Softimage vs Lightwave

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  10 October 2012
Softimage vs Lightwave


this is not intended to be any flame thread about which software is better.

I have been using 3ds Max for a while now, doing primarily architectural visualization, but recently i got a job at a VFX studio where i do modeling, surfacing, lighting and rendering in general, not just Archviz, and i can really feel 3ds Max slowing me down. It is just overall very bloated, laggy and unresponsive software with UI design that kills productivity.

Prior to using Max, i was using Softimage (XSI back then) for 2 years, so i have some good base for comparison. Anyway... I recently started to think i will have to ditch Max to again experience that creation freedom i felt back when i was using Softimage.

I can pick any software I want, so i started to get through pros and cons of all the major CG packages: Blender, Cinema 4D, Lightwave, Modo, Softimage, Maya, Houdini. After a week of non-stop brainstorming and experimenting only 2 candidates remained - Softimage and Lightwave.

I really love Lightwave's philosophy of interactive rendering workflow, minimalistic UI that leaves lot of estate for creation, as well as simplicity of tools. I also liked what i heard from people using Lightwave, how it boosts their productivity and how flexible it makes them, but then again i could just have fallen victim of NewTek's desperate propaganda. From all the directions, i see, read and hear indications that this software is slowly dying and that less and less big studios are using it, so i could have hard time looking for a job and the time investment could turn out to be a waste.

Then there is of course Softimage, which i am already familiar with, but i am not sure it can offer me the interactive rendering workflow i am looking for... to create in real time without distractions and need to hit render preview button 1000 times a day. To create the scenery i am working on without any pauses and seams created by user interface.

I thought i would ask here, and let more experienced people judge the situation.

So, the question is: Would it be worth to learn Lightwave concerning it's current state, or should i go with Softimage?
  10 October 2012
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