View Full Version : With all this talk of F-Prime, let's not forget other things.

03-06-2004, 12:31 PM
Hey everyone,

F-Prime looks awesome but it seems like its overshadowing everything these days. Let's not forget about LW itself which still needs quite a few improvements.

Here's a short list of things I would love to seee in Lightwave in the next iteration:

1. The ability to make edges hard or soft. Not in a weighting sense but in a smooth shading sense. Right now the whole smoothing thing is too limiting. If you have a quad and you want three sides of it to render smooth and one side to render hard, you can't do it. In the very least unlink the smoothing options from the surface options. Make it its own seperate map type. Unfortunately, I can't think of a way to implement this without adding, you guessed it:

2. Edge support. While recent videos have shown that LW has really filled the gaps in alot of areas concerning edge support, there are still quite a few areas that require actual edges. Things like edge weighting and hard/soft edges (see point 1).

3. More options for the move/drag tools. A recent video showed a point normal mover which is great but does it work with averaged normals on selections of more than one point? Also, I wish you could move points along adjacent edges. I also wish that there was a visual gizmo for constraining to an axis.

4. Sub-Division of N-Gons. I don't think this one really needs explanation, it has been requested before. ;)

5. Some sort of keyframable morph system. So you could control circular motions with one morph, like eye blinking. I have an idea in my head about how it should work but I'm drawing a blank on how to explain it right now.

6. Huge interface improvements. Specifically, make every key combination available for hotkeys. And allow more than just the three pop up menus. Right now there is just the menu for CTRL+SHIFT+LMB, CTRL+SHIFT+MMB, and CTRL+SHIFT+RMB. I'd love it if you could do custom menus for everything, even absurd things like CTRL+ALT+RIGHT SHIFT+6. Oh, and the ability to dock or undock palette into viewports. I'd love to have the schematic outside of a viewport for my second monitor or have the scene editor in a viewport along the top of my screen.

These are just the things that I would absolutely love to see in LW. There are many many more great suggestions but for me these things would really enhance LW.

I'll try to make some mock ups or get pictures from other apps to show how I envision some of these things working.

Thanks for your time.

03-06-2004, 02:40 PM
The idea of a separate smoothing map is a nice one. Potentially giving us smoothing groups ala 3dSMax - One of the few things I do actually like about that app.

I don't think this would need any more control over edges than we have now (ie none), because a smoothing map would only need to recognise that 2 different polys had different values to create a hard edge between them.

I'd imagine that you could have values of 0 to 255 to work with, and any identical values would be smooth.

The more I think about it, the more this sounds exactly like Max smoothing groups.

03-06-2004, 03:30 PM
The best way to do non-linear morhps would be to allow us to have a slider in the endomorph window from 0(no morph) to 100(full morhp) and allow us to maek more then morph per endomorph.

03-08-2004, 01:10 AM

I disagree, I think that edge manipulation is absolutely needed for proper smoothing control. Take the image below for example. What if I only wanted the red edge to be smoothed while every other edge remained hard? If you make poly #3 a different group than all of the rest then the blue edges will also render hard. If you make #5, #3 and #1 all one group with #6, #4 and #2 in a seperate group then the green edges will render hard along with the red one.


I may have missed something but I don't think it is possible in this situation to make only the one edge hard.

03-08-2004, 06:08 AM
I see your point, but I would settle for the per poly method if that was all that was do-able.

03-08-2004, 07:33 AM
I keep bouncing back and forth on the smoothing group issue.

When I first used it in MAX (after not having it in LW) I thought it was the bees knees, and for low polygon or sub-D work I still think it is. But for high polygon detailed work you do get an advantage in creating these creases with geometry, and thats those very fine highlights you get on these types of creases (different smoothing groups create very sharp creases) and the ability to make the highlight/crease as wide or as narrow as you like.

That said I would really like to see smoothing groups as an option as, it's rare that even for my work I can afford the polygon overhead of creating the creases manually.