From the Author
A little inside info...
LightWave 3D Applied is designed to teach users various aspects of LightWave 3D, from basic modeling and surfacing, to advanced techniques used by Hollywood effects studios. These techniques are taught in project form, rather than as individual topics, since real world projects almost always make use of several vaious techniques which are modified to fit the project at hand. One such technique covered in the book is one to bend a straight image into a curve, without editing the image, to create a graduated latitude scale around a desk globe in one chapter, texture the edge of a sword blade in another, and control waves on a water surface in two other chapters.
While the chapters each cover a given topic, they are by no means restricted to that topic. The sword chapter for example, covers not only the building of a sword, but also deals with surfacing metals, creating various gemstones, building and texturing a realistic rock, and using volumetrics to set the mood of the final scene.
Each chapter is designed with both novice and advance users in mind. In most cases, the user completes the projects from scratch, without the need for any pre-built objects from a CD-ROM. Instead, the reader creates everything that is needed for each project, Just like they would have to with their own projects. The book avoids the 'cookbook' or 'paint by numbers' methods of instruction, and instead, gives reasons and insight into why each step is done the way it is, and how & why things work the way they do, as well as a few alternatives. In the process, even a couple hidden bugs in the software are put to good use.
I really enjoyed working on this book, and it gave me the perfect excuse to stretch my skills into new areas and to generally 'let loose' for a change. I chose the topics, not only because they solve common 3D problems, but because they're also challenging and fun to do. Enjoy!