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Using Symmetry

From: LightWave 10 Essential Training

Video: Using Symmetry

As you work in the LightWave Modeler further grows, you are going to be building things such as human heads, airplanes, cars--things that are symmetrical on either side. So you can use the Symmetry tool to help you with your modeling. Let me show you how that would work. I am going to create a box. I am going to do some very simple here. We are just going to build out just kind of a long tube like this. And in this Top view I can use my up arrow and my down arrow to create and remove segments, and I can drag one to the right by just hitting my right arrow. In the Bottom view make sure you have your up arrow hit twice so that you've got three segments on the Y axis like that.

Using Symmetry

As you work in the LightWave Modeler further grows, you are going to be building things such as human heads, airplanes, cars--things that are symmetrical on either side. So you can use the Symmetry tool to help you with your modeling. Let me show you how that would work. I am going to create a box. I am going to do some very simple here. We are just going to build out just kind of a long tube like this. And in this Top view I can use my up arrow and my down arrow to create and remove segments, and I can drag one to the right by just hitting my right arrow. In the Bottom view make sure you have your up arrow hit twice so that you've got three segments on the Y axis like that.

I'll turn the Box tool off. Now the biggest thing to understand when using symmetry is that whatever you have on the positive x axis, on the right side, has to be equal on the negative X axis, on the left side. Symmetry only works on the X axis. So what you need to do is center this out. So under Modify under the Translate, there is the Center button. Earlier in the course we had reprogrammed that to F10, but by default it's set to F2. If you're on a Mac and you've not changed your F keys, your function keys, you can hold down your Fn key and hit F2.

Or if you've reprogrammed it you can do that as well. But look what happens when I do that: the whole object kind of disappeared. And the reason that happened is because at the bottom of my screen I already have Symmetry on. So what happened there is that my action only happens on the positive X and you could see that right there is +X, positive X. So you got to be really careful with symmetry and only put it on when you need it. So now when I hit Center, the entire object centers, not just the right side. So now we could put Symmetry on, and what happens is that when I click on the one side, the opposite side automatically selects with it.

From there, I can say Bevel and go to Multiply, hit Bevel, and I can click and drag and start building, well, I don't know, wings for a poorly looking airplane. And I'm just using my up and down mouse just to shift, and then we'll hit right-click one time, which creates a new bevel and resets it, and then up and then moving my mouse to left and right I can shift that a little bit just to inset it. I'll click Bevel turned off, and then we'll just click on that to deselect. And when I hit my Tab key for Subdivision surface, we very easily created some little wings there.

But what's great about the Symmetry tool is that I can use something like Drag from the Modify tab, and whatever I do, again, on the positive X, on this right side of the Y axis will automatically be mirrored on the left side. So now I can very easily shape out my little airplane here. I can come to my right view and just shape this out as well, flatten out the bottom. If you have created this with less segments, you might have a little less to work with and it might work little better for you. Just a good example here.

So now you can see that I've shaped out that box pretty easily only moving just the points I need without too much effort. And let's say you wanted to create a back wing. I'll turn off the Drag tool. Make sure I am in Polygon mode and Symmetry mode is still on. And then what I could do is just come down here and even select those back polygons like that, hold the Ctrl key to deselect anything I don't want, press the Bevel again, and then click and extend that out. But because those are angled, because I've already used my Drag tool on them, I need to change them a little bit.

So make sure your mode, your Action Center of your mouse is set to Selection at the bottom of the screen there, and then press the Y command, which is your Rotate tool over here on the left. That allows me rotate from wherever my mouse position is. So I can just rotate that based on the mouse position right there, and I can select Move and I can move that out just a bit. Then I could choose Stretch and I can shrink that down a bit. Then choose Rotate again and rotate right from here, and then I can choose from Multiply > Bevel, and we can Bevel that out and then Stretch.

Again, press the H key. You can stretch that down and this creates some fun crazy wings. So I know a lot of guys that are really into spaceships and they love to create things like this. So Spacebar, turn off the Bevel tool, and just click to deselect. And so with just a few clicks you can create some really interesting shapes and then using technique shown earlier in the course to add detail to bevel, such as creating those edges and creasing them with a little bevel, you can very easily create something more complex and not worry about both sides of the object, just work on one at the same time.

However, sometimes you're going to need even more complex things. So I am going to load up an object here. Load Object, and it's called 04_08_HeadBegin. We are going to load that. This is an old head object that I created a long time ago. I'll press the A key to fit and you could see that without Subdivision Surfaces on it's just kind of chunky, so I'll hit the Tab key and you can see it smoothes that out. Notice it's only half a head. Well that's because a lot of times when you model human heads you do want to do just one side.

It makes a lot more work creating both sides. You build just one side of this, and then you can go to Multiply, choose Mirror, hit the Numeric key and make sure you mirror over the 0 Y axis. And that way I know that this is perfectly even on both sides. Now a human face really isn't exact on both sides. Nobody's really is. But when you are coming into 3D animation and 3D modeling it's often good to start that way and then use your Symmetry tool to offset and change it a little bit.

So let's come down here to Modify. I can use my Drag tool, and as I drag on one side of the face--and in fact, let me come up here, let me expand my Shaded view just to show you how this looks. It looks like my center is just a little bit off there. We just need to merge those points. I can click on any of these points here and what I do on the right side happens on the left. So it makes is very easy to manipulate a face after the fact. So you build half of it, mirror it over, and then using Symmetry you can change your design. It works quite well.

However, if you want to create something little different, turn off Symmetry, and then you can just simply manipulate one side of the face and not the other. The only problem with doing that though is that once this data does not equal this data, when the left side data, the -x, does not equal the right side, +x, this symmetry will no longer work. So just be organized with that. The last thing is that line in the middle. When I had mirror that over, I needed to make sure that my points are exactly equal on that zero axis.

So if undo a few times, I'll show you how to fix that. I'm just going to undo back to the point before I mirrored over, and we are going to make sure with Point mode that all of these points right here, all the way down the center. I'll press the A key to fit. We'll hit Select Loop, just select all the way around and if a few x's get selected that's okay, you can just hold the Ctrl key and just even right-mouse around those ones you don't want select, okay.

Then I am going to press the V key, Set Value x to zero, and then we'll click a little blank area here to deselect-- another way to deselect rather than the Question Mark/Slash key--and then we'll come to Multiply > Mirror, hit the Numeric key, make sure Merge Points is on, and then turn off, and now you can see that that line down the center of his head is gone. Very important that those points get lined up exactly right. So the Symmetry tool is great for modeling simple object, modeling spaceships and aircraft and things that are same on both sides, but it's also terrific for doing characters and humans where you need to have the same thing happen on both sides of your model.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for LightWave 10 Essential Training
LightWave 10 Essential Training

83 video lessons · 5397 viewers

Dan Ablan
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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