Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Paul Oberlande » Sun, 30 Mar 1997 04:00:00



http://www.veryComputer.com/~0vds*02/monster/ray/r03.jpg

So much for the "crumby" modeler theory....

It takes an artist, not software...

Paul
--
"There are only two races on earth: the decent and the indecent"  Viktor
Frankl

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by J. Eric Char » Mon, 31 Mar 1997 04:00:00



> http://www.veryComputer.com/~0vds*02/monster/ray/r03.jpg

> So much for the "crumby" modeler theory....

> It takes an artist, not software...

> Paul

        Well, just to be contrary (like that's anything new....)

        It's not so much a question of WHAT you can do with a modeler (given
enough time I suppose they all can do everything), but the EASE and
SPEED with which it can be accomplished.

        Now, on the image in question, I believe Ace stated that HIS version of
Buzz took four days (but how many hours?), which seems damn good to me.

        Otherwise, it's the artist all the way. My owning the same brand of
brushes as John Singer Sargent doesn't make me a painter.

************************************************************************

**    Shooter, Gaffer, Animator for the End of the Millenium          **
*************************** Seattle  ***********************************

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Wilmer L » Mon, 31 Mar 1997 04:00:00



>http://www.veryComputer.com/~0vds*02/monster/ray/r03.jpg
>So much for the "crumby" modeler theory....
>It takes an artist, not software...
>Paul
>--
>"There are only two races on earth: the decent and the indecent"  Viktor
>Frankl

Buzz Lightyear isn't exactly the most complicated model in the world.
The face is a very simplistic rounded object that can be done very
easily with MetaNURBS or MetaFormPlus, and the rest of the body is
polygonal.

Try animating the LW to the level of detail in 'Toy Story' and you'll
see that the tools may not be up to the task.

W.
Wilmer Lin

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Glyn Willia » Mon, 31 Mar 1997 04:00:00


> Try animating the LW to the level of detail in 'Toy Story' and you'll
> see that the tools may not be up to the task.


Hmmm,
        Have you *seen* the tools they animated with at Pixar? As I
understand it, much of the effort seemed dedicated to animating
hundreds of animation control variables over time.

        The acheivement of the Pixar team were truly astonishing, but they
are the first to admit that the real acheivements in Toy Story were
neither in visual realism or for that matter in naturalistic animation.
And while toys and cars were animated well, the movements of the human
characters and Scud the dog were as mannered as their appearance.

        Despite what the ads from SoftImage and Alias repeatedly tell us,
I am increasingly of the opinion tools count for very little and
artistic talent counts for a great deal.

                While the IK features of Lightwave need a serious
overhaul, Lightwave in the hands of a truly talented animator can produce
better work than other tools in the hands of less talented people.

Glyn Williams - Particle Systems Ltd.
http://www.imagesyn.demon.co.uk/

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Wilmer L » Mon, 31 Mar 1997 04:00:00


Quote:>Hmmm,
>    Have you *seen* the tools they animated with at Pixar? As I
>understand it, much of the effort seemed dedicated to animating
>hundreds of animation control variables over time.

Oh, very impressed with some of the work featured on your Web page.
Yes, I've seen outstanding work done with Lightwave.  I just wonder if
it was more work to do without certain tools available.

Quote:>    Despite what the ads from SoftImage and Alias repeatedly tell us,
>I am increasingly of the opinion tools count for very little and
>artistic talent counts for a great deal.

It just takes a lot less effort to model curved surfaces with NURBS --
and animation is much easier because you can move the CVs and make
more drastic changes with fewer movements.  

Quote:>            While the IK features of Lightwave need a serious
>overhaul, Lightwave in the hands of a truly talented animator can produce
>better work than other tools in the hands of less talented people.

Well, the basics of animation remain more or less constant.  And most
of the students in my class of Alias users really aren't very good.  I
understand this (very few have art backgrounds).  

But I'd venture to say that the percentage of Alias/Softimage users
who are better animators is higher (than LW users) because the fewer
copies in existence belong to production houses or pros (due to
expense), not hobbyists.

If you're a pro using Lightwave, more power to you. But if you're a
pro and you've used Softimage or Alias, could you really go back?

 Okay, back to keyframing.

W.

Wilmer Lin

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Paul Oberlande » Mon, 31 Mar 1997 04:00:00




> >http://www.veryComputer.com/~0vds*02/monster/ray/r03.jpg

> >So much for the "crumby" modeler theory....

> >It takes an artist, not software...

> >Paul
> >--
> >"There are only two races on earth: the decent and the indecent"  Viktor
> >Frankl

> Buzz Lightyear isn't exactly the most complicated model in the world.
> The face is a very simplistic rounded object that can be done very
> easily with MetaNURBS or MetaFormPlus, and the rest of the body is
> polygonal.

> Try animating the LW to the level of detail in 'Toy Story' and you'll
> see that the tools may not be up to the task.

> W.
> Wilmer Lin


I was responding to your criticism of LW's modeler, not layout.  I still
don't see what your beef is.  The things about which you complained seem
like they result from inexperience more than thety do a shortfall of the
program.  I have seen a perfectly realistic face modelled in a short
time by a skilled LW artist with no problem without even using MetaNurbs
at all.

Paul

PS Your criticisms of layout are well taken.  It is not a great
animation tool.  However, it is easy to be great when you charge 7 - 14
thousand for a program.

--
"There are only two races on earth: the decent and the indecent"  Viktor
Frankl

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Paul Oberlande » Mon, 31 Mar 1997 04:00:00



> However, the problem isn't really Layout, it's  the separation of
> Modeler and Layout.  Need those two modules to work together better.
> That is, a modeled head has to be animatable as well.  Tough with the
> polygons.

Then they'll both run as slow as SI does on a Pentium 200.

Paul

--
"There are only two races on earth: the decent and the indecent"  Viktor
Frankl

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Jarrod Robers » Tue, 01 Apr 1997 04:00:00





> > >http://www.veryComputer.com/~0vds*02/monster/ray/r03.jpg

> > >So much for the "crumby" modeler theory....

> > >It takes an artist, not software...

> > >Paul
> > >--
> > >"There are only two races on earth: the decent and the indecent"  Viktor
> > >Frankl

> > Buzz Lightyear isn't exactly the most complicated model in the world.
> > The face is a very simplistic rounded object that can be done very
> > easily with MetaNURBS or MetaFormPlus, and the rest of the body is
> > polygonal.

> > Try animating the LW to the level of detail in 'Toy Story' and you'll
> > see that the tools may not be up to the task.

> > W.
> > Wilmer Lin

> I was responding to your criticism of LW's modeler, not layout.  I still
> don't see what your beef is.  The things about which you complained seem
> like they result from inexperience more than thety do a shortfall of the
> program.  I have seen a perfectly realistic face modelled in a short
> time by a skilled LW artist with no problem without even using MetaNurbs
> at all.

> Paul

> PS Your criticisms of layout are well taken.  It is not a great
> animation tool.  However, it is easy to be great when you charge 7 - 14
> thousand for a program.

Yeah but trust me, price does not make a tool great. Try SI 3.51 Extreme
for a month and you will find that LW will do 95% of everything it will and
for a few hundred bucks more will do more. (Specifically GAFFER, SE/DSFX,
and Particle Strom). I used it for about two months the only thing that
REALLY REALLY blows LW away is :
 MetaClay (now that is how metaBalls are supposed to work), not the sorry
excuse that Modeler has.
 The spline and animtion control channels of everything. LW needs more of
its current features animateable not just more features.
 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Wilmer L » Tue, 01 Apr 1997 04:00:00


Quote:>> I was responding to your criticism of LW's modeler, not layout.

  I still

Quote:>> don't see what your beef is.  The things about which you complained seem
>> like they result from inexperience more than thety do a shortfall of the
>> program.  I have seen a perfectly realistic face modelled in a short
>> time by a skilled LW artist with no problem without even using MetaNurbs
>> at all.

The complaint is about interactivity.  I can model a human head in a
few hours with MetaFormPlus.  That's acceptable.   It actually takes
me a little longer on Alias but that's because I'm still new to it.
But on Alias I can see the changes happening and feel more in control
of the process.  

Plus the interface is a joy to use and I don't have to push as many
points around in the same fashion.  It's just plain easier to
visualize.

Okay, I'm partial to splines, and even find Hash Animation a lot more
enticing...

Quote:>> PS Your criticisms of layout are well taken.  It is not a great
>> animation tool.

No way.  Layout is the far superior portion of Lightwave.  It's worth
the price tag alone.  Yes, needs some character animation tools but
Morph Gizmo will take care of morphing faces, and Lock&Key with
Con-Motion will do the rest... for now.  Wish they were more tightly
integrated though.

However, the problem isn't really Layout, it's  the separation of
Modeler and Layout.  Need those two modules to work together better.
That is, a modeled head has to be animatable as well.  Tough with the
polygons.

Interactive surfacing would be nice, too.

 However, it is easy to be great when you charge 7 - 14

Quote:>> thousand for a program.

The point is that some minor cosmetic changes would make the program a
lot more interactive.  I can model a lot faster in trueSpace than in
Lightwave or Alias and that's a $300 program with great modeling tools
-- version 3 even has an excellent organic modeling MetaBalls feature
(animated metaballs!  hoorah!).  I only switched to LW b/c of missing
motion graphs and animation functions.  It's such an outstanding tool
that I choose to model in TS and export to Modeler every chance I get
-- if the model isn't organic.

Quote:>Yeah but trust me, price does not make a tool great. Try SI 3.51 Extreme
>for a month and you will find that LW will do 95% of everything it will and
>for a few hundred bucks more will do more. (Specifically GAFFER, SE/DSFX,
>and Particle Strom).

No. SI's strength isn't the modeler -- look harder at the animation
tools.  Uh, even Alias can't top SI there.

 I used it for about two months the only thing that

Quote:>REALLY REALLY blows LW away is :
> MetaClay (now that is how metaBalls are supposed to work), not the sorry
>excuse that Modeler has.
> The spline and animtion control channels of everything. LW needs more of
>its current features animateable not just more features.

W.
Wilmer Lin

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Adam Schimp » Tue, 01 Apr 1997 04:00:00



> > Try animating the LW to the level of detail in 'Toy Story' and you'll
> > see that the tools may not be up to the task.


> Hmmm,
>         Have you *seen* the tools they animated with at Pixar? As I
> understand it, much of the effort seemed dedicated to animating
> hundreds of animation control variables over time.

>         Despite what the ads from SoftImage and Alias repeatedly tell us,
> I am increasingly of the opinion tools count for very little and
> artistic talent counts for a great deal.

I agree Glen.  I've heard SO MUCH talk of what package is the ONLY
package to use, and how the PPro's are versus the Pentiums and MMX, and
on, and on.  The equipment does not make something look good, it only
helps an ARTIST better make his thoughts become reality.

You don't need an Alpha with the latest version of LightWave to do
images of raytraced wood table tops with coffee pots on them.

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by J. Eric Char » Tue, 01 Apr 1997 04:00:00



> However, the problem isn't really Layout, it's  the separation of
> Modeler and Layout.  Need those two modules to work together better.
> That is, a modeled head has to be animatable as well.  Tough with the
> polygons.              ^^^^^

        Well, it isn't and obviously Allen & Stuart don't think so.  Deal with
it or move on to s/w where it is integrated.

************************************************************************

**    Shooter, Gaffer, Animator for the End of the Millenium          **
*************************** Seattle  ***********************************

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Atomic Sku » Tue, 01 Apr 1997 04:00:00




>> Try animating the LW to the level of detail in 'Toy Story' and you'll
>> see that the tools may not be up to the task.


>Hmmm,
>        Have you *seen* the tools they animated with at Pixar? As I
>understand it, much of the effort seemed dedicated to animating
>hundreds of animation control variables over time.

>        The acheivement of the Pixar team were truly astonishing, but they
>are the first to admit that the real acheivements in Toy Story were
>neither in visual realism or for that matter in naturalistic animation.
>And while toys and cars were animated well, the movements of the human
>characters and Scud the dog were as mannered as their appearance.

>        Despite what the ads from SoftImage and Alias repeatedly tell us,
>I am increasingly of the opinion tools count for very little and
>artistic talent counts for a great deal.

  Well _OF COURSE_..  They don't want people to start thinking that it's the
people..  It has to be the tools..  (don't want to have to start paying them
more)
 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Wilmer L » Wed, 02 Apr 1997 04:00:00




>> However, the problem isn't really Layout, it's  the separation of
>> Modeler and Layout.  Need those two modules to work together better.
>> That is, a modeled head has to be animatable as well.  Tough with the
>> polygons.              ^^^^^
>    Well, it isn't and obviously Allen & Stuart don't think so.  Deal with
>it or move on to s/w where it is integrated.

Fine.  Alias it is.

W.
Wilmer Lin

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Wilmer L » Wed, 02 Apr 1997 04:00:00





>>> However, the problem isn't really Layout, it's  the separation of
>>> Modeler and Layout.  Need those two modules to work together better.
>>> That is, a modeled head has to be animatable as well.  Tough with the
>>> polygons.              ^^^^^
>>        Well, it isn't and obviously Allen & Stuart don't think so.  Deal with
>>it or move on to s/w where it is integrated.
>Fine.  Alias it is.

However, if LW starts looking suspiciously like Alias or trueSpace or
Max (which all have the same basic interface -- only Alias' is the
best) in  a couple years, remember I told ya so.

W.
Wilmer Lin

 
 
 

Oooh, and I thought they could only do that at Pixar....

Post by Glyn Willia » Wed, 02 Apr 1997 04:00:00




Quote:> If you're a pro using Lightwave, more power to you. But if you're a
> pro and you've used Softimage or Alias, could you really go back?

Having looked at Soft and Max - I wouldn't kill to shift from
Lightwave, especially as far as Modelling and Rendering are concerned.
(Although I'd kill for a fillet operation in LW.)
LW is really simple and powerful in these areas in the hands of a talented
artist. I'd say animation, is the weakest part of the Lightwave package -
and in our office it needs a technician (usually me!) to set up IK and
produce character set-ups before the artists are comfortable using it.

Max is a massive improvement on 3DS. Some ideas in there are really nice,
but for some reason it does't seem to work as an artistic tool. Has
*anyone* ever seen nice work done with Max? Take a look at the box!

I haven't looked hard at Alias. The demonstrators always show impressive
technical features but none of it seems to be of what I'd consider as
particularly useful.

SoftImage seems by far the best of the bunch. The SoftImage default
renderer looks dreadful but MentalRay, on the other hand does look very
nice indeed (although has a reputation for being slow)

The animation features and IK of Soft look superb - and if we had no
budgetary constraints we would certainly buy some SoftImage seats - but
things being as they are I couldn't justify buying a SoftImage seat at
this time. Mainly because we would have to buy a Mental Ray rendering
licence for each and every node on our render farm. I wonder if the prices
were just a bit lower, there might be a bit less piracy and a few more
sales.

If we sell a few unit of our game then this might well change. :-)

Glyn Williams - Particle Systems Ltd.
http://www.imagesyn.demon.co.uk/