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Lightwave Question: Cutting Grid Lines

evil_genius_180evil_genius_180994 Posts: 9,104Member
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I can't find much help using Google. I found some old threads on the Foundation 3D forums, but nothing overly helpful. As some people know, I'm new to Lightwave but not new to 3D. So, I started a project yesterday and I'm wondering: what's the best way to cut grid lines into a hull? IE: hull plate separation lines, deflector shield grid lines, whatever you want to call them.

In my former program, (TrueSpace) I had a fairly simple way of laying out cubes and modifying them to fit my needs and then cutting them into the hull. I could certainly do the same here, but I'm thinking there may be a better way to do things. For one thing, Lightwave has better edge tools than TrueSpace does.

So, I know we have some Lightwave users here, how do you guys do it? Or are there any tutorials out there for doing this? Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated, but please Lightwave users only. I don't need "This is how I do it in Program X, you may be able to do the same." I'm new to this software, so I don't know what a number of the tools do, so I don't know if I can adapt something from another program.

Information that may be helpful: I have Lightwave 10.1 and 09.6.1. I'm using 10.1 to build this model though, layout and tool wise, I've not noticed a huge difference between 9.X and 10.X, so I can likely use a 9.X method in 10.1.
Post edited by evil_genius_180 on


  • IRMLIRML232 Posts: 1,980Member
    I mainly use the drill tool

    in another layer you make a flat poly the shape of the panel you want, and then set it as a background layer with the geometry you want to cut in the foreground, then run drill set to the appropriate axis

    you can also use solid drill with a 3D stencil that intersects the geometry
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180994 Posts: 9,104Member
    OK, thanks Dave. I'll take a look at that tool later. I'm on my tablet and nowhere near my desktop right now. I tried using the edge bevel tool earlier because of something I read at F3D, but I got nowhere with that. ;)
  • SebastianPSebastianP171 Posts: 0Member
    If you want to make an isolated inset panel (or one with a groove around it), the Solid Drill (shift+D) stencil is about the only way to go about it. It will actually make the cuts in your base geometry, and you can bevel the result inwards and then back out to form your panel line. If you want to make raised panels that stand proud of the hull, such as for applique armor, you can either copy your hull layer and use it as the foreground for the Solid Drill Core operation, which will leave only the new geometry; or you can use the stencil shapes as the foreground and your hull layer in the background and use the Boolean (shift+B) Union operation. You'll have to clean out the bits that are left inside the hull, but if you're not doing a bunch of things at once that shouldn't be too annoying.

    Note, the standard bevel tool (b key) doesn't group polygons, to bevel a single panel consisting of multiple polygons you need to use the Multishift tool (no hotkey, it's on the Multiply tab in the Extrude group). Open the numerical input with the tool active (N key) and check "group polys". It has a bunch of different options for edge behaviors etc as well, play around with it until you find the setting that does what you want.

    Oh, and don't forget to run "Merge Points" (m key) if you're going to be messing around with the other boolean functions - in automatic mode, it will weld all points (or all points in the selected geometry) that have the same coordinates. In manual mode, you can set a radius. There's also Unify Polys (shift+I) that will delete all polygons that share all the same coordinates with another polygon, leaving only one copy. Useful for cleaning up old cloning operations, or double mirrors. (I discovered 30k duplicate faces while running this on one of my meshes last night - turns out I'd used the mirror op twice on the same set of railings.)

    Happy modeling!
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180994 Posts: 9,104Member
    I appreciate the help, guys. I've figured it out, though. To cut simple lines into something, which is what I needed to do, I use a thin object and a booleans, just like I did in my old software. However, when I get into more complex paneling, your advice will certainly be helpful. :)
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