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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.
Every once in a while you need to specifically select a point, an edge, or a polygon in a model--sometimes so much so that your mouse can't get to it. So let me load up an object that we've used. So I am going to come here to the File menu, choose Load Object, and we're going to load the OneLeftShoe from the Project folder. Press the A key to fit that to view. Let's say for some reason I want to select the purple around here. I can just click and drag my mouse to select these polygons, and you can see it's kind of a pain.
So what's a better way to do that? That is where the Statistics panel comes in. That can be found right here at the very bottom of the screen. Just click that button or press the W command; that will open up panel as well. What this panel do is allow you to see the total number of polygons, points, or edges depending on which mode you're in. Since we're in Polygon mode--you can see that down at the very bottom of the screen--the Polygon Statistics come up. If I choose Points, the Point Statistics will come up, and so on.
We have 1987 Polygons making up this model. We can see that it does not have any curves or subpatches, and we'll talk about subpatches or subdivisional surfaces a little bit later in the course. But if we move down we can see that there's a number of polygons that are made up of three vertices. Vertices, of course, are points. So it's 335 of them that are made up of 3. They are somewhat triangulated. Then we can see that we have quite a few that are non-planer. Now what non-planer means, if I click this plus, you can see that the majority of the shoe gets selected.
Non-planer means that they are moved beyond the normal plane--the plane being an X, Y, or Z axis. That doesn't mean it's bad, but it could lead to some render issues a little bit later on. But we're not going to worry about that at the moment because the shoe is looking okay. But what if I wanted to select that purple? Let's go back to that. Here under the Surface dropdown if I click the arrow, here is all the surfaces that make up that model. I can very simply choose one, such as TopTrim, and then I click the plus.
Now, all the purple is selected, allowing me either to edit it, remove it, anything I want. But it saves me all the hassle of going in and trying to select it by hand, which number one, I could select something wrong, or number two, not select what I need. To deselect, I can just click the minus. If I had created different parts for the object, I can do the same thing as well. So that is why the Statistics panel is often very good to use to really help your workflow and speed things up as you're working through your model.
Try and use it once in a while when you're specifically trying to select, color, or change a model.
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