View Full Version : Gizmo and X-ray in model

10-17-2003, 03:24 AM
Right I'm probably not in the best position to be saying these things as I've only been using 7.5 for a few days now, so these might be options that I just haven't found. In modeler could we have a gizmo like in layout. I use some in house software at the company I work for and the programmers have designed a gizmo so you can change it's orientation from local to world, you also assign it to the orientation of any poly in the mesh. You also can click on the center to turn it into a scale gizmo it can also be a rotate tool. I find this really useful as the amount of time I'm at a funny angle and just want to pull a poly along a definite axis.

The other thing I think would be great would be to have an X-ray mode in model, a bit like you've got in layout for bones. The amount of times I get frustrated because I can't grab a vertices in the perspective view because it's hidden behind another poly. I have to keep going to the orthographic views and guessing which vertice it is, a real task when your mesh is getting heavy. So it would be good to just flick on X-ray and let Lightwave allow you to grab vertices behind. polys.

10-17-2003, 03:37 AM
Originally posted by peteb
The amount of times I get frustrated because I can't grab a vertices in the perspective view because it's hidden behind another poly.

Whats the problem with wireframe mode in the perspective view?
You can grab any vertex you wish.


10-17-2003, 03:46 AM
Yeah I have to flick to wireframe quite a lot, but this is no good if you want to see if a poly has become planer again. So say you've made a mesh and there's a few polys that have gone none planer, if you go to wireframe you're never going to know if you've moved the vertice enough to bring it back in line unless you go back to shaded which is a real pain to do. You can also just get a btter sense of whats going on in x-ray.

10-17-2003, 03:49 AM
Here's a few pics of what I mean by the gizmo. I'll post them one at a time because...well I'm a bit stupid and don't know how to do it any other way.

Ok this ones world orientation, pretty self explanatory me thinks.

10-17-2003, 03:50 AM
Next is local

10-17-2003, 03:52 AM
Now on this one I've dragged out a aligner to tell the program to align using the poly next to the one selected, you can align to any poly in the world space it doesn't have to be next to it.

10-17-2003, 03:56 AM
And now you can move that about using the orientation of the other poly. Notice also that the gismo has blocks on the end. This is so you can scale in individual axis, or if you click the centre, scale all three.

10-17-2003, 04:28 AM
Forgot to add that if you were to add an X-ray mode, then make sure it was assigned to a key so you wouldn't have to keep moving up and using the tab for view mode.

10-17-2003, 07:54 AM
DOH! i posted to you a huge reply but smth went bad and I have to rewrite it!!


1) for the skelegon prob, you don't need a xray in modeler. you have layers. so you can draw your skel in a 2nd layer, while you can see in bakground your model.so you can manipulate all vertexes you want. then, you can send all this in layout. lw can transform your skel into bones using that 2nd layer.
no prob.

layers are very good in Lw, to work with some tools(booleans drilll stencil and others)

2) the gizmo you talk about seems a sort of maya -like gizmo, wich can be useful in many cases.

however you have different possibilities to manipulate polys, very powerful.
you have move, rotate, etc, and you also have the modes for them, wich u can find in a menu at the bottom of mod UI. you can choose to set a mouse center, wich allows to move, rotate, etc, depending from the position of your cursor.very powerfull.

for a more precise scaling you have selection center wich uses the center of polys you selected to manipulate them

for moving /streching and more along one axis, simply hit ctrl when dragging. the polys or points will move along that axis with no prob. (this is very useful and intuitive):D

for smshifting operations. always smshift polys with a 0 offset, especially for organic. u can do this clicking with RMB when
sm shifting and also setting this by default of this tool.
then you can move your polys as you want, scale them, etc.

hope this can help.
all this being said, a gizmo or a mode to move polys along their normal would be very good

have a nice day!!:)

10-17-2003, 08:53 AM
That's really useful, I knew ctrl constrained the axis but I didn't realise it done it in the perspective view, I'll be using that a lot. As for all the modes down the bottom, the problem with this is you have to move your cursor off from what you're doing to go down there. It's far better to keep everything as near to what you're doing to keep the flow of your work. It's also not that clear what each mode does. It's much better to have a physical thing you can see like a gizmo

As for the X-ray thing I didn't mean for bones I was just refering to the style of how it's done in Layout

10-17-2003, 09:34 AM
I'd like to see gizmos in Modeler aswell. Not because I've found myself completely lost without, but mainly because I feel I could use the extra visual guidens. Currently there is no way of seeing what action center your in except for klicking the action center minimenu to have a look or by acctually testing hoping for the best (worst case: you have to undo). As such, visual guides/gizmos directly on the mesh is the best thing. If they're manipulable, all the better as it opens a new type of workflow (while maintaining the old) for exisiting users aswell as opens the door for people coming from other softwares. It would sweet if this guide could be moved interactively and snap it to polygon and point normals just by clicking it's center. It would also be cool if the up and down arrow keys could be made to flip through the action centers so you won't have to take your eyes of the mesh. I'd also hope to see a couple of new action centers like "normal of first selected".

I also agree on the Xray mode for modeler. Having to always change to Wireframe mode is not good enough. I work alot with EdgeTools AddEdge and it's guides are visible through the mesh, which I find this very comfortable as I can keep on working without haveing to constantly be rotating my mesh around for a better view.

10-17-2003, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by peteb
That's really useful, I knew ctrl constrained the axis but I didn't realise it done it in the perspective view, I'll be using that a lot. As for all the modes down the bottom, the problem with this is you have to move your cursor off from what you're doing to go down there. It's far better to keep everything as near to what you're doing to keep the flow of your work. It's also not that clear what each mode does. It's much better to have a physical thing you can see like a gizmo

As for the X-ray thing I didn't mean for bones I was just refering to the style of how it's done in Layout

happy to be useful!!:D

1) You can set keyboard shortcuts for the modes.:) so no mouse going far for the viewport you are working.
there is no workflow issue in Lw especially for organic modelling.

2) simply try the modes, you will understand better their behaviour than I making a long explaination.

3) as I said, a gizmo can be good, I'm not against these things, but trust me when I say that you can work fast even if you haven't it for now.

for example. in Maya you can stretch a poly not from its center moving its pivot point.setting it where you want, then stretching.
in Lw simply put your cursor on that poly in a different point and you stretch it the same way, faster.

maybe a gizmo wich updates its shape following the mode is the right way though. faster than clicking on it to change the mode surely

5) I maybe misunderstood the Xray mode you want and for what purposes you need it. there is no prob for a similar mode in modeler, it would be cool. :)

you talked about bones so I thought it was for viewing them better. skelegons are not bones are simply polygons that are a placeholder for them. so in Layout Lw can transform them in bones.

since in modeler by default without great plugins you can't test bones is not so useful seeing them in a Xray.mode
in Lw8 you will have the possibility to set them directly in layout and test them, to entirely rig your char here(where you have xray)the only problematic thing being the eventual weightmaps you'll have probably to set in the modeler. if Nt didn't thought for another way yet.

10-17-2003, 11:17 AM
Can you set up shortcuts for the different view modes. I had a look in the modeler hot key menu but couldn't see an option to assign things like wire frame mode or smooth shade mode. This would definitely be a good thing if it could be added. I use solid edge mode a lot and having to keep going to the tab is a pain, needs a short cut. Feel free to flame me if there is a way of doing this, I just couldn't find it.

Off subject but still something that I think would help would be, when you add a point to an existing poly I can't tell if I've added it in shaded mode. I either have to go to wireframe or just lasso round where I think it is. It would be nice if points could be made clearer.

10-17-2003, 12:39 PM
Never tried in Lw, but I think you can't have a shortcut for view mode in Lw unfortunately.

an interesting mode is wirefreame shade where you can see both wireframe and shaded solid and wich helps a lot especially when modelling organic directly in subpatch. you can also move points directly in this mode with drag tool directly in subpatch.clicking on the cross meetings between lines this is called phantom points and its a great feature indeed for organic.

I usually model with wireframe shade on. and switch in smooth shade sometimes.

P.S.to work proficiently in modeler is better to use all views IMO so also orthographic views. can seem odd to another app user, but I find is a good way.
even if there are people wich model in perspective view too.

10-17-2003, 12:39 PM
Ctrl+Numerical key sets presets for viewports. (NUmlock must be on). Then just press it again (without CTRL) to activate.

11-13-2003, 12:38 PM
Also want to add my vote for a transform gizmo in Modeler as well.

I've just started using LW, so maybe I'll get used to not having this feature (made the switch from 3d Studio to LW).

It (or me) is clumsy to move an object or poly by holding down the control key and hoping (I'm sure this is just me) that the part you move transforms/rotates along the desired axis.

my 2

11-14-2003, 02:59 AM
Nah I'm going tovote gpr this again because I've tried the other modes in Lightwave and they still don't make it as easy as using a gismo

11-14-2003, 03:16 AM
I use Maya too, where there is the transform gizmo. i like it, but what i don't like is that i have to click on the arrows to move items in one axe. even if I can click and then drag with the middle mouse everywhere i want in the viewport, these are still 2 clicks!
now, if i have a lot of faces or edges or points to move, that's a madness.
Ithink the best solution would be having a gizmo, both clickable and working with keyboard shortcuts, so that when for example I ctrl click to move an item on one axe, the relative part (arrow)of the gizmo is highlited,or becomes yellow like in Maya. that way, I understand exactly what the tool does in that moment. another good thing would be having a way, even if I have modes, to transform items by local or global.

11-14-2003, 03:26 AM
Yeah that's what our piece of in house software does. It also allows you to use a polys normal as the centre. So if you've got a huge selection but you want the axis to be lined up to just one specific poly in that selection you just point at it holding down the forward slash key and it will align the gizmo. Don't think you can do this in any other software.

11-15-2003, 02:11 AM

you dont need to click twice in Maya to move in an axis ...you can shift (or ctl dont remember) and move with the middle mouse button witthout having to choose the axis first...u can also do this for example when the manipulator is out of sight (shift MMB) and move in the direction you want ...also notice that you can snap to the viewport (look in the snaps next to snap to grid) wich then will move whatever you want paralele to the pov u have...if u kill one axis (ctrl/axis) u then have a 2d translate...the same goes for a scale...u can interactively scale in x/z without touching the Y for instance....and finely for those who miss the drag tool in Maa remember that u can set the manips to behave like the drag tool in the preferences...

bye :)

and the local and global axis of course exists in Maya...just clik on the blue dot when in component mode or w/left click (Maya 5) to switch between local/global when in object mode

11-15-2003, 09:27 AM
Thx a lot for the tips for Maya, Sailor! now my life will be easier.
as for global/local i was talking about Lw, not Maya, for a possible Lw gizmo. I knew the thing of the blue dot for local/global in Maya.

hey was wondering : if you have some other tricks for using Maya better, especially from a Lwer POV you can PM me so that we don't bother other great Lw users.


01-23-2004, 12:08 PM
Been kind of holding back to see if maybe this was one of the new modeling improvements, but so far doesn't look so.

Don't know how hard it would be to add this feature, but it just seems blairingly obvious to have both halves of LW with transform gizmos.

As far as I know, all 3d packages, from the very cheap to the real expensive use transform gizmos in modeler (with the exception of EI Universe) with varying degrees of success (I don't like the Carrera interface, for example).

For better or worse ( I think better) I'm committed to the switch to LW, mainly because of the price/features. But this addition would make learning/using this software so much more enjoyable.

my very long winded 2,

If you could attach a microphone to an ant, what sounds would you hear as it went about it's day...

01-23-2004, 02:17 PM
Even if I agree that a gizmo is required to know exactly what you do and do many operations with it, don't be scared by the fact you don't have one in modeler for now.

People in Lw models astonishing things even without it

You're right about a 3D app being more enjoyable to learn with a gizmo , though. Let's say I know just now you will enjoy phantom points for subpatch modelling. :)

01-24-2004, 03:34 PM
Will keep an open mind on this. As a very dear prof. I had was fond of saying "there's always at least three ways of doing anything."
I will learn to bend LW to my will (noting here that reading the Lord of the Rings trillogy has temporarily(?) altered the way I write).
oh well, back to cleaning up my office after the alienware challenge.