Jump to content
3DCoat Forums
alvordr

LightWave

Recommended Posts

Hello, all.  I keep seeing a ton of 3DC users here that also use LightWave.  I'm curious how it compares to Max or Maya or other programs the CG industry uses and why LightWave was chosen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think freelance artists on a budget can choose to buy either Lightwave or Modo (they cost the same). Max and Maya are way more expensive. We can rent Max/Maya per month (like Adobe CC), but that is still pretty expensive. The subscription option for Max and Maya is also expensive. So, the best option for freelancers on a budget is really Lightwave or Modo (...or Blender).

After researching it, I personally think Lightwave is the all-around more fully featured package, but Modo seems more modern.

I think probably a significant number of 3D-Coat users are freelancers, so therefore a lot of them are Lightwave or Modo users.

In other words, I think it is mostly a budget thing. Big studios with money will choose Maya/Max because they are stuck with established pipelines and the cost isn't as much of an issue for them. But smaller entities can/will choose less expensive options.

I personally have been tempted to buy Lightwave or Modo, but I have ultimately decided to just stick with Maya (and pay the monthly rental fee) because it is what I already know how to use, and it has a full feature set. There is also the possibility that I might work for a studio for some period of time in the future, and they will like to see that I use Maya regularly.

It seems to me that 3D-Coat was initially aimed to be sold to freelancers and hobbyists, so that is why it has a lower price tag than Zbrush or Mudbox. Even the interface of 3D-Coat was initially designed to be very similar to Lightwave (text buttons with no icons, different rooms for different tasks, etc.), and it worked well with Lightwave's native files.

It looks like 3D-Coat has now evolved past the exclusively freelancer demographic market, and now can actually compete with Zbrush and Mudbox which are currently seen more as "big studio" tools.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another question is how the licensing works.  If you buy ZBrush, it's all future versions at no extra cost.  What about Lightwave/Modo?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another question is how the licensing works.  If you buy ZBrush, it's all future versions at no extra cost.  What about Lightwave/Modo?

Zbrush is the only app I know that does that. These larger 3D Apps all charge for upgrades. Blender actually makes the most sense, as it is every bit as powerful and feature rich as Lightwave and Modo. Autodesk used to have a nice discount for students wanted to upgrade from their EDU licenses to Commercial. Last year, they cut that out, jacked up their prices and got even more coercive with their upgrade policies. If you didn't get on a subscription plan, upgrading the the next version was roughly $2700! That's just insane. Needless to say, these policies have done nothing more than encourage users to leave Autodesk.

 

I'll probably buy a seat of Modo at some point, soon, but Blender really looks like the best answer for a freelancer. There is also supposed to be some movement soon on a Cycles Plugin for 3D Coat. Blender released the code for Cycles, recently, on a permissive license arrangement...basically 3rd party vendors can plug it in to the host app of their choice. So, there should be a nice pipeline to Blender.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very informative.  I'm aware of Autodesk's approaches to their licensing.  Blender has always been something I wanted to get into, but I find the interface excruciating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as the Blender viewport navigation goes, it is possible to make it behave like Maya. Blender actually has a Maya navigation preset, but it isn't very good. The best way to set Blender up is to make it have Maya viewport navigation, but then keep the default Blender hotkeys for all other functions. You can do this by manually changing the user preferences. It is a little tricky, but once it's done, then I find Blender is completely useable.

I also initially had the same viewport navigation problem with Zbrush, but I found a plugin called Zswitcher which made Zbrush have Maya viewport navigation.

As far as both Blender and Zbrush go, I think the viewport navigation problem is the biggest turnoff to most new users. Once that problem is overcome, then learning the rest of the UI isn't so bad. Of course there are still some unusual workflow issues, but I don't think those are deal-breakers, and Zbrush has more of those kinds of workflow problems than Blender does. Blender actually has a very nice node-based system for rendering that I even enjoy using.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as both Blender and Zbrush go, I think the viewport navigation problem is the biggest turnoff to most new users

 

?? 

Blender navigation is fully customizable and zbrush navigation is the most friendly to wacom (or tablet) only users. 

I can't argue about the entire UI though. LOL

As Ton Roosendaal (chairman of the Blender Foundation) mentioned, a UI reflects the essence of the entire code of an application. 

We should not expect any dramatic change on this. Fixes only. 

Blender's UI is the more friendly to developers, this open source rapid development. Don't expect Office like UI in blender. 

Neither modo has a that better Ui to offer IMO, nor maya, LW or Max. 

3d applications they are, what should we expect? 

A friendly to newbies UI? 

Like SketchUp? 

Impossible for such vast applications. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I found that setting the navigation to 3ds Max settings in Blender doesn't actually work right.  The camera control doesn't work like Max, with a couple of exceptions.  Maya is closer, so I get using that.  It's not just navigation issues though, as the whole user interface is loaded up with junk.  I don't see me using it at any point.  I think I might have tried to learn Blender 4 times over the past 6 years, each time taking hours to learn really basic stuff that I'm up and running with in most other 3D applications in minutes to an hour.  I either need to push through it til I get it or just give up on Blender.

For instance, I just loaded the latest version up.  Have a cube in the scene, changed to Cycles renderer and Maya navigation...fine.  Now I want to play with the cube's faces, verts, and edges and have no idea how to get that to happen.  I can certainly look it up, but why?  This is one of the most primary functions of 3D modeling programs and should be very clear where/how to get to this.  I would say Max was kind of like this, also.  I had no choice but to learn Max, at the time, so I pushed through it.

Edited by alvordr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blender has many different mesh types, each with data structures adapted to the task at hand

 

EditMesh is used to edit a Mesh data structure. When entering edit mode, Mesh is converted to EditMesh.

 

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Source/Modeling/DerivedMesh

 

----------------

you can use TAB key too to switch modes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I found where to edit faces, etc., but it's at the bottom, above the timeline (for some odd reason) and they're little icons.  This is what I'm talking about with Blender.  The UI is incoherent and the things that matter most are hard to find.  It's like the Ribbon for MS Office 2007.  The ? help icon is a tiny little icon at the top right.  If you didn't know where to look for it, that would be it.  Yet, it's the most needed icon/function for anyone who doesn't know how to use it, so why isn't it big and easy to find?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

edit mode is in the TAB !

In edit mode ctrl+TAB, vertex-edges-face select. 

In edit mode, W, ctrl+E, ctrl+F, and lot of other shortcuts. 

Shortcults everywhere. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate the shortcuts.  However, the problem is I have about 400 shortcuts to remember for 3ds Max, Maya, 3D Coat, UDK, ZBrush, Unity, Cheetah3D, Photoshop, and others.  The difference is that I don't need to remember most of those for most of those programs.  If they were all to decide on a standard, it would make everyone's lives easier.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not talking about all the shortcuts. The basics only. If icons are too small, we asked for this. We need plenty of space to work. We won't sacrifice it for helping newbies. 

Blender is a freeware. If this makes it hard for you, to show the same "respect" as on the other payed apps, well, I can't help you. Nobody can. 

Don't misunderstand me, I called it "respect" because this is what we can show in first place against these people who are working for free. 

After you feel comfortable with blender, then you can start criticizing as we all do. And, don't forget, bug reports, always. 

Donations always help, keep reminding it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, all.  I keep seeing a ton of 3DC users here that also use LightWave.  I'm curious how it compares to Max or Maya or other programs the CG industry uses and why LightWave was chosen.

3D-Coat got it's start and exposure on the NewTek forum, actually. Before it ever got it's own site and forum, there was a thread there where people discussed it, and Andrew hung out. Though it was 3D-Brush back then. :)

 

Anyway, that is why one of the reasons the LWO2 format is so well supported in 3DC, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Javis,

Thanks.  This was the info I was looking for in this thread.  I love learning the history behind this application.  Helping new and advanced users getting into 3D Coat helps promote it's growth.  I've seen too many applications die, due to close-mindedness and unwillingness to become more accessible.  3D Coat keeps getting better and better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LightWave gets used all over TV and some use in feature films. Why? Inexpensive per-license price,  and an individual Lightwave animator can usually be expected to know more than one segment of the program. While it may not be as 'deep' as Maya, the UI is more used-friendly coupled with a fast renderer that is easy to produce good quality in. Unlike Maya, it doesn't choke on high polygon counts. It also has a very capably polygonal and subdivision surface modeller. Having used LW for almost 20 years (well, 18 years at this point) and having picked up  Max and Maya, and having tried to use Blender for some Second Life stuff,  I can say LW has a very workable UI without having to dig through pages of menus to do things ( or switching between three 'modes' and hitting multiple sub-tabs just to do something that is at most one or two mouse clicks in any other 3D software... Yes, I am talking about Blender versus commercial 3d apps.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×