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# Identifying the elements of a 3D model

## Video: Identifying the elements of a 3D model

So when we talk about a model, you are probably wondering, what actually is a model? Well, let me show you. If you come over to the Create tab, under the Primitives category you have got a Box, a Ball, a Disc, and a Cone. It's very simple primitive objects. Under the More dropdown there is Capsule tool as well as some other solids that you can work with. Let's choose the torus, also called Toroid, and what happens as you get this nice little numeric panel that comes up and you can choose the number of sections, number of sides, the radius of this torus, start angle, end angle.

## Identifying the elements of a 3D model

So when we talk about a model, you are probably wondering, what actually is a model? Well, let me show you. If you come over to the Create tab, under the Primitives category you have got a Box, a Ball, a Disc, and a Cone. It's very simple primitive objects. Under the More dropdown there is Capsule tool as well as some other solids that you can work with. Let's choose the torus, also called Toroid, and what happens as you get this nice little numeric panel that comes up and you can choose the number of sections, number of sides, the radius of this torus, start angle, end angle.

So we are pretty much going to keep this as its default full 360-degree rotation so that it looks like that. Not something too useful, but it will work for our example here. If you're building this more for a real project, you would want to add more segments and more sections to it so that it has more detail. These days with the power of computers you don't need to have simple primitives like this. In years past you had to in order for your system to keep up, but these days you can actually do a very nice detail object. But if you take a look at this wireframe, you will see that there is number of lines as well as points.

Now let me expand this by clicking the top-right corner here of the top quadrant. That expands that to a single view, and then I will click and drag on my Zoom tool just to zoom in a bit. So you can see here that there's a point in between each of these lines and then lines connecting each one of those. But what those are, there are points, also known as vertex. These vertices connect in between each one of these lines to create a polygon. So four points have edges between them, and I will jump to Edge mode here just by clicking at the bottom and then selecting my edges.

Each of those together makes up polygons, and I am going to expand my view back to a quad view, and a polygon is what you end up with. And I will do Shift+A on the keyboard to bring that selection to view. Also, you can go to the View tab and Fit All and Fit Selected. So what we normally do is a, Fits All. Fits Selected brings what's selected into view. So points make up polygons, and as I mentioned earlier, it's kind of like connect the dots.

What happens though, if you take out one of these? So if I have this polygon selected and perhaps I go to Edit > Cut, you get a hole. It's just removed. But notice that's there is nothing inside there. The reason for that is that polygons are one sided, and if you take a look, well how do you know that that's really facing the right way? Sometimes a polygon might not be deleted. It might just be facing the wrong way. That can happen from time to time when you're importing models, connecting parts of models with other points and edges.

For instance, I am going to rotate around here so you can see. We will hold Alt, Option key, Alt on the PC, Option on the Mac. Select one of these and if you press the F key for flip, it flips the polygon. So while it looks the same as this polygon being removed, it's really not. It's actually just flipped inside. So, how can you tell? Well you can do that by showing the surface normal. So if you press the D key, you will get your Display Options, and there are a number of different panels in here, but in this very first tab called the Layout tab, you can turn on Show Normals. And when I do that--I will just close this panel here-- you can see a little dotted line come out from the polygon and that shows which way the polygon is facing.

So if you take a look in this Top view here, you can see that it's facing inward. There actually is a polygon there. So knowing that, I can press F to flip it out the other way. So that's something to keep in mind just when you're working with these polygons, to know which way your surface normal is facing. Now if you had a model that had a hole in it for some reason, you accidentally deleted it a polygon, how would you reconnect that? Well I am going to press the right corner here and expand this view. I am going to work in Point mode, so I will select Points at the very bottom of the screen, and that allows me to select points.

Notice that I still have points selected over here from earlier when I was just talking about them. I am going to press the Question Mark/Slash key on the keyboard to deselect those, hold the Alt+Option key to rotate around and then with the Point mode on, I am literally going to hold my mouse down and run across these points. Now something has happened here other than selecting four points I have selected five. I can tell that because number one, I can just see it right there. But down here at the bottom-left, look how it says Sel. That means selection. It says 5.

Five what? Five points. That's what I have selected. So by holding the Ctrl key, and clicking on the point I don't need, I can deselect that. Now that I have got the four points selected, I can make a polygon by pressing P for polygon, and now I have reconnected. I will expand back to a quad view, come out, and my object is whole again. So just a simple explanation of how these elements are built, whether it's something you're going to build on your own or whether it's a primitive you views from the included shapes.

Either way, points, edges, and polygons are what make up your model and what you are going to be using in our upcoming videos.

Show transcript

#### This video is part of

LightWave 10 Essential Training

83 video lessons · 5395 viewers

Author

Expand all | Collapse all
1. ### Introduction

4m 22s
1. Welcome
49s
2. Using the exercise files
1m 30s
3. Working with projects and setting the content directory
2m 3s
2. ### 1. Getting Started in LightWave 10

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. ### 2. Modeling with Polygons

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. ### 3. Modeling with Subdivisions

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. ### 4. Other Modeling Methods

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. ### 5. Creating Surfaces

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. ### 6. Setting Up a Scene

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. ### 7. Working with 3D Cameras

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. ### 8. Building Animations

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. ### 9. Particle Animation

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. ### 10. Dynamics

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. ### 11. Bones and Inverse Kinematics

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. ### 12. Rendering Animations

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. ### 13. Finishing Up

4m 8s
1. Exporting an object
2m 13s
2. Exporting a full scene for backup
1m 55s
15. ### Conclusion

1m 0s
1. Final thoughts
1m 0s

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