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Thread: Wow...big thanks to Surrealist and Splinegod..

  1. #1

    Wow...big thanks to Surrealist and Splinegod..

    After struggling for months trying to get a handle on this 3D Lightwave thing , I finally had time to read through Surrealist's subpatch tutorials and try it myself (I still get stuck when I have a lone triangle and don't know how to make it a quad, and I'm still a little confused about what is good polyflow but what the heck - I'm still learning.)

    I then found Splinegod's "dragon" tutorial, and it was the first time I finished a tutorial that actually looked like it was supposed to! I had a few problems finding the same tools (I guess Super Shift is now Multishift and it took me a while to figure out the right settings to duplicate what was happening in the tutorial) and then of course I didn't know what Action Center was used for some of the Modify tools, but I eventually "got" it.

    I have Ablan's wonderful book "Inside Lightwave 8" but unfortunately, the pictures in my copy were way too dark for me to see exactly what was going on so my models fell a little short of the end goal (a lighter grey or white background would have been a lot clearer.)

    However, after going through these tutorials I just had to say "thank you" - I now feel as if there is actually hope for me after all.....

  2. #2
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    Congrats, you are now one of the infected.

  3. #3
    Super Member COBRASoft's Avatar
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    yeah, the tutorials are amazing... now comes lighting, texturing, GI-settings, ... if there were only such tutorials for that... live would be so much easier for us starters

  4. #4
    I am glad you got something out of it rqe3bc. Makes all that work worth it for sure. So you are welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by rqe3bc View Post
    After struggling for months trying to get a handle on this 3D Lightwave thing , I finally had time to read through Surrealist's subpatch tutorials and try it myself (I still get stuck when I have a lone triangle and don't know how to make it a quad, and I'm still a little confused about what is good polyflow but what the heck - I'm still learning.)

    There is a rule of thumb about a triangle. It is actually simple. It is just basic math. You either have to 1) Add an edge loop or 2) remove one.

    From there it is really kind of like puzzle solving. That is the most of it. The more you do it the faster this becomes and the less time you spend staring at the screen wondering how you are going to connect things and the more time you spend implementing the solutions.

    The way it works for me is after a while I start to see patterns that repeat. This is why I presented the tutorial the way I did. To kind of drive home these simple patterns that if you use all the time will always give you predictable results.

    So about polyflow. I probably can not give the subject justice in a thread. I don't think I really gave it much justice in my tutorial. But I can say that if you study the work of great modelers you will see these same simple patterns I described.

    From there really you just look at a shape you want to create and you can see the poly flow superimposed right over it. Not because of any stroke of genius, but because you only need to know about 3 different patterns. From there it is really just a matter of connecting them smoothly as the shape changes over the contour of the object.

    It is where these places connect and making them work as a cohesive mesh that the art of it comes into play. Then it is just doing it over and over and over. Soon you'll find you spend less time figuring out what to put there and more time just putting it there or thinking about the best or fastest way to get there.

    So just model a lot.

    But if you ever have any questions don't forget you can PM me or post here for answers. And also I second the praise for Splinegods tutorials. I have learned quite a bit from him.
    Last edited by Surrealist.; 04-06-2008 at 04:46 AM.

  5. #5
    Pancakes! IMI's Avatar
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    Hey rqe,
    Yes, Richard's subpatch stuff is really good information, and he in general always has some really good suggestions for modeling stuff.
    I don't know about Splinegod's dragon tutorial - I don't think I ever saw it anywhere, but I'm sure it's great since he too is one of the LW bigwigs.
    You also ought to check out Taron's head modeling video tutorial available from Gnomon's website (actually the only LW tutorial there). That's one amazing piece of information there. Not free, but not too pricey and definitely worth it.
    And check out the LW Modeler tool SpinQuads (the tool, not the website), which can be your best friend for polygon flow.

  6. #6
    Ah yes....but it's a well known fact that those who have mastered the art (any art) always make it look easy, which to me is a sure sign that there is a master at work .

    I don't have quite the "eye" yet to always correctly distinguish a "poor" model from an "elegant" model, although I do try to study what is going on as far as mesh construction goes with some of the images posted if they show the wireframes. And I can often "see" how the polyflow is the way it is - I just don't have all the skills yet to do it myself - how to get from point A to point B as it were - (I've never been good with math and geometry) but as you said, that is just experience and tons of modeling

    Here's a little pix of my completed dragon from Splinegod's tutorial - I know it's not perfect but I'm just so excited that I got it done and it actually looks close to what it's supposed to look like.

    I feel brave enough now to try adding some details to it - maybe some eyes, nostrils, etc. by applying some of the methods in your Subpatch tutorials. I'll be going through them again (I like to repeat stuff until I feel confident with it) and I'll watch for the patterns.
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  7. #7
    Very good man. That is a big step forward, getting that far.

    You are right. It is easy to simplify after you have gone through it all and look back at it.

    So what would you like to see explained better? (with examples of course) What would make understanding polyflow easier?

    I started a tutorial "Creating Contour". Have you had a look at that? It might give some more information. Let me know what you think would help making this easy to understand.

  8. #8
    NewTek Developer jameswillmott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post

    I started a tutorial "Creating Contour". Have you had a look at that? It might give some more information. Let me know what you think would help making this easy to understand.
    That's a great tute, thanks Surrealist!
    LightWave3D training, assets, news and discussion at www.liberty3d.com
    My opinions are my own and do not represent the opinions of any other entity, Liberty3D is not officially endorsed by NewTek.

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post
    Very good man.
    Thank you...but I'm a woman

    Here is a couple of pix of where I am stuck already

    I believe the part I circled in red is what you called "weak" in your tutorials. So I'm not sure if 1) if I need to do something about this and 2) what I should do.

    The second pix is where I wanted to start adding an eye just using smooth shift. This seems to be okay, but that weak part is still there and I don't know if that is considered good polyflow or not.

    I have looked at your Creating Contour tutorial but my mesh got a little messed up doing the hole for the wheel, so I have to try it again.

    I sure appreciate your time to help me
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by rqe3bc View Post
    Thank you...but I'm a woman
    Yes, indeed. My apology.

    So yes the weak part is a problem. It is not the end of the world, you could probably get away with it for now with this model. But if you want you can try and decipher my little drawing.

    The nice thing about this is it gives you more geometry to make something more than a little oval eye. You could give the eye a little more shape.

    Of course now you have to find a way to step those loops back down so they don't have you adding loops across the whole body. Or if you make the actual eye balls a separate object, you can terminate the loops there in the socket which could then be a hole. That's how I make all my heads.
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  12. #12
    Thank you! I think I'll try to get it as in your drawing - a good exercise for me! I haven't really done any work on the eye at all yet - just did a smooth shift to see what would happen

  13. #13
    Cool! Have fun with it.

    Tip:

    Just as in my tutorial you can turn off subpatches and use the add edges tool and merge polys to rearrange things.

    Hope it works out for you.

  14. #14
    Fórum áss clówn Hopper's Avatar
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    Good work rqe3bc.

    One piece of advice I can give to a beginner from a beginner is simply this:

    While your still learning the basics, no matter what happens... FINISH IT.

    Don't give up if you get stuck. There are plenty of times when I've wanted to just delete the entire NewTek directory and go have a drink (which I highly recommend anyway - the drink part that is). Press on. It will be well worth it in the end. You will learn so much more when you have to fight for it. You will learn 10 times more by doing the "wrong" things while reaching your goal of completion. Even if you finish, zoom out, and say to yourself "wow .. that pretty much sucks", you will almost immediately be thinking of all things you did that you now know how to do better. You will be amazed at how many times you will start a new model and remember "that one situation" you had with one of your previous ones and breeze right past it. It will eventually become second nature.

    And don't be afraid to ask or post models for critiques. You'll find many gems of advice and helpful hints. Most folks here will critique based on the skill level of the piece you're working on and not expect you to only post something that should be in a feature film or ArchViz expo. If it weren't for the folks here like Surrealist, William Vaughan, SplineGod and the likes, I would have given up a long time ago. I'm just glad the folks here put up with me.

    Work on your models .. don't let them work on you.
    Last edited by Hopper; 04-08-2008 at 08:12 PM.
    Playing guitar is an endless process of running out of fingers.

  15. #15
    Here is another tip for modeling. After I scan my sketch in, or even before, I draw polygon flow over my sketch. I draw loops around eyes, mouth, nose, etc. I plan in the sketch how my polys will flow into each other and add edges to the places that have detail. Similar to what Surrealist added to your dino. It takes the guess work out of building the mesh, and gives you the poly info before you start.

    I usually model from starting with the eye, I don't box model, its more like patch modeling with polygons. I use the extend tool alot, and background shapes to help define the volume and flow.

    Enjoy LW!

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