Is Lightwave dead?-EDIT Nope- New Release

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  08 August 2016
Jezz I go on vacation and things go nuts...


As a longtime Lightwave user I can attest that the app is not dead. I have spoken with rob Powers and they are hard at work for the next release. Hell CBS digital is recruiting LW artists for the next upcoming Star Trek Show.
Frankly I always have wondered why LW gets this red headed step child treatment from the CG community? I mean really.

Originally Posted by erikals: actually looked into buying xSI, great app, but with Houdini Indie it just doesn't make sense anymore.

so ended up with a LightWave / Houdini combination.

 

Mine is

Lightwave/ Blender/ Zbrush/ 3d Coat/ and soon Houdini Combo..
What happened to Softimage is a crime.
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  08 August 2016
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: Jezz I go on vacation and things go nuts...


As a longtime Lightwave user I can attest that the app is not dead. I have spoken with rob Powers and they are hard at work for the next release. Hell CBS digital is recruiting LW artists for the next upcoming Star Trek Show.


"going nuts"? you do understand the concept of humor, don't you? there is really no need to get defensive just because someone jokes (mildly) about a piece of software you happen to use.... I'm a softimage user. I like it. Do I care if the majority of 3D uses Maya (since 10+ years)? No. (I will have to switch sometime of course, but until then, joke away..)

"the future is bright"

Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: Frankly I always have wondered why LW gets this red headed step child treatment from the CG community? I mean really.


Honestly, (and really not meant as offense) I doubt you don't know did you ever use something else than LW for a real-life production? (and be able to compare workflows, flexibility, etc.?)

--s
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  08 August 2016
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: Hell CBS digital is recruiting LW artists for the next upcoming Star Trek Show


The...... the one with the awful cgi?

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...p?f=2&t=1388681
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  08 August 2016
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: Frankly I always have wondered why LW gets this red headed step child treatment from the CG community? I mean really.

Easy I'd say it was the CORE fiasco. Drove some faithful away. And the outside looking in went "phew I am glad that ain't my app!".

Of course us former Softimagers ain't exactly bragging anymore either.
 
  08 August 2016
I see the faithful defending the app, however I don't think anyone asked what you want to learn, and why. That's important. What's missing from your skillset now as a graphic designer? What do you want to learn, product shots? Adding 3D elements into printed imagery? And that's another big question, will the end result be for print or motion? What kind of elements? Figures?

"Learning 3D" is about as broad a thing to say as "learning art." There are a lot of disciplines, and exponentially more applications of those disciplines. I think it's best to pick a focus. If you have no idea where to focus, then a book like Mastering Maya (insert year) is good because it has mini projects that touch on various disciplines so you get a taste for what part of the pipeline may appeal to you.

Lastly, the question of LW. Can you learn the general concepts with it? Yes. Can you make cool looking stuff with it? Yes, and depending on what your needs are it might be all you need, buuuuuut..... a mainstream app is mainstream for a reason. That means there's a larger user base and longer, broader battle tested experience with it. This means more learning materials, more users floating around out there to potentially reach out to and who are also pushing the company to improve the program (although in fairness they don't always listen). Youtube, for example, is flooded with Maya and Max tutorials. You'll have to really hunt for LW tutorials (I can see the LW faithful replying with all their tutorial links as I type).

Anyway, a lot to consider but good luck on expanding your knowledge and skills. You're never too old.
 
  08 August 2016
Originally Posted by vojislavmilanovic: Brad Peebler leaving Foundry.

http://community.thefoundry.co.uk/d...px?f=3&t=124511

Where is your God now?


Wow! Brad was just presenting for Foundry at SIGGRAPH in Anaheim. Good luck to him in his endeavors. I wish I'd known this when I was there. I would have wished him well.
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  08 August 2016
Originally Posted by circusboy: Easy I'd say it was the CORE fiasco. Drove some faithful away. And the outside looking in went "phew I am glad that ain't my app!".

Of course us former Softimagers ain't exactly bragging anymore either.


CORE was also a significant disappointment for me. I was ready to embrace it in a big way. Purchased in advance and was seriously looking forward to it.

But to the question why LW has developed the image it has in some circles, there is much more to it than CORE. Back in the day, as in the early 1990s, LW was the one app that had set the entire CGI world at that time (meaning the SGI circle) on serious edge. Everyone was seriously freaked out about LW and what it might do to the existing industry and how LW might implode it.

It was a different world. Don't want to bore you with the gory details but there were millions upon millions of $ at stake and this little upstart was breaking down all sorts of perceived thresholds, with LW and Toaster, in both CGI and Broadcast. For decades people on one side predicted it would fail while others predicted it would tear down what was a normally expensive and sometimes difficult to enter market.

LW in particular was born in the Wavefront TAV era, it's modeled somewhat after software of that age. And still is. As such that modular design that LW still employs carries some baggage while the vast majority of the CGI world has progressed to unified development structures. Having produced animation on modular legacy systems like TAV, Cubicomp, Aurora, etc, I can give reasons for and advantages of modular CGI apps. But the fact is modular comes at the price of an image that says "I'm old as dirt". Not saying that's an accurate account of things relevant LW just that the image exists and there can be consequences as a result of a perceived image.

The point? LW has survived a lot of big names and has proved itself down right capable. But it's placed itself in a box, or at least it's developers have. CORE was supposed to address that. It didn't or rather CORE just never happened. As a result, LW is an app somewhat stuck in time. Its legacy design somewhat a remarkable achievement considering it age and its longevity a testament to the stark panic it once imposed on the old gatekeepers of the long gone SGI era. The concern over CORE and what that meant is a valid one. But it's an indication of something much larger and longer. Age and how we perceive it in this industry.

As a lot of people have discovered, if you can look past it's image and learn to use it as designed you can do awesome things with LW. But you may find it harder to recruit new members to your fold if they perceive other software to be newer, better, faster, or more improved as a result of its "perceived image".

Then again, as you put it so eloquently, there was Softimage. So much for conventional wisdom about embracing the new and better. Which means there is something else at play. And that something else is the "gateway" once again, just as it was 3 decades ago. People want to learn the thing they think will give them the greatest opportunity to become employed. Back in the day it was TAV. Right now Maya is that "Gateway". For right or wrong. The fact LW is still standing after all that time is truly a remarkable thing.

Joey
 
  08 August 2016
 

i must add that LightWave finally has a president, Rob Powers, that understands LightWave's limitations. He has stated that they are working on solutions, and removing the old, and inserting a completely new mesh engine is the first step.

think of it as removing the engine from the car, and inserting a new one.

 
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  08 August 2016
Except for the fact that, while the engine was waiting to be swapped out, other components rusted apart and the neighborhood changed. As a licensed user myself, I applaud NewTek for being more proactive. I only question whether or not this is too little, too late.

LW's position in the industry is different now than it was back in 2000. It's ability to compete, functionally, with its peers has changed. One might even argue that it is no longer a peer of Maya or 3dsmax and that it has been knocked down squarely to a mid-range app. (I'd argue that LW's greatest threat is probably Blender, but that's just my take.)

EDIT>>> I just want to add, that LW will live on so long as people still use it. Look at XSI. It's no longer being developed. However, along the lines of that other thread about pros and upgrading, it'll likely still be used for many more years to come. Similarly, look at how long XP managed to hold on; It wasn't fully discontinued til just a few years back. That's not to say that I feel that LW will get killed off this year or even the next. I'm just saying that , come what may, LW will not die so easily - especially in the hearts of the users.

Last edited by kitbashedartist : 08 August 2016 at 06:37 PM.
 
  08 August 2016
 
Quote: LW's position in the industry is different now than it was back in 2000
it wasn't all that in 2000, more like 1990.

Quote: It's ability to compete, functionally, with its peers has changed. One might even argue that it is no longer a peer of Maya or 3dsmax
and that it has been knocked down squarely to a mid-range app.
it is a mid-range app.  >at the moment<

Quote: I'd argue that LW's greatest threat is probably Blender, but that's just my take.)
Blender is making ground, it will eventually threat all apps, but sure, mid-range will go first.

...a sad thing is that we can do just about everything inside LightWave now, but it lacks users, big projects, after having been lurking too long in the shadow. crossing fingers that the 2017 & 2018 update will bring it out in the sun.

 
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  08 August 2016
Quote: it wasn't all that in 2000, more like 1990.

I was being generous. If you look at its credits, however, LW has been used in some major film & TV projects since the turn of the millennium. Unfortunately, if one were to dig deeper then one would find that LW was likely used in more of a support capacity. You're absolutely right. I remember when I started doing 3D some 20-something plus years ago. I remember how much of a big deal LW was. This was shortly after "Jurassic Park" and right as NewTek was about to release v5.5. If CG Talk had existed back then, LW would have been on everybody's lips. Its momentum looked unstoppable for a short time.

Quote: it is a mid-range app.  >at the moment<

And the amount of effort/funding it'll take to get back to that high end of the spectrum might just be out of reach. That near stasis period to which I was referring has really hurt LW. The competition kept on raising the bar and pushing ahead full steam. LW development could fire on all cylinders right now and it probably won't be able to cover all of that lost ground.

I could maybe see them catching up if companies like ADSK made the critical mistake of sitting on their hands for a prolonged period of time, but that's probably not going to happen. Even the lamest ADSK release continues to move the chains ahead to some degree. IMO, having lost this ground, LW might be condemned to staying in that mid-range and forever playing catch up.

Quote: crossing fingers that the 2017 & 2018 update will bring it out in the sun.

Just based on what they've been hyping on the blogs and in the forums... It probably won't be enough. They'll need to pull a rabbit out of every available hat - to put it politely. Beyond what they've previewed and hinted at, there's still a lot of work to be done just to bring it into last decade.

You're right. The lack of high profile works HAS been hurting it. However, even if it did have lots of high profile artists and projects then it'd still come down to the hype factor. There are a number of apps out there like C4D that continue to be used in some very big projects, to varying degrees. However, MAXON isn't always so great about hyping this fact and, as a result, a company like ADSK ends up hogging all of the glory. Lots of apps are used in such productions, but it's usually the loudest voice that gets heard the clearest. Like MAXON, NewTek, needs to make its voice heard more.

Their relationship with the larger community of artists has to extend much further. That blog was a great idea, but it hasn't been updated since March. The newsletters are a great idea too, but they're too infrequent. ETC and so forth. Not enough evangelizing. They're quick to hype "limited time" sales though. (That $695 sale never seems to end.)

Last edited by kitbashedartist : 08 August 2016 at 08:12 PM.
 
  08 August 2016
 
i agree to several statements.

still, i find myself smacking things up faster with the same quality in LightWave.

and with a new Render engine, a new Mesh Engine, and the ability to chew many more polygons its moving steadily forward.

we shall see, fingers crossed.

 
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  08 August 2016
Originally Posted by RobertSanta: If CG Talk had existed back then, LW would have been on everybody's lips. Its momentum looked unstoppable for a short time.


LW was in fact on "everybody's lips" at the time and having an industry blog was not necessary for that. Every demo I attended, trade show, sales pitch etc usually involved a "have you seen that toaster animation software ?" discussion at some point. Some people who were making a living selling 3D apps and hardware in the ultra high end SGI market were seriously freaked out by it because the margins would have put them out of business had LW trashed their high end market aND they had to start selling LW.

The bigger issue plaguing LW at the time, roughly 91 timeframe, had been the recent implosion of the low to mid range market largely dominated by Pc hardware and Dos. The incredible failures in that area left a really bad taste in everyone's mouth who had spent tens upon tens of thousands of $ on things like Cubicomp or Digital Arts or the like to have it all turn into slag overnight . Even low end unix offerings like Aurora turned out to be so difficult to use as to make them really expensive coffee tables in the client suite while still owing a ton of debt on it . None of them wanted to touch an Amiga with a ten foot pole. I knew a hospital that bought a Toaster but no one in broadcast, who was still dropping hundreds of thousands on Grass Valley or Ampex equipment took Amiga seriously. Those that did either were just entering the market or gluttons for punishment. Most risk takers by that point were seriously jaded. It wasnt like today. You chose a hardware platform first, not the software. It had to last. Turnkey proprietary systems were still king.

By the time LW was prime time on Pc, the NT revolution was here and AW was about to drop it's software on Windows. The message at that point for the vast majority was clear. Wait, and the big stuff will be on an affordable platform. In the meantime everybody is rushing to buy an inexpensive SGI O2 or test out Dec Alpha.

The irony is after 25 years LW kind of had the last laugh. Not even SGI survived the wrath of the CGI industry's incubation period.
 
  08 August 2016
I'm not a 3d artist, but I've had my 3d attempt 20 years ago or so. Someone named LW 5.5 and Jurassic Park, and this reminded me that time: Lightwave was the first real 3d software I ever used. I remember how exiting it was to find tutorials on every 3d related magazine, or when they first added GI through radiosity (and how impossible it was to get enything rendered in a decent amount of time, given my hardware).

I've since tried 3d studio (never liked it) and Modo. But I soon moved to sw development so never really became a 3d artist (I keep Blender installed on my pc because 'you never know' :-)

I keep to follow how the market evolves, I am not even sure why, and I'm a bit sad that such thread even exists because this means that LW (kind of Cinderella in the latest 10 years or more) was never able to gain back the strong position it used to have.
 
  08 August 2016
Originally Posted by RobertSanta: And the amount of effort/funding it'll take to get back to that high end of the spectrum might just be out of reach. That near stasis period to which I was referring has really hurt LW. The competition kept on raising the bar and pushing ahead full steam. LW development could fire on all cylinders right now and it probably won't be able to cover all of that lost ground.

I could maybe see them catching up if companies like ADSK made the critical mistake of sitting on their hands for a prolonged period of time, but that's probably not going to happen. Even the lamest ADSK release continues to move the chains ahead to some degree. IMO, having lost this ground, LW might be condemned to staying in that mid-range and forever playing catch up.


Just based on what they've been hyping on the blogs and in the forums... It probably won't be enough. They'll need to pull a rabbit out of every available hat - to put it politely. Beyond what they've previewed and hinted at, there's still a lot of work to be done just to bring it into last decade.

You're right. The lack of high profile works HAS been hurting it. However, even if it did have lots of high profile artists and projects then it'd still come down to the hype factor. There are a number of apps out there like C4D that continue to be used in some very big projects, to varying degrees. However, MAXON isn't always so great about hyping this fact and, as a result, a company like ADSK ends up hogging all of the glory. Lots of apps are used in such productions, but it's usually the loudest voice that gets heard the clearest. Like MAXON, NewTek, needs to make its voice heard more.

Their relationship with the larger community of artists has to extend much further. That blog was a great idea, but it hasn't been updated since March. The newsletters are a great idea too, but they're too infrequent. ETC and so forth. Not enough evangelizing. They're quick to hype "limited time" sales though. (That $695 sale never seems to end.)

I think another thing to factor in is Linux. High profile VFX and Feature Animation are VERY commonly done one Linux pipelines today (I've worked in nothing but for the last 5 years). Those software that get away with not offering Linux do something unique and indispensable that lets them get away with it (ZBrush for example). And a few alternative windows machines will get plugged in for those users only.
LW would have to come up with a unique indispensable feature to get added into established pipelines. 'me too' features aren't enough. No Linux is just another big barrier to getting in the spot light again.

Last edited by circusboy : 08 August 2016 at 01:11 PM.
 
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