View Full Version : LW7 (Modeler) Camera Rotate

01 January 2002, 07:36 PM
Hi lightwavers.
I recetly stubled across this app and instatly fell in love. THe problem is , the only one I see, is with modeler. I used to the camera in the vewport rotating on the x and y and z axis but the camera when you using the mouse to rotate , does'nt do this. It changes direction depanding on where you mouse is relative to the centre of the screen.

Is this something individual that I am experiences or is it actually th app. Is there a way to make so it rotates like in composer.


01 January 2002, 08:40 PM

01 January 2002, 08:59 PM
Um im not sure what your asking too much, I think your asking how to rotate the camera in layout and keep it centered ?

01 January 2002, 09:21 PM

I think a good glimpse at the manual about the basics of

modeler and layout would do him good.....

01 January 2002, 01:13 AM
Think he just has to get used to it. I suppose he is used to some other program.

01 January 2002, 11:06 AM
Yes I think you spotted the problem . I want the camera to rotate , like in max and maya . Is this possible . If so could some one tell me how.

Bytehawk I don't own the app , my uni does. I hav'nt got the time or the patience to look at lightwaves rubbish manuals. If there is an answer to this problem I would really appricate it other wise stop dishing out advice that is of no help to my self and other users with the same question.


01 January 2002, 11:16 AM
I hav'nt got the time or the patience to look at lightwaves rubbish manuals

there is a very quick way of finding things out.....even faster than using forums. it does go all the way back to the art of reading.

try getting familliar with books and how they are often setup.
if the book was written by an organized writer/s then it should have an index at the end of it.

so. go to the end of the book, and try to look for camera or viewport..or rotate....or a combination of the 3.

there you will find the page that its located under, with info regarding the topic.

its MUCH faster than posting these kind of simple flaimbait questions... and waiting only to get flamed over and over for a few days straight until one person decides to be the hero and actually answer your question.

good luck to you.

01 January 2002, 11:41 AM
Hey Martin I wanted to thank you for your help in the modelling section.
Now on this subject. All I'm searching for a simple yes or no, its not a big deal. Its my week and and I don't have access to the manuals.
As you mentioned its not a difficult question so why not answer and stop giving me more usless advice on how to use a contents and index, please........


01 January 2002, 11:45 AM
Martin's advice is the best there is! Many of us hate using the manual I understand, I dont have the answer you're looking for as i have'nt used max, but the control configs are in chapter 3 if this helps. or somone that has used max and knows what you want to do can explain . It will explain better than i can as im not sure of the prob.

Please dont take people's advice as bieng usless information i think they are only tying to prevent you from getting flammed

again good luck

01 January 2002, 11:47 AM
In Modeler, hold down Alt and use the LMB or the RMB to rotate the object. It's as simple as that. You can also use the icon at the top of the viewport. Oh, you can only rotate in Perspective view, too.

01 January 2002, 12:10 PM
THankyou for the replies - I already tried that the problem is that in modeler the camera does not spin like in coposer. Do the same thing in composer and you will see the difference.

Your right I appriciate greatly the time of others and am sorry for lableling information proved as useless. THe point I was trying to make is that a simple answer is all that is needed.
We are in the virtual world here guys you think I care about getting flamed.. hehe


01 January 2002, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by kpalazov
THankyou for the replies - I already tried that the problem is that in modeler the camera does not spin like in coposer. Do the same thing in composer and you will see the difference.

Your right I appriciate greatly the time of others and am sorry for lableling information proved as useless. THe point I was trying to make is that a simple answer is all that is needed.
We are in the virtual world here guys you think I care about getting flamed.. hehe


btw, the pdf version manual can be downloaded from from the newtek ftp site.

The Lightwave manual is pretty good.

01 January 2002, 12:32 PM
The problem kpalazov is experiencing is understandable if you've ever used Maya (I've never used 3DSMax). I used Maya at university before I found LightWave, and since I've started using LW, I've had the same frustration as kpalazov.

For those who are not familiar with the differences:

(I'm not a developer -- my descriptions are based only on my usage of each app, and what they "feel" like)

Maya (and Max?) have a scheme of tumbling in the perspecive and camera viewports which bases the pivot point of the camera essentially at what feels like the origin. This might not make sense, but when you use it, this scheme feels extremely intuitive, and is much more efficient for moving around in your scene. It's very difficult to describe, but it seems to just make more sense.

LightWave, on the other hand, seems to base the pivot point of the camera on...well...the local pivot point of the camera (am I right about this?). This makes sense since the camera is just another object to LightWave, but I can tell you that moving from Maya to LightWave, I still get utterly confused sometimes when I try to move around my scene.

Perhaps it's just the way that my mind deals with spacial relationships, but I'd rather tumble my view in an arch (this is basically what Maya acts like) rather than "spin" on my pivot in LightWave.

I'd be in heaven if NewTek included some way to change the tumbling behavior of the camera so that it's mimics other applications.

kpalazov, mostly you just gotta learn to deal with it. I know how much it throws you off, but after a while, you'll be okay -- don't worry. It's quicker to adapt to LightWave than to spend all that time fighting against what it does. You'll just be a little messed up if you switch between apps ;) good luck!

01 January 2002, 05:59 PM
not sure exactly what the original question was about I shall now spout off random information regarding the camera rotation in LW as far as modeler is concerned:

If you hold "alt" and drag in a perspective view it will rotate the scene. Me believes (if I can recall correctly) there is an "imaginary sphere" in the viewport. You'll get different rotation results based on the position of your cursor based on what part of that sphere you are dragging. Try rotating an object with the cursor near the center, then try rotating it with the cursor further from the center or near the edges of that sphere.Specificly, you'll notice more of a spin or roation on the z axis farther from the center, and more of a turn or rotation on the y axis making the same mouse movement near the center.

In Layout I believe rotation is based off of the hpb values of the camera or viewport.

01 January 2002, 07:02 PM
THankyou very much from from both potempkin and gryn vert usefull inforamtion. Exactley what I needed to know I really appricate the replies guys.

Potempkin I was intersted to hear that you jumped from maya to lightwave, actaully my thoughts are on this decison at the moment, could you tell me why you did this, and maybe the pos and cons.
Oh yeh don't mention the renderers I know maya's is not as good.

Sya and thanks alot

01 January 2002, 07:08 PM
Sorry for the delay in replying. I'll try not to invoke a liquid-dissolving intro to a flashback sequence ;) But this is still gonna be long :( I apologize head of time.

The liberal arts college (Skidmore College ( I went to was very small -- only about 2200 students and 500 faculty, and is undergraduate only. However, the unique thing about the school is that it's known for having an excellent studio arts department. One of the oddities is that the college also has some serious computer animation resources (it was a purely SGI/Alias|Wavefront studio for 3D work, and Macs for 2D). It used to be that Skidmore was listed as one of only a handful of small colleges in North America which was an accredited Alias|Wavefront educational institution.

So I "grew up" on SGI and Alias|Wavefront apps -- moving from Explore to PowerAnimator, and then being introduced to Maya at version 1.5. Maya was DAMN expensive in the beginning. I remember learning that one seat of Maya at commercial price was close to US$30,000. Ouch. Anyway, I plugged away at the school's versions of Maya until I graduated in may of 2000 (Maya version 2.5, I think).

So...LightWave. So now there I was having graduated. I was no longer eligible for student discounts for Maya (at this point the price was more reasonable, but still waaaay too expensive). I was not an "Arts" major, so unfortunately I was not headed down the road to professional 3D animator which meant no Maya to play with at work :( The months after graduating, I did research for affordable (yet still professional) 3D programs on the Mac (I much prefer Macs to Windows or *NIX). This was when LightWave [6] had just been released. It seemed very impressive, and I called my local NewTek reseller for a demo. I consider myself lucky that I found LightWave at this point. I remember long, long ago, using an old version of LightWave (I didn't recognize it as such back then), and I really didn't like it, so luckily I found LightWave at [6], when it had completely changed itself into what we see today in version 7, otherwise I probably would have written it off as unacceptable.

Jump ahead to about 3 weeks ago: I did the "purchase LightWave for US$995" thing. I consider it one of the best purchases I've made. Even if I have to upgrade twice, I'll still have saved money.

Now, here's what I think about a comparison -- I'll try to keep it short ;) :

Maya is such a sweet product. It really is the holy grail for many, many 3D projects. It is an extremely powerful suite of tools, and if you can wield it, it will take your imagination and career very, very far. When Maya was first released, it was such a big deal because it had so much stuff with it (dynamics, NURBs, IK, etc...) which no other apps had (well, maybe SoftImage and Houdini?). Maya still seems to be the tool of choice at major animation studios, and for that reason alone it's worth it to learn it at least a little bit before you go looking for a job at a studio.

But there's one thing that always bothered me about Maya: I never was able to get very far with it. I could never get past to the mechanics of the application in order to get at the art. You see what I mean? Maya might be a little different now, but that was what I found at the time. Because it's so powerful, and maybe also because I started using it when the package was young, I spent MUCH more time trying to figure out how to do something -- time I could have spent paying more attention to the artistic side of everything. When I look back on it, it's only because Maya is go friggin' powerful and adaptable. But it is complex (NURBs are much more complex to deal with than polys), and that complexity can be a pain in the ass when you don't have a technical director in the next office to help you out with a problem you've got with your MEL script, IK, or UV texturing.

Now, LightWave has jumped leaps and bounds into professional 3D within the last 2 years. It's got most of the stuff that Maya has (Maya still has far more with better integration). Most of the things that you pay more for in Maya you can still do in LightWave with either creative thinking or plugins. But LightWave seems to be a phenomenal application, especially for the price (even at US$2500, it beats Maya for features for the price). So I've been using LightWave for a little while. I've gone through Dan Alban's Inside LightWave [6] book. While I have yet to use LightWave for a professional animation, I can say that it's still a great set of tools.

My qualms with LightWave are mostly due to being brought up with Maya. Maya spoils you because everything it there, and sometimes it makes more sense.

The camera rotation problem is a great example. The first time I used LightWave's perspective camera, I was completely disoriented -- I still get the willies by it. Maya is very smooth here. I also am still unsure how much I like having my modeling application and layout application being separate. I don't think I like it, but I think that it's just by training on Maya. Also, interaction with manipulator handles (move, rotate, etc.) seems to be much more awkward than Maya, and is something I really miss.

Other things are more difficult in Maya, though. I find rendering in Maya to be much less intuitive than LightWave, and perhaps it that fact alone that causes renders from Maya to look somewhat "inferior" to LightWave or MentalRay. But at the same time, I know that Maya is still capable of some absolutely stunning renders.

I guess what I'm trying to say with all of this is that it's how you use the tool that determines how "good" it is.

Okay, how about this for an example: people might say "don't use LightWave, 'cause major animation studios use Maya instead (implying it must be better for modeling and animation)". Well, to those people, I'd say go take a look at Taron's ( character modeling work. Or any countless others who are producing some utterly amazing stuff with LightWave and other packages.

Other people have said it, but if you've building your skills in the modeling, rigging, animation, lighting, and rendering side of things, try to spend as much time as you can on the art.

Maybe what other people have not said is that if you've looking to get more fluent with the technical direction side of things (often overlooked in message boards about animation ;), then it seems like Maya is a great platform and suite to learn on.

This is because you can port artistic ability -- bring it to practically whatever package you want. But the technical end of things requires experience often with a specific set of technologies, and I think that Maya's a great platform for that.

I still recommend LightWave. I seem to be in the same place you are -- looking to further your animation career. While I've realized for myself that I might be better suited to the technical direction end of things, I still want to learn my modeling and animation basics. I think that LightWave is a great package to learn that with. Technical details with <insert favorite animation package here> will have to come in time. Yeah, if I had the money, I would have bought Maya instead to save myself some time, but....uh...well, I haven't got the money -- just like more other people out there ;)

Nevertheless, art begins with art.

I hope this helps. I apologize for how long this is :( Good luck!

01 January 2002, 08:13 AM
Mate the things you wrote made the read seem like 10 seconds. We are exactley on the same wave of thought and pretty much in the same situation. I feel the same way about lightwave and maya and initially my question was inteneded to make my transition easier. But your post has answered the underlying question which is the whole idea of the transition, what is the appplication without the artist, But also what is the artist without the application?
Like you mentioned this has been dicussed meny times before but your post is different becuase it not only deals with the artistics argument of the problem but also of the reality. The costs and restrictions. WHich too me and I think many other users is extremely valuable knowledge.

I'd like to thankyou very much for sharing your experiences with us , and wish you all the best for the future.

Seeyou around the board

Kiril Palazov

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