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In LightWave 10 Essential Training, author Dan Ablan provides thorough, step-by-step instructions on building 3D models, scenes, and animations in LightWave 10. Beginning with a tour of the interface and LightWave's two main programs, Modeler and Layout, the course covers key concepts such as building models from basic polygonal shapes, assigning textures, and employing lights and 3D cameras to build real world scenes. Also included are tutorials explaining particle animation, dynamics, and bones. Exercise files accompany the course.
Dynamics in LightWave are always fun to set up, especially when you've got things knocking down like brick walls and buildings. But sometimes it's nice to do softer things like cloth. You can do that pretty easily with the LightWave Dynamics. But it starts in modeler with the proper object. Let me show you how to set that up. Under the Create tab you can start up with the Box, and I am going to draw it flat in the top view like that. With my mouse in this view I am going to use my up-arrow a few times and my right-arrow a few times just so I have a good amount of segments. If you want to know how many segments, press the N key on your Numeric panel.
I've created 11 segments on the X and 6 on the Z. The object can be flat. We don't need that to be thick at all. So there are no segments on the Y. I'll click the Box tool to turn it off and I'll press F2 on my keyboard to center it out. Hold the Alt key on your PC or Option on your Mac and rotate around, and you can see that. Now, one of the most important things to know when you're animating cloth is that you want to have Subdivision surfaces on. So press the Tab key and you can see that if I press let's say Ctrl+T, which is my drag, I can actually click and drag on a point in this object. Look at the corner right here.
You can see how it's nice and soft and it can be pushed around. That's really important especially when it comes to dynamics. Otherwise, if you have let's say just a straight object like that and it's just going to bend like this, just going to crack. So you definitely want to have your Subdivision surfaces on by pressing the Tab key. I'll press Q and name this cloth. Then we want something for this to interact with. So very simply I am going to go to layer 2, click beneath that slash to see layer 1, and under the Create tab I'll select the Ball, and I'll just draw a little ball like this and you can make it maybe a little bit bigger.
I'll press F2 to center it and just to give it a surface I'll press Q and call it Ball and click OK. I am going to save this out as ClothFX like that in our Chapter 10 Exercise folders, and then I am going to say Send Object to Layout from the top-right of the screen. So setting up dynamics in LightWave is very easy to do as long as you've got the proper objects set up in 2 or 3 or 4 separate layers in LightWave Modeler. Remember layers are going to help you animate objects independently.
So when I have a cloth effect scene like this very simple with a ball and a cloth, each of those live in their own layer. When we have hard effects scene such as dominos, each one of those things that have to fall down have to be in their own layer. Dynamics are relatively easy to set up once you know the process and once the objects are in place. From here you can set up your collisions and all of that's going to happen inside LightWave Layout.
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