View Full Version : A Few Questions from a School Volunteer

06-12-2007, 12:04 PM
I am a long time public school volunteer, and not an artist. I want to use Lightwave (animation) as a motivator for young students, 3d grade and below, to learn math skills (angles, ordered pairs, decimals, etc.) in an after school enrichment program. I will draw the 3d figures and they will plan and execute the animation, starting with an animation of their name. If the students find it interesting enough to continue, we might get into some modeling in later years.

Since I am retired, I am doing this on the cheap and learning the program through trial and error via the NewTek tutorials and two books.

Here are my questions, and yes, I know they are quite basic:

1. Has anyone done this before, and if so, are there any suggestions or lesson plans suitable for those grade levels?

2. (Really Dumb) I haven't figured out how to output into a format that can be edited into family movies. What I am getting is a folder of individually rendered frames. What I need is a file that can be edited into a home video using either Apple or Microsoft based editing programs. How do I go from where I am to where I want to go?

3. The first NewTek basic head shape tutorial by userdelta on modeling a head has me mystified. It doesn't describe the tools being used and though I have come close to duplicating what they are doing, my polys have straight edges and are flat while the polys they end up with have curved edges. Their model first has curved polys by 15 seconds into the video. How did they accomplish that?

Yes, I know that the students will very quickly surpass my skills, but isn't that the goal in life?

I will be going out of town for over a week next week, so if you ask a question and I don't respond, that is why.

Thanks for your consideration.

06-12-2007, 12:55 PM
1. Not me.

2. In Layout, find the tab called 'RENDER' (on the top), click that and locate the button 'RENDER GLOBALS' on the left side of layout. Click that to open up the render globals panel. On this panel find the 'OUTPUT' tab, and then you can see the options for outputing to a movie file. Just put a check in the ANIMATION box and pick .mov or .avi which ever file type your home movie software uses. Most users of LW output to frames like you discribed is happening to you, but thats because sometimes renders can take days and if the computer crashes we won't have to re-render the whole movie file, we can just re-render from the point of the last frame that was successfully rendered. I'm sure there is other reasons but thats a biggy. Rendering to a movie file is fine, especially if its a quick render.

3. The reason your polygons are hard edged and the tutorials are rounded, is because he hit the 'TAB' key on the keyboard. That turns polygons into Sub-Ds (sub divided surfaces). You can find some good definitions of what SubDs are online so i'll avoid trying to answer that. But they basically make polygons into curves. You can toggle TAB over and over without any harm, so feel free to toggle your object back and forth from polygons to subD.

Good luck.


06-12-2007, 04:22 PM
Thanks for the help. My student's renders will be quite simple, at least at first. It took 4/10 of a second to render each frame of my first trial of dancing letters on a plain background. Someday, someone will ask me how to put the individual frames together, so I might as well ask before I drop this thread.

06-12-2007, 05:48 PM
To compile the frames into an animation, load the images in as a sequence in the Image editor. Then open the Compositing panel and select the image sequence as a Background image. Open the Render panel and select the Output tab and select an animation type like you did with the frames. Set the Camera Panel's Resolution settings to match your images and render away.

06-12-2007, 10:50 PM
A program such as quicktime pro can also be used to combine a sequence into either a .mov or .avi file.
Dodgy's method is the cheapest way, since you already own lightwave.