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1 Tutorials LightWave 3D Modeling a Brachiosaurus em Qui Jan 27, 2011 8:35 pm


by [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.]


Estimated time: 1 Std 45 min; pure Model time: 45 min

Difficulty: Novice and Advanced

and welcome to my "Jurassic Park" Tutorial. I am glad that you have
chosen my tutorial. This tutorial will guide you from the beginning of
box through each step of modeling and texturing to have a ready and
impressive Brachiosaurus. I already disclaimed with what tools we will have to work. Let me give you some ideas what the tools do:

  • The BOX-Tool: Makes a box(who would have guessed it??) with different abilities of settings like amount of segments, roundings a.s.o.

  • The KNIFE-Tool: as the name of the tool tells us: with this tool you can "cut" the object and add a lot of detail to the mesh.

  • The BEVEL-Tool: here you can bevel the selected polygon and add nice detail like plates to a spaceship texture or a fingernail.

  • The RAILEXTRUDE-Tool: one or more polygons can be extruded along a given and certain path

  • The MIRROR-Tool: like the name says: it mirrors an object and makes a copy of it at the same time.

  • The MAGNET-Tool: works like a magnet and pulls or pushes a selected amount of points/mesh within a certain radius and a certain strength.

  • The ROTATE-Tool: rotates the selected and points/polygons around the mouse pointer which is the axis at the same time.

    alike the bevel tool with one little but main difference that the
    selected polygons are moved as one polygon and are not beveled as
    single polygons.

  • The MOVE-Tool: moves the selected items/points/polygons in any direction

  • The DRAG-Tool:
    is pretty much the same as the move tool. The moved point now doesn't
    need to be selected and u ONLY can move points with it. No polygons can
    be moved. This tool is used to redefine the mesh.

  • The MAKECURVE-Tool: connects the selected points to a Bezier-curve

so long. I assume that you know where to find all the buttons in
modeler so i don't explain where the buttons are but as u will see i
give always the key shortcuts so it should be easy to find what you

Let's start the party..

1. The "MAGIC" Box


1.1 Open modeler and be sure that the four views are named as followed:
Left top: Top
right top: Perspective
left bottom: Back
left bottom: Right
So, after we have set up everything, let's start.
We create a Box (shift+x) with these values:
(press N-Key) -> ref.:1.1
Width: 500 mm, Height 1m, Depth 1,8 m
Center: x: 250 mm (this aligns the box along the z-axis for later mirroring)
Segments: x: 1, y: 3, z:6
Now u set up already the basics of the dino. Everything else will be created out of this box.
Like in the jurassic time even, as life had begun from protozoa
Our protozoa should look like ref.:1.1b

TIP: press the o-key and change the undo-level to 128. This ensures you to have 128 undoes instead of 8. This can be a LIFESAVER Smile

Just deselect the numeric tool.

you think the box is way too small, then just press the A-Key and the
whole object will be visible in the maximum view size in all
viewports.Lets rush to the next step...


1.2. Ok now where we have done the basics let's go the shape of the main body. Hit the Drag Function or the STRG-T
key. Now start dragging the points which build the outer seam of the
body in the right view port and bring it into the shape of the dino
torsos. Just click the points you wanna move with the drag tool and
start building the shape. After a short while u should have something
like ref.:1.2


Now we have to define the shape of the brachiosaurus body in the Back
View. But consider that in big projects it's a MUST to go the fastest
way of modeling to accomplish the deadline goals. Time is money. Lemme
give ya an insider trick:

imagine your object as half of the model which will be mirrored later
on. so u have only to model one half and save much time in adjusting
and modeling.

that always in mind. It all depends of course of the object you want to
model. That saves a lot of time. Be sure that the left seam of the
object is always on the 0-x-axis which will be the mirror-axis later.
If possible don't touch the points on that axis in the x-direction.
Select now the right points(ref.:1.3) of the Object. Press space-bar
once to reset the mouse pointer. Then press and keep the Right Mouse
button (further called RM) pressed (lasso-function) and now draw a
circle around the yellow highlighted points from ref.:1.3. When done,
release the RM and the points get highlighted.

TIP! After
you've selected the points/polygons and you think you could have added
some more, don't worry just keep the shift-key pressed and start
selecting the missing points/polys Smile With the shift button u can add
points/polys to your selection.




1.4. Select the Magnet-Tool (shift+.).Yeah baby, its getting into deep now ...

it's time again for the N-key. A requester(ref.:1.4b) appears, where we
have just to tweak the "fall off" a bit to get a spherical look to the
points we want to use the magnet-tool on. The yellow points(selected
points) will get into the shape of the Magnet-circle(blue line). This
is also shown by the "gray bell" in ref.:1.4b. The RM activates the
radius of the Magnet-Tool. While pressing and holding down the RM you
can change the radius. You should move to the middle of the selected
points and then hit the RM and drag it to the top of the last selected
yellow point like in ref.:1.4a.

the left mouse button (LM) you can drag the selected points to the
shape of the blue oval. Move the mouse in the middle of the selection
press the LM and move it to the right.

u moved the points to the right you might have the feeling that the
body became too wide. Simply press the t-key(move-tool) and move the
selected points to the left.
The result should look like ref.:1.4c.

you press the N-key while using the move tool u can set also a fall
off. Try and play around with that so u get a feeling for it.


1.5. We keep the points selected and pick up the Drag-Tool
(strg-t). Lets drag some points to build the final shape for the dino's
torso(ref.:1.5). Here u need to select and deselect some points.
Actually you can move any point you think it has to be moved so it
looks like the torso of our Brachiosaurus. At the end the object should
look alike that in ref.:1.5. Try to prevent sharp edges.

Now the basics are done and we ar not that far anymore from our final goal. Let's go into the next round...
2. modeling the legs

ref 2.1

ref 2.2

ref 2.3

Without its feet the dino can't walk, so we are going to model some
legs now. Have a look at the second polygon using the Front-View. We
will modify this one using the Bevel-Tool (b-key) to bevel-out a leg.

to the polygon selection mode and select the mentioned polygon. Then
press the b-key to activate the bevel-tool, followed by hitting the
n-key so we can access the numeric panel for this tool. The advantage
of the numeric panel is the ability to bevel precisely by adjusting the
values, whilst still seeing the results in real time.

So, lets finally make him a leg ! ref 2.1 shows us the leg after one bevel pass.
shift: 270 mm,
inset: 20 mm
Close the numeric panel.

deselect the polygon, and this time, select the newly created polygon
pointing to the bottom. We can roughly guess a leg already !

generally a great advantage to use reference images (books, internet).
Usually they are a good helper to retain a believable shape whilst you
can focus on pulling points.

was using 3 segments for his leg. A segment is created if you click the
RMB whilst the bevel-tool is activated, then simply enter the next

we are happily beveling out our leg, we notice that the foot is
following a weird path. But we have a solution for this: the Rotate-Tool (y-key).
The small black crosshair is the center around which the selected
geometry can be rotated. Don't hesitate to use this tool on the
selected polygons, so our feet is parallel to our (virtual) ground
again. (for our impatient companions who beveled further already,
select the leg to the polygon of your wish, and rotate everything until
it fits again.)

So, when this step is done, bevel 3 more times and chose a negative
value for inset at the last time, which will be our foot later. I took
a value of -80 mm. ref 2.3 displays the result. We can see a strange
edge at the leg, just use the Drag-Tool to adjust this point.

Now for the leg at the back ...

will create this leg using the same techniques as with the first leg.
Select the last polygon at the bottom / right and repeat step 2.1.
If you have done everything right, it should look similar to ref 2.4. I
have adjusted the shape of this feet a little using the Drag-Tool.

What's still missing is the head and the tail. For those we will use the Smoothshift-Tool and the RailExtrude-Tool.

ref 2.4
3. creation of the dino-tail

ref 3.1

ref 3.2

ref 3.3

3.1. Now lets select the "butt-polygons" of our friend. (ref 3.1). At the same time i made both polygons planar using the Drag-Tool (parallel to the y-axis).

This step is important for our RailExtrude-Tool.

I was doing it this way:

Select the next layer and bring our previous layer in the background, it should look like this on your layer-tab:

this new layer we will create 4 points. To do this hit the "+"-key. The
LMB will set the first point, the RMB will create the next points. You
can re-adjust the position of newly set points using the LMB again,
this will only affect the last point set without creating new points.
Of course you can re-adjust the points afterwards using the Drag-Tool.

The points should be set so the first point lies at the left edge of our previously selected polygons (ref 3.1).

last point marks the end of the tail. The 2 points in between define
the shape of our tail (ref 3.2). Don't forget to set the last point
back to the center of the z-axis since these points define the shape of
the tail.

4 points should light up in a yellow color. (If not, then switch back into the point selection mode, now select all the points from the left to the right).

Then chose the MakeOpenCurve-Tool (ctrl-p) and our tail-guide is created !

In the top view of ref 3.3 you can see the 2nd guide, which we will be
using as a scaling-guide. It is constructed the same way as the first

modeling view ports should now look similar to what i got in ref 3.2
and 3.3. If not, then analyze the whole chapter again, usually we miss
the most important steps Smile

hit the shift + ' key to "flip" the layers, it means that we get the
foreground layer as our background layer, and vice versa.

the dino mesh should display in grey, and the guidelines for the tail
should show up in black. if that's the case, the 2 butt-polygons should
still be selected. No ? Then just re-select them. But take care that no
other polygon is selected, or else we will get a mutant-dino, a so
called Tschernobyl-Dino !

With those 2 polys selected lets chose the RailExtrude
function located under Multiply --> RailExtrude. In the panel that
just popped up we have a lot of options, but in fact, we don't need to
change anything. It's just important that the field labeled "scaling"
is checked, or else we won't really get a dino-tail. If that is done,
click the OK button and... ....woooowww !!

What ? You don't like it ? Oh right, you can't see the tail in the
perspective view port, though it's visible in all other view ports. Now
we can handle that ! Select all polygons that define the tail and just
press the f-key (flip polygons). And there you go !

ref 3.4

ref 3.5

is still a little thing to adjust, we have to delete the remaining
polygons we don't need. The best way to do that is to use the
right-view port and to draw a line around them using the RMB. This will
select all 2 of them.


Take care that only 2 polygons are selected, or else we will delete parts we actually want to keep.

Then just hit the k-key (kill polygons) and we are done.

dino should now look like in ref 3.4. But there's still a little thing
that annoys us, the tail has a very strong twist in the hip area. You
can adjust it using the drag-tool.

we can finally delete the unwanted polygons at the middle side of our
dino. Since we want to mirror over the first half of him later, we
don't really need anything there. Just select the mentioned polygons
and press the k-key once again.

ref 3.5 shows the polygons that are to be deleted.

Hit the m-key (merge points)
and then click OK. That effects that those points that share the
precisely same coordinates will be merged into one single point. If you
"nurb" objects (tab-key) you will sometimes see very wicked
deformations, all too often this is caused by overlapping points or
needless polygons.

In between you should have a look at your mesh status. Enter the point selection mode and hit the w-key (point or polygon statistics).
There is a line that reads "0 polygons...26", those are points that are
not connected to any polygons, and which are pretty useless for us in
this case. Just click at the little "+"-sign (this will select all the
points that match this criteria) and hit the del-key to delete them.
Now they are gone. But you should always double-check that you didn't
accidentally select other points before, since the little "+"-sign adds
the points to the selection, rather than completely changing it.

I have adjusted the shape of the legs a little further to get a more
natural look to them. Just select the drag-tool and drag some points
around until it looks good enough when the sub patch mode is activated

4. Modeling the neck

4.1. Woah, that was a damn big part, wasn't it?

dino gets some shape now. Lets do the neck/throat. Actually you can do
it like we did the tail, but i want that u see some other method too.
That way you can chose for your next projects which way is the best.
For the neck section we need the Smoothshift-Tool. That works similar to the Bevel-Tool
with the decent difference, that bevel is applyed to each single
polygon and Smoothshift is applyed to the selected group of polygons
and moves that as one solitaire polygon.

Select now the 3 "throat"-polygons and press shift+f and once the RM.
With that we "copied" the three polygons and can move them by hitting
the t-key. After doing that press the H-key to stretch the
polygons.(like in some gyms where people go to stretch and then it
starts hurting and itching in the knee pits) for giving it the right


Important , while pressing the LM, is that the Stretch-Tool mouse crosshair is on the "mirror axis" (Y-axis).

doing this as long as the neck has the wanted size.. From time to time
you should rotate the polygons so the neck will be well formed(it is
indispensably to rotate it after the stretching) After a view minutes
the neck should look like ref.:4.
5. Modeling the head




ref.:5.1 shows the top view of the Dino. If you look at the
Brachiosaurus a little closer you will notice that he has a kind of a
hump as a nose. Therefore we are going to bevel the selected polygon
ref: 5.1).

shows the result after the bevel. Now we have to shape the head a
little. Use the Drag Tool or any of the other tools you already learned
to use until now to adjust the points so they look like in ref: 5.3.

only moved the points around, nothing else. It takes some experience to
find the right place for them. It took me about 5 minutes for the head.
To keep things easy I didn´t make any details like eyes, nostrils or
mouth. This tutorial should not end up as a book. But with the tools
you learned you can add detail easily.

only need the Bevel-Tool, the Drag-Tool and the Smoothshift-Tool. All
these we already learned to use. Now we have to delete the polys that
are not needed anymore from the neck. You should delete the polygons
which show to the mirror axis.

this is done you should hit the "m" on you keyboard. All points that
are nearer than 1mm (you can adjust this) are merged. I think I
mentioned that before *scratching head*

Now hit the "W" key for the Polygon/Point Info. Select the 0 Polygons and delete them too.


Now that we refined the Dino a little more, we should hit the TAB key. Ref.:5.4 shows us how it suppose to look like.


we are going to add some more detail so the model looks a bit more
apparent. The Brachiosaurus has ribs that everyone can see. There are
also folds around his neck. We are going to make them with the
Knife-Tool. Just click the Knife-Tool or press
shift+k. In the side view just "cut" like slicing bread tow or three
times across the body from the top to bottom. I mean a little away from
the shoulder down to the feet. The body gets more detail an we can
select some new points and move them towards the Z-axis in or out. That
way we get the ribs we want.(ref.: 5.5)

HINT: Those
who are more experienced can make this detail with the BandSaw-Tool. I
am not talking about this tool too much so nobody gets too confused.

everyone can do as he/she likes. The same can be said about the legs
and the muscles that can be more detailed if wished. The Picture at the
end of the tutorial shows you how more detail makes the model look more
apparent. But remember what looks good to me is not always what looks
good for someone else.

6. The End: Mirror, mirror on the wall...

We just have to mirror the dino and put some textures on it.. For
mirroring just press the strg+v key and mirror the Brachiosaurus along
the y-axis to its full size.

Here you have to take care that the points on the y-axis have all the same x-value. Read to learn how to do this:

  • mark
    the points which are close to the y-axis, but make sure there are no
    other points selected and press strg+v. Now in the opened requester you
    click on X and put in the value 0(zero). You just assigned the X-axis
    value of 0(zero) to each selected point. After that hit the OK button
    and u can start to mirror.

Press Shift+v and N-Taste. Set all values to zero and chose the X-axis.

done is the Brachiosaurus. You can see that the throat is a bit flat
and the tail is pretty big. But hey, we got the tools and we got the
power to change that Smile Just use the stretch tool as i described it
before and bring it into the right shape.

the Q-key to assign a texture to the dino and fill in the name. Be
careful that NO other polygons are selected, elsewhise they will be
assigned to the texture instead. For changing the texture and adding
details u need to open the Surface Editor(strg-F3). Here u can setup
everything a surface needs. Let's get the party started...

TIP: While stretching, be sure that the crosshair of the mouse is on the z-axis for granted symmetrical stretching.
7. Let's get it dressed

i got a lot of requests for some texturing, I thought I could add some
texturing. Who doesn't know the problem that you have modeled a damn
good looking model in modeler and then the big bang: the wrong texture
screws up the entire model. That happened not only once to me. The
choice of the right texture is almost as important as a good model. NOw
i had to think of the best mixture how to texturize the model so you
wont get bored and further you won't come to resignation. That's why i
was focusing on LightWave®️'s® intern textures, where u can archieve impressive good results. But enough of small talk, let's hit the road and open the Surface Editor(strg-F3).

here are countless possibilities of setups and i will just explain
those which i was using for the other please refer to your manual. I
for myself found it always interesting to read tutorials where the
result looked approximately like the reference but Ii never understood WHY I had to do this or that so it looked like the reference. Well I try to do it better here.

ref.:7.1 shows the Surface Editor(will be further called as SE) and we will look at the first setup:

ref.: 7.1

  • Color: here i have chosen a bright grey. The marked T shows that here is enabled a texture. But i will talk about that later...
  • Diffuse: is the ability to diffuse light (or to absorb), where 0= no diffusion (complete absorption) and 100% complete diffusion (no absorption)
    is. Values above 100% cause a "unnatural" brightening of the objects. A
    value of 75% is pretty good for a skin setup of a pachyderm, while the
    skin has scars and wrinkles there is lees light reflection.
  • Specularity: Almost every Object in the real world has the property to reflect light. Here you can chose the amount of reflecting light.

  • Glossiness:
    shows how much light is getting diffused on the surface of the object.
    Whereas 100% simulates a flat smooth surface like glass for instance.

  • Bump: here u will select the value of the bumps, scars, wrinkles etc.

after that short introduction of how SE works you can also lookup the
manual for further help. But now let's see what the "T's" are for.

ref.: 7.2
The 1st "T" at Color:
Why the heck Fractal Noise?

  • To
    be honest you could also use another procedural texture which brings
    some noise to the surface. According to my opinion Fractal Noise is the
    best way to our purpose. The texture has only one task: to give the
    impression of a natural randomness to the color of the skin. To make
    that difference you need to change the color of the procedural texture
    so the randomness gets visible.(ref.:7.1)

  • the
    smaller the scale value gets, the smaller becomes the randomness with
    the different color on the dino skin. This depends from the size of the
    object. The bigger the model was built in modeler the bigger you should
    set that value here.


The 2nd. "T" at Diffuse: the diffuse channel has the same job to do as the color channel

  • here
    I also use the Fractal Noise-Texture as mentioned above. We want to
    achieve a random light diffusion so the surface reflects and absorbs
    the light differently Through that you achieve that the skin reflects
    more and on some parts it reflects less the light like it happens also
    in nature. Comparable with a dusty car: the dusty parts are dim where
    it's not dusty it reflects light. That's the way it works here too.

  • I dare to doubt that dino was clean from head till toe...
  • the
    smaller the scale value the smaller are the absorbing parts. That's why
    i decided to take a value of 1m to let the dim and glossy parts look
    more real.
the 3rd "T" at Specularity: same as above

  • here I almost can't add anything besides that the scale value is bigger be cause i want the specularity to be bigger.

The 4th "T" at Bump:
now its getting really interesting.. Here should be said, that you need
some experience in choosing the right procedural textures. Learning by
doing!!!Don't be afraid!

  • Why the heck "crumble"?
    If you take some reference pictures of the dino skin or some lizard
    skin , then you will notice a lot of bumps. No, not only the reptiles
    had scales they were even found on bigger dinosaurs in some
    fossilization. For that purpose we best use the crumble texture which
    produces those scales. But be sure to set a minus in texture value.

causes that the bump map will be rised instead of lowering them which
is exactly what we need for the scale bumps. If you don't put the minus
you will get the opposite which means that the bumps will be lowered
and you get the impression that the dino is made out of stone.

TIP: With that texture type u can achieve great rock or water surfaces.

  • and why STClouds?
    ...will think some of you. What have clouds to do with a dino skin? The
    solution is found in the parameters of STClouds. The trick with that
    texture is the parameter: cloud type.If you chose Jet Trails then u get
    a kind of scars pattern which we can use perfectly for the wrinkles of
    the dino skin.
  • IMPORTANT: both layers need to be in additive blending mode. The layers in LightWave®️ work as they do in Adobe®️ Photoshop®️ .

    if leave the setting to the default Normal, then the first layer is
    displayed stronger than the one beneath the second. The additive
    function adds both layers with the same strength and will be "copied"
    into each other so they are displayed as one homogenize layer.
    Well, if this would be a game, then you would see : GAME OVER ... i hope u enjoyed my tutorial

That's how your picture could look like if its composed into a real photograph.

The details of the legs were done with BandSaw Pro. Here u can't use
the knife tool because it causes more then 4-point-polygons and then
nurbing gets difficult. BandSaw Pro has the ability to select and if
wanted to divide the selected polygons in a kind of a "band" -
Advantage compared to the knife tool: u can add details without
destroying the 4-polygon structure for better nurbing (tab-key). Well i
hope i could show a way of fast modeling and

happy painting and god bless [dedicated to Mr. Bob Ross who died 1996]


Thanks a lot for reading and let me know if this tutorial helped you. So long


Marcus Carra

Special thanks to my friends who helped me translating this:

Michael Jabbour [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.]
DIS [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.]

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