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  04 April 2013
I have been off and on testing it for a while now (thanks Thiago!).

Just FYI:

The team they have assembled is top notch, and they come from working on
industry standard apps like Softimage. They know the important things to include,
and the speed of development HAS been very rapid.

I used Lagoa last week at a presentation in a digital symposium at the University of Connecticut.
My including Lagoa (actually most of my presentation was centered around Lagoa) as an example of the future of collaboration really resonated with the people in my session.

The ease of which non-industry people can participate (grab the camera and manipulate it from their remote facility, while you see changes at your facility) was one of those WOW moments to almost everyone in the room. For so many years 3D has been a thing where we go away and do our thing and then come back later to see if we got the message correct from the director or producer. Now the people who make the creative decisions can be a part of the decision making WITH us. I can tweak a shader, the director can move the camera view, I can shift the light, and so on... All in basically real time, all while we are viewing the same thing, and no one is ambiguous about what the goal is.

I think as a pre-pro tool and as a shot and look dev tool, Lagoa is really going to make collaboration easier.

It won't solve everything, but I don't believe that is their intention anyway.

Although I wouldn't mind be wrong about that!

Just my perspective, and the reactions of about 30 non-industry people who got to
witness it.

Perry
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  04 April 2013
Oh, and by the way, the best browser to use for Lagoa is Chrome.

Hands down.

IE and Firefox have issues with the interface for some reason.
At least the versions I tried.

Chrome just worked flawlessly.
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  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by tc: Hello,

(SNIP)

We are deciding on animation input formats. We would love to hear what the community thinks would be the best animation data formats to accept?

-Thiago


Hey Thiago,

As far as animation import formats, there is FBX, DAE, MDD and now Alembic. The thing I love about point cache formats like MDD is that it's usually setup as a deformer on a mesh as opposed to a scene import format like FBX or DAE. So you can set up your scene with the character in T-pose, light, texture, look dev all that sort of stuff. The you just load up an MDD and the character is moving. Now, if the animator makes a change, you just re-load the MDD and the new animation is updated without having to reload all your surfacing and texturing. This is not the case with FBX/DAE. These are basically scene import formats. The other problem with those formats is that it's imposable to support all the features of the host application that generated them so at some point there is going to be something that can't come through to Lagoa. Alembic can be made to behave like MDD too and it's getting a lot more steam due to it being the new kid on the block. MDD is kind of old and not very robust. But... it's works very well. So... MDD or Alembic Please!

There is one drawback to the point cache formats though: Motion blur can only happen in a liner fashion because the vertices are only moving linearly from frame to frame. This is the one advantage that FBX/DAE has.

On last thing is I'm wondering if Lagoa has plans to support subdivision surfaces? I would strongly suggest that you do as it will make saving and loading animation a lot faster and easier due to not having to import a character in with full res surface detail.

Thanks!
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  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by ngrava: ...

A lot of very good points regarding format differences, quoted for agreement!
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  04 April 2013
Thanks for the feedback guys, very appreciated.
 
  04 April 2013
I gave the demo a run:

(subjective, not objective)
Things I liked.
  • The rendering with scenes I looked at was very fast

Things I didn't like
  • It took a fair while to load the car scenes(2 minutes plus). I am in Australia.
  • Navigation - alt/mousebuttons controls are a good convention (or S key if you must ). I couldn't find it, and using the gui navigation was a pain. Did I miss something?
  • One big DAG in the schematic got pretty convoluted. All properties at all times in the right
  • panel was a bit clunky too.

I may not have got the most out of it not having demo'd it from within the framework of collaboration.

Next comes my own opinion. It isn't shared by everyone, just letting you know.

Autodesk keep spruiking this "software as online service" idea as well, but I am highly suspicious and will not be buying into that.

Still, in reading Thiago's reply below, if persistence of connection is not a requirement does remove a hurdle for me (Where does the data live locally for the demo scenes I was looking at out of interest?) Obviously if rendering happens off site, that will be effected in an outage. I am still unsure how things are handled regarding large file sequences, that may be a hurdle as it it could require a ubiquity of bandwidth for all collaborators that simply doesn't exist yet. I also understand that it saves on hardware/infrastructure outlay for the end client, but that would be something that you would have to invest in or hire, and that cost would surely have to be reflected in Lagoa pricing right? So on balance, I am not convinced of the model (yet)

Thiago, I do not mean to come across as a troll, I am certainly not bitching. Blunt feedback more like it, but I am sorry if you found me rude.

Good luck with your venture though, thank you for the demo.

Chris.

edited in consideration of Thiago's reply

Last edited by DrDardis : 04 April 2013 at 03:30 AM.
 
  04 April 2013
This is killer! This is just the start people... give some credit. The fact that I can model out an object, upload it, and render it for free, quickly and at huge resolutions is awesome.

I'm sure the feature set is coming with time. This is the future though... grid rendering for sure. The web-based, online front-end is nice, but I could see all the major apps (especially the Autodesk ones) introducing a cloud/grid based back-end renderer that integrates directly with the front-end/IDE of their application.

Great job Lagoa. Very exciting.
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  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by DrDardis: but the idea of operating something from what is essentially a dumb terminal


That is not true.
Using the app framework you have access to all persistent data of a scene directly in your computer. Including the geometry loaded, the textures, scene data, operator graph, properties, etc plus remote properties and remote resources, including assets and project data. Every change ever made to your scene is stored remotely, versioned and backed up. But first it happens locally.

It's a distributed system it's not like you have to choose to be local or not, you are both.

I find your Positive vs Negative is quite unfair, and it ignores the fact that most people don't care about installing software, configuring machines, setting up licensing servers, buying hardware and do all sorts of IT work that debatably won't make the final picture better.
If you like doing that kind of work, fine. But the majority of people find this a negative aspect of the current way of accessing such technology.

I would rather see an unbiased review that is not focused on what "I like" vs what "I don't like", and hear one on what it "is", vs what "it is not".

Now, allow me to be fully honest here... for an industry that is falling apart and is damaged by it's own way of operating Visual effects people, animation studios, etc... Should try to be less arrogant and be actively looking for new ways to work, and develop the future of this industry, rather than be bitching at innovation.

-Thiago
 
  04 April 2013
Fair enough Thiago,

I edited my post with your reply in mind.
 
  04 April 2013
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