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Old 13-09-2010, 04:45 AM   #1
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Default How can I model pipes, wires, or cables in lightwave

I'm attempting to model a robot in lightwave 9.0 and I want to model wires and cables running through the robot's body. Is there any tutorials, or what's the best way to model wires and cables.
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Old 14-09-2010, 05:37 PM   #2
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In modo (LW shouldn't be too different) you can model simple pipework using the Disc, Bevel, Loop Slice (Bandsaw in LW) and Bend tools.

Simply begin with a disc of roughly the correct proportions and extrude it until your first bend in the pipe. Bandsaw around 6-8 cuts in the end you want to bend, using enough of the pipe so far to get a good, smooth bend, and then simply bend those end sections until you have the orientation you want. Then simply rinse and repeat ... To add pipe joints, proper elbows, etc then knife through the pipe where you want to add them, select the relevant polygons and extrude outwards.

For wires, then you can be a little more freeform and simply make a spline curve, shaping it to how you want. then, create a small disc at one end of the spline and use the rail extrude tools to extrude the disc along the spline - you'll need to play with the settings a little to get the right look and not overweight the mesh - also, to get a smoother look you might want to convert any poly mesh to subd's and then freeze the resulting smoothed wire back to polys.

Also, one of the old Worley plugin packs (can't remember which one - either Taft or Polk) had a plugin called 'Hoser' which would also do what you want (although they were'nt cheap back in the day - don't know what they're priced at now).
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Old 17-09-2010, 01:55 AM   #3
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In LW, Rail Extrude will do the job nicely.

1. In one layer, use the Sketch tool to draw a 'bendy' path.
2. In another layer draw a 2-dimensional disk (or any 2d shape really) and align it with the beginning of the path you drew on the first layer. Make sure it is sitting like a cap at the start of the path (it doesnt matter if it overlaps a little). For narrow pipes, reduce the number of sides to a sensible minimum. Note, I said 'start' of the path, it wont work if its on the wrong end.
3. Then make sure the path is in a bg layer, the 2d shape is in the fg layer, and press Rail Extrude. You will get a dialog box with options -- you can experiement with diff settings yourself, but importantly make sure you tick Orient to Path for best results.
4. Once thats done, delete the path layer and there's your pipe, cable, spaghetti, wire, etc.

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Old 12-11-2010, 06:30 PM   #4
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I use bones to control my pipes, wires and string in Lightwave. For me it gives greater control when trying to animate or position correctly.
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