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LightWave 10 Essential Training

Understanding LightWave cameras


From:

LightWave 10 Essential Training

with Dan Ablan

Video: Understanding LightWave cameras

Lighting of course is a huge part of your 3D scene, but so is your camera. What the camera sees is a huge part of how the final animation appeals to the viewer. In the past people just left their camera pretty much where it was. They didn't change it much, they didn't change the angle, they just zoomed in and left it there. These days you can do a lot more with the camera. Down at the very bottom of the screen I've selected the Cameras list and I'll hit P to open up the Properties tab. The Camera Properties is where you can set the Resolution, Antialiasing, and other values that determine how your camera's viewed.
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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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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
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
LightWave
Author:
Dan Ablan

Understanding LightWave cameras

Lighting of course is a huge part of your 3D scene, but so is your camera. What the camera sees is a huge part of how the final animation appeals to the viewer. In the past people just left their camera pretty much where it was. They didn't change it much, they didn't change the angle, they just zoomed in and left it there. These days you can do a lot more with the camera. Down at the very bottom of the screen I've selected the Cameras list and I'll hit P to open up the Properties tab. The Camera Properties is where you can set the Resolution, Antialiasing, and other values that determine how your camera's viewed.

So let's start with the top. You've got multiple cameras in LightWave. You've got an Advanced Camera, a Classic, Orthogonal, Perspective, a Real Lens Camera, a Shift Camera and a Surface Baking Camera. The Classic Camera works well with older LightWave scenes and that's what comes up often and most often. The current camera right here if we have multiple cameras in our scene we can choose from that list, just the way we would with multiple lights. The Focal Length, that's set to 24 mm and I'll show you my scene here.

That's what 24 mm looks like. If I click and drag, I can widen out and I can come down really wide like this. Sometimes it's fun to do and I rarely see people do this on a 3D scene and it's something you should consider. So if the camera is selected and I go to Modify and I press Move, now I can move in and I've got just a really strong kind of cool wide-angle and you could do this on buildings. If you want to give the appearance that somebody is a little tipsy or something, and you want to do their point of view in a scene, you can right-click and rotate and just it give it that really cool kind of look.

By the same token you can go the other way, and really zoom in on something. So I am going to increase my Zoom factor here, my Lens Focal Length, quite a bit to about a 120 mm or so and then I am going to select Move and I am going to pull my camera all the way out. I am going to move it up. Now this is a little harder to set up because you are working with a limited field of view. So you're going to make sure that you rotate, just click Rotate in the left there and then T, I can move that back. Now what would you use camera like this for? Well, if you take a look, look at my scene, completely opposite of that wide-angle.

Everything kind of gets flattened out. So if you want a very illustrative look, maybe you are doing architecture and you don't want a very strong perspective, you can just change that by zooming in the camera. When I say zooming in-- let me take a look at the Perspective view. Take a look at the representation of the camera. Down here on the bottom left you could see that's a very long lens and open up the Properties again. If I change this back to let's say 24 mm, notice that I've got a wider field of view for the camera.

So that's all it's doing. It's actually zooming the camera in, just as you would in the real world and that's really nice to do, especially when you hit the E key and set an Envelope. You can actually zoom as if you are pressing the Zoom button on a camera. The other types of cameras are Advanced. Now the Advanced camera is pretty intense. What it can do though is allow you to use an object as a camera. Now I know that sounds a little odd, but imagine this. Imagine if you are animating a roller coaster and you've got one camera traveling down following the roller coaster and suddenly you've got a animated character and you want to see what the character is seeing, or you want to see what the roller coaster is seeing. You can set the camera to be one of those objects and that's why you see an object listed here.

The same can be for the Ray Direction, which way the shadows and ray tracing are calculated as well as the depth. So a very neat thing to do is set that up and use a camera within an object. The orthogonal camera, Orthographic, will render from a very strong narrow point of view. Basically a straight on point of view, so let's do this. I am going to go back to my Classic Camera, go back to a default 24 mm. We'll take a look at the Camera view through our camera profile here.

Press the T key and I am just going to move in. I am going to use my right mouse to move down, left mouse to push in, get back to somewhat a normal shot, and then we'll choose the Orthographic camera and look what happens. It just kind of looks odd, right? Well, let's increase the Vertical Size, just increase it and look what happens. Essentially you are rendering from just a straight-on view, no perspective whatsoever and I know that a lot of architects and illustrators really like this view. So it's got their very kind of Pro-E CAD type of look, so an Orthographic Camera.

Perspective Camera, this is your most current camera and your most common. So you are going to want most of your animations done in the Perspective Camera or the Classic Camera, either one, but Perspective is the newer one. In this, you can set your focal length like we've done. Your resolution, all different presets in here, so often I render out at an HD resolution, 1920x1080, and that sets the proper width and height. Aspect Ratio is the size of your pixel and for the most part you rarely going to change this these days.

Back in the early days when we used to render for broadcast this used to have to be 0.9, rectangular pixels for broadcast. But these days it's one or sometimes you might go 1.2 if you are doing a widescreen. You can set Antialiasing to clean the edges and how that Antialiasing is done is determined with a Soft Gaussian filter like you would in Photoshop. You put Soft Filter on, and then you've got Motion Blur and motion effects down at the bottom and simply just put on Photoreal and you suddenly have motion blur for things that are moving.

You have a Real Lens Camera. Now this camera will allow you to choose a certain camera such as a Nikon and the type of camera and the type of lens. Or if you've got a pro camera and you've got a Nikon D2X or D3, which I have but they don't have listed, or if you have Leica, which is great, you can choose that and choose the type of lens. And let me go to Canon here, something more common. Canon SLR 35mm and let's say you've got a 24 to 70, 2.8 lens.

This camera will match those settings. So if you want to do any kind of compositing and blend your 3D with a real shot you can do it with the Real Lens Camera. You have a Shift Camera, and a Shift Camera in LightWave is like a tilt shift camera and what it will do is allow you to blur various parts of the image. So you can have a horizontal or vertical offset for the camera and what that will do is give you a concentrated focus in one part of the scene, let's say on the very first cup.

So a tilt shift lens, it's what that does. Finally, a Surface Baking Camera and what this will do is bake, meaning it will record and make an image map of what your camera sees and then you can take that image and remap it onto other objects within your scene. The advantage of doing something like this is a speedier render. Often video games have baked images with a Surface Baking Camera. The last thing you need to talk about with cameras, and we'll go back to a Perspective Camera, is the Use Global function.

In the render, in order to get things rendered out you have to make sure that you set the width and the height, the resolution that you want and the antialiasing. Often 9 is good, or more. But if you click Use Global, it suddenly turns off all those settings. And if I Hit Use Global down here, it turns off all those settings, and I like to do that because then in my Render tab under Render Globals, under the General tab, I can control my first and Llast frame and my width and height and my aspect ratio all from here.

So you're going to find these parts in two places. So as long as you hit Use Globals in the Camera panel you'll be able to control your resolution from the Render Globals panel. And that's a good idea because it's through this process you're going to set your frame rate, how long your animation is, the type of things that are going to render such as shadows and transparency, filtering for smooth edges, Global Illumination, yes or no, and then where you are going to save everything. So in our rendering videos we'll work through all of these.

So the cameras in LightWave are just as powerful as the lights as well as your objects. It's always something to consider, so don't put them off. Don't not think about how the camera should be used. It's just as important as the objects and lights in your scene.

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