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LightWave3D Update: Proof of Life

Less than a week after the “LightWave is Not Dead” post here on which was published the same day as the start of Siggraph 2017, we have proof of life. Now do some of you “get the point” we were trying to make? Read this statement and check your head folks. It’s really simple. You may have your issue with an “outsider” saying it’s not dead, and you know, ok, that’s reasonable. It’s also reasonable for people to have doubts about that which is provided for information concerning a product coming from those who have failed in their task to turn it around or adapt their plans over the course of their tenor to at least do some obvious things that are very much doable and don’t require if any, a significant form of expenditure in terms of capital. It’s called making an effort. A real effort. It also helps if you have a track record of being able to deliver. Money helps, but at the end of the day, it’s pointless if you don’t have a plan and you don’t know how to go about getting things done. Burning through piles of it (since it isn’t yours) while doing a song and dance is not a strategy for success. Vilifying those who have doubts and raise questions while offering solutions is not a winning platform. Need proof? Uh… did you pay attention to the 2016 US election? Let’s not get side tracked here. We all know how that turned out. The point is even after the results, there are still those out there who refuse to reevaluate their positions. But how do you go about that? Let’s take stock of what has transpired here. First… a few of you out there need to get a grip and stop for a moment before making statements yourselves, concerning a few things. Especially when it comes to trust. Because that is what this really comes down to. Who are you going to trust? We ( are here right now, active, doing our thing and none of us are ‘salaried’ with fancy titles attached to our names. We are simply citizens, who operate and create content for this capitalist co-operative of CG graphics, called and we are your friends in the community, taking great care to not hard sell you, overly bombard you or do anything that would associate us with that kind of presentation. We are primarily a commercial site, that is clear. But nothing honestly says the cold hard truth about the value of your products and services than the voluntary exchange of currency for said products and or services, time and again.. and again… and again. Quality and consistency translate into satisfaction and trust. We earn it. That’s how it is supposed to work. So… here we have this question… Trust? Let’s talk about trust issues that some of you have out there.. or rather a “thing” you have because you have been told to have it and carry as a badge of affiliation by a couple of guys who shouldn’t be thrown any distance for any reason… We will be blunt.  We started with absolutely nothing. NOTHING, outside of the domain which Kat had registered for another use, but decided.. timing and events being what they were, to make use of the domain at least, for the time being, looking to realize its intended purpose partially. Maybe some day it would come to fruition as originally intended. Doing something with it was better than having it parked that’s for sure.  Can you believe some people actually had problems with the “liberty” part of Yup. It’s true. They felt it was too… “Freedom”… or something. What is it with some people in western Europe and their issues with the concept of Liberty? There were people close to us that had reservations about the name too. They saw the light though and, cold hard capitalism settled that issue. Someone had to do it and it was done. The citizen who pays for domain, back end server package and takes on the job of keeping the flag up right got the naming rights. That fell to Kat and things have “worked out pretty well so far”.

(Thanks for that endorsement, Tony.)

Anyway… That wasn’t so, so long ago. But really… it seems like a life time. Oddly, many of our detractors today are the same circle of people which includes many who scoffed at us and did their very best to sabotage our efforts when we started – mostly doing so to please some person in power elsewhere. For no other real reason this was done with the belief there would be swag or satisfactory servitude, somewhere, someday. That or some other seriously dumb high school level drama shit, still in some cases engaged in as if some long forgotten inference of a payoff or reward was still up for grabs, even though their “masters” have changed. Well, did you get your prizes? Were they all that you dreamed of? Did they vaporize at the end of the reign of your designated dictator and friends back then? What are you supposed to get this time around? Core 2.0? No really? What’s up with that? You know what that behavior is called? It’s called selling out. Or flat out treason… And for what? The expectation of what? The emergence of a “Clutzology”? We called it back then… We named names and linked links… Just saying… It’s not hard to see the future when you know the past. That’s why is still here and has grown year over year since its inception at nearly the same time (slightly before, but we really didn’t have the site up and working correctly with something to post until early June 2010 once we knew fully, that unless we wanted to go to TX and confront that guy in person, nothing would take place and there was no guarantee of an outcome that would be positive for us. Well, our money earned as artists producing titles with Kurv were lining someone’s stomach, was in effect stolen. Yup, out right theft… What made that sequence of events more painful at the time was that of you were skilled at listening… and possibly having not eaten in a day or two you could find your mind picturing every sound other than  a voice, translate into dollars and then into food items or rent or bills you had needed to pay. The rustling of a potato chip bag. The smacking of lips and the “mmmm” sound someone makes when they have just taken a bite of something and then go to speak with their mouth full, telling you that your money, that they owe you, isn’t there. Put’s a sick twist on the meaning of talking with your mouth full doesn’t it? Quiet rage translated into direct action. Kurv imploded after we exposed its operator for these actions and we formed to ensure it wouldn’t have the ability to continue those activities, allowing the passage of time (memories seem to be very short these days) to sucker more artists and more users into making the Dallas Jabba the Hut any fatter. Translation? We blew it off the fucking map. And you know what? He got off lightly. Many people know this story. But they don’t get the linkage between it and the introduction of LW Core and even fewer understand the continued flak we (especially directed at Kat) get by those who backed that doomed endeavor. But we knew exactly what LW Cores was about and it felt really familiar to what we had just gone through with Kurv. Translation? We blew that off the fucking map too with support from community members who were not “dazed and confused”. What fewer people understand is why those same small packs of people who just “didn’t get it at all” when it came to these two incidents, then transferred their flag of support to the regeneration of “Jay Roth and Jonus”  in the LWG when it became clear there was friction between Rob Powers and Kat. It’s a head scratcher for sure and we wouldn’t blame you for going “WTF?” But some people fall for the same shit over and over again. But if any of you need a slide rule to figure it out as to why we opposed CORE drop us a note and we will walk you through it. As for the other part… well… Again.. It comes down to trust. Do you think we’ve been able to all do that by name dropping the same projects and directors over and over and over again that made use of the tools we teach? Would we be here now disrespecting our customers or ignoring them when they ask for us to cover the topic they want to learn? No. We are still here. We can’t always do everything that is asked of us, but we certainly don’t shy away from it, scoff at it like others out there would and have done so while thumbing their noses as they stare down smugly at users who simply “Want to know more.” This is why we do what we do. We are in the business of helping people figure stuff out. We are also, finally, in the early stage process of expanding. It’s a challenge. We’ve been in and out of several foxholes and trenches with many of you. Yup. Still here and many of us hold down day jobs while doing it. So who do you trust? Or rather how do you go about reaching that level of trust? Do you get there by evaluating the results or do you get there by “image” and flashy pants? Bribe? Cool-club membership? Secret societies? Exclusive participation in a skype chat? Now then… the dude in the blue shirt pictured below… Well. Click this link and read.

The guy in the middle with the blue shirt… yeah. That’s him. Andrew Cross – President and CTO of NewTek Inc., the owners of the LightWave Group and makers of LightWave3D.

So you have read his statement. This article (the one you are reading) was originally written almost immediately after that statement was posted by Andrew concerning LightWave. It was decided that some time should pass and see how some in the community react. Now, we respect whatever your feelings are regarding the situation, but there is a point where someone has to question some of the reaction to it. Are you seriously going to argue with this man, who is “the guy”, above all others concerning such matters, who can make such a statement – with the exception of perhaps, Tim Jenison, who from what we understand has gone into a well-deserved retirement after founding one of the most iconic video and graphics tools companies on Earth? Guiding it through thick and thin and then some over its storied history, working with Andrew for 20 years, pretty much pulling off what some might say as being miracle work, technology wise and business wise several times over. Interesting that in the photo Andrew is wearing a blue shirt. Hmmm….What color is yours right now? Red? Today, on the video products division side of the company, its products are top of the food chain, yet remain affordable for “mere” mortals when compared to their nearest competitors. Their NDI technology is all over the place in that industry segment. He heads up all of that and engineers as well. Now then… go and look over at the LWG and who heads that up… and figure out what might be the central problem there when it comes to the differences in terms of performance, communication, support, customer engagement, technology partnerships, and the things known otherwise as basic business development. So…What do you make of that situation now? Don’t think it’s a fair comparison? Ok… consider this. There was no hit Tricaster product at the time when the LW 9 cycle was running. That came later in 2007/08. LW Core was announced in late 2008 and revealed in the spring 2009 and was essentially killed in 2010/11 with Rob Powers taking over as the President of the NewTek owned, but stand alone business unit know as the LightWave Group where he is still, for some bizarre reason, in that position. The video side maybe had a head (re)start of two-years for the Tricaster family of products in terms of their measured success for NewTek Inc., which is huge from a product count stand point alone. Go look at the offerings of products the on the main page. The guy responsible largely for that success? Dr. Andew Cross. Now go look at the LWG side. Kind of coming up short there, markets for both being what they are of course. After all let’s be reasonable. The 3D business is a bitch, but really… What we needed was a Capt. Kirk at the LWG and instead we got a Commador Dekker. You want us to reserve you a seat on a shuttle craft? No. Then who do you trust? Maybe, more importantly, we can all take a step back and consider more so, when it comes to these subject matters… the famous phrase… “Trust, but verify.”  

10 Comments to LightWave3D Update: Proof of Life

  1. Richard says:

    A bit rambling, throwing innuendoes and that extremely annoying Tony sequence (Make it stop!)made it very difficult to read. I could care less, I will continue to work, with or without a new version of LW3D, I am totally annoyed at the LW3D forum, a bunch of opinionated blowhards who will, I guarantee, lambaste the release as too little too late, and bitch and complain while they buy it and use it.

  2. kat says:

    You kinda missed the point I was trying to make which was simply to ask people to put two and two together and realize that 1+2 = 3. It’s pretty black and white.
    Translation: If you are still in Rob’s camp as he circles the wagons, you are betting on the wrong horse, lost that bet already and missed race day. Yet again. For the 3rd time.

  3. Lorenz says:

    So please in plain words: what IS the point???
    It read the article twice but could not make very much sense of it, other than you seem quite pissed about some (or maybe even all..) of the LW3DG representatives.
    Maybe it is a sort of language barrier, might be…

    BTW, Is it just you Kat, or any of the other “Liberty3D Citizens” also? (Are you writing about yourself in the third person here?)

    Whatever, you have all the freedom to write/publish on your own website whatever you like of course but it shines a bit of an odd light at it as a commercial site, if you ask me. (I know you didn´t ask :-] … )

    Honestly, in the end LW is just a product, a tool… Even if I would be very, very sad if it would not be continued anymore. It is my preferred 3D App for quite some years now and I really wish I could base my upcoming production on it. But still: it is just that, a tool, a product… :-\

    • Ryan Roye says:

      No it is not just Kat. Personally I’m tired of LW3DG’s mismanagement, there is no business model that makes it ok to lose customers AND developers left and right. I’m tired of seeing promising new developers immediately do a 180 when they find that Lightwave’s forums and communities are first and foremost a complaint repository about LW3DG’s inactivity. It is unacceptable.

    • kat says:

      The point is, stop listening to people who have nothing to say and no track record to stand on. People who fail to deliver are failures at communication and use others as proxy attack dogs. And once the orders go out, they are had to rescind and things get out of control really quick with rumor and rhetoric. we’ve seen this before more than a few times and every time it backfires on the people who are supposed to be making this product better but instead get sucked into their own echo chambers and then lash out when people with level heads try and pull them from the abyss.
      It’s really simple. Rob fucked up. BAD. This product isn’t just a product to many of us. It’s our lives and when people start fucking with it and others for the sake of preserving their egos or their jobs which they have failed to do, as entrusted by so many, including us – then they need to go. Again, we have been here before.

  4. Lorenz says:

    Hi Ryan, thanks for your clarification. I personally do not see it as negative.
    Taken in consideration the long lasting (admittedly: dire…) situation I find the forums in general quite moderate.

    Anyway, the long winded article above IMHO still ceases to make much sense to a person not directly involved I am afraid… :-\

    Just my two cents…

  5. jsmith0552 says:

    No tech is “dead” if people are still using it, and independent filmmakers can use whatever they want. Some really good stuff has been made with Lightwave, and for certain projects LW still gets the job done fine.

    Like Blender, Lightwave3d has always been indie-friendly unlike a lot of software that could be named, and contrary to popular opinion, not everyone working in film doing animation necessarily want work for Disney.

    To a professional, “industry standard’ is whatever they choose to use that gets the job done.

    • kat says:

      What gets me is that all regular goons who jumped up and down and said LW was dead when Luxology split off from NT 20 years ago and then backed core (with no clue what that was really about) and then started jumping up and down about blender all seem to get it wrong all the time and never once have admitted to this consistent error.

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