LightWave 10 Essential Training
Illustration by Maria ReƱdon

Creating a hard dynamic scene


LightWave 10 Essential Training

with Dan Ablan

Video: Creating a hard dynamic scene

So here I have got a brick wall scene that we are going to set up with a lot more complicated dynamics. Setting up a simple cloth can work pretty well for you as well as setting up dynamics for hard objects like a ball pushing a big brick or something. But when you have got a wall like this with multiple parts, it has to be set up a certain way. So I am going to select the wall and then hit the Modeler button in the top right and that jumps me into LightWave Modeler and the way this wall is built, it is one object that has been cloned many times in the same layer.
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  1. 4m 22s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Working with projects and setting the content directory
      2m 3s
  2. 46m 19s
    1. Understanding the LightWave 3D interfaces
      1m 49s
    2. Exploring the Hub
      1m 54s
    3. Understanding 3D space
      1m 13s
    4. Working in Modeler
      6m 49s
    5. Working in Layout
      4m 48s
    6. Selecting elements
      5m 31s
    7. Identifying the elements of a 3D model
      5m 26s
    8. Using the Numeric panel
      3m 10s
    9. Using layers
      8m 38s
    10. Using the Statistics panel
      2m 52s
    11. Working with menu and keyboard configurations
      4m 9s
  3. 22m 49s
    1. Working with geometric shapes
      4m 21s
    2. Using Extrude
      5m 11s
    3. Building with Bevel
      3m 47s
    4. Working with Polygon Bevel
      6m 4s
    5. Editing polygons
      3m 26s
  4. 34m 37s
    1. Understanding subdivisional surfaces in LightWave
      3m 20s
    2. Comparing Subpatch with Catmull-Clark subdivisions
      2m 18s
    3. Creating a basic model
      4m 27s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      3m 50s
    5. Adding detail to models
      6m 39s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 13s
    7. Recapping subdivisions
      6m 50s
  5. 48m 42s
    1. Working with EPS files
      3m 24s
    2. Correcting EPS errors
      6m 13s
    3. Creating 3D text objects
      8m 1s
    4. Building objects with curves
      10m 6s
    5. Exploring Rail Clone methods and uses
      5m 13s
    6. Exploring Rail Extrude methods and uses
      2m 49s
    7. Modeling with Array
      4m 42s
    8. Using Symmetry
      8m 14s
  6. 56m 24s
    1. Understanding the Surface Editor
      10m 56s
    2. Comparing the Surface Editor and the Node Editor
      5m 12s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      5m 11s
    4. Editing surfaces
      4m 39s
    5. Understanding the Texture Editor
      6m 22s
    6. Looking at image map textures
      4m 29s
    7. Using procedural texture options
      7m 40s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      4m 39s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      2m 43s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      4m 33s
  7. 42m 2s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      1m 26s
    2. Importing, loading, and working with objects
      8m 29s
    3. Organizing a 3D scene
      8m 48s
    4. Working with different light types
      9m 25s
    5. Lighting a 3D scene
      6m 39s
    6. Employing environmental lighting
      7m 15s
  8. 22m 27s
    1. Understanding LightWave cameras
      8m 25s
    2. Setting up a camera in a scene
      7m 6s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      3m 27s
    4. Animating cameras and camera elements
      3m 29s
  9. 38m 23s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      3m 9s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      6m 9s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 44s
    4. Using motion plug-ins to enhance keyframes
      5m 15s
    5. Animating textures
      7m 37s
    6. Enhancing scene animation with displacement maps
      7m 29s
  10. 36m 58s
    1. Introducing particles
      7m 29s
    2. Creating a particle animation
      7m 21s
    3. Working with Hypervoxels
      9m 6s
    4. Going a step beyond with particle animation
      8m 8s
    5. Replacing particles with items
      4m 54s
  11. 21m 58s
    1. Understanding dynamics in LightWave
      1m 27s
    2. Setting up a dynamic scene
      4m 21s
    3. Animating cloth
      2m 39s
    4. Building collisions
      6m 16s
    5. Creating a hard dynamic scene
      7m 15s
  12. 27m 30s
    1. Understanding bones
      3m 14s
    2. Understanding skelegons and when to use both skelegons and bones
      4m 4s
    3. Placing bones in an object
      6m 10s
    4. Fine-tuning bone placement and activating bones
      3m 51s
    5. Setting up Inverse Kinematics
      6m 37s
    6. Working with rigged characters
      3m 34s
  13. 21m 32s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      2m 21s
    2. Setting up a render project
      6m 50s
    3. Determining the proper anti-aliasing filter
      4m 24s
    4. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      7m 57s
  14. 4m 8s
    1. Exporting an object
      2m 13s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      1m 55s
  15. 1m 0s
    1. Final thoughts
      1m 0s

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Watch the Online Video Course LightWave 10 Essential Training
7h 9m Beginner Mar 21, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding and navigating 3D space
  • Configuring menu and keyboard settings
  • Molding basic geometric shapes
  • Creating detail using subdivisions
  • Casting reflections and creating surface textures
  • Building and lighting a 3D scene
  • Incorporating and animating cameras
  • Simulating collisions using dynamics
  • Determining the proper anti-aliasing filter for renders
  • Rendering a project as movie files and image sequences
  • Exporting a full scene
3D + Animation
Dan Ablan

Creating a hard dynamic scene

So here I have got a brick wall scene that we are going to set up with a lot more complicated dynamics. Setting up a simple cloth can work pretty well for you as well as setting up dynamics for hard objects like a ball pushing a big brick or something. But when you have got a wall like this with multiple parts, it has to be set up a certain way. So I am going to select the wall and then hit the Modeler button in the top right and that jumps me into LightWave Modeler and the way this wall is built, it is one object that has been cloned many times in the same layer.

This is different than one big box with multiple segments and the reason this is important is because I can select on any one of these polygons, hit the right bracket key to select everything connected, and notice that only that one brick get selected and I can just move it out. That's important for the dynamic engine to see that and the way this was built-- If I go to a blank layer here, go to Create, select the Box and I just made a little brick like that. Press F2 to center and then under Multiply, I went to the Array tool and added maybe 10 on the X, 20 on the Y, and click OK and you can see it I have an array of those boxes.

I can press B for the Bevel tool and just bevel those a little bit, and that's how those bricks were made. But again, they're all independent. That's very important to know. Ctrl+X to cut those. We don't need those anymore and then we'll get back into Layout by hitting Switch to Layout or press F12. It looks like I still have an object in there, layer4. Let's jump back to Modeler. This is what happens with the Hub, because the Hub connects the two programs and you need to make sure that when you have an object like this that if you don't want use it in Layout to get rid of it.

And then we'll resave our scene, Ctrl+S, and jump back to layout. That's typically why I often like to work in Modeler, get all my modeling done, and then quit Modeler just so those two programs don't send pieces back and forth that you might not need. So let's set this up. So I have got the ground object. The bricks and the ball. I am going to press the P key and for the bricks we need those to be a hard effect. We will click that. Piece Mode needs to set to Parts. Each one of those is a separate part. If it had one big wall we are moving, it would be one piece.

So Parts is what we need. I am going to put a little Gravity on, make it 9.8 which is real-world gravity, but you don't need to do that. You can set it to -2 or 1. Minus meaning though it is going to go down. You could set Resistance and Resistance will help those bricks have a little more resistance on when that ball hits for the collision. Maybe I will just punch in one and see what happens. Rotation. The Impact Effect from the collision. Instead of Force we can set this to Roll. We can put a Wind Effect on we want. Maybe Roll or Spin.

And then you can choose how much of that impact, Minimum or Maximum with the Torque values. I am going to leave those at 100 right now, but those are ones you can adjust and recalculate and see how it looks. Under Collision, some of the most important stuff. Collision by Box, these are little boxes so that's all we need. The Self Interaction. I also want those independent boxes to see other so we are going to choose Box for that as well as Interaction for the Box here. We don't want it to bounce around too much. So I am going to bring it down to about 20%.

The Force, we will start random. That's fine and then the Rotation, I don't necessarily need that right at this point. That's something you can try, but all those basics are pretty much set up. The next thing I want to do is tell the ground object to be a collision, so that the bricks have something to fall onto. Otherwise they will just fall into space. So we are going to set that as a collision and then the ball is going to be a collision as well and we will select that. Now one thing with this it defaults to an object type Collision.

We want to set it to Sphere and then if I look at the radius it's set to 0. If I jump this up to 2, what happens is I get this sort of bounding box, this region, almost like a force field around the ball. That is actually the collision. So the collision would start more here at the end of this, not necessarily at the ball. So I am just going to bring this down to about 1.17 because I know that's the size and that encompasses the ball. You are going to set this more towards object where it defaulted to when you have something like perhaps a cup or a lamp or something that needs very specific calculations.

When it's something simple like a ball or a sphere, you can use these presets and that's going to help the calculation just a little bit. So with those set let's hit Calculate and see what happens and look at that. The bricks fall. It looks great, but we want the ball itself to actually knock them down. So what I am going to do is hit Abort in my calculations here, pull this up and we will take the ball object, go to Modify and then Move, make sure our controls are on for position. We are here at 0. Right- mouse to move it up a little.

Let's go to frame 15 and let me just move this out of the way so you can see it. Click the blue handle and I will drag it back, right-mouse to move it up, frame 20, I will come down and maybe about frame 35 we will drag it back. Remember these dynamics have to be calculated so you are not going to see the interaction right away. I will hit Calculate and then that just slams through there and now everything is interacting. The ball, the bricks are interacting with each other, with the ground object and from there you can go in and change some of the settings like the spin on these.

You can put Resistance. You can play with the Gravity settings. So there is a lot of different forces a work here. But on a simple level, setting up a more complex dynamic scene like this really can work well for you. Now I have done this for obviously some buildings. I have actually done it on logos. It's kind of a neat way to introduce the client's logo, is just have it smash through a brick wall, have it smash through other parts of perhaps competition's logos, things like that. Think beyond the basics here of just balls and brick walls and where you can employ these techniques.

Now the final scene is already on the exercise files. It is called BrickWallFinal. This is the BrickWallBegin. You can actually load this up and set up this the same way, but I encourage you to build your own file because it will definitely help you learn the settings and like I have said with many of the LightWave settings, don't go ahead and start clicking and changing everything at once. Do one setting, maybe a couple of the key settings, hit Calculate, preview it and see how it looks, and then move on from there and change something else, preview it, and so on.

So I'm going to go ahead and stop this at 54% here. I will hit Abort. What has been calculated will still remain, but the rest of the bricks actually falling to the ground haven't been calculated yet, but let's rewind and see it looks. We will close the Object Properties, hit the Play button, and now you can see we have got some great looking dynamics that work. Bricks are smashing all over the place. Now you might want to change the weight and I am going to change the bounce values just so they have a little more substance to them.

But hard dynamics, soft dynamics, they are all possible within the LightWave. It is a matter of you getting in there, setting up the scene for your own unique needs and really creating something dynamic.

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