View Full Version : FYI : What happened - July 2005 Kiwavers meeting

07-23-2005, 10:57 PM
I haven't been posting here for a while, however I figured its time to start making the effort to come on back and do so... We had our LWUG meeting last week, and like the previous one in June (we had Dave Tracey from Aus sit and talk, demo, tips, tricks and advice for 4+ hours) it was great!

So... What happened? Here's the low-down!

As always, a GREAT turnout - All the regulars plus some new faces which is
always cool to see.

A HUGE thanks to a few people before I start - Kevin Sharp at Natcoll for
setting everything up and making things just super-smooth! To Simon
Gould-Thorpe for his great IT support, and to Larry Shultz for obvious
reasons as will be addressed shortly...

Started out a little rocky getting things set up, however after a few emails
and some prodding and poking of the IT by Simon, we had our Guest speaker,
Larry 'Splinegod' Shultz at the meeting and demoing some basic tips and tricks on Displacement mapping in LightWave.

Not only some basic Modeler knowledge, but some great hints, explanations and demo videos of some awesome effects created using basic displacement techniques to create visually impressive effects in LightWave with just a few small tools and techniques.

Larry also chatted to everyone about the upcoming Siggraph event, as well as
being kind enough to hang out and answer questions from Muscle simulation
through to what Hollywood was like with the whole 'LightWave or Maya'
debacle. Some very interesting storys from Larry about work in Hollywood
relating to both packages, and a very open outlook on both was a great
eye-opener for many people.

2 Hours later, 1AM LosAngeles time and we thought we should let Larry get
some sleep... :-)

Plenty of very cool stuff from people... Many thanks to everybody who
showed us what they are up too...

Huge thanks must go to Sam Jensen for taking time to go over his impressive
'Jake' cartoon character rig, with a range of cool facial expression
controls, using a mixture of morphs and bones, and nice stable IK rigging
throughout. A handful of great tips on creating morphs and rigging were
well received by all. Sam mentioned that some of the IK techniques he used
came from an impressive IK rig from France. I mentioned that I'd also send
the URL for this rig out with this post, so for those interested in a
complex but quite stable rig, you can download it and read about it here:

Thanks to Chris Maguren for showing us some character modelling he's been
working on, as well as some pretty impressive character animation he'd been
doing as well. In particular, his very snappy clown animation managed to
even get a round of applause from everybody, surely something to be proud
of! Nice work Chris, as always its great to see what you've been getting up

Andrew Gillespie provided us with some very impressive modelling work, from
a nicely designed low-poly self-portrait character through to a more
detailled and very impressive original Star Ship design from the 'Star Trek'
Universe. Awesome 3D scifi, from someon with plenty of expertise in this

Simon Gould-Thorpe had a great looking start to a Sopwith Camel project he's
building. Not only the start of his modelling, but also an impressive
amount of R&D material that he'd been collecting from the net and with
plenty of indepth research too! We're looking foreword to seeing how you
progress with this one...

Overall, many thanks to everyone who bought stuff to show, and for taking
the time to actually talk about some of it too. I am really becoming
impressed by some of the talent that is being shown by LightWave users here
in New Zealand, and to watch how some people have improved with each thing they show!

I'm also immensely proud that the LWUG has become a lot more user-driven in
content as well, where as only 2-3 years ago, it was still pretty much just
me and my droning monologue every meeting. :-) This is great to see, and I
really have to thank everybody sincerely for the support that's being shown!

With 2 hours of guest speaker, an hour or so of show and tell, the meeting
has been going pretty well! To finish up, we took a quick look at a few
animations I'd bought along (on a DVD containing a majority of the material
I had discovered from a few years of downloads! Almost 5Gb of 3D animation
material, and more on some of the various LWUG archives on CD as well I'm

After that, I had a small Dynamics Tute to cover...

To finish up the evening, I decided to demonstrate a dynamics tutorial where
I created some effects of an earthquake in a coalmine. Sorta a VFX section,
but for some a nice way to discover a variety of tools in LightWave, from
HardFX to Child Emitters. I also demonstrated some of the options in
HyperVoxels to increase the level of detail in sprites, as well as create
much more complex effects without a lot of effort using the Velocity
Translate Hypertexture option.

After this, we decided to call it a night...

No Pizza was not a great idea - Next meeting, I think we may re-instigate
the Pizza regime as it means everybody gets some kind of 'dinner'. I also
apologise profusely if I've spelt anybodies names wrong in this post! :-)

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Kiwavers ('kee-way-vers')
The LightWave users group of New Zealand (est 1997)