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guyverz
04-18-2003, 08:13 AM
Anyone,

I am in the process of transitioning from Caligari trueSpace 6 to LightWave 3D 7.5b and I was wondering if any of you could help me with something...

In trueSpace, there is an information panel that gives the XYZ Position, Rotation and Size for any selected point, edge, face or object based on its "axis". This allowed easy, precise modelling in the virtual 3D world.

In LightWave, I've determined that "pivot point" is the same thing as "axis" in trueSpace. But I can't figure out how to view the information above for a poly AFTER IT HAS BEEN CREATED. I've figured out how to view/change the info for a point by using the "Info" feature. The "Info" feature doesn't show the Position, Rotation and Size for a poly.

To give you an example of what I would use this for...
What if I wanted an object aligned precisely with and touching the exact center of a single face on a sphere?

I've gone thru the manual as thoroughly as possible without reading EVERY page and can't find a LightWave equivalent for what I used in trueSpace. I've grown to hate trueSpace because it is just too unstable. Please, somebody help me figure out how to do what I'm wanting in LightWave so that I don't have to switch back to that abominable trueSpace.

:confused:

Mylenium
04-18-2003, 08:57 AM
Well, I hate to say it, but this thing along with the inability to switch between local, world and parent space as well as the lack (more or less) snapping and alignment tools is one of the shortcomings of LW's modeler. There are a few scripts/ plugins you can find at http://www.flay.com. BTW, what do you mean with precision modelling? Even in CAD it is always pseudo-precision as long as everything is in the computer - it's all just numbers. Unless you have something in your hands there is no such thing as measurable precision.

Mylenium

guyverz
04-18-2003, 09:21 AM
Hi

That's discouraging news. :(

As far as "precision", I simply mean the abilty to specify a specific point in the virtual 3D world.

Looks like I'm not going to be able to get rid of trueSpace entirely.

Thanks for the info.

Aquaman
04-18-2003, 12:46 PM
You can press the "n" key for the numeric panel. This will give you the x,y,z coordinates for the object you are creating as well as their size. In modeleer the pivot point is always at 0,0,0 unless you move the pivot somewhere else via the pivot point tool. You can also use the"i" key for the info panel for both points and polygons. The info panel will number each point or poly and give its coordinates. It can be very useful for moving groups of points to the same coordiantes of another point.

guyverz
04-18-2003, 02:15 PM
Aquaman,

The Numeric panel only works at the time of creation. I want to find/change the XYZ position, size and rotation numerically AFTER creation. The Info panel does work for polys, but from what I've seen, it does not allow for changing the perameters mentioned above like it does for points. So those 2 features don't help me. Thanks anyway.

guyverz
04-18-2003, 02:19 PM
Mylenium,

I looked at the website you suggested to find a plugin that would work for me -- great website BTW. Unfortunately, there are so many that I'm having difficulty figuring out which one will do what I need -- especially since the details of the ones that look promising are in CHINESE. Do you know of a specific plugin that will help?

Tom Speed
04-19-2003, 10:05 PM
Hi,

Select your Point(s), hit 'i', this bring up the Point Info panel, from there you can position any of the selected Points precisely via numerical input, or sliders.

The Info Panel also works for Polygons, and lets you edit various information.

Also, Points in LW don't have Rotation or Scale.

Cya!
Tom

guyverz
04-20-2003, 01:12 AM
Tom,

Thanks for the info but I don't think you understand what I'm wanting. I want to find the XYZ coordinates of a POLYGON based on what I think LW call its "normal" position or even it's "pivot point" and then change the values numerically. The "i" feature only lets me do that for POINTS--NOT POLYS. :(

Caligari trueSpace can do something similar to the "i" feature in LW and it can do it for BOTH points and polys. I'm getting very frustrated that everyone keeps pointing out the "i" feature when I've already said 3 times that it does not allow you to change the position, size or rotation of a POLY -- and yes it does for points but that's not what I need.

The model I'm working on requires precise placement of multiple "parts" based on the specific XYZ position and rotation of a POLYGON on another "part".

I appreciate your effort in trying to help. I guess I'm going to have to keep Caligari trueSpace for modelling and use LW for rendering and animation. The problem with that is that trueSpace's boolean functions SUCK. They're completely unstable. Which is the reason I wanted to switch to LW in the first place.

Dodgy
04-20-2003, 03:48 AM
Do a search for normals on the flay plugin page, with modeler and free boxes ticked, that should give you something a bit more like what you want :)

Vaxis mover looks good, for a start...

Dangerman
05-07-2003, 11:09 PM
To give you an example of what I would use this for...
What if I wanted an object aligned precisely with and touching the exact center of a single face on a sphere?

Dangerman
05-07-2003, 11:18 PM
To give you an example of what I would use this for...
What if I wanted an object aligned precisely with and touching the exact center of a single face on a sphere?

There may be plugins that will do this, I don't know .. and like you ... searching flay is great fun, but not always productive. So then the question becomes how to do this without a plugin?

Skimming the manual won't help ... much, read it all once, then you can skim when you have an idea what you're looking for. The stuff I'd skim for is in a section near "Align arbitrary axis" theres some stuff in there somewhere that might work with little trouble. Not having read that recently (or understood it yet) I can't say exactly what to look for, but what comes to mind:

If you rotate your model so that the poly of interest is aligned on a known axis, then move the model to where the poly is centered on a known location, then you *know* the exact point and alignment your seeking. Granted, it's a 12 step program, but it will work without plugins.

Sadly LW is not exactly a tool for artists, you must also be a technician, and be willing to imagine what 12 steps might be required to achieve a simple concept.

Hope that helps.

Matt
05-08-2003, 02:13 AM
this is why I would never use LightWave's modeler for product design, it's all geared to character modelling.

needs a BIG update IMO.

Dangerman
05-08-2003, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by Matt
this is why I would never use LightWave's modeler for product design, it's all geared to character modelling.
I don't know, I ve seen some good designs done in LW, but you're right it's really not designed for design. It's more generic, if you can imagine something, you can probably find a way to get it modeled.



needs a BIG update IMO.
I agree with that, but I think the industry is in such growing pains that it's going to be rough for a long time. What worries me is that NT's code is a lot like my favorite editor's code. Small and well written, but hard to grow, so you end up relying on third party developers to take up the slack. It works, but in the long run, a codebase designed for first party growth is much better geared for the future, cause the big update comes, ready or not.

SplineGod
05-08-2003, 02:59 AM
I dont agree that Lightwave is primarily for character modeling. Most people used Lightwave since its inception for anything but that. Characters in Lightwave are more of a recent phenomena.
Lightwave can be precise though it depends on what you mean by precise. If you mean precision in terms of being able to manufacture something off of it then I would use something else. If you mean does it have the tools to align things to exact coordinates or orientations then the answer is yes.
There are a variety of tools to align, rotate and move objects/polygons with respect to other objects, polygons and points either based on normals, or alignment of points and so forth. Here is one example of a tool to align an object or poly to a poly in the background.
http://www.m2estudios.com/move_align.htm

Matt
05-08-2003, 05:56 AM
accurate - points - yes, surfaces - not really

true surfaces for manufacture - no way

easy to implement 'product design' features (e.g. filleting, lofts, sweeps, shelling) - no way either!

easy to draw profiles for product design features (e.g. arcs, tangency, constrained dimensions, snapping) - definately no way!

don't get me wrong, it's a powerful modeler, you _can_ do anything in it, but for certain things (product design, man-made, hard geometric stuff etc.) it's harder to work with than freeform e.g. character stuff.

mattclary
05-08-2003, 06:06 AM
Dangerman said Sadly, LightWave isn't for artists. Actually it's the other way around, LightWave is designed by artists for artists, where, if it looks good, then it's close enough. If you want true precision you need something like AutoCAD or Rhino. Kinda funny that Truespace is more capable in this area than LightWave. This has always been my least favorite part of LightWave, I used to be a CAD draftsman, years ago, and really miss the accuracy.

guyverz
05-08-2003, 07:59 AM
Dangerman:

"If you rotate your model so that the poly of interest is aligned on a known axis, then move the model to where the poly is centered on a known location, then you *know* the exact point and alignment your seeking."

This will work perfectly if I can't find a plugin. I can't believe I didn't think of it because I'm using a similar technique to do some booleans on angles that are too complicated for my little brain.

SplineGod:

From what I've seen, the script you suggested will do EXACTLY what I'm wanting. That's great!!

SplineGod
05-08-2003, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by guyverz
Dangerman:

"If you rotate your model so that the poly of interest is aligned on a known axis, then move the model to where the poly is centered on a known location, then you *know* the exact point and alignment your seeking."

This will work perfectly if I can't find a plugin. I can't believe I didn't think of it because I'm using a similar technique to do some booleans on angles that are too complicated for my little brain.

SplineGod:

From what I've seen, the script you suggested will do EXACTLY what I'm wanting. That's great!!
There are a few interesting tools that help when getting things lined up. The Rove tool is useful. Another thing is to go to flay.com and do a keyword search under the word "align". Thats how I found that script.

Doran
05-08-2003, 02:34 PM
I primarily use Lightwave for product design.. I loved Macroform2 when it used to work with the latest versions of LW for many reasons but the absolute positioning function were great. I wish somebody would resurrect that plugin suite.

In the mean time I use a variety of plugins including the one Larry pointed to which is about the best for what you are wanting.

Maxx
05-09-2003, 05:11 AM
Product designs is my primary use for LW as well - I think it's great for it! (Modeling a head that doesn't look like an alien, that's not so easy.) Anyway, hit Flay and look up a plug called something to the effect of Construction Plane or CPlane. It handles all the moving and aligning of the poly in question automagically - in both directions.

Heimhenge
05-09-2003, 08:20 AM
Maxx, are you saying CPlane (or whatever it's called) provides a grid that enables a "snap to" type of function?

Maxx
05-09-2003, 08:57 AM
Not so much - you can always use the snap funtion in modeler to snap to grid lines, etc. What CPlane does is basically "shore up" your geometry so that the facet you're working on is flat on an axis, without distorting the shape. When you're done, you remove the CPlane, and the object returns to the angle it was originally at. I can't remember if you define the axis by a BG poly, or if you choose through a requester, but I remember the web page having a good explanation of the tool.

Basically (because I've had way too much coffee... :D ) it rotates the object in question to present a flat face to work on. It then rotates the geometry back to its' original position.

Why settle for a few words when many will suffice, right? :)

p.s. - here's the Flay link: http://www.flay.com/GetDetail.cfm?ID=1535

Heimhenge
05-09-2003, 02:36 PM
Thanks man, looks like it might work for me. I really really really don't wanna have to buy a CAD program.