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MarkInTx
01-01-2011, 04:20 AM
Hey all... with the new release of LW 10, I was thinking of taking another look... but I would like to have it act more like the other apps I know.

I see that I can remap some hotkeys, but that isn't as important to me as remapping the mouse behavior... can I set the ALT-Mouse buttons to do what I want? I don't see that anywhere... (really, the defaults are OK, but I'd like ALT-Middle Mouse button to Pan...)

Also, selection was always a problem in Lightwave for me. I never liked the "Lasso to select - Space bar to unselect" mode... It seems like a klunky way to do things. Maybe it's just what you are used to, but it seems like editing in vi instead of a WYSIWYG Word processor (how's that for a dated and esoteric comparison, eh?) Anyway... geek speak aside... Is it possible for me to set the mouse and select modes to act more like... say, Silo? (Gee is there no OBJECT selection mode? Do I really have to lasso all polygons just to select an object?)

And... the DVD for anyone who buys LW 10 is great and all.. but how about those of us who are just looking at the trial...? Is there an "Intro to LW 10" somewhere? I know I can RTFM, but I looked at it and the FM kinda FS. I mean, it is no worse than anyone else's I guess... but it is more of a monkey-see, monkey-do reference manual than something that takes you through common workflows for tasks...

I know there are many, many tutorials out there -- but they seem dated... is anyone putting out intro to LW 10 stuff that you know of?

I'd like to give LW another shot, but the 30 day trial is ticking, and there seems to be a huge mountain of stuff to learn before I can even see what the thing does...

Thoughts, anyone?

earwax69
01-01-2011, 09:59 AM
http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/tutorials.php

MarkInTx
01-01-2011, 08:14 PM
http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/tutorials.php

Yeah... saw those already... Not really what I was looking for...

That's why it is so hard to evaluate new software I guess... it takes so long to understand a package, and you only get 30 days. If I could make the interface act like other packages, it wouldn't be so bad... (even Blender lets you do that these days...) But having to relearn everything in 30 days is a pretty tough hill to climb.

Oh well... thought I'd ask...

MaDDoX
01-02-2011, 04:25 PM
I see that I can remap some hotkeys, but that isn't as important to me as remapping the mouse behavior... can I set the ALT-Mouse buttons to do what I want? I don't see that anywhere... (really, the defaults are OK, but I'd like ALT-Middle Mouse button to Pan...)
Unfortunately all developments in that aspect were done for the CORE product, which's still under development. There are ways to remap Lightwave to the ubiquitous Autodesk WASD+ALT+mouse button controls, just as you can do it in zBrush - through an external application apt for windows action remapping. I should probably take the time to do it and release it publically, would be quite helpful for my own pipeline.

Also, selection was always a problem in Lightwave for me. I never liked the "Lasso to select - Space bar to unselect" mode... It seems like a klunky way to do things.
Even in Maya or Modo I use a shortcut to deselect something (In my case I use "d"), it's way more consistent than double-clicking on empty space. Ever heard of close zoom editing? :)

Gee is there no OBJECT selection mode? Do I really have to lasso all polygons just to select an object?
In Modeler if you got nothing selected, you've got it all selected, just as in Modo. In Layout, just hit shift+O (object selection mode) and use the drop down box or arrow keys to select your object, which equals to a layer in Modeler.

I know there are many, many tutorials out there -- but they seem dated... is anyone putting out intro to LW 10 stuff that you know of?
I'm working on something, but it'll hardly be done before your trial expires, so I'd recommend you check Newtek's page of video tutorials they are really well done and probably the best way to learn Lightwave out there. For instance, it's completely not obvious that you can have construction-plane-like manipulation in Lightwave until you check the TransformPlus (sp?) video tut. You can also check out some tutorials on youtube, the user 'bugzilla2001' has some nice intermediate-advanced ones.

It's always hard to learn something new, but I wouldn't give up on LW if I were you. It's a really amazing product which I regularly use instead of Maya for many applications. It's simply more intuitive and faster to "get there", especially if you have a less technical, more artistic mindset.

MarkInTx
01-02-2011, 05:18 PM
MaDDoX:

Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

The good news is that I am going to be upgrading my system soon, so I can redo the trial then...

There are ways to remap Lightwave to the ubiquitous Autodesk WASD+ALT+mouse button controls, just as you can do it in zBrush - through an external application apt for windows action remapping.


Well, that's an interesting thought. I have thought about this myself, actually. I've done some work with things like this... I understand the basic constructs... it's something I could do in Windows. (Gee, there's that "If I only had the time" thing again...)

BTW, off topic... I did this awhile back and released it for foreground reference utilities...

FOREGROUND MODELER (http://www.digitalartistguild.com/misc/UtilityExplain/UtilityExplain.html)

When I did that, I thought about handling keystrokes with a global system hook... but never took it that far...


Even in Maya or Modo I use a shortcut to deselect something (In my case I use "d"), it's way more consistent than double-clicking on empty space. Ever heard of close zoom editing? :)


Well, maybe its a workflow thing that I just need to get used to. I tell you, I just love the way Silo "thinks". I click on something, it is selected. I shift-click, and it adds to the selection. I click on something new without shifting, and it drops the first selection and selects the new thing instead... I select on nothing, and everything is deselected... maybe its weird, but that's the way every other program I use works (Word, Outlook, you name it...)

I know it seems mundane... but if programs worked in a similar way, the learning curve is so much lower... I've never seen a group of programs resist this like the 3D world... It's weird. (zBrush being exhibit A for that...)


You can also check out some tutorials on youtube, the user 'bugzilla2001' has some nice intermediate-advanced ones.


Well, youtube and vimeo were my next stops... and I know bugzilla from his Blender tuts... I'll have a look. Thanks for the tip!

TrueArt Support
01-02-2011, 05:36 PM
can I set the ALT-Mouse buttons to do what I want? I don't see that anywhere...

No.


Also, selection was always a problem in Lightwave for me. I never liked the "Lasso to select - Space bar to unselect" mode...

Ehem..
Space bar is not unselecting.. It's dropping currently active interactive tool.. Or changing mode Point/Edge/Polygon. Elements remain selected, even if they're not showed in other modes.


It seems like a klunky way to do things. Maybe it's just what you are used to, but it seems like editing in vi instead of a WYSIWYG Word processor

I don't see any connection between WYSIWYG and used short-cuts, or mouse keys to activate/deactivate tools..

(Gee is there no OBJECT selection mode? Do I really have to lasso all polygons just to select an object?)

Currently active layer is selected automatically, if none element is directly selected.
Make f.e. box, then don't select anything and use Modify > Move.. and whole box moves, right?
Then when you want to move just one point, select it, and use Modify > Move again. When done, drop tool.

That's why we write modeling tools to speed up this workflow, such as EasyMesh
http://easymesh.trueart.pl
It doesn't need selecting anything, because automatically detect what's below it and which mouse button is used and adopting appropriately. Saves time selecting elements, activating tool and dropping tool and deselecting elements.


I know there are many, many tutorials out there -- but they seem dated... is anyone putting out intro to LW 10 stuff that you know of?

LightWave didn't change much between v6 to v10. Especially in Modeler, the most dramatic change was just adding edges and tools to handle it, and adding new Sub-Patch technology - Catmull-Clark Sub-Division.
Tutorials made in LW v6.x times in 90-95% are still valid.

VirtualFM
01-02-2011, 10:43 PM
Even in Maya or Modo I use a shortcut to deselect something (In my case I use "d"), it's way more consistent than double-clicking on empty space. Ever heard of close zoom editing? :)

I mapped the deselect default shortcut (which is "\") to the "back" button of the mouse (it's Logitech and I used Logitech's drivers software for that, but I guess most mouses allow to redefine mouse keys). In this way, deselecting is always a thumb away! no need to go to an empty space to click or even use a shortcut.

MarkInTx
01-03-2011, 01:53 AM
I mapped the deselect default shortcut (which is "\") to the "back" button of the mouse (it's Logitech and I used Logitech's drivers software for that, but I guess most mouses allow to redefine mouse keys). In this way, deselecting is always a thumb away! no need to go to an empty space to click or even use a shortcut.
Hey... not a bad idea... I have a logitech mouse myself... I have never mapped any of the keys, but it makes sense... I need to check.. if it's application specific, this could normalize a lot of my workflow... thanks for the idea...


I don't see any connection between WYSIWYG and used short-cuts, or mouse keys to activate/deactivate tools..

It's not a perfect analogy... I could try to explain what I mean, but in the end it might make sense only to me. It just seems like in Lightwave that when you do something you enter some sort of Mode (depending on the action) and you stay in that mode until you cancel out of it. That is counterintuitive to the way I think, I guess. I'm not saying it is a bad approach... but it is different than they way I think, and I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.


That's why we write modeling tools to speed up this workflow, such as EasyMesh
http://easymesh.trueart.pl
It doesn't need selecting anything, because automatically detect what's below it and which mouse button is used and adopting appropriately. Saves time selecting elements, activating tool and dropping tool and deselecting elements.

I can see where that would speed things up... but (don't take this the wrong way) by the time Lightwave hits version 10, I am surprised anyone needs to write such a feature for them... I mean... it's good for you and your company... but it seems to me that Modeler doesn't get much love from NewTek....


LightWave didn't change much between v6 to v10.

Yikes!


Tutorials made in LW v6.x times in 90-95% are still valid.

I sense that the really big change is coming when CORE drops. But, the one area of LW that always seemed very weak to me was the rigging. Is that fixed with LW10? I didn't see much listed there in the features set for rigging or skinning. I see that they have done something to improve UV mapping -- but saw nothing about improved rigging. That sort of surprises me. I can live without Modeler, to be honest. As long as Modeler is a separate product from layout anyway, who cares about it? I might as well use Silo. The render improvements are nice -- but rendering is sort of where LW always shined, IMHO.

Improving pipeline interfaces, such as MDD and zBrush's interface are a self-defense move, and I get why they did it.

Nothing on rigging though? That surprises me...

Anyway... thank you all for the information. It is very helpful!

TrueArt Support
01-03-2011, 02:21 AM
I meant in Modeler didn't change much - I have listed what was changed.
In Layout it's completely different league. Custom lights, custom cameras, custom nodal shaders, custom renderers..

LW v10 the flag feature is VPR, rendering directly to Layout viewport parallel with regular work..

MarkInTx
01-03-2011, 01:31 PM
I meant in Modeler didn't change much - I have listed what was changed.
In Layout it's completely different league. Custom lights, custom cameras, custom nodal shaders, custom renderers..

LW v10 the flag feature is VPR, rendering directly to Layout viewport parallel with regular work..

I hear you... but isn't that sort of the problem? They made the strongest part of Lightwave even stronger... while virtually ignoring the weaker aspects... or at least so it seems to me...

It's like the guys who go in the gym and always work the same body part because it's easier... and they end up with killer arms and a wimpy chest.

IDK.

Just an impression I get from the sidelines...

TrueArt Support
01-03-2011, 02:44 PM
Final clients after all are receiving what renderer generated - how model was made, is in 99% of cases, not important for them.

If programmers will speed up renderer 10%, and your frame was rendering in 60 minutes, upgrade to new version will save you 6 minutes from your life. Multiply it by number of frames then by number of projects. The same is with better hardware- faster machines save your life time.

MarkInTx
01-03-2011, 03:06 PM
If programmers will speed up renderer 10%, and your frame was rendering in 60 minutes, upgrade to new version will save you 6 minutes from your life. Multiply it by number of frames then by number of projects.

This would be an excellent argument if LightWave were just a renderer, and its competition was Mental Ray.

The argument falls apart a bit (I think) when you realize that LightWave competes against Maya, Max and XSI -- all of which provide tools for more than just rendering... It seems to me that when someone is choosing to use Lightwave, they are interested in the full pipeline... not just how fast it can render the final product when (if!) the artist finally gets to that point...

I'm just saying...

Tama
01-03-2011, 03:55 PM
(Gee is there no OBJECT selection mode? Do I really have to lasso all polygons just to select an object?)



No need to perform the lasso selection to select an entire object.

To select an entire object is not that difficult, go to polygon select mode (yeah, use the space bar to get there) next use your mouse to select a single polygon or more on the object you want selected and then hit the "right" bracket key. Entire object now selected.

Good luck as it appears you will need it. Go find some basic beginner LW tutes to get a handle on the basics of LWave.

MaDDoX
01-03-2011, 07:46 PM
I've done some work with things like this... I understand the basic constructs... it's something I could do in Windows. (Gee, there's that "If I only had the time" thing again...)
It's something I seriously want to do ASAP and release publicly for the collective sanity sake :) I'll probably make an integrated config file which works with our studio in-house key mappings and configs, which was designed with ergonomy and productivity in mind. We have the same overall shortcuts for all our major applications, Lightwave, Modo, 3DCoat and Maya.

Nothing on rigging though? That surprises me...
Actually rigging has got multiple "under the hood" improvements, stability has been increased vastly just as the deformation speed which was its biggest drawback compared to Maya or Softimage. TBH tools weren't quite the problem since 9.2, lack of proper reference was, like I noted in my review we (the community) took ages to figure out how the whole system actually worked in its finer details. Major kudos to RebelHill for figuring out most of the high-end intricate details btw. Newtek intended to remedy this situation with its bundled introduction to rigging video in v10, yet I agree with you that it should've made it free so that demo testers would have a chance to taste all the Lightwave dynamic rigging power. Apart for Messiah there's nothing out there with as much interactivity for rigging/skinning as Lightwave, very few rigs (I'm just repeating what I've read since I can't think of any) can't be replicated in it.

They made the strongest part of Lightwave even stronger...
You tailor your products enhancements to suit your clients needs. That's how business work I'm afraid. Nevertheless, Newtek has made great enhancements to the modeling side in its CORE next-gen product, they really wasn't expecting it to not be ready by the end of the year so they tidied up LW10 as a gap-filler. Anyways, to set the record straight, using the right set of free plugins (TrueArt ones being a good example), config and lscripts you can be 99% as productive as in Modo, which's the leader of the pack IMO. So it's not as if Modeler is any slouch in the poly-crunching department.

MarkInTx
01-03-2011, 11:29 PM
It's something I seriously want to do ASAP and release publicly for the collective sanity sake
Well, it would be a tremendous asset... I'd love to see it.


Actually rigging has got multiple "under the hood" improvements... lack of proper reference was, like I noted in my review


I read that in the review, and it was really intriguing. Also frustrating, btw. As a former Product Manager that stuff just drives me nuts... either Development was sneaking features in, or Product management was asleep at the switch... but if you have good features, they need to be touted!


Newtek intended to remedy this situation with its bundled introduction to rigging video in v10, yet I agree with you that it should've made it free so that demo testers would have a chance to taste all the Lightwave dynamic rigging power.


Well, I can understand not making it free... but as far as I can tell it isn't even available... and that simply blows my mind... I'd buy it if it were available on Amazon or Newtek... but it isn't.


Apart for Messiah there's nothing out there with as much interactivity for rigging/skinning as Lightwave, very few rigs (I'm just repeating what I've read since I can't think of any) can't be replicated in it.


The interactive nature of messiah is nice... but (despite what some would have you believe) Messiah isn't a bowl of Cherries when it comes to rigging, either... It has some secrets that only a few have unlocked... and if you don't know them, you can only get so far along the process. That said, the interactive approach is a cool feature, that's for sure. Blender has a setup Mode and a pose mode, btw. It's not quite the same as Messiah, but it's closer than many people would like to believe. And the fact that it is making everything available to its Python script language is going to make it incredibly formidable when add-on scripts start popping up.

OTOH, Blender's Render engine.... Is why I am taking a serious look at LW10.

MaDDoX
01-04-2011, 11:47 AM
Well, I can understand not making it free... but as far as I can tell it isn't even available... and that simply blows my mind... I'd buy it if it were available on Amazon or Newtek... but it isn't.
So true. Just check what Luxology did with Modo, many great training packages being sold for very low prices. Making such a great training material bundled with the final product was shooting at their own foot imo.

The interactive nature of messiah is nice... but (despite what some would have you believe) Messiah isn't a bowl of Cherries when it comes to rigging, either...
I've learned many of those "tricks" you mention and still find Messiah to be too much on the technical side. If you compare Project Messiah's expressions to C4D's Xpresso or MotionBuilder's graphical expression system, it's like comparing the stiff Modo's shader tree with Lightwave's flexible node-based texturing system.

OTOH, Blender's Render engine.... Is why I am taking a serious look at LW10.
I really have to find some time to play with Blender myself, but from the videos I saw its interface doesn't attract me a single bit. Due to its fast development nature and vast array of features I think it'll become harder and harder to ignore it though.

MarkInTx
01-04-2011, 01:04 PM
I've learned many of those "tricks" you mention and still find Messiah to be too much on the technical side. If you compare Project Messiah's expressions to C4D's Xpresso or MotionBuilder's graphical expression system, it's like comparing the stiff Modo's shader tree with Lightwave's flexible node-based texturing system.


Expressions are really weak. And using the expression builder is counterintuitive and a real pain. Messiah really needs a better scripting interface in general, actually. Also, the way Messiah deforms a mesh constantly surprises me. I'm not sure what algorithm it uses, but for some reason the result is never what I expect. Many guys get great results, but for some reason, I'm not one of them...


I really have to find some time to play with Blender myself, but from the videos I saw its interface doesn't attract me a single bit.

Hehehe... Really? You think the UI is bad? This from a Lightwave User? The beauty of the Blender interface is that it is completely changeable. Don't get me wrong, it still has some issues. But when the API finally stabilizes (so you can write a Python script and not have it break when every new build is released) things are going to get amazing fast.


Due to its fast development nature and vast array of features I think it'll become harder and harder to ignore it though.


The problem, though, is that unless you are willing to live with exporting Point Cache, or MDD and rendering elsewhere, it's hard to see how Blender can be a one stop shop. And, the other problem is that it has no clear product direction... it is an army of 1000 soldiers, most of whom march to the beat of their own drum. If they ever all started marching in one direction, it would be a fearsome beast... But, hey, the price is right, anyway...

MaDDoX
01-04-2011, 02:45 PM
Hehehe... Really? You think the UI is bad? This from a Lightwave User? The beauty of the Blender interface is that it is completely changeable.
I think the UI is kinda ugly, or at least it looks dated compared to Modo for instance, but bad? No way! It does what it should, without distracting and polluting icons or with critical windows that take 10s just to open up the first time like Maya, or taking 75% of the working space like C4D. To consider the user interface you really have to consider every single aspect of it, not just its beauty. You can configure a lot of the Lightwave interface as well, it just ain't got things like docking windows to tabs and such (which's a great thing btw) simply because that was coded in for CORE and it doesn't make much sense adding it to LW. Personally I'm happy enough with the usage of qt for rendering in v10, at least now we've got great window rendering speed and infinitely less crash-prone than it used to be with simple re-arrangements like "drag-resizing a window". Yeah, I did get a few crashes out of such simple moves in the most unexpected situations, although these obnoxious bugs practically disappeared in 9.6.

philnolan3d
01-06-2011, 04:06 AM
Personally I wish the other apps worked more like LightWave so they would be easier to learn.

I also use "back" button on my mouse for deselecting.

Last thought- I hate when people say blenders UI is good because you can change it. You shouldn't have to change it, it should work nicely from the moment you install it. The only way you know how you would like the UI to be is by using it's default for days, weeks, longer?

MarkInTx
01-06-2011, 11:45 AM
Personally I wish the other apps worked more like LightWave so they would be easier to learn.

Ahhh... so the whole world should be like Lightwave, rather than Lightwave be like the whole world... Well, that's one approach, I guess...

Last thought- I hate when people say blenders UI is good because you can change it. You shouldn't have to change it, it should work nicely from the moment you install it.
Yeah... and it would be great if the car I buy had the steering wheel exactly where I want it, and the seat positioned correctly. However, since it doesn't, the ability to move the seat and steering wheel to suit my preferences is what I call a good feature... But I guess you are saying that I should drive around for a week with the factory standard setup to see if I really prefer driving with my knees in my chest, eh?

Carm3D
01-07-2011, 11:43 AM
Your signature says you have Silo. So why not just use that? Silo is sweet. I have Lightwave and Silo. I model in Silo, animate in Lightwave.

MarkInTx
01-07-2011, 01:33 PM
Your signature says you have Silo. So why not just use that? Silo is sweet. I have Lightwave and Silo. I model in Silo, animate in Lightwave.

I couldn't agree with you more... Silo is sweet. That's why I wish I could make LW's UI more like Silo. My concern is twofold:

One) I have read a lot of things about LW's animation tools that aren't very complimentary, and it concerns me about how well it will suit me for animation... I know that LW will do everything that I need for right now, since I am a rank amateur... but as I progress, I would like to be using a tool that I don't hit the wall in. That worries me.

Two) The only way I have achieved the results I want is to use corrective shapekeys to fix bad deformations. I guess there is a way of building a mega "Rube Goldberg" rig that handles everything all of the time -- but I haven't found that secret yet. So, I get as far as I can, and then correct the rest with shapekeys. Exporting a mesh to Silo, fixing deformations there, and then sending them back to LW to implement seems like a really bad workflow to me. So, at some point, I need to be able to model effectively in the same tool I am doing the animation in... or so it seems to me, anyway.

But I'm still learning and evaluating... 27 more days to go!

MaDDoX
01-07-2011, 04:54 PM
Personally I wish the other apps worked more like LightWave so they would be easier to learn.
Phil, I won't lie to you that even after almost two decades using the Lightwave Alt+shift for pan, Alt+Ctrl for zoom, I almost instantly fell in love with the "Maya way" of Alt+MMB for pan, ALT+RMB for zoom. It's really intuitive and the more you use it, the faster you get, something that never really happened with some Lightwave default shortcuts. Some of them do make "literal sense", like shift+O to select objects, but they're way to the right side of the keyboard and subtly disrupt your workflow and take you out of "the zone". If you consider the number of times you've had to move your left hand to the right to hit "P" (properties) in Lightwave along the years, you'll realize you've actually spent tons of calories doing it. Which might even be good depending on your fitness level :)

In the other hand, the concept of having X(Heading)/Z(Pitch)-only movementwith the left mouse button and locking Y(Bank) axis to the right mouse button is ingenious, and something I've sorely missed in Maya where you always need to use the precise-yet-boring gizmos.

That's why I've developed a 10x more effective way to use shortcuts and navigate in Lightwave, mixing the best of the Maya and LW interfaces. Soon it'll be public and you'll get the chance to give it a try, even if it doesn't convince you to change the ways you've been used to for years, it might help with converting a few new artists to Lightwave, at least as a complimentary or rapid-prototyping tool.

as I progress, I would like to be using a tool that I don't hit the wall in. That worries me.
I've heard that many times, but seriously, would you rather hit a wall right from the start? The so called "wall" in Lightwave is made of rubber, it sure gets hard if you want to go really strong against it, but you'll rarely find that you absolutely can not pull off some look or effect. As usual, most of it depends on talent and dedication, and I just have to ask you how much you think you can push yourself to learn and do something hard (and high-end fx are always hard, no matter where) when you're not feeling comfortable with the software. Just something to keep in mind, I haven't thought about that in the past, just looking for the size of the features list and although there was lots to learn which enhanced me as a professional, was a silly move to replace parts instead of stacking them up.

I guess there is a way of building a mega "Rube Goldberg" rig that handles everything all of the time -- but I haven't found that secret yet.
There's no such secret. In the end it's all about not wasting time rigging and jumping ASAP to animation, that's where the fun lies. Riggers just hate me for saying that (and you can imagine the amount of flames I get for my strong opinions against the "mega-rig" mentality), but that's where the art is. And for super-fast and dynamic rigging there's nothing out there except for Messiah that can really compare.

But I'm still learning and evaluating... 27 more days to go!
You'll be glad to know that, contrary to my expectations, you'll have your maya-based navigation system in Lightwave before your trial period expires :) I've got it to work yesterday (went to bet 3 AM yikes), and it makes a frickin world of difference! I'm really excited about releasing "LightKeys" ASAP, just a minor glitch to fix and small cleanups to perform, hopefully the first beta will be ready for public consumption this weekend still ^_^

philnolan3d
01-07-2011, 05:33 PM
Phil, I won't lie to you that even after almost two decades using the Lightwave Alt+shift for pan, Alt+Ctrl for zoom, I almost instantly fell in love with the "Maya way" of Alt+MMB for pan, ALT+RMB for zoom. It's really intuitive and the more you use it, the faster you get, something that never really happened with some Lightwave default shortcuts.

I don't use the key+mouse navigtion in LightWave, I'm usually just happy with the controlls in the corner of the viewport. If I had to choose a different method it would be the 3D-Coat default way-- LMB rotates, RMB zooms, and MMB or LMB+RMB pans. This works in empty speace with just the mouse or with Alt if you're over the model. I find it really fast and easy to use. 3DC also has the maya or zbrush options as presets and I've tried them both but they just can't beat the default way. Of course you can also just set everything to whatever buttons you want.

I'm sure CORE will have options to change all of this however you like as well.

MarkInTx
01-07-2011, 08:19 PM
I've heard that many times, but seriously, would you rather hit a wall right from the start? The so called "wall" in Lightwave is made of rubber, it sure gets hard if you want to go really strong against it, but you'll rarely find that you absolutely can not pull off some look or effect.


Well, what can I say... I'm a dreamer :-). What I always hope to find is the "Silo" of animation tools. No luck with that. And I have tried them all -- just trials of course, but I have spent so much on DVDs during my trials, that I could have almost paid for any application.

Ha! And then, after all of that experimentation, I went and bought the one application that had hardly any training available for it at all: Messiah. (What was I thinking?) After years of frustrating attempts, I have all but given up on Messiah. It seems very esoteric to me. I know it is capable of a lot of things... but its secrets seem locked to me. I guess it is to me what IK-Boost was the the LW community before someone cracked it and released info on it... Except the info about Messiah seems closely guarded...

I saw on Newtek Pooby getting all misty-eyed about XSI, and I just don't get it. Thomas talked me into trying XSI a few years back (this was pre-Autodesk days) and I was able to get a very long trial on it due to some mix-up on their end and a very helpful marketing person there... But after months of trial... man I hated XSI! It felt like trying to build models with an Excel spreadsheet. And, last I checked, you couldn't even model with symmetry on -- so I just don't get how it is some great modeler... Although, it can handle a boatload of polys -- no doubt. And, I can't comment on ICE, since I have never used it... but it was about the most obtuse UI I encountered. Yet I read all of the time how so many guys just think it is the greatest thing ever... so I guess it depends some on taste, and some on what you are trying to accomplish.

Which, of course, is part of my problem. I have a lot of lofty long-term goals and very few short term ones... it does make evaluating software harder...


There's no such secret. In the end it's all about not wasting time rigging and jumping ASAP to animation, that's where the fun lies.

Well, yes and no. If the rig doesn't do its job, the animation is going to suck. I know what you are saying in general. (For example, if you are never going to use IK for hands and arms, why waste time getting the IK drivers working on a rig's arms...) but there does have to be a baseline.

Although I haven't had a chance to through Rhiggit on my mesh yet, so I probably need to withhold some judgement on the task in LW. I am concerned though about the idea that multiple rigs slow things down in LW. I'm hoping that any slowdown can be beat by system upgrades -- memory is pretty cheap, and with 64BIT available now, you can cover a lot of ills by getting more memory -- If the program is well written...


You'll be glad to know that, contrary to my expectations, you'll have your maya-based navigation system in Lightwave before your trial period expires :)

Well that is truly good news... are you releasing it as a community addon? Or will you be selling it?

Carm3D
01-08-2011, 01:46 AM
but as I progress, I would like to be using a tool that I don't hit the wall in. That worries me.

Well perhaps I can lay your worries to rest here and now. You will hit the wall in some aspects of Lightwave. Lightwave's architecture is quite old. They have added some impressive new features in recent years. But because of the underlying structure is the way it is, they can only take it so far. This is why they are doing a reboot with Lightwave CORE.

The most limiting areas in the current Lightwave, off the top of my head are;

1. Non-linear animation. Motion Mixer is a relic from a bygone era. Probably the most embarrassing feature in LW.

2. The inability to edit points in Layout (ideal for making corrective joint morphs).

3. Cloth simulation. It has some nifty features, such as sewing. But holy cat farts is it slow! And unstable during self-colisions.

4. Fragmented expression systems. You've got expressions in the graph editor.. Motion Modifier Expressions, Relativity.. Did I forget any? Expressions are here and there in order to be work-arounds for limitations in the rigging system... Some of which have since been ironed out.

5. You cannot mix and match deformation systems. You can't have bones doing something here... A cage deformer doing something else over here.. It's pretty much all or nothing.

On the other hand Lightwave does have some nice traits with it that makes it appealing compared to more modern programs. You don't have to paint a weightmaps for EACH AND EVERY bone in your rig. You can swap one model for another and preserve your rig rather painlessly. And over all the feel of the program seems more artist-friendly than some others out there. So it really all boils down to your personal tastes in how you like to do things.

You might enjoy looking through some of the tutorials in my YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/carm3d).

But I'm still learning and evaluating... 27 more days to go!

Good luck.

MaDDoX
01-08-2011, 01:54 PM
Well, yes and no. If the rig doesn't do its job, the animation is going to suck. I know what you are saying in general. (For example, if you are never going to use IK for hands and arms, why waste time getting the IK drivers working on a rig's arms...) but there does have to be a baseline.
If you're only posing a character for, say, an illustration, IKBooster will get you there faster and with infinite flexibility as to what affects your posing IK, etc, without you ever having to commit to anything. For animations you're right, and that baseline - at least for me - is the "humanIK" rig, which absolutely shines in motionbuilder. The thing is, are all your characters bipeds and quadrupeds? Making a physics-based appendage (or any kind of custom rig), for instance, in MotionBuilder does take longer and is less flexible and more cumbersome to tune up its setup than the same process it in Lightwave, although the performance its absolutely real-time while in Lightwave it's a post-process thing like in Maya. Mobu also has a graphical expressions system which's really cool, while you always have to write expressions in Lightwave, yet many times Lightwave has nice one-click options like "same as item" which really dismisses simpler expressions. So it really does depend.

I am concerned though about the idea that multiple rigs slow things down in LW.
You can always apply MDDs on a character by character basis, although it's obvious that for interaction of multiple characters that process sucks. You can also use a system similar to limb slices as a proxy, I used a great system in Lightwave - back when IK wasn't even an option - called SockMonkey. I could animate multiple different characters with that technique. Unfortunately it ended up being considered dated due to the ubiquity of weight-based bone deformations, but it's a fact that Lightwave never exactly shun in this specific area.

2. The inability to edit points in Layout (ideal for making corrective joint morphs).
You can do it with softfx, although it's certainly not the best interactivity in the world. Works good enough for me, your mileage may vary of course.

3. Cloth simulation. It has some nifty features, such as sewing. But holy cat farts is it slow! And unstable during self-colisions.
Try Syflex, much better, although that's a quite expensive plugin.

Well that is truly good news... are you releasing it as a community addon? Or will you be selling it?
It'll be free! :) This community has offered me so much for free that I feel bad just for considering the option of charging for such a simple tool, as helpful as it might be.

MarkInTx
01-08-2011, 05:13 PM
Well perhaps I can lay your worries to rest here and now. You will hit the wall in some aspects of Lightwave.
Hehehe... well, thanks! I feel much better now!


You might enjoy looking through some of the tutorials in my YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/carm3d).


I'll give them a look. Thanks!

MarkInTx
01-08-2011, 05:20 PM
For animations you're right, and that baseline - at least for me - is the "humanIK" rig, which absolutely shines in motionbuilder.


OK... so you are talking about working in MotionBuilder and then porting the result over as an MDD file, right? If I undertand this correctly, that means that when your animation gets into LW, it is baked and finished, and you can't make any change to it... the rig doesn't come over... is that right? (Although I thought I read somewhere that if you export something through MDD into Modo that it comes over bones and all...) Seems to me if that is your workflow, that Jimmy|RIG is cleaner, isn't it? At least as it applies to using MoCap... then it comes over bones and all (I think). When I saw that a year ago, I thought it looked great... but development seems to have stalled somewhat... Anyway...


It'll be free! :) This community has offered me so much for free that I feel bad just for considering the option of charging for such a simple tool, as helpful as it might be.

Well, as I said, I am looking forward to seeing it. What is it written in, if you don't mind my asking? (I'm assuming C or C++... right? The way I thought of going it was with a global system hook...)

Snosrap
01-20-2011, 05:38 AM
For me it's not so much how the UI works like other apps, but more like how navigating the 3D viewports work like I'm accustomed to. I can always find tools etc., but if navigating the viewports is clumsy then forget it. Current LW has no options for changing navigation, Core on the other hand looks like it will have plenty - more like 3D Coat - tons of different ways to set things up.

MarkInTx
01-20-2011, 07:58 PM
For me it's not so much how the UI works like other apps, but more like how navigating the 3D viewports work like I'm accustomed to. I can always find tools etc., but if navigating the viewports is clumsy then forget it. Current LW has no options for changing navigation, Core on the other hand looks like it will have plenty - more like 3D Coat - tons of different ways to set things up.

+1.

I agree with that. It is the navigation more than anything else that impacts how useful an app is... of course SOME tools are used frequently. But main thing is Select, De-Select, Rotate, Pan, and Zoom. These things I do without thinking. If I have to stop and think about it... it becomes miserable in a hurry.

I think it's like playing a guitar. My left hand knows their chord position and just go there. If I had to stop and re-finger every chord because the frets were laid out differently... it would be really hard to play.

Tama
01-20-2011, 10:19 PM
+1.

I agree with that. It is the navigation more than anything else that impacts how useful an app is... of course SOME tools are used frequently. But main thing is Select, De-Select, Rotate, Pan, and Zoom. These things I do without thinking. If I have to stop and think about it... it becomes miserable in a hurry.

I think it's like playing a guitar. My left hand knows their chord position and just go there. If I had to stop and re-finger every chord because the frets were laid out differently... it would be really hard to play.
So what do you do when you need to learn a new guitar chord? Do you have to learn a new fingering?

MarkInTx
01-22-2011, 04:15 AM
So what do you do when you need to learn a new guitar chord? Do you have to learn a new fingering?

First off, it is an imperfect analogy I admit...

But it isn't that I mind "learning new chords" -- as long as my instrument functions the same, learning new chords isn't the problem. The problem is if one guitar was built radically different than all the others.

Because my left fingers know what they need to do... and because the fret is always in the same place, and the strings are always in the same order and the same location... learning new chords is easy. However, if I take the same learned behavior to -- for example -- the banjo, I have to relearn basic finger positioning because the frets and strings are different than they are on a guitar. And, believe me, no one would appreciate it if they picked up the guitar and found the strings were ordered like on a banjo: D,B,G,D,G -- they would throw the thing down and walk away from it wondering why anyone would make a guitar so radically different.

So... for me it is the same for a 3D program. My right hand works the mouse and my left hand works the keyboard. I hold ALT and scroll my mouse wheel... and I expect the view to zoom. ALT-Left Click, and I can rotate... etc... If it doesn't, it interrupts my flow.

Does this mean that Lightwave has to reorder things so I like them? Why would they? My preferences have been influenced from the hours I spent using Silo. Someone coming to LW from Maya would have a different prejudice... but that is my point. Why not allow the user to make the interface operate the way they want it to? That just makes sense to me. In this day and age, I am surprised when I find a program that doesn't permit this.

Especially if you are in second place and trying hard to get people to switch -- the first thing you should do is lower the barrier to learning.

I am not the product manager for LW -- but if I were, creating a customizable UI would be the very first feature I put on my list. When I was a product manager, we were taught that the single biggest thing we had to worry about was the "Out of the box" experience.

If someone is doing a 30 day trial, and they spend the first two weeks struggling to figure out how to do the most basic things, the chances of the final decision going your way is VERY bad.

(The second feature I would worry about was interoperability with other programs...)

But, that's just me...

Tama
01-22-2011, 06:07 PM
First off, it is an imperfect analogy I admit...

But it isn't that I mind "learning new chords" -- as long as my instrument functions the same, learning new chords isn't the problem. The problem is if one guitar was built radically different than all the others.

Because my left fingers know what they need to do... and because the fret is always in the same place, and the strings are always in the same order and the same location... learning new chords is easy. However, if I take the same learned behavior to -- for example -- the banjo, I have to relearn basic finger positioning because the frets and strings are different than they are on a guitar. And, believe me, no one would appreciate it if they picked up the guitar and found the strings were ordered like on a banjo: D,B,G,D,G -- they would throw the thing down and walk away from it wondering why anyone would make a guitar so radically different.

So... for me it is the same for a 3D program. My right hand works the mouse and my left hand works the keyboard. I hold ALT and scroll my mouse wheel... and I expect the view to zoom. ALT-Left Click, and I can rotate... etc... If it doesn't, it interrupts my flow.

Does this mean that Lightwave has to reorder things so I like them? Why would they? My preferences have been influenced from the hours I spent using Silo. Someone coming to LW from Maya would have a different prejudice... but that is my point. Why not allow the user to make the interface operate the way they want it to? That just makes sense to me. In this day and age, I am surprised when I find a program that doesn't permit this.

Especially if you are in second place and trying hard to get people to switch -- the first thing you should do is lower the barrier to learning.

I am not the product manager for LW -- but if I were, creating a customizable UI would be the very first feature I put on my list. When I was a product manager, we were taught that the single biggest thing we had to worry about was the "Out of the box" experience.

If someone is doing a 30 day trial, and they spend the first two weeks struggling to figure out how to do the most basic things, the chances of the final decision going your way is VERY bad.

(The second feature I would worry about was interoperability with other programs...)

But, that's just me...

Yes, a very strained analogy yet you continue to go on with it regardless.
You play guitar at a level that never utilizes alternate tunings?:rolleyes:

MarkInTx
01-24-2011, 07:54 PM
Yes, a very strained analogy yet you continue to go on with it regardless.
You play guitar at a level that never utilizes alternate tunings?:rolleyes:

Well ... you asked...

But, honestly, if you don't understand what I mean... then I don't think any analogy is going to help.

I am of the firm belief that a User Interface should never be a barrier to using a program. Apparently, you think that learning a new interface -- and switching between them -- is no big deal.

We're probably not going to agree here no matter what we say...

MaDDoX
01-25-2011, 01:22 PM
We're probably not going to agree here no matter what we say...
Erm.. are you guys sure it's not easier to simply use my just-released LightKeys app and use the Maya Standard Navigation inside Lightwave? :) Or just bug me to add another navigation preset in the next version, if you're used to XSI or something else.

Peace!

MarkInTx
01-25-2011, 05:29 PM
Erm.. are you guys sure it's not easier to simply use my just-released LightKeys app and use the Maya Standard Navigation inside Lightwave? :) Or just bug me to add another navigation preset in the next version, if you're used to XSI or something else.


It may be easier... I really haven't had a moment to try it yet... but I will!

jburford
01-26-2011, 09:36 PM
Erm.. are you guys sure it's not easier to simply use my just-released LightKeys app and use the Maya Standard Navigation inside Lightwave? :) Or just bug me to add another navigation preset in the next version, if you're used to XSI or something else.

Peace!

Sorry, but did I miss the link to this LightKeys app for Lightwave? Could you (re)post if possible?
Cheers

MarkInTx
01-26-2011, 10:27 PM
Sorry, but did I miss the link to this LightKeys app for Lightwave? Could you (re)post if possible?
Cheers

He put it in its own thread:

LightKeys (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=5&t=949894)

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