Animation: How to Make Water (The Basics)

August 19, 2007 11:01 pm

Animation: How to make water (The basics) 

Before starting I am assuming that you already know how to use Lightwave 3D (Modeler/Layout). If not Please go to your “help” option tab in Layout so you can understand the tools better that are going to be using in this lesson.

*Note: Click on the images for a larger view. 



1.      Open up Lightwave modeler and using the Box tool, make a box similar to “Picture1” In the first layer.






2.      Just as shown in “Picture2” highlight the top polygon. Now use Smooth shift and resize the extra polygon made as shown in “Picture3.”















3.      Use smooth shift again and move the newly created polygon down on the Y axis just as you see it in “Picture4.”








4.      Now click into the second layer and while still having the first layer shown in the background, create a rectangle using the Box tool. Use “Picture5” as an example.







5.      After you finish creating the rectangular square, go to the multiply tab and subdivide the polygon using faceted 3 times. After the third time hit the ok button and your model should look just like what is shown in “Picture6.”







6.      Now using the point selection on the bottom left hand side of your screen, select all the points on the edge of the mesh and on the bottom right hand side of your screen click the “S” button until you see a window pop up called “Point selection sets.” Now name the points that you have selected called fluid still and then hit ok. Use “Picture7” for a reference.






7.      As shown in “Picture8” while the second layer is in the foreground and the first layer is in the background, hit the “Tab” button on your keyboard. After you do that, select all the polygons in the second layer and give it a surface name called water. Now go to the first layer and select all them polygons and give it a surface name called tub. Now go to file save and save the model as “swimming pool.” Close modeler now and go to layout.







8.      In layout Go to file/load/load object and open up the object called “swimming pool.” As shown in “Picture9” create a null and give it the name collision and hit the ok button. Next click on the properties button to open up object properties/go to the dynamics tab and add the dynamic called FX_Collision. Set the Radius/level to 200mm and check on no shift. After those settings, re-highlight the null object and set the position to: X: 1.9m Y: 1.9m Z: 0m.






9.      When you are done with the settings, highlight swimming pool:Layer2 and in the object properties window add a dynamic called ClothFX like shown in “Picture10.” In the Basic tab, change the fix option to Fluid still/pointset.







10.   In the Etc tab, change the Preset to Jelly. Use “Picture11” as a reference.








11.   Go back to the Collision tab and put these settings in as shown in “Picture12”:


Collision detect:

Exclusive Collision: Collision


Collision offset: 200mm



12.  Ok now as shown in “Picture13” we are going to animate the null hitting the water: highlight the null object in layout and put in these position settings on each keyframe:


Frame 10:

            X: 1.3253m

            Y: 875.001mm

            Z: 0m

Frame 20:

            X: 769.5938mm

            Y: 1.5802 m

            Z: 0m

Frame 30:

            X: 138.7654mm

            Y: 880.2316mm

            Z: 0m

Frame 31:

            X: 45.4316 mm

            Y: 868.6677mm

            Z: 0m

Frame 35:

            X: -447.82 mm

            Y: 881.8829mm

            Z: 0m

Frame 39:

            X: -964.52 mm

            Y: 883.091 mm

            Z: 0m

Frame 40:

            X: -1.05 m

            Y: 880.2316mm

            Z: 0m

Frame 50:

            X: -1.4959 m

            Y: 1.9126 m

            Z: 0m 

13.  Make sure your timeline in layout now has 100 keyframes. To do this go to the bottom right hand side of your screen and change the number 60 to 100. Use “Picture14” for a visual.







14.  Now that we have the animation and settings set up it is time to see the magic Lightwave can do. Highlight the null object and then turn back on the object properties window. Next, click on the Dynamics tab and hit the Calculate button. The null should now animate brushing against the water. Save the scene as “water animation.”

Not only can you use ClothFX for clothes, but you can also use it for: Water effects, characters stepping on snow, quick sand, parachutes, etc. 




I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you. If you have had any trouble you can download the files from this lesson here.

Be sure to check out the previous tutorial:
How to use ClothFX, HardFX, FX_Hardlink, and FX Collision (The basics)

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Since the age 16, Newhere has always had an eye for the 3d element. For many years, Newhere has worked with 3d graphics Using Lightwave's tools to create his own characters and environments. His real interest in 3d modeling was first discovered when he found some 3d images online and was fascinated by 3d human models done by the artists of Renderosity.

September 3, 2007

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Article Comments

relik ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 13 September 2007

Thanks for this and the previous. Looking forward to seeing where I can take them. -R

FALCON2 ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 14 September 2007

When I saw a simple water tutorial I thought for sure you were going to take this into animated texture displacements - perhaps next round :D Nice little tutorial!

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