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J Martin
02-21-2004, 09:38 AM
Greetings,

I'm absolutely new to to Lightwave although I've been using FormZ and Electric Image for years. I'm plowing through the manual and the Quick Start book and for the life of me I can't understand how to pick an object in the modeler.

Let's say I have a sphere and a cube on the same layer. How do I pick just the sphere? It seems that the only way is to lasso all the polygons. But what do you do if the objects overlap each other? What if there's a jumble of different objects? Isn't there a "Pick Object" tool?

I see the potential in this program, but I'm also getting a sense of an needlessly complicated interface. I'll save that rant for later.

Thanks for your help!

bloontz
02-21-2004, 09:57 AM
Yeah, Lightwave is a little different in that respect. You can select a poly on the object and hit the right bracket key to select all connected polys, or if you have given the objects different sufaces you can use the poly info dialog to select by surface. Lightwave treats all geometry on a layer as a single object so if nothing is selected on a layer the entire layer is selected. You can use layers to organize objects.

prospector
02-21-2004, 10:10 AM
I've gotten in the habit of just naming each object in the surface panel..like ball,cube, arm as I build them.
Then I just hit 'W' and they all show up there for picking and final surfacing there.
Actually it isn't a bad system, because I do stuff in Bryce, where all parts are jumbled and to pick something there you have to click on it and if you pick the wrong point then you have to keep picking points till you get the right one. And it gets to be a hassle when you have hundreds of items there.

Just keep working with it and you'll like this way better.

Ge4-ce
02-21-2004, 12:08 PM
Yeah,.. Also a powerful feature that not many modelers have.. not that I know off.. is hiding polygons..

select a buch of poly's and press the - key.. (minus key) it will hide the selected polygons. if you press = it will hide the unselected.

press \ to show them all again..

little sidenote: please DO remember to unhide all the poly's when you're finished or you could end up with weird stuff if you forget that you have some poly's hided afterwards..

good flow is: hide the ones you want, then do with the other polys whatever you want, and then unhide before doing anything else..

Believe me.. you will forget it otherwise.. I has happened to me several times..

as it probably have to others as well..

toby
02-21-2004, 03:53 PM
Hey welcome to LW, I tried to learn EI a year ago and found it very frustrating. So if there's anything you're used to doing in EI just ask us and we'll quickly show you the easiest way.

The Modeler is not as accurate as FormZ, but it does things like SubD modeling and chrarcter set-up. You could still use FormZ if you wanted to make aircraft parts or something.

What kind of 3D do you do - and what turned you into a 'switcher'? :D

pdrake
02-21-2004, 04:17 PM
i used ei for years and still do occasionally. i've been using lw for years too. you get used to it.

well . . . a little.

toby
02-21-2004, 04:23 PM
What do you guys think is the hardest part of LW to get used to coming from EI?

pdrake
02-21-2004, 04:54 PM
ya know, i don't think i could answer that now. it's been so long. i like ei's motion paths with handles.

riki
02-21-2004, 05:29 PM
Check my modeling tuts below, their more like research notes but should get you quick started.

Ade
02-22-2004, 09:54 AM
When u make one model, press Q and assign it a colour and name.

Then in the Polygon statistics box "W", make sure u r in polygon selection mode (down below left) and goto surfaces in poly stats window and select the new surface name and click the + icon and it will select the who surface object.

J Martin
02-23-2004, 09:27 AM
Thanks to everyone for the help. I haven't tried the tricks yet but I will tonight.

Toby--
I haven't totally switched from FZ/EI. I wanted to work more with Poser and FZ/EI absolutely would not work with the program. So I did my homework and LW was the one to go with. Also FZ models import well into LW. Nice.

I haven't done any modeling in EI for two reasons: First the modeler is extemely slow (maybe it's my my computer, but EI claims it's a bug in OpenGL). When I go to move something with a few hundred polygons it takes the imgage about five to ten seconds to catch up with my cursor. This alone drives me nuts. Second, the documention for EI has *always* been horrible. They have always started with the assumption that you know everything there is to know about 3D so the manual just tells you that the parametric tessellation box is where you input the parametric tessellation. That's no help for the newbies (or even the vets). There's also very few books other than the manual (I've counted one). Although I've never worked with them, I hear EI's bones and IK are a mess. However, EI renderer is VERY fast and it has excellent camera controls. I haven't gotten deep into camera controls for LW, but it seems it could use a lot of improvements.

I still like FZ for architecture and it's interface seems more logical than LW. However, after only goofing with LW for a couple of weeks, LW seems far superior in doing organic shapes. As I type this, I'm looking at a picture of a B-17(?) bomber and thinking how hard it would be in FZ. In fact, I've always wanted to make an Ionic capital in FZ, but could never figure out how to do it. Mayby LW now.

In the last two weeks I've spent half my time reading the books line for line and the other half squinting at the screen going "Huhhh???" But for the times I do make something work I say "Hey, that's pretty impressive!" I think it's going to be a slow up-hill battle, but I see there's too much good stuff in here to give up too quickly. I'm going to stick around. Happy to be here.

Jack

Turner
02-23-2004, 09:56 AM
I'm a form•z user too; what makes you say a B17 would be hard?

Seems to me like lofting the whole darn fuselage is a piece of cake, plus, you can finely round any edges you like. Booleans are basically flawless... and so forth.

Being a new user of Lightwave I can say that, as in any other software, I don't like to have to open multiple windows to set the settings for one feature. Also, I don't think text buttons are any better than icons; either way you have to learn what they mean, and that's what tool tips are for, anyway.

That said, I got Lightwave because it has what seems to be a great particle/hypervoxel system and can indeed do really nice organic modeling.

I don't think of B-17s as organic in the same way I think of, for example, a heart as organic.

Cheers,
Andrew

toby
02-23-2004, 02:56 PM
When I think of organic, I think not only of smooth curves, but something that will flex and deform.

I think a B17 would be easier in FormZ, but it takes more skill in FormZ, like C-splines (B-splines?) . When I first got LW, after doing a few tutorials I dove in and built a detailed motorcycle model, in about the time it took me to learn how to build a rocket in FormZ.


Being a new user of Lightwave I can say that, as in any other software, I don't like to have to open multiple windows to set the settings for one feature. Also, I don't think text buttons are any better than icons; either way you have to learn what they mean
!!! Text no better than icons!? I hate icons! They'll be totally different in each program, whereas 'rotate' is always the same, and once you learn what Skelegons are, there's no need to remember what the icon looks like because it says 'Skelegons'. FormZ, as I recall, has 5 tools that are identified with little picture of a cube. (Sorry for the rant)

As far as the windows, do you mean the stats(w) and numeric (n) panels? Everone I know leaves them open on one side of the screen and resizes the viewports like this, it works great.

Turner
02-23-2004, 03:29 PM
Well, even on my 20" cinema display, the words take up an extra inch I'd rather use for display. Sorry, but everything works differently in different programs; LW has no "arrow" tool, for example, and I think that if it did, it would be quite stupid to have a button that says "arrow" just as a button that says "rotate" to me is a waste of space where I can easily get along with a little standard rotate icon.

Maybe that's your problem with form•z - eighty billion icons? ;)

As far as the windows being open - same thing, it could be streamlined. I understand why things have to be enabled separately, I'd just rather have related items always available in the same dialog.

joao
02-23-2004, 05:38 PM
personally i just like to give shortcuts to all the different screen-saving commands....
F6 to hide and show all the floating windows (numeric, etc..)
F7 to hide the tab.....
F8 for single view...
works really well.... on a 19" monitor.

And yes.... I spent the first years of my life learning to read... why should i have to learn different abstract icons for every different program... text will do for me!

j.

prospector
02-23-2004, 06:15 PM
Yep..text is the way to go.

Also dual monitors;)
get all them windows on 1 screen.

toby
02-23-2004, 06:43 PM
yea! Let's beat up the FormZ guy! :D

kidding! just ignore that.

Welcome to Lightwave!!

Turner
02-23-2004, 06:52 PM
lol...

Try it and I'll bevel each one of your edges individually, with different radii at each end and varying vertex caps to boot!


Originally posted by toby
yea! Let's beat up the FormZ guy! :D

kidding! just ignore that.

Welcome to Lightwave!!

toby
02-23-2004, 08:42 PM
I will kick you in the nurbs!

Turner
02-23-2004, 09:10 PM
That's just not rational...


Originally posted by toby
I will kick you in the nurbs!

Ge4-ce
02-24-2004, 01:14 AM
Hey toby... what's with the windows screendump on Newteks Mac-forum??? ;) you are looking for trouble isn't he Turner? :p

toby
02-24-2004, 11:45 AM
I was at work - forgive me! won't happen again

J Martin
02-24-2004, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by toby
yea! Let's beat up the FormZ guy! :D


Fine. Be that way. I'll just go back to using Strata.....:D

Turner
02-24-2004, 03:25 PM
What made you stop?

:)

Actually Strata has some great and fast 3d particle effects, even the old decaying version I use.


Originally posted by J Martin
Fine. Be that way. I'll just go back to using Strata.....:D

bloontz
02-24-2004, 03:38 PM
Back on topic, you can also make "point selection sets" and "parts" in modeler on the display tab. I always forget about them but they are quite useful.

Ge4-ce
02-25-2004, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by bloontz
Back on topic, you can also make "point selection sets" and "parts" in modeler on the display tab. I always forget about them but they are quite useful.

Yeah! And in LW 8, there is a feature, (or this particularry feature) added to the W T M buttons bottomright. I mean it is Parts or at least something that has to do with that new dynamic engine.. I saw one of those demos of LW 8 where they named parts or where they named the points like you would do with a morphmap..

these names then show up in Motion designer.
So I guess its a part-namer.. very handy!

pdrake
02-25-2004, 01:39 AM
hey! i just made a great building in formZ tonight. it's nice to have a software that keeps scaling across the apps.

lots of boolians and it made clean polys.

:p

J Martin
02-25-2004, 07:17 PM
I was playing with Layout tonight and I noticed that a curious thing. When I move an object the cursor stays at it's original point. For instance. if I move the time frame slider from zero to ninety, the slider moves but when I release the mouse button the cursor is still at zero. It also happens when I move models, cameras, lights. It's not a big deal, but I'm wondering if anyone has had this problem.

toby
02-25-2004, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by J Martin
I was playing with Layout tonight and I noticed that a curious thing. When I move an object the cursor stays at it's original point. For instance. if I move the time frame slider from zero to ninety, the slider moves but when I release the mouse button the cursor is still at zero. It also happens when I move models, cameras, lights. It's not a big deal, but I'm wondering if anyone has had this problem.

That's the way it's designed, it's so you can keep dragging when the cursor would otherwise stop at the edge of the screen.

3DSMax has a similar feature, the mouse doesn't disappear, it continues from the other side of the screen.

jdavidbakr
02-26-2004, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by J Martin
I was playing with Layout tonight and I noticed that a curious thing. When I move an object the cursor stays at it's original point. For instance. if I move the time frame slider from zero to ninety, the slider moves but when I release the mouse button the cursor is still at zero. It also happens when I move models, cameras, lights. It's not a big deal, but I'm wondering if anyone has had this problem.

If you don't like it, switch to tablet mode. The idea is so that you can keep sliding your mouse/track ball without ever having to go re-grab the tool when your mouse would get to the end of the screen.

I also wanted to pipe in on the EI/LW differences, I came from an EI background, on thing that bit me that I really liked in EI was the fact that you could override the surface settings for an object in a scene, and that would be saved with the scene. If you change surfaces in Layout, you have to save the object to get it to stick (and you are not warned in Layout ever if you are about to lose the changes you made to an object or a scene).

toby
02-26-2004, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by jdavidbakr
you could override the surface settings for an object in a scene, and that would be saved with the scene.

EI converts any model brought in into a scene as a .fact file and loads that whenever you loaded the scene - basically saving a new model with the surface changes for you, isn't that the way it works?

Anyway, if you want to do that in LW, apply Sliders to the surface channels and make your changes with them, the color changes will save with the scene without changing the model -

Ge4-ce
02-27-2004, 01:33 AM
Also, if you have both apps open, and your hub is active.. You will see a little * at the objectname. So the surface settings are ported to modeler. In that way, you would never close an object without saving the settings.. But I agree.. you have to enable the hub, and you have to open modeler, ... wich is a little bit weird..

It's just a habit also.. before I render.. I always save the scene and save all objects..

Forget it once.. you'll be pissed.. forget it twice,.. you will be very pissed.. forget it 3 times.. you will be soooo pissed that you never forget it again..

jdavidbakr
02-27-2004, 07:32 AM
Originally posted by Ge4-ce
Also, if you have both apps open, and your hub is active.. You will see a little * at the objectname. So the surface settings are ported to modeler. In that way, you would never close an object without saving the settings.. But I agree.. you have to enable the hub, and you have to open modeler, ... wich is a little bit weird..

It's just a habit also.. before I render.. I always save the scene and save all objects..
I agree, I am used to it now. That sliders idea is a good one, though.