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Iron Sky – Day 153

After a couple of days here doing night shifts and the other guys pulling in extra hours things are starting to come together and we are pretty much on track but like any show where you have to depend on computers for anything you become a slave to their speeds and how many of them you have.

We picked up a bunch of additional nodes a few weeks back, and I am very very thankful they are here. However, due to various technical issues with respect to how things were built and textured originally – the renders are being artificially slowed down. Luke, Tuomas and I did the best we could since we have arrived to correct for these problems – but they still plague us.  The lessons have been learned though going forward as always. The gottchas are documented and then some at this point and its great material to keep handy for when it pops up again. Once I return from Finland to Vancouver, I will be doing a series of tutorials that covers of issues like this and how to deal with them in a mixed pipeline and on a schedule that has been for the most part “go go go!” which in part creates these issues and allows them to pop up. I think this will be great information to have for anyone that uses LightWave and other applications together to do whatever they do in 3D. One thing is for certain though, if you start with LightWave in the first place, you will generally arrive where you want to go with cleaner results faster than using another application from start to finish or jumping over to LW mid stream. There are several reasons for why I say this.

1. LightWave artists who are experienced, typically build and texture models with incredible accuracy and efficiently from a technical stand point. This comes from us working with an application where we can’t expect to be able to throw “the world” at it and have it work. This isn’t a bash of LW, quite the contrary. Many of the other apps that are out there are more popular because they allow people to be VERY sloppy. I encountered this on CARGO a couple of years ago. Similar problems exist here but for different reasons. Just because some other application can “swallow” a massive scene or handle a billion polys or whatever marketing gimmick someone wants to throw out there might be the case – doesn’t mean it should have that kind of stuff thrown at it in the first place. Sure, the application may be able to handle it, but what about your network? What about the time it takes to load it up and to manipulate it? This part of the reason why starting with LW and using LW for a production like this is inherently faster than any other application out there. It isn’t always just about “render speeds”. Certainly though that is what is saving the shots right now, the fact that we are running and rendering in LightWave. Mental Ray DRAGS itself along big time. I really don’t understand why anyone uses it at all. There is a lot of talent in this room in these areas, my hope is that they can get over the “maya is god” prejudice and pick up LightWave more deeply as they progress in their careers. I have a feeling and based on my own experience that they will be doing themselves a favor should they choose to “think different” for a bit and get into the action with the package.

2. Because of point 1. , in the end the assets are much easier to work with, look that much better, and you leave some head room for things that get added inevitably because some one above you will say “that looks really awesome but what if we had this extra thing in there” – and that always happens. LightWave3D is an incredibly affective package despite its short comings in some areas. These short comings are in some ways myths that have been perpetuated over the years so much to the point that some people don’t think LightWave is even made any more. Others are downright erroneous or ignorant of what the package can do and can’t do. And for the stuff that it can’t do, I have seen many things in other packages that LW can’t do that are barely passable as “doing it when LW can’t” when you factor in what you have to do to get those other packages to do just that.  Does that make sense?

Maybe not, but for now I have to close off and continue on with shots.

More stuff next time! =^..^=



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2 Comments to Iron Sky – Day 153

  1. Tony says:

    Your comments make a lot of sense and make me feel a lot better about pushing LW as a platform of choice all these years. I am also really looking forward to what you come up with for mixed pipeline tutorials.

  2. Spirit of the Forest says:

    Very insightful comments. I’ve been a LW user for 8 years, and I have never understood why it is looked down on by so many people…Its always been my 3D app of choice. I’m looking forward to seeing what you cook up for the next series of tutorials!

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