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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.
If you learn nothing else when working with LightWave, at least learn the content directory. Hopefully, you will learn a little bit more than that. I am going to press D on the keyboard. It calls up the Preferences, and if you go into the Paths tab, you have this big nice panel of preferences you can set. This is one of the most important things to learn when you start working with LightWave. It's one of the things I get emails on mostly. People load up a scene and they say, "The scene is broken. I can't find everything." This is why: if the content directory is not set up properly, your scenes cannot find their objects and the objects cannot find their images.
You have to remember that when you save an object that's what saves all the textures. When you save a scene that's what saves all the objects and light positions and motions. So, just keep that in mind. To set the content directory, just hit the Content Directory button and point to whatever that folder is. And in this case, if you have access to the exercise files, set it there. If you've created your own directory, such as Projects, set it there. So when I go to set one like that and I click Open, LightWave knows where to look for things.
With Auto-Detect on, if I choose to load a scene from a different content directory, it will automatically switch for me, making things a lot easier. You've got a lot of custom paths you can use here, but I don't recommend them unless you are working with a bigger network of computers and you have to have images on a certain hard drive and you've got objects on a certain hard drive. But I always like to keep things within the same folder, especially when it comes to backup. It's very easy to take that one exercise file folder and move all the folders within it. So once that's set, I can say Load Scene, and when I hit Load Scene all of those chapters come up within that Scenes folder.
I don't have to go searching through my hard drive, and if I come to a scene and I click Load, it's going to load properly, and that is because the content directory is set up properly. So, reference that. If you get errors, make sure you go back and look and make sure everything is in the right place and that that content directory is set appropriately so that your scenes load exactly the way you want.
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