Lightwave Books, whats good?

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  11 November 2002
Lightwave Books, whats good?

Well I have started my venture of learning Lightwave like it was the back of my hand, which will happen some day My question is what are good books to buy on Lightwave for modeling or just lightwave in general? so far I managed to purchase "Inside LightWave 7" Find it at Amazon .. Its BIG enough to be the only book I need but for the future ..what books are good?


  11 November 2002
You found the all purpose book

There is also a rigging book, LightWave 3D 7.0 Character Animation

That is really about it for descent LW books

If your main interest is characters than you are in luck,

It is kinda expensive but you will learn what you need to
  11 November 2002
Don't forget LightWave 3D Applied by Dave Jerrard for when you get to the texturing part.
Jessica Vitale
Los Angeles LightWave Users Group
  11 November 2002
At times, the tremendous online tutorials, support and forums offer clearer, newer and richer learning experience, which complements and sometimes surpasses what is offered in those books. Please don't underestimate those resources.

  11 November 2002
Yeah, you'll get pretty much the same responses from this post on:
Inside Lightwave 7- Dan Ablan. I don't own it but have read it...
Lightwave Character Animation- Timothy Albee. Own it, it's gold.
and there are plenty more!
Congrats on wanting to learn LW, you'll never regret it!
Thinking is your escape...
  11 November 2002
I just went to Amazons site and I hapenned to come acros this review of Albees book

Is this true

Do you agree with this person

I was so suprised seeing this because so man people here have recommended it in the past

Quote: This book is not for mid level to experienced animators looking to learn character animation on Lightwave. I am trying to migrate to Lightwave from Maya for charcater animation purposes only. Any animator serious about his/her trade already owns books specifically written for non computer related animation techniques (ie the animators survival kit, disneys illusion of life, etc.) to fill a book called "LIGHTWAVE character animation" with generic animation exercises and mediocre history lessons is deceiving. I was completely dissapointed with the lack of Lightwave specific functions I thought this book would supply, like detailed graph editor information, morphing exercises, etc. About 30 percent of each page in this book is filled with white space, or huge notations in a box that have very little purpose other than to filibuster about some (relevant?) history of how an IK got started... Is this a history book, a techniques book, or a lightwave book? By the end of chapter 2 The only thing the book accomplishes is building a 2 bone ik chain.. thats it.. then, strangely enough, chapter 3 starts out with "You've got your character all ready to go...."... Huh? if i'm missing something, someone please write back and let me know. I have respect for Mr Albee and his efforts to create this book, I know it must have been a daunting task - but i assure you, not as much as trying to go figure it out.. Sorry, but I have to give this book an "F"
  11 November 2002
I don't agree with what this person said regarding Albee's book, it has helped me out a lot. But, I can simpathize with his point of view. I can't tell you how many books I purchased that didn't live up to my expectations. I recently purchased the book "Digital Fantasy Painting". From the blurb on Amazon I expected the book to be focused on 2d painting techniques. In my estimation the book was nothing more than an advertizement for just about every 3d app out there. Lots of cool pictures with little or no actual meat. It now sits on my coffee table where it belongs collecting dust. All I can say is buyer beware.

- ub52
  11 November 2002
I do agree with the comments to some extent. The book holds some important, hidden, valuable ideas to do an animated rig. But character animation is more than that. It's about the timeline, non-linear animation, multi-character animation, keyframe and timing diagrams, speech, range of emotions through facial and body expressions, morphing, clothing, soft and hard dynamics, eye movements, breathing, hair movements against wind or water, hooking characters with particles). The book is so short on those contents. Rigging a character should be a given. We wish the author will give us examples of other important areas (e.g. the use of morphing and motion designer/mixer). For example, how to do a walk and blend in to a sit down on a chair and how to do a solid, large fight or interaction scene with hundreds of characters. Something more concrete and not abstract.


Last edited by rock : 11 November 2002 at 09:23 PM.
  11 November 2002
Don't forget about the great training CD's that are available from Spline God and Lost Pencil.....watching these guys work is faster and gives you more content then reading....

but I also love my LW books. It really depends on your style of Learning. Timothy Albee's book is the best LW book I own....
William "Proton" Vaughan
  11 November 2002
Also, if you have access to a copy of LightWave Applied, version 6.5 & 7, check out the extra tutorials included on its CD-ROM and its bonus web tutorial, "Character Modeling and the Super Cel Shader." You can access the latter by following the instructions at this link:

"Character Modeling and the Super Cel Shader" shows you how to construct a celshaded elf-girl character model from scratch. It features 462 illustrations and over 717 steps, but you can start at any one of 45 starting points, loading the appropriate version of the model from the book's CD-ROM.
Python is my smashing board.
  11 November 2002
I've bought every Lightwave book to come down the pike, and I think I've gotten the most out of Dan's inside series and BOTH of the Lightwave applied books. Although the first edition is for 5.6, I still found it very viable especially to learn some nifty modeling tricks. In Applied 6.5-7, the texturing chapters and Jen's chapter on rigging are standouts. (Thx for the great modeling bonus tut btw! )

Having said that....I'd have to admit I'm sort of a video tut kind of guy. I've bought most of those as well and again imho, Larry "Splinegod" Shultz's Character series and all of the Lost Pencil Studios cd's outshine everything by miles. As Kaiser said, Larry's Character series is a bit expensive...but WELL worth every cent of the investment. I seriously recommend it if you're considering any character work.

  11 November 2002
Thanks Toast!
My character series isnt inexpensive from a certain point of view (the point of view if you dont have any money) and it is inexpensive from another, like the fact that a GOOD class at a school that focusses on character stuff is going to cost a great deal more. Right now you can pay $500.00 bucks for a 2 day hands on class and how much are you going to remember? Ive done LOTS of 2 day hands on classes and the bottom line is the slowest person in the group sets the pace for the whole group. People either feel like someone is holding them back or the class is too fast.
The course I have covers the material in far greater depth Ive seen anything else cover it. The material comes on CD and you get to keep it so you can watch it over and over. Theres a forum where you get 3 months minimum online support. As often as yo post a question or your work for critique it will be answered and critiqued. Its one thing to buy a book or sit in with a group of 10 people for two days and its another to be able to review the material over and over AND have your work critiqued.
That in my mind would be worth a lot.
You can check out examples of student work in progress AND Ive included the critiques at: work
Also on my website are some comments (out of LOTS) from students:

  11 November 2002
$500.00 bucks for hands on training ... I would do that but I might throw up on you in the process and that wont be agood thing
  11 November 2002
Well I have a lot of experience teaching both hands on classes and seminars. In a seminar a lot of material is covered but the problem can be that attendees have a hard time remembering it all. The solution to that is we put the same lectures on CDs and hand them out to the attendees. These are the same Seminar CDs I sell for those who couldnt attend. The problem with doing hands on training is that its very slow going. 2 days isnt really enough really. Everyone who signs up has differnt skill levels.
Ive taught hands on classes at universities, siggraph, art schools and basically all over. If I said that we were going to cover say, character modeling, rigging, texturing and animating in 2 days it just wouldnt be possible to do it properly. Thats more of a week long kind of deal. For example I taught a hands on class in San Diego...this was a group who was already learning LW in school and everyone had some experience. We could barely get through JUST modeling a head in one day... the reason is like I said...the slowest person in the class sets the pace for the rest. Thats just a fact of life. I for one, wouldnt be happy if I paid $500.00 bucks and didnt come way learning everything I was supposed to learn.
Thats why the distance courses...its self paced, you work on YOUR schedule and you get feedback as often as you want it.
For $500 bucks you would think that you would have the right to throw up on the instructor...
  11 November 2002
Yeah. I attended Lee and Graham's seminar in Dallas. It wasn't really "bad" I didn't feel ripped off or anything. But I got (am getting) a lot more out of your CD. In fairness to Lee and graham- I think it was only their second stop, and they were still finding their groove.

Also- living in "fly-over" country it costs me a good bit of time/money just to get to most seminars/workshops!
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