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1 Tutorials LightWave 3D Adding Detail to a Spaceship's Hull with the Stencil Tool em Qui Jan 27, 2011 8:47 pm


by Karl Stocker

Recently, a friend of mine dazzled me with pictures
of which I show some details below, and which
can be seen in its entirety on image below:

that what can be done in his SW can be done
in LW as well, I decided to set about using
the pen and stencil tools to attempt to get
a similar result.


Open LW modeler, click on the Pen tool available
in the CREATE tab and draw this outline.

Selected the points along the center line
(all two of then, in this case) and hit Ctr
- v or DETAIL/ Set Value, to align them to
an common X value. Zero, for this image.

Under MULTIPLY/Mirror mirror the polygon
on the X-axis.

an arbitrary oval "hull" shape, or use these
specs. You can choose any shape you want
for this.

You must consider the direction in which
the stencil is supposed to project the image.
A little like a movie projector projects
an image onto the movie screen. In this case
we want the image on the top of the hull.
If you wanted it on the side, you would rotate
the stencil 90 degrees and move it so that
the image would project along the X -axis.
In this case it will project down, along
the Y-axis. Also, it is important to keep
the stencil polygon away from the object
onto which it will be projected. Notice that
the hull object in the background layer is
not touched by any part of the stencil polygon.

Got to the DISPLAY/Swap layers tool or hit
the apostrophe key and place the stencil
in the background layer. Then go to MULTIPLY/Drill
and in the Template Drill window select your
projection axis. The Y-axis is used here.

Hit "ok" and the result will be a projected
image onto the hull shape. One at the top,
and one at the bottom. To avoid the bottom
image, you can simply cut the hull polygons
below and save them to another layer and
return them after the stencil process is
completed. In this case I wanted to see how
they'd look on both sides.

After this, select all of the polygons that
are now stenciled on the hull object surface,
and then deselect all that are not part of
the stencil image:

Go to Shift E, or to MULTIPLY/ Extrude and
depress the Ctrl key while moving the polygons
in the direction of choice. You noticed that
I had both, the top and bottom stencil image
polygons selected. I wanted to see how this
worked both extruded out and in.

Next, select all of the extruded polygons
and hit the "f"key to flip them. The extrusion
process seems to invariably flip the normals
and render the polygons kind of invisible
as you can see in the previous illustration.
Once flipped, with the polygons still selected,
hit the "q" key, and in the Change Surface
dialogue window, name them. I named them "hull
etch" and assigned a color. You don't have
to choose a color at this time, because once
the surface it named, it is present in the
Surface Editor and can be colored and textured
there at any time.

Here is the un-rendered result; a positively
and negatively extruded (intruded?) surface

this works adequately, I wanted to get more
intricate detail and decided to try another


time, I wanted something more like what is
shown in this detailed image. I considered
the Pen tool as too awkward to use and decided
to just create a bunch of flat boxes and
disks, and for the curved paths decided on
rail extrude. Some of the tools descriptions
provided in Method One will not be repeated
here, though most of the same tools will
be used in Method Two as well.

Open LW modeler and create a few points under
the CREATE/points tool selection and under
Make Curve select the Open Curve option to
connect the dots.

Next, in a different layer create a little
rectagle. Switching Layer (you know, the
apostrophy key), select the curve and make
sure that the little diamond, that indicates
the start of the curve, is at the end where
the rectangle is located.

Switching layers once more, and it's off
to the MULTIPLY/Rail Extrude tool. In the
little dialog box click ok, and let her rip.

The result was as expected. Something that
looked like a Radar wave-guide on an airplane.

Going to the POINTS edit mode, select all
of the points on one of the surfaces and
hit the "X" key to delete them.

Now you're left with a 2D object, that will
require some cleaning up. Use the previously
mentioned Detail/Set Value tool to align
the edges and the MODIFY/Drag tool to unsnarl
the inside corner points. The extent of the
cleanup is completely up to you. Keep in
mind the reduction in size of the final object,
as it will appear in a render, to temper
your efforts to an appropriate level.

7. Enough
of all of this and on to the stencil object.
By mirroring this curved item and repeating it,
flipping it around, adding disks, and rectangles,
you may end up with one or more stencil objects.
In each case use the DETAIL/Set Value tool and
select all of the points in the point editing
mode to bring all of the various 2D parts to
the same plane. Your imagination, needs, and
creativity are your only limitations here.

Reusing the same old "hull" object from Method
One, place the stencil objects in the axes
where you plan to project them onto the hull

Next the stenciling process: first on one
axis, then in the other, using MULTIPLY/Drill/Stencil
with the correct axes selected and the stencil
shape in the background layer. However, following
a suggestion by William Vaughan, I ended
up duplicating the hull shape a couple of
times (once for each stencil). The reason
is that prior to extrusion all of the polygons
not belonging to the stenciled image will
be deleted, i.e. the hull object will bedestroyed.
The illustration shows the set-up for stenciling
along the X-axis.

Now to the deletion of all that is not part
of the stenciled image. This is a task best
performed in the single viewport mode, that
can be easily entered by placing the cursor
in the viewport to be enlarged, and subsequently
hitting the zero key on the numeric keypad,
with Num Lock enabled. Also, whenever you
suddenly notice strange things happen when
you hit the keyboard shortcuts, make sure
the Caps Lock has not been accidentally engaged.
Here's the result of our labor - part one
- two curved, still flat, objects that have
the exact curvature of the hull.

This will be repeated for any other object
that you intend to stencil. Next, if you
want them both extruded, select them one
at a time and extrude each for the desired
amount in the opposite direction. Tip: After
you exit the first extrusion process hit
the "f" key, with the extruded polygons still
selected, to flip them. Next go to DISPLAY/Sel
Inverse and repeat the entire process on
the currently selected object. Another Tip:
After activating the Extrusion tool, open
the numerical window (hit the "n" key) and
the new extrusion will have the exact same
displacement as the previous one and in the
correct direction. Looks like there might
be some neat other possible uses for this
kind of output, such as complex screens,
columns, exotic futuristic gear, and much
more, with and without an inner solid shape.

Repeating the whole process for the next
stencil shape long the Y-axis yields this
result. "Full house!" There now are four
extruded and conformal shapes.

After a little bit of texturing, the final
result should look similar to this.

The Method Two file with most
of the bits and pieces can be downloaded here:

Created by Karl
Stocker (pixeltek), a 3D hobbyist and occasional
freelance artist. If you'd like to contact
him, send email to: [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.] or
visit his website at: [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.]

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