View Full Version : I give up on Bones...

08-18-2004, 12:57 PM
Hey guys...

I guess I just don't get it... I've been trying very hard to understand how to use bones...

Let's take a simple example...

I load the Moves.lws ... I preview it... Little skeleton dude swings around...


If I attach a simple object... say a tube... to the upper arm position... (after building it in Modeler to align to the upper arm bone when first loaded into the scene)

it don't work right...

If I replace the Null object Body with it... it will spin around as it follows the Null position but

I don't understand how to attach the ARMTUBE object to whatever bone (Like UPPERARM) so it behaves like the arm bone...

It moves around basically following the entire skeleton, but does not follow the arm bone structure... Or it's totally out of alignment,
(the angles are worng), it does not rise and fall with the arm bone structure...

Maybe I don't understand what bones are supposed to do... but after a week of trying, reading and asking for help...

Stick a fork in me; I'm done...


:confused: :confused: :confused:

08-18-2004, 05:16 PM
I am still learning bones my self. So from what I can tell by what you have said. If you attach another object to one that is loaded with the rig. Odds are 1) you either need to add another child bone which goes through your new object make sure you add the bone in the correct window so the joints will bend correctly. 2) you have to create a weight map on the new object so the bone effecting the object will effect only that object. 3) make sure your resting postions are set correctly and the new bone is activated.
Hope this helps. If not I am sure someone more knowegable than I will help.

08-18-2004, 06:29 PM
What do you mean 'Behaves like the arm bone'?

If you mean it only follows the motion of the arm bone, you should
1/move the object into the right place in layout
2/Make sure Parent in place is on in the Display Panel (press 'D' to bring it up)
3/Press 'M' to bring up the Motion panel and in the Parent field near the top, select the arm bone from the drop down list.

TO make the object be DEFORMED by the arm bones, then the obect should be in the right place in modeler first.

2/Send the object to layout, and click 'Bones' at the bottom of the Layout window. Press 'P' to bring up bone properties, then at the top, choose the Null with the bones in the 'Use Bones from' field.
3/The bones should be Active, this is signified by them being drawn with solid lines. If they're drawn with dotted lines, they aren't active. Press 'r' with the bones selected to set their current rotation and positions as their 'Rest positions'and make the bones active. The 'rest position' is the position from which LW calculates the deformation of your object. For instance, for a person, the rest position is usually arms and legs spread. This prevents bones from cross influencing each other as much as possible.

4/ Now you should rotate the bones, and the object should deform with them (Unless you're using weight maps, which means you'll have to define bone weight maps on the object too)

08-18-2004, 08:48 PM
Hey to Silk and Dodgy also to WingWalker from another Thread...

First to Wingwalker... I downloaded the Tutorial on Bones from 3D-Palace.com ... (it's awesome, I'm about 8 steps into 18... I still don't know zip from zap but it is a pleasure to watch someone who knows how to use the program work)...

To Dodgy... I'm only trying to get the object to follow the bone... not even trying for deformations... (but I have gotten some weird wones, nonetheless) ... I have version 6... (never needed anything but LOGO's and flying spaceships so...) and if it has Parent in Place I can't find it... (ain't mentioned in my manuals either) what does it do...

To Silk... I have tried most of those things... to no avail... so while I'm waiting for someone to publish "Lightwave for F.....g Idiots",
I'm going to give up for a while... (a week of 18 hour days is just too much). Newbies are often the best help to other newbies... they can break down a situation into simple steps without assuming prior knowledge...

I did get an email on Newtek's offer of $400.00 worth of free training materials with Version 8, Maybe they are trying to tell me something...

Thanks to all... and to all... good nite.


P.S. I'll still pop back in here from time to time... but right now I got to do some real video work.

08-19-2004, 02:34 PM
The strange things that I have happen with bones that often make me want to give up are when a character moves their arms, and even though the rest position has the arms straight out and far from anything else it will start pulling at polygons that are on the lower torso and legs.

08-19-2004, 06:51 PM
That is the reason weightmaps are used. They tell the bones what polys to move. If your not using weightmaps, I beleive you can change the influence of a bone. The overall strength the bone has on all poly's. I don't recall how to do that at the moment. But I do recall reading about it. If you are using weightmaps, check the map and see if you accidently selected some of the wrong polys.

08-19-2004, 08:16 PM
Hey Guys...

I'm thinking you must have to attach weight maps when you create the object in Modeler... (is that right?)... So the next question is if you have a Model that is already created... you can change the Weight on that??


I'll eventually get back to this project... I'm going back to something simpler now... or at least something I have more experience with.

08-19-2004, 08:45 PM
Yes weight maps are created in modeler. Weightmaps can be created in a couple of ways, one of which is to use the airbrush tool and paint the weightmaps onto your object. Once the weightmaps is done, you tell the bone to use that weightmap. So you would end up naming each weightmap, head, neck, arm, etc.
If the weightmap is wrong, you can create a new map or paint new information on the object with the airbrush. I am not sure, but I beleive that the weightmap works from 100% to 0% I don't recall if it can use negitive numbers or not, its been awhile. I beleive everything painted 100% is effected by the bone and everything paint 0% is not effected by the bone.
If I were you I would read up on weightmaps, airbrush tool and vertex paint tool. This should give you more information than I can. Good Luck

08-20-2004, 02:56 AM
You don't HAVE to use weightmaps, or you can use them by one weight map for many bones (making one weightmap called leg and assigning it to all the leg bones for example) or use onw weightmap per bone as most 3d packages do. Lw has a lot of flexibility in this area.

08-20-2004, 08:05 AM
Thanks again guys...

I will look into getting a new version of Lightwave that has the airbrush tool, etc., I have heard the later versions of LW are more character friendly... I doubt that it will be all that much easier for the occasional user... With great power comes thick manuals, (apparently)

Right now, I'm just trying to struggle with cutting a square hole in rectangular object...


Steve Boolean

08-20-2004, 12:30 PM
I know about weightmaps, and use them. I just find it odd that just because I didn't select 1 or 2 points on a characters butt for the torso weightmap, that just moving the hand would make them get pulled along. That and I've read people who seem to be experts on bones say that you can do characters without even using weightmaps at all.

That kind of thing confuses me when I read it, since I seem forced to use weightmaps just so hands aren't pulling legs, and a left foot pulling polys on the right.

08-20-2004, 04:39 PM
Do you build your characters with arms and legs spread? That's how I build mine and I've never had a problem.

08-21-2004, 07:22 AM
Hey Dodgy...

Maybe I was going about it wrong, I was trying to attach an object... (Just the Upper Arm, no more than a tube), I was just trying to learn by playing with what was already there...

I think perhaps I should have built my object and attached the bones in Modeler first (I actually didn't know that was possible, until I heard and saw a tuturial... which I haven't finished yet),
I'll let you guys know if I actually learn anything...

Steve ;)