Holy heck, those animation tools and soft/hard dynamics are awesome, jaw droppingly awesome. I must admit that just from reading the feature list I didn't realise just how useful dynamic bones could be, not just for animation, but for modelling as well.
A whole skeleton assigned IK at the click of a button, a few IK blocks and limits (mirror able) and you have a rig ready to go, heck I think I might even be able to do that.
Like other’s said, I’m glad I held off upgrading Motion Builder until I saw LW8, and I definitely wont consider upgrading MB until I have a chance to test LW8.
The soft/hard body dynamics seem especially well thought out and integrated into other parts of Layout. The hard body dynamics working on a single object was very impressive, it looked as though it was working on a sort of “select connected” approach, but however it was done it will simplify scenes considerable (not having to have each brick in a wall as a separate object).
Although they were great, the character tools and soft/hard body dynamics were all that were shown, and according to Proton near the end, it was all that Newtek wanted to show. A newbie attending Sig and not knowing anything about LW could easily be forgiven for thinking LW was an animation only program.
There was one telling bit near the end when Deuce and Proton were trying to fill (a couple guest speakers hadn’t turned up – damn I was really looking forward to hearing Ron Thornton), and asked what the audience wanted to see, silence, until someone shouted out “modelling techniques”, Proton mentioned about there being NO modelling improvements (although I’m sure he meant to say “not many”), and that newtek wanted to concentrate this years presentation on JUST character tools and soft/hard body dynamics, there was some if’ing and av’ing and then Deuce said they could look at some workflow enhancements instead. Quite odd ?
Lee Stranahan over at Newtek said that some people wanted to delay the release of LW8 until the modeller and renderer had had an overhaul, but that others wanted to get what they had out the door as soon as possible. Personally I think Newtek made the wrong move as it handed Luxology a major advertising coup on a plate.
Ok, not really ugly, but were the whole audience zombie’fied ?
There was some really major kick butt character / dynamic work going on at the presentation, but the audience hardly blinked or said a word.
Then again, it could have been the 1 frame/10 sec video streaming that made them seem motionless :wavey: