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Underwurlde
09-06-2002, 10:02 PM
First of all, this is just my opinion, you may or not agree with it but ..

I got my LW a couple of days ago and I think the manual needs some work, it's very good at explaining the functions and settings of the various tools but where are the decent tutorials ? If I was a newbie to 3d I'd be totally lost, I know there are some good tutorials at Newteks website and on the web, but I like to have something in my lap that I can glance at, instead of switching windows between LW and the Web every ten seconds. I've enjoyed every second using LightWave so far but I think when we are spending huge amounts of money on software like this we should be entitled to at least a basic tutorial book.

Cheers, Scott.

Chewey
09-06-2002, 10:11 PM
Do what the rest of us do, buy a Dan Ablan Lightwave book.

Underwurlde
09-06-2002, 10:24 PM
Chewey, I have Inside LW 6 and 7, and theyre good, but not perfect ( no spline modeling information at all, for example ) that's not the point. I also own Maya Complete 4 and Max 2.5, they both come with a lot of tutorials, why not LightWave ?

proton
09-06-2002, 10:25 PM
That is one of my current projects...expect great things in the near future....this has been one of my biggest pet peeves since I've used LW and it was one of the first items I knew I would tackle when I took the Job....your not alone...and NewTek is on teh case :thumbsup:

Valkyrien
09-06-2002, 10:26 PM
well, there're plenty of great tuts on www.lightwave3d.com...;)

proton
09-06-2002, 10:27 PM
Also...LightWave Tutorials online are there for you right now...and another new one went up today.....and another one will go up on mOnday...and so on....and so on....

There are more LW tutorials and resources for NewBies then there has ever been....your in good hands...

Underwurlde
09-06-2002, 10:33 PM
William, having complained a little about the manual, I should be fair and say that one of the things that attracted me to LightWave was how responsive Newtek seem to be to their customers, there always seems to be something happening, competitions, freebies, tutorials etc and this is something I haven't seen from any other company. It's good to see you guys on the forums because at least it feels as if the company is listening to the customers. I'm glad you agree about the manual, it's not that I think it's bad, it's just not quite 'there', LW is a brilliant piece of software from what I have seen so far, but people won't get to experience that for themselves if they keep hitting walls in trying to use it.

Chewey
09-06-2002, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by Underwurlde
Chewey, I have Inside LW 6 and 7, and theyre good, but not perfect ( no spline modeling information at all, for example ) that's not the point. I also own Maya Complete 4 and Max 2.5, they both come with a lot of tutorials, why not LightWave ?


Part of the reason might have to do with the fact they are a smaller company than the others you've mentioned. For the most part they've charged a lot less than the others have in the past. Recall the rather large sum of money that Maya used to cost?
for $16K or so I suppose you can afford to hire a couple of extra bodies to write salty the seal tutes.

Basically you do what you can with the resources you have and they aren't limitless as you probably know. I feel that Newtek has been hard at providing some very nice tutes on their site.
It's more than a half full glass from my perspective.

There are plenty of other LW tutorials out there on the internet to learn from. Just because you can't park them on you lap shouldn't stop you from checking them out and learning. If that's all it takes to put a road block in your way, you may find yourself overlooked at recruiting time in favor of someone else more resourceful.

proton
09-06-2002, 11:27 PM
Let's not forget all teh Bad A$$ LW artists out there that didn't have the resources we have today....there will never be enuff....we will always need more tutorials....better explainations...etc.

That's why we have these Froums...the best thing since sliced bread....You are armed to the teeth and ready for battle with all the resources you have....

Underwurlde
09-06-2002, 11:38 PM
k, I'm not going to offer any more criticism, I'm not interested in upsetting any of you guys.Was just offering constructive criticism. I'm just trying to be objective, I have managed okay so far, but I think that is partly because I have previous experience in 3d.

Chewey, I take your point that Newtek is a smaller company, however, writing a good tutorial book would not be expensive, I suspect the guys at Newtek know this. If Dan Ablan can knock them out for $40 a time then go do your own sums :) , tutorials cost nothing compared to R n D, as for spending time on web tutorials, I have spent hours on them, but when the competition is bundling very good hard copy documentation and Newtek is not, that is an obvious area that needs improvement. Web tutorials are NOT the same as having a book that you can read at work, on the bus, in bed, whatever.

No 3d app is perfect, sorry if some of you don't agree, but I still believe manuals are a fundamental part of any 3d package, and Newtek's still need work.

Chewey
09-06-2002, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by proton
Let's not forget all teh Bad A$$ LW artists out there that didn't have the resources we have today....there will never be enuff....we will always need more tutorials....better explainations...etc.

That's why we have these Froums...the best thing since sliced bread....You are armed to the teeth and ready for battle with all the resources you have....

Good point. When I started with LW5.5 that's pretty much how it was.

Underwurlde, I can't concur with your thought that a good tutorial book isn't expensive to produce. Who knows what kind of sales Dan Ablan's books generate and what amount of profit we're talking about. But it does require someone with expertise therefore a salary of 50K is a minimum and likely 2 years to develop. And then you get into the nuts and bolts costs of getting the book produced (Dan's books are rather thick) and marketed.

Not sure it's quite as inexpensive as you make it out to be when it's all added up.

proton
09-07-2002, 12:03 AM
We're on it...I think everyone will be pleased with what we are doing....

Underwurlde
09-07-2002, 12:26 AM
Chewey, I think 50k over two years is a fair figure, and you're right, it doesn't sound cheap, but compared to the top programmers employed in R and D ( ten, twenty, thirty ... I have no idea of the numbers here ) who are also payed top dollar , it is cheap, but more importantly it's vital. It doesn't matter how many gee whizz features you have in your software if people don't know how to use them...

I'm the sort of person who loves hacking away at a program to learn it, and experimenting so I don't even care so much about the manual, I was trying to make the point that I know people who work exclusively in the print industry and I have mentioned LightWave to them and they have found it too 'difficult to get a handle on', these are the same people who then go out and use 3ds max instead because they can learn it quickly and easily thru the online documentation and hard copy manuals, I just think this is a missed opportunity for Newtek, LW is an ideal tool for this kind of work and they shouldn't be losing customers due to documentation. In the real world it does matter, it's often the main thing a buyer bases their decision on... can I understand this software and make it do what I want it to ?

yog
09-07-2002, 01:12 AM
Personally I wonder how any noobie manages to learn any of the top end 3D apps just from the manuals these days. All the top contenders have got a lot more feature rich (read = complicated) in the last few years. It seems like the programs were so much simpiler when I was a lad ;)

When I started back in LW5.0, the manuals were all I had, didn't even know another 3D artist and I didn't have an internet connection back then. But I would have to say the LW manual for LW5.0 was very good for noobies, with several long tutorials covering a lot of information.

If Will says he's on the case, that's good enough for me :thumbsup:

Chewey
09-07-2002, 01:39 AM
Originally posted by Underwurlde
Chewey, I think 50k over two years is a fair figure, and you're right, it doesn't sound cheap, but compared to the top programmers employed in R and D ( ten, twenty, thirty ... I have no idea of the numbers here ) who are also payed top dollar , it is cheap, but more importantly it's vital. It doesn't matter how many gee whizz features you have in your software if people don't know how to use them...

I'm the sort of person who loves hacking away at a program to learn it, and experimenting so I don't even care so much about the manual, I was trying to make the point that I know people who work exclusively in the print industry and I have mentioned LightWave to them and they have found it too 'difficult to get a handle on', these are the same people who then go out and use 3ds max instead because they can learn it quickly and easily thru the online documentation and hard copy manuals, I just think this is a missed opportunity for Newtek, LW is an ideal tool for this kind of work and they shouldn't be losing customers due to documentation. In the real world it does matter, it's often the main thing a buyer bases their decision on... can I understand this software and make it do what I want it to ?

That 50K figure was posted as a salary per year. Talented veterans such as Dan don't work here in the states for chump change and even $50K year really isn't that much these days if you're living in one of the larger cities. $25K a year is a no starter for most newbies out of school in this industry.
$100K with benefits comes to around $120K plus the cost of printing marketing etc and you have what some small companies consider real money. Have you ever run a business yourself?

Your assertion that " It doesn't matter how many gee whizz features you have in your software if people don't know how to use them..."
is a bit hyperbolic.

fwiw, I bought Lightwave over Max primarily due to the amount of available tutes on the web at that time and the satisfaction quotient I gathered from
reading over the different Max and Lightwave newsgroups. I made the right choice. But I have also learned Max, Maya and others. And quite honestly I haven't needed much beyond their manuals to figure them out thanks to having the basics covered in Lightwave.

Underwurlde
09-07-2002, 01:49 AM
Chewey , you quoted a figure for wages for someone to write tutorials, I agreed with you and now you have decided for some reason to hike the wages 200 percent ! For your info we run two graphic businesses and your figures are way off the mark, 50 k per year will buy you a guy/gal more than capable of writing excellent tutorial material ( I could give you the names of about four outstanding artists for starters, who would snatch my hand off for offering them this, so where your coming from here, i don't know, and I suspect no other real world 3d people don't either !, I think you believe that 3d talent ends outside the borders of the USA , I can assure you it does not .. ), if you understand the cg industry and current market forces you should know this already, it is hardly top secret information, Newtek will be well aware of it themselves . Read back the posts in this thread , Will Vaughan/ Proton, admitted himself that the tutorial material needed improving and to his credit said he was working on it, so if your arguing against what I have said then you are also arguing against him and Newtek. LightWaves documentation needs improving, you are falling into the trap of ' I own the software so there can never be anything wrong with it whatsoever, it's beyond criticism ...' without understanding that if Newtek don't receive some criticism/feedback it will be difficult for them to improve things. I love using LightWave and want the best for it, but every piece of software has deficiencies and by common consent documentation is one of lightwaves. Go take a look at 3d World magazine, they have voiced the same concerns I have, they don't say it for nothing, they are not idiots ...The people who have read 3dworld magazine I believe will tend to agree with me when I say that they like and actively promote LW ( most of their Gallery images are from LW, and very nice they are too ) but they, Newtek, and little old me, think the documentation needs improving, if you are an experienced user , like I'm guessing you are Chewey then of course you don't care about these things, but for beginners it does matter. I hope/believe the guys at Newtek do realise this. LW is the perfect freelance tool, but without decent initial training, people will defect to Cinema 4d or SoftImage 4.

Edit:

Chewey, I aim to provide some tutorials for LightWave myself some day soon, but I have only had the software 2 days ! We are on the same side, I want LightWave to succeed, when I think my skills have developed enough to make a tutorial worthwhile, there will be one, thats a promise, but it will involve cars ... i'm a car modeling addict :beer:

As for my 'assertion' that it doesn't matter how many LightWave users know features exist in LW but don't know how to use them, you can call it an 'assertion' or 'hyperbole' if you like, but in the real world, which is after all what really matters, I suspect there are quite a few people , just like me who could use a better explanation of things. :). You may know LW very well, but you should not assume the rest of us do.

Chewey
09-07-2002, 02:18 AM
More a discussion than an argument but I suppose it's hard to tell the difference sometimes.

There's a difference between providing you my take on the manuals and saying that they couldn't be improved upon. It's more a matter of not agreeing with you on the level of urgency on the matter and laying out a differing view.

As for the $50K a year salary, I can't help it if you misunderstood my use of the term salary meaning per year. The price tag for 2 years work with the added benefits required would run your business around $120K to keep a Dan type guy around (fwiw,I wouldn't do it for that little. Why take the job if I'm capable of making quite a bit more?) I gather that you're not operating a business here in the states.

What stops you from diving on in and producing your own tutorials for Lightwave? Shouldn't be all that much trouble and cheap to boot from your pov, no?

I really couldn't comment on the 3d World magazine people being idiots or not. Just because an article gets published doesn't automatically make it credible however.

JVitale
09-07-2002, 02:25 AM
I find the manuals utterly useless and generally ignore it. It's much faster to ask someone how to do it. I have gotten most of my self taught education through Scott Cameron's site LightWave Tutorials on the Web. I have several binder notebooks filled with print outs of various tutorials. His site includes includes an Introduction to 3D and Intro to LightWave. Granted most of these tutorials are linked to the Newtek tutorial site, I've always liked the way his site has categorized the tutorials.

I am glad William is going to tackle the manual..Yeah!..will the PDF version have color pictures?...There's no reason why it couldn't, right?

proton
09-07-2002, 02:48 AM
Color Images are very much needed..I can't tell what is selected in half the images....but can you imaging the cost of a color manual the size of teh LW manual:eek:


You guys will have your color images for teh Digital documentation.......I can feel it:thumbsup:

Valkyrien
09-07-2002, 03:28 AM
how 'bout we get color images for the pdf version? ;)

Kaiser_Sose
09-07-2002, 07:31 AM
Originally posted by Underwurlde
If I was a newbie to 3d I'd be totally lost

:beer:

JVitale
09-07-2002, 08:15 AM
I am glad you took on the task on re-doing the manuals William. Maybe the manual will start rating 5 out of 5 stars in Magazines instead of the 2s.....

Could we expect to see color pictures in the PDfs. There's no reason why it couldn't have them, right?

JVitale
09-07-2002, 08:20 AM
Yeah!, I know the cost of color pictures in the print version of the manual would be astronomical, that's why I asked about the PDFs....Have you ever seen Japanese versions of LightWave books. They are written like manuals and have color pictures. I have to wonder how much it costs them to print.

Keep rocking on William...You're awesome!

LNT
09-07-2002, 01:47 PM
personally I like even the current lw manual

a friend of mine offered me to take all of his maya4 manual books - I said OK,will read thru it - but when I saw me the stack that weighed at least 20kilos and the language in it I quickly decided not to waste my time carrying that burden over to my flat :)

lw manual is at least an easy read

LNT
09-07-2002, 01:50 PM
as for the japanese books - they are all full color and on the average you get at least 5-6 books of "Inside..." caliber a year

isnowboard
09-07-2002, 02:24 PM
LNT is completely right. Just by looking at the pictures, and looking at how they explain things, you can only wish they were translated in English. The prices are reasonable too.

proton
09-07-2002, 03:25 PM
"You guys will have your color images for teh Digital documentation.......I can feel it
"


That was from an earlier post....there will be Color images in the Digital Documentation....wether it will be a PDF file hasn't been determined....I'm playing with several ideas......plus NewTek has a great thing planned for updating the manual....just wait...you will love it...

DigitalDeuce
09-07-2002, 03:35 PM
da na na naaaaahhh!!!


just wait. Oh yeah ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

uh huh. I can feel the power. It's running all through me.

:drool:

Oh, darn.

Clean up Isle 7 -- clean up on Isle 7 please.

LNT
09-07-2002, 03:38 PM
drop pdfs in favour of online docs - they're so much easier to navigate,fit better on the screen and can have various content whereas pdfs leave your eyes sore

proton
09-07-2002, 03:47 PM
There is a very popular tool that kicks major A$$ for Digital Docs....NewTek is using it :bounce:

Chewey
09-07-2002, 04:40 PM
Here's another yes vote on the color images. I have a pretty healthy collection of 3dcg mags and tute books from Japan. The color images they sport really make a huge difference in legibility. Seems that their printed product (mags and such) is a step above the quality we get here in the states in terms of paper type and color. I'm not an expert on such matters though.

Anyway a picture says a thousand(or more?) words IF the picture has definition.

Say bye bye to grey scale please.

RuiFeliciano
09-07-2002, 05:36 PM
William,

If you get a chance take a look at Messiah:Studio's documentation. They have IMO the best documentation in the industry. It's HTML based, fully searchable with lots of tutorials, animated Gif's and videos where appropriate. It's sooo much better to watch a 10-step animated gif to explain a procedure than to read through the text. Their docs are astounishing, if you're working on some new docs, take the time to look at what the "competiton" is doing.

DigitalDeuce
09-07-2002, 05:42 PM
Personally I don't care for the HTML documentation that Messiah uses.

I'm trying to convert it to PDF.

I'm the type of person, though, that can 'learn from the text' = I don't need a video or an animated GIF to learn something.

Personal opinion, and I'm glad you put "competetion" in quotes.
:cool:

AnimaLMotheR
09-07-2002, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by Chewey
Do what the rest of us do, buy a Dan Ablan Lightwave book.

Or dont. Just do a few tutorials found online to get the feel for the proggie and then read the manual whenever u need more info about tools.

proton
09-07-2002, 06:45 PM
Don't forget about the ultra handy interactive walk thrus on teh LighTWave site :thumbsup:

RuiFeliciano
09-07-2002, 08:44 PM
Deuce,

Duh..the guy that couldn't care less about trainning videos and only learns from text is the author of a trainning tape :-) No second intention meant,, kust found it funny :-))


Personal opinion, and I'm glad you put "competetion" in quotes

Well, to me Messiah is just another tool to get the job done has is LW and several others. Newtek, however, better face Messiah as competition. Any program that "steals" a user to get the job done in another app is IMO competiton (without quotes ;-).

Chewey
09-07-2002, 08:52 PM
Did he make the tutorial tape so he could play it back to himself and learn from it?

Now that's what I call short term memory!!

;>

DigitalDeuce
09-07-2002, 09:19 PM
Oh ha ha ha.


:p :p

Everyone knows that I made that tape to:

A: Make money
B: Get famous.


B worked.

:rolleyes:

proton
09-07-2002, 09:21 PM
Deuce....You are very famous.....I have a signed picture of you hanging up at the office...right next to the signed picture of R2D2:buttrock:

AnimaLMotheR
09-07-2002, 10:12 PM
Originally posted by DigitalDeuce

B: Get famous.


B worked.

:rolleyes:

Are u sure it worked? Cos i never heard of u. :D:D;)

DigitalDeuce
09-07-2002, 10:21 PM
hehhehee

well, enough people know me.

Chewey
09-07-2002, 10:23 PM
Deuce is very well known and has been for many years even before he became an established and much beloved Lightwave Jedi Master.

Who can forget that hit Beach Boys song that brought him into the spotlight, "Little Deuce Coupe".

I guess the women love him for his car.

;>

AnimaLMotheR
09-08-2002, 04:10 AM
Originally posted by Chewey
Deuce is very well known and has been for many years even before he became an established and much beloved Lightwave Jedi Master.

Oooo. http://home.online.no/~s-kurbe/worshippy.gif

Well, now i know u too Deuce. :wavey:

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