MattVG

Which 3D package is recommended (Lightwave, Cinema 4D)

54 posts in this topic

As a "former" lightwave user (I still use modeler), I wont be saying much nice about it. Personally, there are far too many gotchas that will simply hinder your work flow. Phil mentioned Craig Monin's RH training and RHiggit, which is great, but only partially fills one of the many serious gaps of LW.

If I had to choose an application to learn these days it would either be XSI, Modo & Messiah (Messiah with another application for modeling, like Silo/Wings). My recent switch from Messiah led me to Messiah, as it's a great application for character work, rigging/animation, shading, lighting & rendering. I feel that Messiah is a great application in these areas.

If you have the money and don't mind Autodesk, than XSI is a great application. It's easily the best out there for ease of use and terms of features.

Modo is also pretty good, but I felt lacked in the character tools section.

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He is only looking at mac. Doubt he's open to bootcamp. That narrows it down to c4d, lw, blender, maya. AD soft would have been the best choice on windows. I wouldn't count modo since it doesn't have features of the other animation packages. its a good modeller though. Messiah on the other hand I've only heard on mac that's its very problematic but on windows its THE animation companion for lw. Thinking of picking it up myself but I don't have time to learn another application when 3dmax and lw are already a handfull.

Here's a link to some seller at newtek. Very very cheap for a pro application.

http://www.newtek.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=54

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How does the student to commercial upgrade work? Is it like Adobe products, when you buy EDU software, IT IS the commercial version...just at a significant student discount? LW used to have a killer competitive crossgrade ($395-$495), but I'm not sure where the distinction lies with the EDU license and the commercial. Would you be able to participate in the HardCORE program and all?

I hope that Turbulence plugin isn't going to be another one like "Dynamite"...that essentially had the developer go awol on his customers. Turbulence would answer a problem I have had with HyperVoxels. I can spot when they are used on TV...it's substandard (in my estimation) and in big need of an overhaul. Perhaps it just needs better fractal noise algorithms, and finer control of them. That is the difference I have noticed between the two "Voxel/Volume" FX plugins for Max....Afterburn and PyroCluster.

I'm really impressed with LW 10's VPR, and am really tempted to get in on that deal and use LW for surfacing and rendering, especially when using Vue XStream. I can do all my modeling and Character Animation in Max. I really like FinalRender (3rd party renderer for Max...on par with VRay), but the Interactive Renderer has been very crash-prone...and therefore nearly useless for me. LW seems to offer the least gotcha's and limitation now.

The only last concern I have is instancing. I see that you can do it in CORE, but I would like to be able to do some instancing in LW 10 if I needed.

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Yes the commercial and Edu versions are exactly the same, the only difference is the license and the price, what you're allowed to use it for. I didn't have to do anything special to upgrade to commercial, I just got the next update and it was the commercial one.

Turbulence is €299, which is currently about $396 USD with free upgrades.

http://www.jawset.com/purchase.php

Hypervoxels aren't all bad though, I think they did a great job with them on Iron Man and that nuke explosion on 24.

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I have been looking modo a lot lately. It has a very powerful modelling tools and also it has a great renderer built in. 501 should come in this month.

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Yes the commercial and Edu versions are exactly the same, the only difference is the license and the price, what you're allowed to use it for. I didn't have to do anything special to upgrade to commercial, I just got the next update and it was the commercial one.

Turbulence is €299, which is currently about $396 USD with free upgrades.

http://www.jawset.com/purchase.php

Hypervoxels aren't all bad though, I think they did a great job with them on Iron Man and that nuke explosion on 24.

I really think Newtek is hurting themselves by not stating what outside customers can expect with CORE when it is released. I would be much more inclined to make a purchase (regardless of what type of license...EDU or Commerical), if I knew they were working on CA tools in CORE. I'm thinking it's worth going back to LW just for the renderer.

Do you know where that video went, where Graham Toms showing 3DC in use with LW 10....and it showed the enhanced polycount handling capability in Layout? It seems to have disappeared. I wonder why?

Ah, snap! I just noticed that FinalRender 3.5 has just been released. It's half the upgrade cost for me (not real happy about that) Again, it's the tight integration LW's VPR has with it's renderer that makes it so tempting for me. I talked to Edwin (the head at Cebas) at their booth during SIGGRAPH and he seemed to blame Autodesk for the problems with their IPR. That's not going to help me get the job done...but outside of the IPR, I love the renderer. Tough choice to make...

http://www.cebasstation.com/index.php?pid=hot_news&nid=394

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It was stated that the first version of CORE would not focus on animation because modeling is needed before animation can begin. I don't know about that video, it's weird, it's been removed from YouTube as well.

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AbnRanger - you should switch to vray as we did. The next version 2.0 has cpu and gpu accelerated IPR system. Digital Domain uses vray a lot.

The EDU version of lw does not get you into HC. Someone asked that before at newtek. T4D will be around more than dynamite, the developer is selling his fluid sim for c4d so that should keep him financially well off than only for lightwave. Regarding instancing, dpont has made a free instancing solution for lw. Its almost as good as happydigital hdinstance which I also bought before. That saves people 300US. The new geometry cache feature in lw 10 also helps alleviate the need for pointoven. I have tested it and it works well to import mdd or pointcache files from max and lw, vice versa. So it has become cheaper for lw now with only maestro/rhiggit and lwcad as must have plugins.

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AbnRanger - you should switch to vray as we did. The next version 2.0 has cpu and gpu accelerated IPR system. Digital Domain uses vray a lot.

The EDU version of lw does not get you into HC. Someone asked that before at newtek. T4D will be around more than dynamite, the developer is selling his fluid sim for c4d so that should keep him financially well off than only for lightwave. Regarding instancing, dpont has made a free instancing solution for lw. Its almost as good as happydigital hdinstance which I also bought before. That saves people 300US. The new geometry cache feature in lw 10 also helps alleviate the need for pointoven. I have tested it and it works well to import mdd or pointcache files from max and lw, vice versa. So it has become cheaper for lw now with only maestro/rhiggit and lwcad as must have plugins.

How does VRay RT work for you? The equivalent tool in FR is it's Interactive Render, but it seems a much ignored feature...and in practice, I can see why. It's so crash prone, it's unusuable in production. If it weren't for that, I would be fine with the tools I have.

The one thing I really liked about it's IPR, is that it's the ONLY renderer for Max that allows you to get full blown interactive previews of volumetric FX plugins like Afterburn, PyroCluster and FumeFX. If only the da%#!@-ed thing worked without crashing! It's been that way for over a year now, and Cebas acts like they could care less.

I was a big Cebas fan for such a long time, but every since they worked with Uncharted Territory on the 2012 film, they haven't been the same. It's like they go into hiding until VRay comes out with a new release...then they feel obligated to respond. That's why they announced the release of R3.5 within days of VRay 2. Before that, there wasn't a peep from them on the forums, for months. I don't think Newtek could get away with that kind of support/interaction...so, that's why I'm suddenly leaning toward LW 10 for the task.

Mental Ray, as you know, doesn't work with Volumetric FX in Max, and iRay doesn't strike me as being nearly as efficient as FPrime or VRay RT, even if it does utilize CUDA enabledc cards.

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VPR is more along than vray rt last I tested it but that could change when vray 2.0 is released. Chaos group have more developers afterall. The best IPR solution is still fprime. You can't beat years of fine tuning and the pioneer of IPR...yet.

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VPR is more along than vray rt last I tested it but that could change when vray 2.0 is released. Chaos group have more developers afterall. The best IPR solution is still fprime. You can't beat years of fine tuning and the pioneer of IPR...yet.

VRay 2 it is, then...

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VPR is more along than vray rt last I tested it but that could change when vray 2.0 is released. Chaos group have more developers afterall. The best IPR solution is still fprime. You can't beat years of fine tuning and the pioneer of IPR...yet.

FPrime is nice but it has it's flaws like that it can't talk to any other plugins including shaders. Some other little things too.

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FPrime is nice but it has it's flaws like that it can't talk to any other plugins including shaders. Some other little things too.

I am testing vpr as of this moment and as a courtesy to newtek not to get specific details about lw 10, I can only tell you that fprime is still superior in performance and lw supported features. And vpr is still only an IPR while fprime, as I've mentioned in other threads, is a final flickerfree brute force renderer like vray but slower. Its the faster way to render animated flicker free gi deformation compared to lw native renderer which is super super slow montecarlo and Greg mutt was rendered in fprime http://www.youtube.com/user/GregMutt :D.

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I am testing vpr as of this moment and as a courtesy to newtek not to get specific details about lw 10, I can only tell you that fprime is still superior in performance and lw supported features. And vpr is still only an IPR while fprime, as I've mentioned in other threads, is a final flickerfree brute force renderer like vray but slower. Its the faster way to render animated flicker free gi deformation compared to lw native renderer which is super super slow montecarlo and Greg mutt was rendered in fprime http://www.youtube.com/user/GregMutt :D.

VRay(2) makes more sense for me, seeing that it has VPR/Fprime ability in RT, and you can switch between GPU mode or CPU mode (GPU may not always be best since it relies on the graphic card's VRAM).

http://www.youtube.com/user/ChaosGroupTV?News=VR2#p/u/19/5rWEFcEKYVE

It also is supported by Vue Xstream...so that pretty much fills the need, without having to step out of Max entirely to render out the scene. FinalRender wasn't supported by Vue, and the darned IPR isn't stable enough to rely on...so that pretty much settles it for me. Thanks for the tip Geo. I wasn't sure RT was any better.

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LW 10 also uses Bullet physics. Also, while it is a plugin, Turbulence 4D also does some pretty nice smoke and fire in LightWave. The author is planning to add a liquid shader to this as well.

Turbulence does look amazing, but.. look how much it costs. That's what caught my eye. blender already has built in, what I would have to buy separate for Lightwave. I bought

the full version of Sasquatch when it first came out, but when I go to the Worley site, it seems like nothing much has changed with it. I also bought Shave and a haircut, and what a disappointing turn of events that turned out to be. It still seems like they don't have the capabilities that Shave had ten years ago.

Tom

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I hope that Turbulence plugin isn't going to be another one like "Dynamite"...that essentially had the developer go awol on his customers.

or shave and a haircut.. :angry:

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Well, I must say this has been quite a productive discussion; exactly what I was hoping for :) For now it looks like I'll stick with Blender for modeling and animation and work around the frustrations. I'll save my hard-earned monies to leverage V-Ray 2 for my rendering needs. Oh, Christmas will be good this year.

I still plan on playing with the LW and C4D demos and looking into further animation solutions such as Messiah, but for now I will use what I have and push it to its limits.

Thank you everyone. Now, don't let me kill the discussion, you go right ahead.

EDIT:

It looks like V-Ray 2 hasn't been released yet for anything other than 3DSMax.

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It looks like V-Ray 2 hasn't been released yet for anything other than 3DSMax.

Vray 2.0 is not out yet. But if/when you buy standalone. You can get access to nightly builds. And there is already couple sweet features included from 2.0.

Vray 2.0 for Maya is coming early next year and I think that standalone comes then too because it's based maya version.

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Some input from a C4D convert.

Upfront I will state that I am purely a hobbiest, not in any way likely to ever use 3D as a way to earn a living. However I too looked at the numerous high end 3D apps, and tried most of the well known ones.

I knew it was going to take about 2 years of saving to afford such a luxury (in my hobbiest capacity) so I really wanted an app that not only made sense to me, that I felt comfortable with, but also one that I could grow into, as my skills developed. A personal preference was that I preferred an app that covered a LOT of areas (just incase I should need some capability that I usually don't need, but may in the future).

I had used most of the usual low cost/ free apps blender/ truespace etc etc. 2 years working with Maya ple... I liked it a lot, it made sense to me and it covered most bases really well. BUT alas the price was just crazy for me as a hobbiest. Blender still just kinda almost but never quite clicks with me, even with this latest beta. hard to explain, it just doesn't float my boat, but for sure it's very capable.

Max... hmmm tried it years ago, and personal feeling was it felt kind of bolted together sort of, it just didn't click for me. Powerful for sure.

So I looked at XSI, Modo, LW, C4D.

my personal summary of why I chose the app I did

Xsi, very powerful, very strong rigging tools, a workflow that made sense to me, the possibility for ICE to do some amazing things.

Lovely interface, very easy to get around.

Modo, I liked it, but for me character animation/rigging was always going to be in a future version, and even then would be unproved, maybe need refined?

LW. No offence but the interface is out of the ark. OK OK I know it,s the tools that matter. Reputed to be a very capable app. What put me off was the sheer volume of people that opted to use Messiah for rigging. I wanted a single powerful learn one workflow kind of app. I did not want to need to update 2 apps. (admittedly for a lot lower cost) I didn't want to learn TWO new apps.

So why C4d. 1st off, because I could buy a basic version plus a few of the most useful modules for me right now. Then I could add the (well I might need that one day) modules in small afforable chunks over the next couple of years. (Which I have now almost done) But principly, Its modelling tools are comprehensive (If a little dated). The rigging tools are lovely just out of the box (yep you can, if you wish, purchase a 3rd party well respected plugin that refines even further the workflow)

You have all the basics, very well implimented, but also nice stuff like muscle flexors etc. Body paint is included in the core app, and is fantastic app in it's own right. Being able to easily paint a model in 3d within the same app as polygon modelling is still refreshing even after 2 years.Because it's integrated, there is little relearning of yet another inferface, etc. It also reads .psd which is a time saver. The projection end of it is totally amazing, but woefully documented. Obviously it has it's own "fairly" comprehensive UV editor.

I bought the advanced render module. Whilst I am a hobbiest, the quality is great for what I want, and it supports GI etc. Baking of textures/ light etc is so easy it's embarressing. particles, rigid,softbody dynamics etc, its all available, and all using the same interface "thinking" throughout the app, it just feels like it was made as a whole, not an app with bits bolted on. The scripting language (coffee) can be easily used even by a non scriptor like me. A python addon is now officially sanctioned by maxon.

So 2 years after purchase am I still impressed?.... Well pretty much YES.

Some things I would note are. The included html type searchable help, is huge,comprehensive, but at times just mubo jumbo speak. The modelling tools get the job done without fuss, but I hanker a little for the nicities of some silo ideas (double click an edge to select an edge loop) that sort of stuff. The principle source of free tutorials is C4DCafe.com Brilliant site, and real nice host too! Ciniversity (Maxons own video tutorial site) whilst it has lots of free vid tuts, it is not long before you need/desire the "members" only tuts, that's expensive (in my view)

The only plugin I found I really HAD to get was riptide, (a free or pro version)for export/import of .obj files in a more comprehensive format than is supplied (groups, material sorting etc). The pro plugin is a pitence. Well worth the money. Native C4D supports pretty well most well known 3D file formats (Currently I am having an issue with Collada export, but it may be the external app that is causing the problem).If I am honest I purchased a seperate program (UVLayout) as my only other "more comprehensive" option. A personal preference of tool set more than anything. Not a MUST have critical replacement.

It's probably the most stable app I have ever used, and I remember black screens with green writing, when bulletin boards was where it was at lol. 300 baud dialup anyone?

Everything about the interface, just makes sense to me, it follows what seems naturely logical to me. Go to say body Paint from modelling and the interface just ties in, it all flows, with no hunting for where did they put that button sort of thing. It's easy to customise both the interface and hotkeys.

Have I used even one third of it's capabilites yet? Not even remotely close, always discovering new capabilities that I hadn't even thought of when I purchased, it's like the most comprehensive toybox/toolbox I ever had :) To be fair the only thing holding back the app is me... and that's why I can still grow into it, exactly what I wanted and what I got.I wanted an app that I wouldn't have to update frequently, but could if I won the lottery.

The only modules I didn't buy were the cell/cartoon shader (can't remember exact name) and mograph. Some of the "effectors" I notice have been sneaked out of the base package and into the mograph module. Hmm thats a pity for future purchasers who don't buy mograph module.

I purchased 1 version update about 6 months after initial purchase. Point upgrade value for money I would rate as just erring on a little pricey for what it included, but not unreasonable.

Approx 6 free updates for bug fixes, but all for bugs that I hadn't even encountered, as I said I find it to be incredibly stable. You just kind of always get what you expect, without any nasty surprises/quirks. Very little in the way of "new" capabilities included in the interim updates.

One thing I have noticed, you never get ANY idea what is likely to be in a future payable point update, Maxon just go quiet for months, and then it gets anounced. (maybe they see what happens over at zbrush hq lol)

Obviously this is all opinion/preference, and I am an amateur. No doubt every high end 3D app has it's enthused supporters, and for good reason, but I must say, C4D is probably the best designed high end app I have purchesed in 30+ years of computer use.

IKHandel

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Great post IKhandel. I did look at c4d before buying lw 9 and it looked great. The only thing that put me off was the price. Lightwave is used as my hobby too and mostly 3dmax at work. I just couldn't justify paying that high for 3dmax as a hobby so when I saw the complete module of c4d in the same price range of 3dmax, I chose lightwave for its price,performance ratio. I have no doubt the functionality of c4d is more advance. Mograph and the AE integration alone I envy that I don't have in lightwave. Thinking particles is also cool.

You get what you pay for. :D

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AE integration alone I envy that I don't have in lightwave.

I've never used it but Al Street wrote an old plugin that shares motion data between LW and a number of compositing packages including After Effects called Trans Motion Utilities Pack. It's not terribly expensive at $25.

http://www.ats-3d.com/

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Vray 2.0 is not out yet. But if/when you buy standalone. You can get access to nightly builds. And there is already couple sweet features included from 2.0.

Vray 2.0 for Maya is coming early next year and I think that standalone comes then too because it's based maya version.

Oh, I thought I saw that V-Ray 2.0 for Max was released Dec. 6th. I could be wrong, but I assume that's the press release I linked to. In any case it's not what I need.

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Well, I must say this has been quite a productive discussion; exactly what I was hoping for :) For now it looks like I'll stick with Blender for modeling and animation and work around the frustrations. I'll save my hard-earned monies to leverage V-Ray 2 for my rendering needs. Oh, Christmas will be good this year.

I still plan on playing with the LW and C4D demos and looking into further animation solutions such as Messiah, but for now I will use what I have and push it to its limits.

Thank you everyone. Now, don't let me kill the discussion, you go right ahead.

EDIT:

It looks like V-Ray 2 hasn't been released yet for anything other than 3DSMax.

I think that approach is the most sensible one under your set of circumstances and needs. You have enough expense with other Graphic Design-related software. Blender is P-E-R-F-E-C-T for any Graphic Designer looking to implement more 3D into their designs (that's sort of how I got hooked on 3D). I think you'll end up in 3D, though. If you have fine art skills, the 3D industry is where you want to be. It's the one area where those skills will not only get fully utilized, but where you can just let your imagination go free. That is not the case in Graphic Art. You are often stuck doing page layout and text editing (in Adobe InDesign or Quark). To me, the Graphic Design Industry is for fine artists, what Internet browsing is to an expensive new Graphic Card. A complete waste of resources.

I have a client/friend who is in such a predicament. I saw some of his personal artwork, which is fantastic, and yet he's been working in the sign and graphic design business for years. He's almost stuck in it because he has a family to support. He should be doing Matte Painting or Concept Design work. But now that I've strayed way off topic...time to return. :) Yeah...Blender's got PLENTY of juice for what you need. If it were commercial, it would likely be priced right about where LW is or higher.

It has exceptional animation/rigging tools, as well as it's own compositor. I think you are also being a bit too harsh on it's native render. It's not bad at all...and should be able to do whatever you ask it to do. Nevertheless, you may be able to contact Vlado over at the VRay forums and ask about an upgrade path to 2 if you buy the stand alone now. There is a good chance he may make the v2 upgrade available for free when it's released.

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...[in Graphic Design] You are often stuck doing page layout and text editing (in Adobe InDesign or Quark). To me, the Graphic Design Industry is for fine artists, what Internet browsing is to an expensive new Graphic Card. A complete waste of resources.

...

[blender] has exceptional animation/rigging tools, as well as it's own compositor. I think you are also being a bit too harsh on it's native render. It's not bad at all...and should be able to do whatever you ask it to do. Nevertheless, you may be able to contact Vlado over at the VRay forums and ask about an upgrade path to 2 if you buy the stand alone now. There is a good chance he may make the v2 upgrade available for free when it's released.

Yeah, I'm a Fine Artist who went to Graphic Design, realized I didn't care much for rearranging text and pictures on a page, and now I'm I've come back to Illustration with a focus on 3D and animation.

The Blender renderer can make some very nice renders and soon it will have more features and faster ray-tracing but I can't seem to make it quite reach my vision - again, I need more study on the subject, but I don't think it's just me.

I'll register on the V-Ray forums and see if I can get some info on the upgrade path.

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