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naturaltz
02-06-2009, 07:10 PM
I'm finding LW to be utterly confusing and frustrating to use. I purchased LW 3 years ago at Version 8.5 in the hopes of using it for quick flying logos etc. I must disclose that I am a professional video editor first and foremost, working with Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro. --I studied 3D animation in college way back in the Alias Power Animator, 3D Studio DOS days, and I picked up those programs rather fast. I downloaded the PLE addition to Maya and found it rather intuitive and easy to use. I remembered many of the tools that carried over from Alias's legacy product. I even played around with Side FX Houdini PLE and also find that to be simple to understand. I ended up choosing LW for economic reasons. It was $495 at the time, and had a feature list that rivals Maya's Unlimited $6999 package, and Houdini's Master, $7999 package. I've been kicking myself ever since because my program just sits in my dock unused. I lean on cheesy Boris FX plugins for my logos, because I can't make heads or tails with this program.

I have a personal project I want to do, getting back to my animation roots, and since I already own LW, I've made the hair-pulling-out decision to push through with LW. The free videos on newtek's site are informative, but don't cover an A to Z overview. The videos seem to be random, with no logical flow. I'm finding the most basic things to be mind-bogglingly frustrating, like how do you select objects in the scene? Why when you're drawing a curve and hit undo to step back a point, the whole curve goes? et...

LW just doesn't seem to conform to any recognizable standard. Help me get through this birthing period please!!! Someone point me in the right direction.

Giacomo99
02-06-2009, 08:57 PM
If you ask specific problems, people will be a lot more able to help you.

In the meantime, I'd recommend slowly reading (and following along with the examples) through the "Lightwave 3D Getting Started Guide" (aqua-blue cover) that came with your LW 8 software. All the basic functionality of Lightwave is covered in there, and explained well. If for some reason you don't have the book, it's available (same book, with additional material) through Amazon as "Essential Lightwave"—you can probable get a used copy fairly cheap.

zapper1998
02-06-2009, 09:00 PM
check out the videos buy william V.
24 + hours of vids I beleive..

naturaltz
02-06-2009, 09:15 PM
If you ask specific problems, people will be a lot more able to help you.

In the meantime, I'd recommend slowly reading (and following along with the examples) through the "Lightwave 3D Getting Started Guide" (aqua-blue cover) that came with your LW 8 software. All the basic functionality of Lightwave is covered in there, and explained well. If for some reason you don't have the book, it's available (same book, with additional material) through Amazon as "Essential Lightwave"—you can probable get a used copy fairly cheap.

My boxed version did not come with a manual. I erroneously assumed it would come with a .pdf version of the manual when I picked the "ship without manual", option in the online store. I'm all for saving trees if I can... I guess I shot myself in the foot on that one.

I ordered a few tutorials off of kurvstudios.com, waiting eagerly for their arrival. Will look for Essential Lightwave book.

Dexter2999
02-06-2009, 11:04 PM
Okay, if you go to the registration area and log in, then go to "my downloads".
Scroll down and you will see where you can download the PDF of the manual and there is also probably the HTML help file as well.

Then watch these videos.
http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/tutorials.php

toby
02-07-2009, 05:01 PM
I'm finding the most basic things to be mind-bogglingly frustrating, like how do you select objects in the scene? Why when you're drawing a curve and hit undo to step back a point, the whole curve goes?
LW's gui is a bit different, but I think once you understand a few basic things it won't be a problem. What you're experiencing is the same thing I experienced when learning Maya - it made NO sense.

To address those questions -
Selecting objects is best done in the Scene Editor, (either classic or new, I use classic, much more straightforward) or in the drop-down list near the bottom-left corner of the window.

When you're drawing a curve, or making a box for that matter, and you see the cyan highlights or controls on the geometry, that means you're in that tool mode, and there are no undos in tool mode. But it's very easy to make curves from any points in the model. I suggest in this situation that you get out of the tool mode (hit the spacebar), delete the last point, then start another curve, and connect them when you're done. If it's a simple curve it's better to just start over again.

I'm not much of a modeler though, I'm sure the gurus on this forum will have a much better solution.

Silkrooster
02-07-2009, 05:22 PM
When creating a spline. you should be able to open the numeric panel and click delete last point. Keep clicking it if you need to remove more than one point.
Silk

Edit I should mention to get to the numeric panel just hit the lowercase n key on your keyboard.

naturaltz
02-07-2009, 07:21 PM
Thanks everyone. I was able to download the manual from "my downloads." I did discover that there is a delete last point in numeric on my own, but thanks. I'm still a little fuzzy on how to select objects in the same layer that overlap. I'll look up the scene editor in the manual. Sorry for whining on here.

Sarford
02-07-2009, 08:04 PM
Its best to have seperate objects in seperate layers, especialy if you want to animate them. Multiple object in one layer will be treated as one single object inside layout.

In Modeler, if nothing is selected then everything is selected. This means if you want to scale an object in a layer (as an example) you just hit 'h' or 'H' to start scaling, no need to first select the object couse 'when nothing is selected, everything is selected'

If you DO have multiple objects inside one layer that overlap, select one polygon of the object you wanna select and hit ']'. This will select the whole object. Hitting 'shift' + ']' will increase your selection by one row, hitting 'shift' + '[' will decrease your selection by one row.

toby
02-07-2009, 08:07 PM
(shows you how much I know about modeling)
So you mean select objects in Modeler - when you say 'scene' that generally means Layout, which is what I was referring to - what I said doesn't apply to Modeler.

The simplest answer is to select a polygon then press bracket ']' (select connected) then 't' to Move.

A very important thing to know about objects in Modeler - there is no "Object" mode as there is in Maya or Max - you are always in a geometry editing mode. Hence you don't select objects, you select all the points or polygons of an object. Object mode is what Layout is for. For example, if you were making a living room, you'd model all your furniture at 0,0,0 in Modeler, and you would only move them into place once you're in Layout. This is also important to know because texture coordinates in Modeler (excluding UV of course) are based on the origin - so if you apply a cubic map to a chair and then move it, the texture will slide off. It's also harder to make corrections later if you've moved it.

naturaltz
02-07-2009, 08:40 PM
If you DO have multiple objects inside one layer that overlap, select one polygon of the object you wanna select and hit ']'. This will select the whole object. Hitting 'shift' + ']' will increase your selection by one row, hitting 'shift' + '[' will decrease your selection by one row.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! That is exactly what I needed. I understand the layering issues. The reason that I am building in the same layer is I plan to merge the geometry. It will be one object when I'm done. But I was having issues selecting the different pieces after they overlapped...

JeffrySG
02-08-2009, 08:47 AM
Also, I highly recommend getting these two books...

http://www.amazon.com/Inside-LightWave-v9-Dan-Ablan/dp/0321426843/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234107915&sr=8-1
This is great if you're really feeling out of sorts with LW. Great book to get started.


http://www.amazon.com/Essential-LightWave-v9-Fastest-Easiest/dp/1598220241/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234107930&sr=8-1
This is also a great book, although it starts a little more advanced.

Both of the books come with hours and hours of free training videos as well. I bought them both when I started with LW and I'm very glad that I did.

dwburman
02-08-2009, 11:39 AM
Some other helpful keys in modeler are:

"-" hide selected
"=" hide the stuff that isn't selected (but you have to have something selected)
"\" unhide

These are really useful when you're trying to work on a section but other polygons are getting in the way.

They are also useful if you want to exclude some geometry from an operation.

geothefaust
02-08-2009, 12:22 PM
Its best to have seperate objects in seperate layers, especialy if you want to animate them. Multiple object in one layer will be treated as one single object inside layout.

In Modeler, if nothing is selected then everything is selected. This means if you want to scale an object in a layer (as an example) you just hit 'h' or 'H' to start scaling, no need to first select the object couse 'when nothing is selected, everything is selected'

If you DO have multiple objects inside one layer that overlap, select one polygon of the object you wanna select and hit ']'. This will select the whole object. Hitting 'shift' + ']' will increase your selection by one row, hitting 'shift' + '[' will decrease your selection by one row.

That was the weirdest thing for me when I first picked up LW, but after that... Almost everything was like butter. Except for rigging. :D


naturaltz, glad you could join us here. :)

A few things that might help off the top of my head that others haven't covered...

Modeler
-Right clicking and dragging with no tool active will let you lasso select.
-Drag tool (CTRL + T) will let you tweak points individually.
-Always try to model with quad polygons, triangles are acceptable too. (No polys with more then 4 points!)
-Some tools (like taper, shear, pole, etc) have a gizmo that allows you to select an area to be manipulated or falloff. This is done by right clicking and dragging in a viewport with the tool selected.
-Hit "N" for the numerical panel with a tool selected, it will have all sorts of variables for each tool.
-Hit "W" for statistics.
-Hit "F7" for the layers window.
-Using splines, alot of polygon tools work with them in a similar fashion. For instance; With two points selected, using "P" will create spline between the two. Normally with 3 or more points selected it would create a polygon.
-To elaborate a bit more on the last note, some tools have a selection order for usage. Like "select loop", "make poly", and a few others. For example, using "make poly", if you had 4 points that you wanted to make a poly out of, selecting them in a figure 8 would get you just that, a figure 8 shaped poly. If you did this in a radial manner, then that too, would create a poly in a radial manner, which is what you want.


That's a bit that comes to mind. If you need more of have specific questions, I'll try to answer. :)

userBrian
02-08-2009, 08:13 PM
select one polygon of the object you wanna select and hit ']'. This will select the whole object.



THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! That is exactly what I needed.

The selection tools appear to be in the column on the left. But the most important selection tool, the select connected, Is under the top "View" tab.And it will be ghosted out. So if you have say a box and nothing is selected, then nothing is selected here, he he. Select the entire box by lassoing it, or a part. The select connected button is unghosted,.
I look forward to redoing Lightwaves interface in Core and putting all the selection tools in one place, with nothing ghosted. Etc.