Creating a Spider Web with Lightwave 3D

By Roger Crouse

Modeling a spider web is one of those tasks that can be extremely tedious. But, it can be very simple if you use the right techniques. In this tutorial, we'll use several of Lightwave's time-saving tools to accomplish this task in just ten easy steps.

STEP 1: We'll start in the top view of modeler. Create a simple primitive by selecting the cone button, pressing "n" on the keyboard, and enter the settings in figure #1. Click "OK".


Figure #1

STEP 2: Activate the Polygon mode. Then, use the right mouse button to drag a lasso around all polygons to select them. Select the Multiply tab, then press "b" on the keyboard to display the Bevel tool's numeric requestor  and enter the settings in figure #2.


Figure #2

STEP 3: Deselect the polygons. Select the Tools tab, then press "m" on the keyboard to display the Merge Points numeric requestor and enter the values in figure #3.


Figure #3

STEP 4: Select the Polygon tab and press the Unify button.

Repeat Steps 3 & 4 once more.

STEP 5: Press "w" on the keyboard to display the Polygon Statistics requestor. With no polygons selected, click the "+" key beside the 2 vertices numerical value(see Figure #4) to select these polygons only.


Figure #4

STEP 6: Press "c" on the keyboard to copy the previously selected polygons, select a new layer, then press "v" on the keyboard to paste these polygons into the new layer.

STEP 7: Press "q" on the keyboard to display the Change Surface requestor. Type "Spider Web". Select Pick Color, and choose the brightest white default color. Set Specular to 70.0%. Activate Double Sided and Smooth, then click Apply(see Figure #5).


Figure #5

As you can see in Figure #6, the object is beginning to resemble a web. But, it is too perfect. There are a couple of things we need to do to add some "real world" imperfections that will enhance the realism of the object.


Figure #6

Step 8: Activate the Points mode. Now, use the right mouse button to lasso all of the points and select them. With the Tools tabs selected, press the uppercase "J" on the keyboard to display the Jitter numeric requestor, and enter the values in Figure #7.


Figure #7

Now we'll add some anchor points for our spider web using the Magnet tool.

STEP 9: Select the Modify tab and the Magnet tool. Use the right mouse button to define areas, near the edge of the web, to be affected. Use the left mouse button to drag areas outward until the shape suits your particular need.(See Figure #8)


Figure #8

Of course, where and how you'll be using your web will determine the placement of the web's anchors. You may also want to select a single point at the edge of each anchor, and drag it outward slightly farther than the rest of each anchor section.

STEP 10: Save your new SpiderWeb.lwo, and you're done!

(HINT: In Layout's object panel, set the spider web object's Particle/Line Size to Small.)



Roger Crouse
web site can be found at Crouse Technology.