View Full Version : giving volume to splines

John McMullin
07-13-2009, 11:21 AM
Hi everyone.

I'm a fairly inexperienced lightwave user. What I am trying to do is to draw with the sketch or spline tool, quickly in a freehand way and then to give volume to the lines, so as to create a kind of 3D line drawing.

It's very arduous rail extruding all the lines and, after I've done it, I can't move the points easily anymore if I decide I want to change my original idea. I wonder if there is some plug-in that can instantly give volume to the curves. I know that there is curve to poly tool but that creates two point polys that will render but don't have true volume that recedes with distance from the camera.

Thanks in advance.


07-13-2009, 11:53 AM
You can use MagicBevel with scale set to 100%, but i am afraid this is not really what you're looking for.

07-13-2009, 12:12 PM
do you have LWcad? it does this quite well

07-13-2009, 12:29 PM
I haven't tried this but you may be able to make a long multi-segmented Sub-D tube and, in Layout, use the Curve Conform displacement plug-in that way the curve and the geometry are separate and therefore more editable.

I don't think I've ever used the Curve Conform deformer so I'm not sure how it works. You may need to use the Curve2Motion plug-in (if I remember the name right) that comes with modeler to get your spline into layout.

John McMullin
07-13-2009, 12:31 PM
Thanks for replies. Alas, I don't have LWcad, just LW9 for Mac. Also, I can't make the magic bevel work with a curve at all or even with a 2 point poly chain. It's a shame about this, 'cause it sure would save time. I can extrude the curves but then the angle of extrusion doesn't follow the curve of the path. Rail extrude seems the only way but it only works one curve at a time.

07-13-2009, 05:33 PM
donīt know if you have any use of this C_worm plugin from pictrix.. you can find a free lite version at the page.

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pictrix.jp%2Flw%2FC_W ormLt%2Findex.html&langpair=ja|en&hl=en&ie=UTF8



07-13-2009, 05:41 PM
Rope Editor will allow you to do this and go back and edit too.

07-13-2009, 08:06 PM
I prefer Hairblade for this kind of thing, as it allows you to use any kind of cross section, and keeps it as an editable spline.


07-14-2009, 04:20 AM
Hair blade looks cool. Do you know if it works with 9.6?

John McMullin
07-15-2009, 07:23 AM
Hey thanks for all this. I'll go back and try these suggestions now.

Many thanks again,


07-15-2009, 10:14 AM
this may help too:


nice little tutorial!!

07-15-2009, 08:45 PM
Hairblade does work with 9.6. Due to limitations of the Custom Poly function, UV's are only created when the blade is frozen, so I usually keep the blades backed up on one layer, and frozen on another if I'm using the UV function. If you're not, then you can just use them as you will, and LW will render them.

07-15-2009, 11:19 PM
I really hope something like Modo401's "Render Curve" feature shows up in Core.
It's so freakin' easy to use. Draw out or build your curves, activate the "render curve" option and dial in your desired diameter. That's all there is to it. Totally animatable too. Nice thing is you don't have all the geometry overhead. All you deal with is curves. The thickness comes at render time.

This example pic is made from just 4 curves. The scene took about about 3 minutes to set up and render.