Let me start by saying I have never been fond of lightwave. I tried a few years ago and thought that it was unnecessarily confusing and the most irritating of all the 3d packages ( I know that I was wrong in that assumption, but I was so used to 3ds Max, that it was just radically different). After that I haven’t really touched it until now. I am a 3ds Max user through and through, however I am hoping to pick up on lightwave. I am hoping to post information on lightwave from the basic keys all the way to scene creating and rendering. Just so it is known, if you see anything in ( ), it is just my personal thoughts on it.
Let me start with the most confusing part (at least to me).
Lightwave actually uses 2 sub programs to run, which are Layout Mode and Modeler Mode. The first is called Layout Mode (Used for animation and rendering). Modeler Mode as the name implies lets you create and modify geometry. Users switch between these 2 modes to create their scenes. Please note: I have officially nicknamed Lightwave the sibling software due to its separate programs
This is my first blog and I hope someone can find this of some use.
Layout Mode (Is the program used for animation and rendering)
f1 = Help
f2 = Opens motion mixer
f3 = Changes Viewport through preset sequence (backward)
f4 = Changes viewport through preset sequence (forward)
f5 = Opens Surface Editor (which looks similar to 3ds Max Material editor)
f6 = Opens Image Editor (As the Name implies, lets you edit imported images)
f7 = Viper Surfaces (Looks like a render window)
f8 = Surface Preset (At this moment, function currently unknown to me)
f9 = Renders Image
f10 = Renders Image but also turns on Auto Frame Advance (Still figuring out what AFA is)
f11 = Renders only selected objects
f12 = Switches between Layout Mode and Modeler mode
Modeler Mode (As the name implies, you use this mode to model)
f1 = Hide Floating Windows on/off
f2 = Hide Toolbar on/off
f3 = Opens Rest on Ground Menu (It seems to move an object based on an XYZ coordinate system, however it doesn’t seem to let you modify the coordinates manually so their is probably alot more to it, and I am just missing it)
f4 = Opens Rotate To Ground Menu ( Same as Rest on ground Menu but rotates instead of moving. Still probably not understanding it completely.)
f5 = Opens Surface editor ( Ok I am going to start by saying that the surface editor is quite surprising. At first glance, I saw nothing special (simple), however I began to “Tinker” with it and found that it was amazing complex (in a good way) compared to 3ds Max. It seems to have the basic interface of 3ds Max but also used node based texturing. It seems to have taken best aspects of 3ds Max Material Editing and combined it with Unreal’s texturing editor)
f6 = Opens the Image Editor (lets you edit imported images. It seems it also has options for frame adjust meant. To me that means it will support video files or at least jpeg sequences. I will have to test that later.)
f7 = Opens up the Layers Menu (I image they function like photoshop layers but I have yet to try them out)
f8 = Opens up the Vertex Maps (Not quite sure what this is, but I will find out
f9 = Open up the Surface Preset Menu (Not sure what it’s Max equivalent is, but it seems to show off the mat
f10 = Opens up the Manage Fonts Menu (Text isn’t that big of a deal in Max, however I am wondering if they are in Lightwave? Time will tell.
f11 = Add Plug-ins (Simple)
f12 = Switches between Layout and modeler mode
T = Move
Y = Rotate
Alt + held mouse button (doesn’t matter which one) = Panning
(please note, this wont work in the perspective view port. Only works on directional sides)
Alt + held mouse button (doesn’t matter which one) = Rotates perspective viewport. Only works in Perspective
Modeler Mode Continued
Tabs (Modeler Mode has alot of tabs along the top of the viewports, and I must admit something. I got lost when i first opened it
The tabs are as follows (on that note, if there are keyboard shortcuts for the tabs, i have not found them yet:
Create ( Has basic create tools. They are set into various Categories (Primitives, Text, Points, Polygons,and Curves. This is where you will create you starting geometry)
Modify = This tablets you modify the selected object(move, rotate, scale, bend, twist, taper, etc)
Multiply- Under this tab you can perform various function to increase the selected objects “Mass?” and increase the number of said object. Includes functions like Bevel, Extrude, Lathe, Mirror, Array, and even some subdivision modification)
Construct = (Not quite sure of this tab. It seems to provide functions that subtract from poly’s. Includes functions like: Reduce Poly’s or points, and several Boolean options)
Detail = (This tab remind me heavily of the modify tab in 3ds max. You can merge points,and polys. Weld points and flip polygons. You can even add and spin edges.)
Map = ( This seems to modify images one has placed into the viewport, I have yet to “Tinker” with this tab)
Setup = (This tab is for setting up animation rigs. It provides you with Skeletal tools for you meshes)
Utilities – ( This is for load and adding scripts and plug-ins. )
Selection – ( The name is self explanatory in this one. It provides you with options to select points, edges, polys, etc. It also allows you to modify your selections as well.)
View = ( This tab effects how you view your scene. This is nice because it not only gives you options for your view ports but your layers as well.
This is just some of the very very beginning material and I hope to post more soon.