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pumeco
10-11-2007, 03:36 PM
Say I've done some modeling and have the polygons generated. How do I select 'only' the curves or splines in one action so that I can delete them without deleting the polygons? I've looked for a 'Select Curves' and 'Select Splines' option - but can't find anything like that (even on the default interface).

Any ideas?

pva
10-11-2007, 03:39 PM
Press W and check if you can select only the curves (2 point polygons)

prospector
10-11-2007, 04:03 PM
hit the + sign in the panel after hitting W in the polygon mode (bottom left of LW interface

pumeco
10-11-2007, 04:22 PM
Thanks both :)

Now I know why IMI and Silkrooster see this tool as important. They told me to use it for selecting points as well. I'll have to add this to my custom interface. I never bothered adding it before because I saw it as clutter, and nothing more than an info tool.

Hell - I got that one wrong!

evenflcw
10-11-2007, 05:35 PM
Many of us have the layer browser, numerics panel, vmap browser and the statistics panel permanently off to the left side of the main window.

IMI
10-11-2007, 05:45 PM
Statistics panel (w), Numeric panel (n), Layers panel (no keyboard shortcut), and Vertex Maps panel (no keyboard shortcut)... these should be among your best buddies in Modeler. They are all useful far beyond mere information - they are powerful selection tools, and the Numeric panel opens a whole lot of options for most plugins that you won't see if simply clicking and dragging with some tool selected.

But the one I was going on about ;) was the Info panel (i), which is obviously all about information, but also selection as well.
Here's a quick example:
Say you have a line of points at a certain position, and they're close to being straight, but not quite. You could drag them around until they're all even, or you could select one and press i. The info panel tells you it's at Y=1.237 m, and it's the Y axis you're concerned about (it will of course, also tell you the point's position at X and Z, but for the sake of example, it's Y that you want lined up).
So, there you know that your target point is at Y=1.237 m, and you can then open up the Set Value tool (no shortcut - it's under Detail Tab>Points) and type in that value for the other points you want lined up, and they'll all "snap" to that location.
Just one practical example of using the info panel. :)

Sensei
10-11-2007, 07:46 PM
Now I know why IMI and Silkrooster see this tool as important. They told me to use it for selecting points as well. I'll have to add this to my custom interface. I never bothered adding it before because I saw it as clutter, and nothing more than an info tool.

See all mine videos and screen-shots - I have Numeric window, Layers window and below Statistics window opened all the time.. You can't work fast without such setup.. http://www2.trueart.pl/Products/Plug-Ins/TrueHair/Graphics/TrueHair_Styler_Angle_2.png

IMI
10-11-2007, 08:23 PM
See all mine videos and screen-shots - I have Numeric window, Layers window and below Statistics window opened all the time..



Yes, I agree, especially about the Layers panel. Those layer "boxes" at the top right just make me crazy, but the Layers Panel makes it far more graphic and intuitive, IMO.
I keep all those mentioned panels opened at all times, plus the Vertex Maps panel, dragged over to my 2nd monitor.

colkai
10-12-2007, 02:10 AM
Couldn't operatre properly at all without the stats tool, I don't have the real estate to have it permenantly open as my old eyes need big things to see. But 'w' is almost an instinctive reaction now. :p

Sande
10-12-2007, 02:27 AM
Here's a quick example:
Say you have a line of points at a certain position, and they're close to being straight, but not quite. You could drag them around until they're all even, or you could select one and press i. The info panel tells you it's at Y=1.237 m, and it's the Y axis you're concerned about (it will of course, also tell you the point's position at X and Z, but for the sake of example, it's Y that you want lined up).
So, there you know that your target point is at Y=1.237 m, and you can then open up the Set Value tool (no shortcut - it's under Detail Tab>Points) and type in that value for the other points you want lined up, and they'll all "snap" to that location.
Just one practical example of using the info panel. :)
Of course you shouldn't drag them around until they are all even, you should just select them, press "h" for stretch tool and with one quick mouse movement stretch to 0% on proper axis and you're done. ;)
But yes, info tool is very nice when you need your vertices to be exactly at given point - and copy/paste also works in info panel, which helps to quickly set the corrects numbers in place. :)

pva
10-12-2007, 03:32 AM
Layers panel shortcut's is F7

IMI
10-12-2007, 04:43 AM
Of course you shouldn't drag them around until they are all even, you should just select them, press "h" for stretch tool and with one quick mouse movement stretch to 0% on proper axis and you're done. ;)
:)

Hmm. That's cool. I never thought of that. I don't use the stretch tool much. Sounds good though. Thanks. :)



Layers panel shortcut's is F7


Oh yeah, I forgot, since those panels stay open all the time I reassigned their keys to other tools. Thanks for the correction. :)

pumeco
10-12-2007, 06:40 AM
Wow, thanks all :)

I'll be honest, being relatively new to LightWave - I really didn't understand the importance and uses for any of these panels (apart from the numeric one). I just glanced at them and thought, right, just a list really - don't want that, or that, or that :rolleyes:

I've been having a tinker now and can see why they're so essential. Now I've got 'em down the right hand side like on Sensei's pic (and presumably how most of you have it as well). It's a shame there's no 'docking' of panels in LightWave yet, but maybe they'll add them in LW10 (or LWX if they want it to sound sexier).

I'm still trying to get my head around a good workflow between EasySpline and LWCAD2.5. My latest idea was to use LWCAD strictly for the outlining/profiling aspect, and to convert to LightWave curves before using EasySpline. The good thing is that it works really well, but I've come across another obstacle now. I can't seem to convert a LightWave curve to an LWCAD2.5 curve if I later decide that I need LWCAD's snapping.

It seems weird that I can convert to from LWCAD to LW but not the other way around. I hope I'm missing something or that there's a tool available to do this. So, if anyone has any suggestions - I'm all ears!

Sensei
10-12-2007, 06:53 AM
Conversion from Bezier, B-Spline, NURBS curve to Catmull-Rom curve is very easy - just sample curve with defined by user distance. Doing reverse is not possible, or it would be very very difficult.

pumeco
10-12-2007, 07:06 AM
That sounds great, but how do I sample a curve, or which tool do I use to do that?

Sensei
10-12-2007, 07:12 AM
In LWCAD normal NURBS curve -> LW curve.. In TrueArt's Bezier, interactive tool Freeze Bezier..

pumeco
10-12-2007, 08:34 AM
Well, Freeze Bezier does convert ok, but LWCAD 'still' won't snap to it. I think I'll just have to face the fact that these two just won't work together. It doesn't matter what I try, or what curve type I use. I just want to be able to convert a LW curve to an LWCAD curve so that near snapping will work on it. The only snapping that works is point snapping, so I'm a bit annoyed with the new LWCAD. Why on earth did they have to change the curve type - I never had this problem with 1.5.

It's totally crazy to think I have both of these plugins in the same program and can't use them together. EasySpline and LWCAD2.5 are both ideal concepts that would be much more powerful if they worked together. As it is right now, it's just a total waste unless you use one or the other.

Ztreem
10-14-2007, 03:46 AM
It's totally crazy to think I have both of these plugins in the same program and can't use them together. EasySpline and LWCAD2.5 are both ideal concepts that would be much more powerful if they worked together. As it is right now, it's just a total waste unless you use one or the other.

This is why snapping and other basic tools (NURBS surface and curves :) )should be native and not a third party plugin, but at the moment we don't have any choice :thumbsdow .

Sensei
10-14-2007, 04:28 AM
Maybe should be, but see implementation of f.e. edges or CC edge weighting, or anything else - it's better to have it done by 3rd party and fast fixing of potential bugs than waiting months or years for simple fix from you know who..

Ztreem
10-14-2007, 04:53 AM
I agree, but it would be even better if NT did it proper and fast for basic things and third party's as your self could spend the time doing advanced and cool tools instead of basic things like snapping.

pumeco
10-16-2007, 05:00 AM
@Ztreem

I agree, LightWave really needs native snapping. I think we'll get it in LightWave 10, but even if/when it does, I doubt it would be as accomplished as LWCAD's implementation of it. If NewTek do what every other company seems to do and only give us a 'half-solution' then we're not going to be any better off than we are now, really. Things like Perpendicular, Tangent, Near, Center, Point, Projection, Ruler, and Axis are all pretty much essential. Still, I reckon we'll be 'very' lucky to find more than basic snapping as 'native' when it arrives. Yup, center and point snapping at best (pointless half-solution) is what they'll do, I reckon.

I'd love to be wrong though.


@Sensei

If it wasn't for EasySpline, FiberFactory, FPrime, and LWCAD, LightWave would not be nowhere near as attractive to me as it is right now. Let's hope NewTek really open up the SDK for you guys so that all this incompatibility farce is non-existent in version 10. At the moment, I'm giving NewTek the benefit of the doubt because I understand that they're in the process of re-writing the core.

So, the state things are in right now is understandable as far as I'm concerned, but if these problems exist in version 10 then that's a really bad show. It seems the SDK is the root of all evil in LightWave right now. It's what's causing EasySpline to be incompatible with LWCAD, and according to Steve's email, it's why FPrime can't work pixel shaders and Voxels etc.

I really hope NewTek will see that it's folk like you guys that are helping to attract people to LightWave - and give you the SDK you deserve - to make your products the best they can be. The current situation is an absolute joke in this day and age, and even more so when you consider that LightWave is a 'professional' level program.

I've just spent the last week (on and off) trying to get a workflow between EasySpline and LWCAD2.5.

I failed!!!

I was better off with version 1.5 because at least the points in that version actually 'sat' on the curve (I prefer the standard LW curve to these f*ckin' stupid Catmull-Rom things they're using now). So now, I have to make the decision over which plugin I need the most; EasySpline with LWCAD1.5, or LWCAD2.5 with it's great snapping but no EasySpline. I can't have it both ways even though I've paid for both - and the sickening thing is that if NewTek's SDK was up to scratch - I wouldn't have to make such idiotic decisions. The only way I can see around my problem is that if there is a curve type available seperately which works the same as the LWCAD1.5 curve did. So if anyone knows where I could get hold of one (free or paid) I'd really appreciate it.

I've tried tricking LightWave into allowing me to install 1.5 and 2.5 at the same time - but it doesn't work (especially the way I've been trying to do it).

I've been tempted to hurl the computer out of the window a few times this week - put it that way :cursin:

BTW, Sensei, thanks for that other EasySpline update that arrived today, it's good to know I'll have these versions when I upgrade to 64BIT :)

Sensei
10-16-2007, 05:12 AM
Catmull-Rom curve is LightWave curve (in other words curve crossing the all control points). LWCAD is using NURBS curves, which is Bezier/B-Spline with weighting on each point, that you can optionally adjust.

Sensei
10-16-2007, 05:26 AM
I've tried tricking LightWave into allowing me to install 1.5 and 2.5 at the same time - but it doesn't work (especially the way I've been trying to do it).

Installing on same LW, rather not, but installing on same machine, no problem. Just make copy of Modeler short-cut, add -c switch to redirect config files to new location, and copy and paste them from Docs & Settings to that location. Then remove LWCAD v2.5 and install LWCAD v1.5 on this new Modeler. Settings will be saved to new cfg files, and you will have two different setups.

Actually NewTek would not fix/help using EasySpline with LWCAD, your way (there are many people that uses LWCAD & EasySpline together, but different way). Other 3rd party curves would be even worse, not understood neither by EasySpline and LWCAD.. But if LWCAD author removed regular LW spline snapping - it's rather weird to kill what you already have.. removing feature, isn't? ;)

pumeco
10-16-2007, 06:40 AM
Catmull-Rom curve is LightWave curve (in other words curve crossing the all control points). LWCAD is using NURBS curves, which is Bezier/B-Spline with weighting on each point, that you can optionally adjust.Well for a start, thanks for clearing that up for me. I need to point out that I made a BIG mistake with that one. To clarify then; the curve type I 'do' like is Catmull-Rom as used by LightWave, and the curve types I don't like are those Bezier/Nurbs types.

Catmull-Rom rules :thumbsup:



Other 3rd party curves would be even worse, not understood neither by EasySpline and LWCAD.
Ok, that makes sense - so how about this :

Would YOU be kind enough to make a standard Catmull-Rom spline that works like the standard LightWave curve - BUT :

1 - The curve MUST snap to points (near snapping is not essential but would be great).
2 - The curve MUST be allowed on the same installation as LWCAD2.5.

If you could make this standard tool, then I wouldn't need two seperate installations (which to be honest, I'm not prepared to do). It also has the benefit that you'll have a curve among your products that works perfectly with EasySpline (which makes good business sense). You could give it away for free and use it to attract people to EasySpline, or include it as a tool in the EasySpline package, or even charge for it as a seperate tool (I don't mind paying as long as it's reasonable). But either way PLEASE make this tool for us. It might sound like a basic thing, but it's something that's VERY desperately needed.

Sensei
10-16-2007, 07:16 AM
Would YOU be kind enough to make a standard Catmull-Rom spline that works like the standard LightWave curve - BUT :

There is no reason to make another Catmull-Rom curve.. There is one good in LW.. EasySpline does not need to make yet another one, it would give you almost nothing, or even worser- not working with LWCAD v1.5.. ;)



1 - The curve MUST snap to points (near snapping is not essential but would be great).
2 - The curve MUST be allowed on the same installation as LWCAD2.5.

Custom polygon types, like custom curve, are not giving anything else to LW environment than visual effect in viewport and in Layout its (optional) frozen version (none curve freeze, btw; they have no volume)..



If you could make this standard tool, then I wouldn't need two seperate installations (which to be honest, I'm not prepared to do). It also has the benefit that you'll have a curve among your products that works perfectly with EasySpline (which makes good business sense). You could give it away for free and use it to attract people to EasySpline, or include it as a tool in the EasySpline package, or even charge for it as a seperate tool (I don't mind paying as long as it's reasonable). But either way PLEASE make this tool for us. It might sound like a basic thing, but it's something that's VERY desperately needed.

I am planning custom snapping toolset in EasySpline and/or TrueArt's Modeling Pack, but unlike LWCAD we will give SDK for it for any other programmer to use in their plug-ins, making it standard and freely expandable..

pumeco
10-16-2007, 07:44 AM
Well, the problem with the standard LightWave Catmull-ROM is that it does not snap to points, if it did, that would be perfect for using with EasySpline! That's the only reason I feel there's need for another version (it needs point snapping).

I'm pleased to hear EasySpline could get it's own native snapping. I hope you do add it to EasySpline more than the other product because EasySpline desperately needs it. I just can't use it anymore without it - and it's driving me nuts! One thing I don't understand though is that even if you DO add snapping to EasySpline - how does that solve the problem of there being no 'snapping' version of a Catmull-Rom spline to start with?

Remember, the standard Catmull-Rom curve will not snap to points!

Your EasySpline is an awesome plugin, but at the moment it is reliant upon the native Catmull-Rom - and that's the problem here - because the native Catmull-Rom (without point snapping) is not sufficient. Anyway, I'm giving LightWave a rest for a while until I see what you come up with. I can't work the way I want at the moment, and it's really getting at me. I need to give-up on this for a while and see what happens - just sit and watch the forums - and take it easy.

I'll be keeping a look out for what you come up with, Sensei :thumbsup:

Sensei
10-16-2007, 07:56 AM
You're mixing two things - tools with polygon types.. It's end tool that has to understand polygon and do something with it, not custom or internal built-in polygon type.. They're just data-type, like material, piece of paper and there is needed pen, brush or marker to draw on it.. Paper can't do anything with itself..

I am not really understanding you, here.. You have Spline Point, press it without movement on spline, and you have point to which you can snap other point.. If you want point there without attaching to spline use Spline Point, then select point, cut and paste.. But it won't fit perfectly anymore.. Curve is sampled with finite number of steps, but it's from its nature infinite resolution.. Adjusting Segments parameter and your point laying on spline but not attached to spline will no longer lay on it.. And nothing LWCAD, EasySpline, nor native LW snapping will help with it, it's math..

pumeco
10-16-2007, 09:10 AM
I've done a screenshot to demonstrate but I'm amazed you don't see what I'm getting at here :

The top picture shows LightWave's native Catmull-ROM. This curve IS compatible with EasySpline, but it is made difficult because it does not snap to points. You have to manually align the points of each curve before EasySpline can use it.

The Bottom picture shows LWCAD's 1.5 Catmull-ROM. This curve IS also compatible with EasySpline, and it is PERFECT because it snaps to points. There is no need to manually align the points before EasySpline can use it.

OK, so now you know why LightWave's native Catmull-ROM is not sufficient, you are probably wondering why I don't just use the LWCAD 1.5 version - right? The reason is because I'm using LWCAD2.5 now, and this version does NOT have a Catmull-ROM curve, and it will not allow me to have the 1.5 Catmull-ROM version installed along with the 2.5 Nurbs version on the same installation.

This is why we need a Catmull-ROM curve that will snap to points. This needs to be available as a seperate tool so that I can install it along side LWCAD 2.5 without a problem. All I know is that when I had a 'snapping' Catmull-ROM from version 1.5, I could work with EasySpline VERY fast and efficiently.

Now, this is no longer possible because the 'snapping' Catmull-ROM curve has been removed and replaced by those bloody awful Nurbs curves - which are NOT any good for working with EasySpline. Now you know why we need a snapping version of the Catmull-ROM curve to be made available :thumbsup:

Sensei
10-16-2007, 10:27 AM
Ahh.. so by speaking Catmull-Rom curve, you always were taking about tool that's making them, not polygon type in general.. I must say that I always make curves using twice + key (points are selected by default) and then ctrl p.. After that Spline Point to add some more points and convert 2 point curve to something smooth.. But when you actually have 2 points already, why to bother making another spline in close location and THEN snapping/welding? You watched too many SplineGod tutorials apparently and can't think of working any other way.. ;) If I have 2 points already, I am just selecting them and press ctrl-p and any time Spline Point with one click and drag mouse for curve shape..

It's absolute no problem for making tool that will create Catmull-Rom spline and snap points to existing spline points..

When I have first spline ready, I often simply Extrude Spline, and then use Spline Point to add new points on it..

Did you watched video how I was making fish? It's a lot of Extrude Spline, and a lot of selecting 2 point, ctrl-p, and then Spline Point.. This way virtual spline model is not disappearing when you have just added first point (and it would because it's splitting curve for two, and making spline patch with 5 curves.. instead of 4), and before adding last point..

pumeco
10-16-2007, 11:02 AM
Yes I saw the fish thing, and no, I haven't been watching too much SplineGod videos - you can't blame him :D

Dammit, you still don't get it really. The only way to make you realise would be for you to try it for yourself. Try copying what I did in the screenshot. First, try it with LightWave's Catmull-ROM, and then try it with LWCAD's 1.5 Catmull-ROM (with point snapping on) - and trust me - you'll soon see what I mean.

I can't be bothered with other methods. It can't get any easier than snapping to the points as you work. That's what I was doing before and I loved working like that - I really did - it was perfect. But now, because there is no snapping Catmull-ROM, I feel like I've lost just about everything regarding the way I like to model. Please make a snapping Catmull-ROM curve, it's the only way I can work - I hate the other methods. If you don't, or there are no others available, then I've just wasted my money on LWCAD2.5 because it'll have to be removed just to get my Snapping Catmull-ROM back again.

That's 'how' much I need it :bowdown:

Start coding mate, PLEASE start coding. Like I said, I'll even pay again if you want sell it as a seperate tool - no problem. To be honest though, I really do think you should add it to the EasySpline tool set as standard issue, because a snapping Catmull-ROM is by far the best thing to use with EasySpline. I think every EasySpline user would welcome that with open arms.

I know I bloody would - that's for sure :D

evenflcw
10-16-2007, 01:15 PM
I've tried tricking LightWave into allowing me to install 1.5 and 2.5 at the same time - but it doesn't work (especially the way I've been trying to do it).

I haven't a clue if it works, but did you try editing the LWEXT#.cfg even? I would think you could grab specific functions from each version by cutting and pasting entrys. Don't forget to turn off Autoscan plugins if your on LW9.

pumeco
10-16-2007, 01:44 PM
Thanks, I've just had a look but can't find that file. I've even used search to scan the entire drive and nothing comes up. If I can do this though, that would solve everything. Do you know what directory this file is located in and I'll give it my best shot? I don't know what this file would be like to edit - but I'll have a good go at it once I find it :thumbsup:

To be honest, I think it was a bit inconsiderate of WTools to dump one curve type for another without even giving those that upgrade, a choice to keep the other curve type installed in case they are using them. If I don't get any luck with this, I just might drop them an email and see if they can suggest a way of running them both together.

evenflcw
10-16-2007, 02:17 PM
Try LWEXT9.cfg or LWEXT8.cfg, the # was just a placeholder. By default it's within your user folder in the Documents and Settings folder along with the other config files of Lightwave (Windows). Or maybe you have mac and it's somewhere else and has different names? It's the file that contains info about all your added plugins. Once you see how it's constructed you'll figure out what to do/try.

pumeco
10-16-2007, 05:40 PM
:jam: :rock: !!! I DID IT !!! :rock: :jam:

Thanks for the tips everyone, I tried a bit of everything. I'm not exactly sure 'how' I did it, but it works perfectly so I'll have a go at replicating it again on a fresh installation tomorrow - just to be sure how it's done. I'm too tired to do it right now.

If I can replicate it, I'll start a new thread to describe the process of getting LWCAD working in Catmull-ROM and NURBS mode on a single installation. This also means that you get back the other tools that were removed from the new version; meaning the curve knife makes a welcome return.

And no, Sensei, this doesn't mean I've changed my mind about wanting you to create a snapping Catmull-ROM curve. When LightWave 10 arrives, the old LWCAD 1.5 will not be updated to work with it, so that brings back the same problem of not having a snapping Catmull-ROM curve.