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I keep reading post about modeling and all i am reading about is max of maya. who here uses lightwave3D and thinks it is better for modeling purposes. I know the the lightwave3D rendering engine is the best for a 3d modeling tool rendering engine. [edited by - 3dmodelerguy on January 14, 2004 11:12:29 AM] [edited by - 3dmodelerguy on January 14, 2004 11:29:55 AM]

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I use Lightwave, and have used it for several years now.

Personally, I think LW''s polygonal modeler is excellent for games. It handles individual polygons very well, and since it''s just a polygonal soup system instead of a heirarchy as in Maya/Max, it''s easier to work with when it comes to game specific low-polygon objects.

I looked at purchasing Max. Also briefly considered Maya. But I''m a hobby game programmer, and their prices were outside of my range. Lightwave was just within in; It''s expensive, but not so much that you can''t save up some money for it. I think it''s price makes it a super deal when it comes to other 3d programs. It has all the top-end tools like soft body dynamics, character animation, particle effects and an extensible scripting/expressions system. Plus a renderer that produces real nice pics.

However, there''s always a downside. There are some bugs/quirks like how it doesn''t have an (easy) way to do relax-UVs, so subdivision objects with UV maps will have distortion unless you freeze the geometry. It doesn''t feature quite as powerful a surface editor as Maya. And the biggest of all: It''s not that well supported for game development. Getting your models from Lightwave to whatever format you want takes a bit of work. Expect to buy something like Polytrans or DeepExplorer to make up for LW''s lack of file export tools. (Though the file format that LW uses is well documented in their SDK, and it''s a snap to parse, so writing your own LW reader shouldn''t be that difficult.)

PS: I have real high hopes for Lightwave 8. A lot of the tools which are now plugins -- like soft/hard body dynamics -- will end up being integrated into the core system, so they will be more stable and faster.

[[ Gaping Wolf Software ]] [[ GameGenesis Forums ]]

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I use LW at work and at home, although at work I have to import into 3DS Max.

LW8 will have some really nice tools to help visualize your art before exporting into a game engine.

And hopefully there will be a tool a lot like Maya''s real-time pre-vis engine with the ability to add plug-ins and such.

Lamont G.
CG Artist
San Diego CA

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