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dwburman
02-11-2012, 05:14 PM
Hi guys, I'm finally wrapping up a course on gradients in LightWave that I started last July. I've posted a few videos from the course on YouTube.

Introduction: http://youtu.be/Dh3OFKaNjUE

The majority of the course is a survey of the various types of gradients found throughout LightWave. In the last section of the course, I demonstrate several practical uses of gradients. These next videos are from that section:

Photoshop-style Gradients: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=you23LuWbCU

Gradients Based on a Null Position: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0jDK3emSBY

The Photoshop gradient tutorial is the same one I posted several months ago, and the Gradients Based on a Null Position tutorial grew out of a discussion here and I based part of it on a post by xSwampyx, so I thought it'd be better to give that one away.

I expect the course to be available for purchase at http://Liberty3D.com within a week or two.

Riff_Masteroff
02-11-2012, 05:20 PM
Sounds great. Wanna see the L3D description, when available.

XswampyX
02-11-2012, 06:32 PM
Looked at the free one, thanks for the name check. :thumbsup:

Like the style and your simple explanation. Gradients rock! :dance:

ncr100
02-12-2012, 05:58 PM
Nice stuff!

I'm still a newbie at LW and am realizing only now the importance of gradients. Gradients to me seem to be one of the very important important core, interconnecting concepts in LW which, once understood, really set you up to comprehend the overall app; everything else LW offers is more easily associated and built upon mentally if the core concepts are understood.

Philbert
02-12-2012, 10:25 PM
Something like 9 years using LW and gradients still confuse me at times. I'll definitely look forward to it.

dwburman
02-12-2012, 11:24 PM
Finally, the course is available online now:
http://www.liberty3d.com/citizens/d-w-burman/danas-videos/gradients/

I tried to be thorough in showing all of the different types of gradients found throughout LightWave. While I do show how to use gradients, the majority of the course isn't a "follow along with me" project-based style of instruction. I do include some example scenes and show how they are set up.

When finalizing the scenes, I noticed I had a test scene that didn't really show anything special so I reworked it a bit and added some PixieDust and came up with something that sparkles. :) http://youtu.be/s5ZtQYaf8Y8

The total running time for the course is 4 hours 17 minutes. The video is 1280x720 (native resolution... not scaled down) in .mp4 files.

If you order within the next week or two, you can save 25% by using coupon code: BeMine . This sale is site-wide, so check out the other tutorials and plugins available. :)

alexs3d
02-13-2012, 05:01 AM
hi @dwburman, i recently purchased this tutorial but the download links i got do not work, i do not know if it is a temporary problem, i hope this will be fixed soon.

alexs

Creativetone
02-13-2012, 05:48 AM
Hi, @dwburman.

Thank you very much!
I already watched couple of those videos.
Good amount of information, tips and tricks how to use those mysterious Gradients.
Like "FakingHighDynamicRangeImagery".

Looks like there is no limits how to use Gradients. :)

@alexs3d - I downloaded tutorials with aid of momentary Dropbox share invite.
They try to fix those download problems at the moment.

cptwhite
02-13-2012, 06:00 AM
Just thought I should mention I got a boat load of virus warning using Avira AntiVir when clicking through to the link in post 6....(around 10 or more!)

ursa
02-13-2012, 09:35 AM
whats up with the borked links? i get a 403 error on the links that were sent. hope that gets sorted soon.

jeric_synergy
02-13-2012, 10:49 AM
Something like 9 years using LW and gradients still confuse me at times. I'll definitely look forward to it.
Yeah, no kidding. The bit that confuses me now is that you can animate KEYS (via nodes).

Pour moi, that's confusion squared. 8~8~8~

+++++++
EDIT+ADD: it strikes me that "GRADIENT" was a particularly poor choice of nomenclature for "LW Gradients", because of the previous association of the word 'gradient' with effects like PShop's gradient. A lot of usage of LWgradients are rather counterintuitive-- perhaps a different name would have eased the confusion.

We're stuck with it at this late date, but it's a cautionary tale for future features.

YMMV.

dwburman
02-13-2012, 11:10 AM
Thank you for purchasing!

The download file issue was due to the .7z compression... it put the part number after the file extension. I switched to .rar files and have uploaded them and updated the link. You should get a new set of links as soon as Kat can resend them. I apologize for the inconvenience.

If you have any questions about the content or are getting confused somewhere, please let me know via the forums at Liberty3d.com.

@cptwhite
Thank you for letting us know. We'll check into it.
[edit] I checked the link using a couple online scanners (onlinelinkscan.com, virustotal.com) and they didn't find anything. Were there specific files that Avira flagged?

jeric_synergy
02-13-2012, 12:17 PM
(Dana's 'Gradient to Null' tutorial)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0jDK3emSBY

A couple of things I really like about this:


When Dana makes a small mistake, he shows how he corrects it. Very useful! Knowing how to find and correct errors is a big deal.

His riff on what's going on with the SUBTRACT node when presented with a 'triplet' is really good nuts-and-bolts stuff that node users need to know.

Now, a place where he lost me is WHY the subtraction operation needs to be executed: I reckon it's something about the spot info maybe not being in World Space??

dwburman
02-13-2012, 12:37 PM
(Dana's 'Gradient to Null' tutorial)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0jDK3emSBY

Now, a place where he lost me is WHY the subtraction operation needs to be executed: I reckon it's something about the spot info maybe not being in World Space??

I'm not entirely sure about that one myself. My math skills are very limited. :)

I do have an older node set up where I simply plug the position into the gradient and that seemed to work in that instance. This time around I was demonstrating xSwampyx's set up that I think I've seen somewhere else as well. It works, so I went with it. :D

What's interesting is that if you move an object up, it moves through the gradient. If you use the Object Spot instead of the World Spot, the gradient moves with the object, but the gradient's position still controlled by the null.

I learned a lot in this process of trying out all of the gradient types methodically. I was surprised at the number of different Input Parameters that were available in the different areas in LightWave.

jeric_synergy
02-13-2012, 12:49 PM
I'm not entirely sure about that one myself. My math skills are very limited. :)

What's interesting is that if you move an object up, it moves through the gradient. If you use the Object Spot instead of the World Spot, the gradient moves with the object, but the gradient's position still controlled by the null.
Hmmmm...that would be consistent with World Coordinate use. Confusing.

Is there any Node that is like a.... READOUT NODE or DISPLAY NODE that shows what a given output is, errr, outputting? That would really be useful for figuring out exactly what is going on in a network.

dwburman
02-13-2012, 01:05 PM
Yes there is, but I haven't tried it yet. :)

InputSpy

http://www.lwplugindb.com/Plugin.aspx?id=c793077b

Essentially what the subtract is doing, as I understand it, is giving you the difference between the two values (item position and world position... or 0,0,0). If you think of the gradient tool in photoshop, you set the start of the gradient by clicking the mouse button and the end of the gradient by releasing the mouse. The gradient then fills in the space between the two points. The start point (where you first click) is zero and the end point (where you release) is 1.0. Since you don't always start a gradient at 0,0 pixels you need the first click to establish the starting point in screen coordinates and then when you release the click, you set the end point. To get the gradient to work, the start coordinates get subtracted from the end coordinates...... maybe... Honestly, I don't quite comprehend it myself. I feel like I'm close to getting it, but it's just out of reach.
Suffice to say that gradients are based on the difference between two values. One value starts the gradient and the other ends it. The values can be a point in space, the angle of a ray or even the brightness or alpha of a texture. They are all about remapping values/colors based on input parameters.

jeric_synergy
02-13-2012, 06:48 PM
They are all about remapping values/colors based on input parameters.
Yes, I think "remapper", awful as that is, would have been a been a less confusing term for the LWGradient feature than 'gradient'. Pour moi. YMMV.

http://3dproj.com/2011/03/29/node-of-the-week-using-the-gradient-node-to-remap-numeric-values/

.

dwburman
02-13-2012, 09:07 PM
Yup, I included a link to that blog post in the pdf to the course. I remember asking you for permission for that several months ago. The project just took me longer than expected to finish because paying work came up along with the occasional loss of motivation on my end.

So thanks :D

ncr100
02-14-2012, 12:28 AM
...

@cptwhite
Thank you for letting us know. We'll check into it.
[edit] I checked the link using a couple online scanners (onlinelinkscan.com, virustotal.com) and they didn't find anything. Were there specific files that Avira flagged?

In Google Chrome I get this:


Warning: Something's Not Right Here!
www.liberty3d.com contains content from 31.184.242.102, a site known to distribute malware. Your computer might catch a virus if you visit this site.


So, Google thinks L3D has malware links. http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=163635 Remedies. I couldn't tell why Google thinks so...has the Forum been hacked to link to Viagra adverts?

EDIT: Contradictorily this link reveals no suspicions on Google's behalf: http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=www.liberty3d.com

EDIT 2: Didn't stop me from partaking of your wares Dana. :D

Lewis
02-14-2012, 07:33 AM
Nice work there, good to see it's live :).

dwburman
02-14-2012, 09:41 AM
Thanks, ncr100. I'll pass the info along to the guys who control the server.

Thanks, Lewis.

jeric_synergy
02-14-2012, 10:24 AM
Yup, I included a link to that blog post in the pdf to the course. I remember asking you for permission for that several months ago.
No wonder I don't learn software as fast as I used to: my memories in tatters.

jeric_synergy
02-14-2012, 11:19 AM
Yes there is, but I haven't tried it yet. :)

InputSpy

http://www.lwplugindb.com/Plugin.aspx?id=c793077b

Dana, that was so useful I've made it my "Node of the Week":



http://3dproj.com/2012/02/15/node-of-the-week-input-spy-free/


(Although "Node of the Indeterminate Long Period" might be more accurate....)

+++++++++

While I was DL'ing "Input Spy" from lwplugindb.com, I took the time to add a couple of tags to the entry. It'd be great if everybody made that a practice on untagged entries, to give the search engine over there a little help.

dwburman
02-14-2012, 02:51 PM
I've been thinking about using it for the Liberty3D.com plugin of the week/fortnight/indeterminately long time as well. :)

Also, we've taken Liberty3D.com down to work on the reported malware issues. Once we make sure everything is clean and working properly, it'll be back up online.

[UPDATE]
Liberty3d.com is back online with the offending .js files cleaned or removed. The menu system is misbehaving a bit, but we should have that fixed soon. Thanks to everyone who alerted us to the problem.