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dragonfollower
05-03-2003, 06:45 AM
OK, maybe I'm tired, but I need to rant.

Bleary-eyed, I'm staring at my monitor as my fried brain tries to figure out one problem after another with this software. Just when it seems like I've got things working and I can meet my deadline, a new problem arises. A lot of this I'm sure has to do with the learning curve which would be with any software at this level of sophistication. But I'm starting to wonder if maybe I've made a bad choice in purchasing it.

I recently made the switch from AM to Messiah and I really hope I don't live to regret it. I loved AM's simplicity and ease in which you can do things. To do they very same things in Messiah seems to take a lot more work and is...well...kind of backward to me. The main problems I've been having are getting things from Messiah to Lightwave. It seems kind of clunky the way they have things set up. I guess it just takes time to figure out the various work arounds and methods associated with a different software package. But honestly, I've contemplated going back to AM. The only thing that's kept me with Messiah is that I like modeling in Lightwave and I'd rather use its renderer. Well, plus that everything I've modeled and animated for my current freelance job has been done in this program so I'm kind of commited for the long haul now.

My other gripe is that at least for me, Messiah is more unstable than AM. It's especially buggy when linked to Lightwave. I was under the impression it was a solid app. I am on Windows XP. Does this have anything to do with it? Anyway, I don't mean to come off harsh on the software. I just needed to rant and maybe get some advice as I try to figure this thing out. I could especially use some advice on using Messiah with Lightwave. Are there things I need to know to make it less buggy? What's the best way to work with the two? Any other tips people can give me before I pull all my hair out?

Thanks for letting me rant. I'll be more civil in the future I promise.

-Brian

JoeCosman
05-03-2003, 08:43 PM
not a problem, bud.

you sound like me when I was tranisitoning, except when I went from A:M to Messiah, it was the plugin, which was very frustrating, and rewarding at the same time.

the things you can do by layering effects is amazing.

hang in there, and we'll help you out however we can.

as for stability, I'm not sure if youre settings are up right.

Geforce video cards, lots of Ram, stable motherboard(overclocking does affect it) and above all, save revisions of your scene.

if you keep your objects as single layer lwo files instead of layered files, getting objects from messiah to LW is one keystroke away.

With that approach, you can stay in the standalone app until you need to use LW's renderer.

Wegg
05-03-2003, 09:28 PM
I second Joe's advice. Move the objects into Messiah and use it as a stand alone app. . . and just F12 it into LW for rendering.

Stay away from Layers for the F12 thing to work smoothly.

Post any frustrations you have here cause a lot of us are AM converts and I think we speak the same language.

dragonfollower
05-05-2003, 03:50 AM
Cool. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm slowly figuring things out, in fact I've made a lot of progress, so I haven't given up hope yet. I have a few questions regarding the things that have been giving me the most problems...hope you don't mind.

1. I have a Geforce video card, Asus motherboard, 1.8ghz AMD processor and 512 in RAM. You mentioned having lots of RAM. Is the amount I have adequate or would you suggest getting more?

2. Regarding folders, do you guys keep all of your objects, scenes and everything in one folder? Currently I have folders for each of my characters and so each time I load an embedded .lws scene, it asks me to tell it where everything is. It's kind of a pain. What's the best way to organize all of your objects for fast loading?

3. I've set up bones in the faces of my characters, placing them in certain spots, all parented to the main head bone. But if for some reason I accidentally select the head bone in setup and move it, all of the facial bones reattach to the parent head bone. Is there any way to stop this from happening or do I just have to be really really careful?

4. And finally, are bones really that good for facial animation? Ideally I'd like to go this route, but I seem to have problems with the bones affecting unwanted areas of the face. Well, that and the above problem. The other option is morphblender, but it seems kind of tedious to save so many versions of the character. Plus, if you make any modifications to your model, you have to redo all of your morphshapes. Man I miss AM poses (sniff, sniff).

Anyway, thanks again for the advice!

-Brian

Wegg
05-05-2003, 04:41 PM
512 should be enough but we are all at or around 1 gig each here. Makes playblasts go smoother.

Animation Master is pretty cool in how you can keep everything all over the place and the project file just knows where everything is. Out in the world of Polygons. . . things aren't quite so easy. There is a thing called a "Content Directory" where you need to keep everything organized. You can find out all about it in the Lightwave manual. "images" is where you keep all your images used for texturing, "models" for all the models, scenes for all your .lws, fxs files etc. Stick to that and you should be ok.

This is really old school thinking and was a big pain for us to switch too after having the luxury of organizing our contanent any way we wanted in AM. But its all worth it in the end when you press that render button. :-)

dragonfollower
05-10-2003, 08:35 PM
Well, thanks again for the help Wegg. I finished my first project with this software and met the deadline. Hopefully, things will be smoother from here on out.

-Brian

Freebooter
05-10-2003, 08:40 PM
Hi Dragonfollower,

A couple of things I have found helpful...

Firstly, concerning the snap back to root bone problem, just make sure that "align z to parent length" is unchecked for the bones you don't want snapping back. the feature is very useful for things like arms howeever, where it can be helpful for the boes to connect on Z.

As Wegg said 512 RAM should be fine.

It really helps if both Messiah and Lightwave are looking in the same places when it comes to connecting the two.

Finally, bones are great for facial animation, they just take a bit more work to set up, but once they are there the flexibility is phenomenal. I don't think I will ever use facial morphs again, at least on their own.

All this stuff is in the Manual, I know 'cos that's where I learned it from. (well there and the mailing list). Have a look at the sample scenes that came with Messiah, because they cover most of the bases.

Hope the experience improves.

Nic

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