View Full Version : new lightwave user...

05-04-2004, 10:47 AM
I'm a very new lightwave user... I have 7.5 and just got 8 in the mail. I have barely dabbled with either, yet. I am a graphic designer and I'm really familiar with the standard graphic design programs (photoshop, illustrator, etc...), but I'm trying to get into the 3 dimensional world now as an added dimension to my work. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to start? Any good beginer tutorials, or lessons I could start with... I learn fast and have already learned quite a bit about the interface of the program and a few functions, but I definitely need somewhere to start. It's a pretty imtimidating program if you haven't worked much in 3D. Any thoughts? Thanks!


05-04-2004, 11:40 AM
by the way... I have Dan Alban's book, "LightWave 7". Is this a good book and a good place to start? I'd really appreciate any help anyone can give me on this. Thanks!


05-04-2004, 11:52 AM
That Dan Alban book is a great place to start! He gives an overall how-to on using Lightwave... think of it as a supplement to the manual-- filing in the gaps left by the manual.

my copy is worn out!

When did you pick up 7.5?


When did 8 get to you?

05-04-2004, 11:59 AM
we got [7] like 5 months ago or something, and it's been sitting on the shelf since. Not because I didn't want to get started working with it, but becuase we've just had a lot of other, more traditional design work that took priority. Now I'm ready to break into it. It's just another artistic medium to work in to me.

We got [8] thursday or friday of last week.

Thanks for the tip on the book. I was planning on probably starting there first, but I didn't know if anybody had any other ideas. Like I said, I'm new to this and want to make sure I get a real good handle on it early.


05-04-2004, 12:00 PM
Yes, that's a very good place to start and from what I've seen so far, much of the inside 7 book is still applicable to lw 8.

I am a relative newbie myself. With few exceptions (Modeling in LightWave by Shamms Mortier, ive seen in in a bookstore and it sucked) all LW books are quite helpful in one way or another. The inside lw is probably the most comprehensive series and covers a wide range of topics. I like having books, others might prefer online tutorials. There is plenty of new books coming out this year written specifically for LW[8], but many of them have not been published yet.

The LW manuals, while they cover "what is there", they do not do a good job of explaining how and why use certain tools.

As an alternative, there are plenty of good free tutorials on the web, including newtek.com

Flay.com is another notable place to visit, mainly for their free plugin database.

I have not tried any of the training DVDs (yet?), so I'll leave their descriptions to others.

05-04-2004, 12:12 PM
yeah, I'd really love to find something that can tell me HOW and WHY certain toold are used too. I don't know if there are any other resources that do this available, but if there are and anyone has any ideas, let me know.

05-04-2004, 12:18 PM
this is a great online resource:


gives plenty of examples of tools and how to use them.

05-04-2004, 12:20 PM
How do people normally learn this stuff? Do most people learn from books and tutorials, or classes or what? Give me your stories of how you first became Lightwave professionals... :)



05-04-2004, 12:34 PM
I learned from books(dan's book) and zillions of online tutorials... also getting laid-off gave me time to sit and learn this stuff. Lots of trial and error and error and error...

05-04-2004, 12:40 PM
oh another thing...

I think it also helped that I come from an art backgroud(was a comicbook artist for about 10 years now i do storyboards) and already had an understanding of shape, form, contour, volume, structure...

I loved sculpture class back in art school and it sorta translates to the 3d work i'm doing in Lightwave and zbrush.

05-04-2004, 03:04 PM

05-04-2004, 03:50 PM
Another book I have, which I was not aware was in the office, is called "Essential LightWave 3D 7.5" by Timothy Albee. I hear this is a good one. Anybody have any experience with this one?


05-04-2004, 04:20 PM
Like you, I'm pretty new to the LW scene too, but I've got quite a few of the books. The Timothy Albee book "Essential LightWave" is fantastic. I've also picked up "LightWave 3D 7.5 Lighting" by Nicholas Boughen, that's a great book too.

05-04-2004, 04:26 PM
I've got that one too... I just haven't even thought about delving into it yet. I want to get the basics down first, but it's definitely nice to hear that I have quite a few good resources here! Thanks for everybody's imput and help so far... I really appreciate it! I welcome any more advice anyone's got.


05-04-2004, 08:25 PM
The biggest problem that your going to have using a version 7 book is the user interface in version 8 has changed. So keep that in mind when reading your books. Once you read those I would recommend getting the version 8 books to match, they will help in learning the new features. Also if your interested there are some good pro tutorials available as well. The author of Inside Lightwave 7 has a web site at www.3dgarage.com where you can get CD tutorials. Also Larry Schultz has simalar tutorials. His web sit is www.splinegod.com

05-05-2004, 10:25 AM
My Lightwave 8 KillerTips just arrived 10 minutes ago. I ordered it from amazon.
It is not thick, but I am sure tips are very useful... and its full color.

It is the first of many lw8 books I (pre)ordered. Cant wait for the rest.

jin choung
05-05-2004, 12:37 PM
dan ablan's books are solid.

but if you're really new, i would recommend george maestri's Digital Character Animation 2, Volume I : Essential Techniques....

it gives you a great overview not of the nitty gritty of buttons but of the fundamentals underneath which is far more important and if you have a solid grasp of this, learning any 3d app is a matter of buttons. if you don't know your polys from NURBS from a hole in the ground, it is absolutely essential.

further, it is a book that is extremely introductory but it never talks down to you and it's entertaining even for someone like me to read even now. great book.

for the cheapest way to get a grip on the buttons, VISUAL QUICKSTART GUIDE (the two tone cover books that have a running rabbit) to lw is really concise, ORGANIZED and CLEAR and it's the cheapest way to get started at $25.



05-05-2004, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by jin choung

for the cheapest way to get a grip on the buttons, VISUAL QUICKSTART GUIDE (the two tone cover books that have a running rabbit) to lw is really concise, ORGANIZED and CLEAR and it's the cheapest way to get started at $25.


who's the author of the visual quickstart quire you've been mentioning on a couple of threads already?

amazon search for "VISUAL QUICKSTART GUIDE " resulted many books, and none had a rabbit on it

jin choung
05-06-2004, 12:37 AM

arthur howe.

sure there's a rabbit. it's the little white running thing in the upper right hand corner.

gee. and it's even cheaper at amazon... $15!


05-06-2004, 06:55 AM
Oh, now I recognize the book :D
I was expecting a big, huge rabbit, that's why I omitted it

I even remember browsing through it at a local bookstore.
For some reason it did not catch my attention. Is it really worth buying it if I have inside lw, essential lightwave, char animation and lighting books (7.5 versions)?

jin choung
05-06-2004, 10:19 AM
holy cow art,

i think you can safely stop buying lw books! you've appeased the lightwave product quota by quite a bit!

as i said, it is very effectively organized for people to get up to speed on lw quickly but it's no frills and probably not of much interest to people familiar with lw already.


05-07-2004, 07:25 AM
Leigh van der Byl's LW Texturing book is shipping! (according to an email from wordware at least)

05-07-2004, 02:50 PM
Another book I have, which I was not aware was in the office, is called "Essential LightWave 3D 7.5" by Timothy Albee. I hear this is a good one. Anybody have any experience with this one?

Yes, yes! That book is great. I'm a newbie to LW (since January of this year), and LW finally made sense to me after reading Essential LW. I like the other books mentioned, too, for in-depth stuff. There's a great head-modeling tutorial in Inside LW, for instance.

And that's wonderful news about the LW8 texturing book. I've been waiting for that one. :D

The LW life is good.