Animating inside LW & outside of it.

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  11 November 2004
Question Animating inside LW & outside of it.

Which do you prefer, or how do you feel about?

1. Animating / Rigging inside LW using LW tools.


2. Modeling in LW and Animating / Rigging in another package such as Motion Builder, Messiah etc.

What Im trying to find out is what is the majority personal preference in our little lw community concerning animation. Is an all Lightwave production pipeline usually enough for what you want to do animation wise? or for more expanded capabilities and a non linear approach within your production pipelines, do you find it better to Animate & Rig outside your main 3D app (Lightwave).

*It should be noted that this could apply to any tool other than lightwave, and these questions dont reflect the lack there of if any of neccessary LW functionality.

Dont get me wrong now, Lightwave has great animation tools especially now in ver 8.0, but at the same time I always here people say "It's good to know a few other packages". So that got me to thinking, "hmmm...what are other people doing?".
So lets say I wanted to be versatile in other programs like, Maya, XSI and or MAX, then one would think that if you found a 3rd party application for animation like AM or MB, that process seemingly would be easier and faster.
If all you had to learn were modeling, texturing and lighting just to name a few, one would think you could pick up the tool set alot faster studying other apps whilst leaving the animation piece to a third party tool.
Dont get me wrong, Id at least want to be solid with the animation tools in one of the packages (Lightwave), but to tackle animation tools in more than one app would be tough especially considering how fast certain companies consider only certain apps to be "the one".

But anyway, just curious as to what others here think and or actually prefer.

Cheers friends,


"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."
  11 November 2004
well i just started getting in depth with character rigs and bones in lightwave but havnt used anyother program for character animation. I would say from my limited knowledge that it probly wouldnt matter to me. each program will have its own specific process in rigging characters but i would geuss that they are all similar in therory. ive heard that XSI and Maya are better for character animation but cant say for sure myself. The results ive gotten from lightwave have been good so i dont know what it is missing. It slows down with hi poly counts but i think thats in any program. what ever program you use, setups or tweaks will still be needed. Im not sure but i think that for most characters you will probly have and use more than 1 rig for the character for all movements (unless u got 1 hella rig), but if ya got the loot and the time to learn another program why not. I also think it depends on what your using it for. if i need almost perfect deformations for close up shots and got a team (or one) of people specializing in just animation, then ya they should have a program thats built specifically for making better, easier and faster animation.

aight im almost done, 1 more thing. depending on the work flow of the company and deadlines. you might not ever get the chance to fully use the program's capabillities.
  11 November 2004
I'll stick with Lightwave if it's a very simple animation or if I need to use LW to export to a game engine. Otherwise, I find it much more enjoyable to do character animation in messiah. I decided to do a dialogue piece entirely in LW to test out the new tools, and I haven't been very impressed. It gets the job done, but it's still trailing behind the competition. messiah isn't perfect either, but it's still far better suited to character animation than Lightwave. I've also been getting deeper into XSI and I'm really liking it.
  11 November 2004
Ive used LW for years to do character work. Its always been a great work horse.
I dont have a problem getting rigs setup fast and getting fast feedback in layout. Its all a matter of understanding what rigging is about and understanding the strengths and weakensses of your app of choice. My experience has been that while other apps may solve some issues where LW is weaker they also always seem to add their own idosyncracies into the mix too. In the end the problems they create seem to balance their advantages.
I prefer to do as much as I can in one app just because its usually faster. Its easier for me to figure out a good workflow in the one package rather then distributing it among many apps.
I will also add that its better IMO to really master one app before trying to learn several in parallel.
  11 November 2004
Talking enlightened

Some of the comments made thus far are kinda what I suspected and thats cool. I think for me, I had a small case of the "grass is greener" and bought Messiah about 4 months ago. Dont get me wrong it is one helluva animation tool and I really like it alot. But I was writing off LW 8's tool set, why?...a few reasons for which Im partially ashamed and it cost me some money in the process, like for instance...

A. Listening to certian people that "claim" LW cant do this or that in animation, but I throughly didnt even check out the type of work they did with it for validation.

B. My own limited knowledge/skill about in-depth and advanced rigging with LW overall. Blamming the app instead of my noob-ness.

C. Lack of good/through documentation on LW 8's new animation tools.

Truthfully, I increased my current knowledge when I started to follow Todd Grimes tutorials and read the LW 7.5 animation book by Timothy Albee, learned alot from both. After more experience and testing, I had the bright idea that "I was beyond Lightwave's standard animation tool set and that eventually Lightwave would stunt me". LOL, yeah I was that ignorant....shame. But I did had have help, (read too many post's)

Well, embarrasingly enough Johnny Gordon's new animation book brought me down to earth, renewed my faith in the (8) and showed me how much of a noob with Lightwave that I am. Im not trying to sell his book here by no means, I guess at this point Im sharing what Im feeling. It just seemed confusing at times when you see posts in other forums, usually (fanboy sh!t) about how their app is so good animation wise. It's easy to get, well confused. And that's only because Im a trusting person...

But after carefully going over Johnny's book and watching the demo's on the CD, my concerns have been laid to rest for now. I know realize, even though I've always known it, that Lightwave is only as powerful as you are. And the ( 8 ) has some serious horsepower, for me anyway.

So I will stick to my guns with my first post when I said I should learn all I can with LW, but I'll keep my third party animation tool as well. And when it comes to learning other packages down the least for now, it will be stictly everything minus the animation tools.

Untill that looks light a fully loaded Lightwave pipeline for me.


Kid Mesh

"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."
  11 November 2004
Originally Posted by SplineGod: I will also add that its better IMO to really master one app before trying to learn several in parallel.
I agree with this, but I also think it's better to use the best tool for the job. I learned Lightwave very well before I decided to evaluate Motion Builder and messiah. I can get fast feedback in Lightwave but it's still always slower than messiah/MB and often requires extra setup time or I'll have to sacrifice some nicer controls. Feedback is only part of the problem. has a nice list of things that need to be addressed in LW. When I finish the animation I'm currently working on I plan on sending NewTek a detailed email with all the workflow issues and bugs I ran into, hopefully it won't take them years to get this stuff fixed.
  01 January 2006
Thread automatically closed

This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.
CGTalk Policy/Legalities
Note that as CGTalk Members, you agree to the terms and conditions of using this website.
Thread Closed share thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:02 AM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.