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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.
Particles are great for smoke and flames and water. They are also good for special effects like vortexes and things like that. Particles can also be used to create an animation of multiple items. Everybody would love to have a little more money in their pocket and if you can't do it in the real world, at least you can do it in the virtual world. So what we are going to do is add up a dynamic Particle down here under the Add category. We definitely want a HyperVoxel Emitter and we'll click OK. I am going to move this up into my scene, just like that, just kind of above that 0 axis, and we're going to make it maybe 200 frames like we have done before, and click the Play button.
And I want these particles to fall. So I am just going to put some negative Gravity on it, like -9, and that might be a little too fast, so we'll say -4. We'll cut that in half. And I'll come back to the Motion tab. Let's bring up Velocit about half that, and that's pretty good. And we'll change our Explosion to about 1.5 so it spreads a little bit. And then we've got this nice kind of tumbling array of particles that come out. I am going to go to the Windows dropdown and choose HyperVoxels and in HyperVoxels I am going to double- click the Emitter to activate it.
And while we can have a surface based HyperVoxel, let me put VPR on so you can see what we're doing. A surface base will give this nice kind of blobby effect. We can certainly increase the Particle Size. Change the Size Variation. You can have different blending modes so that they blend a little bit better together. Especially that's good for water and things like that. Put some Stretch on the Velocity of the direction of those, so that they stretch as they come out and make goo and things like that. But if we went to a Sprite mode, we have got Smoke and soft effects like this.
But there is something else you can do with a Sprite. If you go to the Shading tab, there is another tab that shows up called Clips and in here you can actually add a clip or an image. However, if I choose this, it will say no clip is currently available. So what that means is you have to come over to the Image Editor. So over here on the top left, it always lives right there, hit Image Editor. And we are going to load up from Chapter 9 folder, under the Images for the projects for this course, the Coin. And it's just a simple Canadian coin for our northern friends, and what we're going to do with this is apply it to each one of those particles.
So once that clip is loaded into LightWave through the Image Editor I can choose Add Clip and choose the coin. The Alpha channel, we are going to set to Luminosity, because the background is white so that white is going to disappear. And when I click into the layout, I can see all those coins now replace those particles. It kind of looks like something, but a little bit big. So all we've got to do is come back to our Basic tab, up to Geometry, and let's do Automatic Sizing, and then let's just shrink those down just a bit, and I certainly don't want any Stretch on these so we'll turn that off.
And look what happens. We put a Size Variation on from before and actually that still keeps when it comes to putting little images on here, and of course now that these are on here, as we run through the animation, those falling particles are now actually falling coins. You can show the particles in layout if you're going back to a shaded solid and you will see them in here like this, just in the regular default view. But one thing that's kind of neat to do is that if you come back to the Shading, and then you choose Clips, you can see there's AntiAliasing.
You can choose an Offset for Particle Age or just a Random Offset. Put a little bit of a Rotation on there if you like, just so it angles them. You can see them all angled in there. And lastly, back in the Basic tab you can say Orient Slices To Ray, and what that would allow you to do is, as you rotate, notice that those particles, those coins, are actually always kind of pointing to you. So it's a great way to make just sort of a nice revolving animation and you can see how the particles always stay pointed to wherever I'm looking.
So let's take the Camera View, I'll press 6 on my keyboard, and close out the panels, select the Camera, and we're going to move to Frame 0. Press T, which is Move from the Translate tab. I am going to push in, press the Y command for Rotate, and we're going to rotate up, and we're going to just enjoy this for a moment that money is being showered on us, even if it's only pennies. And as we come like this, now here is all this money kind of being thrown out and spewing down in front of us. Turn on VPR, you can actually see a quick preview render and there is all the animated coins falling down on top of us.
So particles can be used for smoke, they can be used for flames and water and special effects, but they can also be used for animating a huge array of more complex things such as falling coins. You can put clip maps of money on there, clip maps of bottles, boxes of tissue, television producers, whatever you like, you can put them on the particles and have them fall all over you in LightWave 3D.
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