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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.
Bones in LightWave Layout can deform an object. You set them up directly in layouts to manipulate something so it has a little more life to it, but you can also set up bones in Modeler and when you do that, they're called skelegons. So let me just show you,. If I take just a simple disc object right here like this and I jump to another layer and I hit the background layer for that first object, I can go under Setup and here's this section called Skelegons. I can say Create Skelegons and what that allows me to do is literally click and draw out a bone right in LightWave Modeler.
So I can very easily just create two bones just like that, just by clicking and drawing them out. Well, why would I do that in Modeler? Well, there's a number of different reasons. Skelegons in Modeler can be animated in Layout. They can also be edited in Modeler. It saves you the effort of setting up multiple bones in Layout and changing your configuration. You could simply jump back in LightWave Modeler and have these bones always part of the object that you can treat kind of like polygons. So like this. I can go to Modify, I can choose Drag, and I can click right on one of these bones and move them around like that, because those points act like typical vertices, and I can very easily shape my bones directly in the LightWave Modeler and keep them as part of my object.
When I save this, and I'll just put it right on my Desktop as a dummy because we're not going to keep this. We have a better project for you. When I send object to Layout, there is two things I need to know about skelegons. Number one, they will live on this other layer, so I have my object in one layer and my skelegons in another layer. But in order to get them to show up and be useful, I need to come over here to my Setup tab and I need to convert those into bones. It's kind of an important thing. And in order to do that, we'll come down here to Add and we will say Convert Skelegons into Bones.
Down at the bottom it tells me two bones were created and to see them I can come up here to this little tiny dropdown at the top of the layout and say Bone X-Ray Mode, and now I can see those within my object. Well, what does that do for me? Well, if I select one of these and I choose Rotate, well, I can rotate it around but it doesn't deform my object. That is because bones need to live within an object and while these are part of the same object, but they are not derforming it and that's because they are in another layer. All I need to do is take the object itself, press M for Motion Options, and I can see here that there is no parent item, and if I look at the bones, you can see that Bone 01 and Bone 02, well, they are parented to dummy:layer2 and that was all set up in LightWave Modeler.
So really the best way to do this is to take one of these bones and tell that to be used for that object. So this object right here, if I go to Bones for it, notice that it says None. If I press M for Motion Options and hit Properties, I can tell this object Use Bones From layer2, and layer2 is where my skelegons live. And notice as soon as I do that, the object actually becomes active and I can take that bone and move the object around. Now, it sounds like a little bit of work and sometimes it is to use Skelegons.
Because you do have to create them in Modeler, bring them to Layout, convert them, tell the object to use the bones from that particular layer. The advantage, however, is that I can go into Modeler at any point and those bones will always be part of that structure. So let's say I was working as part of the team and I needed to create a full model with the bone structure. I can send that to my colleague, who can then go ahead and edit it and continue on. I don't have to send him the whole scene file with the bone setup. I could send him just the model. I can very easily slice those bones in Modeler.
I can split them, and if you go to the Setup tab, there is a number of different tools that allow you to Rotate, Slice, Add, and Continue to build upon them. A little bit more difficult to do that in Layout. The choice is really yours, whether you want to use skeletons in Modeler or bones directly in Layout and a lot of it is going to depend on the type of project you are doing.
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