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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.
When beveling in Modeler, you can bevel edges or you can bevel polygons. And the advantage of either depends on your model. So in this case we've got our hard-edge model of our credit card from the previous exercise, and it works okay for this, the Edge Bevel, but the problem with this is that it only creates a very simple sharp edge, and when it's something this thin it can work out just fine. I'm going to go zoom in here on this Back view and just expand this so you can see it. And I just click the top-right corner there to expand.
So it only creates just one slight sharp edge like that. On a very thin object, it works fine. But let's say if we have something larger and you need that bevel to be a little more rounded. Okay, so let me click the top-right corner here to bring this back. Let's close this-- we don't need that one anymore. And let's create just a simple box, and I'm going to open up my Numeric by pressing N and let's turn the segments-- click and drag--to one for each X, Y, and Z axis. We don't need anything more than that.
So we've got a box here, and let's say you want to bevel up at the top of this. So what I'm going to do is work with polygons. So we're going to be in Polygon mode down to bottom. Click on the top. And if we did a normal edge bevel, you'd get just a sharp edge like I'd just shown you, but for a polygon bevel we can do a lot more. So I'm going to press the B key, and that's the Bevel tool right under the Multiply tab. And I'm going to go come close into this corner so you can see what we're doing. And I'm going to click and drag. Now, a lot of times people when click and drag they kind of like get this nonsense going with bevel, and it gets very confusing.
But I'm going to show you a little trick to help you understand how to bevel. Click with the left mouse and drag up and down, straight up and down with the mouse. That's your shift. Left and right is your inset. That's it. If I press the N key, this is one I'm doing: Shift and Inset. That's all there is to the tool, okay. Now this randomization, the plus and minus, I'll show you that momentarily. But for right now, what we want to do is just create a nice little rounded top to this. So I'm going to just kind of a combination of shift and inset, so that it just comes up just a little bit.
Now I want the bevel again, so I'm going to right-click just one time, and that resets my bevel, and then left-click continues it, because remember, the Bevel is under the Multiply tab, so whatever you do happens to whatever's selected. In this case, I'm multiplying my selected polygon with a bevel, and I'll right-click one more time to reset the bevel and start beveling again with the left mouse. And so now, if you look at that corner, it's very nice and round. I'll turn off the Bevel tool, click on the polygon, and now I've got a very nice rounded top, which then later I can smooth with shading and so on.
So the Polygon Bevel using it multiple times really works well for nice, smooth shapes. But what about that randomization I just showed you? Let me show you how to do that. Let's go to the File and hit Close All Objects. We don't to save that. We're going to select the Box tool. I'm going to drag it out like this, and in Numeric, I'm going to press N. We're going to create some more segments, so I'll create a few segments this way, and I will click and drag the mouse, and a few segments on the Z. We'll click and drag the mouse that way, something like that, and we will square it out just a little bit.
Close Numeric and turn off the tool. So now I've got this box with all these segments. And I'm just going to click, holding your shift key, just a few of these, just randomly. And one reason I'm clicking in the Shaded Perspective view is because when you click in a Wireframe view, you have to click right on the edge of a polygon to select it if it's a wireframe, and in that time when you do it, you might only be able to select two. If I specifically want one, I can click in the Shaded view. So, Shaded view let's me click directly on the model; Wireframe I have to select an edge.
So now I've got just random polygon selected like that. Under Multiply, I'll select Bevel, hit Numeric, and that activates the tool, and now interactively I can shift these. Or I can punch in an amount, such as--I don't know, 3 meters, and the reason I know 3 meters is because I look at the very bottom-left corner of the screen. See it says Grid: 500 mm? What that means is every grid you see here is 500 mm in length.
Okay, well, two of those are one meter, so I went up six grids with 3 meters, and that's the LightWave default. But let's say I need this little landscape here to look a little different. Well, I can use randomization of about 1 meter. I'll make sure I click in here and hit Return and watch what happens. Now I've just randomized that bevel by 1 meter, and I can do the same with the inset if I want or not inset at all. And I think that's the thing that happens with bevels: people always think of it as beveling your edges, making more construction-type objects, whereas you can use bevel for things like this, making an instant skyscraper.
You can make this perhaps .3, so 300 mm, just a little bit, or you can make it 2 meters and get a much greater detail. So I'll select that by clicking Bevel turn it off, and I'll press the forward slash to deselect. And there is our randomized bevel. And then you can take this a step further and maybe even go into these corners and edges and bevel them, select the tops of buildings perhaps. Shift+A to bring that to view, press the B key for bevel, and bevel this a little bit.
And what's happening there is that that is actually--I'm so tiny on the screen that it's hard to get precise--so that's where numeric will come in, do that a little more precisely. But very easy to use the Bevel tool to create all kinds of unique shapes, randomized shapes, and create even a city landscape.
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