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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.
You know that LightWave can model 3D objects and then LightWave Layout you can create a full lighting setup. You can design your cameras around real world principles. But it can also animate and in LightWave Layout, you can see down here at the very bottom of the screen I've got this nice little timeline. Well, this is your home base for all your animation needs. Let's start over here on the left. You're going to see that be little dropdown box here is the 0. That is my first frame. Now you can set this to have a first frame of maybe frame 30, if you wanted. Or, you can set it for maybe negative 30.
And people think, well, would you do a negative value for your first frame? Let's say you have a character that's running. You don't want to start your animation with him actually running. You want him to be already in full stride. And if that's the case, you can give it a pre-roll so he can already be running. Give him a one second pre-roll and then as an animation starts, he'll already be in his full stride when you get into it. So a very nice, little, handy feature. You might not use that too often but something you should be aware of. The last frame over here you can set. By default it's set to 60, which is 2 seconds at 30 frames per second.
You're not often going to do a 60-frame animation. you might do something more like a 10 second animation. So I'll enter in 300, easy enough. In the very center of the screen, you've got Auto Key, which is always on by default. What Auto Key will do will lie to automatically create keyframes. So you'll select an object, a light, or a camera and as you move through your timeline then adjust that item, it'll automatically create a keyframe, locking it in place. We're going to talk about keyframes in an upcoming video. Beneath that you're going see Create Key and if you can select an item and click that, you have your Create Motion Key panel that pops up.
And at the same time, you can have Delete Key. So as you're working through and you accidentally create an extra keyframe where you realize it's not needed, very simply you can delete the key. Over on the right-hand side here, you've got your full rewind, then you can jump to the last keyframe, or you can step through one frame at a time by clicking these buttons backwards or forwards. Jump to the next keyframe or jump to the end of animation with these buttons. We have a rewind button that you can hit and it plays the animation backwards. Pause it or play the animation forward.
Now there's a Rate down here at the very bottom. This is the rate of playback for these buttons right here. Typically, I never really change this. Back in the early days when computers were much slower, we might want to change that so your computer had enough time to playback at a normal speed that you can tell what's happening. These days most computers are very fast and you don't need to change that too often. The Preview dropdown here allows you to make a preview of your layout. So let's say your client wants to see a preview of the animation and you don't have time to render out even a small preview.
You can actually show your client a recorded preview of the OpenGL screen by hitting Make Preview. And what this allows you to do, if you come down here to the Preview Options, is you can save out a Quick Time or an AVI file. And again this is not a render. This is just a preview of what's happening in your Layout screen. So it's kind of a nice way to work if you have a quick preview that you need to render. So the LightWave timeline, it's kind of your home base for all your animation needs, for creating keyframes and deleting keyframes.
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