View Full Version : how to create a newtons cradle?? Im new!

11-07-2006, 04:46 AM
Im a brand new user to Lightwave and have to create an 8 sec ident for a tv channel for uni....I wanted to create a newtons cradle and animate the balls?? is this hard? where do i start? any tips or suggestions would be more than appreciated as im really stuck
many thanks to you in advance

11-07-2006, 05:11 AM
Any chance you can video a real one so you can study exactly how it works and what it looks like?

I'd animate one ball swinging to start with, get that looking right, then move on to all of them. My gut feeling right off is not to use dynamics, even though that may seem the most straightforward way.....well, put it this way, try dynamics to see what happens, but you may spend more time getting that to work with several balls than by hand-animating it.

How far does your knowledge/experience go? When you say you don't know where to begin, do you mean to set up the animation in the first place, or actually more fundamental than that?


11-07-2006, 05:49 AM
Hi julian
thank you so much for your quick reply - Im very new to lightwave and am just trying to get started on modelling the cradle - I have some ideas but am at a very basic level - I agree with the filming of the balls in motions - i had initally thought of that !
any tips on modelling the cradle??
thanks again

11-07-2006, 08:09 AM
On modelling the cradle (and actually I haven't seen one for ages so cannot recall the subtleties of the framework), but there are two basic approaches I guess - easy and not-so-easy!

Easy would involve simply using cylinders pushed into spheres to create the frame - so where you have the join between the apex of one triangular end-frame and the top-bar, you put a sphere.

The other way would be to use segmented cylinders and bend and generally deform to get a one-piece framework. Perhaps easier to do this using four-sided forms and the Bandsaw tool to create edges and faces where you need them, then extrude from individual faces where appropriate to create a whole mesh, then subD it to get a smooth flowing mesh.

If you get stuck I'll send some basic meshes to get you started. Easier to see than explain, and this isn't all that hard!

While you are at it, I'd recommend you familiarise yourself completely with pivot points, as this will be crucial to your animation (it's crucial to everything as it happens) but you'll need a good grasp of those for starters.


11-07-2006, 08:14 AM
YouTube has quite a few Newton's Cradle videos. All in their fabulous YouTube resolution. If that helps.


11-07-2006, 09:45 AM
Thanks for your help - its now down to me and working this thing out!
appreciate your help

11-07-2006, 01:19 PM
Good luck! Yell if you need help!


11-07-2006, 04:10 PM
Hey Julian!
I sent you an email - its about those meshes!
thanks a million