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Creating surfaces for polygons

From: LightWave 10 Essential Training

Video: Creating surfaces for polygons

You've seen how the Surface Editor can work help you create some really amazing- looking surfaces and lots of colors, specularity, reflections. But if you look at the Surface Name list, how do you get these in here? Well, that all starts in LightWave Modeler. So let's hit the Modeler button in the top- right corner, jump into LightWave Modeler. What's going to happen here is that because this object was loaded in LightWave Layout, it automatically brought it over. That's what the LightWave Hub does. Let's go ahead and say File > Close All Objects. We don't need to save those. And then from the exercise files, we're going to load the 05_03 BallsBegin, and that is a similar scene without any surfaces at all.

Creating surfaces for polygons

You've seen how the Surface Editor can work help you create some really amazing- looking surfaces and lots of colors, specularity, reflections. But if you look at the Surface Name list, how do you get these in here? Well, that all starts in LightWave Modeler. So let's hit the Modeler button in the top- right corner, jump into LightWave Modeler. What's going to happen here is that because this object was loaded in LightWave Layout, it automatically brought it over. That's what the LightWave Hub does. Let's go ahead and say File > Close All Objects. We don't need to save those. And then from the exercise files, we're going to load the 05_03 BallsBegin, and that is a similar scene without any surfaces at all.

It just has your one default surface on there. So how does surfacing work? Well, what you're going to do is identify a set of polygons. The system is going to remember. You're going to tell it this set of polygons is this color. This set of polygons is this color. The way you do that goes back to kind of what we talked about in the very beginning. If you select nothing, whatever you do applies to everything. So if I just pressed Surface down here at the very bottom of the screen, the Change Surface requester comes up. I could say Nothing. When I do that, when I type in this surface--and we don't want it to be default, so uncheck that--and we set an initial color-- let's just say a big pink color-- we can say OK, and what happens? That's going to apply to everything because nothing was selected.

The same principle that works with all kinds of things. Well instead, we want to select just particular items and give those unique surfaces. Let's go to layer1. We'll jump to Polygon mode. I'll hit the Spacebar. That allows me to click right on this ball right here, and then I'll hit my Right Bracket key to select everything connected to that. It selects the whole thing. But because this is on its own layer, I really don't need to do that. So it's just something to keep in mind. If you've got one large object that has multiple parts, you need to select that individual item to put surfaces on there. Then you need to select this one, put surfaces there, and so on.

But because these are already separated into layers, that principle can work for us that if nothing is selected, it applies to everything. Everything in here is just one ball. So we'll press the Q key, which is also just a shortcut for the Surface button at the bottom of the screen, and we'll say red ball, give it an initial color, and we can say OK. But before I do this, I want to talk about this panel here. This is very confusing for a lot of people because here's what's going to happen. You're going to see the Surface Editor in the very top-left.

You're going to confuse that with the Surface button at the bottom. Think of this as while it says Change Surface, it's really Identify Surface, and I've talked about this in other forums, and it's really important to understand that you're changing or identifying a surface. You're not necessarily modifying it here. You're creating a surface. We're going to say Red Ball. Click OK. Now, you don't have to color it. What happens is people do that and say, "Oh! I didn't want it red." They hit the Surface button and they click this, and they say, "Control is disabled," and then they email me, and say, "What's wrong?" Well, again, you are creating a surface in this panel.

Well, the surface called Red Ball is already created, which means I can't adjust it. That's okay. All you're doing is identifying a surface. To adjust the color, that's where the Surface Editor comes in. I'll select Red Ball, and then I can change it to any color I want. If I felt like renaming, I can, like that. So I just want to make that clear. You're just telling these polygons what surface name to identify them. So we'll go to layer2, we'll press the Q key, and we'll call this Green Ball. And because this is a surface that hasn't been created yet, my color is available.

I don't need to set the color, but I like to, because that helps me identify that I've created a surface for this set of polygons. Lastly, if you wanted to create multiple surfaces, you can do this. We'll select a couple of polygons like this, go to Select, and say Select Loop, press the Q key, and we'll say Stripe. Then you can create a different set of polygons right on the object like that. Press the Question Mark/Slash key to deselect. That's all you need to do to create surfaces, but they have to be done in LightWave Modeler.

When you save this, that's what will be brought into LightWave Layout to apply your surfaces. Lastly, I should mention that the Surface Editor here in LightWave Modeler does work the same as it does in LightWave Layout. But there are some advantages, some big advantages of using Surface Editor in LightWave Layout--mostly in terms of previewing. So while I can do things in here, such as Diffuse, Luminosity, Specularity, Smoothing, and so on, the problem with that is that I don't get to see all of my lighting.

Lighting is a very key component of working with surfaces in 3D. So for the most part, I don't use the Surface Editor in LightWave Modeler. I like to do it in Layout because it takes into account my reflections, my surfacing, my lighting, and the entire environment that I'm working in. But the surfaces need to be created in LightWave Modeler, and once you do that, you can do all the fun stuff in LightWave Layout.

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This video is part of

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LightWave 10 Essential Training

83 video lessons · 5161 viewers

Dan Ablan
Author

 
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  1. 4m 22s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Working with projects and setting the content directory
      2m 3s
  2. 46m 20s
    1. Understanding the LightWave 3D interfaces
      1m 50s
    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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