View Full Version : warning for noob lightwave users

07 July 2005, 07:47 AM
if you have a backgroound in pencil and paper,it may hamper your lightwave abilities.i been trying to do a male torso since i started,and i been getting farther each,i keep deleting and starting over when something goes wrong,mainly symmetry stops working,but only on the arms where i put them in just for a place keep.but on the chest im trying to make the detaials where the muscles fold a little like a bodybuilder,but the closest i come is adding segments on top of segments via bandsaw,then dragging,which i dont think is the most efficient way of doing this,and i wonder if its my drawing that does it becuase its more comfortable

Niklas Collin
07 July 2005, 08:16 AM
Modelling in 3d is way different from drawing with a pencil. When it comes to creating human characters you'll have an advantage from anatomical knowledge (in fact, it's essential) but you'll gain very little from being a master drawer. Of course, if you're talented drawer your talents most likely will extend into the world of 3d too. Thus the best 3d modellers are almost always also good drawers. Drawing and 2d graphical knowledge can help you lot when doing the final output though. Colors, shadow placement etc. are essential in creating a good picture or animation.

So what I'm meaning with all this is that your drawing skills won't hamper you while modelling but they won't necessarily help you either. Traditional artists need to start from the bottom but usually they have better knowledge about anatomy and flow of surfaces than an avarage person and that is always a good thing. Best of luck to you in the world of 3d! :thumbsup:

07 July 2005, 09:05 AM
Man, I wish I could draw sometimes. Then I could make more of my own model sheets for characters...

2D lets you get away with anything... Things can be drawn in all kinds of ways and they 'work' - Foreshortening, odd angles, etc. In 3D, you're now working in a virtual 'physical medium'. Suddenly its not as forgiving as 2D work is, so you have to think more like a sculptor then a pencil artist.

For someone with artistic skills such as yourself, its like a whole now kind of pencil, but with different rules to how it works. If you tackle it with that in mind, it can help make the whole 'pain barrier' to mastering things much easier to conquer...

Symmetry is a cool tool - But take care with it - It only works across the X axis on points that are IDENTICAL on each side (ie. Mirror copies of each other). It can also become more of a hinderance then a help, specially if you drag points across the center... Then when you adjust things, the wrong points get moved...

Personally I never use Symmetry a lot - I'll use it occasionally for character modelling, but when things start to get complex, I'll often just work on a half of a model (deleting the other) then when I'm finished, I'll mirror the model to create the full version. Finally I'll do any last modifications with the drag tool to clean up the model, or break up the symmetrical look of it.

If you find you need symmetry and you keep losing it, then there are some symmetry fix tools for LightWave online. In fact, I have a handful of small tools on my website (They're LScripts) that might come in useful...

Good luck - And keep up with the modelling - Like I'm sure you're aware with your pencil art, any artform takes practise to master...

07 July 2005, 09:39 AM
yeah niklas i guess thats right,it will definately help in visualizing and forming ,the trick is to learn the new tool(s).my problem is that i want to Drag points all the time, then thats when polys get non-planar,and break apart when you add geometry..i just got to keep practicing,in a way the thread was kinda a joke to see if other new users had familiar troubles ............... Hey thanks for the link kevman,are those tools you created,do you need to be skilled in LW to use them,also drawing does let you get aaway with a lot,thats why i want to learn lightwave,so i can make my drawings move,i also write to so i want to combine everything... I APOLOGIZE TO ANYBODY WHO TOOK THE THREAD IN A BAD WAY

07 July 2005, 10:23 AM
Can I chime in and agree practice is the only way to improve your modeling. I can't draw particularly well, and in fact modeling a human face I made the base geometry and then sat with a mate who has a good eye and can draw quite well, and had him direct me in terms on what to tweak where, until the result looked right. If you can draw you probably have a good eye in terms of proportion and form, and with practice your modeling skills will evolve to a level where you can take advantage of that "good eye".

So, keep modeling, keep getting frustrated and trying things even if they don't seem to be working, and you WILL improve. I look back at my earlier models with a sense of derision, and I'm not a master modeler by any stretch of the imagination.

Good luck and enjoy!

07 July 2005, 02:48 PM
Thanx for the encouragement,being a drawer of sorts feels like its helping because i know what im trying to accomplish,but coming from no computer background at all, to get the details,i keep dragging points,ie the 8 serratus muscles near the chest,i thought hyper real modelingbyjeffunay would help because hes demoing with the a real detailed model,but then i realized that the pdf was for maya,if you know somewhere similar to use for details, i would be much obliged, thanks again stompbox and every one else ,its all been helpful

Mike RB
07 July 2005, 02:56 PM
I think the closest approach you can use in 3D modeling to traditional art is the Xdugef method. It's based on work done by Leovod Ponstel. Take a look what google turns up:


07 July 2005, 03:09 PM
Yeah sure..i dont know What that means Xdugef but i know its a joke on the newbies..your to much cracking up right now seriously.....................................but if im wrong,im going to google it anyway.where do i search?CGtalk or

07 July 2005, 04:05 PM
Are you box modelling? I could not get the hang of box modelling, and I, too, have a classic art background. You might like to try spline modelling. Basically, you draw your character base, and work with that. You will have alot less need of bandsaw and smoothshift this way. It is also alot easier, for ME, anyway, to use less polys, since you put them where you want them in the first place.

07 July 2005, 08:07 PM
I would say working in 3D is rather more like sculpting rather than drawing with a pencil. I think it's good to be able to draw though, so I wouldn't regret being able to draw. You're just learning a new medium so it will take time to acclimate to it, but I'm sure you will.

07 July 2005, 11:09 PM
I don't know how much your drawing background can actualy ruin your modeling skills, but I restarted drawing after 6 years of doing CG i'm getting to understand much about form and composition than I ever did just by sitting in front of monitor. My works are getting rapidly better since I do pencil and paper work and I'm happy with it. I just realized that learning tools and tehniques don't give me all the answers to my questions.You probably need to improve your modeling skils.

07 July 2005, 03:02 AM
There's been some discussion about the value of drawing when it comes to 3D, so I thought I'd chime in. For me, personally, I've found that working drawing into my designs has had a HUGE payoff. Here's a little peek into one of the projects I did a few years ago:

I had to design an alien. The first step was to get a 'direction' for the look of this baddie approved. So after a few whiteboard doodles, I printed off a couple of pictures of skulls and I doodled on top of them.

Once that was okay'd, I used the 'flat' image as not only a background in Modeler, but also as a texture. This was VERY important to making sure the model matched the drawing. As I moved points around, the image was re-projected onto the mesh. So I could make sure the proportions all fit together. Basically, I treated the drawing like a blueprint.

(This image ( tells the story a little better, but it's 1600 by 1200...)

In retrospect, I think I focused a little too much on the head. I still had the body to do! It worked out for the better, though. I ended up printing the CG model of the head and doing a few more revision drawings. I spent a lot of time modelling and printing off the result so I could refine the look a little more. By the time I put it down for good, I had a great amount of detail with the 'roughness' associated with an organic form.

Drawing was a big part of my work flow on this project. Not only did it help with the design aspect of it, but it was also tremendously helpful in the actual building of the beast AND in refining some of the design issues that came up with it. (I.e. I had a terrible time making his feet look right...) Once I had the drawing in modeller, building the form from it was an easy process.

Sorry this was image heavy, but I hope you found something of interest in it. I think you'll like what you'll be able to do once you start merging your drawing skills with your modelling abilities. :)

(For more images, check out the next two links...)

07 July 2005, 08:45 AM
Hey thanks for the link kevman,are those tools you created,do you need to be skilled in LW to use them

Yes, I wrote them - No, you don't need to be a LW guru to use them! :)


07 July 2005, 11:48 AM
this tutorial is a Modo tutorial BUT it works in LW just as well
it was done by 2 ex LWer's Christophe Desse and Policarpo

The best bit about this tutorials is this is how i model, I felt all funny as i read it LOL :D

so for me, this is the method i think works the best for 3D character Tutorial Here (

I sure many others have other methods of modeling, I just find this method right down my alley :)

07 July 2005, 03:41 PM
Since I have a traditional art background, I can't help but say you should have one, too.

Thing is, drawing isn't that necessary for 3D modeling. If you're trying to create a model of a human, animal, or anything else that really exists, your best bet is to work off of photos. If you make drawings of a person and then model from that, you're now a step removed from the source.
Sometimes I might do contour line drawings of a photo reference to simplify the image in modeler, especially if the photo reference is low res.

Now if you're making models of imaginary things, well, I guess you'll have no choice but to draw unless you can collage a bunch of images into something you can use as reference.

Look online and find artists whose work you like. Study wireframe images of their models.

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