View Full Version : animating bones of a character in Lightwave 2018.0.6

08-30-2018, 09:11 PM

I downloaded the Trial Version of LightWave 2018.0.6. I am testing the new version. I built a character in LightWave modeler gave it weight maps and skelegons. I assigned the weight maps in the Skeleton Tree, then I sent my character to Layout so it can be animated. When I send it to Layout I had (as was in Lightwave 10.1 ) turned the "bones on", then I converted the skelegons to bones; the program shows that 14 bones were created!!! Then I started posing my character; when I move the arm of my character, from its shoulder the arm moves fine, but if I want to move the elbow (bone) the bone moves outside of the arm and the 'mesh' of the arm moves straight up!!! The arm does not bend or move like a real arm. Another issue is that the 'shadow of the arm in Layout is not consistent and the shadow does not move with the 'arm' like it should.

I am not sure if there is a setup in the Lightwave software which has changed from Lightwave 10.1, or if it is due to software code in Lightwave 2018, or there is some command or feature which needs to be used or defined to make the synchronization of the arm, elbow and shoulder to behave like it would 'normally'.

I have not started adding the needed features to have the fingers and thumb of the character move independently of each other yet! That would be the next step.

I am wondering if someone in this forum has come across this issue, or can help me find the solution to make this work. I sent a request to Lightwave Support but they have not replied yet, and I am not sure if they can help me in this area. The only person who possibly could is if they have worked on moving objects, characters, skelegons, bones, etc.
I would appreciate tips and help.

08-30-2018, 09:14 PM
It would help us help you if you provided the packaged scene. First, it lets us confirm that we see the same results (or not) attempting the same actions. Second, it lets us find any potential issues, etc. in the way you have the skeleton and model configured.

08-30-2018, 10:21 PM
I have never packaged LightWave files. Can you tell me how to do that?

08-31-2018, 05:40 AM
Zip your file and place it here as an attachment (on your message options you will see "Go Advanced" - click that and look for the paperclip icon which will allow you to attach the zipped file).

08-31-2018, 08:19 AM
In Layout, there is a Save=>Package Scene option. When you press this, you are given an option of where to package the scene and various options of what to include.

Personally, I create a top-level folder on C: called TEMP, which is normally empty and which I always use for packaging scenes for upload to the forum. So, for example:

142642 Save=>Package Scene option

142643 The Package Scene options that I prefer

When you press OK, it will create folders in the target location and copy all the files needed for the scene. The results in this case:


I then use the Open Source ZIP utility, 7Zip to place everything in a ZIP file for upload. 7Zip is available here:


Once it's installed on Windows 7, it provides a right-click option for "Add to Temp.zip", so I select all the folders involved with the scene (in this case just Images, Objects and Scenes) and click "Add to Temp.zip":


For clarity, I then rename the Temp.zip file to be the same name as the Scene file by copy-n-pasting the scene file name in Windows Explorer:

142646 Select and copy Scene file name

142647 Paste Scene file name to Zip file name

Finally, I use Manage Attachments in the Go Advanced forum option to upload the ZIP file to the forum:

142649 Press Attachments button

142650 Press Browse to get Add Files panel

142651 Select file to upload

142652 Press Insert Inline if desired, complete all uploads

I usually don't press "Insert Inline" for the ZIP file, only for images (screen captures in this case) and movies. The result of all of this is, of course, this forum post! :)


08-31-2018, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the instruction and help. My file is pretty small (under 60 KB), and I want to make sure a Mac zip file does not create problems for you.
The file is being uploaded, I hope you get it, and can open it without problems. Since I am still trying to learn LW 2018, I may be looking for tools and features like they were in LW 10.1!

So here is my file, without the cache, or other files as you has instructed.
Thanks again

08-31-2018, 10:29 PM
Unfortunately, uploading just the LWS scene file without the associated LWO object file won't show any issues. The scene file you uploaded doesn't appear to have any animation in it (i.e. no bone movement), but even if it did, it wouldn't show the weight map or other issues you described without the associated LWO Object mesh to be deformed by the bones.

ZIP is pretty standardized and people upload zip files from the Mac regularly. I'd recommend using Package Scene and a ZIP utility as I describe above. Also, you might include animation of the bones to demonstrate the weight map issues you describe.


09-01-2018, 11:52 AM
Thank you for reading my message, and replying. I am attaching both files; I am not sure if there may be a 'code' link between the 2 files due to time or any minor change in the content.


09-01-2018, 01:37 PM
Thank you for reading my message, and replying. I am attaching both files; I am not sure if there may be a 'code' link between the 2 files due to time or any minor change in the content.

LW works a bit differently from that, there's just a reference to the LWO in the LWS. However, that's why it's usually best to use the "Package Scene" option to package up a scene to give to others, it ensures everything it properly organized so LW can easily find the different types of content. After Package Scene, it's best to just compress the new content directory it created and send that, rather than try to pick out the individual files to send. Hope that helps!

I can't look at your scene until a bit later this afternoon, but will look then and see if anything seems obviously broken.

09-02-2018, 05:36 PM
Hi Rizwan,

Well, I'm no rigging expert, but a quick evaluation of your uploaded scene /object shows a few basic issues.

First, your object is subpatched, and doesn't have actual geometric joints at the elbows or at the knees where the bones intersect. In your scene, the Subdivision is applied after the Bones, which means the Bones affect the underlying "real" geometry (with no elbow or knee joints, so the whole arm or whole leg) and then subpatches are applied:

142693 No elbow joints, knee joints too low

142699 Without elbow joint, bending forearm bone affects entire arm

Two potential solutions: First, add elbow and knee joints where the Bones intersect using Knife. I think this is a better solution and gives you more control. The other option is to change the order of application, dragging "Subdivision" above "Bones" in the Object Properties:

142694 Original / default order of application

142695 Modified order, better deformation

Second, you have what's called "gimbal-lock" on your thigh bones. This means that the Heading (red) and Bank (blue) rotation options are in the same plane, meaning you can't really use Heading to any advantage. So if you try to use Heading or Bank to rotate the leg to the side, you'll be unable to do so with the current skelegon setup:

142696 Heading & Bank in the same plane - gimbal lock!

142697 Rotating Heading Twists foot outward

142698 Rotating Bank does the same thing!

I don't know how you set up your Skelegons in Modeler, but you might consider using the Skelegon drawing tool (Setup=>Skelegons) to drag out each successive skelegon. This tool usually sets up the correct H,P,B for full versatility.

I'd recommend you position your model at (0,0,0) in Modeler, and then move it to where you want it in Layout (it's currently above and to the left of (0,0,0)).

Good luck!