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Lightwave Magic Tricks

In 3d animation, sometimes the limitations of the software or the hardware you are working with can come into play when determining your method of animating. In Lightwave, work-arounds must be found for instances where you have a lot of polygons and/or physics calculations happening at once. This is because the systems memory limits the number of calculations Lightwave can perform at one time.

The interesting part about this limitation is the creative solutions that Lightwave takes to work around the problem. For instance, if you have a high-poly object selected and try at any point to move the camera, that object will remain visible but any other objects in the scene will temporarily be replaced by “bounding boxes,” wireframe boxes that represent the size and position of other objects in the scene. When the camera/object stops moving, these objects reappear.

If your selected object is too high-poly, that too will be replaced by a bounding box for the duration of the move. This can make it tricky sometimes to animate characters that need very accurate movement and positioning. A good fix for this is to have a very low poly version of the character or object that you can swap in for animating, and swap back out again when you are done.

Other things that help are disabling textures in the viewport, working in wireframe mode, and watching your poly count when you first are creating the model. Some may call it smoke and mirrors, but I call it creative solutions to technological limitations.

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Entry by: Rob

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