I’m just curious, every time someone on this forum talks about other 3D packages, they talk about 3DS Max, Maya, XSI, and Cinema4D. Why does nobody refer to Lightwave? Does the 3D community not consider it a valid tool for professional 3D work? Just curious on everyones opinion on Lightwave. Thanks.

Well, I haven’t worked with Lightwave,and I have only done a short trial with Maya Private Learning Edition some time ago, but If I had to learn seriously an other package than Blender, I’l probably choose Lightwave.

It seems to have a good photo realistic render, and is one of themost affordable 3D softwares. It is mainly used for TV programs,and some plugins fort this soft are very intersting, like Dynamite, the hyper voxel engine for volumetrics.

This said, I have never used it actually.

It was the reason I found Blender to be so comfortable. Both are easy and sensical to use.:evilgrin:

Lightwave was, for a long time, the closest to Blender that there was. Blender has surpassed it now. Unles the latest version of Lightwave has added some kind of revolutionary features I’m not aware of Blender has better tools and finally has better material controls than Lightwave did, in my opinion.

There was an episode a year or two ago when an older version of Bleder was released (2.42, wasn’t it?) which had a ton of new Google Summer of Code features implemented, and there was a discussion on the Lightwave forums about how they could add blender to their workflow with Lightwave. Lightwaves price has subsequently plummeted.

Anyway, that’s the reason it’s never brought up in my opinion. There’s still some interesting things about Lightwave, and a couple of it’s modeling tools are useful with no real replacement in Blender (smooth shift, spin quad) but those are really just negligible differences. I’d say that Blender has movied beyond them and is currently on it’s way to becoming directly competitive with Max and Maya.

@scdelf: You are sort of right, as I never hear about Lightwave now. It was actually used to create Jimmy Neutron. I don’t think that it’s a bad piece of software, but I just sort of think people have moved on. As Squiggly_P (above me) said: Blender has surpassed it now. If I had to learn anything else other than Blender, it would either be XSI or 3Ds Max. In my opinion, Lightwave has become, in a sense, outdated now. I mean you could ask anyone who has a little background knowledge of 3d programs which they would rather use: Lightwave or Maya. I’m willing to bet anything that over 50% would say Maya. It’s just not as popular as it once was.

I use blender and lightwave in my workflow, each has its strengths and weaknesses- for example some of blenders animation controls are light years ahead of lightwaves, eg the way it handles ik, although IK booster in lightwave is a big improvement, and is starting to catch up…lightwaves lighting and rendering engine is still very good…I ran a test where I rendered a model in blender and in lightwave, the results were 2:30 minutes blender, 2 seconds lightwave… I also found that lightwave can handle huge models without a problem, you can put a subpatch level of 6 on a character without even a problem… some of the plugins like fprime are AWESOME… but you must remember that lightwave is aiming at a lower end market, and its not really fair to compare it to maya, max or xsi because its like quarter the price…

I have a Lightwave license myself, but haven’t used it in over a year. It’s upgraded up to LW10 (and it’s for sale, if anyone wants to buy it!).

As for why LW is not mentioned much, I have no clue.

I wonder the same. LW is no longer the leading edge, but it’s not so weak that TV/film studios would have forgotten about it entirely. Galactica, Sarah Connor, Ironman – those use LW.

Maybe it’s that Lightwave still feels too ‘technical’ while, say, Maya and Modo are a bit more ‘artistic’. Think FX brushes: you can ‘paint’ fire and hair in Maya. If you want similar in LW (and incidentally, in Blender), it’s more about tweaking parameters and weight painting. LW has GI, caustics, FK+IK, volumetrics – lots of modern features, but presented in way that feels dated.

I haven’t used it myself, but Lightwave’s renderer has quite a good reputation. It was used in several shots in Iron Man:

yup, its got one awesome GI renderer, wish i could blug it in blender sometimes. :smiley:

Lightwave was my software of choice for a long time. Render times, and render quality are still way better than blender. FPrime and lightwave make a very compelling partnership for instant feedback and fast GI,

it’s very stable and has large number of community scripts/plugins for free that it almost feels “open source”, only easier… just add the plug in rather than patch and re-compile.

Bl ender surpasses it in animation, the compositor and in some ways in modelling, though blender still can’t support ngons yet.

Lightwave used to get a lot of TV work 'cause it’s very usable by small teams/individuals and it used to be out on its own with free unlimited render nodes…

Stuff like maya wins because it’s a programmers dream and so much easier to fit into a big pipeline with lots of custom data/tools needed. To my taste you need to spend way too much time customising maya to work how you want…a classic argument for good defaults, though maya has improved in this area recently…

I think that a lot of people dismissed lightwave in recent years because the character animation toolset is very below par, and Proton ( William Vaughn) did so much cartoony artwork and example files for lightwave features it seemed that that was all it was capable of. (no disrespect to Proton, but a more varied portfolio would have perhaps been better to showcase Lightwave) he really undersold it’s renderer with all his flatcolour characters!

I’ve been using Blender for games work mostly, but am just doing some magazine renders and am appalled by blenders render time, though the quality is getting there!, hypervoxels for volumetric rendering and GI are still missed, though faking stuff and AO is still good

Lightwaves modeller used to be the best thing out there…it’s very dated now, and a mess of plugins… Modo is still respected and owes a lot to its lightwave roots…It is lightwave modeller evolved into a modern app…

I guess it’s discussed less now that the price of 3d software is so cheap in general