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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.
As you're working with subdivisions, you hit the Tab key-- everything's grandiose, working fine, great. But what happens if you have a model that has some extra polygons in it? So, take a look here. I've got a second layer here. I've just clicked layer2, and I'm going to change my view mode here to a Textured Wire, allowing me to see the actual wireframe of the mesh as well keeping it solid. And you can see that I've got four polygons on the top. If I look back here at my original subdivision--I'll hit the tab key, turn that off-- you can see that, okay, I've just got six polygons.
Layer 2, I've got 6, 7, 8, 9, so, not quite the same. What happens if I hit the Tab key? I get an error. This was a common problem for a lot a years, because every once in a while when you're making a detailed model, you're not going to have every model end up with a perfect quad mesh-- a quad mesh being a polygon made up of four points. Triangles will work, so for subdivisions to work, you need triangles or quads. Polygons need to be made up of three or four points. Very simple. But every once in a while I've got polygons here that are not made up of three or four. So what you do? Well, if you hit it, you hit the Tab key, you kind of get an error like that.
So hit the Tab key to turn that off, and down to the very bottom of the screen, it says SubD-Type. If you click that, there is another type of subdivision called the Catmull-Clark, and these are two very talented, smart programmers, and what they've created is an algorithm that allows you to create subdivisions based on N-gons, N meaning any. So any type of polygon of any size, you hit the Tab key and the subdivisions work. Now, I don't recommend using Catmull- Clark subdivisons for everything simply because they can start getting a little slower than a regular subdivision.
Think of it more as a backup in case you have a model that you just can't change. But the Catmull-Clark subdivisions will allow you to create subdivision surfaces on models that are made up of more than three or four vertices. So it can work out quite well for those more complex models. So either way, subdivisions with your typical standard subdivision or your Catmull-Clark subdivision can truly help you create a very fine, detailed model.
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