View Full Version : newbie help needed

06-13-2006, 01:35 PM
I am trying to make a recycle type logo. Something with 3-4 curved arrows in a circle. These will be rotating around a central object, most likely a start of some sort.

I started by using 2 discs and drilling them so I know have a "donut" on layer 1. I am really new at all of this though, so I am have a brain fart in trying to figure out how to break it apart into 3-4 sections with an arrowhead on each.
Currently the "donut" is not extruded, but the end product arrows will have to be so that they are fully 3d.

Also, I'm curious what people think is a good beginner type book/movie/whatever to learn lightwave and 3d in general. Preferably something for a layman.

06-13-2006, 01:56 PM
:D I think that you are doing it the hard way. Your best bet is to create one arrow and then use the radial array to copy it. If you have the program I would use Adobe Illustrator to create the symbol, and then save and import into Lightwave. I hope I am not going over your head. If you don't understand, repost and someone will break this down further. As for the tutorials I recommend the Inside Lightwave books, although the tutorials on the Lightwave website are also really good.

Welcome aboard:)

06-13-2006, 03:05 PM
OK, I tried it that way and it puts the arrows in a circle which is good, but I need the arrows to be curved along the radius. This just puts the straight arrows I made in a circle.

06-13-2006, 04:03 PM
Check out another current thread for book suggestions. Radial array works but so would Clone using 120 degree increments (pitch/heading choice depends on the window you use).

Start with one arrow and get it curved the way you like it. How to curve it? I haven't gotten into any deformation tools yet myself so all I know is either start with a disc (like you first suggested, cut into shape with, say, Knife tool) or move the points around to get your curvature. The Move tool has an optional "fall-off" setting (drag with right mouse button after turning on fall-off to set the fall-off range) that would let you pull the leading and trailing points/polys as a group more than the center points (you'll need more polys along the arrow length to make smooth bends).

I'm sure there's are some cool fast deformation tools you could use (Magnet? Bones?) but someone else will have to suggest them. In any case you'll still probably need more polys along the arrow length to deform (Knife cuts across the arrow will work as would Bandsaw).

06-13-2006, 06:01 PM
:stumped: Are you trying to map the arrows onto a sphere? Or are you just trying to get the classic look of three bent arrows, where one half is folded over the other?

06-13-2006, 11:51 PM
One of the easiest tools for bending something would be the Bend tool :).
So model the Arrow (you allready did from your second post) and bend it the angle you want it. In the numeric panel you can set the exact bend angle. To do so the Arrow has to have enough segments along the bend direction. The tool Julienne will help you if you need the arrow segmented evenly.

06-14-2006, 01:41 AM
Spline guide will work for bending as well.

06-14-2006, 05:39 PM
ok, here is what I have.


the arrows were made with a drilled out disc and a 3 sided ball.

Unfortunately when I extrude them, they aren't solid 3d objects. They are hollow.

Any ideas?

06-14-2006, 05:54 PM
Try flipping (f key after selecting them) the faces of the "missing" polys (their "normals" are probably pointing inside the arrow). Depending on how you extruded you could be completely missing those faces (if so just copy the polys before you extrude, paste the copied polys back in, and merge).

06-14-2006, 06:30 PM
Penforhire is correct, your polys are inside out, just hit the f key.

06-15-2006, 08:24 AM
Thanks that fixed it. Just so I know, what causes that? It seems that almost every object I tried making had the same problem.
Should the normals always point in the opposite direction of the extrude?
The same thing happened when I extruded in the opposite direction as well until I flipped them.

06-15-2006, 08:31 AM
Also, is there a way to always use absolute coordinates, especially when moving? Right now, if I go back to move or resize something, say I want a specific point at 0,0,0 ; I can't do that because the move is based on an offset of the existing coordinates, rather then the absolute coordinates.

06-15-2006, 11:18 AM
I think the whole "normal" direction versus extrusion makes sense after you work with it for a while.

One work-around to your move question would be to manually calculate the translation and enter actual coordinates (e.g. Set Value or "v" key) for points. Every point does allow manipulation of actual coordinates (Info box to show them). If you search I am sure there are absolute coordinate plug-ins out there (check on Flay.com). This is more of a CAD-like request. Check our LWCAD too (I haven't gotten into my v1.5 yet, still learning core LW).

In terms of sizing you might get your answer by changing the Action Center (mode) to mouse and using careful placement of your drag. Otherwise check out the "show Pivot" command and relocate it to your part's desired origin.

06-15-2006, 08:43 PM
When extruding an object, for the polys to face out, you always extrude the opposite direction the normal is pointing.
Absolute positioning can be done using the set value command (lowercase v).
At the bottom of your screen is modes, this will determine how the object reacts to the mouse when moving/scaling. I normally leave this set to selection, meaning the center will be at the center of what I had selected(little hard to explain, but try each one and see what works best for you).