on getting the MAYA PLE.
I watched somebody modeling in Maya recently, and it had some LWish flavour, I have to try it :)

Until then: Riding the LightWave !
Best pol/subdivision modelling tools, great UV-mapping, great renderer, okayish animation capabilities, very fast GUI.


Later,
Emmanuel

subagio
01-30-2002, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by David Lightbown


Subagio,

I guess I was more refering to the fact that Maya/Poweranimator, Lightwave, Mirai, Softimage, etc... all have the Z for depth and Y for height. I guess they call them W buffers now so eliviate calling them Z or Y ? :)



Actually, W buffers are a bit of a new thing. It's to do with the distribution in the granularity of the buffer. The crux of the matter is that with a W buffer you can alleviate a lot of Z buffer flicker problems. try here (http://developer.nvidia.com/view.asp?IO=WBuffering_in_Direct3D) for a quickie explanation. There's yet more evolution to come in that direction, with 1/w buffers and complementary Z.

And since you had to bring it up, yes, Z is into the screen, but that's in screen coordinates, not world coordinates. Doesn't matter where you're looking, Z is always in. :) Any relationship between the 2 is always arbitrary.



All of the engines that we've used over here have Z for depth and Y for height. Is it different where you're working ?

We work in Z up in game actually. Why not? Coordinate systems are arbitrary anyway, we've decided on this one.

--C

Bingo
01-30-2002, 07:11 PM
I used to use Max for animating until I joined Sony and now I use Maya. I always thought Max was cool, now ... I would never want to go back to Max. Maya rocks. The animation tools are the best.

David Lightbown
01-30-2002, 07:20 PM
There's no doubt that coordinate systems are arbitrary, but say that you work with another developer and they're porting your game after yours is released. They might get a bit confused with your assets at first, I can imagine. Standards are important if you're going to collaborate with others.

As I said before, considering 90% of 3D software puts the default Z as depth (in world coordinates, I'll be specific this time), it gets a bit strange for some people. Thats about as far as the point I was making goes.

Paddy
01-30-2002, 07:50 PM
Just to throw in my pennies worth..

We use LW for modelling and texturing and Maya for animation and putting levels together.

We've tried modelling and texturing in Maya but found it too slow and cumbersome compared to LW. We wrote a load of melscripts to duplicate some of LW's functionality but it wasn't the same and was still slow.

Since we do some FMV too we use Beaverproject to take Maya anims back to LW to render properly.

Just our opinions.

I used Max for two years. Obviously good for game building but when the choice is there I'd stick to Lightwave. While Max has lots of powerful modelling tools, most of the time for low poly work you just don't need them. Max's interface is its biggest bug bear for me. (Yes I know you can re-jig it now but the underlying UI is not nice)

subagio
01-30-2002, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by David Lightbown
There's no doubt that coordinate systems are arbitrary, but say that you work with another developer and they're porting your game after yours is released. They might get a bit confused with your assets at first, I can imagine. Standards are important if you're going to collaborate with others.

As I said before, considering 90% of 3D software puts the default Z as depth (in world coordinates, I'll be specific this time), it gets a bit strange for some people. Thats about as far as the point I was making goes.


Granted. Your point is valid, but my original point was that I thought this should be an option. I, and quite a few others, prefer to think in terms of Z up. I've worked in those other packages (before Max in fact. I was originally in Alias PA), and have had no problems adapting at all.

As for outside collaboration, here it's a bit unlikely. We're already covering all the platforms in house. No matter how you plan though, collaboration is _always_ going to be a pain, and this is a really minor one. It's just one matrix to convert between the 2 coordinate systems, no sweat.

--C

Libor
01-30-2002, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by Chewey


Sorry for the slight o.t. but I'm wrestling with getting my lightwave objects imported over to Max with uv's intact. If I can convert a lightwave object file over to the .obj format using 3dExploration as you recommend, then which .obj importer for Max do you use to make sure the uv's port over correctly? I've used Polytrans but it converts my quads into tris.

Any help or tips would be much appreciated.

I had this prob too but find some useful stuff at maxplugins.de

I cant remeber the exact name of the free import plugin but there are actually only two so try both of them and see which works for that.

DaliLlama
01-30-2002, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by Chewey


Sorry for the slight o.t. but I'm wrestling with getting my lightwave objects imported over to Max with uv's intact. If I can convert a lightwave object file over to the .obj format using 3dExploration as you recommend, then which .obj importer for Max do you use to make sure the uv's port over correctly? I've used Polytrans but it converts my quads into tris.

Any help or tips would be much appreciated.

I'm using OBJ2MAX.dli to import OBJs.
basically, 3DExploration takes each layer and looks to see how many surfaces are in that layer. If there is only one surface in that layer, then you will see the layer name in the OBJ importer dialog box.
If there are more than 1 surface in the layer. 3DExploration will split the surfaces into multiple objects, named Object1, Object2, etc.
I would recommend using 1 VMap and 1 Surface in Modeler, and keep everything you want to dump into MAX in 1 giant LWO file.
If you absolutely need to have multiple surfaces on an object, that fine, but you'll have to attach the surfaces back together in MAX and rename the object.

BTW, to put this back on topic, 3DExploration is my favorite tool for game design!

David Lightbown
01-30-2002, 09:27 PM
I find it interseting that so many artists here are talking about using Lightwave when it's not considered to be a standard game development software. I know a fair deal of titles have used it (Deus Ex, Psycho Circus, parts of Planescape: Torment, and others) but very few people write exporters for it. Renderware has a beta exporter that has limited functionality, but most of the time it's about moving your models from LW into Max or Maya.

I don't think that suddenly one day everyone will be using Lightwave for games from A to Z... with it's animation tools, which are getting better but not on par with Maya and Character Studio, it's doubtful that exporters for major engines will become commonplace for it. It always has its place in the hearts of modelers though, as I can see by finding artists other than Rob Kovach and I who use it regularly.

What I don't understand is that, unless it's a question of patents or codebase, how come other packages don't make modeling like Lightwave, seeing as everyone says that, despite it's lack of a modifier stack, it's the best modeler out there ? I downloaded a plugin for Max that allows one to select four points and make polygons out of them, which is getting there, but it's not the same as the real thing.

I think someone should write a plugin that interprets Lightwave's weight maps and integrates them into a CS Physique setup... wouldn't THAT rock... :)

subagio
01-30-2002, 09:39 PM
Can you say exactly what it is about LW that makes it such a great modeller?

My favorite atm is very very much Mirai. The tools flow together so very very nicely. Most of the tools I have grown to love over there we've had show up in Max as scripts. These are:

- Connect. Takes a selection of edges, divides each in half (or 3 parts, or 4) and connects all the resulting polys.
- Edgering, edgeloop select. Selects either a loop of verts in a quad topology (think isoparm on nurbs) or the segments connecting 2 loops.
- Selection conversion tools. These convert one type of selection (vert, face, edge) into any other. Selecting a face, then converting to verts gets you every vert in that face.

Just those 3 are enough to make my day, thought there are a few others that have made it over. I've also taken the liberty of coding a LW-esque make poly script that makes a poly out of any selected verts.

So what else is there in LW that everyone else is missing? Name the tool and describe exactly what it does if you would be so kind.

--C

Paddy
01-30-2002, 09:42 PM
Just a quick reply to Dave L...

A lot of programmers I've worked with express a preference to working with LW object and scene formats in comparison to Max or Maya. Max especially.

LW scene files are so simple even I used to be able to write Max scripts to export basic camera paths and light positions and I'm a bit of a thicko when it comes to scripting.

But the node system of Maya is incredibly useful for game setup. A simlar thing could probably be done in Lightwave with vmaps but I' don't know.

PNelson
01-30-2002, 09:46 PM
Hello my fellow LW game development homies!!

It good to see so much LightWave support here...

It's amazing just how many games are being created using LightWave in some part of the development pipeline....

We have just added a section on the LightWave projects list... If you have worked on a game using LightWave and it's not listed, please let me know.

Here is the link:
http://www.lightwave3d.com/product/projects_list.html

See ya,
Philip Nelson
NewTek

froggyplat
01-30-2002, 10:17 PM
i don't have extensive experience in modeling packages, but i have to say Lightwave's modeling tools are very intuitive and easy to master. i am very rarely frustrated by the interface or the available tools and it increases my workflow tremendously.

also, the fact that LW is broken down into two separate programs for modeling and animation really helps freeing up screen space and gives it a more open feel.

i also dig the surfacing capabilities as well. however, i have had a hard time with uv mapping, but that's probably more from a lack of experience.

David Lightbown
01-30-2002, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by subagio
Can you say exactly what it is about LW that makes it such a great modeller?

So what else is there in LW that everyone else is missing? Name the tool and describe exactly what it does if you would be so kind.

--C

Nothing, really. It doesn't matter what software is used, I was identifying an unexpected trend in people talking about Lightwave here. I've used Mirai as well and I find it to be very nice, and welcomed the addition of Meshtools to Max, which I use often as well. Granted, some software has tools that make life a lot easier, but it's more about where you feel comfortable. If you're comfortable with a software, then you tend to see over it's limitations and work faster because you're able to concentrate on the task at hand and not the technical aspects. I could describe a tool and how it makes life easier, and someone else could do it faster a different way in a different software. It's all according to preference. I'm more of a progressive edge extrude modeler than a subdiv modeler and I find Lightwave good for that kind of thing.

Paddy: Thats true, the simplistic ASCII file nature of the .LWS file format is welcome to a lot of programmers. However, in my experience, there are still, pound for pound, more tools and exporters for Max and Maya than Lightwave. Just the way it is I suppose. No biggie though, I'll just modeling in Lightwave and convert over to whichever format is necessary like always.

PNelson: Great to see you here ! Thanks for the list, I'd forgotten about a few of those... I'm always happy when some of my favorite games use one of my favorite tools. When our game is done, I'll make a mental note to have it added to your list. Thanks again !

Blue
01-30-2002, 11:39 PM
We have both MAX and Maya, but more than 95% of the in game content is developed in MAX. Not talking about cinematics, we're not there yet, so i'm not going to comment on that side yet.

I'm a former MAX instructor, and a former Maya AE, so i'm capable of using both.

MAX has superior poly tools, Decent UV tools and good animation tools (ie CStudio). But the dynamics bite, even with reactor. It has a fairly gentle learning curve as well. There are a huge amount of 3rd party developers and many if not most plugins developed are free, and most that are not, are sub $500.

Maya has good poly tools, good UV tools, superior animation tools and superior dymanics. But it's learning curve is extreme agressive. One really has to almost master the tool before becoming productive. There are very few 3rd party developers and most all plugins/tools developed for it are very expensive, $1000 or more.

I think both packages benefit from form additional tools, like deep paint w/ texture weapons. Just to name one that we use in both.

Both packages have usable scirpting languages in them, and I use the scripting a lot to increase productivity or extend functionality.

But pound for pound Max is a better choice for us.

Ultimately, any package that gets your content, as designed, into the engine, within budget limitations and time constraints, without causing you to contemplate quitting or suicide, is the right tool.

My 2 bits, take from it what you like. :D

spakman
01-30-2002, 11:42 PM
I guess one of the cool things I like about Maya's all-in-one interface (especially for characters) is the freedom of modifying a skinned character (and the general ease of doing character setup in the first place). It's just rilly fun for me to build a character, skin it up, play with it, see how it looks in different poses, and fix stuff on the fly.

Dunno how other packages handle this, as before I came to F5, my previous company used Soft and xsi 1.5 (we used Nendo for everything we built), and I had only played with Mirai, (some good teachers in Ken Cope and Bay Rait).

Not sure I would have started playing this way had I not come from the animation side of things, just wondering how others approach that kind of modelling.

MRoman
01-30-2002, 11:42 PM
You know I've constantly analyzed why myself and colleagues keep going back to lightwave for modelling and (now) mapping... It used to be my theory that most designers tend to retain loyalty for their first platform which is constantly proven wrong. I've met designers who started in Maya and Max who actually stick to LW after a little acclimation.

Right now my going theory is the fact that lightwave is broken into 2 programs, allowing each context to focus the entire interface to the task at hand. The workflow is wonderful but isnt something native to lightwave, and a LOT of ppl seem to think a separate modeller and renderer is a BAD thing but its the only huge glaring thing thats sorta unique to LW.

Besides, personnally, I think I'd use max for something other than an expensive translation engine if the modelling and animation controls weren't cluttered in one context.

subagio
01-30-2002, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by David Lightbown


Nothing, really. It doesn't matter what software is used, I was identifying an unexpected trend in people talking about Lightwave here. I've used Mirai as well and I find it to be very nice, and welcomed the addition of Meshtools to Max, which I use often as well. Granted, some software has tools that make life a lot easier, but it's more about where you feel comfortable. If you're comfortable with a software, then you tend to see over it's limitations and work faster because you're able to concentrate on the task at hand and not the technical aspects. I could describe a tool and how it makes life easier, and someone else could do it faster a different way in a different software. It's all according to preference. I'm more of a progressive edge extrude modeler than a subdiv modeler and I find Lightwave good for that kind of thing.



Sounds just about right. I'm very much a subscriber to individual preference, hence the Z upness. But if there are any tools that you know from your cross app use that you really miss, mention it here. It'd be nice to know what to bug the respective application developer's wish lists with :)

Me, I want quite a bit from Mirai. It's rigging in general is rather nice. Max Skin does exactly what I need it to (including letting me code custom tools for it in msx), but it's a little basic. There's very little Maya wise I could ask for in relation to gaming. If anything, it's the data structure of the program being exposed more in the UI, a good node editor. But if I'm going to reference data access from any app, it'd be Houdini. I absolutely adore what you can do procedurally in that app and how easy it is to inspect and pipe individual bits of low level data around.

Ascii file formats == yum. They're inefficient for a lot of things, which is why good proggys should give you the option of both. Maya does. I really wish Max would too. As it is, I do have my own ascii file format via a maxscript importer/exporter that I use for a number of different things, but that's a far cry from a program standard one.

--C

E_Moelzer
01-31-2002, 09:34 AM
Hello Everybody
Great to see so many fellow LightWavers in here. Something I would never have expected.
I am not a real- Game- Artist at the moment (right now, we do not have any game- work to do and so do all other animation- stuff), but we have done some custom 3d- games already.
We have written (and are still writing) a 3d- game- engine that reads out LightWave- scenes directly (no level- editor). This works pretty well as the LWO- file- format is open source (and IFF- standard which makes it easily extendable). The scene- format is even easier as it is plain text (one can even edit Scenes with Notepad, if there is no LW at hand ;-)).
I am not sure but AFAIK for MAX one has to write a custom- exporter- plugin as the MAX- fileformat is not open (correct me if I am wrong). This may not mean that much of extra- work, but it makes me feel that from a programmers point of view MAXs SDK (which is said to be great for game-dev), is not in all ways superior to LWs.
I like the way LWs Modeler works, really. It is fast and intuitive.
All the tools are where they are suspected to be and all of them can be accessed quickly by either shortcuts and nearly just as quick through the interface.

For Subagio: It is hard to describe what makes LWs Modeler feel so good compared to others.
For me it is the quick acces to all tools and the way LWs Modeler deals with points and polygons. You can use all of LWs modeling tools on points and polygons and on selected ones of course.
Also the "if nothing is selected, everything is selected" is great.
I was missing LWs knife- tool in MAX i.e. Sure there was that cutting- plane in Mesh- edit, but one had to perform a lot of steps just to make a cut through the mesh... In LW this is simply done by hitting one shortcut (or with 2 clicks in the menue) and draw a line where you want the cut to happen...
I also love the rather largish text- buttons, which I still can make out even with leaning far back with my chair and working with only the mouse from a very relaxed position ;-)
I also love the Layers in Modeler, once you know how to use them, you will miss them in any other app.

I have been using MAX 2.5 and 3.0 in production also (for quite some time, when I was still working at another studio) and I did not like the modeling that much. It felt pretty slow compared to LW. I don't like MAXs small buttons and the way its interface works over all. It is simply tiring for me and my eyes. The best way to describe my feelings might be this: With MAX it is work, with LW it is fun ;-)
However I understand, why so many game- studios use MAX for all the animation- stuff. CS is pretty cool and lets you make Character- animation pretty easily. It is more than sufficient for game- work. And for games one has to animate a lot of characters in a rather short period of time. Pretty good deal for discreet to have CS exclusively for MAX...
From what I have seen the WYSWYG- in MAX4.0 is pretty cool for game-work also (though I have to confess that I have never done any gamework with MAX4).
I can not decide on which app might be better for Level- building as both have their strenghts here. LWs Modeler is very fast and one can model the level- structures very quickly. However MAX lets you model directly in the scene, which outweights that to some extent. Me, I prefer LW (but I am biased maybe)
So far I used to build all our levels and Objects in LW and it worked out pretty well. I never felt that there was something, that I could not do with it . Even back in times when we still used LW5.6. I built a complete level for a custom- car- simulation at the time. Of course we had to use quite some workarounds at the time (i.e we had to deal with the lack of UV- tools in LW 5.6), but the whole job was done easily within time and the customer felt very pleased with the quality also. The fact that our game- engine was designed towards LW as a Leveleditor from ground up certainly helped a lot.
LW7.0s UV- tools are pretty good now, BTW.

Concerning the fact that nearly no exporters for LW to common game- engines are available: I think it might have to do with the fact that until LW6.0, LW had virtually no UV- mapping available, which made it more or less a must to use another app for doing the UV- mapping. By the time LW got UV- tools many studios were using MAX (mostly) in their pipeline anyway. I am quite confident though, that there will be more exporters available as time goes by.

BTW, I can't wait to do some realtime- game- work again, but this time with LW 7.0 :-)
Have fun!
CU
Elmar

PS: Sorry for the very long post

PNelson
01-31-2002, 09:44 AM
Just wanted to let you know that more and more game engines are getting LightWave support.

LightWave now has Direct X support, the Unreal engine can now load LightWave models and animation... (Digital Extremes is using LightWave for some of their level design in Unreal Championship for Xbox), the Serious Sam Engine TOTALLY supports LightWave (Serious Sam was GameSpy Game of the Year) and we are staring to get good support from the middle ware companies!

Plus LightWave supports .3ds file format..


There are others in the works that I can't discuss, but you will definitely see more and more LightWave in the games market.

Thanks for all of the info that everyone is sharing... THIS is GREAT!!

Thanks,
Philip Nelson
NewTek

WAVK
01-31-2002, 01:23 PM
I use Blender, too, not because it's free, I even payed for it:) I believe Blender has huge potential and a lot is possible with the Blender Game engine. Making a game with Blender requires little code (for controls, a.i.). Blender now outputs to .exe too! But if you do want to use your own game engine, Blender still rocks.

Fastest modeler on earth (and I've tried other apps).
Easy python scripting.
Great animation tools, which aren't accessible by python scripts yet, which is a big drawback, I know.
Easy UV mapping.
Lots of other great stuff!!!!!!

Conclusion, Blender rules!

WAVK:D

Ibanezhead
02-01-2002, 01:33 AM
MAX 4.2 and Character Studio at work. I have LW and BodyPaint 3D at home, and often take work home to UV it in LW and Texture in BP. Modeling in MAX 4.2 wiht Meshtools is great, but LW is wonderful also, either or. But animating is a must in MAX. Bones have come a long way since MAX 3. I will take Physique any day over LW's character rigging tools. But I think that is because I am just use to it... LW needs more than one undo in Layout.

Victor

urgaffel
02-01-2002, 07:33 AM
Wow, lots of LW people in here. I'm using Max and have been for quite a while, though not profesionally.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on Max. To me it's fast enough for both high and lowpoly work. When doing lowpoly work, I usually rough out a character using editable poly and the meshtools scripts, then refine and edit it using edit mesh, with some switching between epoly and emesh (I really really want an epoly modifier...) for example when doing heads and such.

Most of the complaints seem to be centered on the layout of max vs lw, and I think that it's mostly a question of what you are used to and what your preferences are. I for example, hate text buttons. My preference is icons, as few as possible, and as small as possible. As large viewport area as possible and I'm happy. Shortcuts and the quad menu is all I need. I usually hide the modifier bar and the toolbar to maximize the view (and expert mode now and then). While some want large buttons with easy-to-read text. And that is one of the things I disliked about LW, the clunky looking interface. Too many buttons. I must admit that the last time I tried LW was ages ago, and I am about to give it another try (largely because most of the gamedev team I've joined uses it), so I might change my opinion. :)

As for how fast you can model a character, I think that has nothing to do with the program and all to do with the artist. For example, I made this char (http://pchan.vi2.com/ichian/goodolbraz6.jpg) during two nights of disjointed modeling (I'm too unfocused after my day/evening job to work properly), total about 2-3 hours of modeling (I think). If I was as comfortable with LW as I am with max, I have no doubt that I could've done it just as fast.

The pose was made using Biped and Physique. The setup and posing took probably less than an hour to get sorted out with no glaring faults.

About uvwmapping, you can map a whole character using one (yes, one) unwrap modifier. And it's actually more efficient doing it that way. I used to use Mesh Select, UVWMap modifier and then Unwrap for the different parts and ended up with a modifier stack a mile long. Since learning to use only unwrap, my stacks are a lot cleaner and the mapping benefits from it too. You do get more control over the mapping and any stretching that might occur.

As stated before, it usually comes down to personal preference (and which program your company uses :))

And now for some questions. Since I know nothing about LW, please exscuse me if my questions sound inane :) I've been hearing that LW doesn't use edges in the sense that max uses 'em and wonder how the heck you survive without them? For me, they are an integral part when modeling both lowpoly and highpoly characters. I am probably misunderstanding something though. Could you use a script such as edgeloops/edgering in lw?

If anyone has got some good urls on modeling in LW I'd be happy if you'd throw them my way.

Sorry for the long rant,

Peter

*edit: fixed the url. The render is not the newest, so the wrinkle on the arm is fixed. It was fixed while the character was skinned and animated too :)

prototyp3
02-01-2002, 07:56 AM
I don't know if I'd go so far as saying that the program has 'nothing' to do with the speed at which you can work. I learned in Animation Master, and have years experience with it, yet I can build a character much faster in Lightwave.

Someone asked earlier what tool or tools it may have that makes it faster than the competitors. It's not really any one huge thing, but instead a combination of many smaller things. For instance, the drag feature. You can move a massive amount of points quickly, and individually, without the need to select, translate, select, translate and so on. Little things like that make a world of difference in how long it takes to create something.

I agree that the artist is the most important factor, but the tools also have a serious impact on what you're capable of doing.

spakman
02-01-2002, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by prototyp3
I don't know if I'd go so far as saying that the program has 'nothing' to do with the speed at which you can work. I learned in Animation Master, and have years experience with it, yet I can build a character much faster in Lightwave...

Wow, another one (my first app was animation master)! Gotta say the tools do make a difference. Ironicially it was Hash's splines that gave me such an anal retentive attitude toward my edgeloops, (at the time, I believe I'd used some term like concentric splines).

I went from hashsplines straight to Mirai/Nendo, so when I found that Maya could be made into almost the same animal, it was a pretty easy change.

FWIW, if you embrace the whole marking menu thing (gestural modelling, I guess) then Maya becomes this superfast thing. (I can model in it faster than Mirai or Nendo, for example) -- kinda like dancing with your fingers.

-- but we do have a guy here that came from a lightwave background, and when he models in Maya he doesn't rilly use marking menus. It doesn't rilly fit into his creation processes. His speed and preference and general way of doing things, still lie with Lightwave.

It's all how you look at it I guess. I get to 4 by adding 2 and 2. My buddy here get's to 4 by subtracting 1 from 5. But we both get the same answer.


:)

prototyp3
02-01-2002, 08:36 AM
Animation Master really is a great program to learn on. It's relatively straight forward and kind of forces you to be conscious of your edge loops and model construction. To be quite honest, I've never seen an easier program to rig a character with. From vertex assignments to muscle motion, it is unbelievably easy and quick. If I could have Lightwave's modeler with Animation Master's animation module I'd be one happy man.

As for the marking menu you mentioned in regards to Maya, would you be able to point me to an article that might explain it further?

urgaffel
02-01-2002, 10:30 AM
Ok, maybe I exaggerated a little, but my point was that most 3d programs (LW, Maya, Max, XSI, never touched AM) share most of the tools, it's just different names, and those tools that you don't have can be scripted (for example Meshtools for Max, polyomdeling scripts for Maya) so in the end you have a program that doesn't differ that much from the competition. See what I'm trying to say?

Thus you have more or less the same tools in the different packages and you can usually model as fast in any of them. Although I should probably try LW and Maya out more before I make any sweeping statments *sheepish grin*

Cheers

prototyp3
02-01-2002, 11:13 AM
I understand what you're saying, completely. Most do have the same tools, or atleast something equivalent, even if through a 3rd party. But the way they're implemented vary significantly. Some are more intuitive, some faster. It really boils down to what you're comfortable with and how your thinking process works.

phreaknasty
02-02-2002, 12:16 AM
I got to maya in a fashion quite similar to spakman's. i started out in Hash (though i never advanced as far as he did), move to 3ds (r4 and latter max) for work reasons and have most recently migrated over to maya (though i still use max for certain task and i dabble in mirai every once and awhile).

my take is that max is a doggy program and seems way to much like a bunch of incongruent parts. as of 4 they have corrected many of the problems but the fact that editable polys aren't part of the modifier stack and other such issues are pretty annoying. however with the inclusion of the poly concept in max 4, quad menus and the stellar "meshtools" script set, max is a damb good polygonal modeler. the rigging and animation tools though suck big time compared to maya.

maya seems much more robust (both in terms of stability and depth). initially maya has a horrible leaning curve but once you get over the first big hump it mellows out alot. in max each little tool is layed out for you add nauseam. conversely maya's functionality is often found in tools that on the surface seem more suited for other processes. a good example of this is all of the useful modeling tools that can be found under animation>deformer(s). at first this is annoying but once you get the hang of it you start seeing the advantage of maya operating at a lower/deeper level then max. and don't forget artisan......


Originally posted by spakman
I went from hashsplines straight to Mirai/Nendo, so when I found that Maya could be made into almost the same animal, it was a pretty easy change.

FWIW, if you embrace the whole marking menu thing (gestural modelling, I guess) then Maya becomes this superfast thing. (I can model in it faster than Mirai or Nendo, for example) -- kinda like dancing with your fingers.
:)

i'd love to know what set of plug-ins and mel script you use to match mayas functionality to mirai/nendo. as i posted in the introduction thread i still find maya to be lacking a couple of tools: weld target (in max you can drag any vertex over any other vertex and it will automatically snap and weld the original vertex to the target), chamfer edge, a better soft select solution (for organic modifications), and some set of tools that allows you to quickly and effectively add full or partial edgeloops/"isoparms" (in max its meshtool's connect meshtool's edge ring).

the game bonus pack tries to add some of this functionality but a couple of the tools are so cumbersome they are nearly unusable. depending on my mood weld target can be replaced with a snap and a weld and in some instances drawSplit and Spilt Polygon Tool can stand in for an add edgeloop/isoparm tool, but as of yet i haven't found anyway to get my maya modeling speed up to par with my max times.

spakman - dude, check your cgtalk inbox, i sent you a reply a couple of days ago. howdy!

spakman
02-02-2002, 05:41 AM
Originally posted by phreaknasty
i'd love to know what set of plug-ins and mel script you use to match mayas functionality to mirai/nendo....

It's pretty much all there in Maya. The trick is finding it (usually buried 2 or three menus deep), then putting it where you can always get to it (hot key, shelf, and/or marking menu). And Maya's manipulator tool is the coolest thing I have ever used for immediate execution of what your thinking that nanosecond.

About the marking menus, they're basically just a customizable set of pop up menus set in a radial pattern around the cursur klick. You can put anything in them from straight commands to whole scripts,etc,

And you don't have to wait for the menu to appear for it to work. For example when I merge vertices, I'll grab them, then hold the spacebar down, and right mouse button drag north east. Because I do this so fast, the menu never pops up. But if I hold the spacebar down and drag more slowly, the whole marking menu appears for me to read and select from.

(middle mouse button menu holds all my animation shortcuts).

That way I usually model with no GUI other than what pops up when I'm too slow. Just me and a bunch of freakish mouse gestures.

d=^)

phreaknasty
02-02-2002, 01:55 PM
couldn't agree with you more about the power and usefulness of marking menus and would encourage everyone who uses maya to check them out. i'm always refining mine to streamline my process. i guess my problem is the set of tools available for polygonal modeling and some tools just aren't within my knowledge to script... oh well...

Inazuman
02-03-2002, 12:50 AM
We use Max 4.2 here and I've grown to like many of it's features...except the random crashes. A couple of us try to avoid using biped and just use physique. Max's bones have come a long way and are quite capable. There's a few of us here that are Lightwave users at home. I have a couple FMV projects I'm doing outside of work using Lightwave, but I use Project:Messiah to compensate for LW's slowdown when animating complex rigs.

spakman
02-03-2002, 11:37 PM
BTW: totally cool soft selection tool for Maya.

http://macvizion.com/Claydough/Docs/clayDoughNotes/clayDoughNotes.html

I'm still trying to figure out marking menu to put that shelf button, heh. Rilly want to get those foot pedals....

BRUTICUS
02-04-2002, 01:31 AM
as a hobbiest i've used Max for 5 years and Maya for 1. I find Maya gives a lot more control although a lot of the same problems in Max are apparent in Maya aswell.

The split polygon tool and the texture mapping tools are awesome in maya as far as im concerned. After getting used to setting up my own rigs and what not I dont mind saying goodbye to character studio either.

Godinst1
02-07-2002, 06:54 AM
Heres my 2 cents to this descusion

what ever program you ve used most, you ll the fastest with and hence thats the program you ll be the best at and in turn will be your favourite.

Gimmie a vertex, edge and poly selection and duplication tools and I m all set, just a matter of learning the hot keys for that program.

all have pros and all have cons

CADster
02-14-2002, 04:00 AM
Originally posted by DaliLlama


If your LWO has multiple surfaces, it will come into MAX as 2 objects...No way around that, that I know of. If you set the Weld Threshold in MAX to 0.0001, it will basically just merge points that are right on top of each other.



I use this script - http://www.scriptspot.com/scripts/web_upload/batchImporter.zip made by Tom Blue along with the LWO importer for MAX made by Ket-SPī.

It works very well for me. I model in LW and UV map in MAX.


CADster

lwkriss13
02-17-2002, 11:20 AM
Well, where I work, they switched to maya from max just before I arrived, but after I showed them how powerful Lightwave is they've bought a licence just for me.
So now I'm the only one that work with lw, while all others use maya.
Even better, after they saw pgm (as a plugin and stand alone too) they begin to have second thoughts about maya - too expesive, crappy renderer, good animator, but pgm is better.

I feel there will be a switch soon... for the next project, I hope it will be lw...:):)

can't wait...

Am I mean, or what.

CADster
02-19-2002, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by lwkriss13
Well, where I work, they switched to maya from max just before I arrived, but after I showed them how powerful Lightwave is they've bought a licence just for me.

I was not so lucky... they split the price (but i get the seat as mine :D)

I model in LW, UV map in MAX, and skin with Photoshop. I have messed with the modeling tools of MAX several times but perfer LW modeler (several people hate the seperate interface, but thats what i like the best). i do not like the modifer stack for modeling personally, nore do i like all the different move commands in MAX (that dont seem to actually 'move' the unit) In places i have worked in the past i have gotten some flak for doing this hybrid modeling ... no matter, even the die hard MAX users i have worked with at least respect my work (when i am in front of them at least :p )

All of this stuff is only tools. it dont do it for you.


*edited* spelling, of course


CADster

Blue
02-19-2002, 12:43 AM
Originally posted by CADster
even the die hard MAX users i have worked with at least respect my work (when i am in front of them at least)

Ya i know what you mean, sometimes i get confused when i'm talking to you, do i give you crap or do i praise your work?

Just kidding, you know you can never take anything mean i say as being serious. Ya L-User, you. Your cars alway rock, even if the big EYE had little use for quality stuff. Good ridence to them anyway. :D

Walter
02-19-2002, 01:39 AM
I discover Lightwave one year ago and it became's my favorite tool...

Very efficiency modeler (some very nice tools),
the workflow is greater than Max, and i have a good feeling with it.
(important isn't it ?)

The subdivision modeling is best / laborious patch modeling to Max,
the Nurms arn't efficiency (push weight to 100 in a vertex to see what i say).

But i always prefer the UV unwrap of MAX, i don't like to unweld the vertex to fragment the UV map in Lightwave.

Sorry, i have a so poor English...

CADster
02-19-2002, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by Blue
Your cars alway rock, even if the big EYE had little use for quality stuff. Good ridence to them anyway. :D

thanks, yea, that reminds me of a good one when I was still at the EYE (you had already left i think). Jamie came up to me late in the day after he saw one of my personal cars posted at LoD. He wanted to know why the cars i was making for them did not look as good as my personal projects. I said ' well, my personal cars are not due in 3 hours'. He walked away shaking his head .. ;)


CADster

lwkriss13
02-22-2002, 08:42 AM
I talk to the lead programer today and he told me that he is thinking about changing the maya interface (the lack of it , if you ask me) into something similar to lw (the dude knows every line of code from maya, I think)
I'll post a screen when ready.

Tudor
02-27-2002, 04:35 AM
More Maya<->LW rant here :)

My company uses Maya. Personally I think that there is more problems with Maya than I have ever seen in any other program. In all due fairness it is likely to come from me using LW for 7 years now and being much more familiar with it..

Small things.. Clearing history detaches the skin. I know there is a script that fixes that, but still..
No visible bone influence and ease of changing it?!
Maya saves a lot of extra info that I think should have been cleared with clear all history. We got a scene with just 5 lights and nothing else to take up 48Mb of diskspace! Selecting just the lights and exporting then to a new scene makes the scene about 4kb.
Prelighting is just messed up. Almost impossible to get it to look right as the render or in our 3d engine (vertex shading).

The good parts about Maya is that it is better suited for character animation as it is now, even though the IK ****s up if you try to set rotaion limits. It is the pole vector and the ease of creating a skeleton that does it. But at the same time it sucks doing games with Maya when you waste a lot of bones because you can't select a single bone from a branched bone.

Like so many others here I went back to LW for modelling, and I have even had luck converting a couple of other guys here at the office. Now we just need more liscenses.
I did try Maya modelling for about 6 months or so, but it didn't come close the speed at which I could work in LW. Going from creating a 3000 poly char in 6 hrs in LW to 4 days in Maya. (And no. It didn't look like crap. Hopefully we will be allowed to release screenshots soon :)

Hmm.. sounding really negative here.. Must be that us LW'ers are really really stubborn.. Atleast that was what the ALias|Wavefront ppl told me at GDC last year :)

/Tudor

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