3D Animation Workshop: Lesson 25: Lightwave Metanurbs | 3
Lesson 25 - Lightwave Metanurbs - Part 3
The following structure took only two minutes to create.
Starting with a primitive cube, we extrude out faces in a couple of directions. Lightwave has some basic tools that make this kind of work effortless and interactive.
When this crude polygonal object is converted into a Metanurb cage, the result is remarkably organic, and we are well on our way to creating a duck or other bird.
Notice right here the extraordinary merger of traditional polygonal geometry and spline modeling. The cage is revealed by the dotted lines, and unlike a true NURBS objects, the Metanurb object is not surrounded only by points, but rather by a clear polygonal structure that allows us to more easily imagine the evolving object as we build.
To make a plausible duck, we must have some more control points. These are added by subdividing the polygonal geometry. Two simple cuts will get us the points we need to build the basic curvature.
Examine this structure carefully to determine where the additional segments have been added, and consider what additional control points result. Consider that there are only 40 control points when looking at the following image, which was created entirely by moving these points around.
This is beginning to look remarkably like a duck and took only four or five minutes of point editing to create. If this method of modeling is piquing your interest, take some time to consider the relationship between the shape of the cage and the shape of the enclosed Metanurb object. The Metanurb object might be thought of as a balloon trying to fit within the cage.
Let's draw another cut right down the spine of the bird (all the way from bill to tail) to create some more control points. Moving these will round out the top of the head, the breast, and along the bottom. A different view will help to see the more developed cage.
We could take this project much farther, developing the cage and adding new control points for greater and greater detail. But our present purposes have been served right here. Metanurb modeling in Lightwave is undoubtedly as significant and unique a conceptual development as the modifier stack is in 3D Studio MAX, although of an entirely different nature. Both however, are intended to provide power and flexibility to the modeling process.
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Created: October 14, 1997
Revised: October 14, 1997