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LightWave 10 Essential Training
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Using layers


From:

LightWave 10 Essential Training

with Dan Ablan

Video: Using layers

Now you have probably asked yourself when working in Modeler, what the heck are these buttons up here? Well, those have been in LightWave since the very early days back in 1990, a long time ago, and they've always worked the same, but they work even better now with version 10. What these do, it's similar to Photoshop, where you can create layers for an individual object. So what I'm going to do is actually just build a very small simple object and show you how those work. So we're going to start with a box, just select that from the Create tab, and we're going to build the most awesome race car. You'll see.
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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

Using layers

Now you have probably asked yourself when working in Modeler, what the heck are these buttons up here? Well, those have been in LightWave since the very early days back in 1990, a long time ago, and they've always worked the same, but they work even better now with version 10. What these do, it's similar to Photoshop, where you can create layers for an individual object. So what I'm going to do is actually just build a very small simple object and show you how those work. So we're going to start with a box, just select that from the Create tab, and we're going to build the most awesome race car. You'll see.

I'm just going to center this out, and this is remembering the segments I had set in the Numeric panel, so that's fine. And I'll turn that box off. When I build this, we've a small white dot that appeared up in number one. We are in layer one. That little dot means there is geometry in that layer. Now, I want to create a wheel and later on when I get to Layout, I want that wheel to be able to animate. If I build it in the same layer as the body of the car, which is what this is representing, it's not going to animate separately.

So it needs to be in its own layer to animate separately. So we'll click a new layer. Now our object is not deleted and it's not gone. You can see there is still a dot up in that layer right there, in layer 1. We are just in layer 2. To make layer 1 visible so we have a reference, you click beneath that slash. You see that half slash right there? That is now a background layer. We're going to refer to those in other projects. So the solid layer is our foreground. The background is the slash, the bottom half.

So with that now set up, I can go to my Disc, I can click and drag, and just drag out a wheel, and go to my Top view and drag out that way and turn off the tool. Now remember, when I turn off the tool, my object is created. I cannot turn the tool back on and manipulate this more. I end up creating another object entirely. So you just have to be aware of that that once that tool is off, your model is built. You can edit it, but you can't go back and use the original tool to recreate it.

I'm going to press the T key, which is the Move command from a Modify tab, and I'm going to move that over. And this is the advantage of having a background layer. Now, I know where to place that model. So what about the other tires? Well, we can copy and paste. And if you're on a PC, you can use Ctrl+C. If you are on the Mac, you could do Command+C. Go to New layer, Command+V or Ctrl+V on the PC, to Paste. But how do I know where to place this? Well, if I click the background, I can see the background of the other wheel.

How do I select two of them? Just hold the Shift key and now you can see two background layers. And with the Move tool still selected, I can move this over. But I still have one copied in my system memory. I can go to the next layer, paste it down, hold the Shift key, and select these background layers, move this to the other side, and then do it one more time. Layer 4, copy this to layer 5, hold the Shift key, and I can just move this over.

So now I have five layers. Each one of these can be animated separately. But when I get the Layout and I move this car, the wheels will not move with it. They are all independent objects, which brings me to this little dropdown here. It says 'Unnamed' with a little asterisk. That means my object is not saved. So let's do that and say File > Save Object. I'll go to my Exercise Files > Objects > CH01, and we'll call this SimpleCar, and now the saved object is right there and that saved object has five layers.

Now I'm going to press F7 and what F7 does is brings up my Layers palette. You can also access this from the Windows dropdown. This gives me control over my layers, and if I open this up, you'll see here are the five unnamed layers. And top is the object itself that we just saved. If I select one of these, I can choose quickly that particular layer. So if you've got a very large object, you can easily get to any layer you want just by clicking on it, rather than clicking on these.

The number one up here means this is the first set of 10 layers. You click this little arrow. Now you're in the second set of 10 layers. So you could have unlimited layers. So I want to name this. I'm going to double-click it and I'll call this 'CarBody' and click OK. Now that layer has a name. Double-click this, and let's say the car is facing to the left. We will call this PassRearTire. But I want this tire to be parented to the CarBody, so right there I can say parent to the CarBody.

And what parenting means is that when the body goes, the wheel will follow with it; it is the child of the CarBody. Click OK and we can see it's named. Double-click this one, PassFrontTire. Let's do it with two S's, and parent that to the CarBody. Double-click this one, and actually I take that back: this should be passenger. I mislabeled these. PassRearTire, I'll rename these, and that is the advantage of doing it this way.

And this one is now the Passenger Front and parent it to the CarBody. So let me go back here to this one, double-click, and this is the DrivRear. So very easy to make changes in case you mislabeled something. You can't do this in Layout. And this is what's good about parenting and getting all these together in the Layers panel in Modeler. So now I've a SimpleCar with the CarBody and five layers total for the SimpleCar itself.

Now, I want to resave this because notice there is an asterisk right there that had popped up. So I can just do Ctrl+S on the PC or Command+S on the Mac and the asterisk goes way, meaning I just resaved my object. One last thing with the numerics is that you can see the numeric numbers. Their order doesn't necessarily matter; their hierarchy does, meaning how they are parented. And there is a little arrow right here which a lot of people don't notice, but if you click it you, can say List or Hierarchy. And when I choose Hierarchy, now I can actually see that okay, the four tires are parented to the CarBody. That's why they are indented.

The last thing is this eyeball, and what that does, it turns off the visibility. Well, I just clicked it and you can still see the object, right? The reason is what this will allow you to do is send this object to Layout and let's say I turn the driver rear and the passenger rear tires off, and I save this object-- let's just choose this bottom one, Send Object to Layout--those two tires are missing.

If I jump back to Modeler by clicking the button here, all of my tires are still there, and if I hold the Shift key and select all these layers, I can see them all. Well, the Visibility, this relates to Layout only. Your object will always have the model, unless of course you delete the layer. But this Visibility on or off will allow you to turn off the render in Layout for that particular object. So, it's quite handy if you're using models just to build, if you are using models just to cut holes and things and you don't want to delete them, but you want them part of the object.

You can keep it simply by turning off the visibility. So the Layers panel is very handy, very useful. Front and Back is the F and B, so you can choose right there to put whichever layer you want in the front or the back. And you're going to use this simply to animate different layers. It's also good to protect models. Let's say you built a very big lamp and you've got the light bulbs and the lamp is very intricate. You could use another layer to build the light bulbs and just keep that clean, so you're not destroying what you have already modeled. It's just a very smart way to work whether you are animating or creating still objects.

So the Layers panel is very useful, very informative like your Numeric panel and something you should be aware of, and use it often so you can control your model and name them properly and set the proper hierarchy.

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