View Full Version : Soft Selection

Shadow Dragon
09-18-2008, 01:34 PM

I am using Lightwave 9.5, and I am looking for a tool that is like a soft selection. I've tried the magnet tool, but it seemed difficult to control the way I am looking for. Is there another option that I would be able to use?


09-18-2008, 01:47 PM
I like to use the DragNet tool for this. Modify - Translate - Drag Net
You can set the radius by holding down the right mouse button and dragging. Still not exactly the same as a soft selection found in other apps but pretty close. Don't forget to look at the numeric panel for more options and settings.

I usually have mine set to 'point radial'. And if you're working on a very small model, you may have to drag a bit when using the right mouse button before you see the effect area circle. Just keep on dragging until you see it. Left is smaller, right is bigger.

Shadow Dragon
09-18-2008, 01:53 PM
Excellent. Thank you. I will give it a shot.
Also, When I was using the magnet, I had symmetry turned on, but most of the time it wouldn't copy over the axis. I hope this Drag Net will work better.

Thanks again.

09-18-2008, 01:53 PM
Really depends on what you are trying to do. I know this has come up before. You could even do a search for it.

There is no direct co-relation to soft selection you see in other packages.

In Modeler might have to re-think your work flow a little.

There are several things that can give you soft selection such as weight maps and using weightmap as the fall off selection in modify tools. But it is not really interactive.

My most favorite tool for this is the DragNet tool. It falls off in a radius much like the Magnet tool however, of course, it falls out around a point you are dragging.

Where this tool is handy is in understanding how to interactively adjust the radius of the fall off. It is simple. Right click and drag. Then the power comes when you realize that you can set this thing on the fly to be as precise as grabbing one point or as large as taking the whole model and moving it and any increment in between. I use this tool all the time. After getting used to it I don't think I could ever go back to having to select some area and set a soft selection. But that is me and how I work.

Hope this helps. :)

EDIT: Jeffry beat me to it. :thumbsup:

09-18-2008, 01:58 PM
^lol, two answers are always better than one! ;)

And I agree. That the dragnet tool is really great. I hope that even if we get true soft selections in v10 that this tool does not disappear.

I actually put this tool in my control-shift mouse menus but I did put the words (soft selection) after the tool name so I can remember which one to use. :)

Shadow Dragon
09-18-2008, 01:59 PM
Thank you.

I am trying to create a head morph for Sydney (P7 Female). I just wanted to move some of the points around smoothly so it doesn't come out all choppy.

I am trying out DragNet now.

Thanks again.

Shadow Dragon
09-18-2008, 02:14 PM
Is the DragNet tool also the tool you would use if let's say you wanted to morph the model's eyelid to close from the default open position? There is a lot of geometry there that I wouldn't want to move, but the DragNet tool is grabbing everything.

Also, there is no way rotate, is there?

Don't mean to be a pest, I've just been trying to make my own morphs instead of depending on others, especially now that I have a premium package here in Lightwave.

Thanks again.

09-18-2008, 02:48 PM
Well there are a few things you can do. Any tool in LW will only effect the selected geometry. If nothing is selected then EVERYTHING is selected. So if you wanted to use the dragnet tool on only a specific area you could select that geometry, and then the tool will only 'soft-move' the selected parts.

As far as the rotate is concerned, you could use the standard rotate tool on your selected geometry. Many tools have extra features found in the numerical panel. On the rotate, you can set it to use a linear falloff. You can also set how that falloff occurs by (once again) right clicking and dragging in the view port. The large part of the 'wedge' that appears shows where most of the movement will occur. The narrow part show where the least will occur. You can keep on right clicking that 'wedge' around to control how the tool affects the geometry as well. It's pretty powerful once you get the hang of it.

09-18-2008, 02:50 PM
I also recommend going to this thread:
and looking at the videos in under the MODIFY section. William shows many things, including the bend tool. They're all free and will help a real lot! Some times it's easier to understand when you actually watch someone use a tool.

Shadow Dragon
09-18-2008, 03:28 PM
Thank you very much.
I (for some reason) forgot about if nothing is selected, then everything is selected. I should have thought of that.

Thank you again very much.

09-18-2008, 03:30 PM
Yeah Jeffry lays it out there pretty good.

2 Things to add:

If you mean rotate the eyelids during a morph then directly no. There is a trick or two for that, one includes bones. But if you just mean rotate the geometry with a fall off, what Jeffery said.

The second thing to add is about selection and general use of the DragNet tool. You can get real specific with that tool to the point of dragging a small amount to even one point. The trick to it is to find the setting where you are not trying to do too much at once. And you find a setting where you can pull on only the parts you want and still have a smooth grab. In one section of a model I may be changing the size of the tool each time I grab something. I usually ride the undo and if it grabs more or less then I want I undo and readjust. Soon it becomes a real intuitive process.

One thing I do often however is if there is an area on a model I don't want effected such as the center points I will select those points and then use the shift " key to invert the selection. If it is a lot of points I will perhaps turn off the point selection display (d) on the keyboard so I can see the model better.

09-18-2008, 04:35 PM
If you want to be able to consistently pick the same points but move them with falloff as in a soft selection then use weight maps.
I tend to do that for the eyelids, lips, corners of the mouth, eyebrows etc. This allows me to easily pick and move those areas but have them make the geometry behave more like skin. Use the vertex maps panel to make selecting the weight maps even easier.

When you use any of the modify tools like move, rotate etc hit the n key to bring up the numeric panel. There youll find a falloff button to allow you to use weight maps in the manner I described as well as other ways of doing falloffs. Very handy. :)

Shadow Dragon
09-18-2008, 04:37 PM
That's awesome!

Thank you guys for all your help! I very much appreciate it.

Thank you!