View Full Version : Modeler: How do you keep track of things?

01-01-2009, 07:03 PM
Ok, those that know who I am, know that I'm the "idiot" in the group :D so bare with me.

I've been watching the the "24 House of Video Training" present by William Vaughan and I feel like I could get the hang of LW - it's just a matter of remembering where are the tools are and what they are named. But I'm concerned about keeping track of complex models. I get that you work on layers and that you can name your objects but I don't see a visual hierarchy of you objects or a way to create null objects in modeler - unless you consider each layer a null, but then how do you keep track of whats on each layer. I can see there being dozens of layer for complex scenes such as a condo or a ship.

I can see many benefits of LW's modeler over that of C4Ds, but not having a tab to easily select an object or group of objects in very complex models is going to be a big hurdle to overcome.

Please tell me I'm missing something.

- Lee

01-01-2009, 11:20 PM
- Where are the tools? Use and Practice will ingrain a picture as to their location.
- Names are about what it is you are going to do. Mnemonics work. Again, Use and Practice will ingrain a picture of the action with that name you saw on the toolbar.
- On top of the above, one must commit to using shortcuts instead of the toolbars. In this way you can go so much faster. You also figure out what you use often as that is what will become more ingrained, stronger and quicker. Use and Practice will ingrain a picture as to what key will get what tool up for what action.
- Layers, gotta love'em. And name'em.
- Press "w"; chuckle, can't say I know what the panel is called but it's a must for me for it to be open at all times. Stats panel! ha.
- By using the above, you have access to all kinds of sub-category controls: selection groups, surfaces, colors, etc.

Selecting the door knob of the 15th door on the 21st floor would be as simple as selecting the door layer, the knob layer, the knob surfaces, etc.

Lots of database fodder available to you...

Oh, and...Use and Practice will ingrain the best and most of what you learn.

01-02-2009, 05:41 AM
and in layout you have always the 'schematic view' (select at top of viewport).
besides the stats panel I have alway open the layers panel (F7, modeler) which gives you a fast access to your model's segments.
btw, doubleclicking on a layer in the layers panel lets you rename the layer and parent it to another one. That way you can do the basic hierachy as you model complex stuff.


01-02-2009, 07:23 AM
In Modeler, there's a "Layers" window that lets you see a list of the active layers and their names.

I'd also consider not building one mega model with a hundred layers for each complex scene. Logically separate elements into their own object files, then build them so the higher parts of the hierarchy come first. Always name layers. You might want to change sketch color for different layers, or items within layers.

01-02-2009, 09:13 AM
Yeah Lightwave modeler is a bit different in that you don't really have seperate objects per say. Everything is pretty much one mesh, made of polygons and point etc..... You can create groups, selection sets, organize and select by surfaces, or organize everything in layers, or a combination of all the above. It might seem a bit strange at first, but it works once you get the hang of it.

That said however Modeler could definitely use a more robust layer system, as things can get a bit confusing with complicated models. I will often break things up into separate model files as well. When you bring your model into layout each layer will be treated as it's own object, something to keep in mind, if you need to animate and control things separately.