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hydroclops
02-28-2008, 09:20 PM
Should I upgrade Lightwave or buy Messiah Studio?

I want to make short all cg animated films that are character driven. I own LW 5.6 and Messiah 1.5 (the animation-only LW plug in). I have some knowledge of how these programs have changed over the last 10 years, but no experience.

I want to make non-photo realistic imagery, yet have enough power and control to create a unique, interesting look.

My possibly faulty assumption is that,comparatively:

LW has a great renderer; Messiah has great character tools

So how do they compare on the following?

cloth, softbody, surfacing ability, expressions, particles. I hope to rely on these features to create things like clothes and jiggly flesh, fire, water, etc.

My experience with LW character tools is that the bones are unusable. With 5.6 the only way to do what I want is with puppet master and Messiah. On the other hand, LW is way easier than Messiah to understand and use, for me anyway.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

lanosrep1
02-28-2008, 11:22 PM
Obviously, we are a little biased.. we happen to prefer Messiah for most things.. right?..
Most of us however either have LW or have been exposed to it at some point\ on some level..

There have been significant improvements in Messiah as of late, many of which touch the areas you are most interested in... You will need a good modeler.. 5.6 is pretty dated.. No UV's if I remember correctly.. but other choices are available.. some free.. Wings for example..

Not sure what the upgrade policy is now that 3.0 has been released.. have to ask Pmg.. don't think the upgrade path from 1.5 is listed at this point.

Good luck!
G.

catizone
02-29-2008, 12:09 AM
Your criteria was basically character animation. My vote would go to messiah. As I believe you would have the most flexibility, ease of use, and complexity of rigging that you could keep simple or make as complex as you wanted, combining all the effects and expressions messiah offers.

You would need to come up to speed on texture and rendering, but if you are still back in LW5.6 (which I always loved), I believe their would be sufficent ramp-up needed anyway.

I stopped at 6.5 since messiah gave me what I had been looking for. And since I had used 5.6 for so long, I did find that the reorganization in 6.0 alone made for some learning time.

Best,
Rick

Nichod
02-29-2008, 12:34 AM
I'd recommend a Silo/Messiah combo. Or depending on the cost limits a Modo/Messiah.

Ulven
02-29-2008, 12:54 AM
Yeah as long as "character driven" is part of your request then messiah is more likely to be useful for you than lw.
Wings/Silo/Modo/LW and/or quite possibly Zbrush for modelling, then Messiah for animation.

hydroclops
02-29-2008, 05:28 PM
Wow, thanks for the quick and interesting replies

I've been lurking on various forums here and there and I got the sense that many of the posters here were informed about LW. I was right.

The money is the same. I get the upgrade for LW, but don't for messiah...

Part of me mostly wants Messiah, but I'm afraid that I'd be disappointed by the particles and softbody effects.

On the other hand I'm afraid that LW effects, like cloth for example, while they may work technically, would be too much trouble for me and I'd end up using simpler designs and animation tricks to get simpler results.

How are particles in Messiah? How about softbody? Is the collision detection ok?

If I got Messiah, I'd probably start off with Wings while I saved up for a Modeler.

I imagine that I'd really like Zbrush. Does it create models and maps that can go directly into Messiah?

Thanks again,
Dave

TylerAZambori
03-03-2008, 04:25 PM
So does Zbrush create models and maps that can go directly into Messiah?

Julez4001
03-03-2008, 06:05 PM
Upgrade both. It'll save you in the end. Great investment.
Your endomorph freedom is useless in messiah 3 if you operating with 5.6.

spaz8
03-03-2008, 07:05 PM
technically.. if you knew Zbursh well enough you could use it as your modeler.. start from zpheres, retolpogize and paint maps.. BUT i would say MODO and Messiah would be the cheapest and biggest bang for the buck.. Modo u can model, make lwo's.. , UV, sculpt and paint in. And bring your animation into to render through .mdd

I own, Messiah studio 3, zbrush, lightwave and modo to name a few and thats what i would do if i could just have two apps for animated character work.

Modo's piant isnt bodypaint, and it cant sculpt polys like a zbrush or mudbox but your bases are covered.. and the feature set is only improving with time. Very good community also.

Lino Grandi
03-04-2008, 07:26 AM
Wow, thanks for the quick and interesting replies

I've been lurking on various forums here and there and I got the sense that many of the posters here were informed about LW. I was right.

Messiah and LW are a very good combination, for sure.


The money is the same. I get the upgrade for LW, but don't for messiah...

Part of me mostly wants Messiah, but I'm afraid that I'd be disappointed by the particles and softbody effects.

On the other hand I'm afraid that LW effects, like cloth for example, while they may work technically, would be too much trouble for me and I'd end up using simpler designs and animation tricks to get simpler results.

How are particles in Messiah? How about softbody? Is the collision detection ok?

What I like of Messiah SoftBody is they act in real time. Collsion detection is not so good IMHO. For my Character/FX works I mostly use Lightwave directly (PLG IK plugins for Lightwave has made my use of Messiah very very limited). Despite what some people say, LW Particle System could be very useful, and Hypervoxels are still one of the best volumetric engines out there. LW 9.5 is going to bring some very good news about IK and will present a brand new bone system, based on Joints. Even rendering has been extremely improved, and is longer better than Messiah (imho).

If you can, get both. At the moment I use LW almost exclusively, but that's just the way I work.

Ulven
03-04-2008, 09:31 AM
Some of the main problems in lightwave, if you want to do character animation, is that although 9.5 has promised at least a nod in the direction of character animation, various motion modifying plugins tend to have a hard time cooporating because of the system it uses. Also, at least currently, but apparently not as much in the up coming 9.5, the IK and deformation system is extraordinarily slow. You also can't parent bones to control objects and... well the character animation tools on a whole are a bit messy. Lightwave is nice and strong on some things and is certainly improving, but for a character driven project I would have a very hard time recommending Lightwave. Coming from lightwave to messiah I made a more complex and quicker rig, and better quality animation within about a month than I had ever done in lightwave. Since what I love and do all comes down to animated characters, that sealed the deal for me.

Lino Grandi
03-04-2008, 11:55 AM
Some of the main problems in lightwave, if you want to do character animation, is that although 9.5 has promised at least a nod in the direction of character animation, various motion modifying plugins tend to have a hard time cooporating because of the system it uses. Also, at least currently, but apparently not as much in the up coming 9.5, the IK and deformation system is extraordinarily slow. You also can't parent bones to control objects and... well the character animation tools on a whole are a bit messy. Lightwave is nice and strong on some things and is certainly improving, but for a character driven project I would have a very hard time recommending Lightwave. Coming from lightwave to messiah I made a more complex and quicker rig, and better quality animation within about a month than I had ever done in lightwave. Since what I love and do all comes down to animated characters, that sealed the deal for me.

I've heard other people saying LW has problem with motion plugins. I know the software deeply, and never met such a limitation. What are you referring to?
LW9.5 is going to greatly improve LW IK system, and the free PLGs plugins (which offer great 2D IK and Spine IK) had made me come back to LW even for CA.

This is an example of a quite advanced rig made in LW:

http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ7XMgl_Cjg

It took very little time to complete.
About the LW skinning system, if you know how to use it (and that's not so hard), is really ductile and fast to use.

However...for sure Messiah gives more power than LW when you came to character rigging tools. By the way, the choice could depend on what kind of job you need to accomplish, because when we came to render, LW is far superior imho, and if you can work in a single application...you go faster.

Ulven
03-04-2008, 12:53 PM
I've heard other people saying LW has problem with motion plugins. I know the software deeply, and never met such a limitation. What are you referring to?
LW9.5 is going to greatly improve LW IK system, and the free PLGs plugins (which offer great 2D IK and Spine IK) had made me come back to LW even for CA.

This is an example of a quite advanced rig made in LW:

http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ7XMgl_Cjg

It took very little time to complete.
About the LW skinning system, if you know how to use it (and that's not so hard), is really ductile and fast to use.

However...for sure Messiah gives more power than LW when you came to character rigging tools. By the way, the choice could depend on what kind of job you need to accomplish, because when we came to render, LW is far superior imho, and if you can work in a single application...you go faster.

From what I remember the motion modifiers and the various animation tools don't really play very well together in LW. Little snippets of modifiers in a stack, motion mixer that doesn't go with almost any of them, something called IKBoost with some of it's own thing behaving differently, relativity professors doing something, expression engine elsewhere that is different... It's little bits all over the shop often without thought of why it's there, or how it should work with other parts of the program. I'm looking forward to 9.5 too, but I'm not holding my breath on the animation side.

PLG is indeed a good plugin, and offers some ability back into rigging in lightwave.

With regards to rigging, these should demonstrate messiah's capabilities more clearly compared to the possibilities in lightwave:

http://www.usefulslug.com/usefulslugriggingreel.mp4

http://maks.free.fr/reel/

lanosrep1
03-04-2008, 03:38 PM
I understand that you are trying to give the original poster of this thread your honest opinion.. but for the life of me, I cannot understand why people lurk on forums like this which are specifically to encourage the use of Messiah.. (in this example) and then bash the software and say that software X is better..

Why do people do that?.. If you say: "At the moment I use LW almost exclusively" then why are you here?.. More power to you if you want to check in now and then.. but, why do this?

I know.. you want to be honest right.. well, be honest on the LW list to all those that love IT!

I use LW still (for modeling).. but I don't go on the LW list and bash LW.. I could not stand it for animation, and moved on.. I still keep my ears and eyes open.. and I look for software that meets my needs better.. but so far am happy with what I have..

We want to talk about Messiah on this list.. OK

Messiah and LW are a very good combination, for sure.



What I like of Messiah SoftBody is they act in real time. Collsion detection is not so good IMHO. For my Character/FX works I mostly use Lightwave directly (PLG IK plugins for Lightwave has made my use of Messiah very very limited). Despite what some people say, LW Particle System could be very useful, and Hypervoxels are still one of the best volumetric engines out there. LW 9.5 is going to bring some very good news about IK and will present a brand new bone system, based on Joints. Even rendering has been extremely improved, and is longer better than Messiah (imho).

If you can, get both. At the moment I use LW almost exclusively, but that's just the way I work.

Tartiflette
03-04-2008, 04:07 PM
Wow Gary, no need to get hot about this.
Lino is a real animator who gave his sincere thought about this question, which was about messiah &... LightWave. :)
As a fellow lightwaver he explains why he uses LW, even for character animation and i must say i'm impressed because i don't see how he can have fun using LW as a character animation tool ! :p (even if i'm a lightwaver for more than 15 years now...)

Anyway, we know LightWave is more of a generalist package and might have some rendering features that messiah doesn't have actually (i'm thinking right now of MotionBlur which is now a killer feature in LightWave 9.x) but the inverse is true, i.e. messiah's micropolygon displacement is lightyears ahead of LW's displacement for example.

Well, let's stay cool here as we are all talking about software and nobody has been trolling as of yet imho. :)

And i must say i can't wait to test messiah 3 myself as it seems to evolve quite well with this release. :)


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette :)

catizone
03-04-2008, 04:11 PM
Thank you Gary! I tried to make this point as well on the other threads.

I do like LW for certain things, but character animation would definitely not be one of them. And yes, I too do not think it proper to go to the LW forum, and keep pounding them to use messiah.

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far away, LW had Project Purple (and that was, what, ten years ago?). It was suposedly going to be the answer for the demand for character animation tools. When that did NOT materialize, messiah was given birth to do what we had all asked for. And it HAS!

I don't mind people researching messiah as a tool. But when some, and I'm not saying it was anyone in particular, come in and tell us how some other software is better...or catching up...I really don't care. Messiah is simply amazing, IMO, and I haven't seen its power and ease in other programs.

And that's why I use it, and why I am in this forum.

Best,
Rick

lanosrep1
03-04-2008, 04:26 PM
Wow Gary, no need to get hot about this... (edited)

Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette :)

Sorry if I came of sounding hot... I'm not hot (ask my wife..lol)..
I just don't understand why people do this..
G.

Tartiflette
03-04-2008, 04:29 PM
But guys the question of this thread was : LW or messiah ? :surprised
So i think it's fair to talk about LW in this thread to answer, no ?
Otherwise you end up with something like :"take messiah it's the best 3D soft in the world", which imho is not very constructive.:shrug:

Anyway i think that, back on topic, messiah is more suited for character animation and LightWave stays a real bargain if you plan to do a lot of other things like archiviz, broadcast animation, illustration, etc,etc...

It's all about needs (or envy in my case...:drool:)


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette :)

catizone
03-04-2008, 04:45 PM
I don't think anybody's "hot" about this.

Just seems that sometimes it turns into more than a comparison, and despite the MANY obvious reasons why and where messiah excels, it becomes more of an "I think LW would be better because...."

If I were just doing broadcast graphics, I'd use LW. So maybe we just can agree that if one really has character animation needs, it would be messiah ...

Without telling us what may be in the next LW, or having no comparison between implementation and just having a feature...

Best,
Rick

Sil3
03-04-2008, 05:30 PM
Lanos:

This is a public forum where people can lurk and never talk or can talk at will about their personal opinions regarding software remember that ;)

Besides..and even though PMG got the habit of releasing their Software in STEALTH MODE so its their userbase that "alerts" on OTHER web forums about it, so its more than natural that you will see new faces around ready to speak their minds in here (saying good or bad things) when theres a new release.

There are thousands of messiah dongles out there, so there still are people that when messiah peaks out of its hole will take a look to see what it is... majority only look at the lanscape and move along like they did years ago, other keep that intereste but dont commit unless there really is something might interest them.

The original poster asked a simple question:

Should I buy LW or Messiah Upgrades?

Lino gave its opinion... unfortunatly it is not your opinion... but thats how the world works we all have our own opinions and we speak about them wherever we are, being it on another software forum or not.

By your answer Im suspecting that you prefered that if Lino didnt had anything cool to say about messiah then he should had shut up...(at least it was what I got from it) I think that is wrong on all levels, specially when the guys that posted this specifically asked about Particles and SofBodies and lets face it... messiah Sbs were always extremly fast but not very reliable when it enter Collisions ( 8 years later they still behave the same as when introduced) and particles until very recently didnt even casted Shadows...

Yeah Lino also talked about is own preferences regarding CA... they were not messiah oriented so what... it means that other tools that have an awfull record for CA are used for CA with the aid of FREE plugs and some pleople find CA with them as nice as in messiah or very close... whats the problem in saying that? I keep seing (less and less that is) on how messiah is superior to LW regarding CA and GI in LW forums and I dont see the LW users upset about it.

Sometimes "we" treat Software like if was a person with feelings.... geeee its lines of code nothing else, it has no feelings :p

ctguitars
03-04-2008, 05:49 PM
Hi Guys,

I am another who would say, for the modelling end - based on budget - either:

Wings3D - Free
Silo - $159
MODO ( my choice ) - $895

Got MODO via an offer at DAZ3D - a well priced purchase ver 101 then upgrade to 301.

Of course if you are in the Euro Zone at the moment now is a very good time for buying software via the dollar:

www.oanda.com (http://www.oanda.com/)

MODO: 895 US Dollar = 600 Euro
SILO: 159 US Dollar = 104 Euro

Modo ==> Messiah ==> Modo via OBJ for mesh, .MDD for anim data ...

A thread at Luxology where I left a message on how the workflow works:

http://forums.luxology.com/discussion/topic.aspx?id=24450

{ Nick: aidanodr }

Cheers
Aidan

Lino Grandi
03-04-2008, 06:49 PM
I understand that you are trying to give the original poster of this thread your honest opinion.. but for the life of me, I cannot understand why people lurk on forums like this which are specifically to encourage the use of Messiah.. (in this example) and then bash the software and say that software X is better..

Please can you point me where I "bush" Messiah in my answer?
As a Messiah owner and user, I think I can freely express my opinion.



Why do people do that?.. If you say: "At the moment I use LW almost exclusively" then why are you here?.. More power to you if you want to check in now and then.. but, why do this?

I know.. you want to be honest right.. well, be honest on the LW list to all those that love IT!

I'm following how Messiah is developing, and I'm still very interested in it, even if I'm not using it so much at the moment. My opinions do not change in relation to the fact I'm talking on a LW forum, or Messiah forum, or Maya....if someone asks for an opinion on LW and Messiah, I express my opinion based on my personal experience. I'm not saying what's better in general, I'm saying what works better for me. Please read again my post...maybe you missed something.


I use LW still (for modeling).. but I don't go on the LW list and bash LW.. I could not stand it for animation, and moved on.. I still keep my ears and eyes open.. and I look for software that meets my needs better.. but so far am happy with what I have..

I and I'm happy with what I have. And I have both. Same situation, different points of view.


We want to talk about Messiah on this list.. OK

Sure. But if someone asks about LW and Messiah, we should talk about both.

Please, read again my post. I didn't say Messiah is worst than Lightwave...and please, be a little more well-balanced in your posts.

(thank you everyone respecting my point of view)

lanosrep1
03-04-2008, 07:09 PM
K.. peace :)

Lino Grandi
03-04-2008, 07:16 PM
Absolutely! Peace! Made it up! ;)

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