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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.
Modeling with subdivisions is a lot easier than you might think. You can start out with a very primitive, simple shape and extend it to something more complex, especially when you have subdivisions to work with. So we're going to start out with a disc. I'm going to hold the Ctrl key and drag out in the Top view. Now we don't need to add any more segments to this. If I press the N key for the numerics, normally if you're going to build the disc for something, you'd probably double the side at least. If it's going to be extended, you would add some segments to it, but because we're going to be using subdivision surfaces to add to this geometry, this basic, simple shape is all that we need.
But before I turn off the tool, I'm going to just extend this up at the bottom just a little bit by clicking and dragging right in the center of it, and then I'm going to click on the Disc tool itself just to turn it off. All right, so we've got a very simple, little disc, and what we're going to do is build a nice coffee cup. Let's just move our screen a little bit, and I'm going to pull this down because we're going to work in the Back view down here in this bottom-left corner. What I want to do now is select this top polygon, and I'm going to press the B key which is the Bevel tool, also found under the Multiply tab.
And I am going to click and drag. Now, if I drag my mouse up and down, I shift it. If I go left and right, I inset. So all we want to do is just come up about yea big. We don't need to do a super-size cup, but a medium size is good. Now I want to bevel again, so I'm just going to right-click one time, and that resets the bevel. Now you won't see anything happen, and that's okay. Then just click the left mouse and you'll see that that that bevel continues. And all we're going to do is come in just to create that lip.
We're going to right-click one more. Time that resets the bevel. And if you look at the very bottom-left corner of the screen, look at Bevel, it says in the Information panel 0, 0. That's how you can tell if the bevel has been reset. And with the left mouse, I'm just going to drag this back down. All right, now I am going to turn off the bevel and I'm going to click right on this polygon to deselect it. I'm going to expand my Perspective view by clicking in the top-right corner here and zoom in so you can see this nice and big.
So, it looks like you've got cup from 1985. Well, hit the Tab key and suddenly it smoothes out and looks a lot better because of subdivisions. Now this cage that you see around here represents the polygons, and you can see pretty much our initial shape before the Tab key. If you don't see that, press the O key-- not the zero key, but the O, next to the P key--and get your General Options tab. You'll see subdivisions set to 4, and that's about what you want. We are not using Catmull-Clark at this point.
We're just using subpatches. Then cancel that, press the D key, and then in here, in the Layout tab, make sure Show Cages is on, and let me move to the side. You can see what happens. That shows the cage, so if you can't see it, it is just the display option that may be on or off, and feel free to turn that on or off if it starts to get in the away for you. It doesn't necessarily need to be on. You can show guides as well, and that shows which way the polygons are working for you, but not really too much of an issue right now for this project.
So we've got initial cup but look at the inside. It looks kind of funny, doesn't it? Well, we need a little more geometry for that subdivision to sharpen out for us, so just click right in the center there. And we're working in Polygon mode down here at the very bottom of the screen. Select the Bevel tool again, press the B key or click right on it, and just click just bevel. That's it. You don't even have to drag, just click right on it. And what it does is adds more geometry to that bottom-inside polygon. Turn off the Bevel tool by clicking on it, then click on the polygon to deselect it, and then I'm going to click the top-right corner here to bring my view back to the quad view.
And if I go to the bottom, and I'll press the Tab key to turn off the subdivisions, what I've done is added an extra bit of geometry right at that inside bottom, so the subdivision now instead of subdividing all the way around and smoothing this out, it stops at that one edge and then subdivides again, helping us create that nice edge. So, very simple to do with a complex-looking object. Now, you're not saying it is complex yet, but it will be. So the subdivisions allow you to take a very simple object like a sphere or disc and build it into something much more complex and detailed.
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