Everything works well for the Lightwave, ZBrush and Messiah pipeline.
If you plan on rendering in Lightwave, you can use displacement maps and .mdd files to help collide all work together for a LW render.
Check out this really quick render test I did…
Now I used the .mdd for the test animation done in Messiah and applied displacement maps through the node system in LW.
Now working with multi-displacement maps I have done in Messiah rather LW.
Check this test run clip…
[/u]I used two displacement maps on this sample clip and used a weightspot node as well as meta-effectors to make one displacment map transparent while the second displacement becomes visible. Using and animating the meta effectors can help blend and provide control between your multiple maps. Whether its with multi-displacement maps, multi-color maps or both, this process worked well in Messiah.
[li]Model needs to be all in quads to help ease this process and have non-visible seams of your UV’s[/li][li]I used AUV’s in ZBrush once my topology is fully in quads.[/li][li]you might need to down load a displacement plugin for LW to apply your displacement through that plugin and use the node system of displacement for the .mdd motion file.[/li][li]If you have trigons (tripolys), you might have to create your UV’s with the unwrapping traditional method. For game development this process is ideal. For movies, I just use AUV’s in ZB.[/li][li]If UVed traditionally with the unwrap method, be sure to have your UV’s on a 0:1 grid size, use buffer zones for multiple UV’s and create your seams in a non visible place.[/li][/ul]Thats all I can think of on top of my head. I am currently making a short and plan on making tutorials off the short using various applications. Only I have not had time due to major contract duties.
I love Messiah’s modular system and highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the shaders so you can accomplish so much with ease. I havent really messed with Lightwave’s shaders but if anything, I just render passes with alphas and use Fusion to composite my 3D characters on top of Vue Infinite scenes. Vue works with tripolys and just migrating your 3D quad based characters into Vue for renders will not work. To mimic the lighting arrangement in Vue, I create high dynamic range images, create a panoramic image of four composited static shots, create a lightprobe then apply the HDRI in Messiah or Lightwave to get the fill light onto your character that will match Vue’s light setup.
Sorry for babbling on other topics and approaches but I wanted you to get an idea of how other applications work together.
I had plenty of trial and error moments so feel free to ask questions to see if I came across the same situations you might stumble onto.