View Full Version : help... Export displacement animation?

03-30-2004, 03:41 PM
Hi, sorry I'm new to Lightwave and have been running a few test when I got totally stumped...

Basically I want to export a test animation of some waves to direct x [or 3ds] to import into DarkBasic Pro. The waves were easily created using a "turbulence" displacement map in the item properties box [the "T" button].

But then comes the problem, how to get this animation outta Lightwave
-Have tried D_Storms plug [no deform appears]
-Have tried Deep Exploration [no deform appears]
-Milkshape appears not to import Lws [only Lwo]

I guess I need to "bake" the objects "displacement map" deform animation into a different mesh per frame..?

Any help would be great, even If anyone can just point me in the right direction..?

There's quite a large hobbyist Game Dev community out there, and Lightwave offers such good value/features for the money that I'm sure with little extra help on the export side it would become the number one package to use [starting at the bottom with the hobbyists may lead up the ladder to the Pro's?]. Cinema 3D and GameSpace are in danger of taking this market over..?

03-30-2004, 06:09 PM
I think you might have your wires crossed a bit as there is no way to get any displacement animation out of any package in the way that you describe. (other than morph maps and similar things, and that'd be hugely expensive on RAM and not condusive for realtime).

By the sounds of it, what you want is to use DirectXs' vertex shading to displace the surface or perhaps faked with a pixel shader.
I'm affraid that would almost certainly all be done programatically and perhaps previewed through the nVidia Cg package via software that supports it, such as Maya or 3DS MAX. But even having those packages and access to Cg wouldn't allow you to do what you wish as easily as you describe in your mail.

03-30-2004, 10:21 PM
Well, there are tools such as Point Oven that can transfer displacement info between apps, but I think Mattoo is right. For achieving a similar effect in DirectX you would have to program it or apply a displacement directly in the development environment. The only way I can think of is to "Save Transformed" for each frame and then make a morph sequence from these objects. Depending on the length of your sequence and complexity of your objects this will quite possibly be not very realtime friendly since the transformation arrays for each vertex would become rather large.


03-31-2004, 02:31 PM
Thanks for the posts guys.

Basically I just want to export a test animation of a basic wave/sea, it does not matter how it is created [displacemant maps seemed the easiest].

I seem to remember using GameStudio which had a little extra model program, that you loaded in two frames and it would morph between them, then export an .x file?

Generally the wave would be very low on polygons so I may have a look into the morph sequence stuff...

captain nemo
08-17-2004, 03:43 AM
Hi mate.
I use dbpro also.:)

Have you tried the dstorm plugin for exporting animation from lightwave?

I haven't had all that much success with doing character animation as i cant find a way to stop bits of the ik chain from affecting the wrong limbs but it might work for what you want.

I am getting fed up now and am considering ditching lightwave for milkshape. This is not something i want to do as i love lightwave (nearly 1000 pounds worth of love) but i am developing games rather than animations and newtek are just not providing support for the use of lightwave in this context.

Milkshape is free and supports full animation to .x things from what i hear. Oh the irony!!!

Ok, just noticed you have tried dstorm. You should be able to set up some bones and use ik to make your waves. Then check the bake ik option in dstorm and it should work. Im not at home now so i cant be very specific but i could give you more info later when i have lightwave in front of me should you require it.

The most common mistake people seem to make when using this plugin is to set the frame step option to the number of frames in the animation rather than the number of steps they want the plugin to record during the export process. Set it to 1 if you are happy with the number of frames in your animation.

Sorry if im telling you stuff you already know. Also im not sure if the option im thinking of is called frame step. Its the one above the one that does the time scaling i think.