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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.
One of the first things to know about working with models is how to work with selections. Well, what are you selecting? You are going to select points, edges, or polygons and that's these three buttons down here at the bottom of the screen. Well obviously you need a model to do that, so let's load one up. Go to the File dropdown menu, and one thing I should point out: you doesn't need to click right on the little dropdown arrow. You can actually click anywhere on the button. So click and then choose Load Object and from your Objects folder in Chapter 01, load the Shoe, and you'll see that that shoe loads right up, and you press the A key. That will fit all.
So here is our shoe. Well, what would you select and why would you select it? Well this model is pretty much done, but let's say you want to modify it because the guy has a really big foot. So, you need to stretch it in some way. Well, if I came over here to my Modify tab and I came down and chose let's say Stretch and I click and drag, I can stretch it out. Well, that's not quite the look we want. He is not really a clown, so I'm going to do a Ctrl+Z on the PC, Command+Z on the Mac.
So I am going to come down to Points, and I will select that down at the bottom and that tells Modeler I want to work with the points of the object. Well, points make up polygons. It's kind of like connect-the-dots, and I want to select the points all in this toe area, down here at the bottom-right. But something is going to happen. This is set to Smooth Shade. So now I hold my right mouse button--and if you're on a Mac and you only have one button mouse, go out and get a two button mouse and if you don't have one right now, hold your Command key down, and then you could select a Lasso selection like that.
But look what happens. Because I am in a Shaded mode, only those points visible to me get selected. If you look up here in the Perspective view or even in this Wireframe view, only those front points gets selected. So I am going to press the Question Mark/Slash key on the keyboard to deselect, and now it's going to work universally with edges and polygons. So keep that in mind. I am going to change to Wireframe view, and then I am going to select these points like this. Then if you notice, points are selected all the way through.
When I come over and go to Modify and Move, now I can actually move just that selection. Clearly that's not something you are going to want to put your foot into, but my point here is showing that instead of stretching the whole object, you can select different elements--an element being a point, an edge, or a polygon--and adjust those accordingly. So think of this. When you have nothing selected like this, whatever you do applies to everything.
So if I hit the T key, well, everything is going to move. I will do Command+Z to undo. If I have something selected, whatever I do is going to apply only to that. So the process is, select, perform an action, deselect. It's that simple. Just try not to get overwhelmed, and do things one step at a time. Now when you're using these tools, you can select it just like that with your mouse.
You can then press the Spacebar to turn it off. And if you look down here at the bottom, if you press your Spacebar, you will cycle through Points, Edges and Polygons. Up in your top-right, you are going to see a row of buttons. These are your layer buttons. I am going to click the second one creating new layer, just so we have a new workspace, and I am going to draw out a box just like that, and then I will click the tool again to turn it off.
Under Points, if I click and mouse over, I am selecting points, and I am holding the mouse down as I do that. But what happens if you press your forward slash to deselect and then decide well I do want to select those after all? I will click on a point. I will let go over the mouse. Well if I go to click now on the other point, I can't select it because I have let go the mouse. Selections and de-selections toggle, which means as soon as I select something, let go the mouse, then click again, I deselect.
Let's jump to the Polygons down at the bottom. Polygons are going to be created when points are put together. So we had four points that now have created this polygon. If I click up here in the Shaded view, you can see that polygon is highlighted and selected. I have let go the mouse. Then I click again. I deselect. So, that toggles. So what happens then if you need to add to your selection? Hold the Shift key, and then I could add to that selection. By the same token, I can hold the Ctrl key and deselect.
It's a very easy to do without much effort. Control, deselect, and Shift to select. Or simply hold down the Question Mark/Slash key to deselect all. If you click and hold your mouse and run it across, you can select everything as well. Now this will make more sense as we start building an object, and I will reinforce this with your commands. So selection and de-selection are something you are going to do throughout your modeling process, whether you are building objects, converting objects, building text, working with curves; you're always going to be selecting or deselecting points, edges, or polygons.
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