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Ever used Lightwave 3D's Morph Gizmo with Metamation?
Since you're using Metamation, you've got to use Morph
Gizmo with low poly objects right? Wrong!

For this tip, you'll need to make sure your objects are organized and make sure you understand your folder structure before proceeding. You don't have to use the exact folder names as I do, or even use this idea in the same way as I do - This is simply one way that I use the advantages of Lightwave's file format - that is, the fact that Lightwave doesn't store it's objects in the scene file, rather, it stores them separately. Some people complain about this, but I think that's because they probably don't know Lightwave very well, or at least they haven't learned of the many advantages that this supposed disadvantage gives you - such as, how easy it allows you to replace objects (like low poly to high for a final render etc).

You can replace objects manually through Lightwave or you can shuffle your folders around and let it happen automatically (By the way, you really need to know what you're doing here, otherwise you'll get errors.) If you're not sure what I'm talking about, then you probably shouldn't bother with this tip... or maybe email me for more info...

Tired of using Gizmo with a low poly object like this one, and trying to work out how the mouth will really look in the final render?

Would you rather see it like this when you're using Morph Gizmo and still be able to use Metamation?

Read on to find out how...

Basically, I always start a new folder for each project under which I put the various subfolders (objects, images, motion, scenes, surfaces etc...) and of course, as usual, make it the content directory in Lightwave.  In my objects directory I put each object in it's own subdirectory under that.


Under each objects directory that will be using morph gizmo (there are exceptions to this rule) I then make a GIZMO folder which contains the morph gizmo targets for that object... OR subfolders containing the morph targets if the object is segmented such as in the example here, where the character is split into sections , but as you see here, only the hands and head have morph targets (if it was a single object that was being morphed, you wouldn't need the hands or head subfolders here). This is where you load the morph targets from, when using Morph Gizmo. You will also notice that I have a HI and LO subfolder in the GIZMO folder, each of which ALSO contain HANDS and HEAD folders. The HI folder contains HI-RES High polygon versions of the morph targets (the same way you make the Metamation target - by metaforming the low poly version). The LO folder contains LOW-RES Low polygon versions of the morph targets.


contains:  mouth_A_I.lwo

contains:  mouth_A_I.lwo

it's just that one's high poly and one's low poly.

When you want to use Morph Gizmo, using your favorite file manager, copy the contents of the HI folder into the GIZMO folder (overwriting the files currently in there). Now when you use the files in the GIZMO/HEAD folder in Morph Gizmo, you'll be working with the High poly versions, so you can see exactly what kind of face you're making ;)

Then when you're ready to apply your GIZ file to your metamation object in your Lightwave scene, it will be expecting Low poly Gizmo targets in the GIZMO/HEAD folder as your metamation source object is low poly. So, you simply use your preferred file manager again, to first copy the contents of the LO folder into the GIZMO folder (just like you did with the HI poly ones) and since you're using the same filenames for High and Low poly objects, the High poly ones in the GIZMO folder will now be Low poly and will now work with the same GIZ file you just created, but now they'll work with your metamation source object.

Anyway, there you have it... I hope it made sense. Let me know if it doesn't.
Friends that I've already shared this with, agree, it works great.

This tip of copying different poly count versions of objects over each other can be used in so many ways, not just for Morph Gizmo. Maybe this tip will give you some more ideas. In fact, when you set things up properly, you can even use the same GIZ file (of a character saying something for example) on another totally different character, without even going into Morph Gizmo! If you understood this tip, you'll understand what I'm saying here... maybe this will be a future tip/tutorial...

Copyright © 1999 Ingo Rahn.
Let me know if you find this tip useful. Please do not copy these tips to another site.
If you want to LINK to these Tips, that's cool, just send me an email to let me know, so that I can maybe return the favour, Thanks...

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