View Full Version : animation problems

05-02-2005, 12:43 PM
hello I am a newbie to lightwave
I have a scene with lots of gears and other things on it (like the inside of and old clock) when I bring it to layout in lightwave I try to rotate my gears but it also rotate the rest of the stuff on the layer (i model using various layer) also when I try to rotate my gears they rotate funny like the pivot point is somewhere far, same with scaling and streching (the object moves from the position I set it on as it scales or stretches) even when I use local or hold the control button.
do I need to save my gears one by one (as separate objects) to animate them on layout ? this was very easy on other 3d software I have used I hope there is an easier way to do this, I cant find tutorials animating more than one object in a scene.
thank you :D

05-02-2005, 03:13 PM
You have two options as I see it.

The first option is to place each gear in it's own layer and center the pivot for each layer to it's respective gear. Meshes in LW aren't separate objects to start with, so you need to use layers to tell them apart. Furthermore, each layer has it's own pivot. And by default the pivot for each layer is at origo. If you want it anywhere else you have to move it their manually. LW will not autocenter it around the geometry! You can adjust the pivot in both Layout and Modeler, but it's probably easiest and more exact to do it in Modeler using the Move Pivot Tool (or something like this http://www.flay.com/GetDetail.cfm?ID=942 ).

The second option is to keep all gears in the same layer and instead use weightmaps to tell them apart and later assign each gear to it's own bone and animate the bones.

I think the first option would be best in your case, as the other solution might be abit of an overkill in this situation.

Be sure to use the Layer Browser in Modeler for a better overview and to give each layer a unique name.

EDIT: Explained abit further about pivots and layers.

05-03-2005, 09:48 AM
I'll try that.
I guess I am going to have a bunch of layers this will force me to be more organized, thanks for taking the time to explain this.

05-03-2005, 06:26 PM
Also there is an assign pivot tool that will make things easier. You will find that if you have just recently installed LW by going to Edit/Edit Menu layout and you will pull up the "Configure Menus" panel. In the left window click on additional and it will be there near the top.

Check out the manual if you don't allready know how to configure menus but basically you just assign that plugin to a place on your interface - you can create a button for it using the tools on the right of the panel. Pretty simple to do. You can choose what tab and under what group to put it etc.

To use the tool just select the geometry in the layer and click the button/select tool depending on how you configure it. Of course if nothing is selected it is all selected. Anyhoo, this will assign the pivot to the center of the selected mesh in that layer. But if you then move the object, you'll have to remember to reassign the pivot as this will stay where you last assigned it in the 3D space.

BTW, using layers in LW is the same as having separate objects when the object file is loaded into Layout. This is just the way the workflow is set up. Once you get used to working this way you'll see how powerful and flexible it is. You can also select multiple layers with shift click to have them visable and edit on more than one layer at the same time if you choose. Additionally, you can go to Windows/Layers Panel and tell Layout to not see certain layers when the object is loaded in case you have parts you don't want as "objects" in layout.(click the dots on the right just like the eyes in Photoshop) It won't affect visability in Modler. You can also manage modeler visabilty/editablity - just like the layers buttons on top of the interface - as well as name your layers here (double click on name to rename assign checks on two left colums for forground and background). You also have access to more than 10 layers at a time this way.

One way to use layers is to have successive revisions of your object to come back to. Going back and forth between modeler and Layout can be a hassle while modeling this way because Layout will update the new layer when created and not the choice to have it invisable. So you have to remember to clear it from layout if you don't want it. All will work though after the object is saved and loaded into layout. Just the back and forth process that can get sticky.