View Full Version : Lightwave <--> Terragen success

10-15-2013, 06:53 AM
I've been chipping away at an LScript based approach (mine) to get good camera/object correlation working between TG2 and LW - only goes from LW->TG, but seems to hang together well enough: XYZ + HPB + FOV over nominated frame range. Also exports nominated light HPB + selected object(s) XYZ + HPB. The above has been slowly coming together over a couple of years, all happening via .chan file export.

Just tried FBX export from LW to TG2 - seems to do for getting camera / lights / LW Nulls across - can't seem to figure out a 'pure' FBX means for getting a LWO-in-TG object's XYZ + HPB hooked into an FBX imported null in TG ... of course there's always the .chan path.

Just curious - is anyone managing to successfully push out renders/animations with good LW-2-TG integration?


10-16-2013, 10:27 AM
Is it critical to start in LW? I usually try to have Terragen as my landscape starting point as you can have great images as sequenced plates that can be front projected onto accurate geometry that is perfectly synchronized with the camera.

10-18-2013, 01:48 AM
Hey thanks for your input.

No, not critical at all to start in LW. But this being a LW forum the post reflects that.

My workflow is probably the same as you have described: work up something in TG2 which starts looking cool, push that across to LW as a staging arena, refine object/camera movement in LW (much easier to control in LW), then push camera/objects (as required) back into TG2 for final renders, the same used for FP projection in LW later.

I guess I'm also looking to see who else is consistently/successfully working with LW/TG2 without being driven around the bend :-)


10-18-2013, 06:29 AM
The first thing I do is get my Terragen scene to what I need. Depending on what is needed (Large vista or close up) as the detail needed for the geometry export needs to be considered. I then export the camera position with the FBX scene export (Use meters as the scale). This will give you the camera position and lighting for LW. You need to pay attention to the Horizontal FOV, making sure it is only 2 decimal places (not three). I haven't had issues with moving in TG but understand the need to move the Camera in LW.
Make another camera in TG and point it straight down, making sure you can see all the areas your camera plans to go.
Start off with a lower camera detail (around .2-.3) as this will only be for knowing where you are in the scene.
Add the Micro Exporter under the sequence tab, making sure you name your geometry with the .lwo extension. Set the frames to render from 1 to 1
The dimensions of the camera to start can be around 1000 x 1000 or lower. The higher the resolution and detail settings, the more detailed the geometry. You need to be careful not to over do it....

In lW, open the FBX to get your camera's starting position and light in place.
Load in the LWO to your scene.
You will notice that the camera view doesn't look right. Go to the camera properties and change the Lens Focal Length to Horizontal FOV and manually change it to the TG setting. You will notice that LW rounds the number to 2 decimal places.
Now your view of the geometry should resemble that of TG's view.
You can then proceed to keyframe your camera path and FBX export that back into TG. The simpler the geometry, the better the performance.

When you render in TG, you need to add the Micro Exporter to your render camera or just increase the detail/resolution to your other camera for a finer geometry when bring it back into LW.

10-22-2013, 06:30 AM
Hey Chris, thanks again.

Nice detailing of TG2.5x workflow, now with FBX as the main conduit between LW and TG2

Before TG2.5x (i.e. before FBX) was where I started, hence a fairly useful LScript approach.

One thing I have liked doing is getting my LW vehicles to cast shadows in TG itself, which is why I posted my original query. Put another way, I can currently import Lwo files (wheels / car body) into TG2 via LWO reader, and quickly reference the motion data exported from LW via my script to get them moving and casting shadows (with "Visible to Camera" turned off). This works well for creating background plate as well as Front Projection renders for eventual use in LW.

But when I saw that TG now supports FBX for both import/export, I was wondering if there was now an easier way to do this ... hence the original query about utilizing a Null exported from LW via FBX and now imported into TG (also via FBX) being used to drive a Lwo object in TG. It seems to me that the controls for getting this done are different for an imported Null in TG than for an imported Lwo object, but possibly I've overlooked something.