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Pixelight
04-20-2011, 12:00 AM
So after my initial questions I decided to try Lightwave and have just installed the trial.
I'm having my butt kicked to say the least. :(

The only other 3D software I have used is Cinema 4D and Lightwave seems to do things so differently. What I liked about cinema 4D when I tried it was that it was extremely easy to learn. What I didn't like was the renderer and the price.
Anyway, I was hoping somebody could help me with some things that I got stuck with in Lightwave.

1) Is there a quad view in Layout or just in Modeler? Although I can switch between Top, Right, Back and Perspective using the keyboard shortcuts I can't seem to get in quad view.

2)VPR doesn't seem to be working properly or I have some setting wrong. When I switch to VPR it doesn't show the same render as when I press F9, which makes me think VPR is not showing my final render. What can be wrong?

3)Why do I see my lights when I press f9 to render? They show up as bright dots.

4) Can I collapse all parts of an object under its parent when in the "Current Item" window as it's possible within the "Scene editor"? If not, then what is the advantage of using the "Current Item" window instead of the "Scene editor" window since you can also select, delete objects in the "Scene editor" just the same? It drives me crazy not to be able to collapse them in the "Current items" window when I have a large scene.

5) The Surface Editor seems kind of limited compared to Cinema 4D's Material Editor or I'm missing something. In Lightwave, the Color, Diffuse, Transparency etc seem to be more like settings since they only have single options, while in Cinema 4D the same options seem more like channels as under them you have very deep options. For example, under diffuse in C4D you have options for affect luminance, affect specular, affect refraction, blur offset %, blur scale % etc. In LW you only have % under diffuse. And this is the same with all options. Are the options in a different place in LW or are they not available like in C4D?

6) How do you add an alpha to a material in LW? I tried everything I could think of and couldn't do it. In C4D you just go to the Alpha channel in the Material Editor and load the picture you want to use as the alpha and you're done! In LW you don't have an alpha channel like in C4D. You have an alpha tab under Advanced in the Surface Editor. But no place to load an image. So I thought you should hit T under either Color or Transparence to load a texture. But no matter what I did it wouldn’t work. I tried jpeg, TIFF and PSD and nothing! How do you do it?

I know LW and C4D are different applications and I know the problem here probably has to do with wrapping my head around the way LW does things. I only posted the examples in C4D to make it easier to explain. Also, maybe there are C4D users that also use LW around here.

Thanks for the replies guys. Lightwave is truly kicking my butt! :bangwall:

CaptainMarlowe
04-20-2011, 12:28 AM
Hey, welcome on board

first of all, I suggest you don't take the this was not like this in C4D (or whatever app) approach, it will just confuse you. Different app, different workflow. Try to jump in LW with a "new eye". I remember when I choose LW, I had tested LW and C4D at the same time, and I almost immediately preferred LW (not only for price reasons), but people have different tastes and minds.

Second, I strongly suggest you get an eye here (http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/training.php)

I learnt all the basics about Lightwave thanks to these vids. Even the most ancient ones are mostly still valid, and they are very easy to understand.
And William Vaughan is the best teacher in the world.

Now, to your questions.

1) To access the display options, you can hit the "d" key, and you can then choose the different views. Yo can also notice that there must be a small triangle in the right top of your window, click it and you should go in quad view in modeler, or in the selected display in Layout. There are many other options, but I'll let you play with them.

2) VPR renders what is seen in your viewport : if you are un camera view, it will render the same as a F9 render, but if you're in perspective view, it will render what you see from this perspective. Very interesting, for instance, to experiment other POVs, even if it lacks an option to call back the camera to the perspective view.

3) Render settings to tweak, or lights type to adjust, I suppose, but I don't more just from what you're saying here.

4) Sorry, I'm not sure I understand, but I have had a very bad night.

5) In the surface editor, you have two ways to work, traditional (with layers) and nodal. Just hit edit nodes and check the mark just on its right, and you'll get into a brand new world for texturing.
Besides, even in traditional way, when you check the "T" after each setting, you'll open a window that allows you to stack different layers, images, procedurals, gradients, with several blending and mixing options... even without nodes, it's deep enough, believe me (this said, I almost always work with nodal workflow)

6) to add an alpha material, just hit the "T" on the transparency channel, select "image map" in the "layer type" tab, then the mapping type (a UV map, I assume), the name of the UV Map, and load your alpha image. You will perhaps have to invert the value between black and white, in this case, just hit "invert layer"

Hope it helps.

Lightwolf
04-20-2011, 12:51 AM
Just a quickie:

1) Use F3/F4 to switch through the different viewport layouts available.

Cheers,
Mike

Pixelight
04-20-2011, 01:06 AM
Thanks for the reply.

I had actually seen that link with the videos and have watched some of them. They are great indeed.



2) VPR renders what is seen in your viewport : if you are un camera view, it will render the same as a F9 render, but if you're in perspective view, it will render what you see from this perspective. Very interesting, for instance, to experiment other POVs, even if it lacks an option to call back the camera to the perspective view.

Well, I was in camera view and it rendered different than pressing f9. The transparency for example didn't render. It rendered as solid.


3) Render settings to tweak, or lights type to adjust, I suppose, but I don't more just from what you're saying here.

Ok, I will try to look at it, but couldn't find anything.



5) In the surface editor, you have two ways to work, traditional (with layers) and nodal. Just hit edit nodes and check the mark just on its right, and you'll get into a brand new world for texturing.
Yeah, I haven't wrapped my head around the nodes editor yet. I have to check it. But I was hoping the normal editor could do it. So is the only way to get all the options going into the texture editor? Even when you don't have to apply any textures?


6) to add an alpha material, just hit the "T" on the transparency channel, select "image map" in the "layer type" tab, then the mapping type (a UV map, I assume), the name of the UV Map, and load your alpha image. You will perhaps have to invert the value between black and white, in this case, just hit "invert layer"



I actually tried that and it didn't work. :(

Danner
04-20-2011, 01:28 AM
To use an image to determine the transparency of something, alpha channels are not used in lightwave, you use black and white values of an image. The brightier it is, the more transparent. Images with alpha are used to layer different textures on top of each other, like having layers in photoshop.

Pixelight
04-20-2011, 04:33 AM
To use an image to determine the transparency of something, alpha channels are not used in lightwave, you use black and white values of an image. The brightier it is, the more transparent. Images with alpha are used to layer different textures on top of each other, like having layers in photoshop.

Not sure I follow.

What I'm trying to do is apply written letters on a glass surface. I have an image with white letters over a black background to use for the alpha channel. But I can't get it to work. I tried inverting it, applying it to the transparency channel, color channels you name it.

CaptainMarlowe
04-20-2011, 04:42 AM
Maybe you should provide a sample scene or render/texture settings screenhots so that we can test what's not working.

Imatk
04-20-2011, 11:40 AM
The best advice I think you could get is to not think about how you did something in another application and then get frustrated when xx app does it differently.

Over the years I've gone from Max to Lightwave to XSI to Maya.

They ALL do things differently and they ALL have their quirks.

But you'll be much more frustrated if you keep thinking of Cinema 4d and wishing it would work like you know how it works... just embrace the new app and try to use your previous knowledge to figure out how to do what you want.

And also know that sometimes (not often) you might not be able to do the same thing in xxx app that you could do in yyy app.

jeric_synergy
04-20-2011, 03:24 PM
VPR is not the final render. Not At All. It is a previewer.

jeric_synergy
04-20-2011, 03:34 PM
To use an image to determine the transparency of something, alpha channels are not used in lightwave, you use black and white values of an image. The brightier it is, the more transparent. Images with alpha are used to layer different textures on top of each other, like having layers in photoshop.
This is broadly true, BUT:

You do have the option of using JUST the alpha channel of an image by selecting ALPHA ONLY in the Image Editor.

You can clone an Image if you want one feature to use the RGB values, and another feature to only use the Alpha channel.

Just sayin.

caesar
04-20-2011, 04:58 PM
You should take a look at lynda.com's LW 10 essential training. It'll answer all those questions and others at a bargain price.

Pixelight
04-20-2011, 05:48 PM
I managed to get the alpha working. It's still not perfect (it has an outline around the letters for some reason) but I'm getting the hang of it.
Now I don't understand why PVR doesn't show the transparency of the "glass". Can't it show transparency or do I have to change some setting? I couldn't find a preference box for VPR. Is there one? So far I'm finding more useful to work in Textured Shaded Solid than VPR. I must be doing something wrong since everybody raves about it.
Not to mention the render has a lot of noise too.
Thanks.

caesar
04-20-2011, 05:59 PM
Another tutorial http://simplylightwave.com/lightwave-tutorial/t574/free-tutorials/lightwave-10-introduction-to-layout/

When you F9 render the glass is transparent? VPR shows transparency, refraction, etc perfectly.

Pixelight
04-20-2011, 06:17 PM
Thanks for the link. I will check it out.

Yep, when I F9 render the glass is transparent. But not in VPR.

speismonqui
04-20-2011, 06:23 PM
check if "draft mode" is checked. click the little button next to "VPR"

Pixelight
04-20-2011, 06:29 PM
Yeah, I already did that. Under Render Globals>Render. Still VPR won't show transparency. :(

Pixelight
04-20-2011, 06:30 PM
check if "draft mode" is checked. click the little button next to "VPR"


I saw that too. I tried both with it check and unchecked and it didn't work. Should it be unchecked by the way?

Pixelight
04-20-2011, 09:01 PM
Well, I think I may have found the root of the problems. I was working with a scene I bought online and it came in C4D, FBX and OBJ only. No LW.
The OBJ for some reason was hopeless. I couldn't do anything with it. It seemed "locked". I couldn't even separate the objects as they were all one.
The FBX was ok, but many of the textures etc didn't transfer well, including the alpha I was having a problem with, which was a decal on glass. So I was trying to fix the textures and get it all to work.
But it behaved very weird. The whole thing. Sometimes it seemed my actions were somehow limited or locked. Maybe the author made choices that in LW would be done in Modeler and they couldn't be changed in Layout. But I tried going back to Modeler and it still behaved strange.
Anyway, after too long trying I decided to start a test project from scratch based on a tutorial I found on NewTek's site. Now everything seems to work ok. VPR is showing transparency of sorts too. Not the same as F9 but I read it isn't supposed too. But at last it is showing the glass:
http://img861.imageshack.us/img861/8282/rendervsvpr.jpg

Now could the problems be because of the settings of the scene I bought online were not properly set or because they are not optimized for LW? Is this normal? Or it can't have anything to do with it at all?

This is disappointing if so because I will need to buy lots of scenes and models that are not LW and if they will be all a nightmare like this it will be wasted money.

caesar
04-20-2011, 09:17 PM
TurboSquid.com has 11.000 models ready for LW. Scenes for another packages can be translated for LW. Some scenes/objects will need clean up when imported, but you will need more time to learn how to handle it all.

You can post image files here, I couldn't open the one in the link.

Pixelight
04-20-2011, 09:37 PM
I know they have LW models but if they are not what I'm looking for it doesn't help. ;)
Besides I hear many of them were not made in LW but just converted and will give you headaches as well.

So do you think the problem could have been the scene?

Pixelight
04-20-2011, 09:47 PM
. Some scenes/objects will need clean up when imported, but you will need more time to learn how to handle it all.


With Maya, Max and maybe even C4D being more popular than LW, is there any tutorials for that? Like from Max or c4D to LW? I found one from Blender to LW once.

caesar
04-20-2011, 09:53 PM
Probably yes, LW can handle transparency and such very easily and realistic, as well as VPR. Try post an screenshot in your post, maybe that can help.

EDIT: I do not know about another packages much, but people here might know it very well.

What kind of scene/models you need to buy?

Pixelight
04-20-2011, 10:01 PM
I edited my post and the picture is now showing.

geo_n
04-20-2011, 10:12 PM
5) The Surface Editor seems kind of limited compared to Cinema 4D's Material Editor or I'm missing something. In Lightwave, the Color, Diffuse, Transparency etc seem to be more like settings since they only have single options, while in Cinema 4D the same options seem more like channels as under them you have very deep options. For example, under diffuse in C4D you have options for affect luminance, affect specular, affect refraction, blur offset %, blur scale % etc. In LW you only have % under diffuse. And this is the same with all options. Are the options in a different place in LW or are they not available like in C4D?



This is a good thing. The simple interface makes it easy to create and edit materials. The same simplicity is found in vray renderer and 3dmax material interface. Its not for complex effects like node editor but for settings in a hurry, lw surface editor is very solid.

caesar
04-20-2011, 10:27 PM
I edited my post and the picture is now showing.

I just see a frog inside an ice cube and a message about the need to register...

Pixelight
04-21-2011, 07:42 AM
I just see a frog inside an ice cube and a message about the need to register...

Really? well, I can see it. I uploaded it on imagashack. Maybe the forums don't support that? Where do you normally upload the images to post on the forums?

caesar
04-21-2011, 10:03 AM
Really? well, I can see it. I uploaded it on imagashack. Maybe the forums don't support that? Where do you normally upload the images to post on the forums?

Just attach the image when your posting. I don't have a image-shack account, thats the reason you can see it and i don't.

Pixelight
04-21-2011, 08:39 PM
You don't need an imageshack account to upload. I don't have one.
To attach an image to a post you have to fill in the url of the host where it is being hosted online.

Can anybody else see the image?

jeric_synergy
04-21-2011, 10:32 PM
Or you can just attach the file to your post and make it convenient for the forum readers.

Pixelight
04-22-2011, 05:56 AM
Well, it seems I can no longer edit my post so I can't change the way I posted the image. But I will do it that way next time, thanks.

Danner
04-23-2011, 02:49 AM
I have found that removing the vertex normal map (if it exist) in the surface editor fixes a lot of problems with objects made in other apps. The vertex normal map is supposed to tell Lightwave where objects are smooth and where they are sharp, but it doesn't seem to import reliably.

Pixelight
04-23-2011, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the tip. I will definitely keep it in mind.

Pixelight
04-23-2011, 01:57 PM
I have found that removing the vertex normal map (if it exist) in the surface editor fixes a lot of problems with objects made in other apps. The vertex normal map is supposed to tell Lightwave where objects are smooth and where they are sharp, but it doesn't seem to import reliably.

I thought this could maybe be the problem I'm having with a model I bought online but it doesn't seem like it. I checked and the vertex normal map says "none". But yet I can't seem to affect this object with anything from the surface editor. Tried applying a displacement map (properties>deform>texture>procedural texture) for example and it does nothing. It's like the object is locked somehow. Yet it the same works with a plane I have created from scratch. It's like the model is locked or something. It's subdivided so why the displacement map is not affecting it even if I considerably bump it up? It's just happening with this model. Anything else I create myself works.

jeric_synergy
04-23-2011, 09:37 PM
Post the object.