What Happened to Edit Surfaces by Object?

Archigram

Member
I recall that earlier verisons of Lightwave (now using LW2109.1.5 on Mac) allowed you to choose whether to edit surfaces in Layout by object or by scene. This was convenient if you had 100 versions of an object and you wanted to change the surfaces of a few of them individually. Now it seems you have to go to Modeler and save a duplicate version of your object, give it a unique name, and then import it into your scene if you want to address its surface separately. Much less convenient.

Am I missing something?

Many thanks to you knowledgeable LW folks.
 

Ma3rk

Curmudgeon in Training
Sounds like it.

Surface Editor has a pretty functional Copy & Paste and its easy to rename a surface, along with having a good Search function. Also, you can quickly Library an entire character or object's surfaces to one file. Might be worthwhile to check out the Surfacing section of the on-line docs.
 

Archigram

Member
Thanks for the reply. I do understand how to rename a surface-- my point is, you now have to do it in Modeler, rename the object, and import it separately into your scene. You can no longer differentiate the surfaces of two iterations of the same object, as you could in the old Layout, where you could edit surfaces "by Object."

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I have combed the Docs and tried every menu in the (Layout) surface editor. For me, this is a cumbersome workflow.
 

Tim Parsons

Active member
I recall that earlier verisons of Lightwave (now using LW2109.1.5 on Mac) allowed you to choose whether to edit surfaces in Layout by object or by scene. This was convenient if you had 100 versions of an object and you wanted to change the surfaces of a few of them individually. Now it seems you have to go to Modeler and save a duplicate version of your object, give it a unique name, and then import it into your scene if you want to address its surface separately. Much less convenient.

Am I missing something?

Many thanks to you knowledgeable LW folks.
I think what you are looking for has been superseded by the new search functionality and the flat search option.
 

Archigram

Member
Thanks Tim,
I've looked at the video you linked to a few times (there seems to be no audio) and as far as I can see, the search functions just allow you to sort through existing objects that might share surface names, not to differentiate the surfaces of iterations of the same object (which of course also share surface names).

Maybe the "edit by object" function of the old Layout Surface Editor caused too many issues, so Newtek discontinued it.
 

Tim Parsons

Active member
Maybe the "edit by object" function of the old Layout Surface Editor caused too many issues, so Newtek discontinued it.
Yeah that's gone. They added that toggle in version 6 to make it work like LW5.6. Not sure how many users actually used it as it can be risky hence the reason you get the warning in 2015.3 etc.. I'm happy with the way it currently works as it makes you think about what you are doing.
 

Shabazzy

LightWave Fan Boi
Hi Archigram,

I'm not sure if you've understood the way that the surface editor's 'Edit by' function worked in LW2015 and earlier, but its principle is still carried on in post 2015 versions albeit with a somewhat different implementation.

From what you've said (and I could be wrong here) but it sounds like you're talking about cloned geometry in an object layer (or in separate layers) that have the same surface name, and not different object files that have the same surface name, i.e.:

Example 1 - In Modeler
object fle name: Soldier -
layer 01 name: soldier 01
surface name: green jacket
surface name: green trousers
surface name: black boots

layer 02 name: soldier 02
surface name: green jacket
surface name: green trousers
surface name: black boots

layer 03 name: soldier 03
surface name: green jacket
surface name: green trousers
surface name: black boots

In Layout it would appear like this in the scene items:
Scene Item 01) Soldier:soldier 01 - (Object file name:Object layer name)
Scene Item 02) Soldier:soldier 02 - (Object file name:Object layer name)
Scene Item 03) Soldier:soldier 03 - (Object file name:Object layer name)

These are not separate "objects". This is one object with geometry on separate layers which are understood by Layout to be individual scene "items".

However, to achieve what I think you want:
Example 02 - In Modeler
object file name: Soldier -
layer 01 name: soldier 01
surface name: green jacket
surface name: green trousers
surface name: black boots

object file name: Soldier001 -
layer 01 name: soldier 01
surface name: green jacket
surface name: green trousers
surface name: black boots

object file name: Soldier002 -
layer 01 name: soldier 01
surface name: green jacket
surface name: green trousers
surface name: black boots

In Layout it would appear like this in the scene items:
Scene item 01) Soldier - Object file name only (No Object layer name because it only has one layer)
Scene item 02) Soldier 001 - Object file name only (No Object layer name because it only has one layer)
Scene item 03) Soldier 002 - Object file name only (No Object layer name because it only has one layer)

Because all the surfaces are embedded within an object's file, with example 01 any changes you make to an object scene item's surface with a shared surface name will affect all the other object scene items with that surface name in Layout regardless of Edit Mode. This is known as global edit mode.

With example 02, because each soldier object has it's own individual object file with surface names that happen to be the same as the other object file surfaces, Layout still sees these surface names as unique to its associated object file, so you can change each individual object scene item's surface settings without affecting any other object scene items that have the same surface name. This is known as discrete edit mode.

You cannot apply a discrete edit mode to example 01.

You can, however, apply a global edit mode to example 02.

In LW 2015 and earlier you would use the Edit By function to achieve a global edit mode to "objects" sharing the same surface name. In post LW 2015 you can simply look in Layout's surface editor and find one instance of the surface that you want to change globally across object scene items that share the same surface name. Just right click it and choose "Select by Same...".

In the drop down list that accompanies it you can then select from the choices available and all the object scene items in the surfaces list with that chosen option will be highlighted and can be globally changed to all have the exact same parameters.

Just remember that in Layout, object files and object scene items are not necessarily always one and the same thing, so you have to be mindful of that.
 
Top Bottom