Essential LightWave 3D- P10

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Essential LightWave 3D- P10

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Essential LightWave 3D- P10: What you have in your hands is, quite simply, a collection of tools and techniques that many professional LightWave artists use every single day doing what we do in our various fields. The tools and techniques explored in this book are essential to creating the caliber of imagery that you see on film and television and in print and video games.

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  1. Chapter 10 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ... That’s all there is to it! It just takes time Do that thing, and then figure out what you and patience. (With practice, the time can do next! Now, granted, it is much easier requirement drops considerably — though to have a guide to show you the trail, point- the patience allocation must always remain ing out where to step and where not to high if you’re going to enjoy doing any- step, but that doesn’t mean that you really thing.) When broken down into “next need one. logical steps,” even someone who is rela- Your creativity is your single most tively new to 3D can model heads with the important asset; it allows you to be your best of ’em. own guide. Remember that the finding of the “next Learning is a skill (just like any other logical steps” is the single, most important skill). By practicing this skill, you learn how key to doing anything (3D or otherwise). If to learn. Problem-solving is also a skill. You you’re not sure how to get to your ultimate can learn how to use what you already know goal, just figure out what you can do that to get you where you want to be! moves you a little way toward that goal. It’s as simple as that. 258
  2. Chapter 11 Organic Modeling Exercise 4: Modeling a Wolf’s Head This chapter presents another take on mod- eling a face and head. It’s the technique I Note use when I’m asked to model an animal. We You may notice that I’m leaving more and create a very simple, basic sketch in this more up to your own artistic sensibilities. If you compare your confidence level before exercise, one that you can “work back into” reading this book with how you feel about with BandSaw, Spin Quads, and Smooth what you can handle now, you will sense a Shift to create a model of incredible detail. pronounced evolution. I am going to continue to leave more and 1. Start with a symmetrical box centered more of the artistic decisions up to you, along the X axis. Under the Segments helping you to expand and trust your own setting, set X to 4, Y to 4, and Z to 5. sensibilities and judgment. Figure 11-1 259
  3. Chapter 11 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 11-2 2. In a Left viewport, use Magnet and Drag to get something that looks like a Drag to get the rough shape of a wolf’s top-down view of a wolf (or a bicycle profile. seat — bet you won’t ever think about 3. Now, working from a Top viewport with a bicycle seat in the same way again!). Symmetry active, use Magnet and Figure 11-3 260
  4. · · · · O r g a n i c M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 4 : M o d e l i n g a Wo l f ’ s H e a d Figure 11-4 4. Working our way from the tip of the 5. Having smooth shifted the nose to give nose backward, start pushing points to it some definition, activate sub-patches give some roundness to the front of the for your model and tweak the points of muzzle. Surface the four polys that we the muzzle to define the smooth, smooth shift into the nose with some- rounded masses of a wolf’s snout. thing “nose-like.” Figure 11-5 261
  5. Chapter 11 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 11-6 6. Now, working with the first “ring” of 7. The next “ring” of points back sees the points that defines the skull mass of crown of the head rise above the eye- the wolf, push points to create the eye brow ridges, while the sides of the head ridges, cheekbones, and jawline. angle down to the receding cheek line. Figure 11-7 262
  6. · · · · O r g a n i c M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 4 : M o d e l i n g a Wo l f ’ s H e a d Note 8. Using Magnet (almost exclusively), As someone who has drawn many wolves shape the points that make up the back and spent a lot of time around them, I’m of the wolf’s head. (Notice how I’ve familiar with the “shorthand” that defines a indicated the back of the skull as a bit lupine form. You’ll probably want to sur- of a bump, where the neck goes.) round yourself with as many photographs of wolves from as many different angles as you can find as you work. Whatever way you tilt your Perspective viewport to evaluate your work, you should have reference material in a similar angle to compare and contrast. You may also want to load my wolf sketch model from the CD: Objects\Chapter11\ WolfHead _F.lwo. Figure 11-8 263
  7. Chapter 11 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 11-9 9. Next, select the eight polys at the rear 10. The thing about canine and feline ears of the underside of the skull and that surprises so many people is how smooth shift and move them down- far down on the skull they actually ward, reshaping the points of the neck, start. (They aren’t just these little muzzle, and throat as you do to create “tabs” that are stuck on top of the the beginnings of the neck. (I’ve head.) Select the seven outer rear deleted the polys I smooth shifted after polys on each side of the head, as positioning them to create the sharp, shown in Figure 11-10. (You’ll want to clean line for the bottom of the neck in group these polys now, setting their Figure 11-9.) You’ll want to work a lit- Part Name to Ear, so you can select tle with the underside of the muzzle them quickly later on if you need to where it meets the skull to suggest the isolate them from the rest of the points esophageal area rather than just leav- of the head.) ing it flat and “boxy,” as it is after smooth shifting. Figure 11-10 264
  8. · · · · O r g a n i c M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 4 : M o d e l i n g a Wo l f ’ s H e a d Figure 11-11 11. Smooth shift the ear polys, and move 13. Smooth shift again, moving the polys them upward just a bit. upward just below where the tips of the 12. Using Stretch, “squish” the ear polys ears will be. Use Stretch to “flatten” down so they become more of a plane the selected polys so they are “flat” described by the X and Z axes (though along the XZ plane, and drag the points not totally flat yet). The bottom row of around so the backs of the ears are points of the selected polys should be rounded and the fronts are flat, as even with the top of the muzzle. shown in Figure 11-13. Figure 11-12 265
  9. Chapter 11 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Figure 11-13 Figure 11-14 14. Smooth shift these polys one more time, stretching and moving them to become the pointy tips of the ears. 266
  10. · · · · O r g a n i c M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 4 : M o d e l i n g a Wo l f ’ s H e a d Figure 11-15 15. Now, selecting just the polys of the 16. Select the polys that make up the (cur- ears (so you can “filter” their geometry rently flat) fronts of the ears. (For my from the webwork of the rest of the model, this is nine polys for each ear, wolf’s head), push points so you have going right up to the edge where the something that reflects the graceful ear turns toward the back of the head.) angles of lupine ears. Smooth shift them, and then use Mag- net to push points so the ears become little “cups.” Figure 11-16 267
  11. Chapter 11 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · There is your completed sketch of a wolf’s (Just because this is a wolf’s head doesn’t head! But this is much more than just a mean it can only be used to create other simple sketch exercise. You have a base canine forms — I once “pulled points” of a form that you can “work back into” with cheetah model of mine to quickly make a BandSaw, Smooth Shift, and Spin Quads to pug dog!) create models of incredible detail. Figure 11-17: “Working back into” a similar base form, this realistic wolf’s head was modeled much more quickly than if it had been created from scratch. 268
  12. · · · · O r g a n i c M o d e l i n g E xe r c i s e 4 : M o d e l i n g a Wo l f ’ s H e a d Figure 11-18: This is a detail of Reflections, showing what the wolf head from Figure 11-17 looks like in a final render. (Fur by Sasquatch) ... There are many, many ways to model heads When you are modeling animals for “fur- and faces. Now you know two of them. Con- ring” later on, with either Sasquatch or its tinue to explore and find out as much as you free version, Sasquatch Lite, bear in mind can, picking and pulling what fits with your that you are modeling the animal’s skin. ways of thinking and problem-solving — The fur rides on top of this skin, adding and letting the rest be cast to the winds. thickness and removing detail. If your ulti- There is no “right” or “wrong” way of doing mate goal for your model is realism, study this sort of thing — so long as you are anatomy books that show the structure of happy with the result of what you’ve done the animal’s skin. (it does what you intended it to do), and it Nothing increases the power of your works with whatever animation you will be work more than working from a position of using on it. knowledge and understanding. 269
  13. Chapter 12 Modeling 4: Spline Modeling Basics Spline modeling is a way of interpolating a Subdivision surfacing, or sub-patch model- surface between three or four curves that ing, has long since surpassed spline model- define its boundaries. This allows you to ing in the field of character modeling, but define very complex surfaces — replete there are still many opportunities to use with complex, compound curves (curves spline modeling; it is still a very handy that bend in more than one direction at thing to have as a part of your toolset. once) — with “simple” spatial lines (splines). Spline modeling is big in the auto- motive and industrial design industries. Note Alias|Wavefront’s claim to fame is that it LightWave was one of the first software was a forerunner of spline modeling and packages to implement subdivision surfac- ing. Back then, it wasn’t real time, and in heavily used in the automotive industries LightWave, it was called “metaforming.” (back when it cost more than $60,000 for a single license of the software). The “Rules of the Game” pe·dan·tic adj. Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learn- Note ing and formal rules. (American Heritage What I’m going to do here is lay out before Dictionary) you my understanding of spline modeling as it exists in LightWave. Your job, should you When you look in the dictionary under wish to integrate this powerful but pedantic “pedantic,” you see “See spline modeling.” modeling tool, is to take the information from the next three chapters, understand it, (Just kidding — sort of.) Spline modeling and make it your own. I’m just getting you adheres rigidly to a set of rules (covered in started — where you go from there is up to detail in Chapter 14). Deviate one iota from you! the rules, and you won’t get what you were expecting — plain and simple. 270
  14. · · · · · · · · · · · · Modeling 4: Spline Modeling Basics The rules are: Connected, your entire area to be patched will become selected — if you’ve done • Spline modeling in LightWave is not things right!) real time. You must use your splines to cre- ate polygonal “patches,” which, if General • Knot placement (the points that define Options | Polygons is set to Quadrangles, a curve) is excruciatingly important. (Preci- you can use as sub-patches later, if you sion modeling is achieved by Modeler doing wish. a “connect-the-knots,” as it were. So, when making defining areas with your curves, be • Spline patches can only be generated precise and aware of your “knotwork.”) from areas defined by three or four curves. • The ends of each curve that define an • The order in which you select the area must be welded to the ends of its curves to be patched affects how Modeler neighboring curves. (When you have one creates the patch. curve selected and you use Select • “Automation” can rarely be trusted. Three-Curve Patches Just to keep us all on the same page while Notice that the ends of the curves in we’re working with these tools, I’ve created Figure 12-1 have all been welded to one a couple of examples for us to work from. another and the two long, smooth curves Load Objects\Chapter12\SplinePatch- both have the same number of knots. Examples.lwo. On the first layer, you’ll see the spline “cage” shown in Figure 12-1. Figure 12-1 271
  15. Chapter 12 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Note When patching areas that are defined by three curves, Modeler “fans out” its geome- try from the point where the first two curves selected meet. (So, by selecting your curves in a different order, you can be presented with completely different patch shapes — see Figures 12-2 through 12-4.) Figure 12-2 Selecting the curves in the order shown in • Length specifies that the entered Figure 12-1 and then using Construct | number of polygonal rows are to be evenly Patches | Patch (or the + spaced along the length of the curves that keyboard shortcut) brings up a window define it. where you control aspects of the patch to be created. • Knots specifies that the entered num- ber of polygonal rows be weighted relative • Perpendicular refers to the number of to the points that hold the shape of the polygonal rows that will be created, like the curves. (More knots means more polys; “ribs” of a fan, radiating out from the point this is a way of letting areas of more detail where the first two selected curves join. get more of the rows than other areas.) • Parallel refers to the rows of polys that stretch between the first two selected curves. 272
  16. · · · · · · · · · · · · Modeling 4: Spline Modeling Basics Figure 12-3: Altering the order in which the curves are selected changes where the patch “fans out” from, making a marked difference in how the patch looks. Figure 12-4: Same settings, different order, different patch. Figure 12-5: Using Knots for the Parallel setting. 273
  17. Chapter 12 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · By changing the setting for the parallel seg- parallel segments, we can “sculpt” the ments to Knots (and selecting the curves in ways our segments lay over our surface. the same order as we did in Figure 12-2), (LightWave interpolates its segmentation in the “long” curves now have their segments a “connect-the-knots” fashion.) weighted according to where the curve’s knots are. (This preserves the subtle slope Note of the tip of our dingus.) You’ve probably noticed that the direction in which you select the curves (clockwise or Note counterclockwise) determines whether the normals of the polys that are created will be You add points to a curve or a polygon by facing toward or away from you. You’ve selecting it and then activating Multiply | probably also noticed that the convention Subdivide | Add Points. A new point will be established by selecting points to make poly- added wherever you click on the selected gons is reversed here when selecting curves curve(s) or polygon(s). to make patches. It’s not really a big deal — just something to be aware of. By altering the positioning of the knots and using the Knots setting for defining our Figure 12-6 274
  18. · · · · · · · · · · · · Modeling 4: Spline Modeling Basics Four-Curve Patches Patches defined by four curves work almost curves are selected still controls what the exactly the same as ones defined by three Make Spline Patch interface thinks of as curves. The endpoints of each curve must parallel and perpendicular. The one thing be welded to the endpoints of its neighbor- that really differentiates four-curve patches ing curves, and the order in which the is that the segments don’t “bunch up” in a Figure 12-7: Layer 2 of SplinePatchExamples has this neat, little funky shape to play with. Figure 12-8 275
  19. Chapter 12 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · corner. They all spread themselves across Selection order, the number of seg- to the opposite curve (like the threads of ments, and how the segments are distributed the warp and woof of a loom). really begin to matter when you want to Selecting the curves in the order shown actually make something with patches. The in Figure 12-8, Perpendicular refers to the selection order of the defining curves of rows of polys that are created that extend these patches was different, and thus the away from the first curve selected, and Par- points along the center don’t line up. Merge allel refers to the rows of polys that run Points can’t be used to create a single, con- along the axis defined by the first curve tiguous mesh. selected. Figure 12-9: Same settings, different order, different patch. Figure 12-10 276
  20. · · · · · · · · · · · · Modeling 4: Spline Modeling Basics Note Note Because patches are intended to be merged Under the Patches pop-up menu, you may together to form more complex shapes, the have noticed Auto Patcher MK. This is a tool curves themselves are sometimes called that is supposed to automatically patch all seams. The process of merging points to cre- the curves in your spline cage at once. As ate objects from the patch sections is I’m sure you can see with even the simple sometimes called seaming. applications we’ve gone over so far, spline patch modeling can have a lot of variance in its outcome, even when patching the most modest of cages. Patches created with the same settings and Spline modeling requires your input to tell LightWave what you want it to do. As the order can be seamed into a single, contigu- documentation in the LW manual says, when ous mesh (shown in the Perspective using Auto Patcher MK, “To insure success, viewport in Figure 12-11 as sub-patches). never have more than four knots in a curve.” Remember that you can often spend much more time fighting with the automation than it would have taken to just do the task right manually from the start. Figure 12-11 ... So those are the basics of spline patch mod- bread. The important thing is that now you eling. You may never need it. Then again, know how to use it (in its simplest form), so for what you may want to do, you may find should you ever need it, you will know that it to be the greatest thing since sliced it exists and what it can do for you. 277
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