If you haven't done
so by now, save your model and close the Modeler. Now Open LightWave
3D (Layout). You're already in the Actions tab memu, so Add your object to the scene. (Actions > Add
> Add Object > Load Object). Notice that at the bottom
left of the screen, the Current
Item is already set to Layer2 of your
object. Lightwave imported your layered object as two separate
objects. If we had cut & pasted our skelegons from layer2
into layer1, this would not have happened. But since I like my
skelegons in their own layer in Modeler , I'll choose to fix
it in my scene Layout. Before I get to that, lets convert our
into usable Bones.
First, At the top of the viewport window, next to the window
type, there is a pull down menu where we can set the viewport's
Render Level. Let's set it to Front Face Wireframe so that when we
create these bones, we can get a good look at them through the
At this point the bones are not
even attached to the mesh. I need to tell Lightwave to use these
bones in Layer2 on the object in Layer1. To do this, I simply
set my Current Item to my object:Layer1
and switch edit modes from Object to Bones by selecting the Bones(B) button that is right under the
text. Now while you're in Bone edit mode, hit the P key
on the keyboard to open Item Properties
for this object. At the the very top where it says "Use
Bones From Object" select your Layer2
object because that's were all the bones are that we've previously
converted. You can hit the P key again to close the window.
Now, In the Settings tab menu, select
Cvt Skelegons (Settings > Bones > Cvt Skelegons).
Lightwave will tell you how many bones were created, in my case,
it made 28.
Remembering that my leg bones had to be made perfectly
vertical, I want to fix them so that the knees and ankles are
in the right place. Working from a hip, I'll apply a slight Heading
(red) adjustment until the knee joint lines up properly with
the mesh. At Frame 0, I'll make a keyframe for the bone by hitting the Enter Key twice. I'll now record the bones new rest
position with Rec Rest Pos (Settings > Bones > Rec
Rest Pos). Continue down the leg and trace your exact steps for
the other leg.
We don't want the Root bone to influence
the actual mesh other than being the Parent bone, so select the
Root bone with your middle mouse
button and deactivate it.(Settings >
Bones > Bone Active).
I've branched off the Pelvis bone in an angle other than 90°,
I'll want to fix my pivot Rotation reference axis. The Heading
(Red) should be aligned with the bone's length direction, instead
it has inherited an unuseful initial state from its parent, the
Root bone. Left alone, it would react almost like Bank (Blue).
To fix the situation, on keyframe 0, we'll click on Rec Pivot
Rot (Actions > Tools > Rec Pivot
Rot) and then immediately create a keyframe for its new zeroed
out rotation by hitting the Enter Key twice. Next, you should re-record the bones
rest position Rec Rest Pos (Settings > Bones > Rec
Rest Pos). Use this procedure on all the other bones that you
feel could benefit from it, even in a less extreme sense.
Next we'll want to use some Joint Compensation at the elbows
and possibly the knees. These are problem areas whether you use
WeightMaps or not. Select a LowerArm bone with the middle mouse
button, and hit the P key on the keyboard to open its
Item Properties. Notice that LightWave
auto-assigned the correct Bone Weight Map
to this bone. This is because we named them the same. At the
bottom, turn on Joint Compensation
for this bone and its Parent bone.
You can use values over 100% to achieve a greater affect. This
is common for lowpoly models. I set them to 200% for this model.
I also turned on Muscle Flexing for Parent
and set to 100%. This greatly reduces the common rubber hose
pinching effect when rotating Pitch (Green).
At this point, I'd say play around and start
posing your model. Make a bunch of keyframed poses and leave
enough frames between to watch your model go from one into another.
Study how the mesh is reacting to the WeightMaps and Bones, especially
at her shoulders and hips.
A Little Fine Tweaking...
The "100 Proof" method
got us this far, a nice start, but now I want to go in and adjust
some weights just a little. So launch Modeler
with the F12 key on your keyboard or by using the Modeler
button on the top right of the screen. Notice our model is there
waiting for us. This is the same model that is currently loaded
in Layout. Anything we do to her will be updated in Layout. While
both programs are open, DO NOT save any changes
you make here in Modeler, rather do all your saving within Layout
(Actions > Save > Save All Objects).
Visually, as the gradient from a hot orange-red (100%) to
a pale green-grey (0%) expands, you can see the change by how
the weight tappers off more gradually across the hip and buttocks.
We can flip over to Layout and play through our keyframes to
check out the results. Wow, It appears that did the trick!
Next, experiment with the shoulders, and then move on to any
other questionable areas. Remember, you can always work on one
side of the body and when you're set, re-use Yoichiro's Mirror VMap tool. On a lowpoly mesh like
this one, if you're going to tweak values; first try values like
50%, 25%, & 12.5% - they generally do the trick. (Note
to self...make a hotkey for Set Value) And Remember, SAVE
your work in Layout. (Actions > Save
> Save All Objects).
there you have it!
I hope my modeler config and this
weightmap method helps to speed you along developing cool 3D
-last updated on 08.20.00-
Questions, Comments; e-mail Skip Intro