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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.
Adding detail to subdivision models is relatively easy when using the Bevel tool. What we're going to do is take this model and add a little more detail to it. Let's hit the Tab key to see what this looks like with a subdivision surface put on. You can see that, well, it looks okay, but it's a little sharp at the top, not quite what we want. We need a little more detail there. So to make it a little clearer, I'm just going to hit the Tab key to turn off the subdivisions for right now just so you can see what we're doing. And that's something to point out is that when you're working with subdivisions you can very easily turn them on and off.
It's not a permanent state. I'm going to take the top polygon just by clicking on it, and then I'm going to hold the Shift key and select the next one. I want to select all the way around, and rather than manually doing it, I'm going to come over to my Select dropdown to the left side of the screen and choose Select Loop. What that will do is continue my selection. But again it's important to select in order where you want to go. So I'm going to do one, two, and then Select Loop. If you only select one like that, it's not going to necessarily select the way you want.
You can see in this case it went all the way down around. So you kind of have to give it a little bit of direction. So I'll press the Question Mark/Slash key to deselect, select two in this order, and Select Loop. Just a nice quick way to work. Then what I want to do with this is bevel it. But here is a little problem. The Bevel in LightWave will turn this into a Hershey bar and that's not quite what we want. You might hurt your lip if you drink that cup of coffee. So I'm going to undo with the Ctrl+Z, and what I'm going to use under the Multiply is Multishift, and that's right here on the left.
Multishift essentially is a bevel for group polygons. But when I do it, it still looks the same. We'll press the N key for Numeric and in the Numeric panel you'll see a little section called Group Polygons. Click that and that ring of polygons now becomes one. So when you're beveling, you're beveling that entire group. So we could use bevel like that. Let's turn off the Multishift, press the Question Mark/Slash key on your keyboard to deselect, and now we've created a very nice little edge. But what happens when we hit the Tab key? It looks much better.
We've got a very nice sharp edge there without cutting your lip, and it's not all thin and pointy like it was initially. So by adding just a little bit of geometry, we've really cleaned that up. You can do the same on the inside bottom as well if you want, but I think that's looking okay. Let's go ahead and rotate and then click and hold on this top Move button to just move down, and take a look at the very bottom. I'm going to hold the Alt+Option key on the keyboard--Alt on the PC, Option on the Mac--and I'm going to select this bottom polygon, just press the regular bevel, and I am going to bevel this and then move my mouse up and down to shift out, and left and right just to inset it a bit.
Notice the bevel on the very bottom-left corner of the screen when I did that, the numbers there. Now when I hit the right-mouse button, that resets the bevel and if you look down at the very bottom-left, you'll see Bevel 0, 0 in that Information panel. That means the bevel has been reset, and I'm going to click and drag in a little bit more, and then I am going to pull my mouse down to bring that back up. I'm going to right-click one more time to reset the bevel, and then I'll left-click just to kind of pull that like that. Then I'll turn off the Bevel, click on this to deselect, and what I've done now is created a nice little bottom lip.
Now it might be a little bit too round, but that's okay. That will work for us now. It looks a lot better than it did before, and I don't think this coffee cup will topple over. So beveling polygons with subdivisions makes life a lot easier when creating the fine details that you need without a lot of extra geometry.
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