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Thread: New Lightwave User

  1. #1
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    New Lightwave User

    Hey guys, I was recently gifted an old copy of LW 8 and was able to transfer the license to me and I paid for the upgrade to the newest version. I come from a long background of maya, Im pretty use to the Maya working environment. I do alot of low poly game assets for game engines, so I don't do anything really special. I been wanting really badly to get LW under my belt because it's a software I actually own and not a pirated version of other big softwares. the main questions I wanted to ask is about selecting objects. in maya you can have many objects in one scene and you can go between faces and verts or selecting the whole object itself, how can I select the whole object not a part of it in LW. I understand selecting faces and edges in LW, but I do a lot of box modeling and merging objects together. do you have to work in layers in LW to have different objects in the same scene and be able to move them around. I got a few series on udemy on LW basics. but a few of my peers were arguing with me that LW is no longer a standard in the game industry and with its steep learning curve it would be better time spent learning max. I don't agree with them on many levels but I understand where they are coming from. the biggest issue for me is not being able to freely move objects in a scene, I understand layout you can but I mean for modeling or setting up a objects in modeller. any insight into this would be amazing I didnt know the keywords to search into google to find clarify this issue..

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    Hi Dustin,

    And welcome to the Lightwave community. It isn't the largest community but I think you will find them very helpful.

    The big hurdle for you will be learning that LW separates the Modeling process from the Layout phase (which is where your Scene setup is).
    You don't HAVE to work in layers to have different objects. For example, two different characters would be two different objects. But working in layers is the best method for say a vehichle like a tank which has multiple parts that move independently while remaining part of the whole.

    Hope this helps.

    And you friends are right about LW not being a standard, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good tool.

    Good Luck

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  4. #4
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    you have several selection modes: poly, point, edge & volume. you can cycle thru the modes using the spacebar. use any of the selection modes and click on the object/shape you want to modify or transform to select any of the forementioned components, then click the ] key to select all connecting polys, points, etc. to highlight the entire shape. you can then move the individual object around, transform, modify, etc. click the / key to deselect all components. you can also use the select dropdown menu item for more options, such as select by surface, etc. LW supports infinite layers, so i create multiple layers for complex objects and use the layers panel (F7) to parent them. you can also set each object shape's pivot point independently in Modeler too, irregardless of layer, so that you can create complex layered objects with rotation points exactly where you want the pivot to be. LW is a very elegant and robust modeler, and has been my fav modeler all through my career. with LW, you have highly detailed technical control of each object's components. to create a background layer, select any of the layers in the shelf and click the ' key to switch back and forth between the foreground/background layer. this is useful if you want to isolate and modify a shape while still keeping other objects in the layer untouched. then just cut and past back into the foreground layer when you're finished. You'll also use the background layer for functions such as boolean, path extrude, etc.

    as for LW being obsolete in the game industry, that i do not agree with completely; Max & Maya are industry standard game tools, so to have one or the other as well in your pipeline for game work will make you more valuable and competitive. i know some game creaters here in the austin, tx area that use lightwave exclusively, however (LW is a local app from NewTek down in San Antonio, so there are a few game designers who support our local businesses in that regard...). it just depends on the team you'll be designing with. if your client needs Max or Maya, then you'll have to comply if you want the job. You can do some kickass modeling in LW, tho, and convert to .3ds, so LW may prove to be a powerful part of your pipeline in every project.

    post a thread here in the forum to connect with other LW game designers. i recently met a cool guy here in Austin that way, and he's doing some amazing games with LW and Unity exclusively. some of the best stuff i've seen in a long time!

    welcome to the world of LW. i've been using it since '95, and i absolutely LOVE it. out of all my studios' tools (LightWave, Maya, ZBrush & C4D), i truly feel more at home with LW, and that is 100% my default app unless i am given a gig that requires otherwise. i feel at home with it, and find my best creative work is LW generated...
    Last edited by TreyX; 07-08-2017 at 06:07 PM.

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    thanks for the help guys, its just seem so time consuming to having to break different objects into layers, I will model parts of an object and then fit it together. like modeling a knife I would have to break it up into at least 3 to 4 layers just so I can select the part individually to tweak certain things maybe extrude a face. ill maybe just start creating simple objects in LW that will not need layers and then slowly move to more complex things..

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    Quote Originally Posted by TreyX View Post
    you have several selection modes: poly, point, edge & volume. you can cycle thru the modes using the spacebar. use any of the selection modes and click on the object/shape you want to modify or transform to select any of the forementioned components, then click the ] key to select all connecting polys, points, etc. to highlight the entire shape. you can then move the individual object around, transform, modify, etc. click the / key to deselect all components. you can also use the select dropdown menu item for more options, such as select by surface, etc. LW supports infinite layers, so i create multiple layers for complex objects and use the layers panel (F7) to parent them. you can also set each object shape's pivot point independently in Modeler too, irregardless of layer, so that you can create complex layered objects with rotation points exactly where you want the pivot to be. LW is a very elegant and robust modeler, and has been my fav modeler all through my career. with LW, you have highly detailed technical control of each object's components. to create a background layer, select any of the layers in the shelf and click the ' key to switch back and forth between the foreground/background layer. this is useful if you want to isolate and modify a shape while still keeping other objects in the layer untouched. then just cut and past back into the foreground layer when you're finished. You'll also use the background layer for functions such as boolean, path extrude, etc.

    as for LW being obsolete in the game industry, that i do not agree with completely; Max & Maya are industry standard game tools, so to have one or the other as well in your pipeline for game work will make you more valuable and competitive. i know some game creaters here in the austin, tx area that use lightwave exclusively, however (LW is a local app from NewTek down in San Antonio, so there are a few game designers who support our local businesses in that regard...). it just depends on the team you'll be designing with. if your client needs Max or Maya, then you'll have to comply if you want the job. You can do some kickass modeling in LW, tho, and convert to .3ds, so LW may prove to be a powerful part of your pipeline in every project.

    post a thread here in the forum to connect with other LW game designers. i recently met a cool guy here in Austin that way, and he's doing some amazing games with LW and Unity exclusively. some of the best stuff i've seen in a long time!

    welcome to the world of LW. i've been using it since '95, and i absolutely LOVE it. out of all my studios' tools (LightWave, Maya, ZBrush & C4D), i truly feel more at home with LW, and that is 100% my default app unless i am given a gig that requires otherwise. i feel at home with it, and find my best creative work is LW generated...
    I really appreciate your comment, I will continue learning this software there will be some things I will need to get over to start making head way ( learning about adding edges and other equivalent tools from maya) but I think with this forms I can come here for great help!!

  7. #7
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    I hope their will be an item select mode in the future, or connected, meanwhile, make your own shortcut in the edit shortcut menu, once you select one poly on a segment ...use the selection tab and the menu modify selection and the tool button call connected, it will then select all those polys that are connected, if you use a shortcut and configure it, I would suggest maybe use the "c" key for connected, easy to remember and acess rather than the bracket default keys, you go to edit/edit keyboard shortcuts..

    then search for select connected, click on that and then go to the right side window of the configure keys and assign to whatever key you want.

    That is not the same as the complet object, as if you were to select a poly face from a daz figure and run select connected, you wouldnīt get the eyes, mouth and eyelashes selected since those are unconnected from the rest, if you would want the whole ojbect ..then I would use the volume mode, before you could cycle between poly, point,edges and volume..but not you canīt, maybe set up a keyboard shortcut for that as well, when in volume mode, you do not have to use wireframe display to ensure having it all selected if you select with a rectangular marquee, everything within that is selected, even it you just drag your marquee flat in one viewport...so I guess that is the closest one to actually select individual objects.

  8. #8
    Welcome! I create games using LW.

    The best way to think about modeling in LW is to think of each polygon as a polygon! Meaning when you create a sphere it is not an "element" it is just a bunch of polygons/points/edges. With that and layers you have some advantages...

    You can just "select" a bunch of polygons and hit ctrl C go to layer 2 and hit ctrl V....So easy to copy paste between layers.

    As for the layers...just think of them like photoshop layers, and if you create a bunch of lets say primitives in layer one, they will act as "one" object unless you the " ] " key to select all attached polys. So say you had a Sphere and Box sitting ontop of one another....just select a few polys on the sphere and hit " ] " key to select the rest of the attached polys. then use the transform tool to move it.

    Remember in modeler you are always in an edit mode so if "nothing" is selected it means ALL is selected. So you can use tools like the magnet tool or drag tool to start "free form editing" without any selections (FOR MAGNET tool, use right mouse button in the top/left/front to draw the "falloff" range)

    As you are coming from Maya, you might want to use the "transform" tool gizmo" in the perspective window, it is a super gizmo that allows trans/rot/scale for selections and right clicking allows the tool to snap to face,edge,poly,etc

    Modeler usually doesn't require a gizmo tool for modeling....by default your "mouse" position is the working pivot for rot/scale/trans. (or use action center: selection or origin) Though you would want to use quad view for this then always using perspective)

    Layers: I use them as a modeling history....say you are doing a character...I get to a point then I copy and paste it to a new layer and continue. Or say you are making a knife....you made the handle and now want to make the blade separate, you could select the top polys of the handle and paste them into a new layer and start to extrude the blade from those polys.

    If you have anymore questions, please ask. LW is a different beast from MAYA....Please change your KBS to WERT if you like Maya KBS. For Nav...use lightwaves or AHK can override LW/M Nav to be more like MAYA. (Anyone have that?)

    If you are going to do lots of modeling in modeler, I would recommend 3rd Powers Modeling tools, and/or LWCAD.

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    I would stick with the default shortcut (]) to select connected, because it is part of a group of functions. If you select a poly, and hit (Shift + ]) it will expand the selection by one poly on each edge, expanding further each time you press it, (Shift + [ ) contracts the selection by one.

    For your purposes, you can also select a group of polys, and open the polygon info panel, but pressing (i), and then assign those polys to a "part" by putting a name in the part field. This will allow you to select by "part" in the polygon statistics window (w), by selecting the part name from the drop down, and hitting the + next to it. You can also assign a different color to the wireframe for different parts. This way you can keep a bunch of parts in the same layer if you want, though I do recommend using the layer system, because it is great for keeping things organized. Opening the layers panel (F7) will help you name your layers, and control them more easily.

    I only started using "parts" recently, and it has come in quite handy.

    You can build a giant scene in modeler with tons of stuff, then send to layout to render and animate, but layout is where you can take advantage of instancing, and view your surfacing, so if you at least keep parts you want to instance in their own layers you will be better off, rather than cloning things a hundred times in modeler. Depends what you are doing though, sometimes instances are not worth the trouble.

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    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wingzeta View Post
    I would stick with the default shortcut (]) to select connected, because it is part of a group of functions. If you select a poly, and hit (Shift + ]) it will expand the selection by one poly on each edge, expanding further each time you press it, (Shift + [ ) contracts the selection by one.

    .
    That makes no sense to me, it partly uses two shortcut keys forcing you two use two fingers , and who would really reference such keys in the brain as close to what they do, c is close to connected, and as part for shift + why? two fingers again?..
    I simply remapped the expanding to + and minus, makes more sense...for me that is. "c" for select connected "+" expand selection "-" contract selection, a one finger solution.

    The only reason I can see why you would stick to default, that is if you are keen on following tutorials exactly, otherwise surely simpler keys should be prefered.

    Itīs just suggestions though, and the user can try and change and reset and check what the best option, you can always pick default settings for keys back again in the preset menu.

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    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraphXs View Post

    If you have anymore questions, please ask. LW is a different beast from MAYA....Please change your KBS to WERT if you like Maya KBS. For Nav...use lightwaves or AHK can override LW/M Nav to be more like MAYA. (Anyone have that?)

    .

    Thereīs another little programfile to turn the keys more like maya, canīt recall where it is located in the threads though, first I thought it didnīt work, but it does...instead of swapping between ctrl and shift and alt key when rotating, pan and zooming, you can just hold down the alt key and left mouse to orbit, middle mouse to pan, and right mouse button to zoom, I find this easer to use than lw defaults, I think itīs a bit easier to use then installing autohotkeys.

    is called lw10MayaNav...not sure where it is though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DustinMeyer View Post
    thanks for the help guys, its just seem so time consuming to having to break different objects into layers, I will model parts of an object and then fit it together. like modeling a knife I would have to break it up into at least 3 to 4 layers just so I can select the part individually to tweak certain things maybe extrude a face. ill maybe just start creating simple objects in LW that will not need layers and then slowly move to more complex things..
    you can select say one poly of an object, eg a sphere, and then hit select connected, it will then select just the sphere and any modifiers like magnet, drag etc will only affect that, so if you don't use the merge/weld command during modelling you can keep all the objects in a single layer as separate entities, when you have something selected you also have the hide unselected/selected/invert selected commands under the view tab, that will hide everything else in the layer while you work on a particular object or part
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    That makes no sense to me, it partly uses two shortcut keys forcing you two use two fingers , and who would really reference such keys in the brain as close to what they do, c is close to connected, and as part for shift + why? two fingers again?..
    I simply remapped the expanding to + and minus, makes more sense...for me that is. "c" for select connected "+" expand selection "-" contract selection, a one finger solution.

    The only reason I can see why you would stick to default, that is if you are keen on following tutorials exactly, otherwise surely simpler keys should be prefered.

    Itīs just suggestions though, and the user can try and change and reset and check what the best option, you can always pick default settings for keys back again in the preset menu.
    The default for c is clone, which also starts with c, chamfer, cut and connect also start with c. I might run out of letters fast if I used that logic. The default for (-) is hide selected, which makes sense. It is a matter of preference, because you will run out of single letter short cuts fast, you can either put the functions you use most on all the single letters, or try to group them ergonomically, using some shift control and alt modifiers, so you can keep your hand hovering over one area, rather than moving all over the keyboard. Which is faster? What ever works for you. I sometimes end up creating new shortcuts, or menu tabs for a specific job, when I find myself repeating a task many times, but it may be a situation particular to that job only. Two-key shortcuts don't bother me for most things if the keys are in the same area. The modifier keys are on both sides of the keyboard, so they are rarely too far away.

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    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wingzeta View Post
    The default for c is clone, which also starts with c, chamfer, cut and connect also start with c. I might run out of letters fast if I used that logic. The default for (-) is hide selected, which makes sense. It is a matter of preference, because you will run out of single letter short cuts fast, you can either put the functions you use most on all the single letters, or try to group them ergonomically, using some shift control and alt modifiers, so you can keep your hand hovering over one area, rather than moving all over the keyboard. Which is faster? What ever works for you. I sometimes end up creating new shortcuts, or menu tabs for a specific job, when I find myself repeating a task many times, but it may be a situation particular to that job only. Two-key shortcuts don't bother me for most things if the keys are in the same area. The modifier keys are on both sides of the keyboard, so they are rarely too far away.
    As you say..itīs a matter of preference and each to his own, that is my preference and my suggestions, it will not work for those who do not think like me
    As for logic, yes..I was awaiting just that comment on that it can be clone etc, and cut, but hereīs the thing on expanding the logic, in my little world when working in modeler, setting a shortcut to a tool that isnīt used a fraction of the time (when I model) such as clone make no sense, so that reference shortcut is easy for my brain to neglect as soon as c is established for connect, as for cut..my logic says to me that most cut and paste command in windows is done my ctrl-c and ctrl-x and paste by ctrl-v, so there you go..it isnīt necessary to have cut in the mind map either.

    and since I use connect so much due to the lack of item select mode, thatīs the way it is established in my preferences, but each to his own on trying out what may be the best..for me a two finger shortcut solution for a tool used that much for me would be a pain in the..
    Preferably I perhaps would like to see a middle mouse click any polygon and it would select connected if that was possible.

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