View Full Version : Need to make transparent parts of my object. please help.

08-20-2005, 01:27 AM
I have an object where I want some parts to be totally transparent, some parts to be not transparent at all and some parts with 50% in opacity.

How do I do this in the Modeler?

I have tried the manual but it doesnt explain in a way so I understand.

help very appriciated.

08-20-2005, 04:08 AM
Welcome to Lightwave!

Hope you hae lots of fun with it. :)

There are three basic areas to understand.

1 )Selection

2) Creating Surfaces

3) Editing Surfaces.

The way you add transparency to an object is through the surface editor. In order to do that you have to create a surface and in order to do that you need to select an area of the object.


Lets take a box. It has six sides. In modeler, when you create an oject the whole thing has a surface name of "default" and is a sort of grey color.

If you go into the surface editor and look there you will find a place to adjust transparency.

By default, Modeler considers everything selected if nothing is. So, if you adjust the transparency now, the whole box will become transparent.

Exit the Surface editor and press q on the keyboard, the shortcut for creating a surface. Click in the name feild and call it "box"

Now the whole box - all six sides have a surface name of Box. Bu thats only for illustration purposes. You want an object to have varous levels of transparency.


OK now at the bottom of modeler, you will see a small retangle button. One that says polygon and one that says point. Click on polygon and you will be in polygon select mode.

Now if you click on one side of the box it will become highlighted. Now if you hit q on the keyboard you can create a new surface. Call it "Side 1"

Now you can go back into the surface editor and click on "side one" and adjust the trasparency.

If you want to have separate parts of your object you can create them in separate layers and then adjust the levels of transparency for the surfaces you create in each layer.

That's just some basic stuff to get you going. You can try some tutorials on this site for more info. :)

08-20-2005, 01:15 PM
thank you very much...

still need some more help though.

I wonder how you make a surface to have different transparency within each polygon.

I am into stuff where I impossible can make the transparacy effect only using different transparency for each polygon.

thanx / DJ :)

08-20-2005, 03:50 PM
You need to create b&w image maps and apply them to the transparency channel. ( click the 'T' button)

08-20-2005, 11:42 PM
Yea, image maps are one way to go for sure there. You can use other things in the surface editor to do that as well. What are you trying to do? Be more specific, and we cant point you the way.

08-21-2005, 02:12 AM
Yea, image maps are one way to go for sure there. You can use other things in the surface editor to do that as well. What are you trying to do? Be more specific, and we cant point you the way.

There are alot of things that I will do that need transparent effects.

Right now I am working on a bench for a fotballgame. Want parts of it to be glassified.

Then I will do animated crowd where I have to make the transparent parts between the legs arms of the crowdsurface.

btw. Which converter program do you use? (from .lws to .x) I use deep exp but have had some problem with it. Arfe there any better software for that purpose available?

08-22-2005, 11:12 AM
OK in the surface editor, you can use gradients and procedurals with many choices to create transparency maps.

Hit T on the transparency channel and select Gradient as the layer type.

Here you can create keys on the strip by clicking on the middle of the bar and set the value on the right in the numeric field.

Gradients allow you to adjust the amount of an effect as if using an Black and white image to filter it, as in Toby's example.

the difference here is you have interactive control directly.

The limitation of course is you cannot create a specific shape. In that case image maps would be best. You can chose that as the layer type if needed and load an image.

However, back to gradients. The imput peramiter is key.

This is the thing that controlls what is being treated on the gradient. YOu can select many choces here. Look at them and then go back to the manual for more help.

One example is "distance to object".

You can set up a null object in the scene and select it. Then the null poisiton will determine the starting point of the gradient.

Another is incidence angle or how about light incidence. Two different ways to control the gradient's start point.

If you look at these choices and then look in the manual, you will start to get the idea of the power of gradients to create transparency maps. Between this and image maps there will be many choices depending on your situation.

The other layer type choice is precedural. Look there for lots of organic effects and so on.

You can also stack layers of any type. It would be a good thing to crack open the manual again and really learn the surface editor. You can then apply all of the that info to your situation.

08-22-2005, 12:36 PM
The problem with make different parts or area of an object transparent is the effect won't look right. Keep in mind objects in lightwave are considered paper thin unless you add geometry inside to make it no. So I would suggest cutting out the transparent surfaces and putting them on another layer (cut using bolean so u have additional geometry to keep the object looking solid) Then apply your transparency (using gradients if you wish) to the object and then rendering it.

I would also look on Flay.com for transparency plugins that help produce color density changes (if that is also what you are looking for).

08-27-2005, 01:51 AM
thanx for the tips guys. I think I have the knowwledge now to do it right... (at least in the modeler)

I have a problem though.

When I use the bitmap (b&w pic) it only change the transparent parts on that 'surface ball' in the surface editor. I dont see it in the ordinary modeler window and hhen I save and upload the object in the sceneeditor the transeffect isnt there.

and also the 0-100% transeffect that I can apply in the surface editor (I can see this effect in the scene editor) but it isnt there when I transform the scene to .x format and use it in the game.

Doi you need to do things to keep the transparent effects to be the same in surface editor, sceneeditor and later in the game?