HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE (Tell us your ideas)

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  03 March 2005
hi all,

we(my company, our clients) are not upgraded to version 8 of lightwave yet.
so as far as i know about lightwave, it need a lot of plugins to do even a simple work, eg path animation....., ..... just an example... and not to forget the keyframer.

it would be better if all the basic things becomes tha native of lightwave.
and work need to be done to improve the workflow.

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  03 March 2005
What do you mean by path animation? What basic things do you think LW needs?
  03 March 2005
my 2cents (although I think some folks have already mentioned this on several occasions): edge selectability/manipulation. Since I tried 'Wings', I miss this funcionality in LW very much.
  03 March 2005
I think a big thing we'll be Newtek will elaborate the existing tools with more options.

For example: Bevel should be like Bevel++; Schematic view should have at least basic option like HIDE, LOCK, change the wire color for 3,4 objects at once etc...

this are just to examples, and i really think a lot of people will be happy with some improvements on existing tools, make them work better with the other tools, not with free half unknown new tools, u have to get 2 books and 3 DVD to understand.
  03 March 2005
Originally Posted by coremi: I think a big thing we'll be Newtek will elaborate the existing tools with more options.

For example: Bevel should be like Bevel++; Schematic view should have at least basic option like HIDE, LOCK, change the wire color for 3,4 objects at once etc...

this are just to examples, and i really think a lot of people will be happy with some improvements on existing tools, make them work better with the other tools, not with free half unknown new tools, u have to get 2 books and 3 DVD to understand.

I agree completely. There are plenty of features that are just sitting there catching dust because they are half baked and don't play nice with the other plugins or features. And there's plenty or room for workflow improvement.
Lightwave already feels like an old car that takes me where I want to go, but I need to push it up the hill regularly and it's is almost falling apart. So let's not add more gimmicks, but fix the tires, get rid of the rubbish and polish it up. Some examples from what I run into in Layout a lot:

-Effector, could be very powerfull if it would properly work with bones or any other deformer. Also nice if there could be some more primitive shapes added.Great for fast muscles, or making an object keep it's volume with bone deformations..

-Sock Monkey, a forgotten tool that could be great if someone would revamp it and make it work on top of all other deformers. Heck we'd have clusters.

-Improve LScript, it's ridiculous how many commands are not accessible by Lscript in Layout.Would be nice to have something like Lscript commander or another macro feature in Modeler.

-Displacements like the bend, taper, and shear tool in Layout should work properly on top of bones. They do work with bones, but not localy which practicly makes them useless with other deformers.They would work so great on cartoony characters.

-Make it possible to set after, or before SubPatch in any plugin panel. The way it works now you sometimes can't combine displacement plugins because one needs the SubPatch order to be set to last and the other doesn't work if you do. Very Bad !!

-Make it possible to parent bones to any object, and to have an object use bones from several objects at the same time. If on top of that, it would be possible to have bones deform an object not localy, but in the way a lattice deformer does, we could create our own lattices from a bone cage and use that on top of the normal bone deformation. Neat !

-Make the points on splines used as paths in Layout animatable with everything, also bones.

-When "Match Goal Orientation" is enabled the rotational values are no longer accessible for other motion modifiers. It's Silly this still is not fixed.

-When I set rotational limits to an object or bone, these limits should also be obeyed when local or world coords are used. Would also be nice to be able to set Translation and Scale limits.

-Dynamics could be improved but what would help a lot if they would work with endomorphs or other displacements without any weird workarounds.

-If it's possible to create a path from a point on an object that has Dynamics like cloth applied. Why can't I just constrain a object to that point ?? We would have a poor mans point constraints which is great ! Coming to think of it, if Luxigons can see the polygon normal to create a light, why can't I access that information to parent an object to that same polygon after it's been deformed by bones ?? Just optimize it, and make the same possible on a frame by frame basis, and call it AniGon. Very powerfull stuff

-Improve EditFX, it's tedious to have to tweak, set the frame range and smoothen the motion every time you move some points. If SockMonkey would work properly, we could just add some weightmap clusters and animate those on top of the Dynamics and edit the envelopes in the Graph editor. Much better !

-Make it possible for sliders to access multiple object channels at once so we don't have to use an intermediate object and expressions, this silly MasterChannel or follower to accomplish this.

-Add an option to disable a child following the parents individial rotation, translation or scale channels. This way we don't have to use follower or expressions so much and it would simplify something like rigging a character a lot.

-Make the splinecontrol Control Points listen to motion modifiers, and add translation handles and the ability to use multiple splinecontrollers on top of eachother.Also make it work with other displacements like bones and weightmaps. Now if we'd have point constraints as mentioned before, and you could use multiple splines and set the splinecontrol to after bones we would have a very powerfull deformer for something facial animation. Now it looks sad compared to Shift_Splinetransform and Bezierbend. But those also don't work with endomorphs.

-Add more envelopes, at least gradients should be animatable. But it would be so cool to be able to animate bone strength, Rest Length, Limited Range etc. etc.

-Would be cool if the numeric input panel would show and accept World or local Coordinates input if that coord.system is used.

-Don't even get me started on the new Scene Editor. Now that needs a lot of work.

-Collapse the new and old timeline, it's just silly we need 2 timelines to be able to drag keyframes around

-Make Morph Mixer read new morphs automaticly or add a reload button. It's simply sad we have to remove and re-apply it to access new endomorphs. Heck, Pawel Olas' SmartMorph can do it, why doesn't MorphMixer ? Also add an After Bones feature so morphs for joints work properly.

-One thing that would speed up the renderer a lot is, if the way it handles multiple cpu's would be improved. Now all it does is split the image in two more pieces, and sometimes one CPU is just sitting there picking it's nose while the other is crunching away for a few more minutes. This is just a waste of CPU time.

-Make it possible to add, remove and edit plugins on multiple selected objects at once or at least make this a feature in the Scene Editor.

-If I clone an object like a Null or any other object, Layout should number them properly. At least internaly for geometry, so I don't get in trouble when I use expressions or MotionMixer on them. Now I have to save them to the HD with a unique name.

-make unseen by rays independent from Radiosity so you can have a GI sphere that does not influence your reflections.

-Add visiblity options like wireframe, shaded solid etc. to the object properties panel and Schematic view.

-Make it possible to select Lights, Objects and Cameras at the same time.

-Some settings can be changed on multiple selected objects, bones or lights and some you can't. You can't Exclude/Include objects from multiple selected lights at the same time or lights from objects, but you can change the color or type of light, You can change the strength and joint comp. on multiple selected bones, but you can't change the weightmap or rest length. This should work on all settings, and don't forget the shaders in the Surface panel !

-also add an Rest Pivot Translation and Scale, very convenient for rigs and recycling expressions.

-Make keyframes for MorphMixers selected endomorph channels visible and editable in the timeline.

-Add proper handles to the Path Tool, and IKbooster.

-Make it possible to convert an object to SubPatches in Layout, not just in modeler.
  03 March 2005
I have an idea that I think should play in to all 3d programs. Coming from a background in AutoCad, I am partial to the right click = repeat last command option. Not sure if any already do it but I believe LW as well as others would benefit from this option. I think it would Speed the modelling process up a lot.

If this is already possible then excellent, someone let me know how
I do not go where the path leads. I instead create my own path and leave a trail.
  03 March 2005
Ok two ...

1. In every teture editor ... i wouldlike a smal "chain_link" button with an up and down arrow that locks the variables of XYZ in the scale texture i would be really helpfull for procedurals
not having to use null reference objects for every texture...
so if click and drag there u could resize the procedural ...

2.I would like to have on the textures layers panel the ablity to have a layer
to affect ALL of the below layers as an alpha or subdivide etc etc for example
so i u have a complex series of layers you could add one and mask them for eg.

well just two crazy thoughts...

also i would like a select connected feature that wold highlight a bounding box not all
the polys of a geometry i wanna select...


  04 April 2005
Right, i'm not going to/ or meaning to slate Newtek at all (i've just purchased it!!), but here's a few things i would like to see. None of us (well, some may) know what Newtek are actually working on, but it would be good to know. Surely there aren't going to be a huge amount of things that are unique and could be 'stolen' by other companies, but the things that they are in the process of doing would be cool to know about. I'm sure other companies do this.

Right, i reckon there should be some way to use the hub as a central system that uses just one chunk of RAM rather than Modeler and Layout using separate chunks. If the HUB could store all texture and object it would half the amount of RAM being used.

Not a huge amount of complaints really, just that many plugins, in Layout mainly, should be integrated either into the main interface or merged with similar tools. The same with modeller would be good. Get rid of the tools that no longer work with everything, Supershift also needs changing, it is very dodgy... and hates high poly selections. There would be no need to add extra tools, if the original one just included more options.

Anyway, this would be enough for anyone to manage, so i'll let Newtek get on with it... i'm certain they'll come up with something.

Oh, and an updated, sped up renderer would be incredible... along with Volumetrics etc. Hypervoxels are still beating alot of competition but they are getting old now... an update for speed and options would be nice too. (I reckon Newtek are working hard on rendering anyway, having got on board the guys from EI fame.)
  04 April 2005
Off the top of my head:

Increase speed and responsiveness - thereby improving workflow - especially rendering.
Improve (speed/accuracy) in clothFX/hardFX.
Integrate UV-painting functionality as in "BodyPaint".
Add creative modeling tools as seen in MODO & ZBrush.
Change Sasquatch-Lite to be Sasquatch in the base product.

LScript: Access to all mouse/keyboard functions and non-modal panels in Modeler.
LScript: Access to the FX parameters.
LScript: Establish a standardized way run any plugin with initialized values and implement this with any plugins shipped with LW.

Create a Test Plan for all major functionality that must work and make sure a releases passes the tests for PC/Mac before a release. Add all reported bugs into that Test Plan so future releases do not repeat past mistakes.
  04 April 2005
Good posts do far!!

I look at these sections a lot. I like many of the suggestions I have seen so far. This kind of thread can be very risky because it can go downhill very fast. There are always going to be issues regardless of the 3d software that is used. I know this because I have friends who use other 3d software, and they look at Lightwave and give me many compliments on it's features. So I hope that this thread stays positive. I also hope that Newtek is reading these comments as well. I consider myself to be a relative newcomer to Lightwave. Even though I got into it around v4.0, I was out of it for along while. Even though I upgraded to v5.6, I didn't have as much time to use it as I wanted to have.

Now, I upgraded to v8 and I am learning it again. Definately more complex than v4!<g> I'm really glad I upgraded, and I'm really glad I chose to upgrade as opposed to going with another 3d software. Even though I have a HUGE amount of respect for other 3d software I was looking at (Maya, Softimage), i'm glad I chose to stick with Lightwave. My goal is to improve my 3d skills to the level of being 'very knowlegable'.

At any rate, I'll throw in my two cents on whatI would like to see in Lightwave. Please make sure that the instructions in the 'Help' sections are correct!! There have been a couple times when I've gone to the help section to see how to do something, and the instructions were incorrect. For example, I'm working on several spaceships and I needed to measure them in order to make sure they were properly scaled in relation to each other. I went to the 'Help' section. The instructions gave me the worng tab to look under. I was confused for a few moments until I happened to stumble on the correct tab. I had to write this down so that if I forgot, I could find that info again with no problems. It makes me wonder what else in the help section could be wrong. If you're a newbie like myself it makes learning the program harder. The other thing I would like to see is full-screen test renders. At the option for it. I remember this was the standard in v4.0. After that, the test renders were small screen only. However, my not getting full-screen test renders may be due to my own lack of knowlege about LW.

Another thing I would like to see improved is the renderer. Especially if there is an ability to use multiple cpus to develop one frame. However, I have a feeling that Lightwave is already working on the faster renders given that they hired two ex-Electric Image programmers.

Finally, I would like to see Newtek develop an even closer relationship with Worley Labs. His plug-ins are simply put 'Fantastic'. Some of them need to be incorporated into LW as part of Lightwave. For example, Sasquatch. I'm talking about the full version here. Also, I would like to see the incorporation of Gaffer, and the Polk collection. I owuld also like to see Maestro incorporated into LW. I saw a friend of mine use this program, and I was sold. I'll be purchasing it on my next payday. Newtek could have two versions of Lightwave in the same manner as Softimage and Maya have multiple versions of their wonderful software. This would allow for some scalability. Obviously, the price for this advanced version Lightwave would be higher. But, given the extra features that would be part of it, the higher price would be justified.

At any rate, that's my $0.02 cents. Again, I hope that this thread stays positive. and constructive! The grass may seem greener on the other side, but I have friends of mine who pull their hair out with other programs as well. All these programs have their strengths and weaknesses. Best wishes and luck to all those in 3d. May you work hard, and realize your 3d goals!
  04 April 2005
Just crossed my mind. It would be cool to have Morph sliders in Modeler so we can see it's behaviour before sending it to layout and adding the Morph Mixer
New web portfolio:
  04 April 2005
They could start by getting their website accessible again from within europe... (and yes, I'm aware of the existence of, but that site just sux )
  05 May 2005

Just occured to me. It would be nice if USB dongle could carry extra flash memory so we can keep config's and presets with us on only one device.

I just found myself looking stupid with two of these around my neck...
New web portfolio:
  05 May 2005
normal mapping ?
am i lost
  06 June 2005
Thumbs up

Just intergrate Layout and Modeler into one app for starters.

"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it."
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